NodeBox is a simple programming language for generating graphics, art and visualisations. It is based on Python and includes a simple set of drawing primitives and some useful utilities. There are some beautiful things made with it on show in their gallery. Amongst the libraries that extend NodeBox is Pixie. This is a library that allows you to create fascinating sketch-like drawings with variable handwriting, including mistakes (set with the pixie.distraction() method!).
To try NodeBox out I decided to plug our unofficial BBC Radio last.fm feeds into it - because it's basically a Python interpreter you can just include normal Python code.
Here's what was Now Playing on 6Music at the time sketched out using Nodebox and Pixie. Each node is a track played with the band name next to it and the user-generated tags following (taken from the last.fm API feeds). The user-generated tags on last.fm are interesting - look at how they range from strictly descriptive ("hip-hop", "soul", "manchester") to more emotional ("fun", "check this out") to distinctly personal ("seen live", "favourites").
Here's the same thing, but using the Pixie.tree() command to draw some kind of crazy hierarchical tree structure - needs a bit of work I think.
And here's each band in the now playing list linking to related bands (from the last.fm related artists feeds). I'm looking forward to playing some more with the recommendations within last.fm, I haven't really gone far enough down that route here. Maybe creating an alternative journey through 6Music's playlist?
I also love the Pixie.sprite() command which creates a random little critter, you can see them in the corner of each picture and at the top of this posting.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
There's not been enough cooking on here recently so here's a small adjustment in the right direction. We finished watching Dan Cruickshank's Marvels of the Modern Age (come on BBC TV, programme pages please) last night - it was a series on modernist architecture on BBC2 a couple of months ago and in the last of the series he was looking at the future. After visiting Dubai and Shanghai he visited MIT in Boston where he was shown their "kitchen of the future".
- Plates on demand - discs of plastic are moulded into whatever shape you need that evening. You then recycle them when you've washed up...
- ...which you speed up by having a rubber sink into which you can just throw things.
- A system that projects the contents of the fridge onto the outside of the door, so you don't have to open it. It also projects a snowstorm onto the door, while playing wind sounds, if you fail to close the fridge. Our fridge just beeps.
- "Augmented cabinetry" that keeps an inventory of the contents of your kitchen cabinets, with handles that light up at the appropriate stage of the recipe.
I'm not sure I'm ready for this.
Posted by tristan at 15:25