Category Archives: Art

Living Under Water

A very early exposure to the idea of living under water came through a German science fiction series “Space Patrol” in the 60s, just a tad before the original StarTrek. Mankind had settled on the floor of the ocean and space ships took off from underwater bases through water funnels.

And after an adventure in space the crew met in the Starlight Casino for a drink and a round of futuristic dancing. Commander McLane’s apartment was obviously also located at the underwater city.

Something a bit more tangible was then envisioned in 2006 with the Hydropolis Underwater Hotel and Resort, but at this time it seems as if this project is at least on ice if not completely scrapped.

In other words, currently we still have to live with just the imagination of living under water. These imaginations are made a bit easeer through the pictures of Elena Kalis.

(from her Google+ Album)

Magnificent Photos

And another collection of magnificent photos came my way – thank you, Beverly!

See…

I got these photos in the form of a powerpoint presentation. The best way to do this is to open the ppt in PowerPoint and export it as a web page (not a single one). This will create, beside the main HTML, a directory filled with all the images you might need, as well as sound files (if there is a soundtrack in the ppt.) With the last two PowerPoint presentations, I had the hardest time to even find where the sound files were imported in the presentation, far from finding a way to actually export them. That, and all the image exporting is now easy after I found the ‘export as a web page.’

Happy American Fool’s Day

Today is the day again where America celebrates it’s freedom.

I don’t have much to say, but I let Chris say something that might be appropriate. I met Chris at a recent home schooling event. He writes the wildest poetry you could imagine. When I tried to read the first poem he forwarded to me I told him that it reminded me of the famous Vogon poetry.

Today I want to present a piece from his moderate era.

Land of the Free…REE-LEE

Do taxpayers pun while paying frivolous fines?

Do marlins still tug against tightening lines?

When pinched by no squirm-room, left choice-less, bereft,

then clap-trap verboseness is all that we’re left. (Seemingly)

The noose of Big Brother hangs ever about

the necks of the masses – We, the People, who pout..

..As waiting in lines with our checkbooks in hand,

we ponder the path of this once wondrous land..

..of Washington, Lincoln and ‘W’ too,

while stonily missing the freedoms we knew,

when God was the giver of all of our rights..

..before lawyer-armies marched in in the night

and put up their fences now seen at the dawn..

We knew it would happen, we knew all along.

We’re cleared to chase evil the ends of the earth,

but we can’t stand against in the Land of Our Birth(?)

The lawyers’ america (sic):One City Hall..

Can’t fight’em, or join’em, go shop at the Mall.

It’s time to hold fast and rise up to the fight..

And pull off the darkness, the long winter’s night.

Recall when as children, they taught us to sing..

My Country ’tis of Thee, Let Freedom Ring?

Remember the soldiers, parades on Main Street?

And picnics and fireworks..Man, it was sweet!

America’s stirring, her proud heart can’t stand

the tyrannies festering all through the land..

We call on The Blood that was shed for all men..

In songs that commit all our voices as One!

Patriots, everyone, Sleepers awake!

Lift up your voices, for Heaven’s sake.

Remember your blessings and answer The Call!

In Christ, Hallelujah! Freedom for all!

Hand on your heart, now sing:

My country ’tis of Thee, sweet land of liberty, of Thee I sing.

Land where my fathers dies, land of the pilgrims’ pride,

form every mountainside, let Freedom ring.

War of the World with the StarTrek Crew

Found this in the deep crevices of my hard drive and I thought I better bring it into the open instead of it being hidden in cobwebs.

This is probably copy-righted material so I might get a cease and desist message, then it will be gone, but until that happens, take an hour and enjoy.

I actually grew up with radio shows, where your power of imagination was trained instead of dulled as with the later arrival of the TV.

Photos You Don’t See Every Day

For a long time, I have these photos sitting in some hidden folder on my hard drive.

Finally, I figured out how to use SlideshowPro to create a slideshow of these images so everybody can enjoy. On revisiting this post a few years later, I found that there is no more SlideshowPro – it died with the death of Flash o the internet. But WordPress has become smarter and can handle collections of photos now with much greater ease. Thus, here the photos in the form of a gallery.

40 Years in Space

Originally Written November 2007:

I ran into a collection of imagery of space from the 50s and 60s of the 20th century. Isn’t that amazing how that sound, speaking of the 20th century as so long ago?

One of the images I seemed to remember was of an outpost on the moon created by Frank Tinsley.

Frank Tinsley - Outpost on the moon

But then there was an image of a very early Perry Rhodan novella – and THAT was fascinating. I had not quite started to read science fiction when this novella first came out, but some six years later I certainly read this novella when it came out in the second or third edition – so I knew…

Perry Rhodan - Venus in Danger

… “Venus in Danger” – novella #20!

For many years after coming to the wild west I had my family in Germany collect Perry Rhodans for me and then send them to me in batch, but this had stopped now about 20 years ago.

So I have to admit, I am not quite up-to-date any more.

A few month ago I had realized that and found out that I could actually subscribe to an electronic version of the newest issued and get them in my email in-box. I had not subscribed at that time as I did not think I would have enough time to read them, but at least I got myself a little fix in form of a free issue that was offered – novella #2300!

Can you believe this – 2300 – at 52 weekly booklets that is about 46 years.

Perry Rhodan - Harbingers of Chaos
Harbingers of Chaos

So – what has changed in the last forty to fifty years?

Certainly the cover design feels more modern, but I am sure that the next half century will eradicate that difference. Then there is the price – the old one about 20 cents (at the exchange rate at that time) and the new one weighting in at about $2.50 – with the inflation rate I guess the price has remained stable.

Then there is one noticeable difference. The subtitle of the series in 1962 was “The Great Space Series” but today it’s simply “The Greatest Science Fiction Series.”

OK, now to work – gotta finally read my free novella “Vorboten des Chaos” – and maybe, just maybe, it’s so good that I will indeed subscribe.

Update 2011: I actually never managed to read the free sample and only stumbled across this blog post because in a server crash I had lost many of the images used in this blog and I just noticed there was another blog post without its pictures. So, I set out to find them again and, in the process, ran into some new info…

  1. We are now in the last quarter of the cycle 2500…2599, the second cycle nearly done after I checked last – about right at 52 novellas per year;
  2. There is now an encyclopedia of Perry Rhodan;
  3. A bigger part of the series is now available electronically and if bought in bulk (50 or 100 novellas at a time) it’s rather inexpensive at Eu 1.25

I would not want to read Perry’s on the computer – maybe that was one of the reasons I never finished my free sample, but now that the Kindle is only $140, one hundred Perry’s plus the Kindle is about the same price as buying all the physical novellas.

hmmm…

What does ‘cosplay’ mean?

I ran into an articles about Disney Princesses cosplay. The pictures were very appealing, but what the heck is ‘cosplay’?

I had to ask Wikipedia for help and found out:

Cosplay, short for “costume play”, is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Characters are often drawn from popular fiction in Japan, but recent trends have included American cartoons and Sci-Fi as well as other pop-culture. Favorite sources include manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, hentai and fantasy movies. Any entity from the real or virtual world that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject. Inanimate objects are given anthropomorphic forms and it is not unusual to see genders switched, with women playing male roles and vice versa.

Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered around role play. A broader use of the term cosplay applies it to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context.

All right, that makes a lot of sense, and now we can enjoy the pictures of a group of  pretty girls cosplaying (can you use that as a verb? – maybe I just created that now.) roles from all our favorite Disney princesses and the like. There is actually something I had admired about these princesses, or better about their creators. They had been created to appeal to the whole family. The little ones liked their cartooniness, but they also were pretty so that the older female viewers could use them as models to strive after. And for the older males the characters were just a bit of sexy with nice appealing curves. I was always amazed by this delicate balance.

Now, these cosplaying women have definitely lost the cartoon character and I don’t know if they still want to appeal to the female population, but they certainly do to the male customers.

So, here for the enjoyment of whoever wants to…

Seinfeld/Gates v. Hodgman/Long

I have to admit that I liked and enjoyed the – unfortunately only – two Microsoft ads featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. In case you have not seen them, here they are…

and

For me, Microsoft has redeemed itself for all the bad things it has done in the past. That might sound a bit strong, but these ads are so good that I admire Microsoft that it had the guts to run them. OK, it must have been so far beyond anything the usually confused participants in this game could understand that it was mostly rejected – and the ads have been pulled.

I think that the ads have nearly a Monty-Pythonishness and only a person well trained in Douglas-Adamishness can really appreciate them. This group is rather small, so it was drowned by the masses.

Compared to the Apple ads with John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac the Microsoft ads are so totally senseless that they have broken reality – and I can’t help it, but I like surreal. Forces you to look beyond the daily seriousness. OK, the Apple ads don’t appear serious, but they are, they are adversarial in nature by trying to put down the PC. (Funny side note that the PC character became the more lovable and better known, publishing books and being interviewed by Xeni Jardin of Boing-Boing fame.)

Now lets look at the MS ads – off-the-wall, surreal and imaginative – and, I forgot, weird. What MS shows me here is that they could be just as unusual as Apple as a company, but that they have decided not to go this route because there were too few people to understand what they would have been doing. Instead they went with that what is real to most people – confusion!

So, by catering to the reality of this majority of the population, they managed to dominate the world with their software and now they can come out of the closet – and they did.

Congratulations!