Wednesday, July 7, 2010


It's been a while since I've uploaded the photos from my camera. A sampling of the odds and ends:

My birthday cake. That was a long time ago.

The scrabbible.

An early and somewhat unexciting experiment with safety pin-based wearable electronics.

I.. honestly have no memory of this.

Oh now this one. This is just one photo in a huge set that documents how sketchy looking the rout to a basement basketball court below one of the campus dorms is. I always felt like I was breaking in when I went down there.

My prized collection of containers laid out.

A dress that needs to be refitted made from an XXL Battlestar Galactica shirt.

The fate of my last phone.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Undeciphered, Asemic, and Otherwise Awesome Documents

I've expended a great deal of energy finding copies of books with made up, encoded, or asemic writing; more than seems proper. Hopefully by compiling the documents here, I can make it a little easier for everyone else.

Most files are already available online as PDFs, so I've just linked to those, and others I compiled and put on my google docs account for download. They are roughly in order of how much I mentally categorize them in with the Voynich Manuscript. Let me know if anything is wrong, missing, broken, or otherwise problematic.

The Voynich Manuscript
This is the first document that caught my interest; it was discovered in 1912 by a book dealer, Wilfrid Voynich, and consists of over two hundred pages of indecipherable (and quite possibly asemic) text and images. There is plenty more information about the document all over the internet.

Voynich Manuscript (pdf, 56.2MB), originally found here.

Spurious or unverified translations have been proposed by William NewboldLeo LevitovJohn Stojko, Joseph Feely, P. Han, Claude Martin, Richard Rogers, and James E. Finn. There are others, but these are the ones I could tie to specific documents.

Codex Seraphinianus
A friend introduced me to this one - it is a more recent (late 1970s, early 1980s) document. It is similar to Voynich in the sense that it records an imaginary world in an invented language and script, but tidier, more organized, and more accessible to the modern reader. Rumor has it that the page numbering system is base 21.

Codex Seraphinianus (53.6MB), also available for copious sums of money.

The Rohonc Codex
The Rohonc (or Rohonczi) Codex is a Hungarian document of mysterious origins and content. It is thought to be written in some sort of proto-Hungarian language, or, more commonly, a hoax of a proto-Hungarian language, rather than an invented world. Nonetheless, as far as I can tell, no one is entirely certain.

Rohonc Codex (28.5MB), compiled from GIFs of each page.

Fair warning, I suspect that a few pages may be missing from my PDF (and, possibly, the original GIFs).

The Dresden Codex
This is a pre-Columbian Mayan codex, and the most complete of the four remaining American documents. While it isn't incomprehensible, fantastical, or asemic, it is beautiful and historical. The Mayans (and, for that matter, all the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations) are fascinating, technologically advanced, and not given half as much consideration as they should in world history classes. The Dresden Codex is, apparently, an almanac full of highly accurate astronomical information. 

Dresden Codex (100.4MB)

The codex is hosted by FAMSI (Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc.), along with the Madrid (48.8MB), Paris (2.9MB), and Grolier (1.5MB) Codices.

Zr + 4HCl → ZrCl4 + 2H
U + 3F2 → UF6
Roberto Altmann, a Cuban Lettriste, made this beautiful comic around 1970. It is 13 pages long. That is pretty much all that I know. I assume the dialog is asemic, but don't quote me on that.

I am reluctant to open the Grimoires and Esoteric box because 1) it isn't really all that relevant, 2) there is just way too much out there, and 3) and Joseph H. Peterson has already made a wonderful online catalog so there isn't much point in me doing it as well, but I'll include Johannes Trithemius' Steganographia here because it is, as the name suggests, steganography.

Steganographia (201KB), an html/text version is here.

Fair warning, it's in Latin. Sorry. It may be more interesting to look at the encrypted content than the original document. Ask google.

There are, of course, plenty more documents that I don't know about or can't find enough information on. But hopefully this can remedied.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

More With the Roller Derby

KimPending Doom, jamming for the Taco Kickers:

Backgrounds are cruel, illustrator is beautiful.
Based on a photo by Nicolas Charest, at the Taco Kicker's vs. Eves of Destruction bout in Victoria, CA.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Metrix Create: Space, Maker Faire, And Other Places with People

I made chalk! Specifically, yellow chalk swirled with red at Metrix Create: Space in Capitol Hill. I don't have a photo of said chalk, which is probably for the best, because the yellow came out a bit.. vomit-y. Metrix, on the other hand, does not remind me of bloody vomit at all. If you are in Seattle, you should check it out; I am pretty enamored of it. They even sold me conductive thread!

Here is a picture of someone else's chalk looking really awesome as someone adds another drop of food coloring. I have no idea why the dye spreads out like this, but it looks beautiful and fractal-y.

Next up in my list of gathering places for interesting people making interesting things is the Bay Area Maker Faire, which is happening this weekend.

I am excited.

And I lied, there are no other places with people in this post. Just Metrix and Maker Faire. But they are wonderful enough to make up for it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Random Sketch: Jammer

I am going to pretend that the scene after this one is of scoring points rather than getting hit.

And also I am lousy at backgrounds.
Sketched off a photo taken by Don Osborn Photography at the Eves of Destruction vs. Taco Kickers bout.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


If things (and by things I mean links on this blog) are acting oddly (and by oddly I mean not working), it's probably because I have a domain now!

This will be really exciting when it starts working.

When it does, you can find me at... drumroll...

My own domain! It's almost like I'm famous! Now all I need is a wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reverse Steampunk

I am convinced that this is the innovation that will make me rich and famous: Reverse Steampunk. It's genius.

Instead of re-contextualizing modern technology in a Victorian context, Reverse Steampunk re-contextualizes Victorian technology in a modern context.

Imagine the possibilities:
  • A typewriter designed to look like a computer
  • A cellphone that actually only does morse code
  • A horse drawn carriage disguised as a car
  • An iPod that functions as a music box
  • An iPad frame holding a notebook
  • A ballpoint pen that has to be dipped in an ink well
I am going to go gut my laptop now. I suggest you do the same. The possibilities are endless, and endlessly awesome.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Negative Bases

I am too busy right now for any really exciting revelations, so instead I will post a visualization of binary, negabinary, trinary, and negatrinary. For binary, black=1 and white=0, while in trinary black=2, grey=1, and white=0.

I love how the order of the digits reverses in the second column of the trinary systems.
Now I am going to go back to being way busy.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Robot Mermaid is a Lady

I accept that this probably makes no sense. But robot mermaid is a lady. Not a fish man. She is too polite to zap you with her deathray eyes for calling her a fish man, but it hurts her. Deep inside. 

Taken from my electrical engineering notes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Apocalypse Pie

I recently scanned some pages from my diary/sketchbook, and found this sketch from a pre-NaNoWriMo planning session.

In short, if you were wondering what happens when I read a stack of Tank Girl comics and then re-watch the movie while thinking about story ideas, now you know (click to enlarge):

The general premise was that Nellie P. decides one day that the apocalypse has happened (whether or not anyone else thinks so), and that the only reasonable response is to open a traveling pie shop. Violence and deliciousness ensues. It was a pretty fun story to write.

I ended up vector-ifying it, because I love my wacom pen. I'm not sure if it is an improvement on the sketch or not, but nonetheless (click to enlarge):

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mi Hermana

So my sister is pretty great. She has recently come back to the US after 13 months traveling around South America, and picked up jewelry-making skills along the way. It's beautiful stuff, and all on etsy:

Taos Stagecoach earring made from vintage belt bits:

Onyx Mermaid earrings:
Gypsy Rose earrings:
There are even more on her etsy site. I recommend it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Fractal Bear Meets D&D

DracoDei has turned Mandelbrot the Fractal Bear ...
...into a monster in Dungeons and Dragons. It's really well thought out, too. I have never played the game in my life, but I found it a fun read nonetheless.

So go take a look.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Random Sketch: Grills!

Guess what I have been doing with my exciting, project-doing self? Drawing pictures of grills and relevant peripherals! I bet you are excited. It's a project for Technical Writing, but I will post it nonetheless to prove that I am in fact capable of using Adobe Illustrator. School computers have awesome software.

I am sure you are all impressed. Especially by the ugly typography on the charcoal bag.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spatial Reasoning Games and 3D Binary Phrases

I started using this method of doodling in class in high school, and I've kept at it (and some minor variants) since. I was thinking of creating a step by step guide, but the whole fun is working out how to do it, so I'll try to find a middle ground on the whole ambiguity front.

The basic premise is as follows: Get tired of paying 100% attention to your professor, and decide to doodle. Then think of a short (maybe 3 word) phrase. I'll use "one two four" as a suitable example. Convert each of the letters in the phrase to the binary equivalent of their numerical place in the alphabet (a = 1 (decimal) = 1 (binary); b = 2 (decimal) = 10 (binary); c=3=11; d=4=100; et cetera). Now use black squares to represent 1 and white for 0, and create a grid for each word with the letter on one axis and the binary place values on the other, like this:
In reality, do this step in your head and go straight to the next one, but for the sake of explaining, it had to be diagramed.

Now, take the first word and draw it in on the x-y plane. I use one square on the diagonal per two squares on the horizontal. Like this:

Expand it into cubes:

And then do the same thing with the other words and stack them:

All that is easy once you get the hang of it. The next step is to mentally rotate the figure ninety degrees and draw it over from that angle. And then rotate it again. And then again. My notes end up looking like the left side of this page. I added the letters and numbers for your convenience. 

(Click to enlarge)

When I get tired of this, I mix things up and add more complications - my current favorite, as seen on the right side of the page, is assigning a binary place value to each side of each cube, and then writing another word or phrase across the blocks of the original words. You can see that I cheated a little for the second part and drew "floor plans" of each level before I drew it. All the insides are really tricky to keep track of. But on the left side I didn't cheat at all; I drew it straight through, only making minor changes for poorly drawn lines.

It's fun. I recommend you try it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Mouse: Nonstandard Systems Part 2

Oh boy! More nonstandard systems! I bet everyone is excited. I am going to go on about nonstandard measurement systems now.

I started thinking about this while reading The Poetics of Military Occupation, by Smadar Lavie (which, by the way, I highly recommend). The book is an ethnography written by an Israeli woman about the Sinai Bedouins, and does not have much to do, as a whole, with what I am here to consider, but this passage that caught my eye:
"She was silent. He was silent. They remained wrapped in their own silences for about an hour, until ants began to crawl into the anthropologist's brain. She was getting fidgety. She sketched one camel after another in her notebook, retied her headdress, scratched her knee, poked her ear, drew more camels." (page 166)
While I could go on an entirely different rant about how much I love her writing and the merits of a narrative voice in ethnography, I will refrain. Although I do love a narrative voice in ethnography. Instead, I will go on a rant about measuring things using other, unrelated things.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I have done a redesign! And by redesign I mean I picket a new blogger template, because I am industrious like that. 

But I did design an op amp for the occasion, so I hope I get a little credit. 

Also, since I have now transitioned from teenager to crone, I made the font bigger so I won't have to squint through my glasses and wave my cane around to read what I write. But mostly just made everything sort of grey. I guess that is an improvement?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Mouse: Nonstandard Systems

And idle I am - it is spring break. Without the distraction of school, two things are catching my interest right now: nonstandard numbering systems and nonstandard measuring systems.

Numbering systems, as we usually think about them, have a fixed base (b) that is raised to an integer exponent (x) that varies by increments of one. That made sense in my head. The point is, numbering systems tend to be regular and predictable. Each place value is determined by f(x)=b^x.

This gets a little bit strange when the base isn't a positive integer. Think about base pi; it isn't as complicated as it sounds, I promise. Pi^0 is 1, pi^1 is pi, pi^2 is... um, pi^2. Compare it to decimal:

Decimal: 10^2=100, 10^1=10, 10^0=1
Pi: pi^2=pi^2, pi^1=pi, pi^0=1

The exact same pattern. It is going to have a whole different set of irrational numbers of course, but this happens to some degree with any change of base (the only base with no irrational numbers, I suspect, is infinite). Now, examples: (after the jump)

Friday, March 12, 2010


Definitely time to start moderating comments! Spamspamspam. Also maybe when this quarter ends I can finish up a few projects that have been sitting in my sewing cupboard.

I am in fact still making things! Just a lot of those things happen to be homework assignments and labs. But I now have a quarters worth of electrical engineering-based ideas, so maybe there will be circuits! Everyone likes circuits.

Maybe I will even do a layout redesign when I get some more free time. All very exciting. I am sure you are excited, barely able to contain yourself.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Starburst Purse

A gift for my mother made from one of the sleeves of a vintage dress. The circle design on the red felt is based loosely on the Franciscan Starburst pattern (a line of dishes sold in the mid 1950s).

In action:

Monday, January 25, 2010

On The Merits of Stale Bread

I found a few loaves of bread (a baguette and a couple La Brea seeded demis) at QFC for $0.25 each on account of them being stale.

A large portion went to making thoroughly delicious cheddar puffs. I recommend this. I also beat the egg whites by hand which means I earned those puffs.

The rest went to french toast. Delicious french toast. Deliciousness was a theme here.

I made the egg part from an egg, a bit of milk, and rosemary, then, in the way of french toast, soaked slices of seeded baguette in the result.

Traditionally this sort of thing is done in a pan, but, being a rebel, I grilled everything on a George Forman.

Then I put them on a plate, lightly buttered it all grated Dubliner over the whole thing, and topped each slice with a bit of roasted garlic. Success.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

iChat Log Modification: Expanded Edition

Who am I to deny the requests of commenters? I like getting comments, after all. This in mind, I have created a small tutorial for modifying iChat logs at Evilwire's request. Huzzah for Evilwire.

The idea here is to take a transcript of an old conversation from iChat and alter it after the fact to make it appear that people actually said different things. Tricky!

Without further ado:

First off, make sure that iChat is set to keep transcripts of chats:

Open iChat preferences:

Go to the "Messages" tab, and check the box that says "Save chat transcripts to:" (if you're feeling wild and crazy, you can even select where the transcripts will be saved).

Now have a conversation:
Finish the conversation, and close it.

This is where the fun part begins!
First off, get hold of a hex editor. I use HexEdit, but a quick google search will find you something compatible with whatever platform you are using.
Now, open the transcript of your conversation in HexEdit:

It will look something like this:

You can slog through the whole mess if you would like, squinting at it, until you find the section of text that you would like to modify, or you can do a search:

And ta-da, here is the section:

There are two copies of the text in the hex code - modifying the first will change the actual appearance of the chat when you open it again: this is the one that actually makes a difference. Modifying the second one makes it that much harder to tell that the transcript has been altered, so the choice is yours.

In order for this to work, you cannot exceed the original length - if the original statement was 3 characters long, the new text must also be 3 characters. You can make it shorter by adding trailing or leading spaces which were ignored by ichat the first time I tried this back in May, but with later versions of iChat appear to still show up.
Now alter the text:

Save your work, and open the file in ichat:

Success! It now looks like we were discussing world domination. Everyone will be fooled.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

K-9 iPod Case

A gift for my father, who formerly kept his ipod in an old chewing gum box.

Made from some felt and an old ripped dress I got from my favorite store on the Ave, Red Light. I've been getting a lot of milage from it. More to come!