A batch of biweekly links and things. I actually prepared this a week ago and forgot to post it so who knows some of it might still be relevant.



‘Isle of Dogs’: Animation Director Mark Waring Explains How To Animate A Wes Anderson Film
When Isle of Dogs animation director Mark Waring asked Wes Anderson what kind of film the director wanted to make, he says Anderson told him he “wanted to make sure you were definitely watching a stop-frame film and not a cg film.”

NASA receives response from Voyager 1 spacecraft 13 billion miles away after 37 years of inactivity
The thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft just did what we thought was impossible. After 37 years of inactivity, NASA just received response from spacecraft 13 billion miles away, NASA said in a statement on its website. Voyager 1 is NASA’s farthest and fastest spacecraft. It was launched on September 5, 1977. Having operated for 40 years, 6 months and 14 days as of March 19, 2018, the spacecraft relies on small devices called thrusters to orient itself so it can communicate with Earth. These thrusters fire in tiny pulses, or “puffs,” lasting mere milliseconds, to subtly rotate the spacecraft so that its antenna points at our planet. Now, the Voyager team is able to use a set of four backup thrusters, dormant since 1980.

Definitely worth checking to see which apps have access to your data. It’s probably more than you think: On the desktop version go to Settings/Apps and make sure you click “show all”.
Facebook has found itself embroiled in yet another colossal controversy related to how its sprawling, multibillion-person social network has been abused by bad actors.

A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine: The Last Diaries with Tony Benn from 2013 – Audio
To celebrate the publication of this final volume of his diaries, Tony Benn, in conversation with author, columnist and commentator Owen Jones, reflects on both the public and personal events of the last five years. Covering the fall of New Labour, tireless campaigning against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and passionate commitment to encouraging public debate and demonstrations, A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine also provides a highly personal insight into the challenges of old age, failing health and widowhood. Finally, we share in Tony Benn’s hopes for the future based on his experiences, insight and his natural optimism. Tony Benn is the longest serving MP in the history of the Labour Party. He left Parliament in 2001, after more than half a century in the House of Commons, famously saying that leaving would give him more time to devote to politics. He is the author of many books including nine volumes of diaries and the childhood memoir Dare to be a Daniel. This event was organised in partnership with Newham Bookshop.

On Being a Dissenting Voice in 2018
It is very difficult to understand what is happening in the UK today, but when the BBC on its flagship news programme holds a discussion of the Salisbury attack under a huge photo-shopped picture of the leader of the opposition in a Russian hat standing outside the Kremlin, it is plain a fundamental shift has happened in society. The Salisbury attack has perhaps taught us something massively more important than any of the stuff about chemical weapons, and that is that Britain is further along the road to becoming an authoritarian state than we had realised.

Music video for track by imai featuring Kaho Nakamura put together by Baku Hashimoto uses stop motion method with Japanese confectionery:

Choice: Break up Facebook – or Take It Into Public Ownership? I Am Not Kidding
Facebook let a firm called GSR scrape 50 million user profiles and sell the data to another firm, Cambridge Analytica, whose express purpose was to manipulate electoral behaviour in favour of Donald Trump. That’s the one-paragraph summary of a story that will unfold with increasing complexity this week.

This is the ‘dance’ of Venus, as viewed from earth.
The magical geometry that exists between the cycles of the planets has been a source of fascination and mystery for centuries. Lately, the adoption of the heliocentric viewpoint has caused many of these marvels to pass by the interest of astronomers. The pattern of Venus around the Earth portrays a 5-petalled rose when viewed from the geocentric position. Every 8 years, when the Earth and Venus ‘kiss’ to form another petal, Venus presents the same face to the Earth. The dance of the planets: their retrograde motions, synodic periods, distance and orbits present us with patterns that resonate to their essence. Kepler understood such patterns as a mathematician aware of the mystical qualities of the universe. The patterns of Venus are extremely beautiful – the heart and the rose. They reveal the essence of Venus in her role of celestial guardian of love and beauty to those of us here on Earth. Each planet has its own dance pattern and the cosmos takes on a beauty beyond words. God is the artist who creates the universe.“

Gloomy Sunday
Latest addition to Memo Akten’s ongoing ‘Learning to See’ project demonstrates a neural network powered realtime image translation framework, presenting possibilites for visual poetry

‘I created Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower
For more than a year we’ve been investigating Cambridge Analytica and its links to the Brexit Leave campaign in the UK and Team Trump in the US presidential election. Now, 28-year-old Christopher Wylie goes on the record to discuss his role in hijacking the profiles of millions of Facebook users in order to target the US electorate

WHO launches health review after microplastics found in 90% of bottled water
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic. A previous study also found high

Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson stop-motion magic revealed in new video
It’s not everyday that we get a stop-motion film because stop-motion anything takes a heck of a long time to produce — but the end results are usually worth it. With Wes Anderson‘s highly anticipated Isle of Dogs hitting theaters on March 23, EW has an exclusive look behind-the-scenes of how a unique team of 25 animators and 10 assistants brought the vision of a canine-only island off the coast of Japan to life.

Whoa, like, Jupiter is DEEP. Really, really deep.
Scientists studying Jupiter using data and observations from the Juno spacecraft just released four new papers on their results, and I honestly can’t say what’s cooler: the science, or the jaw-dropping images.
The research deals with Jupiter’s atmosphere. Jupiter is a gas giant, and when we see it we’re not looking at a surface at all, just the tops of its clouds. And even that is complicated, because the clouds are at all different heights. In some spots we see high-altitude clouds (sometimes shiny white due to ammonia ice that’s frozen out as the gas rises) and in some spots we see hundreds of kilometers deeper.

I had a personal realization recently: isn’t so much a thing I’m making but a process I’m going through. A journey.

The Forgotten Witch – Barbara Zdunk
My influences have always been the old surreal films, the dream like quality of animations like ‘Inspiration’ by Karel Zemon to the impeccable detail and quality of the Betty Boop black and white animations. However, I have also always been a big fan of paintings, in particular the old masters and the Pre-Raphaelites. I really wanted to test out these different styles, like realism mixed with the surreal and bring it into the 21st Century with the different techniques I tried.


18 tips for comics artists by Moebius “brief manual for cartoonist”
1. when you draw you must clean yourself of deep feelings (hate, happiness, ambition, etc)
2 it’s important to educate the hand, attain obedience, to full fill ideas. but careful with perfection, to much, as well as too much speed, as well as their opposites are dangerous. to much looseness, instant drawings,aside from mistakes, there’s no will of the spirit, only the bodies.
3. perspective is of sum importance, it;s a law of manipulation in the good sense, to hypnotise the reader. it;s good to work in real spaces, more that with photos, to exercise our reading of perspective.

Solving the mystery of the ‘Beaker’ phenomenon in the Bronze Age
In the largest study of ancient DNA ever conducted, an international team of scientists has revealed the complex story behind one of the defining periods in European prehistory. The study is published this week in the journal Nature. Between 4,700-4,400 years ago, a new, bell-shaped pottery style spread across western and central Europe. For over a century, archaeologists have tried to establish whether the spread of “Beaker” pottery represented a large-scale migration of people or was simply due to the spread of new ideas. “The pot versus people debate has been one of the most important and long-running questions in archaeology,” says co-senior author Ian Armit, an archaeologist from the University of Bradford.

Cartoon Clouds
What’s the point of making art in a technological era? This question, and variations of it, make up the heart of Joseph Remnant’s first longform graphic narrative, Cartoon Clouds. Clouds follows freshly minted art school graduate Seth Fallon through insecurity, uncertainty, poverty, and the pretentious Cincinnati art scene. A small nexus of art grads trying to “make it” as serious artists in an increasingly pop-culturized contemporary market succeed to various degrees — or get stuck in the cogs of unrelenting capitalistic machinery. The tale focuses on the humdrum futility of this post-grad life and the very real choice perhaps all young adults must make: to either follow or abandon their idealistic dreams

Blexbolex has cracked the code. The French cartoonist with the name that sounds like a friendly robot has worked in a wide variety of styles, from the simple interlocking blocks of bright color seen in his kid’s books People and Seasons, to the whirls of limited-palette decoration in his very not-kid’s books No Man’s Land and Dogcrime. His most recent book, the truly all-ages fable Ballad, added a profusion of neon dot screening to the mix. Through it all, the constant is that his imagery bypasses people’s critical faculties and hits them right in the pleasure centers, from page directly into eyes and usually from there to the wallet. Putting a Blexbolex book right by the tiller was a great way to grab add-on sales when I was working comics retail. He makes stuff that people want before they even know what it is, just because of how good it looks.

Producing Animation: Julie Roy
Having worked at the National Film Board of Canada for over twenty years, Julie Roy redirected her attentions in the late-2000s from marketing to production, ultimately leading her to the position she holds today as Executive Producer at the NFB’s French Animation Studio.

Molten salt storage 33 times cheaper than lithium-ion batteries
Cost-effective energy storage is key to transitioning to a low-carbon society. Energy can be stored in the form of heat or electricity. A popular storage method for high-temperature thermal applications is a molten salt tank. Fact sheets created by the German Energy Storage Association, or BVES for short, show that molten salt tanks are around 33 times less expensive than electric batteries when it comes to storing a kilowatt-hour in them.

The three mistakes of centrism
A government of centrists will only take us back to where we were before all this kicked off in 2010. We need to do better than go back to the normal that gave us austerity and Brexit. We need a radical government that can begin the process of reforming our economy so that it works for all working people, that can tackle extreme inequality at the top and reform the press so that it is not a mouthpiece for a wealthy few. A government led from the left are our only real hope of achieving that. Centrists will be an important voice during that government, but they must not stop us ensuring the likes of austerity and Brexit will not happen again.

Tim Berners-Lee: we must regulate tech firms to prevent ‘weaponised’ web
“What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms,”

Lab Work on ‘Super-Earth’ Atmospheres
How we do laboratory work on exoplanet atmospheres is an interesting challenge. We’ve worked up models of the early Earth’s atmosphere and conducted well-known experiments on them. Still within our own system, we’ve looked at worlds like Mars and Titan and, with a good read on their atmospheric chemistry, can reproduce an atmosphere within the laboratory with a fair degree of accuracy.