Favorite what is this?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #46 What is the tiny shiny artefact displayed by the hands? From which movie does the screencap stem, and what role in the plot of that movie does the artefact play?     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 … Continue reading

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low poly mask

Stephen ‘kongorilla’ Kongsle designed this wearable cardboard mask and has put ↑all you need for it online under a creative commons licence. When I first saw it I immediately had three associations: 1) A ↑Bizarro t-shirt would go perfectly with the mask, 2) there was a time ↵when I perceived the everyday world around me like that, and 3) if you are learning to draw the human head and face this is a wonderful inexpensive tool for understanding the planes of the face. As it turns out association #3 hit it: Sometime in the future I hope to make a … Continue reading

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the flash inspirations

This is the King Features ‘↑Flash Gordon‘ Sunday strip by ↑Alex Raymond as it was published on 23 June 1940. We see Gordon [whose adventures began on 07 January 1934] disguised as a ‘Power-Man’ [‘the experts on whom Mongo’s electrified civilization depends’] infiltrating the palace of ↑Ming the Merciless—and being detected. Please note the design and colour-scheme of the Power-Man uniform Gordon is wearing. The full uniform first was depicted two weeks earlier, in one panel of the strip of 09 June 1940.  Earlier the same year the DC-superhero ‘↑The Flash‘ first appeared in Flash Comics #1, published in January … Continue reading

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games with defects

While attending the ↑Third Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung (↑GFF), at the University of Zurich I got to know ↑René Bauer, a game designer who teaches at the Hochschule der Künste in Zürich (↑ZHdK). He showed us quite some of the projects done by his students—see yourself at ↑and-or—wonderful, fantastic, up to absolutely hilarious. I especially like the idea of creating computer games with built-in gameplay defects which are making you think. Take for example ‘↑laichenberg‘, a first-person shooter which was advertised as being ‘more realistic than doom3, unreal etc.’  With the graphics craze of the last decade … Continue reading

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archæology of steampunk

Just a minute ago I pre-ordered ‘Steampunk: kurz & geek’ (Jahnke & Rauchfuß 2012) after I had read ↑Kueperpunk’s review (he has a reviewer’s copy). It reminded me of Ekaterina Sedia’s introduction (Sedia 2012) in ‘The Mammoth Book of Steampunk’ (Wallace 2012): With the recent release of ↑The Steampunk Bible (ed. Jeff VanderMeer and SJ Chambers [2011]), it seems that steampunk as a genre finally came into its own and has grown enough to demand its own compendium, summarizing various parts of this remarkably protean movement, and pointing out interesting things happening in its DIY culture, cosplay, film, literature and … Continue reading

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ralph mcquarrie

Last Saturday ↑Ralph McQuarrie died age 82 in Berkeley, California. What ↑Syd Mead ↵is for ‘Blade Runner’ (Scott 1982), Ralph McQuarrie was for ‘Star Wars’ (Lucas 1977)—the decisive conceptual designer. McQuarrie gave us the whole look and feel of Star Wars and e.g. the now since long globally recognized iconic figures C-3PO, R2-D2, and of course Darth Vader.     As a kid I was blown away by his early sketches of these characters, and I still am today. To my eye they have a somewhat darker quality than the versions finally to be seen in the movies.     … Continue reading

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forget your past

Last summer photographer ↑Timothy Allen met Alexander Ivanov, a colleague of his, at a photo festival in Bulgaria: ‘Back then he showed me some pictures of what looked to me like a cross between a flying saucer and Doctor Evil’s hideout perched atop a glorious mountain range.’ This winter Timothy went there, 250km from Sofia, and took ↑glorious pictures of the Buzludzha monument, a gigantic, now abandoned and decaying monument to socialism. The pictures show the building from the outside, the inside, and even from the sky. Goes well with the ↵cosmic communist constructions photographed by Frédéric Chaubin. via ↑entry … Continue reading

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paradise parking

American-born, Paris-based photographer ↑Peter Lippman explores a world of stationary cars overtaken by nature in his series entitled ↑Paradise Parking. This personal project that was two years in the making captures abandoned cars from yesteryear that are overwhelmed by roots and leaves from its surrounding natural environment. The vehicles’ rusty, tarnished finish coupled with nature’s swarming shades of green and brown wrapping its extended limbs around the cars makes for an interestingly post-apocalyptic scene. via ↑entry at ↑kueperpunk … Continue reading

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