|\ /|     scroll down for older posts.
= o.o =

Donnerstag, 13. Juni 2013

interesting facts about interesting animals with funny-sounding names - an uninteresting introduction

Did you know the smallest known flying insect known to man today? - Me neither. It's 0.15 mm long. Its name is kikiki nuna.

And here is an image of a slightly bigger tiny flying critter: tinkerbella nana:

I've got no more facts to tell. Those little insects are just adorable in my opinion. I like their names: Kikiki and Tinkerbella.

Next: c. elegans aka caenorhabditis elegans, a well known worm.

Freitag, 7. Juni 2013


Nach langer Zeit wieder im Besitz einer ordentlichen Fotokamera.

Beinahe täglich begegne ich Bettlern und Straßenmusikanten auf dem Weg zur Arbeit. Vielleicht wäre das ein Ausgangspunkt für eine interessante Portraitserie, vorausgesetzt ich schaffe es, zehn Minuten früher aufzustehen und gelegentlich mal 2 bis 5 Euro oder eine freundliche Erklärung springen zu lassen.

Naja, ich hab' jetzt erst mal Urlaub...

Mittwoch, 5. Juni 2013

portrait vs. photograph - Maria Feodorovna by Kramskoi

exhibit a: Dagmar, a girl from Denmark

exhibit b: Maria Feodorovna, empress

An example from long before the advent of Photoshop:
it's very interesting for me to compare paintings to the photographs or studies that they are based on.
While the photograph, at first sight, is a product of traces of light, captured by a machine and seemingly true to life, the painted portrait is completely the work of a skilled craftsman.

Kramskoi made Dagmar's chin a little bit more dented and the neck and the skull narrower. He also enlarged her breasts and put a smile on her face - just as a modern graphic designer would do it for a magazine-cover. And I guess that he wasn't even consciously aware of what he altered. But as you will see in an instant: the photo appears to be altered also, in an outrageously dilettantish way that has much in common with modern photoshopped pictures.

Her are some details for comparison:

The painted portrait: a beautiful smiling lady with a well-refined nose

The photo: Dagmar is seemingly annoyed by the long exposure-time and feels slightly over-dressed. Something tells me that the photographer did a bad nose-job here.

A blend of the two images. I didn't even have to rotate a layer.

Personal conclusion: photography is a useful tool for realist painters. Painting over photos makes photos bad. Painting as a form of art is superior to photography. Your taste may vary.

Dienstag, 4. Juni 2013

poems in python - part II: variations on Basho's pond

I won't go into the details of the higher art of writing haiku, because I can't. A common misconception about haiku is the notion that every poem must have a structure of 5-7-5 syllables. Nope, there's more to it.

But let's disregard high poetry for now and focus on one little splash: Basho's pond poem can be translated into English as follows:

at the age old pond
a frog leaps into water
a deep resonance

thus, the grammatical structure of this particular haiku reads like this:

preposition article adjective noun
article noun verb preposition noun
article adjective noun

So, I'll just take that grammatical structure and let my python-script generate some randomly created haiku. The code is provided at the end of this post:

after a cold territory
no governor shoots in dirt
the low cherries

for one cuddly thing
no marble wrings inside space
that juicy fifth

for one relieved soap
one doctor forswears on pear
one faithful winter

after one fancy club
a man wets after mom
one brief kitten

in that curly underwear
this carpenter overhears for apple
a delightful vase

for that little sweater
that space rebinds inside work
the late pest

for that broad drum
a pocket swears throughout jail
that greasy pig

in that rainy name
that coast sits for chicken
no late hope

for one delightful mint
one jeans weaves inside toothpaste
the long hill


Code, based on yesterday's snippet:

import random
# Functions

# Open a plaintext file named 'filename' with items
# separated by newlines, put its contents into a list
# and give one random item as output.
def get_from_file(filename):
  input_file = open(filename)
  list_of_contents = [
    line.strip() for line in input_file.readlines()
  output = random.choice(list_of_contents) + " " # add space after word
  return output

def noun_sg():
  return get_from_file('./files/noun_sg.txt')

def prep():
  return get_from_file('./files/preposition.txt')

def art_sg():
  return get_from_file('./files/article_sg.txt') #TBD: a or an

def verb_sg():
  return get_from_file('./files/verb_sg.txt')

def adj():
  return get_from_file('./files/adjective.txt')

#    at the age old pond
#    a frog leaps into water
#    a deep resonance

def sentence_a():
  x =[prep()+art_sg()+adj()+noun_sg()]
  print random.choice(x)

def sentence_b():
  x =[art_sg()+noun_sg()+verb_sg()+prep()+noun_sg()]
  print random.choice(x)

def sentence_c():
  x =[art_sg()+adj()+noun_sg()]
  print random.choice(x)

# Main