Sunday, January 31, 2016

News Round-Up: January 17 - 23

60% of North American Museums Charge Admission - The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has released its annual report which details statistics about how museums in North America have been doing. New data in the report shows that in 2015, 60 percent of museums charged for admission. The other 40 percent offered, for the most part free admission, with a select few museums operating on a suggested donation policy. The report has a lot of fascinating statistics, including average operating expenses and object acquisition sources.

Artworks by Chagall, Matisse, & More Stolen From Trailer in LA - Several artworks by Leroy Neiman, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, and Henri Matisse have been stolen, along with the trailer that housed them, from an industrial park in LA. The works, with a combined value of $250,000, were taken in November and questions are being asked as to why it is only now being made public. Bafflingly, the owner had left his valuable collection parked on the street because he had “run out of storage space.”

Friday, January 29, 2016

Video Round-Up: January 29, 2016

Keanu Reeves narrated a Quantum chess match between theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and actor Paul Rudd to prove that “Anyone Can Quantum.” Quantum chess was created by Selim Akl, and applies the properties of quantum physics to the pieces on a chess board to put an interesting twist on the game.

Carl Sagan-Globular earth deduced by Eratosthenes - Carl Sagan demonstrates how it was determined the Earth was not flat around 200BC by the Astronomer Eratosthenes.

Deadpool Urges You to ‘Touch Yourself Tonight’ - Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), the wise-cracking anti-hero from the upcoming Deadpool film, delivers a special pun-filled message about testicular cancer.

Video: If Zelda Games Played Like Fallout

Video: Solo vs Kylo

Video: Fury Road VFx

Visual effects studio Brave New World made a video showing exactly what they did to make Mad Max look so fantastic.

Video: Fxguidetv on Force Awakens

FXGuide has created a 50-minute documentary that follows host John Montgomery as he heads to Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco and gives us an inside look at the incredible visual effects work that they put into Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
"Hear from ILM’s senior visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach, animation supervisor Paul Kavanagh, environments supervisor Susumu Yukihiro, compositing supervisor Jay Cooper and asset build supervisor Dave Fogler as they run through key scenes from the film."

Video: The Martian VFX Breakdown

Of of all the Best Picture nominees, The Martian is unquestionably the geekiest, and it's also probably the movie with the widest audience appeal.  It's a dramatic but simple story with a stellar cast.  The real stars of the film are the special effects, though.   

With the Oscar nominations out, studios are beginning to circulate featurettes highlighting the technical complexity of their contenders.  This piece on The Martian separates out the practical effects from the computer generated setpieces.

On the practical side of things, they actually blew up part of the Mars base on set instead of doing it digitally.  On the CG side of things, the reflective visors on the astronauts’ helmets were created entirely in post.  Even the transparent portion of the glass was added digitally. 

Video: Moving Along

At least its thematically consistent that the Tatooine shots are grainy.

Video: Opening Shots Tell Us Everything

Opening shots are underrated. I can almost guarantee that your favorite film has an opening shot that gives huge insight into the film's themes, character conflicts, or plot points.  Even though it may be forgotten by the time you’re done watching a movie for the first time, the opening shot of any movie is integral to introducing the audience to the world and/or characters they’re about to watch for a little while. Let's look at four in-depth examples to see just how revealing opening shots are.

Video: Every Best Picture. Ever.

Take a trip down Oscar history before the 88th Academy Awards with every Best Picture winner.

Short Film: The Present

In this touching short film by German animator, Jacob Frey, a mother gives her video game-obsessed son a surprise present, in hopes it will encourage him to go outside.

Quick Pic: Bernie or Hillary?

Not an endorsement.  Just funny.

Short Film: Galactic Space Dangler

A space man meets a cave man in this experimental adventure.

Short Film: Looking for the Flying-man

"Looking for the Flying-man" Directed by Artur Latkovsky

Two best friends find a strange container with an unknown substance in it. Soon after their discovery one of the friends gains the power of flying. And now their friendship will be put to the test, as the other one doesn’t get any supernatural powers… and especially when there is a girl between them two.

Posters: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"

Posters: Xenomorph

Xenomorph by Joshua Budich

Posters: Furiosa

"Furiosa" by Jenny Frison

Posters: Drunken Promises

Prints available for purchase from Nakatomiinc. US$30

Posters: Monk Darth Maul

Monk Darth Maul - Star Wars Reimagined Challenge Created by Kaan Sadece

"Monk Darth Maul" by Istanbul, Turkey-based Sadece Kaan

Posters: Rey

Posters: The Empire Strikes Back

Prints available for purchase from the artist's website. US$25

Posters: Kylo Ren

"Kylo Ren" by Ron Guyatt
Prints available for purchase from BigCartel. US$30

Fan Art: Ways of the Force

"i was going to make a quick silly sketch based on this but it got out of hand"

Fan Art: The End of Star Wars

"i can’t be the only one who thought it was gonna end like this"

Fan Art: She Protect Them

Fan Art: Hux as a Weasley


Damn Weasleys, ruining the Galaxy.

Illustration: Drone wars in Tokyo

Illustration: Allegory of the Cave

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is possibly the single most widely cited philosophical metaphors ever, but interpretations of the allegory vary.  Depending on your perspective, it can either be a metaphor for the way we learn or else a political story about the way our leaders should behave.  It's also very commonly used to illustrate the evils of modern media addition.  In any case, the imagery Plato uses in the allegory has captivated the imaginations of scholars for centuries.

In its most recent incarnation, artists CTopkis and JTopkis interpret the Allegory of the Cave with an instagram comic.  

Mash-Up: Toturo / Limbo

Fresh Take: Tim Burton does Disney

We all know that Tim Burton nearly directed a Superman movie, but what if he were to direct a Disney movie?  Andrew Tarusov, previously featured for his pin-up versions of the ladies of Game of Thrones, returns with a fresh series of work.  This time, he has experimented with a new style, imagining what Disney classics would look like if Tim Burton had directed the movies. The result is striking, aptly capturing the dark, sinister mood that Burton is known for. 

Headcanon: Ancient Text

Bolto: white dude in this horror movie : *translates old arabic text*
*somehow it rhymes perfectly in english*
When-the-reindeer-comes-home: Now I really wanna see a horrible faltering translation from one of these movies, like “Whomsoever enters this room, they shall… well, this word is like… literally it means ‘unbecome,’ but it was used as a euphemism for death, pooping, and—wait, when was this carved?  was it 15th century? Cuz it was a euphemism for sex too in the 15th century.  This is either a cursed crypt, a bathroom, or a royal bedroom. Who wants to roll the dice?”

Kiddthemaniac: “You guys, I’ve gotta be honest, okay? This thing’s written in some kind of weird localized dialect, and I’ve only ever studied the standard form of the language. I mean, this part right here…I can’t even tell if it’s some kind of error, or an obscure slang phrase…whatever it is, I have no idea what the fuck it means.”

Roachpatrol: ‘this is written in ancient sumerian. it’s about… uh… well that word is… uh. okay this is either a poem about farming, or straight-up a nasty sex guide. it might be both. i want a shower.’

Lizawithazed: “okay see the thing is in one dialect this word is the name of a terrifying Demon but in a completely different language from the same area that has the same writing system and gave a lot of loan words to the first, it means ‘horse’ - and the context is really not helping”

Seananmcguire: “You know what?  This thing is bound in human skin and the walls are bleeding let’s just leave.”

Headcanon: Kylo the Scoundrel

historymiss: I like to imagine Kylo has a bunch of useless scoundrel-y type skills that he pretends he doesn’t have, like he’s actually a really good shot and great at picking locks and occasionally when the First Order raids smuggling vessels for supplies he’ll do a personal sweep of the vehicle, sigh heavily and bang on a certain interior panel so the *really* good stuff will fall out.
mnemehoshiko: And now I’m imagining him breaking into Hux’s quarters on a semi regular basis and moving a few things around just a few fractions of an inch to mess with him.  It’s almost as good stress relief for him as committing random acts of lightsaber destruction.

Humor: Zoned Out

Zoned Out

"Zoned Out" by Reza Farazmand of Poorly Drawn Lines

This happened to me once in the middle of a conversation about an episode of Searching for Hitler, and it is reeaaally difficult to retract opinions about Hitler.

Featured Site: Conquer.Earth

Conquer.Earth is a new social media service that offers users an interactive map on which they can mark all of the places they’ve visited with colorful pin icons.  Users can then share their maps to show off their globetrotting. The service has only just recently begun offering early access.

Comic Round-Up: January 29, 2016

Spider-Man by Dwayne Biddix

"Spider-Man" by Dwayne Biddix

Event: The Jewish Museum Milwaukee is hosting an exhibit of the work of Jewish cartoonist Arthur Szyk, whose comics chronicled the persecution of Jews in Europe before and during World War II and advocated U.S. involvement in the war.

Interview:  Brian Andersen talks about his comic Stripling Warrior, which features a gay superhero who is called to be “the hand of God on Earth”

Interview: Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle on Their Upcoming Jonesy

Interview: Viz Media’s Kevin Hamric provides some details about the expansion of manga and graphic novel offerings at mass-market chains Walmart and Best Buy.

Link Round-Up: January 29, 2016

The Legend Of Star Wars by Tsuneo Sanda

"The Legend Of Star Wars" by Tsuneo Sanda

Artist Turns His Mural Into a Beating Heart GIF In Appreciation of His Fans

Even more Star Wars: The Force Awakens headcannon.

I Used 20,961 Words To Create A Typographic Portrait Of David Bowie

London-based comedy writers Aaron Gillies and James Menzies are behind We Fix Your Advert, a Twitter account dedicated to creating brutally honest parodies of billboard ads.

Maisie Williams pioneers modern fashion.

Meet The Man Who Created Papyrus, The World's (Other) Most Hated Font

“Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours” by Marie-Helene Bertino She's an alien, living in our world. She observes and describes. She says amazing things. Enlightening things. Things that make you embarrassed at your own humanity. Is this how we look to the rest of the universe?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Video Round-Up: January 28, 2016

“Listen, B.o.B, once and for all. The Earth looks flat because: 1) You’re not far enough away at your size, and 2) Your size isn’t large enough relative to Earth to notice any curvature at all.” -- Neil deGrasse Tyson ► Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to rapper B.o.B's claim that the Earth is flat:
Posted by The Nightly Show on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared on the January 27, 2016 episode of The Nightly Show to respond to host Larry Wilmore's declaration of a “Code Red Science Emergency.”  Tyson used the time to publicly explain to rapper B.o.B. that the Earth is round, not flat as the rapper recently asserted in an extensive rant on Twitter and in a diss track titled “Flatline” aimed at Tyson.

9 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Labyrinth! - We’ve all got David Bowie on our minds and what better way is there for us to honor his memory than to explore trivia for the film Labyrinth!

Can you push a spacecraft with light? - In this episode from Physics Girl, Dianna Cowern explains how space ships can use sunlight to travel the stars in the same way that boats use wind to move across the seas. While solar sail spacecraft design is a more ‘recent’ exploration (circa 1976), the concept dates back a few hundred years.

Video: Old Star Wars Meet New

Six classic Star Wars characters meet their new equivalents from The Force Awakens in a new animated short by Dorkly.
"If you live long enough, you see the same eyes in different people..."

Video: Brief History of Time

“A Brief History of Time” is a colorful animated short, created by CraveFX for Pause Fest 2016 in Melbourne, about a group of characters in a small space who are trapped in an infinite loop.
"In this conceptual animated short, we aim to create a comedic performance where the past, present and future realities overlap and interact in an environment where time has no start or end.

A modern take on Zbigniew Rybczyński's Tango, every actor that participates in this space is trapped in an infinite loop where their actions simultaneously bare and yet bare no consequence to another. Starting with a single actor that performs the same series of mundane actions, followed by another and yet another, we start to discover the motivation of these characters and their performance do not simply coexist but are correlated in a complex chain of events. Hilarity ensues as every absurd action cumulates in an amalgamation of intricately choreographed antics."

Music Video: Mortal Kombat on Tesla Coil

Music Video: Star Wars Medley

Jedi violinist Jeffrey Ding He performs a beautiful version of ‘The Force Theme’ that’s “made entirely from violin and lightsaber sounds.”  The song is also available for download on SoundCloud.

Short Film: Tom Clancy's The Division

"Escape" by Ubisoft

Here are four short movies from four separate Youtube channels paying tribute to Tom Clancy's The Division.
Inspired by the groundbreaking video game and created in collaboration with innovative
YouTube powerhouses CorridorDigital, RocketJump, and Devin Supertramp, Ubisoft proudly presents Tom Clancy’s The Division: Agent Origins. This thrilling live action video series follows the lives of four agents of The Division as they’re activated and leap headfirst into the fight to save New York City.

Short Film: Starship Spaceship

A good guy on the run must join a Starship of not-so good guys to continue his fight against the oppressive powers of the galaxy.  After funding a Kickstarter in 2014 to produce a rough screener, its finally complete!
"In a galaxy overseen by an umbrella government known as The Vansecta, our characters live aboard a constantly moving spaceship looking for work, legal or illegal. Until a mysterious man named James Luke becomes a part of their crew altering how they all function together, as he is seemingly following his own agenda.

The series will follow the crews path through the galaxy and the people within The Vansecta maneuvering to control more and more. You will see the different cultures of the planets in this galaxy, as well as the intertwining of the religious, spiritual, corporate, government and underworld societies. As well as badass explosions and cool shit like that... BOOM."

Quick Pic: Ominous Mickey

I would not recommend the Disney theme park in northeast Ohio.

"I would not recommend the Disney theme park in northeast Ohio."

... honestly, the seven dwarves were just a couple old hobos sharing a needle.  Next time we spring for the Florida park.  I hear they have rooms where the mattresses don't smell like urine.

Quick Pic: Snow BB-8

While I feel bad for all of those who've been buried under piles of snow for the past few days, big storms like that are great news for geeky sculptors  who create awesome stuff in the snow.

Short Film: The Answers

"The Answers" Written and Directed by Michael Goode

"The Answers" is a short film about a man who gets all his questions about his life and relationships answered after he dies, but he quickly realizes that some things are better left unknown.

Short Film: Tempbot

"Tempbot" Directed by Neill Blomkamp for Spy Films

Director Blomkamp was Hollywood's golden boy following the run-away success of District 9, but his career took a hit following the dismal dismal box office performance of Chappie. Tempbot, like the extraordinary Alive in Joburg before it, is a powerful reminder that - whatever career faux pass he may have committed - he's still one of the most skilled filmmakers in science fiction.

"Tempbot" is an eloquently simple science fiction short film that achieves poignancy without a single line of dialog.

Photography: Outer Space

"Outer Space" by Michael Najjar

The “Outer Space” work series deals with the latest developments in space flight and the way they will shape our future on earth and in earth’s new orbit. We are now on the threshold of a new era in spaceflight heralded by a paradigm shift in aeronautics research and the aeronautics industry but above all by the emerging sector of commercial space travel.

Photography: Flatland

Turkish artist Aydın Büyüktaş distorts the streets of Istanbul into surreal cityscapes. The warped images were inspired by Edwin A. Abbott’s satirical novella “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.”

For the project, Büyüktaş virtually folded the city of Istanbul in on itself, transforming famed historical landmarks such as Sultanahmet Square, the Grand Bazaar, and Maltepe Stadium into visually warped collages that resemble scenes out of Inception.  Entire city blocks double back on themselves with city streets and sights stretching into the sky. The photos were captured via drones before being transformed by 3D software into surreal Escher-esque landscapes.

Woodwork: Hearthstone Box

"I made it from scratch, in walnut (Type of wood). Inspired by Hearthstone! An awesome game you should try!"

Metalwork: Dalek Wood Burner

Dalek Wood Burner by Owen James of Maven Industies

Sweets: Instagram Brownies

If you love baking and Instagram, this brownie recipe from Rosanna Pansino is for you!  Created for her geeky cooking show "Nerdy Nummies," she shows us how to make tasty chocolate peanut butter Instagram brownies.

Sweets: Star Wars Birthday Cake

This looks like it was an amazing party.  There's a three tier cake in featuring chibi Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, and Yoda, but my favorites are the tiny Millennium Falcon cookies.  Someone is a very luck one year old.

Sweets: R2-D2 Groom’s Cake

R2-D2 Groom’s Cake by Salt Cake City

This spiffy little tux wearing R2-D2 groom’s cake was created by Utah based Salt Cake City.  As for the delicious details, R2 is covered in a marshmallow fondant and features a satin ice sugar flower which combined with the bow tie match the wedding colors.

Vehicles: Superhero Wraps

WrapStyle Singapore, an automobile styling company, recently rolled out a new line of exotic cars, modeled after the famous superhero cars of comic book past. Want to channel your inner Batman, Superman or Captain America, and cruise through your neighborhood like the superhero you are?

Merchandise: Millennium Falcon Shed

Prints available for purchase from Waltons. £3,000

It may not outrun an Imperial Star Destroyer or be able to make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, but this Millennium Falcon-inspired potting shed has definitely got it where it counts.

This potting shed was recently introduced by the U.K. hardware company Waltons, and it's based on the aesthetics of the Millennium Falcon cockpit, from the signature round window to the foam board control panels.  Wookiee not included.
"Our Space Shed might not make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, but it's the perfect place for relaxing down at the bottom of the garden!"

Merchandise: Dinosaur Egg Candle


Hatching Dinosaur Candle
Prints available for purchase from Firebox. US$42.79

This egg candle hatches a baby raptor when it melts. The Hatching Dinosaur Candle is available for preorder and will be delivered in 2016.

Posters: Great X-pectations

Great X-pectations by David M. Buisán

Posters: Post-Modern Prometheus

Posters: Government Denies Knowledge

Government Denies Knowledge by Carlos Valenzuela

Posters: Hero of Time

Hero of Time by Ástor Alexander

Inspired by Caravaggio's "David holding the head of Goliath"

Posters: Death and The Maiden

Based on "Death and The Maiden" by Pierre-Eugène-Emile Hébert

Posters: Haunting The Clouds

"Haunting The Clouds" by Raymond Swanland
Prints available for purchase from ACME Archives.

Posters: Return Of The Jedi

"Return Of The Jedi" by Juan Esteban Rodriguez
Prints available for purchase from Bottleneck Gallery.

Posters: Robocop

"Robocop" by Kilian Eng
Prints available for purchase from Grey Matter Art. US$45

Posters: Blade Runner

"Blade Runner" by Christopher Shy
Prints available for purchase from Wooden Nickel Art Works. US$45

Posters: The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds by Guillaume Poux

Prints available for purchase from Epic Art Prints. €55

Posters: 1984

Prints available for purchase from Epic Art Prints. €55

Posters: A New Hope

Posters: The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back by John Hughes

Posters: The Force Awakens

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" by Dylan West
Prints available for purchase from Pixel Empire Shop. US$20

Posters: For Honor

For Honor by Julio Pozo

Illustration: Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime by John Gallagher

"Optimus Prime" by Canada-based John Gallagher

Illustration: Defender of Grayskull

"I think no matter how old I get, a big part of me will always live in Eternia. That perfect mix of barbarian fantasy, magic, sci-fi and superheroics that so ignited my imagination as a child still inspires me today. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have ended up as a professional illustrator if not for those Christmas mornings spent unwrapping the likes of Tri-Klops and Beastman.

Circumstances finally conspired to give me the time and energy to tackle my favorite setting, so I decided to take those wonderful characters and rough up their edges a bit. I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to see more fierce, modern versions of He-Man and his foes, so I took the best and most iconic elements of their designs and dirtied them up a bit. This is the He-Man I always imagined, equal parts savage warrior and noble hero, doing battle with villains who are a genuine threat and look the part.

It’s my pleasure to present ‘Defender of Grayskull.’ I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it."

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