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This morning I woke up to find out that Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, has just died at 52. The news is now coming out that he had hung himself.

Soundgarden was among the bands I listened to back during the early 1990’s grunge era (along with Nirvana, Hole, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains). Sadly I never got the chance to see that band in concert. I still play Superunknown on a regular basis because the music is that good.

The sad part is that Soundgarden had just reunited and the band was playing a few gigs. Chris Cornell made this tweet just a few hours before he was found dead.

That tweet doesn’t look like one that was made by someone who was suicidal. It sounded like he was happy.

I’m just going to end this post by embedding a few videos that show Chris Cornell in action.

Turn your smartphone into a hologram projector using everyday items.

Tips on how to use emojis correctly and in a professional way as part of your marketing campaign.

Is American retail at a historic tipping point?

Artist crafts classic Stephen King-style book covers for classic songs.

3D printing replicates body parts.

Japan’s largest anime store opens up to international shoppers, but there’s a catch.

Eight things no one tells you before you become a YouTube sensation.

Apple’s most powerful computer in years will be in stores by Christmas.

Facebook releases several new open source tools for video and virtual reality.

How one writer became disappointed by Patreon.

Twitter has a serious problem with bots.

The truth about succeeding in business with your husband.

3D printed cars are the future. But are they safe?

Is multimedia journalism the way forward?

Streamers flock to YouTube Live, but the money (and crowd) is still at Twitch.

Find out if a robot will take your job.

Too many dolls: Is American Girl overextending itself?

PBS travel guru Rick Stevens sacrifices $4 million nest egg to house dozens of homeless women and kids.

Why photography is such a difficult business to get into.

You can now 3D print a tiny pretzel made of glass.

You can now live stream to YouTube from your phone if you have at least 1,000 subscribers.

Microsoft lets users access accounts without passwords.

Robots will soon become our children’s tutors. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

How Android smartphone users can stop Google from tracking your every move with its Google Timeline feature.

Nazi-looted art claim sets new test for Germany.

L.O.L. Surprise is the top selling doll for the past five months with over 2.5 million sold.

Adult animation brings more approachable culture to traditional TV.

How YouTube’s shifting algorithms hurt independent media.

Woman makes spectacular PowerPoint presentation persuading man to date her.

Software audit highlights major security weakness across all open source software.

How to make your kid’s art last forever without cluttering up your home.

The controversial My Friend Cayla doll have been banned in Germany. Parents must either destroy their child’s doll or face a fine of roughly $26,500 and two years in prison.

For animators looking to get into video games, there is a growing community just for them.

Where YouTube went wrong.

Six things you should never store on your work computer.

Why open source pharma is the path to both new and cheaper medicines.


There’s no glory in overworking. It’s just imminent burnout.

Tesla is now worth more than Ford and Elon Musk is already rubbing it in to everyone who ever doubted him.

14 stunning embroidery Instagrams.

Magic moments marking 170 years of British photography.

A Singapore man who lives with more than 9,000 Barbie dolls.

YouTube will now block ads on channels with under 10,000 views.

This robot will literally make you a salad.

A beginner’s guide to microblogging on Mastodon, the open source alternative to Twitter.

An interesting story on how writing on Medium each week has changed one woman’s life.

A 27-year-old entrepreneur talks about how he launched a seven-figure snack business in 18 months.

3D knitting brings tech to your sweaters—for a price.

There’s more to tech stock photography than hokey gold bitcoins.

3D printing in-store is very close and retailers need to address it.

A comparison of six free web-based SVG editors.

Nine anime things that Astro Boy did first.

Chinese man “marries” sex robot he built for himself after he failed to find a girlfriend.

Seven integral WordPress plug-ins.

White toddler girl defends her choice of a black doll to a cashier at Target.

Animated vloggers like Kizuna Ai could be the future of YouTube.

Chobani founder, who immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey, stands by hiring refugees.

Brands see the future of fashion in customized 3D-knitted garments produced while you wait.

3D printing: Don’t believe all of the hype.

Five free graphic design tools.

Top 10 WordPress plugins for business sites in 2017.

Hollywood’s whitewashed version of anime never sells.

New robots just want to be your child’s best friend.

How to make a coin sorting machine from cardboard.

How Harvard Business School has advocated the propagation of immoral profit strategies.

Photos showing 100 years of people knitting.

Talking bendable Justin Trudeau doll for sale.

WordPress for Google Docs lets multiple users collaborate on content in real-time.

Six of the most innovative 3D printing companies.

GIMP is crowdfunding critical updates like high bit depth and layer effects.

This man makes amazing surreal animations from famous artwork.

Open Collective is a GoFundMe-like service for open source projects.

Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.

A look at one crafter who renders pop culture figures in embroidery.

Knitted knockers for breast cancer survivors.

A girl who lost her eye to cancer got the best lookalike doll.

Adobe is currently developing AI that turns selfies into self-portraits.

60 free and easy Easter crafts to make for this holiday weekend.

Improvisation is the heart of Cuban animation.

Researchers are working on robots that can monitor and care for the elderly, such as the animal-like MiRo.

As the ballerina moves, this robot paints the dance.

Ever since I started this blog back in 2010 I’ve been using both this blog and my social media accounts to promote myself as a creative person. I have to say that each social media platform is a completely different animal and it can be a chore at times to tailor a message to the audience on that platform. Based on my own personal experience, if I ever had to do a succinct definition of what each social media platform does, it would go like this:

Facebook: This is where you see your friends and family write about their children’s latest accomplishments or post photos from their recent awesome vacations to such really cool places like Cancun or Walt Disney World or London or Rio de Janeiro or Austin or Niagara Falls, etc. You’d better watch what you write about your parents or other family members and friends because they are on Facebook and they won’t hesitate to scold you online if you write anything that they perceived as being too critical of them—even if it’s something that’s relatively benign. (As a silver lining, if you’re lucky enough your scolding friend/relative might end up having his/her words re-posted on Lamebook for everyone to read and mock.)


Instagram: Selfies, selfies, and more selfies. If you don’t pay enough attention to my selfies, I’ll risk my life taking my selfies in dangerous locations without a safety net.

YouTube: I’ll become a YouTube star simply by making video reviews of toys and video games or making videos about some expensive upscale fashion items that I have just purchased during my recent trip to the upscale shopping mall. I’ll emulate PewDiePie’s method of continuing my YouTube stardom by making regular appeals for money while claiming that I’m a destitute poor person and threatening to delete my YouTube channel once I get a certain number of subscribers.

Flickr: I’ll post photos from my awesome trips to really cool places like Cancun or Walt Disney World or Rio de Janeiro or Austin or Niagara Falls, etc. along with my very arty photos of sunsets.

Tumblr: I’ll post my fan art of comic book superheroes (especially ones from DC and Marvel), My Little Pony, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who then watch everyone reblog my work.

DeviantArt: I’ll post my fan art of Japanese anime characters that will get a lot of attention.

Google+: Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just hit the “Like” button or reply if you are reading my Google+ post. Is there anyone at home?

MySpace: Wait, this social media site still exists?!? Well, hot damn, it’s still around! I’m amazed that Rupert Murdoch didn’t totally run this site into the ground when he made that ill-advised purchase years ago. I wonder if Tila Tequila is still the Queen of MySpace despite her fascination with Adolf Hitler and the White Power movement?

LinkedIn: I’ll focus exclusively on my current job and my previous work experience. I’ll make it as plan vanilla and boring as possible with no drama whatsoever. I won’t even attempt to add any flair, creativity, or anything else that expresses my individuality because then I’ll get pegged as being “unprofessional” and it’ll be such a turn-off to potential employers that I’ll never be able to find another paying job ever again. Boring is good but try to be as unique as you possibly can without standing out from the rest of the LinkedIn crowd so much that you’ll get denounced as being “unprofessional” and you’ll become so unemployable that you’ll be forced into early retirement.**

Pinterest: I’ll pin whatever arts and crafts sites I find. If I happened to pin an arts and crafts site that shows how to make a certain Disney character, I’ll see that pin get re-pinned by others so many times that my e-mailbox gets clogged with notifications of all these re-pins.*** Here’s where I’ll find the latest conspiracy theories, dispatches from Anonymous, and alternative health remedies that may or may not actually work.

**Here’s a message for those of you who are staunch LinkedIn users: This post is satire. I know that, in a perfect world, I shouldn’t have to write this disclaimer but I’ve encountered enough stuffy humor-challenged professional people in various jobs over the years that I know that some stuffy humor-challenged businessperson who’s a heavy LinkedIn user would take this post 100% seriously if I didn’t include this footnote.

***This actually happened to me nearly two years ago when I pinned a site that provided a free pattern on how to crochet an amigurumi Stitch from the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch. That one pin is the most re-pinned pin on my Pinterest account. People are still re-pinning that Stitch crochet pattern to this very day. I had to disable all e-mail notifications because I grew tired of my inbox getting clogged with so many notices of people re-pinning that one pin. Especially since I didn’t create the original pattern nor do I hold any legal rights to the Stitch character whatsoever.

Every day I hear news about Donald Trump and they become more horrifying by the day. From his cabinet choices (such as appointing Rick Perry head of an agency that he once called for its abolishment) to Trump’s refusal to read the daily intelligence briefings on the grounds that “I’m, like, a smart person”, it is so obvious that he is the one person who had no business of ever running for president in the first place—let alone finding people who were willing to vote for him. Donald Trump is the first president-elect in history who has no prior political or military experience. If all that weren’t enough, there are already divisions within Trump’s organization and the man hasn’t even taken office yet.

Donald Trump can’t take the time to read the daily intelligence briefings yet he can find the time to meet with people like Kanye West and Anna Wintour. He also finds the time to complain on Twitter about Alec Baldwin impersonating him on Saturday Night Live.

There have long been accusations of Trump being too cozy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Now there are accusations that Russian hackers may have somehow thrown the election to Donald Trump. These allegations are so serious that members of the Electoral College are demanding to see the evidence before they go to their scheduled meeting on December 19 to give the final vote on who will become the next President of the United States.

I don’t even know what to think anymore, other than the fact that I agree with the headline of this article that appeared in Teen Vogue (of all places): Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America. I am especially worried because I live pretty close to Washington, DC so I have a bird’s eye view of whatever fuckery will come down. Donald Trump is making me feel nostalgic for George W. Bush—and I thought Dubya was the worst president ever. If Donald Trump actually makes it to the White House (and that’s a big “IF”), I don’t know if the United States of America as I’ve known it all my life will survive. I’m especially not heartened by Trump’s history of multiple bankruptcies and his numerous failed companies.

By the way, I read this interesting article on on how Hillary Clinton’s campaign totally blew the election by ignoring working class areas like Michigan. I still maintain that if the Democratic National Committee hadn’t gone out of its way to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination, Donald Trump would be going back to being a full-time celebrity pretending to be a real estate developer working in Trump Tower.

Thanks for nothing, DNC!

Ever since Donald Trump was proclaimed the president-elect nearly a month ago this guy has literally gone off the rails. I’ve previously lived through the election of a brand-new president which marks a change in White House administrations. Normally the new president-elect is busy with making appointments while spending time decompressing from all those months on the campaign trail by spending the winter holiday season with family and friends.

Not Donald Trump. This guy has been busy taking to Twitter to complain about every single minor thing that he shouldn’t even be concerned about. But that’s not all, folks! He has also been doing things that a president-elect usually wouldn’t do. There’s nothing like attending the opening ceremonies of the month-long Festival of Lights in Greenbelt, Maryland while having my cell phone go off with this push notification from my Guardian news app about how Donald Trump decided to reach out to Taiwan while pissing off the People’s Republic of China in the process. It’s one thing if he had done this after he gets formally sworn in next month but it’s something else for him to do this while Barack Obama is still President of the United States.

Trump is also busy feeling butt-hurt every time Saturday Night Live does another sketch poking fun at him. He takes to Twitter complaining about how the show skewers him. Here’s the latest sketch that aired last night, which features Alec Baldwin doing a dead-on impersonation of him while making fun of Trump’s penchant for spending a lot of time on Twitter.

Once again Trump gets butt-hurt over Saturday Night Live‘s parody of him so, naturally, he took to Twitter late last night to complain about it. Alec Baldwin’s response to Donald Trump is pretty awesome: He said that he’ll quit portraying Donald Trump only if Trump releases his tax returns (which he has long resisted, unlike every single other presidential candidate in history).

But that’s nothing compared to the multi-part response that an activist named Danielle Muscato unleashed on Twitter. This link has compiled her responses in chronological order but it’s still pretty epic and I personally applaud her for this.

Of course the Internet has exploded over Donald Trump’s latest rampage over his feelings being hurt like a teenage drama queen. This link shows not only the snarky story about this incident but also the snarky comments about The Donald’s ultra-sensitive feelings.

I don’t understand why Donald Trump is so damned surprised that Saturday Night Live is making fun of him. That show has long made fun of presidents. I’m old enough to remember the first season of that show back in the 1970’s, when Chevy Chase used to impersonate Gerald Ford’s clumsiness.

That tradition has continued into successive administrations. The other presidents have mostly ignored those parodies. Sometimes they gamely went along with the parodies by appearing on the show, such as this clip featuring ex-President George H.W. Bush.

But these presidents have ignored the parodies of them because they chose to turn their attention on more pressing matters, such as running the country. This is the first time I’ve ever seen any president or president-elect actually complain about Saturday Night Live‘s portrayal of him.

Donald Trump’s Twitter-based jihad against Saturday Night Live only proves one thing: He is totally unsuitable for the nation’s highest office. If he gets his sensitive feelings hurt over how some comedy show have chosen to satirize him, I’d hate to see how he’d react to any perceived slight against him by a foreign leader. Especially since he has access to the codes that launch nuclear weapons.

The Electoral College is meeting in two weeks to formally vote on the new president. Usually this meeting is little more than rubber-stamping the elections. This year there are calls for the Electoral College to reject Donald Trump for the White House. If this happens it would be completely unprecedented.

I would love it if the Electoral College would do this but I’m not going to hold my breath on this. I really think that the Constitution should be amended where a person should be required to undergo psychiatric tests if he or she shows any signs of mental instability either before or during his/her administration and if that person refuses to undergo these tests or the tests show that he/she is mentally ill, that person should be immediately removed from office. It’s outrageous and potentially dangerous that a person who has shown signs of suffering from an extreme form of narcissism is about to occupy the White House.

Donald Trump is little more than a big baby who should be living in a padded room in a mental institution instead of the White House.

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Skull Art 8
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into skulls. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on October 22, 2010. You can order this skull art right here.

A few years ago I wrote a post explaining my personal position about Twitter and why it’s among my least favorite social media platforms. In the three years since I wrote that post, I haven’t changed my mind very much.

Late last year I interviewed with a man in my area who was looking for help with a side project that he was working on. He said that he wrote a novel and he showed it to a few people who told him that he’s a very talented writer and urged him to convert it to either a .pub or .pdf format and get it self-published. He had hired his son’s girlfriend who was in the process of converting his novel to .pub so it could be sold on as a self-published novel. The girlfriend had told the guy that, as part of an online marketing effort, she could get him on Twitter and he could get at least 4,000 followers instantly, which would lead to instant big sales on his book.

The big problem came when the man’s son and his girlfriend broke up while the girlfriend was only halfway through with converting his novel to the .pub format. Naturally the woman lost interest in helping the father of her ex-boyfriend with getting his first novel published. The man was looking to hire someone to finish with the conversion and do some marketing via social media. He asked me about the ex-girlfriend’s claims about getting 4,000 followers instantly on Twitter soon after joining. I tried to tell the man that the reality is that he won’t get that big of a Twitter following at first while telling him that the only people who instantly get thousands of followers when they first join Twitter are celebrities, politicians, and other kinds of famous people. The man I interviewed with was definitely not famous at all. I tried to make that point with the guy regarding his unrealistic Twitter expectations the best that I can. The only thing I didn’t tell the man is that I thought that the son’s ex-girlfriend had sold him a bill of goods regarding suddenly getting thousands of Twitter followers because the man had told me that he was interviewing another person for the job and I didn’t want to blow this freelance opportunity by telling him directly about what I thought about his son’s ex-girlfriend’s claims.

Maybe in hindsight I should have told the man that his son’s ex-girlfriend sounded like one of those slick marketing types who’ll promise the sun, moon, and stars to the point of total exaggeration in order to land the job but then fail to deliver. That’s because the man ultimately decided to hire the other person for the job. If that other person had told the man what he wanted to hear instead of the real truth like I did, then I could see why the man hired the other person. That would-be author is going to have to learn the hard way about the reality of marketing on Twitter. (LOL!)

I have a few friends who are avid Twitter users and they swear by Twitter. One of them suggested that I subscribe to the Twitter feed of this social media marketing blog that’s written by a 16-year-old guy named Marc Guberti. If you read the blog, you would think that the guy was at least 25 years old until you see his photo and the description giving his age. My Twitter-loving friend told me that I would benefit from reading that guy’s blog and taking some of his suggestions.

I came across one of the 16-year-old guy’s Twitter tweets that linked to his blog post titled Twitter Case Study: When I Decided To Tweet Every 30 Minutes and how it led to more hits on his blog as a result. I decided to try this experiment on my own Twitter account to see if I would get the same result.

I recently started a new YouTube channel, Sagittarius Dolly, that’s my attempt at making a modest side income from ad revenue. (I am realistic bout the chances of me actually making a living wage off of YouTube are very slim. I just want to earn just enough money so I could treat myself to something nice like a weekend trip somewhere or eating out at an expensive restaurant.) So far I’ve been uploading old animations that I’ve done between 1995-2004 using the technology of the time on a very tight shoestring budget as part of my Throwback Thursday posts. (Eventually I intend to put up original video clips made this year but I’m still trying to decide what I want to do and how I’m going to do this.)

At the time I read the Twitter Case Study: When I Decided To Tweet Every 30 Minutes blog post, I’ve had only five videos on my new YouTube channel. I decided to do a little experiment to see if using Twitter would increase the paltry hits I’ve gotten on my own channel. That blog post suggested using HootSuite to plan scheduled tweets that would go automatically live over a certain period of time without having to be physically there to manually issue new tweets. I looked up HootSuite and it only had Pro and Enterprise accounts and I didn’t want to get too involved with an experiment that may not work for me.

After doing some Google searches, I found free HootSuite alternatives and I ultimately decided to give Twuffer a try. I found Twuffer’s interface to be incredibly user-friendly.

Then I decided on a marketing schedule. At the time I had five videos posted on my channel. I decided to do a five-day Twitter marketing blitz that went like this:

August 13: Promote The Unicorn With An Attitude 1: Channel Surfing from 12 midnight-11:45 p.m.

August 14: Promote The Unicorn With An Attitude 2: The Teddy Bear from 12 midnight-11:45 p.m.

August 15: The Unicorn With An Attitude 3: Speaking Right from 12 midnight-11:45 p.m..

August 16: The Unicorn With An Attitude 4: The Art of Silence.

August 17: The Unicorn With An Attitude 5: The Art Class.

I also decided to issue new tweets once every 15 minutes around the clock between midnight and 11:45 p.m. the following night. It would be one day of marketing one video every 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

For added measure, I composed four different tweets for each video which would be placed online every 15 minutes. I figured that people would be turned off if I posted the same tweet every 15 minutes and I wanted them to think that a real person wrote and posted them online and not some computerized robot spam program.

I currently have 452 followers (as of this post), which I felt was a good start but I wanted to get the word out to as wide an audience as possible. So I made good use of and created unique hashtags with each differently written tweet so my tweets would pop up on a variety of hashtag conversations.

The biggest snag came the morning of August 13 when I found that, after accepting the first four scheduled tweets from Twuffer, it began to reject the others that were scheduled to go live overnight. I manually attempted to upload one of the four tweets only to get this error message from Twitter saying it was a duplicate. I learned that Twitter tends to reject duplicate tweet postings that are made within a certain time frame. Even though the same tweet I composed only appeared an average once every hour (remember I wrote four differently worded tweets and I fixed the timing so that only one of those four tweets would go live every 15 minutes and I would vary the tweets so no two identical tweets would go live in less than an hour), Twitter still considers subsequent tweeting attempts at different hours to be duplicates and won’t let them through.

After doing a Google search I found a workaround where I had to manually insert the extended special ASCII characters (the ones that resemble pictures like an arrow or a smiley face) in each tweet in order to trick Twitter into thinking that the tweets I’ve scheduled were all original. It did the trick but it was time-consuming because I had planned a five-day Twitter marketing blitz around the clock. It took eight hours for me to manually insert new ASCII characters into my scheduled tweets. But it was worth it because it enabled me with continuing my Twitter marketing experiment.

Once I finished with the ASCII character insertions, I pretty much left Twitter alone for the next few days and went on with my life. The marketing blitz ended with the last scheduled tweet that went live at 11:45 p.m. on August 17. I was diverted by other things on August 18 so I didn’t get to the results of my Twitter campaign until today, August 19.

The day before I started my Twitter marketing experiment (August 12) I wrote down the number of hits that my five YouTube videos had received.  This morning I went back to my YouTube channel and found out the results of my marketing efforts. Here are the results.

Video August 12 Views August 19 Views
Unicorn 1 27 31
Unicorn 2 12 35
Unicorn 3 12 18
Unicorn 4 4 9
Unicorn 5 1 6

While I got the biggest boost regarding the views of the second Unicorn With An Attitude animations, the results were so disappointingly miniscule that I haven’t changed my mind regarding Twitter being my least favorite social media platform. I’ll admit that I was spending time hyping computer animations that I originally did back in the 1990’s (before YouTube even existed) using technology that was available for low prices at the time. I also know that Twitter’s biggest problem is that tweets are issued from so many people that they tend to quickly sink below the screenview so it’s incredibly easy to miss someone’s Twitter message unless you are actually staring at the site for long hours at a time.

But it was still a letdown for me that I had spent so much time trying to hype my animations via Twitter only to get so few new views that I probably would’ve gotten without using Twitter at all. While I’m not saying that you should not use Twitter to market yourself, just keep in mind the reality that you won’t get as much attention via Twitter that other marketing types would lead you to believe. In other words, as Public Enemy once put it so succinctly:

In any case, I’ll end this entry by saying that you can follow me on Twitter at funkyartist.

A few weeks ago I happened to log into Google where I saw a link to a site that Google was encouraging its users to try. It’s called Made With Code and it’s an online initiative to get girls interested in technology.

The website has activities where people can try their hand at object oriented programming using a programming language known as Blockly. I tried the section on making your own 3D bracelet. Basically you get taken to a screen that looks like the picture below and you move things around and do some typing until you get the design that you like.



Once you decide on a design that you like, you can get it printed on a 3D printer. Here’s where the cool part comes in. Shapeways prints it out but Google pays for the printing and shipping costs. In other words, you get a bracelet that you design yourself for free!

About a month after I ordered my bracelet, I got this in the mail.



The results looked pretty nice.



I customized my bracelet to read “Kim the Funky Artist.” I was originally going to just put “Kim” on it but I saw that the bracelet looked too plain. So I added “the Funky Artist” in honor of my Twitter account and I saw that the bracelet looked better with more characters.



The last photo shows what it looks like on my wrist. The bracelet is very light to wear and there is no heaviness to it at all. I’m pretty happy with the results. 🙂



Made With Code has a variety of other fun activities that you can code with Blockly including an animation and an avatar. I don’t know how long Google will continue to pay for all the printing and shipping costs regarding bracelets so if you want one, don’t hesitate to create one today.

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