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Speaking of Michel Gagné, you can read the full 32-page picturebook A Search for Meaning: The Story of Rex on his site. Be warned: he's extraordinarily cute. Vulpine fanciers may not survive.

(On a related note, this forum thread, started by him, is amusing in its ability to bend certain people out of shape)

This could be quite wonderful.. Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread is going to be animated:

Her old-fashioned, somewhat dark story, narrated "Dear Reader"-style, begins "within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse." Despereaux Tilling, the new baby mouse, is different from all other mice. Sadly, the romantic, unmouselike spirit that leads the unusually tiny, large-eared mouse to the foot of the human king and the beautiful Princess Pea ultimately causes him to be banished by his own father to the foul, rat-filled dungeon.

The first book of four tells Despereaux's sad story, where he falls deeply in love with Princess Pea and meets his cruel fate. The second book introduces another creature who differs from his peers--Chiaroscuro, a rat who instead of loving the darkness of his home in the dungeon, loves the light so much he ends up in the castle& in the queen's soup. The third book describes young Miggery Sow, a girl who has been "clouted" so many times that she has cauliflower ears. Still, all the slow-witted, hard-of-hearing Mig dreams of is wearing the crown of Princess Pea. The fourth book returns to the dungeon-bound Despereaux and connects the lives of mouse, rat, girl, and princess in a dramatic denouement.

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Part of the charm comes from DiCamillo's deceptively simple style and short chapters in which the author addresses the reader: "Do you think rats do not have hearts? Wrong. All living things have a heart."


The best part of all this? The director chosen by Universal is Sylvain Chomet, late of The Triplets of Belleville.

Fun little (text) excerpt from The Daily Show, looking at how political PR gets delivered. Handy if your cynicism reservoir's running low.

Ooh. Ricochet's successor may have finally arrived.. seems AT&T Wireless will be launching their 3G service in the coming week, in San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix and Detroit: "The company will offer the data service at a fixed all-you-can-use rate of about $25 a month to consumers and $80 a month to corporate customers, one of the sources said." They claim "the technology can support Internet data at speeds of about 200-300kbps", although what that'll translate to in real use is another matter. (Ricochet themselves finally got sold on again recently. With this sort of competition, it's difficult to envision a viable widescale relaunch of what was once their network.. very sad. It was so damned much fun to use - I wound up using Ricochet as my main connection, with the DSL mostly as a backup, or for excessively large files)

Meanwhile, in the UK, Orange will shortly be launching their 3G, for £25/mo (65MB allowance) or £70/mo (1GB allowance). *cough*

Or, covering the Bay Area, there's BayAreaFreeFi listing free WLAN locations, along with reviews of the locations, as well as wiPod, their database in iPod Notes format (easily exported). Globally, there's also jiwire, which claims 15,000 spots around the world - most populous being London (844), New York (741), and Paris (663). Singapore fares quite well with 390, with SF at 343. Their directory includes pay sites, it should be noted; in Cardiff, those counted for all but two entries, and I doubt the Virgin Megastore actually offers free WLAN access. Add salt to taste.

Excellent! Finally, The Box of Delights, a superb BBC production from the 80s, comes to DVD on November 1st. It's seen a VHS release, but that's long since out of print. (Those within grabbing distance of fek might be able to see an NTSC conversion of said tape)

From Adam Curry's weblog, a particularly good quotation from Alexander Solzhenitsyn: "Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag."

Check out this ferrofluid picture. Far easier seen than described. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
That fluid, or something along those lines, is being used in shocks for the C5 Corvette with the upgraded factory option. Basically a computer measures what's going on and applys the needed field to make the shock weaker or stronger. The results have been enormous. I've got the article that was used a year or more back somewhere aroud here. Neat stuff!
Ahh, so that's how it's done.. that's quite remarkable. I'll have to try tracking down a related article or two. I'd been curious just how a manufacturer would go about dynamically adjusting the reaction characteristics, and a system of this kind would mean not adding any more moving parts, and even building on existing suspension technology, such as containing a fluid under some pressure.

Speaking of which, I did like the old Citroën hydraulic system.. quite handy to be able to raise the car up several inches for very rough roads. A side benefit being that when powered down, it's too low for a parking clamp to be applied. ^_^ Of course, after 10-15 years, those pipes begin to need replacing.. and at 400psi or so, that does tend to lead to a reasonably well-drained system before long. Still, for technology created - what, 30 years ago? - definitely not bad at all.
About the Tale of Desperaux: Oh my god! I'm in heaven! I'm already aquiver with anticipation. How do you know it's going to be made into a movie? If you feel you needed to make up for the unintentional negative rat review earlier (you didn't) then you certainly have!
*giggle* I'd blush, but I'm already a red panda. ^_^

Actually, the news reached me by way of pareview, which was referencing this Animation World News article. With the producers of Seabiscuit assigned, it would seem Universal's serious about this. I'll be eager to follow its developments - there's certainly a fair few folks in the animation community on LJ, who might be able to offer extra nuggets. Of course, most important would be that the story isn't dumbed down.. but, choosing someone like him to direct is hopefully a strong sign they might (finally!) realise that animation doesn't have to be only for children. (Perhaps anime's US success in recent years has helped also?)

This could be so good.. !