20120831

re: Spider-man v. Yoda

2012-08-30_2227

A recent twitter thread tried to answer the question I know we are all wrestling with:  Spider-man v. Yoda, who will win?  The answers were overwhelmingly with the Jedi master.  While I generally agree, I don’t think it is quite so easy.  I would like to submit the following precedents for the jury’s consideration

Yoda v. Dooku: Draw (Dooku in retreat)

Yoda v. Palpatine: Draw (Yoda in retreat)

Vader v. Skywalker (Ep V): Win Vader (Skywalker in retreat, minus hand)

Vader v. Skywalker (Ep VI): Win Skywalker (Vader in parental doubt spiral, minus hand)

Vader v. Emperor Palpatine:  Draw (both dead)

Anakin v. Dooku: Win Anakin

Entire Jedi Army v. Sneaky Storm trooper ambush:  Win Storm troopers

These precedent matchups demonstrate an interesting logical chain.  Dooku fights to a near draw with Yoda at the start of Episode 2 (sure,Dooku cheats, but you think Spider-man wouldn’t?) .  Dooku has his ass handed to him by a young and relatively inexperienced Anakin in Episode 3.  Therefore, it can be assumed that both Dooku and Anakin are possible underdog winners in a face off with Yoda. 

I think it is safe to say that none of the folks who so confidently said that Spider-man would get schooled by Yoda would be so certain of a Dooku v. Spider-man or Anakin v. Spider-man outcome.  If you can entertain the possibility of Spider-man besting Dooku or Anakin, you have to assume that Mr. Object-Subject-Verb Syntax shouldn’t get cocky.

Another gedanken experiment that allows some hope for Spider-man is the face off of Yoda against Palpatine in the Senate chambers.  That was a hard fought battle and ended in Yoda’s retreat.  Now, imagine the spry and highly precognitive Peter Parker in that scenario instead of the creaky Emperor.  Spidey would OWN that arena.

Lastly, remember that Vader eventually defeats Palpatine by just picking the bitch up and throwing him down a well because the Emperor wasn’t expecting it.  The entire Jedi army got wiped out because they were “surprised”.  With Jedi’s, there is just no accounting for context.  Spider-man remains focused, with or without Mary-Jane suspended from a skyscraper, and  in forums ranging from low budget Saturday morning cartoons to Broadway musicals.  Peter “Balls of Steel” Parker will just get a little tingly if you say you killed his Uncle.  Tell a Jedi that you think his shoes are ugly and he might not be able to force strangle you as he silently relives the schoolyard bullying he got as a Padawan back on Coruscant. 

Well boo-hoo Mr. Jedi, some teenager who doesn’t need calamine lotion on his bug bites just stole your lunch money.

Download the spider web rfa file here.

20120809

Constraining Slats to 2 Surfaces

banq
User Question:  “Zach, I am trying to build a similar form to the “Slats and Continuous Slices” example, but am having a little trouble constraining the top of the adaptive component. If you look at the images at the beginning of your video, you will see the form at the top is continuous, while the base is dynamic. I've tried constraining using different methods including reference planes, reference lines, additional adaptive components, and formulas, but it keeps breaking.”
banq2
This question came up a couple times.   The trick is just that you make another corresponding set of points for another divided top surface.  It’s actually significantly easier than the original example.
Constraining Slats to 2 datums
Download the file from here.

20120806

Know Fun

2012-08-04_1549

“Games lubricate the body and mind” -Ben Franklin

In response to some recent conversations about feature functionalities that are “just for fun” or “toys, not really for serious work” I would like to say:  Thhhhhhpt!  [This is the sound that is made by squeezing your tongue between both lips and blowing, while simultaneously solving complex problems (for “serious” firms doing “important” work) using toys, for free.]

There is such a thing as Serious Fun.  Here are a few models for S.F. that are worth knowing about:

 

Vi Hart:

Holding down her own subsection of the Kahn Academy, Ms. Hart will convey in fruit leather and crayons what all sorts of fancy pants expensive doctorates fail to teach every year.  I defy you to make a balloon polyhedron without getting smarter.

 

The Daily Show:

With over 2 million viewers and a genius for getting to the logical heart of current absurdities, John Stewart and his droogs’ “fake news” might be more influential than Woodward and Bernstein.

 

Arvind Gupta:

An unstoppable force for good on the planet, teaching self sufficiency, engineering and science with trash. Check out his TED Talk.

 

Frank Zappa:

Serious musicality, kazoo orchestras, a Czech cultural ambassadorship, songs about dog pee and rampant consumerism, Senate subcommittee meetings. Smell the simultaneous humor and despair over Civil Rights in the 1970 with “Uncle Remus” (“We look pretty sharp in these clothes (yes, we do)Unless we get sprayed with a hose”).

 

Howtoons: 

Please go here and learn.  Buy the books, make stuff with your kids and colleagues.  Saul has an awesome TED Talk.  Remember to wear eye protection.

 

Bread & Puppet Theater:

Commie Pinko Cheap Art with In-Your-Face-Politics made of cardboard and sticks.  Badass Berthold Brechtian goodness that’s fun for the whole family. 

 

Got others?  Send links to the folks who are putting the fun in your f(x).