Saturday, January 5, 2013

when you only make it better, and it better be tonight

The Every Second Man blog purports to have an interview with the person behind the flatterbot ruse currently plaguing Second Life. She claims to make L$40,000 per day with this gimmick, and to that I say: more people on the grid need to be more observant.

Apparently, there are games now where the player can take a picture of whatever's in front of their webcam, and use it as the face of their character. If that sounds scary to you,'re likely right. For an example, one player made his in-game character his dog. And Penny Arcade did a comic on the most-commonly seen Tiger Woods game scan back in 2007. (Though any actual nudity is pixelated out, as it does deal with adult topics--sorta--I'll warn that it's NSFW.)

Speaking of NSFW things, this lass explaining the workings of her necklace to a studio audience and her fellow commentators--none of whom can keep a straight face. For those who don't speak French, the Reddit article on this tells me she's saying "Happy. Not happy" when she's pulling the chain that activates the...err...well, just don't watch it at work.

Over in France, apparently, the next big thing is blow-up lamps. Well--they're not actually balloons, they just look like balloon animals. I'd say it's a fun idea, I'm just not entirely convinced it's a fun idea worth over two hundred Euros each.

And in other design news, the spork has been reinvented! With a larger bowl, and actual tines instead of pointy bits. Thing is, though, does it really improve that much over the design of the original spork? Well, maybe if you eat a lot of ramen.

Let me also introduce you to the Cycloptopus by Nemo Gould. He makes sculpture that moves, with a sort of steampunk-futuristic edge. Very fascinating stuph.

To that same end, Greg Petchkovsky's blending of real and digital art is nothing less than astounding. Using high-resolution photographs, digital imaging, and 3D printers, he is changing the physical world around him, one small object at a time. Deeply impressive.

Over on i09, Christopher Salmon's posted the initial animatic--with Neil Gaiman narration--of one of Gaiman's short stories, "The Price". It's fifteen minutes long, and both inspiring and heartbreaking. Go watch. Make a cup of tea and open your heart to wonder. It's well worth the time. And quite possibly, it will be a feature film soon.

Other depression for the day that's worth your time: Amanda Palmer blogging about Amanda Todd, and the phenomenon of internet bullying, and how it really is that much worse than "traditional" bullying. For one, the fights tend to be both longer and more vicious, and for two, the entire world has a chance to jump on the bandwagon--out of boredom, out of misdirected anger, out of their own hurt and resentment--and join in.

But that's not why I'm tossing it up for your perusal. I'm tossing it up because of the comments she's getting. Just as bullying can work as an online mob-mentality gathering of ill will, so can support. And while Amanda Todd will never receive this outpouring of endurance, encouragement and faceless love--in the end, she took her own life, unable to face both her stalker and fellow students who told her, repeatedly, she "needed" to just kill herself because "nobody" liked her--maybe other teens will see it. Maybe other adults thinking of taking their own lives will see it. That's why I think it's worthwhile.

Spinning from that in a 'we are the internet, we need to be better to each other' kind of way, here's a tale about Star Trek fans coming together to help one of their own. In this case, this particular one happens to be dying of an incredibly virulent form of cancer--to the point that he's not entirely sure he's going to be alive by the time the next Star Trek film opens.

The request: friends of his wanted those involved with the film to send the ten-minute special preview to his local theatre. The solution: JJ Abrams brought the entire film to screen for this guy. Marvelous.

Massoud Hassani, meanwhile, has come up with an absolutely brilliant idea: a low-cost, low-powered mine detonator that can be released over minefields to detonate land mines that have been forgotten. While his main goal (and a worthy one) is the Middle East, I can also see these being used in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, where there are still mines in place from the early 1960s that have never been found. There are eleven days left on the Kickstarter; help if you can.

I wish I knew where this came from--other than "somewhere on Tumblr"--but it's good advice, nonetheless. Plus, whoever came up with bundling WD-40 and duct tape together is a GENIUS.

And will someone please tell me if Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a corporate spokesperson, or a band? Either way, her videos are getting very strange.

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