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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

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18apr2014

Today's bead is not so much a fugly as a failure, as I explain in the post which collects all the pages tagged 2013 together—this allowed me to move last year's beads off the main glassbead page. Unfortunately the site doesn't allow ‘and’ tagging (i.e. 2013 and glassbeads) so there's lot of gardening stuff mixed in. Yes, I could make 2013glassbead tags, but besides cluttering up the tags page it seems to me to defeat the purpose of tagging. Someday, the wizard will write code that allows more specific tagging...in the meantime, the site is slightly broken (such imperfection is sort of a given, at least for active websites.)

For that matter, society is broken. Anything human is.

But while I was trying to find more about the heartbleed bug, I clicked on Randall Monroe's blog and discovered a fascinating series of posts about naming conventions; and what they say about race in the US. The author, who trawls baby naming to extract info about trends (in much the same way languagelog trawls the internet for data), unearthed the latest in a long line of racist stories about AAVE-style names.

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17apr2014

Today's page, in addition to documenting one of my favorite kittycat beads, also collects all the sculptural beads together (if you've been wondering where they disappeared to off the glassbeads page.)

And my public service announcement for the day: xkcd explains the heartbleed bug. This is the first major security vulnerability I've heard about in open source software, which strikes me as a pretty good record. (I have no idea how bad such things are in proprietary stuff, since companies are not obliged to disclose their source and have every reason to lie. Not a good combo, imnsho.)

I mean, someone actually came up with a clever name and an eyecatching logo to spread the news—can you imagine any commercial firm going to that effort over a problem with their product? (And this strategy also illustrates a bigger problem, which is indifference: until something awful happens, people in the know, a small minority, will do their best to get the word out, and most folks, absorbed in their day-to-day life, will shrug their shoulders.)

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16apr2014

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday (and she must be terribly tired of my joke about its being so much better the day after Apr 15 rather than the day before, or of...) She's collected the blue french beaded flowers I've been giving her into a vase, and today's post documents 2 more for the bouquet.

Enjoy.

15apr2014

Hi everybody, happy April 15. In the USA, my total sympathies if you're racing to turn in your taxes! (One benefit of being a corp is that I have to turn mine in by Mar 15, and since my accountant does the 1120s and 1040s together, I no longer have this last minute stress. But I have memories of racing to the post office after 11pm)

Yesterday I not only posted a really old necklace, but also a really old intro (and, um, the point of the intros is to be topical...whoopsie!) but I can tie it to current events, really! (Sorry about all the bangs, too— spring has sprung, we have sunshine, two inches of snow predicted and it has this uplifting annoying effect on my writing.) See, the thing is, even though it's been years, Ana Mardoll is still doing her careful deconstructions of Twilight; indeed Fred is still doing Left Behind.

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14apr2014

Still doing spring-cleaning! So the post below I wrote, um, 6 years ago...and the page it links to is of a necklace I started before I knew how to make glass beads (meaning, um, at least six teen years ago...) and photographed at least 8 years ago. But hey, it's a cool necklace, and I'm delighted to finally show it. Plus, I checked out the relevant links, and they all still appear to be live, goodie:)


Needing a low-stress (re) introduction to my torch after (finally!) getting my kiln reprogrammed, complete with two new boro schedules, I decided to make some crisp florals in autumny colors (it is still fall, even if there's been ice and snow on the ground for the last fortnight and more). I even tried a new cane, opaque lemon yellow striped with candy apple (i.e. dark) red and cased in transparent red (which mostly failed to strike, sigh...)

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11apr2014

When I was a wee baby artist just starting out on the art fair circuit, I used to take my own jury slides to save money. I was crappy at it; so then I took a class on studio photography. If I hadn't learnt it already, I was there exposed (heh) to the idea of professional film and processing; it was there I learned transparencies (slides) had greater dynamic range than prints, just as monitors today have greater dynamic range than do prints, though not, of course, as much as the human eye.

Professional film, and, more importantly professional processing give truer colors. (So do matching film to lights—I used a special kind of lamps that were adjusted to 3400 kelvin, as opposed to daylight film, which is balanced for 5000 degrees kelvin—the blue-white light of a noonday sun.) Even so, if you look at old magazine ads (say from the 60s or earlier), the colors look weird—people were sort of brownish and washed out: fuchsia and purples and the like just weren't available then, any more than those pigments were to artists painting in Vermeer's time.

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