Toy2R (‘Toy to Raymond’) is a designer toy company based in Hong Kong that was founded by Raymond Choy in 1995. Choy spent 10 years as an employee of an American footwear company. After much research and planning, he opened a toy store in 1995. Four years later, Choy observed a trend in collectible toys, now known as designer toys, specifically the ‘urban vinyl’ movement of toy design. He decided to put all his funds into the development of a vinyl figure, intended more as art than as a plaything. He called this figure the ‘Toyer’; the design, which resembles a simplified human form with a head that resembles a cartoon skull, became his first trademark. The commercial response to this figure led to support from artists and designers all over the world, and enabled his next endeavor, the ‘Qee’ figure.
In 2001, Choy designed a series of figures originally intended for use as keychains, and named it the ‘Qee Keychain Collection.’ The distinctive Qee (pronounced Key) design resembles a round and squat human form, and features a variety of animal heads and a broad range of paint applications. The Qee figure and its many variations (over 1500 figures have been produced to date) are the signature product of the Toy2R brand. The Qee figure is noteworthy for being one of the most easily recognized designer toys. Toy2R has collaborated with artists and designers from all over the world, including illustrators such as Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Coop, Tara McPherson, David Horvath and Frank Kozik. Additionally, Toy2r has been commissioned to create exclusive Qee figures for such companies as Adidas, DKNY, Mitsubishi, Xbox 360, Nokia, Sony, Clutter Magazine, and Starbucks.
Qee [kee] are a collection of designer toys created by Hong Kong-based company Toy2R, which was founded by Raymond Choy in 1995. Qee figures vary in their design. The original Qee has a body that resembles an extremely simplified human form, somewhat similar in appearance to Playmobil or LEGO figures, though distinctively round and squat. Depending on its theme, a figure may have the head of a bear with asymmetrical ears called a ‘BearBearQ’; a cat called ‘KitCatQ’; a dog called ‘DoggyQ’; a monkey called ‘MonQ’; or a rabbit called ‘Bunee.’ The Toyer Qee has the same body type as the original, but a head that resembles a cartoon skull. The Knuckle Bear Qee was created by Japanese character designer Touma, and resembles a graffiti-style caricature of an anthropomorphized bear. The Qee Egg simply resembles an anthropomorphized egg. The standard size is 2.5″ high, and these figures are packaged with an optional keychain attachment. There are also 1.5″, 8″, 16″, “36″, and 60″ Qees. Additionally, Toy2R produces Blank Platform DIY; these figures may be of any Qee design, but are packaged unpainted.
The casual observer may note similarities between Qees and the Kubrick and Be@rbrick figures created by Japanese toy company MediCom. However, closer observation reveals that Qees differ not only in size, but in their overall aesthetic. Relative to MediCom, Toy2R releases very few licensed designs, such as figures based on characters from films, comic books, or other intellectual properties. Exceptions to this are Qees created for Adidas, Benetton, BenQ, BMW, Christian Lacroix, Dark Horse Comics, Devo, DKNY, Mitsubishi, MTV, Nokia, SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, Starbucks, Swatch, Target, V.S.O.P. and Xbox 360, as well as a figure created in conjunction with tokidoki for LeSportsac, in which the figure is a design element of a women’s travel bag. There are currently five series of Qees, and an anticipated total of 1500 2.5″ figures. Notable Qees include those by Tim Biskup, Shepard Fairey, Doze Green, Frank Kozik, Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO, and Jason Freeny.
Jason Freeny (b. 1970) is a New York-based artist specialising in sculpture and computer-generated imagery. He is the owner of the Moist Production studio, which acts as the primary publisher and distributor of his works. He is best known for his anatomical art, where he produces cutaway drawings of (typically toy) inanimate objects such as a Lego man, Barbie doll, the animated fish Nemo or a balloon art dog. Jason’s sculptural and illustration work has been the basis for several mass-produced toys. He has collaborated with Hong Kong-based Toy2R (working on the Qee figurines), Hong Kong-based Fame Master toys producing Gummy bear anatomical toys, United States-based Jailbreak Collective producing the ‘CAPSL’ collectable series and United States-based Marbles the Brain Store creating Freeny’s Brain Cube puzzle.
Freeny studied Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and attended Middletown High School in Maryland. Before forming Moist Production LLC, Freeny worked for MTV as a freelance production and properties designer where he created the custom trophies used in the ‘Rock’n'Jock’ series and TRL Awards televised events. Jason also spent time at ESPN designing for the mobile division and was a freelance illustrator creating editorial and literary illustrations for ‘Penthouse.’
Yo Gabba Gabba! is an American children’s television show that airs on the Nick Jr. cable network. Created by Christian Jacobs (lead singer of the Aquabats) and Scott Schultz, the series premiered in 2007. Popular artists appearing on the show include The Killers, Jimmy Eat World, Solange Knowles, Devo, Of Montreal, Chromeo, My Chemical Romance, Weezer, The Roots, MGMT, Jack Black, Tony Hawk, Elijah Wood, and The Ting Tings. Among the varied animation sequences during the show is ‘Super Martian Robot Girl,’ designed by indie cartoonists Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. The toy models of the characters that appear at the beginning and end of each show were made by designer toy firm Kidrobot.
Unlike most children’s shows, Yo Gabba Gabba was not developed by network executives. Instead the show was developed by two Southern California fathers with no previous experience writing for television let alone children’s broadcasting or education. They simply shared a mutual disappointment in kids’ television. They both wanted to design a kids’ show that was entertaining while featuring real artists and real performers. The pair first started working together as teenagers, producing and directing skateboarding videos. After doing some odd jobs here and there, Jacobs (also known as the MCBC of The Aquabats) and Schultz decided to try something different.
‘Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed‘ is a TV documentary which premiered on ‘The History Channel’ in 2007. The special focuses on how ‘Star Wars’ is relevant today and the history that inspired it, and also makes various connections to Greek mythology. It consists of a number of interviews with well-known politicians, journalists, and critics, along with historical content and clips from all six of the ‘Star Wars’ movies.
The first main subject of the special discusses the origins of films as they were written in the early 1970s, during a time of political upheaval and social unrest. When ‘Star Wars’ was released it reaffirmed the notion that there is such a thing as good versus evil and evil must be defeated. The films made use of Joseph Campbell’s model of the hero’s journey as discussed in the book ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces.’
Star Wars, the popular science fantasy saga, and cultural touchstone, is acknowledged to have been inspired by many sources. These include Hinduism, Qigong (‘Life Energy Cultivation’), Greek philosophy, Greek mythology, Roman history, Roman mythology, parts of the Abrahamic religions, Confucianism, Shintō, and Taoism, not to mention countless cinematic precursors including Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone.
George Lucas has said that chivalry, knighthood, paladinism, and related institutions in feudal societies inspired some concepts in the Star Wars movies, most notably the Jedi Knights. The work of the mythologist Joseph Campbell, most notably his book ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces,’ directly influenced Lucas, and was what drove him to create the ‘modern myth’ of ‘Star Wars.’ The supernatural flow of energy known as The Force is believed to have originated from the concept of prana, or ki/qi/chi, ‘the all-pervading vital energy of the universe.’
The Hidden Fortress is a 1958 jidai-geki (period drama) film directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune as General Makabe Rokurōta and Misa Uehara as Princess Yuki. The film begins with two bedraggled peasants, Tahei and Matashichi (Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara).
Through conversation, they reveal that they had intended to fight with the Yamana clan, but turned up too late, were taken for soldiers of the defeated Akizuki clan, and forced to bury dead. After quarreling and splitting up, the two are both captured again and forced to dig for gold in the Akizuki castle with other prisoners.
Rear Window is a 1954 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by John Michael Hayes and based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 short story ‘It Had to Be Murder.’ Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. The film is considered by many filmgoers, critics and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best.
After breaking his leg photographing a racetrack accident, professional photographer L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies (James Stewart) is confined in his Greenwich Village apartment, using a wheelchair while he recuperates. His rear window looks out onto a small courtyard and several other apartments. During a summer heat wave, he passes the time by watching his neighbors, who keep their windows open to stay cool.
‘The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities’ is a 1997 non-fiction book written by family therapist Dossie Easton and sex educator Janet Hardy (given as pseudonym Catherine A. Liszt for the book’s first edition). The book discusses consensual non-monogamy as a lifestyle, and provides practical guidance on how such long-term relationships work and are put into practice. The authors define the term ‘slut’ as ‘a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.’ The term is reclaimed from its usual use as a pejorative and as a simple label for a promiscuous person. Instead, it is used to signify a person who is accepting of their enjoyment of sex and the pleasure of intimacy with others, and chooses to engage and accept these in an ethical and open way — rather than as cheating.
‘The Ethical Slut’ discusses how to live an active life with multiple concurrent sexual relationships in a fair and honest way. Discussion topics include how to deal with the practical difficulties and opportunities in finding and keeping partners, maintaining relationships with others, and strategies for personal growth. It contains chapters discussing how consensual nonmonogamy is handled in different subcultures such as the gay and lesbian communities, information on handling scheduling, jealousy, communication, conflict in relationships, and etiquette for group sexual encounters.
There are many toilet-related injuries and some toilet-related deaths throughout history and in urban legends. In young boys, one of the most common causes of genital injury is when the toilet seat falls down while they are using the toilet. Smaller children run the risk of drowning if they fall headfirst into the toilet. Injuries to adults include bruised buttocks, tail bones, and dislocated hips from unsuspectingly sitting on the toilet bowl rim because the seat is up or loose.
Injuries can also be caused by pinching due to splits in plastic seats or by splinters from wooden seats, or if the toilet itself collapses under the weight of the user. Older high flush cast iron cisterns have been known to detach from the wall when the chain is pulled to flush, causing injuries to the user.
Reaganomics or ‘voodoo economics’ is a negative term which critics use to criticize supply-side economics. The term originated from George H.W. Bush, who criticized Ronald Reagan’s plan for the economy during the Republican presidential primaries in 1980. Reagan’s attitude towards the Federal Government Budget was to drastically reduce taxes – primarily for the wealthy – while greatly increasing spending – primarily for the military. Bush Sr. and others recognized that this could not possibly produce a balanced budget, and would result in great national debt.
The four pillars of Reagan’s economic policy were to reduce the growth of government spending, reduce the federal income tax and capital gains tax, reduce government regulation, and control the money supply in order to reduce inflation.
Abenomics [ah-bey-nom-iks] refers to the economic policies advocated by Shinzō Abe, the current Prime Minister of Japan. It consists of monetary policy, fiscal policy, and economic growth strategies to encourage private investment.
The detailed policies includes inflation targeting at a 2% annual rate, correction of the excessive yen appreciation, setting negative interest rates, radical quantitative easing (printing money), expansion of public investment, buying operations of construction bonds by Bank of Japan (BOJ), and revision of the Bank of Japan Act.
Morphological freedom refers to a proposed civil right of a person to either maintain or modify his or her own body, on his or her own terms, through informed, consensual recourse to, or refusal of, available therapeutic or enabling medical technology. The term may have been coined by strategic philosopher Max More in his 1993 article, ‘Technological Self-Transformation: Expanding Personal Extropy,’ where he defined it as ‘the ability to alter bodily form at will through technologies such as surgery, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, uploading.’ The term was later used by science debater Anders Sandberg as ‘an extension of one’s right to one’s body, not just self-ownership but also the right to modify oneself according to one’s desires.’
According to technocritic Dale Carrico, the politics of morphological freedom imply a commitment to the value, standing, and social legibility of the widest possible variety of desired morphologies and lifestyles. More specifically, morphological freedom is an expression of liberal pluralism, secularism, progressive cosmopolitanism, and posthumanist multiculturalisms applied to the ongoing and upcoming transformation of the understanding of medical practice from one of conventional therapy to one of consensual self-determination, via genetic, prosthetic, and cognitive modification.
Species dysphoria [dis-fohr-ee-uh] is the experience of dysphoria (depression, discontent), sometimes including dysmorphia (excessive concern over one’s body image), associated with the feeling that one’s body is of the wrong species. Earls and Lalumière (2009) describe it as ‘the sense of being in the wrong (species) body… a desire to be an animal.’
Outside of psychological literature, the term is common within the otherkin and therian communities (people who see themselves as partially or entirely non-human). The phenomenon is sometimes experienced in the context of sexual arousal to the image of one’s self as an animal. ’Species dysphoria’ is also used informally in psychological literature to compare the experiences of some individuals to those in the transgender community.
A false dilemma (also called the fallacy of the false alternative, false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of the excluded middle, fallacy of false choice, black-and/or-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The options may be a position that is between two extremes (such as when there are shades of grey) or may be completely different alternatives. The opposite of this fallacy is ‘argument to moderation.’
False dilemma can arise intentionally, when fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice (such as, in some contexts, the assertion that ‘if you are not with us, you are against us’). But the fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception.