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I finally got to see Inside Out a few days ago - ye gods and little fishes, I hadn't expected a Pixar production to be quite so emotionally intense, but then, given the narrative.. =:) Maybe just as well I didn't see it theatrically, else I'd've missed plenty through dabbing away tears. ^_^;

huskyteer particularly might want to check out the new iOS release "Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise", a rather stylish point & click adventure with a distinctly "classic Bond" vibe to it, in animation reminiscent of the era. And, coming soon is Leonardo's Cat, a puzzler based around creating contraptions to convey said moggy safely around the levels. It's aimed at a young audience, but looks well crafted enough to appeal to all - and, perhaps best of all, Leonardo's voiced by Patrick Stewart, with design by Michael Frith, whose resume includes The Muppets and Fraggle Rock. The character animation seems rather wanting, curiously.

Here's a talk by Douglas Adams, from about a month before his death, talking about Last Chance to See, at UCSB. It's transcribed from this video, recorded by the University.

The Atacama desert, normally one of the driest regions on the planet, is currently in bloom.

Compo of the week: Tanzania safari for two c/o the NHM, valued at £12k. (UK entrants only) Or, if you're a musical sort, how about a suite of classical instrument applications, totaling £1800/€2420? (Open worldwide, closes today, Oct 31 2015) Or maybe an eleven day tour of Taiwan?

A couple years back, Quantic Dream released what they termed a technology demo: the taut short Kara. At the time, they noted this wasn't a new game, just a demonstration of the PS3's capabilities. I'm absolutely delighted to see she'll be the protagonist of their forthcoming Detroit, for which you can see the trailer over here. The game 'carries the tagline "Become Human," explores what happens when Kara, an android, leaves her factory and explores a life she wasn't built for. Cage says the PlayStation 4 game will also explore the question "What does it mean to be human?"'

The Burj Khalifa's certainly very tall, but, it resides in a relatively meteorologically calm region. Consider, instead, the Taipei 101, right in there with typhoons and earthquakes (indeed, it's 660' from a major fault line), but still an impressive 509m tall. To achieve stability, then, they used a tuned mass dampener mounted high in the tower, weighing 660 tonnes. So far, the largest movement observed was 100cm, during typhoon Soudelor. Lifts, of course, are always a key feature in such structures - here, they run at 55' per second, or 37mph. =:D

Whitechapel is a true gin palace I must visit, modeled along the lines of a slightly steampunk Tube station - and sporting some 350 varieties of gin. =:D And even the food options are interesting, like "A Brace of Quail", being "stroopwafel, scotched quail egg, corn ash", "King's Porridge" as "kamut, runny yolk, brassicas & their juices", or the entirely literal "Haunch & Flagon", being a "bone-in hunk of meat, trimmings, and tankard of ale". =:D

Well, poop. Seems The Elbo Room, where I was first introduced - and how! - to the Long Island Iced Tea is closing, with the owners not renewing the lease. Still, it's enough of an institution that I wouldn't be surprised they'll be back somewhere else.

Don Bluth wants to make Dragon's Lair: the Movie, so they've taken to Kickstarter to try raising $550,000 to fund a teaser for investment in the full production, which they're estimating at some $70m.

I'd thought it came out a while back, but jenndolari pointed out the live action Jem and the Holograms is coming out in the US, though the studio's reckoning they'll do much better if they sit on the international releases for a few months. O.o; lovelyangel noted this review over on The Mary Sue that's actually quite positive. I suspect I'll love it. ^_^

Via davesmusictank, the Independent recently published a poll showing where the UK public stands on Corbyn's positions. The results are quite illuminating, with some modest surprises, depending on your own stances.

An interesting possible lead into a treatment for tinnitus: acetyl-L-carnitine ("ALCAR").

I don't suppose anyone has all of Sweet Valerian, a 26 episode anime series of three minutes each? Checking back in my DVD catalogue only shows some of them - I appear to be missing episodes 1-2, and 22-26. There's no official English sub release (or is there?), and there doesn't appear to be any sign of it on Usenet, nor even the Bay. There's a torrent listed on AnimeSuki, but seedless. (And I may well be missing more, depending which of the few DVD-Rs they're scattered across I can actually locate)
I like tall structures like that, perhaps because they're so rare here in these parts. Gremlins 2, with its Clamp building, also helped — first movie I watched in cinemas, I think, during a very impressionable time in my life. :) (Great movie, too, great fun.)

I seem to remember that Taipei 101 has a private club on the 101st floor as well, doesn't it? Would be fun to spend a few hours there, I'm sure.

Don Bluth wants to make Dragon's Lair: the Movie, so they've taken to Kickstarter to try raising $550,000 to fund a teaser for investment in the full production, which they're estimating at some $70m.

I wonder when we crossed the line from "it is possible to spend seventy million on a two-hour movie (if you've got the money)" to "it is necessary to spend seventy million on a two-hour movie". Best of luck to him, but shouldn't it be possible to strike a zero or two from that figure and still make a decent movie? I'm not saying every movie has to be made on an extreme budget where you spend 7,000 bucks on everything and that's it, but surely even half the million he's looking for for the teaser should be able to do something.

Now I'm wondering what the cost of past movies (both the average movie and famous movies) was when adjusted for inflation, too.
I actually don't know if I've seen Gremlins 2. ^_^; Definitely the original, of course.

I imagine part of the lack of super-tall towers in Europe may be just planning constraints, with local governments unwilling to have such extremes in the skyline - even the Shard is a mere 309m, by comparison. (I should get up there someday, though I might be more inclined toward the Eye. Could make for some cool sunset views over the city!)

Oo, I need to find out about that.. of course, I'm wondering what the menus are like. =:9

I'm nowhere near fmiliar with where the money goes, but even with many people either donating their time, or working for scale, ISTR Donnie Darko still ran in at around $7m. Start paying people normal rates, and you're back up to, say, Dredd's $40m. =:/

I wonder if Bluth is looking, as I'd imagine, at full-blown traditional animation? Even with inbetweening and coloring outsourced to Akom or the like, all those animators won't come cheaply. (I wonder how much an orchestral soundtrack adds? Let alone weird-ass wonderful fusions like the Tron Legacy soundtrack)

BTW, are those Tiny Horse socks available now? ^_^
Oh, do watch Gremlins 2. It's a delightful film.

It may well be local codes. Germany doesn't have much of a skyline anywhere, Frankfurt (Main) being the sole exception; in fact ten of the top ten tallest buildings in Germany are located there, according to Wikipedia. And applying what appears to be a standard definition of "skyscraper" (150 m or taller), there's apparently just one skyscraper in all of Germany that's not located in Frankfurt. In a way it's a shame; though I'm not sure I'd like to live in, say, NYC, I'd sure like to be able to take a look, perhaps visit a tall building and explore. :) The one in Taipei would be quite suited, I'm sure.

The stocking campaign ended and failed to raise its target amount, but since it was a flexible campaign it received the funds anyway.
"To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells."

I wouldn't mind a little relief from my tinnitus, though I've grown used to it over the years (the woman in the study seemed to have a much worse case).

Too bad that's not carotene in the study :o)

Agreed. The problem is that I read recently that anti-oxidant use can speed up the spread of cancer since the AO weakens resistance to cancer in some cells. Makes me a little leary. Plus, just one subject? I've had tinnitus for a few decades and a reduction would be most welcome.

There are times that it can be quite oppressive.
"We can cure your tinnitus.. but.. there are some rather.. severe side-effects."

".. like what?"

"Well, not to put too fine a point on it, you'll become an anthropomorphic rabbit. You'll still be you, I must emphasise, but you'll develop tall ears, fur all over, and a tufty tail. I'm sorry. It's obviously up to you whether you'd want to accept."

"Are you kidding? Give it to me now!"


BTW, are you on SL?
:D I'd not want to be a bunny with tinnitus!

I'm not on SL; my closest attempt at RPGs was furry muck, long ago and very far away.

My social media, per se, is limited to two Facebook accounts, three DreamWidth accounts (rarely used, and generally just a fallback area when lj annoys me too greatly) Twitter, and of course my two lj accounts.
Whitechapel looks awesome! Don't know when I'll get out to the Bay again, I'll have to try to remember it.

Atacoma looks awesome! I've seen lots of photos of it, from talking about building observatories in the area to Top Gear's Chile episode, that would really be something to see.

Jem: yeah, it's showing here. I didn't know anything about it, but I just watched the trailer. Honestly, it looks entertaining, but I'll probably wait for it to hit TV. It's kind of odd that the studio would sit on it when the numbers for just about every movie that I look at shows that it does as good or better worldwide than just in the US.
It's really my kind of place. ^_^ I'd love to read more about just why they chose that theme. I wonder if they might offer the exterior a bit of the inside's wonderment? As is, it looks tremendously ordinary from the street. On the other paw, no need to attract too many people.. I suspect it'll be busy enough anyway. ^_^

Ah, if I had the money to simply hop on a flight to see the Atacama as it currently is, I'd be there. ^_^ This is such a rare occasion, not to mention outstandingly beautiful. Maybe there'll be more travel in store for me in coming years, if things go well. I'd love to return to East Asia and Australia, and I've yet to venture south of San Diego, let alone into South America. Ah, so much to see, so little money to make it happen..

I wonder how long it'll be on the screens? Most likely it'll be gone by the time I arrive - even if I heard good news on, say, the 13th, I'd still need a week or two to get the room either boxed for shipping or discarded, arranging the flight, and giving myself an opportunity or two to take Mum out for a good evening's dining. ^_^ (And hey, that'd let me partake of the White Horse's Barleywine & Old Ale Festival in late November =:)

It's interesting to see the international proportions steadily rise - Apple used to see around 30%, while now, it's more like 60%. I wonder if Wolfram Alpha could help with historical data for the film industry..

Weirdly, Disney remains a holdout with these delayed releases - Big Hero 6, f'rex, debuted in the US on Nov 7 2014, but was kept from the UK until Jan 30 2015. I used to be able to have some sympathy when copies of actual film reels cost $30k apiece, so studios were sometimes reluctant to make more than necessary, or commit to a wide release until they'd seen early good results, but Disney, for a major release, in this age of digital projection?
Disney is a royal PITB when it comes to video releases. They release something for a few months, then it goes away for YEARS. I've been trying to find a reasonably priced copy of the first Aladdin movie for ages, to no avail. A couple of months ago they announced that it would be released soon on Bluray, so I was finally able to get a copy. I stumbled upon a used copy of Wreck It Ralph, and it also not long ago came out on digital. I bought Big Hero 6 as soon as it was available.

A small part of me died when Disney bought Pixar. Pixar has always been remarkable for NOT spewing out sequel after sequel, a complete juxtaposition with Disney. Now I'm afraid that they'll get infected with sequelitis. But they haven't yet, so either they're still sufficiently independent or Disney is lulling us in to a false sense of security.

I would expect that Jem will be gone from the theaters by the time you get here, so either you'll get to catch it over there or you won't have a long, if any, wait for it to come out on digital here.

When we flew to Germany in June I got to see Shaun the Sheep on the outbound flight, at least a month before it opened here. It might have been the opening week in the EU, I'm not sure. You're right, it made sense when prints were tens of thousands of dollars to make and ship, but with digital, there's no reason why you can't release worldwide on the same weekend. Especially when the term 'weekend' has morphed to mean 'whatever day of the week we want'. Burnt was shown at 9pm Thursday night here, even though officially it opened Friday, and that's extremely common for most new releases.

The only reason that I can think of is they like holding promotional junkets for bigger movies and it's hard to move stars around the world quickly, so that makes a little sense as to why they'd not release worldwide on the same day. I believe EU and Asia are sometimes getting films before their USA release, but I'm sure the preponderance is still USA then elsewhere for American-made films.
Inside Out is a great Pixar film and so emotional. Made me quite tearful i must say.
It releases on digital here next week, I'll be getting a copy. We really enjoyed it in the theater, Lewis Black and Paula Poundstone are two of my favorite comedians so it was great 'seeing' them in the same film.

Up was also an excellent tear-jerker.
Agreed. Up is another favourite of mine.
Heh, I spotted Agent A in the app store on Friday and have been playing it all weekend! Lots of fun.
I'm a bit late to the party, but just speaking as a bit of a fan of the original Jem & The Holograms cartoon, I don't hold much hope for the live-action adaptation.
The comic series from IDW, though- that really seems to have built on the concept. I confess the original Sunbow cartoon series was in many ways mediocre, but I really love what the comic has done with color, the variety of body types in their character designs, and the overall feel is just truly outrageous.