Drone’s Eye View Video of the XOXO Festival in Portland, OR

This is a short video I created from the perspective of my robotic flying camera while attending this year’s XOXO festival in Portland, OR. If you look closely, you might see a few familiar faces poking out the windows during the outside flybys. The video was shot using a GoPro Hero3 hanging from a brushless motorized gimbal attached to the bottom of a DJI Phantom quadcopter.

Soylent Green Crackers, Just Like Grandma Used To Taste

soylent-green

Soylent Green Crackers, available through ThinkGeek, taste just like Grandma used to.

Soylent Green Crackers are the food stuff the world has been waiting for. A pleasing green cracker is low in fat and full of spinach, high energy plankton, and a special blend of herbs and people. Wait, what? Did we say people? DID WE SAY PEOPLE? OH SNAP – SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!! Ok, it’s not really people. But Soylent Green Crackers are delicious and a great conversation piece. So remember, Soylent Green Crackers are not really made of people. Or are they?

See Also:

Soylent Green T-Shirt Lets Everyone Know Your Ingredients

Soylent Green Is People Magazine

via ThinkGeek

Jetlev-Flyer, A Personal Water-Powered Jet Pack

jetlev-flyer

The future just arrived again, though this time you’re gonna get wet.

The Jetlev-Flyer is a personal jet pack for the water sports set. Screw Jet Skiing, jet flying is where it’s at! The jet pack is tethered to a small autonomous boat that follows you around and supplies the water you need to keep you airborne. You can have your very own starting at $125,000. Beach vacations (like consequences) are never going to be the same.

The JETLEV-FLYER employs a powerful 4-stroke engine and water nozzle reaction force to achieve stable, controlled flight. The unique design helps to make flight controls very simple, light and intuitive. It can accommodate pilots of 1,50 – 2,00 m in height and 40 – 150 kg in weight. A digital fly-by-wire system is used to control the throttle. For safety and performance we only use high quality materials and workmanship in manufacturing.

Depending on pilot weight, a standard JETLEV-FLYER could reach an altitude of 10 m, top speeds of 35 km/h and has a cruising duration of 2-3 hours. For special applications, future designs could achieve higher altitudes and top speeds, extended range, and even travel both above and below the water’s surface.

It Came From Kuchar

It Came From Kuchar is a wonderful documentary about a quirky couple of twin filmmakers from the Bronx who’ve been pioneering underground film since the 50’s. George and Mike Kuchar‘s eccentric works have inspired artists such as filmmaker John Waters, actor/director Buck Henry and Zippy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffiths, just to name a few. The Kuchar brothers are the real deal. They’ve cranked out hundreds of fanciful, freaky no budget films on 8 and 16mm film, video as well as a trove of paintings and comics. Yet despite their voluminous body of work, they’re relatively little known outside of cinephile and film student circles today.

It Came From Kuchar features tons of great archival footage of the Kuchar twin’s films and interviews from the likes of John Waters, Guy Maddin, Bill Griffiths, Buck Henry, B. Ruby Rich, Atom Egoyan, Christopher Coppola, San Francisco locals Marian Wallace and V. Vale. Here’s more info on how to purchase the DVD.

Life of Brian, Live on Stage at the Dark Room

guest post by Eddie Codel

Life of Brian Live on Stage

Monty Python’s timeless satirical comedy Life of Brian, which when released in 1979 stirred religious fanatics everywhere to protest and ban the film as blasphemous (Aberystwyth, Wales finally lifted their ban this year).

Now 30 years later, you can witness the blasphemy of a live stage adaptation of Life of Brian when it opens Friday for a 4 week stint at the Dark Room Theater in the Mission. The production runs every Friday and Saturdays nights at 8pm from November 27th to December 19th.

I recently ran into Laughing Squid’s own guest blogger mikl-em rehearsing his lines outside the theater. He gave me a quick tour of the chaos going on inside where I found half-naked performers in a costuming frenzy of robes and sandals. You’ll have to come see for yourself whether mikl’s a Roman, a messiah, a heretic or all the above.

The Dark Room is a 50 seat black box theater, busily alternating between stand-up and sketch comedy shows, big production stage adaptations of pop-culture classics like this one and of course, the infamous Sunday night Bad Movie Night.

How to Make a Baby in 30 Seconds

guest post by Eddie Codel

Friends Cassidy Curtis and Raquel Coelho made a fun short educational movie on “How to Make a Baby”. They left detailed notes on how they made a ‘how to make a baby’ video.

We made this video using a technique called “pixilation”, which is a fancy term for stop-motion animation done with real people instead of puppets. We shot it, frame by frame, with Raquel’s Canon DSLR over a period of nine months. Those of you who stopped by our house might have noticed some mysterious tape marks on the floor in the living room. Those were for the camera tripod and our feet.

Roboexotica 2008 Photos & Video

The tenth annual Roboexotica festival for robotic cocktail culture organized by monochrom and SHIFZ is in full swing here in Vienna, Austria where I’ve been for the last month. The big kick off party on Thursday night started in front of RoboVox, a 25 foot future deco style robot that speaks SMS messages sent to it.

RoboVox lives

The crowd marched into the Freiraum at the Museumsquartier where the main event was getting started. There are maybe 20 or so cocktail robot installations, some of which include Robomoji, the old standby industrial mojito maker, Bre Pettis’ Cherrytron 2000 robotic arms controlled by retro Atari 2600 joysticks and a beautiful machine of brass, glass, tubes and bubbling liquids called the BRAGOFON-STVOL-DISTILLATOR «LIQUIDATOR» by Russian artist mikhael a crest sator.

Roboexotica setup

BRAGOFON-STVOL-DISTILLATOR «LIQUIDATOR» by mikhael a crest sator ArXeNeKrOHeN

Some of the interesting interactive bots were created by students of the Joanneum Applied Media Sciences University. The Construction Wanker is a cocktail maker that works by punching holes in a card, inserting it into a slot, pulling a lever and then collecting a drink that the Construction Wanker pees into your cup. Another is a beautiful piano with a dozen or so liquors and mixers connected that randomly mix based on how one tickles the keys. Gina the cocktail cow drew quite the crowd. She’s attended by two milk maids that help the prospective drinker milk Gina’s udders to squirt out a gin & tonic. The maids then help you to retrieve ice from inside Gina by gloving up a hand and inserting it deep into Gina’s pink puckered anus. Austrian students have all the fun.

Construction Wanker

Gina the cocktail cow

San Francisco is represented well this year with CTP’s Rim Shot Bot, Kal Spelletich’s Sloth, Jonathan Foote & Al Honig’s Chassis and Mitch Heinrich’s & David Fine‘s Fairy Juicer.

CTP & Rim Shot

Roboexotica

Roboexotica is not complete without monochrom’s Taugshow which took place at the hackerspace Metalab on Friday night. Inventor of TV-B-Gone Mitch Altman, Bre Pettis, Krach the Robot and myself were featured guests. Here’s a quick video of Krach delivering a musical interlude.

Monochrom has also come out with their 10 year Roboexotica retrospective anthology now available at Amazon.

Roboexotica 10 year book

Here’s my photo set of the last few days festivities:

More Roboexotica photos: Bre’s Flickr set, CTP’s set and Shifzr’s set.

UPDATE: Suicide Bots has posted this year’s winners of the RoboExotica 2008 Annual Cocktail Robot Awards.

photos & video by guest post by Eddie Codel

Darth Ticket Validator

guest post by Eddie Codel

Darth Ticket Validator

While making my way on the tram through Vienna, Austria I felt a felt a strange pull to the dark side. I turned around and discovered Darth Ticket Validator.

photo by Eddie Codel

A N00b’s Trip Through Comic-Con 2008

guest post by Eddie Codel

Comic-con 2008

Comic-con 2008

Comic-Con 2008 Day 2

I had the immense pleasure of experiencing my first Comic-Con this past weekend in San Diego. Comic-Con is a massive event for all things comics, science fiction and anime in all its media manifestations (comic books, movies, TV shows, video games, card games, toys, collectibles, cosplayers and LARPers). Comic-Con’s essential ingredients are a giant expo floor, numerous panel discussions and speakers, TV and movie actors signing autographs, tons of parties and the official masquerade ball.

Most attendees make a noble attempt at dressing up as their favorite superhero, villain or anime character. The Dark Knight flavor of The Joker was by far the most popular getup there this year. Battlestar Galactica, old and new school, were also quite popular. Throughout the day I overhead many noobs proclaiming they had wished they had dressed up and they were certainly going to next year. I couldn’t help but think of the similarity to Burning Man virgins who go home knowing exactly what art project they’re going to do next year.

Comic-Con 2008 Day 2

With 150,000 fans packing the halls it sometimes was a bit of challenge getting in and around. All the big panels had massive lines snaking around the walls of the convention center and across passageways. Some of the most popular panels were Joss Whedon and the cast of Dr. Horrible, the Watchmen where some exclusive footage was shown and Terminator 4 where a new trailer debuted.

Comic-con 2008

The expo hall is a football field or two of space filled with booths small to enormous. Many of the big movie studios and television networks had massive displays hyping their latest offerings. Some examples are a full scale Owl Ship from the upcoming Watchmen movie, a larger than life Iron Man suit, a Dunder Mifflin set from The Office, a two-story Guantanamo Bay prison complex complete with a unicorn you could mount from the movie Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Of course there are the old standbys like a life size Jabba the Hut you could snuggle up with, a Lego Indiana Jones and ridiculous sized Pokemon characters. This montage I shot of the expo floor will you give you a tiny sense of what it was like.

On the edges of the hall, you could actually buy or trade comic books and get autographs from your favorite artists. Plenty of collectibles and vinyl toys as well. There’s also a video games section at one far end that was a ghetto compared to the prime space the studios got. Tucked in between G4’s mobile studio and NBC’s The Office set was a small space occupied by pals Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine of Ask a Ninja fame who were signing autographs and pimping their remake of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Even though the film has yet to be shot and is at least a year off from screening, it’s never too early to build buzz.

A curious thing I noticed this year were many young cosplayers with FREE HUGS signs. A mixing of cultural and Internet memes maybe?

Comic-Con 2008 Day 2

You can find tons more photos & video in my Flickr set and everyone else’s. Sci-fi blog io9 has tons of coverage as well (full disclosure: I was hired by io9 to shoot video at Comic-Con). Conclusion: An amazing event, you should go! Just book your hotel now as it gets impossible to find a room as the event approaches.

photos & video by Eddie Codel