Sunday, September 30, 2007

Flickr Thumbnail Simulacrum

Frankreich - 17-20.08.2007 - 145.jpg
Originally uploaded by arno-hh.

The thumbnail of this picture from Flickr looks rather anatomical. Open the image to see what it really is.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Slowly I turned

I'm sad that I didn't grow up in a family of vaudevillians. I want to know the names off all the burlesque bits they did. Here are video clips showing three variations on the sketch referred to as "Slowly I turned" by three classic comedians.

Links to the Youtube clips should the embed fail:
[Abbott & Costello]
[I Love Lucy]
[Three Stooges]

Friday, September 28, 2007

Old Navy Sweater Song.

For veritate:

The "Old Navy Sweater Song" is "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson from the album "Girls and Boys." Here is a Youtube video of the song, and a link to get the MP3 from, and a link to get it from iTunes.

[edited with more links and info due to high traffic volume]

Why are there so many goggles in steampunk?

When one first looks into making steampunk costumes, one quickly notes the popularity of goggles. It is practically a cliché. There are many reasons for this. First up is the genres relation to cyberpunk, where goggles are de rigueur. Goggles are needed in most cyber-futures to access the interwebs, and to protect oneself from poison gases and toxic chemicals that we seem to be destined to pollute our future with.

Goggles make sense in a steam powered environment too. If every contraption that surrounds you is powered by coal and steam, the air will be rich and sooty. Goggles are also important when tooling around at high altitude in ones semi-rigid airship or Orinthopter.

From a costuming perspective goggles are a perfect accessory. They set the tone for the whole costume, and they fit everyone.

When I started making my steampunk costume, I found these great old safety glasses on eBay. They had a nice brass coloured patina, so I didn't have to do any repainting. I think they date from about the 1930's but I could be wrong. To kick them up to steampunk standards I added a set of jewellers magnifying loupes to the side with some gold coloured wire. I think they look smashing, and I have worn them both with steampunk outfits and with my Harry Potter Ravenclaw wizard costume.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sex quote of the day

I found the following quote to be very funny. Responding to the latest reports of celebrity sex tapes, Elizabeth Bromstein dissects the trend thusly:

"Releasing a sex tape is the modern day equivalent of stepping onto a grate, letting your skirt blow up around your ears and making "oopsy" faces."

[Link to article]

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 365 - Fin

Day 365 - Fin
Originally uploaded by Drhaggis.

I'm officially done my 365 days project, wherein I take and post one self-portrait a day for a year.

Here are some interesting numbers:

[Previous Slashboing posts on the project]

Project Links

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Extreme Sewing

Can You See Now?
Originally uploaded by mikest.

The Slashboing Flickr Favourites crew would like to direct your attention to the following picture, wherein a punk seamstress is practising sewing with night vision goggles on.

This is undoubtedly useful for stealth alterations and covert hemming.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Open Letter to Hollywood

Here is a great open letter to Hollywood by Jim Emerson that I wish I wrote. Presented as an intervention to a loved one who needs serious help and has been self-medicating for too long, Emerson tries to wake up an unfocused and risk-adverse industry. He captures the disappointment that many have been feeling when they look through the localc ineplex listings.

Here is Emerson's take on sequels:
You say there's nothing wrong, you're just fine, that it's always been kinda like this. But "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "Hostel Part II" -- these are cries for help, whether you realize it or not.
and on the ghastly trend of torture-porn:

... As increasingly deathlike gore and so-called "torture porn" get more extreme, and more mainstream, how far are you willing to push it before audiences just get sick of it? Sure, these films are targeted primarily at a younger audience -- including those who are supposedly too young to see R-rated movies without a "parent or guardian." But we, and they, know better than that.

I don't know if it will have the intended effect, but it nice to know others feel like I do.

[Link to Letter]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rock Band for the PS2

Here is what you need to know:

Rock Band is a video game that adds drums and vocals to the already awesome Guitar Hero platform.

It was previously announced for the next generation consoles.

It is now being made available for the Playstation 2.

I own a Playstation 2 and love the Guitar Hero games.

I need to play this game when it comes out, and form a "band."

I'm looking at you iRob. You too Dooks Brothers.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Geekcore Tattoo

Originally uploaded by carlzimmer.

The Sunday Flickr Favourites team finds this set of physics geek tattoos too fantastic to pass up.

Behold the complexity of the universe!

Dragon*Con 2007 Friday report

Here, Dear reader, is a recounting of the major events of my Friday at Dragoncon 2007.

People who have never been to Dragoncon, often ask what the event is like, and what they can expect to see there. If San Diego Comi-con is "nerd prom" then Dragoncon is "Geek Mardi Gras." The picture seen here, taken by Dementia shows a gentlemen dressed in the attire of several distinct fandoms. This is what my brain feels like at Dragoncon, and it feels good.

Friday was mostly spent in the dealers room, scoping out interesting finds, and snagging business cards from all the really interesting dealers. I now have a great portfolio of sci-fi dealers to peruse through when I need something special. Dr. Smith and I tried to attend a panel with the "Stars of Harry Potter," with Phelps twins (Fred and George Weasley) and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), but the line was too long and the doors were closed with a full panel right in front of us. There were more people at this con then ever before, and they had fewer rooms to work with due to renovations. This meant some cozy quarters. I'm not complaining, just observing.

Friday night was the debut of the crew and companions of the Airship Vertigo. Our travelling group all had themed Steampunk costumes, complete with deep back-stories and long, pompous titles. Our friend dressed as a gold wind-up mechanized automaton memorized all our ridiculous names and would make the formal introductions for the group, when required. We really had a great shtick going, and people seemed to enjoy it. Steampunk was an emerging genre this year, so we often had to explain what we were going for. I'm sure a lot of people who took our picture were doing so with full intent to ask their more knowledgeable friend "what movie we were from" at a later date

It was fun to hang at the Steampunk party thrown by the Dragoncon Myspace minions, and trade notes about the sourcing and building of our various costumes with other similarly inspired individuals.
Lady Fulton, Botanist and observer on the Vertigo

After such a day it was hard to remember that we still had three more days of convention to take in before returning to mundanity.

My Friday Flickr photos

Previously on Slashboing

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Zombie facts for the slow minded

Here is a bloody obvious connection I didn't make until today:

The Borg are the Zombies of Star Trek.

Boo on me. Do you think after all those episodes of Trek I watched, and all those zombies I hunted, I would have made this connection sooner? Even the Borg Wikipedia article spells this out.

I'm in serious risk of getting my ironic-hipster fanboy licence revoked.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dragon*Con 2007 Trip report 1

Here is my the first of my "obligatory post-convention summary reports" for Dragon*Con 2007.

The plan from last year worked so well we reenacted it for this trip. Arrive on the Wednesday before, see some sights in Atlanta on Thursday, enjoy the convention till its ending on Monday, decompress, and fly out on Tuesday. It really is the perfect way to enjoy this event. You get an easy check-in, while on Thursday the Horde moves in. While the bulk of con goers teem and trolley out on Monday, you can watch and order another drink in the bar. Sure it means a few more nights in a nice hotel and a few more days away from work, but I'm willing to make those kind of sacrifices.

During the check-in process at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, The Phelps Twins were checking-in next to us. A more outgoing member of our entourage invited them to dinner with us at Trader Vic's. They politely declined, and we politely went on without them. Good thing I saw them at this point in the trip, because I wouldn't see them during the convention. More on that later.

Tiki Girls
The Tiki Girls

Trader Vic's was as fun as it was last time. I petitioned the Head Chef, Maitre'd and the waiter to seriously suggest to management to open a location in Calgary. There are four Trader Vic's in the Islamic United Arab Emirates, but none in Canada. Does that sound right to you? Dinner was fantastic, drinks copious, and the Bunnies flew fast and frantic.

The next day brought a return to the Georgia Aquarium. It is a great spot to leisurely spend the day out from under the sweltering Atlanta heat. Many of our party had not been before, and those that had got to re-live all the best bits with fresh eyes.

Group with Beluga
The Group watches the Beluga, and the Beluga watches right back

Returning to the hotel complex, we got our convention passes with little ruckus, but there were about ten times more people in the queue than last time. Still a well handled process, but this was to be a taste things to come.

Dinner this second night was also at Trader Vic's. We met up with several convention buddies and LJ friends. We had to continue calling over more chairs and tables to make room for a group that I think topped out at fourteen. The restaurant was rather full this time, rife with sci-fi fans so eager for the convention to start they already began donning the ceremonial emblems of fandom. A hot rockabilly band was playing, and had there been room to dance, I would have done so with gusto.

A relatively early night on Thursday, because big things awaited on Friday, and you will have to wait another day for the next instalment of my report.

My Flickr photos from events prior to the Convention can be found here:

Previously on Slashboing:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Vertigo Lands

The crew and companions of the Airship Vertigo have returned to our point of origin, both in time and space. The steampunk costumes were a big hit at Dragoncon this year, and we got to meet up with other enthusiasts in the genre.

Day 339 - Vertigo Expedition

We were often asked "What are you guys from?" Eventually we started answering "The Past," which makes as much sense as any other explanation we could give.

More detailed posts, and pictures to follow.