– Ei, por acaso conhece o clubinho da Anésia?
When Ric and I first met, we were both comedians. He was much farther along in his career than I was. Still, “mentor” is too strong a term for his place in my career. I’d describe his role as being somewhere between “occasional advisor” and “cautionary example.”
We knew a guy who taught a stand-up comedy class. He would occasionally ask comedians to speak at his classes. He never asked me or Ric to speak. We once spent a large portion of a drive to a gig thinking about what we would say if he did. Here are the few things we came up with that I remember:
“Fear can keep you alive.”
“A wish to be famous is a terrible reason to go into comedy. A wish to pay your bills is an even worse reason.”
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned traveling the country doing comedy, it’s this: ‘People hate comedians.’”
Today I learned about a really cool machine learning art tool!!
It is called “paintschainer” and it lets you colour in black and white images!
Here is my favorite thing I used it for so far: (before & after). This is a picture of me from the networking zine cover that liz drew.
I also coloured in the whole cover of the networking zine as an experiment. It also made me happy but didn’t come out quite as awesome. Someone on twitter described this as “Confused Girl In Orange Hoodie Finds LSD, Hallucinates Purple Cat, Becomes Networking Genius” which I think is probably about right.
machine learning art tools & making something that feels like I made it
This made me think about what kinds of machine learning art tools I find compelling / exciting. I am not very good at a lot of technical art things yet – I can’t do shading, I don’t really know how to colour something in. I can’t draw a cartoon animal without following a tutorial.
deepart.io lets you take a photo and redraw it in the “style” of another painting. I thought this example was really cool. It takes a pretty ordinary photograph, combines it with a painting, and gives you something really cool looking!
I spent a bunch of time playing with deepart.io but couldn’t make anything I really was excited about. My current hypothesis is – I want to use magical art tools to make things that feel like I made them.
tablets & tracing
While we’re talking about art tools and technology that enables you to do something cool – I bought a 10 inch Android tablet in September, which is what I use to draw all my zines / programming drawings. Another fun thing I very occasionally do with it is to take photos and then trace them into sketches.
This one is a house a few blocks away from where I live.
This is dramatically better than my usual house drawing skills. Here is what it usually looks like when I draw a house freehand:
I wondered what this would look if I coloured it with the magical colouring tool paintschainer. It’s kind of cool!
I find this really cool because I can make an image with my hands (I drew all the lines in that image!) with a lot less skills than I would have needed without this magical technology. And it feel more like a thing that I made because I have a lot of creative control over what it looks like (I took the original photo, I decided what to trace, and I picked the colours to colour it in with).
a very short listing of magical art tools
- a tablet that you can use to trace photos with
- deepart.io (and this paper: a neural algorithm of artistic style. github repo)
- deep dream generator (“add dogs & creepy eyes to anything!“)
- paintschainer (what I used for the images in this post). github repo
- This cool “realistic image manipulation” paper has some nice videos (but you don’t appear to be able to use it). Thanks to Katherine Ye for showing it to me!!
if you know about more tools like this I would like to hear about them! This kind of thing is probably the application of neural networks that makes me the most excited.
Amazon today unveiled a new subscription program aimed at parents called STEM Club, which delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month. The retailer says it will hand-pick which toys are shipped, and will ensure the items are age-appropriate. And by “STEM,” of course, Amazon means the toys will be focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
The subscription program won’t feature just any ol’ STEM toys, however, but will rather only include those that have recently launched or those that are exclusive to Amazon.
To sign up, parents visit the STEM Club homepage, then select the age range of their child (3-4, 5-7 or 8-13). The first toy will arrive in under a week’s time with free shipping. From that point forward, a new item will arrive on a monthly basis. The service is only available in the U.S., the website notes.
This isn’t Amazon’s first attempt at highlighting STEM toys on its site. In 2015, the retailer launched the STEM Toys & Games Store as a destination for browsing through this type of product in a dedicated area.
Of course, for Amazon, the launch of the new storefront wasn’t so much about trying to spark young minds and encourage learning, but to better capitalize on parents’ interest in the STEM toy trend in order to impact Amazon’s own bottom line. At the time, STEM toys were the second-most visited section and had seen the highest sales volume during the prior holidays.
Similarly, Amazon’s interest in launching a subscription service for these toys is also motivated by being able to capture a recurring revenue stream. Like its “Subscribe & Save” program, the hope is that the new subscription service will encourage a sort of “set it and forget it” mentality among shoppers.
But whether parents will sign up in the first place remains to be seen. After all – I don’t know about you – but we certainly have enough toys around here. I can’t imagine wanting to receive one more every month.Featured Image: Amazon
Adam Victor Brandizzi
Hmm... is that true?
Desculpa, gente. Não vai ter tira hoje. Parece que todos os problemas resolveram aparecer na mesma tarde. Zica aqui no blog, zica com clientes na lojinha. Espero que me perdoem um dia. A tira acima eu fiz ano passado pro pessoal do Kibe Loco. Eu gosto dela.
Adam Victor Brandizzi
That's why I almost never read (let alone buy) programming books.
Remarkable work, Gumbo!