MonthJanuary 2005

Detroitfunk on the death of Harry Houdini in Detroit.

I had heard rumors the show was to take place in the Majestic complex, but it looks like it was the ‘Garrick Theatre.’

Slashdot as TapeOp.

Quantegy (the last remaining manufacturer of analog tape used in analog studio recording and mastering) ambiguously announces plant closure for ‘restructuring.’ The age-old analog vs. digital argument ensues on Slashdot.

Tape Op Forums on the Quantegy closure

Audio: Synthesized speech from “The Impossible Mission” (C64).

Ah, memories. I never could understand the first few syllables, though.

You Make A Better Door Archaeologist Than A Window An Animator

     You may have read about the recent discovery of a bit of animation on an ancient Iranian goblet, said to be the first recorded example of man-made animation. The article that’s been making the rounds (I first saw it on Cartoon Brew, it was also on Boing Boing the other day) can be found here.
Here are the important bits for those too lazy to click through to the article:

     “An animated piece on an earthen goblet that belongs to 5000 years ago was found in Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran.”

     “The earthenware found in Burnt City, one of the most developed civilizations dating back to 5000 years ago, show the images of goat and fish more than any other subject. It seems these animals were used more than any other by the people of this city.”

     “On this goblet, with a diameter of 8 cm and height of 10 cm, the images show movement in an intricate way that is an unprecedented discovery. Some earthenware found in Burnt City show repetitive images, but none of them implicate any movements.”

     “While excavating the grave in which the cream-colored goblet has been found, we came across a skeleton that probably belongs to the creator of this piece”, Mansour Sajjadi, the Iranian archaeologist responsible for excavations in Burnt City told CHN.

     At the end of the article, there’s a link to a short .avi that the archaeologists put together to show off the animation. You can view that file here. Unfortunately, they chose to keep each frame on-screen for three seconds, and then crossfade into the next frame. Anyone familiar with the principles of animation will see that this presentation completely defeats the purpose of the sequential images.

     I was pretty excited to see the first example of animation, so I was understandably disappointed with the video file offered with the article. I wanted to see the animation as it was intended, so I took the .avi and edited it down into the animated gif below. E-Archaeology.

     There aren’t any photos of the actual goblet itself in the article, so I assumed that the illustrations stretched around the sides of the goblet and were intended to be viewed by spinning the goblet, which implies looping. This is what I do with my free time.


Constructive Criticism?

     Indie Comic artist Johnny Ryan, known for his ‘Angry Youth‘ Comics and general poor-taste, has been skewering the elder statesmen of indie comics in his ‘Shouldn’t You be Working?’ strip. These strips are mostly not safe for work, and are archived on his website, though some URL-archaeology was necessary to get to some of the older ones. You should probably have an unhealthy knowledge of the indie comics “scene,” and a high tolerance for extreme vulgarity to appreciate most of them. There’s an interview with Ryan (Conducted by Peter Bagge) here if you’d like some background.


On Art Spiegelman’sIn the Shadow of no Towers

On Chris Ware’s McSweeney’s #13

On Seth’s Life in general, as detailed in Comic Art #6

On Adrian Tomine’sOptic Nerve

On Daniel Clowes’Ghost World

On Craig Thompson’sBlankets

On Joe Sacco’sSafe Area Gorazde

On Chester Brown’sLouis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography

On Joe Matt’sPeepshow

On Ivan Brunetti’sSchizo

On Aline and R. Crumb’sDirty Laundry Comics

     Also of note:


Interviewing at Google

Allmedia’s job listings page

featuring an inexplicable photo of an impossibly happy young man and his 1st gen. Gameboy.

Spider-Man 2

     So, I finally got around to seeing Spider-Man 2. It was pretty fun, even if it did seem to hit the same notes as Spider-man 1, in roughly the same order. One thing about it has been bugging the CRAP out of me though.


     Ok, so Dr. Octopus wants a batch of Desirable Compound X, which only Harry Osbourne can afford. Osbourne wants Spider-Man dead because he killed his father, so he tells Dr. Octopus to kill Spider-Man. He is to accomplish this by finding Peter Parker, who has a reputation for being able to find Spider-man. Upon locating Parker, the first thing Dr. Octopus does is THROW A CAR AT HIS HEAD. He doesn’t know that he’s Spider-Man yet. If I was banking on an obscure piece of information that only one random guy had, I probably wouldn’t push my luck by seeing if he could whip his precious-information-containing noggin out of the way of a flying vehicle. Am I missing something? Perhaps this has been discussed elsewhere.

Zumpano Videos

     I added two videos to my Zumpano page: “I Dig You” and “Behind the Beehive.” They appear to have been encoded using some archaic codec, so quicktime chokes on the sound. Until I find the time to re-encode them, you should be able to play them with VLC (Mac) or MPlayer (PC).

     If anyone stumbles upon a digital copy of Zumpano’s video for “The Party Rages On,” let me know.

I Dig You (From “Look What The Rookie Did”)
(Right-click to Download)

Behind The Beehive (From “Goin’ Through Changes”)
(Right-click to Download)

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