Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Links: August 29

Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch before Saturday Night Live.

Mashup of the songs Sunrise and Get Lucky. [link]

One or two Dune art themed Tumblrs I could understand, but there's enough to have a top 10 list? [link]

Braille sprung from an attempt to make a method for letting soldiers read in the dark. [link]

In Vietnam, the Ace of Spades was a psychological weapon. [link]

Winners and honorary mentions of the 2014 Bulwer Lytton horrible writing awards. [link]

The first Air Force One.

I wanna see this weapon fired. [link]

The real meaning of the pot calling the kettle black. [link]

Returning Star Wars to it's original version - A fan project.

A man talking about being shoved through the bottom of a river. [link]

Statements by Nick Offerman.

New games for the old Commodore 64. [link]

What airlines owe you when they strand you or your luggage. [link]

Koko the gorilla mourns the passing of Robin Williams. [link]

The only Pro-choice argument you'll ever need. [link]

ISIS slaughters Zoroastrians because one of them refused demands to convert to Islam. [link]

There's a great solar eclipse coming in 2017. [link]

Having the sex talk with a 9 year old. [link]

Seaworld's most rewarding and traumatic job. [link]

Norman Rockwell's reference photos. [link]

Bank of America's many court settlements and why I closed all my credit cards with them. [link]

Baby elephant learning to stand.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gandolf goes dark

We're sitting out on the front porch. I'm working on a project and Gandolf is just chillin'. A little kid up the street starts crying "dAAAdee DAaaDee DaaADY daaaaady DAAADDY..." and on like that for a couple of minutes. Finally, Gandolf says,
That's right, I put your daddy in a blender. AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
When Gandolf goes dark she goes fast and really dark.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scar Makeup

It's October 31 and you've just been invited to a Halloween party. Unfortunately, the closest thing you have to a costume is your Batman T-shirt. I have a quick fix for you. Find a local stage makeup store and get a bottle of Mehron Rigid Collodion.
The bottle I saw online was different. This is the same stuff, though.
What you do with this stuff depends on how you want the scar to look. I wanted a simple slash down the face that looks like it happened many years ago. OK, I wanted to try it without getting into coloring and stuff. Same thing. What you see in the picture below is six layers of Rigid Collodion.

The stuff dries pretty fast, so it won't take long to get this done.
The first layer doesn't make much impact, but you can feel your skin is kinda stiff and moves differently than it did. And there's a shiny line running down your face.
The second layer, once dry, leaves a dent running down your face.
The third layer starts to look like a gouge. Layers 4-6 make it deeper.
I added layers 7-9 to the bottom of the scar after I took this picture and it make it a touch deeper. I was working from the top down so I had a full brush at the top and less full at the bottom. So there was some touching up to do.

Right there, you have a Halloween costume that took 10-15 min to do. If you want to make it more involved you could add makeup a few shades paler than your skin to lighten it up for an older scar. Or some red to make it look fresh.
If you put it on before you put the scar makeup on then the makeup will be protected and may look more real. Put some powder on it to take off the shine.

I saw some video where someone put on about thirty layers. I'm not sure their scar was much better than mine. Can't find it now, of course.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Links: August 22

George Takei talking about his time in an Internment Camp. [link]

How the sun sees you.

Outbreak tracker. [link]

Self assembling robot swarms.

The Wright Brothers (and sister) and some of their later models. [link]

Computer maps a model's face and projects onto it even as she moves. [link]

Bird deaths due to solar tower being investigated. []
Yes, this is the solar tower featured in Fallout: New Vegas.

Viking ship found by Mississippi River. [link]
Declared winners of 990 Hide and Seek Championship.

What happens when cops wear cameras. [link]

Don Pardo, the Saturday Night Live announcer passed away Monday at age 96. [link]

Where Americans have moved, if they move, in the last century. [link
Starting removal of the John Hancock Building's west antenna. Just a bit of vertigo for you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


One of the things I'm having problems with in my makeup skills is smoothing the tissue. If I have to build up my tissue to build a welt or a claw or attach something to myself or just try to turn a lump of cotton back into something like skin I need to be able to smooth it out so it doesn't look like I'm masking a horrible rash. Generally, I'm making it look like I've got much bigger problems than a rash, but I want the rash gone. To practice, I decided to recreate something I saw online a few years ago that required attaching a zipper to my face. Here's the results.

I attached the zipper with spirit gum. I found out that I need to work on doing that, too.
I put a layer of latex on the zipper and face to help secure things and stick down edges.
The next layer held some tissue paper in place to try to build some tissue right away. But the tissue paper wrinkles no matter how hard I fight it.
The third layer of latex coated the tissue paper to hold it down.
The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth layers of latex were to build up the surface and smooth the transition from zipper fabric to face. Each layer takes forever to dry. If I'm doing 20 layers I need a life cast of my head to build it on before I transfer to myself.
I stopped there because it was getting late and I'd been working on this for 5-6 hours.
The red makeup was put on between layers 6 and 7 because I had time to kill. A bit of black was blended into the edges and a bit of white blended in on the tip of my nose and chin trying to make it look like there was some bone nearing the surface.
The flesh tone was applied after layer 8 was dry enough. I put some powder on first to make the latex a bit less sticky. The flesh coloring is just what seemed closest to my skin in my beginners kit.

I think I may put the next thing on a piece of glass and build it up there before transferring it to my face. That way I can build it up over several days. Maybe another zipper and I can work on making a Slitheen forehead zipper.

The removed zipper looks kinda dirty. My face makeup is still kinda creepy, though. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Links: August 15

Pictures of the abandoned Cincinnati subway tunnels. [link]

Matrix action sequence with 8-bit game audio.

There's a gun on the ISS and the Russians control it. [link]

"Muppet Thor" a short comic story. [link]

Authors coming to the Library of Congress Book Fest later this month. [link]

Doctors talk about their most oblivious patients. [link]

Quotes from Discworld books. [link]
The last one I've quoted here once or twice around Christmas.

A bunch of close calls.

Getting rid of lesbians in the Army could cause problems. [link]

Rate of un-vaccinated by state. [link]

Tennessee drug tests welfare applicants. So far only 1 out of 800 have tested positive. [link]

The evolution of scissors. [link]

Fetuses really are tumors. [link]
So we might get to the sci-fi world of all babies coming from vats because it's healthier for both fetus and woman. 

Frozen steak vs thawed steaks.

Robin Williams was suffering from the early stages of Parkinson's. [link]

Ambient sci-fi sounds. [link]

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Movie PreReview: Avengers 2 - Age of Ultron

I was in the comic book store the other day and found the Age of Ultron graphic novel.  It's not an old storyline. The original comics came out in early 2013 which makes me wonder if the whole thing was written with the movie in mind. Then I have to slap down my own doubts when I see that the comic is not an Avengers comic. It spans much of the Marvel Universe. Major rewrites would have to be done since they can't use Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, or the X-Men in the Avengers movie. From what I've heard, they're even having to change who originally built Ultron from Hank Pym to Tony Stark since the Ant Man movie won't be coming out until after Avengers 2.

In the comics, Ultron is an AI created by Hank Pym (Ant Man) who various Marvel heroes, but mainly The Avengers, have been fighting since the late '60s. Destroyed again and again, he keeps coming back in new bodies. In this storyline, the body of a Spaceknight (not necessarily ROM's Spaceknights) is unearthed and Ultron wakes up inside it. He manages to elude the heroes. The comic then skips ahead to about six months after the Earth, the whole Earth, was attacked simultaneously and conquered in about eight and a half minutes. Most of the heroes are dead. Wolverine (X-Men) and Susan Storm Richards (Fantastic Four) go back in time and kill Hank Pym. When they return home they find that without Hank's help and without Ultron's creation, a robot Avenger named Vision, some key battles went poorly and the world is on the brink of being destroyed by the winner of the Asgard/Latveria (Thor/Dr Doom) War. So they have to go back and not-kill Hank Pym and figure out how to fix things.

As you can see, there's been very little mention of Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, or Agent Coulson. In fact, it's been almost exclusively heroes yet to be introduced and heroes whose rights are in the hands of other studios. Our Avengers are there, just not major enough to be part of a one paragraph summary. So major rewrites were needed.

Honestly, this is not a must-read graphic novel. It's there for those unwilling to wait until 2015 for the movie. If you get it, you may also want to look for the Age of Ultron Companion. It collects other titles and tells their shorter stories about actions taken to fight back against the initial Ultron invasion.

note: It should be stated that the comics took place while Doctor Octopus's mind was still in the body of Spiderman. I didn't follow the storyline closely, but from what I've seen Doc Ock made for a good hero.