Space, Art, and Web Programming
Space, art, and web programming – that's what I've been spending all my spare time on lately for which postings to this blog have suffered.
On the subject of space exploration, I just finished reading Camp Century City Under the Ice by Walter Wager. Published in 1962, the book provides a general overview of Camp Century – a nuclear powered “city” then all of two years old. Existing below the surface of Greenland's glacier, this base allowed for year round occupation and observation of the ice cap and polar winter.
I learned about Camp Century from a friend and decided to create a presentation using Camp Century as an analogy for a moon base. The number and nature of the challenges faced by the team from the Army Corps of Engineers that envisioned, built, and maintained Century were strikingly similar to the types of problems facing lunar base planners. The book's author also foresaw this when he wrote:
Since Camp Century has already demonstrated that young Americans can survive in miserably isolated outposts under bitterly adverse conditions, the US scientists planning the Free World's first lunar output will approach their immensely more complex assignment with a certain amount of confidence.
With respect to art, I'm still working my way through the Processing book I wrote about previously in Processing: Finding Beauty in Math. In fact I created the image Algorithmic Waterfall using Processing and techniques I learned from the book.
I have also been reading Painting the Digital River: How an Artist Learned to Love the Computer by James Faure Walker and published in 2006. It's an interesting read with the author making points that I both agree and disagree with. Once I've finished it, I'll post a more extensive review here.
As if space and art weren't enough, I've also been busy working on the National Space Society's web site. One of the hats I wear in life is that of chairing the National Space Society's Web Oversight Committee and the Website Redesign Committee. We (we being our team of volunteers) recently completed the deployment of a new CSS drop down menu and, more time consuming and troublesome, the conversion of a thousand plus web pages from an ancient, no DOCTYPE, malformed version of HTML to XHTML compliant pages. The next phase is to create a new graphic design for the site and get it deployed. I'd really like to have the design portion done by the end of August and the actual deployment completed by the end of September, if not sooner.
Ad Astra, Jim