filkertom: (Default)
  • TUG, a really fascinating RPG experiment. Seriously, watch the six-minute video on this one and see what you think.
  • Lawless Jerky, small-batch hand-crafted beef jerky with some great-sounding flavors. I'm going for the Hawaiian Teriyaki. Or the American BBQ. Or maybe the Bacon, Salt & Pepper. Only a few hours left on this one.
  • Adventure Maximus, an RPG that both kids and adults can play... and run!
  • Gigabot 3D Printing, wherein you can get your own 3D printer for something near reasonable cost. Another one ending soon.
  • Creating a RepRap 3D printer, so a guy with no prior experience in 3D printing can prove it's not that big or expensive a deal to make your own (and then he'll print you something with it). Ending in just two days.
Any other crowdfunding we should know about?
filkertom: (doom)
I have three printers in the house. Two wireless.

For some reason, which I am unable to fathom, my desktop computer will print to none of them.

It will scan from the one.

I got the old (2008, Vista, aiee) laptop to print yesterday. Today... nothing. I got a couple of pages by plugging the wireless printer into the laptop, which kinda defeats the purpose. Couldn't scale the damn PDF properly. Designed something with Avery's site and software, and it couldn't match its own template. After I unplugged the USB and tried it in the main 'puter again (with no printing as the result), I plugged it back into the laptop. Now it won't print.

I have been trying to print some business cards and CD labels, basically, since MillenniCon.

I have spent more than three hours a day every day this week (including Sunday) trying to coax the printers into producing. Nothing useful. No. Thing. Uninstall, reinstall, scour, expunge, download new drivers, find the original CD, doesn't effing matter.

They. Do. Not. Work.

Oh, pardon me, the iPad can print easily. Although I don't have any good app to play with the PDF, so I can't scale the doc properly, and I really don't want to learn another app today, I have shit to do.

I don't know what the fuck to do at this point.

Sorry, I just really had to vent.

How's your day?
filkertom: (science)
Are you ready for this shit:
Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The "Lazarus Project" team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog.

[...]

Although none of the embryos survived longer than a few days, the work is encouraging for others looking to clone a variety of currently-extinct animals, such as the woolly mammoth, dodo, Cuban red macaw and New Zealand’s giant moa.

[...]

“We’re increasingly confident that the hurdles ahead are technological and not biological and that we will succeed. Importantly, we’ve demonstrated already the great promise this technology has as a conservation tool when hundreds of the world’s amphibian species are in catastrophic decline.”
I bet none of these guys have ever even heard of Jurassic Park.
filkertom: (Default)
People forget there's another bridge in the San Francisco Bay area. For the past two years, artist Leo Villereal has been creating an art project that will run for the next two years:



And, yes, he's technically turned the Bay Bridge into a simulated lava lamp.

But a two mile long lava lamp.
filkertom: (Default)
Dennis Lenz, the guy behind Prodyon Virtual Gear (purveyor of excellent noise for Windows), is closing his doors. Various reasons: time, health, the usual stuff. So you won't be able to get his exceptional sounds anymore.

Which is a really good reason to get them now, as you can own ALL of them for fifteen bucks. That's right, $15.

I can personally vouch for the quality of these -- I got into one of his Plugins For Life deals a few years back, and I've never regretted it. EnChoir and PolyPitch are fascinating and useful effects plugins, and LiveMachine, Phenome, and the Ambient Textures are just great. And the newest VST, ShortNoise, has lots of potential.

Thing is, it all closes up in just a few days. None of this is going to be available to buy after March 1st. (Downloads will be good through the end of 2013.)

If you're interested, click here.

Any other gear deals we should know about?
filkertom: (jawdrop)
We haven't spoken about a number of movies and TV shows I've seen, because I saw most of them several weeks after their respective debuts, and I had other stuff to mention.
  • Argo was excellent, very exciting, and Ben Affleck was cheated out of a Best Director nomination... although my favorite performance in the whole thing is that of John Goodman, who is amazing as usual.
  • Les Miserables was simply beautiful. And anyone who complains that Russell Crowe (as Javert) is not as good a singer as Philip Quast... well, you have a point. But Crowe does everything he needs to, and does so with style, and who knew Amanda Seyfried had such a lovely voice, and oh my god Jackman and Hathaway and Sacha Baron Cohen.
  • Anne and I finished watching the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes series -- really, REALLY well done -- and have moved on to Ultimate Spider-Man, which is so frickin' cool I recommend it completely. There is great heart in it, and a lot of laughs, with a Scott Pilgrim sensibility around the whole thing (or maybe Ouran High School Host Club). And Doctor Octopus, who has not yet had a full visual reveal, is just creepy.
  • Must catch up on the past three weeks of Top Chef.
  • Still haven't caught up on last year's Doctor Who.
  • Have started downloading Arrow.
  • Am having a blast, finally watching Face Off. Not as good as Top Chef in a number of ways, but the visuals are spectacular, and there isn't the sense of cutthroat aggression so prevalent in TC.
  • Sometime next week, I hope to watch Django Unchained.
  • Last but not least, Anne and I went to see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. This is not a good movie. But it is an amazingly fun movie, if you're in the right mood, which we were. The medieval milk bottles with the parchment drawings of missing children set the tone exactly. The performances are not the problem -- everybody does at least what they need to, and Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as Gretel are both very good (and there's not even a creepy incest vibe!). What doesn't work with this movie is the fault of the writer-director, Tommy Wirkola, who has a good story and a good handle on action sequences but not the best script or non-action set pieces. Still, it was way fun, utterly silly (if you like First Knight you'll like this), and a very riffable way to kill two hours.
All of which, by the way, leads to this: An important character in H&G:WH is the troll Edward, played by Derek Mears (body) and Robin Atkin Downes (voice). We thought he was CGI. Nuh-uh:

All hail Spectral Motion, the effects team that brought Edward to animatronic life.

So what TV and movies have you seen lately, and what did you think of 'em?
filkertom: (science)
NASA about to launch Sunjammer, the world's largest solar sail.

Of course, we've been ridin' it for years. Check out Track 21 on Dream of a Far Light by our good friends Wild Mercy.

Any good music, or space stories, or nifty tech advances we need to see? Link 'em up.
filkertom: (science)
Woulda hyped this sooner, if I'd seen it. [personal profile] madfilkentist is trying to fund a book called Files That Last, evangelizing and explaining digital preservation to a wide range of computer users. Thing is, it's only got about 8 hours left. If you like the idea, won't you help?
filkertom: (Default)
I think that the best of the many, many good things about Marvel's Avengers movie is that you care so much about the characters, and they're all played by such good actors. ('Cause, face it -- when the objectively worst actor in your ensemble is Chris Hemsworth, you're in pretty good shape.) Still, part of the joy also was Teh Shiny -- seeing those characters on the big screen and finally, finally looking right.

Industrial Light and Magic kicked ass and took names on this one, and here's a little something For Your Consideration:

filkertom: (kermitflail)
Sorry I haven't said anything till now. In honor of the nuWho tonight, here -- have a really cool Tardis:



More info here.
filkertom: (Default)
List night was a lot of fun. Leslie and I met Anne at the only Red Hot & Blue left in Michigan, and devoured excellent barbecue in quantity. Anne couldn't believe how good the biscuits were, and I have sorely missed their dry-rub ribs. Les tried their new Barbecue Meatloaf: a-nom nom nom.

After, Les and I went to the Just One Angel Tour performance in Sterling Heights. The show was a charity for MCrest, which provides help and housing for homeless individuals and families. Christine Lavin, Uncle Bonsai, Don White. Exceptional music and fun.

I got to spend a few minutes with Christine after the concert, and she asked if my glasses slipped down my nose. And then she showed me these Keepons Eyeglass Retainers. They're fairly cool, and I thought some of you who wear glasses might find 'em useful, especially since they're dirt cheap. So, I promised Christine I'd boost the signal, and here 'tis.

What signals do you want to boost today?

Paperman

Nov. 13th, 2012 07:44 pm
filkertom: (Chibi)
If you've seen Disney's Wreck-It Ralph (and, if not, WHY THE HECK NOT!? GO! NOW! IT'S WONDERFUL), you've also seen the short film Paperman. Bleeding Cool has a nice little feature on it, without any major spoilers (basically, it describes the premise, and the marvelous new technology they made it with).

In related news, Pixar's Brave is out on disk today. Who's getting it?
filkertom: (frog)
Now this is Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor:



Merely another gorgeous (and musically enlightening) product from The Music Animation Machine. The YouTube channel is filled with hours of classical masterpieces, rendered so that you can follow the musical structure visually as well as aurally. Frankly, I find it a hell of a lot easier to follow than sheet music.

Any really good classical music videos we should see, or see again? (This would include classical interps or parodies of other music, e.g. The Piano Guys' Cello Wars, Sulic & Hauser's "Smooth Criminal", Igudesman & Joo, and of course the Big Three of classical comedy: Victor Borge, Anna Russell, and Peter Schickele [dba P.D.Q. Bach].)
filkertom: (mst3k_itstinks)


(Original at Funny Or Die.)

So: 3D or not 3D? I'm kinda ambivalent -- when it's used well it's great, but I'm not always sure it's essential. Best version, for my money, was Toy Story 3, where it really added to the realism of the world. Worst was Thor, where any little head movement had me utterly lost in all the cosmic swirlies.
filkertom: (Default)
Busy busy busy:
  • The past several days have been filled with Real Life (my sister has a Master's Degree -- IN SCIENCE!), and I've been delayed on finishing up some music. Ideally, I should have a ton of stuff -- literally, two or three new concert sets and at least four new tracks -- by the end of the week. Thanks for your patience, subscribers.
  • Thanks, too, for everyone waiting for me to update the main web site. That's also coming this week.
  • And I've got a couple of commission songs going. 'Sfunny, but this time just four months ago I would've been -- was -- emotionally paralyzed, unable to do jack on anything. Now, I'm just warming up.
  • The extra-spiffy free Piano One VST/AU for PC and Mac has been updated to version 1.2. They've improved CPU usage, and added a preset system.
  • If you want a hit of instant nostalgia, and have nine or ten hours (or days) to spare, check out the online archive of Radio Shack catalogs. I used to go through those like I go through the Micro Center and Sweetwater catalog nowadays, and it's wonderful remembering all that stuff. It's a fantastic resource. And you will look at the prices for computers and parts -- especially hard drives -- and laugh and laugh and laugh until you cry as you remember that you paid those prices back then.
  • Last but no way least, Steve Jackson's Ogre Kickstarter has four days to go. The original $20,000 goal has been smashed to jelly; they're currently well over $600K. If they get to $700K, SJ Games will launch another Kickstarter for a new edition of Car Wars. They've added donation levels for people to get cool T-shirts for this.
Anything else? Open thread.

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