Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

would you sell vital parts of your body for a toy?

Friday, April 6th, 2012

unless it gives back rubs and the power of flight, I’m not interested.

Oh how I wish this story were false.

This could easily set off my rant on how ridiculous priorities are in this world, blah blah blah …but you get it …unless you’re reading this on your iPad, in which case, go away.

DIY Chanel laptop sleeve

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Truly a personalized laptop case

When I got the pretty new Macbook Pro, the first thing I wanted to do was find something to protect it.  Turns out all the cute ones (because it has to be cute) are really expensive!  Go figure.  So I took things into my own hands.  Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel/Fendi bigwig to those who aren’t into that sort of thing) designed a print that went something like this:

I’ve always liked it and thought about making my own t-shirt.  The laptop dilemma seemed like the right opportunity to use the idea.  I went on Amazon and looked up the cheapest sleeves with the best rating.  I came across a cool one that was black faux leather (not fancy, but I prefer to refer to it as “cruelty free”) and it’s made to look like a document folder (complete with red cable tie for a little bit of “pop” but has a Velcro closure if you are too lazy to use the cord).  It had a 4.5 rating and was $9.99.  Sold!  It has turned out to be perfect.  It’s sturdy, fits just right and has a felt interior to snuggle my computer as it deserves.  BUT, the sleeve is kinda boring if left as is.

I spent some time figuring out what would adhere to pleather (it hurts me to say the word) …turns out nothing really does, not completely.  It was better than my other option though.  See, most laptop sleeves are made of real leather (which I wouldn’t want to risk fucking up this early in my design endeavors) or most commonly: Neoprene.  Think wetsuit material.  It’s so porous, it doesn’t respond to anything!  So I went with the fake leather and got myself a large, white, OIL BASED paint Sharpie (you can grab one of those for under five bucks).  The fact that I didn’t know how the sleeve material would respond is why I decided this was the perfect project to use this design for.  It only requires one paint pen, nothing complex, and if it does get a bit messed up …it makes sense with the “punk” style of it.  Also, if it got too “punk” it seemed the easiest to touch up.

The final result is at top.  Not too bad if I do say so myself.  The bonus for me is how much ol’ Uncle Karl would crap his pants in a rage over how someone dared to copy the all-mighty Chanel.  Needless to say he’s very protective of the “brand” …even if his design is meant to be tongue and cheek grunge.  Heh!  Mine is REAL grunge.  I win!  How has it been holding up?  Pleasingly well.  The texture of the sleeve is coming through a lot (you need to go over the lettering at least twice …don’t forget to let the coats dry) and there is some cracking.  But like I said, it works with the design.  I’m glad I went with this and didn’t actually draw something.  It would not have held up.  My other advice would be to not try to replicate the original font exactly.  You’ll spend too much time worrying about being exact and it will turn out badly and rehearsed looking.  That defeats the purpose.  I know this from trying some test runs in my sketch book.  As you can see, an approximation is just fine.

As someone who changes up the bag I carry, sometimes I don’t carry one large enough to put the sleeve in.  Not that I take the beast out much, I couldn’t deal with it being stolen and I don’t feel the need to look oh-so important at a coffee shop (my home has great coffee …and it’s just better).  But for school purposes and having a place to keep the charger, etc. having a laptop bag is necessary.  That part was simply left to Betsey Johnson.  It’s interesting to look at and gets the job done (and, of course, it’s made out of Neoprene …so it should be safe if someone started a water balloon fight …because it happens, all the time).  Another tip? (since I’m at it) …always check Ross before anywhere else (even eBay …that’s just people who went to Ross and are now making a huge profit off the people who are too cool or dumb to go there themselves).  Mine? $19.99.  Most other places? $30-80. Yeeeeah. It’s not that great.

My MacBook is the safest MacBook there ever was …and the most snappily dressed.

garden in a vending machine

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

If you’ve ever wished that you could get a head of lettuce out of the vending machine instead of a Snickers (as if anybody goes to a vending machine for veggies), you may be in luck.  Garden vending machines called “The Chef’s Farm” are becoming popular in Japan.  Oh those tech-savy Japanese folks!

The machines are designed to grow plants without the use of sunlight, and are perfect for urban environments.  They will be marketed towards restaurants who are looking for fresher produce and also want to save money (the machine will pay itself off within five years).

This is actually a great idea, especially for big city areas that don’t have room for gardens.

‘eternal sunshine’ memory erasing technology is being developed!

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Researchers at John Hopkins University have discovered a procedure that could potentially help produce a drug to erase memories that trigger post-traumatic stress disorder!  In an even more bizarre turn, the technique is similar to the one used in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of my all-time very favorite “relationship” films …but no, I don’t think such technology should be used for things like that).  According to researchers, they were able to remove a protein for the region of the brain in mice that was responsible for recalling the fear they felt upon hearing a loud sound.

Lead researcher Dr. Richard L. Huganir explains:

‘When a traumatic event occurs, it creates a fearful memory that can last a lifetime and have a debilitating effect on a person’s life. Our finding describing these molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in that process raises the possibility of manipulating those mechanisms with drugs to enhance behavioral therapy for such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder. The idea was to remove these proteins and weaken the connections in the brain created by the trauma, thereby erasing the memory itself. This may sound like science fiction, the ability to selectively erase memories. But this may one day be applicable for the treatment of debilitating fearful memories in people, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome associated with war, rape or other traumatic events.’

Unbelievable!  This is absolutely fascinating!  This research, however, leads to a LOT of questions about whether or not this kind of treatment should be used.  I don’t like the idea that there could be a drug that could make people forget, even if it would be solely used for post-traumatic stress …it just doesn’t seem like something that should be messed with.  But I understand there are very specific circumstances where any quality of life is ruined.  It would have to be a pretty extreme case to warrant its use …what scares me if it were out there and available it would inevitably end up being misused by some irresponsible doctor.

Technology …interesting stuff.  Friend or foe?

facebook predicts when your relationship will end

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

According to some disheartening data collected from Facebook status updates, patterns have surfaced related to break-ups.  I must admit, while it’s creepy when they abuse personal information …it’s useful and interesting to see results as a mass-data collection.  They do happen to have access to almost everyone’s personal life from all over the place and they can spot trends in the large numbers better than some skimpy survey on the subject.  And yet …I’m still not terribly interested in re-joining the Facebook universe myself.  Hmm.

It seems that relationships tend to end on Mondays, right before Spring Break, two weeks before Christmas, and before the summer holidays.  Basically any time someone isn’t happy in their relationship and is not looking to be tied down during fun-times (weekends and vacation heavy times) or major present giving time is when.

Ugh. You’ve been warned.