Archive for February, 2013

February 28, 2013

Paleo Diet

The paleolithic diet (also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.

In common usage, such terms as the ‘Paleolithic diet’ also refer to the actual ancestral human diet. Centered on commonly available modern foods, the ‘contemporary’ Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

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February 27, 2013

Gathering of the Juggalos

Juggalo by Carlos Patino

The Gathering of the Juggalos is an annual festival put on by Psychopathic Records, featuring performances by the entire label roster as well as numerous well-known musical groups and underground artists. It was founded by Robert Bruce, Insane Clown Posse (Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler), and their label in 2000.

Described by Joseph Bruce as a ‘Juggalo Woodstock’ (‘Juggalo’ being a nickname for fans of the Insane Clown Posse, a Detroit rap group), the Gathering of the Juggalos spans five days and includes concerts, wrestling, games, contests, autograph sessions, karaoke, and seminars with artists. Over its first eleven events, the festival has drawn an attendance of about 107,500 fans.

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February 27, 2013

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry [foh-tuh-gram-i-tree] is the practice of determining the geometric properties of objects from photographic images. Photogrammetry is as old as modern photography and can be dated to the mid-nineteenth century.

Photogrammetry is used in different fields, such as topographic mapping, architecture, engineering, manufacturing, quality control, police investigation, and geology, as well as by archaeologists to quickly produce plans of large or complex sites and by meteorologists as a way to determine the actual wind speed of a tornado where objective weather data cannot be obtained. It is also used to combine live action with computer-generated imagery in movie post-production; ‘The Matrix’ is a good example of the use of photogrammetry in film.

February 27, 2013

The Sound Princess

Many Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard by others during urination. To cover the sound of bodily functions, many women used to flush public toilets continuously while using them, wasting a large amount of water in the process.

As education campaigns did not stop this practice, a device was introduced in the 1980s that, after activation, produces the sound of flushing water without the need for actual flushing. A Toto brand name commonly found is the ‘Otohime’ (literally ‘Sound Princess‘ also homophone with a legendary goddess Otohime). This device is now routinely placed in most new public women’s rooms, and many older public women’s rooms have been upgraded.

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February 26, 2013

SixthSense

SixthSense is a wearable gestural interface device by Pranav Mistry, a PhD candidate in the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab. The SixthSense technology comprises of a pocket projector, a mirror, and a camera contained in a pendant-like, wearable device. Both the projector the camera and sensors are connected to a mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks users’ hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques.

The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at the tips of the user’s fingers. The movements and arrangements of these fiducials are interpreted into gestures that act as interaction instructions for the projected application interfaces. SixthSense supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction.

February 26, 2013

Gesture Recognition

Gesture recognition is a topic in computer science and language technology with the goal of interpreting human gestures via mathematical algorithms. Gestures can originate from any bodily motion or state but commonly originate from the face or hand. Current focuses in the field include emotion recognition from the face and hand gesture recognition. Many approaches have been made using cameras and computer vision algorithms to interpret sign language.

However, the identification and recognition of posture, gait, proxemics (culture-specific, personal boundaries), and human behaviors is also the subject of gesture recognition techniques. Gesture recognition can be seen as a way for computers to begin to understand human body language, offering richer interaction between machines and humans than that afforded by a mouse and keyboard.

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February 26, 2013

Sofrito

Sofrito [soh-free-toh] is a combination of aromatic ingredients which have been cut in very small pieces, and slowly sauteed or braised in cooking oil for 15–30 minutes. In Spanish cuisine, sofrito consists of garlic, onion, peppers, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil, and is used as the base for many dishes.

Similar preparations are used in the cuisines of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and also some Latin American countries. It is called ‘refogado’ in Portuguese-speaking nations, ‘sofregit’ in Valencian cuisine, ‘epis’ in Haitian cuisine, and ‘ginisá’ in Filipino cuisine

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February 26, 2013

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of southern Italy, Greece, and Spain. The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

Despite its name, this diet is not typical of all Mediterranean cuisine. In Northern Italy, for instance, lard and butter are commonly used in cooking, and olive oil is reserved for dressing salads and cooked vegetables. In North Africa, wine is traditionally avoided by Muslims. In both North Africa and the Middle East, sheep’s tail fat and rendered butter (samna) are the traditional staple fats, with some exceptions.

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February 26, 2013

Peel P50

The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally manufactured from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. It currently holds the record for the smallest automobile to go into production.

It has no reverse gear, but a handle at the rear allows the very lightweight car to be physically maneuvered when required. Designed as a city car, it was advertised as capable of seating ‘one adult and a shopping bag.’ The vehicle’s only door was on its left side, and equipment included a single windscreen wiper and only one headlight. Standard colors were Daytona White, Dragon Red, and Dark Blue. The 1963 model retailed for £199 when new. 50 of them were produced, and only 27 of them are known to be still in existence.

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February 26, 2013

Alex Gross

Alex Gross (b. 1968) is a visual artist currently working in Los Angeles; he specializes in oil paintings on canvas whose themes include globalization, commerce, great beauty, dark mayhem, and the remorseless passage of time. Alex graduated in 1990 from Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California. Since then, he has become established as an artist in the Pop Surrealism movement (e.g. lowbrow).

In 2000, he received a fellowship from the Japan Foundation; he spent two months traveling throughout Japan, researching and collecting a wide variety of Japanese Fine and Commercial art, as research for his own artwork. Part of his collection was compiled and published by Taschen under the title ‘Japanese Beauties’ in 2004.

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February 26, 2013

Yuko Shimizu

Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City. Among comic fans, she is best known for her ongoing monthly covers for ‘The Unwritten’ and her cover art for P. Craig Russell’s comic book adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman: The Dream Hunters,’ published by Vertigo (DC Comics). Her self-titled monograph was published by Gestalten in the fall of 2011, and her children’s book, ‘Barbed Wire Baseball,’ written by Marissa Moss, is scheduled to be published by Abrams Books in the spring of 2013. She has been a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts since 2003.

She graduated from Waseda University’s School of Commerce in 1988 as valedictorian and soon began her first job in the corporate PR department of one of Tokyo’s largest sogo shoshas (trading company). Eleven years later, she resigned and moved to New York City to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an artist. She set out to earn a second bachelor’s degree, this time in illustration at the School of Visual Arts. However, after finishing her sophomore year, she was accepted into the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program. She graduated in May 2003.

February 25, 2013

Growth Fetish

conspicuous consumption

Growth Fetish is a 2003 book about economics and politics by the Australian liberal political theorist Clive Hamilton. The book argues that the policies of unfettered capitalism pursued by the west for the last 50 years has largely failed, since the underlying purpose of the creation of wealth is happiness, and Hamilton contends that people in general are no happier now than 50 years ago, despite the huge increase in personal wealth. In fact, he suggests that the reverse is true. He states that the pursuit of growth has become a fetish, in that it is seen as a universal magic cure for all of society’s ills.

Hamilton also proposes that the pursuit of growth has been at a tremendous cost in terms of the environment, erosion of democracy, and the values of society as a whole. One result is that we, as a society, have become obsessed with materialism and consumerism. Hamilton’s catchphrase ‘People buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t like’ neatly sums up his philosophy on consumerism.

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