ZoomifyImage ported to PHP

Wes Wright has ported Adam Smith‘s ZoomifyImage processor from Python to PHP. This is a tool that lets you convert images to a format that can be viewed using the flash based Zoomify viewer.

Wes gave me the go-ahead to write a bit about his work on this and put it up for download. Additionally, I’ve modified the scripts I had originally written that used the python tools so they work with Wes’s ZoomifyFileProcessor class.

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Liminal Engagement

suspensionNext time you are on Church Street in downtown Burlington, be sure to swing by the Firehouse Gallery and check out the latest installation. I’ve been peeking in the windows at this one for a while now. We finally got a chance to check it out when we were next door at the farmers market in City Hall Park last weekend. I also got to try out my new lens – you can see more of the results in my photostream, tagged with liminalengagement.

The installation is a wonderful excursion in shape and texture. You can stand in certain places in and around it to get different views. Curves of chain link fence, with thousands of plastic cups and strings hanging down, each weighted with small stone, is reminiscent of surf crashing in on itself.

I was once again struck by the friendliness of the person who greeted us as we came in. This was reinforced when I overheard her talking to someone who had come in looking for a job. She briefly explained that the bulk of the work was to take the intimidation out of walking into an art gallery.

U.S. RemedyBut wait, there’s more! Upstairs was a collection of pottery and ceramic work, including a really cool piece by Susan Maloney, “U.S. Remedy”. It’s a weathered vertical briefcase that is open to reveal rows of white porcelain bottles, each stamped with a gold dollar sign seal. Between that and the views of lake champlain, it’s definitely worth the walk up the stairs.

The Firehouse blog has more, but don’t put it off too long. The installation is only there until June 2nd. Who knows how long the stuff upstairs will be there.

Update: Over on the Stuck In Vermont blog, Eva Sollberger has a great set of videos from the opening, including discussions with the artist, volunteers who helped put it together, and mini interviews with visitors. Good stuff!

Community art, just around the corner

Walking home this evening, we were pleasantly surprised by a new set of murals hanging on the fence up the street from our house. The big green fence that sits on the corner of North and North Union is now covered almost entirely with art signed by local youth organizations. Below is one of my favorites. There was a news truck (channel 5?) just leaving as we approached, so if you’re up till 11, maybe you can catch the back story on this one.

space invaders painting

Forget Darth Vader

Henry Rollins is on Twitter. Sweet. (via Laughing Squid)

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Local newspaper closing

I heard on the radio this morning that the Vermont Guardian is closing it’s doors. This is a sad day for local, independent news. Still, maybe there’s a chance it’ll be back. Shay Totten, the paper’s co-founder, editor, and publisher suggests this is a possibility:

“I hold out some hope that we can find someone to manage and run the website as a news organization,” said Totten.

Here’s hoping that someone else can step up and fill some big shoes.

A new home for a great service

The folks behind Twitter have found a new home for Odeo. If you haven’t seen it, Odeo is one of the most underrated tools on the internet. There is no easier tool out there to publish, create, and syndicate audio. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

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Anti-social behavior, and complacency

“…many people don’t have the social skills to notice how offensive they’re being. But even the people who are quite social and competent misbehave and, furthermore, they support a culture where this misbehavior is acceptable. I don’t exclude myself from this criticism.”

Neither do I. He’s talking about geek culture, but this is something that is common throughout our society. An insightful and fascinating interview with Aaron Swartz. (via)

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A small local gallery with a nifty gift shop

My special lady friend and I were walking up North Street on our way back from a waterfront photowalk, when we stumbled on a little art gallery called the Kasini House. The staff person there was really friendly, and explained that they get a lot of artists from Montreal (in fact there is an opening this Friday that sounds interesting), and that they were a fairly new gallery. She also pointed out as we were leaving that they publish the Art Map Burlington, which I gather is the official guide to the First Friday Art Walk.

I was most impressed by the gift shop appropriately named ArtShop. The sales associate explained that it was geared towards providing original works of art at affordable prices, and at the same time giving local artists another outlet. Most museum and gallery gift shops I’ve been to have a somewhat canned inventory, consisting of prints and prefabricated knickknacks. This was about as far from that as I’ve ever seen – a much more interesting and eclectic collection, and at, well, gift shop prices. Really, an original store. I think I enjoyed it even more than the gallery itself. You can get some idea of what they have available via their online store, but you should really stop by and see for yourself if you are in the area.

Stephen Lewis on Global Health

It sounds like I missed a heck of a speaker the other week. Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, presented the keynote address at a Global Health Conference at Saint Michael’s College.

You can get a taste of his style by poking around YouTube. I’m going to try and keep an eye out for another event of his, even if it means traveling a bit to get there.

Saturday May 5th (Tomorrow!) is Green Up Day

If you are in Burlington, it looks like the most detailed information can be found on CEDO‘s site:

This year, the City of Burlington has five registration sites for these community clean ups:

  • ECHO/Waterfront Park, 1 College Street
  • Flynn Elementary School, Corner of North Avenue and Starr Farm Road
  • Barnes Elementary School, 123 North Street
  • University of Vermont Green, South Prospect Street and Colchester Avenue
  • Maltex Building, 431 Pine Street at the intersection with Howard Street

Registration begins at 9:30 am. Green up will be from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

There is a group of us meeting at Pomeroy Park at 10:00 to focus on our area.

I couldn’t find a comprehensive listing of meeting places across the state. It looks like the local papers and state sites have the goods. See the Brattleboro Reformer, the Addison Independent for some more listings.

Tomorrow is also “24 Hours of Flickr“, so bring your camera, and post some photos when your done! I’ll be tagging all my green up day shots with greenupday07.

It’s also Cinco De Mayo. I couldn’t find any Burlington events around this – know of any?