September 21, 2008

Making textures with GIMP

Create a new image . Fill it with your favourite colour .

Add some noise , HSV, RGB whatever , depends on the kind of texture you are aiming for .

Add some bump and you are done

Play with the settings , Azimuth, elevation and depth , and create variations to the texture .


Some quick textures using this technique . Play with filters to get better results .

September 07, 2008

Would you give up on meat ?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Shun meat, says UN climate chief

It's very rare when the UN tries to influence what we eat but it seems we hav come to a juncture where even the UN which has takes a back seat on the worst possible tragedies also wakes up and feels it is important to make a statement .
A kilogram of meat ,from a cow or similar animal, requires approximately 8 kgs of feed , a kg of chicken requires about 3 kgs . Quite naturally this vegetable fees has to grow somewhere , so it either is grown in arable land or forest land that is cleared to make room for growing it . Every acre of forestland cleared amounts to a significant amount of carbon that was sequestered being released into the atmosphere . Also the gut of the livestock produces a high volume of methane , a greenhouse gas worse than carbon dioxide , so when they said that sheep farting in Australia caused the ozone hole , there was a lot of truth in it .
Besides there is a significant amount of hormones and other chemicals being pumped into the animals to produce more and produce fast and to remain disease free in cramped conditions that are conducive to disease .
And if anyone had any misconceptions that animals reared for slaughter have a great life , check up a local abattoir to see for yourself .

I eat meat and I would not tell anyone not to eat meat but for one's health , for the health of the planet and for the sake of the poor animals , it is best to consume lesser meat .

September 06, 2008

Soap nut

My plans to reuse as much water as possible for secondary uses has always had an achilles heel when it came for water from the laundry and from the dishes . We have been using "Ecover" products for cleaning but somehow I never felt safe enough till yesterday . We did our first batch of laundry with the Soapnut or Reetha as it is known back home in India. The shell nut of the Sapindus Mukorossi has a natural surfactant which like in synthetic soap breaks down the grease that hold the dirt and cleans the laundry . My mother used Reetha as a natural shampoo . Now I learnt that it is an effective natural substitute for detergent leaving no harmful residue , just pop in a couple in a cloth bag with the laundry . I am told a kilogram of the stuff gives upto 400 washes and locally it costs about 120-140 shekels a kg . That is not too bad even economically , much cheaper than the Ecover detergent that costs nearly a shekel and half per wash . The laundry came out the way it should ; clean , soft with a very gentle clean smell , nothing like the olfactory attack that comes from a normal detergent . Friends of ours have been using it for cloth diapers for their kids and are happy with the results . Apparently one can brew soap out of it that can be used for all cleaning purposes .
Here are other things you can do with it .

September 03, 2008

Sweet naive smokers

I am not a smoker and I don't condone smoking but there is something so sweet about Monk and Ron Carter . No wonder smoking was so chic at a certain time .