Category Archives: Ooh… pretty…

Venn Diagrams FTW

An intelligently designed diagram

Seriously, though, Venn diagrams are a concise and satisfyingly geeky way to convey complex information. Instead of writing a paragraph about how some of the people in my life are geeks, and some of the people in my life are artsy, and explaining that those groups overlap , and further that some subset of the overlapping region will find my webcomic project viscerally satisfying, I can draw three circles in a square and you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I hated The Arcade Fire before it became cool to think they sucked

And Venn diagrams are versatile! You don’t even have to mouth off to anyone any more if you can just scribble some pithy circles on a bar napkin. Draw three interlocking circles titled “smart people”, “sexy people” and “talented people”, then enclose them in a circle labeled “people who aren’t you” within a larger rectangle labeled “everybody”. See? It’s that easy!

Yes, the Venn diagram could be the key to an new, utopic, entirely non-verbal society. Keep your eye on it!

PHP-Generated Comic Test

I’ve been toying with this idea for a while, and hopefully this summer I’ll get to work on it more. The idea is that I create a database-driven comic strip. All the characters, plots and so on are stored in a MySQL database, and get interpreted by PHP and turned into SVG.

The amusing thing about this is that, as I work on it and tweak it, the art will retroactively get better. For instance, if a particular character’s template is badly drawn, and I update it as I create new strips, the old strips will automagically get an art update as well :)

Anyway, I’ve been having fun so far, working on this for an hour at a time, once every couple of months over the past year. Now I’ve got a framework that looks like it’ll speed up development immensely. So long as I create a database schema that conveys all the information I need it to.

Mashup: Cracked Pepper

In honour of the 40th (!) anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, CCC[myspace] has released another mashup album (remember Revolved?). This one is called Cracked Pepper. I’m listening to it now, and it’s pretty fucking good. Check it out:

  1. cracked pepper
  2. with a little glam
  3. lucy at the river
  4. the word is good
  5. kelly watch the hole
  6. she’s slipping
  7. love kite
  8. it’s far too late
  9. hawaii 64
  10. struttin’ rita
  11. good pressure
  12. cracked pepper (reprise)
  13. a sky blue rhapsody

And for your enjoyment:

Hi-res artwork: fullcover

And all of the tracks and artwork in a tarball.

Second Life: build your own ecosystem

Holy shit. One of the developers of Black and White has bought an island in SL and has turned it into a self-sustaining ecosystem. This is fucking nuts. Check it out: there are scripted clouds that blow across the island. Occasionally they rain down onto the ground, which is scripted to absorb a certain percentage of the moisture based on the kind of earth and the angle it’s at. There are trees and flowers in the earth that are scripted to react to sunlight (taking into account the time of day and current amount of cloud cover), and to react to the amount of water in the earth and grow, flower and produce pollen. Then there are bees. Motherfucking bees that go from flower to flower distributing pollen. Then the flowers generate seeds — with genetic traits from both parents — which blow on the wind and have a certain percentage chance to implant depending on what kind of earth they land on and what species they are. Unless the seeds get eaten by the fucking birds that fly around the island!

Everything is interdependant, so changing the number of bees will change the rate at which flowers get pollinated, and so on. From the article:

“It’s very sensitive to very small changes,” [creator Laukosargas Svarog] says, “like if a gene emerges which gives a plant an extra seed in its lifetime, that can cause huge growth in its locale. And the opposite of course, one less causes thinning growth. I’ve also seen the same color become a dominant gene so all the meadow cup plants became blue once. Simple things like that emerge quite often.”

This blows my mind! Check it out on Wagner James Au’s blog.