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Music vid for the day: Black Light Dinner Party "We Are Golden", the touching tale of one girl and a tea-loving polar bear, being chased by Tetris-riding pirates. It has, I'm afraid, proven to be something of an earworm for me; be duly warned.

Or, for simple "WTF?" value, Hitchhiker "Eleven" takes some beating. (I see there are quite a few "reaction" videos.. =:)

Brunettes Shoot Blondes "Knock Knock" is a niftily choreographed affair, telling the tale of one bunnyboy pursuing his girl, across a plethora of iThings. Beautifully creative, and flawlessly executed.

There are new Peter Rabbit stories! eg The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit.

I had this thought the other day, and I must have it sated. Can you photocopy an LCD? I imagine it should work, given it'd be somewhat equivalent to looking at the display in sunlight, but has anyone actually tried it? Ideally, on a recent device, like an iPad Air. (Note that not all mobile devices are LCD - Samsung, for instance, often opts for OLED, where the pixels themselves emit light, rather than blocking a backlight)

eliki's come up with a fun little track in support of the fundraiser for ccMixter, a site hosting Creative Commons-licensed samples and full tracks for musicians, game developers, and YouTubers.

Yay, new Apple shinies! I suspect I'm likely to get my paws on an iPad Air 2 when finances permit, given it's a system I use routinely. I was quite surprised to see Pixelmator announce an iPad version - if its performance in the demo is any gauge, this might be where RAW editing really becomes practical, although that remains to be seen, given the hefty requirements in manipulating 24MP D7100 (or 36MP, if you're using a D800) images. I even fleetingly contemplated an iMac Retina, but no, as far as photography goes, I'd be much better served by spending that kind of money on travel, not any form of equipment. Still, for 4K video editing, it's rather amazing to think you'll be able to have the video window open at 1:1, and still have space for the application's furniture, with a 5120x2880 display. They've accomplished some very fine engineering there. (And I must get around to trying out Metal. The kind of performance the Unreal 4 engine's getting in the beautiful Zen Garden demo is quite impressive - needless to say, it needs to be viewed at 1080p for full effect)

Lockheed's Skunkworks have unveiled details of a promising new approach to fusion reactor design. The key being that much greater efficiency would mean a small reactor could be relatively compact - they're envisaging a pilot unit in roughly shipping container size, delivering some 100MW, transportable to where it's needed, or on board a large ship. Lockheed's own page on the project even suggests further revisions down the line would be viable for aviation, with profound implications for flight range and CO2 emissions. The thought occurs that shipping would be a good candidate as well.

Here's a unique competition: design the £1 coin. Yes, really. The winner gets £10,000, and the design becomes the £1 coin from 2017 onwards. It's open globally, and there's no entry fee. It's only open until the end of the month, though, and there's a good deal to consider in the design.

Now, this is a project I'll be paying attention to in the future: fps1000. It's a family of three relatively low cost, very high framerate video cameras - even the top model won't exactly rival the Phantom Flex 4K, but still, 1500fps at 640x480 opens up some possibilities, when you consider it takes C-mount lenses, so there's a world more options than afforded by phones and their very small sensors. One big drawback for me, though, is that it has no autofocus system, so if I wanted to try capturing a leporine chase, I'd have to try keeping focus manually as well as tracking them, which wouldn't be likely to yield great results. For more static subjects, or slow-moving, that wouldn't be an issue. I wonder how long it'll be before it sees action in a porn production.. =:)

The first trailer for Brad Bird's "Tomorrowland" just appeared. If, somehow, the name is unfamiliar, then just think of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. Unfortunately, there's a little wait yet - it comes out globally in late May 2015. (Which is itself a very welcome change from Disney's policies in the past, where international releases would lag the US by up to six months or so. Perhaps they've realised The Pirate Bay exists, and would like to see give people the choice of seeing it in perfect quality on a huge screen at around the same time as some of their friends?) And, Pixar's next release, Inside Out, also has its first trailer in the wild. That's another I'll be particularly looking forward to, as it's a return to Pixar making original productions. (Did we really need Cars 2? Or even Cars? Monsters University wasn't a bad flick, certainly, but I'd happily take another Incredibles, Ratatouille, or Wall-E than another sequel)

Meanwhile, I've no idea whether the film itself is any good, but I loved the trailer for "Comedian", a Jerry Seinfeld flick from a few years back, playing beautifully on trailer cliches, courtesy of the man who indeed provided the voice of many a big name trailer.

A documentary I should try seeing sometime: Watermark. "The film brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use." The trailer indeed looks phenomenally well shot, reminiscent of Baraka. (Shot in 5K, though I can only seem to find HD versions available, eg iTunes)

Could there be more Twin Peaks? David Lynch has said no in the past, but, there does seem to be quite a bit of teasing going on.. ! (Interestingly - though perhaps not surprising, given its director - it was apparently filmed rather than taped, so there's now a BD release with 7.1 audio of the whole shebang. Definitely one for the wishlist!)

Egad - it's official! "TWIN PEAKS will return as a new limited series on SHOWTIME in 2016. Series creators and executive producers David Lynch and Mark Frost will write and produce all nine episodes of the limited series, and Lynch will direct every episode."

Everyone knows about Surgeon Simulator, yes? Well, looks like they've announced their next project: I Am Bread. "The beautiful story of one slice of bread's epic and emotional journey as it embarks upon a quest to become toasted."

Some photos from next year's new series of Thunderbirds, which will apparently be produced with a combination of CG and models. Looking good, though obviously, it ultimately comes down to the writing - will they indeed capture the spirit of the original? It can be done, as the new Captain Scarlet demonstrated, using CG, but still remaining faithful to the look and nature of the original, simply letting CG afford them the creative freedom to perform shots they couldn't have managed with marionettes.

Did you know Galaxy Quest was originally filmed and edited for an R rating? (The comments include some notes from someone who saw that cut at the Metreon, so presumably it still exists in the studio's vaults somewhere)

You'll remember the Diva's dance from The Fifth Element, ne? Autotuned to some extreme vocal ranges, impossible otherwise. Well, here it is, sung entirely naturally, other than a touch of echo. =:D

If you're running a good browser capable of WebGL (including iOS 8 Safari), try this interactive music video. =:D It's successful in that it's both visually entertaining, plus a good track. An arguably simpler one can be found over here, again with some degree of influence from the mouse.

Everyone knows Mel Blanc's voices - but, here he is, himself, with a bushily haired David Letterman.

jessie_pup might enjoy this look at a plush collie defending her bone against real dogs. Very cute. ^_^ (h/t schnee, who also highlighted a brief video with the quite irresistible description of "Linsey Pollak plays a bagpipe made from a rubber glove in the Macedonian gaida style." It's good playing, and a wonderfully silly looking instrument =:)

Here's a look at the CGI from David Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Mostly, it's quite subtle stuff - things you wouldn't expect to be faked. On the other paw, here's the creation of a raptor suit, for Jurassic Park. It's an insight into just how much is involved in making such a design move well, especially the tail and head motion, as well as how the performer carries themselves in a plausible, predatory manner.

I've long enjoyed Kitchen Nightmares, so it was quite a happy accident to stumble upon a different show he produced a couple years ago, "Ramsay Behind Bars", wherein, following months of convincing the Ministry of Justice, he enters Brixton prison, and goes about trying to set up an ongoing business, with a dozen prisoners "cooking on the inside, to sell on the outside". It's as mammoth a task as he's ever set himself, given there's not a lot of talent to begin with, added to some fairly volatile personalities, on top of strict security requirements, like all knives having to be kept in locked cabinets and accounted for at all times - perfectly understandable, but a hell of a bind in a kitchen. In all, he's got six months to try getting the scheme started. It's spread across four episodes, with the first being his introduction to life inside, and selecting his "Bad Boy Brigade".

Ghostbusters 3 gets Katie Dippold as co-writer. And yes, it'll be a female team, "and the project would no longer be connected to the earlier movies but now launch a new series." I'm so looking forward to this now. =:D KD's credits are as a writer on 22 eps of Parks and Recreation, 7 of MADtv, and the film "The Heat".

If you've been looking for a pukkah Illustrator replacement, it looks like, going by the reviews, it's finally arrived, in the form of Affinity Designer. The promo video does an excellent job of showing off its feature set and performance.

Doctor Who "Kill the Moon" was.. oh, such a frustrating episode! I began easily getting into it, but then came such a slew of implausible not-science. *sigh* Yes, you can easily argue DW's hardly the epitome of hard sci-fi, but still - what, ultimately, was the point of the initial villains? Why this "variable mass" nonsense? And a new replacement, straight after? Which all rather got in the way of the actual plot, which was indeed a tremendous dilemma, and gamble.

If anyone else started watching the new series of "Alex Polizzi: The Fixer", only to find it vanishing after two episodes, it seems it has indeed been paused, but not cancelled. I've heard back from the BBC, who said "while a date hasn't yet been set, the rest of the series will be shown early next year".

UK peeps might want to wander over here occasionally - it's HotUKDeals' travel competitions page. Fun stuff on offer by various companies at the moment include a pair of business class tickets to Tokyo, a luxury weekend in Paris, a week in the Maldives, and a trip to the Melbourne Grand Prix (including pit access).

An unusually specific domain for a search engine: FatFingers searches the eBay country of your choice for misspellings of your search terms, on the rationale those won't be picked up by eBay's own search engine, and may therefore go cheaply.

If you don't have Cake Wrecks in your LJ or RSS feed, I must point out this suite of quite awe-inspiring cakes, including Groot, Fraggles, and half the HTTYD cast. Absolutely wonderful. =:D I can never look at cakes like those and not wondering: how would I ever bring myself to cut into such a work of art? ^_^;

From a 1971 article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Felicia, the Pipe-Cleaning Ferret at Fermilab. And yes, they do mean a real ferret. ^_^ Not the first, or indeed last, time - this article notes others who've performed similar duties, including Beckham, Posh, and Baby, who laid TV, lighting, and sound cables in Greenwich Park for the Millennium Pop Concert.

True, 1912 was a different age for racism than now, even if we still have a long way to go - but still, I doubt I'll ever be able to think of H.P.Lovecraft in the same way again, having read a short poem by him, the title of which doesn't deserve repeating here. Still, the settings he created are distinct from their wretched creator - so, as a unicorn chaser, have a repeat of a Faraday the Blob strip I pointed out a while back, starring an HP Lovecraft printer, and, Love Crafts sex toys.

Because she was filming another production shooting nearby, Katy Manning wound up in the Tardis, with Peter Capaldi. Ah, would be so good to see her on the show again!

Maybe they'll figure out a way of bumbling its rollout, perhaps with high fees, but still, I was interested to see that HBO will offer web-only subscriptions in 2015. Perhaps they've cottoned onto the notion that some people downloading Game of Thrones from torrents would be willing to pay for authorised streams? (Not a show that appeals to me, as I'm only rarely one for historical dramas or fantasy, but the excellence of its production values is unquestionable)

Brian Blessed offers the meaning of life, beautifully.

Here's all sorts of data analysis of some 550,000 OkCupid profile photos and sexual activity and attractiveness, including sorted by camera model and type (interchangeable lens, cameraphone, compact), age, and more.

There's another iPhone thermal camera add-on, the Seek Thermal. This one's a more usual Lightning plug-on, rather than a phone case, and a friendlier $200 rather than FLIR One's $350. The former's maker also claims a 32K pixel sensor, versus the 80x60 of the latter, though it'll need a site like Ars to verify just how well it actually works.

So, I've finally made a Reddit account. ^_^; Of course, I sought out the Rabbits quickly, and realised that just after I unsubscribed from one of the default groups, Fitness, I then added FoodPorn - which quickly reminded me I really ought to indulge my food photography enjoyment a bit more. ^_^ Trouble is, my own cooking's often fairly simple, and rarely that visually interesting (jumbalaya/risotto-like creations, f'rex, can taste superb, but visually.. not so exciting =:), and when out and about, it's quite a challenge to get a good, interesting shot, in whatever light's available, without spending lots of time fussing about the result. Still, I suppose that adds to the fun of it - trying to visualise the framing possible from different angles, what the lights around actually are, what on the plate most spells out how delicious it is, and what kind of depth of field would help draw that out.

Mostly as a memo to myself: qDSLRdashboard looks like the ideal app for WiFi remote control of DSLRs, being quite cheap, and Universal. (As for why WiFi isn't a standard feature on DSLRs, you'll have to ask the manufacturers. Like GPS, it's starting to creep into the standard feature set - Nikon's new pro D750 and low-end D3300 offer it - but mostly, it remains a matter of having to buy another dongle or two)

Here's a 2013 April Fool's story from InfoWorld from 2013. "If you've been looking forward to Windows 9, the OS that will fix what Windows 8 got wrong, you're in for a surprise: There will be no Windows 9. Instead, Microsoft announced it will proceed directly to Windows 10."

Finally, a wonderful story that really isn't from the Onion: "Zoo realises it has been trying to mate two male hyenas for four years".
And thank you very much for the links to my song and the other CCMixter goodies! I've no doubt that'll all help things along, and hopefully they'll hit their target. They've still got over a month to go, so there's a good chance. :)

Ahh, Skunkworks, a name I'll forever link with a certain James Hardiman, (RIP) who had a somewhat more dubious "company" of the same name...
No problem - you did a really good job there! As with so many crowdfunding campaigns, it's largely down not just to the aim of the campaign, but publicity - there've been some I'd love to have backed, but didn't even hear about them until long after they'd finished. Weirdly, Kickstarter (and all of the others) do a terrible job of trying to suggest other projects you might be interested in, so the only option is really to go trawling through endless pages of project thumbnails, trying to find ones that appeal, and have a coherent plan at their core.

I never really saw all that much of that Skunkworks - I should probably remedy that at some point. I'd sooner be a bunny, of course, but I'm sure I'd be fine imagining myself in their place too. ^_^
Oh I know what you mean. I did find out about a Kickstarter project by James D Stark, years ago (the goth dood who then had to cancel the project, sadly) but at the time I had no means at all of making any payments to the site. But then a few days back I found out that Animusic, who did some stunning music based animations years ago, had done a Kickstarter project only a year or so back, and the fund raising had long since finished. A shame because I'd have loved to get involved with that. Ah well, hopefully once I've got a bit of money spare I can donate some to the CCMixter fund. :)
If this fusion breakthrough pans out it won't just revolutionize aviation.

It will be a moment in human history as important as taming fire or splitting the atom.
Indeed. There'll be so many applications, even if such devices remain more shipping container sized, rather than Mr Fusion. Desalination would be feasible for even poor countries, trains and cars would be thrust rapidly into the electric age.. of course, there'd be similarly huge shifts in political power, with oil nations and companies being relegated to petrochemical supply, and the supply of some goods suddenly being much cheaper, such as alumin[i]um. Western Virginia would finally be forced to abandon its mining - a tremendous wrench for such communities, as we saw in the Valleys of South Wales back in the 1980s.

What could it mean for space, too? There's no shortage of solar energy on the Moon, or Mars, but if a unit of that calibre could be maintained in such locations, that'd surely make permanent bases a lot easier.

Exciting times, indeed. I do wonder if Lockheed don't know more than they're letting on, given the Skunkworks' nature of secrecy. It's going to be very interesting to revisit this entry in five or ten years.. !
Mars Direct called for nuke plants. Swap those out with this and the terraforming goes even faster.

Efficient ion drives. Or open up half of the magnetic bottle for a fusion engine and really go fast.

That's just sublight. When we finally iron out the kinks we'll need a hell of a power plant for Alcubierre drive. E=MC2 will provide.

Here on the home front power systems will be modularized. No need for miles and miles of high tension lines and substations. Each town or city can generate their own cheap energy.

And good luck monopolizing the fuel supply.

The military applications are very shiny. Viable laser weaponry for swatting missiles and fighters out of the sky. Power plants that make something like the SHIELD helicarrier possible. The rebirth of the battleship as a viable unit.

We stand on the brink of a new golden age. The Fusion Age.

Materials, engineering, physics. All advancing in leaps and bounds. The Singularity is near indeed.


I have no sympathy for those who fail to adapt to changing times and are left in the dust. The Universe is not saddened by natural selection playing out.

Edited at 2014-10-19 06:50 am (UTC)
Finally, a wonderful story that really isn't from the Onion: "Zoo realises it has been trying to mate two male hyenas for four years".

Heh. Well, it IS fairly difficult to tell them apart — your best bet's to grab the sac and check if you can feel anything inside. If there's testicles to be felt, you got a male; if it's only fatty tissue, you got a female. But I'd imagine most hyenas wouldn't take kindly to that sort of test, even if they were on exceptionally good terms with their keepers.

Glad you liked the plush dog video, too. It's really adorable, isn't it? ^^

Edited at 2014-10-18 10:53 pm (UTC)
Still, I'd've expected a zoo to perform a definitive test before embarking on such a program. =:D True, hyenas are a bit awkward in that regard (and buns too, for somewhat the opposite reason, as they're unusual for mammals in being fully internal, and even sporting something of a not-quite-cloaca) - the thought occurs, wouldn't DNA testing be best in such a situation? Chromosomal analysis ought to be readily conclusive.

Someday, I must get a bunnybot cam made up. ^_^ I'd love to see if I could get a device out into the fields with them, and have them accept it as non-threatening. (Much as I'd love to experiment with a good fursuit, I'm guessing they wouldn't be convinced =:)
Yeah, I thought that after posting my comment last night — surely the zoo must've gotten blood samples at some point, and surely you'd be able to use those to determine the hyenas' sex.

OTOH, maybe they just trusted the paperwork they got; maybe someone made a mistake when sexing the newborn cubs, and that error persisted — noone ever double-checked. There simply was no need to.

Interesting that bunnies' anatomy is similarly unusual, I never knew. And speaking of bunnies — heh, yeah, a fursuit probably wouldn't quite convince them!

A bunnybot cam, OTOH, sounds quite intriguing, though making it convincing could still be difficult.
So much good stuff!!
Do you keep a notes file of alla these interesting things until you have enuff to make a journal entry? :>

Did not know that about Galaxy Quest! *Warble* ... And super neat Mel Blanc one also.. I think I'd seen it before, but definitely fun for a re-visit!

*feathery hugs!!*
Oh, absolutely! I keep most entries (other than the odd friends-only thing noting the day's happenings) as plain text files, with basic HTML, until the time's right to post them as actual entries. Which.. well, isn't quite as straightforward as it might seem. ^_^; I'll want to ensure everything's worth posting, so I'll cull anything that doesn't ultimately seem worth reading. Then there's ensuring everything's appropriately illustrated - framegrabs from trailers and suchlike, sized agreeably, with the images adequately demonstrating why I included them. Then those have to flow well around the text.

Arg! It's a lot more than I suppose it ought to be, but, I don't want to publish until it's something I feel might be worth reading, with every link carefully chosen, in order to illuminate and/or induce conversation.

Don't suppose you have any studio contacts? ^_^ I'd love to see the original Galaxy Quest cut, although I dare say the way it turn out may well be the best.

Mel Blanc, of course, is one of those folk (as with the trailer for The Comedian) we never normally get to see, only hear. And gods, how much we have to thank him for.. pretty much the entire slate of Merrie Melodies, not least Bugs, still about the best ambassador rabbitkind has. =:)
Amazing stuff! I can't even comment on anything specifically, but there were things there I'll be remembering for the ages.