Animal Crossing: City Folk

Animal Crossing: City Folk came out today so off I went to Nintendo World! I am a crazy Animal Crossing fan since the Gamecube version. If you play the game, then you obviously know this as that’s where the Meowzas green grass background comes from you see on the screen now. When the Gamecube version came out, I was living in a dorm and Matthew had the game, so I stole it and it was never released from my ownership to this day. Anyways. I got it, I’m excited, I’m ready to lose all contact with the outside world for the next few weeks. I believe I’m going to pretend it’s my real world and post about it often. Below are my first few minutes in my new city.


This is me getting off the bus and taking my first step in LionCity. I met Rover on the bus, she was nice.


This is the bus driving way and me watching it. Rover was not in the window waving sadly.


Tom Nook! My secret love in the game. How I missed you!


First impression of Ed: Trouble.


And what’s up with Ed’s house? Does he live in a church?


EUNICE! Eunice is one my favorites. I love her lambchop phrase. I was so excited to see she lives in my town! I will definetely be sending her a present in the morning. Must buy cute stationary.


Ruby, I’m not sure about yet. If I get my face stung by a bee, she seems like the type that will laugh and call me ugly.


And so it begins… I picked a house in the southern part where the majority of the community lives. I almost bought a house near Eunice but I figured I would obsess over her too much and she would move away.

It’s now 3:00AM and I just heard the bells. I must go.

First fuzzy photos of planets outside solar system.

Earth seems to have its first fuzzy photos of alien planets outside our solar system, images captured by two teams of astronomers. The pictures show four likely planets that appear as specks of white, nearly indecipherable except to the most eagle-eyed experts. All are trillions of miles away — three of them orbiting the same star, and the fourth circling a different star. It’s only a matter of time before "we get a dot that’s blue and Earthlike," said astronomer Bruce Macintosh of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.



For me, the process is just as exciting as the final product. Many of our ideas develop over a period of time and have various steps of pre and post production. We build props, create mockups, do the actual shoot date with model, create graphical elements, create post props, have shoot date of background/objects, put everything together. I always love seeing how others put their images together, so I’m going to try to start sharing more before and after.

We recently completed a few images from a new body of work. It discusses the idea of the avatar and what the future holds for virtual reality. Perhaps one day, you’ll have a virtual self where you can project your image however you wish. It’s very much like online virtual communities where you build your character to be whatever you want.

The process started (usually always) with notebook sketches. We also had sketched out posing ideas and mockups of positioning of multiple figures. There’s alot of preparation that goes on since it highly influences the post production so sometimes it’s mocked up down to a fist because we know we need it in the end. We had a shoot date and shot the full body model images, some where the model held a board up to her face and then some without. Then we shot closeups of her. We then waited for the weather to create the clouds we wanted and once the day came, ran up to the roof and shot those (clouds are used often in our work so we’re starting to have a library of cloud images). Once film is returned and scanned in, we huddle around the computer and discuss contact sheets that were created. We then made quick mockups of where we switch specific model poses with different faces and clouds to pick what we think is best. Sometimes we’re still unsure of a specific idea, so a image has to sit overnight as usually when you come back to it you have a clearer head. Once the film is selected, they’re dusted and edited. Each figure is cut out from the background that it was shot upon and then positioned on a cloud background. Closeups of the models face are added the same way. The red border seen in some of the images are hand painted red lines that are then scanned in and added.

This is the outcome. You can see rest of the images here.


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The sketch it starts with:


Shoot date:


Red painted borders:


Bring on the singularity!


According to Government Technology, engineers at the University of Washington have developed contact lenses with integrated circuitry. Although the lenses have only been tested on animals, researchers are working on having electronic lenses overlay a display over a person’s visual field without impairing sight. Researchers hope that the lenses, once completed, will allow users to zoom in on distant objects and see useful facts. Future applications might allow drivers and pilots to see their direction and speed projected across their view or to surf the Web without a monitor. The circuit components would be powered by integrated solar cells and a wireless radio-frequency receiver.

Mars Phoenix Lander, ILU

A tragic final post has been posted by the rover on it’s Twitter account:

"01010100 01110010 01101001 01110101 01101101 01110000 01101000 <3"

This translates to "Triumph" in Binary.

NASA launched Phoenix on August 4, 2007, and it landed on Mars on May 25, 2008, "farther north than any previous spacecraft to land on the Martian surface." I love you Phoenix, forever.


Generation O Gets Its Hopes Up

A good article in the NYTIMES. Read the rest here.

Only a Fugees-loving, pick-up-basketball-playing, biracial president-elect would send supporters an e-mail message on election night that said: “I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.” He signed it simply “Barack.” After all, they were close. He and his biggest fans, the generation of young adults who voted for him in record numbers, together had slogged through 21 months of campaigning. And in his moment of victory, Barack Obama shared the glow of success. “All of this happened because of you,” the e-mail message said. “We just made history.”


Singing Jolly

The stores are decked with Snowmen and Christmas delight. Today I spotted this lovely Snowperson and he sang a song. He was a little shy at first, but after I held his hand, he got it together and completed it.


President Barack Obama

The eve of November 4, 2008 will always be a remarkable memory for anyone who experienced it. Barack Hussein Obama will be our 44th President of the United States. I cannot express my enthusiasm and hope for a better tomorrow. Yesterday’s turnout was the largest in voter history since 1968. I’m so proud of every single person who went out, voted and made their voice heard. The United States is about the people, no matter their sex, race or orientation and finally we have taken a giant positive step in that belief. This is something that can’t be undone, it’s forever in our history.

What gets me choked up every time I think about it is what children will forever see and hear. To go through their history books and see all the Presidents listed and to come across Obama’s photo, it changes how every child will think about themselves and their future. They can now be whatever they aim to be. It’s no longer just a phrase, it’s now written.

The youth vote finally did their part, and in a giant way. I am extremely proud to be part of this group. From those who worked at call banks, to those that picked up with no money/moved to a swing state/pushed the idea of change on the streets, to those that donated any dollar or any minute you had to a cause you believed so strongly about, I send you the biggest hug in the world. Not only did the youth vote turn out, but new voters no matter their age showed up. My father was not registered to vote, but with a little persistence from his daughter (and voter registration papers just starting to appear in his mailbox), not only did he register and vote, he wore his Obama pin proudly and believed in the optimism for our country.

I knew that after he cleared Pennsylvania and I saw Ohio and Florida’s numbers coming in, this was ours. I embraced my best friend and was overcome with feelings as the tears began to flow. When 11:00PM came and the networks finally announced it, all of a sudden, all over my street, neighbors appeared in their windows, on their balconies, cars stopped in the street. People were cheering, cars were honking. I have never experienced that feeling of empowerment, community and hope before.

This is not the end of it, or even close. We still have a long uphill battle and yesterday did have some disappointment, especially Proposition 8 and the other bans in Florida and Arizona. But we now see what is possible when we work together for the better of the good of everyone. I know this is just the beginning and I couldn’t be more inspired. I’m so proud of every single one of us.


We just got home from our 6AM vote. I’m more excited then ever. My heart was pounding when I pulled that lever. Please don’t forget to vote. Don’t make excuses. Expect long lines. Just do it. Don’t give me a "It doesn’t matter" because yes it does. Every single vote matters. By not voting in today’s election, you give up every right to criticize anything that happens in this country. Not only should you vote today, but please call your parents and text your friends. Make sure everyone goes out and votes. Go here to find your polling place location. You’ll feel great afterwards!

Also, follow our election twitter here (will be updated crazily throughout the day).