January 31st, 2008

Paul Verhoeven (again)

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[It] has always been a pleasure [for] me to work in the B-genre and elevate that, or use that as a vehicle for other thoughts. It’s like the paintings of Karel Appel, our Dutch guy, who was copying all these children’s paintings. That was a heavy influence – or you could even look at Dada. It’s a normal thing in art, to use the ‘mediocre’ and the ‘banal’ to make a statement. That kind of sophistication in art is rare in film-making.

If you look at painting or even in music – especially at the beginning of the 20th century. Even the titles of some of these pieces: ‘Musique en forme de poire’ by Satie. Using the banal – something that is everyday, which is used in a different way. This is normal in a lot of the arts, only in film-making it isn’t, because of the high entertainment value, where everything has to be immediately understood. It’s rare, and if you use that, this method of hyperbole and irony and alienation, it’s very difficult for the audiences and even for the film critics to see through that. Often they are not even basically educated in the other arts, so they can only look at movies in the same way they’ve been looking at movies for the last fifty years or so.

This is why I like his films…!

Two interesting interviews: Here and here.

January 31st, 2008

canorous

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Photo from Wikimedia.

Today’s dictionary.com word of the day is canorous, meaning pleasant sounding or musical.

It says it’s from the latin canere, to sing, which is interesting because if i recall correctly, the gaelic verb to sing is “ag canadh”…!

Yeah I just thought i’d note my observation. I have an Indo-European Linguistics exam on Saturday so I’m just warming up ;)

January 24th, 2008

Steven Spielberg

Actually this post isn’t about Spielberg, it’s about Simon Wild. Just saw his site – nice stuff! Good example:

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January 24th, 2008

Nolens Volens

Dictionary.com:

whether willing or not; willy-nilly.

Nolens Volens is the “word” of the day on dictionary.com. I wish it were a common expression!

January 20th, 2008

Time slowing down?

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Here’s a fascinating article about time slowing down, and time having two dimensions all by itself.

I could have sworn time was speeding up though; I’ve barely gotten anything done all week.

January 18th, 2008

Dreams and Waking Hallucinations

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Here’s a damn interesting article from Damn Interesting, about Bonnet visions – hallucinations, named after a man called Charles Bonnet, and had by otherwise-sane, conscious people who are often in the unfortunate situation of slowly going blind. People with these symptoms are known as having Charles Bonnet Syndrome and this article also explores connections between such hallucinations and dreams. Are they result of the same workings of the brain?

Some have suggested that Bonnet visions are the product of the same mechanisms that generate dreams. Clearly the mind is starved of visual input during sleeping periods, so it stands to reason that both dreams and CBS hallucinations may be the result of the same thing: the visual cortex becomes bored due to lack of stimulation, and gratifies itself using stored imagery. This notion is further supported by sensory deprivation experiments, where subjects experience hallucinations when placed in complete darkness for long periods of time. But the explanation fits the problem imperfectly, because dreams include sound and sensations, whereas Bonnet-visions are confined to sight.

Update 9/11/2010: Neurologist Oliver Sacks gives a more informed summary of Charles Bonnet syndrome and its mechanisms in this TED talk.

January 15th, 2008

synthetic life

Two interesting articles.

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One from BoingBoing: The Quest for Synthetic Life

One from Neatorama on a different but related story: Scientists create a rat’s heart based on the structure of a dead one

January 10th, 2008

Placebo Effect on Weight Loss

This is an interesting article I found on Neatorama that tells of a Harvard psychologist who believes that one’s perception of one’s activity is just as important as the physical exercise itself.

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Hotel Maids, who on average do enough exercise as part of their work to fulfill the recommended exercise quota each day, were measured and weighed, and then told that they are leading very active lifestyles and fulfilling their daily quotas. A time later, they are weighed and measured again and found to be slimmer, presumably due to the knowledge that they were exceeding their exercise requirements.

The next time I go for frietjes I will tell myself that I’m expending a great deal of energy in doing so.

January 10th, 2008

the indecisive man’s friend

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I made this flash applet to help one create lists of things.

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January 7th, 2008

calamity clock portrait

another doodle


click for bigger

January 1st, 2008

diy photography effects (not by me)


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I must try these two tricks from photojojo when I get the opportunity

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The cool thing is that you can use any shape, not just a heart. There are some more nice examples of the vignette effect on this French site that I can’t read.

January 1st, 2008

hertog van spons

another clock portrait. this time, spongeclocksquarepants. a dutch clock. hence the orange sash.

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click for larger version






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