September 27, 2006
Milky by artist, photographer, author, screenwriter and playwright Douglas Coupland.
Living Record Keeping
On a recent trip to Hilo, I was fascinated by this tree, almost every leaf of which was scratched with names and memories. (click photos to enlarge)
There was something profound about seeing all these memories (and people) brought together on a living, growing thing. So much so that I lost all interest in the nearby waterfall... obviously, so did many others!
September 26, 2006
Wimbledon Green is good stuff. In his short introduction, the cartoonist, Seth, spends a bit of time apologizing for the sketchbook quality, the poor drawing, the shoddy lettering, and the perfunctory page compositions and storytelling of the comic. He makes all these disclaimers and yet the story and the art is relaxed, unpretentious, and ironic. And great fun! It reads like a comic documentary.
Here are some pages: (click to enlarge)Drawn & Quarterly
September 25, 2006
Can blimps learn, adapt and evolve? Yes... when they've been designed by Qarl. After senseless pillaging by certain vicious Second Life land owners, Qarl had finally had it up to here! His solution: artificial life. Now his blimps lead much happier lives (sort of). Qarl explains:
blimps who (by chance) wander into dangerous areas will die, and their genes will disappear from the gene pool. blimps who (by chance) avoid danger will reproduce more often, and their genes will dominate the gene pool.
the blimps will “learn” to avoid danger. they evolve. by some definitions, they are alive.
Read more on on Qarl's blog.
Reader comment: Qarl adds,
one of the most compelling examples of artificial evolution was done by Karl Sims in the early 90s. he created virtual organisms comprised of simple boxes, each box having a virtual muscle between them.
from generation to generation, he allowed both the body shape and the muscle motion to change - he rewarded creatures that could move.
from these simple rules his system created snakes and fish and creatures with legs - rediscovering the forms created by mother nature millions of years ago.
War With the Museum
Well Citizens, just when our scars are beginning to heal from our Hell in a Handbasket ordeal, along comes cog to pour salt in our wounds. Or should I say, pour ink over our linen? Or should I say, squirt ink all into our faces and blind us, like prey, while she slowly moves in for the kill, her mouth dripping, hungry for human flesh?
Yes, I'm talking about Cog of the Museum of Dust, with whom we've held correspondance for some time. Recently Cog has made the most disturbing accusations aimed at our Republic, many aimed directly toward your illustrious Khan's (and that's me) own powers of observation! And I tried to be nice, folks. Even though I was a firey ball of Khanish fury! I tried to be nice as I wrote her a letter which addressed all her sickening accusations! Here is that letter (slightly edited to shorten):
Why deny what you know to be true? Are you frightened? I understand. We all understand. However, I think it's time to face the music and address the real issues. Namely, cephalopods don't have large torsos.
I am absolutely positive that the Inky we encountered was no squid. He was a mutated spider... one who delights in dining on the flesh of humans. I apologize if this comes as a shock to you. I assure you, it came as quite a shock to us.
Therefore, friend Cog, I am frankly a bit disturbed about many of the false claims you've made. You not only have accused me of dwelling obsessively on my own fate, you also have accused me of attempting to deflect suspicion from myself by creating an elaborate "alien invasion" ruse. All your false accusations almost make me wonder if you are the anonymous mastermind force behind the Inky that captured us! Perhaps you didn't loose Inky at all... perhaps you sent him on this hair-brained mission to attack us!
The Republic of Tinselman is a peaceful nation. But unless these violent accusations are rescinded (and then you publically say you're sorry), we will have to go after you with guns blazing. We will revoke your citizenship and invade the Museum of Dust.
Your Illustrious Khan
As you can plainly see, at this early point I was still giving The Museum of Dust a chance to eat humble pie. But no. Cog was too proud to stoop to that, and instead she kicked our Sponge Cat inspectors out of The Museum of Dust and formed an open aliance with the U.S. aliens!
It's unacceptable! Unacceptable! She had no right to kick our inspectors out!
But that's not all. We now have intelligence of an even more upsetting nature. As of last week I believed that Cog might be somehow a guiding force behind Inky. Our latest intelligence proves to us, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Cog is not only the mastermind force behind Inky... Cog is Inky. Cog herself IS Octobrain!... the mastermind behind the invasion!
Therefore citizens, I come to you declare war against Cog and her cohorts at the Museum of Dust. Which is really just a continuation of our war against the U.S.. And Wikipedia. And the N.S.K.. Why do we fight? For world peace! (And for Super Gopher Boy Wilmey)
Yeah, that's right. You may have not noticed but our Tinselistic hero, Super Gopher Boy Wilmey, has disapeared! Our I was just about to start the global search when I found him in the most unexpected place... Held hostage!
It's another one of Cog's tricks... damn her! Of course Cog disguises the photo by calling it a "Valley Pocket Gopher" but I'd know that pout anywhere (poor Wilmey). Gopher Boy it is, imprisoned by the Museum of Dust (though at least he looks well fed).
Well, not that there's much of anything we can do about it – we've just got so much going on right now – but at least our hearts go out to Gopher Boy!
Lastly, I thought you'd all enjoy this wonderful little photo. That's me in the center and co-mayors Brad and Angelina on both sides (the paparazzi are always after us). Of all things, I found it on the Museum of Dust blog... if she puts things like this on her blog she may have some trouble raising an military!
User comment: Minister Danxia just sent me this message:
With respect - O Khan! - but that the fellow between Brad and Angelina is, unmistakably, Rupert Murdoch (unless of course you are wearing a Rupey costume?) Thought I should raise this important issue ASAP.
Obviously, Danxia is dead wrong. It doesn't look anything like Rupey! And anyway... why would Rupey be hanging with my celebrities?! What would he be doing with his arm around Angelina... the Mother of the Republic!
I don't believe it. It must be me.
September 18, 2006
This article needs to be expanded. Though short, this article has some potential. Please expand into a full article. If this page is not expanded in 30 days, it may become a candidate for deletion.
After smashing my coffee cup against the wall – and oh, it is a good thing no one was there to see this tremendous anger – the anger of a Khan! – but after I finally settled down, I realized that, yeah... our Uncyclopedia entry might be a bit thin. There's just not much there. And after all we've been through! The invasion, Wilmey, megophias megophias, Rupey and then that hideous Inky creature! There's not even a mention of a "Khan".
Will the page be deleted? Probably so. And we will be further shamed. I leave that up to you... the citizens of this Republic. So edit away (and make this Republic proud)!
Staring at the Sun
So you say astronomy is no fun? Then take a look at this blow-your-mind shot of the space shuttle and space station, silhouetted by a gigantic yellow sphere (the sun).
September 17, 2006
Scale Model Archive – Cities
Soviet Era Moscow, photo by Natalia Grishkina ©
Faithful readers of tinselman are fond of all things diminutive. And of course, nothing can be more impressive that a gigantic city, rendered in miniature form. This is why I have gone to incalculable trouble seeking out these scaled down wonders and bringing them together in this handy archive. For your tinselistic enjoyment!
New York, photo by Hurricane Joost (cc)
Edinburgh, photo by only alice ©
Shanghai, photo by Simon & Andrew ©
Shanghai, photo by Andrew Currie (cc)
Nanjing, photo by paul_ark ©
London detail, photo by HalderStream ©
Old Jerusalem, photo by MyNameIsOtto ©
Sydney, photo by mpgilbert ©
San Francisco, by Bechtel Engineering
Rome – 4th Century, photo by D. Lauvernier ©
Singapore, photo by mikeleecs ©
Havana, photo by nfolkert ©
Beijing, photo by Tom Vanderbilt ©
Cincinnati, photo by srhbth ©
Pompeii, photo by Chenzofilms ©
Tobu World Square (thanks, Don Draper!)
Paris, under glass (thanks, malcolm)
If you know of other any other decent cities for our archives, let me know. I'll add it to the ever increasing list (as long as it's a half-decent photo).
Continued below are some photos that don't exactly count as "cities", but I couldn't bear to leave them out...
Reykjivik, photo by The Morally Superior One ©
San Francisco in Jell-O by Elizabeth Hickok ©
Copenhagen Settlement, photo by Robert Ra ©
September 12, 2006
Uber-Brain Inky Madness
Hell in a Handbasket, Part 3 – Octobrain
We've got problems, citizens. Recently I recieved a note from Cog, a concerned citizen, a portion of which went as followed:
So, if you've seen my spider please tell him we need him -- I'm beside myself, the sponge-cats are restive and the staff are revolting.
IMPORTANT. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE, COERCE OR TAMPER WITH THE SPIDER.
He has a large arsenal, many arms, and a very short temper.
Typically I'd read something like this with a good deal of skepticism. Not this time. Instead I felt a knot forming in the pit of my stomach and, almost immediately, I recalled what I had been trying for so long to forget. Octobrain!
Yes, of course I'm talking about the final episode of Hell in Handbasket and our harrowing escape from the U.S. aliens. To be quite honest, I can't bear to go into all the details. But I can certainly fill you in on some of the more interesting parts!
For example, I'm almost certain we did see Inky. That's him above, between those two alien thugs. I like this shot because I managed to capture everyone (except me).
Super Gopher Boy Wilmey completely lived up to his name! That's him on the left, taken immediately after he burst through the doors and rescued me and Angelina. Wow... what a powerhouse! (By the way, he didn't want me to take his photo, but I said it was history in the making... plus I wanted it for the blog).
Oh yeah... this is that Octobrain jerk. That's what we all called him: Octobrain. But the thugs called him "Dr. Uber-Brain" or just plain "Inky". As you can see, he's not exactly a spider but I'm still almost certain that this is the Inky that Cog lost... in a bloated sort of way. As Cog explained to me, "his defining feature is his beautiful eyes... once seen, never forgotten." I can't think of a more apt description of Octobrain. He practically hyptonized with his powerful stare and he seemed to have no trouble hypnotizing Brad (Pitt).
Oh this Octobrain was hideous. And I'm not just talking physically... he seem to so long ago have lost all semblance of a soul. You know the type: Darth Vaderish. Maybe worse... Emperor Palpatine-ish! Except Emperor Palpatine didn't live in a spherical tank and eat humans for dinner! Worst of all (and I'm sure Cog will be bitterly disapointed to hear this) Octobrain was the mastermind behind the U.S. alien invasion! It was all his planning! His idea! Which leads one to wonder what other U.S. invasions he's planned.
Gopher Boy finally got fed up and made a courageous (but rather foolhardy) attempt to smash Octobrain's glass globe. Unfortunately he only achieved a sore hand before he was beat to a bluddy pulp by the nearest thug. But the distraction did provide us with our means of escape!
To make a long story short, we eventually found an handy escape pod. It was very cool... just like Star Wars.
At the end of the day, I don't think we're any better off. Inky is still out there and we're still at war. Megophias Megophias! Resist the Invasion! Long live the Republic! Long Live the Khan! (me)
Your illustrious Khan
Outrage in the Republic
Dear proud and loyal citizens. I was not prepared for this onslaught. When M.O.D.s failed in their attempt to provide the Republic of Tinselman with a simple uniform, I stepped up to the plate and designed the uniform myself... with the purest of intentions. I thought my citizens would rejoice. Instead you hurl accusations at me! Yes... you, my loyal citizens! You accuse your Khan!
You were outraged. And now I have responded... the uniforms must be available to all citizens. New two-color versions have now been created... at low prices ($19.80). And I've lowered the price of the three-color versions (w/silver letters) to about as low as they will possibly go ($24.80).
Visit the Tinselwear store to take a look.