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The music weblog Pigeons and Planes recently offered a good article examining the furious creativity to be found within the MLP:FiM musical crowd. (via schnee)

It's regrettably only 74s long, but this Japanese fursuit music video is pretty niftily edited. =:D

As I noted a while back, Stan Sakai, creator of the long-running and deservedly acclaimed Usagi Yojimbo, is suffering under tough times, courtesy of medical bills. A comics anthology was planned, and is now due to come out from Dark Horse Comics on July 23, featuring submissions from the likes of Mike Mignola, Jeff Smith, Matt Groening, and Howard Chaykin.

Another means of opting out of the ConDems' plans for selling people's individual NHS data: FaxYourGP.

Here's a bundle, but not so humble, at least by name - The NSFW Bundle, supporting CSC: healthy sexual knowledge, education and public health. It's a collection of books, video, games, and music, including "Chester 5000", a graphic novel of Victorian sex robots, "Labour of Love", an amateur porn disaster on celluloid, "Vampire Hookers", sexploitation in 35mm, and "Animal Chuki - Nativa", from Lima, "slow-burning, floor-shaking music infused with animal desire and tropical intensity", plus much more. As for CSC: "Based in San Francisco, this award-winning nonprofit offers judgment-free education and events to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum, as well as framing and informing issues of public policy and public health." Unlike Humble Bundle, the share ratio's fixed: 70% creators, 25% VODO, 5% charity. And VODO? I hadn't heard of them before; "A gang of filmmakers, musicians, artists, writers and technologists, spread from Wales to Germany, Canada to China. We’re dedicated to finding amazing content and getting it to you in ways that make sense."

Looking around, vendors' OS X support for DVB-T2 (not just DVB-T) receivers seems dismal. As an alternative, has anyone put together a receiver using some DVB-T2 stick and a Pi? The idea being along the lines of the Broadway TD, which would then be able to save the streams to an attached drive, and relay them over WiFi as well. (In a related, encouraging note, it might be the case that ATSC 3.0 will be DVB-T2 based. Whether or not that'd mean direct compatibility, or at least an easier path toward a globally useful HDTV stick, remains to be seen, but at least it wouldn't be an entirely different animal) That said, given how little TV I'd actually be interested in recording, maybe just a cheap DVR would be fine, like the DVB400, recording onto a thumb drive - not as flexible, but much less faff.

Does anyone know authoritatively how to pronounce Bill Nighy's surname? Is it nEYE-ee, or KNEE-ee, or something else entirely? Either way, someone whose work I never cease to be entirely charmed by, whether in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, or one of his very best minor roles, the curator in the Van Gogh episode of Doctor Who. (Aha! "pronounced 'nye' but he has been called a number of different things - and he has learned to smile gracefully. He says, "My father used to squirm on the sofa when everybody would say Ni-ey. It used to drive him insane. "I gave up. I get Nigey, Nigley, Nigee, Nigby. The first time I was ever in the newspaper I was Nigby. I'm sure everybody gets a weird name. I don't mind. You can call me nearly anything you like."")

Et voilà! Duly took advantage of LensesForHire's 50% off special, with a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 for Grillstock in June (I wasn't entirely happy with the quality of the shots from the 120-300mm f/2.8 OS - certainly good, but not quite ideal, whereas this is rated very highly by its users; it's also half the weight, similar to the Nikkor 300mm f/4, at a bit over 1.5kg), and a Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 VR in mid-July, tentatively with a trip to Skomer in mind, though I'd easily be able to make use of it just on my usual rabbiteering rounds if that doesn't come to be. If I can manage it, I'd rather like to add a Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 (aka the Sigmonster =:) - with half off, it becomes a much more attractive experiment, though I'd pretty much have to obtain a suitable tripod first, as it's not exactly a featherweight lens at around 5kg, and fairly front-heavy.

Here's an interesting music app: AudioTool. Requires Flash, but offers a variety of synths and processors you can hook together, reminiscent of Reason's racks, but following more of a spread-out approach than a rack. A rather nifty twist is their ongoing competition, with the winner receiving flights and accommodation for Moogfest 2014 (April 23-27), in Asheville, North Carolina, and the opportunity to play a set at the event, with electronica performances from the likes of Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, M.I.A., Giorgio Moroder, Laurie Anderson, and quite a few more.

Why should you run BOINC? Here's a good example, in which the results of a World Computing Grid project sifted through some three million candidate molecules, resulting in seven that may be useful in attacking neuroblastoma, currently with only a 30% cure rate. Running BOINC simply means that instead of turning off your system at night, you instead leave it running on these computationally intensive tasks - there are many projects you can choose from.

TIL that the Chupa Chups logo was designed by Salvador Dalí. =:D

A few iOS games you might want to have a look at, which struck me as different:

Tengami, with a Japanese pop-up book style. Utterly gorgeous. Really, to appreciate what it's about, I'd recommend viewing the trailer - then you'll (probably =:) see why I had to make a point of mentioning it.

Perloo, "a compact one-of-a-kind puzzle adventure that challenges you to think outside of your comfort zone. See how the real world influences the virtual one – and vice versa. Perloo plays with physics, quantum mechanics, philosophy, optics and perception to create a world with rules of its own."

Oquonie, an isometric adventure where you begin with no introduction, and instructions from someone in an unintelligible pictographic language. It's up to you to work it out from there. =:D

And somewhat more normal:

Astro Golf, miniature golf as played with robots in a spaceship's cargo hold.

Ava's Quest, a platformer with a sense of style.

And I thought this not-quite-'suiting tale might appeal to foofers. ^_^

"Candy, cookies, soft drinks, cereal…sugar, sugar, sugar. This sweet additive is everywhere, with an average consumption of 130lbs per year for each American. We’re infatuated with sugar. But where does our beloved sweetener come from? and who tended the crops? More importantly, how does sugar affect them? In Nicaragua, which exports 40% of its sugar to America, the average life span of men who harvest sugar cane is 49 years. At the root of these early deaths is an epidemic of fatal Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu). In the town Chichigalpa, often called the “Island of Widows,” 1-in-3 men, mostly cane workers, are in end-stage renal failure. This fatal disease is not only a public health crisis, but also a social injustice. The cause of this epidemic is unknown, which is why we are launching this documentary project. Through our efforts, we can help draw attention and resources that could help save lives."

Here: links to every episode of Duckman, on YouTube.

Well, here goes nothing (except the entry fee) - just registered for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, hosted by the Natural History Museum. It's extraordinarily unlikely I'll come close to even being a finalist in this, given it's pretty much the most prestigious wildlife competition around, so the standard of entries tends to be especially high. Still, the only way to guarantee not winning is to not enter. (If you're interested as well, entries must be submitted by noon GMT on Feb 27, with finalists being notified in confidence in May)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Good luck! As we discussed on the course yesterday: don't enter, zero chance; enter, greater-than-zero chance. You have nothing to lose but your entry fee. (And on that note, I have some poems to submit today :))
Thanks. ^_^ I do feel Momentary in particular has at least some chance, but FSM, knowing I'm going up against world-class professionals.. still, maybe there'll be a judge with a soft spot for bunnies. =:) I may also try entering a couple insect shots - I don't have much of a selection there, but there are a couple I'm rather pleased with; and, to be honest, perhaps there'll be less competition than in with all the other mammals.

I wish the entry fee were a little smaller than £30, but, I suppose it's sort of going to the NHM (plus a £5 donation I added, which definitely is), who are certainly worthy recipients of my meagre funding.

I have some poems to submit today :)

Ooh, a competition, or a commercial submission?

BTW, I noticed this rather eloquent quote the other day, from Miyazaki's latest, The Wind Rises:

Mizyaki's hero is instead marked by a more modest, even self-effacing gallantry. Too short-sighted to be a pilot, Jiro peers at the world through thick Harold Lloyd spectacles, watching planes carve great arcs against slowly moving cloudbanks. In his dreams, he talks a walk on their wings alongside his hero, Italian aviator Giovanni Caproni (Mansai Nomura), who tells him "Airplanes are not for war or making money. Airplanes are beautiful dreams waiting to be swallowed by the sky."

I cannot WAIT for that to get a UK release!

Competition is this one:
http://www.manchesterwritingcompetition.co.uk/mwcp/index.php
I may be punching above my weight, but why not try? The little I make from writing does at least cover entry fees and most courses.
I may actually wait for it cinematically. ^_^ There've been a couple Ghibli releases that didn't quite get me, notably Earthsea, but this does sound like Miyazaki on top form, even if rather more realistic than fantastic - but, really, is there any reason why everyday life can't be considered with a vision of fascination also? ^_^

Ooo.. crikey, that certainly would be quite a prize, even aside from the filthy lucre. All the best! =:D
The price you need to beat for the NSFW bundle varies constantly. I paid enough to get the premium (higher average) but I've only got the first nine things in my account, and the current price is indeed a couple of cents more. OK, there's a line in the FAQ about "If you want to top up your purchase to gain access to more content you can do this from your order page", so I look at my personal page. Nope, no way to pay more there. What about the main order page? Well, it says you're only allowed to buy this once, but when I paid $1 (the minimum it will allow) while logged in and using the same address for the PayPal payment, it gives me a second copy of the lowest tier...

If you want to download the films from your personal page, you need to move the mouse up from the picture of the film exactly over the small triangle-shaped arrow of the 'stream / download' box, or that box will either vanish or you'll only be able to stream it. Overall, someone there needs a copy of GUI Bloopers dropped on their head.

Duckman is wonderful. I had copies from a torrent ages ago, but I am not sure where the files are now...
Eek. Sounds like they've got a fair few things to learn from their better known cousin. =:P They do, hopefully, offer options beyond the wretched PayPal?

I'm constantly amazed at how companies can wind up with successes on their hands, and actively choose to toss them away - witness the lack of any continuation of comedic animation from Warner, despite having had great success with TTA and Animaniacs. Or, for that matter, Futurama's second cancellation. *sigh*

I'm sort of wondering how worthwhile it is for me to import all these old DVD-Rs, versus just downloading the shows off YouTube, letting Google take care of maintaining the disks. =:/ (And films, of course, often aren't worth pulling off the discs, given they're DVD rips, rather than newer HD versions. Still, there's plenty that is worth the space, as it was produced only in SD, or hasn't seen any form of HD transfer as yet, such as the Animated Clerks, cancelled after only two of its six episodes had aired. *chuckle* Damned if I can find my DVD thereof, though, nor the rip I made of it for a particularly good tracker)
Bitcoin is the only other alternative (erm, no thanks).

It is sorted, I think. I certainly have everything and may have two copies of the first three things.

The mouse issue is slightly more complicated - it could be a speed issue instead - but, yes, it could be a lot better.

Google has been known to delete stuff, so I am not deleting stuff here.
Ah, poop. That's me out, until they get a real payment processor in place. =:P (BitCoins are so much less attractive than tulips)

Mm, I'm intending to maintain my own imagery under my own domain - imgur's probably perfectly fine for this kind of casual use, but I'd far sooner keep it all under one roof. I have a couple places sorted out, but haven't yet got around to getting them set up.

No, I wouldn't trust Google to keep things long-term. No other company, but Google keeps shuffling their assortment around every year or so - no point in taking such a risk, when low-traffic web accounts are available cheaply, with no need for any of their blasted tracking.

BTW, will we be seeing you at Grillstock?
It's regrettably only 74s long, but this Japanese fursuit music video is pretty niftily edited. =:D

Neat, yes — very nice, suit, too, although the bandages (?) he's wearing on his knees look a little weird.

And I thought this not-quite-'suiting tale might appeal to foofers. ^_^

*snrk* Great one. I highly doubt 99% of these "customers suck" that get posted on those sites actually happened, but many are quite amusing regardless, adn this one particularly so.

Well, here goes nothing (except the entry fee) - just registered for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, hosted by the Natural History Museum. It's extraordinarily unlikely I'll come close to even being a finalist in this, given it's pretty much the most prestigious wildlife competition around, so the standard of entries tends to be especially high. Still, the only way to guarantee not winning is to not enter. (If you're interested as well, entries must be submitted by noon GMT on Feb 27, with finalists being notified in confidence in May)

Good luck!
Sooooo much stuff... I'm going to have to come back and check out all these goodies a few times just to catch them all :D ! *wing hugs ya!* ^V^
Huh. The Brony music article goes on THAT long and doesn't mention any of the Harry Potter themed bands? They got there first, after all.