Category Archives: art

Nerdy Image Dump in Honor of Nicol

In honor of my bestest friend ever coming into town, and in honor of the fact that I found a harddrive with a lot of really old crap on it, I’m going to do an image dump of things I thought were awesome 8 years ago.

These things, it should be noted, are still awesome.

Youtube for Non-Profits

image

Expanded from original post at Social Axcess.

I am a big fan of the arts and, particularly, the arts in education.  I’ve spent a lot of time in my life either working on the business side of arts, like in film, or volunteering in artistic communities or for arts groups.  I think people are drawn to causes because they have personal meaning to them in addition to doing good, and I grew up in the arts community.  Creative pursuits made public school very nearly bearable and, in addition to my own anecdotal evidence, many studies support the fact that access to arts has a major positive impact on grades and scholastic success.

The site I write for is about Social Media, with a bent towards businesses, and while most of what they post seems to be aimed at for-profit businesses with a product to sell, non-profits can use a lot of the same tools to make themselves more successful. For example, in the state of South Carolina, the new governor, Nikki Haley, has threatened to completely cut the budget for the Arts Commission and ETV/NPR Public TV and Radio. In response, the Arts Commission has engaged in a small scale social and traditional media blitz, particularly on Facebook, that’s meant a lot of calls and e-mails to the representatives of the state and some spinoff groups joining the cause.  (Full disclosure: I’ve volunteered for SCAC on multiple occasions)

I bring this up not to toot the SCAC or etv’s horn — before the budget is finalized, it’s unclear how successful they’ve been — but because YouTube is launching it’s 5th Annual DoGooder Non-Profit Video Awards and it’s reminded me of how important it is for non-profits to exploit the same marketing and advertising tools that any business has access to. For the YouTube competition, The Case Foundation will give out $10,000 in grants to video winners and they’ll all be featured on the homepage of YouTube –advertising probably worth way more than $10,000 in eyeballs.

YouTube has also launched a page for non-profits which will be a channel dedicated to sharing non-profit messages. Joining not only gives you exposure, but access to Video Volunteers to help make your video a reality if your organization finds the process of making videos out of their reach. There are also lots of tips and guides, so if you’re a non-profit thinking about expanding your online presence, you could do a lot worse than starting with youtube.

This is, of course, great for any non-profit not just the arts.  I think any atheist, secular, gay rights, womens rights, or any of the absurd things I support could benefit, so if you’re associated with one, spread the word.

John Paul Miller: ATTN: Pharynguloids

I went to the Cleveland Museum of Art over the weekend — it was really fantastic, I highly recommend it.  There were a lot of cool things on display, but one thing really caught my eye and made me think of PZ Myers.  There was a special display about a jewelry artist named John Paul Miller (no relation).  I had originally just skipped it because I don’t have any particular interest in jewelry, but my mother went to look and it was actually pretty cool.  There were lots of Cephalopods!

I’ve always cultivated a special love for tentacled beings since seeing The Little Mermaid, and as a regular Pharyngula reader I was super excited to see little jewelry cephalopods because I figured PZ would also think they were pretty cool.

John Paul Miller basically rediscovered a technology of jewelry making that was invented by the Etruscans and had been lost with the fall of the Roman Empire.  He was basically a nerdy historian and an artist:

He began a search for information about this ancient art and found that granulation reached its apex in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. Over the intervening years, however, the technique was virtually lost.

Miller found little else written about granulation. When he asked goldsmiths about it, only one or two even knew the rudiments.

He researched archeological journals and finally discovered one devoted to granulation. The author speculated that certain alloys could form a eutectic bond (at the lowest possible temperature of solidification) when heated in a reducing atmosphere. This would permit the precision fusion of tiny spheres of metal on to a surface just like Miller had seen. Ordinarily, when solder is used, it tends to fill in corners and blend the shapes. However, in the fusion process, the granules are attached at only very small contact points, giving them the effect of floating above the surface like balloons on a quiet lake.

But enough of all that, pictures:

 

Those are mine.  These are other ones from around the web:

 

He did things that were less tentacled as well

 

Great White Sharks: Verdict? Adorable.

I know I’ve shown great love towards otters and sea turtles, but I think we should talk about the one creature I love best of all: The Great White Shark.  When I was three, I walked in on my mom and some friends watching Jaws, which I was not supposed to see because it was too scary.  Instead of being scared I thought it was probably the coolest thing I’d ever seen, I decided then and there that I wanted a great white shark as a pet, like Flipper, but significantly more awesome.  I mean, we lived right by the ocean, why couldn’t I have a shark that would follow me around whenever I went to play on the beach?

Perhaps you have a sense now of what a weird little freak I was.


Young Ashley Pets Invisible Shark

Want

Awesome T-shirt

Made of win

Great White or Greatest White?

Om Nom nom

:B

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!

Hooray for Free Speech!

Tom Lehrer makes me happy

Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.



Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews.

Gacked from PZ: My new favorite song

NSFW.  Super Catchy.  I want the lyrics and the MP3.

UPDATE: Lyrics, censored.  Because they’re funnier looking that way.

F*** the motherf***er, f*** the motherf***er
F*** the motherf***er, he’s a f***ing motherf***er
F*** the motherf***er, f*** the f***ing f***er
F*** the motherf***er, he’s a total f***ing f***er

F*** the motherf***er, f*** the motherf***er
F*** the motherf***er, f***ing f*** the motherf***er
F*** the motherf***er, f*** the motherf***ing Pope

F*** the motherf***er, and f*** you, motherf***er
If you think that motherf***er is sacred
If you cover for another motherf***er who’s a kiddie f***er
F*** you, you’re no better than the motherf***ing rapist

And if you don’t like the swearing that this motherf***er forced from me
And reckon it shows moral or intellectual paucity
Then f*** you, motherf***er, this is language one employs
When one is f***ing cross about f***ers f***ing boys

I don’t give a f*** if calling the pope a motherf***er
Means you unthinkingly brand me an unthinking apostate
This has naught to do with other f***ing godly motherf***ers
I’m not interested right now in f***ing scriptural debate

There are other f***ing songs and there are other f***ing ways
I’ll be a religious apologist on other f***ing days
And the fact remains, if you protect a single kiddie f***er
Then Pope or prince or plumber, you’re a f***ing motherf***er

You see, I don’t give a f*** what any other motherf***er
Believes about Jesus and his motherf***ing mother
I’ve no problem with the spiritual beliefs of all these f***ers
While those beliefs don’t impact on the happiness of others

But if you build your church on claims of f***ing moral authority
And with threats of Hell impose it on others in society
Then you, you motherf***ers, can expect some f***ing wrath
When it turns out you’ve been f***ing us in our motherf***ing asses

So f*** you motherf***er, and f*** you, motherf***er
If you’re still a motherf***ing papist
If he covered for a single motherf***er who’s a kiddie f***er
F*** the motherf***er, he’s as evil as the rapist

And if you look into your motherf***ing heart and tell me true
If this motherf***ing stupid f***ing song offended you
With its filthy f***ing language and its f***ing disrespect
If it made you feel angry, go ahead and write a letter

But if you find me more offensive than the f***ing possibility
The Pope protected priests when they getting f***ing fiddly
Then listen to me, motherf***er, this here is a fact
You are just as morally misguided as that motherf***ing
Power-hungry self-aggrandized bigot in the stupid f***ing hat

Video Games as Art

Poor Roger Ebert has created some sort of Internet Firestorm by claiming that Video Games aren’t art.  Everyone is pissed off at him, which is really quite silly.  But it’s interesting.  PZ Myers posted in agreement with Ebert, and now there’s extreme craziness over there as well.  Seriously, 3000 Comments at Ebert’s page and over 500 at Pharyngula.

It all seems a bit ridiculous to me because obviously art is a subjective experience.  One man’s art is another man’s urinal.  This hits home with me because I think comedy is an art form but it generally isn’t treated as one.  If it makes you cry, it’s art, if it makes you laugh, it’s just entertainment.  Video games straddle this line between entertainment and art, much like film does, and it’s why people act as though some films are art and some aren’t.  Rather than accepting that some films are just really shitty art made by committee.  As though calling something “art” automatically makes it good, worthwhile or insightful.  Have you ever been to DeviantArt?

Someone mentioned this in the comments over on Ebert’s page, but it seems like it’s the difference between a chess board and playing chess.  A chess board can be a work of art, but a game of chess is a game.  The act of playing a video game isn’t artistic, but the game itself is some combination of puzzle and art.  Although, playing a game for other people might be considered some kind of performance art…

I think the lines are a bit blurred, because storytelling is generally considered art, though it is also entertainment.  Video Games, particularly RPGs, follow specific story lines and develop characters, you can genuinely become emotionally involved with them.  This is why the people defending the video games are so defensive, to them the games have real emotional depth and feeling and Ebert and PZ are saying that that isn’t a valid reaction.

I don’t think it makes you old-fashioned not to think of video games as art anymore than it makes someone old-fashioned to think TV or bad films aren’t art.  It’s a very difficult line to draw between entertainment and art.  Is Blazing Saddles art?  Is Die Hard?  Is Eddie Izzard?

It’s a subjective question.  Some people might say that Uwe Boll is art, and I’m not sure I could disagree with them.  Now, if they claimed it was worthwhile, I’d have to laugh derisively in their face.  Personally, I think the in-depth narratives, stunning graphics, and emotional investment that a lot of video games provide do make them art.  I’d argue for Kingdom Hearts, Prince of Persia, Ocarina of Time or even Katamari Damacy — they present unique visions of the world and stories that have stuck in my mind as much as any film.

But, I think the entire discussion is best encapsulated by a comment by Brownian over at Pharyngula:

Oh, goody.

You know what this society sorely lacks? More pretentious conversations asking What Is Art? (and then answering with something along the lines of “Whatever it is, kids today aren’t doing it.”)

I look forward to Ebert’s next essay: “Why Lawns Are Important And Why The Kids Should Get The Fuck Off Mine.”

If you want to see something really boring, watch someone else playing a video game.

Complete bullshit. Boring for you maybe, but I spent a great part of my childhood and teenage years watching other people play video games, and found it to be as full of opportunities for socialisation and entertainment as many other activities.

Distraction

I am exhausted, stressed out, and generally functioning on my last nerve.  So let’s distract ourselves with this.

The Prettiest Princess of All

I can’t decide if this Johnny Weir is gayer than Poker Face Johnny Weir, but maybe I just need to accept the fact that, as a whole, he’s just the gayest thing in the universe.  And we must love him for that.

This is the gayest thing ever

To start this off, I am not a Figure Skating fan, in as much as I don’t follow figure skating, and I only like men figure skaters and the US seems to be mostly into it’s lady figure skaters. And then there’s this boy… man, I guess, he’s my age anyway. He apparently has a show that’s going to be airing in the near future — and he’s awesome. I mean, a figure skating program to Poker Face? Can you get gayer than that?

In other news, I think Project Runway majorly messed up by not giving the win to this dress:

Do want

Do want

I want it.