Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tim Burton Stuff

Wednesday, April 29, 9:46 A.M.
Mood: Gloomy
Music: Clocks, by Coldplay

I have to say that by far Tim Burton is my favorite film maker.
His twisted and gloomy settings, dark yet inspiring stories, and all around flair keep me enthralled and calling for more.

My favorite film of his, strangely enough, is a little known stop motion animation he created at Disney early in his film career. It is entitled Vincent.

(To Watch Vincent, Please Click Below)

is the story of a small boy who wants to grow up to be like Vincent Price. All throughout the seven minute film Vincent's regular life is shown in mostly white and gray scenes (the film was in black and white) that show him doing such things as playing with his sister, his dog, speaking nicely with his aunt and putting up with living in a crowded house.

The scenes then switch to his inner fantasies, what he wants his life to be like.

He imagines living alone in a dark and spacious home where he can "wander the halls, alone and tormented", dunking his aunt in a vat of wax, and preforming experiments on his dog, ambercrombie ( in hopes of creating a horrible zombie.)

He is sent to his room in the middle of the film for digging up his mother's flower garden in hopes of finding his "poor dead wife". After being banished to his room he sits alone and reads Edgar Allan Poe. (While other children read books like, Go Dog Go, Vincent's favorite author was Edgar Allan Poe.) After reading he pretends to be the tormented main character in The Raven. He imagines that he is trapped in his room forever, with only a portrait of his "beloved lost Loraine" to keep him company. He convinces himself that it has been years and that he is going insane. In the final scene he falls to the floor and, quoting Poe, says

"And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Interestingly enough, after it's completion the film was rejected by Disney for being "To dark for children."

I personally think this film is brilliant and one of Burton's best.

No matter what your opinion of him is, you must admit he is a brilliant and visionary director not only in terms of cinematography, but writing as well.

I hope he continues to make films that delight and inspire the eccentric in all of us.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here There Be Dragons

Tuesday, April 27, 10 :27 A.M.
Mood: Focused
Music: Seven Nation Army, by The White Stripes

Truly one can say that there is not a more pure symbol of power and magic than the dragon. Dragons have been revered for centuries as guardians and protectors in eastern culture, whereas western dragons tend to be viewed as evil creatures.

The existence of dragons remains questionable, however with the evidence provided by archeology we have discovered that nearly every culture had a dragon like god or symbol. All of these examples carry similar structures and themes, which leads one to wonder about the existence of these mysterious creatures.

Even today, there have been many sightings in lakes around the world of beings that could be described as dragons, or at least "dracopormorphic" animals.

Many locations around the world are traditional held by the people who live there as the home of dragons. For instance, the Reuss River, in Switzerland (pictured here) is held to be the home of "a massive sky serpent" that flew from a nearby lake into the upper part of the river in the early 16th century.

Loch Ness, the most famous site of dragon sitings in the world had it's earliest recorded siting in the 15th century. So these mystical beings have either reproduced by now or have incredibly long life spans, as we are taught by tales of dragons that have been passed on.

I often wonder if they do exist. Perhaps increasing pressure from human expansion and construction has forced them from their natural habitats and this can account for the increased number of sightings in recent years.

One can hope that these beautiful and mysterious creatures can continue living in a changing world as a last hope, a last glimmer of magic in a dimming time.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thoughts on Runes

Monday, April 26, 10:28 A.M.
Mood: Magical
Music: Trouble, by Coldplay

I really like runic. Not only is it an ancient Scandinavian form of writing, but it is also incredibly beautiful in its form and design.

The ancients believed that they where not only a means of communication, but a method of channeling magic and creating a connection with nature and the elements. Even today, many believe them to contain magical properties.

As a project last summer, myself and a group of friends decided to learn to write fluently in runic. We succeeded, and even today we use runic instead of English when writing to one another.

I have also engraved some stones with runes, as a project. They turned out nicely and I was pleased with them. I then read about how the viking burned runes into wood, mostly fruit wood, because they believed through making a mark on something so natural, they could communicate with nature. They are also used as a form of writing by the elves, called Quenya, in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. (Readers, Help! I have been unable to find a Quenya to English Translator! If you find one, please post a comment about it. Thanks!)

I really like runes, and the fact that they are still around from ancient times is an incredible gift to not only learn about the language and culture of these people, but also about their way of life and their beliefs.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Friday, April 23, 10:12
Mood: Historic
Music: Hearing Damage, by Thom Yorke

As you have probably figured out for yourself by now, I hold SteamPunk as my favorite type of art and free expression. Also, the SteamPunk era, (around the time of the industrial revolution, predating electricity), is one of my favorite times in history to study. The innovations created by scientist from this period are stunning, not only encompassing full functionality but also a beauty of design and an appreciation for mechanics.

SteamPunk is a difficult thing to define. Wikipedia calls it "a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s." Where as calls it "a genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power." So basically, it is based around the questions "What if technology had evolved around gears and steam, rather than electricity? What would happen? What would life be like? What would our technology look like?"
(For more info on defining SteamPunk, I would recommend the Wikipedia article. It does a great job of summing up the definitions as well as discussing the art forms evolution and siting examples of SteamPunk art and Fiction.)
Find it at

SteamPunk has really branched in the last few years. As the movement has grown music, movies, books, websites, and clubs have risen from the dust and have become increasingly popular.

The French Techno band Daft Punk even composed a song called "Steam Machine" in honor of the art form.

Click below to listen to it.

Great Song!

Several movies have even been made including the incredible anime "Steam Boy" (pictured here) This movie centers around a giant "Steam Castle" and a crazed scientist turned "steamborg" (you heard right, he becomes a SteamPunk cyborg.) bent on using his incredible invention for world domination.

SteamPunk has also become a global phenomenon in terms of fashion. Several stores online have dedicated themselves to SteamPunk clothing, art, jewelry, goggles, watches, and tools. I personally recommend oldjunkyardboutique and steampunkdesign on Etsy. Oldjunkyardboutique sells great stuff for reasonably cheap and have some incredible stuff for sale, including goggles, gas masks, costume guns, and glasses. If your willing to spend more, then steampunkdesign should be your first choice. Their handcrafted goggles, watches, and monocles are top of the line and created from the finest brass, iron, copper, leather, and glass.

oldjunkyardboutique is available at

steampunkdesign is available at "

In short, SteamPunk in an incredible art form and a wonderful form of free expression.

Happy Engineering!

(This post originally contained a sound clip. To listen to it, please go to

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sad and Lonely I now Sit

Thursday, April 22, 10:24
Mood : Wistful
Music: Northern Skies, by Dido

Sad and Weary I now Sit.
A Poem.

Sad and weary I now sit
a credit to my end.
For she is dead and gone away.
her eyes, nevermore shall lift,
to heavens high or earth below
the ground in it's embrace, covers all and hides in dark,
her gentle, smiling face.

Tis Gone.

Tis Dead.

All over shall it be.

And tears roll down my stony face,
into an endless sea
that churns, and breaks, and cries, as if bemoaning me.

And for all a credit to my life,
Death and I go hand in hand.

Into Eternity.

And now I leave alone, alas,

that silent, cold deep sea.