Perth, Melbourne, Thailand, Singapore

Driving to Perth then flying to Melbourne for a week. Then onto Thailand for my brother’s wedding (I hope the protests don’t escalate). Holidaying in Singapore after that. Finally, back to Albany via Perth.

It’s going to be a busy month.

Possibly all soon followed by a trip back to Perth (for a Let’s Make Games event and hanging with Simon before he heads to the US) and a trip to China. Yay travel… although I dislike flying.

I should get packing… and cleaning (for our house sitter).

Plodding Descent

So yesterday Heidi and I totally owned Bluff Knoll, the highest point in the south-west of Western Australia. True story.

When we were on our way down, I was all swift quick-stepping like a ninja. Heidi mistook that for shaky-legged tiredness (as if) and we had this witty repartee:

Heidi: Are you alright? You seem kinda jumpy.
Me: Yeah. I’m more stable like this. It’s called… dynamic balance.
Heidi: Hmmm, I’m more of a plodder.
Me: What are you plodding?
Heidi: Descent.
(Pause)
(Knuckle punch)

Here are some pics:

(Click on the images on the image pages for full-size images… image image image.)

This make sense to me

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

That quote is attributed to Siddhartha Gautama (aka. the Buddha). It’s very progressive thinking from around 1500 years ago.

I admire Buddhist philosophy for its focus on personal responsibility (for knowledge and actions). This contrasts greatly with Abrahamic religions‘ philosophies, which tend to focus on faith in external sources (eg. texts, organisations, a god).

However, (given the above quote) I find it strange that Buddhist religions tend to include supernatural aspects. Chiefly a belief in reincarnation, which I doubt would satisfy independent and objective scrutiny.

Hitler v. Apple

The Hitler-finds-out meme is getting old, but it’s still a great mechanism for humorously communicating insight into topical issues when done well.

Case in point, here’s one about Apple’s amazing assertions that it can dictate not only what people make, but how they make it:

What next? An Apple user agreement that states that you must wear designer clothes while using your iPad?

In related news, I’d recommend not buying an iPad. Aside from issues of media and software freedom, there will surely be a flood of cheap Linux, Android, Chrome, and Windows 7 alternatives coming out later in the year (like this one). Just like netbooks: Don’t buy the first lot that come out; wait until they have nice screens, stable software, good battery life and are available at Coles for $399 (review here).

(via Reddit)

Update: Wow. There a lot of link spam in that last paragraph.

Harmony

As Simon correctly noted on Facebook, the app that I used to draw this picture is called Harmony by the amazing Mr. Doob.

I’ve made a few more. I love the look Harmony’s nearest neighbour stuff gives, but I have yet to really master it (although I have just ventured into colour). Finely detailed areas (such as eyes) are particularly difficult.

As always, click on the images for full-size versions (images below are only small sections of the originals):

Black and white is nice and all, but now for some colour! (I previously made a few other colour images, but they didn’t turn out so well…):

I like the sketchiness that Harmony gives. There’s no undo, but the lines are so thin that it’s more an exercise in either: getting it right (or close enough) the first time, or slowly accentuating what you would like to present.

It kinda matches the style of pencil drawings that I have been doing recently (when I watch online videos, like this – pretty bad – interview with Paul Krassner):

I’ll keep playing around with Harmony, but I want to work in colour a little more… but with nice gradients. Maybe I’ll have a look at the source code. More likely, I’ll just export a grey-scale image and then colourise in GIMP.

Update: Adding one more. Different approach.

I found that a good way to work is to start sketching in a light grey and then sketch over areas with increasingly dark greys (until hitting black).

I will draw u 2

So I briefly went back to drawing random people on video chat. I thought that I was bored of it… but then I realised that I hadn’t made an animated .gif yet!

So here we go:

Writing “I WILL DRAW U” and then drawing over the top was probably a good idea, since the text was easier to read and people didn’t just skip by so quickly. It also adds some continuity to the animation.

I tried drawing faster than usual (10-15 seconds or so), so I didn’t use any shading or colour in these images… maybe I should have. I also caught the cursor in a lot of the screen captures. Hah!

The guy with the gun freaked me out initially. After pulling it (the gun) out for the drawing, he was all “so r u a girl?”… I guess that he’s probably just some guy portraying what he wants and looking for action online. No shortage of them.

Minh and Jim visit Albany

Minh and Jim visited us in Albany. We went all over the place, and ate heaps of food. Minh brought us some Asian food stuffs from Tran’s and took heaps of photos of the cats. It was good, good times.

Here are some photos that Jim took with his iPhone:

And here is a drawing of all the food that I ate:

If anyone else is keen to visit, June/July is the next time period in which we’ll be (relatively) free. It’s probably going to be a lot colder, but it should still be good for treks and eats. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Update: Updated the drawing to include more food that I had forgotten.