why turning around?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #56 What’s happening in this scene? Why are the two kids turning around?     Simply 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.] … Continue reading

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the quantified body

Whenever I hear or read about the ↑quantified self—a lifestyle obviously deeply influenced by the heritage of ↵cybernetics—I am reminded of conversations I led and overheard while I still was visiting the gym regularly, three times a week. Already when just eavesdropping I was amazed by the topics the real bodybuilders talked about. The weights lifted almost aren’t a topic at all—with the exception when they spot somebody they care about using too heavy weights. This not only has negative training effects but greatly heightens the risk of injuries, too. Then, somewhat related to the former, there is the topic … 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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last riddler challenges

Just yesterday I had a longer conversation [not online, but face to face, beer by beer] with a doctoral student of mine ↑who does deeply immersed fieldwork around and within the ‘StarCraft II’ (SC2 | Blizzard Entertainment 2010) pro-gamer scene. Matchingly enough the day before yesterday I reread ↓Bearman 2008 and ↵watched ‘King of Kong’ (Gordon 2007) and ‘Chasing Ghosts’ (Ruchti 2007), wondering at the lengths high-end arcade-gamers go. Well, he told me about the lengths the SC2-specialists go, especially in terms of analysis of the game, its patches, actual matches, etc. Up to writing book-lengths compendiums. After enough grinning … Continue reading

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desert mecha

The above 3D-scene, called ‘Desert Lion,’ was done by Andrew March in 2004 and since then sat on my HDD. Andrew used the model of the Cougar ↑mech (which at least dates back to 2002, but you can still ↓download it) by Pawel Czarnecki—until today a legend within the scene—, the model of the ↑AMX-30 tank by Deespona, and nicely composed and rendered them within his own scene. Obviously the piece of art was created under the impression of the ↑Iraq War.     The picture immediately rung a chord within me back then, but somehow I never came around … Continue reading

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hello matakichi

A picture book entitled Namennayo! (Don’t Mess Around with Me!) and commercial goods modeled on those in the book are caricatures of ↑bosozoku symbolism and display a crucial aspect of such symbols and the commercial exploitation of them. This work, which was published in 1981, and had a sales of about 335,000 copies by the summer of 1983, features a cat called ↑Matakichi. Throughout the book there are numerous pictures of cats who stand upright wearing human clothes. miniature props (auch as motorcycles, cars, and buildings) are also provided. The plot concerns Matakichi’s youthful experimentation with several expressive styles including … Continue reading

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advanced building techniques

A common trait of technoludic online scenes and communities are the efforts undertaken to document, preserve and redistribute specific knowledge. The afols [adult fans of lego] have developed many building techniques beyond those found in official instructions. Back in 2007 Didier Enjary collected a lot of those in his ‘↓The Unofficial LEGO Advanced Building Techniques Guide‘ [.pdf | 1.7 MB]. Didier’s guide explains the geometry of LEGO bricks from scratch, then proceeds to particular techniques. All in all his guide is a testament to the afols’ intellectual and practical appropriation of the LEGO building system.  via ↑entry at ↑the brothers … Continue reading

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