There’s been some buzz—quite understandably, too, for the drone looks pretty neat—but the vehicle doesn’t seem to have been ready for the international market quite as soon as some western newsoutlets have reported. It sounds like the battery life is still rather limited, too. Fortunately the limitations of the current tech do not have to restrain a science fiction writer—just think of how much cell phone batteries have improved in the last ten years alone.
My goodness, it’s exciting to be living now! 🙂
The Visual Inspiration occasional feature pulls the unusual from our world to inspire design, story-telling, and worldbuilding. If stuff like this already exists, what else could we imagine?
From a set of unscripted photos taken in the streets of 1890s Norway by Carl Størmer, a young woman with books:
All of the subjects in this set are remarkably relaxed. Love the contrast to the stiff studio portraits of the era!
(I’ve had trouble finding a more detailed source, unfortunately. Possibly Størmer’s photos are gleaned from the 2008 book 80 millioner bilder: Norsk kulturhistorisk fotografi 1855-2005 [’80 Million Pictures: Norwegian Culture-Historical Photography 1855-2005′], edited by Jonas Ekeberg and Harald Østgaard Lund.)
Finnish ladies and gentlemen on a ski trip in the 1890s:
Judging by their attire, they are indeed ladies and gentlemen. What struck me is that, apparently, it wasn’t at all odd for the upper class to go skiing in their regular daywear.
Speaking of sports and Victorians, from 1891, here is high school dressage equestrian Selika Lazevski by Félix Nadar:
What an arresting portait!
A Victorian couple from Leeds trying not to laugh while getting their portraits done in the 1890s:
It’s like a photo version of a blooper reel! 🙂
Two Victorian ladies making a life-sized snow lady, also from Leeds in the 1890s:
With the correct corseted posture, dress ruffles, and hairdo. Wow, ladies, what a great job!
Nellie Franklin photographed holding a parasol in Tallahassee, Florida, between 1885 and 1910:
This photo clearly references painted portraits as ancestors of photographic ones.
A young man in a wheelchair:
Victorians certainly loved their wheels! I wonder exactly how one would’ve operated this chair—there’s clearly a handle bar connected to the front wheel, but if grabbing it with both hands, where does the propelling force come from?
A Sami woman from Finland photographed at Ellis Island in the U.S., so presumably immigrating, around 1905-1914:
I wish the portrait hadn’t cut off at the waist; I would’ve liked to see the rest of the details of her dress (the belt looks especially interesting). I know that nowadays Sami outfits (gákti) are unique. Each is made for its wearer to reflect the personal / family history and area (and possibly the people as a whole?). I don’t know, however, how far back in time that practice goes.
Anyway. These old photos give fascinating glimpses of western life only about 100 years ago. So similar and yet so, so different.
Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.
Apart from various aspects of the story and the movie series, the exhibition covers for example illustrations, the history of real-world magic, and early sketches and notes by J.K. Rowling. In addition, on display are a number of items from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.
My favorite feature is perhaps the section covering the real-world history of various Hogwarts classes, closely followed by the animals and fantastical beasts section.
Pacific Rim Uprising is directed and co-written by Steven S. DeKnight; other writers credited with the screenplay are Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin. I have seen some of DeKnight’s writing and directing for Dollhouse and possibly even story editing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The rest of the writing team are entirely new to me however (apart from having at least heard of one of Snyder’s latest producing credits, The Handmaid’s Tale).
While I’m mostly not in the mood, now and then I like lots of smacking monsters around and busting buildings. But not only that—destruction without a reason gets tiresome faster than you can say marmalade sandwich. Among the falling skyscrapers and lurching jaegers in these trailers I’m left wondering about the human stories.
The features of the first Pacific Rim that most strongly attracted me to the story were specifically that—human stories. One was Learning to Work Together and the other was the respect that Raleigh Becket showed Mako Mori. I’ve seen interviews with Guillermo del Toro and the design team where everyone kept calling Mako Raleigh’s “love interest”. Come on, dudes. Reducing a character to her gender and relationship to a male character is the worst kind of dismissal. She has a name and you know it, not to mention that Mako would kick your butt eight days in a week. (It’s sad when a fictional character has to take his creators to school on how to respect women as people.)
I really hope Uprising will be a case of Never Trust a Trailer, and the movie will be at minimum tolerable. Granted, the first trailer is more people- than fight-heavy, so that’s a reason to stay positive. At the very least we’ll see more of Rinko Kikuchi, John Boyega—looking forward to seeing what kind of depth he has—and Tian Jing, whose performance in The Great Wall I enjoyed but for whose character there was pitifully little to do in Kong: Skull Island.
This post has been edited for clarity.
Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.
For a good long while, I’ve been having unpredictable hiccups when submitting comments on other people’s blogs. It’s gotten so bad that I routinely copy & paste my comment in a text document before submitting it in case it’s eaten up by the hungry Internet Mawster.
Sometimes logging in and out helps, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes disabling my ad blocking software helps, sometimes it doesn’t. Et cetera, et cetera.
This past week takes the cake, though: now I can’t even like a post reliably anymore. Clicking on the little star just doesn’t necessarily register regardless of whether I’m logged in and browsing a blog, or reading a post through my subscription feed, or running around the house howling at the full moon.
I might be a tad bit… miffed.
Ohwell. I dare say I’ll find a workaround at some point.
The Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the gap between Saturn and its rings today, April 26, 2017. This dive, first of 22, opens the last stage of the Cassini-Huygens mission before the vehicle is driven into Saturn on September 15, 2017.
To celebrate, here are a few of the amazing photos sent back from the mission.
Incredible. At this writing, the mission’s been running for over 19 years. It’s amazing what we can do when there’s a will.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.
Inventor Richard Browning has bold thinking in abundance. With the company he started, Gravity Industries, he’s developed a jet-engine suit like Iron Man’s to re-imagine manned flight.
British entrepreneur invents, builds and files patent for Iron Man-like flight suit by Gravity Industries
This 3.5-minute YouTube video captures the highlights of the development during a year. It closely resembles Tony Stark’s faltering design process in Iron Man—except this time it’s real. And while Gravity’s suit isn’t streamlined nor capable of long-distance flight at this point, there seems to be a modicum of potential. Staggering!
“You have to let go of the old to begin something new. But that does not mean it is lost forever.”
– 32nd Mother of the Red Abbey, in Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff
And the “old” is worth saving – because how else do we learn, transmit our culture, and discuss our values in a world that’s becoming more and more international?
This thought was brought to you by idle musings on various library, archives, and museum collections. Unlike early cultures in our world and peoples of various fantasy worlds, right now we have the luxury of saving unprecedented amounts of our cultures’ material production.
Turtschaninoff, Maria. Maresi. New York, NY: Abrams, 2017, p. 241.
Serving exactly what it sounds like, the Quotes feature excerpts other people’s thoughts.