Friday, January 31, 2014

Breaking Madden

"I released every member of the Seahawks and Broncos that I possibly could, and replaced them with a total of 82 players I created. "

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brent Engstrom posted a bunch of new Garbage Pail Kids paintings.

*Buy GPK Series 3 cards at Amazon.

Griffith Park, Los Angeles -- Fro Design Co's latest Mythic Beasts poster.
Vanity Fair headline:
Jennifer Lawrence Damaged Some Of Her American Hustle Costumes With Dorito Dust
"A Russian company captured seven orcas in the sea of Okhotsk last summer, northeast of Japan, and is preparing to ship two of them to its aquarium in Sochi to cash in on the Olympics."

Link roundup

1. "How Silicon Valley's most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers' wages"

2. The NY Times looks at the stunt players used for motion capture in Madden football:
Though the likenesses of quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning fill the video game, N.F.L. players do not portray themselves because of the risk of injury. The stunt players are journeymen like Mr. Nazel, who have collegiate and some professional experience, if not in the N.F.L. They are paid $1,000 a day and expenses for a one-week shoot; EA Sports organizes up to four shoots a year, so many stunt players act in movies and commercials to make ends meet. Some, though, hope their Madden NFL experience will catapult them into the N.F.L. 
“Everywhere I go, they call me the Madden Man,” said Kenny Bell, 33, a wide receiver and kick returner for Hofstra University, who has been a stunt player since 2003. “Why not put me in? You know what that would do? It will make history.”
3. "It takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single egg." And that's nothing compared to a bar of chocolate.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Banana Guards

Banana Guards from Adventure Time: Rattleballs.
The Seattle Seahawks logo is most likely based on a Kwakwaka’wakw transformation mask that opens while the wearer is dancing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"The mayor of Sochi, host of the Winter Olympics, has said there are no gay people in the city"

"BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney visited a gay bar in Sochi the night before he interviewed the mayor."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cumberbatch as Thrawn

Cumberbatch as Thrawn.

American soldiers learn to never start snowball fights with Norwegian schoolkids

I am from Texas. We were a unit stationed in North Carolina. We were so outmatched and out of our element, it only made them laugh harder.


I was the slow one in the group. My snowboots were too big but they were the smallest size they had at Issue goddammit!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG's First 3 Seasons


"I'm talking about @HistoryInPics, which, as I discovered, is run by two teenagers"

The Atlantic:
They met hustling on YouTube when they were 13 and 15, respectively, and they've been doing social media things together (off and on) since. They've built YouTube accounts, making money off advertising. They created Facebook pages such as "Long romantic walks to the fridge," which garnered more than 10 million Likes, and sold them off. More recently, Di Petta's company, Swift Fox Labs, has hired a dozen employees, and can bring in, according to an Australian news story, 50,000 Australian dollars a month (or roughly 43,800 USD at current exchange rates).

ThreeA's Metal Gear Ray

ThreeA's Metal Gear Solid Ray (which you can see better here and preorder here) is enormous.

How to turn a tracing of your hand into a 3-D sketch

Battle Armor Lost Predator

Amazon has it in stock.

"A ghost ship carrying nothing but disease-ridden rats could be about to make land on Britain’s shore, experts have warned"

Built in Yugoslavia in 1976, the unlucky vessel was abandoned in a Canadian harbour after its owners were embroiled in a debt scandal and failed to pay the crew.

The authorities in Newfoundland tried to sell the hull for scrap – valued at £600,000 – to the Dominican Republic, but cut their losses when it came loose in a storm on the way.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bioshock Infinite concept art

Jason Bennett posted Bioshock Infinite concept art.

How to draw Adventure Time

"A sixteen-page manual detailing the intricacies of drawing Finn & Jake from Pendleton Ward's 'Adventure Time' series."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Twin Peaks board games

There were two different Twin Peaks board games.  (I found one copy on sale at ebay.)
Aaron Paul says he's had "a ton of meetings" about being Eddie Dean in Ron Howard's Dark Tower movies.

Ken Block's new vehicle

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is on Netflix

People near the fighting between riot police and protesters received a text message shortly after midnight saying “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

New Uglydolls

New Wonder Woman and Uglyhorse Uglydolls.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Voltron mouse

The Mighty Space Mouse by Dave Perillo, available only to 15 randomly chosen purchasers of his new Voltron poster.

"6 Actors Who Thought They Had Made a Totally Different Movie"

"Ben-Hur -- Charlton Heston Didn't Know His Character Was Gay"

"What was the most difficult character (NPC or PC) you've ever played as?"

I decided those stats were so mediocre that I could not play a MAD (multi-ability-dependency) character like a bard. I needed something that could survive with a single 16. So I picked wizard, and specialized in conjuration, so I could be an Abrupt Jaunt wizard.

Abrupt Jaunt wizards are a special wizard type from Player's Handbook 2, in which they get mini-teleports (only 10') 4 or so times per day. The important part is that the teleport happens as an immediate action, which means you can do it even when it's not your turn, which means you can use it to zap yourself out of the range of an enemy's attacks mid-swing. Because I felt that my character would likely die with his blah stats, I felt I needed that stuff just to stay alive.

It evolved pretty quickly that my character wasn't exactly a coward, but was extremely self-aware and paranoid. He knew he sucked compared to his triple-18s buddy. He knew that his miserable armor class & hit points meant certain death if he dared to get anywhere near melee. Most combat encounters involved me getting off a spell or two until the bad guys closed in, and then my character spent the rest of combat running like a scared little kid, and teleporting all over the battlefield screaming, "Gaaah! They almost got me! I'm going to DIE if you guys don't HIT THEM!"

He took trapmaking skills and set tripwires every night. He had alarm spells, backup escape routes, anything I could dream up to allow him to survive in a game world that he should have never survived in. I hated him. I wanted my bard so much. I wanted to not have to play so defensively. I wanted to explore building a really good character. Instead, I had Gimpy, with his "they're going to kill me" paranoia (of course, reasonable paranoia, since it was true, and the paranoia was keeping him alive, but still it was paranoia).

It took a long time for me to realize that I loved him. I had built a really good character, just not the one I expected. And eventually, I got so good at making something out of nothing that he became pretty amazing.

One of my finds stunned the group and got them cheering one day. The "find" was a small D&D 3.5 rule I stumbled across that stated that "unconscious characters are automatically considered willing." Why is that important? Because it means that any spell which only affects the willing will automatically work on unconscious characters, friend or foe. Enter Benign Transposition. A particularly grim battle was going badly for us. Our rogue was at 1 HP, and our barbarian had just fallen unconscious, surrounded in every adjacent square. Our DM will in fact do coup de grâce on a fallen character instead of moving to fight whoever is still up, so the guy playing the barbarian was pretty bummed out. He was going to suffer 8 coup de grâce as soon as the monsters' turn came up.

And then there was my guy, standing at range, next to the party healer, who was frantically trying to figure out how to save the barbarian without wading into melee against 8 tough enemies. I told him, "Ready a cure spell, trigger on me bringing the barbarian to you." He was like, "WHAT?!?" but he did it. My turn came up, and I cast Benign Transposition. Poof, the barbarian was now lying on the ground next to the cleric (bing! healed!) and I was now standing, in no armor, at the center of a mob of enemies. Everyone was flipping out. "You saved the barbarian for like one round and now YOU will die! Not good!" But I used Abrupt Jaunt to pop out of the mob, and then used my remaining move action to run like hell. On the next turn as they re-surrounded me, I Abrupt Jaunted again and ran again. By then the barbarian was fully healed and came raging back into the fight, everyone cheering as he tore through the enemies. It was such a great moment.

I owe that to having to figure out how to play a "lame" character that I didn't want.

His character sheet eventually became the focus of a topic on En World, and some other DMs turned him into a super-villain in their campaigns.
From the BBC's list of 10 myths about WW1:
10. Everyone hated it 
For the British there was meat every day - a rare luxury back home - cigarettes, tea and rum, part of a daily diet of over 4,000 calories. 
Absentee rates due to sickness, an important barometer of a unit's morale were, remarkably, hardly above peacetime rates. Many young men enjoyed the guaranteed pay, the intense comradeship, the responsibility and a much greater sexual freedom than in peacetime Britain.
It wasn't the bloodiest war to date, either.

Google private shuttle sculpture

By Colleen Flaherty and Matteo Bittanti.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"How and when did Americans lose their British(UK) accents? How did it evolve and diverge?"

often the default answer to this question is something like, "actually, the British accent changed, not the American"... Well, that's half true. The British accentS changed, especially during the Victorian Era, the second main split between the British and American dialects, as Victorian Britain turned again to France for some linguistic influence. America did no such thing, and had just released Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, which would solidify some of the differences between BE and AmE (the -ize, -ise suffixes, etc.)

The overlying answer to your question, though, is a bit of a cop-out; as in the rest of the world, accents divulge and develop over time when isolated from one another. The modern American accents seem to be closer to the colonial accent than the modern British accents do, which leads me to my final point, relating to how the regional American accents developed, as you asked: Why did the British accent change more than the American one?

Well the regional accents of America owe their distinction simply to the normal forces of isolation which shape accents all over the world, and the linguistic heritage which gave rise to them. So for example, Boston has an usual accent partly because it has been a distinct community from outsiders to at least a small degree, and partly because early Boston settlers comprised an usually high proportion of Irish.

Regarding why Britain's accent "changed" from the colonial era... Besides my point about Victorian influence, another contributing factor is that the early colonists "average accent", if there be such a thing, was a blend of southern-English dialects. These have changed from the colonial era mainly due to the encroachment of urban accents upon the original accents (think London, growing larger throughout the last few centuries, whereas New York City hasn't spread quite so much).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Darth Vader and Kids Maquette Box Sets

She's cut hearts out of his cape

"Everyone’s hair is chicly disheveled, as are their teeth."

The start of Businessweek's article on J. Crew's recent success:
Dozens of shivering British fashion bloggers, TV personalities, and socialites snake down London’s Regent Street, waiting patiently to get into the Nov. 6 opening night party for the J.Crew flagship store. Inside, bearded men like James Middleton, brother of Kate and Pippa, browse skinny ties and shrunken blazers. Women in full skirts and crop tops paw through tables of pastel cashmere. Everyone’s hair is chicly disheveled, as are their teeth.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Marquis De Plume by threeA

*Buy threeA Toys at eBay.
Brittney Lee posted concept art from Frozen. I was struck by this comment:
The schedule was really tough, but in some ways that made those of us who were working on the film love it (and each other ) even more.

Retro mode in Broken Age

Not a joke:
You've gotta kick it down to the lowest resolution, then assign a key to the Shay/Vella icon in the button mapping menu. Hit that button and everything goes decidedly grainy.

Posters for The Guest

Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) is $40 (50% off) at Amazon.

Dr. Venture Medusa stop-motion puppet


Black Widow #5 cover

By Phil Noto.
Chuck E. Cheese owner agrees to $950M buyout. "The chain has been struggling to lift sales, even after a makeover for its rodent mascot in 2012 that was intended to refresh its outdated image."
CNN: China's counterfeiters have no interest in producing smartwatches and eyeglass-mounted computers.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Royals: Masters of War variant cover by Brian Bolland

Brian Bolland:
I don't really know what a "variant cover" is. So, if you buy this book I'm not sure if you'll get the actual cover - or a variant one drawn by me.


Olly Moss's Manquest concept art turned into a plush toy.
Hammerhead shark x-rays look like the monsters from Pitch Black. Manta rays are pretty impressive, too.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"I Am All Yours," the rejected theme from Quantum of Solace

By Eva Almer and Christian Wolf. (You can buy the track at Amazon.)

Time-traveling Cyclops adjusts to the future in All-New X-Men #6

Flash Gordon (1980) teaser poster

Flash Gordon teaser poster (closeups here). There are a couple of expensive copies available at ebay. This Warlords of Atlantis poster is great, too:

Various versions available at Amazon.

One idea for Prometheus was for Weyland-Yutani to employ Roy Batty-class replicants

From a long, great article on the overlap between Blade Runner and the Alien films:
When Ridley returned to the Alien-verse with Prometheus, he also considered featuring some allusions and outright references to Blade Runner. “There’s one idea that I’m very sad that we didn’t do,” explained Prometheus concept artist, Ben Proctor. “Ridley, one day, came in and said, ‘You know, I’m thinking what if it’s the Weyland-Tyrell Corporation? Is that cool?’ Maybe the bodyguards, you know, that come out with Weyland, maybe one of them says Batty on his uniform.