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mycroftb pointed out two notable pieces by Muzz - one showing Pepper and Oyster together, and a solo piece of Pepper (NSFW, but so cute!).

Another option for playing FLV files is to plop the Perian QT plugin into place - then anything QuickTime aware can use them, as well as a host of other formats.

So, what will be in the running for next year's Oscar for Best Animated Feature? What might deserve to win?

Minor SL note, if you're thinking of a paid account: the weekly stipend for new accounts after the end of the month will be L$300, down from L$400.

See, one of the wonders of the web is just how profuse all manner of knowledge is. Such as these handy Finnish phrases:

How much for a gram of H? Paljonko maksaisi gramma heroiinia?
What time does the sun set this afternoon? Mihinkä aikaan aurinko laskee tänä iltapäivänä?
Well, how many of your uncles commited suicide this year? No, moniko sinun sedistäsi on tehnyt itsemurhan tänä vuonna?
I'm awfully sorry... was that your ferret? Oho! Tota noin.. Eihän se vaa ollu' sun ajokoira?
Is it OK if I bring my laptop in the sauna? Käyhän että tuon kannettavani saunaan?
What is that thing sticking out of your ear? Mikä tuo korvastasi pilkottava juttu on?

[Edit: thanks to the diligent efforts of atomicat, you can now supply the answers too!]

Yay! Discovered what the problem with the mysterious bloat was on combining separate video and audio files into one - I had the option for stream hinting enabled. I'm uncertain why the effect was so dramatic in this case, but as that option wasn't required, turning it off made the emergent file the size I'd expect. Much more convenient for me to have This Binary Universe as a few 100MB-ish files than a physical DVD. (Thankfully DVD DRM is trivially removed, but HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are another matter entirely. Such may prevent me from adopting the format, as I'd far sooner have a copy of the data on my drive, than have to carry around the physical discs)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Animated Oscar?

To me, this year didn't have the stand out "Yes, this is it" like last years "Wallace and Gromit", but there where still quite a few good ones.

Top of my list is

"Over the Hedge" - Yes, it really was that good.
"Cars" - Because Pixar seems to get nomiatted a lot.
"Ice Age 2" - Didn't see it, but it looked good, the first one got a Oscar nomination.
"Curious George" - The only traditional animated film in wide release last year.
"Monster House" - Again, didn't see it, heard it was good.
"A Scanner Darkly" - Yes, technically, it's an animated movie and a damm good one at that. Not a lot of people saw it, but it was one of the better Philip K. Dick novels to film made.
"Hoodwinked" - This would be the long shot. Again, not many people saw it, but it was funny none the less.
"Flushed Away" - Need to go see it. I'm wondering if they can keep the quality and charm of a Aadarm film in 3d. This is also the last of the Dreamworks / Aadarm films. Dreamworks is breaking the movie deal that they made shortly after "Chicken Run"

And the winner is....

"Cars" or "Over the Hedge", hard to decided between the two, but I like the story in "Over the Hedge" better.

I wonder if Hoodwinked would qualify? Looking at the release dates says there was an LA opening in 2005, and general release this year. Still, it would be a very long shot, given the minor backing, compared to the might of Cars' and Over the Hedge's studios - but it'd be my favorite of the three. ^_^ Cars was technically as good as anything Pixar's done, but I felt the story was rather limp; of the two, I'd far sooner see OtH again, at the end of it all.

Monster House I need to see at some point, as well as A Scanner Darkly, the latter especially. (And Waking Life, too)

Flushed Away should be at least worth seeing, yes - though it sounds like it's primarily a Dreamworks production, with Aardman more in the situation of providing the character designs than the animators themselves. I'm not really expecting too much of it, but still, should be a decent bit of entertainment.

It would be interesting to see ASD win, if only to underline the obvious: animation can tell dramatic stories, for an adult audience, just as much as it can keep the rugrats happy. Somehow, between the golden age of Warner Brothers and the 90s, animation got firmly pigeon-holed as For The Children, as far as the West is concerned. (True, there's no shortage of cool animated shorts from around the world, but I'm thinking of big budget productions for cinematic presentation, or network TV)

Of course, next year, I know already who I'll be rooting for. ^_^ Ah, to get to see an early screening of that..
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"The Project is based on the idea that people in a foreign country have an irresistable urge to try to say something in the indigenous tongue. In most cases, however, the best a person can do is "Where is the bathroom?" a phrase that marks them as a tourist. But, if one says "I can eat glass, it doesn't hurt me," you will be viewed as an insane native, and treated with dignity and respect." - difficult to argue with that. ^_^

That's an absolutely fascinating page. ^_^ I wonder if the denizens of linguaphiles would be willing to pitch in with samples of how they're actually spoken.. the wav links there still appear to point to the page's original home, unfortunately.

Agh, now I feel the need to indulge in a Leningrad Cowboys marathon. (Their concert with the Red Army Chorus is unmissable - Finnish rockers in the 50s tradition with exaggerated winklepickers and coifs, plus the solemn dignity of the choir, on the same stage. It's a fun combination =:)
I love you = Söisin mieluummin salmiakkia.

Um, I'm a little suspicious that this this pronoun-verb-pronoun sentence gets a translation containing salmiakkia, which is defined as "Ammonium chloride, a mysteriously popular Finnish candy".

Googling for "Söisin mieluummin" (who needs knowledge of Finnish?) I found this page which translates that phrase as "I'd prefer to eat..."

ob Monty Python: "Do you want to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy? I cannot wait until lunchtime. I am no longer infected. My nipples explode with delight!"
Given the legendarily byzantine grammatical structure of Finnish, though, maybe the phrase has a dual meaning. It's where trolls come from, too, you know.
Actually, ffmpeg will transcode FLV files, so I just dumped the few I have to avi and then used Videora iPod Converter to dump them to mp4 so I can get them on the iPod (I could've gone straight from FLV to mp4, but I can never remember all the settings for direct dump to iPod, so I took the longer, easier route).
It does, indeed - I use ffmpegX as a friendly front end. It's just a little extra hassle, given it needs to use only the mencoder library, and swap over the audio mapping. On the other paw, maybe using it from the shell wouldn't be much trickier - the benefit of using that rather than exporting from the QuickTime Player in particular is it's possible to perform cropping, which is fairly routinely useful in transcoding FLV files, given YouTube absolutely loves squishing everything into 4:3, usually adding letterboxing bars in the process. (Definitely one of the good points with Google Video - I hope it's the social networking side of YouTube they keep, rather than their encoding wizard)

Come to think of it, Perian would make an ideal companion for an iPod - could just export directly from the FLV to MPEG-4, given it wouldn't matter about everything being forced into 4:3 by YouTube. 'Sjust I play video on Hyzenthlay, which has a 16:10 display, so letterboxing bars mean you wind up with the letterboxing bars above and below, and dead space left and right.. :-P

And I wish YouTube encoded stereo audio, like Google Video. Still, it's difficult to beat for the sheer diversity on offer. ^_^
Finnish is funny. I think they license their vowels from the Estonian patent office.

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ESPOOOOOON!

Hm. Trying "spoon" on this page came back with: "ottaa lusikalla, golfmaila, lemmiskellä, lusikka, rakastunut houkkio".

That's one hell of a battle cry.
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*giggle*

All part of the service. =:)