Parts & Crafts free scholarships, One Lightsaber Per Child

May 22nd, 2015

parts and crafts

Parts and Crafts is a wonderful local Somerville institution, and one which has hosted many Public Lab events! They’re doing a drive to raise money for free scholarships for kids who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend their programs.

DIY culture, and P&C in particular, is such a wonderful thing — PLEASE help to ensure that it reaches those in need. Everyone deserves the opportunity!

Help them out!

I am trying to make them some stickers, too — and since one activity they do SUPER WELL is a “One Lightsaber Per Child” workshop, I wanted to illustrate that:


Pocket Operator unboxing

May 14th, 2015

I really liked the legibility and compactness of the packaging on this thing:





Arms Akimbo

April 26th, 2015

Don Blair and I needed to know, unambiguously, what “arms akimbo” meant today. There was some uncertainty.


This is not only a great new band name, but also a great opportunity for pseudo history:

Pictured above is Anne Akimbo, the 1967 inventor of the Akimbo posture. All proceeds from the use of the posture at public events go to the Akimbo Foundation, which provides support and education for attitudinally challenged youth.

Red Hill Outing Club

February 17th, 2015

Had a great day skiing at the Red Hill Outing Club, where I am now a member:




BB Gun Biathalon — followed by an 80’s dance party!



The run-it-yourself rope tow lift.


This website has a great photo of the lodge from 1964:


Neat bit of trivia – there’s a New Hampshire Superior Court decision about a dispute over the club’s land.

I’d like to think that the decision, which upheld the club’s right to the land, hinged on the ability to ski without a lift — i.e. skinning up! But maybe that’s reading too much into it.

A collection of exemplars of the genre of foodstuffs which feature Sciurus carolinensis

February 12th, 2015

On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 11:28 PM, Emilie Reiser wrote:

Esteemed Mr. Warren, On behalf of the Squirrelicious team, I thank you for investing the time in exploring our delicacies. We are always looking to improve and welcome any feedback you might have.

Sincerest regards,

Emilie Reiser Senior General Specialist Squirrelicious
Turkmenistan :: 34 4586 2220 Maldives :: 7742 123

On Sun, Feb 8, 2015 at 11:47 AM, Jeffrey Warren wrote:

Greetings, Ms. Reiser.

I recently became a member of your burgeoning new culinary repository ( after the widely decried demise of (saddening, etc. but perhaps for the best). I have been building a collection of exemplars of the genre of foodstuffs which feature Sciurus carolinensis (in celebration of this ineffable crepuscular member of suborder Sciuromorpha) — a worthy endeavor.

However, when I save a recipe, the word “Squirrel” is mysteriously replaced with another unrelated ingredient. (I have, for your convenience, emboldened those words which I found to be so strangely transformed):

Octopus Salad

Tandoori Octopus

Baby Octopus Salad

Very Blueberry Smoothie

Perfect Blueberry Muffins

Classic English Toad-in-the-Hole

Easy Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Easy Mashed Rutabagas

Chinese Eggplant with Sweet Ginger-Miso Paste

Scotch Eggs

Heavenly Scotch Ham

Southern Peach Cobbler

Korean Spicy Marinated Squirrel With Chilies and Kimchi (Jaeyook
Kimchi Bokum)

Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal

Spanish Fish in Saffron Sauce

Saffron Pilaf

Anchovy Dip

Salted Plantains

Puffed French Toast

Avocado Superfood Breakfast Toast

Note, to my confusion, as someone somewhat familiar with the en-coding of web-sites, that the Korean dish listed above actually does list “squirrrel”, but strangely not in the place where I had originally expected it. It is possible, though implausible, that the recipe upon which my modification was based already included this ingredient. As a person of partial Korean ancestry myself and an enthusiast of Korean cuisine, I find this distinctly unlikely, but must weigh its possibility in light of the consistency of the aforementioned bug in all other instances.

I eagerly await a resolution to this pressing issue, and wish to express my deepest appreciation for your organization’s contributions to the field, and to the plate.

Most sincerely, Jeffrey Yoo Warren, M.S.P.L

On Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 10:35 AM, Emilie Reiser wrote:

Dear Mr. Warren, My sincerest apologies for the delay in getting back to you on this gravest of bugs. I understand your concern and am pleased you have brought this to our attention. I have submitted a ticket to our support desk and trust that the issue will be promptly addressed.

We greatly appreciate you sharing of this most exemplary set of recipes and apologize for any potential smearing of your ancestry that has resulted from this technical complication.

I look forward to connecting in the near future. Your interest and dedication to our movement is of the utmost value to us, Sincerest regards,

Emilie Reiser Senior General Specialist Squirrelicious
Swaziland :: 1184 327 90 Kiribati :: 67 289 2242

For an upcoming plan and posts…

February 7th, 2015


Some of my friends understand this plan and are excited. Others are puzzled. You’ll have to wait and see.

In other news I finally found the Skype animated emoticon of a bowing (asian?) man which I used to use on occasion with clients when I did web and design consulting. Perhaps I aspire to be as respectful as this man.


I’ve made him the favicon of this website.

Finally, wouldn’t it be cool if the Android autocomplete suggestions included synonyms as well as correct spellings of the word you’re typing?

Cup art

January 30th, 2015

I’ve been enjoying drawing on cups a lot in recent months. Here are a few:







January 27th, 2015


I watched the movie Microcosmos again, which is a GREAT movie, and have been drawing bugs on branches a lot. This was a fun one in a blizzard-bound house in Hudson, NY today — nice and big; 1×3 meters.

New Private Eye style apartment door

January 20th, 2015

I’ve always been a sucker for hand-lettered scalloped or smoked glass doors; MIT’s Infinite Corridor has some nice ones, for example. The best are detective or lawyer nameplate doors, from the 20s, say.

28066309f68725ef0b565b5b714d9cebScreen Shot 2015-01-20 at 11.02.24 AM


So, in a long-planned but long-near-abandoned plan, I installed a smoked glass “coating” on the inside of our apartment’s front door, and lettered our names in white acrylic on the outside, which gives a nice drop-shadow effect due to the thickness of the glass. If anyone’s interested in this kind of door lettering, ping me. I’d love to do more!


IMG_20150119_165058 (1)


The Jurassic Park kitchen scene: a history

December 17th, 2014

The famous kitchen scene from Jurassic Park has gotten some recent attention due to a nice remix involving (presumably genetically engineered) giant kittens, prompting my inner Ian Malcolm to intone “You bred… kittens?”

The original scene is here:

However, most people aren’t aware of an earlier version which actually predates the release of Jurassic Park itself. (gasp) This silent version was prepared as an exercise during pre-production, and was made using stop motion (or “go motion”… a longer story (Edit: apparently these clips did not use go-motion, my bad)) by Phil Tippett’s Tippett Studio (which also did effects for Willow, including a mechanical galloping wild boar).

It is breathtaking — hopefully not just for JP geeks scholars like myself:

Some notes. The go-motion version shows the raptors “licking” a lot with long flickering tongues — a great touch. But, purportedly, Jack Horner, the consulting paleontologist for the movie, objected on the grounds that this was not only speculative, but drew on reptilian behaviors, when of course dinosaurs are more closely related to birds (scene 5). So in the movie version, the raptors sort of sniff and flare their nostrils — very well executed on the part of the puppeteers. One other thing added in the final version was the condensation from the raptors’ breath on the kitchen window. Rad.


Finally, someone went and added audio back in, though I think the silent version is almost creepier!

Addendum: Oh! I almost forgot. They also did the T-rex attack scene! Here it is too:

Edit: Sorry, I couldn’t substantiate the Willow galloping boar being a Tippett Studios creation. Somehow I think Stan Winston Studios was involved… I have to consult my Making of Jurassic Park book.