"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is without a doubt the most boring, soulless, stacked revolution I’ve ever read. The people of the Moon – that is, actually THREE people on the moon (the Prof, Wyoh, and a reluctant Mannie) – decide one day to revolt when supercomputer Mike informs them that cannibalism will ensue in nine years should things progress down the same path. This is especially troubling in the context of modern reading, considering the many revolutions around the world that have and continue to happen today – these are powerful movements with drastic, often violent but always life-changing consequences. In contrast, Heinlein’s contained, sanitized revolution – planned and powered by the smartest AI computer everrrrr! – is so theoretical, so calculated, so utterly artificial that it loses any meaning. Is revolution the simplistic, quick, predictable thing that Heinlein creates in this frankly soulless book?" -- To prove their real fan status, Ana Grilo and Thea James (aka the Booksmugglers) review arguably Heinlein's greatest novel and find it wanting. [more inside]
While JJ Abrams finishes off the script for Star Wars VII, Disney and the Lucasfilm Story Group are busily deciding what is canon and what isn't. Lee Hutchinson at Arts Technica thinks cutting out the Expanded Universe and starting again is a good idea. Stuart Ian Burns at Feeling Listless isn't so sure. [more inside]
Beware of fans influencing the TV they love. And casual fans are being alienated by shows with devoted fans (spoilers for Sherlock).
Crackvids are the genre of fandom videos playing out of context or absurd audio over clips of thier favorite media but rarely do they meet the heights of this video for NBC's super serious high-Gothic drama about serial killers, Hannibal. (SLYTP, NSFW audio, SPOILERS, general fandom silliness)
18 Books Ernest Hemingway Wished He Could Read Again for the First Time. "I would rather read again for the first time Anna Karenina, Far Away and Long Ago, Buddenbrooks, Wuthering Heights, Madame Bovary, War and Peace, A Sportsman's Sketches, The Brothers Karamazov, Hail and Farewell, Huckleberry Finn, Winesburg, Ohio, La Reine Margot, La Maison Tellier, Le Rouge et le Noire, La Chartreuse de Parme, Dubliners, Yeat's Autobiographies and a few others than have an assured income of a million dollars a year."
Confused about who wrote the Bible we have, and why? Jim MacDonald has the answers. How was the Canon of the Christian Bible selected? There really isn't a better, or funnier, short account than this. After all, if fandom is a religion, then religions must work like fandom, right? And the epistolatory disputes of late antiquity were just Usenet to the Greeks. So if you want to know how the Doctrine of the Trinity became important, this will explain it: [more inside]
Stereophoto maker lets you make anaglyphs and stereo animated gifs, like these. (You can control the point of focus with your mouse in the flash versions.) Instructions for making it work on a Mac.
What Do Philosophers Believe? David Bourget and David Chalmers, co-directors of Philpapers.com, have written an article based on the PhilPapers Survey of professional philosophers. It covers the popularity of various views, correlations with age, gender, and geography, a factor analysis that tries to isolate important underlying factors; and discussion of the results of the Metasurvey, bringing out just how surprising some of the survey results are. The article is forthcoming in Philosophical Studies. [more inside]
Filmmaker Tim Sessler shot the short film Drift during a flight from San Francisco to Salt Lake City with his Canon 5D Mark III.
An amazing image of London taken from the top of the BT Tower has set a new record for the world’s largest panoramic photo. The image shows a full 360 degree view of London in incredible detail. [more inside]
His official title is continuity database administrator for the Lucas Licensing arm of Lucasfilm — which means Chee keeps meticulous track of not just the six live-action [Star Wars] movies but also cartoons, TV specials, scores of videogames and reference books, and hundreds of novels and comics.
Diamanda Hagan is an obsessive Dr. Who fan in scary makeup. She posts extensive, entertaining, and exhaustively nerdy rants on some of the worst episodes of Nu Who. Behold! The Beast Below, Voyage Of The Damned, Victory Of The Daleks, Fear Her, The Next Doctor, Planet Of The Dead, The Doctor's Daughter, and The End Of Time (The Whole Damn Thing) (NSFW language)
With digital cinema on the rise, and DSLR video shooting becoming increasingly popular for low-budget and independent film making, expectations were high for Canon's big announcement at Paramount Studios today. And Canon delivered, the C300 is a DSLR-like camera that uses Canon or PL mount lenses (two different models), with no autofocus, S35mm sensor size, full HD to a 50Mbps 10-bit 4:2:2 stream, shipping in January 2012 for $20,000. They also announced a new range of high-resolution affordable zoom and prime lenses for cinema use, and, as an extra bonus, they announced they were developing a similar camera that could record 4k video for release at some time in the future. It all looked like a big win for Canon... But, a few hours later, the always controversial and disruptive Red Digital Cinema, makers of the ubiquitous Red One and the relatively new 5K, 120fps EPIC, announced the EPIC's little sister, based on the same sensor, the Scarlet, a camera that also uses Canon or PL mount lenses, with an interchangeable lens mount, autofocus on Canon lenses, S35mm sensor size, 4k video (with HDR option) and 5k stills to a 400Mbps 16-bit compressed raw stream, shipping December 1st for $9,750 for the body (under $14,000 for a full, ready to shoot kit with media, card reader and 5" touchscreen, minus the lenses).
Clifton Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan, 3rd Edition (not to be confused with Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major's Lifetime Reading Plan, 4th Edition) [more inside]
"The most varied and fervorous literature of spanish speaking America is the Argentinian. The most sui generis (like the country itself) is the Chilean." Carlos Fuentes lists the novels of the 20th and, probably a little bit prematurely, 21st centuries which constitute the Latin American Canon (google translation). [more inside]
[Harold] Brodkey produced fiction that was epic too, but chiefly in its elaboration of human intimacy. To read his prose is to be incarcerated in the situations of his characters; indeed, it is to be very nearly overwhelmed by them. ... Brodkey moved forward with new forms for rendering human consciousness. His protagonist was, almost always, "a mind shaped like a person." The action consisted of that mind discovering its thoughts. [more inside]
What's Catwoman's deal, anyway? dr_von_fangirl has a fantastic, exhaustive answer, cobbling a coherent, newbie-friendly origin story together from a variety of comic sources.
The Story Beyond the Still began with a film by Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet who was given a still image to interpret into a short film shot with the Canon 7D. This film became the first chapter in the Story Beyond The Still contest which also ended on a still photograph for contest goers to interpret into the next chapter of the story. This pattern continued for another six user-generated chapters with each chapter winner continuing the story by interpreting the previous chapter's ending still image. Now, a year and over 275 submissions later, the contest has come to a close and the final chapter is complete and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Macro Kingdom — things that can be done with today's DSLRs and editing software by even you and me.
Should you ditch your dSLR? Wired thinks so. The recent introduction of EVIL cameras (Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lenses) is a revolution in camera design that has eliminated the original bane of photography, parallax error, without the use of a mirror (greatly reducing camera size). Canon, Nikon, and Sony are expected to introduce EVIL-type cameras within the year. [more inside]
John Updike died, have you read his books? Who has time where there are a 1000 novels to read yet! James Delingpole argues that it is impossible - and unnecessary - to grapple with every 'must read' of the literary canon. [more inside]
Exciting things are happening on the DSLR market: both the new Nikon D90 and Canon 5D MII can shoot video and now the first real footage is becoming available on the web: Chase Jarvis showcased the D90 a bit back and now Vincent Laforet demonstrates what the 5D MII is capable of (more on his blog, including behind-the-scenes footage) Laforet predicts these cameras will change the landscape rather rapidly: You can use your prime and zoom lenses (...) with it - and shoot wide open… so you can shoot films with fisheye lenses, 50mm 1.2 as well as the 200mm f2 or 400mm 2.8 that you may already own… [more inside]
The future of classical music lies in China. Chinese enthusiasm for Western classical music is deep, says New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, but traditional Chinese music is older and more classical than anything in the West.
Canon in D: Korean Breakdance stylee! No apne balian styles here yo.
Somehow the Canon City, Colorado branch of the KKK was not quite as fear-inspiring as their brethren to the South. Home page.
Ever wonder how camera lenses are made? *Almost* justifies the cost of some of these behemoths. via.
Canon Short Courses: Learn how to wave goodbye, chew gum, pickup a hammer, and perhaps most challenging, use a doorbell. Because Canon cares.
Birds As Art: Photographer Arthur Morris shares his dazzling images of (mostly) feathered creatures in his (up to 196 so far) email bulletins. It's quite worth wading through the archive.
A few years ago, this seemingly shy kid sat in his bedroom and recorded Pachelbel's Canon in D major. Recently, he recorded a different rendition. He's more confident and learning how to become a performer. Lest you think it's simply mimic, here's Beto (no offence dude...keep on practicing), a bit better by Indrek (notice no chords...is that Bill Gates?). Want a lesson? Here's one on a sweeping technique. JerryC's "official site" and "unofficial site". So who is JerryC? Someone to keep our eye on, eh?
A Collection of 'All Time' Best Albums Charts from the US, UK, Netherlands & Belgium. Guess which chart has 3 dEUS albums in the top 20?
3D Papercraft.. build all kinds of things out of paper from your printer. From the Taj Mahal to a matador to a pair of sumo wrestlers.