Visit to The Crucible

Awesome day – I was invited to join a group of journalists as they explored and covered Oakland’s metal and glass foundry / learning center The Crucible. Incredible place – blacksmithing, glass blowing, grinding, enamel work, all forms of welding and cutting, wood shop, Arduino and electronics…. would love to attend, but classes are really expensive. They do have scholarships for the kids classes though!

Embedded gallery below, or check out the Flickr set

As we were wrapping up, one of the old-timers came out of a room with this amazing quadrocopter, which he flew all over the place:

I Met the Walrus

Why 1969 was great. Why 2008 is great:

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon’s every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit, and timeless message.

Hi-res version also available.

Thanks Tim Lesle

Sailing, Thundermouth

Sailing   Thundermouth

Amazing day with family yesterday. Up early to join a friend of the family for a two-hour tour of San Francisco Bay on his sailboat. Miles first time sailing, and I hadn’t been on a sailboat in years. Perfect blue sky, 15-knot winds, and a chance to re-learn the difference between a jib and a jibe, a tack and a hank. What a way to start a weekend. Thanks Louis B.! Flickr set, includes a little video of Amy at the helm.

After a quick BBQ lunch, off to the Oakland Museum of Children’s Art for matinee performance of Thundermouth, part of the 6th Annual Matthew Sperry Memorial Festival. Thundermouth was an idea Matthew had had when he was alive – to roll out a giant sheet of butcher paper and let members of the audience write improvised poems. The band, also improvising, would then have one or more singers singing the lyrics as fast as they could be written – sort of improv karaoke. Great to see this idea of Matthew’s finally made real, and a perfect concept for a kids’ matinee. Flickr set here. We still miss you Matthew!

Later, perfected my orange julius recipe.

Music: Spike Jones :: Knock Knock (Who’s There?)

Fold-In Bliss

Foldin My attempt to sell off boxes of 30-year-old+ comics was an abject failure. The market is flooded, the internet is taking over the comic space, etc. etc. Especially disheartening was that I couldn’t find a good home for all my old Mad magazines. Thumbing through the boxes a few months ago, had to take time out to do a bunch of Mad Fold-Ins — the back page was always a treat, and every issue has vertical creases at the 1/3 points. Creator Al Jaffe (now 86) has been creating the fold-ins by hand almost non-stop since 1964.

The New York Times is featuring an excellent collection of fold-ins, with interactivity expertly re-created in Flash.

Music: Holy Modal Rounders :: Down the Old Plank Road

CD Cover Meme

Barbeue-Pork Righteous CD cover meme image pool happening on Flickr these-a-days.

1. First, you’ll need a name for your band. This will be the first article title on WikiPedia’s random page selector.

2. Now for the all-important album title. Grab the last four words of the very last quote on the quotationspage’s random quote selector.

3. And of course, the album art. Yours will be the third picture, no matter what it is, on Flickr’s most interesting page.

Run your elements through the Photoshop sausage grinder, emulating the style of an album you already own (if you like), and out comes an album cover that looks like it could be at home in the Indie or Alt.Whatever section of your local record store.

To get yours into the pool, you’ll need to join the pool, then go to your uploaded image and click the “Add to pool” link right above it (I’ve always thought Flickr made the process of playing in photo pools unnecessarily complicated).

I made one.

Music: Son House :: Empire State Express

Mr. Picassohead

Picassohead Great fun to be had at Mr. Picassohead – seemingly simple Flash-based tools to create Picasso-like paintings easily. Great fun with kids (younger ones need help, but still dig it). I love when simple tools with narrow parameters – married to human creativity – give rise to a zillion fascinating combinations.

Create something of your own first; then page through the gallery for a while to be reminded of all the things you forgot to try.

Music: The Fugs :: You Can’t Go Into The Same River Twice