Saturday, March 19th, 2022


Yeah, I work at one of the other SoCal CSUs and I’m very aware of the weird ass history behind the property for CSUCI! I have known people who were confined there. It’s really funky.

PS. It’s also a beautiful campus!

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2022












Marvel movies have completely eliminated the concept of practical effects from the movie-watching public’s consciousness

Not just practical effects just like. Basic set design lol

How… How do they think sci-fi was done before CGI?

Really badly? Do you remember sci-fi before CGI? It was shit. And don’t say Star Wars because they went back and fixed that with CGI later.

*big sigh* *puts head in hands* heathens who’ve never watched pre-MCU sci-fi movies OR the unedited Star Wars movies, my beloathed

So first of all, most people agree that the majority of the “CGI fixes” in the Star Wars original trilogy (excluding minor visual/sound effects like lightsaber colors and blaster sounds) are unececssary, extremely conspicuous, and/or bad. This is not news to literally anyone older than about 20 who has consumed Star Wars content on any level. There are quite literally two very famous ‘despecialized’ fan projects explicitly dedicated to un-doing all of the shitty “fixed” CGI effects while simultaneously restoring the OT in HD.

And yes, I do, in fact, remember sci-fi special effects before CGI was the foundational cornerstone of moviemaking. It was not, in fact, shit:

Also, ironically I can show you by….*gasp* using fucking Star Wars, of all things. Welcome to the Tatooine pod race set of The Phantom Menace, which was not, as popularly believed, CGI’d but was instead a fully-built miniature set:

Yes, they built the entire set as a minature, built life-sized pod racers for the actors, then spliced the two together using digital effects. Yes, they did such a fantastic job that people think the entire set and scene sequence was basically completely CGI’d to this day. You’re fucking welcome for undervaluing the time, effort, and talents of set designers by implying that set design and practical effects inherently mean things will look like shit.

CGI also ages really poorly. What you think looks incredibly realistic now is going to look terrible in a few years. Just look at the original vs remastered Star Trek. They “restored” Star Trek around 2006 and replaced a lot of the practical effects with CGI, and maybe it looked ok in 2006, but it looks so bad and fake now.

You can see a video comparison for one episode here:

In the 60s they built a whole model of the Enterprise, complete with blinking lights and beautifully sculpted/painted details. It looks stunning! Then they replaced it with that horribly smooth and fake looking cgi ship.

Just look at this beauty

You can see the model at the Air and Space Museum in DC

Unfortunately the remastered version is the only version available to stream, but you can still find DVDs with the original effect.

made in 1968 and still stunning 2001 A Space


the designers worked with engineers at NASA to make realistic futuristic special effects using models and matte paintings no computer effects at all! – and incidentally inspired David Bowie to write Space Oddity, later performed in space by astronaut Chris Hadfield

The CGI of the original Jurassic Park may not be aging well (though arguably still better than some), but the practical effects will always look stunning. 

I want to talk fantasy.

This shot was achieved with splicing and green screen.

This wild-looking shot (and similar manipulations) was famously achieved by having a professional juggler in a duplicate of Bowie’s jacket and gloves sitting behind him, basically with Bowie in his lap, doing the handwork while Bowie kept his arms behind the juggler. You may have seen a game based on this on Whose Line Is It Anyway.

This? Wires! Splicing! THE CGI TO DO THIS DIDN’T EXIST YET! (The juggler is hidden under the cape. If there’s a scene where he’s wearing a cape, that’s actually probably why.)

And this? This heartstopping shot?

This does appear to be from the version with CGI—


The shot itself hasn’t changed. The lift itself was done with wires and Bowie was given some propulsion with an air cannon so he could make that turn at speed. A minor amount of CGI was used in the 30th anniversary to “touch up” the work done in 1986, and one of the things they did was to remove a shadow on the wall from one of the wires.

How about this?

You don’t know it, but you’re looking at a practical effect. In real life, the Ruby Slippers are almost orange. That luxe, rich ruby color showed up on the film as black when the shoes were the correct color, so the costumers adjusted the actual costume to give the color they wanted.




And this? This is where it would’ve been useful to have CGI. Margaret Hamilton got really badly burned on the steam doing one of her entrance/exits, and ended up in the hospital. THIS is what you use CGI for.

You come into my house and insult practical effects?

I’ll just finish off by reminding you THIS IS ONE, TOO.

That last one, iirc, was there was a double in a sepia-toned costume, and the interior door and wall there was painted brown, so when it was lit and shot it all appeared to still be in the sepia tone of the Kansas scenes, and part of why Dorothy stepped back out of the frame was so the double and Judy Garland (in the proper blue-and-white costume) could swap.

More respect for practical effects please. We need to bring it back (unionize CGI).

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hiimlesphotos:Rock on Rock

Sunday, May 23rd, 2021


Rock on Rock

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vurtual:Snow Hill, Antarctica. (by Richard McManus)

Saturday, February 6th, 2021


Snow Hill, Antarctica. (by Richard McManus)

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sylvia-morris:The Detective’s Guide is nearly here! Out on Feb…

Thursday, January 28th, 2021


The Detective’s Guide is nearly here! Out on Feb 23 from Affirm Press, and starting to get its first reviews now. It’s an adventure mystery set on the RMS Aquitania in the 1920s, and I absolutely loved it. 

Congrats to Nicki on a brilliant story, and thanks infinite to Meg at Affirm for all the help while we worked through the cover.

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Sometimes when I’m birdwatching

Sunday, November 15th, 2020

Sometimes when I’m birdwatching

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shipwreckedcomedy:shipwreckedcomedy:Needing a little extra…

Friday, October 23rd, 2020



Needing a little extra murder in your Halloween season? Join us this Friday for a re-visit of Poe Party, but where we’re switching all the roles! Many familiar faces from the cast will be joining us, as well as a couple new ones. Livestreaming on our channel at 5:30 pm Pacific…something is bound to happen. 

Tonight’s the night! Join the four of us, along with Ashley Clements, Whitney Avalon, Blake Silver, Tom DeTrinis, Ryan Garcia, Tara Perry, Christopher Higgins, Dylan Saunders, Julia Cho, and Al Fallick on our channel for a terrifyingly good time!

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kyloren: THE AVIATOR2004 | dir. Martin Scorsese

Thursday, March 19th, 2020


2004 | dir. Martin Scorsese

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I may have made a terrible mistake.

Monday, December 30th, 2019

I may have made a terrible mistake.

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runningracingdancingchasing: Rapunzel is ambidextrous. Using…

Saturday, November 9th, 2019


Rapunzel is ambidextrous.

Using only examples from When Will My Life Begin, we can see that she indulges in chores and hobbies with both hands. Some things take strength. Some take dexterity. The fact that she uses both hands for these things goes to show that she’s ambidextrous.

Now, whether she decided to learn to use her non-dominant hand out of boredom/the challenge, or whether she was simply born with the skill is hard to say. But either way, our girl can meet any challenge with either hand.

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gilmoregeller:You wanna talk trust? Stevie and mom weren’t…

Friday, September 6th, 2019


You wanna talk trust? Stevie and mom weren’t running around the world for a decade and a half with random men, leaving me at home to wonder if they were okay. Well, I’m sorry for having fun, David, with a selection of very confident international men, but I was always okay. Were you? Because I was the one at the consulate sending you temporary passports and colored contact lenses whenever you needed them. I was the one, at home, not having fun because I was constantly worried which East Asian palace Alexis was being held in this week. Not mom and dad. Me.

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mcavoy: What’s the first thing an actor learns? ‘The show must…

Thursday, February 14th, 2019


What’s the first thing an actor learns? ‘The show must go on!’ Come rain, come shine, come snow, come sleet, the show must go on!

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN dir. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen

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ostdrossel: Rainy days, weird weather, fall is here.

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018


Rainy days, weird weather, fall is here.

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chandelyer:Marchesa Resort 2019

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018


Marchesa Resort 2019

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This is just to say that if I follow you I am 100% down with your obscure obsessive interest in…

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

This is just to say that if I follow you I am 100% down with your obscure obsessive interest in Whatever. I love that about you. I don’t share your interest, maybe, but I love that YOU love it, and I get a kick out of seeing it in my dash.

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treadsoftly88: A goofy Sofia Coppola kisses Mickey Rourke in…

Thursday, April 19th, 2018


A goofy Sofia Coppola kisses Mickey Rourke in Rumble Fish,1983

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a-pair-of-ragged-claws: Mary Oliver, reading her poem “Wild…

Thursday, April 19th, 2018


Mary Oliver, reading her poem “Wild Geese”

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
   Meanwhile the world goes on.

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Sometimes when I’m birdwatching I see things that aren’t birds.

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Sometimes when I’m birdwatching I see things that aren’t birds.

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goldenglider: The Edge of Seventeen (2016) dir. Kelly Fremon…

Friday, September 15th, 2017


The Edge of Seventeen (2016) dir. Kelly Fremon Craig

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falseknees:They’ll remember that one time I said that funny…

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017


They’ll remember that one time I said that funny thing

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