Archive for September, 2006

Video Feedback

September 25, 2006

I first learned of ‘video feedback’ one week ago. The concept intrigued me so much I couldn’t get it out of my head until I did a few experiments.

Video feedback is the phenomenon created when one plugs a video camera into a TV monitor so the monitor displays what the camera is filming. When you point the camera into the TV screen in just the right way, you create an endless video loop and you can generate some fascinating images.

The short film Experiential Video Feedback is my first using this technique. For a higher quality MPEG-4 version, click here.

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State of the Police State: Fouad Kaady’s Family Fights Back

September 7, 2006

Fouad Kaady was 27 on September 8, 2005 when a gas can in his vehicle exploded, burning him severely. He crashed his car, tore off his clothes, and staggered down the street dazed and confused. Burned flesh fell from his body as stunned witnesses called 911 to summon medical help.

Minutes later, a Sandy, Oregon police officer and a Clackamas County deputy shot Kaady seven times, though witnesses said he was unarmed, naked, badly burned, disoriented, and had not threatened the police officers or attempted to flee the area. The officers had turned back an ambulance that waited in vain to treat the man’s burns.

Neither officer was disciplined and both are still on patrol.

On Tuesday in the federal district court of Oregon, famed litigator Gerry Spence filed a lawsuit on behalf of Fouad Kaady’s family, one year after the tragic event. Here is the link to an article I wrote on the lawsuit. Here is a PDF of the lawsuit.

Fractal Mathematics

September 7, 2006

Today at work someone gave me a small, blow-up beach ball. (Don’t ask me why.) It had a brightly colored, tie-dyed kind of design on it. When I looked closer, I saw the unmistakeable image of a Mandelbrot Set, the classic fractal image developed by Benoit Mandelbrot while working for IBM in the 1970’s.

The basics of fractal geometry had been around for awhile, but Mandelbrot happened to be working on the puzzle at a time when large computers first became available that were capable of handling the rapid multiplication required. Color monitors soon kicked it up a notch.

Here is a short video of a Mandelbrot Set in motion. And here is a sample video from The Amazing Mandelbrot Set DVD. Notice how the image dives into itself, yet never reaches an end. If you live in the Portland area, the Multnomah County Library has an excellent DVD called The Colours of Infinity. Mandelbrot’s website at Yale University has a bunch of interviews and articles by this unconventional mathematical genius.