Monthly Archives: March 2010

Construction Lamps

Studio Job is exhibiting these two “new” works at Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery in London this month. While these are described as “new works”, it really seems like I’ve seen these. Like in a Restoration Hardware or something. Both of these lights seem really, really familiar. It seems like I remember swatting the wrecking ball once to see if it was a cord or a stiff wire.

All of this just seems oddly familiar.

Yuri’s Night 2010

Tickets are on sale for this year’s Yuri’s Night. April 9 (“Multiverse Education Day”) and 10 (Festival Day; noon to midnight) at NASA Ames / Moffett Field’s Hangar 211. (Alas, not Hanger One.)

Yuri’s Night uses Yuri Gagarin’s first (and only) flight into space, as an excuse to listen to music and look at art. Read WiRED’s 2007 coverage for a flavor. Beyond the music (headliners are: The Black Keys, Common, Les Claypool, and N.E.R.D.), the Flaming Lotus Girls will be there with the sculpture The Serpent Mother, and Alan Rorie will be displaying the Raygun Gothic Rocketship.

La Vitrine’s LED Wall

Lighting artists, the Moment Factory installed on the front wall of Montreal’s La Vitrine theater a full length interactive LED display. Made up of hellalot of RGB leds, the patterns react to people as they pass on the street.

Moment Factory designed the lighting effects for Nine inch Nails‘s (w00t) 2008 Lights in the Sky tour. There’s a video of them talking about the effects on the tour, and how they were controlled from the stage rather than pre-scripted like stage effects normally are, but a combination of flash and their website being in flux have foiled me. Still, if you like effects and/or NIN, find the video. It’s not that long.

Previously. Previously.

Another video after the jump.

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The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), using software from Polar Rose, has created a mobile application that uses facial recognition to perform social search. Users submit photos of their faces to the Recognizr website, along with what web links they want associated with them (e.g. blogs, Flickr, or YouTube). Then by downloading an app to their mobile phone, they can take a photo of a stranger, submit it to the website, and if that stranger is a Recognizr user, find out all about him/her.

This work reminds me of Bradley Rhodes‘s old wearable/AR emacs plugin, the Remembrance Agent. The idea behind that application was that, while wearing a PC-104 based Lizzy wearable computer, you’d type in names into emacs, and then bring up whatever notes you had about them. I don’t remember if it integrated with the Insidious Big Brother Database or not.

New Woo-Woos

I’ll admit it. This post is just here to look at pictures of police cars. I kind of like police cars. I like the flashing lights. I like that they go fast. The first time I sat in a police car, I was maybe five years old. An Illinois State Police trooper, having lunch/dinner at the DuQuoin Pizza Hut, let me sit on his lap and turn the lights on. I remember leaning out of the car and expclaiming, “The Woo-woos! They WORK!,” and that he had a broken thumb. I imagined that he got shot in it. The last time I sat in a police car, it was getting a speeding ticket after I blew past another Illinois State Police car going about 90 on I-57. I sat in the front, because the back was full of cardboard boxes containing files. (I’m sure Andrew Tanenbaum would have something to say about that.) I noticed there was a lot of crap in a cop car. A laptop and two CB radios. (WTF?)

Now with disclaimer out of the way…

New police cars!

Ford is eliminating the Crown Victoria police cruiser, and replacing it with the 2011 Taurus Police Interceptor (based on the 2010 Taurus). What makes this different from the Crown Vics? This one has unibody construction (which makes repairs more expensive), and 25% more fuel efficient V6 engines (263 HP and 365 HP available, with either front-wheel or all-wheel transmissions).

Not to be left behind, GM is releasing a new 2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Interceptor which comes in both a V8 (355 HP) and V6 FlexFuel (i.e. E85 or gasoline) engines.

Dodge is staying with their Charger that released in 2006.

However, the coolest police car out there is not the lame-o police Lamborghini, or the from-the-mind-of-a-seven-year-old-boy Caparo T1 Rapid Response Vehicle, but Carbon Motors purpose built (as opposed to a normal conversion) police car, the E7. It comes with night vision, a heads up display,an automatic license plate recognizer, voice control, and suicide doors! (More photos from Jalopnik.)

Photos of all cars mentioned after the jump.
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Natural Deselection

This past weekend, Ming and I planted a couple of tomato plants in pots to grow. As part of the fun, we’re keeping a log of how fast the plants grow. Doing this has given me flashbacks to LDEF SEEDS experiment which involved both school children and “real” scientists growing tomatoes that were exposed to the radiation of space for almost six years. (FYI: Space seeds had higher germination rates, but tasted the same as Earth tomatoes.)

While thinking about plant growth rates, I came across Natural Selection by Tom Simpson of Studio Lithero. It is perhaps the most boring death race ever. (Actually, it’s pretty cool sped up.) Three plants enter. One plant leaves (HA!), and becomes president. Sensors at the top of the stand trigger cutters at the bottom.

Makes me want to breed some sort of super plant, á la the Russiansilver fox experiment.


Evan Miller‘s (Pixelante Studios) art game ImmorTall is an poignent game about an alien that crashes to earth, befriends a family, and then must protect them from the military.

What I found most interesting about this game was the comments on Kongregate that sprung up around it. Predictably, there were those that got it, and those that didn’t (my favorite comments are after the jump), but that here was a game that didn’t have an explicit backstory, yet a common one kept reappearing: the military was there to attack the alien.

I thought that was interesting, since I didn’t get that at all. Looking at the backgrounds, I imagine that the alien was that after a quiet time, war came to the countryside, and the alien was helping the family escape Von Trapp style (or so Rodgers and Hammerstein would have you think). The alien, was just caught in the middle like everyone else.

I guess it’s just the effect of too many B-movies.

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