Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
"Warriors Briskly with Courage"

I randomly came across this fascinating Japanese print of what appears to be a startled monkey scribe about to be reprimanded by an angry human, who obviously doesn't appreciate the novelty of a writing monkey.

Anyway, I looked into the background of the 19th century artist, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, who was the last master of a Japanese woodblock printing technique called Ukiyo-e. His life story and his other works are equally impressive. The design, textures, and content of his prints are truly masterful & beautiful. As he was living in an era of change from feudal to modern Japan, he was subject to the great social and forces that inspire such great art.

"The night clouds dissolve
Hotei pointing at the moon
holds no opinion"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blogger Play

As I was logging in to Blogger, I saw on the main page a description of Blogger Play. As a graphic artist and a visual information junkie, this website is like optical crack to me. It is basically a real time slideshow of images being uploaded to Google's servers. The never-ending flow of pictures are as random and as fascinating as the infinite realm of human experience. The universal mind continues to connect and expand...

Lone Monkey
Random photo seen on Blogger Play
(from Lizzy's Blog)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Evolution of Apple

I consider the Macs I use at home & work to be extensions of my mind. It truly amazes me how much creative potential and information can be unlocked through our magic light boxes.

Often, I feel like my life has run directly parallel to the development of personal computing tech. I was born around the time the Apple II came out. In elementary school, my family had the simple Commodore 64, which we only used to play games. Then around Middle School we got a Windows 3.1 PC that I knew sucked, even at the time, if for nothing else than that I had to learn some DOS programming language.

I knew there would, one day, be computers that were actually user-friendly and productive, but when?!?!

What I didn't know was that the Apple Computer was out there, giving ideas to Microsoft to rip off. In high school physics I was exposed to Macs for the first time. Going into college I had a PC with Windows 95 and eventually got a version of Photoshop that I started to teach myself. As an engineering student in college, I was forced into using PCs only, which in retrospect may explain why I ended up wanting to get wasted all the time. I came to my senses and switched to the Mac-friendly & Paul-friendly major of graphic design. For only taking 5 years to graduate, my wonderful parents got me the innovative G4 Cube, my first Mac. At home I now have a single processor G5 PowerMac that is unacceptably slow. "Give me quantum processing or give me death!" At the very least, I have vowed to not buy another Mac until the iTablet comes out, but Steve Jobs is not making it easy at all. Presenting the iPhone was like a sick taunt...

Anyway, this chart from is a detailed look at the greatest product line, ever.

We'll Make Great Pets

Perry Farrell thought aliens would be the ones to domesticate mankind, but perhaps our future overlords are destined to be beings of silicon that we help create. The internet/telecommunication grid is like an embryonic structure that has been connecting and forming like a vast brain for an entity that we can't even imagine.

Do not read this article
unless you want you want your head to explode.

Reason Magazine
"Will Super Smart Artificial Intelligences
Keep Humans Around As Pets?"

"My Pet Human"

This is probably more like it:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hillary Calls Cheney 'Vader'

Hillary Clinton can spew meaningless political platitudes at times & is supported by corporate interests, but calling Dick Cheney "Darth Vader" on national TV is enough to get a vote from me. She isn't exactly correct, though, since Cheney is more like Emperor Palpatine...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Miraculous Tree Mark

This story about a tree-shaped mark found inside, of all things, a tree trunk reminds me of all the "imaginative" people who say they see holy apparitions in random irregular marks. If you convince enough people to see the face or figure that you see, you can probably make most of them believe its a miracle or sign.

I used to sit on the school bus in the winter and imagine whole scenes in the frost of the window. When I would look out the window at night into the trees behind my parent's house, I would visualize faces & all kinds of forms. I guess it just annoys me that people don't realize that the significance of the form is created in their mind alone & it's not inherent to the perceived form. Basically, people are fooled by the pattern-making nature of their own brain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Holograms are Virtually Here!

..pun intended...
There were a couple ideas in science fiction that always seemed to be waaay to technologically difficult to overcome anytime soon - teleportation, faster-than-light travel, laser guns, fighting robots, etc. In the mind-boggling time that we live in, these hurdles seem to be much more feasible with each passing day, approaching the information singularity, perhaps?. One future tech that I always thought to be especially tough would be holographic displays. Despite living in a holographic universe, the idea of creating images in thin air seemed far-fetched. Of course, human ingenuity can be surprisingly ingenious.

"Rendering for an Interactive
360ยบ Light Field Display"

Link to story on Engadget

How appropriate that they chose an image of a TIE fighter,
since the next step for this technology is:

Twisted Metal Atomic Clown

At first, I thought this was just a cool graphic, demonstrating superb visual irony. Then I found out that it's an awesome ad for a new Twisted Metal game for PS3. Clowns are scary by themselves, but combined with the insanity of nuclear weaponry this is as nightmarish as imagery can get.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Osama bin Goldstein

Osama through the years: 2001, 2004, 2007

Being an expert in reality manipulation, as well as a complete skeptic, it is hard for me to look at these Osama videos and take any of it at face value.

I don't claim to know anything that I haven't experienced first-hand, and even that's questionable. Osama could be dead, he could be alive in Crawford, TX, he could be a hologram... none of these possibilities would really surprise me. All I know is that he has been The Terror Warriors' perpetual Emmanuel Goldstein and the timing of these past few videos have been, at the very least, suspicious. What I never understand is how the media & intelligence agencies have access to 'Al-queda' websites and members, but they can't pinpoint where these epicenters of Islamofascist terrorist propaganda are located.

Maybe Osama really did dye his beard before making a jihad video in the frontier regions of Afghanistan/Pakistan/Whereverstan. Maybe the CIA/KGB/Mossad now uses an advanced CGI 3D model of the dead Osama to make these propoganda videos... & they forgot to make the beard grey. Maybe Barak Obama is really Osama in disguise!!!! He needs to keep the shaved look as 'Obama', so he had to use a fake black beard for the 'Osama' look using the cave backdrop. That probably as feasible at this point as any other theory:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Star Wars: Then & Now

By far, my favorite movies are the Star Wars saga. The movies have enthralled me since I was a kid, but as I grow older and learn about the contributions of those like Joseph Campbell and Industrial Light & Magic, I really gain a deeper appreciation of the story and production as it relates to overall human culture.

As someone who uses Photoshop daily & enjoys the creative possibilities it provides, I am indebted to the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic who helped develop the original software. I came across this article that goes into great detail concerning the technological innovations that were developed in the production of such movies as Star Wars & Close Encounters:

"Star Wizards"
"How a handful of desperate innovators took special effects to new heights in two 1977 movies—Star Wars and Close Encounters"

The other interesting bit of current Star Wars news is a trailer for an upcoming game, Force Unleashed. They already have the new Def Jam game out, so besides this Star Wars game all the have to do is come out with the next Soul Caliber and I'll be forced to buy Playstation 3...