Friday, January 21, 2011

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Characters in my epic story...

Posted: 21 Jan 2011 12:54 AM PST

So, who says you can't do anything with all the old crap you have lying around? Character bios of kids who appeared in movies from the 70's - 90's and what their characters have been up to since and h ...

Characters in my epic story...

So, who says you can't do anything with all the old crap you have lying around? Character bios of kids who appeared in movies from the 70's - 90's and what their characters have been up to since and how their lives crossover... Probably makes no sense.

Carol-Ann - A ghost - Apparent age: 14

When she died at an early age in 1989, Carol-Ann was unable to pass on to the afterlife. Only able to speak through mediums, her motivations are not entirely clear. She has shown the ability to employe other spirits, poltergeists, to affect the living world. She is frantically searching for help from anyone, living or dead, to help her fight something called "The Beast". 

 

Franklin - Medium - Age: 55

Franklin solved a young girl's murder in upstate New York with the help of her ghost, and the ghost of her mother, in 1962. He is haunted, both literally and figuratively by those events. He has wandered the country since, finding justice for restless spirits. Recently he has taken a young medium named Cole under his wing. They have recently been in contact with Carol-Ann

Cole - Medium - Age 23

Cole was a troubled child because he could see the dead, until the ghost of a child psychologist helped him deal with and accept his powers. Now he acts as something of a therapist for ghosts who are unable to move on. He and Franklin have differing styles in dealing with ghosts, but the same goal: help them move on.

Daniel - Telepathic - Age 38

Another man who had a traumatic event in his childhood, during a long winter in Colorado, he has since put that, and his telepathic power behind him. He now teaches high school science class, but fate is conspiring to to draw him into an epic battle.

Charlie - Pyrokinetic - Age 36

Her powers stem from a government experiment and are often uncontrollable.  She has spent years running from the government. She has also trained with various sects and religions in meditation techniques to better control her flames.

Eric - Flyer - Age 43

An autistic savant, Eric somehow gained the ability to fly after being obsessed with the subject his entire life. Eric's whereabouts have been unknown since the age of 19. There have been sightings of a flying man over the midwest in recent years.

Jimmy (The Wizard) - Video Game Wizard - Age 31

Jimmy is also an autistic savant. At a young age he showed the ability to master video games of any type within minutes. His savant abilities make him an expert not only in games, but in the areas of strategy and systems design. He has been sought after by the government for his involvement in Project: Cube. 

Balthazar - Keeper of the Sigil - Age 38

Balthazar is keeper of a strange book and amulet that allow him access to a dimension fueled entirely by imagination. He has shown to have access to near limitless abilities, powers and creatures from this dimension but has been content to pass on the story of this place to others, so that it never ends. Though now much older than when he started his adventures, he sees once again that our world and his fantastic one, are under threat from a growing darkness 

Lestrange - Immortal Savage - Apparent Age 46

Though she appears to be in her mid 40's, Lestrange is actually closer to 120 years old. Not much is known about her, save that her seeming immortality comes from something on an edenic island where she was shipwrecked some time in the 1890's. She is a ruthless hunter, and an expert in wild places of all kinds, though she has been known to blend into civilization if it suits her purpose. Her motives are not known.

Damien - Antichrist - Age 41

Damien is the US ambassador to Great Britain. He is also the antichrist. His machinations to obtain ultimate power and usher the time for his father's reign stretch far and wide within the government, though his control is not complete. He has been on the lookout for years for children with otherworldy abilities, in case they are the return of christ. 

Adrian - Devil - Age 43

Adrian is the older half-brother of Damien. He inherited their father's looks though. Shunned by society and fighting against his own dark nature, Adrian has hidden in the shadows, keeping out of the way of his brother's forces and those who oppose his brother. 

Anthony - ? - Apparent Age 12

Anthony has the power of a god, but the mind of a 12 year old boy. He can reshape reality into anything he wishes, but at heart all he wants is someone to love him and care for him genuinely. Unfortunately those who do are often subject to the deadly anger of a 12 year old god. Where his powers originate and what their limit (if any) is unknown. There are many forces that would love to harness his power for their own, but most are too afraid to try.

Chip - Android - Apparent Age 19

Chip was copied from DNA and form of the boy who could fly, Eric, in order to recreate his powers. Unfortunately what they got was an annoying computer who wants to be a real boy. He has since been repogrammed as an infiltration unit designed to kill steathily and without warning. He has enhanced strength, speed, and computational powers. It is not know whether he has ever faced the man he was based on

DARYL - Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform - Apparent Age 38

Daryl is a robot brain in the cloned body of Balthazar. He was created by the government in order to access the the near-limitless power of Balthazar's fantastic dimension. This however, did not work out, as something in the human mind is what allows access to that dimension. Daryl was to be reprogrammed as a kind of supersoldier, but escaped from the government government facility where he was created. He has superfast reflexes and the ability to hack any system. He used the latter to escape the government in a stealth fighter. It was destroyed and he was presumed dead. But, all death is brain death and Daryl was simply rebooted by those helping him. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Fred (real name unknown) - ? - Age 36

Fred, seems to have been involved with many of the other characters as a child, though his name and even biography seemed to have changed each time. Some speculate that he has the ability to traverse dimensions or even time to rewrite his own personal history. Here is what is known: He was Eric's next-door neighbor in 1986 and his name was Louis. Yet somehow he was also Jimmy's older brother, Corey in 1989. He has shown various abilities including: traveling from shadow to shadow, access to a time/spaceship made of polymorphic metal, the ability to switch minds with another person and possibly acces to a separate fantasy dimension like Balthazar (though one with much less raw power). His motivations and allegiance are unknown and one never knows when he'll show up next. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

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Every Line of Dialogue in The Lost Boys is "Michael" on Vimeo

Posted: 15 Jan 2011 10:17 PM PST

via vimeo.com I love this movie forever. ...

Tasmania=Pubes

Posted: 15 Jan 2011 10:03 PM PST

via nerdist.com I think Amanda Palmer is a bit retarded, but this was kind of funny. ...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Every Line of Dialogue in The Lost Boys is "Michael" on Vimeo

I love this movie forever.

Tasmania=Pubes

I think Amanda Palmer is a bit retarded, but this was kind of funny.

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Two Events On Saturday in the Inner Sunset: Pearl on Irving and Game Night

Posted: 14 Jan 2011 05:03 PM PST

I just realized I forgot to post two fun events coming up tomorrow! Oops!

First off, Pearl Gallery at 839 Irving Street is having an "Artist and Customer Appreciation Day" from 4-7pm. If y ...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Two Events On Saturday in the Inner Sunset: Pearl on Irving and Game Night

I just realized I forgot to post two fun events coming up tomorrow! Oops!

First off, Pearl Gallery at 839 Irving Street is having an "Artist and Customer Appreciation Day" from 4-7pm. If you've not yet stopped in at Pearl, you really should stop by and check it out. They have a unique mix of art, photography and other nice things that make for great gifts or decor for your home. Stop by and say hi!

Also, the first Games Night of the year at the House Formerly Known as Yes We Can (502 Irving Street) from 7:30-11:00pm. Bring your favorite board game or just stop by and join in one and meet your neighbors! These events are always fun and you always end up meeting someone new!

Who says this part of the city isn't cool?

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MASSIVE Sqwertz : Sell your book or comic for the iPad & iPhone without Apple’s “help.

Posted: 13 Jan 2011 05:42 PM PST

Sell your book or comic for the iPad & iPhone without Apple's "help.
YOU SAY

I love reading on my iPhone and iPad.
I wish people could buy my book/comic for th ...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MASSIVE Sqwertz : Sell your book or comic for the iPad & iPhone without Apple’s “help.

 

Sell your book or comic for the iPad & iPhone without Apple’s “help.

YOU SAY

  • I love reading on my iPhone and iPad.
  • I wish people could buy my book/comic for their iOS devices!

BUT

OR

SO, LIKE MANY OTHERS

Apple’s censorship forbids my books/comics from the shelves of the iBookstore.

AND EVEN WORSE

  1. Apple shackles a dreadful DRM lock over my book/comic.
  2. Apples price-fixes the sale price of my book/comic.
  3. Apple delays 2-4 weeks before selling my book/comic.
  4. Apple can retroactively vanquish, without explanation, any book/comic.
  5. Apple charges a 30% cut from the sale price of my book/comic.


Try THE NOT .99 METHOD: How to roll-your-own e-payment and delivery system for selling your books & comics so quick and reliable that not even Apple can take it away.

This do-it-yourself iBookstore alternative…

  1. Is DRM-free (simple, shareable and readable on any device forever).
  2. Lets you set the price. (Well… NOT __.99, naturally.)
  3. Can sell, download and read works immediately.
  4. Can never be censored, redacted or removed.
  5. Charges nothing. You keep all the money (or almost all the money).

It’s a great free and simple method for selling indie books/comics for the iPhone and iPad (and every other mobile reading device).


THE CUSTOMER’S EXPERIENCE

The customer uses their phone (or e-reader) to purchase your book/comic via standard text message (or browser URL) and then automatically receives a download link by email.


HOW TO SELL YOUR BOOKS/COMICS USING THE NOT .99 METHOD

This friendly 3-step method highlights uses common free online services (PayPal, Gmail & Google Docs) but feel free to make your own substitutions based on personal preference, terms of service and transaction cost.


STEP ONE: PAYMENT

Many established online banks now offer a free “pay-by-SMS” service. I prefer (love, actually) PayPal’s version.

A) Open a PayPal account and associate it with your phone number and email address.
B) Set a unique price for each product you wish to sell (Example: $ 0.33) (Not .99!)
C) Create a “point of sale” using your unique price. This can as simple or complex as your marketing strategy requires.

To sell by SMS: Create signage which reads,

“Buy EBOOK TITLE by texting Send 0.33 to <You>@Gmail.com‘ to 729725 (AKA “Paypal”).

To sell by link: Make a PayPal landing page that lets the user “Click here to pay $ 0.33.” You could point to that landing page with a TinyURL so it can be communicated verbally. Or get creative: you could point to it with a QR Code that you print on a tee shirt, shave into a dog’s back or embed in a presentation slide ten feet tall and glowing.

Imagine all those camera-phones in the audience snapping away – buying your book. Imagine all those cash-flushed, book-mad dog-lovers.

If the user already has a PayPal account (smartphone owners frequently will) they’ll get a SMS confirming their purchase. It’s fast. It’ll take 3 minutes the first time and they’ll be given an option to pick a PIN number that makes it even faster. If they don’t have an account they’ll be guided through the steps of getting one or paying by credit card.

You may breathe a sigh of relief: this is the one and only step in the NOT .99 method that incurs any cost to the book/comic seller--or possibly none. A PayPal SMS donation made at the time of this writing billed as a “personal transfer” which carries no surcharge!


STEP TWO: PROCESSING

After the customer’s payment is confirmed you’ll receive an automated email from PayPal containing the customer’s email address and the unique (not __.99) price they paid. Using a custom Gmail filter it is a simple matter to identify the item purchased (by that unique price) and autoreply with a template email containing download links for a variety of formats.

A) Create an gmail filter for each product you sell.  We do this by searching for the unique price. At the time of this writing the following filter fields infallibly retrieved only and all incoming orders.

Subject: “Notification of payment received”
To: [EMAIL ADDRESS ON FILE AT PAYPAL]
Has the words: “You received a payment of $0.33″ [THE UNIQUE PRICE]
Doesn’t have: “re:”

This filter should naturally be tested often and adapted for your choice of payment method. Thankfully this degrades quite elegantly – in the worst case scenario you’ll still have the customer’s money and the email address needed to ship product or offer a refund.

(If you worry about email spoofing – don’t. See the additional precaution.)

Once you’re satisfied that your filter is catching every single payment notification, you simply attach an action to that filter to “Send a canned response” (with a download link) specific to each product you’re selling.

B) Create a canned response for each product you’re selling. The email will contain the download link to your book or comic online in PDF format (and ideally several other common formats). It doesn’t have to be long but this email a great chance to voice your appreciation and link the reader to all your relevant data.

For ideas on how to make the email see this sample canned response.


STEP THREE: DELIVERY

The customer will receive your download link by email.

A download link is preferable to attaching your book or comic to the email because it arrives faster and gives the customer more options for when and where they download your work. Additionally, links give you maximum control over and which version is being downloaded and how long that version is available – you can always expire that link at any time.

A) How to host the download link for your book or comic

A free Google Docs account allows you to upload any type of file to share, with customizable permissions.

Upload your PDF as a file (making sure to uncheck the option to “convert documents, presentations, and spreadsheets to the corresponding Google Docs formats.”)

Set your uploaded PDF’s “sharing” option to Anyone with the link can access. No sign-in required. Google describes this setting as being like “an unlisted phone number.” Your book/comic will technically be “public” but Google claims they won’t index it to appear in their search results and that other search engines shouldn’t either. If at any time you feel your PDF is overexposed you can always change the sharing settings to “Private” or change the link address.

The shareable link Google Docs produces for your uploaded PDF will be the download link you forward in your canned email.

B) Why PDF?

The iPhone and iPad in particular handle PDFs beautifully and they can be saved from email directly into iBooks or another installed PDF reader of your choice.

1) PDF is extremely widely adopted on e-readers, phones and other mobile devices.
2) PDF provides extensive formatting and hypertext options for both books and comics.
3) PDF will always launch from email. Not even Apple dares block a business standard format like PDF without jeopardizing their enterprise customer base.


Voila. You’re now selling your books and comics for use on any digital reading device without Apple, Amazon or any  publisher’s interference.



You also say…
BLECCH! Enough of the yak-yak, Perfesser! Make with the funny pictures! Thanks for your patience. Back to Massive Sqwertz.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

- Does it only work for iPhone and iPad?

That’s the best part – it works on everything. Android, Palm, iPhone, iPad or virtually any other device you’d want to read a book on. Kindle, Nook and other partially-online hardware e-readers even work alright without too much additional hassle.


- NOT .99 works on Smartphones – will it work on non-Smartphones?

Mmmmaybe. It should work on about any phone you’d want read a book on. The NOT .99 method requires a browser, an Internet connection and someplace on the device to store the data. The rest (file formats, text size and visual design) are up to you.

- No DRM?! Are you crazy?!

“Digital rights management” is the locking down of files so they can’t be shared, traded or owned in perpetuity. DRM insinuates a criminal motivation and highly devalues any digital product for the customer. From the consumer’s standpoint, if you can’t loan your purchase to a friend – you don’t own it and you definitely shouldn’t pay like you do.

With the NOT .99 method the customer receives their purchase via email can forward it to everyone they know – perhaps you should urge them to do and encourage such enthusiastic evangelists. Reserve the right to expire a link if you’re feeling sheepish but hold that option in reserve – how much better to snare a new reader with rock solid recommendation from a friend who themselves buy your other books because you make it easy.

Not .99 can be cheap because you’re not splitting the proceeds. It’s reliable because there’s no DRM. It’s faster than searching for a torrent or bothering a friend. With these barriers removed creators give themselves every advantage.

- Does this work for other digital media? MP3′s? Movies? Games?

Somewhat, but not as universally. Different devices will have different standard settings for how they handle various files. The iPad and iPhone, for instance, won’t permit MP3′s downloaded from the Internet links to be stored with your other music or sync’d back to your desktop. This is anti-competitive and anti-user but the current state of Apple affairs.

- Unique prices?! But I want to charge a normal price ending in _ .99!

There’s no technical reason an item can’t be sold for $0.99 or 9.99 (although only one of each price, obviously) but – pull yourself together, man. The __.99 price point is a virulent and tacky sales manipulation. 99% of all products sold cost SOMETHING .99. Every damn book in the iBookstore ends in something .99 but you’re a writer alive to see the death of centralized publishing!  Cast off the colors of your fallen master and stand a free man!

Shout it with me, brothers: “my comic costs $.83 cents — NOT .99!”

- Unfair! Apple eventually admitted their mistake and allowed Ulyssess and Mark Fiore’s caricatures into the iBookstore!

Irrelevant. These two pieces would still be forbidden if Apple hadn’t gotten such a black eye in the press. Apple censorship is without merit and baldly disingenuous. They stomp individual creators but permit big-name pornographers like Playboy and Maxim to remain. Added to which, the iPhone can never provide “freedom from pornography” while it accesses the Internet.

Consider that before Apple’s rejection Joyce’s Ulysses was last persecuted in America for obscenity in 1934!

- The NOT .99 method is a bit of a hack approach, isn’t it?

TOTALLY! Or… maybe. Well, arguably – I’ll give you that much. BUT using existing online services means that anyone can tailor their e-commerce to their own needs. And fix it when it breaks without hiring a programmer. And it does solve every major problem with the iBookstore.  And the payout for creators is unmatched. And it does works every time.

So, perhaps, yeah,  it is a bit hacked together, but so was Frankenstein and he met the Harlem Globetrotters. We should all soar to such heights.

-The Additional Precaution

The NOT.99 method can be spoofed by someone with knowledge of the method (by sending a filter-fooling email directly to the seller without using PayPal). To prevent this spoofing simply confirm 2 email addresses with PayPal: <You>@Gmail.com and <You>+7_SECRET_NUMBERS@Gmail.com.

When you append any numbers or letters to your email address using “+” after the username but before the @,  Gmail knows to still deliver it to your normal email address!

Instruct users to text money to <You>@Gmail.com and set <You>+7_SECRET_NUMBERS@Gmail.com as your PayPal “primary” email address. Then merely update your filter watch for emails sent from <You>+7_SECRET_NUMBERS@Gmail.com instead of <You>@Gmail.com.

You won’t advertise your secret email address and so the spoofers won’t know it and actually, forewarned, spoofers will assume you’ve taken this precaution and won’t even try. It’s a good idea to take this precaution anyway.

– A sample canned response for emailing download links to the customer

>>>

SUBJECT: Download your copy of COMIC TITLE (Link expires in 7 days)

Dear Beloved Reader,

Thanks for purchasing COMIC TITLE. I just know you’re going to love it and if that’s the case I hope you’ll check out my other titles you can download and read right now.

Download your copy of COMIC TITLE in…

- PDF format (for direct-download reading on iPhone, iPad and almost everywhere).
- CBZ format (for comic book viewers like Stanza ).
- ePub format (also super common and suitable for users of Kindle & Nook).
- HTML format (for reading in any browser).

These links will expire in 7 days. (Doing my part to keep the Internet tidy.)

If you love COMIC TITLE, I hope you’ll forward this email and share COMIC TITLE with a friend or two you think would dig it. A sincere recommendation from from a friend does me more good than any other single thing. (And if you’re a raving super-fan of COMIC TITLE I wouldn’t turn down a review on Amazon, either.)

I won’t ever spam. Want updates? Subscribe by RSS, Twitter, Facebook or Email.

Thanks again,
YOUR NAME

>>>

First time on Massive Sqwertz?

Why not check out the comic - it’s what we’re here for.


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This is fucking amazing. I can basically make and sell anything I could ever imagine through the internet. Now I just have to imagine something...

via Warren Ellis

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Cthulhu Necktie

Posted: 12 Jan 2011 10:06 PM PST

via thecontrarianmedia.com I would wear ties all the time if this were the current style. ...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

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Looklet

Posted: 05 Jan 2011 10:49 AM PST

via looklet.com Kind of cool if you're into fashion or you just need to study drapery. Too bad it's only female models (and really only one actual body at that). ...

Spacelog

Posted: 05 Jan 2011 09:29 AM PST

Not sure if I've posted Spacelog before, but it's pretty awesome. It's transcripts of the original records of America's early space missions. I love space.
http://spacelog.org/ ...

My Junior High Science Careers Illustration Project

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 11:52 PM PST

Looklet

Kind of cool if you're into fashion or you just need to study drapery. Too bad it's only female models (and really only one actual body at that).

Spacelog

Not sure if I've posted Spacelog before, but it's pretty awesome. It's transcripts of the original records of America's early space missions. I love space.

http://spacelog.org/

Monday, January 03, 2011

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The kids at OPEN in the UK have built a fabulous space for...

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 10:19 AM PST

The kids atOPENin the UK have built a fabulous space for themselves. I am green with envy!
OPEN was co-founded in 2010 by independent practitioner ...

The kids at OPEN in the UK have built a fabulous space for...

The kids at&nbsp;OPEN&nbsp;in the UK have built a fabulous space for themselves. I am green with envy!  OPEN was co-founded in 2010 by independent practitioners Holly Wales, Hugh Frost, Robert Evans, David Callow and Loren Filis, as a physical space in which to build on their practices as illustrators, educators, designers, publisher and printers, in an environment which would provide support, criticism, dialogue, fairness, opportunity, a sense of belonging and fresh ambition to both their creative work and independent businesses; and in turn help others to benefit from the same.

The kids at OPEN in the UK have built a fabulous space for themselves. I am green with envy!

OPEN was co-founded in 2010 by independent practitioners Holly Wales, Hugh Frost, Robert Evans, David Callow and Loren Filis, as a physical space in which to build on their practices as illustrators, educators, designers, publisher and printers, in an environment which would provide support, criticism, dialogue, fairness, opportunity, a sense of belonging and fresh ambition to both their creative work and independent businesses; and in turn help others to benefit from the same.

Like this please.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

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Artfags Unite!

Posted: 01 Jan 2011 05:16 PM PST

So if you're my pal on Facebook, you might have seen Marie, Alex and I talking about making some sort of art collective or group. Why? Because, we seem to know a lot of people who are talented artists ...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Artfags Unite!

So if you're my pal on Facebook, you might have seen Marie, Alex and I talking about making some sort of art collective or group. Why? Because, we seem to know a lot of people who are talented artists, or just have a drive to create, but are stuck in dead-end jobs and have to do their creating in their bedroom some time between dinner and bed after work.
Well what if we pooled our resources to rent a space dedicated to being a studio for all of us? A shared space where you can be free of all the normal distractions of your everyday life, surrounded by other creative people.
Non-residential spaces (i.e. you can't live there but maybe crash for a night if you're pulling an all-nighter on a project) in the city (of San Francisco) are pretty cheap. At a glance you can pick up a studio apartment sized space sub $1000. Split five or six ways that's pretty cheap. Probably less than some people spend on take-out in a month.
The space can also double as a gallery, so that once a month (or so) we can show our work to the public and maybe sell some of it. If it's a popular enough event we could even charge a cover for art parties.
Sounds pretty cool no? The only thing we need to get it started are some artist friends who are in the SF area and willing to split the costs of the studio/gallery space. The more people the better.
Maybe you're thinking "But, Chris, I'm not a visual artist." So? Do you like to create? Do you want a space to create? Do you want people to see (or feel, or hear, or read, or play) your work? Do we know you? Do you have an extra $100 or so? Awesome. You're in.
Don't live in the bay area? That's okay. Send your stuff in for gallery shows and we'll show it off.
Let's make art now while we're alive and ready to make it. Right now.