Senntiment. Yes. Senn again.

I know, I’ve talked about Senn before. During my vacation in San Francisco and Santa Rosa I learnt almost everything there is to know about this (for me) still amazing film. Let’s start with the image up here. On the left is “We”, a character wonderfully played by Wylie Herman. I was fortunate enough to meet him in person and be an extra for a few seconds in a film he is working on with several other people. Then we have Senn, and Kona on the right. I sent them messages to thank them for their work on Senn and they appreciated that very much. I also messaged Taylor Lambert who plays Resh in the film, another good actor.

senn02Britton Watkins and Josh Feldman were wonderful hosts and great friends. They are the brains and creative geniuses behind Senn. We spent literally hours talking about the film and all the different aspects that it covers. Amazing, wonderful, and something I’d love to do again. We visited many locations where they filmed to make Senn happen and that was something impressive. I have learnt a lot about film-making during that visit (and that’s probably the tip of the iceberg that’s involved).

senn01I said it before and I will say it again: I feel blessed for having met them and having the opportunity and mind to meet so many wonderful people. Not only did I learn lots and loads about Senn and things involved in making a film, I also saw and learnt a lot about creating languages. (Britton created a special language for Senn which you see written in the image on the right.)

Yes. I will carry my Senntiment with me for a long time. It’s a good feeling.

Technology WTF

rocking chair-A while ago I was looking at configuration stuff for Citrix because somehow the ICA client in the browser stopped passing through my login credentials to the Citrix server. (I didn’t find them by the way.)

During the search did I stumble upon this funny bit which I thought was worth sharing.

I’ve got a production app that runs under Citrix.

Due to various problems, a two-hour batch job that the app runs
has tb initiated manually in the wee hours of the morning instead
of being run by a simple .CMD file that starts the Access app in
a “Overnight Batch” mode.

Problem is that the Citrix admins enforce a 40-or-so-minute
timeout on inactive sessions – and the session performing the
batch job in question looks inactive to Citrix.

So if I VPN/RemoteDesktop in, open up the Citrix-deployed app,
kick off the process and then just go back to sleep; the Citrix
timeout kicks in, the whole session gets flushed, and the batch
job never finishes what it has to do.

Consequently I have to wake up and hit “Enter” every 30 minutes
or so.

I was thinking that maybe I could write a little MS Access app tb
run on the same PC than I’m VPN/RemoteDesktopping into that would
just keep looping and send a MouseOver or a KeyDown or something
to the Citrix window in time to avoid the inactivity timeout and
I could go back to getting a decent night’s sleep.

I know from SendKeys(), but don’t have a clue on how to find that
Citrix sesh’s window and push the keystroke or whatever into it.

Can anybody offer up a clue?

A kind person offered a wonderful, technologically approved solution:

There was a hilarious DailyTWF.com posting on this topic.   The manager brought in a
electrically operated baby’s rocking chair and put the optical mouse in it.  And they
let it run 24×7.

😀

Senn. More than a film.

You may never have heard of Senn. It’s a film not out of Hollywood – and that’s a good thing, because I don’t think Hollywood will ever make something of such quality and depth.

Do as you’re instructed.

On my writer’s blog I’ve already paid some attention to Senn in regards to the film and the language that was designed for it. This post will focus on something else.

Senn is the name of a person on the planet Pyom. Pyom is a destroyed planet. The people of Pyom as a destroyed people. Oh, they live, walk and talk but their life isn’t what it used to be. (You may have gathered that Senn is a science fiction film. Otherwise now you know.)

Looking at Senn I saw lots of similarities of what’s going on on our own planet, and despite everything that’s going on, there is still that human touch which can remain alive. It shows the strength of people. Senn has touched me deeply.

Senn is not for science fiction lovers who are into space battles, Cylons, Klingons and gory, ooze-dripping aliens that rip people apart. Senn goes deep, very deep. If you feel you can handle that, if you think you can having your own mind ‘ripped apart’ (in a way that is how it felt to me after seeing it the first time) then please have a look at Senn. Otherwise go back to the Cylons.

You can find the film for sale (DVD, Bluray, digital download, etc.) at the Reelhouse. If you want to learn more about Senn, visit Sennition, the website that will tell you lots and lots about it.

Stonehenge was indeed a circle.

In a Dutch news article I saw something that I appreciate to learn about.

Stonehenge bij Amesbury, Zuid-Engeland

Stonehenge near Amesbury, South of Engeland

Because of the drought in the UK, the caretaker of the Stonehenge premises discovered that Stonehenge originally was a full circle, something that many people already suspected. Scientist now say that proof is available.

The simple fact that the garden hose of the caretaker wasn’t long enough to water the entire area, certain parts of the grass turned brown. One of the people working there discovered that those dark patches exactly matched the spots where the missing stones had been expected to stand. Even this many years later, the consistency of the ground is still so different that the marks (by changing the way plants grow) are visible to date.

Using a drone, pictures were made from the air in which the entire shape of Stonehenge became visible. Also other marks, like older excavations, were clearly visible through their changed colour. The caretaker now ponders if he should stop watering other parts of the monument at the next drought. Perhaps more things will emerge then.

Doctor Who

Yes. The new Doctor has spoken. And acted.

I don’t watch many things televised but Dr Who is one of the items I won’t miss. The new Doctor, for me, is a great one. A step back towards the style of the original ones, before the funny young boys took over. Mind you, I had fun with those boys (David Tennant and after a while also Matt Smith) but I like my Doctors on the dark side with a twist.

I adored the hints towards Tom Baker’s Doctor in the first episode of this new season. Tom Baker was my first Doctor and you never forget your first Doctor. For me the new season of Doctor Who is off to a good start. The new title sequence is fantastic:

and I disagree with Clara: the interior looks smashing. I’m already looking forward to the next episode.

Qwerky

Before you wonder what this is: it’s a keyboard. Yes, I know it looks like a typewriter. That’s the beauty of it. It’s a ‘Qwerkywriter’, crowdfunded via Kickstarter. This keyboard can connect to devices via USB and BlueTooth. And I ordered one by pitching in on the Kickstarter. I find this an amazing thing to look at. It breathes steampunk and back to basics typing.

Love it.

21st century gypsies

The Daily Mail (UK) posted a very interesting article on a new book by Iain McKell about the new gypsies:

They were the inner-city youth who, fuelled by  punk spirit, anarchist philosophy and a hate of Margaret Thatcher, clambered  aboard a fleet of battered old vehicles to shun the trappings of the modern  world for a life of nomadic freedom.

Follow this link for the full story and many wonderful images.

Fold-up telescope

As found on Engadget:

“Researchers want higher-resolution images of the Earth from space, but glass-based telescopes won’t always be up to the job; eventually, the necessary hardware will be too bulky to lift into orbit. It’s a good thing, then, that DARPA recently tested a ground-based prototype of its MOIRE (Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploration) folding telescope. Like the future spaceborne unit, the ground telescope replaces glass with a high-efficiency polymer membrane that weighs one seventh as much and collapses into compact shapes. The optics would launch at a diameter of 20 feet, but they would expand to 68 feet. That’s larger (and likely sharper) than what you’ll see at many Earthbound observatories for quite some time. DARPA hasn’t committed to a launch date for its folding design, but the finished device could image 40 percent of our world in one shot — a major advantage for defense planners who may literally need to see the bigger picture.”

It’s impressive to see what they come up with every time!

Poland’s blow up hall

Poland’s Blow Up Hall 5050: Half luxury hotel, half digital art installation

 

Blow Up Hall: exterior (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com)

Blow Up Hall: exterior (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com) 

I’m here in Poznan, Poland – a town I’ll admit I never knew existed until I bought my plane ticket. Which is a bit pathetic of me, since “Poznan” more or less translates as “the town everyone knows.” Whoops, I guess I missed that memo. It’s a typically charming European town with a gorgeous city square, a 1,000-year plus history full of horrific wars and destruction, a Catholic bent and a surprising number of sex shops per city block.

Beautiful city square in Poznan, Poland. Photo: Loz Blain

I’m here to visit Blow Up Hall 5050, one of the most unique hotels in Europe, attached to one of the “best shopping malls in the world” and a pet project of Grażyna Kulczyk, the richest woman in Poland.

Until 2006, Kulczyk was also married to the richest man in Poland, but while her ex-husband’s business ventures are quite dry – oil, gas, coal power, mining and beer brewing – Grażyna sees herself much more as a passionate patron of the arts.

She calls her signature approach to business the 5050 model: everything should be 50 percent art, 50 percent business, each side supporting the other. In this spirit, she bought up the crumbling carcass of a gigantic old brewery in 2003 and began development on a mammoth 120,000 square-metre complex that houses two high-class shopping malls, a free art gallery where Kulczyk shows her personal collection of modern art, and the Blow Up Hall hotel.

Stary Browar shopping centre, featuring frequent art installations (Photo: Loz Blain/gizma...

The amazing brickwork and architecture of the old brewery were painstakingly preserved and worked into the ultra-modern design of the Stary Browar center and Kulczyk has dotted hundreds of artworks, big and small, throughout the complex to give it her unique 50/50 twist. It also doubles as a giant exhibition and event space, with frequent fashion shows and workshops filling out a very full annual calendar.

And so to the hotel. Right next to the buzzing retail hive of the shopping malls, Blow Up Hall 5050 has been created as an oasis of calm and high-end luxury for Poland’s elite: rock stars and tycoons, presidents, cultural icons and of course, Gizmag contributors.

Walking in the front door, you’re immediately struck by the grand entrance hall, complete with its four levels of brickwork and artworks ranging from the giant “Red Dwarf” at the back of the hall, through a number of artworks including a Spencer Tunick, to the spinning light installation above you.

Blow Up Hall 5050 - the entrance hall (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com)

There’s no check-in desk, just a concierge who confirms your booking and hands you your room key – an iPhone 5. It’s yours for the duration of your stay, it comes pre-fitted with a Polish sim card and you can use it throughout the city.

From there you step into the lobby – and into the key Blow Up Hall artwork itself, designed by digital artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and inspired by Blowup, a British art film of the 1960s. Most of the room is in dark shadow, barring a starkly lit path up the center leading to a series of large screens in which your own image is digitized and split up into a dizzying pixellated array.

If you want to read more, follow this link. (It’s worth it!)