In the Zora Zone

Last night, at the Philly Tech Week 2013 preview event, I got to meet Zora Ball. You might have heard of her — earlier this year she recently set a world record for being the youngest person ever to create a mobile video game app.

Zora is in first grade at the Harambee Institute in West Philly, one of Philadelphia’s first and most-successful charter schools. Using Bootstrap, she coded a basic video game: a character (in this case a girl in a ballet outfit) moves up and down around her bedroom, trying to avoid being hit by objects sliding left-to-right across the scene. We saw a demo; it’s nothing fancy, but collision avoidance is the basis of nearly every action game there is.

SONY DSC Continue reading In the Zora Zone

The Art of Data

All images © Nick Hardeman
All images © Nick Hardeman

Nick Hardeman is an MFA Design & Technology student at Parsons in New York City.

He has created some surprisingly fantastic bauhaus art from data visualizations of the 1997 music video “Mo Money Mo Problems” from the Notorious B.I.G. album, Life After Death.

From Nick’s blog:

“The algorithm detects edges in the image and attempts to trace motion from frame to frame, using the initial frame as their starting point. … The bright colored track suits worn by Puff Daddy and Mase in the dark backgrounds make for good tracking and nice color combinations.”

Check the Flickr set of several of his renders for more colorful abstract enjoyment.

A recent “quick demo” created for a class is also quite attractive and interesting: he maps the newswire of the New York Times over the course of 24 hours by category.

This Flash/Papervision interactive web app shows what news is posted at each time of the day, giving some insight into the minds of the influential NYT web editors, if not the web news audience in general. Fun to play with.

The school can likely take a bit of the credit. Founded in 1896, Parsons was the first college to offer programs in Fashion Design, Interior Design and Advertising and Graphic Design.

This was thanks to Frank Alvah Parsons, a co-founder who became the school’s president. Anticipating a new wave of the Industrial Revolution, Parsons predicted that art and design would soon be inexorably linked to the engines of industry.

A recent Harvard Business blog post, entitled “MFA is the New MBA,” lends credence to this view, and shows it becoming more & more accepted.

Creativitiy -> Innovation -> Success.

[Via Visual Complexity]

Want To Change Your TypePad Domain Mapping?

(Note: This post somewhat of a story, but also has some useful code design info.)

Domain mapping is a handy and common way to set up a custom URL for your hosted blog, such as one on, or

This allows you to use to reference your blog, instead of something like

Better?But what if you want to change the name you originally set-up to something else? In the case of TypePad (and likely other platforms), this can cause serious issues.

All of your posts and images use the original name, such as in search engine listings, on trackbacks and more. So if you change the name, all of your old links will break. You might loose a bunch of RSS feeds that used the old links. And also, all of the images in your posts will be missing!

I ran into this issue for a client last week. A popular blog, with an average of 1,500 unique visitor per day, and over 2,100 posts, was essentially broken. Not acceptable.

Because of TypePad’s inept support I was forced to find a solution, which can likely be adapted for use on other hosted blogging systems as well. The answer lies in some simple .htaccess code. Read on to find out more. Continue reading Want To Change Your TypePad Domain Mapping?

Spry Gallery Goods

example galleryI am moving this post here from an old blog I started a few years back which has lain dormant for a while. The one post that did garner a bunch of attention was the Adobe Bridge script I cobbled together to automate creation of the XML needed to use the lovely photo gallery presented by the developers of Adobe Spry. I’ve used this script to create photo galleries for many client sites as well as my own.

I do plan on addressing code design here, so this is an appropriate place for the script to live.

Spry is a relatively new and easy-to-use AJAX library. AJAX use is very common on the web today, one of the technologies that powers what is often referred to as “Web 2.0.”

Basically, the technology allows webpages to change and update without requiring the user to “refresh,” “reload,” or navigate to another page.  For example: Gmail, which updates every incoming mail every so often without user interaction. And saves drafts every so often in the same fashion.

Find the download link and nuts and bolts of using the script after the jump.

Continue reading Spry Gallery Goods