So, VancouFur recently took place. Unknown to anyone beforehand, the con hotel turned out to also be one of the Canadian government's venues for temporary housing of Syrian refugees. There were concerns that there might be something of a culture clash. What happened?
"One of many highlites [sic] to me was when the new group of Syrian Refugees children came in and got to interact with us. To them we were cartoons come to life, to us was a means to display our acting performance to a very appreciative audiance [sic]. Win win all around. The parents interacted too and took photos with us as well, so kewl."
"The interactions between our attendees and the Syrians were amazing," Trapa Civet, Vice Chairman of VancouFur told Mashable in an email. "I feel like the moment was just as magical for the performers as it was for the refugees."
Civet said they said advised attendees to be respectful of the refugees and even went to the trouble sending letters to the refugees translated into Arabic inviting them to join. The two groups crossed paths on Sunday morning.
In the end, they said, there was no shock at all but, rather, fun: "It is always a amazing feeling to see the expression of glee in a child's eyes in response to your costume and actions. Even the adults chose to jump in and get some hugs from our animal friends."
xyzzysqrl would like to share his wolf armor with you. =:D
A prog from BBC3 that might be of interest to some: Daft Punk Unchained: "This documentary explores this unprecedented cultural revolution, revealing two artists on a permanent quest for creativity, independence and freedom. Between fiction and reality, magic and secret, future and reinvention, theatricality and humility, The Robots have built a unique world. The film combines rare archive footage as well as exclusive interviews with their closest collaborators who talk about their work with Daft Punk, including Pharrell Williams, Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers and Michel Gondry."
The new Ghostbusters trailer is out! I am so looking forward to this. =:D
The New York Review of Books' feature, The Fierce Courage of Nina Simone is well worth a few minutes of your time. And on a rather different note - not that I've seen it myself yet - Mad Max: Fury Road, reviewed by the writer's 70 y.o. mother-in-law.
Serenity Caldwell reviewed the iPad Pro & Apple Pencil in appropriate style: drawn entirely thereon. ^_^ (I must remember to ask shatterstripes if she's tried them out yet) It does indeed sound like a very attractive option versus a Cintiq. Still not seeing what she means by her handwriting being "not great", though. ^_^
We stumbled upon quite the hidden cinematic gem on Friday night, Moonwalkers. ^_^ The roomie's discovery, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it. How does this tickle you? Ron Perlman is a CIA agent, tasked with getting Stanley Kubrick to shoot some "moon landing" footage, just in case the real landing doesn't work out. He winds up securing the services of a hack actor playing Kurick and a hopeless agent (Rupert Grint), with the latter owing much money to a not very nice man, The Ironmnonger, who's now taken the payment meant for said director. It's a brilliantly funny caper, even if not a little violent. Seek it out! From what I can see on IMDb, it's sort of crept out in a few countries, so you'll probably have to torrent it for now to actually see it.
Via schnee, a helpful flowchart on how to name animals in German.
So, here's a forthcoming comic of some interest: Angel Catbird, a superhero who's wound up getting spliced up with owl and cat genes. And it's written by Margaret Atwood, perhaps best known for The Handmaid's Tale.
Yay! One of my favorite TF flicks, Sssssss!, getting the HD treatment! It's a thoroughly daffy 70s horror film, based around a herpetologist's new assistant being unwittingly turned into a cobra.
Intriguingly, North Korea will be holding a Party Congress in May - the first since 1980. Of course, it's anybody's guess what will transpire - it's entirely possible it'll just be business as usual, but there's also the remote possibility of something more substantial. Might a Korean version of perestroika be in the offing?
A free sci-fi collection from an unlikely source: Future Visions. "Nine award-winning sci-fi authors – Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, David Brin, Nancy Kress, Ann Leckie, Jack McDevitt, Seanan McGuire and Robert J. Sawyer – and graphic novelist Blue Delliquanti were given access to people and resources at Microsoft Research, which has more than 55 areas of research within it. They chose the areas of research they wanted to explore. Among the many topics they absorbed were quantum computing, prediction analytics, virtual teleportation and computing that relates to emotion. The writers talked to researchers in person, asked questions and had candid conversations during packed, curated visits in the spring, aligned to their interests. The stories inspired by those visits are included in a 239-page collection of original short stories, illustrations based on each story by Joey Camacho, and a graphic novel."
Captions invited. ^_^ The two here were communicating by means of nosebump, when the adult suddenly leapt around in that 180 degree style rabbits can manage so dramatically - I happened to catch them at the very start of that. ^_^
Fancy a little fiendish guitarwork? How about this Japanese bank card advert, featuring the guitarist known as Li-sa-X. Yes, that is indeed her playing, and she's now the ripe old age of eleven. ^_^;
Rather curiously, the Eurovision Song Contest voting rules have been changed: "In previous years each country's jury and public votes were combined and announced in one go. Now the votes will be split with each country's jury vote cast first, and votes from viewers in all countries combined and announced at the end. Organisers say this will create a "dramatic finish" as the winner will only be revealed at the very end." I'm not sure about this at all, though it might be interesting to see the differences between the public and jury votes. The explanation does offer some good points, such as where the public and jury votes differ greatly, under the scheme as has been, the act might not place at all, and receive no points at all - now, that likely wouldn't be the case.
Here's a neat little bit of technological archaia: How the Teleprinter works, produced in 1940 by the GPO. (And for added nerd value, it's one of a fairly small number of films produced using Dufaycolor, an early process working along somewhat similar lines to digital camera sensors, with different, microscopic areas of the film sensitive to different ranges of color, rather than the more familiar film method of multiple layers)
I only just noticed! People's journals have RSS feeds. That might be something I could take advantage of, if I were to write a new OS X/iOS client. As is, I just use the plain web route on both Hazel and the iPad, but a dedicated client could offer some niceties, like showing how many postings friends have made since the last time you went about replying, offering a split view for someone's entry and your reply (particularly useful for replying to long entries), ensuring the style buttons *aren't* placed directly above the entry field, thereby getting obscured by iOS's "cut/paste/style" on selecting text on the first line or two of a reply, tagging an entry as "to reply to later", for easy returning to, and so on. What other things might appeal to you in such a client?
Saturday's viewing a couple weekends ago offered up a serendipitous choice: Burke & Hare, set in the very locale we'd just had the great pleasure of visiting. ^_^
I was rather upset, on Thursday's rabbiteering a few weeks ago, to witness a bun with some form of injury - they seemed to have either no control over, or no strength in, their hind legs, getting around purely by their front legs. Unfortunately, one of the others of the warren chose them to attack. It may be a bit much to hope, in the wild, but I must at least hope they remain safe. I don't know if I should publish any of these photos.. I suppose I should, as it did happen, but, I also lay no claim to being a documentary photographer. It probably only hurts anyone who's seen the peacefulness beforehand, albeit with them maintaining an odd poise, then that vigorous scuffle, and their subsequent isolation. However! A few days later, I noticed a bun with a slightly odd gait, but otherwise moving reasonably well - I could be thinking wishfully, but perhaps they are indeed recovering. ^_^ The population of the warren seems to be doing very well - I've observed peaks of up to eighteen on a few days, and once, twenty four, always including quite a few tinybuns. (I did finally remember to buy some raisins, too, and to scatter some of them out my the current prime spot; three times, actually. I do hope they find and enjoy them - they'll surely be a welcome change from the current slim pickings, especially with the current cold snap, with temperatures bouncing around freezing. And there I was, a few weeks ago, dismissing the need to pick up some gloves, thinking "ah, winter's gone now!" - ohhh, no, not just yet. It's not that it's been that cold, but when you're maintaining a still position, even a chilly breeze can freeze tender paws. For now, I just make do with taking a little break every half hour or so)
Speaking of tinybuns, here's a trio, probably no more than a couple weeks out of the warren, practising their synchronised eating: