Archive for August, 2009

[pdx] An Orwell Reason To Visit The Hillsdale Library

Posted in art, literature, zeitgeist with tags on August 29, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2202.If you aren’t stopping to look at the small displays that mount into the walls of the foyers of your local branch of the Multnomah County Library, you’re missing out, Tex. Perforce, a lesson in how to look.

As mentioned, in the walls of the foyers of most of our library branches are small display boxes. They are typically decorated with a small, usually nifty, interpretive display with a theme. Latterly, one of the ones at the entry to my favorite branch, the one at Midland out 122nd way, had a very well done collage-y bit about Whitman and Blades of Grass.

I’m no poetry fan, but the work was well done, I’m just saying.

Rick Seifert, The Red Electric, has been given the chance to do a display in the Hillsdale branch (1525 SW Sunset Blvd). The theme, perfectly pertinent in as much as his CV indicates he’s a “semi-retired” journalist and journalism teacher, is George Orwell, on the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is a favorite book of mine, having been read (and re-read) many times over the years.

It contains niftyness – an old Remington 3 typewriter similar to the one Orwell used; a range of Orwell’s books, and some explanatation.

It’s worth a visit to your local library, yo. Crack a book, people!

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[pdx] An Orwell Reason To Visit The Hillsdale Library

Posted in art, literature on August 29, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2202.If you aren’t stopping to look at the small displays that mount into the walls of the foyers of your local branch of the Multnomah County Library, you’re missing out, Tex. Perforce, a lesson in how to look.

As mentioned, in the walls of the foyers of most of our library branches are small display boxes. They are typically decorated with a small, usually nifty, interpretive display with a theme. Latterly, one of the ones at the entry to my favorite branch, the one at Midland out 122nd way, had a very well done collage-y bit about Whitman and Blades of Grass.

I’m no poetry fan, but the work was well done, I’m just saying.

Rick Seifert, The Red Electric, has been given the chance to do a display in the Hillsdale branch (1525 SW Sunset Blvd). The theme, perfectly pertinent in as much as his CV indicates he’s a “semi-retired” journalist and journalism teacher, is George Orwell, on the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is a favorite book of mine, having been read (and re-read) many times over the years.

It contains niftyness – an old Remington 3 typewriter similar to the one Orwell used; a range of Orwell’s books, and some explanatation.

It’s worth a visit to your local library, yo. Crack a book, people!

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[type] You Want The Wikipedia of Fonts?

Posted in type, type design, typography on August 28, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2201.Then, you’ll find it at Typedia, here: http://typedia.com.

I just wonder what took someone so long …

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[type] You Want The Wikipedia of Fonts?

Posted in type design, typography on August 28, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2201.Then, you’ll find it at Typedia, here: http://typedia.com.

I just wonder what took someone so long …

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[design] Paste Into – The “Other” Paste Command In Photoshop

Posted in design, design tools, digital design, Photoshop turorials, photoshoppery on August 28, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2200.The joy of Photoshop is that it has more features than you can shake a stick at. That’s also the heartbreak, because there are so many it’s easy to forget ones you would find mad useful. And one of those is Paste Into.

It’s an advanced version of the Paste command, which you can find in the Edit pulldown just underneath the Paste command. The reason it’s awesome is that it saves you a ton of steps if you want to paste an object into a certain area.

What Paste Into does is this: given a selection (which you can create any which way you want), it pastes the copied image data into the current document on a new layer, and then creates a layer mask with the same shape as the selection. The effect is that your pasted content appears to be pasted into the selected area – the layer mask – which can then be gradiated, changed, whatever you want to happen.

There’s a good and quick video tutorial supported by CreativePro.com which can be viewed at http://www.creativepro.com/article/combine-images-quickly-photoshop. It’s a short video which hints at real design power that can be leveraged. Also, this tutorial takes a quicker approach if you just want to learn the basics: http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/paste-into/, which details just what goes into the process but doesn’t demonstrate anything else … but if you’re a good enough Photoshop Ninja, you should be able to take it from there.

I feel an article about alpha channels coming on, for some reason …

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[design] Paste Into – The "Other" Paste Command In Photoshop

Posted in design, design tools, digital design, photoshoppery on August 28, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2200.The joy of Photoshop is that it has more features than you can shake a stick at. That’s also the heartbreak, because there are so many it’s easy to forget ones you would find mad useful. And one of those is Paste Into.

It’s an advanced version of the Paste command, which you can find in the Edit pulldown just underneath the Paste command. The reason it’s awesome is that it saves you a ton of steps if you want to paste an object into a certain area.

What Paste Into does is this: given a selection (which you can create any which way you want), it pastes the copied image data into the current document on a new layer, and then creates a layer mask with the same shape as the selection. The effect is that your pasted content appears to be pasted into the selected area – the layer mask – which can then be gradiated, changed, whatever you want to happen.

There’s a good and quick video tutorial supported by CreativePro.com which can be viewed at http://www.creativepro.com/article/combine-images-quickly-photoshop. It’s a short video which hints at real design power that can be leveraged. Also, this tutorial takes a quicker approach if you just want to learn the basics: http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/paste-into/, which details just what goes into the process but doesn’t demonstrate anything else … but if you’re a good enough Photoshop Ninja, you should be able to take it from there.

I feel an article about alpha channels coming on, for some reason …

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[design] Personas: Data Mining As Graphic Design

Posted in art, design, info design, liff, liff online, maps, Samuel John Klein on August 27, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2199.Something that should be meaty food for thought for everyone who communicates online is available for a time. It’s called Personas (http://personas.media.mit.edu/personasWeb.html). It’s a crit of “data mining”, which is not only the way places like Google and Amazon and Netflix are able to make a list of suggestions of things you might otherwise like, but also how certain agencies make up lists of people to watch out for. In following a data mining strategem to compose a composite picture of where your activity online takes you, it suggests an awful lot about data mining’s strengths – and speaks loudly indeed about it’s weaknesses.

You put in your name, and get an interesting show while it crunches the data.

Here’s what I got for putting in the name “Samuel Klein”:

(embiggen it thusly) It’s an interesting picture, no? The labels are suggestive of assumed categories of relevant interest based on textual analysis, and the size of the colored zones are weighted according to the amount of activity in each thing.

But this doesn’t quite picture Samuel Klein – me – very well. Of course, I just put in the name “Samuel Klein”; it didn’t know I was meaning me, and as it turns out, there’s an armload of Samuel Klein on the web (including a prominent Wikipedian as well as a leading obesity doctor).

So I put in the name Samuel John Klein in the query box and let it go. So far as I can detect, there’s only one Samuel John Klein who uses the intermets in any notable degree. Here’s what it came up with:

(embiggen this thusly) Now, this is more like it. I’m online a lot. I think about art and design about as much as I’m online. I don’t know what the 7734 “aggression” is supposed to mean.

But that’s the point, I think. Notice the way the result changed when I refined the query. The second one is a better picture of me, but I had to think to put in my medial moniker. Notice the amazing amount of interests Personas thinks I have – but actually, how would it know for sure? The code has never met me. The coder has never met me.

What does it say about me? In the end, how can one be sure?

And this is the state of the art of how “the net”, as an automaton, creates an “online picture” of just one person. The thing is a tool – but those who use the tool is what makes the difference.

Like I said, food for thought. If you love being on line as much as I do, It’ll make you think for a while.

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