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If you 'like' Cheerios or Haagen-Dazs, you might void your right to sue

General Mills' new policy: if you engage with us online, you can never sue the company. The Consumerist reports:
In new language recently added to General Mills' website, consumers who interact with the company online will be agreeing to give up the right to sue the company in the future.
The New York Times reports that the food company behind brands like Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Nature Valley recently updated the legal terms in its privacy policy online, effectively limiting customers who bring a dispute against General Mills to arbitration or other negotiation.
Basically, if you download coupons, enter a General Mills sweepstakes or interact with it at all, you can't sue — not if you get a chunk of glass in your bowl of Wheaties and not if you think a product has misleading labeling. »Read the full Consumerist report.
Do you like any of General Mills' Facebook Pages? Cheerios? Or maybe Haagen-Dazs? Or maybe one of over 50 brands under General Mills. How do you check to see if you are part of them all? Manually search for each Page? Crazy.

Here's a list of 15 General Mills Facebook Pages, see which Pages you currently like. If there is a checkmark inside any of these boxes, it means you follow the Page.

How to determine if you like any General Mills Facebook Pages

I'm not telling you what to do. Make a careful decision on where you stand. If you see any of your friends on the list below, feel free to share this blog post with them.

» View the list of 15 General Mills brands Facebook Pages

0 archived comments | | Thursday, April 17, 2014
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What happens when you make your photos available via Creative Commons license

Tugboat on Chicago River by Trump Tower

Make a photo available via a Creative Commons license allows it to run wild free on the internet. You'll never know what will happen. In 2007 I shot this HDR image of a tugboat on the Chicago River. Accidentally using an extremely high ISO, a ton of noise crept into the hi-resolution version of this image. Since I wasn't comfortable selling prints of a photo with lots of noise, I made this photo available for anyone to use for free.

Seven years later, I come across my image being sold on $0.93 postcards, flash cards, an e-nanny website, and my favorite:

Give me a tow, I'm old

a cheesy tshirt about age, "Give me a tow... I'm old." If anyone wants to give me a good gag gift, this would be a great one.

0 archived comments | | Monday, April 14, 2014
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Start of spring: tulips break ground on Michigan Avenue in Chicago

Start of spring: tulips break ground on Michigan Avenue in Chicago

The tulips are starting to break the ground in Chicago! While walking to work, the dirt graveyards on Michigan Avenue started to get some life. Little red sprouts coming out of the soil!

Standing in the middle of Michigan Avenue, cars were honking their horns while I was capturing this moment of 2014.

My first round of shots were ok, as I reviewed them from my desk at the Tribune Tower, severl photos had a big honkin bus was in the background on the right. Other shots were ok, but their background had stop light green. The stop light looks so much better in red.

I went back outside and visited my selected favorite tulip of 2014. Some patience was required as this was primetime rush hour for buses going down Michigan Avenue. That blackish shape on the right is a bus shelter. One of the most popular bus shelters in the CTA system.

Evenutally there were no buses, no cars, and a red light. Originally I had the tulip blocking one of the two red lights, leaving just one red light shown. But then placing both of the red lights on either side of the tulip sprout made for a nice composition. My last shot of the series. :)

0 archived comments | | Thursday, April 10, 2014
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Dyeing the Chicago River Green in fast-motion

Watch a little boat fly up and down the Chicago River releasing green dye (youtube video). The pattern the boat follows looks like the one would use mowing the lawn. Next year I wanna see zig-zags!

If the boat was leave a trail where it would spell out something, what should it spell?
Here's a few ideas:
* Happy St. Patrick's Day
* Green!
* Don't drink the river
* Leprechaun was here
* T-O-X-I-C (from Marco on facebook)
* P-U-K-E (from Leigh on facebook)
* M-A-L-D-R-E (from Lisa on facebook)
* S-P-U-D-A-R-T (from Marco on facebook)
* K-E-L-P M-E (from Todd on facebook)
* T-A-X Dollars... (from Tamima on facebook)
* Chicago dyes the river green?? That sounds like a horrible idea. (from Rose on facebook)
* S-T-O-P -F-R-E-T-T-I-N-G-, --G-R-U-M-P-S-. -T-H-I-S -I-S -F-U-N-! (from Erik on facebook)
* ______________ (your idea here)
* ______________ (your idea here)

Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments or on Twitter, Google Plus, or Facebook.

0 archived comments | | Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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Rowlf the Dog has no official Facebook Page

List of Muppet characters with Facebook Pages

The Muppets have Facebook Pages for Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, and Walter, but not Rowlf the Dog.

Search for Rowlf the Dog on Facebook

Unbelievable. A Facebook search for Rowlf the Dog yields only his wikipedia page. Rowlf totally needs a Facebook Page. He's hilarious. Move over Fozzie Bear, there's a new comedian in town.


0 archived comments | | Monday, March 10, 2014
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World Series trophy and weber grill

Painting of World Series trophy Painting of weber grill

Vertical lines. Horizontal lines. The difference between the two means the difference between the World Series trophy and a weber grill.

These are works of art for sale by my brother, Erik Maldre. Venturing into the never-ending snow with his Instax Polaroid camera, he photographs landscapes of snow, and then paints on top of the instant prints. The World Series trophy and Weber grill are just my own interpretations of these abstract works of art. What is your instant interpretation of these works?

Instant photos.
Instant snow.
Instant painting.
Instant interpretations.

These can all be instantly yours on ebay. See all of his current works for sale under the ebay name, unmoo.

0 archived comments | | Tuesday, March 04, 2014
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Matt Maldre is Joseph Beuys

An image search for my name, Matt Maldre, brings up four photos of me--and a photo of the great artist Joseph Beuys. Google is implying that I am the late Joseph Beuys. While I would love to have this honor, I certainly cannot accept it, for Beuys was a trailblazer in social art and activism. I am a mere speck compared to what he did.

Nonetheless, it's great to see an image of him pop up for search on my name. Hello Joseph!

The secret identity of Matt Maldre is...

0 archived comments | | Friday, February 28, 2014
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Reimjedesilbeinjederzeile: rhyming every syllable in each line

While putting away laundry, I tweaked my right knee, prompting me to lie down and think of this poem:

At first I was thinking about how "knee" and "laundry" rhymed. Then I needed something to ryhme with the "laun" of "laundry." "Gone" seemed nice. Then the "right" and "night" made sense, as did "popped" and "stopped."

Is there a term for rhyming every syllable in each line? The Germans would call it
Reimjedesilbeinjederzeile (translated: rhyming every syllable in each line)

I'll make this into a blog post! The Germans would call that Ichwerdediesineinemblogpostmachen (translated: I'll make this into a blog post)

0 archived comments | | Thursday, February 13, 2014
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Olympic Bobsled pusher Johnny Quinn is the Kool-Aid Man. OH YEAH!

At the Olympics, stuck in a bathroom with no cell phone? Nobody around. What do you do? You know the Russian construction is really cheap, so why not just break through the door? That's what American Olympian bobsled pushers Johnny Quinn did.

The door never stood a chance. But now everyone knows Johnny Quinn's real identity--the Kool-Aid man! OH YEAH!

Johnny Quinn: Kool-Aid Man

0 archived comments | | Saturday, February 08, 2014
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Flickr to include Matt Maldre in 10 year anniversary video

I'm extremely honored that the Yahoo Creative Team asked that one of my photos be included in the 10-year Flickr anniversary video! Here's their request:

I am contacting you because Flickr is turning 10

I immediately thought they would want to use one of my most popular photos, like "Chicago's Moving Bridges over the Chicago River" My premiere photo on flickr with 437 favs, 94 comments and 60,000 views.
Chicago's Moving Bridges over the Chicago River

or a recent trending favorite with over 100 views per day for the past year, "Chicago CTA Quincy train station"
Chicago CTA Quincy train station

They didn't pick either one of those. Instead, I love that they picked a completely quirky photo, "Bent nails spell 777"
Bent nails spell 777
This sort of quirky pick is one of the reasons why I love flickr, there is such depth and history to their service. This particular photo was shot for the day 07/07/07. Was Instagram around then? Nope. Flickr was. Flickr rules. I can't wait to see the 10-year anniversary video for flickr.

0 archived comments | | Thursday, February 06, 2014
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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... How about counting using odd numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9... I bet you can can count using even numbers. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.

But what about reciting all the odd letters of the alphabet?

Or naming all the even letters in order?

It's pretty hard to do.

Surprisingly, there is very little information online or in books about even and odd letters. Most instances of ACEGIKMOQSUWY are people using it as a username.

This sort of intersection of two systems.

0 archived comments | | Tuesday, February 04, 2014
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Photorealistic drawing tricks

Four hours and 33 minutes of a realistic drawing is condensed down to 3 minutes 42 seconds in this youtube video:

The artist Marcello Barenghi does have some mad skills. But you can also make a drawing like this with a few interesting tricks on how this photorealisitc drawing is done:

Gray paper
The gray paper makes the object stand out more, because it makes the white pop out more. To create the white, he uses mostly a white pencil. Towards the end a white paint brush sneaks in, along with a white airbrush.

An initial wash of blue is done in watercolor. Since the majority of the drawing is done in marker, i'm not sure what the intention behind using watercolor. Does the water leave the paper wet, enabling better blending with the following markers?

This is drawn mostly with markers. Who knew markers could be so photorealistic?

A black airbrush is used at the end to create the drop shadow behind and on the can. Briefly a white airbrush is used for the highlights. That helps to create an overall unifying look of light. Normally when I do a drawing, I stick to one medium, I don't think about introducing other media to give an overall effect. It's funny, because in apps like Instagram, we apply entire effects over a photo to give a feeling. Why not use an airbrush at the end to help with the lighting?

Lighting the drawing
Notice the subtle lighting that the artists uses in the video. See how the gray paper is lighter on the left than the right? Now notice the lighting on the object in the drawing, it's coming from the same direction. That tiny little detail helps tremendously with how the drawing is seen as an object. Just like how the airbrush creates an overall effect, the lighting used in this video also creates an overall effect.

Did you see any other tricks used in this video?
If so, please share them in the comments. Thank you.

0 archived comments | | Monday, February 03, 2014
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Books about questions?

Does anyone know of any books that are about the psychology/history/economics of questions?

I love questions. Does anyone know of any book that are about questions? Specifically the history, science, or psychology of questions.

Not a book with lists of questions. Nor lifestyle or career books. But books that talk about the nature of questions. I'm more in interested in the cultural study or more scientific approach to questions.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments or on your favorite social media channel. This question appears on Goodreads, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook.

Thank you so much.

0 archived comments | | Friday, January 31, 2014
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Try typing random letters into Google Translate and see which language it detects

Google Translate for vzkvzvkzv

The Croatian language has a lot of the letters k, v, and z. Type of bunch of those letters into Google Translate like this:
vzkvzvkzv zk vzkvzkzv kzvkz vzk vz kv zvzvkvz kvzkzv kzvkzvzvzv kvzkzv

Google thinks that it's Czech. Apparently the Czechs love their letters k, v, and z more than the Croatians!

In addition to the detected language, Google will suggest alternative phrases. If you type something random, you might actually be typing something real! Google said, "Did you mean: vzkaz vkzv zk vzkvzkzv kztkz vzk vz kv zvz vkvz kvzkzv kzvkzvzvzv kvzkzv"

Oh of course! THAT'S what I meant.

0 archived comments | | Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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Clothespin artist of 1994 influences the creation of spudart

Signed clothespin silhouette print

The clothespin artist stands at the front steps of the Art Institute of Chicago in the summer of 1994. My fellow college freshman friends and I approach this man selling clothespin necklaces and tshirts with simple clothespin silhouettes.

While signing free xerox prints of clothespins, he teaches us the meaning of clothespin art. People can read their own personal meanings into the clothespin icon. As the artist, the meaning for his work is what the viewer brings. His explanations would become very much an influence on my outlook on art to this day. Spudart and my potato theories have their origin from this clothespin artist.

He opens up a small shoebox sized container with clothespin necklaces inside for $1.00 each. As I was deciding which one to purchase, he was explaining the criteria that people use when selecting a clothespin necklace. "Some people like their clothespin to be perfect with no flaws. Others like one that is unique and has its own personality. Like this one." He pointed to a clothespin that had a little knot in the wood. I happily selected that unique one.

I proudly wore that necklace to all art openings and events for the next few years. Pictured below, with clothespin around my neck, Tammy Zych, Dima Strakovsky and I visit the circa 1996 Art Chicago show at Navy Pier.

Matt Maldre, Tammy K, Dima Strakovsky at Navy Pier, circa 1996

The clothespin necklace is buried in my closet today. His signed print still hangs in my dining room. I put it in a frame made of the same type of raw wood that traditional clothespins are made of. I wonder where this clothespin artist is today--and if he's still doing his clothespin art.

If you happen to know anything about the clothespin artist, please leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Thank you.

0 archived comments | | Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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