‘Wanderers’ – by Erik Wernquist

 

While all the hype about Interstellar and that-film-where-Matthew-McConaughey-is-soaked-into-black-hole thing is dwindling, Swedish artist Erik Wernquist is now making his own space epic, supported by photographs taken by NASA spacecraft traveling across the solar system, ranging from Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, to their revolving moons. Utilizing the images and his own realist concept, supported by scientific theories, Wernquist devised spaceships, human explorers, colonies, as well as human settlement in asteroids, something by which we could expect to observe by the end of this century.

Too poor it lasts for less than 4 minutes. Still, it’s a wholly breathtaking 4-minute moment you will regret not seeing ‘Wanderers’. If it were to last three hours, it could have been ‘Interstellar 2’, or any title else.

Christopher Nolan, you’ve got a rival I should say!

 

Don’t forget to visit Wernquist’s gallery and take a look at all the pictures taken by NASA spacecraft (together with his lengthy, detailed explanation for each).

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La Detente – a short animation

 

In a Baz Luhrmann typical story, the opening always commences with a happy-go-merry atmosphere. Couples in love, people around infatuated enough to give support, and life seems as though things were destined to be -needless to say – ‘happier and merrier’ each day. Then things start to not work out well. And it ends with either tragedy, or devastation.

Okay, Baz Luhrmann is an overstatement, or even an imprecise comparison, but looking at this award-winning short film by Pierre Ducos and Francois Bey, which has been well-prepared for over 4 years, and released on the centenary commemoration of World War I, this is surely going beyond the way of that Australian filmmaker, and of course, with more intensity.

It all starts with ‘imagine’. When the world is on its nadir, and desperation looms elsewhere, particularly amid a battlefield, a soldier, whoever he or she is, will eventually find his or her own inner child again. Imagine, a world where humans don’t need to fight a bloody, merciless war. Imagine, a world where only plastic toys go to war, and humans look at the amusement of this scene. Imagine, a world where plastic toys fight not with sharp objects, but with candies and lollipops. It all comes with ‘imagine’, and when reality penetrates like a shockwave, it’s ready to haunt you for a lifetime.

It’s both entertaining (well, plastic toy animation shooting lollipops and candies, isn’t that funny?), but also scary in the end (spoiler alert: some ‘graphic’ sceneries, intense music, and violence).

Infographic: military superpowers throughout history

military superpower in history

 

This chart was compiled after periods of rigorous research by Martin Vargic. Some concerns, however, remain: while both German Empire and NAZI Germany dispatched millions of able-bodied men into the warfare, it would be better to include British Empire and France as well in both World War I and II, as the numbers recruited by these countries, and their overseas colonies across the world back then, surpassed six digits, nearly similar to that of Germany.

Source: SPLOID

Fairy tales according to J.R.R. Tolkien

jrr tolkien world

 

Tolkien’s both ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ stories have ceaselessly inspired imagination and creativity for decades, of dragons and semi-humans, of tales of conquest and victory, and those of intensity and fear. Entirely visualizing a fantasy world of his own, Tolkien has added a new perspective towards world literati.

Here is one of his quotes when he’s responding to an opinion that mythology, much of which inspires Tolkien’s universe, is ‘a disease of language’:

 

Mythology is not a disease at all, though it may like all human things become diseased. You might as well say that thinking is a disease of the mind. It would be more near the truth to say that languages, especially modern European languages, are a disease of mythology. But Language cannot, all the same, be dismissed. The incarnate mind, the tongue, and the tale are in our world coeval. The human mind, endowed with the powers of generalization and abstraction, sees not only green-grass, discriminating it from other things (and finding it fair to look upon), but sees that it is green as well as being grass. But how powerful, how stimulating to the very faculty that produced it, was the invention of the adjective: no spell or incantation in Faerie is more potent. And that is not surprising: such incantations might indeed be said to be only another view of adjectives, a part of speech in a mythical grammar. The mind that thought of light, heavy, grey, yellow, still, swift, also conceived of magic that would make heavy things light and able to fly, turn grey lead into yellow gold, and the still rock into a swift water. If it could do the one, it could do the other; it inevitably did both. When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter’s power — upon one plane; and the desire to wield that power in the world external to our minds awakes. It does not follow that we shall use that power well upon any plane. We may put a deadly green upon a man’s face and produce a horror; we may make the rare and terrible blue moon to shine; or we may cause woods to spring with silver leaves and rams to wear fleeces of gold, and put hot fire into the belly of the cold worm. But in such “fantasy,” as it is called, new form is made; Faerie begins; Man becomes a sub-creator.

 

Read the full article in Brain Pickings to further understand his perspective.

Neil Gaiman reimagines Hansel and Gretel, and it’s stunning

hansel and gretel

 

 

Neil Gaiman doesn’t believe in ‘happy-go-merry’ children stories. Particularly after visiting a refugee camp in war-torn Syria, Gaiman got his inspiration to create a darker version of one of the world’s most favorite tales, Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’. With a stygian touch by Italian graphic artist Lorenzo Mattotti, Gaiman wants to introduce his horror-induced tales to children, but with an obvious message: fear of ghosts will not match fear towards far greater things in life when people grow up, especially when it comes to facing the authority.

His personal thought about why some elements of cynicism should be included in children’s stories:

 

I think if you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up. I think it is really important to show dark things to kids — and, in the showing, to also show that dark things can be beaten, that you have power. Tell them you can fight back, tell them you can win. Because you can — but you have to know that.

And for me, the thing that is so big and so important about the darkness is [that] it’s like in an inoculation… You are giving somebody darkness in a form that is not overwhelming — it’s understandable, they can envelop it, they can take it into themselves, they can cope with it.

And, it’s okay, it’s safe to tell you that story — as long as you tell them that you can be smart, and you can be brave, and you can be tricky, and you can be plucky, and you can keep going.

 

Read the full article in Brain Pickings.