Y’know, that great-big Experience Music Project museum thingy up in Seattle? Well, since I actually live in this state and am not a tourist, I’d never actually been there. Until last weekend! But the reason we went this time was not to see all the musics stuffs. It’s because they have a Hello Kitty exhibit, and both my daughter and my niece loooooove Hello Kitty.
It was pretty interesting!
I did not know she lived near London.
The most important part of the Hello Kitty timeline.
Fun fact: the Smurfs are all 2 apples high. So Hello Kitty is 2.5 Smurfs high. I think we should all use “Smurf” as a measurement of height from now on.
We all live in a kitty submarine…
All sorts of random crap with Hello Kitty’s face on it. My favorite here is the Hello Kitty paper shredder, for all your adorable document destruction needs.
Nothing beats Hello Kitty motor oil, though. It makes your car’s exhaust smell like cat breath.*
“Papa, Hello Kitty has a snake on her head!”
My favorite part of EMP, though (to nobody’s surprise), was the Science Fiction Museum in the basement. It has some great artifacts.
O HALLO THERE HAVE YOU HEARD OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST?
Tiny war of the tiny worlds.
“This is Ripley, the last survivor of the tiny Nostromo, signing off.”
Leeloo Dallas multi-pass. MULTI-PASS.
That pistol on the right was held by Sir Patrick Stewart. That needle tried to stab Agent Dale Cooper.*
Darryl Hannah wore this Pris outfit on our first date.*
They also have fantasy and horror sections, which are inherently less interesting to me, but there were some cool stuffs:
Elderberries smell good.
As the world falls down…
They also had the mask of Hellboy’s personal Death from Hellboy II, but I neglected to take a poto of it.
They also had an Indie Game hall where you can play a bunch of new indie video games, and a Jimi Hendrix exhibit that had a bunch of his suitcases and passports and travel documents and stuffs like that.
EMP is an interesting place! But it’s pretty durned expensive to go there.
Even though it was just released a couple of days ago, you’ve probably already seen this because it has literally millions of views already. But here’s the scoop: a guy named Paul Johnson (also known as MightyOtaKing and OtaKing77077) spent the last four years basically single-handedly animating a seven-minute space battle set in the Star Wars universe, from the point of view of the TIE Fighters of the Empire. Bonus: it’s done in the style of old-school animé like Robotech and Starblazers!
Aside from the obvious awesomeness, there are some really cool technical things going on in this short. Johnson’s visualization of the interior of the TIE Fighter cockpits is actually a combination of the small amount we get to see in the movies with the 1994 LucasArts TIE Fighter video game display!
Johnson put a lot of care and thought into the film, including working up absurdly detailed character profiles and backstories for the four leads that get the most screen time in the film. You can peruse a PDF of them all (and extensive notes on the creation of the cockpits) at your leisure.
Flight Lieutenant Ada’s scar was apparently caused by a closet door.
You can also find the score for the film (by Zak Rahman) here:
I also appreciate how Johnson didn’t do any crowdfunding or anything like that in order to get this done. This was a labor of love and time, not a money-making scheme (though I’ve little doubt the offers will likely start rolling in after this). As he says:
Don’t support me on Patreon, because I don’t have one! And don’t donate to my Kickstarter, because I don’t have one of those either. Instead, if you enjoyed this, give someone at your workplace, uni, school or whatever a random bar of chocolate or can or Coke or something. Seriously, it’ll probably make their day.
That would totally make my day.
This film is proof that you don’t always need to seek funding to do something you love. Sometimes all you need is to put in the effort and time. Well, done, Paul. Well done.
Video Game(s) of the Month: X-Wing & Tie Fighter
I very fondly remember back in the early/mid 1990s playing a tonne of these video games in Ryan Roullard’s mom’s basement on the MS-DOS computer down there. And now, finally, you can play them again (PC only). These two games are the best flight simulators I have ever played, and probably my favorite-ever games that take place in the Star Wars universe. There’s something weirdly fun about adjusting shields, shifting where you put your ship’s power (divert all shields to blasters now! and the like), and blasting the hell out of your enemies’ ships. The controls are natural and the 3-D radar is extremely intuitive. It feels like you’re dogfighting in the Star Wars movies.
Tabletop Game of the Month: Bravest Warriors Co-Operative Dice Game
A very funny game in which your team must defeat various obstacles by rolling the right combination of die. Yes, team. This is a co-operative game: either you all win (by scoring enough victory points or by using up all the event cards), or you all lose! It keeps with the spirit of the Bravest Warriors webseries by being delightfully nonsensical yet still very easy to follow. Let’s play (once I get my own set for Christmas).
Here are some interesting things I’ve found around teh intarwebs in the past few weeks that never made it into my blog here… until now (I’m pretty sure most of ’em made it onto Facebook or Twitter, though).
If you ever, ever want to know what an octopus is doing right this very second, Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center has installed a camera in the tank of their resident 40-pound Pacific octopus, Deriq.
It is for some reason very enjoyable and relaxing to watch Deriq meander around in his tank.
Artist Alex Varanese has imagined what it would look like if someone from today went back in time and re-created today’s modern electronics—cell phone, laptop, hand-held video game system, mp3 player—using the design aesthetics of 1977.
This is a fascinating collection of still frames and clips of people reading newspapers in dozens of films and television shows. The exact same newspaper each time. Going back decades. It looks like this:
It’s actually kind of astonishing how wide-spread this newspaper really is.
Here are a couple of videos of aquatic awesomeness:
This movie got hideously vilified when it was released into theaters, but really there isn’t very much that is actively bad in it. It’s only real problem was that it should never have been released into theaters to begin with… [read my full review here]