Thursday, November 22, 2007

Weekend Project 4

Origamic Paper Architecture

I needed a practice piece to re-familiarize myself with some software I'll be using on an upcoming job.
This is what I produced.

Click here to download a printable pdf file and make your own.

Solid lines - Cut
Dotted lines - Fold away from you
Dashed lines - Fold towards you
All folds are 90 degrees

Tip: Score all folds well with something pointy before cutting other lines

- I'm sure there must be a cool Japanese name for it, please email me if you know.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Real Time Human Powered Search Engine

New Real Time Human Powered Search Engine

I have begun development on a new search engine that incorporates real human intelligence.
The increasing corporatisation of the internet and popular search engines has impeded the ability to efficiently access information via the internet and left those less savvy amongst us unable to access the benefits of smaller and often more capable operators. Many are unaware of and unable to utilize such developments as the 'open source' movement or waste too much time being mislead while attempting to access the information they need.
The new search engine's emphasis will be on social networking, giving people the tools to connect in a focused way, then leaving it to them to work it out. By enabling people with skills and knowledge to connect in a transparent way with people that require those skills and that knowledge, in real-time, it is intended that mutually beneficial social interactions and the transfer of information will occur across multiple levels.
When a search is conducted using the new search engine human minds will be integrating with traditional search methods to achieve more efficient information access for all.

Or just - hookin up newbs+1337s

If you're interested, feel you have something to contribute and want to get in on the ground level send me an email.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ABS Data Flawed

I quite like that noble institution, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a treasure trove of information used for such things as guiding public policy and business marketing decisions. I would be pleased to help them in any way I could if they just asked politely. I would even have told them of the Glaring error that even a none-statistician such as myself could not help but see in the last form they forced me to fill out - it was either deliberately designed to provide inaccurate data or put together by an entire team of imbeciles. ... if they just asked politely.
I received a letter this morning informing me that I had been selected to participate in an ABS survey that involved someone coming into my home and asking me questions, and later, a follow up phone interview (the logic of having both a face to face and tele-interview I have yet to understand). A little investigation led me to discover that participation was compulsory and I would be fined if I refused to comply.
This blatant contravention of basic human rights leads to something called resentment, resentment leads to participants sabotaging the data collection process in the only accessible way they have at their disposal - being frugal with the truth.
Yes, the information I will be supplying will be about as accurate as the last form they made me fill out under duress.
So if you find, after sifting through all those stats, that there is a single person in West Beach with a PhD thesis titled 'The Influence of Feminist Principles in Yak Husbandry', an income of 20 sqillion dollars a year, an IQ of 576 that also claims an all liquorice diet is the only true path to enlightenment and that he is regularly contacted by extra terrestrials ... some of it might just be true !
Off to dust off my copy of Mein Kamf and polish up the jackboots

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weekend Project 3

1/12 scale 10' dinghy

Plans for full size boat - off the net
Frame - Paddle Pop Sticks
Hull - Scrap Pine Veneer
Mast - Bamboo meat skewers
Fittings, Rudder Hinge etc. - Brass lace making pins
(they don't rust)
Sail - Plastic shopping bag
Finish - Many coats of Lacquer

Main Design consideration was keeping the
upper sections as light as possible - hence the
plastic and bamboo sail and mast, both having
an excellent strength to weight ratio.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Using POV-Ray for movie special effects

(Not for the mathematically challenged)
POV-Ray is still the best Ray tracer, there are many tutorials available to get you started and it is FREE. Get it here:
The effect I wanted was the view from a helicopter as it was flying over a city but you could also use this technique for making documentaries based on old photos or for whatever else your imagination can dream up.
First I loaded an overhead picture of a city onto a plane (the geometric type) in POV-Ray then pointed POV-Ray's 'camera' at it. Next I worked out a starting and ending position for the camera, largely by trial and error, then used
POV-Ray's animation functions to output the rendered frames as a sequence of images. All that remained was to batch convert the images to .jpg and use a program like
JPGVideo (also FREE) to make the sequence of images into a movie clip.

If you are unfamiliar with POV-Ray read the 'quickstart tutorial' then have a look through help for 'animation' and you'll have all the knowledge you need.

NOTE: Remember there are all those lighting and atmospheric effects at your disposal.

1950's Wessex Navy Helicopter

I needed a shot of myself climbing into a helicopter for a movie I was making. A quick call to the local Aviation Museum and the problem was solved - many thanks guys. And with a few SFX (see above) I was off into the wide blue yonder, on celluloid at least. And yes, the child within got a real buzz.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

ILD (improvised lifting device)

We went crabbing last night at a nearby jetty. There's not much involved, just throw a baited trap over the side and haul it up every 10 or 15 minutes to remove the crabs. So there I was watching the trap slowly sink out of view in the greenish H2O below when an agitated young lady walked up beside me, said 'excuse me' and promptly tossed a bicycle over the side into the ocean, before stamping off. Being concerned with ocean pollution and being unable to resist a challenge I knew something had to be done. Having only limited means at my disposal; just a bucket, rope and a pair of clippers I quickly devised a hook by firmly tying the clippers to the end of the rope. Then it was just a matter of lowering the 'hook' into the water and raising the bike.