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UT Arlington College of Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series

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Dan Sayers ("I am not a type designer") decided to explore "generative" type-design by seeing what happened when he "averaged out" a large number of fonts. Once he got his teeth into the problem, he realized that "averaging out" is a complicated idea when it comes to shapes, and came up with a pretty elegant way of handling the problem, which, in turn, yielded a rather lovely face: Avería, "the average font."

Then it occurred to me: since my aim was to average a large number of fonts,
perhaps it would be best to use a very simple process, and hope the results
averaged out well over a large number of fonts. So, how about splitting each
letter perimeter into lots of (say, 500) equally-spaced points, and just average
between the corresponding positions of each, on each letter? It would be necessary to match up the points so
they were about the same location in each letter, and then the process would be
fairly simple

Having found a simple process to use, I was ready to start. And after about a month of
part-time slaving away (sheer fun! Better than any computer game) – in the
process of which I learned lots about bezier curves and font metrics – I had a
result. I call it Avería – which is a Spanish word related to the root of the
word ‘average’
. It actually means mechanical breakdown or damage. This seemed curiously fitting, and I was
assured by a Spanish friend-of-a-friend that “Avería is an incredibly beautiful
word regardless of its meaning”. So that's nice.

Avería – The Average Font

(via Waxy)

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Shan sez, "Our guide/map of SF is printed on a single sheet of A3 Tyvek, and is then folded up according to a technique originally developed at Tokyo University for satellite solar panels. The bistable nature of the fold means that it can be fully opened or closed in one smooth motion, and that there is no way to fold it 'wrong.'

The places we included are a mix of overlooked gems, classic restaurants, and other things like hidden parks, games played across the city, and interesting shops and markets.

We just launched our project on Kickstarter yesterday evening, and as of today we're almost 10% funded!"

TOC Guide to SF

(Thanks, Shan!)

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This revolting thing is a cocktail called an "Alien Brain Hemorrhage": "To make an alien brain hemorrhage cocktail, fill a shot glass halfway with peach schnapps. Gently pour Bailey's Irish Cream on top. After the shot is almost full, carefully add a small amount of blue curacao. After it settles, add a few drops of grenadine syrup." Looks like it could be improved with a couple lumps of dry ice.

Alien Brain Hemorrhage Cocktail Recipe 2012 Drink Pic

(via Neatorama)

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Thingiverse's Tony Buser has an amazing approach to approximating the Hilbert curve, as Make's Sean Ragan explains:

Veteran Thingiverse user Tony Buser has printed a model (intended to be an approximation of the fractal Hilbert curve) using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a support material. Once everything is printed and cooled, the PVA is dissolved away in a glass of water, leaving only the polylactic acid (PLA) model. This technique, when perfected, should allow RepRap-style FFF printers to produce objects with overhanging parts that are currently very difficult, or impossible, for them to print. Tony used two of MakerBot’s Mk7 extruders mounted on a Thing-o-Matic.

Fused Filament Printing with Water-Soluble Support

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