Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Long but not lost

In abreviated form, here’s a summary of the interesting happenings of the last couple weeks.

Painted a mural, see the post below. It’s a parody of the School of Athens with a few Jungle Book characters, it makes me laugh every time I see it. Mowgli is Aristotle, and Baloo is Plato. Their faces are a little lame, but the overall impression is impressive enough for preschoolers, I should think.

Started classes, lots of study time. I’m pushing the edge of math that I feel comfortable doing, and it takes some concentrated effort. What’s interesting is that I found myself looking back over my pages of notes and work thinking: “this is beautiful.” The visual aspect itself takes on an element of beauty when I understand what the symbols mean and are doing. It makes me wonder, again, about the relationship of meaning and beauty on an observer.

Rendered sculpture with new Sketchup tools (Podium), worked on the setting the installation would be in. The shadow casting idea may not work with anything but sunlight or very focused, intense light (laser?). I’m wondering if a parabolic mirror will provide the effect I want, and if the sketchup plugin I’m using will actually handle all the light-bouncing correctly. I should probably just work in studio 4D; I know for sure that the particle bouncing at least works there. I need to figure out how to get the helix to rotate in that program.

By the way, I’m wavering between having one and two helixes. One works, conceptually, because it is really a double helix in terms of the coding (since the ambigrams have the complementary meaning on the opposite side, the code is repeated with its compliment).

The engineering analysis I contracted out on the sculpture returned questionable results. He said that the minimum material was ¼ inch stainless steel, which is implausibly thick. I might have a little more faith in his work if he had shown me any of the calculations or some evidence that he did more than just eyeball it, but I didn’t see that. I should have pushed back on payment.

I’m also vaguely considering using a different material than plate/sheet metal; I might do the framework then cover it with fabric. That would be easier and cheaper, at least, but I’m unsure of the aesthetics.

Visited Rachael while she was sick. Its been a long time since I’ve been in a hospital; I was a little bit disturbed. They had her in the ER for a little while, and while walking around trying to find ice for her I caught some glimpses of some things that made me dizzy. Strange to observe one’s own unexpected reactions to things one doesn’t encounter normally.

Dinner at Macs twice; Pesto and mushroom pizza is awesome. It does feel different eating at a place like that now; I feel older. The raucousness is charming, but has lost some appeal.

Booked tickets to Singularity Summit in San Jose for Oct 24th! The program of speakers is awesome; I’m excited.

Took my broken motorcycle to “The Shop” to have it diagnosed. Rachael pointed out after the fact that the same shop ripped her off on a battery, and I can expect to get charged way too much. We shall see. If they’re unethical, they’ll get blogged about!

Got Smashing Pumpkins tickets for Nov 4, thanks again to Rachael. I’m excited about this too; though I need to get more familiar with the new album since that’s probably what they’re playing.

Started work on research proposal concerning portfolio balancing in a “society of mind” with a parallel terraced scanning architecture, integrating Hierarchical Temporal Memory networks. This needs to be the subject of many posts, probably.

Watched Streetcar Named Desire, Catch 22, Rushmore, Burn after Reading, and Dan in Real life. Burn After Reading was by far the highlight, though Rushmore is also excellent. Different kinds of humor, dark and unfortunately realistic vs awkward, respectively. Catch 22 is also good, though I feel dirty for having watched the movie before the reading the book.
Skateboarded with Jack. Strained tendon in my foot its cramping my style.
Went to Chelsea’s graduation, went to dinner with her and Mom at Joes Crabshack the night before.