Your roundup of tech, culture, and nostalgia for

February 14, 2023 // Web version //

TimeMachiner. Tech, culture, nostalgia. By Aaron Crocco
Inside Today's Issue:
Beavers At Work
30 Years of Mortal Kombat
It Took Me Two Years to Learn Siri Could Do This

Read to the end to be part of the problem.

👋🏻 Welcome to this week's edition of TimeMachiner. Thanks for subscribing and checking out my work. I'm happy to have you here.

What is it about Bob Ross that lives on so strongly in the modern era? He's one man who hosted a series on PBS that focused on painting. Not exactly thrilling TV, but on paper that's all it was. And that is the magic of The Joy of Painting.

A quick history: The Joy of Painting aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994. Its creator and host, Bob Ross, was a soft-spoken man with large hair and a soothing voice. In thirty minutes (and really less when you excluded the intro) Ross would transform a blank canvas into an incredible piece of art. Further, he presented an upbeat attitude that was welcoming on multiple fronts.

First, he never criticized a mistake. The "happy accidents" mantra coined by Ross is a breath of fresh air in a society where mistakes are punishable and cause people to be upset. In so many episodes he would "mess up" and just roll with it. It's how he saw things and in every session, he encouraged viewers to take chances.

Another approach of his was to make art the way you wanted. Time and time again he would encourage exploration and go "off script" with what he was doing. Didn't want to paint the tree or bird he was doing? No problem! Wanted more clouds in the sky? Go for it. Art is individual and he wanted people to be themselves.

Last, and probably most important, Bob Ross had a personality and demeanor that was welcoming like that of a grandparent when we were children. His soft tone and kindness filled the entire episode. It's well-documented that when a viewer who was colorblind approached him, Ross dedicated an entire episode to painting only in greys to prove that anyone could make art.

Ross's legacy lives on today and with the advent of YouTube, digital painting tools, and the wonderful artwork he inspired, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy making art without the mess. And that is why I'm talking about this today.

I've always wanted to paint and draw. But I'm terrible at it. I can't create anything more than stick figures. No matter if it's pencils, pens, markers, or paint, I am simply not skilled enough to achieve these things in any meaningful way. But then I realized an iPad and Apple Pencil plus a simple app like Procreate could take my very-mediocre skills and enhance them.

And that's what I did. I found this tutorial by James Julier and got to work. After lots of rewinding and Undoing and finessing the digital canvas, I was left with an image I could be proud of.

This was the result of my work (direct link here):

Northern Lights in the Snow

It may not be fine art and it may not even be more than a 5 out of 10, but in all my decades on this planet it's absolutely the best thing I've ever painted. And it's something I'm super proud of.

I hope you have a great week.


PS: I'm working hard to grow TimeMachiner. If you enjoy my work, please tell a friend. Thank you. 😊


Drinking too much water can be fatal. Source

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Beavers At Work
Cute animals never cease to capture attention. And for good reason: they're cute. With everyone having high-quality cameras in their pockets and the proliferation of cameras set up on people's properties, there is never an end to seeing nature in action. Dr. Holley Muraco who studies animal behavior posted this gem from her backyard…
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30 Years of Mortal Kombat
If a singular game made an impact on the arcade scene in the 90s, it is undoubtedly Mortal Kombat. This game could be the pure definition of Right Place at the Right Time. Arcades were thriving, fighting games were hot thanks to Street Fighter II, and this new game was using digitized actors instead…
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It Took Me Two Years to Learn Siri Could Do This
I don't mean to brag, but I consider myself an iPhone expert. 😉 Being a fan of Apple and a user of their computers from about 1986 until today, it's rare for a useful feature to get past me. But, I can't claim to know it all and in one of those "how did…
Show Me This Story
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