7 Quick Takes (1/24/14)


--- 1 --- This weeks links are all about love and storytelling (as if there's a difference).  First up, a story I found charming about a geek who decided to datamine his way to OkCupid success: OkCupid’s algorithms use only the questions that both potential matches decide to answer, and the match questions McKinlay had chosen—more or less at random—had proven unpopular. When he scrolled through his matches, fewer than 100 women would appear above the 90 percent compatibility mark. And that was … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (1/17/14)

math with bad drawings

--- 1 --- This week's theme is made things and the delight that people take in making them.  First up, a game that requires you to use forced perceptive to resize the objects around you to solve spatial puzzles.  I'll take a crack at explaining, but, believe me, it's faster to just check the video below:Forced perspective is the name of the illusion that lets you look like you're holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa or trapping your friend in a bucket.  The game lets you reposition obj … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (1/10/14)

nyc isolines

--- 1 --- The theme for this week is distortions or odd perspectives on space and time.  First up is photographer Adam Magyar, who repurposes a photographic technique.  As described by Matter: Digital photography, first developed in the 1970s, gave rise to two types of image-capturing devices: standard digital cameras and scanners. The former captures an entire subject in a single exposure. The latter, by contrast, captures an image in a sequence. The sensor moves over the subject—a printed doc … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (1/3/14)

"Our doubts are traitorsAnd make us lose the good we oft might winBy fearing to attempt.”-Lucio, Measure for Measure, 1.4

--- 1 --- First, just a reminder that today I'm reading the first meditation in Cardinal Bergoglio's (Pope Francis's) Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus for the year-long book-club I'll be running here.  It kicks off Monday, so get reading, if you're interested! --- 2 --- And if you're looking for something delightful to read, perhaps you'd like to check out the extraordinary Christmas present that my friend Nicola made for her husband, Will.  His patron saint, St. Wil … [Read more...]

6 Quick Dragons


--- 1 --- I had a lot of fun making my Christmas present for my gentleman caller this year, and, since it's no longer a secret project, I think I can share it now.  The first thing I quite admired about him was his Dungeons and Dragons worldbuilding (he ended up using me as the basis for a major villain, which I think was a compliment), so when I saw io9's post about Dice Dragons (ornamental dragons that hold your DnD dice), I took a crack at a full set.  (By the way, in the course of writing th … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (12/20/13)


--- 1 --- Let's start the Quick Takes with a link about beginnings.  Keen envisions a better way to start players off in an MMO instead of dumping them all in the same newbie tutorial land. Players start hours apart, and in areas of the world so different from each other that the social mechanisms are different.  I remember seeing people say, “We do things differently in this part of the world.”  Someone hunting in Crushbone might be used to players behaving differently than those in Blackb … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (12/13/13)

old shirts

--- 1 --- The first time I ran into Google Hangout's facial recognition feature, I had a lot of fun trying to find the limits of what it would recognize as a face.  I grabbed photos, drawings, etc and held them up while ducking below my webcam's sightline and then trying to compete with the faux-face to try to suss out how the algorithm decided.  But Neil Yager has coded up a prototype that wouldn't be fooled.He built a camera/infrared sensor that recognizes faces and then double checks w … [Read more...]