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August 21 2015

Top 5 artists this week


August 14 2015


August 13 2015


August 12 2015

The gritty underbelly of...the Saltlake Stadium. Noir, no?

The gritty underbelly of...the Saltlake Stadium.

Noir, no?


August 11 2015

So awesome :D So very awesome! Gorgeously acted, voiced, and musicked. And just the right amoun…

So awesome :D

So very awesome!

Gorgeously acted, voiced, and musicked.

And just the right amount of cheesy endearing and touching, too!

So awesome. Please let there be more.

July 29 2015

Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

July 26 2015

square wind bell

July 25 2015

Review: Fief

July 07 2015

I've finished watching Shirobako. It is a 24 episode anime about people who make anime. You shou…

I've finished watching Shirobako.

It is a 24 episode anime about people who make anime.

You should watch it. Whoever you are. Whatever your tastes or preferences. However you can.

Please watch it.

July 05 2015

Klaus teaser ©2015 Sergio Pablos Animation Studios, S.L. & ANTENA 3 FILMS, S.L.U. All rights reserved

Top 5 artists this week

Review: Spyfall

June 10 2015

Another day, another uncharacteristically weird dream. I wonder if it's something I'm eating... I…

Another day, another uncharacteristically weird dream. I wonder if it's something I'm eating...

I had this one deep into the night, and have already forgotten most of it. But let's get the rest captured asap!

I was visiting an improbable museum dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore.

But this one was a medium sized dome. Completely circular. The wooden frame created a spherical shape, maybe the top third of a sphere, and extended all the way to the ground. It was glass covered, fitting the frame down to the last ring above the ground where the glass just took a shortcut and joined the floor perpendicular it The double-door that served as both the entry and the exit took place of one of these panes.

As far as I could see outside it was pale, almost white save for a few boulders and rocks near the dome that looked more decorative than part of the. It could be a desert, it could be riverbed silt, it could be snow, who knows.

Inside, I was sitting on a slanted wooden bench padded with simple cuboid cushions covered with thick striped fabric. There was a large square wood and glass table with a few artbooks about the museum. The potted plants strews around the corner had pastel leaves. The receptionist's counter, not that larger than the table, was empty. It too was made of wood and glass, and it had shelving inside of it, which had a few thick glass jars of marmalade and candy.

I walked around the large sand colored matte tiles with sparse decoration. They felt nice to my bare feet. I remember standing on the one straw mat near the door for a while.

And then there was the elevator. Lacquered steel, this time, with some minimal copper baroque working on the corners of the frame. The top of it had some buttressing, but it was tethered to nothing. It looked colonial-eta British in construction, not out of place in the building despite its exceptional shape. It too was glass-covered, the three walls seamless save for the thin but sturdy handrails going across them. And the doorway had an accordion design, with vertical handrails at the seams. Inside was a single bamboo chair, small but comfortable. And a single short wooden footrest? It had a blank notebook in it, and a fountain pen. I never used it. And of course, the console no good mechanical elevator should be without. It was a large levered dial? Is that what you call then? It had but five entries. The lobby, and the floors, one to four. I switched the gears to floor one and the elevator began its slow soundless descent.

Since the major architectural parts of the dream have already tied up, this is where I start to loose details, heavily. But let me cover the quixotic structure of the museum. The elevator rides between the floors had the actual exhibitions. And at the end was usually a small but interactive installation.

I remember very little of the exhibition itself. But I do remember the strangeness of the ride. Immediately after descending below the floor I was surrounded by emptiness. Mostly in a grey twilight dark. Other than the reduced g, I could really see no change in motion for the first tens of minutes. Then the framed pieces, giant, but distant enough for me to look at clearly, begun to fade in from the greyness below. They contained a large body of information, and artwork, which I do not remember. The ride took a very very long time, but I don't remember being bored.

And then I reached the end of the ride, to the actual floor one. It resembled a conventional museum. Somewhat labyrinthine, awkward to navigate, but dark and cozy. Along the walls were nicely lit wood-and-glass diorama depicting scenes of many of Tagore's works, accompanied with some of the conditions Tagore himself wrote them in. Don't ask what they contained. I'm definitely not the person to ask, even in a dream. I did get bored eventually and began looking for the elevator. It, or maybe an identical one, was standing at one of the bends. I took it to floor three.

This ride/exhibition I remember more of. It showed an overcast but still cheerfully bright day. And incredibly stupendously large Roman pillars sparsely positioned around me. Where they started or ended I could not see due to the artful aerial perspective, but they were enormous, all at least monument-scale. On them, there were often giant copper art-deco lettering titling some of Tagore's...philosophical works? More curiously, some of them where often cut out in places or fully, not affecting their structural integrity in any way. But on these cutouts were miniature (they were all very distant, so maybe full-scale?) models of various scene, usually inside buildings, seminars, lectures, parks and coffee-houses, etc. presumably with something to do with the titles? Who knows.

The destination floor I could not remember, this time. Except that it too was day-lit, and outdoors. With some tables, and benches. I took the elevator, now taking place of a gazebo, to floor two.

I remember not being even slightly concerned that the elevator began its slow methodical descent despite going from floor three to two.

I remember nothing from the ride itself.

But I remember floor three distinctly. It was a single room. Maybe twenty feet in length and ten wide. The ceiling was high with wooden supporting beams, as building this old used to have. Two of the sides, joint, had no windows on them, but the others had a few small old-style Bengali wooden windows looking out to a well-lit twilight pastoral scene. That didn't interest me though, because the insides were fascinating.

There was a single long table in the middle of the room going lengthwise. On it were mostly chest-high shelves of books, and one of the lower shelves had a portion emptied as a writing or reading desk (as long as you didn't bump your head on another shelf. And probably at the center of the table positioned between the shelves was a single large copper-framed aquarium. It had slightly algae tinged water resting above a bed of the same light grey material I saw outside the lobby, but had no fish at all. Instead there were quite a few curious looking mechanical contraptions, small enough to fit in ones palm, and they moved wherever they caught sufficient of the bubbles being pumped through the aquarium, much like aquarium toys. But they moved more elaborately and intricately than any aquarium toy I had ever seen.

The walls which had no windows had more shelves, heavy and wooden this time, but ceiling height. On them rested many jars of mechanical parts. Usually plastic, by the looks of them, but some copper, some steel. A few even looked like glass. On one end of the room was a hard but tastefully fabric-covered bed with a notebook and a fountain pen on it. There were many sketches of gears and sparse lines of illegible writing. On the longer wall with the windows rested a long desk. A stretch of it raised for writing, and empty, but most of it flat. It had many loose pieces of gear on it with the decaying sunlight glinting off of some of the parts.

Tagore was working on them. He was sitting on a bamboo chair, it's relaxing lean being wasted by his focused hunch. He looked up at me and asked if I could turn on the lights. I found the chunky round old-school toggle buttons and hunted for the one that turned on the only set of lights in the center of the room, it was barely bright enough for work. He explained to me that he actually prefers them to sunlight, as the shadows are more predictable.

I didn't bother him anymore, he looked preoccupied. I just browsed the contraptions on the showcase to the right of his desk that he seems to have made. And the one framed painting, it looked like an inky mess of a sparse pastoral scene with many of the features replaced with uneven mechanical counterparts.

At the end opposite to the bed was a single door leading out, or so I though. It led into the elevator again.

The descending ride to floor four I also remember little. But that little was actually pretty unsettling. It was all about the atom bombs of WWII. The backdrop was perfectly dark, but frustums of projected black and white videos littered the void and motes of dust shone in them. They were playing documentaries. I don't know how this is relevant to Tagore. But then, neither were the mechanical things!

The fourth floor had nothing in it except a ledger asking for visitors' impressions. It was filled with the same illegible writing I saw in Tagore's notebook. I don't remember whether or not I left any myself.

I went back to the lobby to leave. The elevator descended again, as always. The outside light had not dimmed even slightly, but I saw few wrapped candies on the glass table, and a few discarded wrappers underneath it.

I left.

June 08 2015

Earlier this morning I had an uncharacteristically "plot" driven dream. Tl;dr at the bottom if yo…

Earlier this morning I had an uncharacteristically "plot" driven dream.

Tl;dr at the bottom if you want some incentive. Pardon the writing. It was all regurgitated as fast as possible.

A few of our vaguely-identified family were on vacation at a certain typical beach town around here. A few of us, the usual younger people, were at the beach one morning when a freak storm hit, which is also pretty typical, except this one was exceptionally vicious. The town is a dry and dusty place, hard to stay out in during a vicious storm, so we took shelter in an incomplete (and somehow accessible, open-house?) resort home near the beach and closed up.

Now, this is one of my dreams, which means that immediately, (after securing all the windows of the place, most of which were already sealed by the constructors who wanted left the place clean for its eventual furnishing), I went to take a look at the design of the building.

It was of a pretty simple architecture, unpainted white, with somewhat retro looking touches (tall, thin panes, indoor venetian blinds, some quaint bamboo stools which we usingto sit on). (I have some sketches here, but they're  so mundane that it doesn't matter.) The only really interesting thing was the somewhat high-ceilinged circular bathroom (the toilet was separate) which was covered with heavily frosted and un-openeable glass all the around and was extending off of the building. Since we couldn't open the windows anyway, this was the most suitable place to see the flashes of lightning and hear the storm all around us. It was awesome.

As usual, having been the only person who bothered to take their phone with them, I remember trying to call the rest of our vacationing party back at our normal hotel, but the connection never got through. There was no network, at all. Being a dream, this was mundane enough.

We left the building after the storm subsided. It would've been late morning, almost noon. We walked back along the beach to  the town center where our hotel was. The walk was uneventful, there were a bit fewer holidaymakers around, which we attributed to the storm, but it was now sunny again and all fine. When we reached the square though, things got weirder. It looked so much different. The markets were differently arranged, they sold different things, well same sort of things, but different. More retro. They didn't look retro though, in terms of age, their colors were vibrant, the plastic wasn't warped.

And then we came upon the rest of our party.

They were much younger. None of them recognized us. They are supposed to be our relatives, all, but they didn't recognize us. Younger or not that was strange. Being a dream, the thought of going after them asking for their maiden names (they were mostly aunts, but not all, all that is a personal and unimportant detail) they responded. A confused and awkward conversation ensued when the rest of "my" party tried to explain what had happened, but, once again, being a dream, all that came out was a storm, and being lost. None of them seemed to realize or care about the time-shift. We all wore "modern" clothes, which were definitely cut and colored differently than the touristy retro stuff around us, but nobody seemed to mind. Our "now-younger" relatives only seemed to be unsettled by our sudden appearance, and decided it was their duty to at least lodge us until we find our bearing.

They took us to their holiday-home. It was on a particular hill I know well, but it had far fewer buildings, and they were all different. Needless to say, I immediately went around the one they, and now we, were staying. 

It was less minimal than the other one, constructed with old-school thicker walls, smaller windows, but of the recognizably common (to my childhood) retro-looking designs that to me felt like the "modernist" regional movies out of the late seventies. The three holiday-maker rooms were long and large, and joined together by the longer balcony which looked onto some trees back south. On the north-eastern side of the house was a wide open-air balcony covered by some very pleasant undulating iron grille, warped by age. (Sketch here, not important.)

I hung off the iron grille to take some pictures, like I could leave such an interesting pattern alone. The building was only a single story tall, but being on an uneven hillock, the portion of the balcony was several feet above the ground that should be on level to it. And before it I could see all the way to the blue-tinged beach. The photos were charming. The reaction of our neighboring holidaymakers, who were an old couple, were decidedly confusing when I pocketed my thin phone. The husband, who looked and sounded English, asked me about it, and I remember explaining that my phone was a potato and takes poor pictures, but it's still a photo I wouldn't have had without it, which is something I do say in real life. They laughed at my phrasing, and didn't continue the question.

After lunch, I went to the western side of the building, which, unlike the open air balcony, the stairs leading up to the hallway/lobby, and the veranda and our two rooms, looked off-limits to the holiday-makers. I went in anyway. The only door leading their went into a small hallway, barely arms wide and double that long, with a large photo of a Portuguese looking man (don't ask me how I know, I should be able to identify genetic looks of the more, dare I say common countries around the world, but Portugal? I'm not sure) and a single chair and coffee-table. The room had no windows, and hence was darker, but there were two doors. One of them led south-west into the large kitchen, which had a backdoor and porch of its own. And the other one led east. It appeared to me that I was in the area where the residents and proprietors of the holiday-home lived. A young child, a girl, told me off for being here. She looked Portuguese too. She said her mother would be angry and quoted something vaguely and casually racist an European-Indian person her mother's age might've said...in a regional modernist 70s movie? I didn't think much of it. I did show her the photos I took, making the excuse I was looking for more opportunities. She didn't react in any unusual way at my phone.

But only then did I realize, in a typical dream-rationality-fashion, I was pretty much the only person in the entire town with a phone. I was pretty much the only person in the entire country with a portable electronic device. Even the funky looking radio on the coffee table in the private lobby was probably only electric and Bakelite-chunky.

I went back to the rest of my party, both "mine" and the "younger" ones, and we spent a day doing entirely conventional things. The only thing I remember, and I probably fast-forwarded the part in the dream too, who knows, is that the town had an unusual amount of European or otherwise foreign tourists, and even residents. The town I am speaking of has really no standout properties to warrant such an influx, there are better places for foreign tourists to go, surely.

The next morning, after breakfast, I deliberately went into the private lobby and found the girl again, doing her homework on the table. Her homework was dated June 1976. I remember looking for it, and not even batting an eye at the fact. Instead, I asked her about news. She was quite knowledgeable, and rightfully proud of it. She announced India joining the commonwealth earlier this year especially dramatically, and explained she wrote an essay about it, and that her mother disliked for "being too optimistic and glossing over facts," but her teacher and class liked it because it was short clear and read well. Well, the comment certain was written on her workbook, so why would I not believe her. She was now excited about the Olympics to be held in the capital and her mother has agreed to go there for the vacation. I tried to ask her about some more history, but he felt like it was a test and booted me out.

The sky darkened considerably later that morning. We didn't go out to shop for our requested dishes. We didn't go out to the beach either, and instead waited for another storm. I remember insisting "my" party to pack their belongings, just in case. We didn't really have any belonging other than my charger which I couldn't use anyway as it wouldn't fit in the flat slots. One of my cousins pocketed it.

The storm did hit. Nobody expected it to be that hard. I went around the holiday-home closing their many tall and thin windows before they break. But the grille-covered balcony had no way to be closed. It blew around the lounge chairs and stools. It blew in beachwood. There was much panic to recover them, but it seems despite not thinking much of the certainly uncharacteristic storm the proprietors and their cook insisted "we young people" (My original party, who were definitely the youngest members in the house leaving the little girl) go recover it, and didn't join in.

I certainly don't remember how the "story" bridges our return to that first incomplete resort-home with the fancy bathroom. But I resumed the dream there the next morning.

The surroundings were a right mess, with beachwood, torn palm leaves, tarpaulin, everywhere. Nobody seemed to have anything to say about anything in particular other than the impressive storm. We just made smalltalk as we walked back to the town and to our hotel. We were greeted by angry and worried older party members. They complained about not calling. I would've shown them my call logs but the charge had ran out. Funnily enough, my potato of a phone at least lasted two days of use, I remembered.

Then I woke up, and decided to write about it. Just finishing.

Tl;dr: So yeah. Apparently I just had an alt-history time-travel beach-vacation dream where India had only become independent and even then joined the commonwealth in the late 70s.

I'm pretty sure the only reason I have the date is because a popular regional (70s) rom-com had that year in a song. But I just checked and it was indeed an Olympic year! Fancy that. The rest, pretty dreamlike, I'd say.

Glad to have written all this down. Details of the buildings are already slipping, and that's also the only loss I'm worried about. What is with my dreams and architecture? I don't seem to care about that that much waking.

June 07 2015

Top 5 artists this week


June 06 2015

Review: Welcome to the Dungeon

June 03 2015

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Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark - Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'? (Sponsored)

May 31 2015

And here I thought, having seen the introductory videos of Soli and Jacquard and being thoroughly …

And here I thought, having seen the introductory videos of Soli and Jacquard and being thoroughly impressed inspired and excited by them, that what was on those two videos was all there was to it at this year's ATAP session.

I am so glad I was wrong.

Google I/O 2015 - A little badass. Beautiful. Tech and human. Work and love. ATAP.

Speaker(s): .mudge (aka Peiter) Zatko; Ivan Poupyrev; Rachid El Guerrab; Regina Dugan Description: Optimized for speed. Because we are, well, impatient. And ...

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Google I/O 2015 - A little badass. Beautiful. Tech and human. Work and love. ATAP.

Top 5 artists this week

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