ze's blog :: zefrank.com

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January 30, 2009

walmart takes america

a visualization

Posted by zefrank at 5:14 PM | Comments (20)

modular robots

a bit slow, but i can't help feeling for the little guy(s) :: the last few seconds will ease anyone's fears of robot world domination :: click below to watch ::

Posted by zefrank at 12:33 PM | Comments (13)

January 28, 2009

Her Morning Elegance / Oren Lavie

lovely stop motion animation :: click below to watch :: (thanks Ingrid) ::

Posted by zefrank at 2:38 PM | Comments (18)


This is why I can't seem to get rid of my CNN RSS feed, just when i think they are teetering on the edge irrelevant opinionated drivel, this :: 'Cello scrotum' exposed as a hoax

Posted by zefrank at 11:50 AM | Comments (4)

voice draw update

updated version of the voice drawing app :: a little bit easier to manipulate, but still quite difficult. A couple images I made below :: I was able to get a bit more representational with this version...are you having any luck?

UPDATE :: David wrote:
"Could the speed slightly increase as you reach mid-level volumes, and fall off towards the extremes?"
:: this version had a slight increase in speed for straight lines, but I agree it is not enough. Here is a version that is more pronounced (based on an exponential relationship) - the effect is that a straight line moves considerably faster. As you begin to curve it slows down gradually at first, then with increased deceleration as it approaches the tightest, slowest turns (when you are either very loud or very quiet)

Posted by zefrank at 1:22 AM | Comments (17)

January 26, 2009

want to try something hard? voice drawing....

here is an early test of a voice-based drawing toy I made today (you need an active or built-in mic) :: low volume curves counterclockwise, medium volume is straight, high volume curves clockwise :: pretty tough to control :: below are some screen grabs of faces i tried to draw-hum (click to enlarge).

Send me what you come up with, or better yet send me a video of you "drawing" and the final result!...(PS - the file is 1000x1000 pixels, and blank when you start - drawing begins from the center - so you may have to scroll if you have a tiny screen - also, click to reset)

NOTE : although it is perhaps the most accessible to the public, this is by no means the first toy to play with the relationship between sound and drawing. Messa di Voce (below), by Golan Levin, Zachary Lieberman, remains the gold standard for this type of work, and i was reminded that my voice drawing app resembles a portion of their application. They have a line guided by pitch (360 degree mapping) and are more focused on expressive drawings (i spoke with Golan about this), while I am still in search of a tool that can be used to draw representational forms...although I'm sure with a bit of tweaking Golan and Zach could produce something that did just that.

Posted by zefrank at 7:25 PM | Comments (95)

Books By Emotion #1: Lovingly Sad Happy

These are books that left a "lovingly sad-happy" feeling in the people that recommended them. If you have more suggestions in this category, please let me know. Later this week we can try a new category, and I'll try and explain why this is interesting to me...

Posted by zefrank at 1:07 PM | Comments (22)

James Joseph (Jay) Kaplan

Today i attended a memorial service for Jay Kaplan. He passed away last month at the age of 28. I only knew him briefly, but I feel a profound sense of loss, and can't imagine what those who were close to him are feeling. He was an extremely talented and funny filmmaker and an all around wonderful person. My heart goes out to his wife and family. You can see some youtube clips he made here. He also directed the series : the loneliest ultra conservative corn muffin in the world

Posted by zefrank at 12:22 AM | Comments (1)

January 24, 2009

very big picture of the inauguration

david bergman details how he made the stitched 1.4 gig photo :: you can zoom in on all sorts of famous and not so famous faces...most of them just look cold as hell

Posted by zefrank at 11:59 AM | Comments (11)

January 23, 2009

thinking about lists of books

I would like to try to organize book recommendations around emotions. This already happens at some level - horror, romance, inspirational, but I'd like to try more complicated categories. First I need help identifying some categories. Let's use a maximum of three words. Try and get at the way that the book (or the memory of the book) makes you feel :: For example: Under "Lovingly Sad Happy" I nominate The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao :: Could you either recommend more in that category or create a new one? ...and eventually i will try and make some lists.

Posted by zefrank at 2:01 PM | Comments (26)

next 50

ipod-ready episodes 51-100 of the show can be downloaded here :: $5

Posted by zefrank at 2:00 PM | Comments (4)

January 22, 2009

Microsoft Songsmith Remixes

A fun/weird series of videos that test how Microsoft's Songsmith does with famous vocals :: (Songsmith is software that auto generates musical accompaniment to vocals that you supply)

Posted by zefrank at 6:27 PM | Comments (4)

January 21, 2009

We're all Gonna Die

'We're All Gonna Die - 100 meters of existence' :: navigation is a bit wonky and the title seems like an afterthought, but there is something in capturing people unaware. A bit like MethodIzaz.com, but less stalkerish creepy...

Posted by zefrank at 6:11 AM | Comments (15)

January 16, 2009


a world described :: The Household Cyclopedia :: and a world imagined :: Encyclopedia Galactica :: not sure which is stranger

One of my favorites from the former :: like a bit of poetry ::

To protect Grapes from Wasps.

Plant near the grapes some yew-trees, and the wasps will so far prefer The yew-tree berries as wholly to neglect the grapes.

Posted by zefrank at 10:42 AM | Comments (4)

January 15, 2009

Story from North America

click below for the excellent animation from kirsten lepore...

:: more at http://www.kirstenlepore.com/

Posted by zefrank at 10:24 AM | Comments (11)

January 14, 2009


an excellent series of videos that explain multiple dimensions...very pretty to look at too.

Posted by zefrank at 8:14 PM | Comments (7)

January 13, 2009

You Have to Burn The Rope

You Have To Burn The Rope :: and save the day.

Posted by zefrank at 9:07 PM | Comments (7)

and Play With Spider

Play With Spider

Posted by zefrank at 10:37 AM | Comments (3)

January 10, 2009

picture me

I recently set up one of those digital picture frames. It is in my living room and it laying on its side in landscape format. It is networked to the interweb, and I can see photos that are uploaded to a kodak account...

i would like your photos for it.

I would most prefer snapshots of moments that mean something to you...as if your life was my life. i don't need more pretty things, or snarky things, or clever things in my living room. i want to see your pictures and wonder what is behind them...and when people ask questions i will make up stories.

UPDATE: Thank you for your pics! The account had a bit of difficulty with the volume of photos submitted, and some pimply teenager in Kansas changed the password a couple times, so I have had to restart. Luckily I downloaded most of the pics to my frame last night - have over 300 or so photos to look at.

If you would like to upload some pics to my frame - email me and i will give you the login details to the account :: ze@zefrank.com

Posted by zefrank at 5:58 PM | Comments (24)

two books I highly recommend


Posted by zefrank at 12:03 PM | Comments (13)

January 9, 2009

vintage ads

click here to view :: i always get stuck in the urinal when these are used as wallpaper...

Posted by zefrank at 7:12 PM | Comments (2)

some things die young

johnaugust.com :: The Remnants, in full

Posted by zefrank at 6:12 PM | Comments (14)

January 5, 2009

1930s daredevil

via VSL :: click below to watch

Posted by zefrank at 1:06 PM | Comments (18)

January 4, 2009

Ben Gleib

click below to watch ::

Posted by zefrank at 9:28 PM | Comments (9)