RYAN ALEXANDER-TANNER is a Xeric Award winner, indie cartoonist, and self-publisher (Television). Now one of his next projects is sure to set tongues wagging. It’s a graphic novel in collaboration with William Ayers called To Teach: The Graphic Memoir and scheduled to be published in 2010 by Teachers College Press.
TOM: Let’s talk about your Xeric Grant first. What did you have to submit to get it?
RYAN: In order to get one you have to submit a finished - or at least close to finished - comic book. I had everything done except the cover when I submitted Television #1. You also have to get a really solid budget proposal together, which a lot of people understandably have a hard time with. I got some help from my great friend Alex Cahill - an earlier recipient of the Xeric - and Gary Grinde over at Morgan Printing - who is a friend to indie comics artists across the nation - and it really wasn’t too bad. That’s one of the great things about indie comics; it really is a small world so it’s pretty easy to reach out to people if you need some help. I would recommend to anyone who was applying for one to contact previous recipients for some sage advice.
If you’re a fan of the hit NBC reality series, “The Biggest Loser,” you’ve no doubt noticed that contestants wear a device called a bodybugg on the back of their right arm. The bodybugg is a biometric calorie management system available through 24 Hour Fitness, which uses four sensors to convert measurements of galvanic skin response, physical activity, and body temperature into a real-time measurement of calories burned throughout the day. Users wear the compact armband, which easily fits under clothing, over the triceps on their upper left arm - allowing you to take it everywhere you go.
According to the release, “No matter what activity a user is doing – washing dishes, playing with the kids or working out – the bodybugg calculates the amount of energy expended in each motion. Users then download their captured bodybugg data to a Web interface that tracks caloric measurements and helps them monitor their food intake and activity levels as they seek to achieve their fitness goals. The Web interface includes customized menus and a database of thousands of common foods to make calorie-tracking simple.”
Upgraded features of the new bodybugg system include:
- New sleek, contemporary look and 50% smaller size
- USB cable to upload data and charge the device
- Now both PC and Mac compatible
- A free six-month (previously only three-month) online subscription to the www.bodybugg.com Web interface for tracking progress and success.
The basic principle behind weight loss is simple: you just need to burn more calories than you take in; combining the bodybugg with it’s online services and adjusting your own personal choices based on its recommendations, weight loss may just become a little easier. Watch for a review in the near-future.
Read More | MarketWatch
Yeah, we know that tonight many televisions are going to be tuned in to the first National Debate between Obama and McCain, but that’s what DVRs are for, right? We mention it because we know you’ll want to catch History Hacker, which makes its debut tonight at 9 PM on The History Channel. Why should you care? Well, it stars my pal Bre Pettis, and the dude is a serious, true, hardware hacker. In the show, Bre aims to teach us about big tech advances from the past, recreating them with materials in his own lab. According to him:
It’s an hour long, so I have time to get into some projects to break down some of the principles that Tesla pioneered and fought for in the war of the currents. I make a neon bulb, AC generator from a bike and muck about with an old telephone magneto. I also go check out the power plant in the basement of the New Yorker and the space systems lab at MIT to see how the principles that Tesla pioneered are being used today.
See? Told you, he is the real deal. Seriously, set your TiVos.
Read More | History Hacker - Day Of
If you love the Simpsons, you have to love the limited edition iPod nano that holds 8GB. Only 2000 are available and each is numbered and personalized by laser for up to 30 characters. The music player lets you watch your favorite episodes, movies, podcasts, and music. The nano comes with earphones, a USB 2.0 cable Dock adapter, and stand at a price of $269.00. Other styles/sizes are also available.
Read More | The Simpsons Shop
How many buttons on your remote do you not use, or if you have, never will again because of the results? Yurii Smitana Perfilov has designed the sPult Channel Surfer to simplify things. The universal remote features a scroll wheel, a favorites selector, and volume, mute, and power buttons. That’s all. No numbers, no accidental sleep setting, no menu to get lost on. We can’t wait for the sPult to become a workable product and go beyond prototype status.
Read More | Yanko
SMK has come up with a prototype TV remote shaped like a water pistol. Power, volume, and channels are all controlled by the trigger. Click once for channel changing, two for on/off, and a click with a button push to change channels. Inside, there is an electromagnetic induction coil with a current of ~20 to 30mA when it gets going, high speed rotation gears, a power circuit, and an infrared light emitting unit. We hope SMK continues their energy-efficient research.
Read More | Far East Gizmos
Panasonic remembers the ladies, even though Mom’s day has passed, with their SV-ME70 and 75 portable, waterproof TVs. Both models feature 5-inch LCD screens that can not only handle a sloppy cook in the kitchen but can hang out with Mr. Bubble in the bathroom. The ME-75, at a size of 165 x 92.9 x 22.1mm, also has a 1GB SD card slot and can record up to 30 minutes of Sponge Bob Square Pants on its Li-ion battery. Both will be available in white or pink June 20 for ¥38,000 (~$380.00) and ¥45,000 Yen (~$ 450.00) respectively.
Take a look at Westinghouse Digital’s 40-inch 1080p Combo. The VK-40F580D HDTV has an optimal resolution of 1920 x 1080 with 16.7 million colors, an integrated front slot load DVD player, preset and custom video modes, and 2 HDMI inputs. It also features their Pixel Direct tech and SpineDesign side connectors. We actually caught a couple of Westinghouse’s displays recently and were pleasantly surprised that the company has its handle on something other than refrigerators.
Read More | Westinghouse Digital
Designer Giorgio Armani isn’t satisfied with a mere cell phone that features his name. He and Samsung presented his premium 120Hz full LCD HDTV at the Milan International Furniture Fair going on this week. Claiming that the inspiration came from his new 2008/09 Armani/Casa Home Furnishings Collection, the television comes in 46 and 52-inch models. Apparently his Brahms tea table was specifically designed to hold the TV. No price is available as yet, but we are still figuring out which came first, the TV or the table?
Read More | Luxury Launches
Today Adobe launched its new Media Player for the masses. With the AMP you can stream and download from their partners, such as MTV or Comedy Central. You can customize it to your taste as long as there is an RSS feed and has Flash or MPEG-4. You can also track and download episodes automatically and manage your videos for watching at your leisure whether you are on or off line. Fortunately, everything you acquire on the Air-based software is free and/or ad supported. Download the AMP from their site and enjoy!
Read More | Adobe