I’ve seen Empire Strikes Back dozens of times and I still get the quote wrong…
The digital world has changed the world of practical effects — there are fewer opportunities now to build a life-sized animatronic T. rex, said Coulier and Clement. Computer graphics are simply cheaper for an effect of that scale.
But the art of prosthetic makeup is still going strong. Even the heavily CGI spectacle of 2013′s zombie-apocalypse film “World War Z” was underpinned by real-world makeup.
“We did close to 5,000 makeups on World War Z, because basically you’ve got these guys running down the street and there’s a hundred of them and you may glimpse a makeup on one of them, so you have to do the hundred, really,” Coulier said. His team’s work is spotlighted late in the film when Brad Pitt gets up-close-and-personal with a lab full of zombie scientists. [The 10 Scariest Movies Ever]
Meanwhile, 3D printing has changed the way Clement does business. The effects’ gurus can sculpt a monster head using a computer program, then make tweaks and print it out.
“It’s an extremely fast way of sculpting and of doing concepts,” Clement said. Concepts are the mock-ups shown to moviemakers as a sort of first draft of the effect. Instead of building them from scratch only to have to re-do them with filmmakers’ fixes, Clement’s team can now keep them digital-only until all the changes have been made.
While you will never get similar material proprieties (work hardening of metals during cold forging or molecular boding of plastic material during injection molding) using 3D printers as you would from conventional manufacturing processes, the things that can be done with the process are amazing in their own right.
Leave it to the TSA to harass a 69 year old actor who has trouble getting around without a cane:
Peter Mayhew detailed an incident where he said security initially wouldn’t allow him to take his “Star Wars”-style cane through the airport.
Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrayed Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, apparently took issue with airport security after they spotted his lightsaber-styled cane. Mayhew documented his frustration — and vindication — on Twitter, writing that TSA “won’t allow me through the airport with me cane!”
While the TSA debated whether to confiscate the lightsaber cane, Mayhew took to twitter to express his frustration.
Magic words to TSA are not "please" or "thank you".. It's "Twitter".. cane released to go home.. pic.twitter.com/pb4r8g3DH7
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) June 3, 2013
Sad, however not surprising, given the TSA’s track record.
Good news is Mayhew was finally allowed to keep his lightsaber cane.
Sometimes, “Star Wars” family stickers just aren’t enough. You need to make a bigger statement. That’s when you need to turn to “Star Wars” car-wraps and really get in-your-face with your fandom.
The partial wraps from FanWraps come in a multitude of different flavors. You can get a leaping, light saber-wielding Yoda, a stern-looking Darth Vader, a ready-for-action Boba Fett, a cuddly R2-D2, and a comic-book version of slave Princess Leia, among others.
DARPA has developed a cheap robotic hand that can almost match human performance in dexterous activities, like changing a tire.
Humanity’s greatest advantage over other forms of life is our ability to use tools (or, relatedly, that our intellect allows for the ability to use tools).
Here’s the video:
Also, check out this walking robot:
Walking robot + Robot that can grasp and manipulate tools =
Alain Block is an instructor with the Golden Gate Knights. And his martial arts and stage combat experience has earned him Jedi master status.
He says picking up a lightsaber is like an initiation to a whole new world.
“When a person gets their lightsaber, suddenly you’re part of this other group of people that are a little
more in touch with the secrets of the universe, I don’t know.”
He teaches students how to do lightsaber twists and turns.
Asked what people think of the idea of Jedi training, student Julio Reyes says people are incredulous
but enthusiastic about the experience.
“At first they giggle, because they think it’s a little silly. Then they’re like, actually that’s kind of cool.
Then they start asking more questions.”
Many students want to be their childhood hero, Luke Skywalker
And here is the video. Remember what is seen can never be unseen..
I hate mixing movie and T.V references, but I think Shatner had it right…
What is it with Rolling Stone and their lists?
Actually the RS movie list isn’t too bad. Either that or (more than likely) I’m not enough of a movie buff to get worked up over their omissions.
That being said, I do think they missed the mark on one of my all time favorite movies (the British Invasion music is fantastic) Rushmore. They singled out ‘Ooh La La‘ from The Faces but left out Wasting Time from The Creation.
Left of the list is the My Sharona scene from Reality Bites.
I’m sure I missed other excellent great rock and Roll movie moments.
Why aren’t there more women in Star Wars? Why is Leia out there all (or mostly) alone? Hudson argues that this man-surplus is entirely arbitrary—and therefore easily reversible.
I’m not so sure, though. To me, Star Wars’s lack of women seems linked to a deliberate lack of interest in women. The film franchise is designed to be a series of male genre pictures, and for proof, all you need to do is look at the innovative, non-traditional approaches to gender other sci-fi works have taken—which Star Wars and other Hollywood films avoid.
First, though, I want to acknowledge the force of Hudson’s argument. In some sense, as she says, the dearth of women in Star Wars is arbitrary. There’s no diegetic or contextual reason for it. If Star Wars were the Western that it in many ways imitates, then of course you wouldn’t necessarily expect there to be lots of female gunfighters, because gender roles back in the time period when Westerns are often set restricted what women could do. But Star Wars isn’t a Western; it’s a science-fiction story, which means anything goes. As Hudson says, “Science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists, but liberated by the power of imagination.” The creators of Star Wars could have used those powers of imagination to create a world with lots of important female characters. Instead, they chose to create a world in which women barely exist.
I hate to be nitpicky, but it is an important point. Star Wars is fantasy movie and not science fiction. And as such, all the drivel about ”science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists” is pointless.
How ’bout a pay cut for government workers: Big pay cut contemplated for civilian defense workers
Via MIT Tech Review:
A leading neuroscientist says Kurzweil’s Singularity isn’t going to happen. Instead, humans will assimilate machines.
Miguel Nicolelis, a top neuroscientist at Duke University, says computers will never replicate the human brain and that the technological Singularity is “a bunch of hot air.”
“The brain is not computable and no engineering can reproduce it,” says Nicolelis, author of several pioneering papers on brain-machine interfaces.
The Singularity, of course, is that moment when a computer super-intelligence emerges and changes the world in ways beyond our comprehension.
Among the idea’s promoters are futurist Ray Kurzweil, recently hired on at Google as a director of engineering and who has been predicting that not only will machine intelligence exceed our own but that people will be able to download their thoughts and memories into computers (see “Ray Kurzweil Plans to Create a Mind at Google—and Have It Serve You”).
Nicolelis calls that idea sheer bunk. “Downloads will never happen,” Nicolelis said during remarks made at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on Sunday. “There are a lot of people selling the idea that you can mimic the brain with a computer.”
The debate over whether the brain is a kind of computer has been running for decades. Many scientists think it’s possible, in theory, for a computer to equal the brain given sufficient computer power and an understanding of how the brain works.
But Nicolelis is in a camp that thinks that human consciousness (and if you believe in it, the soul) simply can’t be replicated in silicon. That’s because its most important features are the result of unpredictable, non-linear interactions amongst billions of cells, Nicolelis says.
“You can’t predict whether the stock market will go up or down because you can’t compute it,” he says. “You could have all the computer chips ever in the world and you won’t create a consciousness.”
I guess man isn’t intelligent enough to design human capabilities and this is a good thing.
Too bad Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was canceled so quickly.