Are screenplays readable on a 6″ Kindle? No.

December 22nd, 2012

A page from the Lincoln script PDF, viewed on a 6″ Kindle:
Lincoln screenplay
You may be thinking that the screen looks plenty big. If you are a mouse it is big. If you are a human, like me, it is not. You will go blind.

If you do not own a Kindle, it’s hard to gauge just how small the screen is. The width of the text on the screen is the same as a trade paperback, but the Kindle is about an inch shorter. If you want to know what it’s like to read a screenplay on a Kindle, shrink a page down to the size of a trade paperback page. Then read it.

Here is a page from the Lincoln script next to an actual screenplay page on paper.
Screenplay paper/Kindle
(the printed screenplay is the original Hitcher)
See how teeny tiny the text is on the Kindle?

Some have used a cross-platform program called Briss to crop the PDF margins, so the text will appear bigger on the Kindle screen. Personally, I don’t think it would make much difference in the reading experience. Reading in portrait mode will increase the font size, but you will only be able to see part of a single script page at a time. I don’t think that is a good solution. But if your life depended on it you could do it. Since your life doesn’t depend on it, don’t.

I suspect 9″ is the threshold for comfortable screenplay viewing on a tablet/e-reading device.

T-Shirt idea – The Earth made me

June 12th, 2010

The Earth Made Me Who I Am Today
The EARTH made me
who I am today

3DS Max / Mental Ray animated opacity tutorial

April 6th, 2009

If that title is gibberish, move along.

The tutorial describes an effective way to get around Mental Ray’s lack of support for 3DS Max’s “visibility” object property. This is a huge problem (for me, anyway, because I need it like every day). Sadly, doing many things in 3DS Max is painful and it must be beat it into submission to do even the simplest tasks. The fact that this rather involved tutorial had to be written is heart breaking if you think about it.

Animating the transparency of groups of objects in 3DS Max (using the Mental Ray renderer)

Other concepts covered in the tutorial:
Assigning Material ID’s to objects
Compound Multi-sub-object/Blend (what?!) materials
Custom Attributes (like sliders)
Wiring attributes together
Adding Bezier Float controllers to properties/nodes that are not keyframeable by default (<-- that you have to do this is nuts, too!) Suggestions/Comments are good, too. This tutorial is also posted in CGSociety.

Soft Rocket

September 28th, 2008


Oh, hello. Found this sad little rocket in an old sketch book. Was meant to be a t-shirt design. T-shirt design is kind of boring, though. Maybe the cleverist t-shirt has nothing on it?

updated 01/09: looking back: love the idea. The commentary is kind of lame, though. A t-shirt with nothing on it would be stupid! Only YOU would get the joke…the very same problem the average conceptual art piece has.

In all truthfulness, my problem with tshirt designs with a “message” is the same problem I have with bumper stickers (and all types of social affiliations, religious or political). The hazard is giving the impression that your entire existence can be expressed through one particular sentiment, idea, or membership. The mere act of CHOOSING a symbol is an act of exclusivity of all other ideas, because you chose THIS symbol over THAT symbol. Any kind of choice results in an oversimplification of reality, and oversimplification of your experience of the world.

You have CHOSEN to misrepresent and oversimplify yourself, and why would you want to do that? You are thoughtful and fair, and carefully weigh and balance all sides of an argument, listen carefully, and clarify facts (as you know them) and misconceptions. You try to be honest, but not brash. You believe in truth and justice, but know the world is a complicated place, and not everyone can see eye to eye. So, why would you put a one-liner on the back of your car, or the front of your body? Are you a one-liner?

The message of this particular design? War is an ineffectual way of achieving peace. And there’s nothing wrong with that idea. And a rocket shaped like a flaccid penis is funny. The “problem” with the concept is that it excludes the legitimacy of a country needing to defend itself (with a rocket for example). The soft rocket negates that possibility, because the concept expressed isn’t “war is bad when it’s not justified according to my calculations, but it is totally justified when I feel it is so”. It is simply, “War is unjustified.” Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, but all you know by looking at my shirt is that I believe there is no such thing as a justified war.

LAVA life

September 6th, 2008

LAVA life is a type of life that originated from molten rock. If water is the key to life simple because of its fluidity, then maybe life could originate in lava if there were different type of molecules that stayed intact at high temperatures. These hot molecules could eventually coagulate into life-stuff. Like lava amoebas, lava fish, lava dogs, and lava people who eat lava sandwiches.

update 01/09: looking back: pretty good idea. Why couldn’t life develop from any neutral fluid? Isn’t that all water is? ISN’T IT?

Steal My Ideas written about in a NEWSPAPER

August 25th, 2007

Frank Sennett, columnist and blogger, for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane Washington, wrote about a bunch of idea blogs. I’m not sure what a blog is, and he doesn’t explain it in the article, but it’s still a decent read.

It’s fairly obvious after reading the article that Steal My Ideas (this one, not the stolen one) is his favorite.

Here’s the article.

He lists other idea blogs as well.

I almost forgot: this was published July 2.


February 18th, 2007

Apartment Panorama

Join P.A.P. right now.

February 8th, 2007

This is a screen-shot of a website I created in 1997, based on an idea I had one day. The site itself didn’t actually do anything – the links highlighted when you moused-over them. There was a FAQ, too, but everything you needed to know was contained in the first page. Oh yeah, the yellow ring animated through the white areas for no reason.

It’s probably the best idea I’ll ever have.


Christmas Card 2006!

December 25th, 2006

Christmas cards are fun. This is the one I sent to everyone this year. Maybe I’ll post the other ones from Christmases past. You will need to beg me first.

Until then, you’ve got this beauty to feast your eyes on:

Xmas 06

Holiday Idea: Christmas Themed Yarmulke

December 16th, 2006

Merry Christmas, Jewish people.

Xmas Skull Cap

Pigeon Mobile

December 14th, 2006

I moved to New York City last summer, and every day for 3 months I sent (mostly) unsolicited résumés to local businesses. This was very boring. At one point I became convinced that Hotmail was broken because I couldn’t believe not 1 in 100 businesses would give me so much as an automated reply. I would have taken a robot over continual silence. Then again, I like robots.

On the tougher days I would gather up some loose change and buy a cup of coffee, wander the streets hugging myself, watch new mothers roll around their gross little babies – dogs pissing everywhere and sniffing each other’s asses, pigeons sharing sun-warmed bits of discarded lunchmeat.

Sure, it was tough times, but that’s all behind me. Now I’m a just another Wall Street millionaire banker. It’s pretty cool.

Only one physical artifact remains from those dark, tear stained pillow, times.

Pigeon Mobile

Tshirt Design: WMD? WTF?

December 7th, 2006

WMDWTF Tshirt Design

I actually made this, or tried to. I cut a stencil out of paper and laid it down on top of a t-shirt, then applied white spray paint. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s probably the best way to do it totally wrong. The letters came out so blurry they look like puffy little clouds. The image here is a digital mock-up. Like what they would do at a Hollywood special effects company.

Penguin 2.0

November 25th, 2006

If you saw that cute but overrated documentary March of The Penguins, then you were probably thinking the same thing I was: why are penguins so mal-adapted for everything? They can barely walk, they can’t fly, it’s a crap shoot whether their offspring die or live because not only can they not hold their eggs, they can’t even see them. I know what you’re going to say, though: at least evolution endowed the emperor penguin with the super-special ability of sliding down snowy hills on their bellies. I would not argue with you.

But, instead of feeling sorry for these cuddly mutants, let’s use a little technology to improve the penguin; or at least make its life a little less miserable and pointless. Here’s a few ideas:

Penguin 2.0



















Relaxation Video

November 21st, 2006


Relaxation Video

You’ve had a long, stressful day.  There’s mouse droppings in your cupboard, the hot water in your apartment went out again, no one was home when your Amazon shipment arrived, so you have to wait in line at the post office on the weekend, your roommates friends are sleeping on the living room floor, your dog is snacking on a bloody tampon it found in the bathroom trash…etc.

What you need is a way to unwind, to blow off some steam, to relax.  Sure, have a beer, but you know sometimes that just gets you even more riled up.  Pop a pill?  Sure, maybe.  But what you need is the calming comfort of a Relaxation Video.  Yeah!  Imagine cute little bunnies bouncing through a field, playing with daises, munching on giant carrots, all in slo-mo.  Yeah, or kittens playing with balls of yarn.  How about some majestic snowy mountain-peaks? 

Feeling better already?

15$ + shipping and handling for the DVD. 

Mosquito Bites

November 16th, 2006

Cherry filled chocolate candy in the shape of a mosquito.  I have a lame drawing of this one, but imagine like an advent calender type-chocolate, with cherry goo inside.