Sunday, April 16, 2017

Factory Girl (movie review)

Andy Warhol fans and detractors already know this story. I was only glancingly familiar with most of his work until recently, when Portland Art Museum unveiled a major retrospective.  That helped me tune in more of his scene, though I didn't catch the name Edie Sedgwick until last night, when I finally saw the dramatization.

My thoughts flashed to Patty Hearst a few times, and her relationship with her own family. I'm not a know-it-all on these families, just we have a lot of windows and telling remarks in the public record, which facilitates discussion of celebrities.  Orson Welles comes to mind.

Edie was an heiress from a Santa Barbara ranch family, transplants from Boston, East Coasters on the Pacific. Hearst Castle is on the same coast.  When I think of Hearst, I often flash on Homer Davenport, his lead political cartoonist in some chapters, and native of Silverton, Oregon.  I have quite a bit about Homer in my blogs owing to my friendship with Gus Frederick, an expert on Homer's life and to some extent times.

Edie big dream was to find herself in New York and to pioneer a freer way of being alive in a city big enough hearted to support such experiments.  She was by all accounts bold, but in falling victim to drug abuse, got derailed.  This was the story of a generation and has not ceased being the core plot of many scenarios.

Folks in my cohort have their own generational window in that I was old enough to have Warhol on my radar, but not adult enough to track the soap operas.  I uncover the history of my own time in my later years, having lived through it in my own day dreamy way, as some kid in Italy or whatever.

A lot of work went into making this a real telling. The filmmakers undertake their task seriously. I'm reminded of Mishima.  In being a dramatization, the script takes many liberties with the facts, many of which remain unknown. This movie is but one possible assembly of an intricate jigsaw puzzle.

Friday, April 14, 2017


:: screencast & guitar by Curtis Palmer ::

Monday, February 20, 2017

At the Bird Feeder

Math Teacher Training

Here I am, an Oregon-based math teacher, flapping around the bird feeder looking for cyber-currency to keep my Internet channels alive.

That I had to replace the Android and lost my mycelium wallet bitcoin app is no help, and now I've lost the bitcoin public key. I just need to start over.

Not that I expect anyone has slipped coinage into that particular begging cup, deeply buried and now lost.

OCN (Oregon Curriculum Network) has gotten as far as it has with mainly me as its principal sponsor, though I acknowledge the booster rockets have helped.

These days I'm with Coding with Kids and helping middle-schoolers acclimate to eye-balling source code.

Having the topic be akin to what they're covering in class anyway, helps reinforce both the relevance and potential familiarity of the "learning to code" branch.

Last week was Prime Numbers.  This week is Triangles.


I also teach older adults at night, so sometimes bill myself as "pedagogue by day, andragogue by night".

The more "adult version" of the Triangle class both includes more concepts about triangles, and uses more of the Python language.  I've got that at Github.

Codesters is not a full implementation of core Python, plus includes many __builtins__ that core Python does not have.  Sprites for example. And a stage.

You'd think as CMO of the CSN, I'd be doing that full time, but lets remember this was 2017 and most adults were not informed about American Transcendentalism.  We were still bootstrapping back then.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Paid to Play

Paying students and teachers alike, not necessarily at the same rate given different responsibilities, does not assure that any given school will stay afloat. The true cost that never goes away is "opportunity cost": what you're doing right now is at the cost of everything else you're not doing.

Even if my code school pays a stipend of N ETH per completed task K, who says task K is relevant to one's long term plans? You could have gotten N-2 ETH for completing task T at another school, but guess what, the relevance of T is so much greater, that the -2 delta is more than made up for. You've factored in opportunity cost.  Good for you, that's smart.

The model LMS that meters out credits in the form of some non-cash currency, not legal for all debts, but good towards many things anyway, is premised on the wish to reward and support those doing what we regard as real homework, developing in ways a program promises its enrollees will.  Whether we need a blockchain technology to make it work will depend on many factors.

Those with a GST background will have more responsibilities helping government services figure it out, in collaboration with participating universities.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

4D on Facebook

4D vs 4D vs 4D

Related reading @
USA OS (from the 1990s)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Self Contained LCDs

Looking for Memes

The idea of a self-contained LCD stems from having display system and programs in a single unit.

Perhaps a Raspberry Pi or similar GPU-endowed motherboard is tucked away internally within some cabinet, along with the display screen it feeds.

Mount the assembly and plug it in, and it boots into a set repertoire of animations, perhaps with sounds.

Yes, our sign could be little more than a billboard with rotating advertising.  As such, this technology is already out there, next to freeways, at Times Square.

In the CSN context, we use our screens to share reveries, perhaps hypertoons, continuous transformations scanned from a network of scenarios (edges) interconnecting the key frames (nodes).

One such hypertoon might feature the assembly and disassembly of well- and lesser-known polyhedrons from phi-scalable tetrahedrons.  The topic is purely abstract, yet precise.

The rhombic triacontahedron (RT) dissects into 120 such modules, left and right handed.

Meanwhile, the regular tetrahedron may be sliced into four quadrants, each of which further subdivides into three pairs of left and right handed versions of the same shape, for a total of 24 modules, differently shaped from the ones above.

Those of us schooled in American transcendentalism have our own vocabulary for these geometric concepts, making it easier for our engineers to communicate with one another.  The RT dissects into E-modules, the regular tetrahedron into A-modules.

The E-shape resized to match the A-shape in volume is the T-module.  You will find all the plane-nets in transcendentalist works but don't expect too much from your literature profs.  Readers in the humanities tend to eschew what appears to be purely technical, even if it's also architectural.  We don't get many polymaths like Hugh Kenner.

Said rhombic triacontahedron, in which two Platonics are inscribed, relates to the rest of the Platonic Five though the Jitterbug Transformation.  The icosahedron and cuboctahedron connect in this way, bridging the two symmetry families (five-fold with four).

When David Koski was through Portland lately, we had a CSN meeting at #CodeCastle, the Sunnyside Methodist Church turned community center.  Some of us had visited PDX Code Guild the night before.

Thanks to our already sharing a lot of the same memes, as a subculture, CSN is well-positioned to move the "coffee shop LCD" to a next level, as an art form.  We've been touring many East-meets-West retail outlets for inspiration.

Will we have some CSN LCDs in Havana, Cuba, in time for SciPy next year?  All the hypertoons I've prototyped in actual computer code have used Python.

Cubo Cuba... Cubs!