S.F. artist reaches out to find nude models. Social media stampede ensues

Screenshots: News, notes and quotes from San Francisco’s technology frontier

This is my favorite San Francisco in 2022 story: Artist seeking nude models to pose on Zoom calls gets dozens of applicants in 24 hours. The artist Göksu Koçakcıgil, who signs her artwork Skywaterr, tweeted on Wednesday, “Looking for remote nude/semi nude models for my next project. hmu (short for “hit me up”) if you want to become immortalized into a painting.” This being San Francisco, many were drawn to the idea of a revealing, artistic video call.

A couple of dozen would-be models pinged her in response to her tweet and similar Instagram post. “I’m very surprised,” she told me. “I’ve never asked this question to the public before.” Perhaps her project was aided by two things she noted on Twitter: “No, i am not a creepy dude,” and “Yes, you will be compensated.” She says she will do her best to keep subjects anonymous.

The 26-year-old immigrant from Turkey, who is a self-taught artist and designer, says she wants to help people explore body positivity. “It’s really hard for someone to be vulnerable. I’m not going to make it feel unsafe.”

Her work is a lovely combination of classical imagery, splashes of pastel color and modern tech touches. In one painting, a reclining Venus gazes into her smartphone. That could be you — except she now has more aspiring models than she knows what to do with. …

Wow, an absolutely blistering tweet from a Mozilla founder this week caused the foundation that manages the Firefox browser and other apps to do an about-face on exploring cryptocurrency donations. On New Year’s Eve, Mozilla tweeted, “We’re using @BitPay to accept donations in #cryptocurrency.” (BitPay is a bitcoin payment service provider.) This did not sit well with Jamie Zawinski, a founder of Mozilla and proprietor of the DNA Lounge nightclub in SoMa, who blasted the idea in a reply, saying, “Hi, I’m sure that whoever runs this account has no idea who I am, but I founded @mozilla and I’m here to say f*** you and f*** this.” (He didn’t use asterisks.)

The “Mozument,” is a steel and glass sign on the corner of the Embarcadero and Harrison Street that contains etchings of the names of nearly 5,000 contributors to the Mozilla Foundation. (Courtesy of Mozilla)

The “Mozument,” is a steel and glass sign on the corner of the Embarcadero and Harrison Street that contains etchings of the names of nearly 5,000 contributors to the Mozilla Foundation. (Courtesy of Mozilla)

Zawinski explained the fury with an unbridled assault on cryptocurrency: “Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters,” he said in the tweet. You gotta like founders who don’t hold back. Cryptocurrency requires lots of computing power. Bitcoin uses more electricity annually than the whole of Argentina, an analysis by Cambridge University found.

The earthy Mozilla backtracked on Thursday. “Starting today we are reviewing if and how our current policy on crypto donations fits with our climate goals. And as we conduct our review, we will pause the ability to donate cryptocurrency.”

Mozilla is based in Mountain View, but has a lovely campus on the Embarcadero. You may have passed its “mozument,” a steel and glass sign on the corner of the Embarcadero and Harrison that contains etchings of the names of nearly 5,000 contributors to the foundation. (Not with cryptocurrency!) …

The omicron wave of COVID is significantly slowing the return to tech offices, according to a new survey run by the folks at Blind. The social network ran a survey of its members, who remain anonymous but verify their employers by registering with a company email. More than 7 out of 10, or 71%, said their company had postponed its return-to-office plans because of the omicron wave, according to the survey of 3,167 verified professionals in the United States. Which tech companies are keeping workers at home? Employees said returning was delayed at Apple, Cisco, Credit Karma, Cruise, DocuSign, eBay, Expedia, Google, Intel, Lyft, MathWorks, Microsoft, Oracle, Peloton, Pinterest, Roblox, SAP, Twilio and Uber

Lastly, hope for those who love a “runner’s high,” but prefer to lay low on the couch. Exercise is good for the brain. Stanford researchers have found out how your exercise could be good for my brain. (I like this arrangement.) A new study shows it’s possible to transfer the brain benefits enjoyed by marathon-running mice to their couch-potato peers.

Stanford School of Medicine researchers have shown that blood transfusions from young adult mice that are getting lots of exercise benefits the brains of same-aged, sedentary mice. The discovery could open the door to treatments for people who don’t get much exercise, but want to protect their brains. Now if they could get me an abs transplant…

Editor’s note: Welcome to Screenshots, in which senior tech reporter Jeff Elder reports on the comings and goings of S.F.’s biggest industry. Stay tuned as we keep tabs on all things tech.

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