Brandon's Notepad

October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017: Momento Mori, Matthias Hauser, A Dark Room

Filed under: My Stack — Brandon @ 5:43 pm
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Momento Mori
“Remember death!” To practice momento mori is to remember that you too shall die one day. It is a reflection, a meditation on life, death, and the meaninglessness of earthly pursuits. Reminders of death were embedded in European art — paintings, sculpture, architecture…even the figures in large clocks — during the Medieval period and eventually the concept spread to the New World. One common practice is to keep a human skull (a replica will do) on the desk where one works or studies. I happen to follow a religious sister on Twitter who advocates this practice, and I must admit, I may be a bit late in stowing my Halloween decorations at work this year.

Matthias Hauser
Matthias Hauser is a fine-art photographer with an impressive portfolio, ranging from stunning landscapes to timeless still lifes. He even has a collection of mesmerizing fractal images. I first became familiar with Matthias’ work, however, when I found a few pieces from his Google Deep Dream collection posted on social media. For some reason beyond comprehension, I am fascinated with the Deep Dream Burger, which upon further inspection begins to resemble a conglomerate of creepy-crawly organisms more than it does food.

A Dark Room
This 2013 Open Source role-playing game by Doublespeak Games caught my attention sometime in the last year. It is text-based and single-player, which doesn’t exactly sound like a lot of fun; unless, of course, you are a fan of text-based games like I am. Unfortunately, it’s been gathering virtual dust in an open browser tab ever since, and I have not had time to sit and play with it for very long. I will admit, it starts off a bit slow, but I’ve read very promising things about it. I’m adding this to my stack, partly because I want to revisit the game, but also because my interest goes beyond the game itself. I want to see how it was written. That’s the glory of Open Source! Hopefully, I can do more with it soon.

February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015: Mothers, Dolls, Fibonacci, Ecclesiastical


Time Travelling (In Photos)
Photographer Christine McConnell recreated five generations of matrilineal photographs using herself as a subject. Why? To discover herself in her ancestry. She found out just how closely she resembled her mother, and her mother, and her mother (and so on), each in different ways. This is a very personal project, a serious undertaking, and a job well done. Thanks go to Catholic Apologist Patrick Madrid for Tweeting this one!

Tree Change Dolls
A friend of mine who is very keen on bringing up wholesome children posted a video about these dolls on Facebook. Sonia Singh of Tasmania repurposes (mostly) Bratz dolls, converting them into…well, just cute little dolls! She cleans up and repaints the faces, and her mother sews the clothing. According to the Tree Change Doll homepage on tumblr, she is opening an online store this month!

Fibonacci Sculptures
Inventor, designer, and artist John Edmark of California was inspired to incorporate Fibonacci’s Sequence into a series of 3D printed sculptures. Called Blooms, these pieces appear to move on their own when spun at the right frequency under a strobe light. The effect is similar to filming a helicopter with a digital camera. The helicopter can appear to float with static rotor and blades. Check out the article and video posted by The San Francisco Globe in January.

Ecclesiastical Sewing
Anyone who appreciates well-made church vestments will love this ‘blog! It features some beautiful embroidery work by one Carrie Roberts. She doesn’t just showcase the final products either, but demonstrates technique and materials as well. I don’t sew myself, but I know quite a few church ladies who are going to want to visit this site often.

September 24, 2014

September 24, 2014: Invisible Plane, Canoe, Ubuntu Hotel, Stormtrooper Life

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Wonder Woman’s Invisible Plane
I don’t remember exactly how our conversation got to this point, but a coworker and I were discussing comics yesterday, and he mentioned how Wonder Woman has been given the ability to fly. Neither of us remember this being the case, but we both recall that she flew an invisible plane. (Supposedly, the Greek gods gave her the gift of flight, and the plane was originally a flying horse.) He’s a few years older than I am, so he remembers the live-action plane (originally a prop plane?) first and foremost, whereas the jet from the cartoon came to my mind. This conversation would have been forgotten completely, had another coworker not mentioned Wonder Woman’s plane in a completely independent context. This led to a Google search, of course, and that’s when I found this custom toy (2010). I really didn’t need the Destro figurine and COBRA hanger in the backdrop to identify the shape of this plane. It’s the Firebat! I had the original version that came with the Terror Dome (1986), but it appears that it was sold separately in two separate releases (1988 & 2008).

Transparent Canoe
While looking up information on Wonder Woman’s plane, I found this: a transparent polycarbonate canoe! This pictures are impressive, but they were taken in very clear waters. Not so sure this would be worth the money for use on Texas lakes.

Ubuntu and the Hospitality Industry
Ever think about running a hotel on Ubuntu? No, this has nothing to do with the popular Linux distribution. It has everything to do with the holistic African philosophy regarding human dignity and connectedness. If you are not familiar with this concept, then Ubuntu: The Art of Connecting with Guests on an Emotional Level by Holly Stiel is definitely worth a read.

A Day In The Life Of A Stormtrooper
Artist Zahir Batin has used Star Wars figures to stage scenes in this awesome photography series. The shallow depth of field is what makes these photos work. Check out his gallery at deviantART.

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