<< archive: dec 01 2002 - dec 23 2002 >>
put on your two step shoes, lose the blues and dance like it's year zero.
that, my friend, is between you and the cows.
axes! fresh axes! get 'em while they're sharp! axes!
and remember, you can't spell "slaughter" without "laughter."
if we find him guilty, do we get to keep his stuff?
cover the world with a giant tea cozy.
maybe this ground-piercing nuke will quiet your yap.
we simply must challenge him for dominion of the solar system! let's go!

approved links

A Miracle of Science

Angels From Another Pin


Talking Points Memo

Roger Ebert

The Institute of Official Cheer


ToastyFrog Jump!

Homestar Runner

Bob the Angry Flower


Ah well. Enough warmongery. I'm a bit ashamed of myself, actually; this is not the time for it. This is the time for considering our shared humanity and all that nonsense that one mocks but secretly believes in, or at least wishes for, and hoping against hope that someday we'll all work out our differences without turning each others' cities into radioactive ash too much.

It could still happen.

Please enjoy this lovely wallpaper and have a very merry Christmas.

Yet another reason to prosecute this war vigorously: due to the downturn in the airline industry being exacerbated by Sept. 11, we aren't going to get this (see the news story). Bastards. They'll pay.
Well, as promised, here they are and you certainly can't say they're not daring. I'll order them from my least favorite to my most favorite:

Seventh, from THINK Design. Blech. What a waste of space. Next!

Sixth, from Richard Meier et al, it's a giant picket fence. At least we're moving in the right direction by actually putting buildings on the site, but still, there's gotta be a better use for all that airspace. Next!

Fifth, Foster and Partners. The two towers look alarmingly like they're going to tumble into each other, and don't really fit into the skyline. I'll admit they're pretty at night, though. Getting warmer.

Fourth, Peterson/Littenberg. A twin-towers concept, it's probably the most conventional design. It's not bad, but unfortunately a bit too reminiscent of the dreary responses to the first go-round. It also suffers from the same "walled-off plaza" problem the original World Trade Center had (the plaza between the towers, invariably described as "windswept," was blocked off from normal city traffic and utterly failed in its mission to be urban common space.) Still, I could live with this one.

Third, from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (one of my favorite architecture firms) it's a sort of a vertical city thingie. I like it and give it lots of points for being all science-fictiony, but still it's the sort of thing that works better when the rest of the city looks like it, too; it looks more appropriate to Hong Kong or Shanghai than New York.

Second, from United Architects. I didn't like this one at first, but it grew on me. In spite of the peculiar slanted design, the buildings themselves manage to combine solidity and futuristic design with at least some degree of cooperation with the existing skyline. I can dig it.

And now, my favorite: from Studio Daniel Libeskind, a design featuring some nice solid office towers combined with a giant spire ("vertical world gardens") at one corner of the site. It fits in with the past but acts as a gateway towards the dynamic architecture of the future. I think we have a winner!

Finally! Someone else who understands!

So supposedly there's going to be a new Space Cruiser Yamato series, and they really mean it this time, they swear. We'll see.

For your amusement and amazement, it's Massively Multiplayer Chess.
I'd vote for him.

Optical camouflage experiments. Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell is cited as a reference.

The new set of plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center is supposed to be unveiled on December 18. Insider buzz is extremely favorable, especially as compared to the lukewarm reception the first set of plans received, so I'm very interested in seeing what they've got.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Misadventures of Hello Cthulhu. And to make up for it, I also give you Dominic Deegan, Oracle for Hire.

At last, the Hollywood story you've all been waiting for -- it's the true behind-the-scenes story of Manos: The Hands of Fate!

Bob also got back by slipping in some decent camerawork against Hal's express orders. "See that?" he says as we watch a shot of the setting sun reflected from a rear-view mirror onto Diane's face. "Art. Hal would hate it when I did that."

I was looking up sites about terraforming for today's episode of A Miracle of Science, and ended up chasing a few interesting links.

First, The Terraforming Art Gallery contains several renderings and paintings of what Mars would look like, post-terraforming. Truly gorgeous realizations of something I've always wanted to see in real life.

Second, one of the renderings led me via the artist's home page to his short film, Horses on Mars: "One microbe's journey across space and time to find home." And now I want to see this film more than anything. [Digression: I followed a link on that site to the DFilm site, supposedly a sort of digital film festival, where I might be able to view it or at least find out if it was showing anywhere near me. I discovered instead that DFilm recently got venture capital, deployed a repulsive create-your-own-movie Shockwave app, and went into "stealth mode." If you aren't familiar with that term, think of it as kind of like a webcomic having a "delayed update schedule." The result is, no film for me, ever. Bastards. When I rule the Earth, such behavior will result in all concerned being shot without trial. Now that I think about it, shooting them wouldn't get me any closer to seeing the film and would indeed probably be counterproductive, but when one has the awesome responsibility of ruling the Earth one can't let oneself get distracted by petty details like that.]

Ahem. Anyway. Third and lastly, the Making-Of page for said film included a link to a rare photograph of the Soviet Venera 13 lander. Venera 13 landed on Venus in 1982 and sent back one of the only two color photographs of Venus's surface ever taken; it survived for only two hours before being crushed by the immense pressure of Venus's atmosphere, and it wasn't until now that I'd realized I'd never seen what Venera 13 looked like before it was gone.

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