Short Film: Eugene

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Created as a part of the Four Stories competition held by Intel and W Hotels, Eugene is the darkly comedic tale of a man granted the power to make wishes come true when he mysteriously receives a laptop delivered to his hotel room.

Updating the genie-in-a-bottle plot-line by transforming its wish-granter into a much more contemporary container – a laptop – Eugene plays the anything-is-possible card closely to its chest by granting this power to its shy and awkward protagonist.

Always read the fine print. Just saying.

Directed by Spencer Susser. Acted in by Michael Govier and Karolina Wydra.
Via Short of the Week.

Haiti’s Anti-Zombie Law

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In English, the provision reads:

  • Is considered a poisoning any attempt on the life of a person through the use of substances which can cause death more or less cleanly, regardless of the manner in which these substances were used or administered, and regardless of the consequences.
  • Is also considered attempt on life by poisoning the use made against a person of substances which, without giving death, will cause a more-or-less prolonged state of lethargy, regardless of the manner in which these substances were used and regardless of the consequences.
  • If the person was buried as a consequence of this state of lethargy, the attempt will be considered a murder.

Article 246 originally defined just the simple crime of “poisoning.”

It wasn’t until 1864 that the provision was expanded to include the second and third paragraphs, containing the language about “the use made against a person of substances which, without giving death, will cause a more-or-less prolonged state of lethargy” and burial thereafter.

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Top image by Haitian painter Wilson Bigaud in 1939.
By Mark Strauss via io9 for the full article. Worth a look.

Super Flemish

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What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century?
And what if the Hulk was a Duke?
How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White?

Sacha wants to confront these icons of American culture with contemporary painters of the Flemish school. The collection demonstrates the use of 17 century techniques counterpointing light and shadow to illustrate nobility and fragility of the super powerful of all times.

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I am absolutely positive I am not the only person who immediately thought of Marvel 1602

By Sacha Goldberger for the full awesome set.

The Death Metal Band Hatebeak With A Parrot As Lead Vocalist

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Hatebeak was a death metal band, formed by Blake Harrison, Mark Sloan, and Waldo, a 21-year-old Congo African Grey Parrot.

Their sound has been described as “a jackhammer being ground in a compactor”.[4] Aquarius Records magazine called Hatebeak “furious and blasting death metal”.

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With such singles as “Bird Seeds of Vengeance” and “The Thing That Should Not Beak”, how did this band ever fail to go platinum?

Via Wikipedia.

One Million Beads and the World’s Largest Wedding Dress

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This completely fabric-free masterpiece was hand-beaded in the United States and Mexico. It took twenty-one women over two years to complete. “Fantasy” was made with beads from United States, Japan, Austria, China, Czech Republic, and over 7 miles of beading wire.

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Still in progress, and at over 38 pounds (17.2 kg) in weight, I hope the woman wearing this has some help carrying her train. Just saying.

By and via Gail Be.

Chipotle’s Mayan Glyphs and the Temple of Burritos

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A while back, I bought Andrea Stone & Marc Zender’s Reading Maya Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Maya Painting and Sculpture, and checked out a number of similar books from the library. I skimmed and enjoyed them, and then returned them.

I went to a Chipotle in Philadelphia, looked at the wall, and realized their design was more than just decoration. There, looking back at me, was K’awiil, also known as God K.

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Next to K’awiil was a glyph representing a lord, possibily Juun Ajaw, one of the Hero Twins. All over the wall was seeing bits and pieces of legible, decipherable Classic era Mayan art. Here, the glyph for mountain. There, a shark.

[T]he wood and metal sculptures at many (or maybe all) Chipotle locations were provided by a company named Mayatek Inc.

The short story is, there are deviations, but the art is surprisingly accurate (for a restaurant) on a number of the glyphs (albeit, most are picked at random rather than for their original significance or lexical meaning). Or at least spitting distance. Though that seems kind of rude to do at a burrito place.

So…what does the above section of Mayan glyphs actually say? Dr. Zender translated the glyph blocks from Chipotle:

u-K’AM-ma-K’AJAN?-ch’o-ko
uk’amk’ajan ch’ok
“the youth’s rope-taking” (a ceremony)

u-TZ’AK-AJ
utz’akaj
“its count” (calendric information)

WAX-YAX-SIHOOM-ma
“6 Yax” (part of a date)

chu-lu-ku-?
Chuluk … (pre-accession name of the king)

i-K’A’-yi
i k’a’ayi
“his … stopped” (a death verb, here referring to the king’s father)

TIWOL?-4-ma-ta
Tiwohl Chan Mat (the father of the king)

mu-ka-ja
muhkaj “he was buried” (again referring to the father)

u?-na-ta-la
u naahtal “the first”? (ordinal title?)

MO’-na-bi
… Mo’ Nahb (part of the name of the king)

Brings back memories of my college study of Classical Aztec (Nahuatl) in Chicago…

By Language Jones via Slate for the full awesome story and more photos of the art.