Oceansize

Posted by Shannon

Oceansize is a really impressive short monster movie created by four French animation students. Here’s a direct link with more information, and here’s a version with English subtitles (although you don’t really need it). [via io9]

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Merciless

Posted by Shannon

Excerpts from an interesting blog post by science fiction writer Charlie Stross:

American attitudes to crime and punishment are unspeakable; disturbing, mediaeval, and barbaric are some of the adjectives that spring to mind. But above all, the word that most thoroughly applies is merciless. The commission of a crime is taken as an excuse to unleash the demons of the subconscious, however dark, however disproportionate, upon the perpetrator. Once labeled a criminal, an individual’s right to fair treatment is utterly expunged, and any violation or degradation, however grotesque, is seen as something that they brought on themselves.

[...]

The subjects vary — crime and penal policy, healthcare, don’t get me started on foreign policy — but there is an ideological approach in America that is distinguished by one common characteristic: words and deeds utterly lacking in the quality of mercy.

There is a cancer in the collective American soul — a mercy deficit that has in recent years grown as alarmingly as the budget deficit. Nor is it as simple as a left/right thing: no political party has a monopoly on merciless behaviour. Rather, a creeping draconian absolutism has cast its penumbra across the entire arena of public discourse, tainting every debate, poisoning and hardening attitudes across the board.

Read the whole thing. (via MetaFilter)

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A little while back, my girlfriend’s 9-year-old made a really neat lego Dalek. Since then, he’s created a second, alternate one plus the TARDIS and the Doctor himself. Take a look after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Exterminate! Exterminate!

Posted by Shannon

Lego Dalek

My girlfriend Brooke’s 9-year-old recently got into Doctor Who, and he built this wonderful likeness of a Dalek out of Legos. Pretty neat!

UPDATE: Since this post, Rowan has done more Doctor Who/Lego stuff. Check it out here.

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Goodbye Uncle Forry

Posted by Shannon


Forrest J. Ackerman, November 24, 1916 - December 4, 2008

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Charles Stross Interview

Posted by Shannon

Halfway through an exchange of emails with the science fiction writer Charles Stross - a virtual meeting in cyberspace which might have had something of the exotic as little as five years ago - it strikes me that our text-based communication feels almost archaic now.

It’s a realisation that might have come straight from the pages of one of Stross’s novels. These days, email tennis feels almost boringly routine, and the rapid normalisation of the technologies which are changing people’s lives is a recurrent theme in his fiction. Despite their hard-edged technological focus, Stross’s worlds are often as quotidian as they are fantastic.

Link! The only novel of Stross’ I’ve read is Accelerando, but it was fantastic. Via Reddit.

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Boing Boing Gadgets:

Scant details are available for this Aliens chess set, but it’s wonderful. On the xenomorph side, chest bursters for pawns, with dual queens as the royalty, denoted in rank by whether or not their gelatinous egg sack has been ripped off. The human side is similarly ingenious: sentry guns for pawns, with a loader-armored Ripley as the king. Half of the board has even been bio-mechanically infected: all the black squares have been Gigerized. Checkmate = face hugged!

Link!

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If I were to tell you that a theatrical version of William Gibson’s famous novel Neuromancer was going to be performed in a rural Missouri town, starring a radical leftist activist and members of an amateur theater troupe from a local Baptist church, what would you say? It probably wouldn’t be: “Yeah, and wouldn’t it be great if all the cyberspace scenes were done with cardboard cutouts that people move around on stage, accompanied by Indonesian Gamelan music?” And yet that’s exactly what Brody Condon is going to do, next summer, with grant money from the Rhizome Foundation. I know it sounds insane, and that’s precisely the point.

Oh my god. This sounds amazing. Read on.

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Cargo Lifters <--> AT-ATs

Posted by Shannon

So, it turns out that the AT-ATs in The Empire Strikes Back were inspired by the cargo lifters container cranes in the Port of Oakland. I see those things every day from the BART, and I’ve always thought they look like AT-ATs. And that they look awesome. Makes sense, I guess.

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My God. It’s full of stars.

Posted by Shannon

Arthur C. Clarke
R.I.P., Arthur C. Clarke, 1917 - 2008

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