27 March, 2009
You need to have access to a scanner (obviously), but the process is quite simple. Download a handwriting sample template from their site. Complete and scan to a jpeg image. Upload the scanned image and voila! - font created! You can then download the font and install it. Takes all of about 10 minutes. The site will create a True-Type font that can be used on either Windows, Mac, or Linux computers.
Here's a sample of the font I created from my own handwriting:
It's a little pixelated 'cause I don't gotz no mad photoshop skillz, but you get the general idea.
Cool and free*: a winning combination!
* Free for the time being...they're planning on beginning to charge when they've hit the 250k mark on free fonts, so get yours while the getting is good!
I'm aware of a couple of previous attempts to create an animated version of this beloved book (one by Disney and John Lasseter), but nothing ever came of them. I also remember that Sendak wrote the libretto for an opera (premiered in 1980) composed by Scottish composer Oliver Knussen based on the book. According to Wikipedia, there was also a ballet and a musical.
Obviously Sendak's story and illustrations make for stimulating artistic inspiration. But the illustrations are so imaginative and fantastic that it's kind of hard to imagine them translated into "live action". I imagine that's why Disney considered an animated version. I seem to recall that in addition to the libretto, Knussen's opera also had set & costume design overseen by Sendak in an effort to ensure their faithfulness to his original vision. I do recall seeing the sets and some of the costumes and thinking that a reasonably good job was done there.
Upon hearing that a live-action film was in the works, I was hopeful that, whether or not Sendak was involved (he's in his 80's now), the producers and director (Spike Jonze) would pay careful attention to ensuring that the design kept pace with the original. The trailer posted at Apple certainly looks promising. Although the "sets" are actual locations, the costuming looks marvelous and a particularly good rendition of Sendak's drawings. I think I'm looking forward to the October 2009 release.
26 March, 2009
A 62-year-old Norwegian woman decided to take up golf as a sport/hobby. After some lessons she went to the first tee, swung, and got a hole in one. First day, first hole, first swing. "I didn't know it was that big of a deal,'' she told the St. Petersburg Times. "I thought all golfers do this.''
25 March, 2009
24 March, 2009
Matt Harding is a young man with a perhaps odd, but nevertheless amazing story. He traveled the world videotaping himself dancing.
I know, it sounds kind of freaky. But the reality is far from it. He didn't just stand in front of a camera and dance (although that's what he actually did on his first trip around Asia), he invited locals to dance with him. And the results are simply amazing.
If you can make it through that video without getting a little emotional, there's something wrong with you. As members of the species homo sapiens, we share a commonality greater than all of our differences. Laughter, art, music, and dance are a few of the ways we express this commonality and Matt's projects highlight all of these in a particularly compelling manner.
I found three "locations" (in this particular video) especially interesting:
Solomon Islands: because the children dancing with him appear to be enjoying themselves so much and Matt is apparently laughing too hard to continue dancing.
DMZ, N. Korea: because Matt is dancing alone in front of a motionless, expressionless N. Korean guard. Kind of says it all...
Gurgaon, India: Music and dance as a universal language. Beautiful.
There are more videos and stories both from Matt and some of the other dancers available at Matt's website. This is a unique story, but it deals with a part of human nature that we all share...
23 March, 2009
Yes, now you too can wear the signature scent of James Tiberius Kirk, or don the fear-tinged aroma of the hapless red shirt guy:
There will be three different fragrances. Tiberius is described as "difficult to define and impossible to refuse," according to Genki. It smells of sweet citron zest, black pepper, cedar, warm vanilla, white musk, and sandalwood. The hell? OK, scratch this one. Not nearly manly enough.
Next up is "Red Shirt," with the tagline "Because Tomorrow May Never Come" (LOL! Get it? Cause they always get killed...ahem). This one has base notes of leather and gray musk. Now we're talking. Although, what the hell does gray musk smell like exactly? Might want to research that before you buy.
Lastly is "Pon Farr." This one is actually for the ladies and is said to "drive him wild." Hmmm, you probably won't want to use this on any guys dressed as Klingons. Or maybe you do, if you're into that sorta thing.
Just the thing for the love-starved Trekkie. 'Cause nothing says, "Man, I am so gonna get lucky tonight!" like Star Trek cologne...
17 March, 2009
12 March, 2009
06 March, 2009
In Brazil, a 9-year-old girl was raped and, improbably enough for her age, became pregnant as a consequence (with twins, no less). Abortion is illegal in Brazil, but judges can order them if certain circumstances obtain (life of the mother in danger, etc). In this circumstance, doctors at the hospital confirmed that her uterus was too small to carry the children to term safely and so an abortion was approved.
But the Catholic Church, quite influential in a country where the majority of citizens profess to be Roman Catholic, objected. The Church, in the person of the local Archbishop, actually attempted legal action to intervene and prevent the abortion. The Catholic Church attempted to force a nine-year-old girl to carry and deliver the children of her rapist. In a win for decency, if nothing else, they lost and the young girl was allowed to terminate the pregnancies.
The lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife had the utter gall to state that the girl should have carried the twins to term and then they could have been delivered by cesarean section. As if this insane statement weren't bad enough, when the Church failed and the abortion went through as planned, the archbishop of the diocese actually excommunicated the girl, her family, and the medical staff that assisted.
This is nothing less than utter madness and unconscionable moral degeneracy. One is forced to wonder, upon reading of such an horror, if these....things....can even be called human, so little humanity is present in their words and actions. How does the thinking of a man become so twisted, so detached from common moral decency that he could even for a nanosecond consider forcing a nine-year-old child to carry a pregnancy to term? How is it possible for a man to consider a clump of cells the moral equivalent of a living, breathing innocent? If the rape weren't enough of an ordeal for this poor child, these evil, evil men would have forced her to risk her life and health for the nine-month duration of pregnancy, and then force her again to submit to life and health-threatening surgery so that she could be...what? a baby-making machine? She would certainly be unable to mother the children, being literally only a child herself? Didn't their "Christ" preach compassion? What in hell were these monsters thinking?
As I've said before, these are the natural consequences of death-worship. The Church likes to style itself as pro-life, but as these types of situations reveal, they are anything but. This is nothing less than anti-life. In their rejection of reason, they have rejected humanity and human values and thus any possibility of morality. As a result, they blunder towards the abyss, dragging their fellow travelers and luckless innocents along with them.
I feel sorry for the girl, her family, and their medical caregivers as they will likely have to endure some stigma attached to the (in reality) vacuous label of excommunicant. Hopefully the experience will be enough to reveal to them the truly evil nature of the ideology that could lead men to attempt to enslave and inflict horrific violence upon an innocent child, and empower them to reject it and embrace their own human nature as the only real source of true moral value.