Archive for April, 2012


The Higher Beings

I just uploaded my latest video, Electress vs. Plasmar. If you’re willing, I wouldn’t mind bothering you with a little background on it, and perhaps even a little look to the future it brings.

Last Summer, Ari and I were sitting around at my apartment with too little to do. I’d been wanting to make a video, so I asked if she’d like to help me write one.

We quickly brainstormed a scenario, then sat down and wrote it. All of it. The whole thing couldn’t have taken more than an hour and a half. We just started hammering and didn’t stop until we were done.

I thought about the effects it would require throughout, and was reasonably sure I could manage all of it just with Adobe Premiere Elements, but we decided to do a quick test to make sure it was feasible. You can see said test here if you’re interested (I only recently made it publicly available).

The video idea was unlike anything I’d made before. I’d certainly imagined a few science fiction ideas in my time, but I’ve written very few, and so far have only made one actual script that I planned on making into a short film (that one is beyond my means right now, but it is almost certainly going to be made eventually).

As such, Electress vs. Plasmar was a pretty exciting prospect for me. We ended up filming it in one day a few weeks later, and I quickly set to work editing it.

That’s when the technical difficulties began. First, the footage didn’t play very well on my computer because of the camera’s high resolution and level of compression. My solution was to render each clip out as a small-resolution version to work with and a high-res version to switch it out for later.

Not only did that take forever, but after editing about 2/3 of the film, I tried it again only to find out that it didn’t work.

Shortly after that, my external hard drive enclosure failed. I took the drive out and tested it in my brother’s computer, and I could use it just fine there, but the enclosure itself was toast.

Facing a difficult time financially and being in the midst of one of my busiest semesters of college, I put off buying a replacement. I still had the footage on my laptop, but it just wasn’t fast enough to edit well (or quickly). I had discovered that I could install Adobe Premiere Elements on the lab computers on campus and edit there quite well, but without the time and external drive to transport it, it wasn’t going to happen.

The semester ended, a new year came, I got married, and things settled down somewhat financially. By the way, the getting married part was not as sudden as the last sentence may have made it sound.

I finally bought a new external enclosure in February, and immediately got to work editing. I abandoned the different-resolutions idea and edited using the originals. I still had the effects presets, and was able to get a pretty good rough cut together in just a few weeks off occasional editing.

I got busy making less ambitious videos, which impeded my progress a little, but it was good to do and have videos released more frequently. Then, finally, I made the finishing touches on Electress vs. Plasmar and hit Export for the last time. Uploading took a great deal longer than I would have liked, but hey, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to how long it took to get it together.

I do plan on making a few sequels to Electress vs. Plasmar. I have a firm idea for three more, and I’ve written about half of the script for the next one. New characters will be introduced, and I think the naming of each one will correspond to the characters at play (Plasmar vs. Particon is the next one), and the powers of each character will play a more central role. There will also be slightly less banter than this first one, though it will vary.

It’s been a long road getting here, and I promise that it will be far less time until the next one! Without further ado, I present: Electress vs. Plasmar!

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Sometimes, I’m rather surprised by how far bad people will go to profit from bad things.

As you may have heard, the owner of AshleyMadison.com, a “dating site” for philanderers, has offered $1 million for any woman who sleeps with Tim Tebow and offers up proof.

Go ahead, think it over.

So you’ve come to the conclusion everyone else has, right? The guy wants more business for his website, and he’s trying to get it by bringing down a cultural symbol of waiting for marriage.

Here’s the worst part: he’s already won. No, Tebow hasn’t abandoned his morals. And sure, there are probably a number of women who are ready to do just about anything for the money. He’s won because everyone is talking about it. In the (likely) event that no one ever seduces Tim Tebow to do the dirty deed, AshleyMadison.com still got a whole bunch of free publicity from the whole ordeal.

News is news, but we do have to realize that not every cry for attention has to be heeded.

I was talking with a coworker about her national flag today and was intrigued by how simple it was.

Flag of Thailand

Flag of Thailand

That led me to wondering what was at the other end of the spectrum. Was the American flag a comparatively complex flag, or are there flags that put the stars and stripes to shame?

I went over to Wikipedia’s gallery of national flags and found some interesting ones.

Flag of Turkmenistan

Flag of Turkmenistan, apparently designed by a coalition of Turk grandmothers.

 

Flag of Somaliland

Flag of Somaliland. The writing at the top roughly translates to, "We are not Somalia."

 

Flag of Portugal

Flag of Portugal, featuring the ever-famous shield with castles and dominoes on top of the Universal Studios globe.

 

Flag of Afghanistan

Flag of Afghanistan, but don't be too impressed: you have plenty of time to come up with more elaborate designs when this is your 23rd flag design.

 

Flag of Montenegro

Flag of Montenegro, which is only slightly larger than the entire country of Montenegro.

 

Flag of Moldova

Flag of Moldova, a.k.a. the place where eagles kill cows and brag about it. ON A FLAG.

 

Flag of Kazakhstan

Flag of Kazakhstan, showing off the only two naturally occurring colors in the country

Flag of Fiji

Flag of Fiji. You really have to see the real dang big version to appreciate the detail.

 

Flag of Cambodia

Flag of Cambodia, showing off their anti-paratrooper architecture.

 

Flag of Bhutan

Flag of Bhutan. Definitely my favorite. No coat of arms, no tiny British flag anywhere. Just a dragon and his apples.

 

Flag of Andorra

Flag of Andorra, from a country which has so far not been sued by J.K. Rowling for pasting their own pictures over the Hogwarts crest.

 

Flag of Serbia

Flag of Serbia, featuring the legendary two-headed eagle reacting to Justin Bieber.

 

Flag of San Marino

Flag of San Marino, or maybe Camelot.