BTC: Animal Beat Box

Australian animator/musician Damon Gameau and his cutting-edge team of cut n’ pasters just won top prize at the 2011 TROPFEST for this adorable (not to mention highly addictive!) animated shout-out to the animal kingdom.

Via Ariana, ‘cos she’s awesome.

There are plenty of other incredible indie shorts on TROPFEST‘s YouTube channel, go check ’em out.

The FAM: Animation Fun Time With David O’Reilly

Please Say Something from David OReilly on Vimeo.

Like Edgar Allan Poe, the FAM returns after a week’s absence, delirious and with no memory of its whereabouts. Who knows what trouble it got up to? Regardless of whether or not the FAM spent last week in a meth-fueled haze, the fact of the matter is that it is back, looking to put the deaths of all those Shriners behind it. So let us get to today’s films instead of dwelling on the fact that those tiny cars are not street legal and one cannot be blamed for driving through a parade if the route is not clearly marked.

Today it’s two short films by David O’Reilly: 2009’s Please Say Something and his most recent External World. Both feature his off-beat direction combined with a dark sense of humor. External World takes a page from Robot Chicken with stories told in bite-sized morsels stitched together with a thin, overarching tale while Please Say Something follows a cat and her mouse husband through their dysfunctional relationship. O’Reilly and his team do a spectacular job, using a bare minimum of detail to convey each scene. The characters are equally simple though they still manage to display a wide range of emotions. They are wonderful and delightfully weird, though your tolerance for acerbic wit will determine how well you take to them.

Alternative Trailer: The King Spits

I’ve not seen The King’s Speech, though I have heard nothing but good things about it. The trailer made me immediately think of The Madness of King George. This is, perhaps, unfair and may be due mostly to the fact that both films are about British royalty. Whatever the case, I can’t help but think that this trailer, with music by Dan Bull, would have sold the movie better, though perhaps not to its intended audience.

Alternative Retirement Spaces

Proposed architectural designs for Boom, a 100-acre alternative retirement space.

via Coolhunting:

What began as an innovative project for LGBT retirees seeking refuge from cookie-cutter approaches to conventional retirement has evolved into something much more ambitious. More than 100 acres in the Mojave Desert will soon be the site of a $250 million idea, bringing together 10 architectural firms from five countries to succeed where so many fail by reclaiming shared community spaces that invite pedestrians and casual interactivity among neighbors.

Located near Palm Springs, California—an area known for perennial sunshine and wide-open spaces—Boom will cater to outdoor living with pedestrian pathways and communal spaces, as well as eateries, wellness centers and shops. Living spaces include private homes, assisted living and a nursing home. Each separate development will differ as the individual architects are being given free reign to realize their ideas of livability, adding diversity to the common goal of functionality and livability.

Another exciting facet to the project is that the Boom community already exists in virtual space. Participants can brainstorm and create a shared vision with the developers and architects in these early stages when the buildings are still rendered lines in an AutoCAD program.

…the overarching idea is a space where denizens celebrate life with each other rather than retreat into isolation that so many other modern developments ultimately foster—as lead designer Matthias Hollwich from HWKN explained to his fellow architects, “Boom has to be about living, not retiring, about inclusion and not seclusion.”

Nursing homes can be a scary place. Being stuck in high school was a horrible experience for many of us. It sucked because you were grouped with a bunch of people you had nothing in common with, simply because you were all teenagers. Being in a conventional nursing home is probably similar, except you’re all old and don’t have the prospect of escaping into adult life to look forward to. Perhaps that’s an overly depressing way of looking at it. But according to a recent survey in the UK, more people “fear losing independence in old age than death.” Perhaps being in a nursing home that’s part of a community in line with your interests wouldn’t be so bad. As a friend recently said, “anything that there’s currently a cruise for, there will one day be a retirement community for.” Well, there’s a goth cruise. A rave cruise. One day, there will probably be a Burner/hippe retirement community, with dreadlocked 70-year-olds listening to psy-trance.

Some questions: in the event that you could no longer live on your own, what kind of people do you want to spend your twilight years with? Would you rely on the family you make in the world to create this kind of space? Would you join in a retirement community based on common interests, like hacking/period costuming/witchcraft/polyamory/sci-fi? What would the day-to-day activities in this place be like, in an ideal world? What do you envision really uniting you with people as you get older, as opposed to things that turn out to be passing interests?

The MegaMen are MegaRad

Via DJ Dead Billy comes this live 1983 performance of “Designed for Living” by an obscure Brisbane, AU band called The MegaMen. Watch, listen and rejoice as three elegant new romantics take the Bandaged Bear Telethon by storm.

Singer: Xhian Behm. Keyboardist: Mark Love. Duct-taped snare drum tamer: Lance Leopard. [via]

Billy professes to being nonplussed by certain aspects of the performance, namely The MegaMen’s mega-bitchy lyrics. Your mileage may vary: personally, I find their immaculate Nagelesque coifs, perfected sneers and lissome, synchronized dance moves impossible to resist. And really, when you think about it, don’t lines like “I see your pain and find it funny / You gave me love and I took your money” go together with disdainful high-kicks [2:39] and queenly mic-cord flips [2:42] like ebony eyeliner and ivory skin foundation? RAWR. Love.

Roa In Mexico

Street artist Roa does some amazing work, site producing giant images of animals. He recently posted some work he did in Mexico and it is no less stunning. The severed bird head using the swinging gate to expose a skull behind it is particularly clever.

The Fantastic Planet Is Rotting

An admission of hypocrisy: Up close and personal, fungi kind of gross me out but put them in a painting and I’m all over them. I know, it makes no sense. It may be that, in a painting, they still portray a a sense of decay and fluidity without the moist, musky, oozing mucilage found in reality. Everything in a painting is blessedly dry, I suppose is what I’m saying. And while I realize that the appearance of a viscous sheen can be recreated I also know that if I were to touch it I would not draw back a hand coated in a vile mucus.

Enter these paintings by Dhear One, portraits of creatures on alien worlds, enveloped by otherworldly fungi, turning everything into a landscape — stalks and tendrils reaching up into the air seemingly in defiance of gravity, if there is any present. They are snapshots of worlds overrun. This is what happens when nature takes back the Fantastic Planet.

BTC: Happy Quirkyalone Day!

Wiki defines “Quirkyalone” as “a neologism referring to someone who enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of being in a couple.”

How To Be Alone by filmmaker Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis.

The term was coined by girlzine badass-turned-magazine maven Sasha Cagen while she was standing with several other single, unsmooched friends on a Brooklyn subway platform on New Year’s Eve back in 1999. “She expanded the concept into an essay in the first issue of her magazine To-Do List. When the article was republished in the Utne Reader in 2000, Cagen was surprised by the fervor of responses from readers who felt their lives had been validated by her work. As a result of these responses, Cagen opted to expand her essay into a 2004 book, titled Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics.

The first International Quirkyalone Day was held on February 14 in 2003 as an alternative to Valentine’s Day, and a more genuine, generous “celebration of romance, freedom and individuality” Eight years on, Cagen has this to say:

The saccharine-sweet quality of Valentine’s Day, that fills us with expectation and often tends to make us feel disappointed whether we are single or in a relationship, struck me 8 years when I launched International Quirkyalone Day with parties in four cities. The flagship party was in San Francisco. In our second year, the party got so big the fire marshalls came, but then they wanted to party, too.

IQD is for everyone, because couples as well as singles needed a liberating alternative holiday to celebrate the joys of connection: to yourself, to your mate (if you have one), to friends, family, passions, and so on.

…I take this opportunity to wish all of you the most alive and fresh Quirkyalone Day ever! I invite you to do something new Quirkyalone Day, shake up your world a bit by visiting a new spot in or outside your town, take a class, take a chance and make a new friend (and I don’t mean on Facebook). Rearrange your furniture, try a new recipe, dance alone in your underwear for an hour. At the least, buy yourself some daisies. Chosen for their natural, sunny quality, they are the official flower of the quirkyalone movement.

And above all, love thyself.

Cheers to all you lovely Quirkyalone celebrants out there. Savor this day.

Corset X-Rays from 1908

Stunning X-Ray images of corsets from 1908 by Dr. Ludovic O’Followell, via hypnerotomachi(n)a and billie jane. Many more images from the book (some NSWF) can be found at the Wikimedia Commons. Could this have been the inspiration for Helmut Newton’s gorgeous X-ray fashion photography from the late 70s?

Hilum By Patrick Sims

What better day than Thursday for some marionette flavored nightmare fuel? Behold the mad weirdness of Patrick Sims and Les Antliaclastes’ Hilum. I’m at a loss to properly describe this one, but fortunately the London International Mime Festival website described it thus:

A micro comic-tragedy based on the cycles of the washing machine and set in the basement of a rundown museum of natural history. Orphaned and cut off from the ordered kingdom of curiosities upstairs, the cast of nursery rhyme characters, cartoon images, and mischievous urchins turn playtime into a theatre of cruelty. Whites mix with colours, delicates get hot washed, and a monstrous big toe devours holes in the socks.

So there is that. I’m not sure if that is really very helpful at all. Two minutes, really, is all you need to decide if this is up your alley or not.

Via Wurzeltod : The Medium Of…