Any Sufficiently Advanced Skill Is Indistinguishable From Magic

I was on a plane with my daughter flying back the other day from Florida where I had run my marathon.  She was just doodling around on her Mac notebook, just using the track pad to do some drawing.  This was the result:


  1. kidmugsy:

    Pleasing for a proud Pa.

  2. Sam P:

    Some laptops have such huge trackpads, I wonder if there are some drawing applications which can put them into a usable "tablet mode".

    talent + practice => skill

  3. Maddog:

    Oh, that tedious art!

    My daughter is also artistic, and skilled. She also will sometimes comment on how tedious it is to do something which to me is nothing short of magic. What I most love about art is it give me, for a brief few seconds, the ability to see the world through another's eyes.

    Thanks, Melia!

    Mark Sherman

  4. SamWah:

    That's gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!

  5. sean2829:

    Now lets move that expertise into the third dimension. There are several companies now that have camera rigs where up to 100 images are shot simultaneously. These images are then analyzed in a computer to create a 3D surface. The 3D surface can be printed as a solid object and a very good figurine reproduction can be done in monochrome or in color. High end systems can even pick up the threads in the fabric of people's clothes. That's magic to me.

  6. Vangel:

    I am impressed. Great job Amelia.

  7. Rusty Bill:

    A "little doodle", eh? I've seen so-called professional artists and designers that couldn't do as well. Nicely done, Amelia.

  8. Ward Chartier:

    Wow! There will come a time that I'll buy your daughter's art.

  9. ErikTheRed:

    The artistry is impressive, but what's more impressive is being on an American Airlines flight and being able to enjoy the scenery. I keep getting distracted by problems (lost luggage, incompetent customer service, that lavatory maintenance problem that makes the plane smell like a sewage treatment plant, being out of whatever I order for food and drinks for three flights in a row, planes ordered / refurbished with an absolute minimum of amenities, holding back blocks of economy seats so that people have to upgrade to sit together, etc., etc., etc.). We have this Cal Ripkin-like streak of drama with American that no other airline seems to be able to duplicate (thankfully).

  10. marque2:

    I fly AA every other week* - and the worst issue I have had is the video screen crashing - and that doesn't happen often. Actually now that I think of it, once, I had to get Jack Daniels whisky instead of the Woodbridge bourbon, no issues with food items. And the main cabin food on the holiday menu is actually pretty good. I am actually pleasantly surprised how well the airline runs now since the merger and US Air folks taking over. I don't know 25 flights in the last year without major issue, and you have an issue every flight - I don't understand how that happens.

    For the seats, you book the seats available - or don't choose any and then call AA and explain you have a family which needs to sit together. They usually will block book the seats for you.

    *technically every week since I fly on a Thursday and return on Sunday.

  11. marque2:

    On that note - if you have images you want to print on shirts you can set up an account at They show the images and let folks select and print and ship the shirts for you. I am sure the most successful have their own web pages - other ways to refer people to their shirts on cafepress.

  12. Rob Raffety:

    I think we can safely say, now, that laptop trackpad is a valid medium of visual art. The process is visible in the result and the result is beautiful. Your daughter (or someone) should create a body of work in this medium and have a showing.