Article about the history of Paint-by-Number sets. "In the hurry to launch the product, [Palmer Paint] inadvertently confused the palette on the very first set, The Bullfight, with the result that consumers ended up with a picture of a beige matador waving a blue cape at a bright green bull. Rare surviving examples of this accidental exercise in Fauvism are worth a great deal to today's collectors." Link [discuss] Read the rest
Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller "proposes that the human mind's most impressive, baffling abilities are courtship tools, evolved to attract and entertain sexual partners." Link [discuss] Read the rest
Good NYT story about the Kaycee (the leukemia-stricken young weblogger) hoax. Link [discuss] Read the rest
Richard Wallace's wonderful chatterbot ALICE has appropriately taken up residence on the promotional site for Spielberg's A.I. Link [discuss] Read the rest
The bot they used in this cybersex chat promotion for the movie Center of the World
seems to be an order of magnitude dumber than dumber than Eliza. Link [discuss] Read the rest
Our resident Disneyologist, Cory Doctorow, is on vacation, so I'll be wearing his four-fingered gloves in the meantime. Here's an article from the LA Times
about disneyauctions.com, which is doing better than expected. For example, a sign at the Harbor Boulevard entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim went for $30,700. Link [discuss] Read the rest
While we wait for Blogger to come out of the cyrogenic tank, we're going to use QuickTopic. It's harder for me to add to each posting, so I might burn out on it. [discuss] Read the rest
David and I went to Zorthian's 90th birthday party on Saturday. He's a painter and sculptor who lives on a big ranch in the hills of Alta Dena. What a character! He was dressed like Bacchus and he had 10 naked "nymphettes" tending to him, feeding him grapes and kissing him. (When they weren't kissing each other.) Sorry, I forgot to bring a camera. His ranch has huge piles of junk all over it -- tires, railroad ties, sinks, bathtubs, corrugated tin roofing, bundles of newspapers. He used to trade art lessons for science lessons with CalTech's Richard Feynman. In the '50s, Charlie Parker would play sessions at his place. Here are some paintings by him.Link Read the rest
My sister emailed me:
Hi Mark: I was volunteering at Calvin's school a couple days ago, and one of my jobs was to take down little pieces of paper that were stuck onto a fake indoor tree, on which the 3rd graders had written their Earth Day pledges. Most of them were pretty predictable, like "I will pick up trash and try not to use the car". But some kids probably weren't listening to the teacher's instructions, or just had some really ambitious ideas, and some must have been clueless. Here are a few that I saved, kids' spelling and all:
1. I like to Dirt Bike at night. Connor
2. The is Earth day I' will not smoke pull weeds no speed boats. Jordan L.
3. This Earth Day I will not use to many things made from factorys. Lisa
4. This Earth Day I am going to respect our inviorment.
5. I like to play tag and sports. Logan
6. This Earth day I will play Playstation.
7. On earth day I plan to realax and eat. and sleap.
8. I like the hard groud so you can play baseball and kickball. Jacob
9. When your hiking "take only pictures and leave only footprints." Don't be a Roman. Dont pollute or litter. Emily
10. This Earth day don't shoot animals for fun and make animals feel safe.
11. On Sunday or Saturday I'm going to walk my dog and pick up rocks. Jackie
12. If you camp and set up a tent Put it away. Read the rest
Fun shockwave timewaster. Build a mobile. (Thanks Minitrue!) Link Read the rest
My last link before I go on holidays! Graveyard for dead websites. Link
(Thanks, ronks!) Read the rest
Three new killer fonts from House Industries (the best font designers around). Link Read the rest
Tomorrow morning, I leave for my first totally unmediated (no computers, no phones) holiday in something like six years. I'm going to be gone until June 10. Obviously, I won't be posting any links between now and then, and so I leave you in Mark and Pesco's capable hands, while I go off to sit on a beach in Costa Rica. Read the rest
Historical preservation society devoted to Walt Disney's personal train-set. Link
) Read the rest