Archive for February, 2010

Last Minute Tips for Running a 10k

25 Feb

Today I was on Fox Morning News Extra to give viewers information on this weekend’s Rodeo Run 10k in Houston.

Here are more of my top tips:

-Don’t wear new shoes. I didn’t get a chance to talk about the shoe I was holding…but shoes are really important. It’s too late to go buy new shoes for this weekend, but if you have knee problems or shin splints about after the race it’s most likely because you are wearing the wrong shoes. Go to Luke’s Locker and get fitted for the right kind for your foot type.

-Stay hydrated the few days before and leading up to the race. But, don’t go crazy drinking too much water the morning of the race. Stick to water unless it’s pretty warm and/or you will be sweating a lot, then mix in some Gatorade or electrolyte fluid. This weekend’s race should be cool in the 40’s.

-Don’t try to get in a last minute workout or go out and run crazy fast today or tomorrow hoping to improve your race time. You will only make yourself sore and put yourself at risk for injury. If you want to improve your 5k or 10k need to start at least a month ahead of time. You will not get any faster the last week of the race. Lay off heavy weight training the day before the race and maybe 2 days before if you aren’t used to it.

-Eat good the few days before. This means healthy, “clean” foods and limit sugar, fiber and sodium the night before and morning of the race to avoid an upset stomach. Just eat what you normally do, as long as it’s healthy. I normally have a glass of wine with dinner…so I still do, even the night before a big race. The morning of the race, eat something easy to digest like low-fiber cereal or a banana. You don’t need crazy amounts of carbs the night before or energy gels during the race until you start running races that last you around 1.5 hours.

-Wear layers if it’s cold. This weekend it will be pretty cool, but after the first mile or so you will warm up. I usually wear a light jacket or thin long-sleeve top over my tank and then take it off and tie it around my waist if I have to. Or…I just wear it during my warmup before the race and then either do the bag-check or have a friend hold it for me.

-Warmup first. The only time I don’t warmup is for marathons. For a 5k or 10k you definitely want to get your legs warm first. Walk or jog (or combo) for about 10-15min and then do some light stretches AFTER you warmup.

-Get there early. This was always a hard one for me because I want to get as much sleep as possible! But, if you wait till the last minute you won’t have time to warmup or use the bathroom and it’s always a good idea to have that last minute potty break! Porta-potties are gross but you can always pack a mini hand sanitizer gel in your back pocket.

-Pace yourself. Don’t haul a** at the front just because some guy looks like he’s going to beat you. Half of those speedsters will end up slowing down and you can pass them later. Trust me. Go slower at the beginning and gradually pick up your pace each mile. Then, if you’ve got energy left to burn…kick it up a notch the last mile and then really sprint the last 100meters if you’ve still got some juice!

**Check back soon..I’ll be posting my 10k playlist today or tomorrow.


Buzzing The Blimps Had Become A Popular Diversion In The Spaceport [Concept Art]

24 Feb

Offworlder pilots who had no intention of returning to the planet took bets on who could buzz the local freight and commuter blimps without getting ticketed. The trick was to clear the gravity well before the authorities arrived.

Nobody ever talked about the times when an unlucky pilot came in too close.

Concept artist M.C. Barrett says:

I am a nerd artist. I work at ArenaNet, drawing monsters and castles and such for people to do magic to and make them into a game called Guild Wars.

You can see the Guild Wars influence in these images, but they are awesome on their own.

See more of Barrett's work on his blog.

(Thanks for the tip, Thomas Scholes!)

Baby dromaeosaur. Cute little guy.

I love this image of cities carved into the ground rather than rising above it.

Robotic evil princess?
The slug giraffe is going to kick dinoshark's puny ass.


La Finca 4 House in Somosaguas by A-cero

23 Feb

The Spanish architectural firm A-cero designed this home in Somosaguas, a suburb of Madrid.

Full description after the photos….


La Finca 4 House in Somosaguas by A-cero

The house is located on a 3.500 m2 plot presenting a light slope that is used by the access ramp to the garage. The floor plan has the form of a greek cross, and is delimited by the access pathway and the other properties on both of its sides.

The design of this 1.200 m2 compact single-family house is guided by two main concepts: a great functionality in the distribution of the interior spaces and  their openness to the exterior to make the most of the views. Both ideas are also present in the interior design and in the selection of the construction materials.

Inside the house, the design follows a functional structure evolving around the hall stairs, an central design element that provokes a surprising visual and spatial effect. Another breathtaking space is the double height volume that contains the living room.

The form has been object of design since the conception of the project, in the same way and degree than any other functional or technical aspect. A clear and smooth composition of shapes, born from the encounter of expressive and massive blocks composing a sculptural group.

The façade’s geometrical configuration offers inclined walls with clean cuts. The two rectangular intersected bodies surround the cylinder containing the staircase that connects all the house’s areas.

The building is divided in three levels according to the program’s needs.  The access is on the ground floor, where all the more public spaces are located: hall, living and dining rooms, office, TV room and kitchen. The living room occupies a double height space open to the exterior views through great glass panes. All the objects that could interfere with the contemplation of the views, like railings or walls, have been suppressed or replaced by transparent elements. The main entrance door is made of a 6 m high glass pane, letting the visitor perceive the interior of the house.

On a lower level are located the technical installation rooms, laundry, indoor swimming pool, games room, wine cellar, garage and a leisure area with a reading space, dining room and TV.

A staircase with glass railings and a glass corridor that goes through the double height space takes to a studio on the upper level overlooking the living room. Next to this area are the master bedroom, equipped with a walk-in closet and bathroom, and four more bedrooms with bathrooms, organized around a corridor covered with shelves.

The richness of this spatial composition is also apparent in the exterior, and organizes the connection between the house and its surroundings. This dynamical and rich design is also translated to a structural system made only of reinforced concrete walls, avoiding intermediate columns that could alter the space’s scale and cleanliness.

At some point, the structure pierces the façade to form a porch that finishes its composition, protects from the sunlight and creates an interesting play of light and shadow. The house is covered with white travertine, creating a clean and smooth finishing, the porch’s floor and the deck surrounding the pool and jacuzzi are made of ipê wood . The garden on the front of the house is organized in terraces and parterres, forming a decorative outline surrounded by a surface covered with white gravel. Three sculptures are carefully placed in this place, marking the entrance.

The interior of the house follows the same colour scheme and predominance of natural materials. The floors are covered with ceramic tiles and wood on the upper level.

Visit the A-cero website – here.




The Formula For a Perfect Movie [Science]

20 Feb

A Cornell University professor analyzed 150 of the highest grossing movies of the last 70 years. The more recent the movie, he found, the closer it adhered to the mathematical formula that describes the human attention span.

In the 1990s, researchers at University of Texas in Austin determined that our attention spans could be described by the 1/f fluctuation, a pattern representing the ebb and flow of our concentration over a period of time. In a new study, professor James Cutting found that the more recent the blockbuster, the more closely the length of its shots followed that same fluctuation.

Whereas Detour, made in 1945, has shots that only vaguely correspond to the 1/f fluctuation, the 2005 King Kong remake stays surprisingly snug with the attention span wave.

As Cutting explains, this increasing correlation means that films "resonate with the rhythm of human attention spans," but just because movies are increasingly pleasing to our subconscious minds doesn't mean that we will necessarily like them more: the Star Wars prequels strictly followed the formula. [PhysOrg and PopSci]


How Facebook Became Twice as Fast (But Still Not Fast Enough)

19 Feb

There’s an interesting post today at Facebook’s engineering blog, detailing how Facebook’s engineers managed to make the site two times faster in a six-month period — from June of 2009 till the beginning of 2010.

It’s an interesting (albeit somewhat technical) read. In short, Facebook’s primary concerns were shortening network time (the time it takes for data to be transmitted between the user’s computer and Facebook) and render time (the time it takes the user’s web browser to process a response from Facebook and display the page). They managed to speed up the site primarily by reducing the number of cookies and cutting back on JavaScript.

Finally, they divided a typical Facebook page into parts (which they call pagelets), which can be loaded one after another (instead of waiting for the entire page to load. From the post:

“Over the last few months we’ve implemented exactly this ability for Facebook pages. We call the whole system BigPipe and it allows us to break our web pages up in to logical blocks of content, called Pagelets, and pipeline the generation and render of these Pagelets. Looking at the home page, for example, think of the newsfeed as one Pagelet, the Suggestions box another, and the advertisement yet another. BigPipe not only reduces the TTI of our pages but also makes them seem even faster to users since seeing partial content earlier feels faster than seeing complete content a little bit later.”

While this is nice to know, it’s hard not to notice the recent user complaints that Facebook is slower than ever (it’s been that way for me, too). Of course, the Facebook experience is different for users in different countries, so it’s hard to say whether it’s a global problem, but one thing is certain: With Facebook’s userbase growing the way it does, keeping the site fast enough will always be a challenge.

Reviews: Facebook

Tags: facebook, social media, social networking, trending, Web Development


Lost’s Greatest Moments Immortalized As Cartoons [Concept Art]

17 Feb

Cartoonist Graham Annable recently commemorated the last season of Lost with "Foggy Memories of Lost," a series of cartoons depicting some of the show's most memorable scenes. Never before has Sayid beating the crap out of Ben looked so adorable.

[Super Punch via Graham Annable's Flickr]


Our World Is Being Invaded By Cartoons [Image Cache]

16 Feb

As a kid, I thought the cartoon world could mix with the real one—like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I don't think I was entirely wrong. Just look at this odd metal sculpture.

Created by a guy named Neil Dawson, this sculpture is called Horizons and one of the neatest optical illusions I've seen today. Not to mention that it's proof of my cartoon invasion theory. [The Grip]


Filibusters Now and Then

13 Feb

10+ Places Where Designers Can Upload and Host Their Work for Free

09 Feb

As designers we work hard to produce work with unparalleled uniqueness, and sometimes we need a place to upload, store, and share our work. Anything further than that, of course, is a plus. The only thing that can be somewhat as hard as producing quality work, is actually finding a place where you can upload your work with ease and one that gives you the option to share with others for great exposure. Below we’ve outlined over 10 websites that allow designers to upload and host their work for free.

We tried to focus on sites that are geared towards designers, and steered clear of massive sites like Photobucket and Flickr. We then ranked them for each websites quality and ease of use. The sites aren’t in any particular order. If you’d like to share any sites or thoughts, let us know in the form of a comment below!


upload and host your work free

CarbonMade is a place where you can display and show off your portfolio. You’ll be able to easily manage every image that you upload with the use of a simple and clean interface. You can fill your portfolio with images, flash, videos and more! You’re also allowed to organize your projects however you’d like, style the visual properties of your portfolio, keep track of visitors, share with everyone in the Carbonmade community and anyone else. You can sign-up for the free plan (Meh) that comes with 5 projects and 35 images, or you can sign-up for Whoo pro-plan allowing you to upload over 50 projects, 500 hi-resolution images, and 10 high-quality videos to your profile.

Ranking: 2

Deviant Art

upload and host your work free

deviantART is one of the largest online communities for designers that allow you to upload countless designs, typography work, photography’s and digital art all for free. You can upload, share, and also find almost any sort of art. The site is easy to navigate and simple to use. Your categories are on the left-hand side, and on the top right-hand side you’ll find menu options such as your portfolio, critiques, collections, chatting, niche specific groups, and much more! You’re able to upload and create your own profiles and manage your portfolios by adding galleries and blogs. Overall, deviantArt provides a wide range of quality services for artists that allows your profile to gain great exposure.

Ranking: 1


upload and host your work free

Coroflot is one of the largest and most established, most diverse pool of professional creative portfolios around the world. With Coroflot you’re able to upload all of your work and turn it into a portfolio for everyone to see. Join over 150,000 designers and creatives hosting over 1.4 million images. Coroflot users are industrial, graphic, fashion, interior, textile and interaction designers; 3D modeling and rendering specialists; architects, illustrators, art directors, design managers, and dozens of other disciplines. Coroflot was started by designers, and is still run by designers.

Ranking: 4


upload and host your work free

ShareDen aims to facilitate and systematize the process of having to upload and download important files for designers, developers, creatives, and anyone else. They can host all of your coding files, full applications, Photoshop files, images, audio, movie clips and more. Essentially they aim to make it easier for you to upload and download your files without interruptions. The service is 100% free and you receive unlimited space for storage and the advantage to upload files at a speed that rivals that of most file sharing services.

Ranking: 10

Behance Network

upload and host your work free

The Behance Network is a website where designers, artists, and creatives can come and upload their work in order to get noticed and host a portfolio. However, you have to request an invitation, and if invited, you will receive a URL and you will also be able to interact with other designers. Using the Behance Network you’ll gain great exposure and it’s a wonderful venue to display your work in.

Ranking: 3

Illy Pads

upload and host your work free

IllyPads allows you to upload all of your art into its gallery and lets everyone who visits the site view your work. You’re able to upload creative illustrations, drawings, various paintings and more. And while you’re uploading your work, you can even take some time out to get inspired by all the other art. Search by topic or tags and have others comment on your work for valuable critique that may help you improve.

Ranking: 8


upload and host your work free is an innovative way to upload your entire portfolio and publish it online. Top-hat employers such as MTV, Apple, Nike and more will be able to avidly search the database and possibly find themselves face to face with your work. Krop’s basic service is free with a 10 image limit, however their PRO service allows you unlimited images, styling of your gallery, domain mapping, RSS and video embedding for 10USD per month. With Krop your uploaded work is mostly turned into a self-serve resume that’s out in the open to thousands to see.

Ranking: 5


upload and host your work free

Shadowness began as a personal art project in 2001. Today, it has grown into an art community with over 50,000 artists and designers worldwide to an audience of millions of viewers. Their vision is to create a simple and powerful tool for artists and designers to connect and share their work. Shadowness will allow you to upload work into your very own portfolio, organize your work the way you’d like, you’re able to share links, follow others and get followed, study popular trends, and make use of their simple navigation that features endless scroll.

Ranking: 11

Fig Dig

upload and host your work free

FigDig features are designed to make it easy for others to find, view and enjoy your work. You’re able to upload and view high definition portfolio samples, create a specified profile page, be featured on the sites front page, and search others through keywords. FigDig is a great way to host your work for free, and gain some exposure while you’re at it.

Ranking: 9

Design Related

upload and host your work free

design:related is a community site and inspiration tool that brings together creative people from different disciplines (and parts) of the design world. design:related serves to motivate designers to share ideas, inspire, and be inspired. Your profile contains most of the features and services that you would need to properly and effectively upload your work. design:related is a community centered by prominent designers and upcoming artists. You can create your free profile at anytime.

Ranking: 6

Profesional on the Web

upload and host your work free

Professional on the Web is a fresh directory where web agencies and freelancers can list their profiles, easily upload and manage the showcasing of their projects. They manage to keep the directory as focused as possible to get the most number of professionals listed in their directory. Signing up with an account is free and employers can subscribe to the RSS so that their able to stay updated whenever you upload any new projects.

Ranking: 12


upload and host your work free

SHOWN’D aims to provide users with a centralized hub to maintain a portfolio and secure employment. Their powerful tools and clean design makes sure to keep the focus on the artist and their vision. Employers benefit from the vast array of creative professionals and artwork displayed on the web site as well as the tools provided for sorting through the various showcases. Artists from the entire creative spectrum, from architects to writers, make SHOWN’D their home.

Ranking: 7

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Fax Machine Timeline

05 Feb

Fax Machine Timeline

This may come as a surprise to some, but Bob Marley’s hit “Jamming” actually has nothing to do with fax machines.

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