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Alternate History Thursdays – A Novel Idea

Let’s take a break from our usually scheduled alternate history or Nazis, and Commies, and Elite Super Powers, to bring you something alittle less far-fetched, the future according to various Sci-Fi novelists including the greats Isaac Asimov and H.G. Wells, but also those of the modern era, Orson Scott Card, and Phillip K. Dick.

You’ll want to view the this image LARGE:

Novel Timeline


The above is an English translation (with additional classifications) of a work by Italian design team Accurat.  At first it looks alittle complicated to read, but once you wrap your head around it, it’s pretty easy, and ingenious.

The x-axis is the timeline, starting at 2012.  Each bar represents a book, and the main (or first  year mentioned) year that the book takes place in.  The height of each bar, y-axis, shows the year that each book was published.  (I think this is a wasted metric, but that’s me).  The color of the bars is kept limited to 3, which the authors have decided to categorize each event into; a positive, negative, or neutral event.  This takes alittle more understanding of the chart, and should include the type icon that accompanies each bar.

All in all, I’d say that this is a pretty good chart.  No way it could ever encompass all of Sci-fi, or even a tiny sliver of it.

{Brain Pickings}

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smile screw

screw:) from Yuma Kano on Vimeo.

It looks like ArticPenguin might need to update his Instrucable with this new Screw Design by Yuma Kano.  It looks pretty neat, but I gotta say, outside of a few trivial applications for children’s toys, and furniture, and decorations, I don’t see this being usefull anywhere else.  There’s a 30 degree range where it will look decent, otherwise, it makes no sense.  And, I bet it’s pain to actually have to use the screw driver.

{This is Colossal | NOTCOT | Designboom}

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The Sky

SKYLAPSE – AN ARIEL HYPER-LAPSE from Rufus Blackwell on Vimeo.

This is a pretty good time-lapse/video of the sky, as viewed out the window of an airplane.  Whenever I go on an airplane, I need a window seat.  It’s not often that you get to see the world from 35,000 feet above.  It’s truly a unique perspective.

{The Cloud Appreciation Society}

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2048 – Addicting


I’m almost sorry for unleashing this addicting game on you, almost.  2048 has the simple concept of combining same numbered tiles together doubling their values from 2 – 2048.  It’s simple, yet addicting.  The exact requirements for wasting hours of your life in front of a computer.

It combines math, and puzzle, and future thinking all in one to make you figure out how to keep the game going.  As you can see, my best is getting to the 512 tile mark.  And I’ve spent more time then I care to admit this weekend playing it.  Maybe one day I’ll beat it, maybe.  Post you’re high scores, or if you beat it here.  I’d love to see how long it takes, if it’s possible.

{Boing Boing}

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Europeans Hate Each Other

Watch as 1000 years of European borders change (timelapse map) from Nick Mironenko on Vimeo.

Europe prides itself with its multi-thousand year history.  They laugh at Americans when we say our neighborhood is old at 100 years, they have special rocks that can reliably be traced back a few thousand years.  However, they hate each other.

As the above video can show in 3  minutes what no high school history class could ever get across.  The many border changes and invasions of countries by other countries of Europe over the last 1,000 years.  You just can’t get those drastic border changes without hating your neighbors, and wanting to invade them.

It’s much easier to get a sense of how big the various Empires are by watching them expand across borders, and then contract.  You just can’t get that by reading a book.

{Viral Forest}

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Boring

Neil deGrasse Tyson was at SXSW this past week.  While he was there he proved that he would be a horrible person to see a movie with.

You see, movies are meant to be enjoyed.  For the most part you’re supposed to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the outrageous-ness of the next 2 hours.  If I wanted actual science, I would watch a documentary, or a TED Talk, or something else.  But what I want is to watch Bruce Willis blow up an asteroid in space because he strong armed NASA into allowing him up there instead of some genius Boy Scout.

Bruce Willis

That’s right, I’m talking about Armageddon.  One thing that will piss me off super fast to claim that all of the scientific inaccuracies in that film make it a terrible film.  That’s a horrible excuse to call a film terrible.  If that’s the case then Star Wars, The Terminator, Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, and countless other films would need to be called horrible under the same reasoning.  And few people will claim that those movies are horrible.

Basically, he’s saying that Deep Impact was a better film because it got all the science correct.  I disagree with him, Deep Impact was by no means a better movie then Armageddon.  I’m sure it got the science right, but that doesn’t make it a better film.  It usually makes it a more boring film.

Neil deGrasse Tyson also said that The Matrix got the physics wrong, but he’ll forgive the film that.

Why the fuck are you complaining about the physics of a movie, that’s set inside a video game.  Allow me to give you a 111% valid reason why the physics are wrong.  Computers suck at rendering the real world.  There.  I just gave you a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why the physics are off in an imaginary world inside of a computer inside of a movie.  And it didn’t even stretch the limits of disbelief necessary for when watching a film.

I don’t understand why some whole generas of films get a pass for unbelievable, while everything/anything that Michael Bay does is held under a microscope of possibility.  I’ve posted about this before, but the world didn’t seem to get the memo.  Oh well, I’ll end this post with a variation on the same line as that one:

Shut up, I’m trying to watch a movie…

{Guide 2 Derby}

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Bad Songs III

I probably skipped Bad Songs II, but whatever.  I couldn’t pass this up:

Katy Perry’s Dark Horse sung by one guy, in one take, in the styles of 20 different famous artists.  It sounds like it will be stupid and horrible (based on the source material), it is the exact opposite.  You should watch it, then watch something else to get the horrible song out of your head.

Some of those 20 are not that great (Queen).  But others are spot on, I’d probably say that the Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra renditions are the best of the 20.  There’s a good amount of artists there that I don’t know enough/anything about to give an opinion either.

He has an older YouTube channel, with equally as talented songs.


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Sand Art

Sand Art 1

Andres Amabor creates a unique series of temporary works of art.  Just after the high tide recedes, he heads out to the beach with rope and a rake.  He makes intricate designs in the sand that are better viewed from above, but (probably) still pretty good from ground level.

making sand art

His rake looks pretty strange.  I imagine that that’s a specially designed piece of equipment.

That reminds me of doodles I did in school while bored, try to fit as much many lines as possible into a space without crossing or picking the pen up off the paper.

Based in California, you can get a series of nice Post Cards featuring his designs.

{Amazing Oasis|Andres Amabor}

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Pokemon Fusion (Kinda Stupid)

I don’t know if I’ve ever posted about the Pokemon Fusion site before, I know it’s been around for years, but it was never really interesting.  That is until I stumbled across this collection of images.

As a general rule of thumb, I don’t post fan art for a variety of reasons that include, but are not limited to:

  • It’s stupid
  • It takes something that’s a sprite and 8-bit, and adds an stupid amount of detail
  • It’s stupid
  • None of it looks good

That being said, I still agree with everything above, but I think there are some merits with the below pictures:

Zubro is an example of a really creepy Pokemon fusion.  Both it the sprite example, and the fan art.  However, it’s also a great example of adding a stupid amount of detail:



If you try and fuse Starmie or Staryu with anyone else, it looks extra creepy, and extra awesome:



The fan art of Starking looks like a Digimon (and let’s be honest, Mega Evolution is basically a rip off of Digivolution)


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Here come some Stumbles*

It’s that time of year again.  The traditional dump of all things inappropriate for the internet. So join me after the jump for the best of the best, worst of the worst.