Mad Times

“To be sane in a mad time is bad for the brain, worse for the heart.” – Wendell Berry

February 5th, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival 2013

I found full or nearly full versions of seven of the 21 films at this year’s fest. And trailers for all the rest.

All the films were good at some level. Of the ones with full versions below, my favorites were:

Click on for lots of embedded videos

April 13th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Hammering Man

Hammering Man

I made this animated gif in a new iOS app called Jittergram. This was the first one I tried to post directly to twitter from the app. The tweet went up, but the link it used to the jittergram site doesn’t include the image, alas. Fortunately I also mailed it to myself.

I tried to post it to my tumblr (since that’s where animated gifs belong), but since it’s over a megabyte (just) they resized it when I posted it and broke the animation in the process. Sigh. Technology.

February 13th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Fest 2012

Hard to believe we’ve been going to these for seven years now.

You can see a list of all of this year’s films on the EMP SFFSFF page

Looking at the thumbnails on that page you might think like I did that there was less animated fare this year. This isn’t actually the case. What was different, though, was the number of films with mixed live action and cgi.

I went hunting to see how many of the entries I could find for viewing online. Here they are:

Click on for lots of embedded videos

July 13th, 2009 at 2:48 am

Visible Light by C.J. Cherryh

I started digging through the boxes of paperbacks that have been sadly relegated to the back of our closet for a couple of years since there’s no space in the bookshelves. I’ve been sorting them into “keep”, “to read”, and “pass on” piles and this is the first one I’ve read all the way through from the “to read” pile.

Visible Light is a collection of fantasy and science fiction short stories by Ms. Cherryh. They are surrounded by bits of a framing tale that has the author accompanying a reader on a routine commercial space flight whose long periods of boredom allow the two to discuss the stories in a sort of Platonic dialogue.

In “Cassandra”, afflicted by visions of destruction who thinks herself crazy finds to her dismay that she is not.

“The Threads of Time” explores what happens when time travel causes history to unravel.

“Companions” shows a mission to a planet rich in vegetation, but lacking any sort of motile or intelligent life. An unknown and mysterious plague takes the lives of all but one of the crew and he carries on with only the ship’s AI for company. Unless they were wrong about the lack of intelligent life.

“A Thief in Corianth” is a fairly standard swashbuckling fantasy only the thief is a woman, but one who operates mostly within the limitations of women in the standard pseudo-middle ages fantasy setting.

“The Last Tower” is a short short about the end of a war.

“The Brothers” is a Campbellian hero’s journey with some satisfying twists and appropriately tricksy fae.

The stories shared in my mind a distant and melancholy tone, but all of them have rich metaphorical grounds that echo off real life in interesting ways.

November 10th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

It’s full of stars

Well, only 32, but they’re all the stars within 14 light years of home in a 3d animation so you can tell how relatively far away they are. The lines show whether they’re above or below the ecliptic. Nifty.

Whoa, I just noticed that if you point your mouse at a star it will tell you all about it.

via James Nicoll

December 28th, 2007 at 11:14 pm

Chin rest

Cat with his chin resting on his owner's hand

Theo is never happier than when he can tie you down by resting his chin on your hand or arm.

December 31st, 2006 at 10:46 pm

2006 in review

In 2006 I read only 31 books (a couple of reviews aren’t up yet). This is even worse than the 36 I thought was so scandalously low last year. All the same reasons apply.

We did do some pretty cool things this year that might have eaten some of my reading time.

We also watched a bunch of movies, so like I posted last year, here’s what we saw and what we thought of them.

The notes are about where we saw the movie and who saw it. “T” indicates we saw it in the theater. Other letters indicate who attended. The default is Becky and me. If only R appears then Rachel saw it with us. If just “J” or “B” appear then only the one of us saw it. “B, R” means I skipped that one, etc.

rating Title Notes
**** Capote
**** The Fifth Element repeat
**** The Ice Storm repeat
**** An Inconvenient Truth T Karen, Erik
***+ Breakfast On Pluto
***+ Brick
***+ Broken Flowers
***+ Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
***+ Match Point
***+ Wordplay
*** The Aristocrats
*** Batman Begins
*** Brokeback Mountain
*** Cars T B
*** Charlie and the Chocolate Factory R
*** Clerks 2
*** Donnie Darko
*** Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
*** Friends With Money
*** Hard Candy
*** Iron and Silk
*** King Kong T R
*** Little Miss Sunshine T Steve, Hazel
*** The Matador T
*** My Neighbor Totoro
*** The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio
*** Proof
*** Reefer Madness
*** Saved!
*** Shadow Voices: Finding hope with mental illness
*** Shopgirl
*** Sin City J
*** Slacker repeat
*** The Squid and the Whale
**+ The Bishop’s Wife B
**+ Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) repeat
**+ Calendar Girls
**+ Casanova T B
**+ Code 46
**+ Connie and Carla
**+ Corpse Bride R
**+ Dickie Roberts B
**+ Duck Season
**+ Elizabethtown
**+ The Family Stone B R
**+ Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle
**+ I Am Trying To Break Your Heart Rod
**+ I’ll Take You There
**+ In the Realms of the Unreal
**+ Junebug
**+ Memoirs of a Geisha
**+ Monster House T Steve, Hazel, Rosalind, R
**+ Night And Day B
**+ Prairie Home Companion T
**+ Sketches of Frank Gehry
**+ Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
**+ Something New B
**+ Super Size Me
**+ Thank You For Smoking
** The 40 Year Old Virgin
** Art School Confidential
** For Your Consideration T Larry, Ann
** Freeway
** Fun With Dick and Jane
** People Will Talk B
** Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest T R
** Reefer Madness 1936
** Scotland, PA
** Stage Beauty
** Superman Returns
** Topper Returns B
** Topper B
** The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
** X3: The Last Stand
* The Brothers Grimm R

That’s 75 movies (only 10 in the theater) and doesn’t include everything we watched that we’d seen before. We don’t actually use stars when we rate movies, we use words. I’ve translated our “Don’t Miss” to ****, “Pretty Good” to ***, “Okay” to **, and “Don’t Bother” to * if that helps you make sense of this. If you’re wondering whether you’d like something on here, leave a comment or send email and I’ll blather on.


output here