Randomness for 2/11

1) An alternate history of “Flappy Bird” a successful game that was pulled from sale because of the gamers abused its creator.

2) Marvel opens its image archive and api to the public. I’m pretty sure this is cool, and if I were ten years younger I might understand why.

3) Calvin and Muad’Dib. Calvin & Hobbes cartoons with quotes from Dune to replace the dialog.

4) Teddy Roosevelt’s 10 Rules for Reading. Sensible guy.

5) Male artist creates art show with woman’s art, doesn’t feel he needs to name her.

6) An Infinity of Alternate Batmen.

7) Well, Valentine’s Day is coming, and this tumblr has created Valentine’s messages from actual comments on Pornhub. NSFW, obviously.

19 Dec 2013, 12:10pm
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Best Gingerbread Houses Ever, An Annual Post

Yesterday, I took my wife out for our Giftmas trip through downtown Seattle. Our son is almost 12 and old enough to stay home, so we did without him rather than drag him along while he complained. Sadly, without the kid our time turned more toward shopping for him than anything else.

We started with a really nice lunch at the Michou Deli in the Market, followed by a tiny egg nog cheescake on a stick from The Confectionary. We hit Kitchen Basics for stocking stuffers, the walked up to the Sheraton to see the Gingerbread houses.

Everything there is edible. And it rocked back and forth!

The cow jumped over the moon, via a motor.

You can see them all (including close-ups of some sections, video of the moving parts, and a candy version of our downtown library) at the set. A few are a bit blurry; my one-shot camera seems to be on its last legs viewfinder.

Then we dropped by Pacific Place to listen to a church group of male singers muddle through some Christmas songs and enjoy the indoor snowfall. There was much fun to be had, but my wife is still recovering from an injury so we cut things short.

It was a nice time, but I wish we could have brought the kid (and he would have been cool about it).

18 Dec 2013, 5:58am
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I judge each version of A Christmas Carol by the ghosts

And the best ghosts in any version of A Christmas Carol was in Chuck Jones’s 1971 tv special, which you can watch here:

If the embed doesn’t play you can watch it on YouTube. I don’t care much for this version of Ebenezer, and at only 25 minutes the story is obviously extremely short–the big change at the end barely feels earned.

However, as someone who already knows the story very well, I appreciate the abbreviated version of it, especially since it’s so fucking gorgeous. Seriously, there are so many amazing choices being made here, from the candle-lit darkness of Scrooge’s stair to the zooming POV to the inclusion of Ignorance and Want (which I screencapped for my holiday Twitter avatar).

I watched this as a little kid and there was a lot I didn’t understand: What contract did Scrooge have with the sad young woman? What was the big deal about the lunch and the bed curtains? Still, those ghosts scared the naughty out of me.

Of course, if you just can’t bear another version of Dickens’s story, there’s always Ernest Saves Christmas.

Randomness for 12/4

1) Surreal paintings onto the human face.

2) 80′s New Wave stars as they are now.

3) Six wild modern playgrounds.

4) The bulletproof Bespoke suit.

5) The sound arrows make as they whiz by. Video.

6) Movie posters as neon signs.

7) Video artist Patrick Liddell uploaded a video of himself, ripped it, then uploaded it again over and over to track the degradation of the recording. Video.

24 Oct 2013, 12:14pm
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Don’t judge a genre by its covers

Or should we?

Over a week ago (was it really that long?) I has a Twitter exchange with author Sam Sykes. (Longish rant after the cut) more »

Randomness for 10/10

1) Another drive-through prank, skeleton edition. Video. This one is funny and Halloween is coming up, so… (h/t Nick Kaufmann)

2) Banksy kicks off an art institute on the streets of New York.

3) What your style of beer says about you.

4) Hyperbole and a Half explains power, identity, and changing yourself with costumes.

5) 44 of the Best Scared Bros at Haunted House (2013 pictures). I will confess to enjoying these pictures of absolute terror to an unhealthy degree. Oh, and the body language is instructive for any writer, I guess.

6) Test your color IQ with an online test. My wife, who took the analog version of this test in art school, scored a 26, which is pretty good. Then my son took it and scored a perfect zero. I haven’t tried it myself.

7) The internet is full of “life hacks” but how many of them actually work? 30 Common Life Hacks Debunked. Video.

Randomness for 9/27

1) How to clean your ear buds. I had no reason to google this. Nope. No reason at all.

2) Ladies and gentlemen, a cat playing a theremin: video.

3) Classical sculptures dressed as hipsters, and they look great.

4) THE MATRIX as retold by Mom. Video.

5) Hilariously Bad Book Covers.

6) Attention filmmakers: The future is already here. I have been tricked by an April Fools article in September! It even says “April Fools” right there in the tags! Let’s pretend that’s a rare thing, and thank you Rose Fox for catching that.

7) A gif that demonstrates that, when the martial arts ref tells you to stop fighting, you should stop fighting.

Randomness for 9/12

1) Myths over Miami: Homeless children create an elaborate mythology of the city all on their own. I swear, this is the most amazing thing.

2) Amazon collects the funniest reviews on its site.

3) A convention attendance discussion for authors on reddit.

4) What every New Yorker should know, in .gif form.

5) Gifs of gelatin cubes dropped onto solid surfaces. There’s something strangely healing about this.

6) Take a virtual tour of the world’s largest cave, discovered recently in Vietnam. Video.

7) “Attacks of Opportunity” helpfully explained and demonstrated. Video. This is funny enough that I’m looking up other videos on this channel. h/t Tracy Hurley

26 Jun 2013, 6:51am
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Beautiful things we find online

People make fun of Google plus, but like any social media it has exactly the value that you and the people you interact with put into it.

For example, Fred Hicks posted this:

It’s amazing. Seriously, you should watch it with the sound on. Don’t bother if you can’t listen, too.

Social media is a lot like real life socializing. It’s not usually what you do or where, but who’s there with you.

16 Jun 2013, 7:25am
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Sun Dog over the UW Campanile

IMG_1983

IMG_1985

Taken by my wife, yesterday.

Randomness for 4/22

1) The annual Shorty Awards have chosen the Best Quora Answer of the Year: “What does the first day of a 5+ year prison sentence feel like?” The answers that made the list of finalists are at that link as well.

2) If Facebook made a Facebook house.

3) “Tie” Chi: knotting a Windsor as a martial arts kata.

4) Chemical-free “natural” swimming pools that are cleaned by plants. This looks a) awesome b) a lot of work and c) inappropriate for Florida. Still, it’s green and gorgeous.

5) From College Humor, Batman vs. The Penguin (played by Patton Oswalt). Video.

6) 27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012

7) Seattle’s King Street Train Station has finally received its finishing touches and is ready for a Grand Opening. And it’s gorgeous. I’m tempted to take a train trip just so I have an excuse to go down there.

  • The prequel to Child of Fire: see here for more details

  • Starred review from Publishers Weekly

  • Starred review from Publishers Weekly

  • Named to Publishers Weekly's "Best 100 Books of 2009" list. Get the audiobook here.

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