Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Sequel name: Jesus H. Christ Super-Fricken-RockstarThe part of Judas 2.0 would be pivotal - he would be a metal android with an autotune voicebox riding in a monster truck.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Art movement: Abstract Microrepresentationalism
You just need a good collection of these micrographs, a slide projector, a large canvas, some charcoal to trace the outlines out with, a few cans of acrylic paint, and some time to fill in the regions according to the original.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Alternate movie title: The Moon is New
The thing that seems to be missing from the advertising blitz for the film coming out this week is a depiction of the celestial body of the title, which as all skywatchers know would be one off of which the sun's rays fail to reflect. This is the closest I could find.I am looking forward to analogous images for Eclipse and especially Breaking Dawn.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Role-playing game handle: Horse de combat
While the illegal sports of dogfighting and cockfighting are better known, the blood sport of horsefighting is also practiced in some parts of the Far East, despite a fair amount of outcry.
Combat by proxy is not limited to vertebrate species. There are enthusiasts of fighting crickets in China
Perhaps one could redirect this interest to virtual depictions of blood sports in the context of video games, so that actual animals would not suffer. There is already a series of Alien vs. Predator games which one could consider to be a variation on this idea, albeit one that is a little easier to market.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Reality program: Hellholes, where contestants on a rapidly diminishing floor compete to see who can be the last one left alive while performing mental and physical challenges
When people say that something "fell between the cracks" my mind rebels. Surely if a floor were cracked in certain places, the best place for something to fall would be in between the cracks, because that way the thing would not fall into a crack itself. One could say something "fell into a crack" or "fell into a space between the parts which are between the cracks."
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Dissertation title: She Was Like a British Romantic: Parallels between the substance inspired writing of Jack Bruce and of Thomas de Quincey
Not Bruce and Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker there on the small stage entertaining the Columbus Day weekend crowd, but an amazing simulacrum. My apologies for the shakiness of the hand held shot, as my cheap digital camera does not have anything resembling image stabilization.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Domain name: punkinheadjack.com
It's quite dark out already but I'm not seeing any trick-or-treat action on our very quiet, rather safe suburban street. So I don't think Jack is in that much danger of violent liberation, out on the porch rail where he is now.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Book name: Neptune's Illegitimate Daughter
Friday music! of a rather peculiar sort!
Perhaps science and technology has progressed to the point that we can settle the controversy about Loch Ness by simply creating an aquatic beast of our own and introducing it to the famous locale. We'll put whoever's responsible for this varmint in charge:
I doubt that it can be much more disruptive to the ecology than the monster-hunting robots and other seekers already clogging up the loch looking for a (presumably rather annoyed) natural sea creature.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Band name: Glenduff Mobile Psyops Brigade
Despite the impressiveness of the armament, I think the best part is how he made the backpack with the "jet ports" out of a broken typewriter.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Thoroughbred name: Non-Specular Bid
I was at work the other day in a room with a little-used whiteboard turned to the wall and saw myself in something approaching the ultimate in soft-focus. Perhaps mirrors with the exact right degree of bumpiness could be made, scientifically, in which one sees what others see of oneself when they are completely besotted with tender emotion. Or is puppy (horsey?) love still in style?
Monday, October 26, 2009
Media sensation: Balloon Mobs
Inspired by the hoaxers, a great many lonely Americans construct and take off in color-coded personal helium balloons (presumably wearing breathing apparatus), in search of love and community in the upper troposphere. In the process, beautiful aerial displays drift over the eastern slops of the Rockies, with a few soaring to icy dizzying heights, and a few others falling like overripe fruit down to the unforgiving Earth. Experts speculate on how the phenomenon has grown out of the increasing levels of isolation and narcissism in society coupled with worries over the H1N1 pandemic.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Traditional end of meal course: Surrealism Cookies
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Educational video line: Baby Eisenstein
The Disney company has had to eat some considerable amount of crow with regard to the Baby Einstein product line they acquired a while back, which seems not to do what it was touted as doing. All this infant video watching might have some other effect however, perhaps inspiring some to craft tightly-written family dramas, others to spectacular documentaries, and still others to agonizing historical montages we can only dream of now. Or they could grow to like CGI the way I have not.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Horror movie title: The Previously Dead
I have been served brains before, and enjoyed them, insofar as one can enjoy something so similar to hard-boiled egg whites without benefit of deviled egg filling. This was long before people had worries about BSE or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and I think I have suffered no ill effect from the experience. Nor any especially potent beneficial effect, along the lines of "the best brain food should be brains," since after all it was a matter of consuming them, not acquiring a transplant or anything.
I notice that it is possible to buy a brain hat but they really should put on a warning that it intended only for those with short or no hair, which would be bound to spoil the effect. It is just the sort of thing one might wear to see a zombie movie hoping to score a reduced price ticket.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Album name: Cameleopard vs. Manatee
Spotted by the cafeteria in our office building
Which would win? Or would it even possible to imagine them fighting?
Candy name: H1-oween Shots
How cool would it be to give out treats this year in syringes for Halloween? You would even need to carry out the elaborate and somewhat tricky 'spherification' process described in this post, just have the kids line up one by one and direct the concoction straight into their greedy mouths from the nozzle of your needle-less syringe. Maybe better for a party than for trick-or-treaters at the door owing to logistics and trust factors, but we obviously have the technology.
Thanks to Holy Kaw for pointing me to this blog.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
SF story: The Aliens Have Arrived and Are About to F*** Up All Our S***
I have been thinking recently about spicing up my photographic activity by perhaps getting into the toy camera scene which relies on the Lomo, Holga, and similar inexpensive plastic cameras to come up with unusual grain and color effects, to the extent of visiting the enormous B&H photo superstore in New York city to see what they had to offer. In the end, however, I decided against picking up any more gadgetry and have turned toward the even more obscure specialty of expired photographic film to come up with a similar kind of weird effect. Conveniently, my badly neglected two decade old Nikon FG-20 was already loaded with a roll of film maybe eight or ten years old that I hadn't gotten around to finish.
Here is an example of the kind of image you get when shooting film going back several years and bring it in for development. The helpful staff at the neighborhood drugstore returned my prints with a note giving tips on how to avoid Poor Color Quality, including a warning about old or outdated film. I had to chuckle -- I could not be more delighted with the trippy retro results in fact, and am looking forward to shooting a couple other unexposed rolls of aged film which have just been laying around deteriorating in some unpredictable fashion.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Musical piece: Sweet Pea Sweet
I did not do any sweet peas this year, which I think now to have been a mistake, since my soybeans did nothing either. I believe I will plant that whole bed along the driveway in sweet peas next spring for a color shot after the snows melt.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I would take this pincushion ring one step further and make the cushion in the shape of a tiny person, thus making it a Voodoo Ring. I would then market it to ladies unlucky in love and with certain hurt feelings to work out. It would be sized appropriately for the ring finger rather than the thumb. Perhaps if the wearer has a diamond engagement ring, the voodoo ring could be made to fit around it with the stone occupying an anatomical region of some importance, thus making the whole thing that much more pointed.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Suddenly thenMaybe Grendel could have been an enormous baboon larger than a man, his fangs and claws used to grab and carry off his prey, for some reason impervious to edged weapons but susceptible to Beowulf's might in their one and only fight, at the climax of which he has his arm and hand torn off. I could imagine that. Then Grendel's mother would be an even larger sort of baboon wreaking vengeance on the Danes on account of her loss then retreating to her marshy lair, where she too is confronted by the hero:
the God-cursed brute was creating havoc:
greedy and grim, he grabbed thirty men
from their resting places and rushed to his lair,
flushed up and inflamed from the raid,
blundering back with the butchered corpses.
Quickly the one who haunted those waters,So perhaps an amphibious, part-human, part-baboon enormous monster race of super-mandrills or the like, able to wield a knife (line 1546) and adapted to live in frigid northern waters. I think that would make a pretty good spectacle, in a graphic novel format or in CGI video.
who had scavenged and gone her gluttonous rounds
for a hundred seasons, sensed a human
observing her outlandish lair from above.
So she lunged and clutched and managed to catch im
in her brutal grip; but his body, for all that,
remained unscathed: the mesh of the chain-mail
save him on the outside. Her savage talons
failed to rip the web of his warshirt
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Story title: Shower stall from the future
Not implying any slight against Skeet's artwork, which I admire greatly, just that I have a hard time getting past our recent bathroom renovation, about which more later.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Folk-metal group: Ox Toxin
The name is kicking around the net, I guess as folk etymology for the hormone oxytocin. It also came to mind a while back when we'd named a server OCTOXEN which is also a decent band name.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
What would you call a book about a struggle between a driven man and a huge homicidal cetacean, written in cute little 12x12 graphical icons?
I am thinking that if it were my project I might have gone for something like Hello Moby or Sailor Doom.
Update: Funded, in the last couple of days left to go! Soon the might of the crowdsourced Mechanical Turk will be unleashed.
Monday, October 05, 2009
This is the figurehead on the funeral carriage that took Lord Nelson's body from where it was lying in state to his resting place at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The thing is a smidge over a meter long and is supposed to evoke the nautical figureheads on ships of the day. It makes one wonder just why it is that figureheads have vanished off of modern vehicles (even including their miniature cousins, hood ornaments) pretty much everywhere except in Texas, and whether they could be brought back someday. Perhaps it would take the death of a national hero the way Nelson was regarded in his day, migrating downmarket from the funeral pomp into daily life once more starting with luxury vehicles. Soon everybody would have their own personal talisman guiding the way as they thunder down the road. Boats too.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The extreme skinniness of the shadow of the rings against Saturn's cloud top settles once and for all the extreme silliness of film depictions of spaceships flying through huge debris fields when passing through planetary rings. You can't even see it in the thumbnail, so thin the region is, so the pilot and navigator would have to be aiming for that razor's edge to be in the right place for it to be a problem.
Plus I'm pretty sure the contents of these ring systems is much smaller than the huge boulders the CGI team likes to toss around.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
He does some investigation on the side which takes him to some dark places and comes to the conclusion that the maker of the world in which he is a construct had decided on a whim to split things down the middle one night, just to see what would happen. Far from being dismayed by this knowledge, Thomas H. uses it as inspiration to create his own virtual world where random items differ from the world around him by having a four-fold split, including a virtual Thomas H. whose reactions he observes avidly.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
If I were the wearer, which I'm not, it would bother me.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Another Kickstarter project has caught my fancy, this time along literary lines. And the interesting thing about it is that it is already guaranteed (as near as anything in life is for certain) to come to fruition, though the precise form that will take shape is not settled at this time. Depending on the amount of money that will be raised by the deadline, the form of the physical book that Robin Sloan will write will take various forms. Already at the time time I write this it has passed the point of a routine print on demand volume, and with the remaining time and additional backers it could turn out to be something much niftier. It is an interesting model, not completely unique, I know, for a fiction writer to be engaging the audience during the act of writing itself, and not only on promotional tour only after the work has been put to bed. It is my guess that if it receives much more of a push from its backers it may cause some amount of commotion among those pondering the future of publishing itself.
I will spare you my further opining on complementarity between observer and phenomenon. It's really just a book.
The author has also written the very entertaining short story Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store featured recently and memorably. at Escape Pod, which I recommend to SF fans.
Update: Funded! Hundreds of percent over! And it seems as if the literary production is keeping pace as well, so it should all culminate in one fine-looking edition soon.
Update II:It is arrived and it is great.
Monday, September 14, 2009
They'll be swapping frequencies with Univision's reggaeton station La Kalle. Should make for some fun confusion for those not clued in on the shift.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I put up a new post on my sadly neglected writing blog Frabjous Times and noticed this odd development on the Feedback area of my admin screen.
One post from last February had 2790 comments on it, all of it flagged as likely spam. It is not that Twitter and Friendfeed and the like are free from spam, as any active user of those will tell you. It is that the spammers have not yet figured out how to crank up their engines of war just yet to trash them utterly. I give them a couple more months before they come up with a way to make those services nearly unusable. And then maybe some people will end up going back to their blogs.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
It's a project to develop an open source hardware standard for builders, hobbyists, and anyone else who needs to create structures with lightweight, sturdy, reconfigurable and extensible metal parts. They are now in the process of raising funds through Kickstarter through October 24th. If that goes well, look for the first production runs to be done before the the year is out.
Update: Funded, with plenty of room to spare! I'm happy to be one of the first backers of what should be a fantastic enterprise.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
have an MP3 player by Nextar like the one in this picture, and I like it because it plays MP3s, it doesn't insist on crippling DRM, it is fairly durable, and didn't cost too much. One place that took some getting used to, however, is the operation of the controls. Here, for instance, is the sequence of button presses you need to do if you are listening to a track you are tired of, want to erase it, and start listening to the next track:
where S is the button on the side, L and R are the buttons to advance and go back, and C is the button in the center of the ring. (You don't need to touch the up or down buttons or the A-B button.) Typically I need to execute this maneuver one-handed, while driving, not looking at the screen, and I'm getting pretty good at it. Still, it seems like they could have done away with a prompt or four to simplify what should be a rather common operation.
Monday, August 31, 2009
This is a picture of my laptop at work when earlier today it suddenly and silently cut to grey.The two areas on either side looking sort of like shark gills were feeling a lot hotter than electronic equipment usually likes to be, and the underside of the laptop, sitting flat on my desk, was just as bad. So I'm guessing that the problem today, and the intermittent problems I have been having (occasionally when connecting to the office remotely, which I really find inconvenient) could be heat related.
Why don't they make big smokestacks for laptops to carry the heat away and put it as far away from the unit as possible? Or put radiators under the keyboard (which has lots of open space) instead of in a thin strip to the side? That way my fingers would be right where they need to be to know that the unit is feeling a little feverish and I should try to slow things down for a bit.
I have the back feet of the laptop propped up slightly to improve the air circulation somewhat, and those vents feel twenty or thirty degrees Celsius cooler presently. Let's see whether this helps, since I think a replacement is not going to be in the cards for now.
Monday, August 24, 2009
David Pogue has published a new book called The World According to Twitter and my alter ego Grinning Skull has a grand total of three entries included. There is lots of amusing stuff between the covers by my multitudinous co-authors.
Here's a picture of the autographed copy that came in the mail today
|From Blogger Pictures|
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I'm still blogging about name ideas here. Band names, book names, song names, and I think one occupational classification name so far, all posted up via ping.fm whenever they bubble up to consciousness.
Update: I set up a Posterous blog for my name ideas instead, to make it a little easier (that is, possible) to see anything other than the most recent five entries.