Starting to feel the desire to help fix the world again. Dammit.

Every now and then Sal Khan inspires me with some new video making me wonder why I’m not doing more to help educate the planet. Well he did it again DAMMIT! Or I did it to myself again… phrasing.  I watched Sal’s latest TED Talk and now I just want to spend every waking hour learning and teaching.

It’s kind of on all of us to make sure we don’t devolve into an idiocracy or dark age (too late?). What the hell is wrong with me?!?  Sal made a lot of sense discussing how ridiculous our current academic model looks from the outside. Martial arts and music have the right approach. master a level before you move on to the next. Right now we just group kids give them a grade and move them along even if they have holes in their understanding — you wouldn’t build a house this way.

Sal described our era as being the end of the industrial age and the beginning of an information revolution. When the industrial revolution came, many under-skilled workers were replaced by machines. The same is happening right now with robots replacing the more simple jobs like fast food and cab-driving. The lower level of workers will be replaced with automation. We have to strive for a society where education is the most valuable possession

Singapore. I’ve been there twice. I do think their devotion to education is incredible. The word education appears on their money! We need this here.

Khan is right about one thing for sure; you will have to take agency over your own education. You can do it with the internet as long as you have access.

More and more adults are discovering they can fill the gaps it their education with the khan academy. I think the Khan Academy should have a bumper sticker: “Replaced by a Robot? Go to the Khan Academy.”

Alright. Enough soap-boxing. I have to master Calculus so I can treat myself to some Luke Cage.

Documentary Christmas

I saw two great documentaries over Christmas Break.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness was a great peek into Studio Ghibli. I loved it. It’s on Netflix. Now I’m dreaming of the Miyazaki box set that just came out.

I watched Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (the guys who made all the Chuck Norris action films in the 80s. They also made Breakin, Masters of the Universe, Over the Top and about 400 other crappy films. But I remember going to the theater and watching a ton of them. Check out this documentary on Netflix too.

Anaconda. Me Love.


while teaching my python class I had decided I wanted to try out a Jupyter notebook perhaps. So I downloaded Anaconda because that’s what the site says. I love it…. It can switch between python 2.7 and 3.4 with a few keystrokes. I can demonstrate the way iterators are different in each version of python super quick.  LOVE IT. I’ll be able to test pyqt or pyside at the same time. Anaconda totally manages the environment and allows you to download and install packages off the web like pip does. it’s pretty amazing.

Using ffmpeg and pymel to convert videos for the hell of it.

So I guess .m4v video is the way to go for the web and everything. All of my old quicktime embeds are failing on chrome and edge.

Fortunately .m4v is the same as .mp4 and ffmpeg will convert them. All you need to do is put all the stuff you want converted into a folder and launch Maya!

Once you launch maya change the variable to point to your video folder


Working on My New Workshop for CGCircuit


Class Description

  • Do you want to learn Python in 8 weeks?
  • Do you want to learn how to create a PyQt/Pyside GUIs in Maya in 8 weeks?
  • Can you commit to doing a weekly assignment for 5-10 hours that builds on the previous week’s assignment?
  • Is NOT knowing Python holding you back in your career aspirations?
  • Do you not know a single thing about python?
  • Then sign up! This is the workshop for you!

Python is everywhere.
If you learn the basics here you can take them with you to other industries like web site development, game development, statistics and data analysis, science animation, etc.

In this course you’ll learn Python fundamentals that can be used in any python setting but also specifically using it inside Maya and PyQt/Pyside.

I consider myself a visual thinker-learner and it was difficult for me to grasp python initially. This is why I think Maya, a visual playground, is the perfect place to see objects when you are talking about learning an object-oriented scripting language.