Art by computer - the new medium - rivals every other art

Fractals in Everyday Life

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in Internet, Practical Math | 0 comments

The word fractal may sound scary, but in reality it is a word we should all be familiar with, as they are everywhere around us. Fractals, in the simplest of terms, are never ending patterns that are produced by repeating a process repeatedly. Fractals can be seen in various pictures, works of art, parts of the body, nature and more. They are simple to create, yet produce complex, intricate designs that are quite stunning. From the intricate pattern of blood vessels to computer generated photos, fractals can be applied to all we see and used to create amazing images.

To better understand fractals picture a shape, like a box, being slightly altered (say by removing a side), then duplicate the process, continually removing a line each time across a page. That is what a fractal is and how it is created at its base. There are literally thousands of ways to make fractals and each results in unique works of art that are symmetrical, yet multi-dimensional. Using fractals we can make objects, study certain areas of science, create technology and more. As the Math Form shows us, fractals like Pascals Triangle, which is seen mostly in Algebra, can be applied to areas other than math. Although fractals start off as lines and boxes, the end result is usually something quite different.

Andrew Hoyer explains in an article how various fractal designs are created. The Sierpinski Carpet, for example, is made by: “by dividing the original shape into 9 squares then removing the center square. This process is then repeated recursively for the other 8 squares.” Eventually, if you were to continue the process the whole page would be filled and appear white. Such a pattern can be seen in various architectural designs, computer and video game imagery and certain technological objects. AS Hoyer illustrates, fractal designs, such as the Koch Curve or H-Tree can make images that look anything but squared in nature and can therefore be used in any type of design.

Fractals can be used in our everyday life to improve and enhance our creations. Hoyer’s H-Tree, for example, is a fractal that can be used in the field of technology, as it’s shape can be applied to building antennae. This helps make new antennae thinner, slimmer and lighter in weight, which can be particularly useful when dealing with objects such as smartphones and laptops, which need tiny antennae to produce quality sound.

Fractals can also be extremely helpful in the field is science and medicine. As we touched on earlier, fractals can create and be seen in our blood vessels and pathways. By studying these patterns doctors may be able to come up with artificial grafts to help someone who is sick or find a deficiency or abnormality and correct it. Fractals can also be used to make and fine tune bio-sensor and other medical tools as well. Artificial limbs can be better enhance using fractals as well, as fractals can illustrate and teach doctors about fluid mechanics.

In addition to advances in technology and medicine fractals can be used in out everyday lives to create pictures that delight and entertain us. Fractals are both practical and pleasing to the eye. They create stunning visual effects that are fascinating and teach us about the beauty of math at the same time. Look up at the sky, at the beautiful clouds or admire a tree and you are appreciating the beauty that is fractals.

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Math and Web Design

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in Internet, Practical Math | 0 comments

Moth of us have a love/hate relationship with mathematics: we love what it can do, but we hate learning and using it. That is because math is viewed as an extremely technical, complicated process that many are intimidated by.  In reality it is actually a beautiful tool that helps us create some amazing things. Yes, it is technical in nature, but in application it can be both artistic and creative. This is especially true when it comes to math and web design. The two, when combined, allow for truly inspiring creations that would not be possible otherwise.

When you think of math, like most people, you probably think in terms of formulas and other mathematical applications, like division or addition. However, if you take a step back and look at math in terms of what those formulas produce, you will see that math is touched by art in every aspect. Look at the angles, degrees and shapes that is math and you will see art. You may not realize it, but every artistic piece you see has a mathematical base It is the equations that compromise mathematics that help us to create designs of all styles, particularly web designs. Adit Gupta, who wrote a piece on the relationship between math and web design, explained this theory with a quote from Aristotle: “The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry and limitation; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.”

Web design is largely comprised of layouts, making things such as symmetry and order a crucial part of the process. so it is easy to see the connection in those terms. Every web page you see is made up of multiple parts that are combined to make a page that may look unique and chaotic but is actually precise and controlled. If a web design was truly just thrown together without lining up edges or being balanced it would really look disordered and not as beautiful. Math makes it possible for a web designers visions to come to life. It may seem contradictory and in many ways the relationship is, but math spurs creativity instead of stifling it as many believe. As Gupta says in his article, math has been a part of design for centuries,as it plays a major role in architecture.

In the case of web design math is the backbone of what users will experience when they click on a page. Web design is another form of architecture, so the correlation is easy to see. Daan Weijers, who wrote an article on how web design uses math, showed how ratios, such as the Golden Ratio, make up the bulk of web design. The Golden Ratio (phi) is ideal for use in design and is seen in thousands of layouts as when it is applied to a rectangle it created the Golden Rectangle, which can be duplicated repeatedly. This is the design we often seen used in photo galleries, as it allows for symmetrical boxes to display images. this ratio can be applied to the whole page and in various sections, imparting a feeling of balance. Weijer’s example illustrates perfectly that math is everywhere in web design and has been for some time.

Those with an aversion to math in the field of web design will be able to further the artistic side of their work. It is not necessary t know every ratio and equation, rather all that is needed is to understand their practical application and how to use them. Once the notion that math and art work together is embraced it will open up numerous possibilities and give you a new perspective in how to design. Math and creativity are not mutually exclusive: they go hand in hand. Apart each can function quite well, but it is only when they are combined that their true limits are reached.

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Becoming a Web Designer

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Career, Internet | 0 comments

Web design is an extensive career field with many options for those in the major. Companies and individuals are constantly seeking to have the perfect website, but many can’t do it on their own. This causes them to hire a professional web designer to help them achieve their goal.

Web designers, or developers, are responsible for giving clients a visually appealing site with user-friendly features and easy navigation. With the growth of technology and the ever growing vastness of the Internet, the possibilities for upcoming and future designers is endless. In the year 2012, the average salary for a web designer was around $63,000.

Many website designers are freelancers and have built up their own client base. It’s one of the many options available to those who want to strike out on their own and be their own boss. Of course, dealing with clients and marketing yourself is not for everyone – for many people the security of working for others with those skills outweighs the benefits of being self employed.

In order to start a career in this growing field, it is highly recommended to have a bachelor’s degree in a computer related field. This could include computer science or information technology. It also helps to bring to the table your technical skills, such as graphic design and understanding aesthetics, and experience.

Building a portfolio of sites you have helped develop will make you all the more appealing to future clients or employers. There are also certifications you can earn, such as Certified Web Developer or Certified Internet Webmaster.

As a web designer, you’ll use HTML to turn an ordinary website that can be easily overlooked to one that is visually appealing to the reader. You will create a user interface through eye-catching graphics and possibly animated images.

You will determine which fonts and colors go together and how tot he layout of the site will be easy to go through for a user. Along with this, you will also work to make web pages accessibly for wireless devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This career will require you to keep up with technological updates and new techniques. While this career field will require creative skills, it is also a business field.

By designing these sites, you are representing the company, business or brand. Whether you enter this field as an independent contractor or as an employee within a company, to do well, you will need to have good communication skills.

You will have to interact with clients, fellow employees, and your superiors (if you work in a design firm) expressing ideas and sometimes working with others. This field can also be competitive – it’s definitely not easy money! Your work is judged by the people who view the sites you create, so make sure you always do your best work, for you never know who your next employer might be and who might see your sites.

An ideal web designer is never quite satisfied, and is constantly working to make their next website better. Being somewhat of a perfectionist can be an advantage!

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WordPress Design and What’s Next

Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Wordpress | 0 comments

I’ve been working on WordPress theme designs for almost a year now, and I’ve learned a lot along the way.  I’ve found that WordPress is a very flexible platform and is great for any skill level.  Of course the more time you put into your site, the more you uncover that can really rock your website.

There are now many plugins and widgets you can add to your site that aren’t necessarily going to distract your readers or potential customers – but will in fact enhance their stay at your website.  Even do the craziest thing – bring them back to see more later on.

Always, always make sure that your RSS feed is working.  I often subscribe to my own RSS feed so I can test to see if its working or if something isn’t coming through – or in a worst case scenario – it’s broken.  I can go in and get it fixed ASAP rather than wondering weeks, if not months down the road why my stats seem so low and conversions aren’t where they should be. Of course with Google Reader down this may or may not make us much of a difference these day.s

I’m curious about the latest trends with WordPress.  For quite some time there was quite a lot of press about Magazine themed sites.  I really do enjoy a well designed magazine theme and I have a couple of sites using Magazine themes to run my websites.  Now not all magazine themes are created equal and honestly not every site needs a magazine styled site.
When to use a Magazine style WordPress theme

You have an idea for a site that will incorporate multiple authors.  You plan that your site will be updated everyday – if not every day, then several times a week.  A magazine style theme works well when you want to showcase different topics – each having a little piece of the front page – a little exposure or a lot depending on where you place your topics.   You’re making your site look more like a magazine or newspaper – so keep that in mind when you do decide to use a magazine style theme.  They’re a lot more work than a straight-forward blog style.
When not to use a Magazine style WordPress theme

If you’re sitting on the fence about how much work you plan to put into your website, I would recommend staying away from a Magazine style theme.  They take quite a bit of work and it is possible to do it on your own, but you will also find that they can take a bit more work.

By work what do I mean? – often Magazine style themes have more images to upload, information to organize and updates need to be done regularly (because it will be quite noticeable to your regular readers what areas you don’t update often… which might appear stale and they won’t want to come back).  You have to invest in your site a bit more than having a regular 2/3 column theme with a regular blog styling.
What direction next?

Where do you see WordPress theme design going next?  I’ve been looking around and it seems as though we’ve hit a plateau for innovative new design styles.  It doesn’t mean that we aren’t being creative – but the Magazine-style was a very different way of looking at the way a WordPress blog was laid out.

What are you’re thoughts on the next wave of WordPress design?

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How To Keep Your Personal Information Safe

Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Internet, Online Safety | 0 comments

In today’s very fast paced, as well as, high tech world, one does have to constantly worry about the safety of their very sensitive data. It is as simple as that and yet not so easy a thing to guard. This is because there are lots of folks out there trying to steal your data or identity theft. If it hasn’t happened to you personally, it’s probably happened to someone you know. These kind of crimes are on the rise and threatening people more each day. Therefore, the best offense for this problem, is a good defense from the start.

If you set out to protect your most personal and precious information from the very start. This should keep you ship tight and lessen your chances of any identity theft happening to you. The best way to secure your personal data is by taking some measures to do it and these steps should be the very thing to keep all of your delicate and most valuable information safe and sound for the long term. In this article, there will be 10 tips, which should help you achieve the safe and sound that you do want and seek for your most personal of all information. These 10 tips are as follows. They are:

1. Make sure to place your financial documents and records up in a very safe place within your home. You should consider buying a safe with a high quality lock to put all of your most valuable of all documents into and keep it safely accessed only by you and your family members. If you work, it makes perfect sense, to put your wallet and or purse in area that is locked up and kept secure. This means that if you have a desk that locks. Put your wallet or purse in there for security. The very same can be said about an employee locker. Just make sure to get a combination lock and place it on the locker itself.

2. Create online passwords for your own protection and security that are very strong and hard for people to figure out or break into on the average. Usually, it is highly advisable to apply a password which does contain, a mixture of uppercase and lowercase number, as well as, for number and special characters all together in one very strong password. It is also advisable to make a password as long as you can make one to be. The longer the better and the safer from a solid password aspect.

3. Limit what you do carry whenever you go out and about from home or work. This means leave your Social Security card at home. Also, if you have to carry your Medicare card with you, do black out all of the numbers on a copy of the Medicare card, which you can carry with you except for the last few listed numbers of it. This is for your very own personal safety. Also, take only the identification cards, as well as, any debit cards you may need. Just only the ones you require and no more than them.

4. Before sharing any information at work, at a doctor’s office, your child’s school, or any business. Do ask them first why they need the information. Also, determine how well your information will be guarded, and remind them about any consequences if the information is shared without your consent or knowledge.

5. Do shred anything on paper that you don’t need any longer. This means any receipts for anything you bought, credit card offers, checks, bank statements, insurance forms, and any other similar documents that may contain any of your personal data on them.

6. Destroy and get rid of the labels on any of your prescription medicine bottles. Don’t share health plan info with anyone such as free health products or health services. Keep your health plan information to yourself overall to protect it and you.

7. Make sure to discuss privacy concerns and so forth with all of these who live in your home. This is because the issue of privacy is something that must be strongly maintained and everyone in your home should follow it to the letter. Everyone should know and understand there just isn’t information that isn’t appropriate to be given out over the phone. This should especially apply to children. The very same should apply to using a computer, tablet, smart phone, or other electronic device.

8. Make sure to check first for privacy on anything from websites to sales materials to any forms that you may need to fill out and give personal information to as a result. If there are websites that do claim to go along with the established voluntary standards for privacy. Do make sure to read them and confirm it yourself. It is better to be safe than sorry later on.

9. Make sure to get a copy of specialty consumer reports. It is pretty much like being able to get a copy of your free credit report from Equifax, Experian, or Transunion. The same law that is set up to help you get a free copy of your credit report each year, can also, help you to get a copy of specialty consumer reports as well. Therefore, do make sure to get a copy of these, if only to check out the data that is on them.

10. When you order yourself new checks. Do make sure to have a mailbox that does have a lock on it. If you don’t have a mailbox with a lock. It is better to order your checks through the bank and pick them up yourself as opposed to ordering any checks online or through the mail with the check offers that companies do advertise in circulars, newspapers, and such.

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