Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving at the Dixon Domicile

Oh, my talented family!

Violins: Brother Greg (L), Cousin Reuben (R)
Viola: Dad Paul
Cello: Uncle Paul
Contrabass: Mom Barbara

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Request to My Friends in Japan

Money is no object. Send me this:


Having been a huge fan of Pepsi Japan's previous genteihin* Pepsi Cucumber Ice, I realize that when it comes to stuff like this, even the ideas that sound the worst on paper are sometimes the best taste adventures. That being said, Pepsi and yogurt, why not? Bring it on.

* 限定品 - Limited-edition products. In Japan, they love to sell stuff for a while and then not sell it, all the while telling you they're only selling it for a while. It's like what McDonald's does with the McRib, but times twenty.

Fun Job

My job writing for the MAKE: Blog has been especially fun lately. They've got me writing about these kits from Gakken, a company in Japan that makes kits and other toys that are supposed to help you learn about science.

So the first thing I did was a write-up about their phonograph that records onto regular-ol' plastic cups. Check it:

You can read the whole thing here.

If anyone else happens to have one of these cup recorders out there, I would be interested in trading cup recordings with you. I'm getting pretty sick of these cups that are all just recordings of my own voice! I can only sing like an opera man for so long.

Also, I think I'll take this home for Thanksgiving, I'm sure my relatives would get a real kick out of this, and I'm sure they'd have some more interesting ideas for songs to sing besides "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Who knows, my mom might even spring for a fresh pack of plastic cups. So far I've just been taking cups from the IMU.

Anyway, they also sent me a vacuum tube radio kit and a tea-serving robot from Gakken, so I'll have to do those next. Yeah, my life is hard!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Seriously, Who DOES This?



Sorry about the caps lock, and sorry about the picture. Yeah, I know this is gross, but seriously, who DOES this? What kind of person is that ridiculously germophobic and wasteful? I saw this with my own eyes, and was so disgusted/amazed that I had to take a picture of it. I can count at least TWELVE layers of toilet paper on this toilet seat. This is clearly not the work of someone who poops outside of their own house very often, because it looks like it took about twenty minutes just to set up, and most people can't wait that long. The more I think about this scenario, the stranger it gets, because there's something very emergency about this scene, but also something very calculated.

I imagine some (literally) anally retentive dude, possibly wearing rubber gloves, trying incredibly hard to keep the "turtle's head" in check while making sure every inch of this toilet seat is covered and then covered again. He finally cautiously sits down, the whole time saying "Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew!" The results, although pixelated here, speak for themselves. Then he leaves his little masterpiece for the rest of the world to see.

Later, some other dude comes in and pees on this fellow's toilet paper sculpture. You can see it there near the top.

I mean, seriously, I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure there are like zero diseases that you can catch from a toilet seat. The concept of toilet seat covers grosses me out infinitely more than the thought of the non-existent cooties you might get from a toilet seat. Case in point:


Sick. And wasteful. And just weird.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

RjDj, an iPhone App You Can Actually "Go LEGO" With

Warning: Nerd content below.

I've been messing around with making PD patches that play in the RjDj iPhone app, and I wrote a little how-to about it on MAKE. It's fun because you can use touchscreen input and accelerometer data to control the patches, so that allows for a few new ways of interacting with PD patches even if you can't use the regular GUI (instead, you're limited to one simple JPG).

My article explains how to add additional RjDj scenes (using SSH via jailbreak), how to make the scenes play on a regular computer (since they're really just PD patches), how to modify existing scenes, and how to make your own scenes.

There really hasn't been anything for the iPhone that has captured my imagination quite like this one. When I said that you can actually "go LEGO" with this thing in the title of this entry, what I mean is that you are actually allowed a huge number of creative possibilities within the PD patches that you can make and run on RjDj. The objects in PD are like LEGOs, and you can really go buck with the possibilities. You can make a little car, or you can make a whole city. You're allowed to use as many objects as you want, as long as they don't crash your iPhone.

Anyway, here's a little demo of one thing I've done to run on RjDj:

If you saw me on tour on Germany this summer, this might seem familiar, since I used a similar sort of patch (although done in Max/MSP) to create a kind of sonic backdrop to the songs I was playing. Now I don't have to carry around a laptop to get a similar vibe, so that is nice.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Old Family Picture

4863.jpg, originally uploaded by bivAb.

Found on my cousin David's Flickr page.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Beardo - I Was One of Them


Link to the video. I haven't watched it with sound yet, but I do remember getting a kick out of that fellow's haircuts. People were clearly torn between two feelings:

  1. I want to get my haircut by this famous indie rock singer.
  2. He is going to give me the worst haircut of my entire life.
It was pretty funny. The look on my face suggests that I am saying to myself "Oh geeez." I also appear to be kind of concerned. I look a lot like my dad in that one.

P.S. Whatever, Pitchfork is so vanilla.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Men Together

Men Together

In case you were wanting to check it out, here's the Men Together Flickr page.

Original photo.