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"Iron Sky" is a film I hadn't actually heard of (or have forgotten =:) before today, but I wish I had! Go on, tell me this doesn't sound like fun: "In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the Dark Side of the Moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis construct a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. When American astronaut James Washington puts down his Lunar Lander a bit too close to the secret Nazi base, the Moon Führer decides the glorious moment of retaking the Earth has arrived sooner than expected. Washington claims the mission is just a publicity stunt for the President of the United States (Stephanie Paul), but what else could the man be but a scout for the imminent attack by Earth forces? The Fourth Reich must act!" And did I mention the soundtrack is provided by Laibach?

Unfortunately, for reasons known only unto themselves, the UK distributor - Revolver Entertainment - is planning a cinematic release of.. one day, May 23. The director is understandably somewhat miffed, and is requesting people ask Revolver to reconsider.

Some researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have a survey on virtual world usage they'd like people to add to, amounting to around 10-15 mins.

Here's a video loganberrybunny might want to peek at, and indeed, anyone else who agrees that Fluttershy is Best Pony. ^_^ Flutterwonder, set to a remix by PinkiePieSwear, with the whole feeling like something Pogo (né Faggotron) might come up with - an upbeat, ambient track, with no real lyrics, so much as a sensation. And in a similarly abstract vein, the particularly catchy Fluttershy's Lament. (Thanks to ducktapeddonkey)

This short, a second year animation student project, needs to be seen as an example of just how engaging you can make your characters, in barely three minutes, and with no dialogue to boot: Crayon Dragon. Just beautiful.

And then, we have Ratatoing, not so lovingly made by a Brazilian outfit with a fondness for finding inspiration in Pixar productions. Enjoy the trailer - or, if you're strong enough, there's a genuinely funny version of the film itself, plastered with MST3K-worthy annotations, to help ease the pain.

Sadly, just a design concept.. but wouldn't it be magnificent if these could actually appear somewhere? =:D (Thanks to whitetail!)


An experimental (as in, it's costing them money, but they're not yet charging for it - as the FAQ notes, they want to find out if it'll prove popular and useful) search tool for UK train fare splits: Tickety Split Lite. Give it a route, and it'll try to find combinations of tickets for sections of the route that wind up being cheaper than just one ticket. "Why is it cheaper? Simply because train fares and logic go together like Coco Pops and ketchup."

You may have seen a recent story doing the rounds, implying that dinosaurs may have, effectively, farted themselves to extinction. However, that's not really what the report says, not so surprisingly. The paper does, though, estimate that a medium-sized sauropod may have given off some 2700 liters of gas per day.

I doubt it'll be enough to make me pick up a 3DS, but I was pleased to see there's work progressing on Animal Crossing: Jump Out. Sounds like it'll be very much a continuation of it all, with little additions like being able to become mayor of the village, and finally being able to swim. Some of the additions are shown in this series of stills.

It's not all that often that lawyers are entertaining, but Regretsy's offering up a truly memorable example. Recently, there was, shall we say, a modicum of disagreement over the "hand made" nature of some furniture being offered by someone Etsy promoted as a Featured Seller; an amusing little saga in itself. The disgruntlement has lingered, leading to one of the parties involved sending a rather awkward Cease & Desist notice (scroll down a bit, if you only want to read the C&D) to someone who started a forum thread. It's an oddly rambling letter, but claims to be from someone who is indeed listed by the State Bar of California. So! The fun part? Popehat, a genuine lawyer with a record of blogger pro bono work, sent off a reply. The contrast is.. delicious.

Speaking of which, Thursday's experiment turned out rather well: some cubed stewing steak, gently fried to start off with, then joined by half a tin of borlotti beans, half a tin of baked beans, and two sliced mushrooms. To create the real flavors and sauce, I added a good bit of oyster sauce, plus a dash of black bean, and a teaspoon of sesame paste. Also some black pepper and herbes de provence, a few quartered tinned artichoke hearts, and a good dash of balsamic vinegar. While all that was gently melding together, I sliced two potatoes reasonably thinly, gave them a quick rub with olive oil, a little salt, and into the toaster oven to crispen up. Finally, all of it on top of the potato slices. Tasty! And nutritious.


On Tuesday, the weather wasn't too bad, so I headed up the line one stop west, with a view to probably looping around and catching the train back a few hours later, hopefully with a good shot or two in the bag - ideally buns, but I'll happily capture any wildlife. It began well, if a bit soggily, with some of the meadow sneakily submerged at the roots - but that was forgotten soon enough, when I came upon a bunch of swallows, performing their usual amazing acrobatics. I wasn't really close enough, but, there were some reasonable outcomes, all the same, including the one above. ^_^ Even got to see some variety of owl, whom I really ought to identify, and a curiously ancient looking barn, styled like an old abbey - probably just a folly, but an enchanting sight regardless. Then onto a cycling path, once a train line, now properly surfaced and away from any traffic - a good walking route, though being somewhat elevated for part of the route, not so much use for wildlife.

Or so I thought.. until, as the day drew close to its end, and I reached a more forest-like section, and spotted a bun crossing the path. No sign of them when I got there, but it seemed like a hopeful sign - and indeed, a short way on, I saw three by the side, gradually edging up the path, and seeming not to mind my presence. I gradually crept closer, with them about as close as I've been to wild rabbits. The light was rather muted by that point, being less than an hour from sunset on a cloudy end to a day, shoving the camera into high ISO territory and longer exposures than I'd have preferred (around ISO 5000 for this, at 1/400th, 300mm f/4) - but some results I'm very happy with, not to mention simply having been able to be that close to them. ^_^

Only catch was, it wasn't really worth heading back to the station by then, leaving me with about another five miles to walk back into town.. my paws were definitely unhappy with me, but I didn't care. =:D

 
 
 
 
 
 
The fun part? Popehat, a genuine lawyer with a record of blogger pro bono work, sent off a reply. The contrast is.. delicious.

It sure is. It's like watching Lionel Hutz getting his ass handed to him by the blue-haired lawyer on the Simpsons. :)
It's something of an "Aziz, light!" moment, I think. =:D Really quite something to read - such masterful use of language, clearly fully aware of the relevant case law, and just how utterly daft the situation is, which he doesn't shy away from noting on a couple occasions.

Rather sad to see Etsy go rotten like this, though I've never really had much to do with the company, beyond the purchase of some cool squirrel PowerBook decals a while back, and generally being aware of them as a marketplace for some occasionally nifty work. Surely it would've been simple enough for them to accept that the guys in question are simply importers, possibly with some design input, especially having had the evidence presented so starkly. Hey ho. It's at least good for the popcorn makers. =:)
Like Brad Bird, I agree life is too short to watch those Brazilian knock-offs. I am tempted by the MSY3K-esque commentary, but the animation is so bad I'm not sure I could stomach it. :P I don't understand their business model though, do people get fooled into thinking they're paying for the real thing?
Hee! I'd actually like to try finding out. Does the box art look anything like the original, I wonder? After all, there's never any shortage of cheesy knockoffs of any Disney feature that comes out - usually not particularly close to the originals, though sometimes quite reminiscent. But the animation in this.. ye gods! All I can say is it lives up to the quality of the dialogue. =XD

Give the MST-ish treatment a try. It's dense enough that your brain has sufficient attention drawn away from the horror so as to make it actually watchable, and funny!

Actually, that reminds me - patch_bunny reminded me the other day (month) that their Mystery Fandom Theater 3000 productions are up on archive.org now. The first one is Little Red Riding Hood. (Agh, ought to've made a note of that in the entry.. ah well, I'll slip it into the next)
Well, Fluttershy IS Best Pony :) And triply adorable as an awkward gangly filly :)
I admit, when I started watching, I wasn't really sure whom I felt best identified as - certainly, I loved the idea of being RD, but I knew I wasn't that kind of pony. I love Pinkie Pie's unquenchable enthusiasm, but I'm not quite that, either. The more I watched, the more sympathy and resonance I felt with/for Fluttershy, not least her love of the animal kingdom, including bunnies. ^_^

I really need to watch all of it again sometime. There's just so many wonderful moments in it all - funny and touching. Most of the eps, indeed, I've only seen once so far, with a couple exceptions, such as the few I introduced the nephews with, which went down very well.

So, got your DVD on order? Or will you be holding out for the BD or worldwide iTunes release? Ah, to have the full set available, with commentaries, actors and/or characters, and a full soundtrack.. !
apparently there's going to be a boxed set released in Australia.

While 'Shy is my favorite pony, I'm much more like Twilight - oh, how I'm like Twilight. The opening lines of BBBFF being a case in point. I winced.
>by fleeing to the Dark Side of the Moon

Am I the only one who gets annoyed when people say this?

Fleeing to the "dark side of the moon" would only help for a couple weeks, as any one part of the moon is only dark for about half a month.

The correct term for the part of the moon we can't see is the FAR SIDE. It is dark as frequently as it is light. Just for getting this wrong I know I'll wince when they say it in the film!
But what if it's revealed that the entire base automatically shifts its position on said surface, in order to remain concealed from observation? =:)

Nazis are about the only peril Moonbase Alpha didn't encounter, thinking about it. Could've been fun. ^_^ (Worth checking out the HD transfer ITV made, of at least the first season - it was all shot on film, so the newer transfer shapes up very well)
"Iron Sky" sounds so implausible that it may be entertaining to watch. Moon Nazis :P

"Crayon Dragon" is simply beatiful and can really be touching. Goes to show how great the power of imagination is :)
It just has so very much promise, ne? As soon as I saw who was responsible for the soundtrack, I knew I had to help get word out - such an ideal match. ^_^ Of course, the actual production might well not live up to its potential, but I've got to at least give it a try, if Revolver will let us, of course.

I've been just astounded by the quality of some of these student productions.. this week, Crayon Dragon, last week, Kickball. Of course, they're inherently a bit lacking in the final polish, but what counts is how engaging they are. I suppose the style does come into it, too, especially with CG animation ruling the roost now - it's refreshing to see drawn animation, not just rendered. There's a world of overlap 'twixt the worlds now, I'm not ignoring that - but at the end of it, these were produced by drawing in 2D, with all the rest of the workflow building on that.

I have to wonder, all the same, if Pixar might not be tempted to try something along the lines of Presto again - that was such a Looney Tunes production in everything but name. =:D

BTW, as far as lesser-known animation goes, have you seen Twice Upon a Time? Worth seeking out. ^_^
These days technology is so easily accessible that anyone interested enough can be creative and actually make films or other forms of art. Art students have it much easier nowadays, as most of them will be familiar with at least the basic tech aspects of the craft. Neevertheless, it's very impressive what can be done with the right tools and imagination :)

Haven't seen "Twice Upon a Time" before, though it sounds like a really fun picture. Is it possible to watch online?
Interesting to see MSE making that split ticket finder out to be a new and revolutionary thing. By accident I ran across:-

http://www.splityourticket.co.uk/

Just the other week, whilst pondering if anyone had yet managed to create a split ticket engine. Poor design aside, this site has apparently been running since 2007, does multi-staged splitting and returns for journeys already.

Considerably better than this 'too little, too late' thing MSE seem to have pulled out! =:P
Whoops; never actually got around to replying to this one... but as it happens, "Flutterwonder" was one of the very first remixes I added to my playlist, about the time I finished watching S1. I absolutely love it -- and the same artist's "Sunshine And Celery Stalks". =:)