Monthly Archives: September 2011

stupid pet trick concept
“Shockwave”-type carnival game

supplies needed:
*BX/AC electrical wire
*junction box/shield
*mounting screws
*more hookupwire
*junction box bottom
*weights (for the box to act as a stand)
*eye bolt
*wooden dowel
*electrical tape
*multi-position switch

Carnival game — The concept is to make a game where a player would try to trace the spiral (made of BX wire) with the dowel/wand with metal end. They would have to set their proficiency level with the switch, first — easy (15 seconds), kinda hard (10 seconds), very hard (5 seconds). If they succeed without touching the wire during the time limit, all the lights (maybe five) would light up in a jaunty fashion. If they fail and touch the wire within the time limit, the sad buzzer would sound. I’d make a spiral with the BX wire, mount it to the junction box, hook up the wire to the ground screw on the junction box, fill the box with weights, and screw it shut. I would screw the eye bolt into the dowel and attach the hookup wire to the bolt and wrap the dowel with electrical tape if I wanted to.  I would have to program the Arduino to respond to the different time constraints with the switch, as well as program it to light up the LEDs if the player wins (does not touch the wire). Then I would program it to sound the buzzer if the player touches the wire (closing a circuit). I think I will need help doing this programming, but I will try to do it on my own, first.


Here is my ICM sketch of a Muppet-inspired character. When the keys W or B (lower or upper case, no matter) are pressed, the character winks or blinks, respectively. The nose color also changes randomly when the mouse is clicked! I had a lot of fun with this. I know that my code could use some cleaning up, and maybe there were better ways to code things, but I did the best I could with the knowledge I gained from the reading and examples. I think I did pretty well — mind you I have no programming experience! What do you think?

(I am having issues with the embed code from not working on WordPress. It seems that I am not the only one.)

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Link to sketch? Does that work?

If all else fails, go to where it lives on

For our week 2 assignment, we gathered pictures of examples of bad signage. Here is what I would do to improve these signs. (The thing is that I kind of like these because they are so earnest.)

Photo, Perfume, Beauty Supplies

Photo, Perfume, Beauty Supplies, and so much more!

This sign for Photo and Beauty Supplies says so much! But maybe too much, too literally? The sign lists about 20 services/products in just the bigger letters, and much more in smaller signs in the window. The colors pop, but maybe the sign(s) could use just two, to keep it less busy. There are a lot of different fonts (is it referred to as fonts in signage?) The problem with this store is that I guess it offers so many products/services that are not very often grouped together in one store, that there is no real template or easily recognizable way for them to succinctly market themselves in a sign. Like the fellow in class said last week in relation to the example of the copy-fax-postage storefront, in New York, places like that and this are all undoubtedly examples of bad signage, but they get their point across well, anyway… there is some kind of local adherence to the frenetic way sign-makers, consumers, and owners understand each other… perhaps.

Grilled sandwich, hot tea, fried chicken, donuts, etc...

Grilled sandwich, hot tea, fried chicken, donuts, etc...

This place was mesmerizing! I particularly love the bucket of chicken photo pasted in there on the red background. This place, from what I gather, is a restaurant that serves grilled sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In this same place AFC serves fried chicken, and some other accompaniments (I would list them but the signage is too small right there). In this same establishment lives Donut Connection, where Hershey’s ice cream is served, along with coffee, bagel, donuts, and muffins. The main idea, though, from what I gathered from the condensed side view of the awning, closest to the building wall, is that the AFC serves fried chicken and a donut connection. There was also a blinking and scripted electronic sign that would flash, rather flashily, items on their menu, such as DonuT, Hot Tea, Lunch, etc.

I feel that this sign is also struggling to get across the idea that it is not a traditional one-off type of establishment. It is offering a variety of products that are not traditionally grouped together, so they feel the need to list everything they have on their outdoor signage. I sympathize with their problem, but I would say, again, that maybe they should streamline their menu and serve something as a main attraction, rather than everything at once and confusing prospective customers.



This LOCO 99 CRAZY 99 LOCO 99, on second thought, is not really all that bad! I totally understand that it is an incredibly — loco — cheap $.99 (y mas) store. I guess I would say that they needn’t have added the “subtitles” of school, baby, gift, detergent, cosmetic, house wear & much more. Those are all typically found in most $.99 stores, and they needn’t have cluttered up their sign with that unnecessary information.

The South Side Auto Parts sign makes sense, looking at it a second time around… The colors all mean something and they convey useful information for people looking to find a place that will service their particular make of automobile. But I still think they used too many colors — they should subtract two. Also, they could have refrained from capitalizing every Word in their “subtitles” — it looks awkward.

South Side Auto Parts and MORE!

South Side Auto Parts and MORE!

I don’t know about you, but I have a problem tuning loud conversations out while I’m at a restaurant or bar. Sometimes people straight-up yell instead of talk, and I find it very annoying and distracting — not to mention rude. My device or app would detect and analyze the loudest voices or sounds around the user and identify them in wavelengths. The wavelengths would be able to be soloed out in order to see who it belongs to and if that is the one you want to get rid of. When the voice/noise reducer is activated, the app would scan the room and attack the hot points of that wavelength and manipulate it within a set perimeter, reducing the levels to as low as the user set them to be. This device could also be used to amplify specific voices or noises. 

For one part of the week 2 assignment fo Physical Computing, we were supposed to take pictures of all the sensors we came in contact with… I chose to post some pictures of the most useful sensors I saw. The Chase ATMs, the card reader at the subway station, the metro card buying machine… I was surprised that it seems like not a lot of storefronts are using automatic sliding doors, these days. I really didn’t see one. I was looking for a sensor-operated faucet and I didn’t encounter one.

It will be interesting to see how we will take the understanding of sensors further into our work in this class.

The ground and the positive on the actual breadboard and the (newly-coined term) “schematogram” don’t match up. They didn’t match up last week, either. I have a feeling that the professors are trying to test us!

Here is the video of the successful lab, incorporating the potentiometer. I forgot which LED leg, short or long, went where at first, but I guess I figured it out through trial…

Allison and I went out to record sounds around the NYU area. We recorded sounds on Broadway, Waverly, and Washington Square Park. This assignment called for us to work in pairs… we definitely collaborated together to record certain sounds and we discussed our approach to how we wanted to mix and layer them together. We ended up with two very different sound pieces. Mine is very much a collage of the sounds, but it is very minimally manipulated. I only changes the levels a bit on the band recording to make it a little louder. Allison chose to use a lot of the tools in the Effects menu of Audacity to manipulate the sounds more and create very different characters for them. The listener can tell that we recorded the same type of material. I think it is fascinating how we interpreted the assignment and the sounds themselves differently.

Here is my soundscape piece.

Here is the mp3 on Allison’s blog.

Sorry, I cannot post mp3s here without an upgrade.