Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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recent adventures in cyberspace

Image via Tumblr - Source: Pixabay

Image via Tumblr – Source: Pixabay

I’ve been having a ball playing around with all sorts of new software. I recently switched my old “frankenstein” computer (the one I made on Halloween out of two dead computers) to Xubuntu 16.04, which is a Linux operating system.

It’s been a great adventure. Like learning how to do computers all over again. Luckily there are friendly forums, which always helps!

There’s a lot of interesting free software that works well with Linux. One is Slimjet browser, which I’m using now (I haven’t tested it on Windows yet). Another is the GIMP, a photo editor that also works with Windows.

Anyhow… here’s a little something created on the GIMP… thinking of that old madman David Bowie while doing this. Well, I guess he’s an eternally young madman now.

I think the lyric “something in the sky” is in one of his songs from the LP Outside. But I’d have to check on that.

Sorry to anyone who has liked my stuff here or at Earthpages. I WILL get back to see what you have been up to. Just that learning Linux and related software has been pretty time-consuming. As I say, like learning computers all over again. 🙂


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Agent Carter

I was struck by how good this series was. Especially the first season. Although I enjoyed both. Rumor has it that a third season might somehow appear. But I can’t really see it doing very well. Seems a lot of good US stuff begins with solid character development and interaction, and then degrades into a special FX fiesta. Agent Carter stopped just in time, I think. Unless the writers can recapture the compelling dynamic seen among characters in the first season… and to some degree in the second. Then I guess it could work.


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David Bowie’s (new) Blackstar

It’s not very often that I like a song and the video. Here David Bowie proves that he’s the high priest of alternative… cool… call it what you want.

Of course, all the women are shapely and cute. And I guess the guys too. Perhaps the last kind of discriminatory “ism” we have to overcome. Still, a really great effort from one of my fav. artists.


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Pixels – DVD Review

Official poster for Columbia Pictures’ film “Pixels” – Wikipedia

Last night I returned some library material to a branch that I don’t visit too often. Browsing the DVD section I saw a fresh copy of Pixels. I’d been curious about it, so checked it out.

I was drawn into the film fairly quickly. Being about 20 yrs in 1982, where the movie begins, it brought back a host of memories. Some good, some not so good.

Adam Sandler plays Sam Brenner, a “loser” working as a tech installer. His orange outfit even has the word “nerd” in the corporate logo. Sort of a cliche these days, one which I doubt actual tech installers would appreciate.

On the other hand, Sam takes on an attractive “snob” (Michelle Monaghan) who wouldn’t kiss him because of his lowly status. And he does it well. So the film is a bit more complicated than merely perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

What really grabbed me in this movie was its integration of early video games, 80s pop culture, and the idea of an ET invasion. If you extend your imagination a bit, I think this movie is pretty good. I laughed here and there. Yes, drifted a few times… but one can always hit the pause button and get a coffee or snack when that happens.

On the whole, I felt that Sandler and the supportive cast did a good job. I wouldn’t say “great” but again, it was the synthesis of old, new and the beyond that made the difference.

More or less panned on other web sites. I think this film was just a bit too clever for some learned “critics” whose minds are too regimented to appreciate a flick that doesn’t fit into the current sci-fi box. True, it appears stupid and silly. One reviewer just called it “tediously bad.”¹ But something higher was going on. At least, it was for me.

Final word – Pleasantly surprised.

MC

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixels_%282015_film%29#Reception


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Shakespeare with Bacon

I always thought this was sorta cool. The idea of messages going backward through time. Can’t remember where I found this, unfortunately.

tachyon_film2

🙂

English: "Shakespeare or Bacon", Wat...

“Shakespeare or Bacon”, Watercolour on paper, 35.50cm x 25.50cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia) – Why not Shakespeare AND Bacon?


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The last woman in space…

Well, here’s my latest. I’m consciously moving away from current trends in electronic music, doing what I like and hoping that, if it doesn’t hit now, maybe down the line.

yesterdays_2

Image © Michael W. Clark

Not to say that I don’t have tons to learn. I do. But I like this one. It’s clean and simple. A sci-fi sketch. A mood. I don’t know.

This was one of the first tunes I wrote as a kid in the 70s. I’d sit at our old piano and pound out the repetitive pattern (octaved bassline with simple melody) cos I liked it.

Not much of a pianist, I’d always mess up the timing when it got too complicated. So i’m happy that today I can program that, and not worry about my (lack of) performance skills!

Me and Glenn Gould. ha.


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singularity – a look at the future?

click on image for fullsize – via tumblr

I was goofing around with some software, seeing if a certain filter gave a random or the same effect each time. Turns out it was random.

When it generated this, I knew it was the one. If you look carefully, maybe with the fullsize image, you can make out a face in the circle. To me this looked like someone peeking thru a wormhole. Not that we can do that now. Not in a controlled or coordinated way. But sometime in the future, who knows..?