Thursday, February 27, 2003

Wired, March 2003 - Speed Freaks The latest Wired magazine is about speed and the people who crave it. The cover article chronicles those that rank at the top: from the fastest person, through to the fastest computer. I still can't believe that the SR-71, at Mach 3.4, still holds the speed record for an aircraft (that was set back in 1976) - and considering that Columbia was over Mach 18 when it broke up ... you'd think there would be a faster plane by now. Other articles on speed in this issue are:
  • War of the Wheels: a well written article on the drag racing scene. The article compares the old-school dragsters who pushed raw-horsepower, topping with vehicles that put out 7,000+hp, to the "rice burners" - souped-up Japanese imports, such as overclocked Honda CRXes that reach upwards of 1,000hp. The article is well written, and pulls no punches.
  • Maximum Overdrive: covers the overclocking of processors. It started out just as a way of pushing a CPU and a computer faster than the manufactuers wanted so that the edge could be gotten in the first-person shooters such as Doom and Duke Nukem. It's evolved into refined sport where the latest king of the hill can claim fame at such sites as HardOCP.com and Futuremark.com.
  • ... or Die Trying: Ken Warby's holds the world's water speed record at 317.6mph, set in 1978. Everyone who's tried to break it have either failed and/or died in the attempt. Warby now thinks he can break his own record, and he's got competition from two other teams, all are readying for runs within the next year.
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2003

    Illustrator - Vector Logo Tutorial Here ... I think this is what you were trying to do with your scanned photo.
    Design Resources You should always refer back to my site on a regular basis when looking for these tutorial/help sites. Here's a site I found that collects design resources (Quark, PhotoShop, Illustrator, etc.). Some of the links at this site I've already captured on my site. What's neat about this site is that they also have links to forums to discuss specific applications. You might want to browse the forums when you have nothing better to do, as it's a good way of finding tips & tricks, as well as little web gems that may be useful in the future. Remember to use the search function on my site when you're looking for old stuff that may have been removed from my main page. (I think the search still works.)
    QuarkXPress 5.0 Training Directly from Quark themselves. UserID and password, ask me for it. Still want more? Here:
  • Graphics, Drawing & Photo Tutorials
  • QuarkXPress 4.1
  • Quark Tips (see also the menu on the left for tips on using other graphics apps)
  • QuarkXPress Technical Manual Project - learn how to actually make a technical manual using the software. Step-by-step tutorial.
  • Basics of QuarkXPress v4
  • Another site with basic Quark training
  • as an aside, here's a whole lot more other training that you might find of interest.
  • Adobe Illustrator 10
  • Adobe InDesign 1.0
  • CorelDRAW 10
  • Adobe Pagemaker 6.5
  • Adobe Photoshop 5.5
  • Corn That Clones Itself From MIT's Technology Review: CIMMYT (International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat), located just outside of Mexico, produced the wheat varieties like Sonora, Yaqui, Kauz, Sujata, Sonalika, and more about 40 years ago. Those varieties have surplanted the native varieties in countries such as China and India and have allowed them to feed themselves. Corn is the next biggest crop worldwide, and CIMMYT is looking to do for corn what it did for wheat - but this time, they're looking at producing corn that can clone itself instead of reproducing. The idea isn't far fetched or scary as it may appear. Many plants already reproduce in a cloning fashion called apomixis. There are numerous benefits of reproducing this way. Read the article to learn more.

    Monday, February 24, 2003

    Military Mixes "Smart" Coatings Here's an article from MIT's Technology Review about the US Army's hunt for a self-healing, corrosion resistant polymer to camouflage their tanks. Researchers are thinking that nanotubes may be the solution. Interesting application.

    Sunday, February 23, 2003

    Propaganda From Inbound Logistics Magazine, comes the Logistics Planner. This is a great tool when you're looking for information on Supply Chain tools, services and knowledge. There are about 150 companies profiled. The site also centralizes and makes it easy for you to request more information from the profiled companies. Cool!

    Wednesday, February 19, 2003

    Propaganda
  • Best of the Web - The Top 50 Retailing Sites: from InternetRetailer magazine's Dec. 2002 issue, here's the top 50 list of American eRetailers. It's amazing how the brick'n'mortar companies have outnumbered the pure e-companies. Interesting for someone who's in the IT business is a link way at the bottom of this article: the guide to vendors of the top 50 retail web sites. How many do you know?
  • Monday, February 17, 2003

    Terry Pratchett's Night Watch I finished the latest Terry Pratchett novel a few days ago. I purchased it for my wife for Christmas, so she had first dibs on it. The novel was typical Terry Pratchett - great! Check the link above to read an excerpt. This novel chronicles the creation of the City Watch as we've come to know them. Commander Vimes is transported through time to when he first join the Watch. It's a funny, touching, and serious read. Pratchett as usual, keeps you glued to the page. Enjoy!
    National Geographic - Jan. 2003 I've only recently started to pick up the National Geographic magazine. It's a whole lot of what I remembered it to be, and a whole lot more - maybe that was always there, and I just don't remember. What I find different now in the magazine is additional science articles - not just a focus on exploration. National Geographic doesn't reprint their magazine articles on the web. What they do however is have complimentary information posted on their site. Lots of related links, etc., for deeper exploration. Here are the notable articles from the Jan. 2003 issue:
  • Chasing the Great Wall: a very well written article on today's China, the people and the great Wall. It makes for a very interesting and real, read.
  • Dreamweavers: an article about the textiles of tomorrow. They're still on the drawing board, but tomorrow textiles could take humans to outer space, make soldiers invisible, keep you in touch with friends and, cool rivaling invisibility - move buildings!
  • Japan's Winter WIldlife: the reason to get the National Geographic has always been the pictures, and this article on the winter wildlife in Japan is chock full of pretty pictures. Check out the swans, cranes, and my favourite, the snow monkeys.
  • Propaganda
  • eBay launches business marketplace: an article from eWeek Magazine. eBay launches it's B2B Site, collecting its B2B offerings under one banner. Other marketplaces out there should start worrying.
  • Propaganda
  • Web-based transportation logistics: - from Internet Retailer's Feb. 2003 issue. Learn how Family Dollar is using web-based transportation/logistics tools to drive costs down for the consumers.
  • Sunday, February 16, 2003

    Propaganda
  • Technology Focus - WMS: an article from the Canadian Transportation & Logistics magazine, Jan. 2003 issue. It covers what vendors will be adding in terms of functionality to their WMS offerings in order to get sales in 2003.
  • Supply Siders: from InformationWeek magazine, Jan. 13, 2003 issue. An article about global supply management technologies.
  • Gillette Razors Get New Edge: RFID Tags: from InformationWeek magazine, Jan. 13, 2003 issue. An article about the trial run that Gillette and Wal-Mart going to give RFID tags.
  • Retailers Look For Clear Returns: another from InormationWeek magazine, Jan. 13, 2003 issue. The article is about what retailers are look in their IT investment dollars.
  • Look Within: the cover story for InformationWeek's Jan. 13, 2003 issue. The article covers the latest offerings from Business-Intelligence software providers.
  • eBay Redraws Retailing's Map: an article from the Jan. 2003 issue of Internet Retailer. The article chronicles the eBay surprise - how it has slowly become a powerhouse in retailing.
  • Thursday, February 13, 2003

    New drawings posted I scanned a few more pieces of art, and they've now been uploaded to my webshots account. This is still art from last year. Enjoy!
  • 2002 Sketchbook Vol. 4
  • 2002 Sketchbook Vol. 5
  • Advertising? Modeling? Here are some images of women being used in advertising. Some have really cool concepts. Check out the spider web. Neat!

    Wednesday, February 12, 2003

    Domestic Security and Enhancement Act (Patriot II) The Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, public service journalism (non-profit) organization has published a leaked version of the Patriot II Act. You may recall after 9/11, the US enacted the Patriot Act, which allowed law enforcement organizations broader powers of surveillance and detention. Patriot II, as the new bill is dubbed, loosens the restrictions in place on law enforcement organizations even further. The act would allow the government to conduct domestic wiretapping without a court order; secretly detain citizens; detain any alien convicted of drug possession or an aggravated felony; access a citizen's credit history without a court order; ease restrictions on the use of secret evidence; and extend authorization for secret wiretaps and internet surveillance. Feels like they're moving back to the 1950s down there.
    Rocket Plane Here's a great article from MIT's Technology Review on the new interest in rocket propelled planes - vehicles that can start, take off, turn off their engines, restart their engines to continue moving. These vehicles would be rocket powered, as they would need the power and velocity to break from Earth's gravity. There are currently a number of small companies constructing prototypes to prove that such vehicles are possible and viable. In the wake of the Columbia accident, maybe there will be interest and focus on finding replacements for the shuttles again. I recall that last year, due to budget cuts, the search for a shuttle replacement was either shelved or cut back significantly.

    Tuesday, February 11, 2003

    Advertising Stuff Here's what I found.
  • From AdAge.com: the top 100 Campaigns from their "advertising century" section.
  • The Ad*Access Project: containing images and database information for over 7,000 ads printer in the US and Canada between 1911-1955.
  • The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 - EAA presents over 9,000 images and database entries.
  • Harper's Weekly 19th Century Advertising: a showcase of about 40,000 ads that have appeared in Harper's Weekly Magazine between 1857 and 1871.
  • KnowThis?.com: Marketing Virtual Library with tonnes (note we are metric) of links! I'm lazy, or I would actually go and filter all of these for you.
  • D'Arcy Collection: from the University of Illinois, here is a collection of over 2 million original ads published between 1890 and 1970! Watch out Dorethy, you ain't in Kansas anymore!
  • The History of Advertising Trust: see the pics on the left of this site? Click on the milk one to continue on what you were telling me about the 'Got Milk?' campaign. Interesting.
  • Clio Awards: awards are given out to the advertising and design industry. You can search for past winners in their archives.
  • adforum: this is a bonus site. It contains resources for the advertising industry.
  • Sunday, February 09, 2003

    Shanghai Knights - the movie My wife and I went to see this last night. We saw the first one a long time ago. Not sure if it was a rental or theatre viewing. This one we could have saved for rental. I was disappointed. First off, the movie has nothing to do with Shanghai. I don't even think the Forbidden City is in or near Shanghai. The movie is set in England. The villan is British. It's the whole colonial thing. Whatever. I went to be entertained. The fights were typical of Jackie Chan's films. They were fun. But they got lame after a while. I think mostly because of the comedy. It was the same comedy as the first movie. The whole experience was such a disappointment, that I didn't even care for the outtakes - which is usually a bonus for fans. Don't see this movie.
    Why does Bush hate the Kyoto Accord? OK, Bush is an idiot. He's in the pocket of businesses concerned more with the short term bottom line than with the long term viability of their companies and the planet they make their living out of. The gyst of it is Bush feels the Kyoto Accord is a waste of time and effort, and would rather have businesses voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hello? Does this man even pretend to live in the real world? Yes he does actually. But he really does believe that the Kyoto Accord is bad. He really does think that the environment isn't in such bad shape. How does one combat a belief such as that? And he does think he's right, and that eventually those that are trumpeting the warning will see his light. His latest efforts, after failing to bully Canada into abandoning the agreement is to make the call to Russia. Last year Putin was actually indicating he will sign on - this is noble coming from Russia, who has so much to loose economically for signing on. But the pressure is now on for Russia to drop the accord as the US wants.

    Saturday, February 08, 2003

    Art & Design - Resources - Randy's stuff: there once was a guy named Randy ... and he posted a load of stuff on the net.
    So scanning books and magazines are driving you nuts ... Translation: how do I get rid of the patterns so I don't have nightmares of them. Try these sites for help: - From about.com: Ways to remove moiré patterns and get better looking images when scanning photos from books, magazines, newspapers, and other printed materials. - From about.com again: Everything a beginner needs to get started scanning plus advanced tips and tricks for black and white and color scanning and special effects. - Scanning Basics 101: 'nuff said. - Scanning Magazines and Books: from ephotozine.

    Friday, February 07, 2003

    Online Training - Multimedia Software - FastCBT Interactive Training: click on the tutorial button to see training materials for Adobe and Macromedia products. - Mastering Adobe Illustrator: a 12-week course online, that teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about Illustrator 7. Everything you learn will be applicable to the later versions of Illustrator. - Mastering Adobe Photoshop: this is for Photoshop 4, but the basics are there for the later versions as well. - Master CorelDraw: more training for older programs. This is for CorelDraw 8, but it's still useful. - Training Tools: learn Photoshop, Flash, Fireworks, as well as other applications.

    Thursday, February 06, 2003

    Korean Language This might be useful V. - Declan's Korean Language Page: containing a bit of history and some useful links. - The History and Development of Korean Buddhism: A Brief Overview - this is context for the development of the written language, which is really Chinese. - The Style and Development of Hangul Calligraphy - this is a PDF to be downloaded, and is 80+ pages long. You will be prompted to install the Korean font when you open this, just click OK and continue. BTW ... download the PDF first to your computer, then open it. (ie. right-click on this link and select save as) - The Korean Language Study Program of KOSNET - learn Korean online. - Hangul - learn a little history, the characters pronunciation and appearance.

    Wednesday, February 05, 2003

    MIT's Technology Review Here's a great site that reports on the latest technology and science trends and their impact on society. It's kind of like Wired, but bears the MIT monkier.

    Sunday, February 02, 2003

    Writers Digest If you're a wannabe writer (ie. you haven't been published yet), then this is a site chock full of little gems for you. Loads of tips, suggestions, etc. - everything from the traditional paper publishing route to e-publishing. Check it out. And if you just have trouble getting motivated to write, check out the daily writing prompts - quick and easy ideas to get you to start producing some work. Excellent idea!
    Columbia's End
    Rick D. HusbandWilliam C. McCool Ilan RamonDavid M. Brown Kalpana ChawlaMichael P. AndersonLaurel Blair Salton Clark
    On Feb. 1st, the shuttle Columbia was lost during its re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. All crew members died. If you've been out of touch for a while, this is news to you. But it shouldn't be by now. Check out the above site to get the latest on what's happening with the investigation. If you're in the area where debris from Columbia landed, and have photos, etc. to share with NASA, you can upload it to them. Anything at this point will be able to help the investigation into what happened. This is sad ... astronauts are a brave lot; they're smart, gifted people - people out to make a difference. Up there, there are no borders, no race, no war - just humanity. I do hope NASA honours their memory by continuing the push into space.
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