Monthly Archives: December 2010

In a way, this is a 3D entry

A few days ago I bought myself an early solstice present, a point-and-shoot Fuji FinePix REAL 3D W3 digital camera. It’s got dual lenses, which are primarily there for shooting 3D videos and pictures but can also do cool stuff like taking two simultaneous photos using different exposure settings and tricks like that. Even cooler, it’s got a no-3D-glasses-required lenticular screen on the back so you can view your popping-right-out-of-the-camera images after you take them. This is actually the only way that I have to view 3D right now, so as you can imagine I’ve been eyeballing another toy — Caitlin (poor injured Caitlin) has been coveting a projector, and to my amazement you can get 3D capable ones for well under a grand.

I’m totally sold on the notion that 3D isn’t just a trend. Right now the market is set to flood and I think, in time, be dominated by simple dual lense 3D cameras. As 3D televisions and monitors, especially those that use lenticular screens and other methods that allow you to enjoy the 3D images and videos without special glasses, become the norm, we’ll forget all about 2D just like we’ve forgotten about black and white — “oh, how quaint” we’ll think when we watch old and strangely “flat” 2D movies. If I have to predict the evolution of the technology, I’d say that this will be followed by cameras that are able to also record per-pixel depth information in addition to what our eyes and brains will interpolate from the stereogram. I imagine this will begin with something that works a lot like the Kinect and then moves on up to something like a laser depth scanner like what the clever cars that drive themselves use, or what wealthy police departments use to record a crime scene. After that the next logical step is to include GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers and other tech that lets the camera become aware of its location, in order to allow a person to take multiple photos of a scene which can then be reconstructed into a true 3D scene where the viewer can travel through it rather than being forced to stand in the photographer’s shoes. This could also work with multiple cameras, and would be incredibly immersive. I don’t see any reason why this entire evolution has to take more than a few years.

For now, I’m going to try and convert some of the pictures (manually) into “jiggle 3D” and see how that goes. The rest of the entry with more of that is after the break.

Anyway, feel free to click on through if you haven’t already. Hope it doesn’t crash your browser.


A more morbid xmas idea: SKULL CANDLE!

First, I’ll be replying to all the emails I’ve gotten about the ModCon book sales tomorrow (Monday) morning, so if you haven’t heard from me by noon EST, please feel free to double check my email address and write me back.

Yesterday I made my biggest mold so far, a full-scale copy of a human skull. It’s got an interesting history as well, because after being in my collection — and I think being featured in a few shots when I was interviewed for some TLC documentary — it ended up with Shane of King of Fools, so it’s been used as an art model for quite a number of tattoos as well as other graphic design like album covers. It was quite tricky to cast as the skull is damaged and missing most of its teeth and so on, but all-in-all it turned out well and only needs minor touch up after coming out of the mold. That hasn’t been done fully in the photos in this entry, so you can still see the mold lines and so on. But those are easy to clean up.

There is a bit over four pounds of beeswax in this. I haven’t put any wicks in this one because it was a test casting, but my plan is to mount three wicks in them. I’m willing to make these for $60 in beeswax or $30 in soy wax. By default they’re unscented but in theory that’s possible. If you’d like one just email me. Shipping is about $20 in Canada, $30 to the USA, or — yikes — at least $70 overseas. There’s a couple days of turn-around assuming I’m not swamped so I can get these out for Christmas in theory. They’re a pretty cool gift I think. I have time to make only a few of them before the holidays do don’t delay in contacting me if you’re interested.

Above on the left is a real medical skull (not the one that mastered the wax), and the one on the right is the candle skull of course. For a more detailed view, check out the photos below.

Christmas Shopping: Last ModCon Books Discovered!

IMPORTANT NOTE: While I still have a rather small number of books left, I will be in the hospital until year’s end. When I get out I will reply to all pending emails. If you want to guarantee a book then send a PayPal payment for the book and we can sort out shipment later. First come first serve.

We recently found some ModCon books — literally one box. These are the very last untouched books that exist on the planet as far as I know, from the original printing. I have about 25 still-shrink-wrapped copies of the ModCon book, the one that used to be sold through BMEshop (the far right one in the picture below), and — and this is really amazing — I also have 20 of the true original photo books “I Am The Strength Of Art” that were published after ModCon II (but before ModCon III). Note that they don’t include the VCD though. Finally, I have 5 copies of Lukas Zpira’s book “ONANISME MANU MILTARI II” (the one in bubble wrap), which is a beautiful photo compendium of his early work.

Cost for either of the ModCon books is $30, or $50 for both. Cost for Lukas’s book is $25.

(Lukas’s book is sold out, and I have about half of the rest left so you can still get ModCon books).

Shipping is hard to predict, but to generalize, shipping one book is $10 in Canada, $15 to the US, or $30 airmail international. Two books is about $15 in Canada, $22 to the US, or $50 airmail international. You can get the exact rate at the Canada Post Website (my postal code is M6R2B2 for calculating purposes) . The new ModCon book weighs 0.620 kg, the old one 0.340 kg, and Lukas’s book 0.700 kg (add 0.100 kg for the envelope and cardboard stiffener). I’m happy to ship them via regular “cheap” mail or ship it overnight if you’re rushed (give me a day to get to the post office). If you want me to do the math, write me with your address, or if you want to do it, email me at with “Book Sale” in the subject line so I don’t miss it.

To pay for the book(s), PayPal me at If you’re not sure how to do that or you want me to compute the shipping cost, email me and I’ll send you an invoice. First come first serve. Here’s a PayPal link. I know it says Donate but it’s for the book… I couldn’t figure out how to set up a proper button, sorry, but the effect is the same.

I’ll amend this entry if the books sell out, but assume that as long as this entry is here, the books are still available! Remember, these are the very last books available, and they’ll never be posted again. If you want to get a fresh copy, this is your one and only chance!

Little Trike Update

I know I should be putting up my final pictures and instructions on the dollhouse, now that it’s an essentially finished project, but I’m in trike mode. Among other almost non-stop reading, I ran across the term “CAD”. Not as in computer aided design, but as in cardboard aided design. I actually came across it on a really cool site about building DIY wooden bikes (which is another story, and also recommended browsing), which suggested building a full scale paper doll version of yourself so that you have a very tactile hands-on way of designing your bike (or furniture, or whatever). It’s one thing doodling totally-not-to-scale dream vehicles on paper, but this brings you so much closer to something you can actually build without eons of fine-tuning all your measurements. My two mannequins, one for me and one for Nefarious, were made by drawing body element after body element on cardboard and holding it up to the body to ensure it was the right size and that the joint was the right location. The joint itself is made with a hole through each piece, and then a circular “rivet” that has two tabs cut out of it that go through the holes and are taped to the back side. Like this:

You’ve already seen my 2D profile mock-up, but let me post another shot to just show some other consideration that was done — planning for a second seat. The law on e-bikes permits passengers, but the seat has to be part of the bike’s initial design (so I was thinking a rumble seat). That said, after some thought and some perusing of the laws, I think that rather than technically building an e-bike, I’m going to be building an electric wheelchair. This is for two main reasons — first of all, the legislation seems to be much looser on them, and second of all, that way I can skip a pedal/human-power drive system since it’s not as if my legs are strong enough to use them anyway. I suppose I could make something arm powered, but I’m running out of muscle tissue in my arms and the last thing I need to do is accelerate my becoming a cripple. So I don’t know whether a back seat is even allowed.

After getting that profile all done I tried to pull it into the third dimension, both by printing it out and drawing it, and by trying to make it on the floor by laying out some clothes in the shape of my body and making the chassis with strips of cardboard. After a couple awkward doodles, I ended up with something in my head that was half way between Ed Roth’s Globe Hopper Trike (the last Rat Fink vehicle, built by Big Daddy in 87, and used for a massive road trip up to Alaska and beyond) and the awesome extreme-rake trikes built by Phoenix Trike Works (probably my favorite trike company alongside Rewaco‘s older models). Anyway, I created what was in my head by taping together some roughly 1.5″ square pieces of foam tube that I cut out of a big sheet.

Feel free to zoom in by clicking the pic and doubling its size.

So next I’m going to make a second version of it, much more precisely, out of foam that’ll be glued or heat-fused together rather than crudely taped. Then it all gets covered with fiberglass (sort of inspired by the folks who are making those amazing Pepakura plus plastic resin masks and so on, or more precisely, like RQ Riley’s XR2 recumbent bike), and after it’s cleaned up, boom, I have a chassis. Metal tube is going to be built in for mounting the front forks and the rear wheels of course, but the rest is all glass and foam. Most of it is going to be [fiberglass] “tube”, and some of it filled in with flat sections, so I guess technically it’s semi-monocoque. It should weigh almost nothing and be very strong.

Oh and if you’re interested in cheap gadgets, check this out:

It’s a light-up top that a friend picked up for Nefarious, I think bought at Giant Tiger (sort of like Walmart) for under $3. It’s pretty amazing to me that something like this, a light up top, that has a bunch of LED lights, a laser diode sort of thing, a speaker and a sound chip, as well as a casing and packaging, and associated costs like shipping and advertising and all that, can be made that cheap. I’m sure it’s Chinese slave labor, but still… Oh, and the thing that’s really neat about it is that it doesn’t have batteries. The act of winding it up (and it just takes a couple quick twists, a second or so of work) fires up a generator that powers the lights and circuits and sound. My friend was with someone that bought a hundred of them to use at dance venues or something like that. Dunno how they’ll go over there, but they were a hit here.

Anyway, I have other stuff to do this weekend project-wise, but I’ll try and be more diligent about posting. I also have some really good news for folks looking to solve some Christmas shopping dilemmas, so that I definitely will post very soon (Friday night I imagine).