Thursday, June 30, 2005

Out of Time

The title of this post is particularly apt. Put my watch on this morning without even thinking about it and just before morning tea, realised that it had stopped. Only it stopped at 3.40am!

The rest of the day was spent occasionally looking at my wrist and then feeling foolish. Eventually got sick of feeling like an idiot and switched my watch from my left to my right hand. That way it did not get lost and I did not keep trying to get the time from it. Used my cell phone / car clock to keep track of the passing hours

Am now using my dad's old "manual" watch which does not require batteries. Given that I spend the bulk of my time waving my hands around in the hope that my students will watch and learn, keeping the thing fully wound will not be a problem.

Digital Dandilion

The graphic above is called Digital Dandilion. A good choice considering that as a kid I used to try and tell the time by blowing away dandilion seeds - this never worked of course. Must have been because they were analogue dandilions and not digital ones.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nocturnal Violet

Below is another Apophysis creation. Somehow I never get tired of making these things.

Nocturnal Violet

Had a tough day at work today. There was a reliever in Math class which means that very little work got done. Sometimes it all seems too hard. Am doing my "Geek for Hire" routine tomorrow which will make a nice change from teaching kids. Hopefully things will go well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Space Needle

Have recently opened a Flickr account which allows me to post my fractals to the Flickr site and then put them on here. This is much easier than uploading them onto my server.

Am so far very impressed with what Flickr has to offer, especially as I don't have to pay anything for it. One of the joys of Flickr is that it generates the image code for me including the height and width dimensions of the graphic which saves me having to look it up.

Space Needle

The above is a cross between Auckland's Sky Tower and a Weird Alien Space Ship.

I still have those gmail invites to give away, so if you want one, please ask me.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Still Cold

Last night and today have been freezing!! It is hard to think of anything except for the weather. Am holding out for spring. Three more months to go.

Green Flower

The above is called 'Green Flower', perhaps I should have called it 'In Anticipation of Spring'.

Oh ... if anyone out there wants a gmail invite, I have 50 to give away. If you know anyone who knows anyone who could use a gmail invite, just contact me and I will be happy to oblige.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Feeling Better

After the disaster that was yesterday, am feeling a lot better. The fact that we had clear blue skies and wonderful sunshine today certainly helped.

Turns out that I can cope with the icy cold. Its just the grey skies that make me crazy.

Purple Tangle

The image above is titled 'Purple Tangle'.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Cold, Dark and Horrible.

Cold, dark and horrible describes not only the weather, but life in general at the moment. Wish it was not this way, but it is.

Rose Ring and Blue Smoke

The above are entitled "Rose Ring" and "Blue Smoke" respectively.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Glass String

The image below took much less time to render than yesterday's offering. All I can say is "thank goodness for that".

Glass String

I have experimented with different coloured backgrounds, but somehow most of the time black ends up being the best choice. That's just the way it is.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Patterned Pearl

Following my last post, was inspired to create the graphic below. It was done using Chaoscope and took about four and a half hours to render.

Patterned Pearl - Created in Chaoscope

Yesterday, I tried rendering it at the "standard" 200 million iterations, but created a mostly smooth sphere with some horrible "scratches" in the middle. It only took half an hour for me to discover the flaw. So I upped the iterations by an order of magnitude to 2000 million iterations. Hence the long wait. Was thinking of calling this thing "Patient Pearl" because of the time involved.

I started the render when I got home from school at around 4.00pm and it was nicely done when I came home from dance class at 9.25pm.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mid Winter Blues

Today was grey, rainy and depressing. It is the middle of winter and the weather went out of its way to make that more than painfully clear.

The creation below was inspired by this "Sphere" page. Thanks to Stacey at Fractal Rock for finding and sharing this site.

Liquid Orange Sphere - Created with Chaoscope

The above is titled "Liquid Orange Sphere". Clearly the weather has effected my ability to creatively name my graphics. Never mind.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Apophysis Rocks

Apophysis has been upgraded. We are now up to version 2.02h and it is great. To celebrate the fact that Apophysis rocks, have created a series of fractals that look like rocks (the diamond kind).

Fractal Rocks - Created with Apophysis

All of the fractals are variations of a single flame. Have found that this is a good way to get a series of fractals that are different yet related. In a moment of insanity, have decided to call the above compostion "Stoned!".

I think that the cooler weather and worse, short days have finally driven me over the edge!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Digital Doilies

I am devastated that my weekend is over! All I did was dance and sleep. The dancing was wonderful. The sleeping was good too, especially as I was exhausted.

Am still left thinking "There must be more to life than this..."

Digital Doilies - Made with Apophysis

It is sad when the teacher is the one going "I don't want to go to school tomorrow!"

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Modern Reflections

Every so often Apophysis generates images that are something rather special. The two graphics below are totally different to my usual offerings.

Reflection / Metalic Zip - Created with Apophysis

The first image is called "Reflections", the second is simply "Metallic Zip".

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Another Sunflower

I have posted a Sunflower Fractal before.

It was so much fun last time, have decided to repeat the experience.

Sunflower Fractal - Created with Apophysis

Am exhausted at the moment. Thankfully tomorrow is Friday. My plan is to finish this post and basically get ready for bed. Hopefully I will be asleep by 8.15pm.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Amazing Talent

Usually I don't tell stories about my work, preferring to document my artistic endeavours instead. There are, however, some stories that are just too good not to tell. So here goes...

Part of my job at the moment involves teaching two Deaf boys "English". The boys are roughly 15 years old but for various reasons, their English skills are somewhat limited to the extent that they don't read / write at all well.

In the past weeks, a regular class has involved me selecting a simple "passage" (five or six English sentences), signing it to them in New Zealand Sign Language and then working through simple comprehension questions with them. The idea is to get them to read through a piece of text and be able to answer simple questions.

Bearing in mind that these boys tend to panic when faced with text, things in class move fairly slowly. Anyhow, today I asked them if they wanted me to sign the text as usual or if they wanted to have a go at reading it and then signing it to me.

Student number one, who has incredible story telling / signing skills decided to give it a go. After carefully reading the passage he starts to tell the story. The story that I gave him was one in which a boy explains how he went to the airport to pick up his aunt who was arriving from Taiwan.

My student tends to embroider on what he reads when he puts it into Sign Language. I knew that he did not quite get the story when he starts signing how the boy got up in the morning and started to pack luggage into the car. It did not take long for me to realise that somehow, my student had missed the 'coming from Taiwan' and thought that the relative was 'going to Taiwan'.

He enthusiastically signed how the family packed the luggage in the car, got on the motorway and drove to the airport, found a luggage cart, watched while the aunt went through check in procedures and then watched her plane take off.

It was only after he was done that I had the heart to tell him that although his story was wonderful and his signing skill was amazing, he was telling the wrong story. The poor kid was really embarrassed at how he had misunderstood the story. The good thing is that I explained that hearing people sometimes get it wrong too.

He will probably never forget the difference between 'coming from' and 'going to' again. And I got lucky. Being a good sport, he was pretty keen to tell the correct story after realising his mistake. The second story was, if possible even better told than the first.

Turns out you can do things in Sign that you can't do in English. For example, instead of simply signing the equivalent of "On Sunday I went to the airport. My aunt was coming from Taiwan," he goes into a long rendition of how he got up and had breakfast, signing an aeroplane high in the sky making an approach. He describes driving out to the airport as the plane slowly lands and so on. Think of a split screen television with one half showing the aeroplane and the other showing him getting ready and going to the airport and you can imagine what he was doing.

It was incredible. Marcel Marceau could probably learn a thing or two from this guy. His story ended with a hug from the aunt who was crying with joy.

At the end of the day, this is what I love about my job. I am passionate about New Zealand Sign Language and to see it in action like this is really awesome. In some ways, I am learning more from my students than they learn are learning from me.

In case you are worried, I have an ever increasing stack of fractals waiting to be posted to this blog. So if you missed the graphic, please stay tuned.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Shavuot Fractal

The fractal below is in honour of Shavuot. Here's wishing all my readers "Shavuot Sameach".

Shavuot Fractal - Made with Apophysis

For more information on this holiday, take a look at this helpful Shavuot link.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Pre-Shavuot Fractal

Shavout is coming soon! In anticipation have decided to post an appropriate fractal. This is not my official Shavuot offering. That will be posted late tomorrow (after Shabbat).

Star Cage - Created with Chaoscope

The official title of the above is "Star Cage". If you look closely, you will notice the Star of David in the middle.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Star Shaped

In New Zealand, when they say a situation went "pear shaped", it means that things went really wrong generally within a short time. So if something goes "Star Shaped" does that mean it turned out brilliantly??

Star Fish II - Created with Apophysis

Just my random thought for the day.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cosmic Ripple

Today has been busy. Fractal below was created a while back. Can't remember exactly what I did to generate it, but it looks relatively cool.

Cosmic Ripple - Created with Apophysis

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Psychedelic Cross

Perhaps it would be better if I did not experiment quite so much.

Psychedelic Cross - Created with Apophysis

Its just been that kind of day*!

*ie: The crazy kind, a weird mix of good and bad. The photocopier at school was not working but my boss gave me chocolate to acknowledge a job well done. Its freezing cold outside but we won a free pedometer (cereal promotion).

Monday, June 06, 2005

Frosty

Today is a holiday here in NZ. To celebrate I washed, folded and packed away the family laundry (it is Monday after all). In between laundry I did my taxes for the past financial year. This was followed by a nap after which I unpacked the dishwasher.

I think that if there was a competition for the most boring life, then I would win it hands down!

Frosy - Created with Apophysis

It is still cold over here. This is a good thing. If it was slightly warm, then I would not have any excuse to post fractals that look like snow flakes.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Festival Finale

Today is the final day of Monochrome Festival. Enjoy.

Four Snowflakes created with Apophysis

This post is dedicated to my friend who emailed me saying PNAF which stands for "Please, Not Another Fractal". Guess this answers his plea although not quite in the way he meant it. Indeed it is my pleasure to share not one but four fractals.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Subtle Saturday

Today was great! Even though the weather remains "miserable" had a lovely day. Weekends are good. Long weekends are the best!

Alien Rattle - Created with Chaoscope

The above is called "Alien Rattle". I can't believe that Monochrome Festival will be over soon. Have really enjoyed the challenge of creating digital art without using colour.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Freezing Friday

Not only is the weather outside freezing, the graphic below reminded me of an ice cube for some strange reason. Must confess that it was wonderful to take a break from creating images in Apophysis and return to Chaoscope.

Squared Away - Created with Chaoscope

The above image is titled "Squared Away"

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Thunder-Cloud Thursday

The weather remains cold and miserable. Good thing that Monochrome Festival is keeping my spirits up. Its not really that bad. Am just not a great fan of the cold.

Gossamer Magic - Created with Apophysis

The image above is called "Gossamer Magic".

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

White / Grey Wednesday

It is day three of the Monochrome Festival which means more black and white images. Today's post is called White / Grey Wednesday as that pretty much describes the Auckland sky for the last couple of days.

The weather reminds me of that old joke. It only rained twice this week. Once for three days and once for four days. Sometimes winter in Auckland feels just like that.

Two Snowflakes - Created with Apophysis

Could not decide which of the above images to post, so decided to feature both of them. At least this time they are true, six sided snowflakes.