'It is as though eternal harmony were conversing with itself, as it may
have happened in God's bosom shortly before He created the world.'
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on Bach
or, to put it more modernly
'I don't think a greater genius has walked the earth. Of the 3 great
composers Mozart tells us what it's like to be human, Beethoven tells
us what it's like to be Beethoven and Bach tells us what it's like to
be the universe.'
The actual tragedies of life bear no relation to one's preconceived ideas. In the event, one is always bewildered by their simplicity, their grandeur of design, and by that element of the bizzare which seems inherent in them.
Jean Cocteau, Les Enfants Terribles French dramatist, director, & poet (1889 - 1963)
Fairhaven, another district between Lytham and St Annes, lies between Ansdell and the coast. It is named after Thomas Fair, an early resident of Lytham St Annes. Its main claim to fame is its artificial lake, known as Fairhaven Lake or more formally as the Ashton Marine Park, which is an important wildfowl habitat. Its other famous landmark is the Fairhaven United Reformed Church, which is of unusual design, being built in Byzantine style and faced with glazed white tiles, and commonly known as the White Church, or 'the mosque' due to the dome shaped towers protruding from its sides.
Burton was also accused of having murdered a man on his trip to Mecca. The story was that on the journey he had accidentally revealed himself as a European and killed the man (in some versions a boy) to keep his secret. While Burton often denied this, he was also given to baiting gullible listeners. Famously a doctor once asked him coldly, "How do you feel when you have killed a man?" Burton retorted, "Quite jolly, what about you?" When asked by a priest about the same incident Burton is said to have replied "Sir, I'm proud to say I have committed every sin in the Decalogue.".
If you are a fan of pop art then you're probably already well acquainted with the work Roy Lichtenstein. Roy Lichtenstein became one of the leading pop artists of the sixties with his comic-strip paintings. Drowning Girl 1963, shown left, is one of his better known works and is a good example of the design features in his most famous pieces. Notice the thick lines, bold colors, and thought bubble. His work also often included boxed captions and words such as "WHAAM!", commonly found in comic books.
Benday dots were Lichtenstein's trademark. Benday dots are a printing process which combines two (or more) different small, coloured dots to create a third colour. Back in the day, pulp comic books used benday dots in primary colours to inexpensively create the secondary colours such as flesh tone.
You can create the benday dot effect by using the Colour Halftone filter found in Photoshop, however in this tutorial I'm going to show you a way to create a fantastic looking black and white Halftone Pattern. "Why?", because I like the look of it better.
There’s a knack to spotting if an image has been edited or not. Shadows are usually the first give-away, as is inconsistant lighting. If you suspect a person’s head may have been added to another body, look extremely closely at the skin tones, and gradations. Look at the fringe, and see if the background looks consistent, colour-wise, with the original. Finally, use common sense and don’t believe your own eyes - if something looks unnatural, take a closer look, and see if you can find out why it doesn’t look kosher.
Schlock Culture Room. The room is cramped. You’re sandwiched between scantily costumed acrobats and contortionists from various Cirque du Soleil touring companies. They’ve all paid to see a Maroon 5 concert on a nearby stage. The cast of Varsity Blues accompanies the band on backup vocals. Nearby, the anchors of Fox News take turns spanking Ashlee Simpson’s bare bottom. Simpson hisses at you as you exit and the sound of Bill O’Reilly squealing, “Soooo-WEE, Soooo-WEE” rings in your ears....
Joseph Petviashvili is a fan of ... novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom -- he likes it so much that he's created a software version of "Whuffie," the reputation currency that forms the basis of the Bitchun Society ... described in the book.
Bitchun.org is runs on open source code (still in alpha release), creating a marketplace for trading and rewarding favors for your friends and like-minded strangers....
The Suspicious Looking Device is a bright orange box with a countdown timer on the top. If you touch it, it lets out a loud siren and then scoots away on a set of hidden wheels. Its entire purpose is to look suspicious -- it has no other function.
Gerber -- whose multitools are the best in the world, for my money -- have shipped an sevent-headed LED flashlight whose bulbs are individually poseable to illuminate different parts of a tricky, underlighted project or room. It's called the "Inferno Flexlight" and can be hung, posed, or held.
Incidentally, while Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow lusts after Gerber's multi-tool, I've always preferred the Leatherman Fuse (link goes to Campmor, the New Jersey outdoors superstore that I've been addicted to since I was a cub scout), with locking blades.
A flock of indoor uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) is helping engineers develop smart swarming strategies for larger autonomous surveillance aircraft.
The multiple-rotor radio-controlled aircraft provide a simple and cheap way to test out strategies before they are scaled-up for real world use.
"We're focusing on persistent surveillance," says project leader Jonathan How at MIT in the US. "This would be useful for, say, convoy protection." His team is working in collaboration with Phantom Works, the research and development arm of Boeing.
Regardless of the fact that I'm currently living amongst boxes and packing peanuts, I present week 4 and week 5 of the Blawger Bowl update for your perusal. All three of you.
Week 4 - Unbillable Hours v. Anonymous Lawyer/Jeremy Blachman
Week 4 put me up against Jeremy Blachman's "Completely Guessing." Blachman is a sort of blogging celebrity, in that he has a novel published and has written for the New York Times. Unfortunately, that didn't help his game. Unbillable Hours won, 110 to 71.
Blachman, a Harvard grad, takes notice on his blog of 02138, the smarmy alumni magazine for Harvard (there, now google can associate you shitbirds with being smarmy). I had noticed the magazine myself, as, for reasons I don't understand, an issue ended up in my office mailbox. I didn't go to Harvard, but I did go to a law school which views itself with equally self-important eyes. Wrongly, in my opinion, as I still maintain that I learned nothing about the practice of law while there. Nonetheless, I look at my law school's alumni mag ("bourgeoise ipsa loquitor," a.k.a., "the yuppies speak for themselves") and 02138 as part of the greater trend of lifestyle magazines designed to make the upper class and upper middle class feel special about themselves.
I'll give another example. In the somewhat affluent region in which I live (the Jersey shore), someone came up with the idea for a lifestyle magazine called "MAR." Much like Harvard's self-referencing "02138" (the main campus zip code), MAR refers to the area in which it serves: an area it refers to as the "Mid-Atlantic Riviera."
Now, aside from the fact that I've never lived a lifestyle that approximates the Riviera, my readthrough of the magazine made me pray it was either parody or completely oblivious. Executive helecopter charters competed with the solicitations of personal shoppers and Ferrari/Maserati of Central New Jersey. Consultants provided advice about both feng shui and surgery to remove signs of aging.
I wondered if the magazine would find its way to low income towns like Asbury Park or Neptune, just to rub in the insult.
The magazines seem to be designed - like the society pages of old - to reassure a certain class of people. "Yes, you're noteworthy," the photos of shiny-faced, suit wearing partiers seem to say. "You deserve no less than this," the jewelry and custom kitchen cabinets (starting at a reasonable $40k) ads advise the privileged.
In the grand scheme of things, I can't decide if the magazine is a signifier to me (time to get out; the area has changed and you're not interested in changing with it) or a hysterically out-of-touch statement, the "let them eat cake" of the Hummer crowd.
Week 5, Unbillable Hours v. ???? This past week, my team took on one of the two teams ... about whom I know nothing (as indicated in my first blawger bowl post). This is frustrating, since I have no way of doing a write-up about the blawger. However, considering the bastards beat my team 96-72, signalling what may be a slow, ugly decline, I don't mind not having to do a write-up about them.
Web site PDF Online lets you convert a bevy of document types to PDF online, sending the resulting PDF to your email address as an attachment.
While PDF Online doesn't convert everything, it does handle a lot of file types (see screenshot), and might come in handy if you need a quick PDF on-the-go. In fact, even if you "Print to PDF" a lot on your desktop, PDF Online might be a nice tool to keep in mind, especially if you email the file to yourself anyway.