Improvised Life » technology http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:03:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Light Bulb Strategies: Halogen, LED, Newcandescents, More http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/01/08/light-bulb-strategies-halogen-newcandescents/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/01/08/light-bulb-strategies-halogen-newcandescents/#comments Wed, 08 Jan 2014 19:27:15 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=36864

nrdc.org

For our money, one of the easiest ways to transform a problematic space is with good lighting. Many of the spaces we have consulted on suffered terribly —as have their inhabitants— from dim, murky lighting. This is largely due to the pressure to move to energy-saving lighting such as CFL and LED’s, many of which cast a cold, “dirty”, low-wattage light akin to a slumlords 15-watt hallways. We’ve discovered that many people don’t realize that lighting is the reason for a room being unpleasant to be in, and if they do, they’re not sure what to do about it.

Now that manufacture of the classic warmly glowing incandescent bulb has been banned, the question “what to do?” is even more pressing. (more…)

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Make or See Art on the Moon via Ai WeiWei + Olafur Eliasson http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/12/05/make-artwork-moon-via-ai-weiwei-olafur-eliasson/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/12/05/make-artwork-moon-via-ai-weiwei-olafur-eliasson/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 09:42:05 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=36455

It took us abandoning Safari and loading Firefox. iPads won’t run it altogether. But it is worth getting yourself to Ai Weiwei and Olafur Eliasson’s wondrous website Moon. At first you see a shimmering globe, then the sign, above, which distills in one fell swoop everything we believe and love:  Ideas, wind, and air no one can stop. (more…)

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skype is a tool for learning, helping, teaching, connecting http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/12/02/skype-tool-learning-helping-teaching-connecting/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/12/02/skype-tool-learning-helping-teaching-connecting/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:40:18 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=36114 As we compile many innovative uses for Skype and FaceTime, we realize how "virtual" really CAN allow us to "be there".]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/12/02/skype-tool-learning-helping-teaching-connecting/feed/ 2 realm of possibility: custom digitallly-printed wall coverings http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/09/09/realm-of-possibility-custom-digitallly-printed-wall-coverings/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/09/09/realm-of-possibility-custom-digitallly-printed-wall-coverings/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:31:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=32700 HP digitally printed wallcovering

Having had a mother who was obsessed with busy, French-provinical wallpaper, I’ve always steered clear from any semblance of a wall covering. Until, that is, companies like HP devised a latex printer that will digitally print your own designs to make cool wall-coverings.

A number of companies will help you do this…like New Era4wallsFlavorPaper. Apparently, the HP Latex Printing Technologies allow you to print on a huge array of materials like non-woven wallpaper, paper, self-adhesive vinyl, PVC-free media, coated substrates, uncoated substrates, embossed media, and textiles.

Lot’s of possibilities there…(The key is a digital file with high enough resolution to blow up BIG.) I’m thinking of that fab ball-point pen wallpaper designed by alissia melka-teichroew that we blogged ages ago, which has haunted me ever since.  (more…)

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the first apple computer: great ideas start rough! http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/06/24/the-first-apple-computer-great-ideas-start-rough/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/06/24/the-first-apple-computer-great-ideas-start-rough/#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 08:22:43 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=30503 apple-1 first apple computer

Dig this picture of the original apple computer, now known as the apple-1, designed and hand-built in 1976 by Steve Wozniak in Steve Job‘s garage. It’s one of a number of “primitive” early computers that Christie’s will auction in ‘First Bytes: Iconic Technology From the Twentieth Century’. It represents the very first step in Apple’s quite amazing history of personal computinga reminder that first iterations are often ROUGH as they forshadow possibilities to come.

The great Gary Snyder observed that ‘personal computers feel like sentient beings’ (more…)

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refresh with zef: dazzling, relaxing color doodling site http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/03/13/refresh-with-zef-dazzling-relaxing-color-doodling-site/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/03/13/refresh-with-zef-dazzling-relaxing-color-doodling-site/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:38:47 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=28786 color play

Zef, a wonderful endlessly-improvisable color doodling program by Patakk, gif-maker extraordinaire, sent us on an unexprected psychedelic journey and we found ourselves curiously refreshed.

Just go to the blank page, move your cursor, and see where it takes you…. (more…)

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good idea: an ipad on a fridge door http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/01/14/good-idea-an-ipad-on-a-fridge-door/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/01/14/good-idea-an-ipad-on-a-fridge-door/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:25:49 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=27898

fridge + duct tape + tablet-or-phone….

A strangely swell idea, low on style (though it sure beats those ugly water dispensers.)

It reminded us of the great video Jesse Rosten made showing how-to secure an ipad to just about anything using velcro, possibly a slightly more elegant and practical solution to the one above.

We could see devising a hybrid using Tom Sachs’ plywood clad fridge idea, or the spray-painted fridge in this Marseille Penthouse, playing loops of suprising visuals…

(more…)

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unexpectedly cool, relaxing visual ‘toys’ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/12/07/unexpectedly-cool-relaxing-visual-toys/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/12/07/unexpectedly-cool-relaxing-visual-toys/#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2012 09:12:46 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=27215

This swell little visual toy by Koalas to the Max came via Michael Warren of  Mike and Molly’s House. Being an ardently curious soul, Michael checked out its source code and made an interesting discovery:

It turns out it’s built with a javascript library called D3. As far as I can tell it’s a library that uses data to render graphics in a compu-magical sort of way. I guess the original intent was to help make charts, visualizations and other forms of information graphing.

There are a bunch of examples of things people have done with it here. Some interesting stuff and pretty experimental.  I didn’t look at them all but check out “OMG Particles” and “Square Circle Spiral Illusion“. They are pretty neat. 

Really neat! We love that what started as a code to make charts turned into code to make (more…)

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briliantly curated apps, videos, books for kids (+ adults) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/10/05/briliantly-curated-apps-videos-books-for-kids-adults/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/10/05/briliantly-curated-apps-videos-books-for-kids-adults/#comments Fri, 05 Oct 2012 09:07:30 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=25972 Tinybop screengrab

We are smitten with Tinybop, a site of books, apps, videos, toys for kids. The curating is GREAT here. Many of their suggestions will help your child-in-mind (or you) to bloom.
We’ve found a ton of stuff that WE want. Dig these cool apps: (more…)
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lol, revisionist ‘gangnam style’ is so-o-o-o funny http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/10/02/lol-revisionist-gangnam-style-is-so-o-o-o-funny/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/10/02/lol-revisionist-gangnam-style-is-so-o-o-o-funny/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2012 23:00:14 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=25912

(Video link here.) Gangnam Style, South Korean hip hop artist PSY’s video was so insanely over-the-top, it went viral. But the original is not nearly as funny or amazing as this brilliant hack YouTube user Moto2h made with it: he took away the music and added in some sound effects to PSY’s a capella blather.

…We hope it brings you a big ongoing fatso laugh…

via Flavorwire

Related posts: morning haiku: christopher walken via jim meskimen peep show gif: funny, risqué, slightly x-rated (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/10/02/lol-revisionist-gangnam-style-is-so-o-o-o-funny/feed/ 3 ‘the last pictures’: what would you send into space? http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/17/the-last-pictures-which-would-you-send-into-space/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/17/the-last-pictures-which-would-you-send-into-space/#comments Mon, 17 Sep 2012 23:20:54 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=25580

(Video link here.) As an artist in residence at MIT, Trevor Paglen worked with materials scientists to develop an ultra-archival disc of images, capable of lasting in space for billions of years. He meant this disc to contain a “cultural mark”, that would portray our world long after it might have disappeared altogether.  He interviewed scientists, artists, anthropologists, and philosophers to consider what such a cultural mark should be, and ultimately settled on 100 photos. The disc of photos will be sent into space this month.

To be sure, they are an odd assortment. You can check out some here, and in the The Last Pictures, a book that has been made about the project//.  One of our favorites: (more…)

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plydesign: an essential guide to diy plywood projects http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/12/plydesign-an-essential-guide-to-diy-plywood-projects/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/12/plydesign-an-essential-guide-to-diy-plywood-projects/#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2012 18:35:41 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=25475

As we’ve mentioned, ‘the improvised life’s laboratory is something of an homage to plywood. We’ve used it for many things, from window sills to cabinets to floors. We love the stuff, and are constantly hatching plots in our head for furniture, housewares, endless inventions. So we are smitten with carpenter and author Philip Schmidt new book PlyDesign// which presents 73 ideas for sleek, smart home furnishings that you can make from off-the-shelf sheet materials using only basic hand and power tools. It features designs contributed by more than 50 creative builders across North America for tables, stools, workstations, benches, laptop stands, shelves, art panels, organizers, headboards, and more.

Each project includes photographs, designs and lists of tools you’ll need. One of our favorites: Barnaby Gunning‘s 8 x 2 tables: (more…)

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the healing powers of ipads…laptops…computers… http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/07/23/the-healing-powers-of-ipads-laptops-computers/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/07/23/the-healing-powers-of-ipads-laptops-computers/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2012 10:08:36 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=24718 tree roots busting through concrete

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Our friend Jody Lotito Levine sent us an email filled with images, some of them really wondrous. With them came this message:

…from my former boss and dear friend recovering from pancreatic cancer: he says his ipad has been so healing and connective - 

We mention it on the heels of our post about disconnecting from electronic devices – and taking downtime from them – to give our selves a rest.  As much as we feel the need for that, we also are heartened daily by what we tap into on the internet, through the extraordinary explorations, exchanges and connections that occur through ‘the improvised life’. For us the gist is, (more…)

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‘tiny wings’: more on the theme of flying http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/07/10/tiny-wings-more-on-the-theme-of-flying/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/07/10/tiny-wings-more-on-the-theme-of-flying/#comments Tue, 10 Jul 2012 22:21:00 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=24444

(Video link here.) By now everyone knows we’re smitten with images of people leaping, jumping, flying for all the obvious symbolic meaning they can hold: liberation from old constraints, taking chances, or just grooving along. So, although we haven’t experienced the ‘Tiny Wings ‘ app that has become so wildly popular, we love this relaxing little video…perfect for the end of the day.

And we just might download the app, so we can take flight daily, wherever we may be.

You have always dreamed of flying – but your wings are tiny. Luckily the world is full of beautiful hills. Use the (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/07/10/tiny-wings-more-on-the-theme-of-flying/feed/ 0