Archive for the ‘2008’ Category

Happy Holidays – Interactive Snowflake

December 26, 2008


Happy holidays – you can drag the shapes around to make your own!

Dan Zen

Cool – just reached 10,000 views…


Mystery Games Without the Annoying Plot! Mood Mysteries – For your Mystery Party of Four or More – Makes a Perfect Gift!

December 16, 2008
Mood Mystery Party Games

Mood Mystery Party Games

Plots?!? Who needs a plot! Mood Mystery games let players feel like they are involved in mystery without that annoying plot! Make up characters and clues and act all mysterious and maybe some plotters will plot a plot as the hilarious game play plays.

Visit to find out more!

Makes a perfect immediate gift for your hard to get friends or family!


Dan Zen Wins Sheridan Chess Tournament

December 16, 2008

Dan Zen was able to remain undefeated in the 2008 Sheridan Chess Tournament in Oakville Ontario.

“It was a great tournament although the highlight for me was the second place game which was a crazy back and forth battle!”

Dan Zen is the creator of the simple chess application called Flat Chess at

Thee Gnostics Psychedelic Space Rock Band Discovered in the Tarken Files

August 30, 2008

Thee Gnostics were a psychedelic space rock garage band from Hamilton, Canada in the 90s.  Archives of video, sound, pictures along with descriptions can be found in The Tarken Files.

The Tarken Files shows any Web video, sound, pictures and text.  Thumbnails for the files are presented with rollover scrolling text beneath.  Click on any thumbnail or use the arrows to browse more files.  A viewer will appear with either video, audio, picture or text navigation.

The video navigation has a full screen button at the right.  Hit escape or the reduce screen button to exit.  The sound navigation has a reduce button at right that closes the pannel but keeps the sound playing in the background while you browse pictures or text.  If sound is playing in the background, you will see a sound icon on the right side of the video, picture and text viewers so that you can adjust the volume or go back to the sound.

There are tabs at the right of the viewer that open the ratings, comments and information panels. To rate, roll over the rating at the bottom and submit.  The comments and information panels (and the text viewer) have a scroller if necessary that lets you scroll through the text.  You can also single click through the pages or double click to go to the top or bottom page.  The information panel shows you the views as well.

The Tarken Files have been excavated from a Galaxy Long Long Ago yet seem to also span the future.

Many a Love Guru Keep in Shape with Psychedelic Dancing as Exercise

June 10, 2008

Here is a post from ZenVlog that summarizes various interests in guroovity. Enjoy!


Click to View Vlog
or see: Part 1 | Part 2

The movie The Love Guru is coming out soon – looking forward to it!

All gurus of love psychedelic dance as one of their forms of exercise.

Dan Zen dances to The Garden – a social environmental Indian / Arabian / Persian sounding a Capella yodeling psychedelic song! Please see the video on YouTube. Or download the song from SoundClick. Or visit the Dan Zen page on facebook.

Dan Zen wears his San Francisco Groovy Guru robe. The one he wore for the International Groovy Day poster. Should we choose a day for that? Or should it just be any day? Oh… also check out the Love Mash – the robe shows up there too and it would be cool if some more people made Zen Mixes and maybe someone will make us a love mash!

Dan Zen also “starred” in a movie called the Guru Monster Movie. Some of that can be seen pictorially on Thee Gnostics mySpace page – more to come as site happens.

In 1996, Dan Zen traveled to San Francisco and wore a guru robe – quite a beautiful traditional green robe with yellow embroidery. He was at the Macromedia Conference where Shockwave was unveiled. A flower lei held his festival pass. An Indian guard, after much deliberation, came up smiling and said, “You know… in my country… the women wear those robes”.

Get dancing people! Loosen up – no steps to follow – you can’t go wrong and it feels great – puts you in touch with your body and nobody has to know! Unless… you start vlogging it with Zen Mix!

Utopia – Erotic Mystery launches on flickr for 10 Year Anniversary

May 23, 2008

Utopia - Erotic Mystery

Dan Zen is posting the images from Utopia – the erotic mystery on flickr to mark the 10 Year Anniversary of the mystery that had thousands of people lined up for the $500 prize.

Visit the flickr Utopia Set

Visit the flickr Utopia Slideshow

(please view on slow and set options to not “embiggen”)

Promotional images are currently posted and starting Friday May 23, 2008 the mystery pictures will be posted one day at a time (12 pictures per day – 6 days).

Have fun! Please visit often and tell friends.

~ 08 ~

Group Games Presents Nano Race! on facebook

May 14, 2008

facebook Group Games - Nano Race Group Games is a new concept that in a sense hacks the facebook groups to create games where the leaders are those with the most group members or pictures or wall posts of a certain type, etc. Here is a link to the Group Game group on facebook. Note, that anybody can make a group game and it does not require coding. If you are interested, please consider adding it to the group game page and be part of the collective.

Nano Race! Is the first group game where you join one of the groups that are working towards being shrunk to nano size to gain great speed, strength and riches. How exactly that works is up to the players to role play. The group with the most explorers is winning the race!

The game hearkens back to early Dan Zen social networking games of Blimp Race and Shrink Ray. Please see the post on Social Networking, Social Media and Social Gaming.

The groups are pictured below but do not link through to the game. It is best if you join the overall game group for nano race by clicking the Join Group link at right. Then pick one of the groups by clicking the link to the group and then JOINING the colony group. Then invite friends and write on walls to role play the game.

  1. Join the nano race group
  2. Join the colony group of your choice
  3. Invite friends to join your colony group
  4. Write on the walls to role play the game

Have fun!

The Next 50 Years – Futurist Inventor Dan Zen

May 7, 2008

2022 SafetyGlow Personal Aura


Personal Computers | Bank Machines | Networks | MiniVans | CD ROM | e-mail | KB


Internet | Online Shopping | Search Engines | Portals | Pictures | SUV | DVD | Webmail | MB


Environment | Social Networking | Mobile | Broadband | Hybrid Cars | video | Thumb Drive | Messenger | GB

2022 HoloFrame Relevance Visualiser


Cradle To Cradle | Electric Cars | Oled Walls | Digital Paper | Micropayments | Nanotech | Solar Panels Everywhere | TB


Mediated Reality | Genetic Tech | No New Gasoline Cars | Oled Everywhere | Room Junkies


Public Space Travel | Molecular Computing | Implants To Extend Life 10 Years | Holograms Everywhere


World Council | No-waste Nuclear Batteries | Artificial Intelligence Passes Turing Test | Communication Implants


World Currency | Space Resorts and Colonies | Life Extended By 40 Years | Nano Plague | Mind Mapping and Storage

2022 AstralGuide Ceiling

Why Have a Blog and How Blogs Can Be Used

April 30, 2008

Dan Zen Blogs and Why Dan Zen Blogs

Dan Zen would like to encourage people to blog and perhaps more generally to create content.

A blog for Dan Zen is a meta view of content. The games, gadgets, tools, art, etc. content exist and the blog is an organized way to provide information about the content. This frees the content from verbosity – which is handy when your features have embedded or hidden interface. Blogs help features remain simple. If you have a product or service site – then keep it simple with just the facts. Then blog about your product or service in a free and more relaxed voice.

Blogs with their RSS or Atom feeds are the new newsletter – the new press release. Subscription is standardized across many free readers including traditional e-mail clients. Nothing is lacking in infrastructure – if you do not have a reader then please find one or set one up – google reader, Thunderbird (down there in the news and blogs folder) and subscribe to this blog via the entries feed link at the bottom – and join the millions who get their news and updates this way and will not go back.

Blogs have excellent search engine placement due primarily to their title being placed in their URL as well as their network of “Blogrolls” or links. Dan Zen has become the number one psychedelic dancer in the world (according to Google) through blog placements.

Blog posts are portable. For example, the content of the Dan Zen facebook page comes from blogs. Post once, display many places. And writers or editors can create and update their own posts without delay because blogs have easy content management systems built for anyone. You do not need a Web team for maintenance and your site is less likely to get stale. Oh… they are free even for many gigs of space.

Here are some sample Dan Zen blogs. Posts are occasionally cross-posted to the main Dan Zen blog (this blog) making the Dan Zen blog quite diverse in subject matter. Of course content helps and being a mad inventor, there is no shortage of content. Dan Zen has been blogging since 1996 with his now defunct Social Page and Telepathy Newsletter to 25,000.


A video log using the vlogging tool Zen Mix to mix video on picture or event interactive works. Content includes Phsychedelic Dancing as Exercise, Environmental messages, A nano antigravity sci-fi mystery called META told by ages 5 to 100 and many more.


Discussions and tips on inventing including connections with the philosophy of Nodism, experiences from being a patent agent, video of offline inventions, unjunk movement, environmental inventing by distribution of ideas as opposed to physical product.


The Blog for Sheridan Interactive Multimedia one year post grad program in Oakville Canada including many innovative and current code samples for creating interactive video, video motion capture, frequency beat analysis, and a variety of event information, links to countless multimedia pioneering blogs and more.


A new environmental blog encouraging reconsideration when purchasing minivans, SUVs and trucks. Includes a spottings chart of license plate numbers and encourages others to enter their spottings.


Out of focus photography for artistic intention. This blog shows examples and discusses the reasons why out of focus work can be included as a part of so many features as background.


A blog on the philosophy of Nodism. Nodism takes our learning in Object Oriented Programming as the way we model life in gaming and simulations and XML as the way in which we share and represent data and applies these two hierarchical systems to the philosophical value of viewing life as a single hierarchy leading to node zero. The hopes are the most logical people in the world will see this as a philosophy they can explore and use to reach further understanding.


Experimenting with Blog games where people come back every hour to get more objects. WannaGet is set up for Harry Potter, James Bond and Narnia but anyone can start a WannaGet game and put it on their blog.


Tapoll is a poll where you get to predict the results as you vote. This blog needs some loving and if you want to be a technology blog editor, please let us know. The blog discusses and allows for discussion about technology issues and centers around a tapoll poll. Tapoll makes use of Chikita ads and revenue sharing is hopeful!


A blog to help designers connect between Flash and Database. A Falcon class is provided that turns 15 complex lines of code into 3 simple lines of code. Uptake from search engine traffic has been wonderful and it feels good to be helpful.


A new blog to encourage all students, grads, faculty and staff from Sheridan College – the second largest art school in North America to aggregate their feeds to show up on Sheridan Bloggers. It has just been out a few weeks and participation is positive, Talks are underway to encourage teachers to blog for their programs and get students blogging as well. There is a facebook presence which reads in the RSS feeds as well.

One area of concern is comments. It has been hard to get comments despite open invitations. Perhaps Dan Zen needs to get out more and comment on other people’s blogs – too busy creating ;-). Dan Zen created comment right at to try and remedy the comment issue – the results can be seen on Zen Vlog but we shall persevere.

Perhaps the BlogPreneur contest below will bring more people or people who are used to commenting. That would be very rewarding.

TiECON Blogpreneur Contest 2008

In 250 words, tell entrepreneurs at the conference how you were able to successfully get your blog up and running…

Blogs allow you to easily publish to many people. People can subscribe to your blog to be notified of updates like a news letter or press release. Blog pages also have excellent search engine placement due to the way their title appears in their URL and the linking power of blog networks.

Blogs come with a very easy content management system. You can publish in one place and distribute to many places such as a facebook page without extra work. You do not need a Web team to maintain your site so it is easy to keep the site fresh. Blogs are free even for gigabytes of content.

Dan Zen is a mad inventor with hundreds of inventions ranging from food to out of focus photography, mysteries to meta philosophies. Many Dan Zen inventions are Web games, gadgets and communities found at This is the Dan Zen content.

A blog for Dan Zen is a meta view of content. The content exists and the blog is an organized way to provide information about the content. This frees the content from verbosity – which is handy when your features have embedded or hidden interface. Blogs help features remain simple. If you have a product or service site – keep it simple with just the facts. Then blog about your product or service in a free and more relaxed voice.

Make a blog with your first post in ten minutes at WordPress or Blogger like I did at

Fritz Wolfgang Sigismund Fassbender Song with Missing Black Sock Wig

April 7, 2008

Dan Zen wearing a wig of unmatched socks fondly plays Peter Sellers playing Dr. Fritz Wolfgang Sigismund Fassbender in What’s New Pussycat 1965. Sellers wears a long black wig and looks really groovy. He’s a bit of a mess personality wise.

See the video

The song deals with wanting to be hypnotized into being Fassbender – the song was written at the tail end of the Chessmen times part way into the psychedelic times of the Chessmen – still to be recorded and on the way to the Swinging Gurus and the space band, Thee Gnostics – soon to come out with some videos…

Grab the MP3

The song was made from all voices – I ended leaving the backing guitar in for a bit of filler. But all else is voices with minimal effects aside from some delay and reverb. I have been looking forward to doing more vocal sound recordings. I have started in on some experimental works to follow some of the experimental vocal works during Gnostics and side projects.

Mismatch Socks 1
Mismatch Socks 2 from Inventor Blog


A Million Clouds – Resort for Jet Pack Folk Like Iron Man

March 16, 2008

A million clouds environmental game

Pccchooooooo! What speed! What Serenity! The two do not usually go together but then again it is not every day that you get to fly a jet pack through peaceful puffy clouds.

There are a million clouds on which you can sit and look up or down, drink tea, read a book and of course think deep thoughts.

But like anything, there are environmental concerns. Will the clouds last forever? How do we fill our jet pack? A bit of a twisted take on non-renewable resources. We will let you discover the answer if you have not already.

Thanks go to Steve Mazza whose jet men on clouds was overwhelmingly inspirational! As soon as I got home from his exhibit (see the picture below), I had to seek therapy in constructing this feature in time for the upcoming Iron Man boom and of course building on our fascination from early James Bond, Rocket Robin Hood, etc.

Steve Mazza Future Tense

Steve Mazza work from Future Tense show at Transit Gallery, Hamilton Canada


Mixing Interactive Works

March 13, 2008

Much like we have a DJ for audio and a VJ for video, we will have an IJ for mixing interactive works. These interactive mixes will be on our walls within ten years with OLED technology. OLED Walls.

Meta stories and games will be played out through the mixes. Games of follow the leader, quests, mazes, hunts, rallies, chases, tag.

Zen Mix ( is a tool that was specifically built to mix interactive works. In the original Zen Mix it is not so apparent because people are seeing the outcome of creations. But in the tool, the elements of the creation are interactive. So when I am in the Zen Mix tool I put Opartica (the Op Art tool) on top of Zen Picture (sliding picture viewer) then I can operate both of them and even have a video blended with the results. This is the place to be. Not just watching, but doing, exploring and creating.

The IJ would be responsible for starting people off. Scenario: here’s an oldie from 2001, Opartica, mixed overtop of the latest branching music video from Vincent Morisset. Each branch of the video brings in associated Zen Pan of overlayed backgrounds. Zen Pan pans across pictures and other interactive works such as Zen Picture Zoom.

In the above scenario, people can watch it all happen or they can use Opartica to change the patterns over the video. When their mouse causes the video to branch, Zen Pan comes in which could be operable through transparent parts of Opartica or perhaps Opartica is faded out (prompted by a shared event). When Zen Pan shows Zen Picture, they can zoom in and out on pictures and wave their mouse to go to other pictures. One of the pictures might be a Zen Deck filled with further interactive works. Clicking on one of these might fade out or ZoomExit the prior interactive works and start you in a fresh set of environments. Personal meta navigation will be available to go back.

The new Zen Mix (Zen Mix 2) will be like a browser with multiple pages stacked. You can go into the pages through transparent areas or areas in applications that open up to more layers of environments. If all goes well, it will be fullscreen (adjustable), optionally available on your desktop so you can incorporate local and remote media, and will publish an FLV for distribution. It will also let you read in YouTube videos which was a limitation of a previous version of Flash.

For this to happen, there are some technical issues. Zen Mix and interactive mixers are possible because of Flash and its ability to load in other flash files. There are cross domain issues on occasion and a standard or a policy of how these will be handled will help people mix interactive works. Also, some legacy code while working independently will not work within other files due primarily to using a root reference. This can be fixed quite easily by locking the root in older code but requires editing.

More importantly, there are issues of transparency and event handling. When a user clicks or rolls over an area does the application on top pass the click or roll event through to the next layer. Flash can have transparent areas that will let the click pass through. But there are more than mouse events. Imagine that an animation is finished playing – that is an event. Or the user is increasing the volume of a sound. If your application broadcasts this event then the other interactive applications could subscribe to the event and do something like zoom in on a picture as the sound is increased. Reaching the end of an animation might change a blend mode or launch another application, etc.

So we need a set of guidelines for interactive works so that people can more easily work in layers of different interactive features. This could take on the form of an interface or an API. But rather than concentrating on a data and method API this should be an event API and perhaps more importantly a common event API to handle:

  • Click
  • DoubleClick
  • Timer
  • MouseMove
  • Press
  • Release
  • KeyPress
  • KeyRelease
  • Load
  • Unload
  • Focus
  • Blur
  • Start
    • animation
    • video
    • sound
  • Complete
    • animation
    • video
    • sound
  • Change
    • volume
    • frame
    • motionX
    • motionY
    • motionZ
    • width
    • height
    • depth
    • transparency
    • blend
    • selection

A variety of common states might be good too to handle modal issues, etc.

Then when these interactive works get put into Zen Mix or an interactive mixer, various properties and connections can be set so that triggered events from one application calls a method or sets a property in another application. This could be a one off thing like a load event. Or it could be an event that calls over an interval – like a mouse move or a change event.

Zen Picture (2004) was probably the first application in which I brought in a second interactive tool (Opartica 2001) and realized that mixing these was interesting. I ran into problems as the panning event of Zen Picture and the subsequent zooming within Zen Picture prevented interaction with the inner tool. Since then, I have used Opartica, Zen Picture and Zen Pan (2005) within Zen Mix for various psychedelic dancing as exercise episodes.

The designer of an interactive mix might be a story teller, artist or programmer for a story teller or artist (or one in the same person) would then set up stories or modules for stories. These could be like rooms, chapters, tools, tasks, puzzles, games, mazes, presentations, worlds, realities – cyberspace. Of course a prime element of a mix is another mix.

Aspects of Meta can readily be explored leading to more interest in the topics of the philosophy of Nodism. Nodism takes our understanding of XML (the current way to share organized data) and Object Oriented Programming (how we model life in games an simulations) and proposes a single hierarchy that nests us all.

Horton Hears A Who and Meta Civilizations

March 5, 2008

META - Anti-gravity Nano Sci-fi Mystery (Horton Hears a Who)

The Horton Hears a Who movie is almost here and it looks pretty cool! The movie trailer made me realize that the Dr. Suess book was probably my first introduction to meta concepts and in particular to a society at a smaller level. Of course we can then ask ourselves if our universe is part of some larger system.

I explore these themes in a more realistic way in the Nano Anti-gravity Sci-fi Mystery called META. and then click META Mystery on the left.

META is set in the year 2020 and is an offshoot of the Dan Zen game called Save Earth but it goes further into several levels of civilizations down through nano measurements into information actually being communicated in the apparently random appearances of electrons around protons.

There is a girl heroine called Avid Zag who luckily gets to ride an anti-gravity board.

The story is told through a tool called Zen Mix which lets you take video and put it on top of picture and apply cool blend modes (actually, you can mix interactive works with Zen Mix too).

There are twenty phrases each beginning with “It will come to be” so it becomes a bit of a mantra / prophecy. The actors will span the ages from 5 years old to 95 years old. Currently about half the entries have been produced and we are just out of the teens.

A modern view of the concept of META is being explored in depth through the philosophy of Nodism. This takes learnings from XML (the current way we share organized information) and Object Oriented Programming (OOP – the current way we model life in games and simulations) and explores the concept of a single hierarchy. If you are interested in learning more, please leave a note or visit the Nodism site.


Ban Van – Environmental Blog Launches to Encourage Re-thinking Vehicle Purchases

February 25, 2008

Ban Van Environmental Blog

A reminder to consider the environment when making vehicle choices. Of course public transit, bicycles, etc. also work ;-).


Falcon – Adobe Flash 9 AS3 Data Class

February 23, 2008

Falcon - Adobe Flash 9 AS3 Data Class Replaces URLVariables, URLRequest, URLRequestMethod, URLLoader and URLLoaderDataFormat

Have you ever wondered how social network sites are built like facebook, YouTube, flickr, MySpace, etc. and sites like Ebay, Amazon, any forums, wikis, blogs, etc.? There is a front end that you see and a back end that sits on a server. To be able to share data and make elegant use of the Internet as a medium, we have to be able to pass data (in variable or XML or JSON, etc. format) from the front end to the back end and back again.

Falcon is an Adobe Flash custom class that lets you send and receive variables, text, XML or binary data. You can load XML or text from a file or send and receive variables or XML to and from a server script like PHP and then on to a database like MySQL. Falcon automatically makes a DataProvider if your variables are sequential so that it is easy to make a DataGrid (table in Flash).

The Flash scripting language, ActionScript 3.0 is now a complete Object Oriented Programming language that follows the ECMAScript standard as does JavaScript. In doing so, the language has become very internally consistent. For this consistency to work, the former classes (properties and functions) have been broken down into smaller or more precise classes. This means that to handle data, ActionScript 3 now has five classes that are used to load even just one variable! These are URLVariables, URLRequest, URLRequestMethod, URLLoader and URLLoaderDataFormat. This results in fifteen lines of code.

Falcon wraps or combines these native AS3 classes into one class. The class uses three active lines of code. This simplification makes it easier for designers and developers to provide important functionality of sharing information.

As an inventor of social games, tools and environments, I realize the importance of passing data to the server so that it can be shared. This technique is used in the following Darth Detector, Changing Mail, Chatnap, Baron Digbody’s Castle, Lady With Brooch, Danisms, Dens, Dan Zen Garden, Gorgolon, Grim Reaper’s Age Guesser, Gycopo, Hip Cats, Kula Pu Idol, Moustache Mysteries, Opartica, Pagoda Of Games, Password Paradox, Tapoll, Prediction Train, Rich Deck, Salamander, Save Earth, Spirogram, Spy-mail, Telepathy, Teleporters, Tilator, Tower Of Babel, Web Ouija, Utopia, Wannaget, Word Warp, Yesumno, Zen Deck, Zen Dots, Zen Mix, Zen Motto, Zen Pass, and Zen Picture Pan Zoom.


Interactive Multimedia Blog

February 23, 2008

Interactive Multimedia Blog

The Interactive Multimedia blog has postings about new media including code and tutorials primarily in Adobe Flash. There are also events and pictures that relate to the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia one year post grad program where I teach.

Currently pictured on the front are some of the older works. An artist is using a touch screen wall display to draw with Mike Balder’s voice sensitive drawing application built in Flash. As she (or collaborators) make louder noises, the brush strokes get fatter or depending on the setting, more opaque. This picture is from the Interactive Interactive show. The picture on the right shows a music application by Kim Cullion that captures the users gesture motion with a $10 web cam. The Motion Cursor classes I made create a motion cursor which can be used to play notes on a musical staff.

If you are interested in multimedia or further information about our program, please visit:


How is it? Environmental Song

February 14, 2008

How is it?  Environmental Song

How is it? An environmental song…

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