the daily levitation

↑Natsumi Hayashi lives in Tokyo and mainly photographs levitating self-portraits, sometimes even in 3D—see her ↑how-to. Her blog ↑yowayowa camera woman diary almost exclusively consists of the mentioned levitating pictures (with some cats interspersed) which for quite some time appeared on a daily basis. To my eye the pictures have a poetic quality. The sheer mass of them, no comments whatsoever, the somewhat distanced facial expression—all adds to it. Natsumi had an ↑exhibition of her pictures in 2012, ↑another one took place in late March 2013 in the Spiral Garden. Also in 2012 her first photo book, naturally titled ‘Today’s … Continue reading

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space aircraft carriers

Conceptual art for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s airborne aircraft carrier, the ‘↑Helicarrier,’ as seen in ‘↑The Avengers‘ (Whedon 2012). ↑Christopher Weuve, among other things a naval analyst and science fiction geek, ↑talked with Michael Peck of Foreign Policy about the dialectics between naval warfare and space warfare as depicted in science fiction. When Peck asked, “Has sci-fi affected the way that our navies conduct warfare?” Weuve answered: This is a question that I occasionally think about. Many people point to the development of the shipboard Combat Information Center in World War II as being inspired by E.E. Doc Smith’s Lensman novels from the … Continue reading

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lego think tank

↑Think tank is a slang term used to describe a robotic weapons platform that makes use of artificial intelligence to enhance its abilities. Most of the think tanks portrayed in ↑Ghost in the Shell (manga, films, and series), along with other machinery, (e.g. attack helicopters such as the Jigabachi AV) are developed and manufactured by a fictional company named Kenbishi Industries. The above is ↑Cole Blaq‘s rendition of such a machine. In the foreground is a custom ↵lego friends minidoll by ↑Mike the Maker depicting the cyborg Major ↑Motoko Kusanagi. Here are two more lego renditions: ↑by gambort, and ↑by … Continue reading

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what counts down?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #15 As there were requests for more recent movies as the subject of the quiz, here you are: What does the countdown in the screencap indicate? What is expected to happen when it is at zero?     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 … Continue reading

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mad mex

In India and Pakistan trucks get decorated until they are gaudy pieces of art on wheels:  In Japan the same is done, but there, hardly surprising, the dekotora [decorated trucks] follow the neon æsthetics:  In Sudan trucks are completely deconstructed and then reconstructed—the results are visually not as spectacular as their Asian kin, but are masterpieces of a comparatively young engineering culture (↓Beck 2009):  In Mexico, and within a totally different context, the not so conspicuous Sudanese trucks seem to have cousins: ‘Rhino trucks, narco tanks, Mad Mex-inismos? No one can agree on what to call the armored monster vehicles … 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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otaku, doujinshi, and gamemodding

↑Mizuko Ito [↵keitai-scholar and sister of blogosphere-legend ↑Joi Ito] introduces us to ↑Otaku Media Literacy—if one would replace ‘anime otaku’ by ‘gamemodders’ and add one or two adjustments, her text still would be ‘the truth’. Here’s an excerpt: ↑[...] Overseas anime otaku—fans of Japanese anime—represent an emergent form of media literacy that, though still marginal, is becoming increasingly pervasive among a rising generation. Anime otaku are media connoisseurs, activist prosumers who seek out esoteric content from a far away land and organize their social lives around viewing, interpreting, and remixing these media works. Otaku translate and subtitle all major anime … Continue reading

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