Things to do while you’re too busy for this junk.

Capture from the sundance film festival shorts.

So the sundance film festival, notorious for bringing great films to everyone’s attention (fuck the Oscars), has decided that people seeing movies is better than not, and as such has decided to post all of the short films (“shorts”) from the festival on their website as they are simultaneously screened in front of the festival’s audiences. Some of them are really amazing (check out Everything’s Gone Green, pictured above, especially) and all of them are free (with a quick and painless registration.)
Link to Sundance’s (unfortunatlely) flash-based website. (You’ll have to navigate around a little to get at the content, it’s nice once you’re there though. Really.)

William Shatner teams up with Ben Folds for musical project, universe implodes under force of goodness.

william shatner's new album, has been. Seriously. I was listening to radio Wazee and Common People (click to listen) came on. Amazing, entertaining and enlightening, it’s both the first track on Shatners new album Has Been (that he co-wrote and produced with Ben Folds) and the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

Did I ever mention Shatner’s 70’s interpretation of Elton John’s Rocketman (alt link)? Also funny, but perhaps more disturbing than enlightening…

Intellectual Property Nerd

Creative Commies T-Shirt When asked in a recent interview what he thought about the recent movement to reform copyright and intellectual property law, Bill Gates called those backing this movement (groups like Creative Commons and the EFF) “some new modern-day sort of communists,” effectively showing not only his cold-war style understanding of ideology, but also his confusion concerning what these groups actually believe.

In retaliation the internet released a slew of logos mockingly promoting the copyleft (commonly logofied as the left-pointing ©) in its deserved red and yellow glory (BB links, 1 2), with one copyfighter going so far as to print tshirts using one of the logos (These are actually amazingly cheap, at 5$ you should buy one for everyone you know!)

In other news, Will Shetterly wrote a funny and completely relevant satire of the current state of copyright law and Mickey Mouse extensions that clearly and entertainingly shows the importance of the public domain for both the consuming and thinking public and the producers of cultural content (using the bible!).

Second Life

I finally got around to signing up for my free 7-day trial of Second Life, a massively multiplayer online world similar to The Sims Online, and it has completely blown me away.

Self-Portrait from Second Life

The level of detail in the character creation process is insane (8 sliders for your nose!) and allows you to not only live out your wildest fantasies, but also simulate yourself within the system to an almost eerie degree (does anyone else find that I did almost too well at reproducing myself, with my true hair color no less?)

The game itself is composed entirely of events and locations developed by its users. Players can build things and spaces, as well as write scripts to govern both the world and it’s inhabitants. Thus activities range from going dancing (with custom scripts for your phat moves) and playing in-game games (like a little combat simulator or laser-tag), to things as simple as poetry readings (all of which I did today)

Also, everyone can fly.

Second life portrait, flying

This is going to end badly, I can feel it.

maybe… it worked?

After a grand total of over an hour and a half on hold with my host it seems that the server has been changed and nothing blew up.

Good news.

Welcome to Simian Uprising v.5.0, now wholly powered by the open source blogging tool WordPress. A few things will be different in terms of how the site works, but just showing up and reading it shouln’t change significantly.

Happy new year everybody, may your stylesheets be deviant but standard, and may your databases be fast and full.

[backpost] thoughts on self-image

Found on an older blog and posted here for historical purposes.

Looking at pictures of yourself is such a strange thing to do. i mean, who the fuck is that person? is that me? does my nose really stick out that much? are all those curves actually part of my face?

usually i try to stay behind the camera, but i know i’ll regret if later if i have no images of myself so i let people steal the fire when they ask. but it really does kind of phase me to look at the results. i find it hard to believe that my girlfriend can have sex with me without laughing for example. also, i tend to feel fat, which i don’t believe i am, or at least not really…

it’s a usefull philosophical tool though, like we tend to just look through the window of our vision out at world that we process instantly. the things we can do without having a single thought are amazing. but when you look at a picture of yourself you’re confronted with the fact that you’re really out there. not just your eyeballs and brain, but all of you. When you see a picture of yourself, especially one that really doesn’t represent your “residual-self-image” you’re confronted with that part of you that you really can’t control, maybe it’s the auto-pilot that gets caught in the photo (which would repudiate the traditional cultures that claim that photo’s steal your soul, maybe they just steal everything else?), and, being forced to look at it is what makes viewing the photo uncomfortable. i dont’ think we like to be reminded of our mortality-limitations-just humanness, at least not in such a dynamic visual way (it’s easier to brush of the existential unease of a question like “why are we here” than it is to look at yourself making a face in normal conversation that you would grimace at if anyone you were talking to made it).

maybe it’s just me that thinks that though, maybe everyone else just looks at photos and says “yup, i’m ugly” or “yup that’s just me”. i’ve always had a weird relationship with my body, and rarely do i look in a mirror without having to re-confront the stranger i see there.

[backpost] thoughts on media concentrations

Found on an older blog and posted here for historical purposes.

it wasn’t a matter of motivation this time. usually there was a feeling of boredom, lazyness and apathy, like actually caring about this silly thing just wasn’t worth the effort.

but this was different, there was motivation, just not to do this. an urge to write in a journal, to build a journal, to find readers for a journal. to take, look at and publish pictures, to copy the amazing world outside (and inside) the home and give it a chance to be as beautiful-monstrous-ironic and amazing as it truly was. there was even a skewed kind of motivation to work on the sound project, but less.

all this, but it still seemed that the comic must be drawn, that it was the important thing, that people like the comic, people respond to the comic, the comic is popular. the fact that the comic must be maintained untill the t-shirts could be sold ALONE should have been motivation to complete the panels, but the apathy remained. the feeling that very little was left to be said with this format, that its subjectivity had been stolen by overuse, corrupted by the redundancy of time, and had effectively become passive.

the ideas no longer stimulating, it seemed like a waste.

but they still loved it, and asked for more.

and there are comics to be finished.

[backpost] they looked up

Found on an older blog and posted here for historical purposes.

they looked up together. the sky seemed bigger now somehow, especially the clouds. especially compared to the hill under them.
he had his arm around her and she felt good against him, but he was looking too far up, and starting to lose his balance.
the sky was full of clouds, the fluffy kind, not the whispy dream ones. the kind of cloud that looks like whatever you want it to. the kind of cloud that you could dance on if you could only jump high enough.
there was one especially, a dark brooding one, that he couldn’t help looking at. it reminded him of a person, it was a grumpy cloud.

eventually it got cold and they walked home, his goose was all aflesh and so was her’s. he offered her his coat but it was thin, and didn’t really protect anything from the world.

when they got home he tried to write her a poem. he wanted to tell her how beautiful it had been on the hill. he wanted to tell her about what it was like to feel her prickled flesh in his hand. he wanted to tell her that she was more beautiful than he ever could have imagined anything to be.
but his poem was all about the cloud. the big one. the grumpy one.