January 2006


Media&Personal&Technology30 Jan 2006 10:59 am

Red Blood Cells

This weekend I am finishing up the last of 200 health-themed biomedical images for a PureStock CD-ROM. All of the illustrations were composed and rendered with Maya 3D software. This project started late in the summer, and is finally arriving at the last few images to complete the collection. Along the way I made use of some cool texture shaders to give the body parts an x-ray look, and cells an “under the microscope look.” If sales go well enough, I’d like to invest in more detailed 3D body models, with more veins, nerves, muscles and tendons. “Igor, come quickly, I’ve got a job for you!”

X-ray version of carpal tunnel pain

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General&Politics&Spiritual29 Jan 2006 11:28 am

Bare Oak Tree

The silent truth of a tree is an antidote to the many voices babbling in the news space, the workplace, and any number of stresses in your face.

Imagine a few of the combating world leaders sitting in a circle beneath this tree, surrounded by the peace and tranquility of a fine day which the good earth so often provides. In the granduer of nature, they may humble themselves. We can only hope so.

An opinion piece in today’s S.F. Chronicle written by John Arquilla a professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, Why we should take Osama’s olive branch, is a hopeful reminder that peace is within reach. The professional military strategist and historian points out that all wars, hot or cold, eventually reach a point of sitting down and negotiating with the enemy, such as Bush has already done with Libya’s Khadafy, a long time terrorist supporter.

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Humor&Technology25 Jan 2006 09:36 pm

Booth Babes of Nyko
In an anxious alert to this years’s upcoming E3 game conference attendees, Sex and Games, warns of new rules in the Exhibitor’s Handbook. Serious game boys are not focusing on the vendors’ electronic entertainment. They don’t get out too often, and become hypnotized by booth babes. Fantasy role playing games never looked so real.

Some blame has been placed upon overachievers, such as a 2005 E3 Wheelchair Groper. See other photos of booth babes behavior and judge for yourselves, “Be they beautiful or be they bad?” Vendors may wonder if the new burka babes policy will dampen attendance.

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Media&Technology25 Jan 2006 02:53 pm

Dixar?

Somebody on the CG Talk Forum dreamed this one up.

My impression is that the grand day of “Disney Animation” which is what they called their great hand drawn animation at Disney has been surpassed by Pixar quality computer animation standards. The atmosphere at Pixar the other day seemed quiet, as though there was a hushed excitement of anticipation over what changes might occur. Or more likely, computer animators are busy creating worlds of their own and are not thinking too much about billion dollar corporate deals.

I was underwhelmed by Disney’s Fantasia 2000 which I saw in IMAX. The original Fantasia was a Disney pinnacle of experimental animation designed around great musical themes. Fantasia 2000 seemed like a weak attempt by Disney to keep up with computer animation and the pack of animation innovators launched by MTV and the digital era. It is wise that Disney corporate is handing over plenty of creative control to the new generation at Pixar. It bodes well for both companies.

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Humor&Internet&Media&Movie TV DVD Review25 Jan 2006 01:50 pm

John Waters on Here TV

The foundation films of John Waters early Divine classics shot in Baltimore involved local gangs competing for King and Queens of Filth. Following in his trashy tradition, John Waters has a series coming out on Here! TV, America’s first gay televison network, entitled John Waters Presents Movies that will Corrupt You.

Here is the stuff that will test the mettle of curious Right-wing Puritans: films such as Freeway, Beefcake, and Sissy Boy Slap Party are just a few of the irreverent titles in the series. The movies Mr. Waters has chosen are designed to disturb you in a delightful way. Take walk on the wild side with John Waters hosting and adding commentary before and after each title.

Forming his own anti-Martha Stewart taste setting niche, Waters released A John Waters Christmas CD in time for this past holiday season, including gems by Tiny Tim and Fat Daddy.

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Humor&Media&Politics&Spiritual24 Jan 2006 03:08 pm

This freedom of choice photo sums it up. One person with a baby, one vote.

My Baby Is Pro Choice

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Media&Movie TV DVD Review21 Jan 2006 01:45 pm

Han SoloSerenity Movie Still

If you enjoyed the wisecracking space cowboy thrills of the original Star Wars Han Solo, then you must check out Firefly TV Series DVD. Captain Mal Reynolds has the right headstrong stuff. The Firefly TV series opener is a fantastic film length origination story of this vagabond space crew 500 years in the future. I’m going through the Firefly series before I check out the more recent Serenity, The Movie.

The writing is excellent, by Joss Whedon, a co-writer of Toy Story, Pixar’s first 3D computer animated feature. Joss has a very interesting background, being the third of his family’s generation to write for television. His grandpa wrote for The Donna Reed Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Describing the inspiration for writing Firefly, the Production Notes on the Serenity web site explains…

Whedon conceived of the television series Firefly after reading Michael Shaara’s Civil War novel, “The Killer Angels.” The appeal of post-war survivors scraping by on the outskirts of society—in a science-fiction context—struck a chord with Whedon. “I was taken with the idea of a civil war and rebuilding from the point of view of people who had lost the war,” he says. “There were people after the war who internalized it so terribly that it completely destroyed them.”

The western flavor of the show feels sort of Australian, possessing a desperate, patched-together Mad Max Road Warrior tone to it. The soundtrack is cool, and varies between spooky, ambient mechanical noise to a yearning country fiddle echoing across the cosmos like an enchanted Celtic country music song.

I wonder what The Beverley Hillbillies In Space would look like… picture it, The Galaxy Spacebillies! Probably not much of a stretch for the mind of Whedon who wrote for Roseanne, Roseanne Barr’s TV show in 1988. Anyway… be sure to take a look at the Serenity movie web site.

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Media&Politics21 Jan 2006 12:34 pm

Cafeteria Food FightThe current maneuvering by CNN to outfox Fox News by hiring nationally syndicated conservative radio host Glenn Beck is an especially bad omen for messy cafeteria food fights to come between Fox and CNN. Here is an interesting blog keeping watch on CNN vs. FOX.

CNN Headline News categorizes Glenn Beck under “ENTERTAINMENT” in their Jan. 17, 2006 coverage of his hiring.

Beck’s hiring has fired up criticism from web-based media monitoring groups such as Media Matters for America in this Jan. 17, 2006 article.

Here is an audio clip of Glenn Beck on his recent notoriety and his opinion of Cindy Sheehan.

Television and radio are a far cry from the U.S. government’s Radio Act of 1927 which was a first attempt at establishing licensing regulations so that radio stations served the public interest. These days we are better off getting our news from the Internet, which is exactly what the new generation is doing, and is exactly why television and radio are resorting to serving up superficial commercial pap.

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