jeweled platypus


tuesday, october 13, 2009
Decorations for a “creative” place

Let’s say you have a drab college building or office (or whatever) that you’re allowed to modify, and let’s say you have money burning a hole in your pocket. Here are some things you might want, based on what friends and I have looked at or gathered for our college’s little building to make it a warmer place to learn and hang out:

papercraft ceiling cat star switchplate eye chart switchplate elephant mobile
geek clock bird decals world's largest crossword puzzle
decorative pillows world map
plastic algae create poster

  1. Papercraft ceiling cat (free) — print this out and stick it above some computers.
  2. La Estrella and eye chart light switch covers ($4.50 each) — there are a ton of tacky switchplates for sale online, but the right ones are amusing in otherwise boring rooms.
  3. Elephant Party mobile ($32) — so cute that you can pretend it’s not for babies.
  4. Geek clock ($25) — to be placed in a room only visited by people who won’t get frustrated by it, aka the Physics and Math study room.
  5. Blik “fly” stickers ($25 for smaller restickable ones or $35 for larger permanent ones) — it’s much cheaper to make your own stickers if you have access to the vinyl cutter in the Art department, but not everybody has a convenient Art department.
  6. The World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle ($30) — perfect to install in a common area as a looming presence that can never be finished.
  7. Cost Plus pillows ($10-20) — make the dingy couch look fancier.
  8. World map (free if you have one hanging around) — hang this upside-down (or get an upside-down map) to remind yourself that cardinal directions are arbitrary.
  9. Vitra Algue ($30-35 for a 6-pack) — these are good to tuck into corners of pipes running along walls, as if plants are growing out of them.
  10. Right Brain Terrain “alternative motivational poster” ($15) — cheesy but pretty.

Also, if you have photos of people who spend time in the building, get them printed (for a few dollars at Snapfish etc.) and put them on the refrigerator with eccentric magnets. Add a magnetic poetry set and find out what kinds of horrible phrases your friends come up with. On a bulletin board, pin postcards and magazine clippings among the flyers.

Fake flowers usually aren’t a very good idea.

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friday, july 31, 2009
Not-so-bad articles of Wikipedia

In the spirit of Best of Wikipedia and Wikipedia Time: the best of wiki, these are some of the more interesting articles that I’ve worked on:

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monday, january 26, 2009
Pieces of lint from my navel

Doug looking at a rusty old bus at his uncle's ranch
Doug at his uncle’s ranch; there are more pictures on Flickr and here.

Some of what I’ve written in other places in the past few months:

A few posts on the Literature Collaborative blog with notes about recent activities, including a pamphlet that we distributed on paper: The Very Unofficial Collection of Helpful Hints for New Lit Students (PDF).

The state of the Delicious hive mind in 2008 — an end-of-the-year post on the Delicious blog about the usefulness of searching the site (along with browsing tags) for all purposes, especially geeky purposes.

Toy Chest (Online or Downloadable Tools for Building Projects) on the UCSB English Department Knowledge Base wiki — Alan Liu asked me to update this page in preparation for his Literature+ class this quarter, so I did. (I took his class last year; here’s my team’s project.)

Social Computing in 2020: Bluesky Innovation Competition, organized by the UCSB Social Computing Group — I helped make this page, which is about a contest for undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines (deadline January 30, 2009). I’m part of the graduate-student division of the group, which means I go to meetings and talk about nerdy things with nice smart people. I like it.

Sky notes ➴➶➳ — a Tumblr blog where I post half-baked thoughts and links related to reading interfaces (including stuff about annotation, teaching literature, etc). Some of the items: blogs I’m reading, semi-organized thoughts, and a long list.

Into the Teeth of the Wind is my college’s poetry journal (which accepts submissions from non-students, including you) — I’ve helped select poems for publication for the past few years, but I finally redesigned the website last year and also got to design our 2008 issue. That was labor-intensive but I liked it: the first industrially-printed small book I’ve laid out from cover to cover. You can buy a copy for the low price of $5.50.

Also: more than 1800 replies on the Delicious support forum, an essay titled “Analysis of Discussions of Women’s Prominence in the Blogosphere”, another one titled “Typography and Class”, and notes toward an essay about Orientalism in The Adventures of Prince Achmed. Aieee.

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monday, november 17, 2008
“Extra Credit on the Strange Web” for no credit

insect-art old-pictures paper-art old-pictures

This quarter I have a bunch of classes and activities but I also wanted to contribute a little to the campus newspaper, The Daily Nexus, by writing a silly web column for its associated blog. I’ve stored thousands of bookmarks in my Delicious account, and this series of blog posts is an attempt to coagulate some of my favorite bookmarks into text-blobs presentable to a general audience.

Here’s what I’ve written so far, about once a week:

New posts appear at the category page, which includes a link to the feed for the whole blog (joined by stories of a student abroad, career advice, and health advice).

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tuesday, august 21, 2007
Laziness when I should be asleep

While I rewrite unfinished posts about information and the web, here are things I have posted elsewhere in the past few months:

i like this shop window a lot. yay creepy-crawlies!

I also updated Super OS X menubar items and my silly art page.

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I’m Britta Gustafson.

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