Archive for January, 2009

Riddle me this…

Ponder this for awhile, and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.

[UPDATE] Did I say tomorrow? I meant… tomorrow after tomorrow.

As Ryan [MB] commented, those with a cellphone should take a look at Kaywa QR code reader – QR code is what you see above. There are in fact a number of different code formats, including ones that look like a beehive of hexagons or a series of circles. However, if you’ve ever looked at the labels or packaging for various foods and other sundries, you’ll most likely see a code much like above – a seemingly random collection of black and white pixels. Even the smallest of them can contain a lot more information than a best before date, including URLs. Some can even contain an image (there’s your Gibsonian cyberpunk moment of the day – escort ads that can “show” without getting into trouble. Or, fine. Kittens and puppies. The picture is of rainbows and ducklings.)

There are a handful of decoders for the iPhone, all of them capable of decoding more than just the QR code format, but they tend to be a little finicky. Currently, I’m getting the best results with BeeTagg.

And even if you don’t have a phone, you can still have a lot of fun making and decoding online. Here; go to this link, and then put the following URL in (it’s the address for the image above.)

Cool, right?

It’s possible that we don’t need this, but at the same time, I can’t help but think the uses are vast… up to and including pictures of dolphins covered in glitter. And really, they won’t take hold until people start thinking up some of those uses and acting on them. Got any good ideas?

"It would be unfortunate if I had to leave a garrison here."

via []

There’s not much to add really – I’ve always enjoyed Vancouver’s unique weather, and getting a week of fog has been a treat. I’m never sure how to describe it though – depending on the time of day, it varies between a Stephen King mist and a John Carpenter, pirate-zombie-filled fog, with threats of a Holmsian pea-souper.

I will say this though;

If you’re driving between here and Abbotsford… SLOW DOWN!

I was visiting friends in Chiliwack (makers of the fine fine Speedway Squad, no less) and as an experienced and comfortable driver, I was averaging 80-90kph in 110 zones. This was because brake lights were invisible a half klick ahead. This, nor the numerous crash scenes here and there, didn’t deter people from blowing by me at 120. Ess em arr tee.

Retro at the Rio – January line-up

The Rio continues to run their midnight series of classic double-bills. January features Cult Classics on Saturdays and Horror Nights on Fridays. We missed the first weekend of the year, but here’s how the rest of the month looks;

Friday, Jan. 9th – Night of the Living Dead / Day of the Dead
Saturday, Jan 10th – Blade Runner (1982 cut – ie Narrated version) / The Hunger

Friday, Jan. 16th – The Exorcist / The Wicker Man
Saturday, Jan. 17th – Harold and Maude / Withnail and I

Friday, Jan. 23rd – The Fly / Videodrome (Cronenberg Tribute)
Saturday, Jan. 24th – A Clockwork Orange / The Warriors

Friday, Jan. 30th – American Werewolf in London / The Howling
Saturday, Jan. 31th – Faster Pussycat Kill Kill / Vixen (Meyer Tribute)

All shows, obviously, start at midnight.

And, unconnected, but super awesome, is word has it that the Granville 7 Theatre, on Sunday, Jan. 18th, at 7PM, is showing Ghostbusters. Busting makes me feel good, so, y’know, I think I’ll go. See you there.

Introduction to Comic Book Production

In a town where you can learn to make everything from buttons to video games (and, oh, science and stuff), it takes a lot to stand out as particularly cool. Personally, learning to make comics ranks pretty high.

Local scribbler of note, Steve Rolston is rapidly filling up open spots for the three classes he’ll be teaching this year (starting as early as January 12th.) If you’re looking to learn something new or perhaps fill in a few blanks and remove the final hurtle to making your very own comicbook, perhaps this is for you.

In this course, students will be guided through the various stages of creating a four-page comic, including: script writing, character design, thumbnailing, penciling, inking, page structure, panel composition, and storytelling. Students will be using Adobe Photoshop software to add lettering and greytones to their artwork, and explore how to develop a plan for pursuing their personal aspirations within the medium of comics.

Students in this course should have strong drawing skills, and submit a small portfolio upon registering. Those with minimal drawing experience can take our other courses in Basic Drawing or 2D Animation before taking this course. You should budget approximately $50 for art supplies. This course is taught by an award-winning comic book artist whose credits include Emiko Superstar, The Escapists, One Bad Day, Pounded and Queen & Country.

Pre-requisites: Drawing portfolio (up to 6 samples of artwork)

Instructor: Steve Rolston

Monday evenings (12 Classes), 7:00-10:00pm
Fee (CDN): $595 (No GST)

2009 Start Dates:
January 12, May 11, September 14

Here’s a PDF overview of the course [pdf], which goes into even more detail than the link above.

Nuff said!

[UPDATE] It turns out, a friend of mine took Steve’s class a couple of years back, and I got to watch him put his four-page project together. Very cool stuff, which ultimately led to him being included in the latest Historyonics compliation comic (produced locally – lots of good stuff.)

From buried to drowning in 24 hours

Q: When do you get when you cross three weeks of snow and 4°C temperatures?

A: Vancouver soup.

I woke up this morning and stumbled outside to find that while my road continued to be a frosty railroad, the gutters had started to turn into lakes. And it ain’t over yet. In fact, the City of Vancouver is asking for a little civic sense of duty;

We’re asking for your help – if there is a catch basin [i.e. sewer grate -cas] in front of your property that hasn’t yet been cleared, please clear it off to help the water run off.

Also, to protect your property, make sure that your gutters, drains and any drains serving sunken patios or roof decks are clear. If you have a basement or garage, take any precious objects up off of the floor in case there is some flooding. If you’re concerned about snow on your roof, please do not clear it off yourself – hire a professional.

There are, according to the City webpage, 40,000 drains in Vancouver – even at a steady pace, there’s no way City crews can clear them all quick enough to avoid bigger trouble. So, grab a shovel, pretend your ten again, and go play in a puddle, yeah?

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