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[personal profile] copperbadge
I was reading this one at the same time as I was reading Sorting The Beef From The Bull, which was like a natural sciences one-two punch; I would read Sorting while commuting, and Remarkable Creatures in bed at night. 

Remarkable Creatures is the fictionalized story of two real-life people, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, who were fossil hunters in Lyme Regis in England back when we were just starting to like, figure dinosaurs out. It follows their relationship, and their struggles to be seen as legitimate contributors to the scientific record, for several years.

I didn’t actually know the account was based in real life until after I’d finished reading, which did ameliorate some of my disappointment with the book, because it’s hard to make a climactic narrative out of peoples’ real lives – reality just doesn’t flow as smoothly as fiction. But I won’t lie: I am still pretty disappointed that Elizabeth and Mary didn’t end up together. I thought that was totally where we were heading.

Mind you, the story of their friendship is compelling, and Chevalier did find a way to create rising action within the story, even though as she put it in the afterword, Mary Anning basically did the same thing every day for years, in terms of hunting fossils. 

As an account of fossil hunting, of the religious wrestling that people had to do with the concept of extinction, and of the way women were treated in the era, it’s a really great book. And it’s also a fast read, which I’ve come to expect from Chevalier. And honestly, this is the first book of hers I’ve read where the female leads don’t get married, though this is in part because the real-life Mary and Elizabeth didn’t either. 

But it still feels like Chevalier’s books are always about women settling. It’s the same problem – I know that’s what women have had to do, and I’m sure she does it intentionally at least in part to remind us of that fact. I just want more for these heroines. 

But if you’re interested in paleontology, Do Recommend, it’s a good book. Less frustrating than The Last Runaway, certainly, and the characters feel more compelling, more three-dimensional, than some of those in Girl With A Pearl Earring. 

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Milt helps Ollie

Jun. 21st, 2017 01:24 am
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Posted by Andreas Deja



These are design sketches by Milt Kahl, showing construction and anatomy of Smee, a character that was animated and supervised by Ollie Johnston.
These all come from Ollie's estate, they are drawings he kept after production on Peter Pan wrapped up. The power of teamwork! Milt's solid and inventive draughtsmanship and Ollie's superb acting.
You will find a few of Milt's draw overs for Ollie's shaving scene, which I featured in my last post.
I have animator friends who's favorite Disney character is Smee. I can see why, his animation is influences by Fred Moore, Ollie's mentor. But Ollie goes further in his acting, he hits a high note as far as his animated career. There is a Moore fluidity in the animation, but the acting is all Ollie.














copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I don’t know why it surprises me, my summers are always bananas, but July looks especially bonkers this year. Of the 20 possible workdays in July, I’m out for conferences, vacation, or workshops for a full half of them. I’m properly working only ten days in the entire month of July. 

I mean, I’m not unhappy about it. And thank god for a great paid leave package. I’m going to be traveling to cool places and doing neat things. It’s just kind of surreal. Like how last year I was only in the office for one week in all of June. 

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[personal profile] copperbadge
Taking a little break from Tracy Chevalier (we’ll be back to her soon)...

So, [tumblr.com profile] terrie01 recommended this book to me during a discussion on food fraud, and it’s been a really...interesting experience. On the one hand it’s a very informative book, packed full of detail and data, but on the other oh man is it dry. I didn’t realize what a struggle it was to get through until I started reading Extra Virginity this morning, which is about the same general topic (focused on olive oil) but is much more engagingly written.

Sorting the Beef From The Bull focuses on food fraud from a legislative and economic angle; I can imagine for people working in the industry it’s a little more accessible, and I don’t think it’s a badly written book. It’s just jammed with a combination of dense law and complex biochemistry, when what I (a non-lawyer, non-scientist) wanted was like...war stories about food fraud.

text )

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 08:24 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we begin, a quick reminder: when you submit a link and a blurb, you guys are your own best advocates. Try to look at the sites you're submitting and think, If I knew nothing about this situation, would what I'm seeing be helpful? And if not, try to include more context. You can give me more than one link, and it's often helpful to do so.

(This isn't specific to this week, just starting to notice a trend over the last six months where not enough context is available for me to write the blurb, let alone for others to be informed about it. Just a gentle nudge in the right direction!)

Ways to Give:

Julie is raising funds to cover rent; she has a job lined up but won't have a paycheck in time for July's rent. (This is a link I'm sharing rather than one that was submitted to RFM, so while I wasn't sure I should post Julie's username, I'll vouch for her personally.) You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] charlietheskonk is fundraising for a new Montessori preschool with wrap-around care; the fundraiser is to support startup and licensing costs, and supports a queer-owned business. You can read more and reblog here, or check out the fundraiser and give here.

[tumblr.com profile] digitaldiscipline linked to Jenn Vs. Trevor, a charity deadlift battle to raise funds for the winner's local Humane Society branch. You can reblog the link here and read more and donate here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

Anon linked to the EPA, which is soliciting public comment about the Second Five-Year Review Report for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site. The report indicates that the levels of PCBs in the river are still too high, but the EPA is not planning any active measures to reduce them. You can read more here and find contact information here to tell the EPA the Hudson River deserves better.

RSF linked to public comments solicitation about a plan to "trim" the US National Monuments; activists are working to make it known how important they are, and that monuments like Bears Ears should be saved. You can learn more and comment here.

News to Know:

[tumblr.com profile] drgaellon linked to a linkslist for religious LGBTQ people who are struggling with their faith's attitudes towards their orientation; included are sites that validate queer orientations for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, including a site specifically for trans Jewish people. You can find the links and reblog here.

Housing:

[tumblr.com profile] worldsonpaper is looking for a new flatmate in Sydney, 15 minutes by train from the CBD. She is LGBT+ friendly but requests no male applicants. Bedroom with a shared bath, $250/wk plus internet; electricity and water are covered in the rent. $900 bond. You can contact her via ask on tumblr or at wieldswords at gmail.com.

[tumblr.com profile] blackestglass is looking for a roommate in the greater DC/Northern VA area, to move in on August 1. She is in a 2br/2ba condo, Metro accesible, with free parking, gym access, and in-unit laundry. Master suite is available for $1290/mo plus utilities, or the smaller suite is available for $1190/mo, with lower rent if the parking space isn't needed and can be rented out. You can read more and get in touch here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

An Ollie Johnston Masterpiece

Jun. 18th, 2017 11:21 pm
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Posted by Andreas Deja



One of the greatest acting/comedy scenes in Disney Animation.
That's actor Don Barclay as Mr. Smee pretending to give Captain Hook a shave. Of course Smee doesn't realize that he is actually shaving the rear of a seagull.
Ollie took great advantage of the comic possibilities. The staging is hilarious, I have no idea how he came up with Smee's exaggerated poses during this dialogue scene. And his face shows amazing flexibility and range. I love the nervous acting as he adjusts his glasses and pulls on his hat when realizing that Hook's head is missing. This is definitely a scene worth studying frame by frame, the timing is ingenious as well.

Ollie had Milt Kahl go over some of these expressions. I do have a few of those sketches and will show them on my next post.















Friar Tuck

Jun. 16th, 2017 11:46 pm
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Posted by Andreas Deja



I love publicity photos like this one, where you see the voice actor and the animated character in one picture.
Andy Devine voiced the character of Friar Tuck in Disney's Robin Hood, and you can see how Milt Kahl caricatured the actor for the final design. When drawing a portly character there often is a choice to be made as to where to draw the belt line. Below the belly or above. Of course Milt made the right choice to have the belt up high, unlike his early design doodles below. 
I mentioned before that even though Friar Tuck is supposed to be a badger, he doesn't come across as
one. But the overall design as well as the acting work very well for an animated character who happens to be a clergyman. 





Rough animation drawings from one of Milt's scenes of Friar Tuck. Here he is interacting with the church mice.




Working with the Best

Jun. 16th, 2017 11:47 pm
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Posted by Sandro Cleuzo

 It is a pleasure to work with one of the very best in the business, Mr. James Baxter

Miscellaneous Bambi

Jun. 14th, 2017 09:52 pm
[syndicated profile] andreasdeja_feed

Posted by Andreas Deja



Some of you might have watched the Bambi Milt Kahl pencil test I posted a while ago. It was his rough animation of a scene which does not appear in the movie. A few days ago I came across these photos taken at Disney's Animation research Library. Those drawings above show that Milt's experimental scene made it all the way through clean up. And who knows, perhaps through color.
Cutting polished animation or even color scenes is very costly, yet it happens on almost any animated production. Something I try to avoid on Mushka.

Here is the link to Milt's rough animation of the scene:

http://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2012/04/experimental-bambi.html


A couple of different models made for the animators to study. One shows the motion range of a fawn, the other one is a realistic depiction





copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Dutch Baby is by far the most dramatic of all the pastries. 

Look how impressed my owl spoon rest is and DO NOT look at how oh my god filthy my stove is….

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[personal profile] copperbadge
Trying to get back into the swing of reviewing books, especially since I’m no longer re-reading the entire Nero Wolfe canon…

So, I recently found a stash of Chevalier’s ebooks on my tablet and decided to re-read Girl With A Pearl Earring, which I very much liked, and then picked The Last Runaway out of the others. The book centers around a young Quaker woman from England, Honor Bright, who at some point in the mid 19th century (I’m a little shaky on the exact date, but pre-Civil War) decides to immigrate to America with her sister Grace after Honor’s fiancee breaks their engagement to marry outside the faith. Spoilers below. 

spoilers! )

Mushka Poster Idea

Jun. 13th, 2017 12:07 am
[syndicated profile] andreasdeja_feed

Posted by Andreas Deja



This is a "rough" idea for a poster for my film Mushka by Peter Moehrle. Train travel is an important part of the film, and this image certainly represents that. Peter did refine this design according to the visual style of the film. I will post that image soon.

We are currently deep into effects as well as final color, I couldn't be happier. Everything is looking amazing!!

(no subject)

Jun. 12th, 2017 08:10 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] natasharomanov is a film major with Cerebral Palsy, living in Los Angeles; she recently lost her dream job with a film producer, and is raising funds to keep a roof overh er head and bills paid. She is offering commission work on icons, video edits, and graphic design; you can check out her work and get in touch here.

[tumblr.com profile] in-real-life-there-is-no-algebra will be teaching next year as an 11th grade English teacher in Texas, at a school with very few resources and located in a food desert. She would like to stock her classroom in a way that makes her kids, the majority of whom are Latinx or African-American, feel like they are in a first-rate school with supplies and a great classroom library. She's set up an Amazon Wishlist here where people can help buy books for her students to enjoy.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Strange Horizons, an online SFF magazine which is seeking two volunteer Associate Editors. The position requires about 3-5 hours of work per week, and works across all departments, assisting with the running and development of the magazine. They are strongly encouraging applications from queer, minority, and non-US/UK residents. You can read more and apply here.

[personal profile] brainwane also linked to WisCon, a feminist SFF convention which is seeking ideas for next year's programming. You don't have to be attending to suggest panels, workshops, and session ideas. Per their website, "WisCon encourages programming that has at least implicit, but preferably explicit, recognition of and engagement with an expansive definition of feminism. We encourage programming that is attentive to issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, disability, and other issues of oppression and/or identity politics." You can read more and make suggestions here.

Housing:

[tumblr.com profile] blackestglass is looking for a roommate in the greater DC/Northern VA area, to move in on August 1. She is in a 2br/2ba condo, Metro accesible, with free parking, gym access, and in-unit laundry. Master suite is available for $1300/mo plus utilities, or the smaller suite is available for $1200/mo, with lower rent if the parking space isn't needed and can be rented out. You can read more and get in touch here.

News To Know:

Carter linked to information about the upcoming Leverage Big (And Mini) Bang, which will be opening for signups in August. You can read more at their tumblr, [tumblr.com profile] leveragebigbang and they're trying to generate as much interest and awareness as possible!


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

Ficlet: Private 1/1

Jun. 11th, 2017 04:01 pm
in_the_bottle: (Hiddles)
[personal profile] in_the_bottle
Title: Private
Author: Me aka in_the_bottle
Fandom: MCU
Rating: PG
Pairing: Tony/Loki
Summary: Some things should remain private.
Notes: I've been wanting to write/post something for a while, but the big WIP is still a WIP and in the last few months I really haven't the time/energy to properly work on it, so here's 500 words of fluff for you. Not beta'd, so let me know if you spot something my stuffed up head missed (yeah, been down with a cold the last week or so & still coughing and disgustingly snotty).

Private )
la_rainette: (Default)
[personal profile] la_rainette
When I was in my late teens, we discovered that my dad was very, very sick. He’d smoked pretty much all his life, as he’d had TB as a young man and word in the sanatarium was that “people who’d had TB never had cancer, here, have a cigarette.” That was the logic behind it, I kid you not. Turns out he never developed cancer, but there are other ways to die from smoking. Towards the end of his life, my dad had about half a (mostly fibrous) lung left to breathe with. We had an oxygen extractor at home and were told that, considering the state of his lungs, the flu was now his worst, most lethal enemy. 

He survived his first flu but it was a close call, and it was a very, very dark time in our family’s life. He was in the hospital in intensive care for several months and it was touch and go for a long time. I was still living with my parents at that time. I visited my dad in the hospital a lot but it was complicated - we had to change into sterile clothes when we visited him, he couldn’t talk at all at first, we had to help him eat and it was TERRIFYING because of the tracheotomy tube and the respirator - rice in particular gave me cold sweats, because what if a few grains of rice slid down his windpipe and ended in his lungs? 

I’d grown up in a house filled with laughter and talk and music, and all of a sudden I came home to an empty house every night after school. It was hard for my mother as well, but we’d always had a complicated relationship (to say the least) and one evening we had an enormous fight. As a result of this, she went three days without speaking to me. Now, I don’t remember what the fight was about (it was probably something minor, we were both on edge all the time), but I do remember my mother walking in and not even saying hello to me. I remember the crushing loneliness. (I also remember my own pigheadedness, make no mistake - I was no angel, it’s not like I tried to talk to her and she didn’t reply. I gave as good as I got.) 

I was very very lonely., so I started doing my homework in front of the TV downstairs every night, just to hear voices in the background. Now, this was back in the mi-80s, and in France, we had exactly three different channels to choose from. I picked the least boring one and just let it play through the evening. 

And this is how I started watching Santa Barbara (the soap). I’d never watched a soap opera in my life, had no idea how the genre worked, but it was soothing that stuff happened ALL THE TIME and all these people had astonishingly busy lives when mine was filled only with dark and silence and hospitals. For a while, I watched the show religiously every evening. My favorite character at the time - the one I identified the most with - was the daughter of the house, Young and Pure and Goodhearted and trying to be happy. She was played by a lovely actress who put all her energy into making this character real (and it wasn’t easy): Robin Wright. 

I kept my eyes on Robin Wright as her career soared and she became recognized as a Serious Actress. I was thoroughly thrilled to find out she was in Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman isn’t my usual cup of tea - I have a hard time with superheroes in general - but I make a point of taking my daughters to see movies with strong, interesting female characters. And that’s a good thing, because otherwise I wouldn’t have watched the movie last night and I really enjoyed it.   

But then of course because I knew NOTHING about Wonder Woman prior to watching the movie, I did not anticipate Antiope’s fate. I was watching the fight on the beach gleefully, happily munching on popcorn. My popcorn-filled hand was half an inch away from my open mouth when Antiope got shot. And then my mouth made a sad, astonished “o” and my fingers opened in shock. 

I spent the rest of the evening fishing pieces of popcorn out of my bra.  

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Subtle Action

Jun. 10th, 2017 01:16 am
[syndicated profile] andreasdeja_feed

Posted by Andreas Deja



Another beautiful scene by Milt Kahl.
This is sequence 2, scene 118. "So, I am going to be your tutor." Merlin proclaims to Wart.
The wizard opens a book, before proceeding to clean his glasses. The main business here is the subtle action of Merlin's hand using part of his moustache to wipe the glasses clean. It reads beautifully, because Milt played down everything else in the scene. It teaches us again that if you want to communicate subtle movement, it needs to be isolated. Nothing else should move.
The idea to use the moustage to clean Merlin's glasses is pure Disney. And Milt staged this exquisitely. Study Merlin's hand, as it wipes the glasses. Awesome!!


















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