MonthFebruary 2005

Another bottlecap mosaic

Scans Daily -

Livejournal community that scans interesting bits of a random comic book every day (The images are embedded in the RSS feed, so you can avoid clicking)

Out-of-Season XMAS Crafts: Vol. 4

     This one requires more explaining than the others, as it ended up being a ‘failure’ in some respects. Having exhausted my supply of nerdy reading material on automated music machines in early 2004, I moved on to reading / learning about rudimentary animation technology, since knowledge of praxiniscopes and the like is in such high demand in today’s job market.

     As Christmastime rolled around, I set out to combine a praxinoscope / phenakistoscope (sometimes spelled with an ‘i’) hybrid with the faux ‘music box’ concept I had constructed the previous year. The first step was to find something to animate. I ended up using frames from an old phenakistiscope disc that I found here. If all went according to plan, the animation should look like the image below:

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     I divided the CD face up into 12 equal wedges in Illustrator and dropped each frame of the animation into a wedge. I ended up with a pretty decent recreation of the Phenakistiscope disc. Animating this disc required devising a way to construct a 12-sided, reflective cylinder. I tried several different methods, and what I finally ended up doing was getting some reflective cardstock and folding the cylinder together from a template I cooked up in Illustrator.

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     In theory, the reflective surfaces on the 12-sided cylinder in the center of the photo below should reflect each frame of animation as it rotates. In the end, it never really came together as well as I wanted it to. The animation sort of works, but the seam in the cylinder disrupts everything. If, for some reason, you share these bizarre interests and would like to make an attempt at smoother animation, I’ve included .pdf files containg my template for the 12-sided cylinder and the CD Label below. You’ll be relieved to learn that this concludes the ‘Out-of-Season XMAS Crafts’ portion of our broadcast.

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Music Box – “Caroline” (Harry Nilsson)

From: My Diningroom Table

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Twin Peaks Season 2 Finally Coming to DVD

Out-of-Season XMAS Crafts: Vol. 3

     Yet another in a long series of ridiculously packaged mix CD’s. Check out the three-tiered pop-up text! NERD.

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Video: Beck’s “Black Tambourine.”

Early internet nerds will appreciate the use of animated ASCII art.

Nintendo DS Community using distributed computing to decode the proprietary encryption.

Darkfader, the person doing most of the heavy lifting in unlocking the potential of the Nintendo DS for Homebrew coding, has started a weblog.

Out-of-Season XMAS Crafts: Vol. 2

     Around December 2003, I discovered the Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments, and got it in my head that I should learn to make music boxes. What little information I was able to turn up on this archaic process proved to be too involved for the purposes of that year’s gift-giving, so I defaulted to an electrical solution, based in part on a project I had been working on in school the previous semester.

     The project was a talking clock, designed to speak the time at the push of a button. I used the knowledge of IC-based audio playback that I gained in completing this project to build a simple circuit that would play a song of my choice when a switch was triggered.

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     From there it was simply a matter of tracking down a box big enough to house my cobbled together mechanism while managing to appear ‘Christmas-y.’ There’s a clickable quicktime video of the ‘Music Box’ in action below. When closed, the lid of the box opens a switch that leads to the 9V battery, so the same battery is still chugging along without having to involve a user-invoked power switch.

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Music Box – “O Holy Night”

From: My Diningroom Table

Musical architechture?

“Pyramid Songs.” Ho ho ho.

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