I wanted to post a fun little project that I've been revisiting from time to time. A few years back I found a collection of high-resolution Earth textures, which I dropped onto a sphere and rendered what I thought was a pretty convincing planet. Every few months since then, I've pulled up the file, tweaked it a little, and rendered out a new version that's a little bit better than the last. My most recent attempts are the two large images at the bottom, but I'm sure I'll continue messing with this and see if I can't make it even better.
Happy new year, everyone! If you're reading this it means you're looking at an updated website. I figured I would fix this up while I have the time so it doesn't look quite so out of date when people visit it.
Like most of my holiday breaks, I tried to make this a productive one. Unlike most of them I succeeded in that! By which I mean I did about half of what I had planned instead of none of it.
Aside from updating the website, I finally finished some artwork and posters, did a good bit of reading, and even some writing. I wanted to share some of this with you all as a way of making progress more tangible, and helping myself get more comfortable with putting content out there.
A lot of these were unfinished pieces that I finally got around to completing. The first two are educational posters that I would like to be able to sell for use in classrooms, or personal decoration. I still don't know what the best option is for that, but I'm looking into it. If you're interested, let me know!
These next three are a little more personal in nature. I would love to make the Bird Thing and Darth Vader images into shirts, though I'm sure there's tons of licensing issues with the latter.
Reading is something that I'm finally getting back into. I thought it would be nice to share some of the books I've been absorbed in over the break.
After The Martian by Andy Weir, my life was lacking in hard science fiction. Wool had a ridiculous number of ratings and great reviews (over 11,000 ratings and 4.5 stars), and it wasn't long before I was getting the sequels, Shift and Dust, and devouring those too. They're well written with a lot of twists, though a bit more dystopian than I had hoped. Fortunately, the focus is really on the characters with a lot of philosophy on human nature.
Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein
The edition I received is the 100th Anniversary edition. I've been wanting to read Einstein's Special and General Relativity for a while, and with the anniversary in November it seemed an appropriate time. This was a Christmas gift so I'm still working my way through it. It's surprisingly short and not-so-surprisingly dense, but in a good, brain-wrinkling way!
50 Stories by Nicholas Sailer
I wanted to give a shout out to my friend and former classmate Nicholas Sailer, who wrote a short story every day for a year and published his book A Story Each Day. 50 Stories is a selection from the larger volumes, and has been a great read (also still working through this one). The stories are short and varied, which makes them great for a quick read at lunch, or a longer session in the evening. Knowing Nick personally has made this feat even more inspiring, and I look forward to seeing what he does next!
Star Wars The Force Awakens: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka
It's a young adult novel. It's about Star Wars. I read the whole thing in two nights and loved it. I think it really benefits Finn and Poe, giving their characters more depth and backstory that was lacking in the film. Having more of Rey is just icing on the cake! Be forewarned: it's a very quick read.
That's the holiday update! My plan is to do an update each week, sharing some of what I've been working on, including artwork, writing, and hopefully some other side projects, so stay tuned and don't be afraid to prod me for more. We could all use a little encouragement sometimes!