Jul 23, 2010

Darth Vader Robs Bank

...wearing camo pants?

The video doesn't have sound, but if it did, we would hopefully have heard this conversation:

Teller: "Next? OMG--you have a lightsaber! Oh, wait, that's just a gun. Lame."
Vader: "I find your lack of fear disturbing. Give me your money."
Teller: "I don't have much cash...I just put my drawer away for lunch."
Vader: "Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate you."
Teller: "Can you say 'Luke, I am your father'?"
Vader: "No."
Teller: "Why are you wearing camo pants? Only you could be so bold." (Vader looks down) "You know, you are unwise to lower your defenses."

(Vader looks back up,
thankful that the teller has instructed him on how to better pull off a

Vader: "The force is strong with this one."

Jul 22, 2010

Seriously, Squirrel, I Only Like You as a Friend

I have never kissed a squirrel. But now, I can come closer than I ever thought possible.

Though, actually, I think the experience would be more like giving the squirrel CPR.

And it only costs $760!

The End of History from BrewDog on Vimeo.

h/t Aaron [...how do you find this crap?]

P.S. I'm filing this under 'nature', because that seems appropriate.

When The Universe Explodes

I have just learned through the interwebs that the universe is about to explode. That's right. The universe. Explosion. Everyone will die...


That, of course, makes no sense. Neither do I at the moment. A healthy dose of Nyquil, coffee, little sleep, and more coffee will do that. No matter.

Everyone (or at least someone besides me?) knows that there is a new Muppet movie in the making. Some people (I know it from puppet forums...yes, puppet forums!) know that Jason Segel--acclaimed puppeteer/fan--is writing/starring in it.

That's right. The three coolest things ever--Disney, Pixar, and the Muppets--were all in the same place at the same time. If only Boba Fett were there and they were all in the middle of a Civil War reenactment. I can keep dreaming.

Nevertheless, my mind is going to explode. The universe is going to explode.


Jul 21, 2010

Now Comes a Cheetah


Starting next week is the every-year-much-anticipated SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) conference on computer graphics. Since all the technical papers involve math, and since I like math, I downloaded some.

Yeah. About that. I haven't done cool math in three years now, so I get about two pages in before being confused. Curses.

However, SIGGRAPH is known for being the place where people display awesome new stuff, like this:

Lagoa Multiphysics 1.0 - Teaser from Thiago Costa on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, I will be across the pond during the event, so I won't be attending. Hopefully next year.

Anyway, it's worth checking out all the submissions. Cutting edge technology is so groovy!

Jul 18, 2010

Despicable (pr. Des-pick-ah-bley)

Just saw Despicable Me with some friends. It was super creative and very sweet movie. Steve Carell as Gru was well animated, as were the minions.

And, Agnes is the cutest character in an animated film since Boo.

Jul 17, 2010

Another Lion and Some Words on Tablets

Recently, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a tablet for my computer. I had been thinking about it for a long time, but I was never willing to drop the dough. I saw one of the lower-end versions for sale, though, and I pounced.

Now I'm in love.

The model I chose was the Wacom Bamboo Fun. It's incredibly simple to use, and surprisingly, easy to get used to. With GIMPShop, I drew yet another lion.

Jul 14, 2010

An Elephant!

Title says it all.

Boba Fett? Top Hat? I Like It!

What would happen if you put Star Wars into Victorian England? Greg Peltz knows! Original idea of Chewbacca/John Singer Sargent was by Robert Mackenzie.


Why Do I Keep Drawing Lions?

I need to prep myself for going to Africa in two weeks, so I'm trying to hone my animal drawring skills. And I'm going to start taking malaria pills. And I need to think about packing.

I keep drawing lions, though.

Jul 12, 2010

One More Thing, Not Really on the Topic of Ambrose Burnside, But Kind Of

For anyone interested, here's Uncle George:

And here's a card for his curio shop:

Light Studies

One thing that I know I need a lot of work on is how light affects a work of art. I've been looking a lot at the work of Dice Tsutsumi, which is full of brilliantly executed light. So I decided to try a few light studies. They aren't great, but they're a start.


Not a meeting doodle, since I didn't do it in a meeting. I did it at lunch. From a photo...

How Ambrose Burnside Entered My Life

Ambrose Burnside

Ambrose Burnside. The man--nay, legend--who bestowed the word 'sideburns' upon the English language. Described by Bruce Catton thusly:

[H]e was modest; in an army many of whose generals were insufferable prima donnas, Burnside never mistook himself for Napoleon. Physically he was impressive: tall, just a little stout, wearing what was probably the most artistic and awe-inspiring set of whiskers in all that bewhiskered Army. He customarily wore a high, bell-crowned felt hat with the brim turned down and a double-breasted, knee-length frock coat, belted at the waist—a costume which, unfortunately, is apt to strike the modern eye as being very much like that of a beefy city cop of the 1880s.

He epically lost the Battle of Fredericksburg. He epically lost the Battle of the Crater. In fact, he just wasn't a very good general.

However, for whatever leadership skills he lacked, Ambrose Burnside made up for them by being a master gunsmith.

OK--maybe 'master gunsmith' is too much. But we was a gunsmith, and he created, in 1857, one of the finest Union carbines of the war. In fact, he left the Army in order to perfect the gun (and became a general--and the head of the Army of the Potomac--due to the gun's, and thereby his own, name recognition).

So where do I come in?

Well, this past weekend was the annual Sauerman Family Reunion, held at the old family farm. My Great Great Uncle George (my great-granfather's brother) was the proprietor of the Sauerman Curiosity Shop, in addition to being the seven-time international hay champion. He collected random items from far and wide, including an old pony express saddle, an alligator skin, a collection of bird eggs (including a giant ostrich one that we still have today), and a pair of klogs. Additionally, he must've acquired a gun.

Yes, that's right. Cousin Jack--feeling the need to return to the farm what had once been a part of it (he took it when the family was dividing up George's belongings after he died in 1954--he had never had children)--brought us a fifth model, 1863, working-condition Burnside carbine.

Now, I can put it alongside my (inauthentic) Civil War muskets. All I wonder, though, is what the gun's story is. The Sauermans came to the States in 1854, and some of them may have joined up in the Civil War. The gun might've seen real action. It might've been held by a relative so long ago.

Unfortunately, Uncle George is long gone, and Jack never learned the story. My grandpa didn't recognize the gun at all. So, it looks like the mystery may be lost to time. In the meanwhile, however, I now have a really, really cool toy.

Jul 6, 2010

Zoo Sketches

Yesterday was great. Having returned from my hometown where I had spent the Fourth with family and friends, I went with some of the same friends to the Lincoln Park Zoo, where they took photos and I sketched.

Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Red Kangaroo

Jul 4, 2010

Happy B-Day America!

Today, the U.S.A. turns 234. It's been quite a ride, and, God willing, it will keep going for many more. Peggy Noonan has a poignant article about one of the changes made to Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, understanding not only the theoretical but also the personal impact separation would have on the American and British peoples.

He wrote against "our British brethren" for, through their government, sending not only "soldiers of our own blood" but "foreign Mercenaries to invade and destroy us....These facts have given the last stab to agonizing affection, and manly spirit bids us renounce [them] forever....We must endeavor to forget our former love for them."

And then: "We might have been a free and great people together."

How heart-wrenching! What might have been were this not a day to celebrated in the manner it is? The world will never know, and very likely, it is better for our rupture. But in 1776 it was not a foregone conclusion to be splitting with your countrymen, forgetting your former love, and moving forward with a new understanding of your own destiny.

We have moved forward, and that understanding has only deepened through Civil War, civil strife, and Cold Wars and World Wars.

Happy Fourth, everyone!