ze's blog :: zefrank.com

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March 31, 2006

bday truth

found here

you can also see this + previous shows here

Posted by zefrank at 1:08 PM | Comments (32)

anutha frog review

Frog Review: CBS Sportsline

Posted by zefrank at 10:59 AM | Comments (6)

March 30, 2006



you can also see this + previous shows here

also: thanks bryan and conrad for the presents...i loves me them books.

Posted by zefrank at 12:02 PM | Comments (20)


Iraq War Coalition Fatalities

a pretty striking time based view of fatalities (coalition) overlayed on a map of Iraq.

Posted by zefrank at 9:44 AM | Comments (4)

kids today...

solaas.com.ar | dreamlines

a nice generative art project - works in a way very similar to the scribbler but on images loaded in from google image search based on a keyword you supply.

if you like this sort of thing (experimental projects), the rest of his site has some nice things.

Posted by zefrank at 8:30 AM | Comments (1)

March 29, 2006

cool qwerty rings and bad uses of flash

here's an example of what i dislike the most about portfolio sites that are created using Flash. Forgive me if this seems obvious, but i encounter these sites quite often. Yesterday, I came across these wonderful rings that were made from old qwerty keyboards (my favorite is the "help" key) and i wanted to post them here.

the site, however is a self-contained flash universe that won't allow me to directly link to the page on which they are displayed. Instead, i have to link to the main page, and then instruct you to click "projects" and search for the AZERTY page. Normally, I would give up at this point and not link at all, but in this case i thought it served as a good example of my pet peeve.

By forcing all of your guests through the front door, a few things happen. First, you force your content down the click stream. Each click depth represents a cost to the visitor and from experience i can tell you that means a sizeable portion of your audience will simply leave. Second you force a contextual background for your work - in this case it appears as an "experiment" among many others that have nothing to do with rings. Allowing people to come in the back door and discover the work on its own allows a wider swath of interpretations to a wider audience (see #1) . Lastly this sort of architecture doesn't allow you to access the breadth of statistical data that you could get from an html or php based architecture. These statistics can give you insight on what people are doing on your site and in turn you can respond with updates specific to that interest.

Flash is great for many things. It is a nearly ubiquitous plug-in that creates a stable, cross browser platform for music, video and interactive media (games, toys, etc...), but i would strongly urge that (at least for the moment) it not be used to create self-contained environments to show of a range of work.

Posted by zefrank at 5:11 PM | Comments (0)

more truth

today's dose of knowledge

updates + previous shows can be found here

edited to add: the link is fixed now - it was pointing to yesterdays show...

also: thanks lala, kp and antonia for the books!

Posted by zefrank at 11:11 AM | Comments (9)

layered x

Robo-One 9: Robot Competition - LAYERED-X

beautiful mixture of human and transformer qualities...

thanks erik

Posted by zefrank at 7:12 AM | Comments (3)

March 28, 2006

pandora music


I'm diggin this project - a simple music player that creates playlists based on community input...maybe it ain't a new concept, but its nicely executed.

thanks lara

Posted by zefrank at 8:40 PM | Comments (5)

the source

a robust illusion site with some excellent info on what is behind them:
Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena

Posted by zefrank at 8:21 PM | Comments (2)

from myself to yourself

truth where it hurts

Posted by zefrank at 7:27 PM | Comments (8)

on the theme of illusion

an extremely effective visual illusion/ eye receptor anomaly...

Posted by zefrank at 10:34 AM | Comments (9)

in cape cod this morning

the truth will land a bit later this eve....

its a travel day.

Posted by zefrank at 10:13 AM | Comments (3)

March 27, 2006

its truth time

from mine to yours

Posted by zefrank at 11:48 AM | Comments (16)

this makes me edgy

Grand Illusions - Optical Illusions - Dr Angry and Mr Calm

try it.

thanks erik.

Posted by zefrank at 7:13 AM | Comments (3)

March 26, 2006


a wonderful collection of postcards featuring motels from the past

Posted by zefrank at 6:42 PM | Comments (4)

tell me if it works for you...

The Song Tapper - Find music by tapping the rhythm of the song's melody.

its pretty amazing...it recognized moondance

Posted by zefrank at 6:31 PM | Comments (11)



enjoying anthony citrano's newly jumpstarted back to health blog.

Posted by zefrank at 6:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2006

reminding you

the truth sleeps on weekends....

Posted by zefrank at 2:51 PM | Comments (4)

March 24, 2006

from Jacksonville

from me to you

Posted by zefrank at 6:57 PM | Comments (9)

french doors

Frog Review just released another movie using a movie making tool i built for them.

great stuff... they take on usability issues of popular websites...the last one was on ticketmaster...this time around its on homedepot.com

Posted by zefrank at 12:33 PM | Comments (2)

as you might have guessed

by my subtle hints...i am traveling at the moment. Just left Columbia S.C. and headed to Jacksonville, FLA in my search for...well, nothing really.

all these morning flights are getting in the way of the truth train filming and editing...

a fresh pimple of knowledge will be oozing at you later this afternoon.

Posted by zefrank at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2006

thought i wouldn't make it?

put this in your smoke and pipe it.

Posted by zefrank at 5:48 PM | Comments (14)

March 22, 2006

suck-a-thumb and others

Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman, Reinterpreted by Bob Staake -- Published by Fantagraphics

i grew up reading the original stories...scared the pants off me...i'm immensely looking forward to this version.

Posted by zefrank at 5:00 PM | Comments (7)

remote reporting from me

so live its like you live inside my face.

Posted by zefrank at 10:57 AM | Comments (12)

March 21, 2006

the world today

everything you need to know

from me to u.

Posted by zefrank at 11:52 AM | Comments (7)

March 20, 2006

annie don't give a crap about ja interview

Found this excerpt from an interview i did with Mark Hurst of goodexperience.

Mark is such a trooper....

Posted by zefrank at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)

today's goings ons

forgive the burp

it wasn't supposed to make the edit.

edited to add:

just got some sort of a stomach virus....the burp was a premonition...so spooky.

Posted by zefrank at 11:24 AM | Comments (3)

March 19, 2006

try drawing "irony"


really enjoyed this...multiplayer online pictionary



Posted by zefrank at 11:22 PM | Comments (3)



after you figure out the annoying slot machine navigation, check out the movie section, specifically "i love death". been around for a bit but worth a re-looksee.

its inappropriate for children and could be offensive to some adults...but i think its a very well made music video.

Posted by zefrank at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

bad ass role play

Wired 14.03: The Great Escape

This is a game i want to play....

Posted by zefrank at 11:52 AM | Comments (1)

oh boy

Scientists make 'bionic' muscles

soon i will have even larger pectorals

Posted by zefrank at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)


Gen. George Casey, Commander of the Multi-National Force told Tim Russert this AM that Operation Swarmer was not a "major offensive" and had that it had probably received too much hype because of the impressive looking helicopters that were being used (at incredible expense).

Swarmer sent about 1,000 troops to a small village in the middle of nowhere...doubling the population in that area. It was a true coalition effort, as Rumsfeld pointed out on a number of occations, and was supposed to be proof of Iraqi troop "readiness".

They were after between 30 to 60 specific "insurgents". I bet it was easy to round up coalition support on this one...look at the odds - 1,000 to 60...look at the gear they brought with them - state of the art helis ready to bomb the shit out of anything that showed a heat pattern.

But no shots were fired in the end...no resistence. They found "weapons caches"...nothing more specific than that, although cache is an impressive word, i admit. They also rounded up a bunch of people...again nothing more specific, and i'd like to point out that in wartime you can round up as many people as you like anytime you want.

The White House was quick to say that this bizarre display was not politically motivated.... to distract us from the possibility of civil war...to create a meaningless operation that could be pointed to as proof of coalition support and Iraqi Army readiness ...to bring a bunch of troops to a place where they could conduct an operation without suffering casualties.

also: why no outcry about Reese Witherspoon? I just rented Walk the Line. Phoenix was great, and Reese was good, but come on...BEST ACTRESS??? really? explain this to me...and when you do it better be a conspiracy theory.

Posted by zefrank at 10:58 AM | Comments (3)

March 18, 2006


here's why the site was running so slowly...

These guys stole the racing game i made and were hosting it on their site...the page, regardless of where it is hosted still contacts my site to access the high scores.

It pisses me off. why? i do it for free...and for attention. i love the attention...and love. they take it away from me. they make money from it...put ugly ads around it.

invariably when i write to these people they respond as if they have done nothing wrong. it makes me so angry.

I'll bet there is plenty of other content on their site that is hosted without permission...


they took the file down, but sent me an email threatening to take legal action against me for defamation...and said that i should be happy that they even gave me credit at all.

Posted by zefrank at 6:51 PM | Comments (8)


memory_test: this is a version i've been working on. its memory but with audio cues only. need to turn your sound up.

thanks for all the suggestions on scoring. I haven't really implemented a good system quite yet, but i will be trying a few options out and posting them as i go.

there are quite a few different ways to think about the scoring challenge, especially if you want to incorporate time into the game play in an integrated sort of way.

one idea is to have each tile become "hot" when its turned over. if you find its match before it cools you get more points.

another is to have the entire game be a race against a clock. correct answers add to the time (depending on how many prior views) and incorrect answers reduce the time.

in a no-time scenario i'd like to get a single score that best sums up the players ability. maybe lucky guesses should be discounted altogether (shouldn't alter the score). Single viewed matches should get the most points - its actually a 1-2 scenario.. the first card (once), the second (once) when it was first turned and again for the match.

i'll have to think more about it, and would love your help...ideally the scoring doesn't dictate a single game strategy)

edited to add:

i don't count the last two boxes in the "lucky" scenario. even if both boxes have never been touched...i still count it normally.

Posted by zefrank at 1:51 PM | Comments (3)

March 17, 2006

update on op swarmer

TIME.com: On Scene: How Operation Swarmer Fizzled

Posted by zefrank at 6:33 PM | Comments (0)


the site is a little slow at the moment...trying to figure it out. you know...the problem. with the site. there's nothing wrong with slow...its just different. in a non-good way.

Posted by zefrank at 4:53 PM | Comments (1)

everything that matters

today's news from me to you.

Posted by zefrank at 12:38 PM | Comments (5)

d & t

Death and Taxes: a graphic chart of US tax spending created from White House data. really nicely done.

Click "zoom in" to get a closer look.

Posted by zefrank at 6:38 AM | Comments (0)

sense of place

The Tranquilo Traveler

written by a close friend, Josh Berman who has been traveling for the better part of the last ten years. he's an excellent writer, and currently working in Sri Lanka, if you feel like taking a short virtual visit....

Posted by zefrank at 6:25 AM | Comments (1)

something you could help with

i'm working on updating the memory games.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to score the game. Right now its just a percentage...wrong picks vs. correct picks, and even a good score is depressingly low. In this scenario only pure luck can get you 100% - you'd have to guess correctly without ever having seen the squares you flipped.

Arguably the player should be able to turn each tile over once before i start counting wrong picks, but this doesn't take into account lucky guesses, which could push the score over 100%.

I'd like time to factor into this, perhaps a bonus for faster play.

ideally the scoring would be a single number which was created using wrong picks, right picks (a fixed #), and time taken (am i missing something? - maybe the more times you turn over each individual tile, the worse your score gets...so returning to the same tile again and again would be a bad strategy).

i don't want it to be abstracted into an inflated points system (like pinball)...

any suggestions?

Posted by zefrank at 5:52 AM | Comments (5)

March 16, 2006

the third bubble's my fav

Vectorpark - some really nice things to play with.

Posted by zefrank at 4:16 PM | Comments (0)

filed under "transition of power" on CNN

The U.S. launches largest Iraqi air assault since invasion - Mar 16, 2006, at the same time that Bush says Iran poses the biggest challenge to the US.

"Insurgents and terrorists are targeted...", in a country that is on the brink of civil war, how can you tell who's who?

more disturbing: "This is a good exercise and indicates that this strategy is working to build Iraqi troops to be sufficient,"

an excercise? troops to be sufficient? its an air raid - 50 aircraft employed to use hi-tech weapons in a massive bomb blitz...how does that show anything about the Iraqi troop's readiness?

Posted by zefrank at 12:46 PM | Comments (4)

just jon

removing garfield's speech bubbles makes for a much better, weirder, and wonderfully more pathetic cartoon about a lonely loser.

via: boingboing

edited to add:

more Garfields

Posted by zefrank at 7:34 AM | Comments (0)

big time

World's largest Windows error message

via: NetworkWorld.com

Posted by zefrank at 7:24 AM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2006

back again

lotsofwires is back up again...would love to have your feedback on what sorts of toys you'd like to see...

Posted by zefrank at 6:23 PM | Comments (0)

strange game like thing


Posted by zefrank at 6:08 PM | Comments (1)

cubicle carl

Z: PowerLoafing.com

bills itself as the world's smallest sitcom (except without the apostrophe in "world's") its a group of comedians out in Hollywood.

man i wish i had a posse.

Posted by zefrank at 5:13 PM | Comments (1)


A: remember when i was depressed?

Z: yup.

A: and you told me to "live each day as if it was my last".

Z: yup. good advice. i think i said "were your last".

A: I tried it yesterday...it sucked.

Z: what did you do?

A: I woke up and cried for 3 hours. At noon I went to Starbuck's and told the barrista I was going to die and tried to kiss her. I was drunk by 2PM and smeared pudding all over my body... before peeing on my nasty neighbor's car. I don't remember the next two hours but I did wake up with bank receipt that said i'd closed my account. strangely i had no money on me. At 6 i called my parents and tried to be cheerful...which freaked them out and they said they would come and visit me in a week or so...which launched me into another fit of sobbing and i had to hang up. For dinner I took my change jar to the cheese shop and tried all the kinds i'd never had before, except the really smelly one, which i put in a post office box, then felt bad and got my arm stuck trying to get it out. At around 9 i suddenly became elated and started singing louis armstrongs "wonderful world", or at least as much as i could remember, in between cheese burps. I cuddled with my cat on my front stoop for about an hour before i let her run free. then i passed out.

Z: whoa...that's not really what i meant.

A: yeah. it doesn't really help the depression.

Posted by zefrank at 12:28 PM | Comments (2)

the "h" in role.

A: ummm...this looks important...The National Center For Men

Z: "We can help you if...you are being forced into paternity and/or a child support obligation against your wishes"...

A: poor guys...having to take care of those bratty kids even when they don't want to. they also help men "escape the narrow gender role restrictions imposed on men".

Z: Don't restrict my gender role, man.

A: What?

Z: I said "Don't restrict my gender role."

A: Oh, I heard something different.

Posted by zefrank at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2006

bad cat

A: The BEAST: America's Best Fiend this made me laugh...

Z: don't post stuff like that...its offensive and innapropriate for kids.

A: you shoudn't have anthropomorphized me.

Posted by zefrank at 1:01 PM | Comments (0)


Z: so i moved the blog to the front page so that i would post more regularly.

A: more regularly than never?

Z: shut up. but i've noticed something weird. more people are hitting the site, but fewer are emailing me directly.

A: does that hurt your feelings? is your royal egonessness not being stroked enough. what a massive wussfart.

Z: no. that's not what i mean. RSS is great but it seems to create a passive consumption environment that i hadn't expected.

A: what the holy nerd taffy is RSS? i won't even touch pissy conjunctive environment.

Z: Really Simple Syndication...people say different things...but that's what i call it. Its abbreviated to make it easier to say...like www and "world wide web".

A: but "world wide web" is 3 syllables, and "www" is 9. "triple w" is 5...you might as well say "three of those letters right before x" - that's 9 too.

Z: ha...now who's the dork? syllable counter. that's so nerdy.

A: still you, moron...you're the one pretending to have a conversation with your cat.

Z: if that was true, why would i make you so abusive?

A: you have self esteem issues.

Z: do i? really?

A: idiot.

Posted by zefrank at 11:07 AM | Comments (7)

macc sum musacc

Robot Song-Off... compete to create the best song about robots.


Fort Minor Remix Contest: a creative commons remix contest that is sponsored by Warner Bros. (gasp!) - check out some of the editors picks.

Posted by zefrank at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2006

bliss diss

Bliss Diss

a bit ago i posted a video of a guy juggling to a Beatle's tune. This guy responds to that clip (out of jealousy?) by doing much more difficult jugging , that in my opinion isn't as much fun to watch....

Posted by zefrank at 6:04 PM | Comments (2)

interesting modular toy

Cube World.

here's a link to a promotional video (24 Megs).

Posted by zefrank at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

oh my.

ZEFRANK.COM - message board - Chuck Norris

this thread make me laugh out loud.

Posted by zefrank at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2006


just finished indigp prophecy on xbox. really enjoyed the immersive narrative (christ, i can't believe i just said "immersive narrative") of the game despite some of the really clunky interface - a "simon" like pattern repetition module keeps appearing mid screen during the action sequences. for some reason the game reminded me of the classic resident's game from the 90s - "a bad day on the midway"...if you haven't played this - get a copy off of ebay.

Posted by zefrank at 6:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2006

beware the hordes

in this new world some pursuits are doomed to fail. even if SONY hired 2,000 people to deal with DRM there would be millions of lower skilled folks ready to work against it for free. this is the culture of participation. small efforts en masse become a tidal wave against top down specialized labor.

that's why i get frustrated when advertsing agencies reframe themselves as high-end "content providers", envisioning a shift towards specialized media production companies. its a losing battle. there are too many content providers (all of us) to contend with. advertising, in my opinion, needs to move toward understanding and creating spaces that facilitate content sharing and conversation. participation, not consumption has become the currency of loyalty.

Posted by zefrank at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

new pics of the chinese panda babies

born in october of last year

Posted by zefrank at 8:59 AM | Comments (3)


latest pics showing water on saturn's moon enceladus from the Cassini-Huygens

Posted by zefrank at 8:54 AM | Comments (0)

March 9, 2006

more jays

a zen movie was just sent to me. just birds and peanuts. quite soothing...especially with the chimes in the background.

Posted by zefrank at 5:06 PM | Comments (4)

an idea

so, I've been thinking about negroponte's one laptop per child project, and have been looking at other hardware and connectivity initiatives in the developing world. Last I heard negroponte had about $7 million in pre-orders and I think even if he misses the $100 price point, others will jump on the bandwagon quickly...both on the purchasing side as well as on the development side. Bottom line - there will be a huge number of people that will be getting their first laptops in the next few years, and in particular children that are enrolled in some sort of learning program.

it seems that now would be a great time to begin to develop a software development community to start creating applications that can be used on these machines.

here's what I'm thinking:

a place to start. in developing countries children with developmental disabilities are often grouped together. they are the broken kids. kids that are blind, deaf, have MS, paralysis or severe learning disabilities are removed from schools and placed in special learning facilities that unfortunately do not have the funding to provide specialized services that address the particular needs of their disability. Its not negligence, its just that there isn't money or training available. My guess is that there are a number of simple toy-like applications that could be developed around individual needs that would at least provide something in the meantime. Toys that develop fine motor control by encouraging rapid keystrokes, sound reactive toys that encouraged vocalization, or simple language toys that reinforced auditory learning. Simple is the key here. I don't think we need over-designed, rich illustrations to power this stuff...just a focus on fun.

We could use a team of folks to help on defining the problem sets: Specifically early educators, occupational therapists, play therapists and clinical child psychologists. They could suggest basic activities that seem to motivate certain populations could also give feedback from actual test populations.

I imagine the community being open source with opportunities to join for-profit initiatives in the future that relate to online learning in general.

any feedback here would be great.

edited to add:

thanks for the links...they are greatly appreciate...yes, by help i mean any suggestions and leads that might help me better formulate this plan. as for cultural impact...my guess is that is so tied to specific places that it is almost impossible to discuss in a general way. I think that the best sorts of tools for this would be language independent and have as little built in context as possible. I'm thinking of the sorts of activities that can be found at addictinggames.com. very simple things that promote activity. there's a ton of it out there - i just want to create a space that provides some guidance for a specific population.

Posted by zefrank at 1:06 PM | Comments (5)

meditation flowers

i've been playing with voice activated toys for a bit...and came up with this one:meditation_flowers

you grow different shaped pattern flowers with your voice.
let me know if you play with it and tell me what it was like.

Posted by zefrank at 10:47 AM | Comments (1)

a guy named jay

he wrote me a note...he's a musician and included a url to:
some bad ass stuff

seems to a slow connection - but worth it for any of you music junkies...check out heart of gold.

Posted by zefrank at 9:14 AM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2006

pretty nicely done novelty site

Play Back the Night

Posted by zefrank at 9:47 PM | Comments (1)

imitating art

Real Life Simpsons Intro

Posted by zefrank at 9:39 PM | Comments (1)


just added about 150 more of these:

neutered dog haikus

Posted by zefrank at 8:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 7, 2006


hey...are there some of you that only see a blog on this page? without all the rest of the links etc...

if so could you send me a note with a screenshot or at least your specs (browser, OS) so i can figure it out...

Posted by zefrank at 10:59 AM | Comments (1)

March 6, 2006

art hack

The Magic of %u2018Caligula%u2019 - Gawker

fun story about a couple guys that hacked the whitney biennial

Posted by zefrank at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)

March 3, 2006

microsoft iPod

YouTube - Microsoft iPod

Posted by zefrank at 9:12 AM | Comments (0)


Video Bomb - Spore Gameplay Video

this looks like its incredible

Posted by zefrank at 9:05 AM

March 1, 2006

another call

f r a i l t y is one of my favorite projects on the site...

if you get a chance and have the desire, i'd love for you to contribute - illustrate a line to a poem written by visitors to the site. we are nearly finished with one of the poems, and there are many lines yet to illustrate...

when enough are collected i'll turn it into a navigable story...
(by the way this is not appropriate for young kids - all the content is user created and there is some blue stuff)

Posted by zefrank at 12:39 PM | Comments (1)