Da Vinci Inventions

This weekend marks the last days of the Da Vinci inventions exhibition at the Docklands. It features 64 interactive models of the inventor’s machines based on his codices. The usual operating hours of 10 AM to 6 PM would also be extended till 9 PM this Saturday and Sunday with a free screening of the Dall Itallia Australia (From Italy to Australia) at 7 PM in the main piazza. Last chance to see this exhibit so better hurry if you’re interested!

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Published in: on September 30, 2006 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Just finished “Prey”

First, one cool news regarding my other webcomics, Lovarian Adventures. I’ve only recently discovered that Lovarian Adventures was picked as a Featured Comic in the newly designed Drunk Duck (the people who hosts my Lovarian Adventures webcomics) home page. What a great honour. I so appreciate it, Drunk Duck admins!

Too bad though that the comic has now been bumped off the last five list. Meaning, you don’t see it on the home page anymore. However, you can still see it listed in the Featured Comic archives. So, it’s all good.

Meanwhile, I’ve just finished drawing the 8-page comics short, Prey, last night at around 2 AM. I just came back from the Post Office and had it mailed express post to the magazine editors so that it would reach them for sure on Monday (the deadline).

I was told that it was okay for me to post the comic online just as long as I don’t have it published elsewhere so soon. So, if you are curious to see the actual finished comic, I’ve created a new comic space on Drunk Duck to host the 8-pager. Click Here to read it.

And here is a smaller version of the actual first page of the story:

Now, although I’m officially done with the 8-pager, I still won’t be updating Lovarian Adventures this weekend. I’m just so tired from all the rushed drawing and CG-shading that my eyes, hand and neck hurt. I’ll need a bit of rest from it, I think. I should be able to have a new page ready by next weekend though.

Published in: on September 29, 2006 at 12:52 pm  Comments (2)  

Krispy Kreme opens at CBD

For those of you who’re curious to try Krispy Kreme donuts to see if it really lives up to the hype but find the Narre Warren store a long distance to go, Krispy Kreme just opened its new store at Melbourne’s CBD a couple of days ago. The new shop is located at Collins corner Spencer streets in the city.

Published in: on September 28, 2006 at 7:36 am  Comments (4)  

Cheaper by twos

Shops sometimes runs promotions where they give additional discounts to customers if they buy more. Usually, the product would have a different price when you by it individually than if you buy it by pairs, for example. Although both stores promote buying by pairs, there’s a difference in how they price their products.

The one on the left lists a lower price if you buy two of the same brand of chocolate milk (2 for $4) but does not seem to give a discount for buying just one ($2.78). On the other hand, the one on the right lists a savings of 48c for each bottle of juice a customer buys but just as prominently prints the price for buying two of the same product (2 for $5). Although both ads are encouraging the customer to buy two at once, the one on the left gives you a discount only if you buy by pairs while the one on the right gives a discount anyway regardless of the customer buying one or two. Which begs the question, why would the one on the right even put in a price for buying two when there’s no real benefit to the customer anyway? Pffttt, these marketing ploys could be so tiresome sometimes.

Can you guess by the colours used in the ad which store is which? Click on the photos above to find out if you guessed correctly.

Published in: on September 26, 2006 at 7:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Working on “Prey”

I’ve temporarily stopped updating my weekly serial fantasy webcomic Lovarian Adventures to concentrate on drawing a short 8-page comics story for submission to an Australian literary magazine. The deadline for submission is on October 2 (this coming Monday) and I only really started to work on it last Friday.

Although the actual deadline is still next Monday, I have to finish it by Wednesday so that there’d be time for me to mail my submission via post and get to the publisher by Monday. I could probably extend it a bit and finish the work on Thursday but I’ll have to resort to overnight post on Friday to get it delivered by Monday.

I’ve finished pencilling four pages of the story and I have four more to go. I fully intend to add some computer generated (CG) shading to the pencil lineart. However, that will all depend on whether I still have time to do that kind of fancy stuff.

Originally, we planned to have the comic to have absolutely no dialogue. But now I’ve drawn four pages of it, I’m thinking that adding a little bit of dialogue might add to the overall comic. Again, that will depend on whether I have time left to add the dialogue.


Page 1 (Click to Zoom in)

Click on (more…) below to see the next three pages of the comic.

(more…)

Published in: on September 25, 2006 at 12:45 pm  Comments (2)  

Picture yourself thin

Nothing is as confronting as seeing yourself wider than usual on a newly taken photo (well, except perhaps for clothes shopping). You suddenly realise that you’re no longer carrying those extra kilos well, it’s actually showing! And instead of friends concentrating on the view behind you in that holiday snap, they’re actually focusing on a podgier you.

HP seem to understand the anxiety of showing these photos you’d rather keep in the bottom drawer and released a range of digital cameras with the slimming feature. The company promises that the effect would be subtle but would still show a slimmer you. What would they think of next?

Published in: on September 22, 2006 at 8:38 am  Comments (3)  

The End Is Near

I don’t want to be an alarmist but it seems very much like it is near the end of the world. Literally. Raquel and I have recently watched Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth over the weekend. It’s a documentary about global warming and climate change.

But don’t let the fact that it is a documentary put you off. Al Gore, who is the film’s narrator/lecturer, was pretty entertaining while he gets the message across to his audience. And what is this message? Well, if we don’t change now, our planet Earth may not be livable in 50 years.

Here is a quote about the film from its website:

Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.

Although it may seem like just a lot of fear-mongering, when you see the facts presented in the form of raw data, charts and photos taken of places a few years ago compared to today, you wouldn’t be able to deny that we are in fact destroying ourselves due to our apathy towards the environment.

I think most of that apathy is due to the fact that caring for the environment means living a more inconvenient life. Turning down the thermostat 2 degrees lower to cut down on carbon emissions means that winters would be slightly less comfortable in the house. Switching to green energy means paying more for electricity. Driving the car less means walking more and taking the public transportation available. But what is all that convenience gained today if there our planet is unlivable tomorrow?

Trailer of An Inconvenient Truth

There are rumours in the media that the jury is still out on whether this global warming thing is even actually happening. Well, according to scientists it is happening and it’s happening fast. Meanwhile, the government implies that not all scientists agree on this. But it just isn’t so. This is just the government’s way of appeasing the corporations and the people who have a stake on carbon emitting technologies such as coal and petrol.

I can understand why these people may feel threatened by people wanting to take action toward reduction of carbon emissions and some such. After all, if we stop using coal tomorrow, there would be a lot of unemployed workers from the mining industry. But if we don’t take action, the farmers will be out of business as the continuing rise of temperature annually will cause yearly droughts. So, on top of not having enough food to feed the planet, we all have to contend with the rising heat. The miners could find other jobs. We can’t find another livable planet.

And with the rising heat, that means the glaciers of the arctic will melt. It’s actually already melting at an alarming rate. With all that melted water added to the ocean, cities near the sea will be submerged in up to 20 feet of water. That would affect a lot of major cities in the planet.

And once this happens, there is no turning back. There would be nothing we could do to save the planet and ourselves. So, while we still have a chance, we should definitely do something about it now. I’m sure some of you reading this are still skeptical about the whole global warming issue. Why don’t you go to the cinemas and watch this film and see for yourself?

As for me, I’ll try to do my part. Also, I’d like to help spread the word on this very critical issue. I want there to be a livable and sustainable planet Earth for my children-to-be and my grandchildren-to-be.

Speaking of the end of the world… Recently, Pope Benedict gave a speech in Germany that angered a lot of Muslims. Now, they are calling for the Pope’s head because of the apparent slur against their prophet. This reminded me of St Malachi’s Prophecy of the Popes. St Malachi was 12th century Irish archbishop who listed 112 future Popes. And guess what? Pope Benedict is pope 111 on the list.

So far, the predictions for all the popes on the list have been accurate specially with Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II. As for Pope Benedict, well, the description given by St Malachi “Glory of the Olives” for the 111th pope on his list could be considered close enough for now. The Benedictine order has an order called the Olivetans and Saint Benedict (the saint whose name Ratzinger chose to adopt) founded that order. Some people interpreted the phrase to mean that the 111th pope would be a peace maker much like St Benedict. So, the current pope could still probably earn the “title” of “Glory of the Olives” later on.

However, the thing that stuck to me was that the 111th pope’s reign would supposedly be a short one. I’ve read this somewhere when I was young but I wasn’t able to find reference to it on the Web. And with the radical Muslims wanting the Pope dead, this might just turn out to be true, too.

As for the last Pope, this is what St Malachi has to say:

In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis.
(In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.)

A bit scary if it came to be true. But with what’s happening with global warming, freak weather patterns, famine and pestilence, it may not be too far fetch to imagine that the end is indeed near. Well, unless we take action against climate change, then, whether you believe in prophecies or not, the world will definitely end anyway.

Published in: on September 19, 2006 at 7:43 am  Comments (3)  

Specials?

Spot the difference between the price labels in these three pictures. I’ve snapped these photos at a local grocery last week. Notice that the label in the first one marks this product as being on specials and lists the promotional price, the regular price and the amount of savings you get if you buy this product now. That’s all well and good but right next to it on the shelf is the product on the second photo, which if you don’t look closely, you’d think is on specials too. Not so, as this is the regular price for the product, hence the wording “Everyday low price”. What it does is grab your attention, make you think that it’s on specials and perhaps get you to buy half a dozen of it.

If you have bought this product before and liked it, then chances are you’d consume it soon and perhaps fall for the same marketing strategy again next time you’re in the grocery. On the other hand, if you haven’t tried the product before and just grabbed some to try thinking erroneously that it’s on specials anyway, chances are it’ll sit in your pantry for weeks on end until it’s past its best before date. Trust me, I know. I recently cleaned out our pantry and found oats, rice meals and cereals that were bought with the intention of trying them out, having them pushed to the back of the pantry and forgetting all about them. Such a waste of food and money.

Going back to those supermarket labels, I was after some food containers to help me organise the aforementioned black hole of a pantry when I came upon the label on the last photo. I don’t know what to make of it – it’s marked as special but there is no indication of the regular, discounted and the difference between the two prices is. I suspect it’s another sneaky marketing ploy. I seriously considered buying the containers at a different store just to spite the grocery marketers. In the end though, it didn’t matter as I’ve already gone to the other stores and could only find the sizes I want in the grocery so I bought them anyway.

Published in: on September 18, 2006 at 12:23 pm  Comments (2)  

Rebel

Rebel Sport Centrepoint (along Bourke Street) is having a 20% off storewide sale, today only.

Published in: on September 14, 2006 at 8:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Celebrity Look-alikes

In my younger years, my cousins realised I looked like a popular local celebrity (of that era, at least). To this day, a couple of my cousins refer to me by this celebrity’s first name to tease me. But I wonder, which other celebrities out there could be my look-alike.

One day, I came across a blog where the current post was an image of her celebrity look-alikes. That was, according to the image face recognition technology utilised by the My Heritage (beta) website. It seemed like a fun exercise so Raquel and I gave it a go.

Here’s the deal. You upload a straight-out photo of your face on to their website. Then, it compares your photo to the celebrity photos it has in its database. It would then return a number of celebrities that are your supposed look-alikes along with a percentage showing how much of a look-alike that celebrity it to you.

Well, click on the thumbnails to zoom in and see the results.

So, according to My Heritage, I look like Vivian Hsu (63%) the most. I’m not really familiar with her work but she looks pretty so I guess that’s good. And according to the site, I also look like that Asian guy (60%) from the American Pie series (and Harold of the Harold and Kumar film) and Hermione (56%). Meanwhile, Raquel looks like Norah Jones (61%) and Harry Potter’s girlfriend (60%). Amusing, isn’t it?

Published in: on September 13, 2006 at 12:43 pm  Comments (6)