Good lookin’ out Science

Starting at the edge of the galaxy.
Voyager I and II, something humans launched in 1977 are rapidly approaching interstellar space. Rocketing out at 38,000 miles per hour, the Voyager spacecrafts are 11.5 billion miles away from earth.
According to NASA we will be able to maintain radio contact for several more years.

Closer to home, from the space station.
Later this year UrtheCast will begin broadcasting streaming video of earth from twin cameras mounted on the space station. In High-Definition. Supposedly users will be able to see actual people in real time and will be able to send video clips to friends.
Besides the obvious privacy/Big Brother issues this raises, what a great idea. Zoom in on sporting events or Mardi Gras, protests or war zones, survey natural disaster areas.
Whether we like it or not we are moving into a brave new world and like any tool it will be up to us to decide how to use our technologies for good instead of evil.

On that note, new rumors from Cupertino.
Apple rumors are notorious and don’t always pan out. But with the impending launch of Google Glass later this year it would not be surprising if Apple was throwing it’s hat in the augmented reality ring. It appears to run on social networking allowing users to share images and videos from their location with friends or colleagues in their network who can see the notes and tags overlaid on the real world.

I’ve heard of a bar already banning Google Glass to protect the privacy of its patrons but as it becomes possible to capture any and every moment the very idea of privacy may need a reboot, or at the very least an upgrade.
We are a curious species by nature and I doubt we’ll stop looking at the world, galaxy, and universe around us anytime soon.


SXSpring Break!

SXSW seems to trump Spring Break for those of us who stay in town during the annual madness. I’m not participating this year but maybe next year…

For this week I have a medley with a heavy dose of SXSW stuff.

If you’re not sure what SXSW is, here is a look at what it is now for technology.

For the pool sharks out there, OpenPool has a great new way to enjoy shooting pool in the dark. This is still in the development stage but they will show it off at SXSW.

I like Apple, I like Matt Groening, who knew they worked together!

Coolhunting has a great Link About It this week.

They couldn’t ignore south by, 30 under 30 for SXSW

My favorites from the list are:

Matt Groening for Apple. Pre-Simpsons, subversive creator of Life is Hell appealing to college kids to get on the computer bandwagon. Certainly doesn’t take as much convincing now.

And the NYC/IO which is a competition to design a modern version of a NYC pay phone. Some smart people came up with some excellent designs, but it all feels too much like 1984. Maybe our future landscape is covered in screens.

If you’re in Austin this week enjoy our city and eat at Z’Tejas, in the bar.

March Midterm Madness!

I missed a day and I’m late but in my defense, not only have midterms been kicking my ass, but I have a real, paying client. Yeah, he’s a friend of mine, but I am designing collateral for him and his non profit is using it to promote events.

Today I am posting the results of the midterm project for my Design Communication I class which ties together everything else I’ve been learning since I’ve been in school.

The project is to design a book jacket for a book from a list of books provided. I chose The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I have a copy but I lost the jacket years ago so I thought this would be a great opportunity to make a jacket for my book and get a good grade.

These are the original sketches I made to get the creation process going. I was aiming at a tablet look because the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy at the center of the book is a fictional electronic book from MegaDodo Publications on Ursa Minor Beta.



After the sketches I did two rounds of digital comps of the front cover and revisions of the digital comps, then two round of comps for the full jacket.

In the end I like the result. I made a unique and eye catching book jacket and I stayed true to the H2G2 fanbase but didn’t get too cliche with the design. My jacket would fit in with other versions made by other designers, and it would stand out.


ImageThe only thing I did not like about this project was trying to get it printed. It is too big to print on the laser printer at school and the print shop I took it to had problems printing it at full size. In the end the physical jacket was about 1/4 to small for the book so I know I didn’t get an A, but I did learn valuable lessons about dealing with a print shop and the difficulties of designing a book cover which is perfectly aligned and actually fits the book.

I’ve got a few more things to do before Spring Break and then I can relax.

Stay tuned, next week I’ve got something new in the works. 



Keeping with the theme of beauty

Keeping with the theme of beauty, here are some things I find beautiful. (Beside my wife and daughter)

Living in Texas, the idea of anything built out of icicles seems far fetched, but in Colorado, anything goes I guess. Brent Christensen creates these amazing ice sculptures using icicles. Sometimes I’m jealous of the colder climes.

I’ve been a fairly avid reader since I learned to read and I do still own several full bookcases. Even as I pick up more and more titles on Kindle I prefer the paper for books with more than purely educational content. And of course no one can autograph the Kindle editions. So from a bibliophiles’ perspective, Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. They would have to track me down and drag me out of there or I would live there, and I don’t know Portuguese.

And finally, if pressed to pick a favorite movie on the spot, Caddyshack is my knee jerk response. Sometimes Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Evil Dead, or Psycho bubble up but Caddyshack seems to get more rotation. So I’ve got that goin’ for me, which is nice. Bill Murray is awesome in Caddyshack and every other movie he’s been in, even the movies I didn’t understand. (I’m looking at you, Lost in Translation)
Of course I’m not his only fan and some of his fans have made some great art in honor of the man himself.

These are just three of the things I found beautiful this past week, representing very different forms of beauty. Really beauty is everywhere, you can find it in the strangest of places if you look at it right.