Monday, January 23, 2017

Double Bills of the 2050s Drive-Ins

The Woman Who Woke
The Chimp That Conquered Eternity

Neil Armstrong vs. the Gorilla Prince
Ancient Pyramids of New York

The Cars That Murdered Yesterday
Night of the Bowel Beast

Hir Last Sacrifice
Donald's Ark

Return of the Pharaohs
The Last Cheeseburger

Behold Antarctica
Mausoleum of the Damned

Dynamite Wildcats and the Champions of Anarchy
Wage Slaves of the Rocket Robber Barons

The Human Tide
Tarzan and the Underwater City

Sunday, January 22, 2017

100 Years of Cinema

What I love most about the Internet is the way it makes it possible for independent creators to easily share their work with a worldwide audience. Of course, without traditional marketing, a lot of that content, no matter how excellent, goes unnoticed.

That's why I'm writing about One Hundred Years of Cinema, a YouTube channel featuring short videos of cinema innovations and history - one per year, starting in 1915. So far, the creator is up to 1929, so it may be some time before we get to see the conclusion, but it's a fun ride nonetheless.

If you're interested in cinema history, give one or two of the videos a try. I've embedded one of my favourites below.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My First NHL Game

Thanks to the generosity of my employer, I was able to enjoy (in my own particular manner) my first ever NHL hockey game. I'm not a sports fan, but I was certainly impressed by the spectacle of (taxpayer-subsidized) Rogers Place and all the high-tech tomfoolery that surrounds the hockey game itself. The scoreboard hanging over the ice is massive, with utterly spectacular resolution; I marvelled at it the whole game. Technicians can project whatever they want onto the ice, such as the team logos seen in this image. During the game I suggested to Sean that a clever coach would project additional hockey pucks onto the ice to confuse enemy players. I'd laugh and laugh!

Seeing a game live has not transformed me into a hockey fan, and as ever I feel sad that I can't share the heightened emotions of the real fans as they watch. As with my apathy toward children and pets, I seem to be lacking certain common human instincts. Instead, I find myself analyzing the non-stop assault on the senses that occurs during the game; except when the players are actually playing, music blares from all sides, animation lights up the rink and the electronic billboards circling the stands, and propaganda films play on the scoreboard. Indeed, the hidden ringmaster exhorts the crowd to "GET LOUD" at various points during the game, and the crowds dutifully agree. I was reminded yet again how easy it is to manipulate crowds with words, images and sounds. We are so easily programmed, and I'm certainly not excepting myself; I just respond to different programming languages.

Part of me realizes this is all (relatively) harmless fun, but another part of me sees in this kind of event a more refined version of the old gladiatorial arena. I guess you can call this progress, though, as no one dies and the violence is punished rather than rewarded (textually; the subtext is something else again).

I'd never willingly pay to see a hockey game, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to see one simply so that I can better understand what moves other people.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Neon Sign Museum

Tonight Sean and I went to my first NHL hockey game, which I'll post about tomorrow. But in the meantime, how cool is Edmonton's neon sign museum? This is the first time I've seen it. I'll have to come back with a better camera and a tripod sometime. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Agony and the Ecstasy and the Missing Once Upon a Time

Oh, Amazon - cornucopia of delights -
How sweet to see your packages in my mailbox
How bitter the discovery
When boxes contain parts 2 and 3
And Part 1 will not arrive for another month
And yet I cannot forsake thee
My online addiction
My consumer heroin

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Minute Muffler Blimp

I shot this image at an air show in 1990. I probably should have cropped out the off-kilter horizon, but somehow I think it adds to the goofy charm of the Minute Muffler blimp. Does Minute Muffler still exist? If yes, this counts as an advertising success.

Note the lens flare pentagram. I guess that's the iris opening up and being captured in the glass. Or it could be a photonic energy weapon shot from the bow of the blimp. Pew pew!