January 31, 2008
For his thousands, Feld, who claims to have often been inspired while on the toilet, gets a plaque with his name and the quote 'The best ideas often come at inconvenient times. Don't ever close your mind to them'.
"I just wanted a plaque outside of the men's room to inspire people as they walk in to do their business. It's a good time to reflect. It's a quiet moment," said Feld.
January 30, 2008
January 29, 2008
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day: The researchers who conducted the study could find no clinical evidence to support this notion. But they did dig up an article from the November 2002 American Journal of Physiology that documented the lack of evidence behind this popular recommendation. You do need to be well hydrated, but research suggests that the liquids most people drink daily - juice, milk, and decaffeinated beverages - will do the trick. Your best bets are purified water, diluted fruit juice, tea, and sparkling water flavored with fruit juice.
- We use only 10 percent of our brains: This is a real oldie that traces its history back to 1907, but didn't originate, as once believed, with Albert Einstein. Now that we know much more about neuroscience than we did 100 years ago, we can say for sure that we use much more than 10 percent of the brain, say the BMJ researchers. In fact, high-tech methods of studying the brain have not identified any inactive areas.
- Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight: You can get eyestrain and have difficulty focusing when trying to read in poor lighting, but these symptoms have no permanent effect on eyesight. One current theory holds that nearsightedness (myopia) might be caused by reading in dim light or holding books too close to the face. But consider this: rates of myopia are increasing and are higher now then they were centuries ago when people read by candlelight. What's more, the BMJ researchers found hundreds of expert opinions that conclude that reading in dim light doesn't permanently hurt your eyes.
- Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser: No, it does not. This popular notion was disproved as early as 1928 and more recent studies have confirmed that shaving has no effect on hair growth (or regrowth), write the BMJ investigators. They speculate that when shaved hair regrows, it lacks the fine taper seen at the end of unshaven hair, making it appear coarser. And the fact that it hasn't been exposed to light may make it seem darker than other hair.
- Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals: The BMJ credits this widespread belief (and the origin of those signs in hospitals warning against the use of mobile phones) to a Wall Street Journal article citing a medical journal report of more than 100 incidents of suspected electromagnetic interference with medical devices before 1993. But studies in England and the U.S. have found little in the way of interference and few serious effects. The BMJ cited a 2007 study that showed no interference at all in 300 tests in 75 treatment rooms. Indeed, the journal reported on a survey of anesthetists that showed use of mobile phones by physicians was associated with a reduced risk of medical error or injury resulting from delays in communication. Let's see how long it takes hospitals to react to these findings and change their policies with regard to cell phone use.
- Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy: Not so. Here, the myth is that the tryptophan in turkey causes the drowsiness. This amino acid is known to cause drowsiness, but the truth is that there's as much tryptophan in pork and cheese as there is in turkey. What's more, as the BMJ researchers noted that for tryptophan to promote sleep, you need to ingest it on an empty stomach (with no protein present) - something that's unlikely at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Other factors are probably to blame for post-meal drowsiness: any big meal can make you sleepy because of a decrease in blood flow and oxygenation to the brain. And then, of course, there's the wine.
Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death: This disturbing, gruesome image is pure "moonshine" according to forensic anthropologist William Maples, who was quoted in the BMJ study. However, he explained that dehydration of the body after death can cause retraction of the skin around hair and nails, giving the illusion that they have grown. All tissues require energy to sustain their functions, and no such thing is possible once the mechanism that promotes normal growth shuts down at death.
You won't need any Hollywood connections to make movies after Xtranormal, a 3D animation company in Montreal, launches in April. The Web site will gives users a platform for creating talk shows, music shows, and newscasts by merging "near-life" 3D avatars with live video. Average Joes will enjoy creating videos and sharing them, while advertisers may see new opportunities in Xtranormal.
"Xtranormal aims to bring out the director/creator in all of us with Pjungle, an application that allows users to create video spots from a variety of templates and broadcast to the audience of their choice," DEMO's technology experts say. "Through a range of production tools that simplify the entire movie making process to ingenious avatars that recreate your dialogue, Xtranormal has created a technology that could have far-reaching ramifications not only for the entertainment industry but for the very definition of online video." Learn more about Xtranormal's founder and president Richard Szalwinski.Courtesy of networkworld.com
Phil Lapsley says,
The folks over at governmentattic.org FOIAed portions of the FCC's television complaints database! Browse their site to find citizen complaints about your favorite TV show, or check out a few quick PDF links here: The Daily Show, Desperate Housewives, The Simpsons, and South Park.
Courtesy of boingboing.net
January 27, 2008
Dan and Janson are two directors at Hornet Inc, who have created a pilot episode of a brand new animated series called Rocket Monkeys, for 4KidsTV. The series has not been acquired yet, that's where you come in. You can watch the pilot episode "A Surprise Most Fowl" at 4KidsTV.com and vote. If Rocket Monkeys get enough votes, 4KidsTV will pick up the series. So go watch the pilot and make sure to vote.
January 26, 2008
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, France)
Ratatouille (Brad Bird, US)
Surf's Up (Ash Brannon and Chris Buck, US)
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Even Pigeons Go To Heaven (Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse, France)
I Met The Walrus (Josh Raskin, Canada) clip
Madame Tutli-Putli (Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski, Canada) clip
My Love (Alexander Petrov, Russia) clip
Peter and The Wolf (Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman, UK) clip
Courtesy of FPS Magazine
January 25, 2008
January 23, 2008
January 22, 2008
January 11, 2008. Fourteen artists were laid off today from Family Guy.The staff had taken its particular script as far as it could. And with no revisions by writers on the immediate horizon, it's off to hiatuses of indeterminate length ...I found these things out when I walked into the studio this morning and talked to FG crew.Lots of stoicism, black humor, and gritted teeth all around. One staffer asked me who I blamed for the long strike. I said: "The AMPTP, mostly. But there's probably blame that can be ladled out on both sides." I brought up, as I usually do, the subject of leverage, and having enough of it to get what you want. (An old theme.)
The crews of Guy/Dad are departing at about the same rate .. and pace ... as The Simpsons and King of the Hill staffs over the mountains at Starz Media. Some left in December, others depart in January and February, and the final groups exit in March. An artist scheduled to bail out in March said: "I was lucky enough to get on the last show written before the writers went out. Won't be very many people in here when we finish."
My morning was spent at what used to be the Film Roman studios ... and is today known in many circles as the House of Homer and Marge. Work on The Simpsons series is slowly, steadily winding down ...
As each unit working on its respective show completes that episode's animatic (storyboards on a digital reel), work for those artists is finished, since no revisions can take place without the writers. And so it's layoff time.
The designers told me they have about two weeks left, then it's "adios" until the WGA strike is over. So who's hiring out there?" a couple of artists asked me. I gave them a short list of candidates and wished them good luck.
Naturally I get lots of questions about "how long will it last?" "What's the news?" Sadly, I don't have any. I can speculate with the best of them, but I've got no hot information and am basically as ignorant as a freshly-hatched chick.
Some of the speculation directed my way was how hairy the future work load might be if, at the end of the WGA strike, Simpsons artists have to rush to finish the old, half-completed season while also working on a new order of episodes. "If that happens, it'll be just as crazy for us around here as it was last year, with the feature and series going at the same time."
One director wondered aloud if this might be the one time when TAG writers were happier to be IA than WGA, since at least they're working. I said: "You'd have to ask the writers. Everybody probably has a different opinion."
Courtesy of Steve Hulett at TAG Blog.
January 20, 2008
Comet McNaught was perhaps the most photogenic comet of our time. After making quite a show in the northern hemisphere in early January, the comet moved south and developed a long and unusual dust tail that dazzled southern hemisphere observers. In this image, Comet McNaught was captured one year ago above Chile. The bright comet dominates on the left while part of its magnificent tail spreads across the entire picture. From this vantage point in the Andes Mountains, one looks up toward Comet McNaught and a magnificent sky, across at a crescent moon, and down on clouds, atmospheric haze, and the city lights of Santiago. Comet McNaught has glided into the outer Solar System and is now only visible as a speck in a large telescope. The other spectacular comet of 2007, Comet Holmes, has also faded from easy view.
Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 19, 2008
2. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly Button.
3. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 years.
4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more.
5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart!
6. Only 7 per cent of the population are lefties.
7. 40 people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.
8. Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until they are 2-6 years old.
9. The average person over 50 will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.
10. The toothbrush was invented in 1498.
11. The average housefly lives for one month.
12. 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.
13. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.
14. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.
15. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than any other time of day.
16. Most of us have eaten a spider in our Sleep.
17. The REAL reason ostriches stick their Head in the sand is to search for water.
18. The only two animals that can see behind themselves with out turning their heads are the rabbit and the parrot.
19. John Travolta turned down the starring Roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie."
20. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.
21. In most television commercials advertising Milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk.
22. Prince Charles and Prince William NEVER travel on the same airplane, just in case there is a crash.
23. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.
24. Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from women who give birth. They are used in vein transplant surgery.
25. Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were 7th cousins.
26. If coloring weren't added to Coca-Cola, It would be green.
Answers in the 'Comments'...
January 18, 2008
January 17, 2008
January 15, 2008
January 14, 2008
January 13, 2008
January 12, 2008
Containing an unbelievable 'Making Of' DVD on the writing, designing, casting, and filming of this awesome sci-fi flick.
I was blown away at the details, the never-before seen footage, the illustrations and storyboards, the interviews with original cast members and production staff, and the relentless amount of information divulged in this 'Dangerous Days' documentary.
It's a fantastic thing to watch and it will make you appreciate the film on a whole other level!
January 11, 2008
January 10, 2008
Today the Solstice occurs at 0608 Universal Time, the Sun reaching its southernmost declination in planet Earth's sky. Of course, the December Solstice marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the south. When viewed from northern latitudes, the Sun will make its lowest arc through the sky along the southern horizon. So in the north, the Solstice day has the shortest length of time between sunrise and sunset and fewest hours of daylight. This striking composite image follows the Sun's path through the December Solstice day of 2005 in a beautiful blue sky, looking down the Tyrrhenian Sea coast from Santa Severa toward Fiumicino, Italy. The view covers about 115 degrees in 43 separate, well-planned exposures from sunrise to sunset.
Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 09, 2008
How old are Saturn's rings? No one is quite sure. One possibility is that the rings formed relatively recently in our Solar System's history, perhaps only about 100 million years ago when a moon-sized object broke up near Saturn. Evidence for a young ring age includes a basic stability analysis for rings, and the fact that the rings are so bright and relatively unaffected by numerous small dark meteor impacts. New evidence, however, raises the possibility that some of Saturn's rings may be billions of years old and so almost as old as Saturn itself. Inspection of images by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft indicates that some of Saturn's ring particles temporarily bunch and collide, effectively recycling ring particles by bringing fresh bright ices to the surface. Seen here, Saturn's rings were imaged in their true colors by the robotic Cassini in late October. Icy bright Tethys, a moon of Saturn likely brightened by a sandblasting rain of ice from sister moon Enceladus, is visible in front of the darker rings.
Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day
The 1970s are sometimes ignored by astronomers. In particular, this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulae in Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - are usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from the nearby stellar nursery better known as the Orion Nebula. Found along Orion's sword just north of the bright Orion Nebula complex, these reflection nebulae are also associated with Orion's giant molecular cloud about 1,500 light-years away, but are dominated by the characteristic blue color of interstellar dust reflecting light from hot young stars. North is down in this sharp color telescopic image from New South Wales, Australia, so the more familiar Orion Nebula borders the top of the view. NGC 1977 stretches across the field just above center, separated from NGC 1973 (below left) and NGC 1975 (below right) by darker regions of obscuring dust. Many northern hemisphere observers claim to see the general shape of a running man in the cosmic dust cloud but, of course, they're looking at the view upside down.
Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 08, 2008
January 06, 2008
Spears's mom Lynne, who yesterday called for prayers for the embattled singer, remains in their hometown of Kentwood, LA.
Spears left the Los Angeles medical facility Saturday via an underground tunnel and was accompanied by TV therapist Dr. Phil, according to etonline.com, who first reported the news.
A Cedars-Sinai spokesperson declined to comment, but Dr. Phil released a statement to ET saying: "My meeting with Britney and some family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention.
"She was released moments before my arrival and was packing when I entered the room. We visited for about an hour before I walked with her to her car."
Spears had been committed early Friday morning under California's "5150 Hold," in which Spears was deemed a danger to herself and could be held for 72 hours. Patients however can be released early if doctors determine they are no longer a threat to themselves.
"The 5150 legality is very loose," says Dr. Nathan Kuemmerle, a West Hollywood psychiatrist. "The 72 hours are not firm. All it requires is an ER psychiatrist to release the patient. ... If Britney isn't suicidal or homicidal, she doesn't need to be hospitalized."
January 05, 2008
To start off, lets open up the picture you want to edit. I'm working from an Angelina Jolie photo of course.
First, we need to duplicate the layer, so lets go ahead and right click on the layer in the layers palette and select "Duplicate Layer".
Now we need to select the area we want to smooth out, in this case, we want to smooth out the face, but we want to leave the eyes, nose and mouth intact so it looks genuine. So start by switching to the quick mask mode by clicking on the "Edit in Quick Mask Mode" button in the tool box.
Then select the Brush Tool, and set the brush size to 35 soft edge. (brush size will depend on your image).
Press "D" to reset your colors. Now use your brush and paint over the face, the painted area will become your selected area. The painted area will be red as you can see below. Continue and paint around her face until its covered like mine. You may need to change your brush size to a smaller size to cover the tighter areas.
Tip: If you accidentally paint outside the area you want, press "X" (switches colors), then just go over the area you want to erase, then press "X" again to go back to painting your selection.
Now that you have selected your area in quick mask mode, exit the quick mask mode by pressing "Q" or clicking on the "Standard Mode" button (Next to the Edit in Quick Mask Mode button)
Now you should have a selection, around the face.
Now, go to Select->Inverse, then Select->Feather, and enter about 10px.
Tip: You can hide the "Marching Ants" lines so you can have a better view of the image by pressing "CTRL+H"
Now go to Filter->Blur->Guassian Blur. Set radius to about 3 pixels.
That is looking too smooth, which make it look rather unrealistic, so lets put some texture back into the skin. Go to Filter->Noise->Add Noise. For amount, put about 2.5%, Uniformed and Monochromatic selected.
That's it. Here are the original and edited version side by side.
I see a million of these simple tricks executed in print when I'm waiting in line at the grocery store staring at dozens of magazines, all fake faces and fake bodies, all displaying totally false versions of the actresses on the covers. Here's another sample of Nicollette Sheridan, Before and After:
So have fun doing this to your own photos, it's a quick and easy way to make yourself look younger!
Tutorial found at: http://www.tutorialwiz.com/smooth_skin/