Another Day, Another Isolated Incident

Jeezus, this is getting tiresome:

An East Texas man who federal prosecutors allege left explosive devices including pipe bombs in multiple area mail boxes, was motivated in part by anger at the government, Brit Featherston, first assistant U. S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas tells TPMmuckraker in a phone interview.

“It does appear that there were two motives: one, that he was disenchanted with the federal government, and, two, he was disenchanted with an individual who he perceived that had wronged him,” says Featherston of 52-year-old Larry North, who was arrested today.

Three dozen bombs in almost two dozen places. And why do the perps all have to look like Big Lebowski?

Prosecutor: East TX Man Distributed Pipe Bombs Because Of Anger At Government [TPM]

Suspect Linked To 36 Explosive Devices [Tyler Morning Telegraph]


And this is not domestic terrorism how exactly?

Why is he dealing with bombs?

He could take out a city block by lighting his farts.

Tyler/Henderson. I believe that’s Louie Gohmert’s territory. SFL?

a break from depressing wing nut news anyone?

just attended a fascinating lunch time lecture with a guy named Paul Debevec here is his site. among other things he just won, along with three other people, a technical oscar for his “light stage” research.

the most interesting part for me, since I loath Cameron, was the part where he totally debunked the whole this is totally new and fabulous stuff that has never been done before crap about Avatar.

he and his team were responsible for the most cutting edge stuff in Avatar and from his presentation it was totally clear that nothing about it was new. it had a couple of minor advances that had not yet been used in a feature film which is always the case but pretty much all of the same techniques were used on Benjamin Button and other films.

the thrust of his research is to create a totally believable digital actor.
the Digital Emily project, that you can read about on the site is the newest project and in some ways the most interesting.

Anyone else think there’s a good chance that we the taxpayers bought this fucktard a power chair so his “disabled” ass could roll around putting bombs in mailboxes?

@al2o3cr: Looks like he rolls around and sticks straws in grease traps behind McDonalds and inhales.

So why did they bother arresting and indicting this Dude? Should’ve just sicked a Predator drone on him.

But I guess someone who goes around trying to bomb people right on US American soil isn’t the imminent threat / dangerous terrorist that some guy in Yemen who says mean things about us on the radio is.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: Right. In gallon jugs warmed in a microwave and applied with a fireplace bellows.

Holy shit, this is thread-jackingly off topic, but amazing, there are still qualudes, they still exist, this dude was indicted for selling a Trump employee like $12,000 worth of them, recently! Its not too late!


I used to get ‘ludes all the time from my dealer back in the mid-nineties. Helped me come down from the XTC when all the fun was over.

“Disenchanted”? Are you kidding me? When I’m disenchanted with someone, I hide them on Facebook, not plant pipe bombs! I salute Mr. Featherston as the master of understatement.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: @Capt Howdy: Speaking of Uncanny Valley, I think that’s where they sent Shelly O in this atrocious magazine cover.

@flippin eck:

Eeek!! Some hack photo-shopper sent Mish-Ob to the Meg Ryan School of Facial Reupholstery.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: She would look so much more attractive with Elizabeth Kucinich’s tongue in her mouth.


neighbors expressed surprise that the man they knew as the driver of the children’s train at the annual Henderson Syrup Festival was linked to the bombs.


Like I said before: Live the dream, baby. Love it and live it hard.

@Capt Howdy:

Of course they didn’t suspect he was a terrorist. They were too busy worrying that he was a pedophile. :)


“come sit on my lap honey?”

“what lap?”

@Capt Howdy: Darling, there’s no such thing as a ‘digital actor’.

While I can honor the work that goes into such stuff it has, so far as I’m concerned, nothing to do with life. And that’s what actors are about. Not the paltry sleb TVers we’ve all grown to despise – though there can be the odd breakout genius like Ashton Kutcher in 70s Show. Movies are mostly about the shuffling of cliches. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be fun. It can even be moving (Now Voyager, the reveal of the reborn Bette on the ship’s gangplank. It begins with shoes. [Orry-Kelly responsible for design as he was in almost all of her movies. He has a place to the right hand of Jesus next to Max Steiner] Cue any Beyonce video, self-determination is expressed almost entirely via shoes. Cue any pop representation of a group of independent galpals out on a spree, what do they talk about? Shoes. And these days they drag in BJs. JLo cannot pronounce Loboutin as she is an illiterate, untalented slut, but she can make a record [with the aid of her best BF Autotune] about the exhilarating, ’empowering’ activity of buying expensive shoes. So we score one for the gals and also the malls) . In my own work I am stripping away all ‘tech’ aspects to leave only the human in a space. That person right there. What this software does, it seems to me, is record cliches of facial expression – aka mugging (dear to my heart. We’ll do lunch: I’ll do gobsmack) – which it then equates with the emotional truth of being human. It isn’t. It doesn’t come close. It is merely the external record of a face in motion. But then, movies rarely do (shh! Bergmann. shh!! Lean. shh! da Sica. OMFG!!! Bicycle Thief. Most beautiful story ever. No SFX involved. And when you discover who is the thief of the title you will never be able to look at your cornflakes in the same way again. But these are artists. Sorry. But.)

The only instance, and I’ve bored you all with this before, of a truly human moment being achieved through some kind of technical wizardry that I know of is (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!) the death by drowning of Kurt Russell in Poseidon. It is stunning.

That Benjamin Buttons thing was fine, even impressive, except it had no story, only plot. Plot and plot and plot and plot and plot and plot. But nothing happened. And one kept being distracted by thinking ‘How did they do that’? Which can be a pleasure but doesn’t leave one trembling and wonderstruck at the end as did Dreamgirls (in the theatre) or, more recently, the Jenufa I saw in Prague.

This stuff is antithetical to my work so you’ll have to forgive me if I regard it with a certain amount of hostility.


This stuff is antithetical to my work so you’ll have to forgive me if I regard it with a certain amount of hostility.
he joked (I think) about putting money to take care of the vandalism from SAG in every bid.
but I hate to tell you but digital actors are coming. its like the atom. they were so busy trying to figure out if they could split it they never stopped to think about if they should. its coming.
I take your point. and I can tell you that you are hardly alone. but digital actors are coming. particularly after Avatar.
a lot of the discussion today was about how people like SAG and the Academy and others will deal with this. all that is far from figured out.

That Benjamin Buttons thing was fine, even impressive, except it had no story, only plot. Plot and plot and plot and plot and plot and plot. But nothing happened. And one kept being distracted by thinking ‘How did they do that’?

I dont disagree. I thought it was a fairly boring and spectacular movie. did you know for example that for the first hour of the film Pitt is entirely digital? it is not makeup as many people think. it is 100% digital. it was pretty amazing to see how they actually did it. I mean I have seen the “making of” stuff and it was nothing like this. but thats the thing. the kids in Hollywood have a new toy. and they are going to play with it. even if they go blind.

it might make you feel better to know how many directors, like David Fincher who directed Benjamin Button are approaching it.
he talked about how adamant he was that every twitch and gesture was Pitts. you see actors STILL HAVE TO DO THE PERFORMANCE. at least for now. he wanted every shot to be Pitt. at first he wouldnt even agree to let other actors play “his body” in the early parts of the film.
and in those scenes he at first insisted that the face of the actor playing Pitts body be blocked out so that it would not influence anything the animators did. he had to relent on this because they needed things like sight lines and stuff.

its a tar baby for sure.

@Capt Howdy: anything the animators did

And there you have it: It’s a high-tech form of animation.

Or, in some cases, re-animation.

but its not as bad as it sounds. 70% is motion capture. but that cant do eyes obviously. and it cant make lips squish and do the things they do.
but you can tell it is mostly Pitts performance. especially if you see the footage of his performance side by side with the finished product.

@Capt Howdy: I don’t think it’s “bad”. Let’s just dump the fancy jargon and call it what it is.

yes but. animators have a big problem with this also. they didnt really train all those years to animate eyes and lips and smooth out animation curves.

@Capt Howdy: Which reminds me, I’ve been seeing ads for Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings on DVD. Rotoscopomania!

even more Rotoscopomania is Bakshis “fire and ice” which is based on the art of Frank Frazetta.
I loved the idea of a movie based on Frazetta, who I worship, but it didnt work all that well.
pretty much every frame is rotoscoped why bother.

@Capt Howdy:

Mr. ‘Catt is like “Screw hand animation, lemme model”. It makes me sad, because one of the neatest experiences in my life is when he was laid off briefly, then rehired (of course) by them as a contractor for Enchanted. He worked at home on effects for the animated sequences, and watching him was amazing- and sad, because even watching him animate light and shadow I saw how hard creating movement and life on paper really is, what an art it is, how many people it takes, and to think that not even he values it…it made me sad indeed.

@Capt Howdy: did you know for example that for the first hour of the film Pitt is entirely digital?. I don’t care. And plus, it was entirely unconvincing. The only thing I thought was sort of well done was Cate Blanchett’s face on a dancer. Except that she can’t dance and so the face didn’t match the body. The same thing came up in the movie of noje’s favorite musical (he’s such a fanboy, he got all dressed up in a mask to be first in line for Sarah Brightman’s Harem tour tickets) Phantom. The dubbing was so plastic it torpedoed the film (not before time) though I did love the opening. Well, that and the dreadful awfulness of G Butler and Emmy Rossum. OK and get back from Patrick Wilson and his awesome weave. That dancing white boy is the real deal. I can only imagine him in a wrestling singlet battling some older, more rugged, Coach figure and begging him for mercy.

But you’re talking about movies. No one/any one acts in movies. Dogs, cats, babies, JLo, that girl in Precious. Anyone. These digital bank tellers can’t do Lear. They can’t do Gypsy. There will always be actors. They used to throw us on the trash heap and refuse us the right of burial (and no. not just Mandy Patinkin, though I could totally understand).

But we’re talking apples and oranges. Movies are plasticene. The theatre is life. How much longer it will last is debatable. But every time some trustafarian just down from Brown launches some kind of multimedia digital interactive wankfest we die a little. Which is why I say they should be taken out and shot (not you baked).

I don’t find these CGI movies spectacular. They have a surface skin that’s hard to pierce in a way that Bugs Bunny never was. Those cartoons had an immediacy that the deck scenes from Titanic entirely lacked.

Anyhow, as Berowne, in Love’s Labours Lost, tells the woman he has entirely fallen in love with and from whom he will never recover as she leaves him, “You go that we. We this.” And your heart breaks.

Plus update: Palin/Backman 2012!!!!!!! Wooo hooooo!!!!!!!!!!

@nojo: It’s dreadful. DREADFUL. I’m no fan of that dingy, wet-tweed, rancid week-old underwear, spaghetti-on-toast trilogy, but that cartoon was simply appalling. I saw it in some movie house at Leicester Square. I was so upset I had to go out and drink champagne with homosexuals. And lots of it.

@Benedick: noje’s favorite musical


Might be Singin’ in the Rain. Always grabs my attention when it’s on.

Or maybe it’s just Cyd Charisse.

it might surprise you to hear this but I dont really disagree.
all the greatest films are predigital. in many ways digital effects has sucked the life out of film.
but hey, its how I made my living for a long time. but no more. now I am into real time rendering which is a totally different animal.

and of course. film and theater are not apples and oranges they are apples and penguins.

not only is it dreadful but its like they ran out of money or will and said, ok we have to end it here.

@Benedick: @Capt Howdy: I can’t commend it either, although I respect the attempt. All this motion-capture chatter brought it to mind.

I love Bakshi. he is a mostly unsung hero. he has had some spectacular faliures.

I even love Coonskin.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head:
is it that he doesnt value it or he values a career with a future?

@Capt Howdy: is it that he doesnt value it or he values a career with a future?

Or as I learned early on, Writing Doesn’t Pay Shit, and adjusted accordingly.

I’ve posted this before, the Virtual Backlot for shows filmed next-door in Vancouver, BC, and it’s an understatement to say that it’s simply breathtaking. It’s usually obvious to me when things on screen are CGI-fake, but Ugly Betty? The scenes from the clip in Russia are stunning.

My mind is blown.

@Original Andrew:
the thing many people dont understand is that every film and tv show is now replete with digital effects.
my specialty when I did that stuff was doing the stuff that is completely invisible. not the scary cg monster but removing the cart paths and power lines from the golf course before the civil war scene.

it is really pretty thankless work. if you do it well the whole point is you cant tell anything was done.

@Capt Howdy:

Just like foley work, eh? You don’t realize it’s there, but you’d sure as hell miss it if it weren’t.

@Original Andrew: Ah, the Wonderful World of Set Extension. It’s the CGI that doesn’t draw attention to itself that fools you.

On the other hand, Moon — rent now! — pulls off a charming old-fashioned forced-perspective move in at least one scene. The oldies are still goodies.

@Capt Howdy:

I think the industry has taught him not to value it by making sure that people with that skill set and that skill set alone have no real future.

Thanks god he has both skillsets, and varied experience in both. It makes him invaluable. It’s why they rehired him, frankly.

He achieved whatever he did despite the loss of his legs to some Chinaman, probably in Korea.

What you said: @Benedick, @Capt Howdy, @nojo, @Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head

What I heard:

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Coach blah blah blah blah blah blah

Was there anything Sport-related there, cuz y’all lost me with the grips and the galleys and the lighting and the fluffers.

oh and ADD: why is Karl Rove being wheeled out of his fattening pen? The 2010 Rove Paté was promising to be positively sinful.

@NaBEEsko: I don’t know whether you can get the Daily Show online over there, but Thursday night’s second segment is a keeper.

@nojo: Man, I was all set for some Liberal Elitism with 30 Rock and a martini and it was a fucking repeat, plus that and I had to dick around with the fleet of computers on maintenance. Booo. Also waxed a snowboard and packed for trip to scout for turkeys.

/sips martini, sulks, and checks progress bars

@nojo: I can indeed – but heading out in a few for an upcountry weekend. Tea plantations, cricket, elephant orphanages and double martinis watching orphans playing elephant cricket on the tea plantations…

Hey, I just read in a day-old Int’l Herald Tribune that you can buy a $50 cellie and use that as a mobile wi-fi hot spot for your iPhad, without waiting for the 3G model…I am, as they say, intrigued.

/dons elephant cricket&polo sweater, lifts bat to shoulder, heads off into the sub-tropical sunset/

@redmanlaw: Gonna have to wait another two weeks for that. I don’t know if it’s simply a residual effect of the Olympics or what, but their schedule has been wonky lately.

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