Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Body Type

Velma and I got our Hitchin' rings tattooed on. It was my first tattoo, and Velma's third (if you don't already know, I'm not tellin').

She's going to change one of hers, partly because it didn't scab and heal right and it looks kinda unfinished, and partly because she wants to mark some personal changes.

When she asked my opinion of her sketch, it led to a discussion we'd had years ago but she'd forgotten. I hate most tattoos. I think most of them are terrible. I think the artwork is often terrible, I think the skill of many tattoo artists is questionable, I think a lot (most, actually) of the things people choose to permanently put on their skin are bog-awful looking and barely better than cartoons.

It's just my opinion and I realize that people can put any damn thing they want on themselves. I simply have a different design and art aesthetic than most people, and when it comes to tattoos it's the same way. Why would I want a dagger, or a "Mom," or a rose or something so pat and predictable?

I mean, be original people. A tattoo is an intensely personal statement, I don't even know how anyone can pick a design out of a book, somebody else's design.

Even if I did go with some totally standard tattoo design like a skull, I certainly wouldn't render it in the cartoony style that most tattoos are done in. And why does everything need to be outlined in black? Lemme give you a hint: If a tattoo artist's book consists of mostly black-outlined artwork filled in with colors, don't have anything to do with it.

And wtf? Why does everybody think words etched on your skin have to be done in old-style Germanic letters?

You may roll your eyes, but if I get other tattoos at some point, one will almost definitely be word-related. But I can guarantee it won't be in an old-style Germanic typeface or some ridiculous script.

Here are some good (and some bad) type-related tattoos, in a book titled Body Type.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Top 5+1

Symptoms: Increased heart rate, fits of laughter...
What if two members of the crew of the TV show "Scrubs" fell in love?

Don't try this at home
Filming a slap in the face, then slowing it down to 4,000 frames per second.

"Guardians" by George R.R. Martin
Jason enthusiastically told me about this story he read a decade or two ago, and he was finally able to track it down online. It's by the fantasy and sci-fi author George R.R. Martin, and it touches on, among other things, the science of ecology. I really liked this story; it would make a good one-hour TV episode. Maybe Sci Fi Channel is listening?

Do the Test
How many passes does the team in white make?

Hot day in southern Australia

And you thought base jumping was crazy

Wingsuit base jumping. Like flying, but totally, totally, totally nuts.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Warning – NSFW: What's Your Favorite Curse Word?
Britain's Channel 4 asks loads of celebrities to share their favorite swear words.

Garfield Minus Garfield
I used to love Garfield. But I hey, I was in 4th grade. I grew out of it shortly thereafter, though my mom insisted on buying me Garfield stuff for many years thereafter *sigh*. Today, the power of digital imaging allows us to make a giant leap forward! The results is a funnier strip.

"Home From Africa: 13 Symptoms of Peace Corps Withdrawal"
My friend Diane was posted to the African country of Benin [correction: she was in Niger, but met her future husband in Benin] in the Peace Corps after college. When she'd tell me stories about her time there, it struck me as a very difficult lifestyle for two years. Listening to this radio program from Transom reminded me of a lot of her stories.
Photos and MP3:

Left-Handed Toons
(by right-handed people)

Mini site
I have to admit Jason's right about this site: "It's cool and there's little bits of humor in it too." And I really the new van-like model.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband: "Dream Big"
I never heard of this band before, but I like this song. Almost-but-not-quite too country for me.

This site takes good old-fashioned penpals into the Internet age. Users from countries all over the world have exchanged nearly 1 million postcards (real ones, not e-cards) using this site.
Flickr stream of some of the postcards:

You Suck at Photoshop
Tutorials can be boring, but Donnie Hoyle's seven (so far) Photoshop tutorials provide, um, maybe a little too much insight into Donnie's life.

Metal Knight Rider
Because the only thing that could make Knight Rider more badass is if the intro song was redone metal-style.

Bush vs. Zombies
"They are a threat to your children David."

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Top 5+5

I've been busy so I didn't have time to post a Top 5 last week. So here's a double dose of distractions for you.

What if humanity disappeared?
This Sunday, the National Geographic Channel premieres "Aftermath: Population Zero," which imagines what it would be like if humans suddenly disappeared from Earth (coincidentally, they chose Velma's birthday for the date on which human history ends). Pets will starve, dams will break, electricity will shut down and nuclear plants will eventually melt down. And that's just in the first few months; they continue to forecast out to 230 A.H. (after humans). Using CG and cleverly edited real film footage, National Geographic has created an altogether frightening and fascinating vision. Since we don't have cable Velma and I can't watch it, but I'll Netflix this someday if it gets released on DVD. There's an interactive timeline and several preview video clips on the web.

The Wasmopolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music
Legendary producer Don Was has a show on the new online video source My Damn Channel, and so far he's got interviews with and/or performances by Ozzy Osbourne, Slash and Duff from Guns 'N' Roses, Sass Jordan, Jill Sobule (performing in an LA furniture store!), Sweet Pea Atkinson, and Lori McKenna, along with some up-and-comers. The Ozzy interviews contain some of the most interesting questions Ozzy's gotten in years (in this way, Don Was could kick Bob Coburn's ass), and they even briefly discuss the long-forgotten duet Ozzy did with Madonna on Was (Not Was)'s 1983 album Born To Laugh at Tornadoes.
I also liked this rock–reggae band — Common Sense:

"The Mean Kitty Song"
I think this guy's cat and Orson may have been separated at birth.

Scratching Darth Vader

Kermit on the Daily Show

The trouble with Steve Jobs
Fortune has named Apple number one on its 2008 list of America's Most Admired Companies. Among the magazine's coverage, editor at large Peter Elkind uncovers some facts behind Apple's stock backdating scandal and 2004 surgery that saved Steve Jobs from cancer.
There's also a separate interview with Jobs:

Facebook and privacy
Much has been made over the last year about Facebook's privacy policy and terms of service. I happen to think most of this sharing is benign, but there's no question that it could be used (as could nearly any information) for the wrong purposes. While this video's outline of corporate and government relationships to Facebook are a bit tenuous, it provides some interesting insights that all Facebook users should be aware of.

Does Google have a Master Plan?
As if the Facebook video wasn't enough, this video contend that Google is secretly cooperating with the CIA and collecting your personal information for purposes that are possibly more nefarious than just simply serving up relevant text ads. I'm not sure how much of this I buy, but I'll look into the allegations of Robert David Steele, the former CIA agent. The video, btw, is worth watching if only for the terrific design.

Make a cheapo parabolic wifi extender

Parking garage of the future
Pull in, step out, the garage parks your car for you.

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