Archive for June 24th, 2011

June 24, 2011

Crossover

Treehouse-Arama by Mike Allred

A fictional crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, or because of unauthorized efforts by fans, or even amid common corporate ownership.

Crossovers generally occur between properties owned by a single holder, but they can more rarely involve properties from different holders, provided that the inherent legal obstacles can be overcome. They may also involve using characters that have passed into the public domain with those that currently enjoy copyright protection.

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June 24, 2011

Repository for Germinal Choice

the genius factory

The Repository for Germinal Choice was a sperm bank that existed in Escondido, California from 1980 to 1999. The repository is commonly believed to have accepted only donations from Nobel Prize laureates, although in fact it accepted donations from non-Nobelists, also. Founded by Robert Klark Graham, the repository was dubbed the ‘Nobel prize sperm bank’ by media reports at the time.

The only contributor who became known publicly was William Shockley, Nobel laureate in physics. Other donors were recruited from among the ranks of scientists and academics Graham and his assistant, Paul Smith, considered to be ‘the future Nobel laureates.’

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June 24, 2011

Squash and Stretch

principles of animation

Squash and stretch is a common animation technique applied to characters or objects in motion. The technique makes their actions more fluid, and it is generally exaggerated for a cartoonish effect. When utilized with more subtlety, it works just as well for realistic movements. Squash and stretch was used to great effect in early 1920s American cartoons such as ‘Felix the Cat’ and ‘Betty Boop.’ It can also be used in comics or still cartoon art.

When done in accordance with the principles of animation, squash and stretch keeps the volume of the character constant. When squash and stretch is applied, it creates the illusion that a drawing has dimension and volume. Squash and stretch does not always have to be cartoonlike – when we crouch down in anticipation for a large leap, we squash. When we spring into the air, we stretch. A half-filled flour sack is an example of a more cartoonlike squash and stretch – when dropped the sack squashes a lot; when picked up it stretches a lot – but throughout the entire action, the volume never changes.

June 24, 2011

Incroyables and Merveilleuses

Fashion Victim

The Incroyables (Incredibles) and their female counterparts, the Merveilleuses (Marvelous), were a name for the fashionable subcultures living in France in the Directoire era (late 18th century). The exhibition of products of national industry, organized in 1798, testified to their infatuation with luxury. The names are sometimes spelled and were pronounced ‘incoyables’ and ‘meveilleuses’ without the letter R, in reaction against the Revolution, which begins with an R, in which so many had suffered and lost relatives, the letter R was banished. Divorce became legal under the Directoire and morals tended to be looser than in the past. Many Incroyables were ‘nouveaux riches,’ gaining their wealth from selling arms and lending money (usury). When the Directoire period ended, society took a more sober and modest turn.

After the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror ended, there was a furor for entertainment and pleasure. Stylish women, the Merveilleuses, modeled their dress after that of ancient Greece and Rome, wearing semi-transparent tunics in gauze or linen and often displaying cleavage. They were also fond of wigs, often blonde, but also in such colors as black, blue, and green. Their gentleman companions, the Incroyables, wore eccentric outfits: green jackets, wide trousers, huge neckties, thick glasses, and hats topped by ‘dog ears,’ their hair falling on the ears. Their musk-based fragrances gave them the nickname Muscadin. They wore bicorne hats and carried bludgeons, which they referred to as their ‘executive power.’

June 24, 2011

Candy Desk

candy desk

The candy desk is a tradition of the United States Senate established in 1968. The desk, located on the Republican side of the Senate chamber, was first stocked with candy and treats by Senator George Murphy. Those entrusted with the candy desk have included John McCain, Slade Gorton, Bob Bennett, and Rick Santorum. Most senators take advantage of the desk, even though eating is not allowed on the Senate floor. The desk is currently occupied by Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois.

The tenant of the candy desk is charged with stocking it with candy from his or her home state, but funding has been an issue. Originally senators would ask for a specific candy and leave a few dollars to keep the desk stocked with their favorites, but as time continued, and the candy desk became a more solid tradition of the Senate, lobby groups and organizations, specifically the National Confectioners Association, and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, organized donations.

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June 24, 2011

This Is Your Life

Ralph Edwards by Nathan Smith

this is your life

This Is Your Life is an American television documentary series broadcast on NBC, originally hosted by its producer, Ralph Edwards from 1952 to 1961. In the show, the host surprises a guest, and proceeds to take them through their life in front of an audience including friends and family. The format originated as a radio show on NBC Radio airing from 1948 to 1952.

The idea for ‘This Is Your Life’ arose while Edwards was working on ‘Truth or Consequences.’ He had been asked by the U.S. Army to ‘do something’ for paraplegic soldiers at a California Army rehabilitation hospital. Edwards chose a ‘particularly despondent young soldier and hit on the idea of presenting his life on the air, in order to integrate the wreckage of the present with his happier past and the promise of a hopeful future.’

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June 24, 2011

Baseball Metaphors for Sex

second base

In the culture of American adolescents, the game of baseball is often used as a euphemistic metaphor for the degree of sexual intimacy achieved in intimate encounters or relationships. In the metaphor, prevalent in the post-World War II period, sexual activities are described as if they are actions in a game of baseball.

Although details vary, a broadly accepted description of what each base represents, first base is commonly understood to be any form of mouth to mouth kissing, especially open mouth (‘French’) kissing involving the tongue. Thus, if a person complains that s/he ‘can’t get to first base,’ it means that the partner spurned advances or is not interested, although this is not necessarily a specific reference to a spurned attempt to engage in kissing. Second base is manual stimulation of the genitalia. Third base is oral stimulation of the genitalia. Finally, a home run (Fourth base) is the act of penetrative intercourse.

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