Friday, July 23, 2010

Tomorrow ... Malaysia!

I'm so excited. I will be without a computer for a week for my vacation.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

보령 머드 축제

Last weekend I went to the Boryeong Mud Festival, which was awesome! I'm running out of the energy required to write about it now, so I'll just make a quick comparison.

The festival felt like Spring Break in Cancun. Granted, I've never experienced that, but it felt like all the stereotypes: so many college-age (or just post-college, in this case) kids throwing caution to the wind in a weekend of beach, waves, sun, mud and a constant beer in hand. It was tremendous.

Little things we take for granted

PAY & SIT: the private bench (HD) from Fabian Brunsing on Vimeo.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My computer... broken

Unfortunately my computer is broken (my own doing), so the only internet access I have is at work. There will be a blog silence for a little while until I get it fixed, or get a new one.

This weekend - mud festival! I'll write all about it, eventually.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Theo Jansen and the design of evolution

Theo Jansen is an artist and engineer who creates intricate and gorgeous creatures who roam beaches, powered by the wind.

I saw a video about Jansen's project (posted below) a while ago, and was intrigued, but did not imagine that I would have a chance to see his creations first-hand. This changed abruptly a couple weeks ago when I spotted a poster in a Seoul subway station for a Theo Jansen exhibit at the National Gwacheon Science museum. (I learned the location later when I translated it on my computer.)

Yesterday, I went with my friend James to check out the exhibit, which included some demonstrations of the creatures moving. It was fascinating - both because the animals were themselves things of beautiful evolutionary design, but also for the insights it suggests about the evolution of all living things. Kevin Kelly's TED talk, which I posted earlier, talked about "life hacks", and the hacks that Jansen's creatures have evolved to avoid the dangers of the beach - the sea and the storms, for example - are an elegant analogy to the natural world.

TED video and a few more pictures after the jump. Many thanks to James for the pictures and the company.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

North Korean jokes

... which may be repackaged USSR jokes, but hey - they're still funny. From Ask A Korean.

My favourite:
Kim Jong-Il visited a commune farm, and saw a number of healthy pigs. Kim became pleased at the sight, and took a photo with the pigs.

The Rodong Shinmun [newspaper] had to carry the picture, and the editor agonized over the caption: "Hm... 'Comrade Kim Jong-Il stands with pigs.' No... 'Pigs with comrade Kim Jong-Il.' No..."

Finally, the caption on the newspaper said: "Comrade Kim Jong-Il is the third one from the left!"
Another couple faves after the jump.

How does technology evolve?

Some answers:

NTY Mag, Building One Big Brain by Robert Wright (2010).

TED Talks, How Technology Evolves by Kevin Kelly (2005):

And perhaps a prescient view? Darwin Among the Machines, by Samuel Butler (1863). Money quote:
Our opinion is that war to the death should be instantly proclaimed against them. Every machine of every sort should be destroyed by the well-wisher of his species.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


A little taste of K-Pop and Seoul all rolled into one promotional video. Features two of the most popular teen bands in Korea.

Friday, July 2, 2010

News story of the day

CBC - Flood Emergency Declared in Yorktown, Sask.

This reminds me of a story my grandparents tell, which if I recall correctly involved canoeing down the streets of their Saskatchewan town during a flood. In my mind, that story is romanticized - not so much now, I guess. (Photo credit: CBC)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How I'm Celebrating Canada Day...

... two days late. Still, I think it's appropriate: this Saturday I'm going on a boat cruise put on by a local microbrewery! For about CAN $35, there's unlimited good beer and food for three hours. On a boat. On the Han River.

If that's not cool enough by itself, I've heard that among the variety of breweries offering free beer is Alley Kat, from Edmonton.

Canadian microbrewery beer, here I come!

Happy Canada Day!