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  Networking and T-shirts and Dalí, oh myFeb 10, 2011 6:08 AM PST | url
Added 1 new A* page:I apologize for only managing the one page today (at least Selenis finally got to complete her thought); I let myself get tempted by social networking yesterday, and ended up staying up all night trying to Facebook's "Like Button" widget installed and working to my satisfaction on A*'s comic and art gallery pages. And once I'd finally got it installed and working as well as it would work, I decided I hated it and removed it. :P So much time was wasted! I did improve the flexibility of a few of my scripts, as I was trying to jam the Like Button into the layout, and I now have a spot beneath the comics that's all ready for some additional widget to occupy, but it would have to be a darn fine widget indeed.
And the Facebook Like Button was no such thing! Although I guess another small recompense is that I now have first-hand experience of how awful working with Facebook code is, and am definitely determined never to dabble with it again! Yes, I saw some dark alleys of the Facebook world last night: long-buried help pages with ignored pleas of desperate app developers, their JavaScript SDK and its convoluted initialization procedure, their SDKs & Tools page with a broken link to said SDK, their bizarre policy chart for how you're "allowed" to "reward" people for Liking your page, and the concept of Facebook "scraping" your page only every 24 hours to update outdated app settings, with the ray of hope that you can use their "linter" to force them to recache things on a page-by-page basis (I am not making this up).
I also spent some time in another round of A* t-shirt design, and--after a bunch of attempts at sandwiching existing A* comic art onto various shirts--came to the conclusion that the only t-shirt design I'm at all comfortable with right now is a nice, minimalistic, small A* logo up in the corner design, like so:
with customizable colors, so if you wanted to go nuts for instance:
Anyway I have a prototype on its way to me now so I can make sure the materials and printing are good, and that I get the logo in the correct Star Trek communicator / polo lizard size and position (it might be a little too big right now?); once I get that worked out, unless I get some other hair-brained clothing scheme into my head (not unlikely I suppose), I'll finally get the t-shirt shop officially hooked up, with a "store" link replacing the "support A*" link on the A* top menu. Woo.
For some reason--oh, I'd come across a picture of his late-life muse, Amanda Lear, while image Googling some other singer that came up on Pandora--I also plunged a fair amount of time yesterday in reading several long articles on Spanish surrealist extraordinaire, Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol, aka Salvador Dalí, who was apparently quite a hoot
World-Telegram photo by Roger Higgins (source)
in ways that I don't know if anyone before or since has been. And I was thinking that maybe that level of sublime bizarreness just isn't possible anymore because the inevitable rounds of high-definition interviews every celebrity and near-celebrity goes through these days strip away every vestige of mystery and grandeur about anyone, so it isn't really possible to seem larger than life anymore, but then in looking up a quote I'd seen in that first article, I was reminded that he was indeed in high-profile TV interviews: on The Tonight Show, he apparently carried a leather rhinoceros with him, and wouldn't sit on anything else, and on 60 Minutes, he flummoxed Mike Wallace by referring to himself only in the third person, and with such statements as "Dalí is immortal and will not die." And here he is stumping Hollywood celebrities on "What's My Line":
video on Youtube
(speaking of that show: look, it's Colonel Sanders) and he wasn't above playing himself up in commercials.
So his surrealism did survive television, which is certainly impressive. He was also extremely prolific as an artist, and aside from his whole life being something of a performance piece, he also found time to make over 1000 paintings, not to mention hundreds of other things like sculptures and drawings and installations; there's a rather impressively complete online gallery of maybe most of them here that I'm going to have to find the time to go through at some point.
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