3D anamorphic street art of Julian Beever

Many of us have received email forwards containing photos of three-dimensional (3D) drawings by Julian Beever. The trick is, they’re three-dimensional only when viewed from a specific vantage point. Here are a few photos of his sidewalk art. In each pair of photos, the first shows the piece from the preferred viewing angle while the second shows it from the “wrong” side. You can see it takes some highly tuned spatial orientation on the part of the artist!

Julian Beever's Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the best angle

Julian Beever’s Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the optimal angle.

Julian Beever's Swimming Pool in the High Street wrong side

Julian Beever’s Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the “wrong” side.

Julian Beever's Kate's Last Crawl, viewed from the best angle

Julian Beever’s Kate’s Last Crawl, viewed from the optimal angle

Julian Beever's Kate's Last Crawl, viewed from the "wrong" angle

Julian Beever’s Kate’s Last Crawl, viewed from the “wrong” angle

I see the theory in how these are done, but I’ve never attempted to do an extreme perspective drawing like this. I wouldn’t know where to start! Fortunately, there are some online resources available which show the basics of how these works are done. Don’t you love the Internet? 🙂

This Instructables page shows fun examples by user Greasetattoo : How to do 3D Anamorphic Artwork and Sidewalk, Street, and Driveway Art (kudos on the great choices in keywords, by the way – they worked!). I especially like the series of photos with the stool. They had a lot of fun with that one.

If viewing his work online isn’t enough for you, there’s a book available. Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever. Want to try your hand at some pavement art yourself? Check out Sidewalk Canvas: Chalk Pavement Art at Your Feet. The cover alone caught my eye; that lion is really well done. If you’re going to try your hand at chalk art, Crayola has a nice 52-Count Chalk Carton. A lot of the chalk sets out there just have a few pastel colors.

If you’re interested in learning how to do this kind of art, but are a more visual and hands-on learner, there are video tutorials on YouTube. I put together a playlist of some. If you have suggestions of other YouTube videos on the subject, let me know and I might add them to the playlist so everyone can enjoy them.

 

 

It puts the lotion on its skin, err, calendar

It puts the lotion on its calendar?

At the left is a screenshot of Jorte Calendar’s settings menu. Click the thumbnail to enlarge it.

First, let me say that I love Jorte Calendar. It’s one of the first things I’m sure to install when I get a new Android device. It’s currently on my HTC Amaze 4G, ASUS Transformer and was on my Kindle Firebefore I factory reset it and gave it to my mom.

This is what Jorte looks like on my HTC Amaze 4G's homescreen.

What’s the best thing about Jorte? The full-month calendar widget rocks! It has add-ons that give you extra fonts and colorful icons for events, but I prefer the clean look of it without them:

However, When I saw this, all I could think of was the unforgettable The Silence of the Lambs and creepy Jamie Gumb, the cross-dressing serial killer masterfully played by Ted Levine, holding his poodle and peering into the pit at his captive.

Who can forget his detached voice intoning, “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again”?

Not for the faint of heart, that movie, but so good!

 

While we’re watching, have a laugh at these two TV clips referencing that famous scene. First, Craig Ferguson’s monologue:

And here’s a clip from Live! With Kelly, featuring Science Bob and Neil Patrick Harris:

I just heard a voice say, “It starts its work. It starts its work!”

Gotta go!

How to send books you’ve already purchased from Amazon to your Kindle

When you purchase a Kindle title from Amazon via your browser, you get an option to send the title to your device via Amazon’s WhisperNet. But what about after you’ve already purchased a title? How do you send it to your Kindle after the fact, like after you’ve done a reset on your Kindle or added a new Kindle or Kindle app to your devices?

I find it’s an easier and richer experience to navigate Amazon through a regular web browser instead of the Kindle store and library. I made up this little tutorial for my mom, but thought others might benefit from it as well. If you want to bypass going through the Kindle menus and just use your web browser to send your purchased titles to your Kindle DX, Second-generation Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard 3G, Kindle Fire or any free Kindle reading apps, this is for you. 🙂 Click the thumbnails to view larger screenshots.

First, the obvious: Sign into your Amazon account.

1. Then, HOVER over the Your Account link in the upper right. A menu will pop up. CLICK on Manage Your Kindle.

NOTE: If you happen to click Your Account instead of just hovering over it, it’s no biggie. Just scroll down the page until you see “Digital Content: Kindle, MP3, & Downloads” on the left. On the right, you’ll see a link for “Manage Your Kindle”. Click it. Then, skip to Step 2 here.

First, HOVER over the Your Account link in the upper right. A menu will pop up. CLICK on Manage Your Kindle.
CLICK TO ENLARGE.

2. You’ll see your Kindle Library. HOVER over the Actions button next to the title you want to modify. Click on the option you want to perform. If you want Amazon to send the title to one or more of your Kindles, click the “Deliver to my…” link.

You'll see your Kindle Library. HOVER over the Actions button next to the title you want to modify. Click on the option you want to perform. If you want Amazon to send the title to one or more of your Kindles, click the "Deliver to my..." link.

CLICK TO ENLARGE.

3. You’ll see a pop-up with the title’s information. From the drop-down menu, select the device to which you want the title sent and click the Deliver button.

You'll see a pop-up with the title's information. From the drop-down menu, select the device to which you want the title sent and click the Deliver button.

CLICK TO ENLARGE.

4. A confirmation message will briefly appear under the title. If you want to send the title to another of your Kindle devices (including apps on your mobile devices), HOVER over the Actions button again and repeat the described steps for each device.

A confirmation message will briefly appear under the title. If you want to send the title to another of your Kindle devices (including apps on your mobile devices), HOVER over the Actions button again and repeat the described steps for each device.

CLICK TO ENLARGE.

That’s really all there is to it. Explore the other options that appear under that Actions button and see what all you can do! Amazon provides good support pages for the whole Kindle family, there is a user’s guide available for each flavor of Kindle, plus there is an active Kindle help forum. Explore and learn about your new ebook reader!

The Morphing, Man-Munching Mudmobile of Mile 81

Nom nom nom...


A couple days ago, I bought the latest novella release by Stephen King. Titled Mile 81, it’s an ebook-only release. I downloaded it to my Kindle app for Android.

Reminiscent of King’s Christine and From a From a Buick 8, this story contains some vivid, creepy imagery and features a car. I read it in a darkened room – just by chance, not by design.

To be honest, I found myself just a tad nervous as the story unfolded. One thing I love about King’s writing is his attention to characters; he fleshes out both major and minor (read: expendable) characters. In just a few spare sentences, he makes you care about these people and dread for their futures. There is plenty for them to dread here.

Unlike those who speed by on the turnpike without a thought, several good Samaratins pull off into the abandoned Mile 81 rest area to aide what they think is a stranded motorist, or, as the case becomes, several stranded motorists.

The tension builds as the story progresses, but left me feeling let down. For all the build up, I thought the ending was pretty simplistic. Then again, it IS a novella, the literary equivalent of a half-hour sitcom. Still, though it was a short ride, it was a decent one.

I would love to see this car described in more detail — maybe in a subsequent book? We never find out where this entity went, so something tells me we’ve not seen the last of the Morphing, Man-Munching Mudmobile.

For under three bucks, get it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Lot of King, Koontz, Straub, Grisham & more books for sale

We’ve did a nice round of de-cluttering in our house and ended up with many boxes of books. I have this box of assorted horror, medical thriller and legal thriller books for sale. Authors include Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Peter Straub, Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. I wish to sell this as one lot. All but three of the books are paperbacks. Click the thumbnails to enlarge to pictures. Click the links below to see details about book. Please note that the links are not necessarily the same paperback editions I have in this lot. With the exception of a few books, these are all in good condition or better. They’re reader copies, not collector’s items. 😉

Here’s a list of what you’ll receive in the box of bookish goodness:

Abduction (PB) – Robin Cook
A Case of Need (PB) – Michael Crichton
A Time to Kill (PB) – John Grisham
The Rainmaker (PB) – John Grisham
The Runaway Jury (HB)- John Grisham
The Street Lawyer (HB) – John Grisham
The Testament (PB) – John Grisham
False Memory (PB) – Dean Koontz
Odd Thomas – (PB, advance reading copy) – Dean Koontz
Forever Odd (PB) – Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas is such a great series, but there are only two books in this lot. You can see the whole Odd Thomas series here.

Icebound (PB) – Dean Koontz
Life Expectancy (PB, advance reading copy) – Dean Koontz
Sole Survivor (PB) – Dean Koontz
The Face (PB) – Dean Koontz
Bag of Bones (PB) – Stephen King
Black House (PB) – Stephen King & Peter Straub

Don’t have The Talisman, but you can get it at Amazon

Different Seasons (PB) – Stephen King
Firestarter (PB) – Stephen King
Four Past Midnight (PB) – Stephen King
Gerald’s Game (PB) – Stephen King
It (PB) – Stephen King
Misery (PB) – Stephen King
Nightmares & Dreamscapes (PB) – Stephen King
Pet Semetary (PB) – Stephen King
Skeleton Crew (PB) – Stephen King
The Dead Zone (PB) – Stephen King
The Drawing of the Three (PB) – Stephen King

Sorry, but I don’t have the rest of the Dark Tower Series. The rest I borrowed from my library.

The Green Mile (PB) – Stephen King
The Tommyknockers (PB) – Stephen King < Rough shape, but quite readable Lost Boy, Lost Girl (PB) – Peter Straub
Mystery (PB) – Peter Straub

Price for the whole lot of 31 books: $20. I will consider shipping them for actual shipping cost based on their total weight of 24lbs 4oz. That should be $13.50 including insurance. I accept PayPal.


Libraries, ebooks and readers

While watching a segment regarding the electronic revolution and the publishing industry on CBS Sunday Morning today (Out of Print, the Written Word Considered), something occurred to me. Some public library systems already loan electronic content like ebooks and audiobooks through a partnership with services like OverDrive, but they require reader software and the books must be read on a laptop or desktop computer unless you have a supported mobile device*.

What I’d love is for libraries to get together with one of the mainstream ebook readers – something like the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader and the Barnes & Noble Nook. If they could get a bulk discount sufficient enough to make reselling the devices profitable, this could serve as a source of additional funding for libraries.That’s a big “if”, though, since even at wholesale prices they’re likely to be pretty dear in price.

The Nook and Sony Reader both allow for ebook loans through the OverDrive system used by libaries who offer this service.

At the least, though, accessibility to loaned content really needs to be out there for mobile users. There are tons of public domain books available for free download, but I know I’m not alone in wanting access to bestsellers and other contemporary content. I know I’d use it a lot since I like reading on my T-Mobile G1 phone.

What are your thoughts on publishing, electronic publishing and libraries? Any news you have on these fronts is very welcome, so please post comments!

* I just saw that OverDrive does, indeed, support some mobile devices — including Android! I’m downloading their beta and I’ll write more about it later (if I don’t, remind me!).

Save on textbooks and get free 2-day shipping

Hand written ad saying poor student will buy your textbooks.Back when I was in college*, I was pretty much at the mercy of the college bookstore when it came to textbooks. Even their used texts were outrageously expensive, and this was the late 1990’s. I can only imagine what students pay now.

There were always a few “for sale” notes pinned to campus bulletin boards, but competitively priced books were quick to sell. I didn’t have a car, so driving in to a campus bookstore in Columbus wasn’t an option.

Not so, now! College students have an amazing world wide store at their fingertips. They have textbooks for everything from math to literature, business & finance to medicine.

They even have textbooks in audiobook format. It’s great these are available, especially since some students learn better by hearing than by reading and reading while you listen can help anyone with retention and comprehension.

This morning, I learned Amazon has a great deal going on for anyone in need of college textbooks. They have new textbooks discounted up to 30% and used textbooks discounted up to 90%. That’s not shabby in itself, but they’ve sweetened the deal with an unbeatable bit of sugar: Right now, if you buy any textbook, you will receive free 3-month tial of Amazon Prime. The normal trial membership is 30 days, so this is great!

For those of you who don’t know, Amazon Prime gives you free 2-day shipping on anything fulfilled by Amazon. That’s fast! You can get hard-to-find grocery items, paper products, electronics and — of course — books. Amazon has just about everything that doesn’t require a refrigerator or a permit.

I’m not currently a student, but consider myself a lifelong learner and some of the titles I saw while browsing had my brain drooling. There’s so much out there to learn, no matter what your age! You don’t have to enroll in a college to do it, either. Textbooks don’t require a prescription or a copy of your tuition receipt. Anyone can read and learn!

* Does this make me sound ancient or what? What a lead in for some tale of woe or fanciful trip down memory lane. Here’s one: Back when I was in college, we didn’t have the interwebs, nosiree! We flipped through a card catalog at the library to find the book we needed and didn’t know until we got to its place on the shelf whether or not it was checked out.