Excited for this!
Attention Ghibli fans: Studio Ponoc, the new animation house from the Japanese animation studio’s former producer and director, Yoshiaki Nishimura and Hiromasa Yonebayashi, has released the English language trailer for its first film.
These are amazing
A Reddit user made this map of potential EU leaving names (in the style of Brexit) and some of them are pretty funny:
TFW the fish wins
For New Scientist. Order my new book of cartoons ‘Baking with Kafka’ here: https://goo.gl/6sypYT
Yeah, I know. I’m terrible at updating this blog.
Anyway, three months ago it was Christmas, and I celebrated the festivities with a video.
As usual for my Christmas videos, it follows a rather dark theme. But such is the nature of the xmas ecosystem, where continual growth is counterbalanced by continual death.
Life is the beautiful and horrible explosion that never stops.
"Mudslides, freak lightning storms, untreatable illnesses–those are God problems. But YOU killing each other with killing machines YOU created to kill each other seems like a YOU problem."
People of Earth,
S’nathrokhan here. I’m the God of a planet two galaxies, four dimensions, and nineteen possibilities away. Weird question… are you guys having horrifically frequent mass shootings? Because if you’ve been counting on your God to end those, I got some bad news: your prayers keep getting accidentally delivered to my house.
You all know how prayers work: You make a wish, it shoots up into the sky, gets intercepted by the pan-reality post office, and then dropped off at the correct God’s castle, where He/She/They/An Unfathomable Wriggling Mass Of Eyeballs reads it and makes it come true. But your prayers must’ve bumped into a black hole or gotten turned around in a nine-dimensional space bubble because I’m getting truckloads of your pleas to end gun violence. And they have started pouring in with, frankly, embarrassing frequency.
Now… I know this isn’t My place — and keep in mind, this is coming from a horned snake with 10,000 legs and infinite teeth who demands tri-annual virgin sacrifices and who wipes out all life on His planet every time someone has a single impure thought — but your relationship with guns is seriously fucked up.
You guys have been praying to end gun violence for decades! I got one prayer this morning, it was all banged up and covered with RETURN TO SENDER stickers — and it was from a shooting outside Littleton, Colorado in 1999! And nothing has changed since then!
Excuse My ignorance about your planet but… do you guys not have laws or something?
Also, I can’t help but notice that all your gun death-related thoughts and prayers are coming from one particular part of your Earth. Are the other people praying to a different God? Do the people outside your “America” have bulletproof skin? Might be worth looking into it and seeing what the differences are, is all I’m saying.
And, sorry if I’m overstepping My bounds here, but you might want to rethink what’s “prayer appropriate” and what’s not.
Just look what you’re praying for! A bountiful harvest? A “Thank You” for breathing life into you? No! You’re praying for humans to stop killing other humans! Now, I don’t really know your God that well — We’ve met a couple of times at conferences or whatever–but on My planet, that’s the kind of prayer that would be answered with a big “Go fuck yourselves.”
Mudslides, freak lightning storms, untreatable illnesses–those are God problems. But YOU killing each other with killing machines YOU created to kill each other seems like a YOU problem. Go do something about it! But, hey, that’s just this God’s opinion.
Anyway, I’ve pinned this note to the Fermi crater on the far side of your moon where surely one of your astronauts will pick it up soon. I’m trying to get through to someone at the post office but, in the meantime, you might want to get started on some non-prayer solutions to all your mass shootings. Take it from Me, an omniscient creature of pure Wrath, if there’s one thing even we Gods can’t fix, it’s poor mail delivery! (On My planet, that joke is groundbreaking and hilarious! And if you didn’t laugh, I would smite your entire village.)
Eternal Torture To All Non-Believers In S’nathrokhan and Seriously, Good Luck With Your Gun Problem,
Those swans are terrifying. In fairness, actual swans are also terrifying.
It’s difficult to know how a particular animal might have looked if you only use its skeleton as a guide. For example, we used to think dinosaurs were mostly scaly like lizards until evidence was uncovered that many kinds of dinosaur were more birdlike with feathers.
Artist C.M. Kosemen, in his book All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals, illustrated some present-day animals like many dinosaurs are typically drawn, based only on their skeletons.
Most serious paleoart bases itself on the detailed findings of paleontologists, who can work for weeks or even years compiling the most accurate descriptions of ancient life they can, based on fossil remains. But Kosemen says that many dinosaur illustrations should take more cues from animals living today. Our world is full of unique animals that have squat fatty bodies, with all kinds of soft tissue features that are unlikely to have survived in fossils, such as pouches, wattles, or skin flaps. “There could even be forms that no one has imagined,” says Kosemen. “For example there could plant-eating dinosaurs that had pangolin or armadillo-like armor that wasn’t preserved in the fossil. There could also be dinosaurs with porcupine-type quills.”
Here are Kosemen’s drawings of a baboon and swans:
Tags: C.M. Kosemen dinosaurs
The future! :/
True story, per Googler:
Most machines can now bypass CAPTCHA, and really the reason we’re being forced to pick those images, instead of digits, is just to teach driverless cars and the like to recognize the world.
You’re not a bot, but you’re helping make one more human.”
- Matt Chaban on Twitter: “True story, per Googler: Most machines can now bypass CAPTCHA, and really the reason we’re being forced to pick those images, instead of di… https://t.co/GKjtEXxEr3”
On a cheerier note, this is fun
Random Access Character
Project from GLKT generates surreal walking characters made with random objects and can save your results in GIF format:
Random Access Character is a procedural character generator.
It lets you generate an infinite number of different characters, made from various objects and textures. Morphology, colors, movements, patterns are mixed together to create a unique blend and generate a unique character every time.
You can save an animated GIF of your favorite find, that will be upoaded to imgur. You can then share your encounter to the world !
It is available for PC, Mac and Linux here
Twitter Plays Tetris
Project from Salvatore Aiello takes advantage of the new Twitter character limit for everyone to play a game of Tetris made using Braille unicode:
Mention @TwtPlayTetris in a tweet with LEFT, RIGHT, ROTATE, DROP.
Votes are tallied every three minutes
~~Check Tweets & Replies for the current game~~
You can tweet your move here
Oh, wow. I followed the first exploration obesssively... fingers crossed for a safe trip for Ben.
In 2013, polar adventurer Ben Saunders, along with his partner Tarka L’Herpiniere, set out from the coast of Antarctica to ski to the South Pole and back again, unsupported (meaning they carried all their food and supplies with them). They completed the 1800-mile journey in just over three months, but fell short of doing it unsupported.
This year, Saunders is back in Antarctica by himself, attempting the first solo, unsupported, unassisted crossing of the continent in the Trans-Antarctic Solo expedition. The really cool part: he’s blogging the whole trip. He’s already completed day one of the 1,024-mile journey, consisting of a short little 45-minute jaunt to set up his tent before hitting it in earnest on day two. Good luck, Ben! I’ll be following along on the blog, via Twitter & Instagram, and tracking your progress on this map.Tags: Antarctica Ben Saunders skiing sports
The construct of gun violence did not just happen. It was created by white institutions. It is reinforced every day.
The construct depends on the inferior ‘other’ and the power of whiteness.
The experiences of the ‘other’ and the humanity of the 'other’ must be negated so white consciousness can hide their insecure and racist ways.
Treating a white murderer as you would a non-white murderer is impossible under our current construct.
Worth clicking through!
Kids these days
For the Guardian.
Order my new book here: https://goo.gl/6sypYT
I found this very relaxing!
It’s been years since we first heard it, and I have no idea if my little boy still loves it like he did then, but I can’t get enough of this acoustic version of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” from the kids’ album B Is For Bob:
This song and its video presentation drive home the importance of a literary frame for meaning. I never much liked the other versions of this song, in part because the frame was obscured. The cartoon and the flattening of the song’s structure help draw it out again.
Bob Marley and (forgive me) a bunch of college hippies singing “every little thing’s gonna be all right” as an anthem is insipid. But Bob Marley singing a song to children about three birds who tell him (apocryphally, fleetingly) that everything will be all right? That is inspired.Tags: birds Bob Marley children’s music love letters music
It's the saddest thing I have seen in many months of sad news: The front page of the Metro, a free newspaper given away on the buses in Britain, said "At least 27 people were killed during a morning church service in the latest US shooting massacre."
"The latest"! They're now so routine that the Metro has switched from indefinite to definite article. It's not "a terrible shooting massacre in the US" anymore, it's just "the latest US shooting massacre." Everyone knows there will be more. This one was merely the latest. The governor's prayers are with the people of Sutherland Springs; the president sends word from Japan that it wasn't about guns, it was about mental illness. See page 4 for the Queen's investment in offshore tax havens, page 6 for the governing party Member of Parliament who puts his hand up women's skirts in elevators.
What the actual what??
Among the millions of algorithmically-generated videos on YouTube attempting to hack keyword searches, autoplay rankings, and human cognition, a very sizeable number are aimed at children, playing on common YouTube tropes such as nursery rhymes, surprise eggs, learning colours and popular songs and characters.
A very significant number of these however are intentionally disturbing, segueing from standard cartoon fare into nightmarish situations of pain, fear, violence and abuse, with a notable propensity for things which particularly trouble children: dentistry, blood, injections, insects, and evil clowns. The knock-off Peppa Pigs above are at the very mildest end of this spectrum.
What is particularly troubling is that while there is a connection here to the kind of algorithmic weirdness that youtube and other similar complex computational systems throw up with increasing regularity (the rape tshirts, the adult diaper phone cases), this is not fully automated, random, or accidental, but a deliberate, intentional attempt to terrorise and traumatise children, performed on a massive scale, using Youtube and its algorithms as its attack vector.
EDIT: This seemed interesting enough that I wrote an extended piece on it, which contains most of the responsible links originally posted here:
Click here to read: Something is wrong on the Internet by James Bridle
Aaaand I just read a poem in Chinese. Very cool.
From Bryan Van Norden:
It took me a while to "get" this, but it's very cool, and you can appreciate it even if you have never learned a Chinese character before in your life. It's a contemporary Chinese poem entitled "War Symphony." You only need to read four characters to understand it:
兵 bīng means soldier (you can imagine that the lines at the bottom are the soldier's legs) [VHM: The lines at the bottom are actually derived from the pictographic representation of two hands; they are holding an adze (you can see additional examples if you click on the "more" button at the top right of the linked section), the primordial tool-weapon, which is what the earliest form of the character actually stood for. It was later used by metonymy to mean "soldier". For a powerful woodcut (artist Dan Heitkamp) inspired by the oracle bone form of the glyph, see the title page of Victor Mair, tr. and intro., The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods (Columbia University Press, 2007).]
乒乓 pīng pāng is Ping Pong, but individually the characters are used to represent the sounds "ping" and "pang" (like the sounds of metal weapons clanging)
丘 qiū is a mound, like a funeral mound
Taiwanese poet from Hualien
Zhànzhēng jiāoxiǎng qǔ 战争交响曲 (War Symphony)
乓乒乒乒乒 乒 乓 乓 乓 乒 乓乒 乒 乒 乓
乒乒 乒乒 乓乓 乒乒乓乒乒乓乒乓乒乒乒
Here is an animation of the poem, followed by a video of the poet reading it aloud:
Chen Li 陳黎: A War Symphony 戰爭交響曲 (animation+reciting 動畫+唸詩)
Animation made by Wu Xiu-jing (動畫：吳秀菁) Chen Li's reciting of the poem starts at 1:01
These are so great!
Last Autumn, we covered an Instagram sensation concerning mushrooms and in a strangely timely coincidence we’ve just stumbled across another amazingly colourful tribute to world of funghi. The work of artist Jill Bliss, this series focuses not just on individual mushrooms but rather group compositions that Bliss has created herself with a strong eye for colour combining.
Bliss calls her works Nature Medleys and to make them she uses “natural objects found on daily wanderings among the islands of the Pacific Northwest.” The artist lives on a small island in the Salish Sea, which sits between a network of coastal waterways that stretches between British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest – the local natural biodiversity is her inspiration and her palette.
Photographed against a bed of vibrant green moss, sedums and coastal plants, the mushroom medleys combine natural browns and greys, murky purples and sedate blues shot through with hot oranges, yellows and pinks. Sometimes they feature feathers, bark, slabs of wood, even antlers and they look for all the world like wonderful bouquets of blooms.
Bliss grew up on a farm in northern California and later worked as a designer and artist in New York, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. In 2012 she sold her house and belongings to embark on a year-long sabbatical, expressly to embrace a slower pace of life. As she has noted on her website, “that sabbatical year has stretched into a new life chapter – I’ve been living, working, traveling and exploring amongst the Salish Sea islands of Canada and Washington State ever since.” She describes a rather lovely way of life dictated by the seasons, her desire to do her bioregional studies and the need to earn enough to support her new life. You can buy prints and stationary from her online shop and follow her Salish sea life on Instagram.
Home sweet home :)
Bondi Beach and its surrounding suburb are located in Sydney, Australia. One of the city’s most stunning and popular destinations, the beach gets its name from the Aboriginal word “Bondi” that means waves breaking over rocks.
Source imagery: Sinclair Knight Mertz
Compilation of short animations by Ari Weinkle features a topographic human form that is undone represented as metaphorical emotions:
Moodles is a short animation based on the effects of negative emotions on one’s self. It turns built up tension, stress, and anxiety into creative catharsis. Frozen figures – once paralyzed by moods – are reduced to heaps of flexible nothingness.
Reference to The Fountainhead
Touchingly inept definition of a well-known cultural phenomenon: “Rock ‘n’ roll is a type of bouncy music that originated in the 1970’s…”
Misattribution of quotation: “As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’”
Use of the word “Nowadays…”
The Catcher in the Rye reference, often misremembering the book’s conclusion.
“A ______________ team is like a family” about any team sport.
Use of the phrase, “According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary…”
Scorn heaped upon peers who make a certain mistake, followed by the writer making the same mistake herself: “Unlike my peers, I don’t need to use an acronym every time I want to share my emotional response, LOL.”
Writer takes a grim turn within list of rhetorical questions he poses in essay: “What is the main character’s desire? Do any of us have any desire? Is there anything worth desiring? Why are we here? Why?”
Commas instead of periods.
Broad declaration about the characteristics of all people: “Everyone loves pizza!” “No one likes Minnesota!”
Tautologies, e.g. “As a football player, I learned that the game is the reason we play the game.”
Touching attempt to find a positive despite overwhelming odds: “So in the end, even though we set our house on fire by mistake, and my dog lost that fight with the rattlesnake, and the rest of the town tried to tar and feather us, I learned that people are still really good.”
Semicolons subbed in for any punctuation except their actual use.
“Since the dawn of time, man has….”
Hint of a more interesting story not being told: “The day I got my college acceptance was the same day my English teacher was arrested for soliciting. I’ll never forget opening that letter from Duke…”
Attempt to butter up the teacher/professor: “As I’ve learned in the only helpful English class I’ve taken so far…”
Attempt to subtweet the teacher/professor: “While some would say Joan Didion is a wonderful writer, she isn’t.”
One enormous paragraph.
Assertion that writer was somehow the only member of a rather large demographic in area where he or she grew up: “As a child with glasses, I was the laughingstock of Peoria.”
Closing paragraph clearly exists to fulfill mandatory page count: “In conclusion, it is indeed true that The Scarlet Letter, a book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a very, very good book that is worth having considered in this essay, as I have done in this essay, here.”
This is EXCITING news!
Sony is bringing back its robodog Aibo over a decade since it launched the original robotic canine friend in 1999. The new model, continuing the name Aibo, “can form an emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion,” says Sony.
A handy PSA