The Russians are coming! That’s a double entendre! Part I

typed for your pleasure on 30 December 2012, at 11.46 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The old spring town’ by The High Llamas

As you’ll have seen, there’s a seductive new affictitious lass living at Deafening silence Plus; her full name is Elena Valeriya Vostrikova, and she is a Body 4 Victoria-head Doll by Vladivostok-based company Anatomical Doll. Some of you who have seen Sidore and I in those two episodes of TLC’s programme ‘My Strange Addiction’ that initially aired throughout 2011 may recall that I’d said that I was ordering a second Doll, and since no second Doll seemed to be forthcoming, Elena took on a somewhat mythical status. For the longest time, even we were wondering if we’d ever have another playmate. But she’s home! She’s learning English, snuggling up with the Missus often, constantly asking if I can play any Cocteau twins round the flat — she’s a big fan — and generally improving our lives, in the way that only a Synthetik can. Shi-chan and I are incredibly glad to have her here!
But what was the issue between 2011 and now, you axe? Well, for one, never axe anyone a question. But I’ll tell you anyway.
Click here for the rest of the post, bunky »

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Wooden crated arrival / Rocket-powered departure

typed for your pleasure on 26 December 2012, at 10.17 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Dance floor bathroom’ by Coachwhips

Time for the annual Shouting to hear the echoes Boxing Day Post! And by ‘time’, I mean that this would be the first time I’ve ever announced this sort of thing. And more than likely the last! Who has time to read a blog on Boxing Day? People are too busy punching each other!
And that’s the exact lack of cultural sensitivity that’ll prevent me from moving to Toronto.

For all of you who keep furtively checking the post announcing the impending arrival of our rubber Russian, Elena Vostrikova, she’s been safely home since the 18th of the month. I’m slowly writing the posts that’ll comprise my review of her (spoilers: Sidore and I are in love with her), as well as the tale of How I Brought Her Home, so expect that in… err, January? Yes. But Lenka’s enjoying herself at Deafening silence Plus! The Missus has someone female to interact with, and my plan of getting multiple Dolls from differing manufacturers has moved a step forward!
We’d hosted the last Doll Congress of the year round at ours; Mahtek and Noquiexis from Ohio, CJD and his Organik wife Cat from Ontario, and ‘Hans’ from Chicago were in attendance, and we were joined by Euchre later that eve for dinner. Not only was it the first official Congress we’d had since last August, but this was the first time everyone got to meet Sidore and Elena together! As usual, it was a fab time, with great people, but then, our iDollator meetups always are.

After everyone piled into their cars and went home, Lenka wanted me to get her first official photoshoot in! So I did.

Just under sixty photos is a good start, I think. She’s gonna need more clothes; she’ll never fly Korean Air again, as they lost her luggage. Lesson learned!

And on the obverse side of the coin, today I also learned that Gerry Anderson, creator of amazing science fiction productions such as UFO, Space: 1999 and ‘Doppelgänger’ (aka ‘Journey to the far side of the sun’ outside the UK), and pioneer of Supermarionation, the revolutionary technique that brough us Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, passed away today at 83 years of age.

Gerry Anderson: Obituary
BBC News | Published Wednesday, 26 December 2012

TV producer Gerry Anderson, who has died at the age of 83, made his name with classic shows like Thunderbirds – despite saying he never liked working with puppets.

After starting his career at the Colonial Film Unit, part of the Ministry of Information, Anderson set up a TV and film production company, AP Films.

But work was hard to come by, and when he was approached to make a puppet show called The Adventures Of Twizzle in 1957, he had little option but to accept.

“I was shattered when I learnt the programmes had to be made with puppets as I’d allusions of making great pictures like Ben Hur,” he later said.

“But there we were with no money, and an offer on the table. We had to take it.”

Another puppet series, Torchy The Battery Boy, followed, and the positive reaction to his wooden creations and relative failure of live action ventures persuaded him to stick with the marionettes.

The 1960 series Supercar, about a vehicle that could travel in the air, on land or under the sea, honed Anderson’s trademark formula of mystery and futuristic adventure.

It also allowed Anderson to perfect his production technique called Supermarionation.

The voices were recorded first, and when the puppets were filmed, the electric signal from the taped dialogue was hooked up to sensors in the puppets’ heads.

That made the puppets’ lips move perfectly in time with the soundtrack.

Subsequent science-fiction puppet series Fireball XL5 and Stingray were also hits, and Anderson dreamed up the idea for Thunderbirds in 1963 while listening to a radio report about a team of rescuers rushing to a collapsed mine in Germany.

The idea for International Rescue was born, and the show saw the Tracy brothers take off in their fleet of space-age craft from the secretive Tracy Island to complete daring rescue missions and combat nefarious villains.
the rest of the article is here

After Doctor Who, UFO has to be one of my favourite science fiction programmes from England. Its optimistic view of the future — the series took place in 1980 — was the kind of future that I would’ve loved to live in, as the fashion and architectural design was completely informed by the Sixties. I mean, if you can’t trace a direct line from the purple wigs of the SHADO Moonbase Operators to my wife’s preferred haircolour, you haven’t been paying attention. And although I enjoy Thunderbirds, to me it pales in comparison to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. The episodes were a better length, more espionage-driven, and every episode had the Mysterons broadcasting their intentions, as Spectrum raced to foil their plots.
Those shows, as well as most of the ones produced by Gerry’s company, Century 21, featured mechanical designs by Derek Meddings and Reg Hill, whose influence lives on in the many tokusatsu series of Japan. Years ago, I’d attended an anime convention, and one of the Q&A panels had one of the Super Sentai production staffers being interviewed; I can’t remember his name off the top of my head, but he was one of the producers. One of the friends I went with had asked if there was a correlation between all the vehicular techno-gadgetry of shows such as the Ultraman and Super Sentai franchises, and he’d replied that Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation programmes were a huge inspiration on the set and model designs. And of course, let’s not forget that we wouldn’t have Parker and Stone’s ‘Team America: World Police’ without him.

Considering the legacy of innovations that he’d created, the world will probably never see another director as unique as Gerry Anderson

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…or don’t watch a Doll on telly

typed for your pleasure on 14 November 2012, at 10.43 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Julia’s song’ by Orchestral manoeuvres in the dark

As you may recall me mentioning in the last post, Sidore and I were due to appear on the chat show ‘Dr Drew on Call’ tonight, but, well, we didn’t. Now before you toss back that fistful of pills and wash it down with that glass of ammonia, let me explain what occurred, then you can top yourself. Sound fair?

Late last month, Bill, one of the show’s producers, contacted me about making an appearance. I said yes, and weeks later, I was put through to another programme producer by the name of Emily. She did a preliminary interview with me over the phone yesterday for a good half hour, which seemed to go reasonably well, and we aimed for shooting round 8pm EST. Now, I don’t know if he does this with all of his guests, but Dr Drew seems to… not really have his guests in the same studio with them; it’s all video feeds, from what I’ve seen. Kinda like Space Ghost Coast to Coast, but with much less Moltar. In any event, the show was going to be live, which would’ve been interesting, to say the least. With the exception of the fantastic symposium I was part of earlier this year, I don’t really do ‘live’. I’m not completely averse to it, but I’m much more of a studio musician than an onstage performer. But that’s just me.

We were ostensibly set: the Missus and I would point our laptop webcam at ourselves sat on the Deafening silence Plus loveseat, and answer questions put to us by Dr Drew and anyone mischievous enough to call in. Yes, people can call in. Yes, this is why I’m not keen on live telly venues. You only live once, though, so hey. We were due to test the Skype connection and lighting at 8pm EST, and go live at 9. I’d left work at 4 today — yes, I still have to write about New Job, but I keep getting distracted — and on the way there, Emily called me, and asked me to sign the release forms she’d Emailed me when I got home. Standard release form fumfuh, really. Sure, I told her, then popped round to my local sushi place, where the chef made three gigantic onigiri for me for my birthday. One of them was enough to fill me up for hours, so naturally, I ate two, and was practically rendered immobile.
Before gorging on rice, seaweed, and eel, however, I got Sidore dressed; she elected to wear that black A-line shift dress from the Sixties that I bought her for our first ‘My Strange Addiction’ segment, and was looking her usual delectable self. Then I sat down to eat, and have a look at the release form. Standard release form fumfuh… o, wait. Hmmm.

3. [..] The Program may include other guests and participants, surprises, statements, or commentary that I find private, hurtful, or embarrassing. Other persons or guests may appear on the Program, with or without my advance knowledge.

Hmmm.

5. I understand that while participating on the Program, and as a result of participating in the Program, I may be ridiculed or embarrassed. I understand that nothing that I say in connection with the Program will be off the record, that my identity will not be concealed, and that anyone may see my appearance on the Program and learn private and confidential information about me.

…right. It was at that point I rang Emily, leaving a message on her voicemail that I wasn’t keen on what I was seeing.

Let me pause the narrative for a bit here to explain: there’s a certain level of stupidity that I’ll tolerate from bog-standard American television. What this means is that if you’re a programme producer, and you make an enquiry with me, I’ll do a bit of research as to your show’s host, the kind of content you traffic in, the general demographic of the audience you play to, etc. If the programme meets with my approval based on the previous criteria, more than likely, I’ll do it for free, as I think it’s important to spread the word about Synthetiks, and if the show’s cool, then I’m cool. On the other hand, if I see you’re the sort of programme that makes Jerry Springer look like Walter goddamned Cronkite, then I’m going to refuse. Unless, of course, you meet my other demands:
1) the ability for me to choose the recording date,
2) all-expense paid flights for Sidore and I to the set and back home,
3) pre-paid accomodation when there,
4) the ability for me to pre-screen the questions that the presenter would be asking,
5) a closed set, and
6) a cheque made out to me for $5,000 USD for my time.
And that’s the point where most of the exploitationists thank me for my time, and scuttle backwards through the door. Again, I genuinely enjoy doing television segments, as it presents the opportunity to inform greater numbers of people about Dolls, Gynoids, and Androids, but really it’s only fair to pay me for my time. Or, more importantly, don’t run lowest common denominator material on your show, for starters.

Ten minutes had passed, with no callback from Emily, so I’d sent her a text, telling her to check her voicemail as soon as she could. And literally as soon as I’d hit Send, Bill called! Moreover, Bill called, saying that there’s been breaking news, and they have to postpone our segment! Apparently, one of the principal individuals in a story they’d been following for several months had passed away, and the network had told the producers that that story takes precedence over whatever segments were slated to go out for tonight. ‘Well, we can always reschedule,’ he said. ‘I’ll have to give that some thought,’ I replied, and explained my dissatisfaction with the release forms. He said they’d be open to talking about it, whatever that may mean exactly.

And that, my friends, is why you didn’t see Sidore and me on Dr Drew tonight. Which is kind of a shame, as I was looking forward to being David Bowie to Dr Drew’s Russell Harty.
The moral of this story? If you’re eating onigiri of that size, give it a good two, two and half hours between eating each one. Any less than that, and you run the very real risk of bursting. Don’t Be Overeager with Onigiri™!

The end!

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Buy a tiny Gynoid, watch a Doll on telly

typed for your pleasure on 13 November 2012, at 7.17 pm

Sdtrk: ‘No title No.2’ by Hair stylistics

The above photo was taken this August, by the way. Esteemed iDollator/performance artist Amber Hawk Swanson wanted to pick my brains about an upcoming project she’s developing (HINT: it’s Doll-related), and she also wanted to finally meet my better half. Brief times, but fun times!

So this would be another one of those in-between posts that I seem to be fond of these days, wherein I tell you that
+ the HRP-4C Miim figure/kit made by Wave Corporation that I mentioned a couple of posts ago is now available for preorder through such online retailers as Hobby Link Japan and AmiAmi. The kit will sell for about $28 USD — without shipping and handling, of course — and is due for a February 2013 release. If I told you I’d already placed my preorder, would you really be surprised?

+ And Sidore and I will be putting in an appearance on the show Dr Drew on Call tomorrow! No, not Doctor Who; Dr Drew, as in Drew Pinsky. I’m sure he’s a nice bloke, but is his studio bigger on the inside than it is on the outside? The Missus and I will be on via satellite (i.e, Skype), fielding questions about our unusual quote unquote relationship. The show seems more news-oriented than the usual misguided enquiries we get, plus Dr Drew seems like much less of a tosser than the typical American chat show host, so the experience should be rather decent! The programme will be on at 9pm EST.

Coincidentally, we’ll be making this latest telly appearance on what will be my 40th birthday. Before I turned 36, I used to narrow my eyes to flinty slits whenever I heard the phrase ’40 is the new 30′. Recently, though, I’ve had a change of heart! *plants forehead onto desk, emits low moan*

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All Synthetiks Great and Small

typed for your pleasure on 15 October 2012, at 12.06 am

Sdtrk: ‘Compass’ by Disasterpeace

Today’s post is another one of those in-between posts, but I’m fairly certain you’ll find it interesting, regardless. Apart from it being about Synthetiks, it has a theme to it as well! Can you spot it? Can you?

+ Not too long ago, someone had pointed out to either me or Sidore on Twitter that there such things as life-sized ball-joint dolls do, in fact, exist. There’s not a lot of them out there, but that person sent a link along detailing the statuesque Izi, made by Korean BJD manufacturer D-storic.


Somewhere, Hans Bellmer is smiling

Izi (pronounced ‘easy’) is a statuesque 5’8″, with measurements of B:30 / W:21.5 / H:29, a US sz 6 shoe, and weighs 46.3 lbs, which is the average weight of your typical supermodel. She only comes in one skintone — ivory — but she can be made with one of two different styles of make up (as I’ve been informed by those in the BJD community, it’s referred to as ‘face-up’), or you can have her shipped to you without it, so you can do her face-up yourself. They don’t say what she’s made out of, so I’m gonna assume… pure love? Which would be ironic, as she, like most BJDs, has no genitalia. So, not so good as a lover, but more than adequate as a companion, then.


‘A romantic evening out? Err… let’s just call it an evening out’

Ordering an Izi of your very own to stand around your home, looking like Anne Hathaway or Krysten Ritter, and not having sex with you — again, much like Anne Hathaway or Krysten Ritter — will run you USD $6000, and her production time takes six months. Lovely lass, though.

+ And on the other end of the spectrum, I’m led to believe that there’s going to be a scaled-down version of my favourite real-life Gynoid, Miim, aka HRP-4C, available for purchase sometime next year. YESSS


photo taken from this AmiAmi blog entry

The figure even sports Miim-chan’s slightly oversized hands! They’re for balance; stop making fun of her.
As you suspect, my goal this week is to find out A) who’s making this, and B) when I can place a pre-order. Price is (almost) no object, especially as I missed the opportunity years ago to purchase a scaled-down version of one of the Actroids
UPDATE (17 Oct 2012): Looks like this will be a 1/12th scale plastic model kit by Wave Corporation, a company that’s been making this sort of thing for quite a while, and the suggested retail price is around $40 USD, according to their blog. Quite affordable! Of course, I haven’t factored in shipping and handling. Hrrr.

So did you identify the theme? Did you? One entry is about a Doll that’s scaled up to life-sized proportions, while the other mentions a life-sized Gynoid reduced to Doll — or rather, figure — scale. So there you are.
Yeah, you’re probably about as glad that I don’t do that whole ‘theme’ thing as I am

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Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2012)

typed for your pleasure on 5 October 2012, at 12.24 am

Sdtrk: ‘Sheets of solid gold’ by Zoos of Berlin

Are there any Synthetiks-related news? Are there really? In the words of the Magic 8-ball, ‘Reply hazy, try again.’ No wait; I meant ‘It is decidedly so.’ O, Magic 8-ball, you so random.

+ When not engineering more of those gorgeous Actroids, roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro periodically creates Androids as well. You’ve seen his Synthetik twin Geminoid HI-1 of course, as well as Geminoid-DK, the servo-driven clone of Henrik Scharfe. Ishiguro-san’s recent project would be an Android replica of Beichō Katsura III. Unless you’re familiar with rakugo, you’ll have no idea who this bloke is. I didn’t even know what rakugo was until I first heard of this Android, so we’re in the same boat. It’s essentially comedy storytelling, done by a single performer seated on stage, with the only props at his disposal being a paper fan and a hankerchief. Apparently Noriko Watanabe, assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Baruch College, described it as ‘a sitcom with one person playing all the parts’. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)
But we’re not here to talk about rakugo! HOLY CRAP STOP ASKING ME RAKUGO-RELATED QUESTIONS. Look at this video instead!

A total of 53 degrees of freedom were required in order to replicate the storyteller’s facial expressions and gestures. Its movements were based on those of Beicho’s eldest son, also a rakugo performer, who mimicked his father’s movements by watching a video. The vocal portion of its performance will be an earlier audio recording of the man himself.
the entire article is here

Katsura-san is apparently one of the foremost rakugo performers in the nation, to the extent that he’s considered a Living National Treasure. It’s kinda neat, if you think about it: Katsura-san is currently in his late eighties, and rakugo, while still being performed today, is becoming more and more of a niche market with contemporary generations. So an Android version of one of the foremost practitioners of the art ensures that there will be a way to experience a rakugo performance for years to come, thereby neatly combining the past with the future. Bearing that in mind, Ishiguro-san… why don’t you see about employing one of those lovely Actroids as a shamisen-playing geisha?
What? Was that too obvious?

+ Just when you thought 4woods were showing signs of slowing down, well, they aren’t. No, they’re speeding up. Not only have they released three new heads — Hikaru, Manami, and Michelle — but there’s two new bodies that prospective buyers have to consider when selecting their lass: the NEO-J/im, and the A.I.Doll S-plus. The latter choice either reminds me of the Gundam Zeta Plus series of mobile suits, or the S Gundam, both from Mobile suit Gundam Sentinel. Mecha are fantastic, yes, but you can’t really take one to bed with you. But I suppose that really depends on the size of your bed.


Hikaru, modelling the NEO-J/im body by sitting on a desk

Released back in March, the NEO-J/im body is a revised version of the smaller-yet-popular NEO-J body which debuted back in 2006. ‘Its young beautiful girl-like body line, and sensitive design, skin texture and beauty will surely make your heart scream with excitement’, reads the site’s ad copy. As much as I adore artificial women, I’m not sure I’d want a Doll that would cause my heart to, y’know, start screaming. That’s some Edgar Allan Poe level madness right there. I mean, how would I sleep?

Then there’s the fifth A.I.Doll body, the S-plus, or S+, if you’re in a hurry. At 5’2″ and 60 lbs, and with appealing measurements of B30.W22.H34, she also sports a silicone body with sculpted muscle tone, sculpted veins, and sculpted bone structure, as well as an improved hip joint function for better intimacy. Cheers, 4woods! And what can the site add to that in its own inimitable style? ‘She also offers a beautiful curve, soft looking stomach and thighs, and a cute bouncy hipline which makes you want to rub your face on’. See, I’ll take that over a yelling bladder screaming heart any day of the week. *rub rub rub*


Manami, auditioning as an Allen Jones model


Is Michelle putting on her stockings, or taking them off? A question for the ages

Admittedly, Michelle looks loads better as a blonde with blue eyes; 4woods recognise the fact that 1) there are people in other countries who don’t exclusively want Asian-looking Dolls that the company make, and 2) there are people in Japan who don’t exclusively want Asian-looking Dolls that the company make. As is the way of 4woods, most of the photos of their lasses have them proudly posing clothing-free, which means you’ll have to click here to see a skyclad Manami, and here for Michelle in the same.
It’s funny; recently I tried to access ‘Shouting etc etc’ from a public library, and was unable to do so, which is a complaint I’ve heard from a few other readers. It’s blocked for pornographic reasons, despite the fact that I’ve made an effort not to show off any Doll nipples. Of course, ‘an effort’ doesn’t mean the site’s 100% nipple-free, but more like 98%. Bearing my findings in mind, I may just throw up my hands and start posting photos of topless Dolls with the next update. We’ll see. So, ah, I hope you like nipples?

+ This would be a very brief, but insightful article by Dan Chen, entitled ‘How Is Intimacy With Robots Different From Intimacy With People?

Human emotions are very complex—it has to do with memories, past experiences, and personality. I think intimacy between robots and people is different from person to person, and some people might find deeper intimacy with robots than with humans. (Example: Some people likes animals more than people.) Mental commitments are needed for people to create a sense of intimacy with the robot, as with people. In other words, if the person “plays along” with what the robot suggests as intimacy, the level of intimacy could be stronger than those who don’t.

But in general, intimacy with robots is usually diluted because of a lack of things such as micro movement and micro expressions, and tone of the voice. Robotic intimacy is not as rich compared with a real person, but could be more reliable. Having said that, the technology could advance enough to duplicate those actions as well, and in that case, there won’t be any difference.

That’s it! You’ve just read the entire article. But what he’s said is important: if an Organik getting into an intimate relationship with a Synthetik realises that fact ahead of time and goes along with whatever simulated emotions that the Synthetik feels, then in essence, those ‘fake’ emotions become genuine. Sure, one could argue that robots could be programmed to lie, but really, how is that different than dealing with lies from a flesh-and-blood person? If, for instance, an Organik has a Synthetik partner tailor-made for them, then unless they’ve specified so, the Synthetik wouldn’t tell them any mistruths, thereby eliminating a huge obstacle right there. And once again, if you’re connecting with a being who by nature doesn’t lie, then there’s no reason to believe that whatever they tell you isn’t from the heart. Or their equivalent, at any rate.

+ When I’m not dragging them with me, chain gang-style, to make speaking engagements, Sinthetics would be busy fulfilling orders, and in between that, also working on developing new heads for their alluring Polymerisians. Such as their brand-new Celestine, for example.

As you’ll recall, they have a head named Celeste, and thanks to a special request from a purchaser, Matt K has developed a slightly more mature version of that head, hence the name. To me, she looks MILFy! A bit like an evil MILF, one that’s head of directors at a fashion magazine. Her hobbies include champagne for breakfast, buying expensive European cars, emasculating at least one male employee a day, and playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.
Would you believe they also have photoshoots posted over there? It’s true! They’ve got a lot of sexytime going on over there.


Left: a Body 1B Yuriko; right: a Body 1H Kimiko. Below: two shades of Monique

There’s also another photoshoot with a Body 1H Celeste and a Body 1B Alicia… err, interacting… with each other, if you’re keen on that sort of thing. Well done, Sinthetics!

+ And lastly, thanks to Vulgarian, fellow iDollators Euchre and Bel’Shanar, and I think one or two others (I apologise for forgetting your names), as they’d brought this video to my attention. If you’re one of the handful of people in the first world who haven’t seen the very impressive visuals and compelling story that make up this video, then you’ll enjoy this: Quantic dream’s ‘Kara’.

Back in March, someone on Sidore’s tumblr asked if we had seen it, and Shi-chan responded in kind. As she’d accurately predicted, I’m copying her review/response pretty much entirely, only making it spoiler-free. Plagiarism: that’s what spouses are for!

The graphics are pretty astounding, needless to say, but the best/most relevant aspect of it is that it kinda reinforces what my lad and I have been saying for years: Synthetiks are people too. A film like this, displaying the way an advanced humanoid robot and the way she reacts […] is much, MUCH better fare than the rubbish that most people think concerning ‘robots will take over and kill us all’. A film like this shows that artificial humans, particularly ones with feelings, have just as much right to exist as flesh-and-blood humans.

You can learn more about the story behind the making of ‘Kara’, and the technology used to create it, here.

More! Synthetik!! News!!! Soon!!!! Exclamation mark!!!!!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Sept 2006) on September 19th, 2006

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2006) on October 26th, 2006


Lonely hearts, lunar beauty, new faces, and much explanation

typed for your pleasure on 12 September 2012, at 12.43 am

Sdtrk: ‘Eurydice’ by Demdike stare

Trying to ease back into this blog writing thang, mang. For one, the weather’s getting nicer, praise “Bob”, so I can no longer use sweaty heatdeath as an excuse, and I’m also trying not to let the fact that most peoples’ attention spans these days is now the length of a standard Facebook post prevent me from writing. Fucking ridiculous Facilebook. Plus, Shi-chan’s been gently needling me to get back into maintaining ‘Shouting etc etc’, as it is, arguably, the Internet’s foremost information source about Davecat and Sidore, and the affictitious world we live in. Accept no substitute!
This entry won’t be extraordinarily long, as the barrels have to spin up a bit to get up to speed. On the other hand, there are literally a billion Synthetik-related links I’ve needed to share with you lot from the past few months. Well, a billion minus several hundreds of thousands. Unless math has been radically redefined in my absence. Don’t laugh; it could happen.

+ Back in February, my second favourite Gynoid, Actroid-F (aka Geminoid-F) put in a public appearance at Japanese department store, in what I like to refer to as a performance piece. She’s in a modified shop window, looking as if she’s waiting for a friend to show up. As you suspect from the month it occured in, this event took place round Valentine’s day.

Clutching a bag and cell phone, she seems to be waiting for a suitor.
Android falls in love? She is waiting for you” reads the writing on her glass box at Takashimaya Department Store in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.
The special Valentine’s display features Geminoid F, the photogenic robot developed by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro and colleagues.
The mechanical lady was modeled on a real woman in her twenties. She sits in her glass room at Takashimaya and greets shoppers.
Based on data from an embedded sensor array around her, the android reacts to people in the vicinity. She moves her shoulders and neck, and changes her facial expression, smiling or yawning, depending on what’s going on.
[…] Geminoid is an air servo-powered humanoid with eye, mouth, head, and shoulder mobility. It can also be remote-operated so that it acts as a surrogate for a distant user, reproducing his or her facial expressions and voice.
the entire article is here

It’s an impressive-looking display, and it’s also cool as it exposes the general public to Synthetik humans. And hopefully, I’m not the only person who feels a wee bit sad for her and her missed appointment. If a Gynoid such as Actroid-F can elicit such empathy from her observers through her appearance and behaviour, then that’s a step in the right direction.

+ This next lass you’ve undoubtedly seen before, particularly if you’re keen on that tumblr thing the kids dig. Shi-chan discovered her through the tumblrs (man, that word looks weird) she follows. Her name is Tsukuhami, and the Missus managed to strike up a friendship with her creator, neji-san. He’d written:

If you’re writing is TSUKUHAMI “月蝕魅” in kanji.
The meaning of the name of’m TSUKUHAMI is “the beauty of a lunar eclipse”
Height of TSUKUHAMI is 164cm, weight is 12.6kg.

I might add here that she’s a poseable sculpture, and not an actual Gynoid. I know, I know. But she’s constructed of steel joints and FRP, and due to the fact that neji-san built her entirely himself, the endeavour took him eight years. But the results are entirely worth it, as she’s remarkable on every level!
Neji-san and I are periodically firing Emails at each other now; as you suspect, he’s influenced by humanoid robots in both anime and real life. Our letters often touch upon the philosophical — Shi-chan had mentioned her Shinto inclinations in one of her messages to him, and he had this to say:

The Japanese doll has two aspects. One is as a toy doll of children is a good friend.
Another is the soul of the shaman is someone is not visible to the human eye.
(Please keep in mind something that is not a devil. It is like the heart of big trees and mountains and rivers.)
Doll in Japan where the two sides have to coexist in the same doll is characterized.
Of course, scientifically I do not believe it.
However, we believe that ancient animism in Japan and want to respect.
It is also in the minds of plastic, even if the electron is in the soul.

I’d say Tsukuhami-san, neji-san, his mindset and abilities are all utterly fantastic, wouldn’t you agree? Go check out his aptly-named site Spiritual Plastic when you get a chance…

+ There has been a huge amount of info concerning new heads, faces, and bodies from various Doll manufacturers that’s come down the pike within the last several months, which is delicious. I’m not going to cover all of them in this post, as that would be maniacal, but I’ll start with one company for now: Anatomical Doll. This year’s been rather productive for them, as Oleg has sculpted four new heads, as well as the seductive new Body 4, which is the first with a new spine that moves more like an Organik human’s. Behold!


Left: Julia; right: Aurora

Well, you’ll have to click on this link to behold the sexy possibilities of Body 4, as she’s boobin’ it up all over the place. But, y’know, tastefully. Her stats would be a height of 5’3″, weighing a very manageable 57 lbs, with a shoe size of 4.5 US, and graced with measurements of B: 33 / W: 24 / H: 35. And yes, that is the sound of me drooling.
Due to space constraints — I’m keeping this post brief, damnit — you can also visit Anatomical Doll’s site to see photos of Christy and Sleeping Aurora, the other new heads, but I’m fairly certain you’ll like what you see. Especially that Aurora! She is, what we call, ‘fresh-faced’. So go there, but only after you’re done here. *does the ‘got my eyes on you’ gesture*

+ Finally, and this is what really got me off my arse to start posting entries again, I’ve done another interview! Dan Oudshoorn of the sociopolitical blog ‘On Journeying with those in Exile‘ saw Sidore and I in the fistful of telly appearances we’ve done, and asked me some thought-provoking questions about our lifestyle. They were so thought-provoking, in fact, that it took me roughly a year to answer them. I’m… not really proud of that, but I am proud of the end result, which you can read on Dan’s blog here. Grab a mug of coffee / cup of Twinings / pint jar of molasses with crazy straw, and enjoy a rather substantial Q&A about my life with the Missus!


image © 2011 Claire Dossin

O, and back in March, we finally received our DVD sexbot boxset of My living Doll Vol.1, to much fanfare. Was it worth the wait? The answer is Yes.

So how’s that for an ‘out of retirement’ post? Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years, etc

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Oct 2010) on October 16th, 2010

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (July 2014): Part I on July 23rd, 2014


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