Whoa! Animated GIFs Work in Blogs!

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Neave.com: Coolest Playground on The Interwebz

Greetings loyal followers and passersby.  Today’s installment will deliver more than just a few minutes of reading, an adorable image, or a cute video.  Today, we will enter an entirely different universe: The one created by Paul Neave.  I hope you have 10 or 11 hours to spare, because once you visit the site I’m going to talk about, you won’t be able to walk away.  So, don’t go there yet…read this article first!  Then, come back and comment, please!  I’d love to hear what you think about this find!

The Gateway to Another Universe

The Gateway to Another Universe

First, let’s answer the question, “Who is Paul Neave?”  Well, he describes himself as ” …a typical male person with hair and skin and a face and lots of flappy bits.  Yes we all have flappy bits.”

If you think that sounds kind of British, then you’ve figured out another clue.  The rest of his “About” page is a fun read, but I’ll let you do that for yourself.  To better serve this article, you’ll want to know that Neave is an “interactive designer,” which, he says, means:

That’s a fancy way of saying I make interactive tools and toys, everything from games to applications, from experimental interactive art to intuitive user interfaces.

He describes Neave.com as “my personal interactive playground; a place where I can explore my ideas and try out risky experiments that I wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to make anywhere else. ”  So, with that tantalizing bit of information, let’s talk about what you can expect when you arrive at Neave’s front gate. A high-speed internet connection yields the best experience.

First:  Tones and colors.  Or, colours, if you’re from his neck of the woods.  Just roll your mouse over the menu and you’re already playing!  But, that’s just the first blush.  Here are some of the ways you can lose a day without even realizing it there.

Flash Earth. Cruise the planet via aerial maps from NASA, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo! Maps, and more.  Maps are updated daily.  Just now, I looked at the NASA map for Jacksonville, FL and I can see Tropical Storm Hannah hanging around to the east, with Ike and Josephine in the distance.  When I switched to MS Virtual with labels, I could find my home and my parents’ condo community, which don’t yet exist on Google’s mapping system.  It’s fun to have all these options in one place.  You can lose an hour right there!

Imaginataion. All you have to do is roll your mouse around and watch the screen.  Oh, and say goodbye to 30 minutes while you hypnotize yourself.  Oooh!  Colors!

Fractal. You know what those are, right? Still, just zoom in…and keep zooming in…and disappear into more hypnotic realms of color and pattern.

But, let’s move on from the colors and patterns…there’s more you can discover for yourself.

Television. I think this might have been my favorite…and I don’t think it’s because I didn’t have to do anything at all!  I mean, it’s the ultimate couch potato experience!  You don’t even have to lift a hand to press buttons on a remote!  One click to get there and then sit back.  Neave does the channel surfing for you.  But, don’t expect to stumble across “American Idol,” or “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”  The most important requirement for viewing Neave’s television is, ” a deep-seated urge to be totally bewildered.”

Bounce, Light, Dandelion, and Webcam will make use of your own microphone and/or webcam to play in a new dimension of interactivity.  I couldn’t get the dandelion to do what I hoped, and I got a little paranoid about who else could, perhaps, see me experiement with the Webcam, but that didn’t stop me from spending time with either!  I even did some screen captures of myself with weird webcam effects to  use as avatars later on.  Oh, and Neave makes the source code for that one available!

You know what?  I’m not even beginning to do the place justice.  Okay, you just run along and go try it now…unless you’ve opened the site in a new tab and are playing along already.  (You are using Firefox for your tabbed browsing, aren’t you?  If not go and do that immediately!)  But, please, if you have any brain cells left when you’re finished, do come back and comment!

1 Kings 18: 6 So they divided the land between them to explore it; Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

Kate Clark’s Sculpture is The Stuff of Dreams

Kate Clark, is an awesome artist, and an even more awesome person! Okay, granted, she is my niece, but I’m not the slightest bit biased!

Kate Clark's anthropomorphic sculpture

Kate Clark's anthropomorphic sculpture

Here’s her website. But, before you go there, let me offer you a word of caution. Her work isn’t exactly to everyone’s taste! Her sculptures resemble some of the awesome showcases you may remember seeing at your local Natural History museum…except for one small detail – they have human faces! It’s eerie, really…at first. But, she’s not necessarily trying to freak you out…at least that’s not the way her mother tells it!

Kate uses real animal skins in her work, so if this kind of thing bugs you, I’m suggesting you simply not click the link to the website. But, if you do click it, I recommend checking out the section on construction. I’m also impressed with the web design itself…click the slices of images you see to view entire pieces.

I’m proud of Kate today because she’s been written up in The Village Voice, which any New Yorker knows is, like, the coolest thing that can happen to any kind of artist. Hey, everyone, did I mention that’s my niece?

~JardinPrayer

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”