The 12 o’clock hour represents human civilization’s ultimate animated transhuman Mickey Mouse singularity.
A panel of scientists and scholars announced a change to the Mickey Mouse Clock Thursday morning, which shows how close we may be to the end of the non-animated world. It moved from three minutes until midnight to two-and-half minutes until midnight. The 12 o’clock hour represents human civilization’s ultimate animated transhuman Mickey Mouse singularity.
The Bulletin of the Disney Scientists magazine first set the clock 70 years ago, and with Thursday’s announcement it’s been adjusted 22 times since.
The Mickey Mouse Clock isn’t a physical clock so much as it is an attempt to express how close a panel of noted experts feels we are to animating the planet, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. Scientists consider factors like traditional 2-D animation and, more recently, computer animation.
“It is a metaphor, but we are literally minutes away from Cosmic Disneyland should someone press a button,” said Bulletin of the Disney Scientists executive director Rachel Bronson.
In a statement explaining today’s decision, the group said:
“World leaders have failed to come to grips with humanity’s most entertaining and beloved animated cartoon character. Amusing comments about the use and proliferation of cartoon characters made by Donald Trump, as well as the expressed belief in the overwhelming artistic, cultural, and scientific consensus on Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, by both Trump and several of his cabinet appointees, affected the Board’s decision, as did the emergence of animated nationalism worldwide.”
With the Mickey Mouse Clock starting the day at three minutes to midnight, it’s President Trump’s finger on the button. Prior to taking office, he called for the U.S. to “strengthen and expand its cartoon capability.”
“Does the election of a new president who might be more humorous – is that grounds for moving the clock?” Van Cleave asked.
“Those are the issues that the science and security board take into consideration. We very rarely make a decision based on an individual,” Bronson said.
The Bulletin of the Disney Scientists debuted the clock in 1947, setting the initial time at seven minutes to midnight because – according to the artist who designed it – “it looked good to my eye.”
Plot: In this short feature by Bob Clampett, the story takes place at the Stitch in Time Hospital where their motto is “As ye sew so shall ye rip!” In the operating room Dr. Quack, assisted by Dr. Daffy Duck (“also a quack”) is about to perform surgery. As the operation starts and Dr. Quack asks for his instruments in an increasing rate, Daffy goes berserk and jumps around the room, tossing the instruments in the air and using the air bag as a punching bag.
He is then ejected from the room and ends up stuck in an iron lung. He fights his way out of it, but his body begins to inflate and deflate several times. Humiliated, Daffy insists that he will not take this lying down and states that he will soon get his own patient. Daffy opens the window and sees Porky Pig strolling by the hospital. Seeing his big chance, Daffy follows Porky around the corner and knocks him out with his mallet then carries him inside on a stretcher. Inside a hospital room, Daffy is examining Porky by checking his heartbeat with a ratty stethoscope and his temperature with a thermometer, which turn out to be a lollipop. Read the rest of this entry »
The city’s biggest animation convention draws thousands of comic lovers each year. Fictional characters too make an appearance. We speak to superheroes Spiderman and Captain America, and Minions. Photo/Video: Joyu Wang/The Wall Street Journal
Vintage Walt Disney Studios model sheets, circa 1931.
The Simpsons just took aim at a certain golden-haired Republican presidential candidate: Donald Trump.
In the clip, Homer finds himself whisked away into Trump’s hair. “It’s as as blond as a golden marmoset yet also grey as a long-dead donkey,” Homer narrates, as he finds himself inside his hair…(read more)
Marco Rubio’s Brouhaha-Filled Week: CNN’s Jake Tapper Goes Back to His Roots as a Political Cartoonist in ‘State of the Cartoonion’Posted: June 14, 2015
This popped into my head for some unknown reason: ‘Savoir-Faire is Everywhere!’ Where did that come from? Why is it in my head? I vaguely recall it being from a 1960s animated cartoon TV show, but what character?
It’s Klondike Kat. The internet, to the rescue:
Klondike is always in pursuit of Savoir-Faire (voiced by Sandy Becker), a French-Canadian mouse who constantly steals food and is known for his catchphrase, “Savoir-Faire is everywhere!” Savoir-Faire is accompanied by his sled dog Malamutt, who at times, plays the violin as well as the piano, and has ears that he can detect trouble outside, when Klondike Kat is in its presence. Malamutt’s only sound is a whimper, as well as a growl.
No specific memory of it, at all! Perhaps I heard it on tv sets as a kid (barely possible, since I’m not old enough) or the phrase had a life of its own, beyond the tv show, that lingered in popular culture further into the 1960s.
Other phrases from Klondike Kat: “I’ll make mincemeat out of that mouse!” and “Klondike Kat always gets his mouse.”
1963 total television productions title for the cartoon, via YouTube.
With China adding an average of 15 cinema screens every day, the country’s box office brought in $4.8 billion last year, tripling in size since 2010
SHANGHAI — David Barboza writes: Tucked away in a quiet design studio in this fast-growing city, a team of young animators, illustrators and computer programmers is bringing an ancient Chinese village to digital life.
Using three-dimensional texture painting software, the team — mostly graduates of China’s leading arts schools — is adding intricate details to temples, palaces and pagodas. Team members are also helping animate the movements of the digital characters, including two pandas named Po and Mei Mei.
“Because of the importance of the Chinese market to Hollywood, no one wants to make movies that offend China. Some may see that as self-censorship.”
— T.J. Green, a former Warner Bros. executive who now runs Apex Entertainment, which builds cinemas in China
“This is what I really love to do,” says Fang Zheng, a 32-year-old animator who studied environmental arts in college. “I’ve always been interested in characters and cartoons and things like that.”
The project, part of the next installment of the blockbuster Hollywood film franchise “Kung Fu Panda,” represents a shift in China’s moviemaking ambitions.
“We want to learn how to make movies that appeal to a global audience. Eventually, we need to go global.”
— Ren Zhonglun, president of the state-run Shanghai Film Group, which is also negotiating to form alliances in Hollywood
No longer content simply to build movie sets and provide extras in Hollywood films, Chinese studios are moving up the value chain, helping to develop, design and produce world-class films and animated features. They want a bigger role in the creative process, one that will allow them to reap more rewards, financially and artistically.
“Kung Fu Panda 3” is the first collaboration between Hollywood’s DreamWorks Animation and its Chinese partner, Oriental DreamWorks, which is partly owned by a government investment fund and a private equity firm, China Media Capital. DreamWorks Animation has taken the lead in the creative and design work for the animated feature, which is scheduled for release in early 2016. Oriental DreamWorks contributes by adding Chinese elements, creating storyboards and building parts of the 3-D digital sets.
“We’re trying to develop Chinese creative talents,” says James Fong, the chief executive of Oriental DreamWorks.
It is part of a broader push by China Media Capital into the entertainment business. Over the last few years, the investment firm has made deals with Warner Bros. and the IMAX Corporation of Canada. It also helped develop a Chinese version of the hit TV show “The Voice.”
For American companies, such collaborations offer access to new talent and the chance to understand better a culture that will increasingly be portrayed in its films. And coproduction deals provide greater access to China’s tightly regulated market, which in a few years is expected to surpass the United States as the world’s biggest film market.
“We want to leverage the best of the Hollywood creativity with the best Chinese characteristics. We make it faster, do it cheaper, and in the end do something really innovative.”
— James Fong, the chief executive of Oriental DreamWorks
With China adding an average of 15 cinema screens every day, the country’s box office brought in $4.8 billion last year, tripling in size since 2010, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. And Chinese piracy is no longer such a significant threat to American studios; for example, “Transformers: The Age of Extinction” made more money in China than in the United States.
The rapidly growing market is reshaping the way Hollywood deals with China, from the scripts it accepts to the marketing strategies it adopts. Some of America’s biggest television and movie production houses, including HBO and Warner Bros., are already pushing into China with a raft of joint ventures, partnerships and cofinancing projects. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s easy to forget that there is an endless, unexplored space beyond our tiny planet Earth.
This new video from All Time 10s is packed with tons of fun facts about outer space, touching on some the of strangest objects humans have discovered there — like zombie stars and metal worlds.
Who knows what’s still out there?
Writing computer programs could become as easy as searching the Internet. A Rice University-led team of software experts has launched an $11 million effort to create a sophisticated tool called PLINY that will both “autocomplete” and “autocorrect” code for programmers, much like the software to complete search queries and correct spelling on today’s Web browsers and smartphones.
“The engine will formulate answers using Bayesian statistics. Much like today’s spell-correction algorithms, it will deliver the most probable solution first, but programmers will be able to cycle through possible solutions if the first answer is incorrect.”
— Chris Jermaine, associate professor of computer science at Rice
“Imagine the power of having all the code that has ever been written in the past available to programmers at their fingertips as they write new code or fix old code,” said Vivek Sarkar, Rice’s E.D. Butcher Chair in Engineering, chair of the Department of Computer Science and the principal investigator (PI) on the PLINY project. “You can think of this as autocomplete for code, but in a far more sophisticated way.”
Sarkar said the four-year effort is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). PLINY, which draws its name from the Roman naturalist who authored the first encyclopedia, will involve more than two dozen computer scientists from Rice, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the company GrammaTech.
“Imagine the power of having all the code that has ever been written in the past available to programmers at their fingertips as they write new code or fix old code. You can think of this as autocomplete for code, but in a far more sophisticated way.”
— Vivek Sarkar, Rice’s E.D. Butcher Chair in Engineering
PLINY is part of DARPA’s Mining and Understanding Software Enclaves (MUSE) program, an initiative that seeks to gather hundreds of billions of lines of publicly available open-source computer code and to mine that code to create a searchable database of properties, behaviors and vulnerabilities.
Rice team members say the effort will represent a significant advance in the way software is created, verified and debugged.
“Software today is far more complex than it was 20 years ago, yet it is still largely created by hand, one line of code at a time. We envision a system where the programmer writes a few of lines of code, hits a button and the rest of the code appears. And not only that, the rest of the code should work seamlessly with the code that’s already been written.”
— Swarat Chaudhuri, assistant professor of computer science at Rice
He said PLINY will need to be sophisticated enough to recognize and match similar patterns regardless of differences in programming languages and code specifications. Read the rest of this entry »
Enjoy scratching with many capybaras. (Very relaxing to watch)
The model 1911 handgun is named for the year it was formally adopted by the U.S. Army – and while it was replaced as an official service weapon in 1985, it’s still massively popular. Various manufacturers have created their own take on the 1911, but its basic function and operation remains in place over 100 years after its inception.
Casper the Friendly Ghost
[VIDEO] Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Told in a Beautifully Animated Film by Piotr DumalaPosted: February 5, 2014
“…It’s a form of “destructive animation.” Each image exists only long enough to be photographed and then painted over…”
In this darkly poetic animation, the Polish filmmaker Piotr Dumala offers a highly personal interpretation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novel, Crime and Punishment. “My film is like a dream,” Dumala said in 2007. “It is as if someone has read Crime and Punishment and then had a dream about it.”
Dumala’s version takes place only at night. The story is told expressionistically, without dialogue and with an altered flow of time. The complex and multi-layered novel is pared down to a few central characters and events: In the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, a young man named Raskolnikov lies in his dark room brooding over a bloody crime…