Monday, August 31, 2009

Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator

via @annietown

Real BMW Transformer?

Closest thing I could find to a BMW Transformer on the interweb.

This video has the designer talking about the concept.

This video shows the skin in motion

Sunday, August 30, 2009

James in Washington DC!

James Bowthorpe passes the Washington Monument as he cycles through Washington D.C.Supercharged James has just made it across America REALLY FAST with NO REST DAYS!
DC, went past pointy obelisk thing, missed White house, back on route after pleasant bike path. B'more next, red/green lights permitting!
He's getting ready to collapse in New York for a day soon though. Reno, is he staying with you?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day Tripper

I treated myself to a new car for my birthday.

Yes, it's a BMW - 335i xDrive. Yes, I am now officially yuppie scum.

I decided to go for a little day trip to get a feel for the car. It's a dream, by the way. 6 cylinder twin turbos. 300 hp. 0-60 mph in 5.4 sec. Terrific acceleration. Fun to blow past people on the interstate.

Also it was a beautiful day. Skies don't get this blue - not like Hawaii blue anyway - often in MN. Oooh, little fluffy clouds.

I decided to drive the 2 hours south of the twin cities to humble Austin, Minnesota - home of Hormel, meat packers extraordinaire, but more importantly, home to the SPAM Museum. In my 9 years here in exile in the midwest, I have disgracefully never made the pilgrimage to the holy land of pork products - until now.

Exterior shot of the humble museum. Note the bronze farmer taking his bronze pigs to the slaughter/smelting house.

Interior of the SPAM Museum - wall of 3390 cans of SPAM over the entrance - no significance to the number, it's all they could stuff in there.

Learned cool stuff about SPAM - more than 6 BILLION cans produced since the 1930s. Confirmed comforting facts that Hawaii is that state that does in fact consume the most SPAM per capita.

What I didn't know was that Guam reportedly consumes more. Good reason to keep them a protectorate.

Saw neat examples of previous packaging and advertising, including this monotone "special economy label" can from the WWII.

Wonder if there's still viable SPAM inside...

Learned about the role of SPAM in WWII, the lend-lease program, aid to the Russians, how it was ubiquitous for US service men.

There were videos from different chefs from around the world demonstrating various SPAM recipes. Sam Choy made SPAM musubi - shot at Breakfast, Lunch, and Crab.

But the most interesting thing, for me anyway, is that they showed how to decipher the code on the bottom of every can.

Of course they had the Monty Python SPAM skit on endless loop.

I bought the requisite SPAM T-shirt - plus got a free can of SPAM with T-shirt purchase. Got a SPAM tie too. They really should have SPAM musubi for sale there. I'm totally jonesing for one and I haven't figured out how to get the shoyu glaze right. I should call my Aunty....

So then I drove back north towards the twin cities through Owatonna. I figured since I was down there anyway, I should stop in Cabela's because my technologists are always talking about it - Costco for the outdoorsman.

It got off to a good start. There was an impressive bronze statue outside of 2 bucks, well, bucking.

Detail of one of the bucks below - I shot pictures up at the blue sky a lot today.

Inside, not so fun for me. There are big tanks of fish with examples of different species from the region, but they didn't look terribly healthy and it was kind of sad. No pictures taken of the sickly fish.

The walls are lined with the stuffed heads of different species of mammalia and mounted fish - didn't take pictures of them either. They have displays with stuffed animals akin to the Museum of Natural History in NYC. I had the same reaction I had to the Natural History Museum. Sad that the kids there (and the 'rents think this is a good place to take their kids for an edjumacation while they shop for ammo) thought it was so cool. Better to see the animals alive at a zoo. Or dead on the plate. Either way.

This is the largest display, located in the middle of the store.

Off to the side of the display.

Look at the sea of haole-ness shopping for guns in the left corner. Admittedly, the gun library - yes it's called the gun library - was kind of neat. It's where they display authentic antique guns for sale - Henry repeaters, Winchesters, Colt Navy revolvers, semi-auto Thompsons, etc.

Guns and knives and bows and arrows - oh my.

I walked around a bit. Clandestinely took some pictures. Left without buying a thing.

There's a small airport not too far from Cabela's where this Thunderbirds statue lives. I stopped to take pictures of the statue.

Yet another picture I took staring directly into the sun.

And then I drove back home. I should have taken a picture of all the bug guts splattered on my previously pristine windshield.

Anyway. That was my day trip. Just wanted to share. Miss you guys/gals.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ultimate Muscle Roller Legend (NSFW)

Warning!! Not suitable for work. Not suitable for home. Possibly suitable in some parts of Japan and the place where this comes from.

I showed this to my girlfriend and she says she gets this better than that photo of the guy and his cat (aw! now a private flickr photo). Do you 'get this' as well?

There is even a story:
Deep in the forest lived Billy and his charming companions. They peacefully honed their bodies and listened to music there. But a wave of development came upon the forests. One who would turn all to road. Kagamine Rin had come. Billy must stop the construction before all is turned to road.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yay! A Thousand times YAY!

Fuck-me-boots? You be the arbiter!

Normally I'm not one to dwell on cosplay girls (cough), or World of Warcraft(cough cough). Nor do I enjoy the combination of cosplay and world of warcraft (hack cough cough) But damn, if that isn't some impressive footwear! After looking at the rest of the photoset I notice the tail is a bit weak though.

Totally lifted from Kotaku with great thanks!

Researchers Create Portals to Other Universes

Science Daily: In which Those Who Wonder About the Universe bring us ever closer to science-fiction and fantasy!

In the research paper, the researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Fudan University in Shanghai describe the concept of a "a gateway that can block electromagnetic waves but that allows the passage of other entities" like a "'hidden portal' as mentioned in fictions."

The fact that this comes out of a scientific article and not some video game manual freaks me out to no end (in a titillatingly good way):

The gateway, which is now much closer to reality, uses transformation optics and an amplified scattering effect from an arrangement of ferrite materials called single-crystal yttrium-iron-garnet that force light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation in complicated directions to create a hidden portal.

WUT??? They stole that line straight from Star Trek. We're going to be attacked by species 8472, aren't we.

Friday, August 21, 2009

30 rock porn

finally. "beep beep, bop bop. I'm a black robot motherfucker." Totally SFW.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zombie/Literature Mashup

This comes courtesy of Mr. Tanji. I thought some people here would find this interesting, also.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Graph of fantasy book cover art

In which unicorns and fuck-me pumps sadly lag far behind swords, glowy magic, and completely dark covers of meaninglessness.

I wonder if [this chart] will prove that glowy magic, while prevalent, might not guarantee glowy sales? Or if unicorn-lovers represent a vast untapped market? It wouldn't surprise me. More research is clearly needed, but this is an important starting point and I'd be prepared to devote literally minutes to the task if that's what it takes.

Edging dangerously closer and closer to the dreaded Cocopunk...

Can I just say that this proposal fills me with dread?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I have the pants and I invite all the parties!

The future of language and communication, at Translation Party.

Interesting! The actual meaning of "May the force be with you" finds equilibrium in... JUNE 5, 2007.

How Americans Spend Their Day

I thought this was particularly interesting: The NYT's interactive graph (for Ponay: an intergraph) of how Americans spend their day.

There's a lot of useful information to be gleaned, here. For example:

65+ people watch a lot of TV.

People with advanced degrees are slow eaters.

You people with two children sure appear to work a lot.

Under Personal Care, apparently Americans spend an average of 54 seconds on "personal or private activities," like having sex.

Oh No Another Game That Will Eat Your Day

Splitter 2

One Solution for the Bad Driving Problem

referring to "I dun get it"...More douchepocketry!

Happened to me yesterday at the University of Hawaii. I was going to the Health services Department, and this douchepocket actually honked, sped up, and went past me, in in order to get to the Health Services Department. I guess his scorching case of herpes was more important than my MMR vaccination.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Essay: Why the end of BSG was fracking horrible.

(with spoilers, if you haven't seen it)

Let me start by saying that I loved the show. I was excited to see every episode from the mini series until Daybreak. I think the introduction of the Opera House combined with Bear McCreary's The Shape of Things to Come (below--damn I wish I could find video of it!) is in all honesty the best thing I have ever seen on television.

But the further away I am from the final episodes the more I'm with this guy, Brad: Battlestar's "Daybreak:" The worst ending in the history of on-screen science fiction.

It's a long essay. Here's my shorter version.

By "worst", he means disappointing. I definitely agree. Ron Moore had set the bar so much higher than anyone expected, and thus had such a very long way to fall. The ending for V may have been crap, for example, but the whole show was kind-of-crap, so no problem. But Moore set out with some very ambitious goals and succeeded in a glorious way--until the end--when he completely contradicts the basic principles and characters that he set out to create. (For those of you who've read Pullman's Dark Materials I'd say the same thing applies [but worse])

Evidently Moore started the show with a manifesto that included the following tenets:
1. Keep the science real.
2. Avoid SF cliches (time travel, god-like powers)
3. Focus on strong, real characters, no stereotypes.
4. Focus on realism.

He shat on all of those ideas and others, especially during the all-important, explain-it-all-ending.

1. The science was bad, and just plain silly. Mitochondrial eve is a theoretical woman who gave us our mitochondria (first calculated by Hawaii's Dr. Cann, who made me grind up a bird once). Plenty of other women were alive at the time and making babies, but the point is that all males who passed on their genes at some point made babies with Hera/Eve or one of Hera's female ancestors, thus spreading her mitochondria. She's hardly the saviors of the human race. More like a galactic slut. And if she had died someone else would have taken her place. Not a big deal except that sooo much of the story was focussed on Hera as being the key to everything... and this is what Moore meant?!? Great.

2. It's obvious who he wanted us to see as being behind the curtain & pulling the strings. Even if he just HAD to do it, there were so many ways he could have done it better! At the very least, change Baltar's last words from "he" to "it", or "she", or "they" or something! How hard is that?!?

3. Complicated characters became simple agents doing "God's plan". Everyone who's spacey is an angel. The leader of a whole separate cylon faction ends his reign by shooting himself in the head. Apollo just wants to go exploring. And Moore said this about the ending: "it's the characters, stupid." Really? Huh.

4. Realism? Right. The second half was phoned in and a brainless way to tie up major characters and loose plot lines with one big, unrealistic bow. I will punch anyone in the face who says that the decision to leave all technology behind makes any fracking sense whatsoever. It is ridiculous. It contradicts everything they were fighting for during the entire run of the show. It points the finger at technology as the cause of all our ills instead of the human condition. Moore did it was because he couldn't leave any technology behind for realism's sake. He thought that having a parallel universe wasn't real enough, and finding the Galactica in modern-day Earth would be too jarring. Wow. Thanks. A whole population of space-faring people agree with one man's stupid idea to hunt with sticks for the rest of their life. That's much more realistic.

Anyway, that's my (+/- Brad's) two cents. I don't think we've ever actually discussed the ending in any detail... I'd be curious as to what you guys think about it now that we've all had some time to let it simmer.

Speaking of frak.....

I feel vindicated. I found the sump that's been sucking up all the props that have been on the Propworx Ebay Auction House. I was wondering who topped my bid for Tyrol's shirt and undershirt (there's only a couple characters size Large dammit! She shoulda sniped Boomer's or Starbuck's or something...)

Hey, What the... Frak... I guess... I don't know! Frak!

Despite the amount of critical love that was displayed for the show during its run, I wouldn't call Moore's "Galactica" a phenomenon. It was more like a very enthusiastic and vocal cult audience. As a result, Universal seems to feel that there's more life in the property, and that there is room for another interpretation.

That's why they're nearing a deal with Bryan Singer to produce and possibly direct a brand-new "Battlestar Galactica" feature film.

Keep in mind that this apparent reboot is different from the Richard Hatch-helmed reboot. And not at all related to the Moore/Eick reboot that's occupied 35% of some of our brains for the past couple of years.

Is this reboot fever a disturbing trend? Mrs. Pony used to work on graphics for Broadway shows, and she's said that when economic times get tough, producers shy away from new shows and switch to revivals. Wonder if this is the same impulse.

via @mollywatanabe

Manticores are apparently Awesome.

I'm not exactly sure how this occurred other than it just being publicly available, but one of my pictures seems to be awesome. I don't know what this will mean for future generations. But I got a note in my flickr inbox telling me I had been nominated for an "awesome-off" i don't think there's a prize or anything, other than the satisfaction of knowing that you can be awesome.

For the reader's information, this drawing was a conceptual sketch for a photographic tableau piece I made back in late 2001. It never really saw the light of day, and the show it was featured in was a met with mixed reviews and almost zero attendance. It was considered "too dark" for the times we were occupying. Who knows. maybe the Manticore will have a renaissance after all.
Here is an excerpt from a much huger photograph. (We are talking like 14 feet long.)

Manticores will always hold a special place in my heart. But so will so many other monsters.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Drawn Out @TCMHonolulu

This is was the Drawing thing at The Contemporary Museum Honolulu was like. About 30 artists at one table made drawings to sell for $20 per to benefit the museum's children's education programs.

All in all, it was pretty fun. There were some really talented people there, and lots of folks I enjoyed talking to, as well as a few old friends. My photographs are intentionally crappy to better protect the identities of everyone present, probably. The rest of the event looked like this.

My finest moment came when I found myself sitting across from Masami Teraoka while drawing a picture of fucking Rom, Spaceknight. I was so very the opposite of proud. I think the only thing I did that I thought really worked was this picture of Hydra Agents yelling.

The rest of the stuff I did (and photographed) is here.

Wasn't a totally wash, though. I snagged this sweet drawing by local artist Cade Roster.

Biggest Thing, entry #4

LEGO Store Opening Weekend


Here are the photos I took at the LEGO Store on the opening weekend. The inscription on the statue, by the way, translates to "Thirty Years of Building and the Sky's the Limit".

Ukulele Ska Awesomeness

Fugu's post from a couple of days ago reminded me of this extraordinarily groovy one man overdub band version of the Skatalites' classic. I actually bought a melodica after watching this. I also love the fact that he's using an old hubcap resting on the snare as a hi-hat substitute.

It is Pukele Stream.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

LEGO myth busting

The Ballad of G.I. Joe

For those of you who haven't seen it. Starring Alexis Bledel, Billy Crudup, Julianne Moore, Henry Rollins, Alan Tudyk, and more.

Star Wars from how it should have

cute shorts with different movie endings at the site. character design reminds me of Mr. Pony's early work back in the days of the 'hou.

the only thing, when did they have Fugu model for Solo?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gainsbourg ukulele cover

Les Dupons cover Gainsbourg's Chez Les Yeyes.

Larry Marder does a Cover Cover

To celebrate Marvel Comics' 70th anniversay, Larry Marder, creator of Tales of the Beanworld creates a cover cover using some interesting rules. Check it out!

via @larrymarder

Monday, August 10, 2009

Eddie Izzard: On Mass Murderers

Since we're on the subject, and Panic mentioned that whole magic number and empathy thing, and it's Eddie Izzard, after all...

Bonus! I hadn't seen this one before!

Night of the Weirdy Thing?

Dear Mr. Pony-

If you remember what this is, is it possible that a copy still exists? It would be almost 20 years old now. (hint) It would literally cause my brain to explode with joy if this were to be converted somehow and posted on Youtube.

If not, then perhaps an illustrated recap to the best of your recollection?



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hiroshima photos

The Boston Globe often has some really good photo sets, and this one came out last week.

Odori's post made me think of this shot of the Army engineers, which really leaves me uncomfortable. Not that the others don't, but it's just got this feel of ambivalence to it, like, "Okay, looks like we blew up this place pretty good. Next..." Though I'm sure that's not fair. That guy on the right (played by a young Harrison Ford) could easily be thinking, "Oh fucking god. We just did what?"

Atom bombs

The U.S. dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 64 years ago this week. This seems to underscore how we are still learning how horrific those weapons are:

NAGASAKI (Kyodo) A team of researchers has succeeded in photographing radioactive rays coming from the cells of people who died in the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

The pictures are evidence that the nuclear "death ash" continues to emit radiation from a corpse even after 60-plus years, according to Kazuko Shichijo, an assistant professor at Nagasaki University, a member of the team.

I also read an article in the Japanese magazine Aera this week claiming the U.S. used the weapons _ even though it believed Japan was already on the verge of surrendering _ to see how the bombs affected humans. In other words, the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were experimental guinea pigs for the U.S. military. As evidence, the article noted the U.S. dropped a uranium bomb on Hiroshima and a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki - and sent in researchers to examine residents in both cities as soon as the war was over.

I think this raises a good point - why did the U.S. use a plutonium bomb in Nagasaki on Aug. 9 if it already saw the uranium bomb worked in Hiroshima on Aug. 6?

The U.S. line has always been that President Truman ordered the bombs used to save lives in the view millions of Japanese and Americans would have died during a U.S. invasion of the mainland.

My dad, who survived the extremely bloody Battle of Okinawa in and was scheduled to join the mainland invasion as a grunt in the Marine Corps, tended to agree with this view. But it's an issue worth studying.

Kinds of Robots We'll Have in the Future

Kinds of Robots We'll Have in the Future
Originally uploaded by spacesick

Self Explanatory, really.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Draw the biggest thing Entry #3

The Biggest Thing!

We Can Make Things Cars

Draw the biggest thing Entry #2

This is all of reality, turned inside out. The infinity of space that was inside the universe now instead extends outside of it, where there is more space for it to expand into. Infinitely more. This the the hugest thing, guys. Even though it is theoretical only, and not possible to do.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Lovecraftian Friday afternoon.

Admittedly a lesser Lovecraft piece, but I thought it worked well.

Draw the biggest thing Entry #1

This is the biggest thing. It is a black and white drawing of the biggest thing ever. I don't have an imagination large enough or capable enough to draw this to scale appropriate for a viewing audience. My brain doesn't have the capacity to zoom out that far. Why? Because this is so big, and my brain is so human.

Big Things

New drawring contest: draw the biggest thing.

Submissions are rated on speed rather than accuracy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's what's inside that counts.

Ferris Bueller/Fight Club Theory

With news of John Hughes' death today, I thought I'd post this thing from Metafilter I mentioned before. It's an alternate interpretation about the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, with all the goings on of the day, including Ferris Bueller himself, being figments of Cameron's imagination.
One day while he's lying sick in bed, Cameron lets "Ferris" steal his father's car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the "three" characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day -- Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn't until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane ("He's gonna marry me!"), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.

A little like Tyler Durden, in Fight Club. Actually, a lot of movies are more interesting if you apply this story overlay to them.

Love Story: One Man's Quest to Tip Larger & Larger Things Over in Order to Send a Message to a Special Lady

This movie is a little long, but it really speaks for itself.

Note: There is a theory (set to some familiar music) that the man in this movie may actually be Steve Rogers, or a clone of Steve Rogers.

Waiola Shave Ice is Famous

Shot this a couple of weeks ago at the Waiola Store, where the shave ice, in my opinion, a better mouth-experience than the ever-so-slightly overrated Matsumoto Shave Ice.

This goes out to AI-BU9 and Demon and Helpwillcome, among others. We were talking the other day, and well, we miss you guys.