Guitar Pick Art

Rolling Stones -

File this under the “you wish you’d thought of that” category. San Diego-based artist and plectrum-lover Robyn makes crazy-cool mosaic art pieces of famous musicians and music icons using nothing but guitar picks. There are no power chords to encapsulate the awesomeness of these guitar pick art pieces. Maybe a G5, but not quite…

Said Robyn: “I enjoy exploring the creative possibilities that guitar pick art presents. I enjoy finding new uses for this tool. I enjoy paying tribute to the music that I love.”

You can find more of Robyn’s guitar pick art and purchase originals of her work through an Etsy shop over at She’s also on Twitter (@GuitarPickArt) and frequently tweet pics of her picks-in-progress. BTW I have dibs on her new Jack White + Meg White mosaic, so back off!

Check out more of her art work after the bump…

[Email] on [Internet]

Many years ago, a friend showed me a clever way to reduce your spam, which has now become commonplace.

When posting an email address online, instead of using a hyperlinked email address, spell out the address as though someone were reading it. So instead of use Derek at NeoSprockets dot com.

The justification for the strategy was that Internet evil-doers scour the web looking for the [name]@[site] pattern and build large email mailing lists. Spelling out the address supposedly impedes spambots from processing your email from the Internet. Clever, I thought. I unconditionally accepted this explanation, and followed the advice to this day.

I realize now that this strategy is the Internet equivalent of holding your breath when driving past a graveyard.

Googling the following if you don’t believe me.

email * "at" * dot com||net||org||edu||gov

Tagged as: ,

Classic Email Forwards: Killer Kangaroos

Rocko Socko Robots

Rocko Socko Robots

One of my favorite modeling and simulation stories from way back: [ verified]

The reuse of some object-oriented code has caused tactical headaches for Australia’s armed forces. As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat training , programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism of the their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and — in the case of the Northern Territory’s Operation Phoenix — herds of kangaroos (since groups of disturbed animals might well give away a helicopters position).

The head of the Defense Science and Technology Organization’s Land Operations/Simulations division reportedly instructed developers to model the local marsupials’ movements and reaction to helicopters.

Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code originally used to model infantry detachments reactions under the same stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and increased the figures’ speed of movement.

Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American pilots, the hotshot Aussies “buzzed” the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation. The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, and the Americans nodded appreciatively . . . and then did a double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a hill and launched a barrage of stinger missiles at the hapless helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten the remove “that” part of the infantry coding).

The lesson? Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new object defined in terms of the old one inherits all the attributes. The embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing object-oriented code, and the Yanks left with the utmost respect for the Australian wildlife.

Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onwards have strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.

Filed under: Simulation

Guess God’s Weight, Win an iPod

iGod Touch

iGod Touch

It’s a very polarizing concept – religion and science. You can twist and warp facts as much as you want to try and find a middle ground (see: Intelligent Design), but at the end of the day, when you are alone with your thoughts and no is around to cite white papers or Biblical passages, you probably have a preferred camp.

Every now and then, someone will ask me what I believe. I never know what to say. I like my world measurable, so I guess that puts me somewhere between “rationalist”, “realist”, and “logicist”. Naturally, science seems to offer me the best explanation of things and gives me the greater peace of mind.

Plus we get to have spaceships and iPhones. — Unsuck Your Band Name -- Cutting Edge Band Name Generation -- Cutting Edge Band Name Generation

Here’s another shameless plug for a kick-ass side-project of mine.

The site uses a barrage of words and a plethora of juicy JavaScript to generate a brand that will elevate your band to a level of stardom so great, you’ll land a label contract before you can say “sell out”.

I go a step further and even use the ever-wonderful API to check if your new band name has an available domain to purchase.

For the control-freak Billy Corgans out there, you may also click individual words to generate a similar one, allowing you to fine-tune your band name to your particular taste. Make sure to flag any awesome band names you create!