LL :: Volume 11 :: LR
|Early to Bent, Early to Wry|
Granite and basalt all day. Tomorrow, sandstone and soapstone, fading
into travertine and exotic mineral deposits overnight. Mixed flints,
obsidians, and other glasses for the rest of the week, although the
southern districts may see scattered schist. WARNING: The National
Geological Service has issued a semiprecious warning for the following
|Fads of the City|
Moorcoats -- trenchcoats whose cut and fabric is designed, not for
comfort or warmth, but for maximum flapping in the wind. The material
is extremely light; and the coat has a tiny built-in powerpack which
can add its energy to the coat's movement, if the surrounding air is
Even the lightest breeze sends the ends of a Moorcoat snapping. If the wearer walks at a brisk pace, he will be followed by a trailing, whipping, crackling cloud of black cloth. And a true spring gale will launch the coat into a deafening frenzy.
|Sense and Consequences|
Water dealers are a common sight on City streets, and while some are
genuine -- family bottlers or purveyors of hand-mixed water blends --
most are frauds, selling common City tap in reused name-brand
bottles. Downcity Liquid Refreshments has now begun a new marketing
campaign to protect the public (or at least their profits) against
Once again, their efforts focus not just on customer awareness, but on technologically improved bottles. Last year's attempt -- bottles that disintegrated when empty -- was a notable failure, simply because it was too easy to circumvent; water dealers simply collected discarded bottles before the last few drops had evaporated from inside. (DLR tried increasing the threshold at which the bottle considered itself "empty", but customer complaints soon overweighed the decrease in fraud.)
Their new idea: a bottle which is sensitive to the trace elements that make up the Downcity Mineral and Downcity Pure water blends. If the constituents of the water are off-spec, the bottle discolors. DLR advertisements portray these oddly-colored bottles as a mark of shame and disgrace.
Unfortunately, the company is encountering an unexpected backlash. Every chemical discrepancy adds its own unique color change to the bottle glass. Therefore, people are collecting discarded DLR bottles and filling them with their own water mixes -- trying to collect as many different hues and shades of "discolored" bottle as possible.
Reportedly, DLR is now attempting to design a bottle which will disintegrate if filled with off-spec water. The work is not going well. Customers apparently dislike drinking from a bottle which melts at a trace of saliva.
|Most Popular of Their Respective Categories|
|Next Week's Movies|
Watershed (Jenathen Mavri)
What is it about hand-crafted animation? Movie technique eats bigger and bigger mountains of processing power every month, but somehow the most -- moving -- movies are the ones done in someone's basement, with every element arranged, not invoked. This has been true since the beginning of moviemaking, and it's still the case.
Mavri's little (fifteen-minute) animation about a drop of water flowing down the side of a mountain shows why. Her simple, unforced physical imagery -- a droplet pooling behind a rock, merging with another drop, separating, sliding into a puddle, overflowing out the other side -- elicits the shape of a lifetime. And it's all in the motion; every motion-curve sketched, keyframe by keyframe; every rock-surface positioned, polygon by polygon. Thought and care, is all. Modern inverse-kinematic physio-modelling and erosion may be realistic, or even hyper-realistic, but it's the craftsmanship of hand animation that comes to life.
|Life of the Mind|
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