Author Archives: BionicGroin

Girls With Swords

I’m really proud of this video. It’s the pilot for what could become a webseries being made by my friends and myself. Drawing on elements from 8-bit genres, anime, table-top RPGs, and video games, the show tells the story of three women with magical swords as they seek adventure and fight evil. I was there from pre-production to post-production and the entire thing was a battle against time in order to complete the video. The project was very effects-heavy and took a huge effort of compositors, music, art design and digital effects people to achieve the look and feel of the show. On the shooting day, we had a relatively small and tight crew, but the shoot was still hard because of the small room we were working in (which didn’t have AC installed yet!) To cool the room we brought milk jugs filled with frozen water and stacked them up in front of an electric fan that we turned on between set ups.

Kill The Noise Pt. I video

This is the official video for Kill The Noise by … Kill The Noise. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic future savaged by man-eating ghouls ruled by a mechanical overlord. It’s got zombies, zombie killers, and d-d-d-dubstep – three things that go together pretty well.

I got to see some of the behind the scenes work that went into the video and boy did a lot of work go into those effects.

Heart String Marionette is totally available NOW!

I watch a lot of movies and a large majority of them are pretty forgettable, contrived, and lacking any sort of inspiration or fire. But every now and then something comes along and reminds me of why I like movies. Today it is Heart String Marionette. A movie that was five years in the making and represents a collaboration between uberector M Dot Strange (from what I understand an uberector is like a director but stronger and with more powers) and music composer Endika. M Dot Strange is a wildly imaginative filmmaker who has previously released a feature length film on youtube for FREE (TRAILER and FULL MOVIE). Also he made the feature length movie by himself, animating every scene on his own whenever he wasn’t working a day job. The music for HSM is a journey in and of itself and the soundtrack comes with the movie if you buy it online HERE FOR ONLY 5 DOLLARS – THAT’S LESS THAN HALF AS MUCH AS PEOPLE PAYED TO SEE MIB 3 (AKA Will Smith to the Future, AKA Will Smith Tigger). If you spent 6 bucks on shwarma after watching The Avengers, then you can afford to pay for this totally original movie. Shwarma’s delicious, but if you skip it, do some situps and pushups, and support the makers of HSM then you’ll be leading a fuller life. But if you really still don’t want to pay for it then you can watch it for free on youtube in a few days when it gets posted there for free by the film’s makers. But these guys deserve the money. They made something with heart and they made a film that had something to say. This wasn’t just another mindless and overproduced tent pole movie, this was a lone ape in a digital jungle screaming out because he had something worth screaming about. When the web 2.0 era began people had all kinds of dreams of a democratic media where people told their own stories and didn’t have to answer to the controlling structures that always bound the media. Largely that hasn’t happened yet and those dreams are unfulfilled for the most part. But here is the freak mutant that rises up out of the chaos with a totally original statement that answers to no one and stands up for its own image of the world. These guys deserve 5 bucks from a scattered handful or humans more than a colossal mega-studio needs 12 bucks from every single person plugged into the all-consuming dream machine. Anyways I thought HSM was a pretty sweet movie and it was refreshing to see something like it and unlike anything else.

http://www.youwilldieinside.com/

Youtube roundup: Tonight I’m Frakking You and Minecraft Girlfriend

I bring you Minecraft Girlfriend. This is the story of one man’s descent into madness through Minecraft penis sculptures. I actually wrote the script for this one and it was produced by my friends at Megasteakman. I was really amazed with the ability of the actors and director to take such weird and goofy material and then maintain a sense of drama. This video was in part a response to the new Minecraft 1.0 release, although overshadowed by Skyrim and Skyward Sword (mostly Skyrim since even the new and amazing Zelda game barely made tremors in the Skyrim-dominated gamersphere). But again I’m blown away with the cinematic treatment given to a video about making giant penises in Minecraft. It looks and feels like a short film that would screen at a festival, but it’s about penises. It drips a love for cinema that is evident in everything from acting, cinematography, and the platoon references as the lead character watches his creations’ ultimate fate.

Tonight I’m Frakking you! A nerd-culture dance music video featuring actual celebrity TV and youtube talent! I feel videos like this add credibility to the microbudget video movement. It’s really cool when a bunch of hungry slumdogs pick up the camera and make a video to share with the internet for lulz and profit, but it’s also cool to see established actors and professionals joining the ranks of the internet viral videographers. What I found really brilliant was that this is the first instance I’ve seen in any media of the elusive Jedi Vulcan. The battle between Star Wars and Star Trek has been waged for an eternity. It strikes me as odd that people haven’t taken into consideration the possibilities created by combining both franchises. Imagine a force nerve pinch. Or a phaser saber, like a light saber but with an infinitely long blade and the ability to destabilize anything it touches. A mind trick combined with a mind meld is no longer a mere trick but a whole mind theater. What would happen if the Borg assimilated Sith into the collective? Phaser immunity and force lighting? That moment in the video where the cloaked hero at the dance party removes his hood set my mind free from the rigid structure of Star Wars v. Star Trek

Lord of Recycling (LotR parody )

The latest Megasteakman video is out and turns the humble act of recycling into an epic battle for the fate of the world. It’s a Lord of the Ring’s parody that uses littering and environmentalism as metaphors for the forces trying to save and destroy the planet. It seems fitting in so far that movies like LotR and Avatar are almost like advertisements for the wonders of natural splendor, even if the nature is modified, or even entirely created, digitally. Whereas the heroics and the environmentalist parable that exists in these movies are out of reach of most people, simple acts like cleaning up your garbage and recycling are real gestures that serve to benefit the world. But yeah, it’s goofy parody video. Also bonus: I’m in it for a moment. I’m one of the extras playing garbage orcs. That made me really happy for two reasons.
1) I like making messes.
2) I’ve wanted to do garbage cosplay larping for years.

Miku Hastune live …. what.

It happened awhile ago, but the concerts are still going. What concerts? Miku Hastune and the vocoder characters live. Live? You mean like actors in cosplay, right? The characters are fictional they can’t really perform in front of an audience. Ha ha ha, no. It’s a real concert with a real audience and a real back up band all for a hologram performer with a vocoder voice. The people. Are there. For a hologram. And the musicians are playing for a lead vocalist made of light. Granted that at least 76% of the audience wanted to have sex with the hologram, what with the vocoder cast being 2ch memes and young girls, and there’s certainly a novelty in being among the first people to witness the validation of a sci-fi trope like holographic or android pop stars, but neither of those fully explain the surreal nature of what was just witnessed. Like holograms are cool. I’d look at one if I were at a science demo, but for hundreds of people to show up and cheer for a pre-programmed hologram is the awakening of a new age of human consciousness. It’s like all the men marrying body pillows or pretending that cartoon characters are their girlfriends have finally been recognized by the entertainment economy and have been presented with an artificial pop star to lust after in addition to their cartoon wives and girlfriends.

Then I wonder if this is really a bad thing. In many ways pop stars are vapid, pre-programmed images that exist as constructs with so substance or capacity for thought. Where as producing a pop star requires the destruction of a young person’s psyche as they’re plunged into a world of fame and entertainment industry mindwarping, programming a hologram hurts no one. Celebrity status produces insane people who have had any connection to reality severed and leaves the star in a world without authenticity. Egos and expectations reach unreal hyperbole and the result is a person who simply cannot deal with reality. It’s simple. Kill the reality. With an artificial pop star no humans had their teenage developments ruined and no parents were transformed into to greedy and abusive managers. All that’s left is a robot idol for a generation that fetishizes robots and doesn’t care if it’s made of flesh or light

Seeing what the brain sees.

Recently Berkley scientists used fMRI data to reconstruct images processed by the brain by using YouTube videos to build a computer vision model. Linked above are some of the reconstructions they’ve made using this process.

In 2008, the lab published that they’ve learned how to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect images being processed by the brain (2008 paper here)
But how do you turn raw neuronal activity signals into an actual image? In the case of Jack Gallant’s neuroscience lab they contructed a vision model on a computer using a library of YouTube videos. A subject would watch a video, their brain activity would be measured, and that data would be used as part of a dataset for correlating a certain type of brain activity to a certain type of video. Then when the subject watched a novel video that the computer hasn’t seen before, the computer would read the brain activity and superimpose the population of videos that correlate to the neuronal signals.

It’s quite striking how well their model works. With unlimited computing power and an even bigger video library such reconstruced visions could become incredibly detailed.

This isn’t the first time scientists have been able to metaphorically see through someone else’s eyes. Ten years ago experiements, also performed at Berkley, were done with cats (link 1, link 2) in which electrode arrays were placed in the thalamus of a live cat and the measured neuronal activity was processed into an image.
Below is a video showing some of the moving recontructed images obtained from a cat’s brain. Note that it may be grotesque so some people – it contains invasive electrophysiology in a live animal. It’s also creepy in how the cat’s thalamic visual processing interprets human faces at catman faces.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO and Dubstep Guns

So my buddies down at Megasteakman have uncovered some deleted scenes from George Lucus’ endless reimaginings of the Star Wars Franchise. Yes, it’s all about the No’s. The guys at Megasteakman are longtime friends of mine, and they’re committing to a fairly rigorous schedule of releasing videos, so I’ll be reposting them here as they come. Be sure to check out their old videos for fun like laser tits and even more boobs.

On the topic of youtube vids I’d also like to talk about:

DUBSTEP GUNS – GUNS THAT SHOOT DUBSTEP

Featuring Mike Diva and his brand of high octane dubstep special effects malestrom. I’m really amazed at his ability to include dubstep in every video he makes with the exception of the (non-dubstep) music videos he does. That being said the Dubstep Guns video is really a marvel. I had to watch it with a stuttering connection and even the freeze frames of the dubrays were fairly glorious.

LEGO electrophoresis

http://citizensciencequarterly.com/2011/09/12/lego-electrophoresis-box/

Gel electrophoresis is a molecular biology technique that is often used to visualize, purify, or separate DNA based on the size of the DNA molecules inside a solution. It uses an electric current to force charged DNA molecules to migrate through a porous gel that restricts the DNA strand’s movement based on the size of the strand.

And now it’s in LEGO. These are images of an electrophoresis apparatus made out of LEGO blocks. Unlike Lt.Cmdr Data it’s not fully functional though – it would have to be modified to include electrodes. You’d have to drill a few holes into the LEGOs, but you could have your own electrophoresis apparatus for the price of a few plastic blocks.

Back to the Future 2 running shoes

It’s the future and now we finally have the appropriate footware. Nike is releasing a line of running shoes inspired by the futuristic running shoes that Marty McFly uses in Back to the Future part 2. It’s not quite the hoverboard we were all waiting for, but rumor has it that it has power laces – laces that tighten themselves – in addition to all the blinking lights.

Good to see that we’re finally living in the future and that all those problems of the past have been settled. Libyans? We’ll never have to hear about them anymore. Power crisis? Thing of the past what with the cold fusion using garbage fuel and all. I think Nike just trolls us every ten years or so by dropping some weird novelty shoe on us and then laughing as we buy it and as kids in the 3rd world labor away to make them. I couldn’t afford the Nike pump shoes back in the 90’s, but if I could have then I should have bought a pair and kept it behind glass as a historical example of the stuff people will buy. Whereas kids thought the pumps were cool for awhile (note that I have never seen any of them actually pump their shoes before exercise – actually using the pump ability would have just been ridiculous) I can’t imagine the Marty McFly shoes being popular amongst anyone but nostalgic 80’s hipsters. That being said the only logical explanation is that it’s all just a joke. I can appreciate Nike’s humor, but the joke comes with the stinging reminder of all the great fantasies that failed to materialize in our future of today. Well, I guess one of the 80’s era fantasies about the post-2000 age came true:

http://www.mojowijo.com/

My question about the teledildonics hardware and software is that if you stick the dildo into the fleshlight ring can you get them to stimulate each other such that the AI will have sex with itself? Will it become self-aware?