Monday, November 21, 2011

Between the Lines

Over on the Facebook, Margie Dana and Katherine O’Brien simultaneously shared a link to a site that explains how to turn any* digital photo into a coloring book image, using a free online image editor that bears an uncanny resemblance to Photoshop called Pixlr. I was intrigued, so I thought I’d have a go.

Since the idea of a coloring book is to stay “inside the lines” I thought it apt to use a photo with a line inside me: a photo of me, taken by Steven H. in 2007, standing astride the Prime Meridian at the Greenwich Observatory in London.

The steps are pretty easy to follow, and it takes a few tries to get the Gaussian blur amount correct. (Pixlr itself is pretty easy to figure out; well, at least for me, since it is virtually identical to Photoshop which I have been using since 1992. In fact, I replicated the exact steps in Photoshop and got pretty much the same result.)

As you can see in the before-and-after, it came out OK, but not especially great, largely because of the source image.

It never occurred to me to do this before, but I there is likely a far more elegant way of doing this using Photoshop filters. But if you don’t have Photoshop, Pixlr is a pretty easy way to create printed “toys” for (and even of) the wee ones. Or perhaps even the not-so-wee ones (who am I to judge?).

* Well, as anyone who has played around with Photoshop’s myriad filters can tell you, what you get out depends on what you get in. For best results, photos should not be out of focus, and images with high contrast between foreground and background images work best.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Turbo-Entabulator

Via Chris Mooney's The Intersection blog, a very funny old video demonstrating the dangers of talking in "jargon," whether it be scientific, economic, technological, or entemesmomodic.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A New(ish) Book!

Soon to be available via, what was known in a previous life as Getting Business: Opportunities for Commercial Printers and Their Clients in the New Communications Arena has been retooled, recrafted, and had all references to the printing industry removed.

It is now "Does a Plumber Need a Web Site?": Mad Dentists, Harried Haircutters, and Other Edgy Entrepreneurs Offer Promotion Strategies for Small and Mid-Size Businesses.

The official blurb:
"Does a Plumber Need a Web Site?" was the question someone asked Dr. Joe Webb, and thus launched an unconventional business book, written with "co-conspirator" Richard Romano, about a handful of interesting characters facing small business sales and marketing challenges. None of the case studies are real, but the business situations and challenges they illustrate are faced by entrepreneurs every day. This entertaining walk through business media is designed to stimulate ideas and provoke thoughts about how to engage customers and prospects. Whether you're a plumber, a haircutter, a B2B manufacturer, a restaurant owner, a B2B services provider, a doctor, a health club owner, or any other entrepreneur or provider of marketing services to small business, this book will get you chuckling—and seriously thinking about new ways of promoting a business.
I don't mind saying that it is perhaps one of the strangest books--certainly one of the strangest business books--ever written. And that's just the way we like it!UPDATE: It is now live on Lulu's e-store.