Friday, June 23, 2006

The time has come, and I'm done with blogging.

I've thought it over, and I don't think I'm interested in blogging anymore. I'll continue to do some photography, so I may do photoblogs on occasion here. Other than that, no more blogging for me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

If my Sim is working, am I?

The Sim games have always been centered upon moving up the career ladder, but you never used to see them actually working. They would disappear on their way to work, and their skills and mood would largely determine whether or not they got promotions. At last, there is an expansion pack in which the actual quality of the Sims' work is what determines their level of success. It is called Open For Business and it lets you start small businesses of various types.

I have a serious problem with this game, though. In what sense is a game about work not, itself, work? You worry about restocking items, sell to customers, and ring them up at the cash register. Does the fact that I'm actually at a computer make it somehow not work? Sorry, but virtual work is work.

If that's true, one wonders if any other virtual acts become the acts themselves. A number of things stand out in the Sim games where the player is clearly not doing the act by virtue of the Sim doing it: having sex, eating, dying, and sleeping, for instance. Being born is another example. These are physical, though. Is there anything other than work that you can be doing in reality by doing it virtually? Listening to music and watching TV are the only other examples I can think of.

Nightmare About Blogging

I dreamt about this blog last night. In the dream, a hacker broke into my account, filled the blog with pornographic images and embarrassing things I would never write, and then made it impossible for me to log in and change it. Do all bloggers have dreams like this at some point?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fun with Photoshop

I just got Photoshop as a present, and I'm trying it out for now. There are so many things you can do with your pictures.

You can change one object of the photo, making it different from everything else.


You can take your original picture...

Zoo IX

...and wash it out...

Giraffe Washed Out

...make it look like a painting...

Giraffe Painting

...or turn it into something abstract:

Stain Glass Giraffe

It's more interesting, though, to stay away from the special effects and make a change that looks a little less Photoshop-y:

Abstract Romance

Park Image

The black and white thing is very addictive, though.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Feature made with cell phone

An unknown Italian's cell phone is also a movie camera. My cell phone actually takes real life images and turns them into abstract blurs. Could be an experimental movie of some kind. My prediction for the Italians: straight to YouTube.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Discrimination in Sex

Is it racist to discriminate based on race when it comes to who you're going to sleep with? Personals ads--at least the gay ones--often include a "whites only" statement. Sounds a little racist. Not all of them are pro-white though; many express a particular interest in latinos, blacks, or Asians. I briefly dated a guy who told me he wouldn't get involved with anyone who was "not Caucasian." Is this necessarily racism or can it just be a matter of personal taste?

Let's assume the entire issue is physical attraction. Anyone who isn't bisexual discriminates based on sex in this area, and people have all sorts of arbitrary criteria for sex partners. Is there any logical reason a person with no sexual attraction to people of a given race should be treated differently from, for instance, a person not being attracted to anyone over 6 foot 3?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Daryl Hannah and the Tree

Daryl Hannah climbed up a tree and sat there in protest of plan to replace a community garden with a warehouse. As she was pulled down from the tree by police, she held up her fist as a salute to nearby protesters. Finally, we have a celebrity activist worth watching.

UPDATE: Hannah has been arrested. There are now three great reasons to be a Daryl Hannah fan: 1) The tree protest; 2) She was one of the best things about Kill Bill; 3) She drives a car that runs on vegetable oil.

The Blink of an Eye

Flickr is "hosting a juried exhibition in New York" of user photos called The Blink of an Eye. It would be very nice to get in. Each person can only submit one picture, and I have 247 of them, so I need to decide what my best photo is. I'm thinking about this one. Any opinions on which picture I should choose?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ellie Parker

I just finished watching Ellie Parker, a no budget movie that Naomi Watts did gradually over the course of several years. Watts plays a desperately out-of-work actress who tries to win parts in movies she knows will be terrible. Much of the movie revolves around a series of auditions and acting classes in which she shows her talent, but that talent is degraded by the poor material and the exploitative nature of the roles she tries to win and the acting exercises she participates in. It seems somewhat like The Comeback: it follows an actress around and watches her being repeatedly humiliated, and the critics often didn't seem to get the point.

This is actually one of the best no budget movies I've seen (by which I mean movies that look like they were shot on home video cameras). On the other hand, the audition scene in Mulholland Drive made all the same points, but with so much more of a subtle sense of humor.