Saturday, October 27, 2007

A stroke out of the ordinary

Layer Tennis is the designer's version of a heated match between 2 opponents where each takes turns to serve, volley, smash, hit home etc. in order to win the coveted prize of designer of the moment. Its beginnings are in photoshop tennis whereby over a fixed period of time, a person starts by submitting a digital drawing which then changes hands and evolves as different people apply their creative take on what they think the image should really look like. After about 5-6 rounds, the image is finally completed, often looking quite unlike how it started, but a lot more interesting.

Layer Tennis takes this to the next level whereby 2 accomplished designers each takes 15min turns to challenge each other to come up with a clever, witty reply to the previous picture. The key to winning is to have some connection with the previous picture, yet interpreting it in a fresh and critical yet witty way. The change of the word from photoshop to layer suggests the possibility of using other software like Illustrator and even Flash as deadly tools in this online digital bloodbath. Believe me, it's really great stuff to watch. And the live commentary is often a blast to read too. I wonder if this could work with architecture design, in which case, each person takes turns to sketch out his/her vision of a building according to a theme. You'll find an example of a Layer Tennis match after the break.

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

Round 8

Round 9

Round 10


DIY Rubik's Cube

Now, don't you think this will make a really cool Christmas present? You could mass make a couple and give it out to all your friends! It would be a great hands-on project to do with that special person of yours too... if you have one, that is. Ha ha. Aside from that, KS, Daniel, Narash, what say you??? Sounds fun doesn't it? which hosts the video above, is a relatively new portal that in my opinion has better quality videos than Youtube and the likes. Think of Youtube as the camera on your camera phone which you use to capture quick and spontaneous happenings, and will be more like a proper amateur mini DV camera with proper sound recording and smooth unpixelated video quality. Read on...

According to their makers,'s mission is to "make video creation easier by taking care of all the problems a budding videoblogger, podcaster or Internet TV producer would run into. (They'll) take care of the servers, the software, the workflow, the advertising and the distribution. Your focus should be on creativity."

So far, they seem to be delivering on that promise. What I like is that they actually have some really good episodes out there, made by budding film or tv show makers. Let's hope that as they grow bigger and more popular, the quality content still remains. Check it out for yourself.


Friday, October 26, 2007

re:act Design Sharing Session

Want to find out more about architecture and design? Or perhaps your idea of spending a good night out is listening to a bunch of passionate individuals talk about the "a" word? Look no further, wait no longer, hesitate no more! Come join us next Friday at this cool place called TUCKSHOP. I guarantee you will have an enjoyable time.

Poster design by yours truly.

*Update: I've included a photo and a map to TUCKSHOP for those who are interested. After the break.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Photo Essay: "No storm in this tea cup."


Friday, October 19, 2007

Nokia shows off

Here's one that is more credible. Nokia shows off their new S60 touch interface for mobile devices. It supports haptic feedback (physical response like a short vibration when you press a button), has a platform that enables impressive graphical effects and a support for flash video on internet browsers. Finger and stylus input capability is standard, together with built-in proximity and light sensors that will allow stunts like switching off the alarm just by turning the phone over. That can't be good for those of us who need at least 5 snoozes before we wake, can it? Perhaps the phone could be configured to give a small electric shock when you turn off the alarm. You'll never be late again.


An apple a day is here to stay

Just how much do the Chinese companies adore Apple and its iPhone? Well, let's just say it's enough to get many of them on the iPhone look-a-like bandwagon. They say that imitation is flattery. In the case of these China companies, imitation is an art. And one that they have perfected to a T. It makes one wonder, why can't they who invented paper and gunpowder put their creative juices to better use? If you ask me, with the number of people China has, they have enough geniuses to produce at least 10 companies that can rival Apple. Perhaps they choose not to. For now. But watch them in the next 10 years. You might find yourself in overnight queues to be the first to lay your hands on the latest 苹果 handheld personal communicator. Who knows? More pics after the break.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Design My Place

This is a poster that I did for one of the upcoming projects that I am involved in with re:act aka Really Architecture. This is a society that some of my friends and I set up to promote architecture that is socially conscious and relevant to Southeast Asia. We are sort of a group of people trying to do good with our experiences and skills. You can find out more at our blog and website (though the website hasn't been updated in a while). The workshop that we are doing this round is with AEP students from different JCs. It will be a 3 day non-residential workshop where we teach them to map out their neighbourhood in interesting yet relevant ways and to finally come up with a collective vision for the neighbourhood after making all their observations and studies.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Thiswassupposedtobeaseriousblog - The Youtube Update

2005 Miami U. Cheezies a cappella: Facebook Song

If you have been reading the papers recently, you would have noticed quite a few articles talking about how much time people at work waste on Facebook and other internet related sites (go read Sumiko Tan's column in the Sunday Times). Remember how on MSN, we used to spend time staring at the screen, waiting for the all too familiar ring which signalled a message by someone, (which we really liked because it meant we were important and people still remembered us). Well, now on Facebook, we have apparently discovered more ways to prop up our self-esteem by superpoking everyone in our friends list, sending people fish for their aquarium, giving our friends vampire bites (which is about the most irritating thing on Facebook), and drawing strange kiddish pictures on their superwalls, all for one insecure reason - that those people would kindly do the same for you and add to your online status. (See above Youtube video.)
(Read on for other more Youtube gems.)

I really do think that Facebook is a great online application to link up with old friends. But I draw the line when it starts making me feel jealous of the other person who has 200 more friends than me, or more posts on his/her superwall or more booze sent to him/her etc. Of course I have since repented and scrubbed my mind clean of any symptoms of Facebookjealousitis.

Just before writing this entry, I wandered into dangerous territory again by signing in to my Facebook account. In all, I had 10 vampire invites, 5 likeness requests and 3 zombie invites. Add to that 4 posts on my Funwall that consisted of one asking me to support the Action for Singapore Dogs society, one with a Carrie Underwood MTV and another which i deleted before bothering to read more. Lesson of the day: Like most online applications, Facebook is not immune to SPAM. Yes, even good intentioned spam by your friends IS considered spam! Here's to all my lovely friends (and I really do consider you my friends) who keep forwarding me stuff that other people have forwarded you: DO THINK TWICE before you press the send-application-to-all-friends button. I have absolutely NO APPRECIATION for all that. I have no intention of turning my profile page into one of those facebook accounts that look more like an advertisement board of spam rather than one that tells people what you are about. Oh wait, maybe that IS what you are about!

Ok now, I'm normally not so fed-up in my posts, but it's kind of frustrating to see Facebook turn into a spam generating machine when used irresponsibly. And I guess it shows too the insecurity of our inner souls and our constant desire to want to feel accepted. Resist it I say! Anyways, this was supposed to me a Youtube update, so enjoy these other gems I found recently.

Sony Bravia Bunnies

This is a great advertisement that is not just beautifully executed, but also managed to get the public involved in the process. In doing so, it become more than just a great ad. It became a wonderful experience for everyone who saw the giant rabbit take form in their city etc. Inspirational. Updated: Here are 2 pics I found that show a little of the process of making the ad.

To round up, an insightful interview with Mohammad Yunus who started the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, providing microcredit to the poor. A true groundbreaker.

Muhammad Yunus on poverty

Watch more on Muhammad Yunos who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year here and here.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Thiswassupposedtobeaseriousblog - The Extraordinary Discoveries Update

Every wondered how the world looked like from the inside of your mouth? Well, wonder no more. You can now do so yourself using 'The SmileyCam" made by Justin Quinnell. And if you are wondering, yes, that's the inside of his mouth you are staring at. The SmileyCam is really a pinhole camera small enough to put in your mouth. It is a 22 exposure colour negative pinhole camera which can be processed at processing laboratories. One more reason to keep those traditional film processing shops from shutting down. Justin has an entire book of 60 photographs taken this way which you can order from Amazon if you are that crazy about it. The pics are surreal, somewhat hilarious and wacky in a way that makes me want to just slap him on the head with a giant toothbrush. I can just imagine a new toothpaste ad. using this from-the-inside-perspective idea. More pics after the break.

Remember the show The Avatar? Well, Season 3 has finally arrived! In this latest installment, Aang wakes up on a Fire Nation ship spotting a good crop of hair. Find out what happened since his last fight in the season finale of Season 2. More after the break. Update: I had intended to embed the videos of episode 1 here. Sadly, they are no longer available due to copyright violations. Oh well.

Brushing my teeth with a dead spider

Louis (Getting to know Dad)



Thiswassupposedtobeaseriousblog - The Tech Update

Here's something that really caught my eye and made me go WOW! That's really cool and a lot more affordable than an iPod Touch! Of course it doesn't do half of what an iPod Touch does either. This is a range of designer USB flash drives from mimoco called mimobot. Thumbdrives have never looked this good if you asked me (those with DIY Burt thumbdrives might disagree though). I actually think they make perfect christmas gifts if you are really rich - a perfect combination of function and form, and are pretty much collector's items! I could well do with one! (hint hint!) These toys are available in 512Mb, 1, 2, 4Gb versions and ship from the US of A. They don't exactly come cheap though. The 1Gb versions go for about US$49.95 and the 2Gb ones, US$69.95. That's about S$80 and S$110 respectively, without shipping. Not too bad if you ask me.

Moving on to something else I would like for Christmas, the newly released Canon 40D.
(Read on for reviews on this new camera.)

Here's a pretty comprehensive review of the 40D by Camera Labs. Conclusion - "The new EOS 40D improves on its predecessor in almost every respect. The resolution has a slight, but measurable increase, the continuous shooting accelerated from 5 to 6.5fps, the AF system and weatherproofing improved, and both the viewfinder and screen enlarged. The EOS 40D also features Live View, anti-dust, interchangeable focusing screens and full PC remote control. Oh, and the ISO value is also finally shown at all times on both the secondary LCD screen and in the viewfinder. If you value these performance enhancements, it could be worth upgrading from the 30D, but if you skipped a generation and are still using the 10D or 20D, there’s enough here for most to justify a purchase." - Camera Labs

Here's another beast that was just released recently, the Nikon D3. Scott Kelby had the chance of spending a few days in the field with it and wrote about his experience with it on his blog. Scott is also the President of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals and the editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Layers magazine (the how-to magazine for everything Adobe®). You will find many interesting tips on photoshop at his blog too.