Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Experimentations in printing

Here are my experimentations in printing over the past week:

In printing, ink is built up, white on the computer is no ink, so the paper shows through, and the ink is built up to black, where the ink is really thick. This is kind of obvious, but is the basic rule for printing on different papers.

Some tips for printing on different paper:
1.If the paper/cardboard is too thick, the printer will not accept it. I had some left-over cardboard back cover of a sketchbook, and it was too thick. But, on the oppisite side, thinner paper will not be able to hold the ink and will crumple or sag. So choose ap paper that is thick, but not too thick.
2.thick paint does not hold ink well(see #1), to ink over it, you need small splotches where you can form the picture around the paint and keep it understandable(see#6), unless you like the shadow of ink.
3.I am also assuming thick layers of color pencil does the same thing, but I need to test it. Thin layers looks cool though(see #4).
4.paper already printed on only works if it is matte, not slick. Slick just makes the ink pool on top.
paper that is already dark doesn't work too well, as ink only adds darkness on top, stick with light to medium shades.
5.Also highly contrasting shade variation in patterns doesn't work too well, unless the pattern is small (see #2). But patterns with similar shades looks cool.
6.Check the color of the hue first, especially if it is gray, it looks kinda weird if you guess that the hue is yellowish, so you make the photo green only do find out the gray is actually a greenish-gray.

Next: printing on homemade paper.
Also, please do not redistribute pictures, because even though it is illegal as stated on the front page, these pictures are of my friends and even though I like these pictures, I am not sure they will. Also it would be creepy to find your pic on a random website, so don't do it.

Christmas Excitement

I never used to be the person excited for Christmas, not even as lots of free stuff day, Normally, I thought people got too excited, that it was over commercialized, that it lost the true meaning. But now that I no longer live at home with my family, I think differently. I am becoming excited going home to be with my family, to exchange tokens of our love for one another and celebrate my family. I am enjoying trying to find gifts for people that they will love, where normally, it seems like a chore.(But it might also be my new printer, an early Christmas present that has greatly simplified the creation of photos as gifts) People like looking at themselves, recalling memories and such, and it is a fairly easy but thoughtful present to give people photos you have taken over the year of them and their friends. Also now that I have a printer of my own, I can experiment with printing on non-canon(as in the definition, not the company) papers, such as ones that have already been printed on, ones with ink or pencil lines underneath and different colored paper to print photos on.(which has really been the driving force for me wanting one anyway, that and the fact that it takes 30 min to get one printed on campus) Also I spent all today, where I should have been studying for my finals setting up my computer for Christmas. I think it is awesome. A wallpaper from DP Studios on Deviantart that I darkened a bit, some mixed icons also from Deviantart and a script for Samurize as a countdown until the day. (But i wanted to learn how to use Samurize anyway and the countdown will be useful for upcoming assignments and stuff later)

Also, I will also be glad to have this semester over with, as the combined pressure of art and programming and the creative writing class has been crushing my spirit. And while I am going to be taking 5 hours less of classes next semester, i also have signed up for some 300 level classes in addition to the basic web class and writing for the web. Also I should get filling out that paperwork for the 2nd major before I run out of credits by taking too many humanities classes.

Writing at 2 am in the dark bedroom where my roommates are trying to sleep us not helping this blog any, is it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why You Should Care about Space Debris. (9 of 9)

Satellites are now vital to many aspects of scientific and technological exploration, along with the communicative and societal aspects, which is a far cry from the first satellite launch 45 years ago. But in addition to the expansion of satellites, there has also been an explosion in the amount of space debris, the creation of possibly hundreds of millions of pieces of human trash orbiting the Earth and putting those satellites and human space exploration at great risk because of the vast destructive nature of space collisions. This is a purely human-caused problem, but the people and counties that should be addressing and forming ways to alleviate it, do not and are not presently enough. They are, instead, pursuing courses that will only intensify the problem, and they do so because of the fact that many are not even aware of the fact of space debris, and fewer still are aware and are concerned about the ramifications of the sheer amount of garbage orbiting the Earth. But space debris exists and it is an issue that needs to be solved soon, before human civilization goes down a path that leads to the ruin of the future use of Earth’s orbits.

I posted this on the internet not to show off on what a good job I did, but to be able to fulfill this essay's purpose, to convince people that they should be aware of space debris.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Space Law (8 of 9)

Space law is simply, the laws in space, as created by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), but since space is a communally-owned territory, like Antarctica, they cannot be enforced readily. The current laws are worded vaguely and rather loosely, making them difficult, if possible, to enforce. The UN has no enforcement powers, so for its proposed laws to be passed, each country has to adopt it on its own, and since no country would agree to a resolution that would limit its decisions, the more loosely-worded a proposed law is, the more countries that would adopt it. But this is not to say that these laws are followed, even when they are passed. For example, in 1979, the United States’ Skylab crashed in Western Australia, scattering debris over hundreds of miles. There was in effect a liability law that the US and Australia had adopted that which allowed a suing for damages if harmed by a falling spacecraft to the country that launched the spacecraft. Australia could have sued the US, but only the Esperance Shire of Australia fined Government of the United States of America for the littering of Skylab, the old space station. But the US never paid. (Taggart, 2001)
ut this lack of care about the repercussions of space debris is not just in the past, but also fully in the present. In 2002, George W Bush withdrew the US from the1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union, which prohibited placing weapons in space, to develop the “Brilliant Pebbles” proposed missile defense program, which consists of space-based lasers and interceptor missiles. (Primack, 2002) This step of the United States government only leads the US and the world much closer to the weaponization of space, the deterioration of the currently very lackluster space laws and agreements, not to mention putting at risk the now common use of orbital space satellites in modern-day life.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Weaponization of Space (7 of 9)

In early January 2007, China exploded one of their derelict weather satellites, the Fengyun- 1C, in orbit, using it to test their new anti-satellite weapons system. They sent a suicide-missile to smash into the forgotten satellite, creating an explosion and a massive cloud of debris. To current knowledge, it created approximately 2,600 pieces of trackable debris (>1.5 inches) and an estimated 150,000 fragments larger than .4 inches; a veritable destruction of space orbit, the worst breakup of recorded space use. (NASA, 2008). Before that incident, the major events that created space debris were due to old rocket bodies with unused fuel unpredictably exploding, months or years after they were abandoned in orbit. Before this event, the greatest event in terms of the amount of space debris created was in 1996, when a discarded American rocket engine exploded, creating 713 fragments. (Broad, 2007) While it is still a major problem that scientists should and are trying to alleviate, the threat of the weaponization of space is much more menacing to the future of space use.

he main problem is that most people see space battles with the “Star Wars effect” in mind, from the classic science fiction series released in the 1970s, in which the targeted object explodes into nothingness, the matter making it up dissipating, leaving empty space left behind. An unreal scenario. An explosion in space creates thousands of pieces of refuse blasting out in every direction, into every orbit, putting all of the other space vessels at risk for tens to hundreds of years in the future. Another problem of sending things into space is that they might stay up there for a long period of time depending on the orbit, with some orbits lasting forever, while some will renter very quickly. In low earth orbit, if an object’s orbit is at less than 124 miles (just under usable low earth altitude), the orbit will only last a few days until reentering the atmosphere, if it is between 124 and 373 miles, it will have an orbit of a few years until reentry, if 372 to 497 miles, a few decades, and if greater than 497 miles, than it will remain orbiting for centuries. (NASA, 2005) And while the fragments of the Fengyun-1C had every low earth altitude orbit, the majority was in the 466 to 621 mile range, which expects that most of the debris will remain in orbit for a very long time.
Afterwards, it was leaked that the Chinese scientists in charge of studying the effects of the anti-ballistic missile test on the Fengyun-1C predicted that the huge explosion would happen, with disastrous effects, but the persons in charge of the test didn’t seem to take this into account. But the only real repercussion for China due to the incident was to cancel a debris discussion with the UN that has been scheduled beforehand, out of embarrassment. But that is the problem with the current space laws; they are easily circumnavigated or forgotten if a particular county feels like it is reasonable, because most do not see debris as a real problem, and those that do are hindered by the laxness and lack of enforcement of the space laws.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

During the past week, I have read the picture of Dorian Gray. It was unsettling, more so than any other book that I have read, not only so because of the cover (in which the artist tried to recreate the portrait and so really requires a cover for the cover), but also the fact that the author (Oscar Wilde) is brilliant but seems morally flawed somehow. Or perhaps it is because he is trying to represent the time he was living in, because, as in all times, the world seems wrong, seems like it is lavishing in the moral and social crimes, existing for existence's sake. It was a constant fight with the words written in the book, as most books that dwell on the decadent only list the crimes, not explain the reasons for them. Harry's words not only spoke to Dorian, but to the reader, me, and his logical arguments were convincing in the fact that they are similar to or were beliefs that i held to at one time, but they were skewed, made immoral, as they were used to justify immoral things. But for all of that, logical, painfully sensible. This story was entirely realistic, entirely sane in the fact that there was no justice to it all. Is there ever justice? I wish i can someone to have a lengthy discussion about this, but there never is someone to discuss literature with. Novels certainly, popular culture certainly, but never literature.