Two-Fisted Tales of Evolutionary Biology!

On a whim, I decided to skim a few pages of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle, and if discovering evolution through the process of natural selection weren’t enough, the stories of his adventures on the HMS Beagle are rich with exotic detail and are an engrossing read. The story reads like a precursor to pulp tales of daring explorers visiting strange lands, encountering wild natives and speciating island finches.

In the course of an hour we arrived at Ribeira Grande, and were surprised at the sight of a large ruined fort and cathedral. This little town, before its harbour was filled up, was the principal place in the island: it now presents a melancholy, but very picturesque appearance. Having procured a black Padre for a guide, and a Spaniard who had served in the Peninsular war as an interpreter, we visited a collection of buildings, of which an ancient church formed the principal part. It is here the governors and captain-generals of the islands have been buried. Some of the tombstones recorded dates of the sixteenth century.

My head is swimming with all the possibilities of adventure awaiting our heros, the Spanish war veteran, the mysterious black priest, and Charles Darwin as they explore the picturesque but ominous “Fort of Ribeira Grande!”

But that isn’t the end of it. There are so many great passages, I can’t leave it at just one.

The inhabitants had sufficient notice to drive all the cattle and horses into the “corral” [1] which surrounded the house, and likewise to mount some small cannon. The Indians were Araucanians from the south of Chile; several hundreds in number, and highly disciplined. They first appeared in two bodies on a neighbouring hill; having there dismounted, and taken off their fur mantles, they advanced naked to the charge. The only weapon of an Indian is a very long bamboo or chuzo, ornamented with ostrich feathers, and pointed by a sharp spearhead. My informer seemed to remember with the greatest horror the quivering of these chuzos as they approached near.

And even a little topical humor:

In the evening we reached a comfortable farm-house, where there were several very pretty senoritas. They were much horrified at my having entered one of their churches out of mere curiosity. They asked me, “Why do you not become a Christian — for our religion
is certain?” I assured them I was a sort of Christian; but they would not hear of it…

A “sort of” Christian. Charlie knew how to tell a coy joke that only gets better with age.

I never thought I would miss calculus


…but I can’t help feeling nostalgic looking at the nerd dream team of 1927. Wiki any of those names and you’ll find a person physics owes a debt of gratitude.

I can’t be certain which one is Heisenberg and which one is Schroedinger, but at least Pauli is making sure they aren’t taking up the same space.

[found via Reddit – tremendous nerdity ensues in the comments]

He collected them until he, too, became obsolete

Wired has a delightful story about three sons disposing of their dad’s cache of old computers.

My brothers and I didn’t know Dad had a problem. We knew he had an insanely large collection of computers and related paraphernalia. I was living in Washington, DC, and somehow Alex and Andrew, back home in Seattle, had failed to notice that Dad could barely move around his apartment and was navigating from room to room via narrow, oyster-gray corridors formed entirely by PC towers.

In other news, I just inherited six Macintosh SEs from the widow of a hoarder, which I’m looking to place in my 500 sq ft apt. Shit.

Wait, it gets worse: Before they showed up, I had just cleaned my apartment in anticipation of a girl I had been dating coming over. She didn’t, the Macs did. Hey, who’s a cool guy!

Double-Tongued Dictionary

When I started a new job I had a hard time catching up with the lingo. Luckily, there’s the Double-Tongued Dictionary there to explain how to get my off-deck media to bubble up so I can monetize content across our white-label platform. Think of it as Urban Dictionary after it grows up, gets a job, and sells out.

Click on the blue icon

This is one of the things I hate about Mac OS X: its tediously unimaginative icon color palette.

Feelin’ Blue

How am I supposed to differentiate icons at a glance when they’re all sorta blue-ish, round-ish shiny things? It’s bad enough that blue LEDs abound in consumer electronics. And don’t get me started on the purple & pink fixation of Web 2.0 sites. But Apple needs to mix up their colors, otherwise their icons [get it? ‘iconic’, as in ‘recognizable, identifying symbol?’] won’t be any better than their black-and-white predecessors.

Aw hell, modern life did it better.


Emergency 411 is on Crackle’s wet paint

Two episodes of Emergency 411, “Finding Parking” and “Having a Baby” are finalists in Crackle’s Wet Paint animation contest, and with my cartoons garnering somewhere between 15,000 and 4 views, my chances are anybody’s guess. Both have been featured items, even though they aren’t the most-watched nor the highest rated videos. But you can still change that! I am proud to have two videos in the contest out of 70 entrants, and at least it means better odds than the chances of the CERN supercollider destroying the world.

Speaking of CERN — and the earth suddenly becoming a ball of evaporating strangelets — I think I may throw a party as a last hurrah before the imminent destruction of the world by Swiss high-energy particle physicists — or to celebrate our continued existence as fairly mundane, non-black hole matter.

I don’t know what I would enjoy more, my continued existence or winning an animation contest. I’ll get back to you on that.


Everyone’s a winner, we’re making that fame

I’m pleased to announce that my latest Emergency 411: How-To How-To was a winner in Mobifest’s MobiBio contest! What could describe me better than a minute cartoon about wasting time and sitting on my ass? Myself and some of my fellow esteemed animators and filmmakers have all won one thing or another, so I guess what I’m saying is I’m just keeping my head above water.

In case you need a refresher:


E411 drops a bomb on Channel Frederator

Once again, Channel Frederator‘s got the inside track on more Emergency 411, so check it out — but be sure to get those tax returns in first!

I haven’t started mine yet. Is that bad?

Also, watch for William Hohauser’s Silly Gags. It’s like the WarioWare of animation.

(Speaking of timeliness… next time I’ll try to give updates on time, and not a month after my cartoons have gone up. Oh, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)


Taking the 411 to Channel Frederator!

I’m pretty excited that FIVE of my Emergency 411 episodes have been featured on popular animation blog Channel Frederator. Check it out:

That Tim Heiderich has some hilarious observations. His 411 shorts are simple, graphic, and very funny.

After missing him at Mobifest Toronto, I was delighted to meet the man behind Channel Frederator, Fred Seibert, at Nickelodeon in Burbank. He shared some great insights into how one fits into the entertainment industry and told me that the only way to get ahead in Hollywood was to…

Wait, why am I telling YOU?

Check out my work as well as an unbelievable amount of amazing animation updated more-than-weekly at Channel Frederator.