Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vintage Technical Documents Porn

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. For all of us who love old technical documents (and old technology in general), this is a good place to be.

Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet writes:
The legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop closed down in 1998, after 40 years. (...) Over at the BBC website, there is a treasure trove of old technical monographs from the Radiophonic's heyday. The documents, packed with technical diagrams and detailed descriptions of BBC procedures, date back to the 1950s.
via BoingBoing.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas in Heaven

It's friday -- and it's christmas -- so here comes the special christmas edition of Monty Python Clip of the Week -- the end scene from their 1983 film "The Meaning of Life", presenting us with an accurate vision of the afterlife, where every day is christmas. Oh, and Michael Palin (in drag) also reveals the meaning of life at the end of the clip, don't miss it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Inception

For those of us who enjoyed Christopher Nolan's Inception, here's a link to Nolan's own hand-drawn outline for the film's structure, as well as an interesting interview conducted by his brother, screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, in which they not only discuss the film and filmmaking but also thoughts on the mind, dreaming, and (which will probably appeal to Jenjen) defying the popular analogy of the computer for the human brain.

Monday, December 20, 2010

short film/music video

I'm not quite sure what this is. It might pieced together from a longer film, or just be meant this way, as a short film /musicvideo for Ennio Morricone by Lucio Fulci. Supergreat! (carefull Jenny, there is some bloodshed involved...)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Tale of How

This animation is just so beautiful. It appears to be a mix of both 3d and 2d animation, all in a very illustrative style - like an old fairy tale!

See the animation HERE and learn more about the work of the people who made it!

And if you are curios how to The Tale of How was made, have a look at THIS clip!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nap Manifesto

For all the tired ones among us...
Here I present you the manifesto of the day:

The Nap Manifesto!

It's free, it's nontoxic and it has no dangerous side effects. hard to believe, with these powerful selling points, that people have to be convinced to nap. But alas, for way too long, napping has been given a bad rap. (...)
If you’re a closet napper, come out and show some pride . . .
help your fellow employees, family members and friends to see the
light. And for those of you who still insist on saying, “Give me one
good reason why I should nap,” science can do better than that.
It can give you 20 reasons. Napping will allow you to:

1. Increase your alertness. This is, for many, the most important
benefit. Whether you’re on the road, observing market trends,
diagnosing patients or interacting with clients, staying alert is the
most important determinant of your efficiency. NASA studies have
conclusively demonstrated that alertness increases by as much as
100 percent after a brief nap, even in well-rested subjects.

2. Speed up your motor performance. While most people think
of motor learning in terms of an ability to play guitar chords,
improve a swim stroke or perform a pliĆ©, you don’t have to be a
musician, athlete or dancer to benefit from faster motor performance.
All of us engage in tasks that involve coordination, whether
we’re typing at a keyboard, operating machinery, changing a tire or
bagging groceries. A Harvard study demonstrated that the speed of
a learned motor performance is the same in nappers as in those who
have had a full night of sleep.

3. Improve your accuracy. Making mistakes costs time, money,
energy and sometimes even people’s lives. While greater speed
usually involves sacrificing accuracy, napping offers a valuable
exemption from this general rule. So whether you shoot baskets or
firearms, play sonatas or golf, cut diamonds or hair, a nap helps
you get it right.

4. Make better decisions. What are you going to eat for lunch?
Should you ask for a raise or wait awhile? What stock should you
buy? Or should you sell? Every day, all day, we make decisions—
both trivial and huge. Of course, some decisions are so significant
that lives can hang in the balance. Airplane takeoffs and landings
require high-precision timing and the ability to read, monitor and
react to a wide variety of controls. Pilots who are allowed to nap in
the cockpit commit fewer judgment errors on takeoff and landings
than those who aren’t.

5. Improve your perception. Think how much you depend on
your eyes, your ears and, to a lesser extent, your taste, touch and
smell. Without the ability to fine-tune your sensory/perceptual systems,
you wouldn’t be able to hone in on the important environmental
messages and filter out the mass of distracting sensory
information that bombards all of us on a regular basis. Research
shows that a nap can be as effective as a night of sleep in improvement
of perceptual skills. Driving, cooking, appreciating music or
art, reading, proofreading, quality control and even bird-watching
are all enhanced after a nap.

6. Fatten your bottom line. Fatigue-related accidents cost U.S.
industry over $150 million a year. Businesses that allow their
employees to nap have shown decreases in errors and increases in
productivity. According to the Shiftwork Practices survey issued in
2004 by Circadian Technologies, workmen’s comp costs are highest
where employees report the most fatigue, and claims at facilities
that ban napping are four times higher than those that allow it.
Judged by this standard, naps are a bargain.

7. Preserve your youthful looks. Nothing ages you like fatigue.
Adding a nap to your regimen will improve skin and tissue regeneration
and keeps you looking younger longer. Napping is truly
beauty sleep.

8. Improve your sex life. Sleep deprivation dampens sex drive
and sexual function. Napping reverses those effects. So nap now
and your partner will love you more later.

9. Lose weight. Studies show that sleepy people reach for high-fat,
sugar-rich foods more than people who are rested. Take a nap and
not only can you resist those potato chips and cheesecake, but
you’ll be producing more growth hormone that reduces body fat.

10. Reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies conclusively
show that fatigue contributes to hypertension, heart
attack, stroke, arrhythmia and other cardiovascular disorders even
in otherwise physically fit subjects. Add a nap to decrease your risk
for all these maladies and live a longer, healthier life.

11. Reduce your risk of diabetes. Sleep deprivation increases
insulin and cortisol levels, which can raise the risk for type 2 diabetes,
the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Napping
after meals will build up your defense against diabetes while
improving the way you process your sugars.

12. Improve your stamina. Whether you’re running a marathon
or simply sitting through a series of meetings, a well-planned nap
will keep you from fading out before the finish line. Studies have
shown that a nap during or after work allows you to be as alert and
ready for the second part of your day as if it were a brand-new day.
So if you need to finish a deadline project or simply want extra
energy to interact more fruitfully with your friends and family after
a long day at the office, take a nap first.

13. Elevate your mood. While sleep deprivation causes irritability,
depression and anger, napping bathes your brain in serotonin,
reversing those effects and creating a more positive outlook.

14. Boost your creativity. It’s no wonder that history’s great
artists and inventors took naps. Napping allows your brain to create
the loose associations necessary for creative insight and opens the
way for a fresh burst of new ideas.

15. Reduce stress. Stress and anxiety are the result of cortisol
being produced in the adrenal glands. By releasing the antidote,
growth hormone, a nap can reduce that stress and anxiety and
make you a calmer person. So don’t worry, start napping.

16. Help your memory. Much of your memory consolidation cannot
occur in any meaningful way without sleep. Everything from learning
a new language to remembering the periodic table of elements can be
improved by adding a short nap between study periods.

17. Reduce dependence on drugs/alcohol. Deprive yourself of
needed sleep, and you’re more likely to abuse not only caffeine but
alcohol and other drugs. A recent study from Denmark showed that
people who complain of exhaustion are more likely to abuse drugs.
Saying yes to a nap will make you less likely to reach for stimulants
to keep you awake and downers to get you to sleep.

18. Alleviate migraines, ulcers and other problems with
psychological components. In one way or another, cortisol is
involved in all these ailments. By reintroducing growth hormone,
napping can reduce their severity. Many doctors actually recommend
a cold compress and a nap to relieve migraines.

19. Improve the ease and quality of your nocturnal sleep.
Sure, it sounds contradictory, but sleeping during the day helps you
sleep better at night. “Overtired” isn’t just a figure of speech. Going
past the warning signs of fatigue can push you into a slightly manic
state in which your body revs up so fast to compensate for lack of
sleep that you can be too “wired” to fall asleep when you have the
opportunity. Now doctors have begun recommending treatment of
syndromes as severe as narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness
through a structured program of naps. So nap now and sleep
better tonight.

And finally . . .
20. It feels good. Okay, there’s no way for science to really measure
this, but millions of nappers can’t be wrong.

From: Take a nap. Change your life by Dr. Sara Mednik

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Art of Penguin Science Fiction

Holy cow! Here's a great reference for anyone interested in the last fifty years of science fiction pocket book cover design... lots of beautiful work here, including previously mentioned David Pelham.

Old master in close-up

I've always been amazed by the old masters of illlustration, Norman Rockwell, J.C. Leyendecker, those kind of guys. Great craftsmen, painting vituosos whoes works are widespread and well known. They worked rather big, in order to create spectacular detailed smaller reproductions. By doing so it is almost impossible to study the works, how they are built up, but I've found a blogpost of a guy who went to see some originals and published some close-ups so that we can actualy see the brushstrokes. And they are FAT! Beautifull stuff.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

American Movie

Here's an interesting documentary for you, if you have an hour and a half to spare. "American Movie" (1999) chronicles the aspiring American filmmaker Mark Borchardt in the mid-90s as he's trying to shoot and complete his horror short "Coven".

This doc has apparently become quite the cult movie, and it's easy to see why. Like Tim Burton's Ed Wood, it balances a fine line between inspirational optimism and tragic comedy, some of the scenes rivalling the hilarity of mockumentary comedies such as This is Spinal Tap and The Office. Only this isn't a scripted mockumentary, it's the real deal, so you're not sure whether to laugh or cry...

Like Ed Wood, the film conveys a mixed bag of passion, inspiration, the triumph of the will to create over defeating circumstances, humour, tragedy, alcoholism, degradation and depressing hopelessness. All in all, it's an interesting look at working class (bordering on 'white trash') America, and its relation to the American dream.

(Via Coilhoise)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Oscar Wilde Sketch

While it's still friday... Monty Python Clip of the Week.

(PS. Congratulations to Bart for making the 100th post!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

a great remake coming up!

First the old one:

And the new one, from the Coen Brothers! Boy, I'm looking forward to this one...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


These drawings by Mort Drucker for MAD magazine are AWESOME!! They were made early 80's when the, apparently not so good, film 'Popeye' came out. What a wonderfull new take on the characters, and what lovely linework! It is cartoony, but shows tremendous skill and knowledge of anatomy, composition and general form. These drawings are just swinging off the page! The quality is really good, click for details.