How Big is GE? [Infographic]

I found this infographic about General Electric today that I found pretty interesting – Do YOU know how big GE is and how big it has become?  I didn’t know that it was one of the original 12 companies from the original Dow Jones.

Check out the infographic from PartSelect – I’ve resized it here, but if you click on it the image opens up full-size.

BEAUTIFUL Lamp from Giopato & Coombes – Bird On A Wire

There is something about this lamp that just leapt off the page at me when I first saw it – classic, beautiful, nice form, it’s like a moment frozen in ceramic cartoon time.  Check this out, it’s called Bird On A Wire, and it’s from design firm Giopato and Coombes:

GAH!  I just think this is such an awesome piece.  From the Giopato and Coombes website on Bird On A Wire:

Client:  Autoproduzione per la mostra Hidden Heroes 

Brief:  Recycle figurines retrieved from the tradition of ceramic bowls from Bassano del Grappa, Italy.

Concepts:  Playing with a normally very serious archetype, the linear lamp. Freezing a moment of intersection between nature and man-made. 

Path:  An instantaneous idea (and solution).This object represents the initial idea, a linear lamp electrified, a resting place for the birds on top, as isusually seen on electricity distributionlines.

Thanks, DesignBoom!

Fresnel Stemware!

That’s right kids, Augustin Jean Fresnel would be proud!  Luca Nichetto Studios has produced a series of stemware and glasses made with the loving touch of Mr. Fresnel in mind!  From Luca Nichetto‘s website:

The Fresnel collection of stemware and glasses is distinguished by its three-dimensional decorative surface, which is derived from the Fresnel lens characterized by concentric annular sections designed for use in lighthouses as a means of radiating more light to assist with ships’ navigation. But this decoration is also functional, because it helps to increase the glassware’s resistance without compromising its slender shape or its proportions.

Awesome.  Check them out, I think they’re pretty cool!

Nice.

Augmented Reality with Processing – A Tutorial

Do you know what the Creative Applications Network is?  Do you know what Processing is?  I’ve written about projects done in the open-source DaVinci code-esque software called Processing on JOL, and here is another amazing project using that suite.  Check out this video:

The Creative Applications Network has put out a tutorial on this type of augmented reality presentation, and it’s pretty awesome!

About the video and the project you’re about to visit:

All of the visuals in the above video were created using NyArtoolkit for Processing. NyARToolkit is an augmented reality toolkit built with 100% pure Java. It is derived from ARToolkit-2.72.1. Like Processing itself it’s open source and free! In this tutorial you will learn how to use it to place computer generated imagery correctly onto real world footage. To do this in real-time NyArtoolkit uses markers – black and white images – to determine the three-dimensional position and orientation in the real world. Most likely you will have seen something like this before, but now you will learn how to do it yourself using freely available software.

Thanks, VJ.TV!

Travel Tips for Squints On the Wing

You know, it’s amazing at what we learn as we get older. I am always amazed. Well, I am actually amazed at more is the act that my dad is always right. always. About every little thing I have ever bitched about in my entire life, the old man is always right.

So: lesson learned, good dads are typically always right. Isn’t that just awesome?

[Hey dad, I just told the Internet that you were right.]

I’m 34. Something I learned just yesterday is that if I do my laundry the day before I leave, and have the mindset to actually get UP the day before and do it, I can pack the night before and not run around like a headless nightmare zombie chicken. Yeah, I went there.  I’ve been around the globe a few times.  Sometimes shit is just crazy like that. In learning this lesson, I also discovered that being a little more prepared to leave the house means that I don’t have to freak the cat out, I don’t have to leave in a big hurried sweaty mess, and hell – I even had time to grab breakfast on the way to the airport!!!

Did the sarcasm shine through with that last paragraph? Like I said, I am always amazed at how much I have to learn by applying to the School of Hard Knocks, but as I grow older, the stupid stuff seems to find its way to the bottom of the barrel.

Since I’m actually sitting on an airplane as I write part of this, it seemed to be a great time to share some of my hard-learned travel to for all of us lighting professionals who travel the globe as part of our office. When the world is your office, you have that many more places to lose your sh*t!

Let me preface this list with YES, there are always exceptions to the rules, and even more exceptions with suggestions. Your mileage may vary; but I find that your attitude can completely change the outcome of a situation that might have gone your way. Don’t forget that. I learned it the hard way many, many, many times!

There are lots of people who travel frequently as part of their daily work and read JimOnLight.com, and there are also a lot of people who read JimOnLight.com that are just starting out traveling as part of daily life in the business.  This post is for everyone.  If you’re a seasoned veteran traveler, leave a comment underneath this post.  If you’re one of the people just learning how to travel, leave a comment under this post!  I think we can all constantly learn from each other.

Buying Your Ticket

  • There are tons and tons of innovative ways to buy a flight online, and there are places that make predictions on whether a flight will generally go up or down in cost. Places like Kayak, Travelocity, Bing Travel (which used to be FareCast, a website that predicted whether a price would go up ro down), Expedia, Priceline (you know, Captain Kirk’s website with the badass who apparently beats the price down with bare fists, but eh) that give you rates on several airlines at the same time. Something I have found as of late if you’re booking your own flights is to check with the airlines’ websites. There are enough occasions that warrant checking the airline websites for prices that don’t get advertised in places that search. It does happen, it happened with this Delta flight I’m on now.
  • if you’re a student, professor, teacher, or an other kind of educator, you can get discounts on travel through Student Universe. Everyone knew this already though, right?
  • Something that doesn’t seem like it would be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised:  If you’re getting into this business or if you’re already established in this business and you don’t have frequent flyer numbers, which are free, for every airline, go sign up for frequent flyer numbers!  This is so simple to do, anyone can.  Go to each airline website.  Sign up.  Sign out.  Done.

Packing Carry-Ons, Carry-On Toolbags or Cases, and Checked Baggage

  • whether you’re traveling for a show, a conference, or just taking another leg of your tour on a plane, let me just say this: good Gerber multi-tools and Leatherman tools aren’t forty bucks anymore, so it’s not economical to leave them in your carry-on because TSA is gonna take it away!. Now sure, most airports have that little box where you can ship TSA contraband home, but my experience is that IF you get it back, you often don’t have time to stop going through security. I have NOT gotten back three. After that I just learned to not keep them in my bag. Same goes for Crescent wrenches, TSA’s word is that you cannot keep an 8″ adjustable spanner in your bag. You can have a 7″ spanner, but I have never seen a 7″ spanner. Go figure.
  • Be careful about your carry-on tool cases, I don’t know how else to say that.  What I find is that anything that could be considered a “tool” is better checked at the ticket counter.  This is not always possible, I know.  Even though a lot of things that you might have in your carry-on tool case might not fall on the list of TSA prohibited items, TSA gets pretty skitchy about anything sharp, pointy, or scissor-y.  Yeah, scissor-y.  I’ve had 4-in-1 screwdrivers confiscated from my tool case, somebody even tried to snag my Altman focus wrench.  I kinda threw a big fit about that, there is nothing about that wrench that is prohibited, but I suspect someone really wanted it because it looks like a cross.  But again, this is the same organization that told me in Toronto that “if you want a quick permanent four “S” on your passport, be publicly critical of the TSA.”  For those of you following at home, four “S” on your boarding pass means you’re on the list for extra security screening.  I was also told by the TSA manager in Toronto that the airlines actually make distinction on who gets marked with the dreaded SSSS on their boarding passes.

Dealing with the TSA

Folks, it’s not a false statement to say that flying has become a serious pain in the ass unless you have the money to fly Business Class all the time, which most of us don’t, or if you work for a company with a really generous travel budget. Down where the rubber meets the road in the industries, that’s not typically the standard. Again, YMMV, but there are other ways to fly Business class if you really wanna check it out.  What you’re paying for is the privilege of a nice seat and about 42% less airport crap.

  • Something to remember is that when you get to the airport is not the time to take up your rage of fire against the TSA and how it treats us as we fly, do that when you get home and you aren’t subject to the rules that the government has asked the TSA to put in place. Let me be clear about this: you’re not going to win against the TSA at the airport. the best thing to do is to be ready to smile, take off your belt and shoes, make sure that you don’t have anything stupid in your carry-on (you know what I’m talking about) and act like a human being. As much as I hate the way we’re marginalized while traveling, the people at your airport didn’t make the rules, a large portion of the TSA is human. However, there are also a large number of sadistic, power-hungry animals that work in the TSA, and if you find that you are mistreated, you should make notes, keep boarding passes, and lodge the complaint the official way and by contacting your congressperson upon your return home. Until then, keep in your head that airports are clusterf*cks of places, and that where will be some consternation on your part if you choose to be a jerk. You also slow it down for everyone behind you too!
  • Generally just remember this about the TSA: they do not have a lot of humor, it isn’t part of their gig. Situations in their world can be pretty hairy, and if you think your pissy attitude is going to persuade them one way or another, think of the few thousand people with pissy attitudes coming before you and the few thousand after you.
  • in order to file a formal TSA complaint – because if we have to follow their rules, so should they.  TSA’s own complaint website is a little innocuous, as they try to right off the bat to govern the things you can complain about by giving definitions.  Screw that.  Sometimes you have actually been affronted, and they need to be dealt with swiftly.  The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has some other ideas about filing that complaint, so check them out, too.
Flying Time

When you fly, obviously you’re going to spend anywhere from 45 minutes to 15 hours or more in a plane. If you’re on the way to a gig, use this time to be productive! I write a lot of blog posts on planes on my iPad with the WordPress app installed. Some planes even have WIFI now, although its usually more expensive than paying for WIFI at the airport. However, that little bit of WIFI can be the difference between getting things done and not getting them done. It’s your money, spend and save wisely, caveat emptor.

If you’re a traveling professional and you need some things to do on the plane, here are a few suggestions from the JimOnLight readership!

  • pay your bills online
  • catch up with emails
  • snore (which is sometimes what I do, sorry)
  • double-check paperwork against the plot
  • go over that presentation a few times to save your conference audience from boredom
  • blog!
  • catch up on some reading you’ve been neglecting
  • learn something useful to improve your life
  • solve the National Budget

Some other flying time things to consider, some informative and some hilarious:

  • FOOD:  if you’re not on someone else’s expense account, it’s going to save you from 20-30% on food prices.  For example, I bought an egg mcmuffin and a large iced coffee black on the way to the airport, and it cost me just over five bucks.  At the airport, the same order is $8.20.  See what I mean?  Generally this is the case all over the place in airports.  Besides – do you really need to eat right when you get to the airport?  Knocking this habit of mine off saved me 14 pounds over four months.  Pretty awesome, at least to me.  Grab a sammich or something before you get there; planning even a wee bit ahead when you’re on a budget and having to hit the airport will save you in the long run.
  • FOOD AGAIN:  This one is more of a courtesy thing more than anything – but taking a tuna, onion, and egg sub sandwich into a closed tube that people are going to smell your sandwich in for hours makes you an ass.  Sorry.
  • HEALTH:  airplanes are notorious for spreading sickness.  I mean, it’s like being in a cigar tube with a bunch of other people and breathing the same collective air.  Actually, it’s not LIKE that at all, IT IS THAT!  Keep some hand sanitizer in your bag, wash your hands, all that.  Use common sense, you can certainly get sick.  Something I always try to do, whether it’s more mental or actually working, is to try and eat really clean for the few days leading up to my travels.  I figure that if my body is strong, I’ll have a better chance of fighting off Airplane Nasty.
  • BOREDOM:  get yourself something to do while you’re waiting in lines at airports.  You will wait for a long time in long lines a lot of the time.  Who cares what it is, just as long as it keeps you occupied.  You’re going to do some waiting in your career, and mostly it’s going to be at the airport!

Well, I hope that all helps!  If you have tips and tricks for travelers, drop a comment into the post!

Thanks to Pleated Jeans and Jet Planes for the pics!

Software To Make Your Life Better

The title is a big boast, but it is the slogan of software program F.lux. F.lux is an application which adjusts the color temperature of your computer monitors based off of the time of day. Our monitors are designed with a daylight color temperature, however the majority of us rely on our computers outside of the daylight hours, and staring at daylight color temperature fixtures can negatively impact your sleep schedule. And we all don’t get enough sleep as it is!

F.lux Enabled

F.lux Disabled

F.lux allows users to pick any color temperature between 2700 and 6500K on desktop for daytime and nighttime respectively, with markers for common sources. On iPhone users pick between a list of common light sources including candlelight, halogen, and fluorescent. F.lux takes care of the rest.

F.lux is very compatible with fluctuating schedules as well, for example, if you have a nocturnal working schedule (here’s looking at you, Mouse!), you can set a daylight temperature for your nights, and an incandescent for day. Another way I find F.lux useful, is as an assistant lighting designer it is sometimes easiest to keep track of what is happening on the stage via computer. I set my monitor to a similar color temperature as the stage, so I can more accurately document the colors of different fixtures and cues.

The iPhone app hosts an interesting feature, “turn off for color sensitive work.” So far, I have not noticed it take effect, having opened applications such as camera, photos, and Photoshop Express. However it does seem like an interesting feature which they plan to port to the desktop applications. For the time being, you can easily disable for an hour at a time on your desktop, if you are doing work where exact renderings of colors are vital. There seem to be many more exciting features in store for f.lux to allow for even more precise and intuitive control.

My preferences for F.lux

F.lux specifies in the installation directions, “Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it.” How very true. F.lux feels so natural, I often forget I have it running until someone opens their laptop at a tech table next to me, and I am blinded by the glaring, icy light.

F.lux is available on most Mac, Linux, and Windows OSes. If you have a jailbroken iPhone, you can also join the party via Cydia. Download here.

A Sunshine Pill?

This is too cool not to be clever.  I saw this on Apartment Therapy yesterday – a miniature LED light that takes awesome liberties with the idea of sunshine and pills, and all with different locations and color temperatures!  I want a Bora Bora, please!

This little exhibit was done by Vaulot & Dyèvre for the MINIFLUX festival that took place over the week of December 8, 2011.  Pretty cool, check it out!

I wonder if these are “burp free” sunshine pills…

Wackity schmackity doo.

World, Welcome Daphne Mir to JimOnLight.com!

JimOnLight.com has grown beyond a point where Jim from JimOnLight.com can do it alone and still have a functioning body and mind.  Hahahaa, I have been trying, it’s freaking impossible!  I have dedicated JimOnLight.com to bringing you the best that the world of lighting can offer, and I’m adding another well-known personality to the site as a staff writer for your eternal enjoyment!  World, welcome Daphne Mir to the site – she’s going to be writing what she sees fit in the blogopshere about light, her experiences in life, and her travels worldwide!

Daphne is joining my stellar crew of excellent people who are dedicated to showing the world how important light is, and how we can enjoy it while learning about one of the most complex things in our universe!  Daphne is on Twitter as everyone’s favorite @lekogirl, and her personal blog at lekogirl.com.  You can reach Daphne now on the contact page and at daphne [at] jimonlight.com.

She joins me, Jax, and David in trying to take over the world of light!  Or, as I like to call us, three of the coolest mophos with glasses EVAR:

DAPHNE!  What are you doing right now???  Tell the world where you are, what you’re doing there, and what’s coming up!  GO!

Hello world! A couple years ago I sent Jim a link to a lamp illuminated by steeping a tea bag, and he posted it on JOL. I was so ecstatic that something I had discovered was being shared with the world. And now, I get to have that feeling ALL THE TIME!

I am a student at CalArts, and have just started a foreign exchange at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I am extraordinarily curious, and fascinated by the entire universe. I hope to both learn, and share knowledge of light in all its forms worldwide, in the vast space beyond, and even in new worlds created by artists like ourselves! If there’s something that you find inspiring, or want to know more about, give me a shout! I just bought a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, so I am ready to sleuth out solutions to your lighting curiosities and quandaries. As my new Scottish friends say, “Cheers, mate!”

Awesome.  Daphne’s first post is coming up tomorrow morning, so be sure to tune in and check it out!!!

WHOA! Timor Steffens Video Mapping for AMSTEL LIVE!

HOLY MOLY! Watch THIS:

That’s an Amstel Live 2012 video mapping dance interactive visual orgasm act featuring Timor Stephens.  HOLY SH*T!  Did you see how wonderfully the LED suits were programmed along with the other automated lighting and projections?!  I was mesmerized by those suits.  I had to find out more – they’re from a company called iLuminate.  They’ve been doing light-up suits all over the place!  Check out iLuminate’s video reel:

The production company is Tribe Company BV, and the rental company was a subsidiary of PRG, EML Productions Holland.  Beautiful work, EML!  The dancers are Timor Steffens, Alexandria Kaye, Catalina Paz Rendic Vasquez, Jonathan William Rabon, and Brandon Barton.  GREAT work!

I grabbed this image from Tribe Company‘s website of the Amstel Live setup, it’s such a great picture:

GAH!  This is AWESOMENESS!  Happy Monday, everyone!  What an awesome way to start it up!