modern inventions

A visit to the technical museum in 1937 …    Today is the 80th birthday of ↑Donald Duck!—he first appeared in the animated short ‘↑The wise little hen‘ (Jackson 1934), which was released on 09 June 1934. Celebrating Donald’s birthday I above embedded the animated short ‘↑Modern inventions‘ (King 1937—the story was written by ↑Carl Barks) showing Donald visiting a technical museum … and of course trying out the inventions, all of them of a robotic kind. JACKSON, WILFRED. 1934. The wise little hen [animated short]. Beverly Hills: United Artists. KING, [JAMES PATTON] ‘JACK’. 1937. Modern inventions [animated short]. Beverly … Continue reading

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star wars origami

Martin Hunt invents great origami models depicting things out of the star wars universe and shows them off at ↑starwarigami. Unfortunately he withholds most of his diagrams as he wants to publish a book in which all of them are collected. But there are countless links to ↑diagrams by others at a subpage of starwarigami. If all those are too complex for you at the moment, try Chris Alexander’s simpler designs at ↑star wars origami. Chris already has published a book, hence at the moment, as far as I can see, ↑only the diagrams for his rendition of the Millenium … 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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who is driving?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #39 A vehicle is dashing through the night at about 70 miles per hour, but who is driving?     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 (28 … Continue reading

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the mechanical man

  ↵Speaking of early cyberpunkish movies—another one which resides since quite a time on my ↵according list is ‘L’Uomo Meccanico’ ['The Mechanical Man'] (Deed 1921). ↑Kueperpunk reminded me of it and linked to a site featuring only seven minutes of the movie on YouTube. Above is much more of it—in fact it’s all we have. ↑IMDb knows: For many years this early science fiction film from Italy was regarded as lost. Some reels of the Portuguese release version were discovered in Brazil. The discovered film amounted to 740 meters which is believed to be approximately 40% of the complete film. … Continue reading

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dislocation

The Tamil-movie ↵Endhiran (Shankar 2010) is testimony of the cyberpunk discourse having reached Indian cinema. Nigeria’s Yoruba-language ‘Kajola’ (Akinmolayan 2010) shows the ↵same for Africa‘s largest movie industry.     ‘Science-fiction film, like the science-fiction story, is an underdeveloped genre in China,’ writes Yingjin Zhang (1998: 297) in the ‘Encyclopedia of Chinese Film’ (Zhang & Xiao 1998). Nevertheless, already during the heyday of canonical [US-] cyberpunk there was a chinese cyberpunk movie—‘Dislocation’ directed by Huang Jianxin (1986). As with Huang’s first film, Black Cannon Incident [1985], Dislocation uses the science-fiction genre to satirize the workings of bureaucracy. The protagonist, Zhao … Continue reading

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sentry gun redux

Some things won’t lose their fascination—especially when a certain morbidness is involved, as it seems. Just the day before yesterday boingboing’s ↑Mark Frauenfelder pointed to Bob Rudolph’s ↑project sentry gun, an open-source sentry gun controller. Well, seven years ago ↵on xirdalium I reported Aaron Rasmussen’s ‘quintessential sentry gun.’ As far as I can see all his websites meanwhile have vanished—I only found the 2006 article ↑Sentry gun sees, computes and shoots at BU [Boston University] Today, which gives an idea towards where Aaron may have headed, plus refound his original document [lavishly illustrated] ↓How we built the quintessential sentry gun … Continue reading

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