Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Great Jonny Quest Documentary

One of my favorite animated series of all time is the original 1960’s Jonny Quest. Not the bullshit 80’s “New Adventures.” Not the overly PC 90’s “Real Adventures.” It’s good ol’ guys-with-guns, jet packs, and a body count 60’s version, or nothing. Today we’d call it atompunk, but I prefer the Venture Brother‘s term “super science”. What really sets the original show apart from anything at the time, or since, is Doug Wildey‘s artwork. Wildey was a comic book artist, and transferred that stylized realistic style to the screen, where it worked fabulously.

Classic Quest fan, Chris Webber, found a posted a documentary about the origins and production of the 60’s show. I haven’t finished watching it, but from I’ve seen it’s a great piece of animation scholarship.

The film is available on YouTube in 20+ parts (first of which is after the jump), as a download from as 108(!) RapidShare downloads from Chris Webber’s site,
and as an excruciatingly slow torrent. (Guess which one I recommend?)

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Football Hero

Make highlights Phil Clandillon and Steve Milbourne of Sony Music UK, latest project Football Hero. (Behind the scenes video after the jump.) Football Hero is a a copy of the open source clone of Guitar Hero, Frets on Fire, and series of pressure sensors. Soccer players kick balls against the sensors in time with the music.

Yeah, it’s a viral video to promote Kasabian’s new single, but this is pretty cool.

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Number Stations

Besides jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, one of my other unquenchable fascinations is number stations. Why? They’re terribly creepy. Then you learn they’re for honest to god spies.

If you’re not familiar with number stations, they’re shortwave radio stations that regularly broadcast literally cryptic sequences of numbers or letters. Triangulation indicates that some of these stations are typically located on air force bases and other military installations around the world. The number sequences are believed to be one-time-pad messages sending instructions to clandestine agents somewhere in the world. By using shortwave, not only can you broadcast halfway around the world, but building a receiver in-situ is very easy.

When I listen to recordings of these stations, with all the pops, whistles, distortions, and the mechanized voice repeating cryptic sequences I get unsettled. I don’t know why. It’s just bizarre.

Radio Free Berkeley Transmitters

Radio Free Berkeley is selling radio transmitters (Brand new obsolete NTSC tv transmitters are also available.) Ruggedized, and small enough to be concealed, the 40W version can transmit 8 – 10 miles.

With one of these and Yuri Suzuki’s QR codes you could create a pretty cool number station.

Video after the jump.

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Kisawings

Kisa Kawakami has designed for the Japanese interior design store Yamagiwa, a ceiling lamp [Google Translate] that allows the owner to play with light and shadow by folding the gauze panels that surround the bulb.

I guess what attracted me to this design was the simple lines of each of the panels, the central lighting hood, and the idea that owner can easily play with light and shadow.

Because of the inherent dynamism of the wings I think it might be interesting if the wings slowly moved over the course of the night, causing the artificial light to move around the room, mimicking how sunlight moves around the room during the course of the day.

This lamp can be yours for only 93,500¥ ($1,014).