Category Archives: Hack

The Apple Tree

I’ve been trying to figure out how to articulate what I see when I watch this video and it hasn’t been easy. Particularly because there weren’t really words the first few times I watched it, mostly just feelings. Excitement, wonder, appreciation, etc… primarily focused at the person who had taken the time to make it. If nothing else it is an amazing construction of different imagery timed impeccably to music. But there was more for me and I haven’t been able to explain it.

So here’s a shot.

Long ago popular culture reached such a critical mass that it began feeding on itself. I initially noticed it when sitcoms would refer to other sitcoms currently on the air as if to assert their status in reality by saying “See we’re like you, we watch that show too”. Actually, I’m sure pop culture referencing itself has been going on forever. I just don’t have any good references right now and I’m not willing to do the research. Let’s assume it’s true, or you’re welcome to post evidence to the contrary.

Today with advanced tools available for cheap to anyone and the perfection digital copies this has evolved to involve different media. There are tons of examples of music being remixed, sampled, cut and rebuilt into something that stands on its own as something new. From Hip-Hop to Dangermouse’s Grey Album (Jay-Z’s Black Album plus the Beatles White Album) to Girl Talk who takes pieces of upwards of 100 individual songs to make a single new one.

When I saw this video I saw the continuation of that trend into video. This being the best execution of a video mashup I’ve seen, but there was something more. There was a feeling with it. I’ve watched it a few more times trying to put it into words, trying to find a frame of reference to explain it with. I may have tried too hard to find one and just fabricated my own, but whatever, that’s what I like about music without words. I get to take it wherever I want, not where the lyrics tell me to go.

When you watch this you’ll see literally thousands of separate images mostly from action movies, horror movies, sci-fi movies etc… Explosions, natural disasters, zombies, vampires, etc… in rapid succession, timed impeccably to the glitchy, erratic, yet compelling beat. What you won’t see is a narrative. I thought I saw one at first but no. It’s a dance. If you look at this as what it is – a music video – and you expand your definition of dance to include all movement (car, plane, explosion, human, animal, etc…) – it can then be seen as a choreographed dance set to serve the music and not the other way around.

Full screen and LOUD is preferable…

Lastly you have to give credit to the guy who made it (unemployed at the time and not in the business of making videos). He’s made a name for himself in an industry he wanted to get into by creating something and putting it out there. Which led to a request by the band (The Glitch Mob) for him to make a trailer for the new Tron movie set to one of their tracks. Which was picked up by the producers of the movie.

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Filed under Hack, Random, trends, Video


Anyone that’s been around me for any length of time in the past year or so has probably heard me rattle on about “Make“. Either the Blog, that I spend a great deal of time reading, the Magazine,  the long anticipated Make:TV, or the Maker Faire that I had an incredible time at last year.

“Make” is an idea that’s been around forever but has found some new momentum. It used to be that skills were handed down from generation to generation, then learning was institutionalized in the guilds, schools and colleges, now it has been globalized with the Internet. Anything you want to know, or want to know how to do, is within your grasp. Even better, if something you dream of isn’t available to buy, the means of production are available to you so that you can create it yourself. Given that you have enough drive to see it through…

Make is creativity, resourcefulness and the desire to create. Make is DIY with a hacker ethos.

As I have become a part of all this I am inspired daily by how people are rethinking, reimagining, and redesigning the world around them. In an effort to further this idea a few friends and I have been working together to launch a local Chapter of the Make: groups that have been popping up around the country.

And with that effort I give you Make:PDX

Portland, Oregon is a magnet for creative people and has a social scene second to none. There is a group of people getting together somewhere for nearly every interest you might have. Make:PDX has the lofty goal of bringing together groups of focused interest to trade ideas. To act as a community builder, not to replace any of the individual passionate groups of people chasing ideas but hopefully bring more people into their ranks by raising awareness. This extends from rockets to robots, cooking to crochet, electronics, woodworking, writing, roasting coffee, brewing beer, etc…

If there is one thing I have learned in this life, it is that the more skills you have and the more you understand, the more beautiful and full of possibility the world around you is.

If you’re in Portland this weekend, we’ll be having our first get-together. If for no other reason than to watch me squirm as I attempt public speaking after a long hiatus it should be interesting. Oh, and also for the cupcakes and cookies Summer and I have been busily making. 🙂



Filed under Culture Jamming, Design, Hack, hobby, Make, Personal, trends

Jay Leno will lead the 3D printer revolution

Via: MAKE: Blog: Jay Leno will lead the 3D printer revolution

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Filed under Design, Fun, Hack, hobby, Make

Dave Gingery’s Philosophy

Who is Dave Gingery you might ask? I don’t know either, but one night stumbling around on the web I came across a page written on the way he looks at things and it stuck with me.

“Most of my life was spent in trying to figure out how to do a $50.00 project for 50 cents, and the remainder of my time was spent in trying to scrounge up the 50 cents.”

I really like his perspective on “apparent obstacles”. Give it a read, maybe you’ll be inspired to pick up that project that you’d talked yourself out of and give it another shot.

Acquiring knowledge is a relatively straight forward process, and so is the development of manual skill. You can know what others know, and you can do what they do. Your level of performance is determined by a combination of opportunity, energy expended and available resource. You can provide your own opportunity, and you can decide how diligently you will apply yourself. So, we must deal with the problem of resources which is no small matter if you are the bird with 50 cents who needs $50.00 worth of stuff! Nevertheless, it can be done, so let’s get with it while we are yet young and eager.

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Filed under Fun, Hack, Random

Invention, Innovation, Portland.

I’d thought about starting something like this, but now that TechShop is making its Portland debut I will happily use their tools and facilities to learn more about the process of making things. I’m very excited about this development and will be one of the first to support an East Side Annex!

From Molly Purnell @ Core77:

On the bus I get to know Dave, a self-proclaimed inventor and maker who’s excited about TechShop’s CNC router. Dave builds Fretted Dulcimers which are apparently coming back into fashion in the Japanese hand-made instrument market, and he needs access to the shop in order to build prototypes.

Dave seems to be the typical clientelle of TechShop; a maker with big dreams, little space, and no equipment. TechShop’s goal is to remedy this situation for the 300 or so potential members that came to the opening event. TechShop plans to have milling machines, lathes, welders, a laser cutter, an electronics shop, blacksmithing tools, a finishing room, workstations, a 3D printer, and of course the coveted CNC router. Along with all of this equipment there will be a tool and materials shop, a small library and a communal kitchen.

The greatest benefit of Techshop will be the probable development of community. The owner of TechShop, Jim Newton and the Portland shop manager, Denney Cole, claim that the community is one of the greatest drawing powers for continued membership. Most builders know that another’s experience and knowledge is the best tool available.

In addition to the tools and community, TechShop will offer offices for rent so that businesses may be based out of the shop. This will include access to the machines and tools as well. The monthly cost for a membership is $125 while a yearly membership is $1000. There may be a special rate if you get in now, which I would recommend since there are only 500 available memberships. The anticipated opening date for TechShop Portland is December 15, 2008 and the hours will be 10am-9pm, 7 days a week. Eventually Denney would like to have the shop open 24 hrs a day. Jim and Denney hope to open an annex on the East Side as soon as possible, sparing us more long bus rides.

More about TechShop @ GeekDad, LA Times, Forbes

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Filed under Design, DigiBoom, Education, Fun, Hack, Make, Portland, trends

What I did on my summer vacation…

So, we had a bit of a media black out this summer. It started around the end of May when I descended into my basement and stuck my face in a bunch of books. I was studying for the CISSP certification for about two months. My nights and weekends were dedicated to the obscurity that is the depth and breadth of that study material.

Well, after burning June and July on test prep I flew down to Los Angeles and sat for the exam. It is considered the standard for computer security professionals and is taken on scantron paper with a #2 pencil. (This may give you some idea how much they trust computers.) 3 hours and 46 minutes into the the allotted 6 hours I walked out. I wasn’t entirely sure what the result would be. Two weeks after that I found out I passed. Whew… finally. I’ve been looking at that test for a long time.

Summer and I then attempted to reclaim the rest of the season in a short period of time by squeezing Camping, Hiking, Jack Johnson at the Gorge, and a week vacation into the last couple weeks of August. It wasn’t so much a vacation as a let’s-get-a-bunch-of-stuff-done-on-the-house week but it was incredibly productive! Oh, and we built something really fun…


A FULL SIZED HOME ARCADE!!!! It isn’t finished. We still need to add the trackball, cup holders, and the *very important* kegerator with taps for Player 1 and Player 2. It isn’t as pretty as some models you can buy for lots of $$$ but whatever, I learned a lot in the process.

I’ve got some other projects in development so stay tuned for updates.

Let’s move on


Filed under Hack, hobby, Make, Personal, Random