Random musings

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I saw The Dark Knight last Thursday at the local IMAX. One of the best movies I've ever seen, and I thoroughly believe Heath Ledger should posthumously receive Best Actor. I also felt the background music was incredible. My favorite you can sample here by playing song #1. You can feel the darkness envelop you. Definitely see the IMAX version since Nolan (aka Mr. Memento) filmed 28 minutes of it using IMAX cameras. I had to get in line an hour early since it's selling out like crazy, but it was well worth it.

The latest New Yorker has a fascinating article on how our brains produce insight: that "aha!" moment when you spontaneously figure out a solution. Sadly this article, "The Eureka Hunt" isn't online -- at least not yet. The trick is a delicate mix of concentrating on a problem, all left brain, but then relaxing or placing the problem set into the background so your right brain can produce that flash of insight. This background processing is key, and is why so many insights occur when you aren't actively analyzing the problem. Taking a shower, the scientists note, is a great way to induce this kind of relaxation.

I've had a yucky cold the past few days. I've never been good at sitting around waiting to recover so this has been a very trying time. But I'm getting in a lot of good reading. :-)

If you're ever in Durham, I encourage you to check out Blue Corn Cafe. Their creations always excite your taste buds -- even when you have a cold. Also, while in Durham, check out Rue Cler which is now one of my favorite restaurants.

Much has been written about Randy Pausch and his death a few days ago. If you haven't seen his Last Lecture then definitely watch it now.

I'm unbelievably excited about Curio 5. While admittedly somewhat biased, I do think it's pretty awesome. (Another teaser: embedded, interactive WebViews.) Its grand debut is right around the corner so stay tuned!

Update: Arg! I forgot that we already mentioned WebViews in an earlier blog posting. Okay... let's see. Do expandable/collapsible lists and mind maps whet your appetite? :-)

Curio in action

Thursday, July 10, 2008

George and I have been buried in Curio 5 code for months now, but now we're starting to work on the other aspects of Curio 5's upcoming release such as the documentation and the new website design (being a two person company, we have to do it all). Yesterday, George's internet connection was down, so he brought the laptop over to my office/home and we had the opportunity to work side-by-side for a change.

George is working on the new website and he used Curio to mockup a bunch of different design ideas. It was a lot of fun to watch Curio in action and to once again realize what a great tool it can be. It was remarkably simple for us to throw some ideas together and then tweak them until we were both happy. In the end, he knew exactly how he wanted the site to look and he had stored several links to various websites with sample code available to help him write the javascript and HTML code necessary to make it a reality.

That's exactly the kind of brainstorming we had in mind when creating Curio. The new site is going to be awesome, too!