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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , viking Date: 2012-08-18 00:20 Security: public calm
How's this for a stunning example of bodypainting? Easy to believe it took seven hours to apply.

Ryan North, of Dinosaur Comics, has (apparently!) been reviewing the rather different Back to the Future novel, on a day by day basis. The catch is that the book was based on a very early version of the script, so we have minor variations like it opening with everyone being atomised, the time vehicle being freezers, and the energy source being nuclear explosions. And, if you'd prefer not ploughing through pages online, and feel the guy deserves a shekel, he'll sell you an eBook version of it all, DRM-free, as ePub and Kindle versions, for a massive $2.99.

Doctor Who will, it seems - although unconfirmed officially - be returning on September 1st 2012. ^_^ It has been confirmed that Matt Smith is on for at least the following season as well, and, interestingly, that the coming season's title sequence will apparently be varying with each episode.

Regarding the Martian soil results in my last entry - one possible explanation that fits both Viking results would be linked by Phoenix's discovery of perchlorates, in 2008. This might be an inorganic route to the observed reaction. What think ye, terminotaur?

Here's rather a nifty means of creating an antenna at sea: use seawater! Quite literally: "The device works by pumping a stream of seawater through a current probe. The height of the seawater stream determines the antenna’s frequency. For example, UHF frequencies require a 2-foot high stream of water, while VHF and HF frequencies require 6-foot and 80-foot high streams (respectively). The width of the stream determines the antenna’s bandwidth. The antenna requires a relatively small footprint and can be modified to accommodate multiple frequencies and bandwidths by stacking current probes and adding additional spray nozzles." So you wind up with antennas that can be created to spec, and vanish when not in use.

Devo are coming out with a new track and game, remembering Mitt Romney's dog, Seamus: "Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro". The track itself is over on SoundCloud now.

One of my favorite bits in the recent "porn trial" was the prosecution's witness' assertion that use of a gas mask would elevate the risk of asphyxiation. He apparently didn't quite think that one all the way through. =:D

It seems OnLive, a service that runs PC games server-side and effectively streams the video over broadband, making it possible for even lightweight clients to enjoy said games, has abruptly laid off much of its staff, with some staff and the IP acquired by an as yet unknown third party. It's a sad development, and somewhat surprising, given a similar service, Gaikai, was recently picked up by Sony for $380m. But who's the mystery buyer? Would Microsoft be interested? My feeling is their style tends to be more for "whole" acquisitions, like Skype.

A refreshing column on why beer is everybody's right, not just a male preserve. "While the stereotype of 'a pint of your best bitter barman, and a white wine for the lady' has been persistent, it is very much changing. Major brewers have been after the dainty-wristed, lady-pound for a long time, but generally try to target lager at women." (The comments bring up a troubling point: do Brew Dog really not offer cask versions of their wares in their own pubs? Surely quite a pity, given how much care they obviously lavish in its preparation. And then there's "Feminist-shmeminist. With my first baby, the midwife had me drink beer to help my milk production. Baby doubled her weight in six weeks, and I felt pretty damn good." "Same here... strange as this may sound, it took moving to the US to snap me out of the lager habit. Sports-bar beer is so bad here, you start to look elsewhere. Brooklyn Larger leads to Anchor Beer, then Fish Head, then micro-breweries and before you know it, you're drinking Red Hook ale brewed in a fisherman's shoe, along with armpit hair and industrial waste. Yum.")

This is a regional TV/radio transmission tower - quite a tall affair, as you can see, against a calmly ominous backdrop. (See why I love the Nikkor 300mm f/4D so much? Here's an excerpt at full original resolution - notice the support wires? Quite faint, better seen on the left side. Bear in mind, now, that this is some 16 miles away..) BTW, the preview versions I include in my entries, as below, are usually 640 pixels wide. Can I go wider now, or would that cause problems for some people?

John Lasseter, on Steve Jobs (this being just an excerpt):

Pixar Animation Studios wouldn’t exist without Steve Jobs. It’s pretty remarkable to think about what he gave us.

When he bought us he had just left Apple. He had just started to form his company NeXT and he bought our group from Lucasfilm, when there were only about 40 of us.

In the beginning Pixar was a computer company. We did hardware and software. It was a very high-end computer, it was way ahead of its time so frankly there was no market for it. It was very expensive. Steve was trying to figure out a way to sell it and market it. He had been used to the consumer computer world but this was more of a professional world.

There were four of us doing computer animation research at Pixar in the beginning. I was the only animator there, I was the first traditonally trained Disney animator to actually animate in computer animation.

Steve was always very supportive of letting us continue the animation research. He really started seeing seeing the potential of the evolution of Pixar, from a computer company to an animation studio. And then he saw the vision of us doing a feature film with Toy Story. He kept guiding us.

I'm amused by CNN calling DEVO a "punk rock group". :)

For me, "punk" means the Sex Pistols. =:D Most with that label are too cuddly to be called punk, like the Cars, or Blondie. =:/ (Speaking of whom, it's impressive she's still singing - as indeed is Suzi Quatro!)

I'm not really sure how I'd label Devo - "80s" sort of starts in the right dimension, but as Mark Mothersbaugh's proven, their talents have never really been all that limited. Still sorta wish they'd given Weird Al permission, but still, we did get Dare To Be Stupid out of it. =:)

Wait, some people think The Cars and Blondie are punk?!?!
That's nutty.
New Wave and Power Pop are as good a term as any for Devo. Also Avant Garde. :D
By the way, Devo and Blondie are touring together RIGHT NOW! :D

Edited at 2012-08-18 10:43 pm (UTC)
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I've long had a fondness for purple, especially the really rich, deep hues. ^_^ (Even if I seem to've wound up white and pink these days. Ah, would that I could be much more like my SL self..)
Interesting bodypaint job — rather artificial-looking, though, if I say so myself. Don't get me wrong, it's masterfully executed, but it lacks the raw textured sensuality that bodypainting is so good at creating. In fact, the photo could just as well be a digital painting.

So you wind up with antennas that can be created to spec, and vanish when not in use.

Hah, the military's gonna love that.

One of my favorite bits in the recent "porn trial" was the prosecution's witness' assertion that use of a gas mask would elevate the risk of asphyxiation. He apparently didn't quite think that one all the way through. =:D

Porn trial? Now I'm curious... *googles* Ah, another case of the usual; the government needlessly and baselessly meddling in people's sexuality, police apparently trying to stick it to someone who came down on misbehaving cops (and potentially planting evidence), and laws that may or may not have been made in good faith being used to muzzle someone who's inconvient, à la Richelieu.

I shouldn't be surprised, but between this and – say – the UK threatening to have armed personnel storm a foreign embassy to capture a politically inconvenient person (seriously, just think about the kind of diplomatic row this would cause for a moment), sometimes I really don't think our societies are that much different in principle from, say, China. They are told they live in a free society, with a rule of law, no corruption and abuse of power etc., and it's not true; same for us. Maybe there's a difference in degree (China is probably still significantly worse in many ways), but we're not exactly living up to our own claims.

As for gas masks, I think it may be correct that they would slightly increase the risk — they're breathing aids, yes, but only in adverse conditions where the surrounding atmosphere as such is harmful. Of course, claiming that it was "likely" to cause "serious harm" is still patently ridiculous.

Sheesh, world, why do you have to be so stupid...

At least your photo's lovely. :)

Edited at 2012-08-18 07:12 pm (UTC)
I think that artificial nature to it - which I'd quite agree with - is actually part of the appeal in this case, for me. But then, maybe it tickles my cybernetics fetish. =:)

Hmmm. Think you might subject yourself to an expert bodypainting session someday? No idea how you'd go about it - presumably they're known in the right circles, and you sort of book a session/commission with them. Can't be cheap, given that amount of time and skill.. and then, of course, you need a photographer able to capture the results!

I wonder if that antenna design might work on land as well? I suppose so, but then again, on land it's easy enough to just stow such metal away when not in use. Still, it seems like something to try, just because. Maybe a cellphone version? =:)

Yep, that entry explains the situation very well. It's a truly bizarre situation - and, of course, as that law was being debated, people tried pointing out that such vague wording could easily give rise to highly questionable prosecutions, yet Labour ploughed on ahead with it.

It's quite surreal, seeing the UK threaten to storm an embassy - Hague excuses it on the basis of claiming to have an applicable law that would strip the premises of their status, but quite how that trumps the Vienna Convention, I'm not sure. Then again, the US and its allies have shown the Geneva Conventions are meaningless, given the continued use of torture at Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, and various other not-so-public locations - about which we hear zero governmental objection, from any of the parties in the UK, and indeed, outright encouragement in the US.

*sigh* I suppose it's as the old saw has it: the golden rule is that the one with the gold makes the rules. If you're a common taxpayer, being even slightly late with the full amount due will bring HMRC down on you - but if you're Vodafone, Goldman Sachs, or any number of other corporate tax evaders who shuffle the money around to pay minimal corporation tax, it hardly matters. Indeed, in UK Uncut's high court action against HMRC on their Goldman Sachs sweetheart deal, we even saw HMRC's lawyers joined by others from Goldman Sachs! Usually corruption isn't quite that blatant.

Thanks. ^_^ There was just something about the nature of those clouds, and that tall tower striking upward.. even though it wasn't really a very colorful shot, expert b&w photography shows it's hardly all about color.
Oh yeah... there's those that are cogs in the machinery, and those that own the machinery, and the latter get away with things that the former never would.

The whole bit about seizing the embassy by force is quite telling, too, when you think about it. If I remember correctly, Assange isn't even officially to be arrested in Sweden; they merely want to "question" him again. Why this can't be done in the UK, why they had to put out an arrest warrant and all that — that's their secret, but you could still pretend it's still just about a sex crime case in Sweden at this point. But storming an embassy, just so a Swedish prosecutor can have a chat with a guy? If nothing else, this is positive proof that someone's out for blood (and most likely not Sweden). Somebody behind the scenes must really be livid, and as such, no matter what you think of Assange, he probably had a good reason to seek asylum. Otherwise he'd most likely end up in the USA (although not necessarily on US soil) sooner rather than later, and any trial that he might get (if he'd be lucky enough to get one at all) would, in all likelihood, be a sham.

It really isn't my problem, but really — it's quite telling, and it speaks volumes about how the societies we live in REALLY work. Can you imagine the amount of string-pulling, sweet-talking, carrot-dangling and stick-wielding the USA must do behind closed doors? It's got to be quite astounding.

Hmmm. Think you might subject yourself to an expert bodypainting session someday? No idea how you'd go about it - presumably they're known in the right circles, and you sort of book a session/commission with them. Can't be cheap, given that amount of time and skill.. and then, of course, you need a photographer able to capture the results!

Heh. What IS it with you wanting to see photos of me all the time, anyway? :P
Not sure quite what you're getting at with the perchlorate info, unless you're suggesting perchlorate led to the oxidation of the carbon they used. For that would have to know what form it was in.

To be honest assuming that the carbon source they gave was in a form that could be metabolized by unknown extremophiles, and that said process would yield exhaled CO2.... that's making a whole lot of assumptions. That said, if you're designing an experiment you have to do something to look for organisms.