Old Age of Mutilation
Or, "Pass me the comfort Lego"

Have you noticed how the cultural artefacts we use to measure our rapid plunge towards death/obsolescence almost always involve taking something significant in the public consciousness of during your adolescence and re-contextualising it against todays date? (exhibit A: today's XKCD cartoon). (Or that magazine clipping that was circulating last week about someone listening to The Pixie's "Wave of Mutilation" album because it reminded them of their grandparents... FFS.)

I wonder what my son's impending middle age crises will involve? "People who are starting university this year weren't born when London was above sea level!" 

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The Future Is Bright
(Because it's on fire.)

I got myself a mohawk. I've been doing some push ups and sit ups in anticipation of having to walk around bare chested all the time. I've been working out the best spots to weld spikes on to the Fiat 500 (without ruining the fuel economy) and have picked out a nice spot in Chiswick where we can set up some sort defensible homestead. (It's tricky finding somewhere with access to clean water, guzzoline and a decent-sized Waitrose.)

And then, just when I think I'm ready, the disappointing rolling shit-show that is The Brexit delivers its cruellest blow.

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The New Vee.
Or, "Familiarity breeds litigation."

There is something extremely... familiar about Gibson's new Flying V and it took me a couple of goes to work out what it was. At first I thought it might be because it has the '57 Chevy tailfin-esque curve on the sides. (In which case American Showster do it bettter.) And there was the awesome aluminium Jackson Roswell Rhoads that had the curvy offset V thing going on.

But no, that's not it. It's waaaaay more lawsuit worthy familiar than that.

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Dirty Computer
Or, "The ArchAndroid is back."

It would seem Janelle Monàe's love of sci-fi will not be abating anytime soon. Which is excellent news. The Metropolis suite is one of my favourite things.

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A Lack of Focus.
Or, "It ain't like it used to be."

I learned something this afternoon while out with that old Zenit SLR.  Today... I couldn't get an image in focus in the viewfinder. Nothing. Not a sausage. My initial assumption was I'd broken something (it's been in the boot of the car and bounced up and down the M1 a couple of times this week). What I didn't realise until I'd got home is that my eyes are likely the problem...

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Some thoughts on Marvel's Black Panther
Or, "Where were these guys when the Chitauri attacked?"

Warning: Contains mild spoilers for Marvel's Black Panther movie. 

Saw Black Panther last night and enjoyed it very much. It's definitely in the top tier of Marvel's output, which given how good their movies have been of late (Spider-Man, Ragnorok, etc) is saying something. 

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Automated image compression utility

I am giving TinyPNG a go because Lighthouse is moaning about image sizes on one of my websites. It's an automated image compression service/API/panda that does smart PNG/JPEG compression, and it's free for light usage (<500 images a month). 

In literally 3 lines I got it working, which has to be one of the lowest barriers to entry for any utility I've tried. And I'm running my CMS in debug while typing this post and testing it with this stormtrooper pic. (The revolution will be live.)

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Experimental antique imaging.
Or, "Capturing 8-minute-old photons with a 30-year-old camera."

I am halfway through the first roll of film I've shot in at least fifteen years, and it's in a Soviet-era camera (a Zenit 11) that has been sat in a drawer for at least twenty-five years. It's certainly older than that - it was second-hand when my folks got it for teenage-me after I expressed an interest in taking proper pictures and I think they stopped making them in 1990. It has no battery, no automation of any kind, no in-viewfinder display (unlike the borgeois Zenit 12 which had two LEDs for under/overexposure). This lack of complexity is probably why everything still seems to work.... all the moving parts move, the shutter seems to have a smooth action and frankly you'll all be jealous of my selenium-light-meter-with-lookup-dial combo after EMP hits. (Although now I've typed that I'm trying to work out if the light meter would actually still work after an EMP. But you take my point.)

As an experiment, I've picked up a roll of "fake" black & white film (colour chemistry stuff, because I need something that Snappy Snaps can process) and I'm gonna turn it in and see if the camera has developed any exciting leaks or flaws.  First observation? It's amazing how much more you start to think about the frame when you know you've only got 24 exposures. Also, winding on the film has become a completely foreign concept - I forgot literally every time.

All technologies become defined by their flaws in their artefacts, and subsequent iterations of the technology often model those flaws for aesthetic reasons (hello Instagram) but I must say the actual experience of taking a picture with knobs and dials and chemicals is also an artefact of the old technology. And surprisingly good fun.

I'll post some results if I get any.

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Late nite, early warning.
Or, “Is this thing on?”

So, the real proof of concept with any content wrangling system is whether you can do the doings from your phone. This is a test. Do not be alarmed.

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Moeker is a band.