The Foreigner

(C)2003 Kevin Bjorke The foreigner only sees what he already knows.

  — Marc Riboud

I will be gone for a few days — while the technology would let me post entries while away, it seems like a waste of perfectly good travel time.

If you are in southern France toward the end of next week, swing on by Virtual Storytelling 2003.

~1 min read

Stumbles

Copenhagen On my last afternoon in Toulouse, I had lunch with Ken Perlin of NYU, Naoko Tosa of MIT, and Ryohei Nakatsu of Kwansei Gakuin University. On the way over to the restaurant, I was churning mentally — I found myself quite unable to think of even a single word in Japanese.

I’d been speaking French for the previous several days, for the first time in years — after the first anxious moments (afraid I’d forgotten everything), I discovered that le français had merely lain dormant, and I had little trouble re-grasping it. But to my dismay, it had completely displaced le japonaise. Apparently my brain can only handle one non-English language at a time, and Japanese had been swapped-out to make way for French. It was infuriating — try as I might, my mind was just blank, blank, blank. It was only when I heard someone else speaking Japanese that the logjam burst, and the nihongo started bubbling up as the furansugo drained away.

2 min read

Magic Number

Back Home at Dawn

I think that I shall never see
A number lovelier than three.

Some examples:

We Try Harder: Part Three

One of the — ahem — features of longer air travel is that you get to see a lot of movies on the inflight screens that you otherwise might have successfully avoided. One of these movies, in the past couple of weeks, was Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

6 min read

Maya Fun

We released a set of Mel scripts that I’ve been developing and using with Maya 4.5 and the NVIDIA Cg Plugin: <a href=”http://developer.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=cgfx_mel”target = “linkframe”>http://developer.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=cgfx_mel</a> — you can get the free plugin etc from the same site.

Unless I’m mistaken, the plugin should work with the Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition, also free from Alias|Wavefront — should make for a pretty cool way to get into high-quality realtime 3D graphics for a very low price (read: $0).

~1 min read

World Wide Dubya

London, 2003 (C) 2003 K. Bjorke The very day I left London last week for parts more Nordic, George W. Bush was arriving. A good or bad thing, depending on your perspective. Personally, I’d have liked to witness the public fracas, but was glad to be away from it as well. The paranoia was evident everywhere — just taking a quick snapshot of the American flag decorations along the Mall a few blocks away from Buckingham Palace was enough to attract a pair of quick-stepping constables (who had been sitting in a nearby parked van, watching the street), wanting to know what I was up to.

No surprise that Dubya didn’t spend time for any further European touring — it seems unlikely that he’d be welcome anywhere (if you consider the public reception he got in the U.K. to be “welcoming”). At each of my stops last week, I was told the same thing by the locals, repeatedly and unprompted: we like America, we like Americans, you are very nice, but that idiot George Bush is the biggest menace to the world we’ve ever seen….

2 min read