Star Wars Downunder, a fan made film by Michael Cox

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

It’s a fan made film, so I know you sometimes need to be in the right place, at the right time, to hear about these sorts of things, but I’m still not sure how I missed Star Wars Downunder. Made by filmmaker Michael Cox in 2013, “Downunder” brings a distinctly Australian taste, in the form of beer no less, to the popular sci-fi saga.

See the full film here, 30 minutes in length, or take a look at the trailer for a preview.

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Visual representations of spoken words, that’s greentings

Wednesday, 28 September, 2016

Artwork by Jenny Green

Birmingham based designer and creative Jenny Green’s greentings project is a visual representation of well known, day to day, expressions. The trick, when you go the greentings Instagram page, is to guess what the image means before you click on it, to see the title. A fun idea, if ever there were one. See more of her work on Behance.

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Abridged classics, uh-oh, spoilers ahead

Friday, 9 September, 2016

Illustration by John Atkinson

Ottawa based cartoonist John Atkinson’s illustration series succinctly breaks down the plots of classic novels, into a short sentence. How handy.

How about Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen? I’ve had difficulty picking it up again since Sir Thomas returned from Antigua, and spoiled everyone’s fun.

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Think your job is tough? Try being a human skateboard for a day

Monday, 5 September, 2016

Being a human skateboard. That’s got to be a tough gig. Take a look, and see what I mean.

This is in fact an advert, dating from 2007 – that I’ve only seen for the first time now, I think – made by PES, a film production company that specialises in stop motion work.

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Rock music during the time of the Star War’s Galactic Empire

Thursday, 18 August, 2016

Rolling Stone album cover, artwork by Superfi

What if planet Earth had become part of the Star Wars Galactic Empire? What would be the impact on our day to day lives? Would we be better off, or worse, that we are now?

ABBA album cover, artwork by Superfi

And what about the arts? And music? How would being an actual part of the Star Wars universe, have influenced our favourite musicians? This is the way Superfi thinks it may have been

Sex Pistols album cover, artwork by Superfi

(Thanks Erastus)

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Are aliens trying to extinguish a star so we can’t see them?

Thursday, 11 August, 2016

Tabby’s Star, or KIC 8462852, to use its Kepler Input Catalog title, has been making headlines in recent months, on account of mysterious fluctuations in its brightness. Explanations have varied. Some astronomers think a swarm of comets orbit the star, dimming its light.

Others have suggested a Dyson Sphere, a large, artificial, structure that harnesses a star’s energy, may be present. Something that would point to the presence of extraterrestrial life. Further recent research into the star’s unusual behaviour, concludes that yes, the star is acting strangely, but still no reason is forthcoming.

Michael Byrne, writing for Motherboard, may have stumbled upon the answer, though. An alien intelligence is, you see, trying to extinguish the star:

Knowing that aliens are succeeding in quenching KIC 8462852 at a rate of approximately .34 percent per year, we have to ask why they are shutting down a primary energy source. The obvious answer is that they’ve realized that we Earthlings are on to them and are reentering this dimension via a sort of astroengineered “death star” portal-vessel to deal with the perceived threat (us!), but given that KIC 12557548’s distance from Earth is over 2,000 light-years, we have to ask how they would even know? How aliens determined that they were being observed by humans before humans even had telescopes or cars will without a doubt be the astrophysical mystery of the coming decades.

Remember, you heard it here first.

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You ain’t Instagramed until you’ve Instagramed in 18th century

Tuesday, 9 August, 2016

Getting those likes on Instagram posts can be a challenge for many of us. But spare a thought for people living in the eighteenth century, trying to use the then version of the photo sharing and social networking service.

A picture of a meal someone was about to eat, for instance, first needed first to be painted. By a painter. Then servants would have to haul the finished work around the town and its environs, soliciting likes. How cumbersome.

Ok, so it’s actually an IKEA advert, but it’s still fun.

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When I leave school, I want to be a piece of jelly sitting in a fridge

Friday, 29 July, 2016

In my final years at high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do for work, or a career. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever known, I just somehow ended up where I am now.

That’s not the case for a seventeen year old Scottish girl who wants to be “chilling in your fridge” as… gelatine, in Rubber Guillotine, a short film by Bryan M Ferguson.

There’s a bit of strong language here, in case that might be an issue where ever you are.

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To stay, or not to stay, to the end of a film’s credit roll

Friday, 8 July, 2016

Should you stay in a cinema to watch the credit roll of a film all the way to the end, or not? Some people believe it is polite to do so, and see it as a way of acknowledging the work put in by everyone involved in its production.

Fair point. There’s also the chance you might be treated to an Easter egg, or a short post-credit roll scene from the movie, if you stay back.

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One day I went to lunch and never came back, on Mars

Tuesday, 31 May, 2016

It’s one thing to lose your job, but to lose your job in a place you cannot possibly leave, is another matter all together. This is the predicament that an explorer of Mars – who was sent to the red planet on a one way, no return trip ever, sort of undertaking – finds himself in. Thus you have the premise for Fired on Mars, a short film by Nick Vokey and Nate Sherman.

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