hey, if anybody wants to get in touch with me, my phone number these days is 510 236 1865 and my email address is richard808 at gmail dot com
cellphone 510 219 4255
social security number is ... yeah, right.
i'm gonna be real impressed if somebody has figured out a robot that's clever enough to turn any of that into a spam addressee address.
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A Principal at Frog's, now Emeritus; and an Author: published and unpublished copyrighted works in text format.
Chief Creative Officer at GetSkilz Inc (better open that one in a new window) and the originator of FrogOJT
Update 2004: I wrote out the FrogOJT/GetSkilz method as a Proposal for Veriflo division of Parker Hannifin. I called it FrogOJT2004
Update 2006: HowTo Movies studiously watched form the basis of a System of Human Capital Accounting. I called this Beancounting What They Know.
Update on the Process of Public Art 2006: The Public Art Armature. Here is a presentation to the Belmont CA City Council, with twelve linked illustrations. Some of the pictures show Elliot Katz 's "Cells" sculpture.
Want a quick skating lesson? Andre Lacroix shows you how, in a Quicktime video. Check out Skating Forward (might take a minute of two to download)
Here's the cover of Skating Unrinked in Black and White.
Here's one webpage with all updates to skating trails domestic and international I find out, or can think of, or hear about; nowhere near as rigorous as the published work, but perhaps befitting to an electronic medium, i.e. a website. Websites can be anywhere from uptight and stupid (most "corporate" websites, totally lacking information) to blogs (weblogs, full of information and ... well, you've got to read one or two to see what's the good the bad and the ugly about blogs.)
2006 Let me add a few thoughts here, commenting on these early articles:
The second article doesn't call much attention to the careful attention that must be paid to the oxygenation of the culture of Candida utilis yeast. The first article laid great stress on this, and carefully laid out a method by which adequate oxygenation could be achieved. (like Stanislavski, I don't believe in The Method; but I duly and truly believe that one must have a method, whether it be Acting or Science that one is engaged in.) This is a real failing, a failing that is all too human. You just lose the important lessons along the way. The previous paragraph, the one supra about "... Chance put his stamp of approval on as a coauthor ..." makes it sound like everybody else is some kind of a dumbass, not to recognize this great Lesson of Keep Yer Oxygen Up! But it's pretty obvious, from an inspection of my own two publications, that even the discoveror himself falls victim to this kind of carelessness, right away. How could I expect other biologists to give a damn about oxygenation, when I forgot to mention it myself, ie took it for granted, just like all the rest of them did, and still do?
Tell you what, though: I'm going to find some kid, some high school kid, and I"m going to talk him/her and his/her parents into doing the oxygenation experiment for a high school science project. The kid will set up cultures of yeast in nephelometric culture flasks with side arms (from, say, Bellco); which are being cocultured on a shaker with some Vibrio (nee Achromobacter) fischeri in , say, seventy percent seawater; and using a video camera you make a movie of the luminescence extinguishing from asphyxiation. You show that movie in fast forward, with an analog or digital clock face in the frame at all times, you've got a PUBLICATION. That would be the first scientific publication on YouTube.
GetSkilz Inc applied to the Defense Advanced REsearch Projects Agency = DARPA for some money to use short unadorned digital video sequences as the stimulus for cognition research DARPA is interested in. Particularly, it's research that Professor Britton Chance is spearheading. Here's our Proposal and Application for 2003. That proposal mentions something about cutting boards, the things you use to cut meat and veggies in a kitchen. Wood good; plastic bad. Here's a pdf that proves that once and for all (i.e. that wooden cutting boards dissolve bacteria and plastic cutting boards grow bacteria). Save some time here; just look at a quick jpg of the relevant data showing that wooden cutting boards ace them bugs (from Dr Cliver's lab, when he was in Wisconsin; now at UC Davis.)
I tried to teach that, about the cutting boards, as a canonical Experiment, to some high school students. Now that was a Big Project: I went to all the trouble of getting certified as a teacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, headquartered in Richmond, California, just so I could get access to some students, so I could see what the real deal is with learning & teaching. I signed up to teach biology, but ended up taking over classes in everything from English to Computers to Chemistry to ... well, hell, one day, at Portola Middle School in El Cerrito, I was The Principal! No kidding! I was actually sitting in the Vice Principal's office, but the Principal was ALSO gone for the day unexpectedly, and I did a great job (everybody said) of administering the school that day. Lots happened; maybe some day I'll write a little history of that. But suffice it to say, that what I really had in mind as The Teacher was first, to see if showing VHS videos to the kids is a good way to teach (answer: by actual count, there were always zero kids with their eyes on the screen); and second, that the kids are not learning any science. They don't know what an experiment is, despite their rote lessons in the Scientific Method and their little exercises doing "experiments". But, they are interested in Rap Music. Very interested. So I wrote some Rap Lyrics about cutting boards. It's called Bad Bugs. My kid, Abe, said he's gonna set it to a beat. He tells me that the guy who does that part is called The Producer. Yay Abe.
Oh, and while I was at it, it occurred to me that short unadorned digital video sequences were brainfood, i.e. an exogenous substrate for whatever reaction is being catalyzed by the brain. These exogenous sequences get processed by the brain in a mysterious fashion; similar (?) endogenous sequences are the stuff of which dreams are made; right, The stuff that dreams are made of, like Sam Spade said. I made a picture of that. It's the DARPA/IPTO/AugCog logo with the additon of some unspooled movie film on the brain part and a roll of paper computer tape on the circuit board side; not a bad piece of digital art. Unspooled movie film is something you might want to think about. It's actually a jpg of a Pinkerton hat, bought from Bill KNudsen proprietor of Golden Gate Western Wear of San Francisco and Richmond. The Art is inspired by Commander Dylan Schmorrow of DARPA/IPTO/AugCog, who gave a speech somewhere, that I read on the net here, and he said he had a hat out in the car that did some remarkable things for your cognitive abilities. Well, actually he just said that he would have that hat one of these days.
(Shifting into truckdriver mode here for just a second, I'd say, "Now see, look: There's lots of ways to do this, but this here is the way I do it," referring strictly to the rigging job on the camera, using two shroud cleats from Johnson Marine of San Jose CA bought at KKMI chandlery in Point Richmond. That there [wait a sec, gotta shift back out of truckdriver mode here, there we go], that is a trucker's way of being nonthreatening. I'm going to concentrate in future on variations of that "... this here's the way I do it ... " phraseology; how can anybody get pissed off at you when you put it like that, eh?)
Putting on the gentleman scholar's cap, once again, and puffing on the old meerschaum: One little thing I've noticed is the disconnect between the written language and the spoken language. This is very pronounced in a school, like a high school for instance. You ask the kids to read something to you, from a book, and it sounds like a foreign language; but if you ask them a question, or just talk to them, it's obvious that they are native speakers of English. If you ask them to read something to you, most of them simply refuse to do so. If you insist on it, they'll read it (they can all read pretty well, by the way, despite what you've read in the newspapers) but it will be halting. If you make them read it, out loud, several times, it transmogrifies into something that starts to sound like English. That is a major breakthrough for the one who is reciting, by the way. Changes his/her life, I've noticed. (Doesn't matter what the book is; Shakespeare even.)
Now, generalizing on this just a bit, look at books on How to Sail. Sailing Fundamentals, for example, by Whatsisname; or Learning to Sail, by the other Whatsisname. Big names. Guess what? The disconnect between written and spoken language is nearly complete with these dudes and their publishing houses. The word "grind" simply does not appear. On a boat, the ONLY word that is used to refer to operating the deckwinches is "grind". 'Nuff said; but let me throw in just for good measure that the only word used to refer to operating of of them there winches, on a boat, is the word "grind". And "grinding". And "Grinder." Let's e'en give it a name worthy of such a grand concept: Study_Grind. That there, that's what we call "literary", see? Go ahead, explicate that all you want. It's definitely worthy of it.
It's about Fujitsu and Staples and shows a store with people standing around gabbing.
A picture of An Insanely Great Sculpture by Alan Rice and Richard Katz entitled Soap.
A series of pictures of Al Rice cast aluminum sculptures from the 1970s
A Picture of Richard in 1969 with an essay on doing experiments.
A Picture of Richard in 1995 . A headshot, with no explanation whatsoever.
A Picture of Richard with his 1959 White Diesel eighteen-wheeler, hauling a whale up to the Lawrence Hall of Science in the 1970's; with an essay on context and inflection entitled "Just Freight". Here's a movie of it, running
That model of truck - the "HiCab" 5000 by White Motor Truck Company of Cleveland, Ohio - was known as a Japanese White. It was (and still is) the only tractor ever made that was made entirely out of Fibreglas. That was (and to some extent this still is) the era of the Corvette; the deeply sculpted "look" that the designers got from the fiberglass was admired by hotrodders and hotshots of all stripes. The truck had a naturally aspirated Cummins 220, so an amateur (like me) could take it out and haul 80,000 and not punch a hole in the side of the block the first time out.It takes a mile or two until you learn how to keep your R's up in the real world, even on flat ground like they have a lot of out in California's Central Valley where I went to haul tomatoes in 1976. Going up steep hills and then down the other side, though, with eighty grand of truck pushing you as hard as it can, that's definitely best left to the professional drivers. And one way or another, I became one.
The screenplay I-5 is about the trucking business, and about nuclear finance. When I was in the trucking business, we hauled a lot of big outdoor sculptures (which inspired Sculpture - A Short Story some years later.) One big outdoor sculpture gets hauled to LA in the screenplay, I-5. In the real world, I worked on a big sculpture that's for sale right now (October 1997). Take a look at
An Insanely Great Sculpture by Alan Rice and Richard Katz entitled Soap.
Two more pictures of Richard Katz hauling stuff around on the back of a truck. The Indo Arch on a truck; and here's the Indo Arch as it stands today and possibly forever at 16th and K Streets in Sacramento CA. Here's a scan of a color print of Hauling Tomatoes circa 1976. That picture is a little hard to interpret. Don't worry about it.
Here's something else Alan Rice and I built, something completely different. It's a forklift trailer , which Alan and I built from the elevator cab from that same soap factory. Alan never ever signed his work. I asked him to sign this one. He grabbed his welding rod and while I thought he was inscribing his name on the back bumper, he wrote Frogmobile on it. That was back in about 1980 or so. Twenty three years later, Harold Harbarth of Berkeley came into possession of this forklift trailer (different view in this picture) and "restored" it, or reconditioned it, as Harold puts it. So Harold gets a lot of credit here, including credit for the pictures (which I scanned into jpg's. More credits: Gunther of Gunther's Welding in Richmond made the pedestal in the front end, and the ramps (fashioned from the frame rails of a Utility flatbed), and attached the axle, and fashioned the inside out wheels (to increase the width between the tires, so you could haul an ungodly big forklift with it), and aligned that axle with so much toe in that even though it only has one axle it runs true down the boulevard; and John Woods contributed the front axle, from a garbage truck. Good choice; any truck front axle can haul eight thousand legally, as I recall, but the fact is that this sumbitch could probably handle twice that much and not even grunt, as long as you didn't run'er too hard nor too fast and overheat the tires. The only thing lacking here is a picture of this trailer with a forklift on it. It used to look pretty classic when it was out there hauling Tree Frog Trucking's 1948 MotoLift. 'Course, we never painted it. We never painted anything. Harold Harbarth, on the other hand, wouldn't have anything to do with any vehicle that wasn't nicely cherried out. Wish I was like that.
Here's another sculpture for sale, not too expensive all things considered: Minimalist Tree by Paul Horesby
Speaking of sculpture, my kid Jason Katz-Brown does some mean origami. Here's an original. and here's bear12_37_AM5_31_99.html, BlueShark4_00PM5_30_99.html, Dinosaur4_10_PM5_30_99.html, dragonPtA12_37_AM5_31_99.html, eagle4_20_PM5_30_99.html, stegosaurus12_37_AM5_31_99.html, and turtlePtA12_31_AM5_31_99.html. He's gonna try and put them for sale on ebay.com. You'll have to link to ebay.com on your own. don't want to lose you right now.
An essay about Frog's and Writing-- Written a long time ago, as you can see, and now surprisingly anachronistic
Once upon a time, back when the Internet was just a teenager and the Macintosh hadn't been invented yet --- around 1983-- there was a guy in Berkeley who wanted to write professionally. Me. I looked around and decided that I ought to use some kind of word processor, because from what I had heard, you could type the stuff and not have to retype it.
I tried going to a Word Processor, a tradesperson who owned a word processing machine and you paid him by the page.
The Word Processing service was real cumbersome. They apparently couldn't read my handwriting, and there were tons of typo's. And it was really expensive.
So I went to a computer store. And this guy in the store just about sells me a Leading Edge computer for $3500. A real ripoff.
So I looked around for a place to maybe rent a computer, just to try one out. No such luck; there's no such place.
So I bought a brace of computers and opened up a shop to rent computers.
This is a picture of the shop.
The picture was taken with an Apple Quicktake. You can rent the camera for $25 a day. It comes with pretty good software. Frog's made up a set of For Dummies instructions so you can turn your "photos" (your electronic images inside the camera when you get back to your studio) into PhotoShop®files.
Nowadays the shop rents all kinds of computer gear. It provides access to the latest information age equipment with none of your money invested.
The shop rents some pretty high end computers. You can come in and rent a relatively expensive setup to produce digitized videos. There's a Quicktime®video on another page of this Website that was produced right here at the shop. Bud Helms did most of the computer work. You could hire him at this shop to make you a Hollywood production, and it would be as good as anybody's and better'n most.
The video shows how to shoot a hockey puck and score a goal. By the time we're done we're gonna have little videos of how to do just about everything that's tricky, everything and then some that requires a "knack."
The video is maybe where this computing thing is going in the future. Because it's available on the Net, and that's a big thing. Because it's knowledge that's not available any other way. Because it's a lot of information. Because it's free. Like the rest of the Net, it's free; with a big But. It's Free, But ...
The shop rents Walt Whitman Specials, too. That's what you might call an old machine that's only really suitable for word processing. It doesn't take much of a computer to create text files. You don't need much hardware and you don't need much in the way of software either. A Mac SE30 is all you'll ever need to get a Nobel prize in literature (or a Powerbook 140 and a cup of coffee.) Generally you can't rent software (read the print on the envelope your software came in), but Macintosh always shipped with a free text processor (TeachText, now SimpleText) and Windows always shipped with a free word processor (Windows Write, now NotePad). Pretty soon now we're gonna try and get some really cheap Net access machines to rent out, complete with Net access -- you know, those $500 wonders the Silicon Valley heavy hitters are always talking about. We'll rent them for about $50 a month, if our current biz model holds up in the near future like it has in the past.
So you see I did get a computer to write with (like I'm writing with it right now,) and I did turn out a few manuscripts. You can download them as text files, free.
There's a folder of
skating trails around the San Francisco Bay Area. (That folder was actually published by HarperCollins as Skating Unrinked, An Insider's Guide to Outdoor Skating Trails in the San Francisco Bay Area; but I kept the electronic rights to the manuscript, including Internet rights.) For the skating trails, you aren't getting the graphics, you're just getting the text. If you actually read through a few chapters, you'll want to buy the book. You can order it from Amazon.com here on the Web. It shouldn't set you back more than about ten bucks. Update - 9/98 Out of Print.
I want to get an insanely great list of all the skating trails in the world together. This International List of Skating Trails is under construction on the International Skating Trails page.
There are plays and screenplays (you can produce any or all of them, but don't forget who copyrighted them and to whom, therefore, you owe a percentage) :
the plays are
There will someday be a text version of Toxic Truckin'. Confessions of a Hazardous Waste Hauler. East Bay Express, 6, 2, 1983. Front page. (This was before the word processors came along, so there is no "text" version. There's a paper version, and it's got pictures that tell half the story [by Mark Sarfati]; and maybe I'll scan it in some day.) Good Story. And Here It IS! August 2002 Toxic Truckin'. Confessions of a Hazardous Waste Hauler (magazine article, scanned .pdf)
I have a passing interest in semiotics, and if you want to read a manuscript I wrote dealing with Powerful Speech, it's available on this Website too.
2002 Working on ultrasound in medicine. An interesting thing, that the totally artificial, or "false", ultrasound image is something that exists only insofar as you see it on a screen; (think about that; the last thing you could ever claim to see is a sound wave;) thus The way it looks on a monitor (in fact, on different monitors) is crucial to how well you can interpret the moving image, the ultrasound video. We're going to use it to learn from, to teach with, so of course we're very concerned with the look , which is the feel. Here's an ultrasound image and a tweaked ultrasound image. (If anybody wants to know the Materials and Methods section for this experiment, email@example.com and I'll ask Dr Harness what the answer is to whatever it is you want to know.) For those who have fast connection to the Internet (as opposed to half-fast) and also have a fast computer (as opposed to a halffast computer), you'll see it perfectly clearly with the movie UltrasoundTweaking.mov 2009 looking back I see that this writing never included the name of the video tweaking program from Steve Schaffran. Must have been some patent problem or other. Well, screw that, th program was/is called VideoPrism and a damn fine program it was/is.
My California driver's license number is N0801008 . I recently found a nice old screwdriver on the road that had S908146 neatly engraved on it. Definitely a screwdriver that had some character. A Philips. Somebody with a mind like mine had engraved all his tools with his driver's license number, long enough ago that it didn't have the right number of characters (my tools mostly say N801008 , because that's how a driver's license number was supposed to look; the DMV had to add another alphanumeric for some reason, back in the Eighties, I believe). Who cares? Well, it's traditional in the truckdriving trade to say, "He's got about as much brains as God give a screwdriver." Now, in the Millennium, a screwdriver can have enough brains , via Google, to find its way home. Could. Maybe. Or , as we say in the truckdrivin' trade and in the common parlance, to come in outta the rain. I'll know this system is working when I can do a Google search for N0801008 and get to this page. Come to think of it, I don't know what pages I'll get. That will be interesting. Google is interesting. Definitely the next level in intelligence. BTW, I made a link out of that alphanumeric of my CDL from the DMV because supposedly Google pays more attention to things that are links. August 2002 Update October 2002: Google finds N0801008 just fine, and brings you very rapidly to This Page. And, in a preface of how things are going to be and to some extent are now, about half of the links referenced by Google in this fashion are to webpages entirely in Chinese. May 2003 And now there's an interesting link to John Doe's S908146 driver's license number as well. Careful, it's pornographic. In fact, it's REALLY pornographic. Well, it's graphic anyways.
That last one is so you can download it and use your favorite image editor to read it, if you want. It's a bit subtle, the relationship between the two subjects of the two disparate articles that happened to appear in the paper the same day.
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