Oh yeah, it's the news

Sketchbook update and other Things, 3/7/08

So. This whole updating very often thing hasn't been going all that well, but in my defense a lot has been happening recently, not the least of which is having my grandfather in the hospital. Don't worry, he is almost certainly going to be okay.

Before I move on to the sketches, I have one thing to point out. I was never happy with my intro message to this site, or with the fact that it never had much of a meaning. With that in mind, I've written an about

Now, in order to get myself scanning for next time around, here is a nice and large update to bring me more up to date.

Mountain Castle: A Mountain Castle, an interpretation of a 16th Century woodcut print in the Metropolitan.Mountain Castle: A Mountain Castle, an interpretation of a 16th Century woodcut print in the Metropolitan.

Sasha on a carpetSasha on a carpet

More below.




I think we now know what Wikipedia's position on the law is. It just seems so, well, so appropriate somehow.


Sketch Update 2/21/08

Today's update:

I've just noticed that all the images I've been uploading still have my signature as 2k7, even though almost all of them were made in 2008! Why didn't anyone tell me!? Anyway, I can't fix today's as I'm on my laptop at a cafe and don't have the proper font to fix the signature. So, I guess in Art Time™ 2008 officially begins on February the 22nd. Well, that's about on par with everything else I do...

On to the update: a sketch of a Chinese ink painting at the Met.

Chinese Tree 2Chinese Tree 2

Older updates below.


Lunar Eclipe

Lunar Eclipe

Lunar Eclipse. Time = Now. Go = Look. Collect $200 = ATM.

Sorry the picture is crappy, it is from a video, the only way I could get a decent exposure. I need a damn tripod; I have one, but I can't find it. Anyway.

And, of course, the internet is already full of much, much better photos. But I had to try, right? RIGHT!?!?!?!


Yeah, that'll work...

So... wow, it's been far too long since I put anything really of my own on the site. I've done all sorts of work, but somehow the leap between the page (or even my own hard drive) and this site seems to be a large mental leap.

I did have a brainstorm on that front, however. I figured I would try to upload something from my sketchbook, or maybe post some of my writing or thoughts, every Friday. That sounds like a plan, right? Well, as you can see, I'm a little late. Well, more than a little; you see, I came up with this plan about three weeks ago. ::shakes head::

But! I still have a saving grace! I figured, hell, to get started, how about one drawing a day for a week or so? I have a backlog to put up, that's for sure. Not only that, but I drew a nice picture / card for my mother for Valentine's day. What could be better to start with? Of course, having procrastinated to miss both Valentine's day and that first Friday, I'm not off to a great start. But what the hell, here it goes. Let's get this thing started.

This is for everyone out there; a belated Valentine. Not that I'm a big fan of the holiday, but a little love is always a good thing. Enjoy, and I'll see you tomorrow ::fingers crossed::

Valentine: Valentine's day, 2008.Valentine: Valentine's day, 2008.


53" + 2600

53" + 2600

53" + 2600 = The Most Awesome Thing Ever.

Or at least quite close. And yes, that's Seaquest.

The time has been changed on this post by 3 hours or so to have it sink on the front page.


Prius Math

So, as many of you know, I drive a 2004 Prius a good bit. One thing that has bothered me about achieving the best fuel mileage is this: people normally tell you to accelerate fairly slowly to save gas. But I wonder, when accelerating onto the highway is it better to use full throttle or less? My thinking is that, even though during the moments of acceleration you use more fuel, the less time you spend accelerating the less power (and therefore less gas) you would need. Obviously, in city driving this is more of a moot point, since you don't have long periods of time at speed, but otherwise it is a difficult question.

To try and find an answer, I made some calculations. At a zero to sixty time of around 30 seconds, probably the slowest reasonable acceleration one could put up with, the car averages about 25mpg according to the onboard computer. At 10 seconds, about the fastest the car can go, it averages about 5mpg. To maintain speed, I assume the car is running at 50mpg (this is actually probably too low, given my experience, but it is most important that the remaining distance's MPG be constant for this problem). The biggest assumptions here are the veracity of those two numbers, my assumption of a linear relationship between MPG and 0-60 time, and that the final MPG will be a relative constant, even though the battery's state will be different depending on acceleration. If I have a chance, I'll have to try and fill in better data later. But for now, with rudimentary physics formulas and rudimentary python, I can present you with this data:

MPG Scale over 1/2 mile, Prius Acceleration:

0-60: 35 ; Total time: 65.0 s; MPG: 41.9230769231
0-60: 30 ; Total time: 60.0 s; MPG: 40.0
0-60: 25 ; Total time: 55.0 s; MPG: 38.6363636364
0-60: 20 ; Total time: 50.0 s; MPG: 38.0
0-60: 15 ; Total time: 45.0 s; MPG: 38.3333333333
0-60: 10 ; Total time: 40.0 s; MPG: 40.0

So it would seem, interestingly, that hard acceleration is as effective, for highway merging, as Grandma acceleration. Again, take this data with a grain of salt, but I do think that the numbers are so close as to negate the importance of your acceleration run. If I get a chance, I'd like to run the same tests for city driving, as well as get better data, but for now, enjoy your highway merges. It seems like you can without much incident.

By the way, someone should probably check my math as well as my methodology, so I'm attaching the simple Python script as well. Advice is always welcome.


A Reason For The Season

A Reason For The Season

See this discussion for more info. I know the art is kind of lame, but hey, what do you want for a couple hour's work? Designed for shirts, or whatever!

You can buy one here, or feel free to use the image to make your own. I also included a .GIF for transparency goodness (the .PNG was just too freakin' big for my bandwidth).


Some quick thoughts on advertising

This is written roughly in response to the this article on who clicks web ads. It is is not necessary to read said article to understand this, but it does provide a reference.

I think, for advertisers, focusing on clicks is missing the point. I mean, does anyone expect you to see a commercial on television for a product, and immediately go and buy it? I understand clicking a link is much easier, but the idea is the same.

Most advertising is passive medium, whether advertising companies want to admit it or not. It satisfies two primary goals:

1.) it tries to increase awareness that the product/service/company/whatever exists

2.) Tries to tie concepts ("clean", "cool", "green", or maybe even just "works") to said awareness.

This is why it is so hard to measure the effect of advertising on sales directly: advertising doesn't work that way. The X10 camera is a great example from the past: hardly most people who saw the ads bought one, but if you were all the sudden to require a security camera, their name would come to mind. You might avoid them because there name ads were obnoxious (a consequence of point 2 above), but that's another issue. You are aware of their existence, and that's the most important issue.

This has a problem for the web, though, were most ads are payed-for by click-through. This is a losing venture. For instance, companies pay for ads on television based on the number of people watching the show or network, not tied to how many more products they might sell afterwards. Approaching from a click-based funding scheme is, in my opinion, foolhardy. Of course, for the little webmaster out there, there isn't much choice in the matter (some, but not much).

There is a school of advertising, the infomercial school, perhaps, may be a good name for it, that attempts to create instant purchases. In the grand scheme of things, however, that is worth far less than the bulk of advertising just because it is a much harder (if even possible) proposition. See how most who buy from infomercials and the like are actually in the same group as mentioned in the study, those who would talk to telemarketers.

It's been said many times that the actual customers of a newspaper are its advertisers, and that the product it sells are the eyes that read its pages. That may be little simplistic in the news business, but in regards to advertising it is spot on. Websites are no different, and therefor clicks are meaningless measures. The result? The advertisers actually make out well, getting their message out while paying (relatively) little.


What the...?

What the...?

Whilst researching excercize bikes, I found the above image here.

I'm not really sure I want to know what's going on in this picture...