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patch_bunny found the next best candidate to Al Gore: Max for President. =:D

A cheesy, fun TV ad from Britain, with a suitably cheesy ending: The Wooly & Worth Show. And a couple more good ones here, including quite a stylish one for Levi's, "Mr Spaceman".

As otter3 noted, Dragon Tamer DS looks like it could be fun - it's a title in the spirit of Monster Rancher, with sound being the influence determining the dragons created. (The Japanese trailer embedded there includes one guy using the sound of a flushing toilet) The graphics look quite impressive for a DS, too - nicely detailed 3D, smooth motion, and plenty of design elements for dragon fans to enjoy.

Interesting idea: someone's taken Sky Captain and spent a few weeks re-editing it to remove a good deal of dead weight, and re-inserted a couple of the deleted scenes. eg: "Deleted Polly being a klutz, always doing the wrong thing. Now she's a competent reporter. Deleted scenes of Dex for pacing. Deleted any dialogue were a character says "I'm going to do..." Now they just do it."

circuit_four spotted a new work by the creator of Grow Cube, apparently commissioned by a recruitment agency. And really, who can't love a game that features an orange lava bunny/puppy?

Ye gods and little fishes, I'm actually caught up on FA. ^_^ Had to take the cheap way out with the journal entries, though - that would've added days otherwise, and FA journals tend not to be as substantive as LJ. Still, the 1,900 or so images did prove most rewarding.. here are some I thought particularly worth sharing, including Matoc's "Moko Moko the Fire Bunny", which is actually just about worksafe, maybe. =:) Two of them are definitely unsafe for work. Can you guess which? =:D

Apparently, both the Kurdish and Persian words for "rabbit" - karwesh and khargoosh respectively - translate as "donkey ears". ^_^;

Quite a welcome measure of reasonability in DC: the lobbying reform bill is now live. ^_^ The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 closes quite a few lobbyist loopholes, requires earmark sponsors be identified, last minute "dead of night" provisions can be challenged, and indefinite, anonymous holds are gone, replaced by a six day window, after which the senator's name would be identified.

One SL event I wish I'd known about in time: "Phil Holliger from the Medical Research Council Molecular Biology Lab in Cambridge will give a talk on "New polymerases for old DNA: molecular breeding of polymerases for damage bypass and amplification of ancient DNA" . Holliger works with ancient DNA - DNA samples retrieved from specimens of forensic, paleontological or archaeological interest. Hollinger will describe a new method of repairing damaged DNA, which he recently tried out on a 60,000 year-old cave bear."

I'm entirely atheistic, but the communal role of religion in society can be, and indeed, often is positive - and folks like the Universal Unitarians (who, ISTR, counted something like a sixth of their members as atheist or agnostic anyway =:) are a good bunch. So, I was pleased to see this description of a Water Ceremony last Friday: "In it, each participant brings water from someplace that is special to them, and explains why to the whole congregation. The water is poured into a communal vessel to symbolize the coming together of the community."

Quite an interesting, if unsurprising, look at the real nature of economic activity in SL. Of about 600,000 active residents, 295k spent nothing at all. This table gives a breakdown by total spending during the month.

Monthly spending, August 2007
Transaction size, L$Residents
1 - 500131,339
501 - 2,00049,440
2,001 - 5,00037,639
5,001 - 10,00026,231
10,001 - 50,00042,774
50,001 - 100,0009,065
100,001 - 500,0006,916
500,001 - 1,000,000649
over 1,000,000416
From the wildlands of Nova Scotia comes this fantastic tale of one student body's reaction to bullying over a pink shirt: 'The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying. "It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David. They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.'

Not too surprising, given nobody expected it too soon anyway, but it's been made official: SL puppeteering is on hold until "at least Q1 2008", in favor of client bugfixing.

Coming soon: AjaxLife for iPhone.

If you've engaged in any landscaping or major building on SL, this thread might be worth a peek. It's a nifty use of megaprims, achieving construction beyond your boundaries, out into the screaming void where no sim space exists; it's apparently even possible to venture into this non-space as a result.

SL Insider ran a good little piece on how things are falling into place for the initial release of the server code. ("Philip Rosedale, in his talks at SLCC this year, estimated that server-side simulator software would be open sourced within approximately twelve more months. Development staffers whom we have spoken to inworld and who have spoken on the matter on the development mailing list around the same time are estimating 1-2 more years.") The key bit: "Ultimately what will be being released, so far as we have been told so far, is the basic software that runs on the simulators. Not the asset system or user management or other things like that. The ability to install the software onto a Linux system of your choice, and pay for interconnection to the Second Life grid."

I noticed HMV's changing their stores quite considerably, in the face of stiff competition from net.retailers. It'll be most interesting to see how other mass music retailers react, as downloads progress; as pleasant as low online prices are, it'd be a sad loss if most physical music chains went the way of Tower Records. 'HMV's first next generation store opened in Dudley last week, with another opening in Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday. The new store set-up is designed to help the business meet new challenges, as CD and DVD sales go into decline.

The new plans see the business change its tack, introducing juice bars, Macs for surfing the internet and checking MySpace and Facebook sites - an attempt to bring digital into retail. "The new design reflects the way customers consume media and the way they spend their time," said HMV chief executive Simon Fox. "It's becoming an entertainment store rather than a music and DVD store."'
And with remarkable timing, loganberrybunny noticed that Branson has sold the Virgin Megastores. The 125 UK & Irish stores will be lucky enough to undergo an inexplicable rebranding. (The US stores had apparently already been sold off earlier this year)

Here's an article on the sub-prime credit crisis, but from a more fundamental perspective - that of financial derivatives.

Now, I'm hardly a vulpine, or even a canid, but.. oh, my. These two pics of one "Vixianna" push a few buttons with me, and then nibble and twiddle them for good measure. Definitely suggests an enjoyable TF outcome.. ^_^ You can see the guy's full gallery here, all of similarly outstanding quality. (All worksafe)

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you're at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a teatray in the sky.

rigelkitty noticed a story roohbear might be interested in: AOL HQ moving to New York. "AOL, the Dulles-based Internet pioneer, yesterday said it was moving its headquarters to New York, transferring the leadership of a company that fueled the growth of the Washington area's technology industry over the past decade. The company said that while senior executives would depart for Manhattan, most of the 4,000 employees at the Dulles campus would remain."

And this is something I'd never heard of, despite being a fan of Doctor Who for years.. as the contributor to doctorwho noted, perhaps the folks at Suchard didn't quite give the design as much checking over as they could have. =:D

(Deleted comment)
Oh, that'd be worth seeing, if you can come to some such arrangement. (Doubly so if there were some lapinity involved in the image. And double that if such shiny attire were involved. Which I know you'd hate =:)

I'd actually somehow managed to miss his work entirely until the other day, too. Even his inked works have a great deal of detail, as you say - his skill in coloring isn't simply masking a weakness elsewhere in his talent.
*giggles* LOVE the Dr Who bit :D
I really should've invited captions for the pic, shouldn't I? =:)

It's an image I need to keep convenient for those days when everything's just grey and unappealing. True, I'm easily amused, but it's surely impossible to look at that and not giggle, whatever one's prevailing mood. ^_^
I really should've invited captions for the pic, shouldn't I? =:)

Is that a sonic screwdriver in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? ;-)
HMV's first next generation store opened in Dudley last week

That gave me a bit of a start, until I realised it actually meant the Merry Hill Centre rather than Dudley High Street, which probably hasn't contained an innovation since the invention of the steam engine!

I agree with you though; it would be a shame to see the traditional music shop die completely. Bookshops seem to have weathered the storm rather better, but then digital delivery of books isn't (yet?) able to provide anything like as nice a reading experience as ye olde paper and ink.
The name of the former location suggests something that may not actually be much of the centre of anything, so much as an out of town venue? (But I'm being cynical. ^_^; "La Jolla Village Square" is just another minimall that might just about technically qualify as being La Jolla-ish; the "University Town Center" is a somewhat more pleasant outdoor mall, but not really the center of anything in particular. Though I did pick up a gorgeous Bugs & Lola crystal champagne flute pair from the WB Store there at the time)

The trouble is, I don't see bookstores lasting for all that much longer, in their current form - books are cheap, compared to the digital devices that can accomplish similar tasks. It's that which is keeping print alive, not the romance of the inky paw; give people an eInk slab (like an iPhone, if it officially supported such a reader) for a few currency units with the same content, and the books won't be selling in their current volumes, with the CD/vinyl analogy probably optimistic.

The view on such general purpose devices isn't as good, unquestionably, but still, PSPPDF does a very nice job indeed, easily moving down the page and advancing. In exchange, it's possible to carry around a few books in a normal pocket, or even a mighty tome like Grzimek, without the weightiness of hardcover binding, yet with all its durability, and more, given it's possible to simply take along a backed-up copy of the work - the original need never be lost.

It seems to me the biggest issue book publishers face now is similar to other media - the proliferation of such vast choice means an awkward duality. A grand selection, yet still the same money in the purchaser's hands, making for very much smaller sales of best-sellers, in exchange for a vastly longer tail on the sales curve. This seems to me to be well suited to electronic distribution, with only server costs making up distribution, rather than printing plus physical delivery, leaving (in an ideal world *cough*) more for the creators, and less spent on the means of sharing the writing in question.

I do support printing as an option. Especially where there's care taken - good paper, and especially a binding that won't crack at the first opening (if you design a spine to crease within seconds, at least have the decency to leave a little white space so we can still read everything whilst leaving the angle adequately acute), but also other aesthetic measures such as the choice, or even design, if warranted, of an appropriate font. Fonts, analogue or digital, are an aspect given such little respect.. even the medium itself must influence such a selection, for best results, whether the limitation is cheap paper prone to bleed ink, or a low resolution display; in turn, the font's design should take those factors into account, just as digital display rendering must offer appropriate anti-aliasing options, depending on the resolution and display technology in question.

Merry Hill isn't exactly out of town, more an ex-industrial area, as it was built on the site of an old steelworks. It's not in the town centre, but nor is it way out in the country where only car-drivers can reach it. (Public transport is confined to buses, though. Eventually a Midland Metro tram branch will go there, but that's currently slated for about 2011, and may slip further.)

I'm really not at all sure about books. With current levels of technology (and, as you say, pricing) there's no contest: I couldn't possibly read the equivalent of a 200-page novel on any screen I've seen without doing my eyes in horribly. Second-hand books are a pound or two each, and make up the bulk of my buying: if electronic versions can match that sort of pricing, then things may well change, but the paper book is still such a superbly efficient device (after all, you can tear it, stick it together with Sellotape, spill water on it etc and still read it) that I very much remain to be convinced.
Levis add? HAWT!!! *DROOL!!* Drool for all of it, graphics, concept, look, and god I'd love to lap peach brandy out of that navel.

Hmm, you think Branson's digging up a few more bucks to throw into Galactic? Hope so. He'd also better damn well get back to me on that "Win a Trip to Space" thing.
If only J Axer or Nekogami had been design consultant on that ad.. make the star a lapine, mm? =:D Would be interesting to look into just how difficult it would be, given current tech, to replace a given set of motion from an actor with a rendered character.

I do wonder quite what Branson's actually up to. He's one of the unusual CEOs that actually wants to do something with his financial clout - would be nice to think VG were part of his greater thinking. (So many CEOs are basically lucky - people not especially distinguished in talent, so much as politically savvy. Hence the ease of migration between many companies, with only a few notable exceptions, where the individuals were personally responsible for the outfit's initial success, and have current set of ideals for how to continue that success, or reverse any ill fortunes)

I'd love to feel zero G. I think I'd manage the weightlessness fairly well - I've never been one for motion sickness, but this would obviously be different to anything I've felt before. Thankfully, after a terrible pause of a few decades, it seems like the next few are going to see quite a bit of local space activity, with China, Japan, and Russia all aiming for the moon, and Mars in everyone's eyes as well. But if we can only somehow make interstellar travel a reality.. well, we'll see. (Insert Stephen Baxter's "Space" here)

I meant to pass this along earlier. From last week's NewScientist mag. Article: "What is it about space that inspires you?"

Richard Branson:

Since I was a kid, I have always looked up at the sky rather than down to the ground. I might have been inspired by the fact that my mother was the first air stewardess in the UK and she used to tell me stories of exploding aircraft just after the second world war. My friends are also friends with Douglas Bader, and the 1956 film about his life, Reach for the Sky, was a regular on TV for the Branson household on a wet Sunday afternoon.

Space began to inspire me at the same time, and reading Dan Dare was closely followed by the real thing when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, when I was 11. Since then, I have been fascinated by the idea of taking off into space without having to build a rocket hundreds of metres high.

In 1995, I remember asking Buzz Aldrin whether it would be possible to launch satellites and humans into space from a giant helium balloon. When he explained that not only was it possible, but also that the US had experimented with the concept in the 1950s, I was riveted and became fascinated with the idea of finding a new and ultimately better way to get to space - that was the beginning of Virgin Galactic.

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group

I always get him and Benson confused. Go figure eh? Anyways, it's Benson who's running the contest:
I've made two videos and have the ingredients for a third. One version 1.0 I've posted online but the other is WAY to private and hits hard on that "Have Space-Suit Will Travel" vibe. Designed to yank tears out of space-geeks. It's been quite a while though since I got the "We're almost ready for submissions" email (I was on their list WAY early) and I haven't heard anything since. I should give em another poke perhaps and send them the links to the vids.

Richard Branson rocks.

*sigh* I wish I was his illegitimate love-child.
What, you're going to try claiming you aren't?

That Axer guy is pretty good.
The first Vixianna image reminds me of Shirow a bit.

The Dr. Who Suchard bit is hilarious!

Definitely! Check out the other gallery offerings - there's got to be some influence from him in there. Maybe I'll drop him a line, and see if he confirms that suspicion. ^_^ Oh, for an anime based on his style.. he'll have to come up with a lapine character, though. *nods*

I wonder if Peter Davison's ever seen that box? Given the way merchandising works, it's a fair bet he might never have laid eyes on it. If so, I should remedy that. =:D
*unable to comment due to his childish giggling*
He looks quite happy, too. =:D
That Axer guys is incredibly good, though like many artists I kinda wish more of his talent went to drawing men :P (I've spotted a few, but none that I find all that extra attractive)

I'm trying to imagine my character now dressed up in a similar sort of full body suit...

O_O actually I think that would be incredibly hot...

Oh and yay for Nova Scotia! Sadly though I just don't really see that happening here in Alberta.
Psst. More bunny art. http://j-c.deviantart.com/art/Rabbit-eating-moon-cakes-65120100 is a flash animation.