Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random Dinosaur Comic Generator

So, I just got finished downloading every dinosaur comic and vaguely remembered something about a random Garfield generator (and looking for that I refound this, which is pure hilarity), and some idea about applying that to dinosaur comics. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized how feasible it was: you'd just have to cut up every one using ImageMagick and randomly put them together.

This is a modified version of the script I used (without the for loops and my directories):

qj@ubuntu:~$ cat cutup
convert -crop 244x243+0+0 ""$comicnumber".png" $comicnumber"_1.png"
convert -crop 130x243+244+0 ""$comicnumber".png" $comicnumber"_2.png"
convert -crop 361x243+374+0 ""$comicnumber".png" $comicnumber"_3.png"
convert -crop 195x257+0+243 ""$comicnumber".png" $comicnumber"_4.png"
convert -crop 298x257+195+243 ""$comicnumber".png" $comicnumber"_5.png"
convert -crop 242x257+493+243 ""$comicnumber".png" $comicnumber"_6.png"
You can then cut up any dinosaur comic by running ./cutup, with the first argument being the comic number, like 02, or 1290.

Then I made a simple, but long script to select 1 frame from 6 random comics, and generate an html page with all the frames together and linking back to their original comics. Example (Ugly-ly shrunken) below:

And a better screenshot for good measure:

Then, as the final step to all of this, I checked to see if anyone had done this before. :)

Update: hdh has informed me of a three frame randomizer, and I must admit: I like it. Here's an great one that I got on my first try.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Latin is useful!

So, I finally reinstalled Google Toolbar after it stopped working with Firefox 3, and decided to check the version. So, I went to the about page (Settings>Help>About Google Toolbar) and guess what I found...
Latin! Now, after taking 3 years of latin, I occasionally run into it in everyday life, but usually it's either been completely swallowed up by English (subpoena, et cetera, id est, exempli gratia, etc.) or pretty bland and uninteresting. Not with Google, though! I immediatly started translating, resiting the urge to just google it:
De parvis grandis acervus erit
Okay, erit: future of to be, [he/she/it] will
De: down from, from, concerning
parvis: ablative of parvus, small
De parvis: From the small
grandis: Grand, big, large, powerful, great
acervus: pile, mound, mass, treasure
grandis acervus: large pile/grand treasure/powerful mass
The great mass will be made from the small [things]!

Good to know I can still remember some latin, and use it for something.

Also happening today: Instant Message spam! For the first time ever for me, I have gotten spam on an IM account. What's up with that, world?


Saturday, January 12, 2008


So, for a while now I've been thinking about a very interesting project idea:
Create a site (or even some other entity, but I will continue using "site" (maybe "community" would be better)) in which all (including content, design, style... everything) changes to the site are voted upon. While this doesn't seem like that novel an idea, the catch is that even the voting system is left up to voting.
There is no (though one could be created) hierarchical ruling body deciding changes, or even anyone owning the physical servers other than the site itself, which would earn money through donations, advertising, merchandising... whatever is decided. Of course, at first it would have to be payed for by donations by the creators, but after a while I see it coming to support itself.
The main problem deals with setting up the site in the first place. This includes programming it to be able to have its own programming manipulated by only the voting system. This naturally leads to the problem of what kind of voting voting system to using in the first place, any slightly unbalanced or otherwise flawed initial state could send the whole thing spiraling far off into disaster.
I see the building the site in the first place as being done by a community of interested developers working on the site, and possibly using a preliminary version of the site (i.e.: mass voting system on code and even the voting system, giving insight onto the project itself through its development, maybe once the code progresses far enough, even using it) to do so, reaching a final project that can be placed on its own (as in owned by it) server.
I may be overly optimistic, but I see such a site, once it is developed and on its feet with changes in it code able to be submitted, voted upon, and automatically enacted as being a very powerful entity. I'd like to see it create an open community for its own development, and even extending further into the real world with people donating money to be truly democratically used for what is collectively decided as good in the world.
Anyway, off my idealistic speculating, any suggestions on how to get such a development project started, any similar projects/ideas, or even tweaking of the main ideas would be greatly appreciated.