Vintage photos turned into wacky animated GIFs.

Wired featured Kevin Weir, an artist who animated various vintage photos from Library of Congress:

“I just stare at the picture for a while and things start coming to me that I want to bring to life,” he told Wired in a phone interview.

By adding a dash of dark secrets ripped from his imagination, Weir has turned animated .gifs — those blinking relics of early web imagery — into freakish, alt-history fantasies that call to mind Monty Python animations and H.P. Lovecraft’s creatures.

The featured gallery contained morphing humans, creepy background creatures, and (my favorite) suddenly-alive buildings.

More of these could be found in the Flux Machine.

Vintage Photos Enter Spooky Afterlife as Animated .Gifs

The Pirate Bay on SOPA, Hollywood, and copyright.

The Pirate Bay issued a press release on SOPA yesterday, reminding people how Hollywood originated, in light with the American movie industry’s support for SOPA and PIPA.

If you don’t know SOPA or PIPA, it will do you good to temporarily stop looking at your Facebook timeline and spend a few minutes reading about them. After all, once SOPA and PIPA are made into laws, you won’t be seeing Facebook, either. And that’s just the start of the end of the Internet as you know it.

INTERNETS, 18th of January 2012.

Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear”. He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.

Because of Edisons patents for the motion pictures it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North american east coast. The movie studios therefor relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there was no patent. There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them – like Fantasia, one of Disneys biggest hits ever.

So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: “stole”) other peoples creative works, without paying for it. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they’re all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations – it’s all based on being able to re-use other peoples creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide to their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other peoples rules.

The reason they are always complainting about “pirates” today is simple. We’ve done what they did. We circumvented the rules they created and created our own. We crushed their monopoly by giving people something more efficient. We allow people to have direct communication between eachother, circumventing the profitable middle man, that in some cases take over 107% of the profits (yes, you pay to work for them).

It’s all based on the fact that we’re competition. We’ve proven that their existance in their current form is no longer needed. We’re just better than they are.

And the funny part is that our rules are very similar to the founding ideas of the USA. We fight for freedom of speech. We see all people as equal. We believe that the public, not the elite, should rule the nation. We believe that laws should be created to serve the public, not the rich corporations.

The Pirate Bay is truly an international community. The team is spread all over the globe – but we’ve stayed out of the USA. We have Swedish roots and a swedish friend said this:

The word SOPA means “trash” in Swedish. The word PIPA means “a pipe” in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence. They want to make the internet inte a one way pipe, with them at the top, shoving trash through the pipe down to the rest of us obedient consumers.

The public opinion on this matter is clear. Ask anyone on the street and you’ll learn that noone wants to be fed with trash. Why the US government want the american people to be fed with trash is beyond our imagination but we hope that you will stop them, before we all drown.

SOPA can’t do anything to stop TPB. Worst case we’ll change top level domain from our current .org to one of the hundreds of other names that we already also use. In countries where TPB is blocked, China and Saudi Arabia springs to mind, they block hundreds of our domain names. And did it work? Not really.

To fix the “problem of piracy” one should go to the source of the problem. The entertainment industry say they’re creating “culture” but what they really do is stuff like selling overpriced plushy dolls and making 11 year old girls become anorexic. Either from working in the factories that creates the dolls for basically no salary or by watching movies and tv shows that make them think that they’re fat.

In the great Sid Meiers computer game Civilization you can build Wonders of the world. One of the most powerful ones is Hollywood. With that you control all culture and media in the world. Rupert Murdoch was happy with MySpace and had no problems with their own piracy until it failed. Now he’s complainting that Google is the biggest source of piracy in the world – because he’s jealous. He wants to retain his mind control over people and clearly you’d get a more honest view of things on Wikipedia and Google than on Fox News.

Some facts (years, dates) are probably wrong in this press release. The reason is that we can’t access this information when Wikipedia is blacked out. Because of pressure from our failing competitors. We’re sorry for that.


The Pirate Bay

Philippine Film: History and Criticism, a symposium at the UP Diliman College of Mass Communication.

There will be a symposium on Philippine Film: History and Criticism in honor of Nicanor G. Tiongson today in the College of Mass Communication Auditorium of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. The event will be from 8:30am to 5:00pm and is free and open to the public.

It’s too bad I won’t be in Manila today because the various topics in the program are very interesting to anyone who would like to learn more of Philippine movies. Some topics will also touch Philippine mythology and occult, music, and politics. Anyone interested in Filipino popular culture who has time to spare today should not miss this symposium.

Philippine Film: History and Criticism

Read the entire program for the symposium.

Andres Bonifacio, atapang a tao.

I wonder if kids today still know this humorous poem:

Si Andres Bonifacio, atapang a tao.
Aputol a kamay, hindi atakbo.
Aputol a paa, hindi atakbo.
Apugot a ulo, hindi atakbo.
Aputol a uten, atakbo atulin.

They probably know the first line, but not the rest of it. I’ve wondered who wrote it, how and when it became popular; but like many popular poems and songs, it’s difficult to find reliable information in the Interwebs. The poem is disrespectful to the Supremo of the Katipunan, I know; but I’d like to think that Bonifacio would be the first to laugh if he heard it.

Today, of course, is 148th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio. Next to Jose Rizal, Bonifacio is the most popular Philippine hero. Many still argue that he should be the national hero, instead of Rizal.

In history class, Bonifacio and Rizal are often presented as opposites: the former was the poor, orphaned, uneducated, and hot-headed revolutionary, while the latter came from a rich family, calm and intellectual reformer.

I wish I had Ambeth Ocampo as a professor. His broadsheet column on Philippine history is always interesting, removing popular historical figures away from their idealized pedestal, making them more human and sympathetic. A recent column fancied a comparison of Rizal and Bonifacio if they were Ocampo’s students.

We have no school records for Andres Bonifacio who, according to the late Teodoro Agoncillo, barely finished the equivalent of today’s grade four. What is often forgotten by teachers and students who presume that Bonifacio was poor as a rat and barely made ends meet by peddling canes and fans on the street is that Bonifacio was home-schooled. His father may have been a tailor, but in the 19th century tailors were paid quite well and Bonifacio had a private tutor who taught him to read, write and do simple math. What the Supremo lacked in formal education he covered with a lot of reading.

If we are to believe Pio Valenzuela (a most unreliable historical source), as cited by Epifanio de los Santos in his 1917 Bonifacio biography, the Supremo often “went without sleep at night in order to read.” Valenzuela also provided a list of books that Bonifacio was supposed to have read, including “History of the French Revolution,” “Lives of the Presidents of the United States,” “International Law,” “Civil Code,” “Penal Code,” the Bible (in 5 volumes), Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” Eugene Sue’s “The Wandering Jew” and “Ruinas de Palmyra.” Valenzuela also said that Bonifacio liked talking about the French Revolution.

An even older article also listed the books from his library that Bonifacio read. Yes, Bonifacio had a library. And he read Les Miserables. I can’t even look at that doorstopper without my eyes hurting at the length of that monster of a novel. I wonder what he thought of the Cosette-Marius-Eponine love triangle.

That’s another difference he had with Rizal: Bonifacio’s life had no prominent love story. His most famous poem seemed to sum up his idea on love:

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa,
Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga wala.

(Which kind of love exceeds
In purity and nobility
More than the love for the homeland,
Which love is greater? None, none at all.)

Maybe Ambeth Ocampo could share something about Bonifacio’s love life in the future. Unlike Bonifacio, who was actually married twice, Rizal had several well-known love affairs and these were frequently mentioned whenever a new Rizal biopic comes out.

Rizal had at least three local movies made about his life. Bonifacio probably only had one.

Rizal and Bonifacio as students
November 30 is Andres Bonifacio Day in the Philippines