Moodle.net is dead, the end of an era

Way back when the internet was just text pages and marketing had not yet taken over everything, I bought moodle.net and put up my very first website. It had an animated GIF for the front page and everyTHANG.

“moodle” was a handle I had chosen back in 1996 when I joined one of the first Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) on the young web, Bitstream Underground (BSU), where I had made lovely friends that I still have today. Moodle.net became a place where I tested out my web design skills, and put up stuff that amused me.

I did hard coding for moodle.net, but I eventually discovered blogging platforms and I moved on to blogger and livejournal. I kept moodle as my email all the way up until 2008 until I sold moodle.net domain to the gentleman who authored the moodle programming language. I kept charlene@moodle.net and he provided a forward to my new domains. But nowadays I have become theredheadsaid as my online identity, and sadly the moodle.net email has become a spam magnet, having been on the intertubez for 13 years. So i made the decision today to pull the plug on my moodle.net identity.

Goodbye moodle.net, I have loved ye.

 

Bill Plympton: Independently Animated

If you attended the lecture from animator Bill Plympton at Museum of the Moving Image the other night, the word that is indelibly burned into your brain is INDEPENDENT. Plympton was joined by David Levy, his friend and co-author of the new book about his life and art, Bill Plympton: Independently Animated.
Plympton started work as an illustrator back in the 70s, but it wasn’t until he released his 1991short “Your Face” the world finally got a taste of his twisted visual animated humor.

I myself first discovered Plympton back in the 90s, through the excellent Spike and Mike Twisted Animation Festivals.

I am a big fan of abstract humor, be it verbal or physical, so Plympton hits the right spot with me. He’s also got a great sense of how to use every plane of space in an animation. A great example is his Guard Dog series. The dog is all exploding mouth and buggy eyes, flinging himself into all four corners of the screen.

… 

 

Criteria for a new name

If you’ve seen my name, you know it’s a big Polish bag of consonants. I’ve been thinking about changing it since I came back from living in California. I had left both a job and a man i’d been with for six years, and left a state. I was starting over, and I thought it might be good to start with a new name.

I wanted a name that was kind of stylish. I toyed with using my late brother’s middle name (Jerome) as my last name. Sadly, any name I came up with sort of sounded like a stripper’s name. … 

 

The most beautiful animation you will see this year

A good song, an emotive dance, an expressive drawing.
All beautiful things in their own right. But imagine them fused in one package and you have the following video from Pixar animator Ryan Woodward. From his website, conteanimated, he says

The birth of “Thought of You” came from my desire to unite several of my passions into one art piece. Figurative works, 2d animation, EFX animation, and contemporary dance. Put all three of these forms together to support a theme centered around the complexities of intimate relationships…and voila, “Thought of You” is born!

Rather than creating a narrative animated piece that communicates a well defined story, this piece allows for each individual who views it to to experience something unique and personal that touches their own sensibilities.

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

Watch it yourself a few times and see what you think. Everyone sees something different. I must have viewed it 30 times and I’m STILL finding little details in it!

But after you’ve watched it a few times, try these things:

  • Watch it without sound
  • Focus on the man
  • Focus on the woman
  • Focus on their connection points when they touch
  • Focus on their shadows
  • Focus on the many ways the girl escapes from the man
  • Focus on the many ways the girl EXPLODES
  • Freeze the animation periodically to take in the drawn lines
  • Focus on the hand positions of both of them (dancer’s hands are so expressive, such a delight that Ryan paid attention to them!)
  • Focus on the little animated extras Ryan has included
  • Wonder why the man doesn’t become white at the end
 

Mashup du Jour: Mashed in Plastic

On my quest for ever more mashups, I started looking for mashups for artists I liked. While searching for Bowie, I discovered a Bowie/Tori Amos mashup that I posted previously. But I checked with the person who made it (Was Audio) and found to my delight that he’d made an ENTIRE ALBUM of David Lynch/tinged mashups, with dialogue thrown in.

It’s a free download you can get here. You can get it two ways: 18 independent tracks with video, or two extended tracks that work as one long mix. I’m currently listening to the 2 long tracks, but also downloading the 18 tracks because I want to see the video.

There are a few amazing tracks in there, mostly in the B side/second batch. I don’t even want to tell you about them, I want you to be surprised! But I really like #5, #11, #12 and #14 right now. #17 ALMOST works, but it sounds a little off in my head.

This is really making me itchy to see Lost Highway, which I’ve never seen, and is in my Netflix Queue right now!

Let me know what you think!

 

Sesame Street Muppets: geniuses in timing

So, i have a great love of movies with physical comedy, and timing. A well-timed look, or movement can be funnier than an entire monologue.

It occurred to me that the genesis of this was Jim Henson’s muppets on Sesame Street. For example, this classic video. The way the muppets bounce, the way they zip off screen in time to the music, the way the fat blue muppet’s mouth scrunches up to keep the monster back at the last verse. It’s all simple and genius.

A modern take on physical comedy are the Umbilical Brothers, an Australian duo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA5clDG52jw

 

The SmithsProject: one woman, 42 Smiths songs, and thousands of vocal layers

You don’t often hear Smiths covers and I think it’s because they’re just so perfect as they are that no one even bothers (although, if you live in NYC have a chance to see Coney Island Swan Dive do a bluegrass version of How Soon is Now, it’s sublime!) However, Janice Whaley has taken on the challenge in her The Smiths Project. But it’s not just a Smiths cover project. No, that would be too easy. She has covered 42 songs in the Smith’s catalog, with her voice as the only instrument. Some songs are more successful than others. Some sound just like a capella versions. But judge for yourself.Use the widget below to listen to any song. Some of my favorites are How Soon is Now, Shoplifters of the World Unite and Last NIght I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me. iTunes sell music Quantcast

 

You’re a real New Yorker if…

I was just made aware of this How I Met Your Mother episode in which they say what they think makes a “real” New Yorker:

So we’ve got:

  • 1. Stole a cab from someone who needed it
  • 2. Saw a Woody Allen movie
  • 3. Killed a cockroach with their bare  hands

I would add the following

  • Had a homeless guy masturbate in front of you on the subway
  • Yelled out the window for someone in the street to shut the fuck up.
  • Lived in an apartment with a cube fridge
  • Paid to have your laundry picked up
  • Start avoiding Times Square because of the tourists
  • You don/t go see the ball drop on New Year’s eve