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Disney's The Ballad of Nessie

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My family saw the new Winnie The Pooh movie this weekend and I was delighted that Pooh was preceded by the new Disney short, The Ballad of Nessie. Based on co-director Stevie Wermers's student project at Caltech, The Ballad of Nessie is hand-drawn with a decidedly vintage Disney feel. Indeed, co-director Kevin Deters cites Mary Blair and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as stylistic influences. "Ballad of Nessie: The 'Lost' Disney Short" (Animation World Network)

Psychedelics and modern art

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"Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art" is a new book by New York Times art critic Ken Johnson in which he traces the history of trippy art over the last 50 years, featuring work from R. Crumb and Jeff Koons (above right) to Joe Brainard (above left) and Marry Beth Edelson. I have always agreed with Johnson's premise, discussed in a CNN interview, that the best art bumps you into a new reality tunnel. From CNN:
 Content Edition Covervoila 422 04498 107062 Xxl Can you elaborate on some features or elements of what you describe of as being "conceptually psychedelic?"

Johnson: I think the main thing is the idea that in psychedelic experience, people start thinking about their own perceptions. They don't take their perceptions for granted, but they start thinking about how our perceptions work and how interesting it is the way we think about the world, so we think about our thinking.

CNN: Are you suggesting that you have to be stoned or high to create art or appreciate modern art?

Johnson: No, I don't think being high or stoned makes anybody more creative. If it did, there would be a lot of stoners out there making great art... I don't think you have to be high to look at it.

I think what it does do, I think any work of art encourages you to imagine your way into a state of consciousness that may not be your normal state, so you kind of suspend disbelief and allow yourself to be imaginatively seduced into a different way of relating to the world so that you study things more carefully, you think about how things are affecting you.

"Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art" by Ken Johnson (Amazon)

"How the drugs of the 60s changed art" (CNN)

China: artist Ai Weiwei detained in tiny cell under harsh conditions

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The sister of artist and dissident Ai Weiwei says that during his time in jail, Ai was not tortured and received food and his medications regularly. But he was kept in a tiny cell, 6 cell tiles wide in either direction, and under conditions that amounted to psychological pressure. When he paced inside that tiny cell, she said, he was followed by two guards, who accompanied him everywhere, all the time. From a Washington Post interview:

"The room light was on 24 hours every day," she said. "The only furniture in the room was a bed. Except for the bed, there was nothing else in the room, no chair, no desk. They didn't offer Ai anything-- no book, no newspaper, no TV, no radio, not even a piece of paper or a pen."

Gao said the two guards watched him constantly, never speaking; the officers changed shifts every three hours.

"They stared at him without ever moving their eyes," she said, adding that they stood close by even while he used the toilet. "And when he took a shower, they just stood right next to him, even though they were getting totally wet.

"Can you imagine the feeling of having four eyes always on you, no matter what you do?" Gao said. "If you lie down and go to sleep, they just stand at the side of the bed and look at you without a blink of the eye. When he had a walk in the room, they also followed him. These measures were designed to destroy people's minds," she said.

More here.

Bolivia: an extremely funky house, and other visual delights.

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Photographer and Boing Boing reader Mario Landivar has a wonderful set of photos from his native Bolivia, but none so Boingy as this one, here: a fantastically funky house in the town of El Alto. Makes more sense in the context of so much indigenous color. I love this languid shot of Lake Titicaca. More great shots in his feed, here. Thanks for sharing them in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool, Mario!

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Murdoch apologizes

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This statement, purportedly Rupert Murdoch's forthcoming apology for crimes committed at one of his London newspapers, is doing the rounds on Twitter. It's not terribly convincing! It reads to me kind of like this:

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Transparent chair filled with hay

Hey* by Fabio del Percio.jpeg Fabio del Percio, an Italian upholsterer, recently launched this attractive new line of furniture made from Icelandic hay and transparent vinyl. The series is called "Hey" and available at U.K. retailer e-side. Pictured here is "Transparent Chair", which weighs 18kg and has a £540 price tag. [via Design Milk]

Fleshing out the garden

arses.jpg Naked volunteers pose for American artist Spencer Tunick in front of Gaasbeek Castle in Belgium, July 9, 2011. Organizers estimated 800 people posed for the early morning nude photo installation, titled "Sleeping Beauties". Photo: Thierry Roge with Reuters. Previously: Naked City

Gator and canoe, Texas summertime (photo, Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

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Photographer and Boing Boing reader Fred Facker of Houston, TX shares this image with the Boing Boing Flickr pool. "Just a floating log next to our canoe."

"You can go get the canoe," he writes. "I'll catch up."

The Bronx Riviera: summertime NYC photo-essay

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Photographer and Boing Boing reader Stephane Missier shares with the Boing Boing Flickr Pool a series of images he shot at the so-called "Bronx Riviera" over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. "People go to Orchard beach to have fun and they look genuinely happy," he explains. "Orchard Beach is one remaining enclave of the real New York, and there's nothing better than the real New York during summer." View the entire photo-set here.

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Emil Goodman's "Henry Waltz" animated film trailer


"Henry Waltz" is a feature-length animation in development by director Emil Goodman. The trailer gives me the same feeling as Peter Chung's early Æon Flux shorts. I look forward to the full film! Henry Waltz

Documentary about the bricks of St. Louis


[Video Link] The people of St. Louis sure love their bricks, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, poachers from other Louisiana and Mississippi love St. Louis bricks, too, and are stealing them.

Accidental western scene

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Greg In The Desert found this cool "Western looking scene at sunset in the splashing of water against a pier."

(Image: Accidental Western Scene, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from gregjsmith's photostream)

Terrible taxidermy

A two-legged donkey taken from the Facebook page 'badly stuffed animals'.jpeg Of the many incompetently stuffed animals at the Badly Stuffed Animals Page at Facebook, this doubly-unfortunate donkey stands out. [via The Daily Mail]

NuPenny Store in Wichita is never open

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Randy Regier's NuPenny Store in Wichita, KS is not opening today. In fact, it will never open.

More photos after the jump.

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An appreciation of '60s and '70s bubblegum trading cards

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Dangerous Minds recently did a nice image gallery of selected bubblegum trading cards of the 1960s and '70s, including some sci-fi classics, Bo Derek, What's Happening, and Dukes of Hazzard.

Baby Yoda Beanie

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$24, Etsy (knitterkrys), via bookofjoe via Tara McGinley.

Internet angered by website redesign

asfasfasftc.pngMajor tech blog MineCrunch went live with a long-awaited redesign today. Naturally, the internet is angry and confused. With radical features like black text typeset in Helvetica against a white background, a traditional blog river, bold headlines, faster load times and a fashionable 8-bit style logo, there are .. wait, there's nothing crazy at all! So what on Earth are its readers complaining about?

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Watch these kids play Star Wars on a giant touch screen

It's probably the level of concentration required, but these kids do not look nearly as excited about what they are doing as I think they should.

For the last two years, University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student Arthur Nishimoto has been working on this incredible-looking video game based around a multi-touch interface. According to the YouTube page, the game:

... explores how a real-time interactive strategy game that would typically rely on complex keyboard commands and mouse interactions be transferred into a multi-user, multi-touch environment. Originally designed for use with TacTile, a 52-inch multi-touch LCD tabletop display, "Fleet Commander" game play has been ported to EVL's 20-foot wide multi-touch LCD wall, Cyber-Commons. "Fleet Commander" uses Processing, an open source programming language.

There's more about the game's development at Nishimoto's website. Also: In before the Orson Scott Card jokes!

Video Link

Via Golem.de and Carl Wirth

Animated GIFs rule in 2011

tumblr_llg4odOzdu1qe0eclo1_r15_500.gif Image: From Blade Runner (1982), animated by If We Don't, Remember Me. Animated GIFs were once the loathed embodiment of everything wrong with 1990s web design. Now they are the new art of the 'net, from message-board humor tropes to mesmerizing distillations of classic movie scenes. Anil Dash:
The facts about animated GIFs are stark. They only support a palette of 256 colors. No current browser lists support for animated GIF as a codec for the HTML5 video tag. That omission is understandable, as GIF compression of animation isn't particularly efficient. They even lived under an unfashionable cloud of patent uncertainty during the web's formative years. And those are just some of the traits I love about the format.
They work perfectly, impose strict creative limitations, and invite artists to solve certain addictive puzzles (such as smooth looping) every time. But there's more to it than that...

Models of Worlds of Fun roller coasters, circa 1980

I'm not really a roller coaster rider. Why? Because of this thing. Or, rather, because of the full-scale real roller coaster this model is based on. Sometime in the mid 1980s, (I'm not exactly sure when, because neither he or I fully remember) I talked my father into taking me on the Screamroller, a corkscrew roller coaster at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. I do not know how old I was at the time, except, to say, far too young. (This roller coaster was disassembled and replaced with a different ride when I was 7, so I know it was before that.) I don't remember the ride itself—just standing in line being excited beforehand, and crying unconsolably afterwards.

But now, thanks to the artistry and skill of the model builder behind ModelCoasters.com, I can relive the experience, in a far less terrifying and far more enjoyably geeky way. I kind of adore model trains, and the model roller coasters built by modelcoasters.com scratch that itch well, using K'nex motors to haul the trains uphill and letting gravity do its job the rest of the way through the ride. This person has a full set of coaster models—called Project 31—showcasing all the roller coasters that were at Worlds of Fun in 1980. It's a nifty project and great work!

There's more photos and videos on the Model Coasters website. Below is a photo I took of the Model Coaster's version of the Orient Express (which I always loved to watch, even though I never had an interest in riding it). The entire series is on display in Kansas City's Union Station through August 11.

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Video Link

Surreal architectural projection


Mark Dery points us to this mindbendingly amazing video of 1024 Architecture's "interactive architectural mapping" on a former theater in Lyon, France last year. The sounds of the audience controlled the visuals projected onto the building's façade. "Perspective Lyrique" (via Architizer)

Papercraft gadgets

Back to Basics: Retro Electronics Made of Paper by Zim and Zou paper art .jpeg Design studio Zim and Zou—Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmerman—cut and collected a full set of amazing papercraft gadgets. The colors! Back to Basics: Retro Electronics Made of Paper by Zim and Zou [This is Colossal via Laughing Squid]

Dream anatomy

tumblr_lmeayq6OjU1qec836o1_1280.jpeg Google books is great for leafing through old and supremely weird tomes such as Juan Valverde de Amusco's 1559 Anatomia del corpo humano. This picture serves as the cover of Michael Sappol's Dream Anatomy, a history of renaissance anatomical art published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Amazon link) There is an accompanying web gallery, too. [via Chloe via Scientific Illustration]

Man steals Picasso drawing this week, and other art thefts from history

On Wednesday, San Francisco police arrested a 31-year-old man who allegedly snatched a Picasso sketch, valued at $275,000, from a ritzy downtown art gallery. Pegged on that news, the excellent Bay Citizen presents a gallery of famous art crimes and the masterminds behind them. From the Bay Citizen:
Fd1M41No1Mas17Z7M5Le5Fqho1 400 In 1911 Vincenzo Peruggia worked at Paris’ famed Louvre museum, where he stole a little painting you might have heard of--the Mona Lisa. Peruggia hid overnight in the museum only to emerge in the morning when the museum was closed. Much like the suspected Picasso thief, Peruggia simply walked up to the painting, took it off the wall, stuffed it under his clothes, and exited the building.
"Inspired by the Picasso Art Heist: Gallery of Famous Art Crimes"

The pixel 'n' vector art camera collection

billybrownscameras.jpg Billy Brown made this amazing set of low-fi illustrations of cameras. "The camera illustrations are under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This means you can do absolutely anything with them but you gotta give me (Billy Brown) credit somewhere. I used Adobe Illustrator to make the graphics, Isotope for the layout of the images above and web-fonts Gnoulane and Otari throughout this website. Yay for free things."

Jay Kinney on "The Rise and Fall of the Underground Comix Movement"

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Here's cartoonist and all-around genius Jay Kinney reading an excerpt from his essay "The Rise and Fall of the Underground Comix Movement in San Francisco and Beyond" from the book Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78, edited by Chris Carlsson and published by City Lights Foundation.

More at Found SF: Rise and Fall of Underground Comix

Memory Palace podcast: renegade architect Bradford Gilbert

 Gon 1889 Tower Building Nyc Museum Of The City Of Ny 21.5 Ft Wide Nate Dimeo's latest episode of the excellent Memory Palace podcast is about renegade architect Bradford Gilbert, designer of what's considered to be New York City's first skyscraper, the Tower Building. When it was completed in 1889, the Tower Building was the first steel-framed curtain wall skyscraper and, as such, raised concerns that it would topple over in the wind. The controversy led to Gilbert climbing the building during a hurricane to prove everyone wrong... "Memory Palace Episode 38: A Stretch"

Heavy metal quilts by Ben Venom


Ben Venom makes large, luxurious quilts out of heavy metal t-shirts. Seen above is "Don't Wake Me Lucifer" (83" x 95", 2010). His latest piece will be hanging at the BAN6 exhibition at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts opening this Friday, July 8. For more of Venom's devilishly cool textiles, check out Stacey Ransom's Ransom Notes post about his work. "Mr. Ben Venom at Ban6" (Ransom Notes)

Boring Magazine design contest winner!

We asked you to design the cover to a supremely boring periodical. The response was overwhelming, with more than 100 thoroughly mind-numbing entries resting on the magazine rack in Hell. Pictured here is winner Tired Magazine, a mirror-world version of Wired where hold music, baby photos and warm salads dominate the headlines. Designer Jack Daniel gets a heavy-duty $350 messenger bag from Saddleback Leather. Three more of the best are after the jump.

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Vintage photo filter actions for Photoshop

Here are some fantastic vintage-photo Photoshop actions by Daniel Box, for people who can't afford Instragram. [via Gizmodo]