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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


Everyone knows the internet is for looking at cat pictures, and while trawling Jim Hines’ site, I found a couple of cute links—snow leopards chewing on their tails and via that, another page of cats shot from underneath—quite fascinating, because cats technically walk in a crouch, (which is evidently not very mechanically efficient) and these pix really show that. Hines’ other link was a town without roads, (spoiler: they have canals) and the fact that it's quiet just made it soooooo appealing (assuming they don't allow gas-powered lawnmowers, leaf-blowers, edgers, hedge shears...honestly, how do people not notice how appallingly polluted our soundscape is?



Two gifts for you: another giftwrapping post, since that seems to be the theme this week; and this vimeo depicting a practice of gorgeous (& very accessible) modern ballet, First Love.



This talk about optimism and pessimism by a sf&f/futurist is pretty interesting:. The teal deer version is that pessimists (because they're always trying to avoid the worst) tend to be careful planners who allow for contingencies. That's actually kind of useful. Of course (ahem) they also drive average folk nuts with their constant refrain of, ‘But what if this $unlikely|horrible thing happens?’

Along sort of the same lines, Whatever's Big Idea for the Week explores Star Trek economics in an interesting looking book, which in turn inspired a panel about it with Paul Krugman & Brad Delong at Wiscon—now that is something I'd be happy to watch, (since the article only skims the surface of the topic) so I hope it gets posted.



Happy Memorial Day, for those who celebrate it.

Sorry about the no-posting. This time only, the lapse isn't entirely my fault, as (filtered through my vague understanding) the SQL bundled with the latest incarnation of ubuntu was none too thrilled with the date strings on my pix—at any rate, the mismatch broke the (custom) software used to create this site, till the wizard got around to fixing it.

Today's post features a test shot of beads based on dogwood. Or if you can't get too excited about a decade-old necklace, here's a cool link about visualizing martial arts—would be fabulous as a starting point for some fresh new ways to depict combat in comics. At least, that was its primary interest for me.


Courtesy of boingboing, another fun and colourful post, this time about a skateboarder filmed in slowmo while using the board to spray coloured pigment all over. It's absolutely fantastic—just plain fun.

I have no doubt the guy got the idea from colour runs, which in their turn were inspired by the Indian holiday (Holi).. —Frankly, I love the concept, though I could wish it a little less commercialized. —Which is one reason I liked this variation, which is clearly a joyful cross-pollination, if you will, in the spirit of the original.

Speaking of colour, I've got another another giftwrap example.


Hey, let's celebrate spring with some giftwrap! Also, somewhere or other I stumbled upon a similarly happy and colourful vid, made to celebrate India's trans community. I really like the way ‘bad monitor artifacts’ —screen slicing, degraded images—have been used to give the video a distinctive look, while subtly suggesting that this community is only very imperfectly perceived by the rest of the world.

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