Category Archives: Uncategorized on Purpose

Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures

Animation may soon become obsolete..:

“We present a muscle-based control method for simulated bipeds in which both the muscle routing and control parameters are optimized. This yields a generic locomotion control method that supports a variety of bipedal creatures. All actuation forces are the result of 3D simulated muscles, and a model of neural delay is included for all feedback paths. As a result, our controllers generate torque patterns that incorporate biomechanical constraints. The synthesized controllers find different gaits based on target speed, can cope with uneven terrain and external perturbations, and can steer to target directions.”

Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures from John Goatstream on Vimeo.

Matters of Scale

The size of the Planck length can be visualized as follows: if a particle or dot about 0.1mm in size (which is at or near the smallest the unaided human eye can see) were magnified in size to be as large as the observable universe, then inside that universe-sized “dot”, the Planck length would be roughly the size of an actual 0.1mm dot, that is, about the size of smallest object the naked human eye can see. In other words, the diameter of the observable universe is to within less than an order of magnitude, larger than a 0.1 millimeter object, roughly at or near the limits of the unaided human eye, by about the same factor (10^31) as that 0.1mm object or dot is larger than the Planck length. More simply – on a logarithmic scale, a dot is halfway between the Planck length and the size of the universe.

Sorry for the plunder directly from wikipedia but it was too good to just link to.

 

Planck length Visualization:

“The size of the Planck length can be visualized as follows: if a particle or dot about 0.1mm in size (which is at or near the smallest the unaided human eye can see) were magnified in size to be as large as the observable universe, then inside that universe-sized “dot”, the Planck length would be roughly the size of an actual 0.1mm dot, that is, about the size of smallest object the naked human eye can see. In other words, the diameter of the observable universe is to within less than an order of magnitude, larger than a 0.1 millimeter object, roughly at or near the limits of the unaided human eye, by about the same factor (10^31) as that 0.1mm object or dot is larger than the Planck length. More simply – on a logarithmic scale, a dot is halfway between the Planck length and the size of the universe.”

Isabey sent me a replacement brush – I am a fan for life

http://www.dickblick.com/products/isabey-pure-kolinsky-sable-brushes/

I get attached to the materials I work with – I have been a life-long computer geek, a brush geek, a linen geek, a paper geek. After all, for a time – you and the instrument in your hand become a one in the pursuit of a work of art, or simply of work. Knowing what we now know of the micro-world of particles, the simple act of commanding an object is a miracle.

My grandfather – circa 1938

My grandfather was an oil painter and a successful businessman, very skilled in the technique of Intarsia. He was very active in Bulgarian society prior to 1944 and was nominated, as part of a delegation of the Bulgarian trade elite, a godfather to King Simeon II of Bulgaria. He lost almost everything and escaped barely with his life during the communist revolution of 1944-47. He escaped execution with the help of a friendly lawyer but watched in terror from his house’s terrace high on the hills – the muzzle flashes of executions of many of his friends and colleagues. He was later sent to labor camps, was registered in the communist party’s archives as an enemy of the state and was not allowed to work for the rest of his life. Growing up I remember a very strange man living in my grandparents’ house – he was installed to spy on my grandparents’ activities and was there for almost 20 years. As a kid I was kept ignorant of the family history and only learned things piece by piece after my grandfather passed from a heart condition shortly after the Chernobyl incident. I vividly remember, however, my grandpa listening to the BBC and the Voice of America, a highly illegal activity at the time.

Grandfather at Union Club – Sofia, 1938:

I always keep at least one of grandpa’s works in sight. Here is my “wet” studio where I handle more toxic processes – I just laid first coat of Lead Oil primer on newly stretched linen canvases and also dry an underpainting created with genuine Chinese Vermilion ( the very toxic Mercuric Sulphide ). And grandpa’s landscape Intarsia of the old capital of Bulgaria is hiding behind the printer box waiting to be hung:

We’re scientists and engineers on NASA’s Voyager mission. Our spacecraft is now in interstellar space. Ask Us Anything!

I love space, I love all about the Cosmos and the Universe. It doesn’t make me feel small. It is no coincidence I worked on Star Wars as a commercial artist. I wasn’t merely loitering around the Presidio falling into the Star Wars pit.

I dreamed to become am Astronaut when I was little. I became a painter instead, next best thing.

Reddit IAMA of NASA scientists and engineers working on the Voyager mission:

“Today we announced that our spacecraft Voyager 1 is now in interstellar space.”

And my favorite question and answer:

” Q.: What is the application of this kind of knowledge? Understanding how particles move through space?

A.: James Van Allen once told me that the pursuit of knowledge was a sufficient answer for questions about applicability of space exploration. It’s all about understanding who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going. We’re all the stuff of stars, and now were actually examining that ‘stuff’ ” Bill Kurth, Voyager plasma wave co-investigator, University of Iowa

Isabey Brushes

My recently acquired Isabey brush is going bald, and is one of my favorite brushes… I am writing to Isabey in France to see if they would mail me a replacement.

Isabey Brush going bald
Isabey Brush going bald

the rest of my Isabey arsenal is quietly drying – getting ready for tomorrow’s date with Vermilion.

SciCafe: Life, the Universe and Everything with Neil deGrasse Tyson

There are very few things that really stop me in my tracks and I can watch and listen to for hours on end without ever getting tired – one of these things is anything Space and Cosmos. I could live on  Nasa.tv and steamed broccoli.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, talks about Newton and the importance of keeping the lines of thought and conversation open. He says when open conversation ratchets up – you make discoveries and you make discoveries rapidly..

My favorite story from “The Power of Myth”


There is a wonderful story in the Upanishads about the god Indra. Now it happened at this time that a great monster had enclosed all the waters of the earth, so there was a terrible drought, and the world was in a very bad condition. It took Indra quite a while to realize that he had a box of thunderbolts and that all he had to do was drop a thunderbolt on the monster and blow him up. When he did that, the waters flowed, and the world was refreshed, and Indra said. “What a great boy am I”.

So, thinking, “What a great boy am I”, Indra goes up to the cosmic mountain, which is the central mountain in the world, and decides to build a palace worthy of such as he. The main carpenter of the gods goes to work on it, and in very quick order he gets the palace into pretty good condition. But every time Indra comes to inspect it, he had bigger ideas about how splendid and grandiose the palace should be. Finally, the carpenter says, “My god, we are both immortal, and there is no end to his desires. I am caught for eternity. So he decides to go Brahma, the creator god, and complain.

Brahma sits on a lotus, the symbol of divine energy and divine grace. The lotus grows from the navel of Vishnu, who is the sleeping god, whose dream is the universe. So the carpenter comes to the edge of the great lotus pond of the universe and tells his story to Brahma. Brahma says, ” You go home. I will fix this up.” Brahma gets off his lotus and kneels down to address sleeping Vishnu. Vishnu just makes a gesture and says something like, “Listen, fly, something is going to happen.”
Next morning, at the gate of the palace that is being built, there appears a beautiful blue-black boy with a lot of children around him, just admiring his beauty. The porter at the gate of the new palace goes running to Indra, and Indra says, “Well, bring in the boy.” The boy is brought in, and Indra, the kind god, sitting on his throne, says, “Young man, welcome. And what brings you to my palace?”
“Well, says the boy with a voice like thunder rolling on the horizon, “I have been told that you are building such a palace as no Indra before you ever built.”
And Indra says, “Indras before me, youn man – what are you talking about?”
The boy says, “Indras before you. I have seen them come and go, come and go. Just think, Vishnu sleeps in the cosmic ocean, and the lotus of the Universe grows from his navel. On the lotus sits Brahma, the creator. Brahma opens his eyes, and a world comes into being, governed by an Indra. Brahma closes his eye, and a world goes out of being. The life of a Brahma is four hundred and thirty-two thousand years. When he dies, the lotus goes back, and another lotus is formed, and another Brahma. Then think of the galaxies beyond galaxies in infinite space, each a lotus, with a Brahma sitting on it, opening his eyes, closing his eyes. And Indras? There may be wise men in your court who would volunteer to count the drops of water in the oceans of the world or the grains of sand on the beaches, but no one would count those Bramin, let alone those Indras.”

While the boy is talking, an army of ants parades across the floor. The boy laughs when he sees them, and Indra’s hair stands on end, and he says to the boy, “Why do you laugh?”
The boy answers, “Dont ask unless you are willing to be hurt.”
Indra says, “I ask. Teach.”( That, by the way, is a good Oriental idea: you don’t teach until you are asked. You don’t force your mission down people’s throats.)
And so the boy points to the ants and says, “Former Indras all. Through many lifetimes they rise from the lowest conditions to the highest illumination. And then they drop their thunderbolt on a monster, and they think, ‘What a good boy am I.’ And down they go again.”

Were-Rabbit on the wall, a Bulgarian style feast, with a twist

As part of an Action Art project over the holidays, I invited my artists friends over for a Bulgarian style feast, with a twist.. As Bulgarian tradition dictates, you have to paint on the walls for food:)

The twist was that my friends and participants didn’t know that all the walls were tarped for painting.., I advertised the event as a sit down dinner with all the trimmings of a family event. I wanted to completely detach the action from a specific result and let things unfold.

..and here are the results

\\ Ink, brushes, charcoal, sharpies, pastels on butcher paper, red lights

The next day, I took photographs of all the walls in natural lighting..

In addition to drawings, there Were-Rabbits, poems and cryptic messages..

even a Were-Man..

Occupy Wall Street and Magritte also showed up.. with parts of a Christmas tree

So what was best of 2011..

.. My brother taught me how to fish.

And how do the grand Satyagraha at the Met Opera, the De Kooning exhibition at the MOMA, the La Carte D’Après Nature show at Matthew Marks gallery, moving studio 4 times, shaking hands with 470 people in three days during Open Studios compare to my brother’s fishing – they don’t even come close second.

Fishing is a philosophy and also a sport, a very zen way to gamble and a fusion of the Romantic and the Classical way of thinking. You could be well prepared, in a Classical way, to fish.. but fish has the very Romantic approach of not getting caught.

the Plank constant

Insofar as we understand the universe – if it can be understood – our doings must have some desire for order in them; but from the point of view of the universe, they must be very grotesque. As a matter of fact, the idea of “order” reminds me of something Jack Tworkov was telling me that he remembered of his childhood.
There was the village idiot.His name was Plank and he measured everything. He measured roads, toads, and his own feet; fences, his nose and windows, trees, saws and caterpillars. Everything was there already to be measured by him. Because he was an idiot, it is difficult to think in terms of how happy he was. Jack says he walked around with a very satisfied expression on his face. He had no nostalgia, neither a memory nor a sense of time. All that he noticed about himself was that his length changed!

Insofar as we understand the universe – if it can be understood – our doings must have some desire for order in them; but from the point of view of the universe, they must be very grotesque. As a matter of fact, the idea of “order” reminds me of something Jack Tworkov was telling me that he remembered of his childhood.

There was the village idiot. His name was Plank and he measured everything. He measured roads, toads, and his own feet; fences, his nose and windows, trees, saws and caterpillars. Everything was there already to be measured by him. Because he was an idiot, it is difficult to think in terms of how happy he was. Jack says he walked around with a very satisfied expression on his face. He had no nostalgia, neither a memory nor a sense of time. All that he noticed about himself was that his length changed!

Willem De Kooning, written in 1950 for a lecture series at Studio 35 on Eighth Street in New York.

What do Ultra Violet, Quantum tunnelling and Bhagavad Gita have in common?

Surmounting Uncertainty.

Ultra Violet

says 99 percent certainty is 100 percent certainty.


Quantum Tunneling

Quantum Mechanics says a particle has a definite probability of being anywhere in the entire universe. Although any real distance from the particle’s expected classical path is infinitesimally small, since Quantum Mechanics is a statistical theory those small probabilities must be counted! Quantum Tunneling is a fascinating effect that arises out of these small probabilities. ( I certainly, 100 percent didn’t write this )

Bhagavad Gita

Philip Glass’ Satyagraha is based on Bhagavad Gita and sung entirely in Sanskrit, without titles for the audience. Bhagavad Gita says the world is not for the doubting man.