You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2007.

L’animateur, or ‘the animator’: is he ‘just’ a puppeteer? Or does he symbolize God? Do the weird creatures in the mud symbolize our ancestors? Check out this really lovely stop motion animation.

This advert aiming to sell alcohol-free kids beer would be quite unthinkable in pretty much the whole Western World.

If you think Google Earth is really cool, you’re right: it is!

But imagine in Google Earth to push the globe aside for a moment and within a few seconds travel a few thousand lightyears away to check out a nice star constellation or galaxy over there. This is not possible in Google Earth, but a really nice application exists that can serve as quite a good surrogate to that old boys/girls dream to one day travel the galaxy in a quest very deep into the Unknown.


(‘the Pale Blue Dot’ by Carl Sagan)

This application goes by the really awfull name of ‘Celestia’ and it’s highly recommended to all those that have even the slightest interest in science fiction, space travel and astronomy. You just ‘zap’ through the galaxy, with millions of planets, stars, asteroids, moons and even spacecrafts to discover and explore. It is so awesome to just literaly hop from galaxy to galaxy, a geek’s wet dream.

Oh what a joy … it’s free!
Here‘s a great review about the program.

You might or might not know about Ubuntu. Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. Ubuntu is the user friendly version of Linux, and has recently gained a lot of popularity amongst nerds and novice users alike, for good reasons. On May 11th, the Ubuntu team released Ubuntu Studio to the public.

A problem Linux is facing is that it doesn’t really appeal to creative hobbyists/semi-professionals as a serious option, because of a seeming lack of reliable, user friendly programs, either open source or crackable. In the high-end VFX market, many, if not most programs run on Linux. Free programs like Gimp (an ‘alternative’ to Photoshop), Inkscape (an alternative to Illustrator) and Blender (3D-animation) still have a long way to go to compete against the established commercial packages. However, the fight against Adobe and Autodesk isn’t really fair. Adobe and Autodesk are commercially motivated organizations which have the ability to hire the best of the best and market what they make massively. The open source programs can only rely on voluntary collaboration and word-of mouth evangelism. When looking at it this way, these programs have come a very long way and this deserves a round of applause. The progress they’ve made is incredible and development is always continuing.

The Ubuntu team has now made a really smart move: they’ve put together Ubuntu Studio, which bundles and (more importantly) brands all creative tools the open source community has to offer in one installable OS. What is so smart about this? Well, when a person wants to ‘get creative’ and do this legally, there’s now a clear open source choice to make. “Have you heard about Ubuntu Studio?” is a really good mouth-to-mouth strategy to bring Linux creativity to the masses. It takes away some of the fear of the somewhat chaotic image Linux has amongst Windows users. Let’s hope this will become very, very big. It has every potential to. Give it a try!

You live inside your bubble and I live inside mine. When we meet, our bubbles join and when we’re really close, it becomes one bubble. Check out this and other excellent perspectives on our perception, called “A Cartoon Epistomology”. It’s weird and it’s badly drawn, but it’s really well thought out and a lot of fun.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi make unreasonable amounts of money on a product that they produce for almost no cost at all. About 40% of their revenues is spent on marketing.

However, there’s serious competition on the horizon. OpenCola, like Linux, is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Based on the recepies of OpenCola, you’re free to make, sell and distribute your own coke and you’re free to improve it also, as long as you keep the source ‘open’.

I stumbled upon this really cool ‘visualization’ of the Second World War.

Dear readers,

Sincere apologies to the ones that subscribe to this blog for technology and art. This post is pure politics. This is because the news I want to bring you in this post is of such a weight and scale, I would really recommend you swallow this red pill and read on.

Here it goes, hold your breath: On May 9th, the White House released the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (official White House document). This directive states that in the case of National Disaster, the President is effectively granted autocratic power over all government organizations. Sounds like there’s another 9/11 planned in the not-so-far-away future.
Make sure to read this post at roguegovernment.com >>>


(source: http://www.roguegovernment.com/)

Google Earth has just addded 170.000 3D buildings in the city of Amsterdam! Make sure to tick ‘3D buildings’ and below that ‘3D warehouse’ in your layers palette to make also the detailed buildings visible.

It’s funny. As a scientist/philosopher/established specialist, you notice a certain pattern in the way things work. A certain repetition in the order/chaos around you. This thing you’ve found is not a perfect constant, like the gravity. Still, you start calling it a Law. You talk about it a lot, perhaps write an essay about it or dedicate your life to the promotion of this idea, and one day, this ‘Law’ is referred to with your name. Now personally, I’ve never understood the relevance or authority of Murphy’s Law. But I’ve found out there are more of these ‘Laws’. Check ‘m out, because they give a bit of a different perpective to the ways of the world and your position in it. Enjoy.

Murphy’s law states that “Things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance”. That’s quite a negative thought! Doesn’t belief in this ‘law’ make you focus on things going wrong? What happens if you believe the opposite?

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”. Let’s force ourselves to do things in a shorter time span; set a timer!

Pareto’s Law states that “for many phenomena, 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes”. This should make you reconsider what you spend your time on.

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