Some help might be useful

I was out taking a walk through the neighborhood this morning and came up with an idea that, unusually for me, isn’t a crazy idea and most likely won’t lead to my financial ruin so I figured it was worthwhile to follow-up on it.

The city of Saint Paul has an official beautification project to put sidewalk poetry on newly built or replaced sidewalks throughout the city. The northern section of the St Anthony neighborhood, where I live, is no exception to the placement of these poems and it makes for a nice treat to see one while out and about. It occurred to me that it would be nice to have a handy map of such items, and of course the city does have such a map but it is separate from the maps that other cities and organizations maintain of similar art features and doesn’t include something like the Humpty Dumpty sculpture which is private yard art just a few blocks away from my house.

It seemed to me that coming up with a database of such features that user’s (or creators) could submit to easily with associated applications to be able to find local public art would not be much of a project to get off the ground or possibly even to maintain, and that it’s probably something that I should just see about doing.

The problem, as is so common with projects like this, is that all of the obvious domains that I could come up with for the project are already taken or are prohibitively expensive to purchase. So the help I need is to come up with a domain name to use that is available. Ideas?

(I’ll post other thoughts about my plans for the features for the site and apps later, though I would be interested to hear what other people think about the concept and how they might use it.)

My creative output in the wild

It is quite the coincidence that over the last week two of my creative projects have appeared in large public spaces. It’s a little weird honestly since unlike some of my friends pretty much I do almost nothing with the express purpose of getting broad public exposure and by and large it all hides in entirely deserved obscurity. The few times that I have attempted to elevate my work to more public status has failed entirely which only makes these next two items all the more strange.

The first, and strangest, is a project that I put together on a whim for a room party at Icon 27 in 2002. For some bizarre reason I had the thought that it would be cool to do Stonehenge, or at least standing stones, in rice krispie treats. The results were actually fairly good, though the photography of the project was only so-so. Fast forward to a couple of months ago and imagine my shock to have someone from The Smithsonian Channel contacting me about getting rights to include one or more photos in a small project they were putting together to highlight the various ways that people have payed homage to the best known standing stones in the world. Bring that forward to last week when they sent me a link to the finished segment and mentioned it was going to air this past Sunday (9/21/2008) and today, lo and behold, here it is:

The second project is one where there was expectation of public display, but I don’t think it ever really occurred to me quite how much fun it would be to see the completed work. If you have been hanging out with me recently or been following my Twitter stream you have probably heard me mention my resurgent interest in LEGO and starting to get involved with the local LEGO enthusiast community in the form of TwinLUG (Involved enough to volunteer to host and maintain the group’s website). At he August meeting one of the other members proposed that we work on a group project where we put together a city built entirely of LEGO parts. We eventually agreed on some basic common design specifications and the initial results were assembled at this month’s meeting and then taken to the LEGO Imagination Center at the Mall Of America and installed in one of the displays that is reserved for community projects. Yesterday evening J, S, M, K, and I headed down to take a look at the installation and I am really happy about how oddly proud I was to see my contributions sitting in that case among the other great models. One of the really great things about a group project like this is that it’s the perfect showcase for different building styles and techniques since a real city is so often such an eclectic agglomeration of materials and styles from the imaginations and influences of so many different people. If you do have a chance to go and see the display it is in the NE corner of the store on the outer wall of the Duplo section. Since it’s on an outer glass wall you can see pretty much everything even though it’s configured to be best viewed from inside. I built the dark gray memorial, construction site, and (mediocre) apartment building sections.