March 2009
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Month March 2009

The Rapid Concepting/Development Experiment

Monday was the start of Lab Week for the developers at CIM. The idea being that the developers could get a chance to work on stuff that wasn’t part of their everyday routine. Similar to the 20% time that Google has made famous, but in this case the time is collected and used as a team over the course of a week (Lab Week).
See how it all worked out.

A Comical Explanations of Recent Economic Events

The truth is we’re all not Economists.  So watching the recent news can be overwhelming with facts and figures bombarding you from every broadcast.  Crisis this. Scandal that.  Pork, Pork, Pork.  Sometimes a little explanation is all some people need.  What better way to deliver that then through comedy.

Jimmy Kimel discovered a video by Sesame Street explaining how the Madoff Ponzi scheme worked

xkcd explains the difference between a Billion and a Million:

The Daily Show breaks down the pork in the stimulus package:

Intro to Jon Stewart’s meet up with CNBC’s Jim Cramer:

Watch the full episode

Image extraction via RegEx


Apple’s Pitchfork take-over

Once again Apple has produced an ad that almost becomes part of the page.  I have to give credit to Apple’s ad team for continually producing ads that people want to watch just to enjoy the ad.  Their campaigns are generally catchy, original, play well with others and clearly carries the Apple brand experience.  Apple has done a site take-over before previous with the New York Times and was a huge hit.  This time they put their sites on, for the launch of Pitchfork’s redesigned site, integrating their iPod Touch video with Pitchfork’s site navigation.  Below is a video of it for all that missed it (stutters were from my system not the ad itself).

[ Javascript required to view QuickTime movie, please turn it on and refresh this page ]

PS: the QuickTime Embed plug-in was used to display this inline.

Pitchfork (online music mag)
New York Times

Papervison 3D: first blush

Papervision3DPapervision 3D has been around for some time. I’ve been interested in checking it out but never had a project to bring it beyond just a thought.  I now have a project that calls for some simple Flash 3D.  To start out I hit GoToAndLearn, as usual his tutorials are quick and concise .  I was shocked how simple the basics were.  Sure things will get more complicated once you move beyond the box.

My first snag was with a basic scene and a simple cube.  I placed specific materials to each of the faces of my cube to emphasize the feeling of depth.  Upon export I’m not seeing the front of my cube, but rather the back face.  I wasn’t doing any rotations yet so I’m not sure why it was rendering as if from behind.  Not finding any explanation, I instead readjusted the faces themselves to look as I wanted.  Every other transformation worked as expected, it was only the mirrored view of the cube’s faces.  If anyone has an explanation I’d love to hear them.

Papervision 3D

Why all the mind games?

I just ran into someone I know from the neighborhood.  He’s recently single and tends to bemoan women and the mind games they play.  Ironically, when he heard that I was also single he began to offer suggestions of various mind games for me to use, either to win her back or just mess with her head.  It’s clear that it’s not just women that play these game, he’s a clear example of a male that partakes in the subtle attacks to an ex’s psyche.  This irony along with how much this playing of mind games contrasts to my view got me thinking about the subject.

For all those that do play these games I ask Why?  If you didn’t work as a couple, why shouldn’t your ex pursue something that could make them happy?  If you really cared for them, why can’t you be happy for them when they do things to be happy?  Do you really think it has some reflection on you or their feelings for you?  Is it just self pity?  Does suggesting that your new love is everything, or implying they (your ex) weren’t really help you feel more secure in your new relationship? Or are you trying to convince yourself that you’ve moved on?

I know I’ve had ex’s try this crap with me.  I don’t know if they got what they wanted out of it, but I do know the games never made me want them more (or want to get back together).  Yeah, they may have gotten me riled up for a bit with a mixture of confusion to their purpose and agitation caused by the amplified echo of the problems we had during the relationship.  Either way the games never brought me closer, at least not when I was aware that games were being played.  If anything, I think it cemented that I was better off not being in a relationship with them.

As mentioned, I’m currently single and this isn’t the first time I’ve been single either.  Unknowingly I may be  guilty of doing some of these things myself, and if so I apologize, but I can say in good conscience that I never meant to.  For one thing, I don’t really see the point to them.  Secondly, it may be because I believed my ex’s actually did care for me (read: loved) and I didn’t feel the need for the reassurance one may be looking for when playing these games.  In the more casual relationships, their love/approval etc. wasn’t relevant to my well being.  I’ve also tried to make sure this wasn’t a question that would haunt them either.

According to some, mind games are an essential part of relationships.  Suggestions of “playing hard to get” fill magazines, and though that may lure a date or two, a relationship it does not make.  At the early stages of a relationship the stakes are low, and such games have more to do with catching the other’s attentions.  The games people play at the end of a relationship, sadly, often have more to do with hurting the partner then the cutesy ones used at the beginning.  It’s these latter ones that my neighbor was suggesting and I can only assume using himself.  It’s these I don’t understand.

Refresh Philly: March 2009

Refresh Philly - March 2009Refresh Philly, in it’s third installment, will feature talks from Luke Crawford of Muxtape and Todd Warfel of Message First.  There will also be some information regarding some upcoming *camps that will be running this Spring in Philly.

Luke Crawford, Muxtape:
Muxtape has relaunched after a short hiatus due to issues with record companies.  The core idea behind Muxtape is still to allow users tocreate their own mixes using the music available from their site. Find out what Luke has to say on these changes and where they’re going.

Todd Warfel, Message First:
Todd will be talking about Sketching and Rapid Iterative Design.  He’s from a Philly based design firm with a focus on data driven design, web standards and prototyping.


RSVP is required to gain access to the Comcast Center. RSVP on Facebook or email refresh[at] refreshphilly[dot]org

Presentations begin at 6:30pm.  Please bring a snack or beverage!

For more details visit