Archive for the 'Projects and Work' Category

About the Proyecto Burbuja

Recently I was contacted by Magalie Pedrono (SEgroup, for SocialDesignSite) for an interview about the Proyecto Burbuja as a part of her research on Social Design.

It took me a couple of weeks and it was a fun interview to do. Hope you enjoy it!

QUESTIONS:

What is the most important element/factor in your project?

I don’t know how accurate it is to say that a project really makes a difference. I believe that what people do with a project (or what they can take from it) is what really makes the difference.

The Proyecto Burbuja (or Bubble Project, as originally created by Ji Lee) depends on people for it to work: they give it a meaning.

What the Bubble Project proposes is to turn a long established monologue (advertising on public spaces or in general) into an open dialogue. This is accomplished by posting stickers that look like speech bubbles from comic strips, so that any given ad can look like a frame taken from a comic book. Once the bubbles are placed on ads, they are left blank so anyone that wants to make them say anything is now able to do so.

With this said, is just a matter of time until someone grabs a marker and makes a famous movie star say what they want them to say, or maybe make a young girl model from a poster wonder about her future (i.e. “What am I gonna do when I’m 23?”)

Although the message – or the lack of one – always matters, the most important thing about the Bubble Project is to give people the chance to say something, anything, intervening ads invading our public spaces.
The passers-by are at a disadvantage against ads: they shout at them, selling them things they not always need, sometimes almost swearing that the guy in the picture is going to save the country (and why not the world), they display pictures of happy people holding cell phones that obviously are the reason of their happiness…

Continue reading ‘About the Proyecto Burbuja’

blink-182 Smiley Stencil – Part 1

45 cm x 45 cm (17 in x 17 in)

Work in progress.

I’ll keep you posted ;)

Update

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[WordPress Tip] How to exclude children categories on a template

Yesterday I came across a problem while trying to get WordPress to show me only posts from the top level category without showing posts under sub-categories.

Let’s say I had a Category named Notebooks and under it there were Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Lenovo. Now what I wanted to do was to only display the posts that I published under Notebooks and not under Acer.

By default WordPress will show you the posts you published under Notebooks AND under Acer AND under Hewlett-Packard AND Lenovo, as if they were all posted under the same category (when I head to Hewlett-Packerd it will only show me posts under that category, of course).

After tens of hours of research (yeah), I found the function that could make my dream come true: is_category()

That function shows posts only from the category specified and NO OTHER ONE.

So if you want to modify a template to display posts only from the category you are calling and not display the posts from children categories (sub-categories), just change this:

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

to this:

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); if (in_category($cat)) { ?>

Then you have to change your endwhile:

<?php endwhile; ?>

to

<?php } endwhile; ?>

There were no direct answers to my problem on the WordPress Codex or anywhere else (that I could find).

A complete example:

<?php get_header(); ?>

<?php if (have_posts()) : ?>

<div class=”post”>

<h1><?php single_cat_title(); ?></h1>

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); if (in_category($cat)) { ?>

<h2><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>” rel=”bookmark” title=”Permanent Link to <?php the_title(); ?>” class=”title”><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>

<?php } endwhile; ?>

</div>

<?php else : ?>

<div class=”post”>

<h2>Not Found</h2>
<p class=”center”>Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.</p>
<center><?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . “/searchform.php”); ?></center>

</div>

<?php endif; ?>

</div>

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

<?php get_footer(); ?>

This was done using WordPress 2.6.5

Fun as in ‘breathing’

I just took a tough decision. I’m at the bus stop, I have to go downtown. I’m having a meeting for a website I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. It’s a website for an organization that deals with AIDS, focusing on its prevention by making workshops and informing people on the subject.

Now I’m on the bus. The decision I took was to stay here in my home town for the rest of the year. Now why would I take such a silly decision when I had a 3 Mb broadband connection in Buenos Aires and a malfunctioning 640 kb here? Good question, I know, but not everything depends on internet connections! Come on!

I had already started thinking about staying here during the last weeks I spent in the city but more as a way to deal with my ever present depression. Well, amazing as it sounds, I’m not really taking this decision as a way to deal with that.
In fact, I know I’m not completely (nor partially) over that yet, but it’s OK for now, as long as I don’t start hurting myself or thinking about being a ghost (damn Armor for Sleep!).

What’s leading me to take this decision is my long awaited vision of the future, as in finally seeing myself somewhere in the future, doing what I like.
You need to have a plan if you’re staying…” my father said today after lunch. Well… Dan said we need to ‘plan to be surprised‘ (you should be ashamed if you still haven’t seen Dan in Real Life… Go watch it now!)

So that’s what I’m planning after all! I’m putting my formal studies on hold until next year (formal as in the sense of university studies), but instead I’m going to: (here we go)

  • · Read more. Some people I truly respect have suggested me tens of books along the years so I think it’s finally time to read them. I need to finish reading (for the second time) “A Brief History of Time” by the awesome Stephen Hawking,  get my hands on all the Ray Bradbury books I’ve been collecting since I was 10, and probably read as many books as I can to make my brain bigger.
  • · Write more. Yes, and no. I’m not talking about (only) blogging, I also have some (some as in tens of millions) of ideas I’d like to take from my brain and put down on paper. And yes, I may start writing more here, but only time will tell.
  • · Study more. I’m taking my interests to the next level. Programming, physics, guitar, singing, maths, anything. But as I learned in the past, I can only study by myself: it’s the only way it works for me.
  • · Smile more. I know that smiling isn’t cool right now, I mean, what’s “in” right now is to feel bad all the time and just avoid being happy. But let me tell you something: I was into depression way before it went mainstream and started being so trendy. I’m a pioneer on feeling bad, people. So now I’m gonna try swimming against the current, I’m gonna be the happiest guy alive.
    OK, point taken: it’ll probably won’t work that way, but you get the point. Wish me luck on this one.
  • · Watch more movies. For the past two years I’ve collected over 80 films (including documentaries and silly TV specials) that I wanted to see. I think I’ve barely seen 10 of them so I’m going to put some of my time on watching them. Movies are one of the things I enjoy the most, and now it’s time for me to do things I like. At first I thought of naming this one “Watch more movies while eating ice cream”, but then I realized that I would quickly get overweight.
  • · Work more. I’m not getting a job at a shoe factory, but still… This is a tricky one. Work can stand for both paid work and work on my personal projects or endeavors. I want to finish most (if not all) of the things I started to work on the past few years. I want to do whatever it’s needed on my baby websites (AlwaysFallingDown.com, TheresNoSolution.com, Proyecto Burbuja, valenzine.com, my web design company MonstersInvisible.com, etc), finish any current work I have and make my ToDo list a bit thinner… I want a clean start for next year.
    Also, I’ve started to work with my dad on some of his own work, and that is keeping me thrilled with learning better ways to work.
  • · Drink more. I’m not really sure about this one but I think it could be one of the suggestions my friends would make when finding out about these news.
  • · Enjoy more. So it’s time to stop thinking about dying and rather start thinking about living (as logical as it may sound, it takes a lot to get to this conclusion).
    People that wanted to show me a brighter side of my life had a really good point when they addressed the fact that there are a lot of things I can whine about my life, but even more facts about it that I shouldn’t ignore: the things I shouldn’t complain about, such as still being able to breathe, having a family and friends that care for me and so many other things. Pretty self explanatory this one is.

And that’s about all I could write using my cell phone on my way downtown and then my way back.

.-

No, Mom, I wasn’t arrested

It’s been a year since we finally launched the site. After that it’s been 11 months and a half of Nic telling me how we should be working on the second version of the website.

A lot of ideas passed through our email accounts. Some of them may even have the potential for making great website. I’m sure Nic and RJ have forgotten about most of them.

Making this website, maintaining it and dealing with all the everyday issues we had to face in the way has been nothing but a pleasure. Well… Not always a pleasure, but you get the point.

We spent so many nights working on the site and enjoying ourselves. Oh it’s so good to have someone that laughs at your stupid jokes.

We had some really effective days when we would get as much as 10% of the whole website done in one night, and days when we would just mess around for hours and went to bed with only having lost hours of bedtime.

Now, here it is: TheresNoSolution.com v2

Heart possessions and year-changing decisions

Have you ever woken up one day just to see a poster on your wall that you had always thought it was cool but never put too much attention on it, and then it happens: you notice how it was the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?

I used that lame metaphor in a failed attempt to explain my recent crush on one of my bestest friends.

I won’t go into too many details right now, I’m just going to say that I was this close to giving up on everything and then suddenly it happened. She was valiant enough to tell me something that completely changed my point of view on some subjects.

I’m sick of my own depression. I can’t stand thinking about all this negative stuff all the time, I need to change.

A lot of things are happening around me, most of them aren’t directly related to me but in some way they do, and at the same time I’m facing a lot of new things all the time.

I’m not doing really well in college… I dropped out of Mathematical Analysis and I’m considering dropping out of Physics too. In fact, I’m ditching my class right now. I did quite well on Introduction to Scientific Thinging (or IST from now on). I got an 8 out of 10 and surprisingly most of my classmates failed. What surprsises me is that I didn’t study much for the exam, I just read the chapters of the book and studied from previous exams I got online.

But I need to change. I need to focus on myself and on making the lives of people around me easier. I need to help myself and everyone around me.

And by achieving small accomplishments every day I think I’m getting closer to that. When everything you do or try to do leads to frustration, you just don’t find a purpose on anything. And that’s what needs to change: I need to find a purpose and I have to avoid getting frustrated.

Let’s start right now.

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