treehat: (FLAAAPJAAACKS!)
I happened to stumble across this comic on weirdness again the other day.

I think it's still one of my favourite things I've ever read online. Weird, strange, odd... it's all wonderful.
treehat: (Science - Pale Blue Dot)
Oh man.

Hulu has the entirety of Carl Sagan's Cosmos up for free viewing.

Well, I know what I'm doing tomorrow.
treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
Wait, what?
Cyan has started Myst Online: Uru Live up again, but this time for free as MO:ULagain?
And they've approved production of a movie of one of the Myst books? (And by people passionate about the Myst series, no less!)
And if I had an iPhone, I'd be excited about Cyan having released Myst on that as well.

Um. I may have done a little happy dance. It's entirely possible.
treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
So, while browsing Twitter with a massive headache yesterday, I came across this interview with Skin Deep creator Kory Bing. (Side note: If you don't already read Skin Deep, I highly recommend it. The art and writing are both good, it's madly creative, and it's probably one of the best long-form comics on the web, along with Digger.)

About halfway through, though, something hit me. I was flooded with a great big wave of regret for not doing any comics writing in years. As bad and short-lived as it was, I missed writing Kitewinds. I missed trying to get into the "weird writing place"* where the story took over my brain. I missed trying to plan out characters, only to have them go in a completely different direction. I missed hiding lame puns in dialogue. I missed trying to create a story, a background, a mythos, and a world to put them in. I missed not being able to decide on the tone of the story. I missed putting ideas to the page and seeing them illustrated. And, oddly, I missed being absolutely terrible at it all. Looking back, I don't even mind the bad parts of the creative process; in fact, I think I enjoy them.

But mostly, I just miss sitting down with a cup of tea and just writing. Just letting my mind flow into words and onto the page. And then seeing those ideas, no matter how strange or poorly worded or stupid they seemed given shape and form by an artist. To see my ideas become, in some small part, physical. Making something from nothing.

True, I could just start writing again. But without it actually ending up as a comic, without some sort of end result past the words... I dunno. It feels empty, somehow.


* To borrow a phrase from Wil Wheaton.
treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
So apparently a university in Germany took some scanning electron micrographs of spider lungs. It's actually rather interesting.

. . . Except now all I can think of is spiders breathing. Imagining a waking up to a short puff of air on my face, then opening my eyes to find a spider dangling there, grinning as it puffs spider-air in my eyes.

. . . Or hearing a strange breathing in the room, but you're all alone. You search everywhere, but can't find it. It's driving you mad, you need to find what it is, so you pull up the floorboards. And sitting there is a spider the size of a dinner plate, turning its multitude of glistening eyes around to look at you. And then the spider laughs at you, before jumping on your face.

Englblgh. Creepy.
treehat: (MST3K - Mr. B's Dignity)
Hello, internets!

I'm going to be doing Christmas candies again this year. In addition to my traditional caramels*, I'll be trying my hand at making my Great Aunt's chocolate candies. So! If you'd like some holiday sweets, just leave a message here with your address and any preference you might have.
Your options are:
  • Caramels
  • Carmel Fudge
  • Chocolates


Notes: None of my candies are made with nuts. Or peanut butter. Or coconut. The chocolates will probably just have mint filling, unless I find another sort I like. And the caramels and fudge contain absolutely no chocolate.

Comments are screened. Alternatively, email me at ghostway@gmail.com If you don't have any preference, I'll send an assortment.

I'll send out cards as well. If you'd like just a card, that's fine too.

They might go out a bit late this year, due to having some tough exams I need to study for, but I'll try my best to get them out to you by the 25th.
treehat: (Look Around You - Evil)
AUGH.

Augh.

augh

Very upset with a number of things today. But since most of those are political, I'll just instead mention the one about the Creeping Woo.

I have lost a great deal of respect for Borders today. Because, while browsing the Science section (my usual destination there), I saw this:
Cruddy cellphone composite image )

Back to slogging through assignments.

(slog slog slog slog sloggity slog-slog)
treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
I do not believe
in any gods
(singular
or plural)

nor anything
else that lacks
evidence
of existence.

Forgive me
for not saying so
earlier, for
I was too trepid.

(With apologies to William Carlos Williams.)


I'll be writing more about this later. Just wanted to make a short statement first.
treehat: (Look Around You - Birds?)
I've got a really strong urge to play some chess. So... is anyone interested in a game of comment (or email) Chess? If so, leave a comment with what side you want to play (and, if white, your first move).

I'll probably be using algebraic notation, unless I've completely forgotten how. (Let me know if you need help with the notation or want to use a different form.) It'll probably be useful to keep track of the game on a real chessboard or a computer one.

I'll be open for however many games through Wednesday night. (After which point I'll have to hop on a train.) Trash-talk between moves is welcome. :D So, anyone up for a game?

(Edit: I probably shouldn't have posted this right before going to bed. Oh well!)
treehat: (Ozy & Millie - Nasal Poetry)
The computers at the school library now have some CAD programs on them. I was experimenting with Autodesk Inventor (due to a sad lack of summer CAD classes) and I was reminded of a certain robot:



I really shouldn't be allowed on Photoshop this late at night.
treehat: (Look Around You - Evil)
Butterflies scare me.

No, that's not quite right. They disturb me, at some subconscious level. When I see one, I recoil not out of fear, but because some tiny bit of my mind is screaming that they are wrong. Wrong like a triangle with four corners. That tiny bit is steadfast in its insistence that they are impossible, even when one is fluttering about in front of me.

The thing is, I don't have a problem with pictures of butterflies, or even videos. But when they're right there, something in my head blows a fuse.

I sort of regard them as quasi-mythical at times. Like something that should be restricted to the pages of a fantasy book, but they just don't know it. I actually created a weird worldmyth around a giant space butterfly. It had been around for so long in a cocoon that life and civilizations had taken up residence. When it matured, millennia later, mountain ranges split apart as it emerged, flinging said civilizations flying into the vacuum of space. (I'm probably using all the wrong terms here, too.) Giant Space Butterfly was a sort of world-god, and one with a time limit.

And yet, whenever I'm at a zoo or museum or whatever that happens to have a butterfly house, I think to myself, "Oh, I'm not that scared!" ...And almost immediately regret it when I step in, a sharp chill runs up and down my spine and I do my best to get through as quickly as possible without having a complete and total mental implosion.

I don't know why I'm writing all this. Just brainspew fueled from operating on far too little sleep, I guess. I keep coming back to this story in my head of butterflies being discovered to me some cosmic horror - a little glitch in the universe. In their flutter's wake, time folds in on itself and rips tiny little holes, through which we get pinhole glimpses of the impossible. And I keep wanting to write it, but I can't figure out how.

(And if I get really low on sleep, I might start believing my stories...)
treehat: (Look Around You - Birds?)
Okay - question for any computer/Microsoft wizards* out there. How do you convert an MS Word 2007 document (.docx format) into something readable by MS Word 2003? (Edit: I only have Word 2003, and a file in the 2007 format.) I've tried poking around the Office Update site, but I can't find any clear answers.
SON OF EDIT!: Finally found the proper converter plugin from the Office site. (Took too long to download. Darn vague descriptions...) BTW, the converter is here for anyone else that might need it. :>

Also, does anyone know how to check which fonts are included with a particular version of Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office? I've got fonts missing, and I'm trying to figure out where they're from ...or not from, possibly. Edit: Solved by [livejournal.com profile] natashasoftpaw over on Twitter. For those curious, here's the font chart of fantasticness.

Thanks!


* ...I initially typed that as "wizzard". I think I have Rincewind and/or Discworld on the brain.
treehat: (Doctor Who - Pogo Stik)
Whomever gave the presentation in class today on Type II Diabetes wins a thousand interblag points for using this lolcat picture as their title slide.
treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
Wohba. WALL-E Cross Stitch.

...I think I want to take up cross-stitch now.

SCIENCE!

Apr. 5th, 2009 08:19 pm
treehat: (WALL•E - BURN•E Triumphant)
Two things from last week that made me happy:

An English robot is the first to form and test a scientific hypothesis with no human involvement.

And scientists have developed a fuel cell that runs on blood.

Sometimes I forget I live in the future.
treehat: (FLAAAPJAAACKS!)
Is it safe to internet again? Are all the cruel and uninspired pranks over with?

Wait, did you just use "internet" as a verb?

Yes, self. Yes I did.
Okay, time to go study things.
treehat: (FLAAAPJAAACKS!)
The apartment seems to be doing better now. Maintenance came by Friday and replaced the weather stripping on the door and insulated around the dishwasher. Hopefully that'll help.

Unfortunately, some of the smoke smell got trapped in the kitchen - I just got back, so I don't know if it's from before or after these fixes. Oh well. Also - for dealing with second- and third-hand smoke, rubbing peppermint oil under your nose works surprisingly well. I can't smell any of it now!


Also, I kind of want Tales From The Bully Pulpit made into a movie. We need a silly comic book movie, and how can you not like a time-traveling Teddy Roosevelt beating up Hitler on Mars? Just sayin'.

Oh, and a reminder to Future Self: ask about CATIA & Unigraphics. Past Self says thank you.
treehat: (Black Books - A history of Screaming)
Does anyone want a free copy of American Gods by Neil Gaiman? Due to a bone-headed mistake, I now have an extra copy I don't need. Leave a comment or email me if you're interested, and I'll ship it off in a few days.

Otherwise, I'll probably see about donating to the local library.

Cheers!

EDIT: Claimed by [livejournal.com profile] kevinjdog.
treehat: (Ozy & Millie - Nasal Poetry)
Reply with "INTERVIEW ME," I will ask you five questions, and you answer them in your LJ.
Here's what [livejournal.com profile] julian_wilbury asked:

1) Say you were given the choice to have either amazing art skills or be an awesome writer. If you manage to choose, can you say why?

I think I'd have to go with art skills. One of my secret loves is graphic design. I don't know why, but the experience I've had with it just clicked with me. But I had to drop out of it, because I simply didn't have the artistic ability to go past a certain point. And everyone else in that field is already at least a decent artist. Same thing with 3-D modeling.

Plus, I often have a vivid imagination, and I'd like to share all the crazy mental images I get.* And every time I try to practice art skills, something in my head sees how bad it is, and screams, and I end up getting disheartened about the whole prospect for a while.

2) How do you guys feel like when you're in fandoms with a gender-tilt that works against you?

It's rather intimidating, actually. It's kept me from getting more involved with the WALL•E stuff - I nearly joined the WERP, but I got too nervous and shy. I'm just silently terrified that I'm going to weird or creepy or somesuch. (Although, I've really always had this problem. I've just never been able to talk to the opposite gender well, unless I already know the person. It's like digging a ditch with a spoon - possible, but rather intimidating.)

It's kind of like going into a fabric store to get knitting supplies. Sometimes I think I can smell the estrogen.

3) When you write, which is more fun to write: villans or good guys?

Villains are more interesting, if I manage to get one just right. Especially if they're a magnificent bastard. Those really are the most entertaining sort of villains. I haven't quite been able to do that sort of villain properly yet, although I've had a small taste and it's delicious.

That said, I think I enjoy just describing things better than actually writing characters. Especially weird things.

4) I'm sure this has happened to everyone. Is there something that got taken off the air, or companies stopped making, that you really loved and wish they didn't?

Pushing Daisies! That show deserved better. It was a beautiful, funny, engaging, visually impressive love story. Which of course meant it was doomed to be cancelled. And the final episodes aren't due to be shown until the summer! (And even that's doubtful.) There really needs to be more good love stories on TV, but that seems like a death warrant for a show.

I'm also sad that Battlestar Galactica wasn't able to pick up any more seasons, but at least it seems they're ending it properly.

5) If you had a time machine, where would you go, either in the future OR past?

(Is this the kind of time machine that goes VWORP BWRP or the cardboard box variety?) I would go visit all the old ruins, and see what they were like in their glory days. My other secret love is archaeology, and it'd be just too tempting to see Stonehenge and the Pyramids and the Greek temples and everything else in their native time. And then temporal hijinks would ensue, as no time-traveling expedition goes as planned.


*ELO SPACESHIP SOMBREROOOOOO!
treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
Feeling better today. Last night was rather frustrating, what with the headaches and nausea and such. I'm in a much less angry want-to-yell-at-everything mood now.

(On that note, a headache/nausea/insomnia-fueled paranoia panic attack made me delete my twitter account. I decided to sign back up, under a slightly more abstract name this time: treehat, with a pseudonym for good measure.)

Blah. I want to air the place out, but I also don't want to freeze my toes off. Hm, decisions.

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