zustifer: (Goggalor)
I wonder if there has ever been an article in a clothes-centric magazine on cargo pants or skirts, entitled 'Cargo Cult.' I think that would be fairly excellent.
zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Enter Lydia (with camera))
The PBS show 'History Detectives' is not uninteresting, although it's for some reason never actually gripping enough that I seek it out (I suspect the fictionalisation of a hunt for information, glossing over long hours in this or that library, the expert advice that feels flat and weirdly too-well-suited (no long rambling conversation in which important information emerges)).
Anyhow, I was flipping channels a little while ago and ran across an ad for it, which I stayed and paid attention to long enough to figure out what the advertised show was, and why they were using the opening (and titular line) of 'Watching the Detectives' as a soundtrack.
I am somewhat amused to imagine Elvis Costello amiably agreeing that it was fine for PBS to use the song (I know they can't have the budget to pay much for it), but I am also amused by the metadescriptive aspect of this song, delineating not the content of the show but the relation the viewer has with it. Yes, I guess I am watching the detectives. Thank you for making that so clear.
zustifer: (Forget Jones)
These guys have missed out on the opportunity to totally condescend to us with an infographic. Past peak, indeed. I want 'Foliage Notably Absent' or 'Foliage Under Snow or Ice'. And in spring, 'Foliage Still Forming. Please check back in six months.'
zustifer: (hedgehog picto)
Aww, cute, Rip Slyme (the band with the afterfx puppets and hand creatures) has done a takeoff on some Meiji chocolate packaging for their album cover.

In situations like this, I always want to post on the forum in question and be like [Gary-spilled-his-ear-medicine voice] This is actually a style-parody of a very common brand of chocolate! Now you know! [/G-s-h-e-m v] But then I realise that this would be pointless and no one would care.
zustifer: (Nivlem says See Here)
One try, suckers!
I guess all those dog cognition classes have FINALLY PAID OFF.

BREEDS ARE A CONSTRUCT CREATED BY THE MAN! FIGHT THE POWER!
(actually, this is true, although it is way more convenient to refer to dogs by breed than to be all 'my dog is a floppy-eared long-muzzled type with piebald coat, standing about two feet high. He has herding tendencies, but no retrieving tendencies.')


I will also go on record saying that this new posting format is not that great. Arial is too narrow, and LJ, like so many others, has failed to specify font color for the subject input field where they've specified the background color, leaving me with a fun cream-on-white experience (my color scheme is light on dark).
zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Enter Lydia (with camera))
The other day I was coming home from work, and WERS was having its acapella segment. It was not that exciting (except that I now know what 'Jolene' is about), but there was a version of 'Such Great Heights,' done by a couple of equivalently wispy-voiced girls. I'd never heard all the lyrics before, whether from unwillingness to sit through the whole song or from difficulty in understanding whatsisname; but now I have, and now I know that there's a hole in the lyrics large enough to drive an mean-spirited video interpretation through. (You may not want to read this if you're one of those people who both likes this song and can have associations ruin things for them.)

Okay, so at the beginning, the protagonist is being self-consciously sappy about his (presumably) girlfriend, who's away on some trip. He's saying things about how he misses her and he wants her to come home. In fact the whole song is only about missing someone, not about how actually being with them is (and this is fuel for the popularity fire in certain circles. It's easy to idealize someone who's not actually present; all the iconic love-stuff can be projected onto them in their absence). This is important because once the chorus arrives, the point of view is shifted ('They will see us waving [...etc]'). Imagining a video for this song, it's not unreasonable to picture at this point a low angle shot of some people in grey suits and ties shading their eyes against the bright sky and motioning the inexplicably flying emo avatars to return to earth.
(Having this shot from the perspective of the singer doesn't work all that well, because the 'come down' gesture would be hard to read and the consternation of the 'they' would be invisible. Also I'd argue that thinking of the singer and his chick as unattainably far away, if only emotionally, is exactly what the songwriter wanted. They'll never understand us! Man!)

So, okay, in some small way, our perspective is placed with the earthbound normal people, the ones not in love or whatever. By wanting to place his awareness both with the observers and the observed, Mr. songwriter has made it fair game to apply 'everything looks perfect from far away' from both viewpoints. It's supposed to be applied from the viewpoint of the fliers, who are above the troubled world and don't have to care about it because they are reenacting a scene from Superman. However, the people on the ground can also think this about the fliers. How good is their relationship? I, the listener, don't actually know, all I hear is someone pining away for someone who is absent. There is no information on whether when they're together they're actually happy, or whether their relationship only looks perfect from far away.

And this is how I'd play it. I'd do a nice straightforward live-action video with cutely halfassed effects (to indicate the low production values necessary for those in love (ha, no, seriously to red-herring away from the actual intent of the video to subvert the ostensible message)), but whenever there was a shot of the couple flying around hand in hand, I'd make sure they were at arm's length and never quite looked at each other. Ooh, better yet, only looked at each other at arm's length. Maybe a couple of unexplained tear-stained faces. Just a couple of other little telltales that indicated that they weren't really actually comfortable around one another, that the relationship that they thought they had when they were apart wasn't anything like the one that seemed to be there when they got together. I'm sure it could get pretty sinister, but I think playing it subtle would be the way to go.
zustifer: (Default)
[Poll #844738]

I always want to do things like name machines after people (GLENN_SHADIX) or weird things (FOURTH_SCULPTURE). Some of the names that make even some amount of sense (MECHAZAWA, frinstance) would really require some casemodding to be proper. Ah well.

Oh, heck, MYCON. That's a good one too.
zustifer: (Boring)
Not to get too Enid Coleslaw on you, but oh good god I CANNOT find a simple black/white, blue/cream, or black/grey longsleeve striped reasonably closefitting shirt. This is about as close as I can come, but it is large and mannish, and the stripes are frankly too big. Also, o gross, urban outfitters. Ebay has failed me. I hate stuff.
zustifer: (Nivlem says See Here)
Maybe this says more about me than about the languages involved, but I don't think any of these german examples is particularly inelegant or ugly. Jeez, it's sensical (uh, generally) and as my old teacher used to say, 'so logisch.'
Maybe I really should take that programming class. My art gland is clearly broken.

Also won't-fit-anywhere observation: when you're in a car and most of the low- and midrange of music on the radio is being white-noised out (and the volume isn't up too high), a lot of songs sound like they could be David Byrne.

Also also: I want a way to graph LJ usericon usage in relation to tags.



* 'The good salamander shoe!' From an ad for Salamander-brand shoes. I used to wear them when I was little. My wordpress blog that I don't use now is the number one hit for this search string still, somehow.
zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Miss Argentina)
This animation school was lunk yesterday by mefi, and although I'd seen all the 2d stuff already, I thought to myself, Self, lettuce see how their 3d stuff looks, because kids doing their thesis are probably going to be inspirationally good at such an obviously good school. And thus I looked. And in close juxtaposition, the 3d stuff looked... dead. Something was wrong. And I think I have finally worked out what it is, and it's not even complicated. Minimal deformation (in the 2d sense of outline & mass distribution change) and squash/stretch. 3d models never deform nearly as much as their 2d counterparts. And yet, they're animated similarly otherwise, and sometimes the gestures are cranked way up to compensate for lack of form change. This looks in the end like a half-finished process, where stuff sure does move fancy (and OFTEN, GOD, every damn word has to have a hand-flail), but there's no overextension of limbs to wind up an extravagant gesture, there's no head squish in wacky takes. Damn it! And ALL THIS TIME, I thought I just sucked at 3d, because I couldn't make anything look good (in my favored style). I thought that Dreamworks was hiring the wrong people, or... I don't know. But it's all in the rig. In short, you can make it move the way you want, but you can't make it change shape the way you want. Unless you have a superfancy setup.

I believe Pixar has brought in some deformation to their characters, and CERTAINLY they have in Cars. This is probably why they made it, as proof of concept for mobile form-changin' characters. So that's why everything with a budget less than Pixar Feature Film still looks like Jimmy Neutron.

Now, of course, 'hyper-realistic' game anims shouldn't probably be able to do any of this, except... maybe a little.



* Title from the dinosaur mailing list I follow.
zustifer: (Karma)
Okay, I guess spider-spoiler. But not much of one.

I came across this image, for a current Spider-man story. One which I don't much care about, mind you, but I noted a chance to flog a personal pet annoyance. This annoyance is heroic worm's eye jaws. Guess what, folks, when your viewpoint is below a person's chin level, you'll see some of the underside of their chin.

Click me. Who cares about spoilers, which are putative anyway. )



* Chibi Robo
zustifer: (Mrs. White)
If I had the legs for it, this would totally be my costume this Halloween.

Nick will now show up and make an observation about dressing up as multiple people.
zustifer: (mycon)
Hey, anyone know a lot about the Harry Potter universe? I'm wondering about the difference between photos and paintings. Photos seem to be mostly non-autonomous little video clips; can they ever react to events outside the photo? Are they imprints of the subject's personality, or are they more rigid recordings of events?
Paintings can learn, and be given tasks (I know they can learn, to keep abreast of current events if nothing else, and much is made of their gossipping and disapproving of things). They seem to be more like automatons with the personality-snapshot of their subjects. As far as I know, I've never seen reference to a painting which existed at the same time as its subject; is that because of the (relatively) free will of the painting, and thus its ability to diverge from its original subject? Is a painting like a little self-aware homonculus? Is it always somewhat limited and simplified, or can it attain more complete awareness?
And, are all paintings connected, or just ones within sight of each other or those specifically joined to one another?
And, finally, if a singular latinate word referring to an animate corpse ends in '-ius', the plural is then '-ii'. I am looking at you, Ms. Rowling.
zustifer: (leilei)
You know what would be expedient? If LJ interests and LJ tags could somehow be crossed, so that tag-interests could somehow grow organically out of what tags you use and how often. That way it's meaningful all by itself, as opposed to constructed to hopefully be meaningful. (I was just going back and tagging entries, and happened upon my big whiny post about LJ interests.)
However, the way you'd use tags would have to be a little different (categories could be less broad and such), but whatever. It's easier to put names to concrete things you are currently talking about than to divide your whole consciousness into named piles.

Also I would really like a way to mass-tag things on LJ, as lastfm does it, f'rinstance. Going back and tagging entries one by one is so much for chumps that it's all over you screen.
zustifer: (carla)
So I was thinking about nicknames. I've never had one myself (my name doesn't nickname easily and I was not visible to people during those times that peers give you nicknames (and if that weren't the case it probably would have been horrible anyway)), but I've known people who have, obviously. They always seem to be completely born of happenstance, whether it's the name you've got that's shortenable, or whether you did or looked like something in formative years (or conceivably you worked or hung out with people who shared your first name). But I noticed a few weeks ago when that rave shooting was being talked about that, look at that check-in list. Almost everyone has a nickname. What makes this group of kids have such a high nickname rate? Also I know that lots of mindracing's friends have them, but I don't really know how they all came about.
Naming yourself, via a handle or such, is different. A nickname has to stick on its own merits, and I daresay it has to be given by another (although if you're really good at naming yourself it could definitely become used by everyone). I like giving nicknames, but it's not easy to find one with the correct blend of catchiness and aptness.
So, everyone. If you have a nickname, tell me how you acquired it. I'm curious. Also if you contributed to the naming of another, or if someone you know has one, even.
zustifer: (Negiwanikun)
You know, in a way, what with all these new avatar-icon slots available, livejournal is starting to behave like the Conversatron (or TMOL). The same characters generally written by the same people, but variety is there, and avatar-as-deliverer-of-comment (selection of avatar for appropriateness of representation of the post) happens all the time. HMM!
zustifer: (Dr. Phibes)
Is it just me or is Morrissey beginning to look like Bruce Campbell? Maybe! I'd make this a poll, except it's an idle observation.
zustifer: (Clockwork Wizards)
Has anyone ever noticed that the manure truck that stops Biff's car in Back to the Future is labeled 'D Jones manure (hauling?)' I mean, I know PEOPLE have, because I have google, but, see, what I think this means is that Robocop and Back to the Future take place in the same universe. Conceivably, the Robocop timeline happens along the alternate evil 1985's, and is destroyed by Marty. Although, it's also possible that since it's obvious that BTTF is set in a California-like place and Robocop in a Detroit-like place, that even the good BTTF timeline could coexist with Robocop.
So, maybe Dick Jones's dad is also named Dick Jones (or Don, or Douglas, since Dick is short for Richard), and it's really his family's manure company, and by 1985 Dick Jones Jr. is seeking his fortune out in the rust belt, finally out from under dad's unambitious thumb.
zustifer: (SUX dino)
We had a very low-impact new year's. We went up to the (rented-out in summer, but vacant and full of dead bugs in winter) house of some guy my dad's friends with, in Maine. We cooked some stuff, and Animal Crossing supplied fireworks and everything.

But anyhow, the thing I wanted to mark was that we saw some fluffy special on Aardman Animations, and for the first time I got to see moving footage of Nick Park. It's impossible to see it in stills, but his facial expressions are AWESOME. Not one by one, but you can see the seeds of big ovoid mouth with giant teeth as he moves his face to talk. I RECOGNISED him by knowing what his characters look like. It's normal for animators to use themselves as models for expressions, but I had no idea it would be so pronounced. It also helps that he has enormous protruding front teeth, which sort of fill in the mental gap to some extent, but the cognitive blend can take place regardless. It's just the awesomest thing I've seen in a long time. I love it when people look like their art, and this is even more amusing than usual.
zustifer: (SUX dino)


(Credit to Kelli for finding the Harry Potter image I so sorely needed.)

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Karla Z

February 2012

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