Don’t Be Afraid, Math Doesn’t Always Hurt

Nature by Numbers by ETERIA.

If only this became the new definition of “infographics”.

And here’s a Youtube link for those of you on smartphones.

I saw the beginnings of Drew’s visualization of DNA replication about 8 years ago in L.A. Have things improved since then? Well, my cheeks start to hurt when I think of how happy I am for him.  Watch this.

Vi Hart’s blog is another visual explanation of math in nature.

Constructing the Universe w/ Michael Schneider

Spirit Science’s presentation on sacred geometry creates an intense ride through the many patterns that can be found in nature and describes it’s effects on our consiousness… and our consciousness on it!

What is Pi? Simple animations can help see where the 3.14 comes from.

Finally, if you are super geek, Professor Norman J. Wildberger has gone back in time to explain how trigonometry was supposed to be taught. I swear, my dread would have been turned to love, had I been exposed to trig like this.

Grown Brain

Modeling a brain sounds like a pain.
Pulling points in the wrinkles is driving me insane.

So I’m trying to puff it up with some baking.

Step 1. Rebuild this from scratch. The gyrus need to be smaller and the sulcus (wrinkles) need to be more frequent.

Step 2. Use this popping accident to my advantage.


Ok, this looks more like a brain.

MRI: Not Yet Given Up… Yet

I just about gave up on this MRI cloud thing, when I discovered this blog post by a fellow Houdini user, where he mentions a Volume from Attrib node that will allow me to alter a volume using point attributes. I think this may be the answer I have been looking for in order to avoid using metaballs. We shall see.

On top of that, he mentions a major performance issue in Houdini 11 when dealing with instanced shaders. Specifically, it’s an issue with the displacement being calculated, even when it’s not needed. And he posted a link to a fix in the SideFX forums.

And on top of that… through his Vimeo profile, I found this slick MRI plugin for Lightwave.

I also have the opportunity of getting my own brain scanned.  How creepy is that?

Networks of the Mind


Some miscellaneous stuff jumbled together with my project brain-storming notes (pun intended).

Chilly Breeze

A few drinks before bed and sub-zero temperatures kept me sluggish this morning, before I pushed myself into the sun for a 10km walk through the trails.

The sun is shining, which kept me warm while the winds tried to push the cold into my hoodie.

Waking Puffy-Eyed

Sleep didn’t go so well last.  Maybe it was the terrifying documentary Rise of the Jellyfish (they have EYES!), or maybe it was the interruptions during the night.

I woke up puffy-eyed and groggy.

Solution?  Quick n small breakfast of oatmeal, then get my ass outside to get the blood moving.  Finally, a salad (w/ nuts n cheese) to fill me up and make me comfy enough to sit down here and tell you about it.

This journaling is going well.  Getting more efficient with it and only takes me about 20 minutes to mess with the camera, type something short and get it all online.

I think I got the eye swells down to about 30%. At least I can see now! I think I’ll go back to the fridge and see if some cold cucumbers will help. Now THAT would have made for a more entertaining article photo.

Trail Walking in Oakville

Looking outside I saw it was raining on top of all the snow that had just fallen. For half a heartbeat I felt discouraged and trapped indoors… but then remembered that “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” I suited up and head out for a walk. It was more like walk/dance. Swinging my legs around and skipping over slush, puddles and mud with my big & comfy studio headphones launching Trentemøller into my eardrums. Pushing the work right up from my legs and hips into my core, arms and neck. Though colder and wetter than my jogs in Seattle, the trails made for a very inspired trip.

I used this little My Tracks application on my Android phone. I didn’t start recording till I was about 1/4 way into the hike. I’m guessing that I walked about 9km.

View Oakville 001 Lost in a larger map

I now feel energized for tonight. We’re going to Good Night.

Morocco 2011

Arrived back from Morocco on March 10th. Lots of inspiring photos were taken, but even more video was created. I have 40GB worth of data to filter through and edit.
Here is a link to the entire Morocco 2011 set on Flickr.

For now, here’s an HDR image I created from the view of my apartment at building #007 in Taghazout.

And a video that contains 3 minutes of seagulls and Trentmoller.

Building #007 in Taghazout. from verbal007 on Vimeo.

No Fear

I’m not sure which one requires more nerves. It would be pretty epic just to witness this event. I cannot imagine what it would be like to experience it.

When the Devil Knocks

In the documentary, When the Devil Knocks, Hilary is one of 6 personalities (referred to as “alters”). As stated at the beginning, the alters were created in order to help Hilary survive by taking over in times of trauma. A unique alter was created to deal with each unique traumatic situation. For example, a young boy alter took control when it was necessary to befriend her abuser, who promised to teach her/him how to shoot a 12 gauge shotgun. A sad young girl alter was born to carry the burden of remembering and dealing with the actual events of abuse. The eldest 15 year old girl alter, Mary, came into power as a source of strength and/or control.
Though the film only showcases 5 of the alters, there were 35 that Hilary had to share her life with. Apparently there were many abusers throughout her life, which only fragmented her life even more.

Hilary and her therapist at the Empire Granville 7 theaterI had shown up to the theater about 8 minutes late, though they had some problems with the projector, thus forcing them to restart the film from the start (lucky me!). The only seats available were in the very front left of the theater. After the film had finished, I noticed everyone standing, turning and applauding. The film maker, Hilary, her life partner and therapist were in attendance! They set up the mic stand just in front of me (I had to move my bag so they had enough room).

Many interesting questions were asked, all of which were very different from the typical Q&A I am used to hearing.
In the film, I had noticed that whenever Hilary let one of her alters take over, they would usually knock or carefully take off her glasses. During the Q&A, I had asked, “Typically we are used to seeing characters in films take off their glasses as they took on different personalities. This, we usually assume, is for dramatic effect. However, in your case, why did the different alters take off your glasses? Did each personality have it’s own prescription?.” Hilary replied, “Yes, all my personalities had different prescriptions. Some were very uncomfortable with glasses altogether, and other alters had requested specific prescriptions that were different from my own.” I had asked if they had ever done any actual in-office testing and she said that they had actually intended to, but never got around to it. This provides me with more evidence showing that the mind is a larger factor on the eyes than we realize.

I found this very interesting, as I’ve read about cases where traumatic events would cause problems for the eyes, but only at a distance that is similar to the one when the original traumatic event was experienced. For example, there was a story of a woman who witnessed the death of a loved one at 10 feet. She could see closer than 10 feet, and further than 10 feet, but she could not focus on objects at exactly 10 feet.

I would have also liked to have queried more into other physical attributes, such as back or neck pain, as a friend of mine brought these types of symptoms to my attention. For example, a message that releases physical tension also releases or reveals emotional stress.

I felt the documentary was interesting, especially in how it made me look inward on how I deal with stressful situations. Though it’s difficult to say that I understand what she went through, a small piece of me can relate to the way the mind deals with trauma.

Jogging – Body Maintenance

For the last few days I rushed into a running routine and it has had some excellent effects on my mood. A friend of mine told me that three 1 hour, blood-pumping exercise routines per week can substitute anti-depressants. A quick search revealed this MSN article that does a good job in explaining the grey areas of exercise vs medications.

Yesterday, the day after a 3.3 mile jog, my hips were stiff and sore. I suppose this was a reminder that you have to ease yourself back into activity. Luckily, I’ve taken yoga in the past and there’s a few great stretches you can do to loosen up the hips. I found this video online that has a few simple stretches to get started on. Pay attention to how she uses the blankets, as I tried doing some of these stretches without them, and it was very uncomfortable.

I run in the middle of the day, usually around 2-3pm. For the past few days I’ve been pushing over 3 miles. The neighborhoods down here are perfect for jogs or walking. Plenty of smooth hills and rounded turns. Though I’ve never understood runners in the past, I am now addicted. My sweaty meditation.

Wha?! It’s actually sunny outside! I’m off.

West Coast Swing – Michael and Jen

Michael Kielbasa & Jennifer Deluca win 1st at America’s Classic. So much flexibility in the technique. So smooth. Ok, going to watch this for a 3rd time before I jump off the internet.

Cooking: Not Just “Somethin’ To Eat”

The last few weeks have had me cooking again. It was easy to break the habit of going out to eat, especially since there is  no tempting selection of restaurants around the corner.

Curried Mushrooms

I don’t pressure myself to make something extravagant every time I cook, but I allow for a LITTLE extra time, to make it different (hopefully better). I look in the fridge, check the cupboards, then just try to put something together. If my mind is blank, there’s the cook book AND the internet. Sometimes I spend 2 hours cooking, sometimes 20 minutes.

In a field where complex variables are changing constantly, it’s healthy for me to be able to focus no simple tasks…  that are not on a computer screen. I love cooking and I regret my phases where I stop. Too many distractions that led to too many excuses.


Today’s meal is a vegetarian stuffed cabbage. 1 package of spiced tofu (tofurky!)  w/ 1 cup basmatti rice, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion and chopped tomatoes. Roll this up in some blanched cabbage leaves and put into a deep baking tray with about 3-4 cups of tomato sauce. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for a little over 1/2 an hour (when the sauce is bubbling). In my case, it took almost an hour, because I used a casserole dish.

Mark (who’s working on the house) was my test subject…  and he liked it! Best part is, he didn’t even know there there was no meat.

What’s on the menu tonight? A beer.

Tomorrow…    hmm…    leftovers.

Ted Talk on Motivation

Does dangling the carrot really help motivation? NO.

[thx Dan Lyle]

Cooking for a Recession.

From Apartment Therapy‘s  “the kitchen” mailing list.

Even if it’s just a bowl of Ramen, to the bitter end I’m going to encourage you to borrow a sprig of cilantro from your neighbor, put the soup in a ceramic bowl, and use a cloth napkin, light a candle and give thanks.

Well said!  So cheezy, yet inspiring.

Vitamin Supplements

Stopped by to visit Warren today.  We went for a walk and promptly we started talking an audio book that he’s been listening to by Deepak.  We also spoke of multi-vitimins and and another audio book, where the author was talking about supplements.  I mentioned that I had significantly lowered my meat intake and Warren recommended (based on a few different sources, including the current audio book) that B12 would be a good supplement to look into.

I stopped by a local organic shop and picked up some B12, Folic Acid & Milk Thistle.  Just got home and have been reading the wiki writeup on folic acid

“Folate is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells.[8] This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to synthesize DNA bases (most notably thymine, but also purine bases) needed for DNA replication. Thus folate deficiency hinders DNA synthesis and cell division, affecting most notably bone marrow and cancer, both of which participate in rapid cell division.”

The wiki entry goes on to describe associations found with mental health and cancer.  Basically, is sounds like a good balance of folic acids in the body is certainly a good thing.

Milk Thistle is your liver’s best friend, especially against damage done by toxins.  It’s a blood cleanser and also can aid the healing of sebaceous cysts

Vitimin B12, on the other hand, is essential for,

“…the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production.”

“A common synthetic form of the vitamin,cyanocobalamin, does not occur in nature, but is used in many pharmaceuticals, supplements and as food additive, due to its stability and lower cost. In the body it is converted to the physiological forms, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, leaving behind the cyanide, albeit in minimal concentration.”

Cyanide?  OH MY!!  Well, apparently we eat more cyanide than we realize, and in small doses, it’s harmless.  Since I’m lowering the meats, it sounds like a good idea for me to start taking this supplements. 

Oh, and back to Deepak.  Apparently he recommends sesame seed oil.  Further googling reveals that it’s apparently a good anti-fungal treatment.  Huh… go figure.

Instinctual Dance

“…this instinct is, for all intents and purposes, an evolutionary novelty among humans. Nothing comparable occurs in other mammals nor probably elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Our talent for unconscious entrainment lies at the core of dance, a confluence of movement, rhythm and gestural representation.”

So You Think You Can Dance? @ Scientific American

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