early near futures

Many of the films discussed so far [films made from 1895 to 1910 and featuring science-fictional elements or qualities] could be said to be cinematic predictions of the future: from future warfare and advanced automatons to trips to the moon and visitors from another planet. Yet most of these narratives (or the film’s mise en scène more generally) suggested that events were taking place in an undefined present, the result of a recent technological breakthrough. This initial absence of futurity can also be found in much of the literature from which these early film narratives were drawing inspiration: Frankenstein, Twenty … Continue reading

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digital cybernator prophet

The infamous ↑Troma Entertainment, Inc. (‘almost 40 years of reel independence’) has uploaded a ton of full-length feature movies to ↑its YouTube channel. Among those are the glorious cyberpunkish b-pictures ‘↓Digital Prophet‘ (Romero 1996), ‘↓Cybernator‘ (Rundle 1991), and ‘↓New Gladiators‘ (Fulci 1984). But there’s also e.g. the horror classic ‘↓White Zombie‘ (Halperin 1932), starring Bela Lugosi. And much, much more … FULCI, LUCIO. 1984. The new gladiators [motion picture]. Rome: Regency Productions. HALPERIN, VICTOR. 1932. White zombie [motion picture]. Los Angeles: United Artists. ROMERO, CHRISTOPHER. 1996. Cyberstalker (aka The digital prophet) [motion picture]. Long Island City: Troma Entertainment. RUNDLE, ROBERT. … Continue reading

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joost swarte interview

↑The Comics Journal just republished online a ↑long interview which Daniel Peniston and Kim Thompson did in 2006 with Dutch comic book legend ↑Joost Swarte. The interview not only shows what a Renaissance man Swarte is, but there also are discussed e.g. architecture, theatre, and the Clear Line aka ligne claire, originally Klare lijn as coined by Swarte. A fine companion piece on the latter subject is Paul Gravett’s ↑Hergé & The Clear Line. … Continue reading

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evolution of creationism

I sincerely urge everyone to read David Montgomery’s article ‘↓The evolution of creationism‘—it’s just about five pages long and absolutely concise and clear. Abstract For centuries, natural philosophers, their scientific successors, and theologians alike sought to explain the physical and natural world. The now common cultural narrative of perpetual conflict between science and religion simplifies the arguments and struggles of the past and overlooks cross-pollination between those who embraced faith and reason as the keys to understanding earth history. When geologists unequivocally dismissed the idea of a global flood and recognized Earth’s antiquity, many conservative theologians acknowledged that there was … Continue reading

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the painted smile

The fifth of November it is, and indeed we do remember … The next problem was the creation of the main character and the actual setting for the strip. Since ↑Dave [Lloyd] and I both wanted to do something that would be uniquely British rather than emulate the vast amount of American material on the market, the setting was obviously going to be England. Furthermore, since both Dave and myself share a similar brand of political pessimism, the future would be pretty grim, bleak and totalitarian thus giving us a convenient antagonist to play our hero off against. Not unnaturally, … Continue reading

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who is emerging?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #48 Who is emerging from that door? And where is he headed to?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE and solution (11 November 2011): And … Continue reading

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flippy floppy sim

A well-known carrier over here once advertised the iPhone 4 as featuring a ‘new ↑SIM card technology.’ ↑What they meant was the so-called ‘micro-SIM.’ Well, meanwhile we have reached the ‘nano-SIM’—yet another unbelievable leap of technology. But hold your breath, it gets even better. By investing five bucks you can be at the forefront of innovation yourself, by buying the ‘Nano SIM Cutter,’ which ‘takes any regular or micro size and trims the excess off to provide you a precision cut nano SIM. It’s simple, you insert your SIM card with the contacts facing downwards, push the SIM card all … Continue reading

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o’bannon and lovecraft

Over at ↑Strange Shapes they have a fine article on ‘↑The Engineer Mythos.’ Here’s the opening paragraph: When ↑Dan O’Bannon was twelve years old he stumbled across an old anthology of stories in a book store. He paid the nickel and took it home. Inside was a story titled The Colour Out of Space, by ↑HP Lovecraft. “I stayed up all night reading the thing, and it just knocked my socks off,” O’Bannon said. In Lovecraft’s fiction the universe is a source of both awe and terror. Humanity’s dominion over the world is illusory. Revelation is destructive and victory is … Continue reading

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hand fixing hand

Like countless others I am a ↵huge fan of the work of ↑M. C. Escher since my boyhood. ↵Like his ‘Reptiles’ Escher’s ‘↑Drawing Hands‘ are apt to serve as a metaphor for countless things, like e.g. the process of ethnography. The ‘↑Hand fixing Hand‘ version by photographer ↑Shane Willis transposes this to yet another level. via ↑entry at ↑io9 … Continue reading

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