Friday, October 23, 2009

Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Work of Alan Moore

As carried by the ever edgy, witty, and ultimately geeky io9, The University of Northampton is pleased to announce Magus: Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Work of Alan Moore. In their own words, "an interdisciplinary conference that will bring together not only appraisals of Moore's comic works, but also his wider cultural manifestations and their significance at the start of the 21st century". Phew. A mouthful.

Potential topics for papers or panels might include, but are not restricted to:

* Comic revisionism and the graphic novel
* Comics and literature
* The political philosophy of Moore's canon
* Moore's relationship to the mainstream comic industry
* Adaptations of Moore's work to screen and other media
* Psychogeography and place in Moore's work
* Magick and spirituality
* Site-specific events
* Pornography and erotica in Moore's work
* Fandom and reception
* The underground press
* Collaborations and networks
* Music and musical collaborations
* Intertextuality and referentiality

Also, the keynote speech will be given by Paul Gravett, lynchpin of the British comics scene and author of Great British Comics, Cult Fiction: Art and Comics, and Graphic Novels: Everything you Need to Know.

The important, interesting, CandyBuffet bit, is that the academic conference is soliciting papers and proposals for potential panels. That means you, average Joe, may submit insights, musings, convergent realizations and what have you as an abstract of no more than 300 words. Accompany submissions with a short biography of less than 100 words and submit to Nathan Wiseman-Trowse of the conference review panel at, by 4th December 2009.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to finish my panel submission, "Hyper-Sexualization of Female Vigilante Costumes: re-interpretation of traditionally oppressive vehicles in an exploration of sexuality, intelligence and capability in the Watchmen. That's copy-written you-know.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Minister's Tree House

Horace Burgess had a vision directing him to build a treehouse. What he created defies description - 10 stories, 10,000 square feet, 80 rooms, and 7 trees. The house is open to the public (no smoking, clearly), and direction can be found here. Crossville is roughly halfway between Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Who's up for a road trip?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An insouciant little minx

This is just brilliant, combining as it does a Betty Page-esque pin-up, colorforms, and booze. The 2007 Drink'n'Stick by Australian winery Some Young Punks features a plastic sheet of peel off clothes that can be used to customize the bottle.

Outside of Australia, SYP wines are distributed in Austria, Denmark, and Canada. In the US, you can find them at Vine St. Imports in Philadelphia. Otherwise, you may have to do some online sleuthing, or sweet talk your local wine shop into special ordering a case or two for you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Electric Birthday Cake

On Sunday, the 10th of October, the Splendid Table carried a very splendid segment about the loose collection of engineers and creative minds that form the Hungry Scientist Society. Never heard of them? Well, in Lynne Rossetto Kasper's words, they are "techie science types that take on cooking". Examples of the activities they've engaged in range from single variable variation in recipe creation, testing the volume limits of a gravy fountain and yes, building an incredible, edible electric cake. A preview of the recipe of said electric cake, involves wrapping licorice sticks in super thin, candy foil called Varakh (available in Indian and Pakistani markets, it's the same stuff that's on silver almonds).

This means you can eat the wiring.

Listen to the entire segment at the Splendid Table's American Public Media page. Or buy their most excellent cook book, "The Hungry Scientist Handbook: Electric Birthday Cakes, Edible Origami, and Other DIY Projects for Techies, Tinkerers, and Foodies." And remember, the super-chilled martinis are not for children.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Washington National Opera Costume Sale

All right. I admit wax|wendy, aka Whit had this up on her Facebook page and I could not resist. Run, don't walk, to this weekends Costume Sale by the Washington National Opera. Everything from accessories to fully formed costumes from the WHO's productions of the Mikado, La Boheme, Madame Butterfly and more will be up for sale in time for Halloween. They've also mentioned historic military and Knights of the Holy Grail costumes. That means (as evidenced by their web-site) pre-distressed vintage party dresses, uniforms, and period garments with accessories starting as low as $2.

To stress the importance of such an undertaking, I have printed out a costume closet necessities list below. Stick all your goodies in a Ikea box under your bed, and you'll be set for holidays to come. (sorry if its a bit female oriented, but I have thought about the lads a little as well).

CandyBuffet's Costume Box Essentials
  • Boots white or black. fits villains and super heroes alike
  • Spectacles antique spectacles of all kinds will turn you into Harry Potter, Doctor Who, or the Baroness
  • Vests westerns, fantasy, Renaissance, Victorians and Edwardians all seem to love this staple. not to mention Dr. Simon Tam
  • Top Hat do I really have to explain? deliciously sexy on women, there is no substitute on men
  • Crinoline hey you can use it when you go square dancing, too
  • Corset
  • Trench Coat film noir and detectives of the Pink and Poirot persuasion, my friends. or is that fiends?
  • Floor length skirt for the gypsy/wench/princess in you
  • Billowy pants for the pirate/ninja/shah in you
  • Puffy Shirt see latter two entries above
  • Cape/cloak
  • Evening gloves elbows for the ladies
  • Hair-piece or Wig boys, you really need one to pull off a respectable pirate
  • Jesus sandals you Greek god/dess, you
  • And don't forget props. Think whips, swords, pistols, feather boas, necklaces, scarves and the like. Go with what speaks to you.

Cash, check and credit cards are being taken (so they say) and full and complete costumes are going from about $50 to $200. And I can tell you, that's just the cost of mid-quality corset on-line or at the Renaissance Fair (so I hear). So, scurry your little legs to the below address, October 17 – 18, 2009, 10:00 AM – to 5:00 PM:

Rehearsal Room C (3rd floor)
WNO Studio
6925 Willow St, N.W.,
Washington, D.C.
(Takoma Park)

Street parking is available or take Metro’s Red Line to Takoma station – turn left onto Carroll St., take a slight right at Eastern Ave, then a right onto Willow St. WNO Studio is on the left.

So go, my children, and remember, I wish I was there.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hark! A Vagrant

In a recent xkcd entry, it was suggested that if I wanted historical accuracy from my web comics I should be reading Hark! A Vagrant. I'm hooked. It's not history as you know it, but history as it probably happened.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Enter the Mind Map

I've loved me some flow chart. Also, I've threatened quite a few conversations with a Venn diagram. And I've cruelly marked up a few cocktail napkins with bifurcation maps, in my day. My new love, the mind map, I barely know but she's a favorite with yogi gurus and scientists alike.

Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas. They beat a stack of notecards sprinkled over my writing desk. And in my book, one step closer to art. Selecting the right tools to symbolize words and ideas is more essential than every in this technological age. And whether you're corralling ideas for your next grand scheme or coordinating the details of your next work week, mind mapping can help you explore ideas quickly, and in-depth while performing as an aid in organization, decision making and problem solving.

As we enter a paradigm shift as great as the industrial age based on information and technology, it can be difficult to maintain clear focus on our princple intentions and problems (mindless google surfing trap, anyone?). Mind maps are becoming popular non-linear, multi-dimensional diagram to classify ideas. Look at innovative tools like Visuwords (graphical dictionary and word concept map), and LivePlasma (explore band influences in a star chart). And now,
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic is introducing a innovative search using mind maps to explore their content in 2010.

Get started with While sketchy in so many ways, they a very nice list of "99 Mind Mapping Resources, Tools and Tips," that, among other things, will introduce you to mind mapping software. Even more instructive, the Lifehacker recommended "Managing multiple freelance gigs with Mind Maps" from FreelanceSwitch will show you how to use mind maps to organize your week.

Just love information classification as much as I do? Start reading (and have a laugh) Indexed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Instant conversation starters

Learn Something Every Day is a fanciful new community art project. Submit a fact (truthiness optional), and if selected, the fine folks at Young will render it in poster form. Part of the fun is trying to decide which tidbits of information are real, and which are just made up.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If you only had five words

What would you say while accepting your Webby award?

"Thanks for all the fish."