Monthly Archives: July 2013

funny place

Number of verbal interactions with random people on my way to work last morning: FOUR! (a guy from the window of his car, a woman in the escalators in the station, a lady in the train, and a man at a traffic light). I looked all over myself trying to identify any potential indicators of a willingness to interact, but I found none. No special clothing, no goofy smiles whatsoever, no open zips, no nothing on my face. So I don’t know. People just wanted to talk to me last morning I guess. The US can be a funny place.

three places, one instant

I love, love, love it when it rains like this. Soft, gently, elegantly. Gracefully. Like the sky was looking down the city and presenting us this beautiful morning rain, while smiling like the sweetest mom ever. That’s what happens when it’s warm, and there’s no wind.

It reminds me of my childhood summers back at home. The drops are huge thick balls of glass, but fall very slowly, almost as if they were suspended, floating in the air. And because it reminds me of home, I decide to not take any umbrella, not rush to the office, and instead walk slow and take the cable car. From it I take a picture of the trees in the financial district through the wet glass while my hears and heart are plugged to La Valse D’Amelie.

And so, the rain (home), cable car (San Francisco) and music (Brussels) blend seamlessly in a potpurri of feelings and memories. I can clearly feel my heart beating.

La Valse d’Amelie

one h

speaking of pronunciation, sometimes an “h” can make a huge difference:

* air conditioning: the process of altering the temperature and humidity of air to more favourable conditions
* hair conditioning: a hair care product that alters the texture and appearance of hair.

i wonder how do english speaking frenchies handle this one… (imagine one in the beauty saloon asking the assistance for help when looking for the best “air” conditioning)

antiphonetism

a – “ei”
e – “i”
i – “ai”

when and how the heck did this get screwed up this much?

english, please explain yourself

oh . shit…

i’m clearly and unquestionably not a morning person.

that’s why all these years i’ve been believing i am a night person instead.

now, lately i’ve started realizing that, perhaps, i’m not that much of a night person either!

oh . shit…

mathimage #22: a thin layer of snow

over a bridge that i mathematically modeled a couple of years ago. This was a fast improvised image again. The interesting bit is probably in the smooth blending of the terrain and the bridge, which serves perfectly as a natural transition between the bridge and the recently fallen thin layer of snow. Everything else is uber simplified. The “trees” are dark cones, the bridge is a few boxes, and the lighting is pretty simple and non realistic as well. I pushed the saturation of the sky a lot in order to make sure this wasn’t perceived as an attempt to photorealism. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to, I won’t lie, but I failed to nail the lighting in the very short time I gave myself for this image, so I decided to not even try to hide it.

What I like the most is that I wasn’t expecting to make a snowy scene at all. I love these math jam sessions.

If you are curious about the maths or code, or want to see it move in realtime (it’s sort of a time lapse thing), go here: https://www.shadertoy.com/view/Mds3z2

ouch!

i took the Bart, got stupidly distracted thinking of music and chords and stuff, and passed San Francisco without noticing. by 5 stops! i think i’m somewhere near the airport (or LA or something), damn. correcting route, new mental gps destination: “the city”

truths, and their context

although using scientific concepts in your discourse tends to impress certain type of people, it doesn’t really make it any more scientific or truthful. in fact, the opposite is quite frequently the case (think of parasciences, books like The Secret, and other such jokes).

what they often do is telling you, for example, that you can count the amount of rings in a tree stump to know the age of the tree, which is pretty accurate, and then claim that obviously you can similarly estimate the age of Saturn by counting its planetary rings.

the key maneuver here is to take a truth out of the context in which it applies as such, and abuse of it within the topic of interest.

as if truths could exist without a context, in the vacuum of knowledge; supporting everything that is. in short, as if they were absolute. hence, no surprise that people who believe in absolute truths tend to be easy victims for parasciences as well.

the wrong complain

today i saw a 25 years old complain “i’m bored”. i’m sure what she meant was “i’m boring”.

i don’t have memories of when was the last time i felt bored. must have been a couple of decades ago at least. sure, over the years, i have had to do things i didn’t want to do at times, or be in places i didn’t want to be. but even then i kept myself busy actively hating the situation. not really “bored”.

mathimage #21: wavy shapes

Improvised an animated noise field. I’m adding an image this time for the realtime version (to be found here, along with the maths/code: https://www.shadertoy.com/view/ldX3zS) has some artifacts.

On afterthought, I find some clitoral qualities to this. Anyway, the idea here was to improvise something abstract, and it worked well. But if I had more time I’d probably work harder and try pushing it to the next level. I like it.

too little information

people say sometimes “too much information”. most of the times, however, it feels it’s “too little information” to me.

when will… i ovulate?

what are the people’s concerns? what is important to them?

that’s difficult to know, but if you take just the population that speak english and use internet regularly, then you can play the game of asking Google about it. not directly, but by typing an incomplete query and letting Google offer some suggestions for autocompletion based on the most popular searches the world is actually doing… (make sure you log out of google and that you flush your caches)

for example, “when will” is a good start:

this (very scientific and flawless experiment clearly) indicates that people have the tragic and poetic hope of a life that gets better than their current one (“when will my life begin?”), that they want to make sure that better life happens before it’s already too late (“when will the world end?”), and that they don’t want to be by themselves regardless any of the previous two things happen or not (“when will i see you again?”).

and then, once those things are sorted out, the next big thing people want to know is… when they will ovulate.

err… oops… hehe…

i rarely think about what i do while in my office playing/working. i’m usually too distracted/focused as to notice that i am may be dancing, or having a pen in the hole of my ear, or two, and such stuff. usually, i realize just in time before somebody comes in, but this time my colleague caught me inadvertently in retarded-but-cool-boy-mode wearing my sun glasses while working some formulanimation out.

alternative title for the post – on how to lose the respect they had for you, in 3 seconds, but at least make them laugh in the process.

we’ve killed “love”

love is a short word. yet, it takes a lot to say it. even to express it.

i think this is especially true in this place. almost as if loving was something to be ashamed of, or something offensive that you shouldn’t talk about in public.

in fact, you don’t see people hold hands or kiss when walking in the streets over here, and if they do, faces or even verbal expression of disapproval from other people are to be expected. this is a sad prove that exercising the very human feeling of love has been effectively banned from public spaces. there, in the middle of the main shopping street, in the core of this self-proclaimed open-minded city, the fragility of human morality is put to exposure when the system feels no shame for allowing homelessness to happen in the very entrance to the stores where people spend lots of money, but however is embarrassed for an adorable portuguese couple that are kissing each other while waiting for the cable car. whoever shouted at them asking for decency, has in my opinion their values upside down.

but, speaking again just of the word “love”, and despite i’m still new here, i have the impression that the mere word itself has been somehow banned from circulation in public conversations as well. in fact, i have seen it replaced with euphemisms already, like it was just one more offensive word and needed a replacement! for example, people have referred to “love” as “the L word” in front of me. what the fucking fuck is that?. perhaps they said it somehow kidding, sort of playing… but still, for me it is a symptom, the peak of an iceberg of much more profound facts.

i have also heard things like “i have romantic feelings for you” instead of the old school “i love you”. because these days saying “i love you” is not just the expression of romantic affection anymore. it’s not even a sentiment. instead, it has become a tool, one of the key steps in an intricate social courtship machinery, a verbal request for permission to proceed to the next phase in a relationship. this way, saying “i love you” has little to do with the actual communication of love, but social intentions.

in fact, “love” not only has been raped and denied its true meaning, but has actually been fully repurposed for a much lower task: expressing that you simply like something. “i love it!”. or, perhaps, that you like something very very much.

we bastards!

cause…. you never know?

you know when you get in the entrance hall of your building and there’s a pile of packages next to the mailboxes with the amazon label in them, some of them quite big, and despite you haven’t ordered nothing at all from amazon, you still go read their recipient in the label just in case there has happened some sort of glitch in the matrix and there’s one surprise box for you?

that makes me ask myself, what kind of naive delusional optimistic useless hope is that?

yet, instead of answering this question, i find myself actually evading it with an equally insubstantial “oh, but you never know!”

we humans are trully adorable

mathimage #20: volcanic landscape

This one was, again, a completely improvised one.

It all started with a sphere, but after 30 minutes of exploration of a couple of random ideas, I had settled in some sort of a flat landscape full of caves (or, “empty with caves”?). From there I focused for two hours on adding a rocky feel to it, find some nice color/material distributions for the depths (yellow and browns) and the aerial bits in the top (grey and greens), through three lights (sun, sky, and bounce), add volumetric smoke and oranges for the lava, and call it a day. A very successful day! Cause, despite all the fakery involved here (which would make any computer graphics professional scream in pain, for these methodology and tools are exactly the opposite of how you are supposed to do things), the image is compelling and definitely complex for what it is: 300 lines of code/maths!

The realtime version with source code is here:

And a prerendered video (for those with slow computers) and with extra cinematic look, here:

choices

I got stolen my bike. My super cute bike! Option A: get angry and infuriated, hate SF thieves, ruin my day. Option B: buy a new one and focus on enjoying the sunny day. Choice made: B. (so I just bought a new bike. a smaller, lighter, blacker and sexier one!). Alright, resume life.

20 rolls

ladies and gentlemen, these are 20 rolls of toilet paper. premium toilet paper, apparently. which should get me covered for years of shit to come. premium shit, perhaps.

i don’t know why i bought so much, but it’s done now. sometimes i do weird things