Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Disillusioned by Technology | MIT Technology Review The Triumph of Human Empire: Verne, Morris, and Stevenson at the End of the World “I think this shows two coexisting visions of history,” she says. “One is history as progress, but there is also this other vision of history as rolling apocalypse. A lot of us are living with that ambiguity today.” Such changes, she adds, are of our own making; we may speak of “technology” and “globalization” as autonomous, inevitable forces, but they result from human choices and actions. The danger, she says, “is in attributing everything to technology rather than asking: Who are the people at work here?” “ tags: technology empire progression change weekly Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke | | Rolling Stone “So there is absolutely no reason they couldn’t all face criminal penalties. That they are not being prosecuted is cowardice and pure corruption, nothing else. And by approving this settlement, Breuer removed the government’s moral authority to prosecute anyone for any other drug offense. Not that most people didn’t already know that the drug war is a joke, but this makes it official. “ tags: settlement drugs weekly money banking How the “internet of things” will replace the web – Quartz “An invisible button is simply an area in spaaaaaace that […]

Lenses of Perception, PD, & Walking at Work Week 6

I photograph things on my walks to and from work for a number of reasons. I enjoy it certainly but it’s also about making sure I am really looking around. It is interesting to see what I notice and how it relates to the lens I choose to carry.1 What I think about quite a lot is which lens of analysis leads some people to see everything as PD and related to their work. It reminds me about this article (focused on changing perspective). . . We see, but we do not see: we use our eyes, but our gaze is glancing, frivolously considering its object. We see the signs, but not their meanings. We are not blinded, but we have blinders. My deficiency is one of attention: I simply was not paying close enough attention. -source …but then moving deeper (and moving to graffiti hunters) towards a more permanent shift in how you perceive things and the way it draws you into more learning and then more noticing . . . Saraceni says his GATS encounter on San Pablo was the “whoa moment” for him. “From then on, it was like I had a disease. I began to see stickers, letters, and characters everywhere I went.” Instagram helped Saraceni put artists’ names to the art he was discovering. -source […]

Two Different Time Lapse Experiments

Time Lapse Trip from Richmond VA to Tampa FL from Tom Woodward on Vimeo. This is my first attempt with the GoPro. I think it’s set to one shot every 30 seconds. You can see me fiddling with the settings a few different times if you’re masochistic enough to watch it through. The battery ran out early in the trip and resulted in me using it without the stand. That helps explain the repeated drifting as the USB cord1 pulls it slowly towards the driver’s side. It is interesting to see a 12.5 hr trip condensed down to 4 minutes or so. I may do it on the way back but pointed mostly towards the sky or maybe at the kids. Knowing where the stops were makes me wonder if something similar would make for a interesting take on Dan Meyer’s original graphing stories. On the other end of the time lapse spectrum is this attempt to condense one my attempts to fix a photo from the reddit pic request group. This one is kind of amusing to me in that you can see me googling some stuff for a sick child in the middle and finishing up with some posts to reddit and flickr. There is no sound but it’d be pretty easy to narrate if you wanted to […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Swiss cows and the environmental future – Veronique Greenwood – Aeon “The market supports to local agriculture would end, yes. But the farmers would be paid directly by the government for something else. They would be paid for, among other things, keeping the mountain pastures clear of trees, keeping the forests clear of the cows, and keeping the water clean. They would be paid for keeping land in agriculture, for treating their animals well, and for maintaining the social structure in rural areas. It is a way of thinking about the use of the land that environmental scholars and policymakers call ‘payments for ecosystem services’. In essence, the Swiss government rewards farmers for the maintenance of the landscape — both environmental and cultural. “ tags: Switzerland ecology economy cows weekly For Billions of People, “Wasting Time” Makes Little Sense – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus “The idea that “time is money” is taken for granted in many clock-time cultures, including North America. When we want to get something done we budget our time carefully. We read books and download apps to help with time management (which turns out to have similarities with financial management). And if we make an investment of time, we hope for good returns. (See the related Nautilus article by Greg Beato, about how wasting time can […]

Reddit Pic Requests

It is always strange to wander about in Internet communities with a fairly established culture. Reddit is not someplace I’ve ever spent any real time and while I still haven’t done much with it, I have been checking in on Pic Requests. It is really wild to see the diversity of requests and the speed and skill with which most of the requests are answered. These requests (and responses) run the gamut from – [Request] My grandma is turning 94 on Christmas day. Can someone help me restore an old photo of her and her late husband from when they first met? to [Request] Can you make my sister into a t-rex chasing Johnny Depp? People offer money, services in return, Reddit Gold, or just the challenge. It is amazing how fast and how well most of these requests are answered, often by multiple people. Were I teaching a Photoshop class, this would be where I would hangout as every level of project is offered by people who actually need/want the product. They range from fairly easy functional/technical requests to wide open conceptual pieces. I have been attempting to help some people with repair work. I find it interesting and I’ve always wanted to be better at Photoshop but have a hard time doing work for no reason.1 It is […]

Repairing Photos – Semi Tutorial – PhotoShop CC

I’m still not entirely sure this isn’t some sort of art project. The pictures are just too perfect and comments like the one here don’t exactly allay suspicions. I kind of hope it is. It’d be doubly weird to be “fixing” intentionally created errors. In any case, as part of my 30 minutes of something creative here’s a more aggressive before/after repair attempt. To make repairs like this (when the light is fairly even it’s especially helpful) you can select an undamaged portion from the opposite site of the face. You can see I’ve made that selection above if you look closely. It’s a good idea to copy a good bit extra as you’ll be erasing portions at the edges to help with blending. I copy/paste that piece which will automatically generate a new layer. I then flip that object (command T, flip>horizontal) and slide it into place. Once it’s roughly in place, I select the eraser tool and make it decently large, very soft, and drop the opacity down. I then erase chunks of the excess until I get a decent blend. The healing brush tool is a good option to blend the wrinkle lines in. I can’t get a decent screenshot of that. General tips, avoid exactly mirrored portions when possible. Keep an eye out for repetitive patterns. […]

Bucharest Ripples

I’ve continued to mess around repairing some of the photos from the Costica Ascinte Flickr account. I got the following email from one of the Costica Ascinte account members. Hi Tom Following your example, I’ve tried to repair one of Acsinte’s pic too: this one and the original: Take care, Cezar Popescu It’d be easy to write this off as just the way the Internet works but it is still strange that my random actions have any impact on anyone let alone someone in Bucharest. I’m also improving slowly at repair work in Photoshop. I had no idea what the patch tool did before this. It’s fairly handy. I also finally figured out that I can flip an individual selected item by selecting transform (command T) and then right click (ctrl click) and flip horizontal. None of it’s rocket science by any means but it all aggregates.


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Better and better keyboards. – Massively Parallel Procrastination Pretty interesting to watch the process and the role of 3d printing. tags: keyboards 3d printing iterative design weekly The Space Review: Secrets and signs (page 1) “Those obsessed with Freemason conspiracy theories would probably go into orbit after learning that in 2000 the secretive National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) launched a satellite into spaaaaaace whose official mission patch featured a symbol nearly identical to the one on the dollar bill. While this was probably not a Freemason satellite, the “all-seeing eye” was undoubtedly intended to serve the same symbolic function as an observation satellite does in reality. More interesting to those obsessed with the NRO is the fact that the patch also features four stars hovering in the sky. Independent observers claimed that the classified satellite launched into orbit was actually the fourth of its type. Four stars. Four satellites.” tags: space patches usa symbols weekly freemason jacobsmith/chrome_extension_xkcd_1288 · GitHub That XKCD text replacement plugin source code on github because the Internet is awesome. tags: xkcd chrome plugin javascript js extension github weekly Ground Zero – Futility Closet ” But I am open to the suggestion that it is not a chained sculpture of a cat but a sculpture of a chained cat, one end of which is wittily attached to a […]

Creepiest GIF Yet

I made this as part of my 30 minutes of random art. It took 30 minutes in part because I had lots of help and ideas from my children who also balanced on me as I tried to select items. It’s something like extreme ironing but with PhotoShop. On the other hand, it may very well inform how they see media and teach them things about PhotoShop/concepts about layering etc. The source material is here which is from this larger collection of creepy doll pictures. So plenty of other beautiful opportunities to add to the oddness of the web.

Play Until You Win

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward I wrote this in response to Gardner’s post here and in particular this quote from Thomas Merton that Gardner referenced. “[A publisher asked me to write something on ‘The Secret of Success,’ and I refused.] If I had a message to my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success. … If you have learned only how to be a success, your life has probably been wasted. If a university concentrates on producing successful people, it is lamentably failing in its obligation to society and to the students themselves.” On reflection, this is a bit much for a comment (so now it’s a post) and probably somewhat hyperbolic but maybe it’ll spur some interesting conversation. My response certainly sounds like a keynote (not enough gray).1 I read it more as an indictment of the definition of “success” in a corrupt/broken system as a kind of failure rather than advocating allowing for failure as a way of progression (not that I disagree with that path). I paralleled it to winning the Redneck Games2 or being a very powerful congressman.3 I wouldn’t want to be a member of that […]