Friday, August 29, 2008

Riding, Rafting, Floating, Hiking



Got off the horse around two hours ago after a morning ride through the trails down by the river. I've been down the river twice so far and likely to hit it again very soon. The first was in a canoe with a young'n the second was solo in a kayak. Been up to Tumalo Falls for a hike and on many bike rides.

The deer are out in force with a family of six cutting through by the cabin nearly daily. Last night the coyote's howled it up at around 3:00am and I've spotted a few blue heron's down by the river.

This morning is the first time I've touched a keyboard in a week, and it will be a few days more before I type again.

Friday, August 22, 2008

End of Quarter Colloquium Today

Photo credit to the UWT's rotating display of images from the campus.

Today is the last Friday of the Summer quarter 2008 here at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and for the Institute of Technology, that means student presentations on research, readings, internships and graduate capstone projects. End of quarter colloquiums occur four times during the year on the Friday prior to finals week.

There is a lighter number of presentations than usual today, which is surprising to me because there is so much going on within the CSE and CSS programs. However, to be eligible for course credit in our program you have to complete a set of core courses which in effect means you are of senior status. A number of juniors were looking to intern this Summer, and though many were unable to gain course credit (which means no end of quarter presentation), many they still were able to gain experience and no doubt earn some money.

This morning, an alumni sent word of twenty programmer positions opening in Issaquah and a week doesn't go by that I am contacted by a company or organization looking for Bachelor of Science graduates or seniors who can intern or apply.

Which is why I am pleased that this Fall quarter for 2008 looks to be the largest enrollment of students for the Institute since its inception. The counts are not official and there is still a month to go before school begins, but it looks like we will be enrolling around 200 or so future software developers, database architects and computer engineers come October.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Husky Escaping Cranes and Display



Not too long ago I held a small workshop at the UWT library on floral origami. Since that time the library hosted librarians from all the campuses over the weekend. As one of the many preparations for the event, they wanted to change over some of the displays and asked if I would be willing to showcase some origami, with contributions from the workshop.

The workshop was fun, and as part of it we made some simple tulips, the traditional origami lily and some compound roses. You can see the tulips on the bulletin board that was created from the workshop and you can catch some of the lily's in the floral display case. The folks who were there were fun to create with and were gracious in letting some of the end models be used.



Additionally, I assembled one of my favorite projects which I call "escaping cranes". You may have seen them on this blog before. This time I went with the host colors and created a "Husky Escaping Cranes". For some reason I had a difficult time focusing the darn camera, so I don't have a good long shot as yet. I have included a poorly shot version just to give you an idea.



If you would like to make some cranes as part of a larger project, save Oct 9th and come by the UWT library for another workshop.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fun at Showcase Tacoma



My family and I had an excellent time at Showcase Tacoma last weekend. We came out on a Saturday in the early afternoon and walked around in the sporadic rain. It was not very crowded at the time, which I would expect, as we came through at a quiet time of the day. Still we ran into many friends.

One thing I saw that was interesting was a group of students who were fund raising with some origami. The folks they were working with made packages of paper balloons sized to fit over holiday lights so that they created a festive feel.

Another thing that I thought was very cool, along with the Lava Tube, the various glass art booths, the bands and the chalk art was the wonderful putting course put together by the Fulcrum Gallery.

From a distance you might mistake it for a topical map of the South Sound, but when you approached it their was unmistakably a putter and golf ball in the exhibit ready to put to use.

Both my son and youngest daughter walked across the spongy islands and covered concrete inlets to try their hand at it, both enjoying the challenge. Hard to believe, but apparently a gentleman had earlier made a hole in one all the way from Vashon Island.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

DDOS Before Georgia Invasion?

The technology section of the New York Times carries an interesting piece by John Markoff on cyberattacks on the infrastructure of Georgian government sites, including Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili's web site prior to the Russian invasion.

DDOS, distributed denial of service attacks with messages containing "win+love+in+Rusia" were sent in the millions in what he characterizes as a dress rehearsal to an all out cyber attack.

Cybersecurity and cyberwarfare exercises have been conducted here in the US and locally as part of defensive training and military preparedness, but this is the first time I am aware of a cyberattack preceding a true military assault.

Check the article out here.

UPDATE: It looks like the attacks are not abating.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Move Over Web 2.0, Here comes Web 3.0



Forget trying to pin down what Web 2.0 is...er, was. Just give a flip of the hand in a dismissive way and say it was about social networks and web services. There, done with. Like the old phrase used to define the threshold of obscenity, you can say, “I know it when I see it”.

My favorite "go to" explanation is still this great video by Mike Wesch, Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us. You might still be one of the people who has watched from the over 6 million views of it so far. Also, catch his anthropological discussion of YouTube off of his main page there.

More importantly, we now must discuss what Web 3.0 is. How can we talk about 3.0 when we haven’t nailed down 2.0 as either marketing or venture fundraising lingo fastened to some general concepts? (insert dismissive hand gesture here).

OK, back to 3.0.

In a Trendwatch post today titled Mozilla Labs and Aurora: Envisioning a Web 3.0 browser it states off the top:

Mozilla, developer of the Firefox web browser, is asking people from around the world to participate in the creation of what could become a next-generation browser. The first ideas posted on the website include AdaptivePath’s Aurora idea, which is - to our knowledge - the first concept to describe Web 3.0 capability in a web browser.

Sweet. The first descriptions of 3.0 capabilities, though it turns out that they are looking at the Semantic Web as being the next versioning of online interaction. Tim Berners-Lee has been stating the Semantic Web as the next major iteration of the web experience for some time now.

If you would like an animated presentation of what that experience might be like, here is Aurora’s take.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Compound Origami and a Workshop



I like to fold with a single sheet of paper. No cuts, no glue. That being said, I will be gluing and in one small exception, cutting, origami models in order to create modular origami flowers and arrangements this Thursday.

Modular origami can be rewarding in the detail of the model and is also interesting and challenging. There are some great books on the subject, such as "Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations" by Tomoko Fuse.

As defined by Wikipedia, modular origami, or unit origami, "is a paperfolding technique which uses multiple sheets of paper to create a larger and more complex structure than would be feasible using single-piece origami techniques. Each individual sheet of paper is folded into a module, or unit, and then modules are assembled into an integrated flat shape or three-dimensional structure by inserting flaps into pockets created by the folding process. These insertions create tension or friction that holds the model together."

I have created a few Kusadama's in the past with the largest using 175 sheets of paper. Kusadama's are paper models "that is usually (although not always) created by sewing multiple identical pyramidal units (usually stylized flowers folded from square paper) together through their points to form a spherical shape."

This Thursday I will be giving a workshop on ornamental floral origami at the University of Washington, Tacoma's Library from 10am - Noon in the upstairs conference room LIB 222A.

At this time my plans are to talk about single sheet origami and compound origami. Though I would like to fold the traditional Lily, I think we will start with a simple two piece tulip. From there we will create the six piece rose from Hiromi Hayashi's Origami Flowers: Popular Blossoms and Creative Bouquets and if there is time, back to the lily.

I would also like to do the Dahlia from Hiromi's book, but it has one collapse that I don't think a novice or early origami folder can do themselves.

If you are in the area and would like to join in, please do.