Friday, February 29, 2008
Billboard Liberation Front and have a look at their clever snark. It's pure gold.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I’ve been making stuffies for a couple months. They’re not nearly so advanced as things you can find on Runo's blog, Soto Softies, or the works of Mondopando, but they are awfully fun to make. Also, they’re much easier to compose patterns for.
For example, a persimmon! Called kaki in Japanese, I’ve eaten more than my fair share of these thingies in Iwate. It was always neat to see them hung up in long chains from the windows of houses, drying in the winter sun... even though it wasn’t a tradition I was familiar with, it evoked that old “grandparents' house at the holidays" type of nostalgia.
Download the pattern and enjoy! I hope to get the rest of my patterns up here in the near future... next up should be the strawberry.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
This is pretty important. You may have heard about it already.
From the site:
Please help save the internet. If you've got a blog or make regular visits to a forum, you can help by spreading the word. At the very least, please use the protocol on the website to send a short message or log a call to your congressional representative.
The nation's largest telephone and cable companies -- including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner -- want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.
They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. They want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video -- while slowing down or blocking their competitors.
These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of an even playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services -- or those from big corporations that can afford the steep tolls -- and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.
The big phone and cable companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to gut Net Neutrality, putting the future of the Internet at risk.Source: http://www.savetheinternet.com/=faq
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Most of what I do these days is either design-related, or one of the many crafts that I've gotten addicted to over the years. For example, my first love: origami.
I've been an origami nut since childhood. There was a Honda plant near our home in Ohio, and Japanese executives who came over to manage the factory brought their families along with them. The result was a relatively large population of Japanese students in the elementary school I attended. They (and their very gracious mothers) shared the Japanese culture with us through snacks, crafts, and toys.
The school library built up a healthy collection of origami books. We prepped our own squares from sheets of notebook paper, or stole sheets of neon pink and orange from the teachers' copy room to get colors.
I remember folding origami on the playground with a Japanese boy named Yoshi. He didn't know any English, and I knew no Japanese, but we could communicate just fine by watching each other's hands working with the paper. He taught me how to make a flapping crane and all sorts of boxes. In fifth grade, a girl named Emi Kida introduced me to modular origami. She shared real origami paper with me and showed me how to put Sonobe units together; the concept totally blew me away. I was hooked.
Since those days, I have photocopied origami books, cover to cover, from libraries in six cities across two nations. I have built up a digital library of origami diagrams that currently stands at 2.4 gigabytes.* I have collected at least 300 different prints of chiyogami and washi, many of them from small shops scattered throughout Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Toyota-shi, Kamakura, and Nikko. Someday, I will join the Tanteidan.
In the meantime, I like collecting the lesser-known traditional models that I come across. This one, taught to me as the orei tsuru (お礼鶴) by a grandmother in Shizukuishi, Iwate, is cute and simple. Orei means “gratitude” in Japanese, and tsuru means “crane.” If you find yourself with a square piece of paper and a few minutes of free time, I hope you’ll download the diagrams and try it.
*If you are looking for the diagrams of a particular model, let me know – If I have it, I’ll send it!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The voice of the late Lydia Mendoza
Over the radio
Late at night
Is the voice of my late Armenian grandmother
Only, in Spanish,
And aged on vinyl,
And over the radio,
Late at night.
I wonder if one ever heard the other
And if they would have gotten along well
If they will get along well
Wherever it is that they are.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Sacramento is really spectacular, even in the rainy winter season. I’ve always loved heading out for a walk along the American River, especially with the Golub family dog, Kingsley.
Kingsley is a beautiful malamute with unusually light coloring and a gorgeous, grumbly voice. He is also the most mellow dog I have ever seen in his weight class.
This time around, the big adventure was a journey down to Oakland to take a flameworking class with aunt Mari. If you live anywhere in the bay area, I envy you for many reasons. The most recent of these is the Crucible.
The Crucible is awesome. It is full of interesting things and interesting people to tell you how to use them. Things like glass and fire, and people like Tara Murray.
Boron glass + fire + patient instruction from teachers = marbles!
I love marbles. Big, imperfect ones that you make yourself (and take a few burns for) are definitely more interesting than the ones that come from the store. My favorite one is this vortex marble.
It came out a little not-so-round, but it’s cool to look inside and see the rippled colors all twisted together. (And when you get really good, you can make ones like THIS.)
I also met Robert Mickelsen purely by chance, as he was touring the Crucible with the likes of Kaj Beck and a whole assortment of other glass artists.
I love California.