Monday, 31 May 2010

Day 151, on which John... er... well he didn't really do much today [31.5.10]

Day hundrede énoghalvfjerds. As the title states, I didn't really do much today to talk about, particularly. Built another part of my Neo-Futuron project. Ran out of white tiles. Didn't quite have enough time to doodle in my Moleskine (still annoyingly named Florian until a better name comes to mind). I think I really need to phone some people, reply to texts etc. I just feel like I want to take a break, but half term is prime time for texting and phoning. Dilemma, probably.


So let's take a few paragraphs to talk about Portal, currently the only video game I play. Lags a bit on the Mac, but otherwise it's awesome. Awesome, and really hard. I'm stuck on Level 18 - the bit with the turrets and the revolving orb shooter. If anyone could help, I'd be grateful.

So, Portal. The idea: you have a portal gun, or an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (ASHPD). Shoot an orange portal over here, a blue portal over there and you can travel from here to there, or there to here, in an instant by walking through the portals. Throughout the levels you encounter obstacles, baddies, and aids whilst being monitored by the evil GLaDOS, a computer which runs Aperture Science Laboratories.

The logos above appear at the start of levels to tell you what's going to be in them: weighted storage cubes, falling weighted storage cubes, shooting orbs, orbs that need to be directed into orb holders, bad water, momentum, momentum again, turrets, poisonous water, and finally cake. Apparently the cake icon only appears at the start of the last level, level 19. I'm one level away. Grr.

So do I urge you to play Portal? Heck yes! It's full of mindbending physics, puzzles, mysteries surrounding GLaDOS and Aperture Science and of course, cake. Hopefully.

~John

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Day 150, on which John feels the Eurovision hangover [30.5.10]

Dag hundrede og halvtreds. Before we get into the article, let's first celebrate the 150th day of this blog! It's great to think that there's only fifty days (the same amount of time between the 100th day and today, for my memory's recognition) and Day 200. Once there, I will rethink whether I want to keep blogging for the next 165 days. At the moment, I would carry on, but I guess it's up to what I think on Day 200.

Eurovision hangover (n.) : After a night of watching Eurovision, waking up the next morning feeling dead on your feet and with several crappy Europop songs stuck in your head. All day. Grr.

I think it's safe to say I've ditched the current 20-day challenge. Meh, it was starting to get boring anyway. I think they should be more like guidelines, not "you have to post about a website" but rather "you could, if you like, it may bring you some inspiration".

So today I bring you my latest MOC, a crappy model of the Austin 7 Pearl:

Please note that I said crappy. I've never built an old-fashioned car before, so the wheel arches and sideboards were really hard to get right. I think I was right to choose old window parts, especially as I have that 3-wide window on the front. I tried doing a curved roof but it was just too high - well higher than 'too high', because it's quite high at the moment.

I couldn't fit windows at the back of the sides, so I called it a post van to explain the back end. It's got a bumpy wheel bit as well, which I'm quite happy with. It's not a spare wheel, or at least not one on the outside - I saw it in a pic on Google images and thought "I've got to include that". And, of course, the MOC includes a minifig hand. No creation of mine would be complete without one. Or two. Or five!

Bleaurgh, John out.

~John

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Day 149, on which John watches Eurovision [29.5.10]

Dag hundrede niogfyrre. OK, quick post today. I'll explain why later. As the official first day of the half term, I think it's going great so far. Nice sleep in in the morning and staying up extra late for Eurovision in the evening. Not much else happened, really. Well, maybe some stuff did happen- oh yeah, I played Portal. Amazing game. Really, really good.

As you should know, this evening was Eurovision! For those Americans out there, Eurovision is a song competition when one act represents each country in Europe, and then the whole of Europe votes for their favourite. Like all Brits, I am very cynical about Eurovision - as, for the most part, it's full of crap and there's all that annoying block voting too.



So here I am, with the news that Lena from Germany won with her song Satellite just minutes ago, in Oslo. Did I vote! F'yeah! For Denmark, of course. The UK's song, from some guy called Josh, came LAST. LAST, really! So yeah, it looks like we failed this year. We failed hard. Denmark did pretty well though, coming fourth, so I'm proud of my one vote. But how the hell did Turkey get into the top five? That was some messed up shit with the robot and the chainsaw.



I've never watched the whole Eurovision programme all the way through before, so I'm really glad I did. Hopefully you'll all be tuning in with me next year when it's held in Germany!

~John

ps. Spain's first performance was disrupted by a guy jumping onto the stage. Hilarious!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Day 148, on which John talks about online gaming, making use of his minimal knowledge of such topics. [28.5.10]

Dag hundrede og otteogfyrre. Before we get onto the topic of the day, let's get the day's topics over and done with. Well hey, it's finally half term! One week off school! I'd like to say "what could be better?", but there are two clear answers to that: two weeks off school, and six weeks off school. So let's move on. Today I had an art exam, one of those ones where you have a certain amount of time to do a project, under controlled conditions.

Quite fun, even if you were doing graphics like I was (ie. sitting at a computer all day moving Bézier nodes, whilst the 'fine art' students were getting messy with paint). Actually, in response to that parenthesis, I don't really like getting messy, so I guess I was better off doing graphics.

ps. before we go into the topic of the day, I heard a guy on the bus today say the best (or most interesting) thing behind me:  "jealousy is just a dirty form of compliment" . Considering the type of rubbish conversation that I usually hear on the bus, this is pretty good!


Today's topic is about online gaming, specifically Steam. Steam is an application and a website which offers gamers games downloadable off the internet. Just download the application on any computer, and you can access and download any games you've bought on your account. There are loads of games to choose from, and with special Steam-only offers too.

I just signed up for Steam today. I'd heard of it before, but then a friend mentioned that Valve's cult game Portal was available for Mac through Steam and I just had to buy it. £14 is a pretty good price considering it costs £20 on other sites, where you have to pay for postage, and even then it's only for Windows and only available for one computer.

But is this a good thing or a bad thing? I'm still waiting for the five-hour download of Portal to finish - I've never been really into gaming, will this get me into it?  Now look, I like a good computer game every now and then - The Force Unleashed was my favourite for a while, and I recently played Super Mario Galaxy which was trippy, but fun. But Portal is notoriously addictive, and the Steam platform offers games at low prices, and easily availability. I just don't want to end up like some addict like Exxtrooper... playing games which I [at the moment] consider pointless like COD...

I guess it's all a matter of time. Bear in mind I mean no offense to people who play computer games (I'm one of you, dangit), Exxtrooper or COD fans.

John out.

~John

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Day 147, on which John adores Vitra's website (as if he didn't already, pfft) [27.5.10]

Dag hundrede syveogfyrre. Before we get onto our semi-design topic, let's get the day's business notices over and done with. Heh heh, we have 'business notices' in my school's assemblies. One day, just before I leave the school, I'm going to put a fake notice in the assembly notices. "Impossible club is on for the √-1th time today at 11:78 in Room 1,123. Today we'll be making pigs fly and scratching the back of our right elbows with our right hands". I so wish I do that one day.


Remember Verner Panton's namesake chair, the Panton chair? Well, let's all clap because this piece of beautiful Danish design turned 50 today! Squee!

That article about the Panton Chair brought me back onto one of my favourite sites - Vitra. Oh, Vitra. You sexy site. For those who are new to it, Vitra is one of the biggest furniture distributors in Europe. No, no, they're not like Ikea. Designers make quality designs for Vitra, and Vitra then manufacture them and distribute them to shops around Europe. And no, they're not like Alessi. Alessi is a team of 15-ish designers working under a specific design ethic. Vitra manufactures designs from loads of different designers, and in several different styles (though it's all modern, mind).


OK, onto Vitra's site. I absolutely love their site. Really, really love it. Whilst it can be bland at times, and quite hard to find your way around if you're looking for something in particular - and near-impossible if you're looking for prices - it's otherwise very sleek. The homepage has three frames which you can 'shuffle' like a casino machine thingy. Neat animations, and as you can see in this example, sometimes two frames can be one picture, but each frame about a different product.


Then, at the bottom of most pages, there's these two sections (see this page). One showing you your path through the website so far, and another one suggestion possible places to go. It certainly helps you navigate the site, though there's still the problem of why you'd go on the site; there are no prices. So would you use the site simply for research into furniture design? The blog-like site Vitra Magazine helps with this, but it still makes the site itself quite mundane.

The other problem with the site is to do with product lines, and divisions between them. There are whole pages of single pieces of furniture like the Panton Chair, but in other places when you click on a picture of a chair, the page is about a whole range of furniture (eg. Joyn). This makes it much harder to find that chair you saw in the picture.

The wishlist feature makes up for this. Kinda. Because what's more frustrating than adding your favourite furniture to a wishlist, knowing when you find the prices they'll be totally out of your range?

Total JOHNscore: 7/10. Would be 6, but Vitra own the Panton chair and most famous Eames chairs too. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

~John

ps. I love Vitra. Good products.

pps. I am now realising the problems with following @4chan on Twitter: loads of links to mundane imageboards about subjects that are similarly mundane. Where's the links to /b/?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Day 146, on which John explains Rule 34, and all the others too [26.5.10]

Dag hundrede og seksogfyrre. It's only wednesday, but I'm fed up of this week. I'm fed up of school, of revision, of never having any time to do other stuff. Of getting totally confused over Facebook events as they're constantly discussed and times changed etc. Of having a Design & Technology GCSE test which we weren't taught half of. And, most of all, I'm fed up of being tired.

Another addition to JOHNSPACE Photos. 

Two days left, John. Two measly, exam-filled exams. Keep breathing.


OK, our topic of the day is The Rules of the Internet. I discovered them ages ago, but re-read them recently as a result of a Facebook conversation. So what are the Rules? Well, they're a set of 47 'Rules to the Internet' created by an anonymous person on 4chan's /b/ imageboard a few years ago. A lot of them aren't well know, but you may know Rule 34:
Rule 34: There is porn of it, no exceptions.
This is used all over 4chan, mainly on /r/ (the Request board) and /b/ (Random). It mainly pops up when some weirdo anonymous has an odd fetish, but it's also a challenge to /b/tards. And, if no porn can be found:
Rule 35: If no porn is found at the moment, it will be made.
But don't fret, the Rules aren't all about porn. It's just that Rule 34 is the most famous of all the rules. Rules 1 and 2 are often used too:
Rule 1: Do not talk about /b/
Rule 2: Do NOT talk about /b/
It seems like I'm breaking both of them at the moment. Meh, I've broken them loads of times before. In other news, Rules 3, 4, 5 and 6 were famously used in a threat to Scientology from Anonymous. Anonymous, the regular posters on /b/ and other 4chan boards, are one of the biggest anti-Scientology groups.
Rule 3: We are Anonymous.
Rule 4: Anonymous is legion.
Rule 5: Anonymous never forgives.
Rule 6: Anonymous can be a horrible, senseless, uncaring monster.
And the worst thing is, Rule 6 is right. From my small amount of interaction with Anonymous, it was certainly clear that they're the most inconsiderate, uncaring, trolling assholes in the whole of the interwebz.

The Rules also used the popular meme 'TITS or GTFO' as Rule 31, and spawned another not-so-popular meme with rules 39 and 40 - a brilliant argument and comeback.
Rule 39: CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL
Rule 40: EVEN WITH CRUISE CONTROL YOU STILL HAVE TO STEER
Indeed, Rule 40 is a great comeback to anyone writing in all-caps who has argued that it's cruise control for cool. Staying on the context of memes, Rule 32 is just a different way of saying the popular meme "pics or it never happened". I'm pretty sure Rule 32 indirectly created the meme.
Rule 32: You must have pictures to prove your statements
Finally, the Rules end with the classic meme (referring to the closing of several pools in the US after people with AIDS used them):
Rule 47: The pool is always closed.
There are several other versions of the rules, but this picture is the original, from when the original Anon posted it on /b/ right at the start. That's the one I like to stick by; 47 rules. Other versions have up to 80 Rules.

Well there you go, an introduction to 4chan and the world of the Rules of the Internet. I think tomorrow I'll return to DeviantArt and give my second opinion (bound to be more condescending).


~John

ps. Sir Nadroj has crossed the line. Sure, he's a good builder, but stuff like this is too stylised and philosophical to be good. His style gets dull after a short time.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Day 145, on which John finds memory alleyway was longer than he expected [25.5.10]

Dag hundrede femogfyrre. I've got two GCSE tests tomorrow so please excuse me for a short post. In fact, knowing me it'll probably turn out quite long since I always tend to compensate for saying "this will be a short post". So what's new? Well, the description of this blog was changed a bit. Facebook is promising new privacy controls. And I've come up with an idea for a modernism blog. It's looking quite good so far (ie. the graphics and notes in my Moleskine seem promising), but when I get to actually coding it there's going to be problems. Could well be part of the Æ Network.

By the way, Zack, I'm still brainstorming your idea for Brickspace. Columnists, collecting tweets on different topics, and at the heart of it all a central blog feed like Brickspace used to be. May need to merge with another blog to get enough bloggers to keep it going, though...

Pic unrelated. One of several new photos from me, now on JOHNSPACE Photos
OK, let's return to our look back into the old third-paragraph-challenges. For the 20 days after the how-will-I-have-changed thing, the topic was 'THINGS I HOPE TO HAVE ACHIEVED IN 24 HOURS TIME".
121 :: "Everyone has goals on a range of scales, and I think it would be fun to explore what I want to do in 24 hours, and whether I actually do it."
My reasoning behind possibly the most boring set of paragraphs I've ever written.
122 :: "I'd like to have continued with my website. I've been developing it slowly over the past 5 months or so, and I decided on a new design (which is based off this blog) a few weeks ago."
Still in the works. Worked out all the gallery pages, I just need to put together some text for the About page, and a picture too. Eeek, a picture.
124 :: "Hmm, I didn't develop my chair ideas like I said yesterday. I guess that just goes to show you can't force creativity, unless you've got a deadline to meet, in which case you squeeze out every last drop. "
So true. I can never do anything - well, any big things - unless I have a deadline and I'm doing it for someone else. Take JVK, for instance. Worked my butt off for TBB's April Fool's celebrations and wore myself out.
127 :: "Did I enjoy life today? Not particularly. Technology test, forgot maths homework, extremely over tired and drew up a chair design at lunch which I then noticed had been already made by someone else (must have seen the design before, then it subliminally inspired me)."
Still pissed off about that.
133 :: "To write my blog post at some time before 11:00. Because even I respect my sleeping patterns sometimes."
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
I even make myself laugh sometimes.
135 :: "Challenge, challenge, challenge. Life's a challenge. School's a challenge. Every day a struggle, a point to reach, to strive for, to hope for; the end of the day. A time when you can collapse into your bed and watch as the stresses of the day get sucked away into the comfy cushion and duvet. A time when the challenge is fulfilled, and though you always knew the end of the day was going to come around, you feel happy that what you've done in the day justifies your achievement of sleep."
I should write like this more often.
139 :: "Challenge tiemz! [...] So the challenge for tomorrow, last third-paragraph thing hopefully ever, is to pick my favourite bits from our third paragraphs."
And so, as my sister used to say, "and then it was now". Thanks for reading, folks. Let's get on with this blog and I wish you all a great evening and a merry Christmas.

~John

Monday, 24 May 2010

Day 144, on which John takes a walk down memory alleyway (it's shorter than a lane)[24.5.10]

Dag hundrede og fireogfyrre. And, in addition to an alleyway being shorter than a lane, it's also less impressive than a lane - as I think we'll find today's post is. Before we get to that, toda- sshh shh, I'm getting taken away by 'I Put a Spell On You'. Oooh... aaaah... mmmm... Nina Simone. Such a great song - feels like it means well, but it's got this unsettling, mischievous undertone to it. Ideal for a Lego project I've got in the works - that's right, a video. Not a Brickfilm, no, but a video nonetheless. Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, today was hot. Hmm, not particularly interesting. Let's move on!


A few days ago I said I'd look through the records of old 20-day challenges (mainly the third-paragrah ones) and pick out my favourite quotes. Ipso facto, an easy post for me to write. But it also gives me a chance to venture down memory alleyway (remember, it's not long enough for a lane). Let's get this show on the road!

The first third-paragraph-challenge was to describe a way I've changed since the day before.
102 :: "Well, I've decided that I am going to make a film [...] It's started quite well, but I've now decided that I am going to make this film, no matter what. And I'll show you it when we finally get it done. Promise."
Still working on that.
104:: "Today is a sad, sad day. No, really. If you hadn't already heard, yesterday evening (my time), TBB reported on the tragic death of Nate 'nnenn' Nielsen in a car accident. Apparently it happened about a month ago, but it's only now that Nate's family has let us know."
Doesn't need much explaining.
106 :: "I guess I'm annoyed. Annoyed because BIG's website won't work. Maybe it's my browser, or my internet, but I can't click on any of the logos. They used to open. It used to be an amazing site. Sob sob."
It still doesn't work. Just to fill you in on that vital info.
110 :: "I was always a bit divided about Helvetica: I thought it was just over-used and so forcefully made to be the 'perfect' font. Now, though, I'm not so sure. Everything typeset in it just seems so right. So here's my realisation: as caps lock is cruise control for cool, Helvetica is cruise control for AWESOME."
I still stand by that, though it seems a bit too utilitarian now. Seeing it used over and over again rubs off its gleam a bit.
112 ::  "I admit that I totally abuse the Shuffle feature on iTunes. You're meant to let it choose a song randomly [...] and sit back and listen. I don't work like that. Unfortunately I just keep pressing 'next track' until I get the song I want. Usually, the whole reason I put iTunes on Shuffle is to avoid listening to the same songs over and over. Shuffle just becomes a more annoying way of finding those songs. Hee hee."
Once a Shuffle-controller, always a Shuffle-controller. A great way to get Florence and her damn machine to shut the fuck up. What was I thinking when I bought those songs?
114 :: "Today, I learnt of the power of fibre-optic cables [...] Just now I had them on my desk, underneath my desk lamp, and THE ENDS STARTED GLOWING! Yah yah sure, it's not anything to get too excited about, but I didn't know they worked that way. I only bought then as transparent stands in vignettes. This is way cooler. Definitely worth 85p a piece."
THEY'RE STILL GLOWING, THEY'RE STILL GLOWING!


OK, I'll leave the other third-paragraph-challenge for tomorrow. That'll give me something to talk about. I'll just leave you with a fact:

i see ur lies are showin

THIS IS NOT THE NEW iPHONE. No, really, it's a decoy from Apple. Honest. Bloody Gizmodo thinking they'd design something like that. Do Apple not have any stable design ethic?

~John

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Day 143, on which John looks up to Moot, though the two are probably the same size [23.5.10]

Dag hundrede og treogfyrre. Hey hey hey, I think I've finally 'broken into' my first Moleskine! Three pages of the eighty are filled and... dangit I'm still counting down the precious pages! I guess it'll take a couple more Moleskines to get me into the "don't worry, if I run out of pages I can buy another they're cheap" mood. But hey, at least I'm using mine! Just developing some ideas that I scribbled in the back of my French book a few weeks ago...

Before I start obsessing about Moot, I'd just like to let you know there's still no name for my Moleskine! Please please PLEASE comment below or else I'll name it Florian! Gah!

Proof that when Moot's in a caf é, no one else is
Ah, Moot. You dastardly fellow. You silly-yet-awesome man. OK, for those of you who don't know Moot (or Christopher Poole as the government records call him), he's the founder and admin of 4chan. Now 22, he set up 4chan when he was 15. Which means I have to get a move on if I want to be as successful as him.

Now look, I don't want to be him. I don't want to be the admin of a site where paedophilia, pornography and bomb threats reign over civility and self decency. Though I would like to be known. More well known that I am at the moment.

Damn. I really am a fame whore, aren't I? Ah well, you can't blame me. It's not the fame, more the influence that I'd like to have. To ask an interesting question to [as RWJ would put it] 'the forum', and to have loads of answers stream in. It would be loads of fun. And don't go judging me 'cause I know you feel like that too. You just wouldn't say.

Now maybe you wouldn't want to be an internet personality, but don't we all want to be known by as many people as possible? Especially after we're dead. Look, I'm not preparing my obituary already. I'm just throwing around ideas, is all. Everyone wants to have their five minutes of fame (or however long it is).

But I guess, whether we're remembered after we're dead or not, the human race will eventually die out and none of us will be remembered. Sucks to be us.

Hmm, I seem to be talking about death a lot recently. Perhaps I should try to avoid the topic in the next post, though it is an interesting one nonetheless. By the way, you can find out more about Moot on the NYTimes article, where the picture is taken from.

~John

ps. I built! Gasp! Expect pictures of my latest vehicle creation to be on my 'stream next weekend!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Day 142, on which John talks about death and Facebook [22.5.10]

Dag hundrede og toogfyrre. We've got a bit of a philosophical post today as I try to manipulate the annoying challenge of writing a post about a website for 20 days. I think, to change the topic slightly, I can safely say summer has arrived in England. And jeez is it hot. Then again, what else can you expect from summer? Rain and snow? Nope. It's blazing hot sunny weather for the next four months. Now look, I'm no grumpy old person who hates the sun. I'm no vampire. But if you asked me "John, would you rather if it were really hot or really cold?", I'd say the latter. Court adjourned.


OK, I spotted this article on BBC Technology this morning. It's about how death is treated with on the internet, specifically Facebook and MySpace. It talks about people leaving legacies of data all over the internet, and whether this is good or not considering people are joining the internet all the time and it could get clogged up.

At the moment, MySpace won't let anyone log onto a dead person's account to delete their stuff. And with good reason: it's against the dead person's privacy. But there is still the problem of data building up. What about me? I have data and accounts all over the internet. All social networking sites and sites with services assume the person is still active on their accounts. What happens if they aren't? What if someone sends you a FM and you're not there to reply? Flickr doesn't know you're inactive (so to speak).

So how can we fix this problem? Well, Facebook's one step ahead of MySpace at that. They have a 'memorialization' feature (or something like that) which families of someone who's died can apply to Facebook for and the account will be closed to new Wall posts and messages. But it still doesn't fix the problem of data building up!

It seems that this is a debate that will go on for a long time. Ultimately, it will come down to what the dead person would have wanted, and that's where the subject gets a little tricky and sensitive. So what would I like people to do with my data? I'd like them to keep it, for one. Should they be able to log onto my Facebook? Of course, I won't be there to stop them. But I would want all my data to stay up there. This blog, my other blogs, my Flickr... because after a while, especially on the internet, dead people are forgotten if their data is deleted. And I'd want to be remembered.

Sorry if that topic was a little sensitive to some of you... it was a bit for me too, to be honest.



Oh oh oh oh! My Moleskine arrived! Here he is. I'm still searching for a name for him... for some reason Florian keeps coming to my mind. So comment with a better name or else I'll call it Florian! And yeah, i haven't taken the purple cover off yet. Seems to precious. Eventually I won't have the "OMG shiny and new don't touch" feeling about it, and I can start to write - or draw - freely in it.

Adios!
~John

ps. Song du jour is I put a Spell on You by Nina Simone.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Day 141, on which John casts his professionally critical eye over the new DeviantArt [21.5.10]

Dag hundrede og énogfyrre. OK, I've got another kinda interesting website-themed post for you today so let's get the other stuff out the way first. Today, I went on a fieldtrip. Whoop-de-doo. Because the one way I love to spend a friday which I could have been on study leave on is to walk around taking pedestrian counts. Funsies, as my friend would say. And sarcasm is very, very intended.


Deviant Art has been updated! Yay! I must admit DeviantArt had its flaws before it updated its UI to Version 7. I'm not entirely sure when they updated, but it was only today that I picked up on it. The old DeviantArt was a great place for showcasing your artwork, but in terms of UI it wasn't able to stand up to the sleekness of Flickr or Wordpress.

So here's the lowdown. The new DeviantArt takes online art galleries to the next level. Not much has changed to pages like the profile page or the account management pages like messages. One major change is the removal of all side padding so the galleries fill your browswer window to the full. And must I say, it is glorious. Large canvas means large sizes for viewing photos and stuff. And it's easier to browse too.

Time will tell whether the new DeviantArt will be good enough to manage stuff on, but on first impressions it's come out well. Good on you, DeviantArt! Check out the full details on an awesome DA page here.

~John

ps. song of the day is Watermelon Man by Mongo Santamaria.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Day 140, on which John reviews the five best things to do on Formspring [20.5.10]

Dag hundrede og fyrre. You heard right, people, I've avoided another design rant today. We've got something far more interesting. So I've had to postpone the 'interesting' antithesis to my aesthetic flexibility rant. And besides, I red back over what I wrote yesterday and I sounded really... er... design-ish. Like those design students at university who talk about ethics and philosophy and shit like that. Which, though I am interested in, I will have to take a break from blogging for a while. Just for you, guys.


Not heard of Formspring yet? Well, here's the lowdown. It's a popular site that's gaining users by the dozen at a very fast rate - I know for sure its use has a'sploded in my Facebook world. The idea is that you open up your account and the necessity is that you must answer all questions people ask you. If you want to ask a question, you could ask it anonymously or as your Formspring address. So, without further ado, here's my top five best things for asking people on their Formspring:

5. Surveys. This may seem strange, but Formspring is much more reliable than Omegle in being a place to anonymously take surveys. Now I'm not saying they have to be professionial, they can just be a single question. Find as many Formspring accounts as possible and ask some people. Just to get the full picture in a heavily argued topic.

4. Be fucking crazy. Because hey, what have you got to lose? Consider it Omegle, but they're not as quick to reply. Randomness! Insanity! Whatever! Ask it to whoever you can. Even if it's not a question, it'll be fun to see their answer.
eg.
" PLEH I AM ROSTER HERE ME RORE "
" You! How could it be you! YYYOOOUUU! "
" ......,......,.....!.....,...,,....,,,..opopopopopopopl "
" did someone say WOFLS!?!?! "
" *cue Elvis music* "
" So, I herd u liek mudkips... "

3. Link to a shocksite! For the less well informed, these are sites which have spam on them in the form of disgusting, objectionable or just plain sick pictures. Usually to do with sex etc. Just remember to disguise your URL and implant it in an appopriate context.
Some shocksites  (DO NOT EVER GO ONTO THEM):
Tubgirl
Meatspin
Goatse
Tubboy

2. Get info! What's better than having a way to ask an anonymous question to that girl you like, or to the friend who you've fallen out with? Since it's anonymous, and considering that they will reply honestly, it may well work. Just don't remember to ask "Do you fancy John Sørensen?", it may be a little too obvious as to who wrote it.

1. Rickroll. Formspring is a great place to Rickroll people! Just make up a message that sounds real and include a URL to any of the Rickroll sites. It's super-fun and super-easy. Just make sure you disguise the URL by redirecting through a tinyurl or a bit.ly URL so they don't know what you're up to!
eg.
" LG are running a competition! You could win one of the new LG Visio phones in our lucky prize draw. You can sign up to win at http://tinyurl.com/lgvisio "

There, how's that for a topic? Oh, and the next 20-day challenge is to do a topic a day on a website. That'll shut up my design mind for a while.

~John

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Day 139, on which John rambles on a bit more about customisation [18.5.10]

Dag hundrede og niogtredive. We'll get onto today's hot topic (sarcasm intended) later on, but for now we'll have a conversation free of the sticky grips of my design ethics. What was unique about today? Well, I had an idea for several things to do in today's post. I'm now on the lookout for big topics of the day to write about here. Today I had several topics in mind, but I forgot both of them. Or all three of them. I can't remember how many exactly. Jeez I need my Molekine, soon! Even Action Method Online seems dull without sketches in my Moleskine to type into the ideas section. D'aww.


Say hej to IVAR. Hej is Swedish for hello, and IVAR here is a classic Ikea chair. Sweet, ain't he? Yeah, OK, simplistic. Here's why he's joining us today. My school does several plays a year, so it needs to invest in furniture it can reuse. A lot.

IVAR costs a measly £14, and so far my school has used several IVAR chairs for five productions in a row. The simplicity and plain look of IVAR makes customisation not just easy but necessary. The plain wood simply begs for paint. So my school just repaints their IVARs over and over again. See: not function flexibility like the Panton chair (which could be a chair, or anything else), but form flexibility! It's still a chair, but it's any colour of chair you want! IVAR, you clever bugger!

OK, I think I have the aesthetic flexibility design ethic sorted out now. Tomorrow, unless I've found a better topic, I've got an interesting mutation of Ikea furniture to show you. No, really, it is interesting. Honest.


Challenge tiemz! I think I've decided what the third paragraph thing will be next time: there won't be one! Continuing with this one-topic-per-post thing, third paragraphs in the JOHNSPACE sense are kinda redundant. So the challenge for tomorrow, last third-paragraph thing hopefully ever, is to pick my favourite bits from our third paragraphs. Don't worry, the 20-day challenges will still exist! They'll just apply to the post topic instead. Yah.


~John

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Day 138, on which John splains more design ethics [18.5.10]

Dag hundrede og otteogtredive. 'splains', by the way, is an über-cool version of 'explains'. Just a little abbreviation I've been using a lot lately. Most likely not cool at all, hence the German. OK, top news of the day is this: one GCSE is out of the way. Wahoo! Did it go well? Meh, kinda. But it means I don't have to do Religion ever again! Ahahahahaha!



"Now hey, what's this?" You say. Well kiddies, it's plain and it's white but it's a classic example of today's John design ethic, which I like to call 'aesthetic flexibility'. Courtesy of Ikea, desk called FREDERIK.

People call my designs plain, but there's a reason. Just as the layout of a room should be flexible, the look of a piece of furniture (the aesthetics) should also be flexible. That's why this desk is so plain. If we apply it to a real drawing desk, it would be plain and white. Maybe you're painting and you get a large paint splatter on it. It will show up more on the white surface. That's the point. Stains and marks (so long as they're not just boring scratches) are memories of previous uses. This brings in a sense of nostalgia and makes the user relate to the furniture. If you can relate to the furniture, you can feel for it. It means something to you.

And what's more to ask from a user? Once it means something to them, once they feel it's properly theirs because of their marks and accidental customisations, your job as a designer is over. They can care for the product, it's theirs now and they feel it is.

So there you have it, a blank product is not plain but is a canvas for personalisations. Of course, this doesn't apply to all furniture! You wouldn't want it on a cabinet or chest of drawers, because you wouldn't really be doing any painting or drawing on that anyway. But, for desks and tables, I think it's the way to go. John's design ethics, part two. Sorted.


Oh lookie lookie Obi-Wan, it's challenge time now. You've already heard how my GCSE went, so that's yesterday's challenge over with. My challenge for tomorrow? And the penultimate challenge in these whole damn 20 days? To think up what the 3rd paragraph topic for the next 20 days will be! I'll have to think of an extra-special challenge for tomorrow...

~John

ps. So today I ordered my first Moleskine... and I can't wait for it to arrive! I'll be following in the footsteps of design giants!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Day 137, on which John contemplates his self-image [17.5.10]

Dag hundrede og syveogtredive. Is self-image even a proper term? Bleh, who cares. You get the idea. A word is only wrong if it doesn't get across its message. 'Self-image' describes itself. And since it's more of a term than a phrase, I get let off. Phew.

Before we get onto the main topic, a couple of notes. Firstly, my Formspring page has been updated. Please feel free to ask me any question you want, anonymously if you wish. That's the point of Formspring. Find me here. There's also a quick-ask box in the sidebar if you wish to throw me a quick question. Go on, what's stopping you?

Second note is about the JOHNSPACE Facebook group. I figured I'd get it out of the way quickly, since I'm looking for ways to advertise the blog. Link is here. See, look, Like. Fanks. There's also a link in the sidebar to that.


So what is my self-image? Or rather, what do I see myself as? Like pretty much everyone else on this darn planet, I don't like myself. Well sure, I like some parts of myself. But, like everyone else, I hate my voice. Especially now, when it's filtered through God-knows-how-much cold-induced substances building up at the back of my nose and throat. But then again, people always say that it's your faults that make you you. As much as I'd like to scoff at that, I'll move on.

I am a big believer of the anti-book cover expression. That is, you most certainly can and do judge a book by its cover. How I present myself is, in some cases, more important than how I actually am once people know me or click my profile pic. I remember back when I posted for Brickspace Opinions I went on a little rant about your display pic and how it should reflect who you are. I stand by that. Display pic, username, use of grammar, photo titles, profile text, it all rubs off on the viewer. And it's these details that could mean the difference between them adding you as a contact, faving your photos and commenting, or them just turning away.

And yes, I do care about that. Feck, I need attention! Feed me!


Challenge time! Yeesh, only three more days of this. I'm sick of it. I don't think I've really worked out my blogging state yet. Considering I've got a GCSE tomorrow and exams for the next two weeks, it doesn't look like there will be much time for blog state consideration. Perhaps in half-term. Challenge for tomorrow is to do well in my GCSE. Cos, yeah. Doesn't need much 'splaining.



~John

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Day 136, on which John eats steak and thoroughly enjoys it [16.5.10]

Dag hundrede og seksogtredive. Hmm. Hmmm hmmmm. I'm thinking about changing this blog a bit. I've been seeing a lot of other blogs recently (see the second paragraph for more info), and I think if this blog is to get off the ground in terms of views and comments, I'll need to have a universal topic or a stable format. It'll need to be funnier, have a more flexible layout and have content than people other than my friends will like. And it'll need a Facebook page. I was going to try it out today, but I realised I need to think about it a bit more, because usually my sudden impulses suck (contrary to what I said here). Hmmm.



Ladies and gentlemen, meet Hyperbole and a Half, which is one of the funniest blogs / webcomics I've ever seen. It's living proof that it's possible to run a successful blog off a .blogspot.com URL. As you may know, I'm using a .blogspot.com address now. Someone once said that if you blog for long enough, you'll eventually get famous in the end. Whoever it was, I'm starting to believe they're wrong. No matter how hard I have tried with Brickspace over the past two years, we're losing hits. Yes, that may be because I've had a low point with it, but the fact of the matter is, it's too vague. It needs a specific purpose, because an all-purpose Lego blog already exists. In fact, several exist. Either I stick with Brickspace as it is, or I try something different. And the same with this blog. Sure, it would mean messing up months of keeping a steady format, but it may mean that I can get some more views.

Look, I'm no fame whore. Or at least, I don't mean to be. I just want to get a few more views, and it'll make this whole blogging business much more worthwhile. And it would mean I'd get lots more feedback. I think I may call an emergency Skype meeting of Brickspace staff.


OK, challenge now. Am I satisfied with what revision I've done? Yeah, I think so. I didn't get as much done as I would have hoped, but I could be worse off. My challenge for tomorrow is to think about my blogging state. I need to ask ex-Brickspace admin Luke about it, too. Something needs to be done.


~John

ps. Oh yeah, the steak was nice too. Almost forgot about that.

pps. Yay, increased blog width by 100px! That's 100px more width for the content column!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Day 135, on which John develops a raging cold [15.5.10]

Dag hundrede og femogtredive. As always, the post title tells the truth. After some sniffles yesterday, I woke up today in the midst of a blazing war between my sinuses and the common cold. Feck, to say the least. I might as well just write my revision notes on tissues. I would have been more productive.


OK, I promised a design rant yesterday, and due to my running out of time, it was shortened quite a bit. So let's get back to the Double House in Stuttgart by Le Corbusier. Usually I don't like any type of design other than from Scandinavia (and the odd Dutch pieces), but Le Corbusier, a Swiss designer and architect, has piqued my interest with his contribution to the Stuttgart estate. All houses and furniture in the estate were designed by Bauhaus students, including Le Corbusier.

Anyways, today's picture shows the interior of the Double House. It, like I've been preaching to you for the past week, uses a flexible living space. Le Corbusier pushed all the 'functional' rooms to the sides of the house. He divided the rooms into the 'served' and the 'serving'. So, the servants would be serving the owners. The servants would reside in the kitchen, laundry room, etc etc. The owners wouldn't want these utilitarian rooms to impede on their luxurious living space, and so the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/any other room that wasn't for leisure were pushed to the edges of the floor layout.

Behind that red panel in the picture is a large bedroom: the whole red/grey panel can be slid into the wall to allow for a seamless joint between the living space and bedroom. This means the residents can incorporate the added space of the bedroom (which is sparsely furnished) into their living space. Another bed slides out from the bottom drawer in the grey cabinet on the right to make further use of the large central space. Not too bad for a Swiss designer.

Challenge, challenge, challenge. Life's a challenge. School's a challenge. Every day a struggle, a point to reach, to strive for, to hope for; the end of the day. A time when you can collapse into your bed and watch as the stresses of the day get sucked away into the comfy cushion and duvet. A time when the challenge is fulfilled, and though you always knew the end of the day was going to come around, you feel happy that what you've done in the day justifies your achievement of sleep.
Oh, wait, I'm meant to be talking about the daily challenge thing. I did revise this time, so that's yesterday's challenge ticked off. The challenge for tomorrow is hereby declared: to be satisfied. Whether I do more revision or not, I want to be satisfied at the end of the weekend. Then maybe monday will feel better.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Day 134, on which John (much to the despair of the blog's viewers) watches a programme about design [14.5.10]

Dag hundrede og fireogtredive. Sorry guys. So sorry. I'm back into design. Well, I was never gone, but now I'm going to blag about it. So I guess we'd better get all the other stuff over and done with until I get to the design. I'm also back on the Action Method Online, which is a really useful site. I've got a bunch more furniture designs to get started on (was working out the measurements of one today in school). Oh shit, I've just talked about design when I said I wouldn't yet. Ah well.



Welcome to the Double House in Stuttgart, designed by Le Corbusier. As I found out whilst watching the BBC programme The Genius of Design, this house is part of an estate in Stuttgart that launched the modernist movement back in the 1920s. Le Corbusier's design still stands, 80 years later, and still looks super-modern. It has an ingenious flexible interior space, which we'll look at tomorrow... (oh the suspense!)

I think today I may get to bed earlier than other days this week, so that's yesterday's challenge over and achieved with. Today's? To revise. I've said that before, but this time I actually do need to revise. Silly John, should have done it earlier, tsk tsk.

~John

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Day 133, on which John feels tired and not much else comes to mind when writing the post title [13.5.10]

Dag hundrede og treogtredive. Yah, I think that the post title pretty much sums up today. After preparing for the screening and then filming a school play until late into last night, I think I deserve a rest until I start my first set of GCSEs next week. Unfortunately, as life would have it, I've got another damn day at school to go. Grr.


I mentioned yesterday that I was going to look up the Philadelphia experiment. A friend of mine told me about it, and I was intrigued so took a gander at the Wikipedia page. Here's the lowdown on this conspiracy theory:

In 1943, in the midst of WW2, the American government performed a series of experiments on the USS Eldridge (above). These involved Einstein's Unified Field Theory, which has not ever been proven or even tested. The idea was to user electromagnetic fields to bend light around the Eldridge, which was residing in Philadelphia harbour, and render it invisible. Unfortunately, the experiment didn't go quite to plan and the ship disappeared in a 'greenish fog'. When the ship returned, several crew members had strangely appeared on a different deck to where they were before, and some reported seeing some sort of vortex or portal whilst the ship was invisible. All sailors suffered from nausea. One man reportedly found himself, when the ship appeared back again, with his hand embedded in the hull of the ship.

Later that year, after a few tweaks and re-calibrations, the experiment was tried again. This time, the ship vanished from the dock in a flash of blue light and sightings of it were reported in Virginia, over 200 miles away. It sat there for a while, then disappeared from Virginia and appeared back in Philadelphia. There are many stories of side effects on the sailors: sailors being fused to bulkheads, some crew disappearing for days at a time, and a particular story about two ex-Eldridge sailors who walked into a bar in New York and both spontaneously combusted.

So there you have it, folks. The Philadelphia experiment. And it's the biggest load of bullshit I've ever read. Sure, it would be awesome if it happened, but there's no possible way it could be true. Even Wikipedia treats it as lore. Shame. Would make a great movie, though.

Challenge from yesterday is duly completed. Challenge for tomorrow? Hmmm. To write my blog post at some time before 11:00. Because even I respect my sleeping patterns sometimes.


~John

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Day 132, on which John writes his blog post very quickly [12.5.10]

Dag hundrede og toogtredive. Yeah sorry guys, I have to make this post very short as I'm not really meant to be blogging today at all; I've been really busy. Oh, and the long-awaited screening went really well, fetching a crowd of over 60 students and teachers over the course of one lunch break!


Today's picture, found on the Today and Tomorrow blog, is part of a series called 'Things that are difficult to scan'. Your eyes do not deceive you, the fellow has indeed scanned an egg. Must have been messy, but the overall product is very interesting. Reminds me of a time someone asked on Yahoo Answers: "how do you get a mirror as your desktop wallpaper? I tried scanning in a mirror and it doesn't work"!

I think I achieved yesterday's challenge; though I did make a few silly jokes I glazed over them well. Challenge for tomorrow is to look up the Philadelphia Experiment, a maybe-myth maybe-real story about the US army apparently 'bending time' as part of hiding a battleship in WW2...


~John

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Day 131, on which John edits more video but somehow isn't as stressed [11.5.10]

Dag hundrede og énogtredive. That's right folks, I finished editing the video for my friends who go to my film club. The other guy who was trying to edit a film has succeeded, so I was spared from spending more time on his video. But hey, it's all over now. Weeks of preparation for 40 minutes' worth of film screening. Wish me luck.



OK, now this video may be unsuitable for younger peoples and/or people who are a bit sensitive to seeing people in distress etc etc etc. It's being passed round teh interwebz at the moment, fetching over 900,000 views on YouTube and counting. It's footage from a SWAT raid of a family's house in Missouri. Apparently the father was found to have 'some traces of marijuana', and the couple's children were taken away from them to protect them. Apart from the fact that this is a gross waste of time, money and a SWAT team, in my opinion, they had absolutely no right to shoot the dog. Then again, they wouldn't have had to shoot the dog if they weren't there in the first place. What gave them the idea the couple had excessive amounts of illegal drugs anyway?

Challenge from yesterday: fulfilled! All the films are edited and ready to got for tomorrow. Challenge for tomorrow: speak up, look up and don't make stupid jokes whilst introducing the films in the big screening. Shouldn't be too hard, heh heh...


On a side note, these challenge paragraphs are getting increasingly 'boringer'. Only 9 days to go, then I'll have a new 3rd paragraph.


~John

Monday, 10 May 2010

Day 130, on which John gets stressed whilst editing video [10.5.10]

Dag hundrede og tredive. Yeah, you heard right, I'm editing video. First time in a few months. As I mentioned yesterday, my Film Club has a screening on Wednesday and it looks like I'll have to edit two other peoples' films before then because they can't. With only 4GB of space left on my harddrive, Final Cut Express is getting ssssllloooowwww... DAMMIT!!

Fig.1
Figure 1: proof. 4.26GB left! Gah! How the hell am I going to edit this first video, let alone the second one? Even worse, the first video is a complicated mess of different angles, voiceovers and inserts. The second one is a bit easier, but I still will be super-busy tomorrow night, as I need to add the audio for this one and probably edit the second one. AND write my speeches to announce each film. AND sort out and print the award certificates I will be presenting to each filmmaker. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Challenge from yesterday: hardly fulfilled. Some of it is sorted out, as you can tell. Challenge for tomorrow: get all films in a decent state to screen them on Wednesday. Finished or not, get them in one place and in a readable format. PANIC.



~John

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Day 129, on which John has a fun day out with John Junior [9.5.10]

Dag hundrede og niogtyve. Thassright, today I went out with John Junior. No no, that's not my son - though I do have an adopted son who is a kitchen utensil (long story), John Junior is in fact a camera. He's my old Canon A-1 film camera. Since everyone on Flickr names their cameras, I figured I'd join the trend and John Junior was named.



I haven't posted a video here for a while, but I couldn't resist when I found a hilarious YouTube channel called BriTANicK. It's full of short comedy sketches from these two guys called Brian and Nick. This one, called The 9 Ways to Treat a Woman, is a bit adult and a bit rude so don't go watching it out loud and/or in front of small children. Enough "make me a sammich", the catchphrase is now "make me some lasagna"!


OK, let's quickly do the challenge thing. I'm very busy this evening. Did I revise? Uh... not really. My school's Film Club (which I run) is having a screening of the films we've made this Wednesday. I'm panicking, because I'm trying to get the head to attend, and it's hard to get hold of him. I also need to sort of the movie files for the screening, certificates to award to the films, invites to teachers and students, yada yada yada. So my challenge for tomorrow is to try to get most of it sorted out!


~John

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Day 128, on which John enjoys life [8.5.10]

Dag hundrede og otteogtyve. Well look at that, I've changed the post titles. As you know, I've been deliberating about it for several days now, but today I said 'screw it' and ta-da, new post title format. As mentioned yesterday, we're going to stick with the "Day #, on which John ... [?.?.10]" format. Remember it's "on which" instead of "in which", as you'd say "on Day 4" instead of "in Day 4". So there.


So here's the big news of the day. TLG have announced (to TBB) the release of this Space Shuttle set in June this year. At £79.99, it's at a decent price, and it's 8¢ per part so it's not too bad. It's got new torsos, lots of dark orange an a pop-out satellite. Well what's not to like? Here's what's not to like: it's boring. Sure, it's old-skool, and it's full of neat pieces, but it's dull. There's no fleshies, only about 4 colours in the whole thing (of which black and white make up half) and three boilerplate smiling figs. Sure, my friend from TPS News may find it interesting, but I'm simply not the type to blow £80 on a space shuttle. I bought the Discovery series space rocket a couple of years ago, and that was a dull set. Whilst this looks much more interesting, I'm still not interested enough. Hmph.

Challenge from yesterday: achieved. Enjoyed today. Went out. Built NCS. Updated Crap Filter. Challenge for tomorrow: revise. I've got a damn GCSE next week! There. Done. Finished. Sleep. Now.


~John.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Day 127 (07.05.10)

Dag hundrede og syveogtyve. Damn, damn and damn again. My family is switching our internet line, which means the only access to teh interwebz I'll get over the next few days (3 or 4) is through a garish pink Vodafone USB dongle. That means restricted surfing (it's on Pay as you Go) and increased embarrassment. I have to stay away from Spotify (streams through the internet), ANR (same) and cut down my webpages to only the necessary ones (Facebook, this blog, and Flickr). This is going to be tough.

A japanese example of flexible space, using panels to separate off parts of a room
So here's a quick design blag to keep you busy until Tuesday when I'll have some new content. Remember when I was talking about my interior design ethic? "Interior space must be flexible" was how it went. So how do we achieve that flexibility? How do we make it easy for users to realise the possibilities of a flexible living/working space? By hiding it in plain sight. Flexibility must be ergonomic; it must be clear to the user what possibilities a multi-function piece of furniture presents.

Glub glub glub.

One of the simplest (and most Denmark-related) arguments against this is in Verner Panton's beautiful Panton chair (1999). There is something so intuitive about the design of the chair, that makes it totally ambiguous. Some people may argue that a chair needs to look like a chair, but the Panton chair ignores this. Simply because it doesn't immediately strike you as looking like a chair, it becomes an undefined thing. This is perfect for flexible workspaces - the chair is not treated like a chair. It can be used for anything. And it can also be stored in small spaces is you need to clear more space in the room.

So what's the solution to flexible space? Is is clearly presenting the possibilities of a piece of furniture? Or is it creating an ambiguous 'thing' that can be whatever the user imagines it to be? Contrary to what I said two paragraphs ago (my opinion has since swung), I think Verner Panton got it right. But that doesn't mean all chairs/tables should be simple cubes!


OK, let's quickly go through the whole challenge thing. Did I enjoy life today? Not particularly. Technology test, forgot maths homework, extremely over tired and drew up a chair design at lunch which I then noticed had been already made by someone else (must have seen the design before, then it subliminally inspired me). So I hereby carry on the challenge to enjoy the day onto tomorrow. Let's hope it goes a bit better than today.



~John

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Day 126 (06.05.10)

Dag hundrede og seks. I'm still pondering post names. Maybe they should all be in the same format, like "Day #, in which John...". So, yesterday would be "Day 125, in which John blags about interior design". If you have any ideas for a format, please comment! But what should I do about the date and day number? I need to keep them both in the title so people can easily look up posts. Perhaps have the day number in [ and ]? [126]? And shorten the date to 6.5? People should know it's 2010...


Another screenshot. Let me introduce you guys to my new best friend: the Behance Action Method. It's a very useful online application for managing resources, ideas and creative to-dos. I've only started with it today. I must say, it's like a friend I never had. It's intuitive and knows exactly how I've wanted to manage my projects. There's 'Actions' with durations and due dates, 'References' with links to files and URLs for sketches and inspiration and 'Backburners' for jotting down all those ideas that I've had, but need to wait until later. I'm only on a trial account, and whilst I don't have the money to spare to pay for a full account, I will definitely carry on with my projects on AMO for the time being.

Oh, quick update on projects: 'Anders' is a possible chair design, not the multi-functional one but the one I started talking about after that. 'Hans' is an even more distant chair design, still in concept stages. The 'Sidemark' is a print design I'm working on; much easier to test and get feedback on than chairs!


So I didn't fail my challenge from yesterday; I've been brainstorming and doodling designs for Anders this evening. OK, my challenge for tomorrow: enjoy. Enjoy what? Life. Yeah, with tests and all it's been tough this week (OK not today admittedly), but I think Fridays should be enjoyed. So stop worrying your silly head off, John, enjoy. As Bobby McFerrin would say; "Don't worry, be happy!"



~John

ps. I've named my film camera (an old Canon A-1) 'John Junior'. Sure, it's actually older than I am (made in the 80s or something), but he's Junior to me. And besides, everyone has names for their cameras.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Day 125 (05.05.10)

Dag hundrede og femogtyve. I'm seriously considering a format change for this blog. I'd still keep the three paragraph thing, and the picture, but each post would have to be about only one thing. That way I can give each post an appropriate title, and release it on Digg (more on that later). It may gather more viewers as it would give them an opportunity to read about a solid topic, not a bit o' this and a bit o' that. Either way, I need more hits.


Now hey, what's this? Design? Kinda: interior design. It's the main room in the PLATOON Kunsthalle which is somewhere in Germany. The Kunsthalle is a nightclub, though you'd never know it from this picture. That's right, German people walk in and do German dancing to German music. But hey, it's not as bad as it sounds; the building is made from several shipping containers stacked on top of each other and hollowed out. It's got a great mood to it; gritty, metallic, rough with a military edge.

It's a really great idea, but here's my opinion: make those chairs/tables/things move. That's all there is to it. The first of many John design ethics: "INTERIOR SPACE MUST BE FLEXIBLE". By which I mean, users should move stuff round. Who cares if they dent the furniture? Design it differently so they don't dent. Design it with wheels. Users can communicate and interact much more with an interior space if they can change it. Then they can build up a relationship with it, and will enjoy being in it much more. And besides, not everyone will like a furniture layout you make. Let them be the designer; they can move chairs around and tables around to create their own spaces for them and their friends.

Stay tuned for more John design ethics - my achievement for tomorrow is to think more about the flexible space ethic, develop it, and maybe make a diagram to demonstrate. What about yesterday's achievement? Well, I did experiment more with Digg. My profile's here, go check it out every now and then. The verdict: as yet undecided. More use needed, more time. Then I'll tell you what I think of Digg.

~John

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Day 124 (04.05.10)

Dag hundrede og fireogtyve. Hey guys, let's make lightsaber sounds! Zeeeooong! Zeeeoong! I am your father, Luke! If you're sitting there reading that and thinking "OK, John has finally lost it.", then don't fret, I'm not insane quite yet. It's May the 4th, so that means it's Luke Skywalker's birthday! May the Force/Fourth, geddit? Ah, don't worry. I'm over Star Wars anyways.


You've seen this before. Well, maybe not this exact screenshot, but I've talked about JOHNSPACE Photos before. I just wanted to advertise it a bit more 'cause there's new pictures on it. For those of you who don't remember it, JOHNSPACE Photos is an experimental blog of mine, which focuses on full-screen photo viewing to get the most out of a photo. Kinda like the OnBlack Flickr service, but really on black, none of that black-but-with-dark-grey-text crap. So linky linky link, test out the blog, gimme feedback!

Hmm, I didn't develop my chair ideas like I said yesterday. I guess that just goes to show you can't force creativity, unless you've got a deadline to meet, in which case you squeeze out every last drop. So what's my achievement for this time tomorrow? To add a link to Digg. I signed up for Digg today, and I haven't yet seen the point of it, so maybe when I actually use it, it may prove interesting...


~John

ps. JOHNSPACE, now with Share links in the post footer! Please please please tweet/share on Facebook/Digg/whatever any of these posts!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Day 123 (03.05.10)

Dag hundrede og treogtyve. Monday, bank holiday, yay! What's better than the weekend? Yeah yeah, the holidays, but what's in between the awesomeness of a weekend and the holidays? BANK HOLIDAY MONDAYS! Yeah, I've finally found their place in the awesome scale. Speaking of awesome, I think f'awesome should be a widely-used phrase. It's like f'yeah, only 'fuckin' awesome!' instead of 'fuck yeah!'. The only problem is that is sounds too much like 'foursome'. Dang.


Moving swiftly on, we have more photography from yours truly. That's me, by the way. This pic is a black-and-white (again - I seem to be falling into a B&W mood, huh) of a large vent/slat wall on my school's science block. It's actually kinda hard to look at, maybe it's the high contrast or just my computer screen. Anyways, I'm quite happy with this. You can see it on Virb (not good enough for Flickr) here.

Well, onto our achievement for today/tomorrow. Did I carry on with my website, like I said yesterday? Yes! All I need to do now is write the About page, add links and proof-read it all and it's done! So what's my achievement to hopefully do in the next 24 hours? It's to think. No, not just in general; think about that chair I was going to make. I've had to ditch the old idea of a chair/table thing, because the measurements simply didn't work out, but I have a new idea. God knows whether it's possible or not, but I guess we'll find out tomorrow!


~John

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Day 122 (02.05.10)

Dag hundrede og toogtyve. Today was, to put it in a nutshell, productive. Frustratingly productive, in fact. I was working on the script for that short film Luke and I are making (along with some friends). The script is quite complicated, and isn't your usual comedy. In fact, it's not a comedy at all. It's a drama with some quite deep topics in it. I think the script's turned out great, though it isn't completely finished yet. It's just filming it so it looks professional that's going to be the hard bit.


Hey, a new Flickr upload! And hey, it's actual photography this time! I haven't uploaded a bit of my photography for ages, but after taking this for GCSE art, I couldn't resist. It's the underside of a spiral staircase at my school (my school's cool like that, hee hee). Unfortunately I can't show you half the pictures I took there, because then I'd show pupils or reveal what school it is so you can stalk me. I did, however, get some good shots of the trees in the school grounds so I may upload them sometime. Anyways, I'm quite proud of this photo. And it didn't take too much Photoshopping!

So, it's the first third paragraph of the new 20-day-challenge! Remember; I need to say one thing that I'd like to achieve before this time tomorrow. And here it is: I'd like to have continued with my website. I've been developing it slowly over the past 5 months or so, and I decided on a new design (which is based off this blog) a few weeks ago. Now all it needs is text on the About page, and descriptions of my projects in the Gallery page. I should be able to show it to you soon!


~John

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Day 121 (01.05.10)

Dag hundrede og énogtyve. Welcome, one and all, to the first of May! Pinch! Punch! First day of the month, noobs! So yah, Mayday and all that. I don't really know much about mayday; I think I'll leave writing about that to the mayday fanatics. However, mayday means one thing on this blog: a monthly letter! Wahey! I seem to be saying wahey a lot recently, I think it'll be my new favourite word, apart from 'fornølse', which just sounds awesome.


Oh look, a pic. Maypole or some shit like that. Seemed appropriate. God knows where it's from, Google images is anonymous if you choose a pic in 5 seconds.

OK, onto today's letter. For those of you who don't know, this is how it works: I write a letter at the start of each month, to myself in the past and myself in the future. It's odd, and it sometimes doesn't make sense, but it's a fun nonsensical break from all my usual sane posts (sarcasm intended). Here's last months post


Dear me/myself,

It's been a fair 30 days. School started again, dangit. Just crept up on me like some shady pervert, said 'boo!' and ran off. With all its tests and Mock GCSEs and stuff like that. I seem kinda cut off from it here, art my computer listening to Glee and grinning over another two days of weekend. Whoever invented bank holidays (weekends+monday off) - I'm pretty sure they were named after someone, Baker Days or something like that. Anyways, I doubt there'll be a three-day weekend where you are, future self.

OK, let's get onto my responses from last month. I still haven't built anything with those rock bricks (slopes), though I have built a lot otherwise: Neo-Futuron, microspace, and that prison bus thing that no one liked. You'll be happy to know I still haven't lost any limbs, which is always a good thing, though I did get a numb hand yesterday. Luckily that's not as big as losing a limb, which would really be a bummer.

So what are my goals for the 1st June? I said last month that in May I'd be swamped in exams and GCSEs, and I am, but the real GCSEs are yet to come. I think I will have to repeat myself and say good luck in the exams, me. By the 1st June, I should know at least something about how I did. That's because I'll have actually done the exams. So good luck, build something Pirate, and don't buy CS5, it's bloody expensive.

Until then, here's to another great month on this blog. You're awesome, dude.

~Me

Not the best letter, but it's a letter anyways. Oh, I missed the 20-day challenge yesterday: I'll keep the pic-a-day, defo. But for the third paragraph? I need a new challenge, so I will write about what I hope to achieve in the next day. Everyone has goals on a range of scales, and I think it would be fun to explore what I want to do in 24 hours, and whether I actually do it.

See ya, guys!
~John