Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hour on Earth

The Earth Hour is still on for another 10 minutes. You know, the hour when people should turn off their lights and think about saving energy. In a way I find the idea cool, as an amateur astronomer I was against light pollution when I was 12. But I just can't quite get the idea what does it help if the individuals are being pushed doing it, when I look out of the window and see every street light on from here to eternity... (In Helsinki city center, they have a switch with which you could turn off every second street light from down town - I know since late 90s we were campaining for similar hour for astronomy. They just never did or do use it.) If every 10th light would be turned off from public lighting, no one would notice it. It has been tested in some occasions. So, one hour "darkness" doesn't really make a huge impact on me. But I do celebrate it my way, though, but using only one light at home now - and my iMac which is supposed to be really green when it comes to energy waste. :P

It's been a rough week in many ways, even if nothing much has happened. I've been pouring my creative energy into crafts like someone who is bailing out water from sinking boat. I finished another Rammstein pillow and am doing the last one like crazy. On Monday, I need to order some more thread for that again. (It's amazing how hard thread is to find! I'm happy I finally found a shop where I can order it from relatively easy...) Of course I should have been learning some coding during this weekend, but I just haven't had the strenght. I've needed to keep my mind in something simple but creative and not to think too much. I'm still also a bit ill, so I guess I shouldn't bother myself too much, because I have to work during Easter.

I managed to finish the painting I've been doing lately. Acrylics on canvas. This is why I love astronomy. It is so inspirational and breathtakingly beautiful. All hail the Helix Nebula, NGC 7293!

Helix Nebula

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Design to my taste

I'm actually quite an observative person... Today, I went to see my brother. He had a Western Digital My Book external hard drive on his table. I walked past it, took a glance, stopped and said: "Hey, look at these ventilation holes, they look like Morse code or some sort of binary."

He had never noticed it, even if he's got the thing for some time. But the more we looked at the thing, the more it appeared to be exactly that: a Morse code. Of course we had to find out about it. We translated it from Morse, and after some hassling around with it and later some googling we really did find out what it meant...

No, I won't spoil your fun. ;)

I just love it when the designers are thinking the same way as I do!!! :D But why is it always me who notices these kind of things?

Morse code of Western Digital My Book
Pic by Wikipedia

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Among the starfields

Last week, I went to Stockmann to look for something and of course found something else. There were some space toys in the kids section and I just had to buy the small Space Shuttle model for myself! I've always had a weak spot for Space Shuttles, of course. One of my very first memories about astronomy is when space shuttle Challenger exploded in January 1986. I was five years old, but I remember it vaguely. Later I learned by heart the names of those seven astronauts that died in that accident.

When Columbia went in 2003, I was devastated. In my youth, I read a lot about the whole Shuttle fleet. Columbia was my favourite, the old and experienced ship with certain majestic feel to it. Discovery was like a youngster, always ready for adventure. Atlantis more like a big question mark, I never got too close to it, there always seemed to be something hidden in it. And when Endeavour joined the fleet, I felt like a new baby would have been born.

And I am not kidding with this! I drew technical charts of the Shuttles and learned their statistics so that I could quote the size, how much they weighted empty or in full load, how much strength they had while accelerating (and I didn't even understand anything of physics at the time!), even how many TPS tiles they had. (No, I can't do that anymore, thank god!) I guess I was "a bit different" as a kid. :D

Still, the Space Shuttle has a place in my heart, even when the last Shuttle mission is nigh. They taught me to value space technology and human curiosity and persistence. I'm happy I've lived during the time they excisted.

My unnamed Space Shuttle
This unnamed Shuttle flies only in my room with Hubble!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Status: Coding finished.

Tomorrow, we have to present a static website we've coded at school. I been coding my own site for some time now, and I finally managed to get it online to check for the mistakes. Last night, I couldn't sleep very well, since after six hours of coding xhtml and css I just saw tags and asterisks in front of my eyes every time I closed them. :P

But I guess they are now as ready as I can get them in this timeline! Go check yourself at :)

There still a lot work to do with them, but I'm happy with what I have now (considering I started form the scratch). Spock agrees:

Large quantities of win

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Just as I was talking about science in my last entry... Today is the international Pi Day, since in America they write this day as 3/14, and of course that reminds people about Pi, which is 3.14159........ Last year I already celebrated the Pi Approximation Day, which is 22/7 (22 divided by 7 is closest date there is to the Pi Approximation).

So, of course I just had to bake a Pi Pie for to occasion! Happy Pi Day, everyone!!!

(For the record: According to tests I'm 74% nerd, 74% geek, but only 30% dork. 1337!!1)

Friday, March 12, 2010


Science. A cornucopia for designer's inspiration. I've been an amateur astronomer since my childhood, but never really understood much Maths. I've always loved to popularise the science, and I find it a strenght in a way that I can't use any mathematical analysis in that work - no one would understand it. When I was working as a stargazing guide in New Zealand, people often complimented me on the clear and understandable way I told them about the universe, stars and cosmos in general and in detail.

I find it sad that many people think that science, especially astronomy in my case, is something incomprehensible and scary to even think of. For me, science is not formulae or hard Maths, but art and way of seeing things! I love to think how rays of sunlight are casted back to the eye from the white snow and which rays am I actually seeing (knowing that the ray is reflected outwards in the same angle as it was casted in). Or just admire the things that are often there but very few people notice them (e.g. just now there is a beautiful Alpenglow in the eastern horizon where the shadow of Earth has been casted by the setting sun!).

Still, I think my longest love affair has been with fractals. I understand very little about those self-feeding patterns and their true meaning (well, maybe a bit more than "very little"), but I love how they look like. They are mystic yet filled with life, they evade the understanding yet fill your mind with a wonder. I've played with programs you can create fractals with, I've done handicrafts and patterns out of them. I just can't get enough of the beauty and order of those favourite childs of the chaos theory.

When we got our assignment last year to design a package for a Nokia phone during the print design course, I got the idea of using fractals as my theme almost instantly. The work from the idea until the end of the course was insanely huge (I constructed the fractal image from about 40 smaller pictures), but I still haven't got bored with my design. It still looks as fascinating, welcoming and mysterious as always before. I don't know about other people, but I would buy such a phone just because of the idea! ;)

Nokia Fractal design

Edit: I just counted that I have 194 files in my computer about this assignment. Dedication, anyone? :D

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Today, I returned back home from a two week holiday. (We had the winter leave, but I took some extra days off, too.) It was a very busy and packed "holiday", so in a way I'm relieved that I can get back to school now to relax a bit. :) The saldo of the past fortnight is pretty impressive: I travelled to Tallinn with my two best friends to attend Rammstein's concert, I went to a spa-type place with my mom for a couple of days, I had my 30th birthday and I went to work, too. Eventful two weeks, all in all.

I noticed that I never posted a pic here about the Rammstein pillows I've made. One of them is visible in one of the older posts, but here's the full monty:

Rammstein pillows

I finally managed to get my hand in the thread I need to do them, so I could finish the lot. (It's insanely hard to find, I don't know why. The cotton ones are everywhere, but they are too slim for these.) I've always loved Rammstein's hard industrial style. Their stage show is also amazing, especially this latest one is designerwise very polished, but compared to e.g. the Sehnsucht era, it is a even a bit too perfect for my taste. Nevertheless, the colours, the surfaces, the pyro effects, the details... all of that with the music and the energy kinda explains why that band has gained so much popularity everywhere. (The best Rammstein gallery is Rammimages, quite worth browsing!)

Here's a pic of me and my friends in the front row. We went to queue five hours before the doors opened and were the first ones there. We had met and chatted with one of the band staff members on the ferry the day before and he really made our day by delivering us some tea when he noticed that we were there! That was the first time there was such a good service in the Rammstein queue... :D

Me and my friends in Rammstein's concert in Tallinn
Photo by Jelena Rudi /

Monday, March 1, 2010

Finnish by design

Finnish design is very well known throughout the world. The touch of nature, beauty and innovation has always been popular among both western and eastern cultures. Foreigners often have clear stereotypes of Finnish mentality and us as a country. Often that image is also very shallow and even if it might touch the surface, the true essence of Finnish society gets buried under the surface.

Here it is! The Aalto Vase, the most famous piece of Finnish design all around the world. (Photo:

This is how Finnish-ity is seen. This and the school shootings. Yay. Being a Finn is not obviously just nature, midnight sun, little introverted but all in all quite friendly people. There is the famous "sisu", guts to go on whatever the odds, this we nurture remembering our wars and our suffering under the foreign rulers.

I used to live abroad for more than two years. Coming back to Finland hasn't been easy. Somehow, I seem to notice all kinds of small things I never saw before, and they annoy me now enormously. Maybe I am cynical, maybe unfair, but this has been in my mind for some time now:

We live in cotton. We don't want to take responsibility for our own actions, the society is always to blame. If there happens a shooting somewhere, that's because the police didn't do their work right, the parliament should have banned the guns years ago or there hasn't been enough money for mental health. The media goes on and on and on, how terrible it is that these kind of things can happen in Finland and how terrible it is that no one does anything and how many candles there are in the place where it happened and after a week they have the complete profile of the shooter from since he was a baby and why he did what he did and how everyone is missing the people he killed and how terrible it is that it can happen in Finland. This goes on until there is another headline.

It's also amasing, when during the winter one MP mentions that it would be good for people to clean their roofs so that they won't collapse and few people fall off and get killed, it's the MPs fault, because he asked them to get to the roof in the first place. Just last week I read from the newspaper how you should "refer to your knowledge about past experiences" when you are thinking whether you should clean your roof or not. It's good that media is here to tell us these things. We live in cotton because our wits are constantly stupendously underestimated and we like it since we don't need to hurt our brains thinking.

The other thing which has really really gotten into my nerves is the lack of Finnish optimism. There is no such thing. We always wait for the worst. We have our sisu to get through it, but it's not optimism - it's stubbornness. The day just can't be good if it's raining and if the sun is shining it probably won't be in the end of the day anyway. During the long winter there's either too much snow or too little and at least it's slippery all the time. When there's a transporter's strike starting, the first headlines tell us how fresh food will disappear from the shops in a couple of days and there won't be any fuel left in the end of the week. The mass hysteria in this country is something amazing. We see it around constantly, whether it was Kaarina Hazard or national railway problems. The media tells us about it and boy, we believe, the worse the better. When Saku Koivu boosts the self-esteem of the Olympic icehockey team when they are losing 1-3 and they manage to win the game 5-3 in the last period, it's not optimism either. It's sisu again - the same "we don't have anything to lose" attitude we saw in the Winter War. We have gotten far with it, no doubt, but it does make me angry when I hear the Finnish people repeatedly saying "I did this, but it's not so good as I intended". (I do that from time to time and that makes me even angrier, it just proves how affective that attitude is.) This country has some huge self-esteem problems. We are always ready to give up, but then don't after all, when we go forth with our sisu.

While abroad, I learned how powerful tool optimism really is. Or at least the faith for the future. What does it matter if it rains in the morning or evening? What does it matter if your bakings didn't turn fabulous or tasty, why do you need to apologise it in advance? I believe the world is a marvellous, interesting and funny place with lots of possibilities as long as you are ready to explore them. But that's it, isn't it? We have these things we don't want to give away. We live in cotton and we are so afraid of the future (and our possible death) that we always try to be ready for it by waiting for the worst - and we never succeed.

I must admit it has been really hard for me to come back here and notice, how I'm slipping back to that Finnish pessimistic attitude. That's why I can hardly wait that I get out of here again, because I can't afford another depression. I want to live my life to the full every day and enjoy it now. I don't want to sit in a dark house and wait that the roof will fall over me because it's so packed with snow. Maybe as a Finn I'd be able to get out of the ruins, we always do, but it would be so much easier just to walk out before it even collapsed.