Taken at the Alcazar in Sevilla. This is an example of Moorish architecture intersecting with Christianity. The concept of drawing the likeness of humans and nature is forbidden in Islam, however, notice the faces of Catholic kings and queens along the wall.

At the Alcazar in Sevilla. Moorish architecture created for Catholic royalty

PhotoSketch: I can’t wait to try this

A lot of press coverage hit my sources about PhotoSketch, an “Internet Image Montage” research project from five students at Tsinghua University and the National University of Singapore. It looks like an astounding piece of technology, and a lot of fun to play with. Unfortunately, the site was taken down due to an unbelievable amount of traffic (what’s called being “slashdotted”, named after a site is brought to the attention of the popular technology news site

With it, you:

  1. Draw a pencil sketch of what image you want to compile
  2. Label the items in the image
  3. Run the image through and get back a photo montage compiled from available online images.

Just let the pictures and video speak for themselves.

Sketch2Photo: Internet Image Montage from Tao Chen on Vimeo.

I wonder what the image in my previous post would translate to?

“Doing” the Lourvre

Tourists who visit city art museums in a day, taking pictures and moving on, may not fully appreciate the art within them, as this New York Times article laments. I suffer from this affliction as well. Well, perhaps “suffer” isn’t the best word – I’m quite comfortable in my low interest level in painted art.

Architecture, however, is different animals. Given the right conditions, I can see how spending a few hours observing a building could be interesting. Especially if it is active observation, as this paragraph from the article suggests.

Recently, I bought a couple of sketchbooks to draw with my 10-year-old in St. Peter’s and elsewhere around Rome, just for the fun of it, not because we’re any good, but to help us look more slowly and carefully at what we found. Crowds occasionally gathered around us as if we were doing something totally strange and novel, as opposed to something normal, which sketching used to be.

I would like to try this someday. As the paragraph suggests, not because I’d be “any good”, but rather to help absorb the building and its environment better. In middle school I would spend hours designing floorplans for houses on graph paper and doing perspective drawings. I contemplated a career in architecture, but the pull of computer science was too strong at the time.

My drawings may not be very good, but at least at the end I can pull out my DSLR and snap a photo before walking away…

Writing documentation, late, late at night

I found a picture of my workspace at one of my old jobs recently.
I know, it’s a simple workspace.
What I had forgotten until looking at the picture was the quotes I had pasted to the wall. The top was found in the developer’s documentation. If you can figure out what it means, I am all ears:

The key of the attribute of the SCAttribute property is represented by an XML attribute named Key on the Attribute element.