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June 2008 Archives

SFMOMA to allow photography on July 14

When I went to New York City recently, I saw that their MOMA allowed photography when I was in the Olafur Eliasson exhibition, while I wasn't allowed to shoot the same exhibit when it was at SFMOMA. I've always thought that their strict no photography policy was backward-thinking, but that was the last straw. I fired off an angry email to them. While writing the email, I did a little research, and I found that the De Young, Legion of Honor, and Asian Art Museum all allow photography except in special exhibitions. That's been my experience with all the major museums in New York, London, and Paris, too. Only some smaller museums seem to ban photography, and some in Italy, where many policies are stingier. :P

I totally didn't expect them to listen to me, but, to my surprise, they've actually already decided to change that policy! From Thea Stein, Marketing & Communications Assistant:

Thanks for contacting us. Actually, as of July 14, SFMOMA’s photography rules are changing—this matter has been under discussion for quite some time. Photography with no flash will be allowed in our galleries with the exception of some special exhibitions. I hope you visit us again soon and feel free to ask me any questions in the meantime!

That's awesome! :) I look forward to going back there then! :)

How I accidentally fell in love with and married another man, or: Kenneth plays The Sims 2 Mobile Edition

How I accidentally fell in love with and married another man, or

So my new phone comes with The Sims 2 Mobile Edition. I've never played any Sims games, actually, so I was curious. The first thing I noticed is that it's a pain having to constantly go to the bathroom and shower and eat and stuff. It's like they're making up for all the games (not to mention TV shows and movies) where the characters go days without ever using the toilet. Here, you spend half your time on the toilet!

The worst part is going to bed. While you're sleeping to bring your tiredness meter back up, your bathroom, shower, hunger, and entertainment meters all drop, so that when you wake up, you have to spend a couple hours of in-game time just to be content again. My second day of in-game work, I didn't give myself enough time, my entertainment meter was too low, and my character didn't feel like going to work. I missed the carpool and missed work, apparently because I needed to watch TV for a while longer instead. :\

Anyway, you meet other characters in the game (played by the computer), and you can chat with them to befriend them. As you do so, your friendship meter goes up. I had my character, Clark, chat with the Ben for a while, and when the meter got to 45, it said, "You've made a new friend!"

I kept chatting with Ben, and when the meter got to around 70, it said, "You've fallen in love!" Whoa. I totally didn't expect that! Before I knew it, Ben and I had spent the night together, which the game depicts with the pictured image. (It also lets you "spend the night" regardless of the time of day, but it always takes exactly 3 hours) Later that same day, we got married! Evidently the game doesn't discriminate at all between men and women when it comes to love and marriage.

Of course, the game's model of love isn't terribly sophisticated. Your relationship with each character is totally independent, so you can fall in love with every other character while you're married, and spend the night with them while your husband is in the same room. :P

The best part: When I tried to get a divorce, the game replied directly and to the point: "You cannot afford a divorce." :)

(Eventually I learned that you get about $800 when you get married, and you lose the same amount when you get divorced. I guess it's supposed to represent tax breaks maybe?)

On a related note, Judevac spotted these in the Wilkes Bashford window display last night, on the eve of Pride Weekend in San Francisco:

Same Sex Wedding Attire

I like how they're standing on cakes. :)

The Great Balloon Debate!

The Pride Parade is coming up in San Francisco this weekend, but that's not the big controversy facing the great state of California at the moment. That title belongs to State Senate Bill 1499: Foil balloon ban. The bill, passed by the State Senate on May 29, will ban those metallic Mylar balloons by 2010 (now extended to 2011), charging a $100 to retailers for the first two offenses, and a misdemeanor for the third.

The argument is that they cause power outages when they float into power lines, although the numbers you get for just how many differ depending on who you're listening to. The pro-balloon lobby (didn't expect to say that when I woke up this morning) has a Save the Balloons website, where they claim there have been no confirmed power outages, but utility lobbies say there were hundreds of outages just last year.

The latest news is that the bill failed to clear the State Assembly Business and Professions Committee on June 24, but then a new vote was made, and it has now cleared the committee as of yesterday, June 26, and it'll go before the full Assembly at some point.

Actual quote from the article about the initial failure to clear the Assembly, by a balloon-supporting private citizen who attended the committee hearing:

"To be against them is anti-American."

Giant ball in Taipei 101 during Sichuan earthquake

The Taipei 101 skyscraper has a giant ball hanging near the top that dampens any swaying motions of the building. Here it is in action during the Sichuan earthquake last month as the shockwaves reached Taipei:

YouTube Link

Home Airport

My apt has a carport, where I can park my car. John Travolta's house has, well, I guess an airport, where he can park his personal Boeing 707:

View Larger Map

Zoom out or pan left to see the runway.

Link from this Telstar Logistics post, where you can find more photographs.

BMW with fabric skin

Now this is what I call a concept car:

YouTube Link

Ugly cars with pretty moves

YouTube link

Svalbard Global Seed Vault



(Photos: Mari Tefre/Svalbard Global Seed Vault)

This is the entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Here's an old Wired article about it.

This is the world's ultimate backup food source. If the crops of the world are devastated, and all the other seed vaults also fall prey to natural or man-made disasters, we can come here and find a few million varieties of seeds we can use to start feeding the world again. This vault was placed on a remote Norwegian island because it's naturally cold, has low tectonic activity, and isn't likely to be the center of social strife.

I can totally see social strife coming to this place in the event that we actually need to use it, though. I imagine a post-apocalyptic movie in which the characters finally arrive here at the end and see this doorway as a gateway to hope for the couple billion human survivors left in the world. They've arrived after surmounting insurmountable obstacles, mostly consisting of biker gangs, of course. :P

(via Kitsune Noir via Blackbeltjones. (Interesting: It's not actually on Blackbeltjones' blog; rather, his RSS feed, where I got this link, includes his del.icio.us links.))

Update: I found the original source of these photos, where there are a few more shots. I added one above.

Time travel flash game

This is the neatest Flash game I've played in a while: Chronotron. It's a standard single-screen 2D platform puzzle game, with the twist that you have to go back in time and then work with the past versions of yourself to accomplish tasks. (Ultimately, it's really more like programming multiple copies of yourself to all run at once, but calling it time travel is more fun. :P)

Thrillionaires and Playground Kings at Blake's in Berkeley

A week ago, I went to see my friends' friends' band Thrillionaires. Here's a shot of the band that played before them, The Playground Kings:

Playground Kings @ Blake's in Berkeley

Amazingly, all four members of The Thrillionaires just got their PhDs. The stormed onto the stage in their graduation gowns! I wasn't ready for it, so I only got a shot of one of them:

Thrillionaires @ Blake's in Berkeley

I am only just beginning to learn the art of off-camera flash, but in the meantime, I'll settle for the poor man's off-camera flash, accidentally catching another photographer's flash:

Thrillionaires @ Blake's in Berkeley

All the colors of the rainbow:

Thrillionaires @ Blake's in Berkeley

(That was more or less how it came out of the camera; I just pumped up the saturation a bit.)

And finally, my favorite shot of the evening:

Thrillionaires @ Blake's in Berkeley

There are a few more shots in the full set.

About June 2008

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in June 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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