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The debut Studio Killers album is now out. =:D iTunes UK (£7.99), iTunes US ($9.99), Amazon UK (£6.99), Amazon US ($9.99). The track listings are, thankfully, all the same. (I'm not a fan of "exclusives", meaning you can't actually buy the complete album anywhere, when iTunes has one version, Amazon another, and maybe another version or two just to complete the marketing fun) I suppose it pretty much goes without saying: if you enjoyed Eros & Apollo and Ode to the Bouncer, you ought to pick this up with rapidity.

If you're inclined to try a new adventure title, have a look at the trailer for The Night of the Rabbit. It's out now, for OS X and Windows. I'm absolutely loving the look of it! "Lose yourself in a tale of magic and wonder, where anything is possible and where nothing is quite as it seems: join young Jerry and follow a peculiar white rabbit to the wondrous realm of Mousewood, a land where critters can speak and where mystery abounds. It is here that Jerry’s dream of being a magician comes true, though a haunting, sinister force casts a long shadow over the forest. Someone offers the residents of Mousewood a deal of their lifetime - tickets to the greatest magic show that the world has ever seen. But the price is steep, as they'll have to stake their most precious possessions and also their lives."

A music video whitetail might want to check out - supremely adorable. ^_^ Postino "I Love It"

Toho just released a trailer for a live-action Gatchaman (re-edited and dubbed in English as Battle of the Planets). It's looking rather good. No subtitles on it, but that hardly matters. ^_^ Looks like it comes out on August 24.

Here's a one (very tall =:) page comic that's well worth a read: Darkness, about one guy's unfortunate roommate, who is Dark. He hypothesises some people are just somehow pure elements of some kind or another, like one woman he knew was simply Kind. Witty and touching, it was a 24-hour project at Angouleme last year.

You've heard of Parkinson's Disease. It can be tackled using "deep brain stimulation", involving surgery to implant two probes, which are then driven by a pacemaker of sorts. This remarkable video by Andrew Johnson demonstrates just what an impact it can have, wherein he introduces himself with it turned on, showing quite normal dexterity, and then, without. It's not what you'd call a subtle change.

Here's an intriguing look at Noma's Claus Meyer's latest venture: Gustu, in La Paz, Bolivia. His justification? "If you have access to a large diversity of products, unknown to foodies, then you have a strong chance of coming up with something that could have global interest. Bolivia may have the most interesting and unexplored biodiversity in the world."


Have you ever heard of a 1920/1930s UK strip, "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred"? loganberrybunny noted its existence, and it certainly didn't ring any bells with me. The reason he did so? The characters were a dog, penguin, and rabbit - and there was apparently a substantial fandom, with meetups, parties, and an annual convention. ^_^

Here's a great little introduction to (modern) FPGAs. Concisely, it demonstrates just why FPGAs can be quite so nifty, with benefits including the possibility of large numbers of parallel instructions, and the lack of necessity for operations to occupy a whole tick.

An interesting UK photography competition (which includes a category for mobile device cameras, so, no need for high-end equipment): Made in Britain. "Through your photo images we're seeking to present a picture of contemporary British manufacturing, giving it greater visibility and changing the misconception that 'Britain doesn't make anything anymore'." A cool twist: "Companies who have signed up to the campaign will be encouraged to open their facilities to allow our photographers access for the competition." So you might be able to take some shots of facilities not normally so accessible. In any event, it's open for entries until Sep 30 2013. If you do enter, by all means, share your shots!

If you've seen any UK TV news in the past ten years or so, this Screenwipe clip on how to report the news will seem more than a little familiar. =:D

I was reviewing some recent rabbiteering photos while in one of my old haunts last week, and couldn't help but giggle away at seeing this particular expression, from one bun who's clearly trying to keep their head level, but angle their mouth to take the rather awkwardly vertical grass they're eyeing. =:D


Ah, so much to be said for a good pub when they'll not only reload the crackers on the cheese board, but even top up the cheese itself. ^_^ In this instance, a particularly good soft white, Brie like, "Oxford College White", with an almost truffle-like nature.

Mark Steel takes on the plans for legal aid cuts, in brilliantly incisive style. 'Even more efficiently, another company eager to provide cut-price lawyers is G4S, the security firm that also has the contract to transfer convicted prisoners from the courtroom to the jail. So the G4S lawyer can tell their client: “The guilty verdict may be slightly disappointing, but the good news is you’re being taken to the slammer by my colleague Dave who’s a right laugh, so it’s worked out quite well, all in all.” Maybe G4S can offer a discount if the same person does both jobs, saying: “I’ve brought the witness statements, and I’ve got the handcuffs in case I arse it up, so, either way, I’m prepared.”'

However, Tuesday night's adventure at home.. worked out well. =:9 I'd bought some beautifully pungent smoked garlic back at Grillstock, and on Monday, aspied a lean beef joint of just the right size, reduced for quick sale. That was my cue. ^_^ That night, I cut up about one and a half large bulbs of that smoked garlic into the slow cooker, popped in a few small tomatoes I had lying around, the joint, and then a can of chopped tomatoes. To make up the volume, the remaining half bottle of red wine that'd been sitting around since October, waiting for such an opportunity, also went in. And then, just time - until lunchtime the next day, when I added a bit of smoked paprika, to aid with the smoky nature I was aiming for, some Berber spice mix, for a bit of heat and complexity, and a smoked pepper (chipotle), cut up finely. Now, come dinner time, that was indeed all tasting pretty good.. but then the housemate wondered about adding Jack Daniels honey bourbon, and I thought a dash of Grand Marnier might work well with the beef too - so in they went. And voilà! Really, that made it. =:9 A bit of thickening up with arrowroot, and it made a truly memorable sauce. The meat, needless to say, was as tender and suffused with its flavors as you'd hope. (Wound up serving it with some mustard greens and perogies)

eliki pointed out an Indiegogo fundraiser to push a short into being, and provide the initial thrust to bring the troup together: Melancomedy. Have a look at what they're proposing to achieve, and consider Phlebashelping.

If I'm ever on the East Coast again, I know I'll have to spend at least a full day in the Silverball Museum, packed full with real pinball machines. =:D (And the cost's easy, too! All day for $20, or from 5pm to closing for $10? Oh, yes!) Many thanks are due to austin_dern for reminding me of its existence.

Meanwhile, momentrabbit spotted this presentation of the Blade Runner sketchbook, crammed with detailed insights into the design and styling of the world of the movie.

The next step in the Conservatives' war on welfare proceeds as mean-spiritedly farcical as one would expect: "Those who do not have a significant health problems will be mandated – under threat of sanction – to take part in Work Related Activity (meaning work, workfare, jobsearch or training) for 35 hours a week. Single parents with children between the ages of 5 and 13 will usually be required to spend 24 hours a week looking for work. Even those with serious disabilities or health conditions, currently in the Work Related Activity Group and claiming ESA, will have some form of mandated jobsearch." Yes, they really do mean looking for work for 35 hours a week - as if jobhunting isn't a full-time occupation already, and a particularly despiriting and poorly paid one at that. Training? Well, we've seen through successive governments just what that amounts to.. try going for anything that would genuinely improve your professional options, and you'll soon discover just how tremulously slender the options really are. Workfare - ah, yes, the wonders of mandated "work", under the guise of "work experience". That is to say, stacking shelves or running a register - but not being paid for it; rather, the company gets paid for it. So you wind up still being unemployed, but with the costs of attending - meanwhile, the company gets free work, and the labor market's reduced by another genuinely paying position. It might not even be quite as bad were the companies involved in real need, unable to pay minimum wage - but we're talking about highly profitable chains like Tesco and Homebase. Still, you've got to admire the cynical method by which they circumvent minimum wage legislation - and that's the core of it: if you're working, you must be paid at least that pittance. That's not the case here, even aside from the questionable value of the "experience" gained in such positions.

Odd dream bit: a ropey old style Doctor Who monster, clearly voiced by the same guy behind Bungle. (Perhaps influenced by that night's DW: The Twin Dilemma. FSM's sake, that really needed some strict editing down - barely a two-parter)

Finally updated my public key the other day. GPGMail for Mountain Lion was finally updated recently, so protecting email's a trivial matter again. ^_^ Would that Apple would officially support GPGMail, but secure email doesn't seem to be much of a priority anywhere. Strange, that. =:/ (If you're not aware of LJ's support for such: if on their user info page, they have an icon of a key to the right of their username, you can click on that to view their public key)

The Bob Moog Foundation, which champions music education, is having a fun little raffle - winner gets a rather spiffy synthesiser beanbag from Woouf. =:D It's open internationally; tickets are $10, or $40 for five.

Obviously, given it's published on Sigma's own site, it's unlikely to be critical thereof, but this first look at Sigma's new 18-35mm f/1.8 does look awfully tempting. At some point, I'd certainly enjoy getting one - that flexibility and impressive aperture (it's a crop lens, not full-frame) is an appealing combination.

There is, apparently, an Australian variety of lizard with the fairly unsurpassable name of the Ornate Crevice-Dragon.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wow. Deer, furry and L.A. - I Love It! ^^
Not so bad a combination, ne? *grin*

(Though, yes, I'd be inclined to nudge it toward San Diego or the City =:)

When will we be seeing you in such? ^_^
Next time I'll be in the Bay Area should be just after FC, I imagine. San Diego... last visit was in 2009, and that was likely the last time in my life that I'll see the place.
Ah, I was more thinking of you in such a costume. ^_^

But that's actually good to know, too. Not sure when I'll be back next, but I don't want to make it too far away. =:/ But the higher priority for travel is seeing if I can possibly save up enough for a bit of a longer trip for my mother. We've always been travelers, but she's not yet been outside Europe, other than a couple forays into Tunisia and Morocco some time ago. I'd love to change that, and somewhere like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur might be a fun surprise.. but that's entirely dependent on funding, which is highly uncertain at the moment, given how month-to-month things continue to be.

Both will happen, one way or another. ^_^
Oh! Heavens, I daresay never, not with my lack of financial resources. I could barely afford that Bambi kigu I got last year. No, if I had money, I'd already have the most awesome and spot on-model Bambi fursuit you could possibly imagine. That will never happen, though, I'm very sorry to say...
Thanks very much for giving that project a good ol' nudge! :)
I'll be able to help more directly on Tuesday. ^_^

(I'll never quite understand the hostility I see occasionally toward Kickstarter and suchlike. I'd wish their commission were a little more modest, certainly, particularly with large amounts, but it's a viable platform - more than can be said of many a media darling!)
So many neet theeengs! *scritches you* Hey, there's also a Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas which is highly fun too!! ^v^
One or two. ^_^; I'd have kept it shorter, but the past week or two was a particularly busy time; I think I'd prefer my entries to be a bit more frequent.

Ah, indeed! I admit, I'm not a Las Vegas sort, but off the strip's probably rather less delirious - and a much more plausible roadtrip from the Bay. Hmm.. wonder if I can persuade njrabit. ^_^ 'Course, I'd love to try repeating that supremely fun roadtrip of 1995: San Diego - Las Cruces - Houston - Chicago - White Hall - San Diego - Arcata - Medford, spanning about three weeks. =:D
What Cameron and his buddies are up to raises hair on my back. This 'workfare' scheme is pretty much state-mandated slavery and sure as hell does not help jobseekers gain the experience they need to thrive in their profession.

Even more efficiently, another company eager to provide cut-price lawyers is G4S, the security firm that also has the contract to transfer convicted prisoners from the courtroom to the jail - and this is just a laugh, reducing the justice system to some shady private enterprise. I am not so much into politics but hearing nonsense like this genuinely grinds me gears.

On a more positive note, I wish I'd've been there for the beef. I sure love some nicely marinated slab of meat and what had there certainly sounds like the right kind of treat for any crocodile ^^

And that sketchbook from Blade Runner? Bliss! Wish I'd known of its existence at the time of completing my dissertation for uni. I think it would've tipped the scales and convinced me to make of Blade Runner in one of the chapters. Alas, RoboCop took the spot and what wasn't a bad choice either.
and sure as hell does not help jobseekers gain the experience they need

That's a key point, of course - not that I'd agree with the forced nature, or those viciously punitive sanctions (which they're perfectly happy to wield even if you already have a genuine volunteer position you're attending), but it wouldn't be quite as bad if these *cough* placements actually did give some genuine experience or skills. But no, the "providers" use the scheme entirely as it's really intended - a source of labor that's better than free, given those companies actually get paid for offering these spectacular shelf-stocking opportunities. Wow, can you see your resume glowing yet?

I can definitely recommend getting a slow-cooker, if you don't already have one. ^_^ It's so easy to wind up with beautifully, flakingly soft meat - and convenient, given you can set it going the previous night, or in the morning, and have it mostly ready by the time you return in the evening, leaving just the sauce thickening, if desired, and maybe some final spice additions.

I must see this dissertation someday. =:D BTW, are you aware of these forthcoming ED-209 models?
This is pretty much what, by now, I expect to see from most Conservatives, roll back all the forward social changes we've had in the last decades and bring back good old days of Victorian workhouses and zero labor laws.

We do not have a slowcooker by my friend does and he's heaped praise over it as well. Perhaps this is something to consider. By nature I am a meat-lover and being able to enjoy it as a nice, delicate and succulent piece of culinary 'OMG' ranks high on my list of kitchen priorities ^^

Hey, awesome, ED-209! I've watched no end of clips of the infamous presentation shootout, as one of the shareholders gets a share of ED's big guns. And indeed, ED-209 has played a role in my dissertation, though as extensive as the main character, of course. I still have my diss saved so if you care to have a read I can pass it on to you :)
That video on DBS for Parkinson's is just incredible. Consider my mind officially blown, and thank you for posting it!
It's simply remarkable. Not even any real amount of time involved - as quick as the remote. Even if DBS were (it's hardly something I have familiarity with) only applicable to just that one person, there's no question it's a transformational procedure for him, and presumably, at least some others afflicted with that curse, if you'll forgive the language. (If only there were as relatively simple a cure for Alzheimer's..)

And this, of course, is the hope we, as a species, can bring forth with science. ^_^ Hopefully - inevitably! - just the start of what we can accomplish, fixing what would otherwise debilitate and rob people of their very selves, or spouses of their loved ones. (Don't mistake me for a starry eyed sort, no - we can achieve terrible things as well, but the application of morality is distinct, and not necessarily universal. A technique can be applied in ways good and bad, after all, whatever one's compass)

I wonder whenabouts we'll have the option of mental augmentation.. probably a bit of a way off, from what I can perceive - we're still fairly much stumbling around with blowtorches amidst BGA packages, when it comes to the workings of the brain. Maybe the middle/end of the 22nd Century?
$800! But that's to be expected I suppose for that f-stop number.