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The indescribable banality of Neonomicon‘s artwork

The art in Promethea tells a story. In From Hell it tells a story. The first page of Watchmen tells a story. Unless this is the story of a reliable Ford Focus with a FM radio/CD player standard, this page doesn’t tell me anything about Alan Moore’s Neonomicon that I need to know.

It’s a scene that takes place outside an asylum (…I assume it’s that afterthought in the distance?) but judging by the level of detail, the car’s center console and armrest are the two most important things in the scene. We don’t even see the faces of our protagonists. Also notice the eyes in the mirror reflect the eyes of someone who should be sitting in the driver’s seat. Sloppy.

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Lego Magician Minifig MOC

Looking at the Lego Magician Minifig I opened, I had a great idea for a MOC.

Enoemos teab em ot ti.

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Lego Minifigs UPC decoder

After spending an inordinate amount on a complete set of Series 1 Lego Minifigures, I discovered a way to distinguish the individual bags based off the UPC code on the back. I was all set to open and scan in every UPC and post them here, then I realized someone had already done it. So enjoy.

Guess I'll just have to enjoy these for their intrinsic value
Now what the hell am I supposed to do with these?!

The lesson to take away from this is that the day of one-man websites getting the scoop on anything new and popular are through. My personal website, testament to that ’90s way of thinking, is a delightful little time capsule to that bygone era. That or I just haven’t gotten with the times. It’s bad enough to be unhip, but much worse to fully comprehend your own obsolescence.

Or so said a friend of mine, “We are in the presence of the new.

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Forever.

Here’s a chilling article from Cracked about 5 Guilty Pleasures The Web Killed.

That rant against corporate greed you made on the Nine Inch Nails forums in 1998? It’s still around, waiting to be Googled by your prospective employer. Your short-lived career as a blogger and passionate advocate of heroin legalization and lowering the age of consent to 16? That’s still floating around as well, ready to be stumbled upon by the Mormon congregation you just converted into. It’s all up there, archived forever, for your children and grandchildren to read.

This isn’t good if I ever apply for a job at, say Apple or Lego.

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The stud that stands out must be hammered down

You may recall earlier my philosophical disagreement with the American imperialism implied in the LEGO Mars Mission sets. Maybe I’m imagining things, maybe it’s because sci-fi is really the domain of social commentary, but the LEGO Space Police sets are setting an unsettling tone as well.

“If you ask me, it’s the $10 withdrawal fees that are the real crime.”

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Popcorn: a forgotten classic, of sorts

I was flipping through suggested movies on Netflix for Wii when I came across an awful horror movie I hadn’t seen since a triple feature my dad and I went to when I was 13: the obtusely-titled Popcorn.

For better or worse, my tastes have changed since then to appreciate this sort of lowbrow fare; details like the inspired closing theme and Crispin Glover’s dad Bruce in a cameo. Popcorn recalls a time before MST3K when watching bad movies for fun was still a fairly rare cultural event. The movie centers around a killer stalking through a horror movie triple-feature (making it a pretty good choice for the venue where I originally saw it, in hindsight) and both the story and the killer’s motives actually make a kind of sense.

Matter of fact, I’d enjoy the hell out of a B-grade horror fest like the one featured in the movie. Minus the killing, I mean.

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Frenzy, to mean a panicked, unfocused activity

One of the five most important rules for writing good screenplays was sent to me today by a clever little girl from Script Frenzy, a “sister event” of the onanistic writing exercise known as National Novel Writing Month:

3. Economy of Words. This might be the most significant difference between NaNo and Script Frenzy (other than the height of the program directors). In a script, the goal is to convey the story without using more words than needed.

This nugget comes more than two thirds of the way through Script Frenzy’s nearly 800-word letter. After a belabored Austin Powers joke (in 2010!); not one, but two introductions; plus a helping of saccharine encouragement. So rather than informing the reader there is a script writing “contest” in April, the message really conveys how in love with its own too-cute-by-half prose the whole endeavor is. I’m sure the relative heights of the program directors will be important later.

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Embrace False Icons

Screenshot from Gorillaz’s “Rockit” video from D-Sides 2006:

reject false icons-gorillaz

Purchasing options for 2010’s Plastic Beach:

Reject false icons. But first stop at our online store.

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Jim Reekes doesn’t care who you are or where you came from

My first exposure to hardcore 12-year Apple employee Jim Reekes was when he stole the show as the jaded, contrarian voice in the ultra low-budget documentary Welcome to Macintosh.

Listening to him recall his sound engineer work at Apple, he is one part Dwight Shrute and one part Bill Hicks. I simply love his candor, honesty and frankness when talking about his work, his industry, his coworkers …and all the little blunders they never quite thought through.

Grounded employees like this are a valuable asset to keep a project on the rails, and simply to keep people from developing really bad ideas. I can only hope to aspire to be as much of an incisive crank as Reekes.

Here he is again talking to One More Thing about the Mac’s startup tone. (You haven’t gone crazy, the introduction is in Hungarian.)

OMT in San Francisco #3: ‘Let it beep’ from One More Thing on Vimeo.

…and now you know the origin of Sosumi.

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Start with HTML

At work, our web site code is becoming a morass of nested <div>, <p>, and <span> tags. Our CSS file alone is nearly 3,000 lines long. Since the CSS is so byzantine to begin with, whenever a redesign comes along, frequently us poor developers — rather than untangle this Gordian stylesheet — simply declare new classes and bolt them onto the end of our stylesheet; hence the 3,000 line CSS file. This has to stop.

I propose a new solution for developing web pages: start with HTML. Imagine you are developing a clean, informative page for Mosaic. Only once your HTML is done do you start mucking it up with CSS. Have we forgotten this is the way style sheets were intended to be used? We’ve let them be perverted to add rounded corners, fix IE bugs, and even add arbitrary spacing. Your CSS will be much cleaner and more meaningful if you start with the information as the structure, and then build on that.