Why Edgar Allan Poe's work is still so damn good and creepy

Edgar Allan Poe scholar Scott Peeples explains the black magic of Poe's work nearly 170 years after he died. From TED-Ed:

The prisoner strapped under a descending pendulum blade. A raven who refuses to leave the narrator’s chamber. A beating heart buried under the floorboards. Poe’s macabre and innovative stories of gothic horror have left a timeless mark on literature. But just what is it that makes Edgar Allan Poe one of the greatest American authors? Scott Peeples investigates.

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MTV reviving Daria and Aeon Flux

MTV is reviving two of the greatest shows to ever appear on the channel: Daria and Aeon Flux. The latter will be a live action reboot. Daria, a spin-off from Beavis and Butt-head, was a brilliant black comedy cartoon about a misanthropic teen. Aeon Flux was a fantastically strange animated science fiction series created by Peter Chung that aired as part of the seminal Liquid Television animation showcase produced by the pioneering Colossal Pictures for MTV. From Rolling Stone:

For its reboot of Daria, MTV Studios announced that the show would tentatively be titled Daria and Jodie to reflect its new focus not just on the original eponymous heroine, but also her friend Jodie Landon. Per a description of the show, "These two smart young women take on the world, with their signature satirical voice while deconstructing popular culture, social classes, gender and race."

It's unclear if Daria and Jodie will be a full reimagining of the original series set at Lawndale High, or if it will catch up with Daria and Jodie in college or young adult life. Daria and Jodie will be helmed by Grace Edwards, who has written for Inside Amy Schumer, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and more.

Meanwhile, Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf, Criminal Minds) and Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead, Fear the Working Dead) will oversee the live-action revival of Aeon Flux. The show will follow the titular assassin as she "teams up with a group of biohacking rebels in the not too distant dystopian future to battle a brutally repressive regime and save humanity."

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Watch: "Horse destroys the universe"

Cyriak Harris is writing a novel titled "Horse Destroys the Universe." Cyriak has been creating strange animated GIFs and videos for more than a decade so he made a promo animation for his book-in-progress. Guess what? It's incredibly weird and amazing. From the novel description:

Life was simple for Buttercup the horse. Chewing grass in a field, gazing dreamily at passing clouds or standing at a hedge to watch the world go by. Perhaps a light nap followed by a gentle canter and more grazing, and then off to the stable for a programme of psychological tests designed to expand the boundaries of horse consciousness.

For Betty and Tim, life was also simple. Or at least as simple as life could be when you are scientists conducting neurological experiments on a horse. That is until the day they discovered their horse was conducting an experiment of its own.

Life became rather more complicated after that for Tim, Betty and Buttercup, and the ensuing struggle for control over one horse's destiny results in an intellectual arms race that takes all three of them to the edge of reality and beyond. It is a struggle that threatens to shake the foundations of civilisation and unravel the fabric of time and space. Can anyone stop this horse from destroying the universe?

Pledge on Unbound to support the completion of "Horse Destroys the Universe"

(Thanks, Paul Di Filippo!) Read the rest

Mesmerizing animations of 1960s science book op art covers

In the 1960s, book designers gave many science and psychology paperbacks glorious avant-garde and op art covers. Henning M. Lederer just released his second collection of animations of these fine book jackets! Below is the first, from 2015.

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Watch: The Magic of Oz, the "worst cartoon ever"?

The Magic of Oz, most likely from the early 1960s, is sometimes referred to as "the worst cartoon ever." I think that is hyperbolic but I appreciate the sentiment.

Animation historian Jerry Beck had this to say about it: "The film is a real mystery... and real awful."

(via /r/ObscureMedia)

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Incredible anti-drug PSA from cartoon kings Hanna-Barbera and Art Babbitt

In the 1970s, legendary Disney animator Art Babbitt, creator of Goofy, worked at Hanna-Barbera directing the studio's commercial division. His anti-drug PSA above, circa 1970, is a masterpiece of psychedelic cartooning.

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ASCII cinema: animated text-only embeds

Ascii Cinema is a purely text-based way to record and view, well, text. Whether it's terminal sessions or gorgeous ASCII animations such as those created by MapSCII, this means you get crisp, copy/pastable 1:1 representations of the input and output in a form as easily embedded as a YouTube video.

Simple recording Record right where you work - in a terminal. To start just run asciinema rec, to finish hit Ctrl-D or type exit.

Copy & paste Any time you see a command you'd like to try in your own terminal just pause the player and copy-paste the content you want. It's just a text after all!

Embedding Easily embed an asciicast player in your blog post, project documentation page or in your conference talk slides.

Here are a few pretty examples: Read the rest

The gorgeous, surreal GIFs of Adam Pizurny

Adam Pizurny's Tumblr is an endless font of stupendous and surreal GIFs. Read the rest

Russian computer animated cat from 1968

In 1968, Russian computer scientist Nikolai Nikolaevich Konstantinov and his colleagues at Moscow University created this computer animation of a cat using their Big Electronic Counting Machine (BESM). Their research, published in the scientific journal "Problems of Cybernetics, was pioneering in its use of mathematics to model complex motion. More about the research here, in Russian: Кошечка (etudes.ru via r/ObscureMedia)

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Trip out on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" concert screen projections

When Pink Floyd took the stage on their mid-1970s "Dark Side of the Moon" tour, they performed in front of a stunning video cut-up created by British animator Ian Emes. Above are screen projections from the 1974 French tour. Below, a reel from the 1975 North American tour. (The album audio was added by someone else later.) From Wikipedia:

Emes' first major work, 'French Windows', was started while he was subsequently a student at Birmingham College of Art and finished while he was unemployed. It was set to the Pink Floyd recording "One of These Days". After it was shown at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery, it was screened on the television programme The Old Grey Whistle Test, and thereby came to the attention of Pink Floyd. The band invited Emes to give them a private screening, and afterwards to make films to be projected during performances of The Dark Side of the Moon. His animation for their song "Time" is on Pink Floyd's Pulse DVD. He subsequently worked with Roger Waters, making live action film for his performance of The Wall – Live in Berlin.

As a result of his work for Pink Floyd, Linda McCartney asked Emes to animate Wings' "Oriental Nightfish". He has also made animations for concerts by Mike Oldfield, and directed The Chauffeur for Duran Duran.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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Weird laws from around the world

(NSFW language)

Funny: In Florida, it's unlawful to have sex with a porcupine. Sad: In Russia, it's illegal to tell minors that gay people exist. (Sam O'Nella)

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Animation of every Olympic 100m dash winner racing one another

Since 1896, the 100m dash remains the best thing at Olympic track & field apart from the weapons-throwing events. Usain Bolt dominates now, but would he have dominated then? Yes, of course he would have: by several seconds! (Not included: Ben Johnson's steroid-fueled 9.79s win at the '88 Games, for which he was disqualified. Bolt beat it in 2008 and 2012's race, and other athletes have outside the Olympics) Read the rest

Elegance, illustrated: heliocentrism vs geocentrism

In a gorgeous animation, Malin Christersson shows how much simpler it is to plot out celestial mechanics when you assume that all the bodies in our solar system are in orbit around the sun, rather than the other way around. Read the rest

Loadingicon: trippy looping gif animations to distract and delight

Loadingicons should loop, use a constrained color palette, and be fun enough to look at that they could distract a user while a computer or network churns away in the background. Read the rest

“Wire Cutters,” a wonderful short film on the rough lives of off-world robot miners

“A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet.” Read the rest

Paul Krugman, Economics Fighter

I'm too dumb to understand what the article is about, but Walter Newton's Street Fighter-style animations for "Paul Krugman Battles The Austerians" are fabulous. Read the rest

Kinetic sculptures made from popsicle sticks

Joyce Lin, a design student at RISD, has produced a wonderful set of kinetic sculptures made from popsicle sticks and other media, produced in spare time during the semester. They're incredibly fun to watch and I'm sure they're a delight to play with in person. The rest of her portfolio is equally exciting. Read the rest

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