A Tool For Data Mining Layers

Painted Hills, Oregon (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Painted_Hills_(8384915639).jpg)

Data mining tools often require users to understand arcane query syntax and to learn complex user interfaces in order to compose data mining queries. What’s needed is data mining that gives non-programmers the power to intuitively construct data mining queries through direct manipulation (just pointing and clicking and without knowledge of underlying query languages) and to visualize data mining results in a form that encourages interactive exploration and discovery.

With these goals in mind, I recently created a data mining tool I call a “stratigraph”.

A stratigraph lets non-programmers explore data by visually assembling…

The Banality of Cool

Last month, I read “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats for the first time. I was naively moved by the poem and even wondered if literati were particularly haunted by its foreboding imagery the night before the Presidential election.

Soon after the election, I took time to discover more about Yeats. And I was horrified.

Like so many popular writers, artists, athletes, Yeats was a fascist. Even a eugenicist. Knowing these facts about Yeats, I reread The Second Coming and righted (sic) my understanding of his often-cited (but misunderstood?) poem.


Originally, upon my first…

A memory of one of my favorite teachers

One of my favorite teachers was Hal Swafford. He was my high school AP US History teacher. Hal passed away several years ago, in October of 2013.

My most vivid memory of Hal is that once he was lecturing about complicity, perhaps about war, corruption, or malfeasance. Time, place, and setting are forgotten. But what I recall is how I was sitting on my hands attempting to warm them–because my fingers were cold and Oregon winter was biting. Mid-soliloquy Hal glanced at me, altered his story on-the-fly, and admonished our classroom about…

Atari 2600 Adventure

Atari Asteroids

Message In A Bottle, The Police

Sailing, Christopher Cross

What a Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers

We Are Family, Sister Sledge

The Wall, Pink Floyd

Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division

Off The Wall, Michael Jackson

Sony Walkman

Cellular Network

Apocalypse Now


Mad Max

Star Trek


Total Eclipse


Pittsburgh Pirates

Magic and Bird

And Most Of All My Brother Grooving To His Boombox

Happy Birthday, LTO!!!

From inspiration in 1992 to AppStore release in 2018

Spriteville’s logo is a red jellyfish based on the shape and color of upper atmospheric sprite lightning; it’s done with bitmap graphics and resembles an alien from Space Invaders as homage to sprite-based arcade games I played in the 80s.

Over 25 years ago, I began my quest to build The Perfect Drawing App.

In March this year, this long journey concluded with the launch of the iOS app Spriteville.

I call Spriteville a “mobile canvas for dynamic art”. The app was quietly released into the AppStore sans marketing. Few people know about it. No techblogs reviewed it. User traction is unremarkable.

Nevertheless, Spriteville is the culmination of decades of research and development, trial and error, struggle and passion.

Spriteville evolved from work on four previous projects spanning two decades.


Spriteville lets you combine emoji with physics to create fun scenes.

Spriteville is a mobile app that lets you paint with physics to instantly create animated scenes where objects (aka “sprites”) move, collide, break up, fade, emit field forces, change speed, etc..

All brush effects can be customized with emoji as their “brush stamp” (the brush tip).

Here’s how you can quickly make a Spriteville scene that rains basketballs…

First select a brush style like “Stained Glass”, then select a physics option like “Graviton” (so the basketballs fall), and then select the Basketball emoji from the Keyboard.

Spriteville also gives you creative power to layer emoji in fun ways. For example, create “Cats In Cars Getting Coffee” by simply dragging emojis on top of each other…

First select an effect (e.g., I like the “Pewter” effect), then pick the “Fermion” physics particle, then select the “Cat” emoji using the Keyboard. Paste a few cats. Similarly dab a Car emoji onto the scene and then a couple of Coffee emojis.

You can also draw animation paths for your emoji (or composite emoji) to follow….

Just select the “Gluon” physics particle and draw a path (like a heart). Then when another sprite crosses the path, it will follow the path repeatedly

And turn your emoji into a planet that other emoji orbit….

Select the “Planet” physics option for the Sunflower emoji. Then add Ladybug emoji and fling them into the Sunflower to make them orbit. The larger the Sunflower, the more powerful the pull of the orbit.

Emoji can be used as particles in emitters…

Just select an emitter and pick an emoji like Cats as the stamp. Then simply paint.

So have fun and #MoveTheWorld!

Happy #WorldEmojiDay 🌎😀from #Spriteville

Exploring The Depths Of Spatial Design

Earlier this week I met an exciting spatial design tool vendor and had fun showing a few approaches to UX challenges in XR. In particular, I demoed a prototype that addresses Z-Axis/depth navigation challenges when designing AR in AR using a screen-based device, my mobile phone.

So today, when I read, “Behind the Scenes of the World’s Best XR Designers / Interview with Sam Brewton from R/GA”, I was excited to hear Sam mention:

  1. How AR/VR design mistakes commonly begin by “[mis]understanding the Z-Axis and the camera as the viewport”
  2. The desire for an…

How To Paint With Physics

Spriteville lets you paint with a palette of physics actions.

Inspired by the two-dimensional graphics objects of early games, every composition object in Spriteville— brush strokes, images, text, emoji — is a “sprite”.

Sprites are alive. That means they have mass and charge and impart forces, collide, bounce, breakup, and react with other sprites using simulated physics.

Spriteville provides a palette of 20 physics actions that can be applied to any sprite.

Here’s a video showing how each of these physics actions work …

A Mobile Canvas For Dynamic Art

Spriteville lets you create art that moves

Art is the ichor of culture.

Art tells our stories, memorializes our past, portends our future, warns us when we go off course, and propels us forward. Art makes us smile, laugh, cry, empathize, understand, remember, and dream.

Great art abounds in nature, in caves, in our museums, galleries, buildings, and cities; in our parks, schools, and neighborhoods.

The greatest art, however, is the art within you.

Whether it’s a quick sketch, a funny doodle, a rich composition, a witty comic, the art you create is special…

Over five decades ago, on August 28, 1963, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted “Tell em about the dream”. MLK shoved his script aside and the most epic freestyling performance ever soared from the stage of the Lincoln Memorial. A proclamation of emancipation from injustice, marginalization, nullification, and hate.

I am eternally inspired by this moment in history.

Like so many that visit our nation’s capital, I have stood exactly on those steps where MLK looked out across a nation overflowing with emotion, a sea of a quarter-million people, and through extemporaneous speech generated a wave of inexorable change. …

Russell Okamoto

Co-creator of Spriteville, Dynamic Art, http://spriteville.com / Co-founder of Celly, Emergent Social Networks, http://cel.ly

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