Taking a cue from the life and work of Jim Henson (who else?), Gordon Smuder and his associates formed The Puppet Forge back in 2001 to make and perform with puppets for a variety television and other media projects. Since then they’ve appeared in commercials for the Minnesota State Lottery, The Choo Choo Bob Show, Transylvania Television, John Kovalic’s The Dork Tower Project, and many other places. They also travel the land to various fandom conventions to sell puppets and teach about puppetry. Their web site has much more — and a plethora of pictures. Like this one…
No, it’s not another My Little Pony thing. Seven Seas Entertainment is releasing A Centaur’s Life, a new digest-sized black & white manga series written and illustrated by Kei Murayama. It was previously released in Japan as A Centaur’s Worries. “Being a teenager is never easy… especially for a centaur! Himeno is a sweet, shy girl, who like many teens her age, struggles with the trials and tribulations of attending high school. The difference is she’s a centaur; but she’s not alone. In fact, all of her classmates are supernatural creatures, sporting either horns, wings, tails, halos, or some other unearthly body appendage. Yet despite their fantastical natures, Himeno and her best friends-the dragon-winged Nozomi, and Kyoko with her spiraled horns-are down-to-earth, fun-loving teenagers who grapple with issues of life and love in a mostly normal daily school setting.” So you say! Look for A Centaur’s Life at your local comic book or manga store, starting in November.
Jump Start is a creative company best known for designing and developing games that help to teach young children the basics of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Since 1991 they’ve released several lines of teaching games under the banners of Jump Start and Math Blaster. More recently though, Jump Start has hitched up with Dreamworks Animation to create a new line of teaching software and on-line games based on the Madagascar series of animated movies. Yes, kids even learn from the penguins! The first release is called Madagascar Preschool Surf n Slide. Even more recently, there’s a new line of on-line games based on How to Train Your Dragon called School of Dragons. Check it all out at the Jump Start web site.
Christina Yen is an anthropomorphic and fantasy artist who creates works under the name Sixth Leaf Clover. One of her specialties is dragons, variously anthro and not, and especially those of a “metallic” variety. Therefore it’s especially apt that she has released an art tutorial book called Metallic Dragons. In it you will find not only instructions for drawing dragons in various forms, but also coloring instructions (in both digital and traditional forms) for making your dragons look like silver, or gold, or steel, or what have you. She has also released a portfolio book of her artwork entitled Sixth Leaf Clover — The Art of Christina Yen. Both of her books are available in trade paperback on her art web site — and of course, so are a collection of prints, 3D works, and other fancies, including a 2013 calendar.
Pups of Liberty: The Boston Tea-Bone Party, an educational animated short film by Bert and Jennifer Klein’s Picnic Pictures – available on DVD from Amazon.com for $15 (or from izzit.org); 18 minutes -- about the outbreak of the American Revolution, featuring dogs as the American colonists and cats as the British oppressors, has been referenced on the Internet since 2009; but I do not believe that it has been reported on Flayrah.
This new Cartoon Brew post reveals that it was made by moonlighting Disney animators, including many top names.
Of more anthropomorphic interest, however, is the commentary on this article, arguing whether it is “natural” to portray cats oppressing dogs. Why not dogs oppressing cats? Or cats oppressing mice? Or mice oppressing cats? Or any animals oppressing any other animals, because this is a humanocentric concept that animals do not really share?
Do any Furry fans have any comments on this? The Cartoon Brew’s website is open.
Apparently one young teenage black bear wanted an education so badly that he decided to enter Ramon Garza Elementary School in Bakersfield, California, scaring the students, and causing staff to usher them inside for safety.
The bear then wandered over to the neighbouring Sierra Middle School. This understandably threw the school into chaos and lockdown, while the California Department of Fish and Game were called and eventually tranquillized the bear (with assistance from Kern County Animal Control) at a nearby apartment complex; he was later moved to a remote area and released.
As a baby squirrel hopped towards a policeman in the grounds of a school, he took out his pepper spray, apparently to defend himself against the potentially infected animal. As school children pleaded with the officer not to harm the creature, the squirrel advanced and the man reacted by spraying it. The squirrel became disorientated and started writhing on the ground.
A Mesquite Animal Control officer was called and cleaned the spray off the squirrel. After being given a satisfactory bill of health, it was released back into the wild.
A video recording of the pepper-spraying incident, made by students, generated outrage after it was posting on YouTube. Having received over 700,000 views in one week, comments on the video are split between those condemning the officer's actions as heavy-handed, and those sympathising with his need to maintain personal safety in the face of a possibly rabid animal.
Run by taxidermist and tattoo artist Susan Jeiven, the $45 class assumed no prior experience, and supplied each student with a deceased mouse obtained from a snake-feed store. The 15 places quickly sold out.
Featured is the John Marshal "wolfpack" containing Wolfie Blackheart, previously covered after her experiments in taxidermy went public.
MIT researchers have discovered that baby birds have something in common with baby humans: they first "babble" to learn to speak. In this case, the "speech" of a bird is the adult bird's song. The parallel between bird and human may lend insights into the mysteries of human language-learning.
The full story is available at Discovery News.
Due to Aatheus' interest in furthering his education, he has found he has less time for Furbid. He says, "I don't want to end up giving FurBid and its users any less time than they deserve, but I will have to do so for the next several years." Control will be turned over to Ayukawa, previously an assistant.
If you stop there, what you're describing is literally a prison, albeit a part-time one. The problem is, many schools practically do stop there. The stated purpose of schools is to educate the kids. But there is no external pressure to do this well. And so most schools do such a bad job of teaching that the kids don't really take it seriously-- not even the smart kids. Much of the time we were all, students and teachers both, just going through the motions.
Capital One invited NCAA Division IA and IAA schools with football programs to nominate their mascots for the Capital One National Mascot of the Year. Visit the site to vote for one of the twelve finalists selected from participating schools. Each of the team members will receive $5,000 to use toward scholarships for his or her school's mascot program. The National Mascot of the Year will receive a total of $10,000.
Personal note: My alma mater's mascot, Monte for the University of Montana, is one of the twelve finalists!
CG animation conference, UK, 19-20th November
Swansea, UK is hosting an international animated computer graphics conference in November. Registration for the two day (19th and 20th November 2002) Swansea ANimation Days 2000 is free, hosted at the Taliesn Arts Centre on the Swanea Uni campus.
Talks cover both games and film, with speakers from academia and industry, including FrameStore, Dreamworks, Soho601, Codemasters.