Category Archives: Scientific Aesthetic

LinkedIn and the Promise of Minority Equality in the Age of Internet Access

Yesterday, I posted an image Janna took over the weekend to my social media circles, and I was surprised to read this morning how concerned some were over what I thought was a joyous image of young Black females in the urban core being involved in a connected electronic Age.  The action was happening on LinkedIn, and here is that discussion — I don’t know if you can read it by default, or if you have to be linked to me first or not — and here is the image that started it all:

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Harman/Kardon SoundSticks III 2.1 Channel Review

It took eight years of almost constant 24/7/365 use — but I did it — I killed my beloved Logitech Z-2300 THX Sound System and I was in dismay for a few days as I tried to wrap my head around the loss of a fantastic way to listen to anything and everything online and in my life.

After doing some quick internet research, I decided to go a different way and try a new company and system. I’ve always appreciated the keen scientific aesthetic of the Harman/Kardon SoundSticks series. The whole speaker contraption looks like a spaceship and I was curious if cool design was able to triumph together with a healthy technical spec.

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Wooden Yoke Treasures from Portugal via Pau

As well as my beautiful fountain, I accumulated some more treasures from Pau which I promised to share.  These are both made of wood, a material I have a great affinity for in all its states. I love trees and what they are crafted into. I love having pieces of history around me and our new house allows me to do just that.

Once again, these are huge, heavy, pieces of wood that were once fully functional equipment in rural Portugal.

In its previous life, this piece was a yoke for oxen who were attached to it and then were used to push – as opposed to pull other equipment around.

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Science Park: A Last Look Around Pau

Pau is a small provincial city, it has long been a haven for the British wanting to escape Blighty for the good of their health. There are many spas in the area and the climate is reputed to be good for your health. The older architecture is a mix of “alpine’ grand villa and a good dose of British garden. There is a cathedral and a university and the small provincial airport is now opening up to fulfill Pau’s emerging status as the gateway to the Pyrenees.

The airport’s development and the expansion of the scientific departments at the University have led to the development of a science park on the outskirts of the city.  I have, on past visits, caught tantalizing glimpses of some of the buildings and was determined to explore further before we left Pau for good.

After one particularly frustrating afternoon, I declared a time out and went exploring and headed straight for the science park.

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How Technology Creeps into Everyday Existence to Become Ubiquitous

Let’s roll back our minds a decade to a time when people were not constantly on their smartphones.  Facebook isn’t in our everyday lives for another two years and Twitter will hatch a year after that in 2006.

Smartphones aren’t even called smartphones — they’re just dumb “cellular phones” that do rudimentary text messages without multimedia attachments like images and video.

That barren time in technology was still a difficult one of wide, generational, gaps when it came to the rapid, everyday, adoption of technology.

Those of us who grew up on payphones and single-line telephones in the home, were often put off, and perhaps, even offended by the younger among us who insisted that their cellphones were not just extensions of communication, but a very connectoid of being human.

When I was teaching at a major technical university on the East Coast way back when, I implored my students to not just put their phones on vibrate — at that time in the technological evolution, the vibration of the mechanism in the phone was just as loud as a ringtone — but to actually turn off their phones during the few times other students were giving a formal, graded, presentation in class.

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Coloring History: Should Facts Remain Black and White?

Every so often, we get someone who steps forward to decide our shared, national, record of events isn’t good enough in standard black and white — and so they take the task upon themselves to “convert” the established, memed, facts of black and white history into their color-coded version of hues — to reset, in their mind, what really happened.

This modernizing filter of alleged aesthetic and absolutely craven creativity is just as disturbing to me today as it was 30 years ago when I was an undergraduate Freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln taking a film class with the great Dr. June Perry Levine.

At the time of Dr. Levine’s course, Ted Turner was in full-burst mode in his effort to “colorize” old black and white movies and television shows by adding color to give them new life on his cable channel.

Turner’s effect was horrible and gross as skin colors were orange and backgrounds were dark blue and clothing was all a shade of a mossy green: Time travel at its complete worst.

Adding new color to old black and white images is like repainting a fresco of Christ.  The ultimate effect of each effort is the shared shameful same.

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