Repairs are required / Asylum’d

typed for your pleasure on 31 October 2010, at 8.51 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The station’ by Blank dogs

Funny how things work out sometimes: I was cursing photographer Tamar Levine out loud for seemingly dropping the ball on what was to be a promising photo series, ‘Broken Robot Girl‘, as I’d run across the first in the set whilst checking a link. In hitting Mr Levine’s site to find a functioning link, I’d seen that he and his partner-in-Photoshop Rob Sheridan completed ‘Broken Robot Girl #4‘ back in August!

Better get that arm seen to, babe

You’ll definitely want to visit Tamar’s site, as the complete photograph is worth viewing in its entirety; plus Gynoid jubbleys involved. He says that numbers 2 and 3 in the series are forthcoming, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on that site now, won’t we?

And another online magazine interrogated me on my Doll husband status recently: upon the suggestion of Abyss creations’ Matt McMullen, writer Natalie O’Neill sent an enquiry to me a few weeks ago, wanting to write an article about Shi-chan and I for Asylum magazine. As I’d never heard of Asylum, I’d checked it out, and it struck me as being a ‘lads mag’ much like Stuff, FHM, and Maxim. Now I don’t mind Stuff or Maxim — FHM strikes me as their poorer cousin — but doubts crossed my mind as to how serious they’d approach the subject. Maxim UK actually did an article centred round a RealDoll back in December of 2004, and although it was amusing, it took the piss a bit, which is what you’d expect from Maxim. Natalie reassured me that what she would be writing wouldn’t be derisive, and sent me a link to another story she’d written for a newspaper. It was about ‘unusual’ lifestyles, but she approached it with intelligence, so I decided ‘why the hell not?’
The end result? ‘Man Has $6,500 Love Doll “Reincarnated”‘. It was a pretty even-handed article, all told, although personally Sidore-chan nor I would ever say she was reincarnated; we prefer the term ‘renewed’, as it’s less wanna-be Wiccan and more ‘Logan’s run’…

And I’m in the midst of yet another online interview with a writer from the Netherworld. Err, I mean, the Netherlands. More info as it arrives!
So there you are! Happy Samhain! Tomorrow I get to raid my local Hallowe’en outlets for BIG TIME BARGAIN SAVINGS!! As the Missus and I like to say, it’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2009) on February 15th, 2009

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Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2010)

typed for your pleasure on 17 October 2010, at 2.29 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Live at Gilman st’ by Masonna

And now, the twin sister to the previous half!…

+ This would be breaking news that I just learned of, otherwise it would’ve been in the previous post — you’ll forgive me, of course — but remember that adorable walkin’ talkin’ Gynoid Miim-chan, formerly known as HRP-4C? It appears that she was centre stage in a dance routine at the Digital Content Expo this month. Thumbs up for Miim-chan!

Sure, their dresses look as if they raided The Four King Cousins wardrobe, but still, an impressive display. And at the very least, it’s better than that ridiculous Tron hat they made her wear last year. Now all AIST needs to work on is 1) making Miim-chan’s movements a bit faster, and 2) rebuilding her body so that she has legs to show off as well, wink wink. She still meets and exceeds the Synthetik sexiness quotient, however.

+ Orient industry, the pioneers that revolutionised the dutch wife in Japan, have released four comely new heads for their fantastic Real Love Doll Ange line: Anna, Erika, Saori, and Shizuka. Lovely as the photos are, I can only show their faces here, cos their shoots feature them in the altogether, and some people actually view ‘Shouting etc etc’ from public venues, such as the library. Admit it, you’ll be heading round to the Orient industry site after you read this, liberry or not.

Left, Saori, looking like Lindsay Lohan; right, Erika, looking like Saori looking like Lindsay Lohan

From my limited fumblings in translation, it appears as if the Ange line at least is now starting to be made with better skeletons, as the site mentions titanium frames. They’ve also have increased posability, eye movement (meaning you’ll be the one that moves them, not the Doll herself), and something impressive/scary listed as… ‘power grip’. Ahem. Well done, Orient industry!

+ 4woods have hit another one out of the park with the debut of two new heads! So technically, they’ve hit another two out of the park, if that’s the case. Anyway! Now available for purchase would be the alluring Alicia, and the charming Coron, both of which are guaranteed to improve anyone’s day. Fact.

Alicia likes slingshot bikinis and pouting, yet dislikes shoes and oligarchy

Coron-chan, doing her best to make sure the bed doesn’t float away

The Alicia head fits the A.I.Doll Evolution body, whereas the Coron head was designed to fit the A.I.Peach body, so take that into consideration when you’re deciding which lovely 4woods rubber lass you want to order.
Funnily enough, I used to watch a tokusatsu series called ‘Chōjū sentai Liveman (Super beast Battle team Liveman)’, and one of the characters was a cheery and guileless Gynoid named Koron. Perhaps 4woods are hinting at something? Or maybe Hiroo Okawa is just a sentai fan at heart…

+ Speaking of A.I.Dolls, photographer Hiroshi Watanabe has enlisted a group of them, as well as a few Organik ladies, as models for his new project, ‘Love Point’.

Left, ‘Mitsumi’; right, ‘Yu-ki’s Hand’

Watanabe’s previously photographed those things which represented the fictional performances or representations of mankind. In this new body of work, the boundaries of fiction and reality become increasingly blurred and tangled. He has photographed both life-like Japanese sex-dolls and live Japanese models, intermingling of the real and fictional images within this photobook. To further blur reality and fiction, the dolls are made-up, dressed and posed to appear like live women, while the live models are made-up, similarly dressed with wigs and posed to be appearing doll-like.

In this body of work, his usual black and white photographs further abstract the portraits and eliminate additional clues as to which is the live model versus which is the life-like Japanese sex-dolls. It appears that he has taken license and careful consideration to make them indistinguishable. This continues his discourse on fact, fiction and fantasy.
taken from this site

Very interesting! Well, it’s a monograph with the subject being Dolls; of course it’s interesting.
‘Love Point’ doesn’t seem to be widely available in the States, but you’ll be pleased to know you can order a copy from photo-eye Bookstore.

+ So people were impressed with TrueCompanion’s Roxxxy, ‘the world’s first sex robot’. Sure. However, I’d personally met Roxxxy and her creators at her debut at AVN 2010 this past January, and to me, the definition of a robot is a machine that is capable of movement, which is an area that Roxxxxxxxy was a wee bit deficient in. Macmil Cybernetics, on the other hand, have shown that they can create artificial partners that are quite capable of motion, and they’ve been around since 2008. Q.E.D.

Not bad, but make one that looks like Anne Hathaway, and I WILL BUY THREE

Sex Bots are a result of several years of research and development on specially engineered movements and countless hours testing materials. Our sexbot features life-like movements and has a specially formulated synthetic skin for a natural flesh-like feel. Sex Bots have various options such as radio remote control and/or interactive touch sensory so if you touch it correctly it will “turn on.” Both options are completely wireless except for a port to charge as easily as charging your cell phone.
taken from the site

As the videos could be seen as *cough* suggestive by some audiences — man, these ‘morals’ are slowing me down like no-one’s business — you should click this link here, to see them on Macmil Cybernetics’ official YouTube channel. And ladies/gay blokes, you’ll be pleased to know they don’t just make Gynoids, they make Androids as well! There is something for everyone. Well, within reason.

+ Much as how I’d mentioned in a previous post, there’s a bit of lag time between the Mecadoll models being available for purchase in Europe, and their availability for purchase in the States. So unless you buy direct from French distributor Dream Doll Creation, you might have to wait a number of months for Synth Creations, or as they’re now called, Mechadoll, to sell the brand new Chlea model. Although she might well be worth the wait.

ENDEARING POUT: included. EURO SHADES: not included

Much as how the CandyGirls I’d profiled above are… less encumbered by clothing… in their actual site galleries, so it goes with young Chlea. It’s sultry Continental lasses like her that make me wish I’d paid more attention in my gradeschool French classes. *sigh*

+ Have you been keeping up with the new faces that Abyss has for the RealDoll 2 line? Ever since their starting lineup of Michelle, Carmen, and Aimee, they’ve added a billion of them! And when I say ‘a billion’, obviously I mean ‘just three’.

Left, Laila; right, Victoria. Photos by Stacy Leigh

You’ve got Laila, Victoria, and Elena to choose from now, making your RealDoll selection that much more difficult. Think of it this way: were it not for me rethinking my decision at the last minute, Sidore might’ve ended up being a Body 5, Face 8 Stephanie-type! In an alternate universe, however, she is.
Think on that.

+ Another intersection of RealDolls and The Art World has taken place: a website by the name of California is a place was host to two projects related to the affictitious ladies from Abyss creations: one is a video essay by Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari entitled ‘Honey pie‘, with the other being a photo series by the Zackary half of the duo.

People may thoughtlessly disparage artificial companions as surreal or creepy, but there’s simply no denying that all Dolls have, at the very least, an undeniable artistic worth — art should provoke, after all.

+ Recently, the iDollator world has suffered the loss of two Synthetik companion brands — My Party Doll, by the company of the same name, and Lovable Dolls by KnightHorse. KnightHorse are still continuing to manufacture and sell their alluring Lovable Feet, but the loss of both brands is still highly regrettable. As someone who promotes the idea of Synthetik companions as a whole due to their beneficial effects, no matter what company they come from, events like this unfortunately reduce the different types of Dolls available to those in the iDollator community, as well as those looking to enter it, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Hell, I’m still sad that Chestnut co. Ltd’s Rare-Borg line no longer exists, and they stopped production years ago.
There’s an applicable saying the Buddhists have concerning the impermanence of all things, but I can’t seem to recall it at the moment.

+ Finally, as David Bowie once sang, it’s been fiiive years since Sidore’s site ‘Kitten with a Whip!’ has given her a significant online presence. We’re still working on resurrecting it — our biggest obstacle is a lack of funds with which to pay a coding bloke to get it started and finished — but in the interim, she now has one of them thar newfangled tumblr sites what the kids’re into these days, appropriately named ‘Synthetik week-end’. The name comes from when she’s on Twitter, usually at the week-ends; one of the things she does is load down the Twitter servers by posting pictures of Dolls and Gynoids, and she identifies those tweets with the hashtag #synthetikweekend. Try looking it up, and see what happens!
So justify my Missus’ efforts, and give ‘Synthetik week-end‘ a look-in! I’ve also linked it in the uppermost bar, right under the site banner, so you’ve no way of forgetting it exists. And why would you?

And now your brains are brimful of useful and relevant Doll information. Until the next installment, that is!
Happy 23rd! (ta very much to Luna Chase and Rayschro for some of the links)

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Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2010)

typed for your pleasure on 16 October 2010, at 10.26 am

Sdtrk: ‘Noskl in Ana “Turntable mix”‘ by Masonna

Hello there! Would you like some long-delayed news about Dolls, Gynoids, and robotics in general? Yes, you would.

+ Initially, I didn’t get a chance to report on this — or rather, I had the chance, but I kinda put off doing so due to a bare-knuckle brawl between myself and my lazier nature — but you of course recall the stunning new affictitious beauty from Kokoro co. Ltd, by the name of Geminoid-F? Well, she’s been renamed Actroid-F, which makes more sense, consistency-wise. But that’s not the real important thing! Starting 11 November, she’ll be in a stageplay!

That Actroid-F’s got some nice legs on her

Following in the footsteps of Wakamaru and EveR-3, ATR and Kokoro Co. Ltd.’s Actroid-F (aka Geminoid-F) is starring alongside a human actress in a stage play called “Farewell”. The human-like android will get its voice from another (human) actress. The performance takes place November 10th ~ 11th in Ikebukuru [sic], Tokyo. The experimental play is part of Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro and Hirata Ojira’s ongoing “Robot Theater Project”, which began in 2008. The plays incorporate robots used at Osaka University and ATR Intelligent Robotics & Communication Lab to reveal the boundaries between humans and robots, while bringing together the arts and sciences.
taken from this site

Bryerly Long would be the other actress in the performance; she portrays a young woman with a terminal illness whose only company is a Gynoid that her parents have purchased her. A bit bleak, but there you are. Personally, I think the real test of both actresses’ skills were if the Organik were to play the part of the Gynoid, and Actroid-F was the dying woman…
If you happen to catch it in Tokyo next month, let me know how it goes! That is, if you can’t sneak a videocamera into the venue.

+ In the interest of presenting the opposing side of the pro-Synthetiks stance I champion all the time, this would be an article that addresses the topic that society may not yet be ready for humanoid robots. Unthinkable, yes, but like I’d said, I’m trying to do the equal time thing, here.

Poll Results: Humanoid Robots Unpopular…?

A 2008 survey suggests that people aren’t interested in robots that look like humans. The survey asked people at a home and living show about robots in daily life. Botjunkie took one look at the graphs and concluded that it isn’t a good idea to design robots that look like people. What the graphs and paper do not show is that there is a range of humanoid robots, from ones that look realistic to ones that have abstract human features.

[…] Naturally people don’t want robots to do the jobs they feel require a human touch, such as taking care of the kids, or that are considered above mechanical work, such as cooking and driving, though paradoxically they do want robots to take care of them when they get old.
the entire article is here

See, I’ll grant that a lot of people aren’t exactly comfortable with the possible so-called ‘uncanny valley’ effect that humanoid robots may have, but the thing that gets me is that there are quite a few factors at play that the poll fails to address.
One, the ‘resistance to technological progress’ factor. These are people who, if it were 1875, would grow beet red violently insisting that man would never set foot on the Moon. These are people who state that everything society needs has already been invented, and we can draw a line under it now that it’s 2010. If the group that were polled are mostly composed of people with that mentality, you’re going to get some skewed answers. If you were to ask me, as an example, questions about, say, rap music, my answers would be mostly in the negative, as I don’t like rap. Obviously you can’t run polls that cater to the audience, as it’s counterproductive, but the Botjunkie post stated that it was held at a home and living exhibition. Chances are, you’re not going to find a tremendous amount of futurists at an event like that.
Two, there are those that are initially resistant to technological progress, but when they see whatever it is in action, they eventually grow to think of it in a reasonable manner, and might well reach a point where they can’t live without whatever initially offended their sensibilities. It’s like people who have fight tooth and nail against moving someplace they initially don’t want to, and you ask them about it a year later, and they insist they love it at their new place and would never leave.
Three, there’s always the factor that most Western societies are founded on the christian ‘man cannot play god’ philosophy, whereas other cultures don’t necessarily follow suit. I’ve mentioned previously about why Japan is more enthusiastic about robots, due in part to their animist leanings — they don’t have the stigma of ‘robots will rise up against their masters and kill all humans’ as they see it as amusing fiction. I’ve also mentioned previously that I should probably move to Japan.
Four — and this is the one answer I always end up repeating — detractors always expect whatever technology to be absolutely bug-free and perfect right out of the gate, which the Windows operating system alone should have taught us all that that’s a pretty ridiculous expectation. If a humanoid robot — whose appearance might still be under development — doesn’t look exactly like an Organik human, they consider it an aesthetic failure. If you watch a video of Osaka University Labs’ Repliee Q1 from 2004, and compare her to her sister Actroid F, previously mentioned in this post, there’s a noticable difference. With that in mind, something like an artificial humanoid should be given a free pass until the artistry behind the appearance gets progressively better.
Hah. Now I’m getting beet red.

+ Back to sensibility: admittedly, the only thing by Ray Bradbury I’ve ever read would be ‘Dandelion wine’ back in high school, which I thought was godawful. On the other hand, the man is a futurist who apparently spins a good yarn about robits, or so I’m told. In this response letter he’d written in 1975 to an author by the name of Brian Sibley, Bradbury attends to Brian’s, and by extension, many people’s, groundless fear of robots:

P.S. Can’t resist commenting on you fears of the Disney robots. Why aren’t you afraid of books, then? The fact is, of course, that people have been afraid of books, down through history. They are extensions of people, not people themselves. Any machine, any robot, is the sum total of the ways we use it. Why not kknock down all robot camera devices and the means for reproducing the stuff that goes into such devices, things called projectors in theatres? A motion picture projector is a non-humanoid robot which repeats truths which we inject into it. Is it inhuman? Yes. Does it project human truths to humanize us more often than not? Yes.

The excuse could be made that we should burn all books because some books are dreadful.

We should mash all cars because some cars get in accidents because of the people driving them.

We should burn down all the theatres in the world because some films are trash, drivel.

So it is finally with the robots you say you fear. Why fear something? Why not create with it? Why not build robot teachers to help out in schools where teaching certain subjects is a bore for EVERYONE? Why not have Plato sitting in your Greek Class answering jolly questions about his Republic? I would love to experiment with that. I am not afraid of robots. I am afraid of people, people, people. I want them to remain human. I can help keep them human with the wise and lovely use of books, films, robots, and my own mind, hands, and heart.
the entire article is here

Profound is a shockingly inadequate way to describe what he’s said, but it’ll have to do.

+ This bit of relevance was submitted by alert readers Wolfgang and Via Kalí at near-simultaneous speeds from their respective countries of Japan and Austria: science is bringing us closer to artificial skin that can feel.

Robotics breakthrough: Scientists make artificial skin
by Richard Ingham | Sun Sep 12, 3:35 pm ET

PARIS (AFP) – Biotech wizards have engineered electronic skin that can sense touch, in a major step towards next-generation robotics and prosthetic limbs.

The lab-tested material responds to almost the same pressures as human skin and with the same speed, they reported in the British journal Nature Materials.

Important hurdles remain but the exploit is an advance towards replacing today’s clumsy robots and artificial arms with smarter, touch-sensitive upgrades, they believe.

“Humans generally know how to hold a fragile egg without breaking it,” said Ali Javey, an associate professor of computer sciences at the University of California at Berkeley, who led one of the research teams.

“If we ever wanted a robot that could unload the dishes, for instance, we’d want to make sure it doesn’t break the wine glasses in the process. But we’d also want the robot to grip the stock pot without dropping it.”
the rest of the article is here

Obviously, it’ll be a couple of decades before we have robots that have as responsive skin as we Organiks do, but it’s encouraging to know that progress is being made.
I have to say, though: I snickered at the use of the term ‘biotech wizards’ in the opening sentence, as it reminded me of the famous Arthur C. Clarke quote, ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’. Also, it made me think of blokes wearing lab coats and pointed hats with stars and moons embroidered on them.

+ Now, taking the same forward-thinking attitude of Mr Bradbury, combined with the artificial skin advancements mentioned above, we have to ask ourselves, what if the humanoid robots in question resembled someone appealing? Someone like, say, that delightful Christina Hendricks? Would small-minded Organiks still fear them?
I for one would welcome our busty ginger Gynoid overlords. But that’s a given.

+ And as I’ve started this post speaking about Actroid-F’s stunning acting debut, it turns out that South Korea’s EveR-3 actually beat her to the punch, way back in February!

Korean Gynoid Snow White, on a Segway

Robot to take starring roles in S.Korea plays
(AFP) – Feb 9, 2010

SEOUL — A South Korean-developed robot that played to acclaim in “Robot Princess and the Seven Dwarfs” is set for more leading theatre roles this year, a scientist said Wednesday.

EveR-3 (Eve Robot 3) starred in various dramas last year including the government-funded “Dwarfs” which attracted a full house, said Lee Ho-Gil, of the state-run Korea Institute of Industrial Technology.

The lifelike EveR-3 is 157 centimetres (five feet, two inches) tall, can communicate in Korean and English, and can express a total of 16 facial expressions — without ever forgetting her lines.

Lee acknowledged that robot actresses find it hard to express the full gamut of emotions and also tend to bump into props and fellow (human) actors.

But he said a thespian android was useful in promoting the cutting-edge industry.

“South Korea is an active frontier in developing robots and we thought that making it would be a good way to promote our technology,” Lee told AFP.
the rest of the article is here

This would be the second time EveR-3’s trod the boards — perhaps she can teach Actroid-F a thing or two. That is, if Actroid-F can suppress her giggling at the fact that EveR-3 rolls about on wheels, instead of actually walking from place to place. Don’t judge.

Right; that’s it for this half! As I seem to have gone a couple of months between posting these — why didn’t you lot tell me?? — I had to break it up, otherwise people would be even less likely to read it. As you’ve seen, this installment dealt with robotics-related topics, so the other post will focus more on Dolls. And fret not; it’s already written. Yay!
Watch this space! Whatever you do, don’t take your eyes off this space

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, robot, Synthetiks, iDollators,
Kokoro Co. Ltd., Geminoid F, Actroid F, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Osaka University Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, uncanny valley, Animism, Repliee Q1, Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine, Brian Sibley, Arthur C. Clarke, Christina Hendricks, Broken Bells, KiTECH, EveR-3

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typed for your pleasure on 11 October 2010, at 8.32 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Now or never’ by Polish Radio Orchestra

Been quite a while since I’ve dumped a mess of links upon you! A big sloppy bucket of links all over you, all in your hair and down your shirt. You should probably go wash that off before it dries. Don’t forget to burn those clothes as well!

+ In a way, I’m glad that Deafening silence Plus is just large enough, as if it were larger, I’d probably be indulging in my love of technological white elephants. And if I had more money, that is. ‘Technological white elephants’ is a term coined by sexy Eighties Goth siren Danielle Dax that describes obsolete technology or devices that, for whatever reason, didn’t catch on and last in the minds of the general public. Things like the RCA VideoDisc, or the ondes Martenot, or the Nintendo VirtualBoy (I own two — don’t ask, it’s a long story). I’m fairly sure the TwitterPeek will be joining you lot shortly.

Hear that? That’s the sound of Planned Obsolescence

Puts Smart Phones and Twitter Apps to Shame!

No more waiting for tweets to download or clicking the “more” button to see old tweets.

TwitterPeek’s “always on” tweet delivery makes it a snap to follow 100’s of people throughout the course of your day. Best of all, you don’t have to spend $100/month on an expensive smartphone data plan to get Twitter on-the-go.

It must be an interesting and fanciful world the creators of TwitterPeek live in. Honestly, it’s not a bad product, but 1) it’s very very specific, and 2) the masses would’ve bought these feckers by the carton back in 2006, when Twitter first started. Or maybe a year after that; some people are undoubtedly still smarting over the whole ‘Friendster‘ thing.
I just tried to search for a used TwitterPeek on the Bay of e, but came up empty-handed. There is no such thing as a consumer item that is created and isn’t resold at some point, which kinda says to me that… no-one’s buying TwitterPeeks?? *cue minor chord*

+ Speaking of social vortexes, Wil ‘sorry, can’t save the Enterprise, too busy Tweeting’ Wheaton has some very lucid things to say about that other social networking timewaster:

Now, as long as I have your attention and I’m talking about Facebook: I think that Facebook is evil, guys. I believe that Facebook is making gazillions of dollars by exploiting its users, and Facebook doesn’t give a shit about how its users feel about that. The only reason Facebook has made any changes to their laughable privacy policies recently is because the company was looking at legal action, and was in danger of losing money.

Personally, I think you should delete your Facebook account and wait for Disapora to get going. I know that’s unlikely, though, because Facebook has become a useful and convenient way to stay in touch with people you care about. But please, please consider the consequences of trading privacy for convenience, and think about this, from Newsweek:

If you really expect this company to suddenly become trustworthy, you’ve lost your mind. Over the past five years Facebook has repeatedly changed its privacy policy, always in one direction, and every time this happens, the same movie plays out. People complain. Facebook stonewalls, then spins, then pretends to be contrite, then finally walks things back—but only a little.

the entire article is here

As for me, I’ve already said my piece on Facebook and how I think it’s rubbish, so I’ll not go on about it. But what Will’s saying and what others have been saying, not using Facebook is something to consider.
And will I go see ‘The Social Network’? If it were a scenario where the proceeds from every ticket for that film went to stopping Facebook, I’d see it once a day. Apart from that, should I suddenly decide there’s absolutely nothing else more important that I need to be doing with my life, then perhaps. And more than likely, I won’t pay to do it.

+ This domicile would more than likely fit nicely into the ‘This IS the Future’ category if I had one. *checks sidebar* Just making sure. I give you: Ring House, located in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture, Japan, and built by architects Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima.

Sadly, the fog is not included

The Ring House is wrapped in rings of glass and wood and has an uninterrupted 360-degree view of the forest. […] TNA designed rings around the facade so that areas of private space and utilities could be met. The height of each ring was decided by the function concealed behind it. The glass between the rings allow you to look straight into the forest, so the whole house appears to dissolve into the forest.
taken from this site

+ As I’m sure every one of you have done, I’ve lain awake at night, wondering aloud ‘when will someone write a yakuza-based Choose Your Own Adventure story??’ Well, despite the fact that it’s online only, as opposed to a printed work, this page on the site Infinite Story proves that Dreams Can Come True.

You pour the last of your now semi-warm sake from the carafe into your ceramic choko. It fills the shallow glass only halfway and you sip from it slowly, trying to draw out the time. Down the bar from you is a group of sararimen who are getting steadily drunker and louder. From their slurred speech, you gather they are celebrating the fact that their division has made its quarterly projections for the second time, or something bullshit like that. “Fucking peasants…” you grumble not too quietly between sips of sake, but the sararimen do not hear it because they are busy toasting themselves again.

Your name is Shinji Takagawa, a member of the notorious Yamashita Syndicate in Tokyo, and you’ve been sitting at this sushi bar for the last four hours silently eating, getting drunk, and watching game shows with the sound turned off on the plasma screen TV behind the bar. Usually this sushi bar is pretty quiet place to kill an evening, but these drunken sararimen are making it intolerable. When the waitress comes to see if you need another drink, you just grunt that you want your bill.
the rest of the story is here

Unfortunately midway through the story, your ability to actually make choices is halted, and it turns into a straightforward fictional narrative. But it still gets major Cool Points for the concept overall.

+ If the Missus and I had a cat — Shironeko doesn’t count, in this instance, unfortunately — if it were a male, we would totally get him one of these: a kitty necktie.

That’s something I’d wear. Good choice, little guy! That had better
not be a clip-on, though; that’s just lazy

And yes, they offer feather boas for the lady kitties as well. Pair some dapper cats up with ones wearing Kitty Wigs, have a bartender pouring Bradfords into water dishes for everyone, and you’d have a stylish little party!

So there you are! All these links are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace

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Hope you like your modern art ballsy*

typed for your pleasure on 4 October 2010, at 7.01 pm

Sdtrk: ‘I’m Bruce (Dimension 5 Mega mix)’ by Fantastic plastic machine

I’d have to say this is pretty mental. Looks like someone Photoshopped something onto the picture of a courtyard, right? But there’s much more behind it…

They’re really small Toclafane! And THEY WILL END US ALL

Beginning October 23, 2010, MASS MoCA will present a new site-specific sculpture by Prague-based artist Federico Díaz. Created from 420,000 black spheres precisely milled and assembled by robotic machines, the 50-feet long by 20-feet high sculpture, Geometric Death Frequency-141, will fill MASS MoCA’s entrance courtyard with a fragmented wave seemingly caught between movement and stasis.

An interior installation of one of the robotic machines used to manufacture the work will accompany Díaz’s presentation at MASS MoCA. The robot will assemble additional spheres to be later added to the massive sculpture, providing viewers with the opportunity to experience the process by which Geometric Death Frequency-141 is created. The Díaz-developed process is unique-in addition to utilizing modern computer-aided manufacturing techniques, pure data and algorithms based on particle physics are the guiding forces behind the sculpture’s shape, texture and size.
taken from this article

Frankly, I’ve no idea which is cooler — the fact that it’s a solid thing that resembles something liquid, or the entire gigantic sculpture is assembled entirely by robots, or the title itself — ‘Geometric death frequency-141’. Sounds like the name of a piece by Masonna. Very nice!

*Yes yes, I apologise for the title

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