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Over here. (UK residents only, unfortunately, closes at 2359 tomorrow, May 31 2015)

the task is simple.

choose a number between 0 and 100 and suply a short justification for your choice.

the winner is the person whose number is closest to two-thirds of the average of all the entries.

for example, three entries are submitted : 20, 30 and 40. the average is then 30 and the winning entry is 20 being exactly two-thirds of the average.

in the event of a tie, the prize will go to the person who submits the best justification. professor thaler's decision is final.

prize is dom reilly bag - lightweight, elegant and handcrafted.

send your guess to ThalerChallenge@ft.com


So, who's feeling sufficiently mathematically minded? =:D
 
 
 
 
 
 
So, Kung Fury was released. =:D The roomie, being a backer, had it ready to roll as soon as the moment of release arrived, and lo, it was Chromecast from his PC to the TV, and it was good. ^_^ It's difficult to make good parody or homage, but they managed to fill thirty minutes with all that made 80s action flicks so fantastically cheesy and fun, even if they did take one or two liberties with the level of effects possible then versus now (though the producers of Space Precinct would've surely loved current options. Hi, Triceracop!). Some of the effects were a touch gorier than I would've preferred (particularly in the "origin" sequence), which jarred the playfulness of the whole, for me, but all the same - it's easy to see how this can indeed become a full length feature in a year or two. ^_^

In Bangkok, there's a restaurant with some unusual serving methods: "The chicken is carried out on a silver platter not to the diners, but to a long platform raised a couple of feet above the ground in the middle of the outdoor dining area, and set on one of the several metal catapults. A waiter riding a unicycle makes his way to the platform and stops a few feet away of the loaded catapult. As he struggles to keep his balance and concentrate on what comes next, the edible projectile is set on fire and launched from the medieval artillery device. The chicken soars through the air and most often than not lands on metal skewers the waiter holds in both his hands, in his mouth and on his head."

I was rather surprised to hear from the author of one of my favorite furry stories, Invasion of the Bunnybots - it will indeed be getting posted to the net again soon. It's remarkable for the sense of progression of the transformations involved - not merely describing the visual changes as one might witness, but also the mental progression, how it might actually feel. I don't know if they've written much/anything else, but I'd certainly hope so. ^_^

So, who wants to guess who I voted for in Eurovision? ^_^ (And congratulations to Australia's admirable debut!) I was, admittedly, rather disappointed that the UK's entry barely managed to stay afloat - I'd expected it to be maybe in the middle of the running. =:/

One of KS's newsletter project choices looks particularly interesting: smart friendship bracelets. They're programmable, so they're a platform as well as a wearable, and modular too - the intention to offer bracelets that are both genuinely wearable and functional in their own right, and to help bring girls into programming.

If you're considering going along to one of the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectaculars - coming to New York later this year - all I can say is: go for it. The experience of enjoying so much superb orchestral arrangement, all with a full orchestra and choir - the very same people who've been offering us the show's music since 2005 - is quite extraordinary. Not to mention being feet away, at times, from Daleks, Cybermen, mummies, and more.. =:D I was a little surprised that the "key" theme from the Rings of Akhaten wasn't amongst the selections, but then, they have quite a lot to choose from - and the list is good. (Is it a spoiler if I note the closing theme from "A Christmas Carol" is included? Easily one of my favorites of the series - a fantastic episode, to boot. So much love, yet so much heartbreak)

I was sat down by one of my rabbiteering spots, on an old concrete traffic barrier behind the sturdy, locked metal gate (which you can walk around), and two buns came quite close, perhaps 10' away, looking at me and the gate. One decided to head off elsewhere in the small field, whilst the other came a little closer, then, in preparation for heading under the gate, gave their hands a good grooming first. And so, I show to you - the bunny tongue. ^_^

Being watched like that, in a relatively intimate moment for a rabbit, apparently prompted them to share their thought on such an intrusion.


Here's a good excerpt from a book on how RIM/BlackBerry met - or didn't - the fruity newcomer to the world of smartphones. It takes its time to follow the internal thinking around the iPhone's launch, and their response, the Storm. It's worth a read, as it brings a very human face to the whole saga - the actual people involved, and helps explain why things happened as they have, from multiple perspectives.

Meanwhile, today's intentional piece of geek humor is provided by RFC6919. "RFC 2119 defines a standard set of key words for describing requirements of a specification. Many IETF documents have found that these words cannot accurately capture the nuanced requirements of their specification. This document defines additional key words that can be used to address alternative requirements scenarios. Authors who follow these guidelines should incorporate this phrase near the beginning of their document: The key words "MUST (BUT WE KNOW YOU WON'T)", "SHOULD CONSIDER", "REALLY SHOULD NOT", "OUGHT TO", "WOULD PROBABLY", "MAY WISH TO", "COULD", "POSSIBLE", and "MIGHT" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 6919."

Tyrrell's have quite a novel seasonal flavor of crisps out: mint and butter. It sounds wholly unlikely, but it's genuinely delicious - they do indeed have a definite buttery taste, with a gentle, light mintiness to them. Kudos to them for attempting such an unorthodox flavor, and succeeding!

And here are two young buns exchanging a secret message. ^_^

 
 
 
 
 
 
And so I learned just how influential Kevin Godley has been - not just part of 10cc and Godley & Creme, but director of one or two seminal music videos, including Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Two Tribes and Herbie Hancock's Rockit - designed thusly as it was, apparently, very difficult to get black artists onto MTV in their early days, so they sort of sneaked him in on TVs. O.o Though the session started late (so, ConOps everywhere can rest assured it's not just them =:), it proved to be a lot of fun - ye gods and little fishes, but the guy's got some stories to tell. Definitely keep an eye on iTunes to see when that "Meet the Author" session gets posted - as with most of them, it was recorded with video for posting later on; somewhere around a few days to a week afterwards, I believe. (And as a tiny marketing exercise, I suppose it worked - I did indeed later buy a copy of his.. well, sort of memoirs, "Spacecake". The original title was going to be "Listen With Your Eyes", but his wife pointed out that that was "kind of shit", so he went with an Irish turn of phrase he stumbled upon in conversation, referring to someone who has their head in the clouds. It's on iTunes for £9.99 or US$16.99; not on Amazon, apparently. No idea about print, but it's a book with a good deal of links, audio, and suchlike embedded - even if a print edition exists, it'd be more wholly enjoyed digitally) Very cool guy.

"Bill wasn't interested in what we knew, or could do; he was after the deeper stuff, what we didn't know we knew we could do. His way of getting results was to challenge our methods. If we were used to a pencil, he'd give us a brush. If we worked in full colour, he'd allow us one. He'd get us to draw left handed, paint with our eyes closed, stand on one leg, put the brush in our mouths, between our toes, anything to switch off access to the obvious and force us to take a step into the unknown. Now this might sound a bit pretentious and hit and miss but it was funny, everyone had to do it and in front of the whole class and have the piss taken out of them, to boot. Actually maybe that was the point. Maybe good old Bill was taking the piss out of us all for his own amusement but the basic point stuck, at least with us. Dig a little deeper. There may be something unbelievable out there instead of something quite good. That simple logic has stayed with me all my working life and subconsciously informed everything I've done since."

! rav_bunneh drew me again, au naturel. ^_^ (NSFW, but a delight!)

Some furry-styled business world tropes, taking after Richard Scarry. Amusing, even if you've personally encountered some of them. =:)

Cine Gear Expo looks like being worth wandering along to, if you have a particular interest in cinema, with an emphasis on the production thereof. Free registration for now, taking place at the Paramount Studios in Hollywood, June 4-7 2015.

Best comment on this report of a shower of millions spiders (in Australia, naturally) who proceeded to cover the landscape in cobwebs: "It must be really boring living in those countries where spiders are harmless." (Aha! It's actually from 2012, and the spiders were fleeing floodwaters in Wagga Wagga)

I hadn't heard of "Equestrian Dreamers: My Little Investigations" before, but there it is, looking very polished, and available - free - for OS X, Linux (via Wine), and Windows.

Touch Arcade had a little diatribe the other day, quite deservedly, on poor App Store ratings. Not, I should note, because the games were actually terrible, but.. well, here we head into the cauldron of revenge some consider reviews to be. One set of examples they cite regards Minecraft: "one crafter who says he has been playing for two years but has now decided it's "not worth it" so awards the game one star. Also awarding a single star is the guy who says "it is good but should be free". You might expect a few stars from a review titled "Minecraft is epic" but no, that's another one-star wonder, with a list of stuff that the reviewer thinks should be added before he'll bump his rating. And two ladies on a shared account demand that horses should be added, then almost as an afterthought throw in a list of other animals that should be added too. Another one star." On Monument Valley (veritably, a latterday classic), another deems it '"pointless", declares the $4 purchase price "extortionate", and says he's glad he got it free on a Starbucks promotion "or else I would be beside myself with rage right now".' And these are the more sane examples. =:D

I was amused to note, on a visit to the Cider Tap (if you're ever in London, and feel the need for some serious cider, just head out of Euston, and they're by the entrance to the station, opposite their sister establishment that sells only beer), a sign noting "Please do not ask: WE DO NOT SELL STRONGBOW". =:D Of course, I had to ask if that actually happens - apparently, yes. Multiple times a day. ^_^; (Hint: if it looks busy, try upstairs. If you make it up the tight cast iron spiral stairway without spilling everything, you'll find a little nook with a few more tables)

And the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular is about to begin.. and we're right at the front. =:D

 
 
 
 
 
 
The big question is: who's going to be watching Eurovision tomorrow night/afternoon/morning? Will you be putting on a feast to match? ^_^

I'd been thinking of lingering after the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, but.. Eurovision's usually reliably good fun, and I can go out any time - Eurovision is but once a year. Foodwise, I picked up a pulled pork & red onion pizza, which I may well add some tiger prawns to, some Malibu, and a bottle of Angostura 1919 rum. Add the juices/smoothies in the fridge, the vodka, tequila, bitters, and gins (plural =:), and we otter be set for cocktails. ^_^

I haven't been following the semi-finals, though I heard Finland's metallic entrants were knocked out. =:P At least the UK's electroswing offering is one I'd be happy to see win. Anyone else I should keep an eye out for?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Is anyone else going along to the Royal International Air Tattoo this year? Whilst I'm hardly a military sort, there's no denying the magnificence of the aircraft involved, appearing from all around the world - and Friday? Sees the Vulcan. =:D Why, yes, I think I will shift my Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 rental to include that day.. (booked back in February, taking advantage of LensesForHire's half-price offer that month)

And, is anyone going to Confuzzled? If they're selling the con t-shirts separately (rather than only as part of a registration package), might someone be willing to pick one up for me?

rav_bunneh surprised me the other day with a couple pen sketches, which.. I really like. Whilst I certainly know the second very well (a bit too well =:), it's the first that especially sings to me. ^_^ He's a talented bun, even if he keeps trying to deny it.

Here's a sequence of frames from a panel on "how to draw anatomically correct furs". But.. well, it's not in the least bit serious. =:D (Needless to say, absolutely NSFW, although you could justify it as being educational. =:)

Finally! A werewuf who isn't all growly all the time! Here's a very well produced - and rather adorable - student thesis animation short, Dirty Paws, by Karina Farek.

Here's a curious animated oddity - Gato Brujo. (Each episode is only three minutes long)

The Muppets are returning to TV! Apparently, the new pilot "received a standing ovation when it screened for ABC executives a couple weeks ago".

SLARF just reviewed a less common species avatar: Kahoots' African Painted Dog, midway between realistic and toony, and quite clearly the species it portrays.

Apple recently made an interesting acquisition: Coherent Navigation, whose iGPS work uses multiple satellite systems to provide ~10cm positioning accuracy with high jamming resistance. The question, of course, is: why? Simply to improve upon the current AGPS in use, or does it hint at something unknown, like the "Apple Car"? It could easily be simply the former - it looks like Coherent was a very small company of only a few people, so it's unlikely to've been a tremendously expensive purchase.

From the "Well, That Just Happened" department: have you ever seen a duck stampede before? You have now.

If you're at all interested in films, it's worth checking out Apple's Meet the Filmmaker series of podcasts. They're around 30-45 minutes long, and the director or cast have free rein to talk about the film in question - you'll find the directors or cast of films like Big Hero 6, Age of Ultron, Interstellar, Better Call Saul, and Shaun the Sheep (the director, not the cast). They're very chilled out, and as the audience area in Apple Stores are quite modestly sized - a matter of a few dozen seats, usually - it's a lot cosier than you'll find in a talk show. (Indeed, they're worth going along to in person, if you're near one of the flagship Apple Stores - always free, just make a reservation and turn up a good half hour ahead of time to be in with a good chance of being able to sit. They're fine with photography, just no flash) Speaking of which, I see Thursday holds a potentially interesting fashion discussion, "Join Kinvara Balfour and award winning fashion designer Christopher Kane as they discuss his work", followed by Mr Godley (10cc, Godley & Creme), "Join Kevin Godley as he discusses his ebook SPACECAKE, which chronicles the part work, part play, all real interactive misadventures of the ex-10cc media masochist and his journey through the worlds of rock music, video and technology." Think I might amble along for both of those.

So, turns out a double of Heston's Earl Grey & Lemon Gin, a double of Thornton's, a tiny dash of home-made cinnamon vodka infusion, topped up with mango & apricot smoothie and diluted with milk, makes a very palatable cocktail. =:9 (I'd recommend the gin to non-gin lovers, too - it's rather unlike most, teetering on being a sort of dry-ish liqueur)
 
 
 
 
 
 
For a night which saw a relatively clean win for a party that's pushed for punishing the poor and slashing the NHS, there's a degree of comfort to be found nonetheless, beyond the welcome resignations of Clegg, Miliband, and Farage (oh, so nearly - but, whom would the press have been left to adore?). The LibDems have paid the price for propping up that regime, Caroline Lucas held onto her Green seat in Brighton with her margin increased by 10%, the SNP's done spectacularly well, Farage lost his bid, and Labour might finally have to re-examine where its heart lies - in being eternally afraid of offending Murdoch or the Daily Flail, or actually becoming a party of opposition to the hateful policies of austerity. (Though I fully expect them to continue their drift to the right) And there's even some surprisingly good news from the Conservatives, per Lord Ashcroft: "...and furthermore let's set up a Royal Commission or similar to review the voting system. First Past the Post has had its day..." Toward that end, if you're a UK voter, consider adding your name to the Electoral Reform Society's campaign for a fairer, more proportional system.

Not just a cool track, but a really nifty cat mask too! Galantis "Runaway (U & I)". Or, if humans are more your bag, how about this skateboarding-themed vid for The Moth & the Flame "Young & Unafraid" - it's maybe not quite as you might expect.

Or maybe a touch of the old ultraviolence? How about this SNES-themed Norwegian number? The Fjords "All In" is.. memorable. ^_^;

VICE Canada recently took a look at Fur-Eh, a new Edmonton furcon. They had fun. ^_^ Of course, fursuiting features prominently, but they're quick to note it's really only a large, highly visible minority. Sex is mentioned, and accepted; and, unsurprisingly, that CSI episode is raised and appropriately discredited. Overall, it's a pretty positive look at what is, after all, a huge pile of fun.

A Kickstarter of note: LightSail, a solar sailer packed into a CubeSat. It's a project from the Planetary Society, headed by Bill Nye, originally proposed by Carl Sagan. It's already reached its minimal funding goal, but there's a lot more that they could make happen with more money.

Apparently, this is the first released image from Nick Park/Aardman's latest production, "Early Man". =:D

Here's rather an intriguing photographic startup: Light. They're aiming at the gigantic cellphone market, aiming to offer quality to rival DSLRs, by aggregating the output of many conventional sized cellphone sensors, but each one operating at a different focal length, with the longer lenses folded down flat against the body, rather than protruding from the device. The proof, of course, will be in the pudding - even if it doesn't equal DSLR or MFT cameras, there's surely some potential in taking a photo with many focal lengths simultaneously. Whether it'll prove alluring to phone buyers, though, remains to be seen - anything more than the current optical setups is going to add to the width of a phone, and as the article notes, the bulk of the market tends to want either cheap, or thin and light. As a rival to more serious cameras, it could prove quite interesting.

Admittedly, I'm not used to the accent, so I can barely understand the guy, but you've got to love this Tube staffer's sheer style. =:D Aha! [A transcription has been provided! ^_^]"Super dooper good afternoon to wonderful people at Victoria. All the way to the top for the North Pole, so get on board and relax and don't dare delay santa's sleigh. We're just at a red light, nahmean, soon be a green light, should leave very soon. So don't worry people, we'll soon be jingling all the way to the North, you know? Easy driver, Rudolph and Prancer All these wonderful people, stand clear. Rudolph the red nosed train is ready to get out of here, whoops - e - daisy don't you dare delay Santa's Sleigh. Yes, driver!"

Melancomedy, who previously produced The Box, have released their latest short, the superbly bleak Between Two Ghosts (briefly NSFW). (h/t eliki, whose brother is amongst those involved)

Could be good to see made - Kickstarter for a series of sci-fi shorts, Transhuman. Of course, one would hope their definition of transhuman might also extend to reshaping one's body, not merely improving upon it - although the two can be closely linked. =:)

So, here's a flick I'll be looking out for: Anne Hathaway, starring in "Colossal", described as 'Godzilla' Meets 'Lost In Translation'. =:D Intriguingly, it'll be written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, the same guy responsible for the time travel mind-twister "Timecrimes".

The good Doctor Who news: UNIT scientist Osgood, killed off summarily by Missy, is returning. ^_^ The less good? That two-parter's being written by the same individual responsible for the - ah - memorable episode, Kill the Moon. =:/ But - how about these lift doors from the new Durham police HQ?

Of minor geek interest: Ofcom's introducing new rules on switching providers for broadband and landline services (but not cellular, yet), so rather than the current process of having to contact your existing provider to initiate the process, you'll be able to let your new provider take care of the whole switchover.

I'm going to have to take a look at this, as I'm rather interested in OpenCL: a Linux rootkit that runs on the GPU, making for a novel attack vector. (h/t thewayne)

Artwork of the week: this piece by Owlette. (Entirely safe)

Wow, that's a stupid Yosemite bug! A week or so ago, I changed the disk password on my Airport/Time Capsule, to make it easier to re-enter on the BD player downstairs (it's the usual "navigate an alphanumeric grid using the up/down/left/right buttons" UI, so anything more than a few letters gets quite tedious). What I didn't realise was that Time Machine apparently wasn't aware of that, and could no longer see the backup drive, so it was quietly not backing up to that, only on the internal drive. Reselecting the drive within the Time Machine control panel prompted me for said password, whereupon it could finally see it and begin preparing the next backup.

In gaming news, Squeenix has announced, more or less, that they're abandoning consoles, in favor of mobile gaming. Naturally, it's to be hoped the nature of their titles won't change radically - whilst "bite size" gaming is absolutely a major part of mobile gaming, titles like The Journey Down and Grim Fandango illustrate there's also a need for longer, more involved titles. Eep! And now, Konami says the same thing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hatoful Boyfriend, the pigeon dating sim, is on sale until May 11 2015 - 75% takes it from £6.99 down to £1.74, for OS X, Linux, and Windows. Or, there's the Collector's Edition, which apparently adds the soundtrack, a comic, wallpapers, and yearbook. (The usual prices are $10 and $15) "Congratulations! You've been accepted as the only human student at the prestigious St. PigeoNation's Institute, a school for talented birds! Roam the halls and find love in between classes as a sophomore student at the world's greatest pigeon high school. Finding happiness won't be easy, but it's not all academic - there's always time for a little romance in this delightful remake of Hato Moa's popular visual novel / avian dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend!
Please Note: No birds were hurt in the making of Hatoful Boyfriend. In fact, many found love."

A luscious 3D platformer from the minds behind Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country wanted funding, and got it in spades: they were hoping for £175,000 for Yooka-Laylee's creation, and have £1.4m with 40 days to go. =:D

Via schnee: there's an IGG funding campaign running for *ahem* Tiny Equine Stockings - as they put it, "Socks for people who like miniature horses!". Surprisingly enough, they're available in different varieties: Clever Horse, Smart Horse, Timid Horse, Apple Horse, Speedy Horse, Party Horse, and Fashion Horse. =:D They do look really fun. ^_^ [Edit: well, poop. It ended earlier than I'd thought, and without having reached its target. Maybe they'll try again?]

On "taking action", this Wondermark comic is perfectly on the money. Perhaps worth bearing in mind on Thursday, for UK peeps. =:)


An interesting surprise just hit the App Store: Grim Fandango Remastered. I never got to play it the first time around - and this time, it's cheaper too, at a princely $10.

Saturday's film was a random selection - I hadn't heard of it, so we went for it. =:) "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" is a Korean drama from the 15th Century, telling the tale of a famous battle that saw 12 battleships defend against the invaders' 330.

An interesting weblog, if your geekiness extends into image sensors (DSLRs, smartphones, et al): Image Sensors World.

Hm. The thought occurs that the Clapham South deep shelter tour is on October 8 2015, by which time I may be a few thousand miles away. Still, not such a bad problem to have. =:) If I do wind up having to miss it, and if it's transferable, would anyone be interested in buying the ticket? It's quite a rare opportunity. ^_^

This Dinosaur Comic? Yep, it's true.

Competition of the week: an absolutely outstandingly beautiful bracelet, worth £75,000, and apparently open to entrants worldwide.

From the "it seemed like a good idea at the time" beer naming department: Flaming Ass Owl, an Imperial Porter, at 9.2%. Really rather good! The malt's been smoked, and a touch of spicing added too - but despite the monicker, actually with a gentle touch.

Drink of the day: 3 shots Thornton's, 2 shots Juniper Green gin (though any would probably do), 1 shot Aqua Riva tequila (best to use that, if possible), and a dash of Boudin Curaçao, plus a bit of ice. It's like the best chocolate ice cream, all molten. Very dangerously easy to drink. And fortuitously, discovered on Election Night. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
Could definitely be some photographic fun! London Zoo's running "sunset safaris" on Fridays between June 5 and July 17 2015, 6-10pm. That'd make for some unusually good light, of course, and the chance to see the more nocturally inclined more active. Not sure I've ever been there, actually - the last full-blown zoo I frequented was San Diego's (and the Wild Animal Park, near Escondido).

I'm sort of beginning to ponder the next suit's design - bringing my SL self into RL. ^_^ The head's really the key - the body will be fairly straightforward, as I imagine I'll just use normal fake fur, perhaps padded gently around the hips and thighs to offer subtle support to the leporine physique. The trouble is that I only have personal construction experience with carving foam, which won't be appropriate here - that'd make for a rather larger head, ideal for a more toony look, but here, I'll be aiming a bit more naturalistic.

I'd been completely unaware of the existence of something like this, which seems more at home in the plans of an old school Bond villain - behold the World War 2 Japanese submarine aircraft carrier. Yes, a submarine, which is also an aircraft carrier. O.o;

Now, I'd imagine everyone's aware of tanukis' place in Japanese folklore, specifically the males. *cough* But, you maybe haven't seen this selection of woodblock prints by 19th century ukiyo-e master Kuniyoshi. They are not even remotely worksafe (as the URL hints =:) but hilarious. ^_^

Last week, one evening's rabbiteering saw a lot of activity, including one quite spirited bout of combat - thankfully, it didn't last long (though there did seem to be a grudge held), and neither party appeared to be hurt afterward.



Here's a handy resource for anyone choosing an SD Card for their DSLR - they test a pile of different cards per body, and list the actual write speed achieved using each. eg the page for the Nikon D7100. Even aside from the cards' differences, the bodies themselves impose an upper limit, depending on the interface supported, and the speed of the processor involved - by comparison, the D90 tops out at about 20MB/s, though that's sort of made up for by the much smaller filesizes involved versus the D7100.

A nice compo: win a Venice-London trip on the Orient Express, including flights to Venice, and a rather plush overnight stay.

If you missed the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band recently, it seems they're aiming even higher next time, on Dec 3 2015: "Following the massive sold out event at London's KOKO, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band are continuing their celebration of 50 years in the business with a brand new gig at indigo at The O2, London. Tickets are on sale right now!Get set for a mini-festival featuring original members Neil Innes, Rodney Slater, Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell, Sam Spoons and Bob Kerr, plus a vaudeville band, two rock groups, a brass band and a theatre troupe ALL UNDER ONE ROOF! This is as big a celebration as it gets and tickets are strictly limited - secure your place now."

I don't follow the show, but still, this VHS intro for Game of Thrones is fun.

Did you know the US has a National Raisin Reserve? "American raisins, once seized, are sent to various warehouses across California, where they are stored until they are sold off to foreign nations, fed to cattle or schoolchildren, or disposed of in any other way to get them off the market that year." (My italics)

A tidbit of UK cellphone news: from 1 July 2015, 0800 and 0808 numbers will be free for all, whether from a mobile or landline. This is already the case for some tariffs, including GiffGaff, but many others face 10-20p/min or more.

Crossover marvel - Firefly/Doctor Who, "The Time Job". =:D

Here are a few more shots (NSFW) of Evil Bambi (SFW, if black latex deer don't attract attention), as I linked to some time back; apparently, made by Obsidian Design.

A mildly amusing Reddit thread, on latterday "uphill both ways" sentiments. =:)

huskyteer might want to check out Wings Remastered on iOS, a new incarnation of a classic Amiga WW1 arcade flight sim.

There may, I hope, be a story behind this wonderful "But.. they may see us!" photograph, in what may be Moscow. ^_^

MLP this season seems to be on a steady upswing. ^_^ Castle Sweet Castle was an entirely serviceable episode (and, I suppose, the moral of ensuring that help or gifts are indeed for the recipient, not the giver, does bear repeating), whilst Bloom & Gloom went head-on into examining some very basic fears about friendship, surprisingly well. But, for me, the star of the season so far must be Tanks for the Memories, one of the best Rainbow Dash eps, including a particularly good number to boot. (Perhaps needless to say, I didn't recognise the Game of Thrones reference until EqD pointed it out =:)

Tasty Sandwich™: some baguette, filled with a few thin strips of aged Gouda, three thick slices of Sainsbury's garlic sausage, a light spreading of Seriously Strong cheddar spread, and a modest spreading of bacon jam. =:9 Hm. Maybe it's just as well I don't have a significant other. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm (nearly) ready! Lapinity will be opening in its new home on Monday, April 27, with a variety of options, including some rather beautiful pre-mounted offerings ready to hang, as well as simply the prints themselves. Publicity and orders will both be welcomed. ^_^ For now, you can see how it'll look, but with no ordering enabled.

Oh, this looks like it could be seriously good. =:D The first trailer for The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, has just debuted. Quite a surprising director, too, having previously helmed Kung-Fu Panda. Curiously, they've chosen to bracket the story within another, a conceit reminiscent of The Princess Bride.

Once in a while, things work out despite themselves. =:) If you recall the Charing Cross "Access All Areas" tour I mentioned the other day, finding everything booked, I placed myself on the waiting list. At first, for just some relatively random date, not realising it was specific to that date - then, for a date I actually wanted, Friday July 3, as that'd segue beautifully into giving plenty of attention to the White Horse's American Beer Festival running over that weekend. I duly received two notifications from EventBrite, saying spaces had opened up. I clicked on the first, which turned out to be for June, and then the second, the one I wanted, and proceeded from there to the purchase page. Naturally, the site gave me the wrong date. =:P Too bad, but hardly any great matter. Then, on Thursday evening, I received an apologetic note from TfL saying a site bug had resulted in some tours being oversubscribed, and they'd be in touch to arrange a substitute date instead. They called on Friday afternoon, and initially offered something else in June; I countered, wondering if they might have something on July 3 instead. And so, I've wound up with precisely the ticket I thought I'd originally bought. =:D

Well, that's an interesting change of career.. Scott Forstall, one time iOS chief, just announced he's co-producing a Broadway adaptation of Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel's graphic novel of the same name.

Here's a beautiful, though bittersweet, love story in a fifteen page comic: Where the Stars Shine Brightest, by Salkitten. (Risqué in one spot, but otherwise safe)

It's not a furry music video as such, but, it was apparently the background to the FinFur Animus 2015 dance parties. ^_^ (Info on the con over here)

Did you know there was almost a 1990s cartoon series of Doctor Who, produced by Nelvana? Sadly, nothing came of it - supposedly, another bid came in and detracted from the attention given here, with it all petering out.

If you enjoy Star Trek, you might derive much geeky delight from this comparison of ST:TMP script revisions that jenndolari's compiled. It's presented as a tall webpage of seven columns, one for each revision noted, going through the progression of the film - as you might expect, in some versions, particular scenes don't appear at all, or with significant differences. I was tickled to see one story treatment tagged as "First draft script ostensibly written for the new Star Trek Series, Star Trek II, but, known only to the core production staff, was written as the rough draft for a Star Trek movie."

I found horseradish! The actual root! Not wild, but, over in Waitrose. Wow - it's as much fun an ingredient as I recall! Damn, I wish this weren't labeled as a seasonal special. Stil, it'll be loads of fun in stir fries and more while it lasts. =:9

Watched the season opener of MLP, and.. erf, that was an awkward one. Such concepts of enforced similarity can certainly work as a literary instrument, as with Harrison Bergeron, but with that lack of subtlety, it came rather close to painting egalitarianism as identical to such enforced lack of differentiation. Still, it certainly had its moments, such as Phlegmatic Pinkie, Fluttershy realising joining the adventure might not be such a bad idea, or the balloon binoculars. =:)

Ah well - looks like the Fursuit mailing list just got wound up, going by the auto-unsub I received. (And yep, it's confirmed on the site) It had a pretty good run of things, given it was born around 1992, the result of a discussion Malin, Frang, and I were having whilst waiting for a Timberwolves game to begin - Frang was talking about a program he'd written to help calculate the weights required along a fursuit tail in order to afford it some realistic swishiness, purely passively. I wound up thinking it'd be really helpful to have a venue to be able to share thoughts and plans like that, and so, rcking foolishl^Wnobly volunteered to set it up.

For jayblanc - well, looks like we made the wrong choice as far as food quality goes, on visiting the World's End, but I suppose it had to be done: a pint of the World's End, at the World's End, before seeing The World's End. =:) The Camden Eye, across the road, offers some seriously nice woodfired pizzas, and a good selection of ales - and even a "secret" nook, so whilst it was heaving downstairs, I was all but alone, watching half the the world pass by. Most relaxing. ^_^

That was an unusual moment, on Saturday afternoon's rabbiteering - rather wish I had a headcam operating. =:) There'd been some unusually prolonged chasing going on, with them eventually diving into a corner of the field I can't see, but close to me. A minute or so later, the chased bun comes wandering along, in no particular hurry, and ambles right past me - maybe only 5' away from me! It was only when I turned around to start taking shots that they had their #ohshit moment, and started hurrying away. Actually quite a good day, overall - they were quite active, with one or two couples in evidence, though the tinybuns did unfortunately remain close to the hedgerow at the other end of the field, and no binkying. Of course, you can never tell, from one day to another, what the activity level's going to be like.

Does anyone know the ways of wild foxes well? I'm a touch more familiar with leporines. ^_^; I noticed this guy early on on Tuesday afternoon, sauntering fairly normally through my original rabbiteering spot (thankfully, with no ill effects), and thought nothing more of it, until I noticed them in the next field (well, more of a strip of land, now being turned into something), but staying put. I know rabbits are sometimes given to just chilling out - are foxes similarly minded? It just felt quite odd, to see the same fox in almost the same spot for over an hour. (BTW, how does this 800 pixel width work for everyone? I'm hoping it's small enough not to break the width of anyone's journals)

 
 
 
 
 
 
The video YouTube - nay, the Internet - was destined to disseminate has debuted: David Hasselhoff in True Survivor, the music video for Kung Fury, a not-very-serious homage to 80s action films, including dinosaurs, Valkyries, Hitler, time travel, and 80s computing tech galore.

The director of the superb Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and The Wolf Children has a new production coming out this year: 「バケモノの子」, which translates more or less as "The Monster's Child", though the English title appears to the "The Boy and the Beast".

Here's a remarkably insightful look at Second Life, with a perspective of personal identity. Worth reading whether or not you're involved in SL - the themes apply to any sufficiently flexible virtual world.

If you're in or within reach of London, and have an interest in modern urban history, you might be sufficiently geekily interested in two new TfL tours, for which tickets will open at 10am on Friday, April 17th, at 10am. Going by the Rotherhithe-Wapping tunnel walk last year, if you're interested, you'll want to snag tickets as soon as convenient. "The one likely to cause the most excitement, is the exceptionally rare opportunity to go into the Clapham South deep level shelter, a series of tube tunnels dug next to the tube station that were used as accommodation during air raids. One of eight such shelters across London, most are off limits as they are used for secure document storage, so this is a very rare opportunity. The other tour is to see one of London’s newer disused tube stations — at Charing Cross. Go behind closed doors to exclusive areas not accessible to the public, walk under Trafalgar Square and see the London Underground from a different angle." [Edit: it would seem both events sold out within about five minutes. ^_^; But not before I landed tickets for the deep shelter!][w00t! The waiting list was real! - I also landed the Charing Cross ticket, which will segue oh-so-nicely into the White Horse's American beer festival. And they take their festivals seriously, with not just kegs, but even casks, and sometimes of very special brews..]

I had no idea Criterion had given Watership Down their attentions, but there it is: an absolutely gorgeous Blu-Ray, at long last. =:D Many thanks to whitetail for bringing this to my attention! I see there is an HD version on iTunes UK, but lacking any mention of Criterion, I suspect it's an old transfer; iTunes US does have explicitly Criterion's, though without any of the rather interesting extras.



I remain a trifle disappointed that of all the WiFi nodes I can see from here, only the roomie's and mine are non-generically named. What have you called yours? And are there any favorites you've spotted? (One I thoroughly appreciated, visible then from Muddy Waters on Church & Market, was named with a suitably short URL, along the lines of http://192.168.1.2/w - connect and load that page, and it explained the WiFi was open for anyone to use, and that if you'd found it helpful, to consider dropping them a line at a given email address. I did, and received a thankful note back =:)

I appreciate web design isn't an easy matter - many professions often seem easier from the outside. Nonetheless, there are some principles one might think would be fairly obvious to design in or allow for. The local bus company recently reworked their site, and committed some amusingly bad mistakes - now, true, having promo codes be case-sensitive isn't a grave mistake, but a bit silly. Rather more bizarre, though, is the date field on their contact form, for specifying the date of a trip you want to discuss - it hints, reasonably enough, that it should be of the form dd/mm/yyyy. So, you might be inclined to enter something like 2nd March 2015 as 2/3/2015. Nope! They mean quite literally what they said, and will reject anything but 02/03/2015. =:D (And let's not even get into the many sites that will reject phone numbers of the form 07684 786000, as advanced space removal technology has not made it into their toolbox) Okay, gripe done. ^_^

Gin of the week: Martin Miller's, distilled near Birmingham, then shipped to Iceland for dilution to 40%. (Apparently, they can't import the water, as they'd be required to treat it before use) To my palate, it's on a par in the world of gin as Chase and Grey Goose are in vodka. Very smooth, exceptionally soft mouth feel, but with all that makes gin what it is. =:9 I hadn't heard the name before, but it isn't merely the product of a marketing department - it is indeed the result of that person feeling dissatisfied with a G&T, and setting out to create their perfect gin.

If you'll recall the stolen fursuit from the other week: there's been an update. It's been returned, along with shipping costs; benevolently, the owner's choosing not to pursue the matter further.

Nice competition: two flights anywhere Cathay Pacific flies, in premium economy. (UK residents only)

With finances beginning to improve, I felt like finally returning to one of my old haunts on Saturday night, a pub with a particularly good line in food, a well-chosen selection of beers and ciders, and enough history to be.. well, I'd say nigh tangible, but those hefty beams are quite real. The place's date of construction isn't entirely clear, but it's apparently known that some previous owners laid on hospitality for the inbound Normans. Started off with their charcuterie plate (which still doesn't come with anywhere near enough baguette slices!), with slices of a deliciously tangy saucisson, deeply aged Serrano ham, and house-made pork rillettes and cornichons. Such a satisfying start to a meal. ^_^ The main, meanwhile, I chose from the specials board - as tempting as the lamb shank with puy lentils was (I'd had that on my first visit, and it was absolutely excellent), I plumped for the pan-fried pigeon breast atop spiced red cabbage, with potatoes dauphinoise, and a red wine sauce. Mmm.. really nicely done, with the meat cooked perfectly pink, nicely tangy cabbage, a rich sauce, and I'm always a sucker for that style of potato. =:9


Whew. I is a relieved bunny. ^_^ In the early hours of Thursday, I discovered the iPhone wasn't charging at all, nor being seen by Hazel. Awkward enough per se, particularly as I'd just added a month's broad area bus pass to it. ^_^; I tried vigorously blowing down the Lightning port, and using a bit of paper as an improvised spudger, but to no avail. To the Apple Store! Just, the only one with availability on the day (otherwise, Sunday or Monday) was a couple hours away.. still, I'm fine with any opportunity for travel, and the pass would cover most of it. ^_^ Mercifully, it did indeed turn out to be merely an accumulation of microfluff - a few minutes in the back room, and they had the Lightning and headphone sockets both in pristine condition. (And a minor bonus: got to see the Apple Watch in person. Rather a nice bit of tech and design, though I'm yet to be sold on the utility of smartwatches. Still, we'll see. There's inevitably going to be a good deal of discovery ahead for developers and the public alike, working out just what such turn out to be really good at and for)
 
 
 
 
 
 
I've had a few jobs now, and one thing continues to puzzle me - why do so many folk conceal their salaries? Even when employed at the same company, so there's no risk of poaching, that holds true, and this puzzles me. Could someone explain?

A couple weeks ago, /u/xRabbitfluffx offered a couple free portrait slots, and I was lucky enough to be chosen. And.. wow. I'm absolutely delighted. ^_^

The Muppet Show might be heading back to TV. =:D

Does anyone else maintain an ad-free Flickr Pro account? I'm a little confused (which is not unusual), as I just saw a transaction for Flickr come through - what looked like a two year payment, as is indeed currently selected, but paid to me. Don't places like Flickr tend to take money from people? The next payment is due in December, but I notice that old card expired this month - but still, I'm not sure why they'd wind up giving me money.

Yay! Only one week to go until the complete (save for Vivian Stanshall) Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band play again. =:D They're not very serious. And damned talented. What's not to love? ^_^ (If the name isn't familiar, their legacy may be, responsible for the track which another band later used as their name, Death Cab for Cutie; a well-known arrangement of the Monster Mash; and The Urban Spaceman, amongst quite a lot else)

Watched "Seven Psychopaths" the other night.. egad, now there's a cheery little flick. ^_^; IMDb's algorithms certainly got it right with their "also liked" headlining "In Bruges". I'm not quite sure what to make of it, actually.. it was well written, with some interestingly complex characters, particularly Christopher Walken's, but the sheer bleakness prevented me from being able to immerse myself in it. (I was, needless to say, very apprehensive when one character appeared, holding an adorable white rabbit, fearing for the worst. The buns, thankfully, were all safe throughout) I think I'm pleased I've seen it, but I doubt I'd be able to watch it again. Admittedly, that aversion holds true even with Breaking Bad - I've seen a couple episodes, and I'll certainly acknowledge it's excellent TV, but.. oh, so desperately bleak. (And bear in mind, I admire Chris Morris' work, even including Four Lions =:)

lupestripe really needs to see this series of SoftBank ads that hangkat found. (Hint: the star is a very cute white pup)

You've seen computers touted as being small - Raspberry Pi, Arduinos, and more. Those, by comparison, are positively gargantuan versus the University of Michigan's Michigan Micro Mote. Here it is on the edge of a coin. =:D And it is indeed a genuinely fully-fledged computing device, with solar cells able to power the device off even indoor lighting, and a radio for communications. As you might expect, such a small device has commensurately tiny power consumption: the 1x1mm solar cell produces 20nW of power, with the device's idle consumption reduced to 2nA (ie 0.002µW). The processors themselves? Cortex M0! Yes, ARM again. Yay!

Dinner on Sunday turned out well. ^_^ It was a collaboration between the roomie and I - he bought the beef joint, I landed a few heavily marked down vegetables (at the right time, 10% of usual price. And I do mean of, not off =:), and I sort of kicked it off with marinading the joint. I played it by ear, basically wanting something peppery, potent enough to make a good marinade, without being in the foreground. I wound up tossing together lots of water, a bit of oyster sauce, plenty of Berbere mix, a few teaspoons of Dijon mustard, some basil leaves, plenty of grindings of Tellicherry black papper, a little fish sauce, a pinch of asafoetida, a little ras el hanout, and a bit of crushed garlic. Not a simple mix, but one that I intended to head concertedly in a peppery direcion, with loads of body to back it up, especially against that robust meat.

It proved.. good. =:9 I actually wound up simmering it for a little while, with the meat in, to ensure the flavors would circulate, given we only had a few hours until dinner, then popping it into the oven to finish off, along with some parsnips and potatoes. Meanwhile, the vegetable assortment was sequenced - cauliflower first, then Brussels, then tenderstem broccoli. The gravy? Well, I hadn't actually originally intended it, but the marinade was tasty, so I simply thickened it with rice flour, nothing more.

Here's rather a nice prize bundle: NI Komplete 10 plus a Kontrol S49 controller. Open worldwide, except "Americas" (would they mean literally all of North, Central, and South America?). Fun tie-breaker.. "If you could have control over anything, what would it be and why?" Or.. how about a 17-day tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, flying business class on a 787?

Programmer humor. Probably just as well they cut away before demonstrating a destructor. =:)



So, we watched Skyfall - the roomie's second time, and my first. Quite a lot better than I'd feared, actually, with a good deal more ambiguity of moral purpose than I'd have expected of a Bond film. As exciting a production as ever, of course. And I was, for once, delighted to see a solidly capable woman do rather more than survive, in the form of Eve. (Though, a little sorry to see even Bond can't escape tropes like visualising where a device is being "hacked" from.. what? Arg! Computers aren't exotic toys now! Can't we have a touch more realism even now? But then, there was the Tube train whose lights remained firmly illuminated even after departing the tracks, with nary a flicker.. *cough* I know these aren't major issues within the plot, but can't we be rid of these unnecessary bumps in the plot? Realism can even pay off, though such seems to be held with some disdain in Hollywood - consider the swordfight at the clifftops in The Princess Bride. They didn't need to genuinely choreograph the scene, but they did, and wound up with a portrayal whose verisimilitude affords a certain authenticity elsewhere, even when we know it's all a grand tale)

All a bit weird. ^_^; I recently rediscovered Swords & Sausages, and from there, Nine to Nine, and thus its origin, College Catastrophe, which began around 2000 - but, the artist later reworked many of the earlier strips. So, I'm currently looking at a strip from 2011 10 30, which apparently originally debuted on 2002 05 19. And despite having been active on LJ since 2003, I had no idea they were even around! Bah.

Just before the guest - a mutual University friend of myself and the roomie - arrived, I dashed out to indulge in some rabbiteering. And.. caught this moment. ^_^



Friday afternoon saw a very special surprise. Some time ago, I backed the Scandinavia and the World Kickstarter - and I now have the SatW version of me to share. =:D (Even better, I'll be animated later on, in the dance and Royal Ball!)


It does feel rather immodest to promote these depictions of myself, but.. they so resonate with me. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
Might someone who's on F*c*b**k be willing to try looking up either or both of James Clark and John Clark? They're likely to still be in Somerset, England. James might mention travel and photography. I'd love to get back in touch with them, but I'm having no luck so far, with their old sites still registered, but with no A or MX records associated, and no other likely matches seem to surface with any amount of searching. =:P (Though if they've more or less vacated the web, I doubt they'd be on that site, but it's worth a shot)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well, this is proving to be an interesting year. =:) I've just signed Momentary up with a press agency, for newspaper and magazine publication. Now to see where this leads.. and indeed, where my buns wind up. ^_^ I'd had this in mind for a while, but never quite got around to it - but with Easter upon us, I thought it'd be worth seeing if some editor with exceptional taste might want an eye-catching bunny photo. ^_^

Here's a rather impressive canid fursuit courtesy of a Japanese advertiser. Although I still have a tremendous weakness for the Anabukin-chan spots. =:D The outcome is a Japanese play on words, apparently, as the song translates along the lines:

Surpass Mansion, where dreams blossom
Surpass Mansion, where expectations grow
Your heart is swelling, swelling, swelling with pride [crucial play on words: "heart" can also be "bosom"]
WOW
Surpass Mansion [the construction company's brand of condominiums]

A ten minute short of some possible interest: Stop Calling Me Honey Bunny. ^_^ (Also note the competition running until April 20th, to win a gift card for $350 with ChezNoir.ca, good worldwide)

I'm very pleased to see the success of the Iranian nuclear negotiations. I'm hopeful it'll prove pivotal in securing a much better life for Iranians in general, even if the theocracy remains firmly in place.

We missed the first UK political debate last night - how did it go? I'm not much for such spectacles - all too often, they're merely PR opportunities, rather than involving any element of debate. And as we've seen with the current abominable bunch, what they claim as policy need have little relation to what's actually carried out. (I see from the Guardian's coverage that Farage remains as much of a media sweetheart as ever. I'd've thought his "lovable fascist" schtick would've gotten old for even reporters by now) [ETA: I find poliphilo's summary of each leader rather delightfully wry]

I must point out Closetspace, a comic jenndolari has been working on for several years now. ^_^ The overall feel is of a superb soap opera, although I'm worried that might sound less like admiration than withering criticism. ^_^; What I mean to convey is that whilst it's essentially a slice-of-life saga, there are also comedic exaggerations, and well thought out melodrama as well. There are some wonderful laughs to be had, and I shed some tears along the way - for lo, didst I read the entire strip from start to present over the course of a couple days.

Where did I first encounter this comic? (Bear in mind, I am a bunny of very little brain) Collar 6 is a strip based around the fairly soapy adventures of a new sub, her mistress, and their maid. The respect for BDSM safe practices is evident, but it remains often a playful strip, set in an alternate Earth where sexuality isn't a matter of taboo. (Did jessie_pup recommend it? jharish? I only sort of re-stumbled upon it while browsing through my local comics & cartoons directory, and noticed two strips in a folder by themselves, from 2009) The storyline kicks in fairly soon, commencing with an unexpectedly powerful challenger to Mistress. There's a lot more, but I'll let anyone interested read on and enjoy it for themselves. It's a grand adventure indeed. =:D It runs twice a week, and has been running for about six years - so, good if you've got some time spare. =:)

A quite wonderful music video: Freewave (ft. RainSnowHail) - Glittershell (Coming Out of My Shell). It's firmly in that category of music videos that tells a story, quite literally in this case.

And then there's Morcheeba - Enjoy the Ride, as hangkat pointed out. =:D Now to seek out an HD version! Just loving the mellow nature of the track, so well illustrated in its video.

Here's quite an appealing competition (UK entrants only) - design a new pizza for Pizza Express. The winner gets a two night break on the Amalfi coast, their pizza on the chain's menu, and £10,000 in their bank account. Not too shabby. ^_^ They've even done a really nice job on the competition site, adding the ingredients in turn, showing what it'll look like thus far, with plenty of choices of cheese, meat, fish, vegetables, sauces, herbs, and so on. Be ready at the end, where they want you to name your creation (you can submit up to five in total), and a few lines about the inspiration behind it.

If you recall Judge Minty, the rather professional fan production set in Dredd's world, you might like to give Prelude to Axanar a try. It's another fan production, made for about $70,000 for the twenty minutes it currently runs, set in ST:TNG's universe.

"Last week, on his way home from work, Caleb passed a puppy lying in the middle of I-610. He thought it was probably dead but saw it raise its head, so he turned around and went back to get it. There happened to be a dog groomers right there and Caleb found a customer to help him get the puppy off the road. They took the puppy to the customer's vet. She had been hit by a car and has both back legs broken, and maybe more." The surgery was beautifully successful. ^_^ With frightening costs involved, they're understandably seeking donations to help pay the bill, which is looking like it'll wind up in the vicinity of $4K or so.

So, this tale begins as one might expect of /r/talesfromtechsupport.. but, well, there's more. And in a good way.

The definitive history of Max Headroom, live and direct.

Fancy going down some giant slides in London this summer?

Marking Terry Pratchett's death, Radio 4's going to be broadcasting Good Omens again, starting on Monday, April 6. It'll be listenable worldwide.

Fangs is an Elite: Dangerous webcomic, taking carefully choreographed screenshots from the game, processing them into a comic-style pure black & white, and overlaying the script. Rather well done.

There's a UK company that makes lenses with deliberately odd optical characteristics, as noted in the info for one of their offerings, the Flare Factory 58: "Each Flare Factory 58 is engineered, crafted and finished by hand in the UK, using salvaged former USSR and East German optical and mechanical components. Since each lens is rebuilt and individually configured, we are able to apply an almost limitless variety of optical degradations depending on your desired look", with dirt options including element separation "creates additional extreme and wild unpredictable flares", cleaning marks "contribute to further flaring artefacts like rainbow fans and grungy texture in the bokeh", and dust/dirt/debris "think dirty Hasselblad waist level viewfinder with bits of crap on the screen". The logo for Dog Schidt Optiks is.. well, appropriate. ^_^;

If you're a fan of grrm's work, you might enjoy this 52 minute segment produced for German TV (hence the burned subtitles), wherein he shows Sibel Kekilli around Santa Fe at night. ^_^ (And I see Maisie Williams will be guesting in the next season of Doctor Who..)

Does anyone know if there's a way of stopping YouTube from autoplaying something else after you've watched a given clip? Indeed, is this happening for everyone else, or just me? I always used to be able to simply watch the clip; lately, though, a sort of countdown circle is displayed at the end, after which something else will begin playing. =:P

The origin of the <BLINK> tag is quite a bit more entertaining than one might expect.. =:D

Enjoy Cassetteboy's latest, with David Cameron and George Osbourne starring in the Emperor's New Clothes.

It looks like the Freddy Mercury biopic may actually, finally, be moving forward, with Sacha Baron Cohen signed to write, produce, direct, and star in it. I feel that could actually work - he's capable of that degree of sheer presence on stage, and we know he won't have a problem with the costumes either. =:) [ETA: nope, apparently SBC left the project two years ago]

Saw "Into the Woods" the other night.. mm, I can concur with the general sentiment of it being a bit muddled. Rather unfortunate, really, given the will was evidently there to make a genuinely sparkling film, but the writing didn't really pull it off. And in disagreement to the stage audiences, I couldn't really engage myself in the musical numbers at all - serviceable, but not much more than that. But then, I wasn't all that taken by Frozen either, which did storming business at the box office, so.. =:/

I noticed there is, apparently, a sequel to the rather superb Donnie Darko, but.. not a terribly good one, if IMDb's 3.7 is anything to go by. So.. has anyone actually dared watch S. Darko? (As for the original, I should note I'll only recommend the original theatrical cut, not the extended director's cut, which restores some desperately unnecessary exposition, and finishes with walloping you over the head with a rather more graphic ending)

Heavens forfend I descend to merely reposting cute photos, but.. this pic from /u/ckabella, captioned "Friend was snoring. Puppy was trying to find the noise." really is quite priceless. ^_^

Charmer of the year: the buyer of this fursuit, who agreed to purchase a fursuit for a given price, only to turn around upon delivery to claim that as they were actually only 17, the seller's sent it to a minor without parental consent, so nya nya nya. This ought to be interesting to follow. =:P

foofers and stego_s_aurus really ought to note this Vaudeville t-shirt. =:)
 
 
 
 
 
 
I noticed something of a surge of favoriting (?) of Momentary coming in from 500px peeps, and was wondering why, given that photo's been up on the site for a while now. And then I noticed the latest 500px newsletter: Perfect Timing: 21 Split-Second Moments Captured on Camera. And.. there I am, in some fairly spectacular company. ^_^;

It is confirmed by William Shatner: Friendship is Magic. ^_^ (And his nomination for Best Pony? Perhaps not too surprisingly, the most modest of them all, Rainbow Dash =:)

And music video for the week: Only Pony, by OhPonyBoy. Really enjoying the track by itself, but the video seals the deal. (No knowledge of ponies required - it stands by itself as a nifty bit of animation)

Ludo took it upon themselves to draw a whole slew of critters - absolutely beautifully - and entirely free. I'm absolutely bowled over by just how gorgeous their style is - I'd've been delighted with this as a paid commission, let alone done purely for the fun of it.

w00t! The first OS X beta of Elite: Dangerous debuts on Tuesday. Now I can show the world how much my flying sucks. =:D

If you need a dash of surreality, try this Soyuzmultfilm short, Fru-89. I'm not sure the technology exists to adequately summarise it. ^_^

Quote of the week comes from proud dandy Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen: "My beard makes up for the fact that, quite appallingly, I was born without a big foxy tail to play with."

It's merely an idea that's been tossed out there, with no official backing as yet, but still, it's an intriguing idea: how about free movement between Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand? I'd be all for it - but then, I'm strongly in favor of freedom of movement for people in general.

Hint for UK peeps wanting to read magazines or books digitally, listen to audiobooks, or study languages: check your county's libraries website. Chances are, they'll offer access to a broad selection of titles via apps like Zinio and OverDrive. You'll need your library card's info in order to log in.

If you're in need of a good 3D modeling/rendering application, and aren't won over by Blender's UI, how about clara.io? Entirely free, and is entirely server-side, rendering in your browser courtesy of WebGL.

An iOS game I'd like to point out: Breath of Light. It's got quite an Auditorium feel to it, but crafted exceptionally elegantly, in something of a Zen garden style - even the flow is quite beautifully crafted, complemented by a soundtrack that I'd call "ambient", but that suggests meandering chords that never end. =:) The trailer'll give you a good idea if it's something that'll appeal to you. And on the temporarily free front, Oquonie is a very odd, beautifully illustrated isometric puzzler - grab it now!

For the aviationists: an interactive 3D panorama of a Spitfire cockpit, with everything labelled, explaining its function. Rather nifty! To balance that, how about this posting by someone who's apparently a rising star of food and health quackery, The Food Babe. It opens with (try to wear soft gloves to cushion the facepalming): "A few facts about what airplanes do to your body - When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it – Airplanes thrive in places we don’t. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed! Compression leads to all sorts of issues. First off your body’s digestive organs start to shrink, taxing your ability to digest large quantities of food." Though perhaps the article's apex is reached with "The air that is pumped in isn't pure oxygen either, it's mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%." But hey, she's the one flying first class to Japan.. ^_^; To her marginal credit, that entry was later pulled, but there is, needless to say, much more where that came from.

Here's my furry pic for the day: Fox and Rabbit, by Miririn (source, over on Pixiv). Entirely SFW.

What Ridley Scott doodled on his copy of the screenplay for The Martian. =:D

Not long now until The Clangers returns to TV, after a little absence - here they demonstrate eclipse watching. ^_^ (Bah! May be geolocked. Apparently, this FB link is good internationally)

Of course, the weather put paid to any eclipse viewing. =:P Still, I suppose it wouldn't've been total here anyway - through the uniform cloud layer, it wasn't especially obvious that daylight was even being affected.

timberwoof might appreciate this beer label huskyteer spotted on a recent trip to Brussels. ^_^

I see LJ have reworked Scrapbook's photo hosting. I haven't tried it out yet, but I'd be interested to hear reactions from anyone who has. (As is, I mostly host my entries' images on Imgur, other than my photography, usually over on Flickr. One thing I'd like in any other option is filename preservation, which is eternally frustrating on Imgur)

An infographic showing global migration patterns and numbers, by global region. Move over a particular region, and then only flows to and from there will be shown, alongside numbers of people in and out. Nicely done!

Potentially quite handy: Print Friendly converts a given URL into a simplified layout, removing the usual extraneous crud surrounding many webpages. It's also usable as a bookmarklet, reformatting the page you're currently viewing.

Do you have any particular net.radio streams worth recommending? One I'm finding to be quite good fun, on the aforementioned theme, is a French production, ABC Dance Radio, which isn't the usual tedious dancefloor anthems, but more.. sort of dance-y electronica. The stream's over here.

I was interested to realise there's now a "home" edition of Matlab, where the crucial point of difference is simply the license, being strictly for personal use, not commercial or academic. Where the "full" version is £1,600, the home edition is a rather more palatable £102, with additional toolboxes available for £30 each. That said, I think I'd still be cautious of using Matlab in a production development environment - it's a terrifically powerful tool for prototyping, but it's not then particularly translatable into deployable code.

The local buns continue to thrive, I'm delighted to report. ^_^ There are currently about three spots along my rabbiteering circuit where I spend time, and the one in a bit of a dip between two fields, along a footpath, is perhaps the one with the most potential, photographically, with good light, a complete lack of obstructions, and even that angle works in my favor, making it that bit easier (though still a challenge, as ever) to acquire good focus, with vertical movement translating to less of a range of distance. The buns there remain as nervous as ever, but it's simply a matter of approaching from behind the tree cover slowly - they'll usually be fine with that. With two tinybuns amongst the six or so I'm seeing there now, perhaps there'll be a wonderful binky or two to be had sometime. ^_^ (I can also report that rabbit sex is.. less magical than depicted anthropomorphically. When consent's finally been granted to the male, it amounts to a couple seconds of.. well, rapid vibration, and then it's done)
 
 
 
 
 
 
I want to expand a specific playlist on my iPad: Bounce. Its debut members are:

Birthday Cake - Cibo Matto
Futurama theme (extended version) - Christopher Tyng
Adachigahara's Theme - ShockOne
Straight to... Number One (Duck's Radio Mix) - Touch & Go
BATS! (SMOR3S Remix) - SMOR3S
Shut Up And Drive - Rihanna
Sugar Rush - AKB48
Ultimate Sweetie Belle - Alex S.
Tast-E (Big Brother Theme) (Vocal Mix - Radio Edit) - Paul Oakenfold & Andy Gray
Riptide - Emma Stevens
Lightning Strikes (feat. Emily Haines) - GoldieBlox
Icarus (redLymb's Extended Club Mix) - Flutlicht

If you can grok that - I'd love to hear your recommendations. ^_^ I'm after energetic tracks, but not repetitious. Bright, bouncy, fun, but not vapid. And no, this doesn't mean I've watched Channel Four's degeneration but from afar, in the form of a thousand variants of Big Brother.

A very simple, geeky tribute: GNU Terry Pratchett.

Ebbe Altberg, head cheese of Linden Lab, gave a keynote speech recently, with some interesting tidbits on their next generation VW under development, including:

- Fully articulated hands and faces is a goal
- non human form avies, skeletal systems will be flexible and maybe customizable
- Our goal is for users to maintain their identity moving to the new platform. You will be recognizable.
- Our business model today prevents people from starting because of set up costs
- The cost of land will come down, but sales tax will go up

I'm encouraged. I'd very much like to maintain my current av, or something similar - the Kani's hardly the latest and greatest bun around, but it's become something of a part of my furry identity. And it's very good to see him admit that the current sim costs do dispel a lot of potential activity, especially where it's not inherently geared toward making a profit, such as AM Radio's artwork installations.

A compo one or two folk I know might be interested in: win a BD player and Studio Ghibli's full back catalogue. =:D Note that you can, unlike most competitions, enter multiple times - once per day.

It does appear to not be a hoax, going by this posting - apparently, FurAffinity is now owned by IMVU (official forum thread here), makers of a 3D chat application. O.o; I have to say, I don't follow the logic of such an acquisition - such deals are brokered for a reason, whether that's IP, key staff, exclusivity or priority rights to a product, or simply the profits. Here, though? Where's the benefit to IMVU? Ah, a moot point for me, in any event - I gave up on FurAffinity years ago, when they began jerking around with the rules, beginning with banning SL photography (whilst, of course, being entirely fine with RL snaps of cars, guns, knives, feet, or just about anything).

I absolutely approve of this 24 Carrot Cake. =:D

A nicely positive article: Why I'm Optimistic about Gender Equality in Tech. Whilst I'm not sure I'm quite as optimistic, perhaps I ought to have a more positive outlook; we have, at least, progressed from the position of Emmy Noether, under-recognised even now, and of whom was said "In the realm of algebra, in which the most gifted mathematicians have been busy for centuries, she discovered methods which have proved of enormous importance in the development of the present-day younger generation of mathematicians." and "Miss Noether is... the greatest woman mathematician who has ever lived; and the greatest woman scientist of any sort now living, and a scholar at least on the plane of Madame Curie." (Albert Einstein and Norbert Wiener respectively)

The new £1 coin was unveiled, going into circulation in 2017. It'll be 12-sided, like the old threepenny, with the front design depicting the leek, thistle, shamrock and rose circled by a royal coronet.

Now here's rather a nifty little personality test.. it's run by IBM's Watson. =:D Give it at least 100 words (there's a counter beneath the text field), and it'll offer percentages under a variety of categories, including Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Emotional Range. Of course, it can only work on what you give it, but you might be surprised at the level of insight.

A rather fun furry Kindle title is temporarily free: Internshipping, by Lex Rovi. It's easily worth grabbing for free! ^_^ (Amazon US, Amazon UK)

If you're in the market for something like a GoPro, there's some interesting competition coming from China, in the form of the Xiaomi Yi Action Camera. It sells for $64 there, half the price of the GoPro Hero, and sports 1080p at 60fps, and a maximum of 64GB, versus 1080p at 30fps and a max of 32GB. And there's an optional cat harness. =:)

Now, I should note this is equally revolting and fascinating - don't click unless you mean to. Paul Williams tells the photographic tale of the 10 foot tapeworm and the three bears.

Rather fun - a shoe, the Volvorii Timeless with e-paper side panels, so you can freely change the design shown to any pattern, or indeed, solid black or white.

A rather nice waves simulator running in your browser, involving no textures - it's all rendered on the fly. Good performance, too - I get the nominal 60fps available on Hazel, and 20fps on the iPad Air.

I am indebted to austin_dern for informing me of the existence of a German word for people who urinate in public: the quite beautifully melodic Wildpinkler - apparently becoming something of an issue in St Pauli, Hamburg. Apparently, it's enough of a hassle that a local group has taken to painting two nightclubs with an especially hydrophobic paint, so those relieving themselves get to enjoy it themselves. (Why would someone even do that in the first place? Don't these clubs have toilets?)

A long shot, but.. does anyone have a high quality copy of the video for Touch & Go's "Straight.. to Number One" (Duck's Radio Mix)? In the meantime, I've found a slightly better quality copy of the video, bought the track, and merged them carefully - but still, I'd love to buy an HD version. ^_^ I've sent the group an enquiry, so maybe that'll yield some results as well.

It's that time of year, when some buns take a particular interest in other buns.. usually with not a great deal of reciprocation of the enthusiasm. Here, the grey had been gradually edging closer to the black bun over the course of a couple minutes, before getting close enough to warrant a response. The hint was taken. =:)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Egad. The UK's entry for Eurovision 2015 was recently revealed - and it's actually fun! Here's Still in Love With You, a bona fide electroswing track. =:D (And if you'd like to hear about the genesis of the track, you can watch an interview with the lead duo following the video over on iPlayer)

Here's the trailer for Thunderbirds Are Go. ^_^ Looks vaguely similar in production principle to the continuation of Captain Scarlet, keeping the original theme and tone, but executed with CG rather than marionettes, making possible scenes that would've been impractical in RL. Should be fun! (And who knows? Maybe ITV will someday release said Captain Scarlet on Blu-Ray or iTunes)

ARM and the BBC recently launched an educational initiative, wherein every child in year 7 in the UK will be given an ARM-based development board in September, with a suite of training materials and tutorials on offer, toward them creating their first Internet of Things device. Pretty cool!

Springtime is a marvellously positive time of year, with the foliage bouncing back into life, the birds swooping in flocks, and tiny adorable bunlets begin to emerge from the warrens. =:D


Some philosophical musings you might want to read, courtesy of poliphilo.

Courtesy of Stack Overflow, a rather entertaining thread on the best comments in source code, including:

#define TRUE FALSE
//Happy debugging suckers

// Replaces with spaces the braces in cases where braces in places cause stasis
$str = str_replace(array("\{","\}")," ",$str);

// drunk, fix later

/**
* Always returns true.
*/
public boolean isAvailable() {
return false;
}

.. and, of course..
long long ago; /* in a galaxy far far away */

Well, that was nicely timed.. I went to the BBC's site to check if there was any word on MasterChef's return, given it's usually a Spring thing, and saw the new series' first episode up on the iPlayer front page. =:D Always a delight to see such creativity and passion at work, amidst such a fabulous spirit of camaraderie.

I finally also finished off another remarkable BBC production, the two-parter "Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero", about the pivotal role Alfred Russel Wallace played in the discovery of the mechanism of evolution, entirely independently from Darwin, who'd made notes to that effect, but had left them deliberately unpublished, until eventually Wallace's own description, to him, of what was essentially evolution, prompted him to steal the spotlight. Highly recommended viewing - and, in true BBC style, it appears to only be (sort of) available on an out-of-print DVD from Australia. Muppets.

Meanwhile, Netflix are bringing back Inspector Gadget, in a new animated series; and, later this year, CBBC will present a a new series of Danger Mouse. =:D This time, the hero will be voiced by Alexander Armstrong, whom I hadn't realised was also the voice of Mister Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

How's this for an adorable anthro bunny, by Kyoht? Soon to be appearing on bottles of Mad Rabbit vodka, from Denver. ^_^ And a potato vodka, no less! I approve. (At least, judging by the superb nature of Chase potato vodka)


Ooo.. I's a published bunny! Seems the paper on our contour-based video codec finally saw publication in the SMPTE journal recently. =:D
 
 
 
 
 
 
Just a quick note to say the above game's currently 80% off on the Humble Store, leaving it at £1.99 or local equivalent - a veritable steal for such a lovingly crafted (and furry!) game. ^_^

The price reverts to normal at 5pm on Monday.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Watching "Brave" again reminded me just how much I enjoy the film. ^_^ It's difficult not to sympathise with a protagonist struggling to become who they really are, ne? (And I was tickled by the roomie's acceptance of watching an episode of MLP. I randomly opted for Daring Don't - maybe not the best, but a good introduction. Maybe he'll be okay with the occasional further episode? I'd love to share them)

Meanwhile, the first concept art's been coming out of Disney's next animated feature, Zootopia - thoroughly and completely furry. And apparently with some leporine representation. =:D

Thinking cinematically: what films do you enjoy, and consider to be good, yet wind up with mediocre ratings on IMDb? For me, top of that list would have to be Tank Girl. I had great hesitation when I heard there was going to be a film of Tank Girl - how could anyone manage it, let alone with studio execs having their pawprints all over it? Yet, there it is! Maybe not quite as loopy as the comics (and I still can't fathom why they made Booga.. well, that way), but definitely embodying their nature regardless. Great casting, too, with Lori Petty filling the star role fairly much perfectly, and Malcolm McDowell in full-on form. ^_^ On IMDb? 5.2.

I must again recommend the four-part BBC documentary, "The Mekong River with Sue Perkins". It's quite breathtaking just how much ground they covered, in every sense, with encounters ranging from tagging along with a wildlife defense unit in Cambodia, to being escorted around the site of the hugely controversial Xayaburi dam in Laos, financed by a Thai energy company, which will receive 95% of the electricity produced, with potentially devastating consequences for the lives of those depending on the Mekong downstream for their livelihoods. They don't shy away from considering the potential benefits and repercussions, there, or in considering restaurants serving "bush meat" such as mouse deer. It's not always an easy journey, by any means, but thoughtfully produced, with a highly personable host (whom, I admit, I'd only heard of before from her stint on "The World's Most Dangerous Roads", where she followed the course of the Ho Chi Minh trail, even now with trees nearby occasionally painted with yellow or red rings, noting whether you're in danger or extreme danger), and of course, gorgeously filmed. Of course, in true industry style, there's no way whatsoever to obtain it legally - no Blu-Rays, DVDs, or iTunes presence. However, if you have a Usenet provider, you can download the appropriate NZBs from over here. The same, sadly, is true of The World's Most Dangerous Roads, which is a similarly thoughtful production.

An interesting proposal: backing up the Internet Archive.

A slightly more worrisome prospect: a remake of The Rats of NIMH, to be realised as a live action/CGI hybrid, adapted by one of the Ice Age series writers, Michael Berg. (Perhaps more intriguingly, I see Diablo Cody, writer of Juno, is writing the next draft of a live action Barbie)

Hm. Shows how often I link to them.. a few years back, I ran into problems posting an entry, with LJ declaring it to be spam. I recalled it wound up being something daft like a particular, quite mainstream, domain being blacklisted - include a link to it, and you won't be able to post that entry. And lo, I encountered that again with this: apparently, deadline . com is blacklisted, for some odd reason. (Nope, you can't even mention its domain!) I've raised a support ticket, noting the specific problem. =:/

rav_bunneh is drawing, and being very silly whilst doing so. =:)

Looking back on my last entry, I need to update my memory. =:P For some reason, when I selected the output format for that panorama rendering, I only took notice of PSB as being suitable, as neither JPEG nor TIFF are suitable for such a large (in dimensions, as well as file size) image. But, another option AutoPano offers is.. PNG! And yes, that indeed suffers none of those earlier formats' weaknesses, happily going well above 64k pixels on an edge. So, I think I'll be revisiting that project, reprocessing the original shots, and seeing what the new AutoPano Giga 4 beta's engine can do with it, before applying the title in the lower left, either with a simple blur around the border, or maybe a touch of content-aware fill. Should be interesting to see how well Pixelmator copes with a large image, else it'll be the Gimp.

Here, have a red kite. ^_^ Really happy with how the lighting worked out in that instant, highlighting their front edges perfectly, and with all the wings on show, so clearly, and in bright contrast. I'm tempted to add it to the site - I suspect it'd make a fairly amazing large format print, though I may well re-crop it, for perhaps a little more space on the left.



One snack I've been really warming to of late: a carrot, sliced into batons; a few sweet cherry tomatoes (Sainsbury's Vittorio are particularly good), halved; a good splot of oyster sauce; a bit of Dijon mustard. Carrots and oyster sauce go together surprisingly well, but any combination's appealing. Very low calorifically, nutritious, and definitely crunchy. =:D

If you like furry transformations, Addictive Science beckons. It's all very fluffy, entirely SFW, and a silly amount of fun. ^_^ You can join the strip pretty much anywhere - there's some degree of continuity, but by the end of each few-page story, everyone's more or less back to how they usually are. Not much bunnitude, regrettably, but much fennecking.

There's an awful lot of twaddle spoken about Apple, and prognostications thereon are very definitely no exception. So, if you really want to gain any kind of insight, you need to see what folks like Jason Snell have to think. All very undramatic, with no Register-style clickbait.

Here's a set of statistics that quite caught me by surprise. I'd been vaguely aware that, historically, Americans tended not to be overly interested in foreign travel (other than military) - but to see just how low the percentages were even just a couple decades ago struck me.

The Night My Girlfriend Dissociated and Forgot Who I Was, a harrowing insight into dissociative identity disorder. "And while it was her building we were entering, this too was unfamiliar in her current state of mind. Although she was able to identify that she was dissociating, she had no idea how she got here."

This discussion on interview techniques from Hacker News, in response to this posting, is worth a few moments of your time. Some interesting points raised, definitely, including useful responses to the old chestnut, "Do you have any questions for me?" at the end, if you don't in fact have anything specific in mind that you haven't already researched and found the answer to beforehand.

Here's a potentially interesting subreddit: Mad Science. Tragically, it's all but dead.

And how about a pizza? =:D It began life as a humble Pizza Express "Simple Pepperoni" 10" from the local Kwik-E-Mart, marked down to half price. First thing, of course, was to bump up the herbs: rosemary, oregano, a nice drizzle of garlic purée, some Tallicherry pepper, and a good sprinkle of Berbere spice mix, followed by several cherry tomatoes sliced into thirds, to ensure a good, fresh tomato nature. Into the oven, and topped with some cheap shrimp a couple minutes before it was all done. It was.. good. =:9

 
 
 
 
 
 
Here's a fairly unique photographic opportunity: shortly, Crossrail will be opening up several of their construction sites to the public, over the weekend of March 6/7. It will be ticketed (but free), so it seems you'll have to keep an eye on their Eventbrite page to find out when those'll become available. [Edit: the tickets are now available!]

The UK will see quite a solar eclipse on March 20 2015, from around 0840. Scotland will see 98% coverage, whilst the southeast makes do with around 85% - all the same, something to prepare for. =:D It'll last for about two hours, in total; the peak of the eclipse will be at 0931 in London. Hmm. Maybe it's time to pick up a neutral density filter for the 300mm.. in time for a week of rain to roll in. =:)

I was rather pleased to find the roomie also enjoyed Jupiter Ascending. ^_^ Our tastes are fairly substantially different, though there's enough overlap to enjoy TV like Orange is the New Black, or Black Sails. (He's very uncomfortable with anything he perceives as "slow", so Extant's lost him) We agreed the film could have born a little more of a look into the world and civilisations of the commercial empire, but accepted it probably had to be that way simply through a need to keep the running time contained. I'd be very interested to see what didn't make it into the final cut, though - with any luck, there'll be a good suite of extras available, preferably on iTunes, but I'd buy a Blu-Ray if necessary (I don't like physical media. It's wasteful, as I'll only ever rip it once, leaving the disc to gather dust. With comics, I can heft thousands around with me routinely, digitally, and they'll always be with me, or at least available, wherever I am on the planet)

Is it unusual to feel uncomfortable with stretched video? I'll see it now and then in shops or bars, where something made in 4:3 is just tugged outward to "fit" 16:9, or sometimes with that equally odd scheme a lot of TVs offer, where the central portion is more or less correct, and the image is increasingly stretched as it heads toward the left and right edges of the TV. I mention it as the BBC's recently begun offering a classic documentary series, The World at War, on iPlayer - but, unfathomably, it seems they've done exactly that. It was, of course, produced in 4:3 back in 1973 - but it's been encoded at a frame size of 832x468, leaving it all squished out. Whyyyyyy?

Ah-hah! I see ImageMagick is amongst the vanishingly small number of applications not called Photoshop that can handle PSB files. Think I'll be giving it a try on that cityscape panorama.. whilst few image formats seem capable of large files (in terms of either file size, or image dimensions), JPEG-2000 looks easily up to the task. (I'd also wondered just how big the file was, as JPEG appears to top out at 4GB, and 64k x 64k. Answer: 18GB. ^_^ I may well try reshooting it at some point, anyway - I now have a 1.4TC and a sensor that adds about as much again, so I could wind up with about a doubling of resolution along each axis. For no particular reason, of course, other than it can be done. =:)

Well, poop. It grinds away for a while, then gives a nicely helpful "Abort trap: 6", leaving me with a null size output file. =:/ But! Consulting with the mages suggests it's actually the JPEG-2000 library at fault, not ImageMagick - converting it to PNG worked perfectly. =:D And it's only a bit over 3GB, too. ^_^ That said, given the original shoot was with just the D90 and 300mm, I'm quite inclined to try catching the right day with the D7100 and 300mm + TC14E, which would spell a doubling along each axis. =:D

So, I finally took advantage of LensesForHire's 50% February discount, and booked a Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 for June. The rabbiteering weather ought to be good by then - or maybe I'll be able to get along to Skomer? We'll see. So much is up in the air, at the moment. ^_^

Ah, the joy of cheese. ^_^ The roomie made roast lamb for dinner, so I sort of helped out with a cheese selection afterward: raw milk Appenzeller and 24mo. Comté, a rather nicely robust Cheddar, and a fabulously daffy "carrot cake Wensleydale", which actually works, unbelievably. =:D
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's not exactly local to me, but it's a very tempting line-up: a comedy evening in Brighton, including the likes of Mark Steel, Jeremy Hardy, Rob Newman, and Robin Ince, all for a princely £15. =:D That's over at the Theatre Royal, on Sunday, March 22nd.

Here's a collection of interviews with a wide variety of personages and celebrities, covering quite a spread of talents and backgrounds, including the likes of William H Macy, Annie Lennox, Ron Perlman, Terry Gilliam, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Rob Reiner. Audio only, around 20 minutes long each.

Want to see how a jet engine works, with beautifully produced animated cutaways? There are several more from the same guy, including what makes tarantulas tick, how speakers make sound, and how LCDs work. Educational, and gorgeous to boot.

Quite a fun, simple music video: Flight Facilities - Down to Earth, starring a dancing Sam Rockwell.

I've listened to the album quite a few times, but the Tron Legacy soundtrack easily remains one of my absolute favorites - this version came from vinyl, sampled at 24/96, mastered with apparently a lighter touch on the compression (in the dynamic range sense) than on the digital releases. Really comes into its own on something like The Game Has Changed, with that deliberate synth distortion playing against the orchestra. I have very boringly average hearing, and hardly any special setup - just Sennheiser HD25-1 II headphones fed straight from the MBP - but wow, that album's just so intensely immersive. =:D (Love the film, too)

I may have a new favorite TV chef. ^_^ Have a look at this recipe for a cauliflower pizza, presented by Laura Miller. (Oh, what a voice! <3)

For Bay peeps: the forthcoming two Midnites for Maniacs screenings are going to be especially fun. ^_^ First, on Fri, March 6, 7.30pm at the Castro, is a DCP presentation of the regional premiere of the director's cut (with a longer, darker ending) of The Little Shop of Horrors, followed by eXistenZ, plus an array of Cronenberg trailers, on 35mm. Then, on Sat, May 23, at 7pm at the Roxie, a Jeunet/Caro double bill of Amélie and La Cité des Enfants Perdus, both from 35mm.

I'm not given to promoting Buzzfeed links, but - these bits of Andre the Giant trivia are quite remarkable. I hadn't been aware William Goldman actually wrote the part of Fezzik specifically with him in mind. And the photo of him standing next to Arnold Schwarzenegger is quite an amusing contrast. =:D

A fun TG TF sequence: Multiply, by Snaketrap. Entirely NSFW, although maybe safer in some workplaces than others. =:)

Temporarily, the Kindle editions of Post-Human, books 1-4, are free, as is book 5. [Edit: that's over now, unfortunately]

And similarly, the iOS version of classic platformer [And] Yet It Moves is currently free, until 3pm GMT on Friday.

I was curious as to the origin of the term "the Streisand effect", and was impressed by its magnitude. =:D It arose from her attempt to remove an aerial photo of her home, on the basis of invasion of privacy. However, as the Wikipedia entry notes, "before Streisand filed her lawsuit, 'Image 3850' had been downloaded from Adelman's website only six times; two of those downloads were by Streisand's attorneys. As a result of the case, public knowledge of the picture increased substantially; more than 420,000 people visited the site over the following month."

Here, have a truly demented blend of two tracks.. Stayin' Alive in the Wall. Yes. ^_^

lupestripe pointed out a relatively new comedian, Nish Kumar, and so I went sniffing around YouTube - and yep, here's seven minutes courtesy of the BBC. Very funny stuff.

Rather a curious potential acquisition by Apple: soft synth developers Camel Audio. Presumably their work'll form part of a new version of Logic and/or Garageband?