Nicholas sends us, "A crowd funding campaign to create a short film
adaptation of Poe's 'The Tell Tale Heart' set on space
station orbiting a mysterious planet. The short, ORBIT, has
an emphasis on practical special effects and old in-camera
techniques as a celebration of some of the classic sci-fi
films it was directly inspired by."
The production team is very accomplished and this looks very beautiful, and they've brought down their reward pricing: $13 gets you a digital DRM-free download of the movie.
ORBIT - A Sci-Fi Thriller from the Mind of Edgar Allan Poe
The wonderful, talented Wil Wheaton has landed a weekly show with SyFy
, called the Wil Wheaton project: "a weekly roundup of the things I love on television and on the Internet, with commentary and jokes, and the occasional visit from interesting people who make those things happen. It’s sort of like Talk Soup for geeks." Congrats, Wil!
David writes, "Award-winning photographer Seth Kushner is renowned for his photography book of portraits of comic book writers and artists (Leaping Tall Buildings). Seth Kushner spent much of his 20s dating, or trying to date, in New York City. For the last 6 years, Kushner has been writing a semi-autobiographical webcomic called SCHMUCK chock full of equal parts tragedy and comedy."
$9 gets you a download of the book, $25 gets you a print edition.
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[Ed: I'm a huge fan of Kembrew McLeod, a writer, nerdfighter, media theorist and hoopy frood. From epic pranks like Freedom of Expression (R) to genius analysis like Creative License, Kembrew always amazes. Here's an excerpt from his latest: Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World, with an introduction just for us -Cory]
Since I was a kid, I have been fixated on trickery, which played a role in why I grew up to be an occasional prankster (my dad recalls that, as an adolescent, I would surprise him by placing my Sesame Street Ernie doll in grim situations, such leaving him in a noose hanging from a shower head or pinned to the kitchen wall with a knife). Now that I am an adult, I spend most of my time as a teacher and professor being a bit more serious -- enough to take the subject of pranking seriously, which is why I wrote Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World, published by NYU Press on April 1 this year. The word prank is more often used today to describe stunts that make people look foolish and little more. I'm not interested in celebrating cruelty -- especially the sorts of mean-spirited practical jokes, hazing rituals, and reality television deceits that are all too common in today's popular culture. Although "good" pranks sometimes do ridicule their targets, they serve a higher purpose by sowing skepticism and speaking truth to power (or at least cracking jokes that expose fissures in power's facade). A prank a day keeps The Man away, I always say. Nevertheless, I should stress that this book is not solely about pranking. Many of the characters who populate its pages aren't driven by noble impulses, and even those who are more pure of heart can muddy the ethical waters with dubious tactics. With this in mind, Pranksters examines everything from political pranks, silly hoaxes, and con games to the sort of self-deception that fuels outlandish belief systems. The following is an excerpt from Chapter Nine of Pranksters, about the exploits of a married couple named Jeanne and Alan Abel who began as professional pranksters in the late 1950s, and are still at it today.
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Paul Roustan is an incredible body-painter who produces brilliant optical illusions. In this video, he shows how he's painted a model to blend seamlessly into this image of a pandora sphinx moth; when she emerges from the still, it's a pure mind-blower. This (NSFW) gallery of his work shows off his incredible versatility and virtuosity.
When You See It…
This engagement ring with a built-in lens and slide is apparently a prototype produced by an unnamed Polish manufacturer. According to Technolog, who posted the images to Reddit, the publicity-shy manufacturer hasn't gone into production yet.
Update: Technolog has updated the post with the name of the maker: Marek Mazur of Gdansk
Engagement ring with little photo slide and lens in it
(via Super Punch)
Harry sez, "Tattoos are the best form of self expression, but let's face it, some of us don't want to get something permanent on our skin that we might regret for the rest of our lives. That's where TATTONOMY
comes in. They've created temporary tattoos with geeky designs that you will never regret having. You put them on with water, they stay on for a few days and then you wave goodbye to your geeky design."
Harry's the CPU Wars guy -- a good egg.
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Michael Lewis is the best finance writer in the business (see my reviews of The Big Short and Liar's Poker), a gifted storyteller with a firm grasp of his subject and real insider access and insight. He's got a new book out, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, which tells the story of the high-speed traders who turned the stock markets into (more of) a rigged game, and how the big incumbent banks fought back. The New York Times Magazine has adapted a long excerpt from the book and it's thrilling, shining a light on what New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called "insider trading 2.0."
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Emmanuel Goldstein from 2600 Magazine
writes, "This summer's HOPE X conference is having a special EFF fundraiser
for the entire month of April. Ten percent of every ticket sale will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation as recognition of the essential work they're doing for the entire online community. In addition, there will be a huge EFF presence at the HOPE X conference, with multiple talks and presentations. HOPE X is being held July 18-20 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City."
Here's a smashing gallery of British science fiction and science pulps from the golden age of sf. These are recognizably of a piece with the American pulps of the era, but are also distinctive in every way: line, color-choice, subject, typography, composition and character design. They are a divergent, parallel universe to the American Gernsback continuum, and all the more striking for it.
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Jeff VenderMeer writes, "The Fourth Estate, my UK publisher, has put together a cool site that takes the main premise of my novel, Annihilation, and creates a text game around with, with images and video as well. Now you too can join an expedition into the mysterious Area X, supposedly a pristine wilderness, but hiding a lot more than that. Overseen by the secret agency, the Southern Reach, which has its own secrets to hide."
Previously: Talking with Jeff VanderMeer about his new novel Annihilation
Etsy seller Breakeble Designs used to offer these hand-painted Italian marble coasters that depicted the stretching portraits from the Haunted Mansions from Disneyland/Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. Alas, Breakeble Designs is on holiday, with no word of when or if the coasters will return. They'd make handsome decorative wall-tiles as well as coasters.
Haunted Mansion Stretching Portrait Italian Marble Coasters (via The Haunted Mansion)
The Swanson School in Auckland, NZ, quietly eliminated all the rules against "unsafe play," allowing kids to play swordfight with sticks, ride scooters, and climb trees. It started when the playground structures were torn down to make way for new ones, and the school principal, Bruce McLachlan, noticed that kids were building their own structures out of the construction rubble. The "unsafe" playground has resulted in some injuries, including at least one broken arm, but the parents are very supportive of the initiative. In particular, the parents of the kid with the broken arm made a point of visiting the principal to ask him not to change the playground just because their kid got hurt.
The article in the Canadian National Post notes that Kiwis are less litigious, by and large, than Americans, and that they enjoy an excellent national health service, and says that these two factors are a large contributor to the realpolitik that makes the playground possible. But this is still rather daring by Kiwi standards.
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Gmoke writes, "My City Gardens is up and running for the season. We're a local yard sharing website that connects gardeners, mentors, and people with access to space, to neighbors who want to roll up their sleeves and dig in. If you have extra space in your yard you'd like help cultivating, need a gardening plot this summer or are willing to lend gardening advise to your neighbors, please sign up!"
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Robbo sez, "Artist Paula Strawn paints the plain white medical helmets of babies and transforms them into super awesome designs.
The flight helmets and droid designs are really cool - but so are the Van Gogh and Seurat paintings. And the wee tykes look like they love 'em too."
The kids have flat head syndrome and have to wear the helmets; Strawn's done 1,300 helmets in 12 years, through her business Lazardo Art.
Artist Turns Babies' Head-Shaping Helmets Into Impressive Works Of Art [Mandy Velez/Huffington Post]