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Star Wars Imperial March Performed with a Tesla Coil

by Trevor May | 16th March 2009 | Humour Movies Music Science | 1 comment

The folks at ArcAttack use Tesla coils to “produce an electrical arc similar to a continuous lightning bolt which put out a crisply distorted square wave sound reminiscent of the early days of synthesizers.”

Here’s one, with another guy wearing a “Faraday Suit” to conduct electricity away from the coil, performing the Imperial March theme from Star Wars! Check out more videos on their site.

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A first look at Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

by Trevor May | 13th March 2009 | Animation Disney Movies | 2 comments

Alice in Wonderland film concept artwork

Update: If you’re looking for the new images, you’ll find them here!

You’ll find the trailer here.

The premier issue of Disney twenty-three magazine includes an article on Tim Burton’s part live action, part CGI-animated Alice in Wonderland movie which is due for release in Spring 2010. The article features the first glimpses of some wonderful looking concept artwork and photography and the Tim Burton Collective blog has some scans of the pages.

If anyone has any better scans of the images, do let us know!

(thanks Jenny!)

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Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves

by Trevor May | 11th March 2009 | Books Illustration Kids Retro | 2 comments

Gyo Fujikawa's Lets Grow a Garden

Check out this wonderful blog entitled Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves of “vintage children’s books from thrift shops, library sales, book stores, online and elsewhere”. Image from Gyo Fujikawa‘s exquisite Lets Grow a Garden.

Incidentally, if you like Gyo Fujikawa, there’s a ton more images of her work on Flickr.

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2008: A year in music

by Trevor May | 20th January 2009 | Music | Comment on this

Ladytron

It’s that time of year again. My annual look back, through the powers of last.fm, at what I’d been listening to the previous year. Here’s the top 20 for 2008:

1. Ladytron
2. Beastie Boys
3. Hot Chip
4. Crystal Castles
5. Broken Social Scene
6. M83
7. Architecture in Helsinki
8. Midnight Juggernauts
9= She & Him
9= Wolf Parade
11= The Kills
11= Modest Mouse
13. Rilo Kiley
14. Cornelius
15. Justice
16. The Young Knives
17. MGMT
18= Soulwax
18= The Rakes
20= Blood Red Shoes
20= Man or Astro-man?

A couple of old favourites in there like Man or Astro-man? and Cornelius and no sign of last year‘s number one, The Fiery Furnaces. You’ll find them right down at number 30! Had I discovered TV on the Radio’s new album a bit earlier I’m certain that you’d would also see them placed quite high on the list. I’ll bet they’ll be up there in 2009′s roundup.

It looks like DoCopenhagen has died so I guess we won’t be seeing any more top music videos. Here’s Pitchforks’ Top 40 music videos for 2008.

Finally, for the nostalgic, here’s 2007 and 2006.

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Happy 80th Birthday Mickey Mouse

by Trevor May | 18th November 2008 | Animation Disney | Comment on this

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck model sheet

Today is Mickey Mouse’s 80′s birthday!


Plane Crazy (1928)


Steamboat Willie (1928)

He’s sure changed quite a bit over the years, from a wreckless plane-flying letch to a guy who got a tune by wrenching animal tails and hitting them with sticks to the wonderfully appealing Freddie Moore design in Fantasia‘s Sorcerer’s Apprentice to homogenised theme park bobble-head.


Fantasia: Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1940)


Mickey Mouse Club Intro (1955)

What better way to celebrate than by digging up a bunch of old links:

A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse: “He has assumed an ever more childlike appearance as the ratty character of Steamboat Willie became the cute and inoffensive host to a magic kingdom. By 1940, the former tweaker of pig’s nipples gets a kick in the ass for insubordination (as the sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia). By 1953, last cartoon, he has gone fishing and cannot even subdue a squirting clam.”

How Mickey Mouse Lost His Way

Photos: Around the World in 80 Mickeys

The Runaway Brain: The last Mickey Mouse short, I believe, made in 1995.

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: Mickey Mouse Turns 80.

Photos: Mickey Mouse Through the Years

And some obligatory affiliate links: Walt Disney Treasures Mickey In Living Colour, Mickey In Living Colour Vol. 2, Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. 2.

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Rubitone: Rubik’s Cube + Pantone

by Trevor May | 5th November 2008 | Design Toys | Comment on this

Rubitone Pantone Rubik's Cube

Design geeks! Check out this wonderful Pantone Rubik’s Cube concept by Italian industrial designer Ignacio Pilotto.

I also particularly like his Race Clock and ice bucket that turns into a watering can once the ice has melted!

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Quentin Blake’s House of Illustration

by Trevor May | 4th November 2008 | Art Comic books Illustration | Comment on this

House of Illustration by Quentin Blake

I was, apparently, born in the same town and went to the same school as Illustrator Quentin Blake, most famous for his wonderfully apparently effortless illustrations for the books of Roald Dahl; although obviously not at the same time… what with him being 43 years my senior. Anyway, I managed to spot an interview him on BBC Breakfast News before I left for work this morning where he was talking about a proposed museum for illustration in London.

They’re currently trying to raise the £6 million required to build a “House of Illustration” in Kings Cross, London by 2011 — the world’s first museum dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms.

The House of Illustration is a registered charity that was established in 2002. It is the brainchild of Quentin Blake. As an experienced illustrator and teacher, he saw a gap in the UK’s museum sector. At the moment, illustration is only seen in occasional temporary exhibitions in other museums and galleries. The House of Illustration will change that.

The House of Illustration will be the place to see past and present illustration, both British and international. It will be the world’s first centre dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms.

They are a registered charity and currently accepting donations via their website.

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Ward Jenkins’ B-Boy Show

by Trevor May | 4th November 2008 | Art Illustration Retro | Comment on this

Ward Jenkins, animator, contributor to Drawn! and curator of the wonderful Ward-O-Matic blog current has a wonderful looking solo show at the Grassy Knoll Gallery in Portland, Oregon inspired by graffiti and 80′s hip hop. This is a little too far for me to travel so I’m grateful that so many photos are available online.

Original artwork can also be purchased directly from the gallery website.

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BBC nuclear bomb script released

by Trevor May | 3rd October 2008 | Retro TV | Comment on this

The National Archives have released a transcript that was to be read by the BBC every two hours in the wake of a nuclear attack in the Cold War between 1973 and 1975.

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.

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My Little Pony: Horror movie dress-up

by Trevor May | 27th September 2008 | Art Movies Toys | Comment on this

Mari Kasurinen didn’t think My Little Pony was anywhere near interesting enough… so she’s modded them into movie characters like the Alien, Predator, Darth Vader and Batman. They’re also available to purchase, should your My Little Pony collection be feeling a little too cutesy. (via Boing Boing)

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