Sunday, February 22, 2015

TWIC: Fair use, Korean Soccer players, a cool cave and more

Fair Use is the practice of using isolated fragments of the work of others.  I think we can agree that use of a single frame or still of a movie, perhaps in a review or critique of the work, will improve the review while not damaging the financial prospects of the movie.  A few seconds is probably fine.  A minute?  Now it might depend on which minute is copied and shared.
On this blog, I have shared a fragment of various comics - typically the first frame or two out of four or five.
In the US, fair use is legally protected but what are the limits? At the Center for Media and Social Impact, a set of guidelines on the subject are available.

"Can an artist use images from Facebook in her collage? Can an art teacher show pictures he took at an exhibition in class? Can a museum put a collection online?"
...
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use was created with and for the visual arts community. Copyright protects artworks of all kinds, audiovisual materials, photographs, and texts (among other things) against unauthorized use by others, but it is subject to a number of exceptions designed to assure space for future creativity. Of these, fair use is the most important and the most flexible.Via Boingboing which also states and links to interest by Audio artists.
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I have written before about Korean education practices and the way they seem to stifle creativity. (Earlier on education.) The current coach of the national soccer team is concerned about how robotic they seem in their attack game.
German coach Stielike, who recently won overwhelming plaudits from the Korean public for taking the national team to its first Asian Cup final in 27 years, told Spain’s daily newspaper AS that he has been taken aback by the players’ tendency to relentlessly follow directions without improvising what they’ve been taught to do on the field.
“I’ve never worked in an Asian country before,” said Stielike, who took charge of the Korean team last October with the mission of revamping the soccer landscape in the country. “In terms of team discipline, a coach couldn’t ask for more from these players. Their willingness to work hard is impressive. What they lack, due to the education of players, is greater creativity.”
---In what seems to be a hobby, a man in New Mexico has spent ten years carving and digging and expanding a system of caves, designing a beautiful set of tunnels.
The purpose of this gigantic artwork is to create an environment that would inspire “spiritual renewal and personal well being.” It will also serve as a venue for artistic events once it’s finished.
Regarding fair use, is the use of one image from the 21 plus a video on the linked site?  Here it is:

There is a documentary of the man and his work at the link above.
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How can you glue metal to plastic?  Wood to nylon?  Ask This-to-that.
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Strong leadership can unleash group innovation. This is a stub of an article and the rest is behind a  paywall.
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Maybe a good bookend to the Fair Use guide is a look at how photocopiers have changed the way we work,
  • The bizarre welter of things being replicated made even the folks at Xerox worry they had unleashed Promethean forces. “Have we really made a contribution by making it easier to reproduce junk and nonsense?” as Sol Linowitz, CEO of Xerox International, fretted in Life magazine.
  • “There were these copies where you had a Rorschach blot and you had to fold it and hold it up to the light, and there were people having sex in more positions than you could imagine,” says Michael Preston, a professor emeritus of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who published an early collection of what he called Xerox-lore—the folklore of the copying age.
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Added later:

Robot School - an app to teach kids about programming.
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101 things I learned in Architecture School. One of many books at wink.com - I can't seem to link to one specific book.

The picture and idea above is interesting to me.  When I can't think of an answer or solution to a problem, I try to think of the problem from a different angle.

My best ideas come 3 minutes after I leave the computer

Colin Marshall at Boingboing looks at the question of why your creative ideas all come when you are driving.
"I guess the nice thing about driving a car is that the physical act of driving itself occupies a good chunk of brain cells that otherwise would be giving you trouble overloading your thinking," writes Douglas Coupland in Life After God. "New scenery continually erases what came before; memory is lost, shuffled, relabeled and forgotten. Gum is chewed; buttons are pushed; windows are lowered and opened. A fast moving car is the only place where you're legally allowed to not deal with your problems. It's enforced meditation and this is good."

Monday, February 16, 2015

A chair from a champagne cork.

At Design Within Reach, people were challenged to make a chair from only the cork, foil and label and cage of one or two champagne bottles.  I like this entry from Michael Parker.
The entries were due between early December 2014 and mid-January 2015.  Time to think about this for next year.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Darwin Day!

How to connect my two obsessions?  Well, the word creationist sounds like something this blog would investigate.  And:
I'm going to look at this tweet -an excellent description of Darwin's twenty years of tweaking before finally publishing his theory - as recognizing that I can still finish either of the two Nanowrimo novels I have first drafts of.  Well, nearly done first drafts of.
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Answers in Genesis, a Young Earth Creationist group has tried to hijack the day by asking for "#darwinwaswrongday" Tweets (Darwin was wrong day).  Evolution proponents, typically more scientifically literate, appeared better able to do the hijacking and have produced a huge number of Tweets spoofing AiG.  My own submission suggested that Darwin (a city in Australia) was wrong about the parking plans for a local hospital.  Not all that funny, except for using the name in another context.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Writer's Group meeting in Busan

I am not sure what the name of the group, "BAM- BAD", means. It is based in Busan...
I am at a coffee shop now so I will add more soon. Added later: Not much more to say.  I expect I will attend.  Not to prepare a story.

The BAM-BAD Writing Group will be meeting on Sunday, March 1st. New writers are welcome to attend. All levels of writing experience from beginners to the experienced are also welcome to attend.
The model is simple. A loose theme is given, and you write 1-5 pages on the loose theme. The format can be anything... fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc. Pieces will be read aloud and short comments made on the piece. Copies of the piece being read are encouraged (if possible), which makes commenting a bit easier.
The March 1st loose theme is "jungle."
More details at the link.

gotta pay the bills

I think I read a book or short story or two by Andrew Offutt. To be clear, I am not talking about any of the hundreds of pornographic novels he wrote.  The link is to an article by his son who was tasked with cleaning out his dad's office after he died.  It includes details on how he worked.  The website has some kind of block on copying so below is a screenshot (click to enlarge):

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I really enjoy Grant Snider's comics and posters.  Maybe I'll buy one or two for my birthday this year.  I am held back mostly by the lack of space to hang them -my walls are concrete, as is normal in Korea and they sweat enough that tape does not stick and driving a nail in is challenging and permanent. A recent poster, about problems with words, is great.  Here is a small clipping.
Read the rest at the link above.

On Twitter, he says:

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Kim Young Ha says you should celebrate your child's first lie as it is a an act of creative generation.

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Some more advice from Canada Writes on CBC.
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More on infographics at Scientific American (Sci Am first covered the subject in January).

If you're working on infographics, then you might be interested in some Venn Diagram apps and online resources. Here's one.  And another.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Superbowl Food

As a youth, I enjoyed playing pickup games of football, basically tackle-but-with-no-padding-so-not-all-that-hard tackle football.  As a incredibly fit but equally clumsy player, if there were an uneven number, I would typically play always-offense.
Now that I am middle-aged, I don't play the game.  And since I have no TV and no longer live in North America, I don't watch the Superbowl.
I know that it is going on -right now- though.  And one thing that really caught my attention was the way people are laying out the food.

I now want a bacon lattice -on anything, really.

collaboration and sharing - Sci Am and the Freer and Sackler Gallery

Scientific American discusses Creativity is Collective.  An excerpt (a fairly large one at that. The link is to the teaser; the rest is behind a paywall):
 Albert Einstein once observed, “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” In these terms, the straitjacket of groups and of mainstream society is often thought to spell death for creativity. Many see the notion of group creativity as an oxymoron.
But let us think creatively here and challenge the basic assumption that the individual creator is the only critical component of the creative process. 
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40,000 works of Asian art are available from the Freer and Sackler galleries.
That's thousands of works now ready for you to download, modify, and share for noncommercial purposes....you can explore the Smithsonian's museums of Asian art from anywhere in the world, whenever you like. Images can be used for all non-commercial purposes, from desktop wallpapers to artistic gifts for family and friends. 
I browsed the images and they look great.  I have to wonder about the classification system though.  As you can see in the image, I browsed by culture and found 'Native Americans' and 'Crow Indians'.  I don't have the skill to recognize a crow drawn using Native American techniques -if indeed such a term can apply to the many nations across Canada and the US - but I can recognize Hanja, or Chinese Characters.




Sunday, February 1, 2015

CBC's Creative Nonfiction Prize, and some science news

From CBC Books:
Send us your original, unpublished work of creative nonfiction (between 1,200 and 1,500 words) and you might win the following:
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CBC also has advice on how to write non-fiction.  From David Waltner-Toews:
2. Curate and shape your facts. "Facts are not enough! You need a great story that pulls together all the facts. This is where the aha! moments come. Without the story, a nonfiction writer or a scientist is a junk collector, picking up artifacts, bones, and bits of DNA. Without a good story to explain them, dinosaur bones are just old reptile bones. Nowadays, anyone can collect bits of data on the internet. As a creative nonfiction writer, your job is to give meaning to those data, and to instill into your (millions of!) readers your passion about the world in which we live. To write a good story, you must delight in your subject matter, no matter how banal. In fact, the more off-putting your subject matter, the more that delight matters. Believe me, having written books on diseases people get from animals, food poisoning, and excrement, I know what I’m talking about on that score!"
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Even more from CBC, this time from CBC Books.  The player is not working for me at this link, but at another, Linwood Barclay discusses the lengths authors have to go to entice readers.
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I've always been a fan of the creativity that scientists and experimenters display.  Recent Scientific American posts discuss how to photograph fire ants and how to make gardens that don't suffer from salinization.