Friday, March 24, 2023

Post 538 - ASIFA Central April 2023 Newsletter


                                                                (cc) 2023 ASIFA Central

(use with permission, please)

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023

Post 536 - Gif Test for Color and Clarity - and now with Added Texture!

                                                (c) 2023 Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary

Well, it looks colorful, but it's not making much sense!

And one more test - for texture, this time:


Thursday, March 09, 2023

Post #534 - Mixing Media from 1975 - "20 Organic Hits" gets a make-over

This is a commercial spoof I wrote to begin an organic chemistry lab instruction tape.  That tape now exists only as a decomposing fourth-generation dupe.  I salvaged the sound and trimmed out specific commercial and instructor references (the classic text "Morrison and Boyd" figured prominently) and then reconstructed the visuals.  

Again, I used my 10-year outmoded Flash CS5 because, well, because I actually own that software and don't have to pay a monthly Adobe tribute, nor do I need the internet in order to make a film.  I am such a luddite.  But it's sooooooooo much easier than doing the graphics and overlays "live" during the days of linear-only video edits!

It's almost 50 seconds!  Commercials were so much longer in the 70's!  These puns were considered groaners even then...

 This "restoration" is (c) 2023, MMCCIII, by Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Post 533 - Why Accumulate These Little Dust Catchers?

Aeons ago, I would watch the Admiral radio-phonograph go through its paces while playing a gray labeled Columbia LP that my parents had received when joining a record club.  Mozart’s 40th. 

The tone arm would lift, retreat to the right ever so slightly, there’d be an audible “click,” and the record would drop onto the musty turntable, much smaller than the record itself, and the tone arm would hover over the start of the record, and only when it landed onto the turning disk, would the sound happen.  It was magic.

I stared at the record as the needle tracked through the first movement, watching it move closer and closer to the center.  It was all in a single groove.  The needle was pulling sound out of a plastic disk, and while leaning over the phonograph, I could feel the vibrations of the sound making a literal, visceral connection with my stomach.  

I later leaned my face into the side of my metal lunch box, painted to look like a school bus, only packed with Disney characters, and when humming, I felt the vibration through the lunch box.  

At recess, we took turns humming near the pipe that served to support the teeter-totter and tried to find how far away we could move and still feel the vibration.

Then I went back and looked at the gray labeled LP, really looked into it, got out a tiny plastic magnifier from my mom’s sewing kit, and saw the waves in the grooves.  
Sound was a wave.
The grooves held the sound.
The needle brought the sound back.

My grandfather had a mechanical phonograph, run by a spring, along with very old records that his father had owned - and when I looked at the grooves, they were there, larger, rather dusty, but I figured grandfather could be a bit dusty, too, so that was a natural thing.
He played the record on his machine, and the muffled, distant voice came through the wooden horn, as if it were attached back, far, far, back behind the machine, reaching into the past - and that voice was calling ahead to now, like a ghost.

That night I dreamt I was a sound.
A wave.
A groove on a record.  A long line, wrapped counter-clockwise moving to the center.  My entire being existed as that groove.  The needle fell upon me, and I came to life, just as that voice came to life at my grandfather’s house.  I could be heard!  I could be experienced!  I was alive!
The needle wore me away every time it played the record.  I thought in the dream, I cannot let myself get played too often, unless I would be worn away.

I woke and read what I could understand - a lot of it was based on electronic theory, and my seven year-old brain wasn’t quite wired at that point - but I found that people, alive in the 1890s, made recordings of themselves, one-of-a-kind, and that, somewhere in museums, they could still be able to talk to us now.
And later, museums and libraries were getting rid of these recordings, just as casually as someone discarding a gum wrapper, and I was horrified.
But, being seven, with a ten cent weekly allowance, I couldn’t do a thing about it.

But I always remembered that ghostly sounding voice singing to me from nearly another century.
And so, whenever I could, starting at ten, when my weekly allowance was increased to a pair of quarters from the fireplace mantle, I would buy some of these cast-offs.  

And I helped keep those grooves alive for just a bit more.  

Each move since has resulted in some of these records being broken, and I mourn not the material loss, but the loss of an artifact of someone’s being.

So, whenever I can, I share, send, remaster, and perpetuate these voices, sounds, and music - if the music was intended to be a working experience, I try to keep its mission going, in a way to straddle the past to the present.

If the voices have a soft, distant, spooky sound to them, well, that’s the past talking to us.

So -
that’s why I do this.  

It keeps the Admiral happy.

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Post 532 - Another Evolving Scene - 2D Animation Visual Progress Notes

 Original sketch:

Various takes as the project assembly progresses

Some more details:

Video adjustments (sound added):

(c) 2023 Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary

Friday, March 03, 2023

Post #531: Chat GPT Has a Rigid Vocabulary


Did "awful" ever mean "awe-filled"?

Yes, the word "awful" did originally mean "full of awe" or "inspiring awe" when it was first used in the English language in the 14th century. It was derived from the Old Norse word "agi" which meant "terror" or "fright," and it was used to describe things that inspired fear and reverence, such as religious ceremonies or natural phenomena.

Over time, the meaning of the word shifted to its current usage to describe something that is extremely bad or unpleasant. This transition likely occurred because things that inspired fear and reverence could also be considered bad or unpleasant in certain contexts, and the negative connotations of the word gradually became more prominent.

Is there an outegument to an integument?

No, there is no such word as "outegument" in the English language. "Integument" refers to a natural outer covering or layer, such as skin, scales, or bark. If you were to use "outegument" as an invented word, it could potentially refer to something that covers the outside of an integument, but it would not be a recognized term in any scientific or medical context.

Could a callous be considered an outegument, then?

It is possible to think of a callous as an "outegument" in the sense that it is a thickened and hardened layer of skin that forms in response to repeated friction, pressure, or irritation. However, this term is not commonly used in biology or medicine to refer to calluses or any other structures outside of the body's integumentary system.

The term "outegument" itself is not a widely recognized term in scientific literature or in everyday use. "Integument" is the term used to refer to the body's external covering, which includes the skin, hair, nails, and various glands. While the prefix "out-" is often used to indicate something that is outside or external, it is not typically used to create new terms in the context of the integumentary system.

So it could be callous to call a callus an outegument, then?

Indeed! While the term "outegument" could technically apply to a callus as a thickened layer of skin on the outside of the body, it is not a commonly used term in English. Therefore, using it to describe a callus could be considered a rather esoteric use of language and may cause confusion or amusement

Could profusion be the opposite of confusion?

While the words "profusion" and "confusion" may have some similar-sounding syllables, they are not truly antonyms. "Profusion" refers to an abundance or excess of something, while "confusion" refers to a state of being mixed up, disordered, or unclear. So while it is possible to have a profusion of something without confusion, and vice versa, the two words are not truly opposite in meaning.

So, being callous to call a callus an outegument would cause a profusion of confusion?
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