Making the World’s First Internet-Enabled Fantasy Football Trophy, Part 1: Fabrication

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The Trophy of the Future (TotF) is the world’s first internet-enabled fantasy football trophy. Being the second-ever and, at the time, reigning champion of my fantasy football league, I felt it would be appropriate to spend some time at ITP producing a trophy to share with the league, so I made it my final project for Peter Menderson’s Materials and Building Strategies class. This post will cover the fabrication of the trophy. To read about the technology behind it, check out part 2!

A few weeks in to the semester we started making molds, and after seeing how much fun that was I had the initial idea of casting a football in clear resin for the trophy. Inspired by this headphone amplifier Instructable and wanting to throw a tech twist into the project, I decided to also embed an LED matrix in the resin that, by way of an Arduino Yún, would display NFL news, scores, and my league’s champions. In this first part of documentation, I will show the steps that I took to fabricate the trophy.

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BadFighter: The Baddest 2-Player Fighting Game Ever

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BadFighter is a two-player fighting game created by myself and Mike Allison for the Interactive 3D workgroup at ITP. We built it using Three.js and Physijs. The source code is available on GitHub and I encourage you to go check it out and help make our game better! If you don’t know where to start, I recommend Udacity’s Interactive 3D course, which was the basis of our workgroup.

We were inspired by “bad physics” games/mods like QWOP, Sumotori Dreams, The Life and Times of Qarpess and Carmageddon, and wanted to capture those awkward character motions while maintaining a quick and easy experience for players.

Grab a friend and play the game now!

AARPlane

Our midterm show for Puppets and Performing Objects was “AARPlane,” a show about the airborne elderly. As a class, we took the show from an idea to the final production in a week. My puppet is Clarabelle, a drunk but endearing old Southern gal with a secret, who shows up around 22:30 in the video.

Plant Pinball

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Plant Pinball is a virtual pinball game designed to teach users about the role roots play in the livelihood of a plant and the special qualities they have developed that enables them to survive. The project was done for the class Playful Communication of Serious Research, a museum exhibit design class, with teammates Sarah Rothberg, Alexandra Diracles and Fang-Yu Yang under the guidance of Professor Ken Birnbaum.

The aim of the game is to direct a virtual pinball towards one of five targets, representing the files of cells that comprise a plant’s root. Hitting a target causes a cell to divide in that respective file. All five targets must be hit for the plant root to grow, moving it closer to the water. Winning happens when the root grows to the bottom of the screen without drying up. Along the way, players encounter two obstacles: a fungus that eats the tip of the root off and a human who tramples the plant out of the ground. In each of these cases, players must complete a special task before normal root growth can continue. In the former case, we direct players to hit a “stem cell niche,” which plants are able to regenerate. In the latter case, the player hits targets to elongate certain cells, a process known as gravitropism.

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Mariah Carey’s Hand

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Purpose

To explore how accurately the position of Mariah Carey’s hand during live performance reflects the pitch of the note she is singing.

Hypothesis

I hypothesize that Mariah’s hand is not a perfect representation of the pitch but will produce a melody that is recognizable as the original song.

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NYC High School Dropouts

For our final project in Sculpting Data Into Everyday Objects, I worked with Ben Kauffman to visualize the cohort* dropout rate for high schools in New York City using data from the city’s Department of Education.

Each bead on the map represents one high school in New York City, placed in its geographic location. The length of the string represents how many students dropped out from that high school. A bead is glued at each end to hold the string in place and enable it to hang down. If there are multiple high schools at one location, extra beads are added.

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Instagramophone

Instagram takes your photos and makes them look bad, because vintage is trendy. Instagramophone imagines what would happen if phone calls worked the same way. My final project for Redial, Instagramophone* is a service that lets a user choose from five different vintage audio filters to apply to their voice. You can try it out for yourself by calling (360) 215-1975 (edit: I took down the server that ran this, so the number no longer works).

Callers are asked to choose one of five different filters for their voice, all inspired by vintage sound media. The choices are a wax cylinder, an LP record, an FM radio, a cassette tape and scrambled porn. After recording their message, the effect is applied and played back. Callers then have the option of uploading their sound to Soundcloud.

The application was built in Asterisk, with SoX to do the audio processing and Ruby to upload to Soundcloud. When a user records their message, Asterisk sends the recorded file in to a shell script that does the necessary slicing and dicing to create my desired effect. The cassette tape filter, for example, looks like this:

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#split the source recording and apply bends up and down
sox $1 /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/bend.wav trim 0 1 bend .25,300,.25  .25,-300,.25 : newfile : restart

#recombine the split files
sox /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/*.wav -c1 /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/mixdown.wav

#add cassette tape sound effects to beginning and end
sox -c1 /projects/instagramophone/static/wav/cassette.wav /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/mixdown.wav -c1 /projects/instagramophone/static/wav/cassetteend.wav -r 8000 -c1 /projects/instagramophone/messages/altered/$sourcefile

The scrambled porn filter is a little more complicated. After watching this clip of scrambled pay-per-view (SFW), I wanted to make my filter cut the audio in and out rapidly. I did that by splitting the recorded file in to many tiny chunks and alternating the volume up and down:

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#split the file in to 0.1 second chunks
sox $1 /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/trim.wav trim 0 0.1 : newfile : restart

declare -i counter=0

#loop through all the chunks
for i in /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/*.wav; do
counter=$counter+1
filename=${i##*/}

#alternate high and low volume
if [[ $counter%2 -eq 0 ]]; then
sox -v2.0 $i /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/$tempEffectDir/$filename
else
sox -v0.1 $i /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/$tempEffectDir/$filename
fi
done

#recombine and add scrambled porn background
sox /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/$tempEffectDir/*.wav /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/mixdown.wav
sox -m -v1.5 /projects/instagramophone/temp/$tempConversionDir/mixdown.wav -v0.8 /projects/instagramophone/static/wav/scrambledporn.wav -r 8000 -c1 /projects/instagramophone/messages/altered/$sourcefile

Please call it up and leave a message!

*I searched the name and found that a similar project already exists with the name Instagramophone (link, GitHub), so I hope they don’t mind me using it as well. Both our projects use SoX to apply effects to the voice, but that’s about as much as they have in common.

Progress on Mariah’s Hand

For my Data Rep final, I am comparing the position of Mariah Carey’s hand to the note that she is singing and re-imagining her melodies as if played by an invisible theremin. See here for my initial post.

Work has been coming along well. This past week, I completed my two data collection tasks: track her hand and identify frames in which she begins singing a note.

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Il Telefono di Pavarotti

My recent assignment for Redial, called “Il Telefono di Pavarotti” (add or remove Os as you wish), transforms the screams of us mere mortals into the rich tenor bellow of one Luciano Pavarotti. Just turn up your volume, visit the website and call (360) 215-1975. Once your Pavatar appears, scream!

Here’s what the classroom sounded like when I presented it last week (thanks to Aaron for being documentation-minded):

Unfortunately, when I presented the site a small JavaScript bug prevented my desired functionality of one Pavarotti per caller (you can see in the image below that some got grouped together). It’s a really dumb bug that I should have seen coming, but this was just a homework assignment so I’m not too worried about it.

This was built with the help of Chris’s Tinyphone library.

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And some bonus content! A by-product of having extracted Pavarotti’s B4 from eight videos: