Archive for March, 2011

But is it art?

Posted on Monday, March 28th, 2011 at 8:26 am

No, it isn’t. At least if that question is asked. But art is subjective, at least by my definition. So if a person questions the artistic value of a work, then it is not art, at least to the person doing the questioning.
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Here’s a couple of definitions that has made delving in the world of digital graphics a lot easier for me.
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Art: n A state of fascination applied to a sensory medium that results in a state of fascination.
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Artistic creativity: n The ability to exhibit a synthesis of imagination and intellect.

Penny Auctions

Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2011 at 10:54 am

Still feverish after more than three weeks. Grumpy moods are hard to shake after all this garbage that my body is trying to fight off. Grrrr.
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This morning, I got my first real look at penny auctions. Wow, what a money making machine! They have an iPad 2 going into final minutes at SaveBig, and they have already made over $10K profit on it.
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Here’s how it works. A user registers, buys bids for $0.60 each (current price). 100 bids is $60. The user goes online, logs in, and starts hitting bid buttons that increment the price by $0.01. It’s easy enough to see how many bids have been made by counting the number of pennies on the bid. The real trick is that the last bid at closing time adds 20 seconds to the clock to allow for other bids. That extra time can extend into hours in a hot bid. That is the real money maker, because that is where 98% of the bids are made.
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Example: I’ll use the current bid on the expiring iPad 2 Wifi 16GB Black, which retails at Amazon for about $600 (lowest price). The current bid is $186.30. That is 18,630 bids, at $0.60 each. That is a total of $11,178.00 in bids. Subtract the $600, and that shows a profit of $10,578.00. Figure that the bandwidth/hosting cost is somewhere around $30 for all the bids, $25 for shipping, and throw in another $20 for overhead. Profit thus far is $10,500.
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What a scam!
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Oh, and the one that tickles me the most is the auctions on the bid cards. They currently have a 150 bid card ($90) that is going for $6.90. A good deal? They have already gleaned 690 bids on it, $414 thus far, on something that costs them nothing up front! That’s equivalent to printing money.
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Don’t get sucked up into this scam. The odds of breaking even on purchases, when calculating the bids into the final price, are dismal.
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All the way to the bank……

Daiichi #2

Posted on Monday, March 14th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Watching the news and reading online about the Japanese nuclear problem, cranking up all my old physics skills. The #3 unit has gone to worst case, spilling out uranium 235 and weapon grade plutonium 239, known as MOX, along with a lot of other very hot fission isotope byproducts (cesium, strontium, iodine, et al). Most of these are in oxide form.
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After the Monday explosion, seawater was introduced to unit #2. The reactor water level did not rise. The reactor temperature did not drop. The reactor pressure did not increase. The radiation count outside containment rose sharply to very dangerous levels. The workers were quickly evacuated from around unit #2, and then from the site.
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The units #1 and #2 use LEU, which is standard uranium 235. This is pretty nasty stuff, but it is shadowed severely by plutonium 239 when it comes to damage to the human body. Plutonium 239 is the most toxic naturally occurring isotope on the chart. It is the nightmare of dirty bombs. In fact, MOX was invented to dispose of Russia weapon grade plutonium in a safe manner. (Selling it to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. was probably as bad a move as would have been simply giving it away to the terrorists. It will certainly do more damage this way.)
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This is not to say that there will be a mushroom cloud over the site. It will just be one of the most poisonous places on Earth, perhaps even equalling or surpassing Chernobyl, which was not at sea level or anywhere close to the ocean. Japan will not be able to trust its saltwater fish supply, for one thing.
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One thing that has bothered me so much is the arrogance online of those who kept insisting that nothing bad could happen. I have a strong rational background in physics and know quantum mechanics and nuclear physics rather well. Yet I must admit that I view nuclear electrical generation as a waste of resources, a financially inviable option (considering the cost of safe shutdown of a site), and simply a matter of overkill with very high risks. There are so many better uses for nuclear power than generating electricity. But many of the self-appointed expert supporters of nuclear electric power will be eating crow, a lot of crow.
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Japan is rich in geothermal resources (remember all those volcanos?) The earth produces far more heat than nuclear fission, is much safer, and far more cost effective. The only drawback is that no one can sell fuel to the generating plants, so there is not nearly the profit margin in it.
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All I can feel about this is very sad that so many put their trust in the Tokyo Electric Power Co, on top of sadness for all those who lost family, friends, loved ones, home, everything.

Groboto 3.0

Posted on Saturday, March 12th, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Giving the new version of Groboto (3.0) a 30 day trial. Here’s a quick set of tentacles, exported to OBJ and opened, shaded, and rendered in modo. Yes, it needs a spooky head, but I’ll get to that later.
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Not exactly back to health yet, but I have turned the corner and felt up to doing this. Maybe I’ll feel more exploratory in a few days. I expect to find a lot of new features in this version, so I am interested.
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3D Mantras

Posted on Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Having re-released my freebies recently, I’ve been looking at site logs, visiting old sites, etc, seeing how the response is going. There was a spike of bandwidth at the first of the month, but it’s tapering off.
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One side effect is that I’ve been looking at the Daz forums again. I see they’re still arguing and complaining about too much emphasis on overly revealing female garments in the store.
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This is not new, in fact, it’s a decade plus old, older than Daz. Back in the 90’s, the motto was, “If you can’t get a real woman to do it, there is always Poser.” Well, add Daz Studio to the mix, same argument.
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Some are offended by the terms “slutwear” and “skankwear”, and the latest thread has the moderator changing the title to “skimpywear”. Now having lived down on the Gulf Coast my whole life, I can instantly spot skimpy clothing from slutty clothing. Seems others who haven’t experienced southern Texas summers don’t understand the difference. Shedding clothing to a minimum is simple survival here, and seeing a lot of flesh is no big deal. Heck, skinny dipping is accepted in many places down here. I’m no prude when it comes to the acreage of dress codes. It’s just daily living, no big deal.
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Skankwear is about visual focus, drawing the eye to certain parts of the body, adding a desire to explore further. It’s not how much is covered, it’s about how it’s covered.
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If you can’t get a real woman to do it……
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Now, I will say that skimp stuff is easier to make and takes far less time to assemble a package. It has fewer morphs, fewer bones, few if any JCMs, yadda yadda yadda…. Making a conforming gown takes about four times as long to make properly than a sleeveless/upper thigh skirt. Four items can be offered for market in the same time as the alternative, creating more income, even if they don’t individually sell as well as a gown would.
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Yet, because of this, so many conforming clothing makers have fallen into this “slut rut”. Hence the market, supported by a good-old-boy run store who loves seeing the provocative in their store, is rife with enticing clothing that shows off the flesh in a prurient manner. I see its popularity often as a crutch to getting artwork noticed, similar to riding coattails by portraying popular movie characters or objects. It’s popular with beginners who don’t feel the confidence of someone more experienced who wants their work to stand entirely on its own merit, and it makes the response to their displayed work more numerous.
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It’s pretty logical, yet the feud continues as it did over a decade ago. The Poser community is still very sexist and treats people images like objects. Well, they are objects (mathematical, at least), but the imagery does strive to carry a suspension of disbelief in order to be successful. So the vision of sexuality of the object becomes objectifying to women.
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I’m surprised that those who take offense at the term “slut” and “skank” are not also just as offended by the virtual clothing that does the same thing as the verbage, but with an even stronger psychological effect. Besides, I hear those two terms used considerably more by women than men, and generally used with more venom than men use.
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I can remember being complemented for never showing cleavage in my freebie promos. Not once…. I guess I just don’t like to go with the flow. Maybe that’s why I left, I rubbed too many people the wrong way.
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Oh well, everyone join hands, put our differences behind us, and cite the Daz manta…..
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Cleavage, navel, inner thighs…
Cleavage, navel, inner thighs…
Cleavage, navel, inner thighs…
Cleavage, navel, inner thighs…
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You, in the back, keep your head down. Stop looking at her eyes!
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Cleavage, navel, inner thighs…
Cleavage, navel, inner thighs……………

Hack hack…..

Posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Down with a mildly feverish respiratory bug, bacterial by nature, if my taste buds is anything of a symptom guide. Not severe, but nonetheless sufficiently rear kicking. Not getting a whole lot done. I’m not alone, as I’m rather a late-comer to the bug, it having gone around one of my social circles pretty aggressively.
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The sun is shining, it’s a luxurious 81°F outside, and I’d love to be out working in it. However, sitting and basking in it as heat therapy is about as close as I get.
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Needless to say, things are starting to get into full swing as far and popping up above ground. The orchard is blooming: apples, pears, plums, apricots, peaches, almonds, apriums, plumcots, etc. Very nice.
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It also means that the weeds are starting to pop up as well. Bur clover, dandelions, henbit ((Veronica hederifolia), etc. Hard to get aggressive with weeds when running a fever. The spreader for the weed and feed blew a chain, and I’m not up to even driving into town to get new bicycle chain as a replacement.
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From reference, I’m at day five of a ten day stretch (seems to be the norm for the cycle). Over the hump…..

King Totoro

Posted on Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Got a hold of the original movie for a reference, and I made a few modifications. I think this is truer than any I’ve seen, though there are still changes I’d like to do. But for now, it works for me. But I’d like to see a leaf between his ears.
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Download resumption

Posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I’ve restored download links to the 2D and 3D of the CGI section. I had suspended the links in the section en masse (changed the folder name) because of hot linking. The hot link referrals have finally quit showing up in the error log, so the downloads have been restored.
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It came at the time when I was departing the forums and other Poser haunts, so it may have appeared to be taking my toys home with me. It wasn’t that. It was the hot linkers who added cause to my departure.
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They’ll be online until they start getting hot links again. Now that referral blocking is in effect, it probably won’t be any time soon.