Archive for the ‘cool’ Category

Calvin and Hobbes   1 comment

yukon ho

Some fantastic person (specifically, Nite4awk, AKA freelance photographer Michael S. Den Beste) took illustrations from Calvin and Hobbes and placed the characters into some gorgeous real-life photographs.

These are simply too stupendously awesome not to share.

autumn treehouse

mutant snowmen

living room

log over river

spiff

As I was admiring these things, I couldn’t help but think of ways that some of them could be improved even further, and I couldn’t resist throwing them into Photoshop and sprucing them up a little. The following were composed by Den Beste, with a few small embellishments added by myself. Full credit for these belongs to him (and of course to Bill Watterson for drawing the comic in the first place).

snow art

Added color to the comic panels and shadows to the snowmen.

giant city

Added fire and smoke in Giant Calvin’s wake.

tracer bullet

Faded the smoke wafting away from the cigarette.

wagon pond

Added reflections in the water for the cartoons.

You can see all of Nite4awk’s Calvin and Hobbes images in this gallery, including a few others I didn’t post here. He also has a blog where he’ll hopefully be posting more of these in the future.

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Gay marriage comes to Maine   Leave a comment

Portland Press Herald: Maine same-sex couples begin license process at 12:01 am

The legal barrier dismantled by November’s vote, same-sex couples line up to “make it official”

By Kelley Bouchard

PORTLAND — Michael Snell and Steven Bridges emerged from City Hall early Saturday and stepped into history, as the first of at least a dozen gay couples across Maine who exchanged wedding vows on the first day for same-sex partners to marry.

Forty-four couples obtained marriage licenses in the 10 or so communities from Portland to Bangor that opened their clerk’s offices as early as midnight for the special occasion. Fourteen were married almost immediately in city or town halls, while a few others were planning private ceremonies Saturday.

Bridges and Snell had been united in a commitment ceremony six years ago, so when a reporter asked them if they felt “more married” after the wedding, Snell responded, “No, it’s just official.”

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Michael Snell and Steven Bridges of Portland wait in line at Portland City Hall to be the first gay couple in Maine to be married on Friday, December 28, 2012.   Photo: Carl D. Walsh

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The first five same-sex couples who arrived to get marriage certificates walk up the steps of Portland City Hall.   Photo: Gabe Souza

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Steve Bridges and Michael Snell, both of Portland, kiss after being the first couple to be married at Portland City Hall on Saturday morning, December 29, 2012.   Photo: Gregory Rec

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Katy Jayne gets a kiss from Lauren Snead after they obtained their marriage license.   Photo: Robert F. Bukaty

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Steven Jones and Jamous Lizotte wear laurel wreaths as they arrive at Portland City Hall.   Photo: Robert F. Bukaty

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Mary Parker, holding Grace, 22 months, becomes emotional as her partner for seven years, Becky Roak, fills out paperwork for a marriage license at Brunswick Town Hall Saturday morning.   Photo: Tom Bell

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Donna Galluzzo and Lisa Gorney leave the Portland City Clerk’s office after obtaining their marriage license.   Photo: Robert F. Bukaty

Posted December 29, 2012 by benjaminsapiens in cool, News, politics

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Mayan Apocolypse   Leave a comment

The world is ending. Or maybe not. There’s been talk over the past couple years about how the Mayan calendar predicts that the world is going to end today, December 21, 2012.

In the ancient Long Count calendar used by the Maya and other Central American cultures, dates are measured by their distance from the date of creation, which was 3114 BC in our years. The largest unit of time was the b’ak’tun, a length of 144,00 days or 394.25 years. We are currently in the 13th b’ak’tun, which will end on 12/21/2012, at which point the 14th b’ak’tun will begin.

mayan-long-count-calendar

Now, according to one account of Mayan beliefs, our universe is the fourth one that has been created. The first three were imperfect, and the gods only created men after the fourth creation. The thing is, the third creation lasted for exactly 13 b’ak’tuns, and the current universe was created at the start of the 14th b’ak’tun of the third universe, which became year 0 for the fourth and current universe. Some have concluded, therefore, that at the start of the 14th b’ak’tun of the fourth universe on December 12, 2012, our world will extinguished and another will take it’s place.

There are two problems with this theory. First, the third cosmos was a failure, unlike ours, so there’s no reason to believe that our universe will be replaced after the same period of time. There’s no mention of an apocalyptic event on that date in Mayan writing, and experts say there’s no reason whatsoever to believe that the Mayans thought the world would end at that time.

Secondly, the Mayan religion is mythological and not actually true. I can’t stress this fact enough. The universe will not be ending today.

Curiosity   Leave a comment

NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down successfully on Mars on Monday last week.

It was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011 at 10:02 EST and landed on Aeolis Palis in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UTC, after a harrowing decent pulled off with absolute precision.

 

Flight director Bobak Ferdowski, who gets a new hairstyle for each mission, and his famous mohawk.

Curiosity’s mission is called the Mars Science Laboratory. The SUV-sized rover is the largest ever sent to another planet, and it functions as a semi-autonomous explorer and mobile science lab. The purpose of its mission is “to search areas of Mars for past or present conditions favorable for life, and conditions capable of preserving a record of life.” It’s equipped with cameras to take high-resolution photographs and video of the Martian surface, and spectrometers to determine the chemical composition of rocks and soil, radiation detectors, and environmental sensors to determine air and ground temperature, humidity, air pressure, and wind speed and direction.

Curiosity and older rovers - ScienceBlogs

A model of Curiosity (right) beside models of Opportunity/Spirit (twin rovers, 2004-2010/present) (left) and Sojourner (1997) (bottom)

Posted August 13, 2012 by benjaminsapiens in cool, geeky

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Bodies of Olympic athletes   Leave a comment

In anticipation of the upcoming Olympic Games in London next week, here are some beautiful photographs of nude American Olympic athletes. These images are from ESPN The Magazine’s third annual Body Issue, which is that sports media outlet’s classier, artistic answer to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Abby Wambach

Forward, USA Women’s National Soccer Team        Age: 32      5’11”, 170 pounds

Photograph by Carlos Serrao

Danell Leyva       

Gymnast, US Gymnastics Team       Age: 27      5’7″, 165 pounds

Photographs by Peter Hapak

Walter Dix

Sprinter, USA Track & Field Team       Age: 26      5’10”, 195 pounds

Photograph by Olugbenro Ogunsemore

Oksans Masters

USA Paralympic Rower       Age: 23       5’8″, 125 pounds with prosthetics

Photograph by Martin Schoeller

Ashton Eaton

Decathlete, USA Track & Field Team       Age: 24       6’1″, 185 pounds

Photograph by Carlos Serrao

Anna Tunnicliffe

Sailor, USA Sailing Team       Age: 29       5’6″, 146 pounds

Photograph by Stephen Lippman

Tim Morhouse

Fencer, USA Fencing Team, Silver Medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing       Age: 33      6’2″, 200 pounds

Photograph by Peter Hapak

Carlos Bocanegra

Defender, US Men’s Soccer Team      Age: 33      6’0″, 170 pounds

Photographs by Richard Phibbs

Heather Brown, Alisha Glass, Megan Hodge, Cynthia Barboza, Stacy Sykora, Nellie Spicer, Destinee Hooker

USA Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team

Photograph by Art Streiber

Carmelita Jeter

Sprinter, USA Track & Field Team       Age: 32        5’4″, 135 pounds

Photograph by Francesco Carrozzini

 

RIP Ralph McQuarrie   Leave a comment

starwarsmcquarrie

Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary concept artist behind the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cocoon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Jurassic Park, died at his home on Saturday at the age of 82.

Star Wars wouldn’t have been half the film it was without this guy. The visual style of everything in the Star Wars universe was based on Ralph McQuarrie’s art. The Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, the X-wing, lightsabers, Darth Vader, Cloud City, R2-D2 and C-3PO – all of these were taken directly from his concept illustrations.

Not a bad legacy.

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 1

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Ralph McQuarrie - Empire - 1

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Ralph McQuarrie - Slave I - matte painting

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 1

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Ralph McQuarrie - Alderaan

Ralph McQuarrie - Coruscant

The Secret World of Arrietty   Leave a comment

Have you seen this movie yet? You really should do yourself a favor and go see it while it’s still in theaters. It’s a fantastic film.

Posted February 26, 2012 by benjaminsapiens in cool