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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window

8jul2014

’Fraid this is probably going out a little late—I realized the pix all needed to have the background either cropped, adjusted or both (honestly, I need to get one of those 36" diffusion cubes...) and while I've certainly been wasting lots of time vegging in front of the computer, I don't really feel like ranting today. Hurray:)

Oh, wait, a garden tidbit—evidently, according to the local wild ones list, it is safe (on large, mature specimens) to grow virginia creeper up one's trees. Ima gonna try it!

In the meantime, some fake vegetation for you to enjoy.

7jul2014

Someday, I suppose, I will work out an efficient method to post to everything, all at once, with no links, but actual pictures. Right now, however, it seems I manage either rejiquar or all those other social media. C'est la vie.

This seems to be the week for rather autumny orange and yellow florals: today's content is, um, somewhat recycled, but I have fresh new stuff on this theme starting tomorrow.

Enjoy.

5jul2014

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but my internet's been flaky. Actually I was gonna post some recent beads—they're kind of a cool series (& will no doubt show up here in due course, though I have been posting them to my instagram /twitter /tumblr); but then I happened to visit slacktivist, and saw his posts about Frederick Douglass and the 4th of July.

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20jun2014

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone:)

Finished danah boyd's book on teenagers and social media, which basically can be summed up as, ‘the real problem is not your average [white, middle-class] teen hanging out in hir bedroom (unless the thought of them occasionally looking at porn really, really bugs you, but even then, they probably spend less time doing that than you would think) but the poor, under-resourced [let's be honest, black and latin@] kids who, lacking support in other ways, surprise, tend to screw up online, for much the same reasons they do off.

In fact, the teens said over and over again they'd really rather hang out face to face, even going so far to go to the mall when they didn't care for shopping, or sports events when they didn't give a rat's ass about the sport—just to have a ‘justified’ way to be together. I was extraordinarily lucky in that my parents, my mother in particular, consciously made an effort to balance our lives between academics, (scheduled) sports/activities, chores and ‘down’ time to do with as we liked. However, boyd reports—and it's my experience with other parents as well—that many of them keep from their children the freedoms they had, sometimes merely by persuasion that the world out there is simply too dangerous.

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19jun2014

Via my bead buddy Frances, some productivity tips for the terminally procrastinative (that would be both of us;) It's particularly apt today, because, nearly four and a half years after I had hardware installed in a broken collarbone, it was permanently removed. Yay.

This method, from the work-a-4hour day week guy, basically boils down to, pick one thing that would make you feel good about the day's accomplishments if you completed it, and then work on it for 2–3 hours (one continuous block). Don't beat yourself up if you stray, just gently return yourself to the task at hand kinda exactly like meditation, actually... Note that after you've put your time in, you can let go if necessary (he doesn't actually say this, but it's pretty strongly implied.) Then the rest of the day you feel airy and guilt-free. These tasks, he notes, tend to be the ones that persist, day to day, on to-do lists.

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12jun2014

More than once I've encountered the idea of mathematical knitting (or crochet) but those pieces are usually one-offs designed by the fiber artist to explore the concept (with, perhaps, moebius scarves being the exception.) Indeed, fitted clothes, especially to women's bodies, is a pretty complex topological exercise. But the patterns—algorithms for reproducing items—also have a mathematical, or specifically, computational component: specifically, knitting instructions read much like computer programs. (Incidentally, one of the delights of my trip to Japan was getting to see a working Jacquard loom, which is often cited as a metaphor for early, proto-computers.)

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