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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pittsburgh, Coffeeshops, and Familial Art

This is becoming quite a sensation! After the pleasing success with the mirror image of the as-yet-un-named "name" ambigram below, I thought I'd try a similar trick with another friend's name: This time, however, we've hit upon another dimension. The name is reflected on both the vertical and horizontal axes! How wonderful! It would be really neat if I could find a way to make it totally symmetrical, but two-way symmetry has its charms. On the image level this looks like a suspension bridge reflected in the water. What other images? Maybe a Tie fighter. I also see the word "Max." Its interesting to see it just as a line drawing and imagine that the lines go over and under each other. That'll have to be the next edition to it; it'll make it look like a thorny Celtic knot.

I won't leave you in suspense on this one, it meant to say "Matt." Feel not slighted, Rick, I have an equally cool design for you on the way.

Excellent news: my Mom's been reading my blog, and she's been inspired to do the following ambigram of her own, demonstrating an enduring value of hers:
Her comments on it: "the flowing strokes lead into each other just like being trustworthy
leads to being trusted. As is trust, it is simple, clean and honest ... nothing added and a
reflection of itself. Also, it looks like a roman numeral, which is an enduring symbol of a reliable constant (a characteristic of trust)."

Very simple, clear, beautiful, and readable (in stark contrast to some of the designs I've been doing recently!). I find it especially cool that my Mom's getting into this game with me; I owe what skill I have with Illustrator to watching her work when she was studying for her graphic design degree back when I was a teenager. Somehow some of my observations about manipulating points and layers stuck with me over the last ten years.

Without any segue at all (err...) I shall now post some pictures of one of the coolest coffeeshops I've ever visited; the afore mentioned Beehive of Pittsburgh's Southside on Carson street (with its marvelous barista, of whom I sadly have no pictures).


Awsomely painted walls. The background of this flaming die was done with fragments of old maps, which was a neat effect. Multi-media, lulz.


I gotta wonder how they decide what stuff to hang from the ceiling. Was there a pile of random junk that someone pointed to and said: "Make thee mobiles!" or did someone make sculptures out of electric stove burners and lamps and curling irons just as a lark? Either way, it makes for a rich "looking."


This mysterious looking japanese drink gave me some trouble. I bought it just cause it was mysterious and japansese looking (and overpriced), and it turns out opening it is a puzzle. In retrospect I've seen these bottles in anime (was it FLCL?), but it still have me pause. The trick is that the opening has a glass ball in it thats held in place by the pressure of the carbonation. The clear thing on top is supposed to be used to push the ball into the drink, where it rattles around in the neck.


The drinker's reward for this brilliant act of puzzle solving is... melon flavored sprite. And only about eight ounces of it at that. But hey, the experience of it was apparently enough to warrant writing about it later, so that must count for something .

And now for no reason at all, a picture of myself:
OK I'm lying theres a reason I wanted to post it. I'm mystified as to how I got my chin to look so large, and my hair so awesome.

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