May 31, 2008

Wolverine & The X-Men - New Animated Series Trailer

Superhero Fashion Emergency

Brains Dance



The making of this commercial here with a nice hybrid of CG imagery and puppetry:

Earthworm Jim Movie!

earthworm-jim-movie.jpgOwners of the character, announced last month that they're back at work with TenNapel to develop a new video game, animated series, and feature film. Said TenNapel on his forum:
I've done a few new sketches and he's really fun, funny and just more solid as a character. I have a ten page feature script treatment that I just finished to get a look at the character...see what a feature might look like.

I'm not going to say much more. I don't want EWJ to be all about talking up a character...I'm putting the goods down on paper. We'll give you updates over on the Interplay site and I'll probably start a blog to let all of the Jim fans in on the progress of the character, game, movie, etc.

I can only say that I really want to make him shine so you won't get some half-baked, heartless piece of crap made to exploit you for more money.

How To Sleep - A Goofy Short

William "Will" Elder (Sep.22, 1921 – May.15, 2008)

An American illustrator and comic book artist who worked in numerous areas of commercial art, but is best known for a zany cartoon style that helped launch Harvey Kurtzman's Mad comic book in 1952.

Mad publisher Bill Gaines approvingly called Elder "unquestionably the nuttiest guy who ever walked in the doors here." Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner said, "He was a zany, and a lovable one." Longtime Mad writer-cartoonist Al Jaffee called Elder "Absolutely brilliant... he was the star from the beginning. He had a feel for the kind of satire that eventually spread everywhere."

Elder was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2003.

Kurtzman and Elder were classmates at Manhattan's High School of Music and Art, where they were in the school's first graduating class. In the late 1940s, they teamed with Charles Stern to form the Charles William Harvey Studio, creating comics between 1948 and 1951 for Prize Comics and other publishers. At EC Comics, he inked John Severin's pencils on stories for Weird Fantasy, Two-Fisted Tales, Frontline Combat and other titles.

When Kurtzman created Mad in 1952, he immediately fixed upon Elder. Elder's wacky panels, filled with background gags, immediately attracted attention, first with "Ganefs!" in Mad's debut issue but especially in the second issue with "Mole!" The story depicted the successive efforts of prisoner Melvin Mole to tunnel away from the prison, first with a spoon, then with a toothpick and finally with a nostril hair. The wild exaggeration in this story left such a strong impression that it was often quoted ("Dig! Dig!") and even referenced years later in a Psychology Today illustration. Elder's device of separate foreground and background actions was referenced by Louis Malle in his film Zazie dans le m├ętro (1960).

According to Al Jaffee, "[Elder] could have been the world's greatest forger." Elder also had a chameleon-like talent for mimicking the precise styles of other cartoonists, which made the satiric effect stronger. This ability was showcased in such pieces as "Mickey Rodent!" (a takeoff

on Mickey Mouse and Disney in general), "Starchie!" (Archie Comics), "Bringing Back Father!" (George McManus' Bringing Up Father strip), "Gasoline Valley!" (Frank King's Gasoline Alley), and others. Such was Elder's ability that some of these parodies featured specific observations about the source materials' art styles, with Elder switching illustrative gears in midpanel (as in the sequence where "Mickey Rodent" and "Darnold Duck" literally locate the border between Disney cartooning and a more realistic drawing style. Both characters gain an additional finger on each hand as they cross over).

By all accounts, Elder's humor was compulsive. Al Jaffee described a portrait Elder once painted of his son: "It was a beautiful painting. It was all in very somber blues and black tones, very dark and brooding. After he finished it, he couldn't resist putting two little red dots on the kid's neck, as if a vampire had been there. He was always driven by the notion that something should be funny."

He was a legend, and he will be missed.

IKEA's Tidy Up Commercials



From Star Wars To Firewall

Why is Harrison Ford so grumpy?

Nearly two decades have passed since the fun loving, swash-buckling, scruffy looking, snake fearing, nerf herding, Harrison Ford graced the silver screen with amicable characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones. I'm pretty sure the last time we saw him genuinely smile (sarcastic grins don't count) on camera was when Princess Leia said those three magic words: "He's my brother." What happened, Harrison- Your films have grossed over $6 billion at the worldwide box office, you're ranked the #3 biggest American movie star behind Eddie Murphy and Tom Hanks, you were in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Richest actor alive," AND you have a spider named after you. So why the long face? Why is Harrison Ford so damn grumpy? Let's find out shall we?

1. Because everyone says he is.






2. Hollywood keeps stealing his wife and/or his family.





In an interview with Harrison he describes acting as the ability to figure out the mechanisms to create belief, behavior that the audience recognizes as cues for how they would feel if they were in the circumstances. Imagine every time you went to work you had to make people believe your family has been kidnapped or your wife has been murdered. By the end of the week you'd be downright suicidal!



3. When a tree falls in a forest, it makes the sound of hair being ripped from his chest.





4. Two divorces and four little Fords

After Star Wars and before his engagement to Calista Flockhart, Ford lived through two failed marriages. And not the typical one-month, married today divorced tomorrow Hollywood-style marriages, either, where the emotional damage can be softened with a few beers and some deep dish pizza. He was married to Mary Marguadt for 15 years, producing two kids, Benjamin and Willard. He then moved on to Melissa Mathison for another 20, with two more little ones, Malcom and Georgia. I guess he saves the "I'll die for my family" attitude for the big screen.

5. Years of repressed wedgie rage.

When Ford was a kid he was very shy and would often get beatings from his classmates. A firm believer in non-violence, he would never fight back and would bottle his rage up for years. He suffered from depression in college, describing his own performance as Sloth, until he was expelled in his final year. Thank God he discovered acting, where he was able to overcome his fears and where he was able to beat the crap out of bullies for the next 40 years!


6. Firewall�

Nuff said.

Last but not least�


7. Still gets bullied today





Harrison, if you're looking to pick up your mood, maybe check what you raked in for some of your films.

American Graffiti (1973) - $500/week

Star Wars (1977) $650,000

Clear and Present Danger (1994) $1,000,000

Patriot Games (1992) $9,000,000

Presumed Innocent (1990) - $12,500,000

The Devil's Own (1997) - $20,000,000

Air Force One (1997) - $22,000,000

Six Days Seven Nights (1998) - $20,000,000

Random Hearts (1999) - $20,000,000

What Lies Beneath (2000) - $20,000,000

K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) - $25,000,000 + 20% of the Gross

Via perimetic.com

Visoneers - Looks like an amazing film!

The Happeneing: R-Rated Trailer

The Dell 'Inspiron' - A Cool Mini Laptop

dellwpencil.jpgdellpencil2.jpg

May 29, 2008

A Cold Hard Flash Interview

I got interviewed by Aaron regarding the MSTRKRFT Music Video production process, see it here.
You can see the original animated music video here. To view the full credits list and other info, go here.

Top 10 Flops Turned Classics

These ten films prove that both critics and audiences can get it wrong the first time. Fortunately for these films, there is sometimes a long life after theatrical death. I’m crossing my fingers that the manic fun of “Speed Racer” survives as well.

fight club soap
10. Fight Club (1999)

Considering the bullshit political backlash against this David Fincher-directed surreal satire, it’s a wonder “Fight Club” made $37 million at all. Turns out, that was just over half the film’s budget and it contributed to the head of 20th Century Fox resigning later that next year. I remember seeing our very own Kansas senator Sam Brownback on CNN talking out of his ass about how violent the movie was and holding it up as an example of Hollywood brutality for titillation’s sake. The only problem? Sam didn’t stay for the ending, so he had no idea what the hell he was talking about. He wasn’t alone. Critics were polarized, and while most noted its technical innovations, few thought its in-your-face, anti-everything message was anything extraordinary. Since its theatrical run, notices have improved, and society’s increasing cynicism has served it well. “Fight Club” has been instrumental in changing attitudes towards corporate alienation and mass advertising/brainwashing. U.K. film magazine Total Film recently ranked “Fight Club” as ‘The Greatest Film in Our Lifetime.’ The movie also single-handedly propelled Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote the novel, to great success. An independent film “Choke,” based on one of his later books, will be released in September.


harold and maude kissing9. Harold & Maude (1971)

Sometimes movies become cult films after considerable critical and box office success, like “A Clockwork Orange,” “Taxi Driver,” or “Pulp Fiction,” which were all nominated for Best Picture. Other times, however, a film’s path to cult status is so unlikely, one wonders how anybody found out about the movie at all. Such is the case of Hal Ashby’s “Harold and Maude,” starring Bud Cort as a privileged kid searching for meaning in his life and Ruth Gordon as the elderly Holocaust survivor who gives it to him (pun intended). Scathing reviews and studio that had no idea how to market a movie about a young boy who lusts after a grandmother led to a rapid death in theaters initially. Some theaters, however, held on to their prints for anywhere up to three years, running it late at night for college crowds, and helped the movie become a genuine 1970s cult hit. Two songs from the now-famous Cat Stevens soundtrack weren’t even available for a full decade after the film’s release, but the movie now ranks 45 on AFI’s funniest films of all time.

lumbergh office space

8. Office Space (1999)

The miserable theatrical failure ($10 million) of this hilarious and telling send-up of office life is still a mystery to me. What happened to word-of-mouth successes like “There’s Something About Mary?” Where was everybody this time? I saw this one in the theater and told all my friends to see it, but it’s hard to sell a movie about a bunch of no-name losers with crappy jobs that features Jennifer Aniston in a supporting role as “the girlfriend.” Like “Fight Club” (which came out later the same year), “Office Space” broke out on DVD. Also like “Fight Club,” it was way ahead of its time, paving the way for shitty-workplace masterpieces like the U.K. and U.S. versions of “The Office.” Tons of “Office Space” phrases have now entered the pop culture lexicon. When was the last time you jokingly referred to some useless piece of paper as a TPS report, or joked that you had a “case of the Mondays,” or pointed out the “pieces of flair” on somebody’s outfit? Anyone who doesn’t recognize the power of this film is a no-talent ass clown. On the other hand, the next person who I see do the “oh face” is dead to me.

peeping tom 19607. Peeping Tom (1960)

This highly controversial psychological thriller almost ended the career of esteemed British director Michael Powell. The man responsible (with his co-director Emeric Pressburger) for such noble classics as “Black Narcissus” and “The Red Shoes” was reviled by his countrymen after this movie’s release in England. He was called no less than a pervert for forcing theater audiences to examine their own voyeuristic actions while watching a movie through the actions of a psychosexual killer. “The critics rose up,” wrote Vincent Canby of The New York Times, “to condemn it on moral grounds. ‘It stinks,’ one critic wrote. Another thought it should be flushed down the sewer, and a third dismissed it haughtily as ‘perverted nonsense.’” Canby didn’t think too much of the film upon its 1979 re-release, partially funded by rabid fan Martin Scorsese, but filmmakers constantly reference this movie for being way ahead of its time. In 2004, British magazine Total Film named “Peeping Tom” the 24th greatest British film of all time and, in 2005, the 18th best horror movie of all time.

bringing up baby grant hepburn

6. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, this classic screwball farce was a major disaster at the box office, and was met with harsh notices from critics. Director Howard Hawks was fired from directing his next picture for the same studio (“Gunga Din”), and Hepburn, who headed the Independent Theatre Owners Association list of “box-office poison” movie stars, was forced to buy out her contract. Fact is, Grant and Hepburn display impeccable comic timing at a breakneck pace and the “intercostal clavicle” Grant’s paleontologist is searching for in the movie has become something of an iconic reference. Every decade or so somebody tries to recreate its special kind of magic (see “Leatherheads,” “Intolerable Cruelty,” “Who’s That Girl?” and “What’s Up Doc?”), but “Bringing Up Baby” is a true original, justifying its spot at number 14 on AFI’s top comedies list.

donnie darko screen5. Donnie Darko (2001)

After five months in U.S. theaters and a release of 58 screens, this cult classic film grossed a grand total of—are you ready for this?— $514,545. One possible reason for its complete and utter box office failure was that it opened just one month after the attacks on 9/11. By March 2002, when the movie was released on DVD, the Pioneer Theatre in New York City began midnight screenings of “Donnie Darko” that continued for 28 consecutive months. The sci-fi-tinged teen angst film amassed a huge following on DVD, allowing writer/director Richard Kelly to release his Director’s Cut and ruin much of the intriguing ambiguity that gave the film its magic in the first place. Ironically, his follow-up feature “Southland Tales,” had a disastrous screening at the 2006 Cannes film festival and met a similar theatrical fate, grossing just $273,420 on 63 screens late last year. The final injustice? A sequel that focuses on Donnie’s sister Samantha and is titled “S. Darko” is in production now. Kelly, who said in his “Darko” commentary that he would never do a sequel “because he wanted to maintain the integrity of the film and just wanted to put the film to rest,” has nothing to do with it.

it's a wonderful life stewart capra

4. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

Given that it is now considered the most inspirational film ever made, it’s hard to believe that Frank Capra’s classic Christmas-set movie received mixed reviews upon its release. Capra, whose populist films were almost always blockbusters, considered the review at the time to be either “universally negative or at best dismissive.” The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther wrote that Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey and the rest of the film’s characters “resemble theatrical attitudes rather than average realities.” During the 1980s, it seemed to be on TV every Christmas season, but now, due to recent copyright enforcement, is reduced to about two showings a year. It currently sits at number 20 on the AFI all-time list, having dropped from 11 on 1997’s list.

blade runner billboard japanese


3. Blade Runner (1982)

Coming off of the sci-fi actioner “The Empire Strikes Back” and throwback actioner “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Harrison Ford was red-freaking-hot. So headlining Ridley Scott’s futuristic thriller was a no-brainer at the box office, right? Wrong. “Blade Runner,” based on the Philip K. Dick novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,” was a slow, brooding art film about the nature of what it means to be human—not exactly what western-in-space “Star Wars” fans were expecting. The unique and detailed art direction and neo-noir cinematography that Scott spent so much time perfecting, however, paid off in the long run. Despite its original flop status, “Blade Runner” was released in many different cuts for theaters, cable TV/VHS, and finally DVD. In any version, the film is now regarded one of the original visions ever put on film and one of the most influential visual-effects films of all time. It currently resides at number 97 on AFI’s Top 100 movies of all time.

wizard of oz ruby slippers2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Starring Judy Garland and featuring “Over the Rainbow”—the most beloved song in musical history—this adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s surreal children’s book was not always considered a success. Considering its reputation these days, you’d never know. MGM was severely disappointed by the reception that their extravagant $2.8 million musical received at the box office upon its initial release. Just barely covering its costs at $3 million, the film now regarded as a hands-down classic, having earned its reputation through a 1949 re-release and TV showings every year around Christmas time. I can’t count the number of times I saw it on TV as a kid, but it was an eye-opening experience to see it in all its restored glory on DVD all those years later. AFI’s 1998 list has “The Wizard of Oz” as the seventh best film of all time, and in the 2007 list, it came in 10th.

citizen kane xanadu

1. Citizen Kane (1941)

Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was so offended by Orson Welles’ thinly veiled attack on him that he offered RKO Pictures $800,000 to destroy all copies and the negative of the film. The company refused, and the film now generally regarded as the best movie ever made was eventually released to much hype in 1941. Critical reception was mixed, and the movie flopped at the box office, failing to recoup its budget and crippling the boy wonder’s status as a bulletproof artist. Welles forever struggled to regain the kind of control he once had over “Citizen Kane.” The movie was nominated for several Oscars and won one (for its screenplay), but even at the ceremony, boos were heard almost every time the film was mentioned. The film, now considered groundbreaking for its time-shifting narrative and deep focus cinematography, was virtually forgotten in the U.S. until its critical revival in the late 1950s. It first appeared on Sight and Sound’s Top 10 list in 1962, and has stayed there at number one every year since. AFI had it at number 1 on both of its ‘100 Best’ lists of all time.

Via Eric Melvin from Scene-Stealers.com

May 28, 2008

Lomki

lomkip87.jpg
Please enjoy all the madness of Lomki’s portfolio. Make sure you have a bit of free time, because there are five years worth of thumbnails to munch on.
Via Drawn.ca

Human Slingshot

Check out the Art of Federico Bertolucci:

May 27, 2008

Comic Tools

MK Reed has launched a new blog called Comic Tools, where comic artists such as Hope Larson and Jim Rugg share their weapons of choice when they’re working on their own comics. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Visit Comic Tools here.

Upcoming Disney / Pixar Film Revealed

Bolt - November 26, 2008 - The story of a dog of the same name who thinks he has superhero powers



Up - May 29, 2009 - The story of an unlikely 78-year-old adventurer and his 8-year-old sidekick


The Princess and the Frog - Christmas 2009 - Based upon the classic fairy tale "The Frog Prince". It will be the first traditionally animated (2-D) feature film in Disney's animated features canon since 2004's Home on the Range. When finished, it will take its place as the 48th animated film by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It is being directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, directors of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, with songs and score composed by Randy Newman. Anika Noni Rose is providing the lead character, Tiana. The film, which began production under the working title The Frog Princess, will be an American fairy tale musical set in New Orleans during the 1920s Jazz Age, and Tiana will be the first Black American Disney Princess.




Toy Story 3 - June 18, 2010 - The toys get donated to a day care center(?)



Rapunzel - Christmas 2010 - A girl trapped in a tower with long golden hair which is the only way for anyone to climb up to her




Newt - Summer 2011 - A story of the last two blue-footed newts on the planet that aims to show that love is not a science



The Bear and the Bow - Christmas 2011 - An action-adventure about a royal family in rugged and mythic Scotland


Cars 2 - Summer 2012 - Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater bid to take on the world’s fastest cars

King of the Elves - Christmas 2012 - Based on a 1953 short story by Phillip K. Dick about a band of elves living in the modern-day Mississippi Delta who name a local man their king after he helps save them from an evil troll



Via
Serve with Chips

Top Grossing Animated Films

RankTitle (click to view)StudioLifetime Gross / TheatersOpening / TheatersDate
1 Shrek 2
(CG)
DW $441,226,247 4,223 $108,037,878 4,163 5/19/04
2 Finding Nemo
(CG)
BV $339,714,978 3,425 $70,251,710 3,374 5/30/03
3 The Lion King BV $328,541,776 2,624 $1,586,753 2 6/15/94
4 Shrek the Third
(CG)
P/DW $322,719,944 4,172 $121,629,270 4,122 5/18/07
5 Shrek
(CG)
DW $267,665,011 3,715 $42,347,760 3,587 5/16/01
6 The Incredibles
(CG)
BV $261,441,092 3,933 $70,467,623 3,933 11/5/04
7 Monsters, Inc.
(CG)
BV $255,873,250 3,649 $62,577,067 3,237 11/2/01
8 Toy Story 2
(CG)
BV $245,852,179 3,257 $300,163 1 11/19/99
9 Cars
(CG)
BV $244,082,982 3,988 $60,119,509 3,985 6/9/06
10 Aladdin BV $217,350,219 2,331 $196,664 2 11/13/92
11 Ratatouille
(CG)
BV $206,445,654 3,940 $47,027,395 3,940 6/29/07
12 Happy Feet
(CG)
WB $198,000,317 3,804 $41,533,432 3,804 11/17/06
13 Ice Age: The Meltdown
(CG)
Fox $195,330,621 3,969 $68,033,544 3,964 3/31/06
14 Madagascar
(CG)
DW $193,595,521 4,142 $47,224,594 4,131 5/27/05
15 Toy Story
(CG)
BV $191,796,233 2,574 $29,140,617 2,457 11/22/95
16 The Simpsons Movie Fox $183,135,014 3,926 $74,036,787 3,922 7/27/07
17 The Polar Express
(CG)
WB $179,100,434 3,650 $23,323,463 3,650 11/10/04
18 Ice Age
(CG)
Fox $176,387,405 3,345 $46,312,454 3,316 3/15/02
19 Beauty and the Beast BV $171,350,553 1,960 $162,146 2 11/15/91
20 Tarzan BV $171,091,819 3,131 $34,221,968 3,005 6/16/99
21 A Bug's Life
(CG)
BV $162,798,565 2,773 $291,121 1 11/20/98
22 Shark Tale
(CG)
DW $160,861,908 4,070 $47,604,606 4,016 10/1/04
23 Who Framed Roger Rabbit
(Part live action)
BV $156,452,370 1,598 $11,226,239 1,045 6/24/88
24 Over the Hedge
(CG)
P/DW $155,019,340 4,093 $38,457,003 4,059 5/19/06
25 Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!
(CG)
Fox $151,451,618 3,961 $45,012,998 3,954 3/14/08

More Hand Artistry

Picture of the Day

Ink, Thunder and an Iron Will - a great blog

Funky Fables Art

Twisted Tales Art is a now-finished but still comprehensive blog from Jam Media of the BBC-commissioned animated series Twisted Tales (due for release in mid-2008). Right now it’s loaded with conceptual art and production design, including some pretty sweet backgrounds like this one.

Slimer Puppet!


Watch this rare footage of behind the scenes animatronics testing for Ghostbusters 2.
Via puppeteersunite.com

Also, see a Terror Dog Sculpture & Slimer Screen Test from the original Ghostbusters here:


May 26, 2008

To-Do List Temporary Tatts



To-Do Tattoos are skin-safe to-do-list temporary tatts that come with a skin-safe felt-tip marker. I just draw on myself with a sharpie. Link

May 25, 2008

Mathias Verhasselt

mv.jpg

Fans of fantasy and sci-fi concept art may want to take a peek at the work of Mathias Verhasselt. Those with slow Internet connections may want to go make a cup of tea, however, as the link is a single page that is very image-heavy.
Via Drawn.ca

The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson

Last week marked the anniversary of Jim's passing When Henson died on May 16, 1990, his sudden death resulted in an outpouring of public and professional affection. There have since been numerous tributes and dedications in his memory. Henson’s companies, which are now run by his children, continue to produce films and television shows.

Here's a nice Henson biography wrapped into some of the very best clips from the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and the Muppet movies. Worth watching.

All five parts of the television special:










Frank Oz talks about his friend at Jim Henson's Memorial:


See a nice summary of his legacy here, listen to Steve Swanson's tribute here, and see a comprehensive on-going tribute to the man and his imagination here.

Picture of the Day

Kurt Russel!

Weezer - Pork & Beans

May 24, 2008

The Art of Eric Poulton


Boy Trapped in Claw Machine

Travis' Wish

An Honest College Ad

Shaq & Will

10 Cool (i.e. Crazy) Japanese Star Wars Posters

star-wars-panacolor-x.jpgClick image to see the other 9.

Huh?

Why does she only have ONE leg?!?
Spirit_Eva_Comicon_Print01.jpg
Why does it HAVE to look like Sin City?!?Spirit_Teaser.jpg

Speedo Tuxedo

Terminator is a web of lies

Wanna Buy A Ghost

Debra Lafave - Today Show Interview

Everyone's favorite sexy school teacher is speaking for the first time on the Today Show. She goes into detail about what was going through her mind the day she raped one of her students.

Six Diseases You Don’t Want

They say laughter is the best medicine; that’s good news for the sufferers of these diseases.

1) Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)
To answer your question, yes, your pee does smell like maple syrup. Other symptoms include lethargy, coma, avoiding food, and mental retardation. If left untreated, this disease can kill you and would make for an embarrassing obituary.

This disease is a metabolism disorder that makes the body incapable of breaking down particular proteins. Studies conducted since 1979 (Georgia) show that MSUD affects approximately 1 in every 120,000 live births and occurs in all ethnic groups worldwide. It’s genetic, so if your pee that smells like it could be poured over waffles, get to the hospital—stat!

2) Exploding Head Syndrome
I’m sure many of you get the same mental image I do when reading the name of this disease. It’s actually not that funny of a disease, but I couldn’t resist that name. Well, it’s kinda funny … the sufferer of Exploding Head Syndrome experiences a sudden loud noise in his head, either right before falling asleep or in the middle of sleep. It’s like an explosion (or cymbal crash) in your brain, but there’s no pain involved and no one else hears it (that’s got to be a lonely feeling).

A report by a British physician in 1988 might be the first description of exploding head syndrome. The good news is that doctors emphasize its benign nature—yeah, it’s traumatizing and can feel like a stroke, but it won’t really hurt you. Don’t get too stressed out—anxiety might trigger it, as can extreme fatigue. Also, women get it more than men.

3) Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder
This oddly named disease occurs due to a genetic mutation that prevents “exciting” signals in the nervous system from being regulated. It was first discovered in 1878 in a French-Canadian lumberjack population in the Moosehead Lake area of Maine.

A person with this disorder will startle easily and have an exaggerated response to the stimulus; for example, the person might “jump,” cry out, flail his limbs, twitch, or convulse. Another bonus to this disorder is that the patient has an automatic reflex to obey any order as soon as it’s delivered. If you told a sufferer to hit his brother, he would do so without hesitation. Additionally, he will verbally repeat the command over and over again while wailing on his brother … must hit brother, must hit brother, must hit brother …

One theory about the cause of this disorder is that it was a result of inbreeding. So, like, stop doing your sister. Jeez.

4) Fatal Familial Insomnia (Die Because I Can’t Sleep Disease)
The main symptom of this disease is the inability to sleep, though we’re not talking about a few sleepless nights. This is a complete inability to sleep that results in death. Other symptoms are loss of coordination, high blood pressure, excessive sweating, and coma. The disease does not show symptoms until patients are middle-aged. The best part is that your mind never deteriorates, so you’re perfectly aware of the fact that you’re dying until that coma kicks in. Good times!

FFI is one of a handful of prion-mediated diseases; prions are proteinaceous infectious particles lacking nucleic acid. Prions break all the rules regarding biological life forms and set up camp in the brain, causing holes to form, which speeds up dementia and death. Another prion-mediated disease is Mad Cow. But don’t worry, FFI has occurred in only twenty-eight families worldwide.

5) Koro Syndrome (Shrinking Penis Syndrome)
Koro is just your garden-variety genital retraction syndrome, i.e. the pathological fear that your genitals are shrinking into the body. Literally, it means that a guy fears his unit will be sucked into his body, resulting in death. There are no documented cases of actual penis shrinkage, though some sufferers hurt themselves frantically trying to stretch the penis. Treatment is informing patients that penile retraction is impossible.

GRS is similar to a panic attack, with sexual elaborations. In a culture with high sexual anxiety, a man could panic at the normal shrinkage due to cold or anxiety. Just don’t live anywhere but in the Western Hemisphere; it mostly occurs in Asia and Africa. Also, avoid witchcraft, sexual relations with prostitutes, masturbation, and food poisoning—I know it’s hard, but use some self control.

6) ABCD Disease (Easy As 1-2-3)
ABCD Syndrome is the acronym for albinism, black lock, cell migration disorder of the neurocytes of the gut, and sensorineural deafness. In other words, a person with this disease is a deaf albino with a lock of black hair who suffers from intestinal abnormalities—that’s quite the combination. Does it make anyone else think of Marilyn Manson?

ABCD Disease is extremely rare; there are only about 200,000 cases in the U.S. Just try not to be born to a parent who has a homozygous nonsense mutation in exon 3 (R201X) of the EDNRB gene … oh, and gargle with salt water.

They say that people have a higher likelihood of beating a serious disease if they laugh, so go ahead and get it out—you never know when you might be stricken with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. (Yes, it’s real, look it up!)

By: Natalie Josef via divinecaroline.com

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The Bigger The Mess

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Monster Camp' Poster, Appropriately in the Style of Poor Fantasy Art

monster-camp-poster.jpg

Is there seriously a documentary about live-action role playing people? That's amazing. How has this not done before? Someone documents the strangeness of spelling bee kids but somehow no one has looked at the far more patent oddballs running around the woods with medieval weaponry. If Monster Camp captures any of the magic at all of this clip, I can already tell you it's a success.

See the trailer here.

Courtesy of iwatchstuff.com

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Picture of the Day

May 23, 2008

Batman Gotham Knight - Official Trailer




The talent behind this is just crazy. You've got scripts by David Goyer (BLADE, BATMAN BEGINS), Greg Rucka (upcoming WHITEOUT), Josh Olson (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE), Jordan Goldberg (Associate Producer on THE PRESTIGE), Alan Burnett (BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM) and Brian Azzarello (writer on 100 BULLETS, the brilliant comic series by Vertigo). AND THEN... there's the directors... Yasuhiro Aoki (TWEENY WITCHES), Futoshi Higashide (AIR), Toshiyuki Kubooka (NADIA OF THE MYSTERIOUS SEAS), Hiroshi Morioka (TSUBASA CHRONICLE) and Shoujirou Nishimi (TEKON KINKURITO). The directors are often times directing for the first time after being superb animators in the anime realm - all being overseen by producer BRUCE TIMM and the team behind BATMAN BEGINS & THE DARK KNIGHT. This is going to kick a lot of ass! Via aintitcool.com

A Brief History of Disney

Ryan Peterson cooked up this fascinating animatic featuring the history of the company behind all the magic.  Really interesting stuff.


Via Cartoon Brew

The Real Indiana Jones

Born in 1867 and disappeared in 1925 while searching for what he called “The Lost City of Z” with his son, Jack, Col. Percy Fawcett is the inspiration for the character Indiana Jones.

True to form, just like the character he inspired, Fawcett had an equal disdain for snakes. According to The Museum of Unnatural Mystery

“Though not poisonous, the giant anaconda is probably the most feared snake in the jungle. Fawcett had a run-in with one not long after he arrived in South America. In his diary he noted: “We were drifting easily along the sluggish current not far below the confluence of the Rio Negro when almost under the bow of the igarit’e [boat] there appeared a triangular head and several feet of undulating body. It was a giant anaconda. I sprang for my rifle as the creature began to make its way up the bank, and hardly waiting to aim, smashed a .44 soft-nosed bullet into its spine, ten feet below the wicked head.”

Fawcett’s expeditions were mainly limited to South America, in countries like Bolivia, a wild and lawless place at the time. For his now fabled final journey, Fawcett set out to find an ancient lost city, which he simply referred to as “Z” for simplicity.

After studying numerous manuscripts and legends, Fawcett became convinced that the lost city was located in the unexplored Mato Grasso region of the Brazilian jungles. He even went as far as to leave a note saying that if they should not return, no one should come and get them lest they suffer the same fate as he and his comrades.

The fate of Fawcett was never rightly determined. Since his disappearance there have been no less than 13 separate expeditions to find him, or his remains. No fewer than 100 individuals have died on these journeys, with the last expedition in 1996 being held hostage by Kalapalo villagers before being released.

There are theories of course. Some believe he was murdered. Still, others believe he died of natural causes. Some even believe he is still alive, living in the subterranean city “Z,” founded by the Atlanteans. According to The Guardian, there are correspondences which indicate he planned on leaving British society and forming a new one, with a new religion that even included worship of his son and an unnamed Sith, or female spirit. Still, others believe he fell into unconsciousness, and when he awoke became king of a cannibal tribe.Simultaneously fantastical, intriguing, and mysterious, the mythology surrounding this man is endless and the riddle of his disappearance is still unsolved (or at best, unresolved). For more info check out Wikipedia, The Museum of Unnatural Mystery, Catchpenny, and The Guardian.

Via The Presurfer from mumbojumbodaily.com

May 22, 2008

Cinematography

I love films that are made like moving artwork, each scene is masterfully photographed for brilliant composition to create visual balance with a fine use of space, texture, color, and perspective. Here are two movies which I recently saw again, and depict wonderful visual language.

2001: A Space Odyssey

dir. Stanley Kubrick
dp. Geoffrey Unsworth
1968








































300

dir. Zack Snyder
dp. Larry Fong
2007