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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?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here, have a very short poem, Wolf Break, by huskyteer. ^_^

Some jobs might, at first blush, not seem so striking - but, this account brings the author's role into beautiful relief: I'm an art museum night guard.

It's only a lab prototype for now, but here's a potential revolution in lenses in the making. Rather than the way we've always fiddled with light, using the surfaces of lenses to refract light at various angles to bring it to a focal point, and use other lenses to correct for the different angle of refraction at different wavelengths, making for potentially quite heavy assemblies, this.. well, probably easiest if you just read it. =:D But, we could, possibly, be looking at a single, flat metasurface able to both bring the light to focus and for many wavelengths. It's very cunning stuff indeed, with profound implications throughout optical industries. (And yay, my submission thereof on HN hit the top ten on the front page, too =:)

You need to check out rigelkitty's latest set: February 2015 [That's Cold Mix], "a very choice, extra-long batch of the best funky breaks and the like that I've come across recently." Seriously fun. =:D

I love beer. Always have. ^_^ Here's one I tried after last week's rabbiteering (unfortunately, not much to show for it - several times, brief chases broke out, only for them to dive immediately out of view, plus a few moments missed through lousy focus), from a Danish outfit, To Øl (Danish for "two beers"): BrewBerry No.3. (For beerhounds: one of the brewers founded Mikkeller) It's an awkward one to describe, and I'm not much good at that to begin with, but it's sort of like an Imperial IPA, as if brewed by Belgians, with a hop nature that's positively warmly floral, not sharp. Really quite unusual. Even at its unfortunate price, I'd recommend it to any beer explorer.

Here's an interestingly simple to use iOS formant analyser over on GitHub. (Also available pre-built from the App Store) Tip: to build it, ensure you open the xcworkspace file, rather than the xcproject - this will avoid the linker griping about not being able to find a particular CocoaPods library. I'll want to compare the results against Praat, though.

Some furs I know are sort of into aviation.. here's rather a good article combining photography with the stories of some of the notable figures in the field's development.

Cocktail du jour: a variant on Long Island Iced Tea. ^_^ A double of Heston Earl Grey & Lemon gin, a single of Whitley Neill gin, a third of Curaçao, and a single of Aqua Riva, topped up with equal parts of diet cola and Fever Tree elderflower tonic water, and a good bit of ice. The first gin is quite floral, relatively mellow, whilst the latter is much spicier - that's really the key to this. You could probably substitute something like Bombay Sapphire comfortably for the latter, but the former's rather much its own thing. The tequila needs to be something similar - very smooth, but still pronouncedly tequila, rather than, say, the fantastic lightness of Patrón Silver.

Or, a slightly simpler variant: equal measures of said Heston gin, Whitley Neill, and Plymouth Gin, topped up with Fever Tree elderflower tonic water. It's a veritable symphony! All I wanted was to see how the three might play with each other. They're all gin, but all of such different natures.

(I may try tossing the Jenever into a future concoction.. that's quite a different character still, especially with this bottle having been open for about a year)

Surely there's someone else watching The Fixer? ^_^; Still, I have to say, ep.5 with Balloonin Marvellous was one of the more spectacular episodes, in a very good way. It opened with a struggling party/events company, with the owner's designs and arrangements.. rather haphazard, complicated, and a touch on the chintzy side. But with a boost in confidence achieved - ye gods, what a transformation! Designs that a high-end event can be proud of, whatever the setting.

Poll #2000594 It's bathtime!

How long do you want your bathtime to be?

As brief as possible
1(6.7%)
Nothing more than an hour
7(46.7%)
That's the evening sorted
7(46.7%)

When?

Morning
3(20.0%)
Afternoon
1(6.7%)
Evening/Nighttime
11(73.3%)

Will your bath be foamy?

No, just water
5(33.3%)
Of course!
10(66.7%)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have some lovingly illustrated quotes from that masterwork of hackery, Fifty Shades of Grey. Ye gods and little fishes, such tortured, flaccid prose! “His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… or something.”, or how about “I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto.”

If you're in need of audiophile pseudoscience, Wat HiFi collects quotes from various magazines and columns replete with technowankery. Behold: a world where different SSDs result in different audio characteristics, a $40 silver fuse, £59 USB cable, and a 3m £1,889 ethernet cable make sense, and demagnetising CDs and DVDs is advisable.

Films: as the local fleapit has sort-of-affordable Tuesday showings, I plumped for Jupiter Ascending, which I've been looking forward to for a while. And.. it delivered, in magnificent style. It's everything they promised: a sci-fi tale of epic scope, with inspiration from all corners, including (of course) the Matrix, the Fifth Element, and Dune, amongst many others. The visual design is outstanding throughout - even if you didn't have the audio on, it'd be a film that'd captivate me. But then we have characters I actually cared about, not least our core protagonist, leading an exceptionally unglamorous life as a house cleaner in Chicago, before she's targeted as being the reincarnation of a powerful family matriarch. There's even a spot of furriness involved, with one major character having some lupine influences (sadly, only extending to the eartips), some dino sorts reminiscent of the Kleggs, and the odd background character, like an elephantine pilot. It's one hell of a ride - and probably one I'll embark on again in the coming days. ^_^ (And I've put my pre-order in on iTunes!)

Word for the day: "fisc", originally the public treasury of ancient Rome, later any state treasury or exchequer. From this, we now have the rather more commonplace fiscal.

I imagine anyone remotely interested's already seen them, but just in case, here's a set of three brief shorts starring Equestria Girls versions of Crysalis (Queen of the Changelings, an official character) and Flufflepuff (who isn't =:). It helps a little to know them, but there isn't really any need for background, beyond knowing Crysalis is.. a touch intimidating, and Flufflepuff.. a bit less so. It's a few minutes of silly fun, with a quite beautiful ending. Parts one, two, three.

From the Whimsical Heels department come these quite wonderfully silly vanilla ice cream shoes and red velvet wedges, from Shoe Bakery. =:D

Here's quite a handy guide to C11, which added some rather useful features, including improved threading support, and anonymous unions.

There's another photo editor on the way for OS X: Affinity Photo. It's currently in open beta - sign up, and you can download it immediately. At first glance, I'm liking it - the UI's clearly native, so it feels like a Mac application, and seems to offer the details you'd hope for in a more pro-oriented photo editor, such as curves per channel. (As a side note, I'm impressed by the support: I posted a feature request for PSB support, as some of my panoramas can be quite large, but support for such files is virtually non-existent outside Photoshop itself. Six minutes later, a reply saying they'd looked into it, and think it should be possible, with a little tinkering!)

Could get interesting.. the EU Parliament has voted to resume the investigation into EU complicity with CIA torture. "The European Parliament’s committees on civil liberties, foreign affairs and human rights previously investigated the CIA’s programme in 2006, and they will now resume their inquiry with new details from the Senate’s report. Passing today’s resolution, MEPs said the summary “reveals new facts that reinforce allegations that a number of EU member states… were complicit in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme, sometimes through corrupt means based on substantial amounts of money provided by the CIA in exchange for their cooperation”. Romania, Poland and Lithuania are widely known to have hosted CIA black sites, along with those in Afghanistan, Thailand and Guantánamo Bay."

Imagine you're an experienced graphic designer, and are more than a tiny bit cheesed off with people hoping you'll do work for them for free/the exposure. Welcome to 27b/6. =:D

Via schnee, one of the best fan crossovers I've seen: Lucky Luke and MLP:FiM. =:D

Here's the trailer for Clive, a Banjo-Kazooie inspired platformer now at alpha, on Steam Greenlight. Windows only for now, with OS X on the cards. Download the demo (first level, fully playable) here. It does work fine under Windows 7/Parallels 8/OS X 10.10.3b1 - though, do note the current version of the demo only supports movement by analogue game controller, with keyboard/mouse support coming later.

Here's a slightly unusual game: Dark Echo. It's somewhat akin to Papa Sangre, but you're not entirely reliant on sound alone - you do have some visual cues as well, to assist in avoiding the murderous creatures after you. And, have a look at the trailer for Alto's Adventure. Technically, it's an endless snowboarding runner - nothing extraordinarily original, you might think - but that demonstrates it's possible to execute a familiar concept beautifully.

So, it's official: Jon Stewart's leaving The Daily Show.

I doubt it'll be of direct interest to anyone reading, but still, I found the news of this tattoo removal cream quite fascinating. It works on the basis that tattoos are visible due to macrophages left at the site of the ink, having consumed it; the cream works by inducing other macrophages to consume those pigmented ones. Consequently, it'll be far simpler and cheaper than laser removal, or cover-up tattoos.

Financial institutions - always very, very dull, with websites never deviating from stock photos of people apparently in sheer delight of paying bills. Maybe there's an exception, as schnee discovered - although.. you might not want to stick around too long. I'm very much hoping this is an example of the Icelandic sense of humor, else, that their web designer is taken good care of. Behold: Vogabakki.

Here's rather a nice sort of robotic TF sequence I stumbled upon via /r/transformation, by ibenz009 on DA, "Like Clockwork": pages one, two, three, four.

Finally, how about a nice little competition? (UK residents only, closing Feb 28 2015) A week for two in Langkawi, flying in BA Club World, staying in the five star Andaman in a Deluxe Rainforest room. (The answer to the question is "Kuala Lumpur")
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'll sort it out, but for now, if you want to email me, use me at lapinity.com, rather than ringtail.com. As noted below, the current OS X beta's apparently bonked Google POP accounts, of which my usual is one. I'll still get it at the usual, but only on the iPad, for now. =:/

BTW, I'd be particularly interested to hear on reactions to Sister Claire. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yay! I finally saw Big Hero 6 a couple weeks ago! So.. well, okay, there were a few points which rather misfired for me (the Bad Guy was much too much of a Two-Face style "bad thing happens and they become Evil™", in particular), but I certainly enjoyed the geeky nature of the protagonists, and the pleasantly level nature of the team, even though I'd've chosen Go Go as the leader (or Honey Lemon, for that matter), over the apparently mandatorily male lead. (See also: Pacific Rim, for a far more egregious example) Still, yes, it was a lot of fun, and pushing the boundaries of CG even further, with exceptional lighting. Of course, it's a bundle of fun for anyone who knows the City at all, with so many familiar locations tweaked into this new reality of San Fransokyo, such as the classically adorned Golden Gate Bridge, or Transamerica Tower. =:) There isn't nearly enough filmmaking in the City, with noteworthy exceptions like The Game, so seeing all those landmarks, even if, say, the Café doesn't actually exist - it's exactly the kind of place which does. ^_^

So, yes. Go see it! Again! (And FWIW, it's out now on the US iTunes Store, with some extras. ^_^ Oddly, only in HD - the SD version's coming on Feb 24, along with the BD release)

Track (no video) of the day has to be what I'd pretty much consider a personal anthem: Alabama 3 - "Woody Guthrie".

I'll apologise for the lack of images and photos - if I spend that time getting the entry ready to perfection, it'll be even longer in arriving, and it's surely quite diverse enough already. ^_^;

Lapinity's been reworked. ^_^ I'm quite pleased with this second version - from the point you arrive at the site, you're given the two main categories, Wildlife and Landscapes. It's not quite open yet, but I've removed the site lock - it's now mostly just a matter of finalising pricing, and then enabling purchasing. Right now, it's effectively only a gallery. Next step: advertising! Not usually something I'm much of an advocate for, but, Reddit's system is nicely innocuous, and often quite amusing. By the same token, Project Wonderful's ads I specifically let through, as they often lead to interesting new discoveries.

And elsewhere in photographic news *cough*, Lenses For Hire are again running a February special: half off all rentals booked in February. (The rental itself can be as long away as they take bookings - something like up to six months, I think) Very useful if you're considering trying out an exotic lens - either half the usual cost, or keep it for a week rather than three days. Very good company to deal with - my Sigmonster rental last year went perfectly, as did the regrettable cancellation of another, after leaving it way too late to book my Grillstock ticket. =:P (This year, 11/12 July in Bristle, and 30/31 May in Manchester, this year joined by a third festival, 5/6 Sep in London)

Music vid du jour: Mystery Skulls "Ghost", an animated fan production. Not just a mellow dance track, but a genuine short story too, with just a tiny bit of influence from a certain mystery-solving Hanna-Barbera team. (By the same animator is a simpler production, also to a Mystery Skulls track, Money - this time, starring Phoenix Wright and company)

A word of caution, should you be interested in trying out the OS X 10.10.3 beta (14D72i) - here, at least, it's kneecapped Mail, which is now not downloading any email. Which I would consider a slight shortcoming in an email client. =:/ I might stick with it for a little, to help resolve the issue, but there's always the option of rolling back to the 10.10.2 release. Meanwhile, it's the iPad to the rescue. (Aha! It may only affect accounts using Google's POP emulation, which would match why it doesn't seem to be on the radar)

Have a dancing cow. ^_^ Good moves to begin with, but to pull that off in an inflatable 'suit - impressive! (And yes, they do look a mite odd to begin with =:)

The DVD and USB drive arrived from Studio Killers! The DVD's signed by all of them, which is very cool - and this time, I don't even need to rip it, as they've already made the live Illosaarirock show available as an HD download. The stick, meanwhile, includes a whole bundle of extras, including a purely instrumental version of the album. Tell me that wouldn't make some killer karaoke. =:D

Yay, new LJ icon! This time, courtesy of /u/skrodladodd. So cute an' grumpy. =:D Really happy with how this turned out - they really did a lovely job on it.

I Am Bread is indeed coming to iOS! It's currently out on Steam Early Access for OS X and Windows; once they feel it's "done", then they'll get stuck into bringing out the iOS version.

How's this polar bear for some extreme fursuiting? Yes, fully life size, and completely artificial, other than the operators inside.

A new (well, to me) comic you might try: Sister Claire. It's actually more of an illustrated story than a comic, really. Very nicely illustrated, and the writing will engage you immediately.. it's simply beautiful, evocative! - I'm only a few pages in, and I'm captivated. ^_^ If you enjoy the spirit of Brave or the gentle pace of Gunnerkrigg Court, this might catch you too.

So, I finally got to see Ex Machina, too - I'd originally been intending to catch that the other week, on one of the local fleapit's "bargain" Tuesdays, but that was The Day of the Boilerman. Then there've been interviews, lousy weather.. but as I'd had to miss my intended screening because of needing to stay in for the repairman (who duly failed to appear that day), the roomie very kindly offered to pay for my ticket when I did see it. ^_^ Anyway! The film! I went in with some hesitation, with its connections to Sunshine, which I began enjoying as some well-intentioned sci-fi (overlooking the lousy "science" involved), before it veered off into a knockoff of Event Horizon, and finally into a random slasher. But, no - this is actually heavily a character-driven film, with only three main characters (and not many more in total): the boss of a massively popular search engine company, a programmer who's won a competition to visit him on his ("I was wondering when we'll reach his estate." "We've been flying over it for the past two hours.") estate, and an AI 'bot - the challenge being something of a follow-on from the Turing test, namely, can he prove to his satisfaction that she indeed is really experiencing these emotions displayed in their conversations? I will admit I wasn't overly taken by the ending, but it did sort of follow on plausibly from where the situation had been. It left me with rather a sense of regret, and I'm not quite sure for whom. This isn't a fast-paced film - do not enter expecting Michael Bay! Myself, I'd easily recommend it, on the quality of the performances, the richness of the character interplay, amidst all their terribly realistic flaws.

I also happened upon The Machine - and thoroughly enjoyed its take on the nature of life, in a tale of an AI that indeed becomes more than the sum of its parts. Very well acted, I felt - I was emotionally engaged from early on. (And even has its Bad Guy denouement somewhat reminiscent of Robocop - such a delightful individual they were, too) The Anchor Bay BD cover rather screams out that they don't actually understand the film, trying to portray it as a "rise of the machines" scenario, with the tagline "They Rise. We Fall." - yet that barely enters into it all. This is not an epic tale of war, but of what makes us human, and more than that.

And, I finally got to see The Golden Compass. ^_^ I haven't read the books (yet), but I'd agree with the sentiment I recall around its release, that there was quite a lot left out. Not that I mind being landed in the middle of a new world, but there did seem to be so much back story I wasn't privy to through the film. Nonetheless, thoroughly entertaining. Needed more of not-Mark-Twain's jackrabbit spirit, though. =:)

The roomie occasionally really surprises me. ^_^ Friday's film choice turned out to be something he'd obtained: Disney's "Princess Protection Program", on the theme of protecting royalty from coups and the like. It's very, very fluffy in tone, and surprisingly engaging, although I couldn't help noticing the ostensible leader of an apparently Hispanic island state spoke with a very American accent. =:/ No matter - it's just something to roll with, and we were entirely comfortable with doing so. ^_^ (We were both a little puzzled to find, on IMDb, that Disney had chosen Puerto Rico to stand in for Louisiana. Surely filming in rural Louisiana isn't that expensive?)

On the TV front, I finally got to see my first episode of Andromeda (s1e9, "A Rose in the Ashes") - only 15 years late. ^_^ It's hardly heavyweight television, but I'll be watching more, I think. Would it surprise anyone if I knew my favorite character was Trance? The episode only served to confirm that. ^_^

More Gorillaz soon!

I suspect I may be the only viewer, at least on LJ, but in case there are others interested, I noticed the new-ish series of Alex Polizzi's "The Fixer" finally resumed a couple Tuesdays ago at 8pm on BBC2, after a curious hiatus following the first two episodes.

I noticed there was a bit of a furry art exhibition recently in SL, on one of the company sponsored arts sims: Lives of the Monster Dogs. Looks like a good selection, although admittedly lacking in tall ears, from what was shown. (And here's a review)

And, for somewhere else more permanent to visit, this selection of Disneyland rides sounds rather cool.

Apparently, ketamine is proving effective against chronic depression.

No idea what it's actually like, but The Robot Giant looks sort of interesting, being a CG animated feature of part of the Ramayana epic. There seems very little out on the web about it - IMDb doesn't appear to know of it, f'rex. I stumbled upon it while nosing around iTunes, where it's available to buy)

Apparently something of a meme, which I hadn't encountered before: Can I Be Drawn Better? A most lovely example of fourth wall breakage.

I stumbled upon it first a year or so back, but only recently rediscovered it - a fun, furry slice-of-life comic: Curtailed. I can so easily see the roomie playing the part of Fox in this week's comic.. =:)


A rare opportunity for lovers of very, very silly music: with support provided by The Rutles, all (but the lamented Vivian) of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Neil Innes included, to mark the band's fiftieth anniversary. One night only, Friday April 17 2015, at Koko, in Camden. This may well be the final opportunity to see the nearly complete lineup!

Tirrelous presents one drawback of being a stag.

If you know anyone who's struck by CryptoLocker, there may be hope for the files, without paying the ransom. Upload a sample affected file to this FireEye/Fox IT site, and it'll offer a decryption tool for that system.

Here's An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, available online, as an iOS app (free!), and on paper.

An interesting tidbit of pop culture: here's a chart showing the three word phrases in BuzzFeed headlines that generate the most FB shares. At the top, quite some way ahead of the rest of the pack, are "character are you", "n things only", and "before you die".

Here's a beautiful, somewhat abstract, bittersweet comic on the nature of love, by Chiara Bautista.

Here's a detailed meterological analysis of the area where Air Asia 8501 crashed. Obviously, there are no answers - that'll come with the analysis of the flight data recorder's information - but still, it's an additional informed insight into the prevailing conditions.

For a thoroughly deceptive cocktail, try combining a good cider (Sheppey's Dabinett or Wyld Wood, f'rex) and gin. Balance it well, and you can wind up with what seems like merely an interesting cider, with an intriguing edge, but rather more substantial than it might appear.

Nosing around the BBC's site the other day, looking for comedies, I stumbled upon an interesting description: "Dennis feels different - he's an ordinary boy who lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary street, he plays football with his mates and lives with his dad and brother, but he is frustrated by the boring grey world he inhabits - life has never really been the same since his mum left.
However, transformation can happen in the most unexpected places. In Raj's newsagent a fashion magazine seems to be calling Dennis - can it be that Kate Moss is really telling him that it's okay for boys to like Vogue? Aided by Lisa, the coolest girl in the school, Dennis creates a whole new persona and puts it to the ultimate test - but can a boy wear a dress, and what will the headmaster, his dad and his friends on the football team think if they find out?
Based on David Walliams' best-selling children's book, with an all-star cast including Jennifer Saunders, James Buckley, David Walliams and Kate Moss. The Boy in the Dress is a celebration of creativity, difference, football and fashion. A Christmas treat for the whole family."
It appears to be available on iPlayer until about Jan 19 2015.

Are you in need of cheese? Consider, then, the erstwhile Shaktimaan. Subtitles aren't really required. ^_^;

Here's rather an interesting new crop lens, and from a new Chinese manufacturer: Venus Optics 60mm f/2.8 2:1 macro, with a list price of $379. Could be fun for insect enthusiasts, as well as portrait photographers, given its 14-blade diaphragm. And maybe handy for food photography as well, with a minimum working distance (ie from the front of the lens, not the focal plane) at 2:1 of about 7cm. =:D

There is now a Princess Bride game for iOS. =:D And it actually looks like there's some love in it.

Yay! Got my SL billing sorted out recently, by using a USD balance for the first time. I just sold the accumulated L$, and the billing system automatically took the annual fee due. (It works out somewhat profitable, as my account's old enough to receive the L$500 weekly stipend - at roughly $2 a week, that covers the $72 annual rate with room to spare. ^_^ Newer paid accounts only receive L$300)

Good food doesn't have to be complex. Thursday's dinner was primarily halibut, a fish I rarely have, and virtually never cook - but, I've enjoyed it on a few occasions in the past. Seeing such a lovely steak sitting at the fish counter, all by itself.. it was positively calling out to come back home with me, and I already had a small tray of potatoes gratin sitting in the fridge - I'd been thinking some kind of fish would be the best use for it. Cooking it, though, was pretty much guesswork. As it was, I wrapped it in foil, along with a little butter, Ras el Hanout, lemon myrtle, and fish sauce, for a gentle tang in its seasoning, and popped it into the oven, when the potatoes were about midway through cooking. To go with that, a julienned carrot, and a few broccoli florets (cut off a loose head - prepackaging always just adds to vegetable costs, and plenty of them are eye-watering enough already). It was.. very, very good. ^_^ The flavors just added to the halibut's own deliciousness, and cooked quite perfectly (about 25 mins at 200C - the steaks are fairly thick, so I was leaning on keeping it in a bit longer than I might otherwise). And even calorifically fine, too: about 350 cals for 2/3 of the potatoes, something like 300 for the halibut (allowing for the bit of butter), and maybe 50 for the carrot and broccoli. If I can raise my game to create dishes as good as that more often, I should be able to defeat my deeply-seated love of snacking. ^_^

Coo. My Flickr account just rolled past a total of 400,000 views. Onwards to a half-million! And, with any luck, a sparkling future for Lapinity. ^_^ And no, I haven't forgotten that I could do with picking out one or two photos from my voyage on the Underground on steam, and walking through a normally busy Thames tunnel. Soon!

What's your recent favorite music video? Link! Link!

Technical minutiae of the day: I was running a VM of Mountain Lion in Parallels 8, under Yosemite (not a supported configuration to begin with - by default, Parallels 8 won't even launch, but that's easily fixed), from a soft RAID of two 3TB drives. It sort of worked, but the networking was dreadfully flaky, with the VM's connectivity dying after several minutes, and also losing any shared virtual drives. As an experiment, I copied the VM over to the internal SSD - and all was well, with connectivity remaining perfectly reliable.

Today in unfortunate acronyms, I discovered the existence of a militant group in the Southern Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

I was quite saddened to find Excel Pacman appears to no longer work. Still, if you have Excel 97 or something compatible, maybe it'll fare better for you. (Yes, really: Pacman running within Excel =:)

Did you know I'm a complete idiot? ^_^ A couple months back, my El Cheapo (aka Baofeng) brand 2m/70cm handie's battery ran out, so I put it on to recharge, and - no LED. I'd previously had trouble with charging it, first obtaining a replacement power supply and adaptor, only to realise it was the adaptors they supply that are faulty. I ran over the joints in the charger base with an iron, but to no avail - the LED remained stubbornly off. The other day, a few ember motes managed to coalesce in my mind, and sparked the notion that.. maybe it's the LED that's lying. So, I set it up for a few minutes, to see if it'd gain enough charge to turn on. And yes, it did. Leaving it in for a few hours saw it return to full charge. D'oh! I dare say I'll eventually pick up a "proper" Yaesu/Kenwood/etc at some point, once money's coming in again, but this is fine for getting me back onto the repeaters, as well as listening to the occasional bit of air traffic control.

Anyway. Have a bun from one of my sort-of-recent visits to the old bunspot. ^_^ They weren't so far away, but understandably, weren't inclined to stick around. (I know it'll never happen, but I wish one of them might let me touch them)

 
 
 
 
 
 
patch_bunny would like everyone to know that MFT3K ep.4 is now out. Enjoy "Eliminators"! ^_^

Food recommendations of the week: Morrison's "pork, crackling, and apple" crisps, a seasonal special. Not an overly loud flavor, nicely balanced. Yummy. ^_^

I recently stumbled upon a particularly fun webcomic, Rasvaar, which started in 2006, and apparently wrapped up in 2014. It's got a playful sense of humor, and some very fun characters. It begins with a fox who sort of semi-accidentally winds up either running away from home, or embarking on a roadtrip, to escape a family he knows won't accept him being gay. It's lacking the angst you might expect of such a start, though - it's more of a comedy than an earnest slice-of-life.

New Year? A relatively peaceful entrance here, actually. (I'll try harder next year =:) The roomie/landlord/old Uni friend and I simply enjoyed a lengthy array of cider, beer, and wine, with Jools Holland's Hootenannay kicking in around midnight, with so many great acts - it's a genuine celebration of music, with everyone there simply because they're damned good, not because they have a new tour/book/album to promote. And of course, there were the London fireworks, as spectacular as could be expected, rounded off with a mini concert by Queen, now fronted by Adam Lambert, who actually does a pretty good job of it. Nobody can be Freddie, of course, but I saw a good part of that attitude and spirit. No question, I'd enjoy seeing them live, in person.

On the topic of aviation incidents, here's one set of data from a close call, showing the entry into a stall, and mercifully, recovery from it - with not a lot of height at play, as the craft was close to landing. More details can be found in the incident summary over here.

Here was quite an amusing little moment from a rabbiteering run last week. ^_^ I'd spotted a squirrel not too far off, who wasn't hurrying away, but rather, taking their time gradually travelling along the branch, eventually meeting another. After exchanging squirrelly greetings, the first then basically continued walking along the branch, right over them. So, they did just what you'd expect - nudged themselves forward a bit, poking out from underneath. ^_^;

 
 
 
 
 
 
On Saturday, I returned from a very welcome visit down to my mother's place. ^_^ On Christmas Eve, we went on the shopping run for Christmas dinner, which was quite a fine meal: a hefty turkey crown as the star, accompanied by Maris Piper potatoes with goose fat, parsnips with salted caramel, brussels, carrots, and pigs in blankets. The stuffing was a basic garlic & herb affair from a packet, elevated by some mashed up shiitake blended into it; would've been even better had I remembered to serve it.. but then, I am a bunny of very little brain. Still - I'm very pleased how well it all worked out. I'm very much unaccustomed to roasts of any kind, as far as cooking them goes, so I had to trust in the cooking guidelines on everything, which actually more or less worked out, though the potatoes wound up wanting rather more time. It was all good in the end, and Doctor Who, later in the day, was as good as it's been in a while - Nick Frost was indeed quite an inspired example of casting. =:D BTW, Radio Times also came out with a matching retro poster for Last Christmas. (Full size over here)

It also meant winding up watching this curious beast: "broadcast TV" - egad, but the demographics for the Food Network at night must be pretty funky, given the advertising is split between frozen foods, perfumes, and lots of casino apps. Still, Mystery Diners was interesting, though it's produced to a strict formula of introduction to the owners, their concerns, the layout of the cameras on a 3D floor plan, witnessing the deeds, the denouement, and the outcome. Fascinating nonetheless to see the comeuppance wind up almost identically in nearly every case, with the malefactor loudly protesting they did nothing wrong, even with an arsenal of video and audio footage against them (eg buying carp at half the price of Chilean sea bass, and pocketing the difference, or handing out free drinks and appetisers, then pocketing the entire tab, and blaming it on the trainee). But then, the biggest swindlers favor elected positions, where such unremitting arrogance is a virtue. It's rather an odd-feeling show, overall, though - some "incidents" are really quite petty (eg one pizza delivery cyclist was almost knocked over by a driver pulling out from a parking spot, which was blamed squarely on the cyclist), let alone the creepiness of adding pervasive surveillance to a workplace.

And then, on Yesterday, "The Beauty of Map-Making" showed me quite an awe-inspiring tome: the Klencke Atlas, made in 1660 for Charles II's restoration. It's grand without compare, standing 5'9" tall, and when opened, 6'3" wide. Remember, this is a book - lavishly produced, of course, aimed at currying royal favor. It now resides, sadly normally closed and behind glass, in the British Library.

Mercifully, tethering worked fine. I don't think the cellco approves of it for that plan, but still, if I'm paying for 10GB/mo, I'd hope they won't mind where the data's going. =:/ iOS 8 and Yosemite worked beautifully - just a matter of selecting my iPad from the WiFi menubar pulldown, and done.

Yay, new artwork! =:D A sketch by /u/RatBallsSenpai, and a finished chibi piece by /u/screammealullaby. Both entirely free, for which I am duly grateful. ^_^

rigelkitty's an old hand at crafting nifty sets, but his December 2014 PCD Mix might rank as my favorite of his so far. ^_^

I see another aircraft was lost - this time an AirAsia A320-200, operating flight QZ 8501 from Surabaya to Singapore, with contact lost after the crew had begun deviating around bad weather, following a track followed a few minutes previously by another flight. No distress signals were sent. As ever, the best resources for information are the Aviation Herald and PPruNe. Little information is currently known, beyond a request to climb from 32,000' to 38,000', and a seemingly low ground speed of around 350 knots during the climb; this request was initially denied, and partially approved a couple minutes later, to 34,000 - by this point, contact had been lost. If there's any positive aspect to this, it's that the sea around the probable crash location is very shallow, only extending down to around 100m. Indeed, initial reports are that three bodies have been located, and are now on board the Indonesian warship Bung Tomo. Weather permitting, they'll be using floodlights to continue the operation overnight, with divers joining tomorrow. They've also apparently located the wreckage of the fuselage at the floor of the Java Sea, about 97-100nm southwest of Pangkalan Bun - broken up, but recognisable.

Here's a nifty little selection of photos of miniatures used in the production of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Impressive work. =:D

Of some potential interest to quite a few furs I know: a recent Radio 4 production, Just a Girl, in five episodes, 15 mins each, brought to my attention by davesmusictank. "A very ordinary family has come to terms with the less ordinary experience of Amy who was born as Ben. Adamant that she is a girl from an early age, Amy is growing up fast and nervous about starting senior school, with a boy's body. Her parents, Gary and Charlotte, have to help decide whether she should take significant steps to delay puberty until she can be fully assessed for transgender treatment. The right thing to do is not clear, and their different views on what is best for their child present some very difficult choices. Granddad Ted loves them all but struggles to grasp how serious the situation is. At the same time, everyday family life goes on, and re-decorating Amy's bedroom brings her and her Granddad closer." As I recall, BBC radio productions aren't geolocked, so anyone should be able to listen to it, or indeed, use get_iplayer to download the episodes, until they fall off the servers in mid-January 2015.

Why isn't something like Citroen's old C-matic the norm by now? It operated just like a manual gearbox, just without a clutch - so you retained full control over the selected gear, without the bureaucracy of a clutch pedal. (And their old hydraulic suspension system! Damn, that worked well. You could load the car down, and the system would simply rebalance the pressures, leaving it still perfectly level, not sagging under the weight. Very handy for treacherously rocky minor roads, too - just crank the height up, and suddenly you had safe ground clearance to work with. And once powered down, it was impossible to clamp them.. =:) (Likewise, a pain if you need a tow truck)

I was interested to notice that Jeremy Lloyd, writer of 'Allo 'Allo and Are You Being Served, who recently died at 84, also put in a stint as a writer for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and even appeared as well.

I'll take this opportunity, too, for a (tiny) bit of a 2014 retrospective - though, TBH, there isn't a huge deal to be said. One gig began and, unfortunately, concluded earlier than anticipated, through a lack of funding. It was, nonetheless, something that stretched my boundaries, with an intense immersion in H.265 land, and the myriad subtleties that set apart one encoder from another. A tiny part of its psychovisual model now reflects my perceptions. ^_^;

It was also the year I began making a move toward professional wildlife photography, with the launch - at long last - of my photography site, Lapinity. I'd almost launched back in 2011, with the first draft of that initial selection of photos ready to roll and proofed back in April 2011, with all the processing performed back in Gareth's apartment in North Beach. I wish he could've seen the real launch, but, he knew very well how much photography means to me, especially wildlife.

And when I received an impartial nod toward my work's worth, with Momentary being selected as a semi-finalist in the 2014 Windland Smith Rice Awards. From some 25,000 entries, they select a few hundred semi-finalists. Whilst it doesn't appear I prevailed in championing leporine life to a much broader audience this time around, it was, of course, a tremendous thrill to be selected for the second round nonetheless.

I may have begun to understand a bit more about myself, in part thanks to the wonderful bunnyhalberd, as well as jessie_pup. Life's so puzzling. =:/

A game of note: Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace is temporarily free, as the developer's agreement with their original publisher ended, and through some quirk of the iTunes Store, it's effectively now a new listing, as happened with Arranger. If you already own it, grab it now, as this is the one that'll be updated in the future; and if you don't, give it a try!

On the Kickstarter front, I saw a roboteddybear finally ship; my name in lights at Ilosaarirock 2014, having helped make Studio Killers transition from being a purely virtual band into an RL act; a French anime develop into a fully-fledged multilingual BD release; a steampunk Western short, Cowboys and Engines, is teetering on the brink of release; the long-awaited sequel to a pioneering spacefaring game was launched; a documentary on an orchestra whose instruments are all fashioned out of recycled and reclaimed materials is approaching the festival circuit; a website dedicated to highlighting perfect shots in cinema, with the goodies including a Tank Girl poster signed by the director; and more. Crowdfunding absolutely has its hitches - but for helping make possible projects that simply wouldn't happen any other way, it's pretty damned amazing.

I am inordinately proud of my new wok. ^_^ Well, "wok" - it's the usual kind of adaptation for a flat top stove, but it'll serve the purpose well. My old one had been.. well, showing its wear rather heavily, with the base's non-stick coating buried beneath much carbon, and distorted gently into more of a convex shape, thus not making great contact with the (halogen) hob surface. This one, though.. not only a bit larger, but most significantly, ceramic coated, so an absolute doddle to clean. I didn't really need to spend £15, but, for something of that quality, it felt like a good buy - and it is something I use pretty much every day. (Speaking of ceramics, has anyone had experience with ceramic kitchen knives? I'm attracted by their nigh endless sharpness, which'd be ideal for vegetables like leeks and tomatoes, or mushrooms)

I did like the note on the latest Ocado app update: "If you have a device with Touch ID, and you have a finger, you can now check out with your fingerprint."

A couple flicks seen lately:

Wag the Dog - you see the danger of intending to get around to something? I've finally watched this, only some 17 years after its release. ^_^; Brilliant work indeed, reminiscent of the sublime beauty of the BBC's Absolute Power, starring John Bird and Stephen Fry as the heads of a PR agency, tasked with seemingly impossible turnarounds, yet always managing to execute them effectively, and disturbingly plausibly.

The Book of Life - a recent Guillermo del Toro production, with an animation style that didn't cowtow to the usual Pixar norms, but instead, felt more like something Laika (Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Nightmare Before Christmas) might produce, were they a CGI house. Engaging characters from the outset, sharp writing - I'm impressed. Highly recommended. I'll be looking forward to seeing what kind of goodies they add to the iTunes/BluRay release.

Maleficent - good grief. I'd missed this on its cinematic release, only catching it now. I'd had hope for it early on, but it's so difficult to tell from a trailer - but ye gods and little fishes, but Angelina Jolie put such extraordinary energy and vitality into the role, accompanied by a script which brought around quite a different angle to the story we're all familiar with. It's rare a star genuinely steals the show, but here it is so. Quite beautiful, in an overarching gothic manner.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I hope everyone who's enjoying Yule, Christmas, or local winter festival is having a good time of it, with family, friends, or even a significant other. ^_^

Here, I mounted a rare adventure - as I only ever cook for myself, usually, I'm unfamiliar with putting on a roast. Still, it worked out very nicely - a (too =:) huge turkey crown went in first, followed later on by Maris Piper potatoes in goose fat, then parsnips with a touch of salted caramel, accompanied by some carrots, brussels, and as the small oven was at capacity, the chipolatas in smoked bacon went into sis' oven upstairs. ^_^ (She joined us for it all, needless to say)

Having just enjoyed some sticky toffee pudding, it is clearly now time to do very little beyond ensuring I remember to switch over to BBC1 at 1815, for the good Doctor, and present a few more goodies from the laptop, happily feeding the TV, currently with Studio Killers' live performance earlier this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
There's apparently a London Paramount Entertainment Resort on its way, anticipated for 2020, and they appear to have many IP agreements in place, including with BBC Worldwide. The site's on the Swanscombe peninsula, between Dartford and Gravesend, so rail access would seem fairly straightforward.

I'm finally getting around to Orange is the New Black - it's been just long enough since it debuted that the roomie's fine with rewatching it, this time, with company. I'm enjoying it a lot, needless to say - the creator's style is all over it, even if it's difficult to pin down quite how (beyond the incidental pot connection =:). And it sounds like I ought to see what I make of Orphan Black and Utopia, too..

Favorite track of the moment: Adachigahara's Theme, from ShockOne's EP. It featured on one of DragonBoy's mixes (was it rigelkitty who brought that to my attention? Someone evidently did =:), and whilst it's all a fiercely solid mix, that track really caught my attention. Ah, imagine a world without the likes of Shazam.. =:)

I was, of course, very pleased to see the White House commencing steps to finally restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. I dare say it'll still be a battle to get that pathetic embargo banished into history's bin, but nonetheless, a highly welcome new beginning.

"Knox, former frontman of the Vibrators, is opening up a Rock ‘n’ Roll Shop in the heart of Camden, 96 Parkway, right next to the Dublin Castle. Donate CDs, DVDs and Instruments or buy CDs, DVDs and Instruments. Proceeds go to local food banks and other charities."

Compo of the week (open worldwide, with some random exclusions) - a veritable pile of photographic wonder, including your choice of a Nikon D750 or Canon 7D Mk.II, camera-equipped quadcopter, microphones, tripod, bags, and more.

I can't be certain, but the reply to my enquiry with them hints that I'm not amongst the winners of the photography competition I've mentioned. *sigh* I would, of course, love to be proven wrong, but, if so, I'll just continue regardless. I don't document these wonderful buns' lives for fame or money (though I wouldn't refuse either, providing I don't need to go in front of a camera =:), but will do so simply both out of the innate joy therein, and in sharing these moments. Rabbits are so often overlooked, yet lead quite complex social lives, let alone their extraordinary agility and precision timing. One contest I have my eye on is conducted by the Mammal Society - though, with last year's winning subject being a hare, I'm not sure if that mightn't work against me. ^_^; But.. I stand by Momentary. I feel it's worth attention. ^_^

Interesting to see the D90 reach such a good price point - MPB have a few in stock at the moment, from £169. Even now, for a body released in August 2008, it remains in quite strong demand, with just cause - the sensor remains competitively sensitive (the D7100 does yield better results, with double the pixel count, but if you're not needing to crop much, 12MP is plenty for quite decent print sizes), and unlike the more recent low-end models, it includes some worthwhile additions, such as two control wheels rather than one, making for nimble independent adjustment of (say) aperture and shutter speed, an internal flash commander, and an internal focus motor, suitable for driving older AF lenses without their own focus motors. Definitely a camera you can grow into, and at that kind of price, well worth considering! Of course, then there's the tiny matter of lenses.. not necessarily eye-watering, unless you're hankering after wildlife photography, in which case they start at Ouch, and wind up at Faint. That said, even if I had carte blanche, I'm actually quite comfortable with the Nikkor 300mm f/4D + TC14E. It doesn't have the sheer reach of the insane Sigmonster or Nikon's superlative 800mm f/5.6 (which comes with its own dedicated 1.25 TC, if you so choose, for 1000mm f/8), but it is very sharp, even on the D7100's high resolution sensor, and importantly, is light enough to be comfortably handheld for a couple hours of bunspotting.

And this is what it's all about. Insane costs in equipment, let alone travel.. but it's worth every bit of it, at least to me. ^_^



(Isn't it fascinating how universal the need for a good yawn is? Is this just a mammal thing - do reptiles and birds yawn? Wow.. Wikipedia suggests they do! I wonder if any culture has a god responsible for yawning..)

Bah. I should've taken a photo of it.. but, tonight's pizza worked out rather well. =:9 I began with a bought ham, spinach, and ricotta pizza on a thin base, then added.. let's see. Some chopped up onion, some halved small cherry tomatoes, a little ras el hanout, some fresh basil, some rosemary, a little lemon myrtle, and some cheap ham. Then, midway through cooking, some defrosted cheap (small, but ideal for this kind of cooking) prawns, with the water mostly smooshed out of them. All worked out really nicely balanced, with enough herbiness to be satisfying, and just enough meat, similarly, without going into overload, and entirely lacking in greasiness.

Every time I manage to get down to the old bunspot, I'm reminded of just how much fun it is to photograph down there, with a population that's almost always out and about, and about four different good vantage points along the length of the field. Here's one of them wondering just what am I doing..