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June 2005
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August 2005

Howto: Prematurely age fabric and linens

I recently obtained a fabulous new piece of mystery entertainment, The Dark Museum, by master strange-exhibit artist Doug Higley.

I wanted to wrap each artifact in cloth for safekeeping and presentation, but with props like this, any old swath won't do. After a little searching, I found some appropriate textile samples, but of course each was brand new I felt they'd look better if they were appropriately aged and stained, so after a little searching on the web, I found some advice on how to make the cloth go from new to ancient in just a few easy steps.

The techniques I used were an amalgam of what I found, so I've put together a one-page sheet with details and photos. (I was itching to use Comic Life, and this provided a good excuse.) Click the thumbnail image below to download a PDF (3.5MB).


Mirror Neurons

According to a blurb in Scientific American ("Discerning Intent") researchers have discovered so-called mirror neurons that fire the same way whether a person performs an action, or simply sees someone else perform the same action.

They say this might be how we understand the intention behind other people's behavior. I also wonder if it plays a role in the ephemeral (but fascinating) area of intuition. Perhaps those gifted with a keen intuitive sense possess an abundance of, or more finely tuned, mirror neurons?

Free Stuff at my Macworld Boston Session

If you attended my WWDC O'Reilly lunch session, you know that two lucky attendees walked away with a free Phlink, courtesy of Ovolab. I'm pleased to say that the "free stuff" tradition will continue at Macworld Expo Boston. During my session, I'll give away a copy of Smart Home Hacks, and a home automation starter kit from Perceptive Automation. Matt, the force behind Indigo, is donating the starter package. He's also a contributor and technical reviewer for my book, so rest assured you'll be getting a great package if you win. See you on Thursday!

Home Automation at Macworld Expo, Boston Macworld - Meet Your Favorite Speakers

This Thursday, July 14 2005 at 11:30AM, I'll be giving the talk Home Automation For The Rest Of Us at Macworld Boston. This isn't part of the extra-cost conference, I'll be right on the show floor at the "Geeks & Gadgets" stage, which is open to all attendees.

Right after the presentation, I'll be at the Meet Your Favorite Speakers booth. I hope you're able to come see the presentation, and stop by afterwards and say hello. Bring along your copy of Smart Home Hacks and I'll be happy to sign it and hear how you've been putting it to use.

By the way, Michael Bayer is also speaking about using the Mac Mini for home automation, another good chance to find out the latest scoop.