A Year in Forty Seconds

As the year comes to a close, I thought this was a fitting and pretty sweet video showing the passage of one year in 40 seconds. Time is, after all, relative.

Check it out in HD too! (You'll have to head over to vimeo.com)


Small Weird Rant

A while ago, some friend of mine tried to persuade me to believe that the armed forces budget for the US was small in comparison to social services...I ignored him, because I thought it was obvious that he was wrong, but I was reminded of this when I came across this cool little doo-dad (I'm sure I've posted it before...but I was reminded of how cool it is). It's interesting regardless of the point I would be trying to make...


A little Santa lineage...

This is funny.


Some Photo Tips

David Pogue, NYTimes tech writer, has written a short piece with good tips, or reminders, for photographers, beginners and pros alike!
Check it out!
And here's another fun Photoshop tutorial!


So, you know how some things will just drive you crazy enough that you can't go to bed until you just do them? This is a post like that. You see, finals week has been upon me, and I'm finally done with all of my finals (well...I'll come back to that). Now I find that I have a TON of things I want to share with everyone. So...prepare yourselves!
We'll start with design:
First off, it's kinda odd, but seriously appealing to me: fantastic illustrations of 30 ways to die from electrocution. Disclaimer: these are illustrations, and while they sound like incredibly dark humor, I think when you see them you'll see how light they are. And funny. Seriously, take this for example:

Moving on. Here's an ironic picture, completely (okay, not completely) exemplifying the American dream:

If you haven't search for tilt-shift images, do so NOW! You can even make them with your iPhone quite easily with this app!
Lastly for design stuff, check out the incredible ASCII art from the 40s!
If you have children, I recommend not buying them these dolls for Christmas. In fact, you're better off sticking with a Wii. I personally would buy anything from these vintage Apple ads, or maybe a Roomba...just not one from 1959. Maybe a nice carbon fiber table gets you going. And for the space geeks, they've finally updated the, ahem, not-so-holy bible. I do want to get me a nice bike...but it needs to be special...something like this (which is actually just really cool tech!)
As the year closes down, I've seen some AMAZING year in review photo galleries. Really, any awesome photos (of the space shuttle riding a 777) deserve their time in hyperspace. Boston.com has probably the most fantastic 2008 in review set. I completely recommend it. Macro photography always makes me happy as well, and here are some awesome macro shots (although the website is admittedly not the easiest to navigate, I have full faith you'll be able to do so.) I particularly liked the photos of ice.
And finally, have some great holidays with a fantastic retro-pic and cover of a beloved Christmas classic!


The Dumbest Generation? I beg to differ...

A while ago, I was perusing Barnes&Noble and came across a book entitled: "The Dumbest Generation." Intrigued, and possibly annoyed, I opened it, sat down and read the first chapter. I honestly felt like my grandma was scolding me or something, but I was laughing inside. The first chapter brought arguments to the table such as 'look at Jay Leno's popular Jay Walking.' What a ridiculous notion! Our generation being labeled stupid because of Jay Walking?? Seriously!?
Anyways, a few days ago, I noticed kottke.org had this, and I wanted to share it with everyone now that I've had time to read it:

Millions more people are going to museums, literary festivals and operas; millions more watch demanding television programmes or download serious-minded podcasts. Not all these activities count as mind-stretching, of course. Some are downright fluffy. But, says Donna Renney, the chief executive of the Cheltenham Festivals, audiences increasingly want "the buzz you get from working that little bit harder". This is a dramatic yet often unrecognised development. "When people talk and write about culture," says Ira Glass, the creator of the riveting public-radio show "This American Life", "it's apocalyptic. We tell ourselves that everything is in bad shape. But the opposite is true. There's an abundance of really interesting things going on all around us."
Full read.



I (wish i had) Met the Walrus

So, last Sundance Film Festival, an animated short premiered called, "I Met The Walrus." I really wanted to see it, but for those unfamiliar with the way Sundance works, shorts are grouped together in groups of 8 to 10 shorts and screened in a normal viewing time slot. I wasn't able to make one, and to be honest, it kind of faded from memory until I finally saw the short. It went on to be Academy Award-nominated, and it's definitely worth a watch (embedded here in youtube high quality for your viewing please). Don't you love shorts???

Here's Sundance's summary:
"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. Using the original interview as the soundtrack, this narrative tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multi-pronged animation."

Tuesday Update...on Wednesday?

So, I have this thing for busy-ness. For some reason, I find that I strive to be as busy as possible, and then some. Yesterday was definitely one of those days that I found myself having more plans than time.
So let me update y'all: yesterday I told the third girl this year that I wasn't interested in her. By far she's had the worst reaction and told me she didn't want to see me again...ever. We didn't even have anything between us (i.e. there was never an 'us'), we were friends.
Anyway, I've noticed Mr. Dow Jones has been fighting to make some gains again. But as most financially minded people know, the Standard & Poors 500 is a much better index when looking at the economy and market as a whole. Well, so you know, S&P500 is comparable only to the year of 1931 at -50%. Interestingly enough, if you plot # of years vs gains, you'll find a nice bell curve as evidenced here. And I think I'm heading to Washington to ask for a bailout for my economic situation. I figure if billions are being handed out, a chill million wouldn't be too much to ask. Plus it would create jobs instead of eliminating them. Sure.
I've been interested as of late to genetic programming. It's a very interesting style of machine programming that "evolves" and grows smarter. Check out the evolution of the Mona Lisa, for example. Or you can watch a beta car-building flash applet. Neat-o.
Technology is great. But I'm beginning to find the anonymity of the internet to be a bittersweet. One thing is for certain, I'm quite convinced that it has shown how fake humans can be. Things that would never be said in real life are found in surplus in the comment section of respectable news organizations and other sites. Anyway...my small little rant that I won't continue.
But technology really is great. Check out this new version of bendable display! Can't you wait until you can have this tech in your home? In your pocket?
Finals are next week. Hallelujah. My film has been edited, I'm just waiting to finish the score. I wasn't going to have a music track, but I decided it would greatly enhance the experience, and I'm very picky, so I'm writing it myself. Problem is always time. Recall paragraph one. Right. It'll be done soon for all those waiting on the edge of their seats.
As we near the end of this year, another interesting read is the top 10 stories you missed this year.Interesting, quite.
Anyway, enjoy!

While My...Ukulele Gently Weeps?

I'm a huge Beatles fan. Huge. If you appreciate musical talent AND can sympathize as a similar fan of what is arguably the most talented musical group of modern history, you'll really enjoy this cover of Georgie's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"...on the ukulele. You don't even have to watch it to appreciate his musical ability. This guy, Jake Shimabukuro, is really good. He was featured on NPR a bit ago too.


Invisible Art and Zoetropes

So, at least one zoetrope is garnering a lot of attention recently, but Adobe's research project is pretty tight too.
Anyway, I ran across this form of art today: the art of becoming invisible. Check it out, it's quite cool.

And don't forget to tune in to President-Elect Obama's weekly message: he brings up the fact that America is ranked 15th in Broadband adoption, and that it needs to change! Woot! (Although he does state that America invented the internet...I'm sure CERN folks have something to say about that...)



Okay...I'm completely perplexed. As I was walking out of my film class today, a classmate and I were talking about the topics of the papers we handed in. Out of the blue, he asks, "has anyone ever told you you look like Andy Dick?"
I mean, I get the Matthew McConaughey all the time. But never Andy Dick. He actually clarified his question afterward by saying, "The old Andy Dick. When he was normal and wasn't so sick."
Anyway, I don't really know what this means. But I had some random moment to spare and decided to ask you all what you think.

I don't know...my manlier beard pretty much sets us apart at this point...


Endangered Species

Why some people continue to doubt human influence on our environment, one of the most telling signs of the effect of our existence on earth is the strain we've caused on other species. Here's an interesting look at 20 strange and exotic endangered species. Here's 20 more. Worth a look and pondering.


Random stuff:

Paper bottles? Rivals Tetra-Box. If there's any way to get support behind this project, I want to know so it can go mainstream.

My world needs to get organized--quickly. An interesting, but I believe a little extreme organization/clutter tip can be found here.

I'm also considering the possibility of making bath bombs...but I've never used one anyway. They just sound kinda fun. DIYers go at it!

Top ten lists are fine, but how about a top 20 list of the best top 10 tips from Lifehacker. You might find some very interesting things there.

And last but not least for the random Sunday thoughts...I've had some conversations with a certain friend of mine about population issues, and I found a rather insightful read here: check it out if you'd like.

Space-age Designs

So, some of you may know that I'm a complete sucker for 60s sci-fi art. Yeah, the actual science-fiction is cool, but the artwork is even cooler. Maybe that's why I didn't have a *completely* scathing review for Indiana Jones 4. Maybe that's why I can enjoy, appreciate, AND recommend Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (it's great!!). Well, BoingBoing decided to please me by finding a post on wellmedicated.com containg 45 Vintage 'Space Age' Illustrations. This stuff is FANTASTIC!
And speaking of space, if you're into home-brew astronomy, check this out.
[wellmedicated via BoingBoing]


Iran: A Nation of Bloggers

Awesome and beautiful video from Vancouver Film School. I love when video essays aren't just beautiful, but also quite powerful in a lyrical, yet subtle way. Check it out (it's short).

Question: How much will the bailout cost?

Answer: More than Marshall Plan, Louisiana Purchase, moonshot, S&L bailout, Korean War, New Deal, Iraq war, Vietnam war, and NASA's lifetime budget -- *combined*!
If we add in the Citi bailout, the total cost now exceeds $4.6165 trillion dollars.

In contrast:

• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion

TOTAL: $3.92 trillion

Holy cow...God bless America, because we really really need it.



A comment I left on Chelsi's post about post-election violence re: Prop 8:
chels! i like it, even though you know my thoughts on the whole issue. it's very true that those opposing prop 8 have really shown their colors in the past few weeks.
i think the main reason the lds church is seeing so much spotlight concerning this issue is the fact that while we represented a very small percentage of the vote, members contributed a staggering $17.7 million of the total $22.9 million rasied for Yes on 8 (your numbers were a bit off from my research). so, while i certainly don't agree with the response, i think it's quite explicable. i'm linking this on my blog.

I should add that I meant "...very true that some of those opposing..." because it's quite obvious I don't mean everyone (ahem...including myself). Check out her post by following the link above.


Photoshop tip during the U game...you had better like it

Well, we're up 27-17 against BYU right now, but I saw this during half-time, and I really felt like I should post it. This Photoshop tip is about lighting: the difference between something that looks good, and something that looks so incredibly awful you want to throw up. Don't believe me? Look at a certain picture hanging in my Grandma's living room. Grrrr...
Anyway, here's the tip, and happy lighting!


Shameless plug updated

So, here's another plug for Ashley's first IMDb-worthy film, The Inheritance of War. Now the website is up and functioning!
So, go check it out. And to answer the question of when you all get to see it...well...it's been submitted to about 40 (I think) festivals between now and the end of May, so I'm not sure when we'll be able to arrange a screening around here, but I'll talk with Ash.

Typography of the week

If I had a Typography of the Week award, it would definitely go to James Bond: Quantum of Solace. The handcrafted (by Tomato) typography in the film was just amazing, and for those that want to see them again, or just haven't seen them, here they are:

[images courtesy Tomato and goldenfiddle]


Nuclear! Nuclear! Nuclear!

So, I found this to be a great look at 5 physics problems that Obama will have to deal with. Of course, it includes a resounding backing for nuclear power, and although it argues against manned spaceflight, I think it's a worthy read (it's short).


Not to overwhelm, but here's a shameless plug

Here's a plug for a video that my boss has been working on for quite some time now. Here's the official website: continue...
(Here's his blog which details the making of and gives you a greater insight of what it's all about.)
In other cool film news, Ashley's made it to IMDb, although I don't know where the rest of the crew is!! (Haha, joking...)

Tuesday Update strikes back!

After Insomnia broke down, and Real's chance at history was silenced, what is there that I could possibly update the world on? Besides school consuming hordes of my time, my film coming along and requiring hours of work each week (that's my editing table above!), work being, well, work and keeping me in the office well past schedule, I have been incredibly...free.
Free. Yeah. Whatever.
Besides just arguing with a good friend over approaches of argumentation (think about that one), I have been dragged about with homework as of late. But I have found time to seriously consider some of the world's most serious topics. Have you ever read the Viridian Manifesto? You should. [thanks to BoingBoing which also has a concise treatment of the original manifesto, and some thoughts about it including this intro, which is awesome:
Some nine years ago, I had my mind blown by Bruce Sterling's Viridian Manifesto, a call-to-arms that held:

1. That the world was under serious threat due to anthropogenic global warming, and
2. That the answer wasn't to live simply, but rather to use better technology to help us make better choices and conduct our lives in a better way

These two ideas are incredibly inspiring, and have served as a powerful antidote against the Three Stupidities of Global Warming:

1. There is no global warming, or if there is, it's natural
2. The only answer to global warming is to live in log cabins, unplug your fridge and never get on another airplane
3. Global warming is inevitable, so let's go buy some more Hummers and pass the spotted owl omelette, wouldya?

But, life's not all about seriousness: talking guitars and improv. Oh...yeah. I think I might just start a band called that: talking guitars and improv. Of course, I can do neither too well, so, that might be bad...
Hey, anybody remember my post about how airport security was a joke and that our paranoia-induced approach to fighting terrorism was faulty? (Original story here, very VERY good read). Apparently, the only saving grace that airport security may have had, has been given a 99% fail rate. As in, it doesn't work. Perfect. Now we get hour security waits with NO more results than we had before (besides better technology).
I was on the bus today, and some people were discussing politics. One lady said to the driver something to the effect of, "I just hope people give Obama a chance and don't have false expectations over the rapidity of change." While I do agree that people shouldn't expect things to change overnight, I also think that we shouldn't apply the same reasoning to the degree of change. We should expect lots of it, but we certainly do need to be patient. Oh well, we can play Super Obama World and look at campaign pins in the meantime!!
I'm also about ten steps closer to my Mac Mini Home Theatre Computer. HTMacs have been historically difficult to have supreme functionality, but thanks to Max for letting me borrow his eyeTV and Brad for letting me use his lappy, I'm figuring it out quite well. I'm currently trying XHub, which is clean, but I also like simple Front Row with the PyeTV plugin. Hmmm...decisions!
Here's something crazy and interesting albeit sad: Ants!
For those getting into photography, here're some good tips from Alec Soth. And has anybody tried SketchUp from Google? New version out today...
Oh, and I know at least one of you will enjoy this!
Amelie, Jr.

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.


Insomniac break

So, many of you who know me may be expecting this post to detail to you what Insomnia is, why I love it, and why nobody should be expecting any communication with me tomorrow.
I just received this lovely little email from Apple. that says:

Dear Insomnia Participants,

Due to unexpected challenges we are postponing the 2008 Insomnia Film Festival. We understand the inconvenience and disappointment this change of schedule brings to those of you who have been preparing to participate.

Our plan is to reschedule the festival for after the holidays. If you have already registered on the Insomnia Gallery we will automatically contact you when the new festival dates are scheduled. If you have not yet registered and would like to be informed of the new schedule, please sign-up here and we will be happy to contact you.

Apple Insomnia Team

Unlucky. But that means I'll be going to the Real Salt Lake game tomorrow. That's cool, but I'm also deeply saddened: the rumor is that it's server problems plaguing the contest. Come on, Apple!! This year has been awful for you and server issues! mobileMe? iPhone activation?? Now this??? Ugh.

Anyway, in other insomniac news, I went to the Quantum of Solace premiere at midnight last night. BBE. (Best Bond Ever.) I really like the style and the story of Craig's Bond, and I think they've finally got away from the Brosnan pure-action-no-story Bond, and back to character driven plots. Plus my all-time favorite director, Marc Forster, was at the helm of the project. If you like Bourne, you'll like this Bond. If you like stories where character is more important (but not too much more important) than plot, you'll like it. And if you like crazy Aston Martin chase seens, perfect. See it!! (Lance even pointed out to me today that the language is clean...so, for you that pay attention to that, it's definitely a different Bond)


Sea Orchestra--pretty neat animation

This is quite beautiful:

But of course, finding out how it was made is just as interesting:

[tip to Kottke.org]



Well, it looks like they've finally proved the ubiquitousness of corn.

Becoming well-rounded

My life is a quest for becoming well-rounded. When people ask me what I'm going to school for, I have about 4 answers to give them. Three of them seem completely unrelated, but in my mind, it's all related. I was on my iGoogle homepage looking at my How To of the Day (wikiHow) gadget, and I noticed one that really piqued my interest: How to think like Leonardo da Vinci.
So, Leo is my hero. I can't express how much I would like to mimic and learn to be like him. So I obviously HAD to go check out this wikiHow. Since it's a wiki, I am careful to take what's written with a grain of salt. However, this topic had links to a few others that I thought were interesting and thought provoking, so I thought I'd share them. So, make sure to check out:
How to exercise an open mind.
How to freewrite.
How to describe a smell.
How to Start Contact Juggling.
Seriously, have you ever heard of contact juggling?

Bullet Time

I love film techniques that completely obliterate our concept of time and space. Toshiba has done that with their advanced bullet-time commercial. Check it out along with the making of. 200 cameras!!! Sheesh. When I was in high school, I wanted to build a similar device with 100 logitech web cams. Needless to say, Logitech never got back with me, and there was really no other way for my to finance the project. We even had the Logitech SDK in my AP Computers class ready to deal with the input. Oh well. Maybe I can get Toshiba to donate those 200 extra cameras they have lying around.
In other news, I thought that this was quite classy. I love languages, and this pronunciation guide looks to be a real treat when I'm bored.



So, as we all know, the line between "art" and "science" has been blurring quite rapidly over the past few decades, and I think that it's almost to the point where it will be indistinguishable. A good example of that can be found here.
The twelve building facades are a great example of engineering coming together with art to make incredible designs...that have purpose.
Check it out.

Coolest thing I've seen today

Well, it's actually the coolest thing I've done today, but whatev. One major reason I've wanted an iPhone was the ability to use some programs to constantly track my finances. Since ATT has so vehemently silenced my desires, I have turned elsewhere.
And I found this.
It's free, and it's amazingly powerful. Within 5 minutes (or less, even) it had all of my balances from every savings, checking, loan, and credit card in my name. But that's not all. It had categorized ALL the transactions in my history. It had prepared a budget based on my past spending (of course, I edited it to be a little more realistic...I don't spend that much at Newegg every month, after all), it had prepared several trend graphs to help me see my spending habits, and it even showed me how I could save $195 every year.
That's pretty good for free.
I recommend it to everyone (although it didn't have phil's credit union, for what that's worth...)


RSL in the WC FINALS!!!

Oh yeah.
It feels great.
Real Salt Lake, after dropping the ball so many seasons in a row (we had what was supposed to be an AWESOME expansion team that first year, remember?), finally is representin' Utah soccer. We're in the Western Conference Finals, baby!!
Highlights here.

Math and News

So, this is pretty cool.(It'll take a while to load...and I know I posted something similar earlier, but this is cooler.)
And this is cool too. Euler is so da man.


Part blue

Dang, I forgot to include this in my Blur of blub! Real-world Photoshop:

Making of.
PS - CS4 is friggin' awesome! (Even only 32-bit on the mac!)


A blur of blub

So, here's my variety show for the week. Let me say it's been an AWESOME week. A relatively new and--finally--young man has been chosen to take the mantle of that Presidency. If any of you thought that he's turned up his unity pull just to win the election, I invite you to watch and listen to him before he was a U.S. Senator. His ideals of unity pervade way back [it's a good watch, anyway].

On the design front, no matter what your opinion on Star Wars is, you have to admit that the designs were pretty sweet. They completely changed the way we thought of the "Final Frontier." I know, I know, Trekkies will argue that Star Trek came first, but Star Wars' production design was fantastically better, plus light sabers kick phasers butt! Some more onset photos reveal even more, and you gotta love looking at storyboards and seeing what the original plans were.

If you ever wanted to see yourself with a mustache, click here. And Blu-rays are on sale here!
Okay, I'm done advertising.
I got my film back, and it looks great. It looks fantastic! Thanks again to all those who contributed to it! I will let you all know when the edit is done, when the sound is done, and finally, when I spend the last of my measly money to pay for the final print. Then we'll REALLY have a party. I'm serious! I've posted a small snippet of digitized footage, which doesn't do the real film justice (the means we use to go from film to digital isn't too great of quality, but it's free).



A good friend of mine agreed to let me post her essay she wrote in reflection to yesterday.


You know history is being made when strangers, who normally keep a certain distance with one another, allow themselves to be vulnerable and intimate in a moment of greatness. This is what I saw last night on the streets and in the stores as cheering and shouting followed Obama's landslide victory. Strangers hugged one another, and strangers cried together as President Elect Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech at Grant Park last night. I am sad to say that as I have really grown up in the last 7 years, America has disappointed me, disenchanted me, and gave me little to believe in for my future. I secretly still wanted to find hope in my country, but didn't dare believe it could really exist beyond what we know now. For the first time in life, I was proud to be an American last night, and am proud to be an American when I woke up this morning, because I see the promise of a new America that I finally want to be a part of.

I grew up in an almost entirely middle-upper middle class, conservative, Caucasian community. But my heroes were never those who looked like me, but rather those who looked the exact opposite of me.

In grade school, my hero was Harriet Tubman. I read and reread any book my elementary school library had about her, which wasn't much, and would pretend that I was along side of her guiding slaves to freedom. Slavery infuriated me, and was the first thing that I can remember really feeling passionately about in my childhood. My greatest desire as a 3rd grader was to be black skinned like my hero, and like my one, black friend (who was adopted) that I was in gymnastics with. I even went so far one day, as to find a mud puddle and slather mud on every inch of skin I could see so that I could be black too. When my older brother found me like this I exclaimed, innocent and delighted, "Look Phil!!!! I'm black!!!!!" Although this was an inconvenience to him since he was babysitting me. He made me stand in front of the house while he sprayed me down with the garden hose before our mom got home and found me covered head to toe in mud.

Later, in my early teens, I had pictures of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. in my room. I had no reason to feel connected to these individuals, no one around me had any significant interest in them beyond their place in history, but they meant something to me beyond history for a reason I couldn't explain.

Later as an adult, I spent 11 months in humanitarian service living in an inner city, low income black community (ironically the very one that Malcom X was born in). I talked to kids, women, men, and grandparents every day on the street, in their homes, and at their jobs. I asked them about their life, what made them happy, what they wanted for their families, and found out what they felt about the world, themselves, and others. In that time, I became intimately acquainted with a culture that I could only read about and watch from the outside before then. The people I associated with there have left a mark on my life. I experienced both love from the community, and hate from the community. I lived as a racial minority for the second time in my life (the first being in China) and felt the strain, anxiety, and insecurity that comes from being in that position. But I also felt the love when someone reaches across the barrier and extends unbiased friendship to you because of who you are as an individual, and not because of the color of your skin.

I got an up close look at poverty, and saw the complexities of it. If you are white and you are privileged (meaning you grew up with no thought to acquiring food, clothing, housing, education, or a job because they were right there in front of you) which most of you that I am associated with are, then don't ever let me hear from your mouth your diagnosis of how poor people are lazy people, and how you are successful because of your sheer hard work and determination. You are successful because you were given the foundation of success; don't discredit your parents, teachers, and community for making you who you are. Do not be so ignorant to label a social problem you know nothing about because you have been living your cush, conservative, white, middle class life with little effort to understanding or experiencing first hand the poverty of American ghettos.

As we all know, life is not fair, and we are not born into fair or equal circumstances; do not tell yourself the lie or repeat it out loud that equal opportunity exists in America if you just want it bad enough and work hard enough. I know plenty that want it bad and work hard, but spend all that hard work just to acquire the basics of life for themselves, their siblings, and their children, and yet still come up wanting. Only if you truly started with nothing, do you have any right to talk about hard work being your key to success. But if you had a consistent meal every day of your childhood, you have no right to gripe about your possible precious $250,000 a year wealth being spread around to the" dregs of society" that are only "manipulating" the system you yourself were lucky enough to never have to rely on. I am not naive enough to think that there aren't some who do manipulate the system, there certainly are and I know plenty, but it is worth it if it helps the ones that need help because they have a desire to make something of themselves one day. Keep in mind that when making assumptions and opinions about the economy and our society, make opinions based on what you would think and feel if you had been born into less fortunate circumstances and were in need of help. Act, think, and form your opinions as though you were the poorest of the poor, and see if you feel differently from how you do now, see if you strive harder to find the definition of fair.

It is a temptation to want to preserve your personal comforts that you have now and to hold onto your perception of reality, but the times are changing. There is no more room in America for people who think this way. Everything is not about YOU, and therefore do not expect public policies and government to always accommodate your personal agenda, your social class, your race, your financial standing, and your religious ideals. We are America because we are made up of differences, and still have found a way to be united. Do as our President Elect Obama does, and do not try to point to your church teachings as simply the answer to everyone's problems and moral dilemmas, you must challenge yourself enough to find reasons and solutions that still encompasses those whose religious beliefs are different from yours, or to those who have no religious belief at all. Although America was founded on religious freedom, we still believe that someone can choose no religion. And if we don't, then we are only more like the communists we despise, but in reverse-demanding that Americans believe in God or else. We can find common ground, while still retaining our personal beliefs and ideals; we do not have to be threatened by differences, we do not have to be fearful of where "tolerance" leads, we do not have to be ignorant to others opinions to uphold our own, and this is what Barack Obama stands for.

American ideals of self-reliance and hard work, have backfired into selfishness and greed. We justify greed by claiming we worked hard for what we have and therefore deserve to abstain from being our brother's keeper. Ironically, the majority of you that I know are self-proclaimed Christians, but I see little of your Christian values in your politics. I see little of the importance of free choice you claim so much to believe in as essential to our life and existence in our politics. I see little of the Christian ideal that worldly wealth means nothing, and that it is up to you as Christians to impart of your substance freely with little thought to what you get in return. If you believe in Jesus Christ as a more than a prophet or an activist, then I'd like to see you start bridging the gap between your political philosophies and your claimed religious ideals because there are too many of you that contradict. If you believe in Christianity, then I'd like to see you act as Christ has acted and associate with the Samaritans of our day. If living your religion is the most important thing to you, then live your religion in politics as well. What is more important to you? Being a good Christian? Or being a good capitalist?

To those of you who have accepted lies and fear as a means to preserve life as the way it is, then you have misunderstood America and overlooked history. To those of you who think a Democrat will only drive our country further down, you have also overlooked history, as it is Democrats like Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy that have saved America in times of crisis. To those of you think that you can now stop participating as an American because YOU didn't vote for Obama, you will be left behind. To those of you who doubt Barack Obama, I have the utmost confidence that he will prove you wrong and will win not only the minds and hearts of our country, but the minds and hearts of those we have isolated and broken friendship with, and the hearts and minds of those we have fought against and with in the the Middle East.

Inevitably when a leader like Barack Obama rises up, there are those who try to silence them. They have done it to Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, JFK...and although they may take the man himself from us, they have never been successful at taking their ideals, their power, their impact, their inspiration, or their memory from us. And no matter what happens, no matter if the assassination attempts, which will inevitably come, are successful or not, it is too late for those who desire to spread hate and intolerance. We are already changed, because we have been changing with each of these men, and we proved it last night. We have already been given a glimpse of what it feels like to move history, because we did it yesterday and its addicting.

We could choose to live in fear like we've been fed for the past 8 years, we can choose to be afraid that one more great man will be taken away, but I choose to live by hope, that even if they are successful in silencing him, a thousand more will rise up to take his place and speak his words, and the new America will see to it that we continue to move forward. No assassination has ever stopped the cause, slavery still ended, civil rights still changed, and new ways of negotiation and peace are still being sought for as a result of all those men that have come before Obama, and have been taken prematurely. Our world would have been a better place if each of these men were allowed to live out their lives in full, but we are still who we are because they gave us a brief moment in history that we can never forget.

And just as my entire life has proved, my heroes have always been, and still are, black.

To Barack Obama!

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'."
-Bob Dylan

Just something to think on.

Yes We Can

Well, I was so excited last night, I think I gave myself ulcers. Or something. Seriously, I couldn't sleep last night, so Chase and I played Ping-Pong until 2am, at which time I got intense stomach pain and had difficulty breathing.
However, my excitement has evolved into immense appreciation and happiness, for I have heard and seen things that America has been missing for a long, long time.
Everywhere I've read this morning describes throngs of people who have been united and have a genuine pride, shall we say, for being American all because of this election. When was the last time we became united for something other than a crisis?
As I was listening to both McCain and Obama as they spoke last night, I was also impressed by how good both candidates were. McCain's concession speech was good, and he lost very humbly (although I think even he was disappointed in his supporters). Obama's speech will be watched and read in history classes in years to come for many, many reasons. If you didn't watch it, watch it now, or read it here--it's amazing.

Barack Obama will be our next president, and I encourage anyone who doesn't support him now, to listen to his offer:
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

Some presidents take over power while we are living high and having a good time. Others, like Obama, must take control while we are in an epic nose-dive. If at any time we need to be united and supportive, it's now. Pray for him. Do what you can to help America re-establish itself as a beacon in this world. Give him a chance, if you haven't already--I think you'll find you might even like him.

Re: Disturbing...

Brett's offered his point of view regarding my post on the meaning of marriage and the church's involvement here.


It's done?

CNN is reporting that McCain's top two aides have conceded there is no mathematical way for the Republican ticket to win. Which means...Barack Obama is OUR 44th PRESIDENT!!!

(And for the record, at this time, Google and CBS is reporting Utah an McCain win, but Obama is leading by 2 percentage points. Probably the closest we'll be here, but that's with 180,000 votes counted...yaya!)

Obama's President!

Well, according to FiveThirtyEight.com. They call Ohio Obama's, and therefore say all the dominoes will fall. Hip hip HOORAH!!!

Funny video.

Thanks, Google!

Real-time results. Well, one of the many sources, but it's cool! (Sorry East-coasters who get cut off!!!)

VOTE VOTE VOTE, and don't forget to...

One more time, now, VOTE!!
In a few hours, we can watch real-time results here with Google.
Also, this is a cool place to rate your polling location. As of right now, I'm the only one from Utah who has done so!!!



Well, most people who read this either don't know or already know my view on same-sex rights. And those who have discussed this quite deeply with me (read: Brady) know that I'm not exactly jumping for joy over the way the LDS Church got involved in California. If you really need an explanation, it's because I was just waiting for this to happen:

Even just an opinion, I think this is bad on many levels. First of all, we opened the door for intense and incorrect scrutiny which does more harm for the church than Prop 8 passing will do good.

To me, the whole 'marriage' issue is a semantic one. First of all, marriage to me will always be what marriage has been. As of right now, marriage to me is COMPLETELY different from marriage is to my next-door neighbor. Does that mean his marriage isn't a marriage? What one person or group (or nation) calls marriage will not ever affect what marriage is to me.
Same-sex couples have been asking primarily for three rights: the right to file a joint-tax return/insurance, the right to hospital visitation, and the right for inheritence. None of those infringe on my rights, therefore I don't see why they shouldn't be entitled to them. Brady made the argument that when married, they would be able to adopt--that argument is weakened by the fact they already can adopt. Brett offered a solution that I agree with. He coined it the Abbott and Castello act, which would allow every citizen the right to name someone (any sex) as their "partner," to receive these benefits. That would enable a college student to name his roommate as someone who could visit him in the hospital, those without close, immediate families to name a benefactor (w/o a will, obviously), and even allow a household of roommates to file a house tax return if so desired. A good solution? Accepting homosexuals and granting them the same benefits heterosexuals receive doesn't mean that you condone the practice at all. What do you think?

Electoral College gives out E's...

Well, most people I know don't agree with the Electoral College. Anybody who knows me knows that I don't like it. If the population doesn't agree with it...WHY DO WE STILL USE IT!?? Anyway. NYT Opinion brings this little stat to our attention:

In the unlikely event that all 213 million eligible voters cast ballots, either John McCain or Barack Obama could win enough states to capture the White House with only 47.8 million strategically located votes. The presidency could be won with just 22 percent of the electorate’s support, only 16 percent of the entire population’s.

How about that?
Trouble is, the EC is written into our constitution. How are we going to deal with that?

[thanks to kottke.org]

Christmas Idea #1...any takers?

So...Herman Miller is releasing a new chair called the Embody. Anybody remember the Aeron? That was SO yesterday. Anyway, just another idea for anybody buying me a Christmas present. Haha...


Should I?

Well, the decision to post this took a lot longer than usual. I was seriously debating whether I could, but then I realized how strongly I feel about this year's election. With the results to be had in less than 3 days now, I must write simply and clearly: McCain and Palin are not the leaders for this country at this time. People can argue against that with rhetoric, but quite simply, there is very little about that ticket that I can conscientiously--as a freedom-lover, a faithful christian, and a self-declared intellect--support. That's all I will say in the matter.
Now, the part that took me a while to decide to post. First, I will say that I feel really bad that Palin was suckered into this. It's not for me to say if she handled it right or not, but it was the first thing that has happened in this campaign to make me sympathize with her. However, it's also a very candid look at the governor. Yep.

Brett's Brain: The Economist endorses Obama

Brett's Brain: The Economist endorses Obama

Not that British people can vote, but it still means something. Here's an excerpt (chosen with considerable bias, of course):

The Economist: Ironically, given that he first won over so many independents by speaking his mind, the case for Mr McCain comes down to a piece of artifice: vote for him on the assumption that he does not believe a word of what he has been saying. Once he reaches the White House, runs this argument, he will put Mrs Palin back in her box, throw away his unrealistic tax plan and begin negotiations with the Democratic Congress. That is plausible; but it is a long way from the convincing case that Mr McCain could have made. Had he become president in 2000 instead of Mr Bush, the world might have had fewer problems. But this time it is beset by problems, and Mr McCain has not proved that he knows how to deal with them.


Go get Picasa!

For my 100th post, I would recommend going and downloading Picasa 3, which just officially came out of beta. It's about freaking awesome, and adds a lot of functionality over Picasa 2, including an AWESOME image quick viewer that can replace Windows' Preview...
Get it here. (PS, the site still says beta, but the installer is the final.)


This week in Design!

Okay, so there's been some crazy cool displays of art circulating around the past few days. Check some out.
An interesting way to illustrate:

Politically charged, maybe, but these George W. Bush ads have some cool designs, especially the ones based off of typography.

All of you who don't know what Pantone means...well, you probably don't design. But never fear, you can still buy one of these for your design friends! (Actually, it's a concept, so, you can't really buy it...)

And lastly, coupling innovative game idea and M.C. Escher AWESOME design, we have Echochrome, a pretty sweet game.

For those In The Middle


The Heart

Artificial Heart Developed, Beats Almost Exactly Like Real Thing

Public Service Announcement

I really appreciate it when busy/famous people take time out to do good things for the world. Angelina Jolie as a refugee Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, Bill Gates devoting almost 100% of his time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization in the world, and now, of course, Leo DiCaprio following up his environment awareness campaign by bringing some of the world's most recognizable faces together with the 5 Friends PSAs.
Here's the latest:

Now do it!
[the other PSAs can be found here at YouTube]

It be pumpkin time.

Yay, we carved pumpkins!

Sleepover tonight for anyone who wants to come, we'll have projectors (well, probably just one) playing all the best Halloween movies, sleep (maybe...but probably, since I have school in the morning), and then the party continues Halloween night. If you can't come sleep over, you should definitely come to the Halloween party. I think we might make/edit/and show our own scary movie. And bring food. Woot! (Yes, I woot'd. I woot come if I were you. Ho! Look at that...)


Weekend, er, Tuesday Update

How about that new Pepsi logo, eh?
Well, I just thought I'd give a quick update to what's been on my mind the last few hours before I head to bed. So, let's give it a go.
A lot of people forget the impact of our own agricultural system when it comes to energy (hint: more greenhouse gases are emitted due to agriculture than transportation here), but at least one presidential candidate is thinking about it. Of course, that's when both candidates aren't having a dance-off:

More importantly, and seriously, though, is the use of language in this election. Anil Dash recently wrote an essay about Ms. Palin's use of language and how "it becomes clear that Sarah Palin's assertions are designed not to prove that Obama is unqualified for the office of the Presidency of the United States. Rather, she appears to be attempting to convince a substantial portion of her supporters that Obama supports terrorism against the United States and thus should be, at the very least, incarcerated as an enemy combatant?" All those "Gotchas" and "Betchas" from this tempestuous rogue are really being understood by at least one group of people.
Speaking of white supremacy, this little mini game is more a piece of art than a game, but it's still quite cool:

The Unfinished Swan - Tech Demo 9/2008 from Ian Dallas on Vimeo.

The idea being that you find your way around the maze by shooting blobs of blackness all around.
For those that care, Windows 7's pre-beta was given to some developers today, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I personally don't think Vista is bad at all, in fact, I much prefer it over XP, but 7's features do look to be quite appealing, especially the Media Center. Watching and recording TV on your computer looks to be even more stylish and streamlined.
If you ever wonder what a cough would look like if you could see the disruption in the air around you, look no further! Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how germs are spread, and the technology they are using is producing interesting, beautiful, but definitely yuck-inspiring pictures.
Lastly, MTV has released every music video EVER MADE on their website, so just in case you wanted to see the classic "Whip It" video, you'll know where to find it: and the quality should be better than hi-def youTube.

Now, since I'm not sure really what time it is, or what time is, for that matter, I think tis time to hit the hay. Night.
[thanks to Kottke.org, Gizmodo, BoingBoing]
Oh yeah, and Go UTES!

Haha, So Sorry BYU

An alert reader (okay, it was Lance...) sent me this link and just for the principle I decided to post the song.
Here it is.
So sorry, BYU. This is our fate, not yours.

7 and Counting

With less than seven days to go until the election, I still am a bit surprised (especially with debates 2 and 3 aging beyond weeks) at the number of people who are undecided. I suppose I shouldn't be, but with all those campaign problems (advisors calling Palin "rogue," several top Republicans backing Obama, and McCain's personality/leadership issues), sometimes it's hard for those who have made up their mind to be patient. Please don't blame me, patience is truly a virtue!
However, I still believe that people should vote for the best candidate--in their mind. Everyone, including me, will try to convince you to vote a certain way, but in the end, it's your vote, don't let anyone (including yourself) tell you different.
However, it's interesting: we have so many rights (such as that to vote), but nobody really teaches you how to vote! Think about it. Everyone will tell you how important your vote is, but rarely does someone think about teaching good ways to determine who gets your vote. Well, you say, they taught be example and by practice. Really? High school elections are supposed to be exemplary of a political election? Well, I suppose they kinda are, however, if you are still undecided as of today, go on over to Scott Berkun's blog. There, he has written an essay describing the most effective methods on voting. I'll summarize my favorites here:

- "how can it make sense for everyone to vote solely on what suits themselves best? It’s not a United States of Me." [It's interesting to me how many people vote always only for their good.]
- "Many people make their list of positions on issues and try to find a candidate that best matches those positions. This is the idealists approach to decision making: so what if candidate A matches all your positions if they do no possess the skills required to deliver on supporting any of those issues while in office?" [This is what it seems almost everybody who is pro-McCain is doing. They like his values (or don't understand Obama's) and therefore, their vote is completely based on moral judgment, regardless of the person's capability to lead, which, in fact is job #1 of president)]
- "Fred I. Greenstein, Professor of Politics Emeritus at Princeton University, calls out 6 attributes most related to success in office, a veritable scorecard for our use:

1. Effectiveness as a public communicator
2. Organizational capacity
3. Political skill (well duh, but he explains specific traits)
4. Vision
5. Cognitive Style
6. Emotional Intelligence"

Now, we also shouldn't be completely concerned only with the presidential election...how many people who live here in Utah realize that we have a gubernatorial race as well?


Surfing in China

So, everybody should have heard by now how China censors their internet in a huge, giant processing center before it reaches anybody in China. What people may not know, is that there are ways to get around it (just in case anybody is going to China soon).
But what I've just discovered today, though, is that now we can get a first hand experience of "China-browsing" before we make our freedom-from-being-censored-loving criticisms of the practice. Check out the China Channel firefox plugin to find out the seriousness of China's censor program. (Just doing it gains you 50 Diversity points.)


What You Didn't Know, You Actually Did

Whoa. Crazy, eh?
So the real question you should be asking, instead of why don't my titles ever make sense, is how did I know that you'd read this post. Read on.
One thing I absolutely love, is to have deep philosophical arguments with myself. It's very enlightening, and quite fun, if not nerve-racking, to think about. Like, for example...the concept of time. I explained to my dad the other day:
When is being on time, on time? If a meeting is supposed to start at 10 o'clock, then if it starts at 10 o'clock and 30 seconds, is it still on time? How then, can you say, if it starts at 10:01, that it's late? For you just said that 10:00 is equal to 10:00 and 30 seconds, and if that's the case, 30 seconds = 0 seconds, which can be extended to show that twice of thirty seconds is also zero seconds. At which point you could begin proving that 10:02 isn't late, but then, neither is 10:04. Pretty soon, your meeting is starting at 11:04, but you're still on time (my kind of thinking, haha). Or...does time even exist at ALL!???
My favorite to tell people who aren't into math is this:
What is 1/9 times 9? Well, it's 1, of course. Okay, what is the fractional representation of 1/9? It's .1111 repeating endlessly. Perfect. Well, then what is .1111 (continuing forever) times 9? Obviously, it's .9999 repeating forever. Which is quite the predicament for all of us who want to have sane lives. How can 1.0000 = .9999? We've obviously lost something somewhere...now, if somebody could find it for me...

What I'm getting at, is that these are always fun to think about, especially when you don't go crazy because of them. I read this today, and was sent spiraling off in a lala-land of philosophical fun. I think it's quite interesting on both a spiritual and philosophical level anyway, and it's definitely a good read!


More Behind the scenes of "Truth"

At 3am Thursday morning, the filming of my short entitled "Truth" was officially wrapped. I must say that this was the most invigorating, yet most stressful, shoot I've ever completed. I think that part of that stress must have come from the fact that it was all me, no production help. Well, I take that back. My good friend, Chase, saved my life this week. Not only did he keep me organized, but he was also great moral and creative support. He even acted as a production assistant...basically he bent over backwards for me and this shoot, and I'm ever grateful for that. In fact, the entire cast was very helpful, and everyone involved pitched in to clean and set lights, so I'm very pleased.

I'd like to write a small list of things that I learned during this intense two-day shoot. They might seem obvious, and I don't know how applicable these would be in any other person's life, but I find it invaluable to ponder these things personally and publicly.

The list:
- Preparation is priceless. No matter how well you prepare for something, there are MANY things you didn't prepare for. Having someone who is corroborating with you who is honest is invaluable: I find sometimes people I work with won't be honest because they don't want to hurt my feelings (I know, wtf, right?), but somebody who can tell you that you're an idiot and you should think this way is such a help, even if it doesn't change your mind.
- When you want something, get it. I really wanted to shoot on top of the Walker Center in Downtown SLC, but I procrastinated too long to ask them. Instead, I was forced to use the Psychology building at the U, which I think worked really well, but I still wonder how much better it would look at the Walker Center.
- Sleep is important, and doing HUGE projects during a school week isn't advisable (although it wasn't really my fault).

- Whatever you do with your life, you should be having as much fun as we had, even though we all understood that we would be loosing about 10 hours of sleep in 2 days. We had an absolute blast.
- The roof of the Psychology building is cold stuff in the winter. It also may have radio frequency output which is higher that the FCC requirements for public places.
- Having a network of people is a smart thing, not something that people should look upon with disdain. It is true that it's all who you know. But that's encouraging, not discouraging, for you will find that your network of people has such a great potential, you all just have to tap it.

- Bonded roofs get slippery when there is frost on them.

and finally...

- Fog makers and smoke detectors in the ventilation system shouldn't not be advisably mixed together.


The Exciting Life of a Filmmaker

So, our first night of filming went rather smooth, if not a little long. I say "rather" smooth, because, well, we only really had one incident. Only one.
I guess I should mention that that one incident not only ate about an hour's time from our schedule, but it also involved loud noises, flashing lights, and, of course, the fire department. Haha. Yeah...
So, we were just getting started on our second major scene, hoping to finish quickly since we were already an hour past our expected ending time, when, all of the sudden, the fire alarm goes off.

Brilliant! Apparently our smoke machine wasn't playing too friendly with all of the ventilation, and it decided to notify the entire flipping WORLD that it felt that way. When the alarm first went off, I freaked out and ran downstairs to try and find the fire panel. I found it easy enough, but I didn't know the code to disarm it. I called poor Brady and informed him of what was going on, but he didn't know the building's code. I fretted about, wandered outside, discussing my options with Brady. As I wandered so, I decided that if I was ever going to crack a combination code, tonight was going to be the night. After all, most codes are four digits (a fairly moderate risk for thinking this way), and that means there are only 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 number of possible codes. Repeat: 10^4, or 10000 possibilities.
I figure with the industry I'm trying to break into, those are pretty good odds, but they certainly are formidable. I walked in, talking with Brady on the phone, and decided to start with the first one that came to mind: 1234.
Voila! Alarm disarmed. How about that? I really didn't know what to think, either I was just really good at this, or some person was very idiotic when it came to securing his fire system. Regardless, I was quite grateful, for once, of a person's idiocy...or my brilliance, I suppose. I was just plain grateful.

We finished the shoot at about 2:15am, just in time for almost all of us to go home just to get back up for work early this morning.
Tonight should be a much better experience, since we've got only a few shots left to film. I must say, though, that these are the experiences that once you are finished with, you appreciate them so much more.
Here's to even more happy times!