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Goonie Bird #WearableWednesday #MicroBit #MonsterM4sk #BlogTip

Mike Owen shared this excellent project. A wearable glove uses gestures to give the animatronic bird commands. The addition of the Monster M4sk adds a whole extra dimension of expressiveness!Via...

F Naf Sister Location Animatronics

F Naf Sister Location Animatronics published at Thursday 7 November 2019.

The 411 - Walt Disney - The Man Behind the Mouse


Walt Disney1901 was an eventful year by any measure. Queen Victoria died, President McKinley was assassinated, and Guglielmo Marconi received the first successful telegraph transmissions. The world was at the cusp a new century, and belief in progress was riding high.

And on December 5 of that year, one more world-changing event occurred. In Chicago, a baby was born and named after his family pastor. Although no one guessed it at the time, little Walter Elias Disney was going to spend a lifetime pushing the boundaries of magic and imagination. Now it's almost impossible to imagine the past century or so without his contributions. No Walt Disney World? No "Mary Poppins"? No Mickey Mouse!?

Today has prepared a special tribute to Walt for the anniversary of his birth (just visit the home page and see what you find!), and we thought it would be fun to look at just a few of the ways Walt changed our world.

Animated Films
Before Disney, there were cartoons -- short, funny snippets of animation that ran in movie theaters to fill time before the main attraction. When Walt decided to attempt a full-length movie, entirely created in animation, people (including some in his own company) thought the idea was crazy. No one would sit through a cartoon that lasted well over an hour! But Walt's vision won through and in 1937, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" truly revolutionized the art of moviemaking. A critical and commercial smash, the movie proved that animation could be used to tell a complex and emotionally moving story. The animated films that have followed, from "Pinocchio" to Disney-Pixar's "Up," were all made possible by one man's vision.

Theme Parks
 Once upon a time, amusement parks were little more than beer gardens -- a little dirty, a little rowdy, and no place to take small children. Walt Disney wanted a park where he could take his own little girls, and dreamed up Disneyland Park. It's hard now to realize just how revolutionary Disneyland was -- scrupulously clean, beautifully landscaped, with every detail created to delight children (and the child in us all). It was never just a collection of "rides," but a series of lands that Guests could enter, virThe 411 - Walt Disney - The Man Behind the Mousetual dreams come true. This "theming" has shaped the Disney Parks around the world and transformed Guests' expectations for what a theme park should be.

The idea of robotics didn't originate with Walt, of course -- but his innovations The Sorcerer's Apprenticein "Audio-Animatronics," the startlingly lifelike Characters we see in Disney Theme Parks and parades, have helped spark the imagination of generations of Guests who've encountered them, and raise public interest in the possibilities of such technology in the future. Who knows how many future scientists have been inspired by a youthful viewing of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln?

The Mickey Mouse Club
The '50s were almost defined by Walt's pioneering show mixing real kids, music, and fun. As one of the first programs intended for older children, it bridged the gap between "little kid" shows and adult entertainment.

Mickey Mouse
Walt's animated hero quickly became, and remains, one of the most recognizable personalities in the world, and a symbol for friendship, pluck, and fun who has brought happiness to millions.

A world without Walt would truly have been a less inspiring and exciting place. We all have a lot to celebrate today!

*From The Disney Insider

Frontierland 1978 Selection

It's time for another collection of vintage Frontierland scans from the Mysterious Benefactor! All of these are from 1978.

Here's an interesting view from "Walt's balcony" according to the file name; this was years before the Disney Gallery allowed mere mortals to get this same perspective. It's cool to see the Gullywhumper and the Bertha Mae on the river together. Like John Lennon and Paul McCartney playing guitar together after the Beatles broke up! Yes, just like that. The strange layered gradations in the upper left are a mystery to me.

I love that pontoon bridge (but do I love it more than the suspension bridge?). Folks are crossing in an orderly manner, except for that rambunctious kid in to the left - he is going straight to Disney jail! The Mark Twain is heading straight for us, ramming speed. What is that thing on the shore to our right? A billboard for Burma Shave?

Ah, beautiful Tom Sawyer Island, pre-Fantasmic. Audio-Animatronic flowers line the shore; there's more raft and Mark Twain action in the distance.

Smart guests remembered to bring a bag of dried corn with them; Disneyland CMs were always happy to grind it into meal for corn muffins, johnnycakes, or (my favorite) corn gruel.

How's this for a beautiful sight? It appears that riders are de-planing from the Mark Twain, but I would be in line for the next evening voyage around the Rivers of America - one of my all-time favorite experiences at Disneyland.

Thank you, Mysterious Benefactor!


Down & Out In The Magic Kingdom (Signed Bookplate Edition)

£8 RRP £9.99

Jules is a young man barely a century old. He’s lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies … and to realise his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.

Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now overseen by a network of ‘ad hocs’ who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.

But the ad hocs are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself.

Worse: it appears that this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It’s only his fourth death and revival after all.) Now it’s war.


Comparadas con 'Terminator: Destino Oscuro’, las secuelas denostadas de la saga no son tan prescindibles


Comparadas con 'Terminator: Destino Oscuro’, las secuelas denostadas de la saga no son tan prescindibles

Aunque para muchos la nueva entrega de la saga que construyó el nombre de James Cameron, sea la mejor entrega desde que se estrenara ‘Terminator 2: el juicio final’, incluido mi compañero Mikel Zorrilla, lo cierto es que la cristalización de la idea de que las secuelas tras aquel magnum opus del director de ‘Titanic’ (1997) son películas terribles se ha ido cimentando a lo largo de los años y parece que ya cualquier intento de corrección será mejor.

Sin embargo, la memoria es efímera y las primeras reacciones de la anterior probablemente tuvieran expresiones similares, hasta que va calando la disensión y cada nueva entrega se convierte en la peor de la saga. La diferencia es que el baile alrededor de ‘Terminator: Destino Oscuro’ ha estado ya algo viciado desde el principio y nadie se acaba de creer que esté en el mismo plano de realidad que ‘El juicio final’ cuando los tráilers ya dejaban ver una lluvia de CGI opuesta al espíritu de las dos primeras entregas.



Para los más exigentes con el time line de la saga puede ser, sí, que esta sea la auténtica ‘Terminator 3’ y que las otras hayan sido un mal sueño, productos millonarios que evocan un fan fiction tontorrón para sacar provecho. Sin embargo, el uso y abuso de situaciones de la segunda película lo único que hacen es convertir ‘Dark Fate’ en un remake caro, flojo e idiotizado de la mezcla de acción, terror y ciencia ficción de la saga. Que sí, esta vez recoge a Linda Hamilton para molar un poco, y es agradable volverla a ver en acción, pero ¿La convierte eso una buena película?

La gravedad frente a las tortas bien dadas

Lo primero que sorprende en ‘Terminator: Destino oscuro’ es su poco disimulado abrazo a la pereza digital, las escenas de acción con pantalla verde y el uso de CGI casi por deporte. Con un argumento similar, que básicamente quería incidir en los puntos fuertes de la primera secuela ‘Terminator 3: la rebelión de las máquinas’ (Rise of the Machines, 2003) es una versión mucho menos solemne y más autoconsciente de sus limitaciones argumentales. Peor al menos no busca forzar un tono grave y se lanza a la piscina del cine de acción por ser cine de acción.

Como una de las primeras series B caras, un fenómeno de nuevo milenio, el film de Jonathan Mostow no trataba de inventar la rueda, sino dar dos horas que repasan ecos de la saga en forma de blockbuster sólido y sin artificios. En su humildad logra una extraordinaria escena futura, que parece ‘1997: Rescate en Nueva York’ (Escape from New York, 1981), film en donde trabajó James Cameron y tomó nota del apocalipsis concebido a lo grande. Ese fondo de cráneos con panorámica apocalíptica con robots reales de Stan Winston sacan los colores al prólogo CGI de la 6.

Mostow no es Cameron, pero usa movimientos de cámara sencillos muy efectivos, claros, potentes. Hace variaciones interesantes de la historia como usar la perspectiva de Connor y cambiar el punto de vista. El terminator de Kristiana Loken es definitivamente un delirio trash, que sabe que puede hinchar sus tetas para engañar a un policía. Demostrando que el humor sin limitaciones es una constante de esta entrega. Aunque también tiene momentos valientes, ya que no se cortan a romper el tabú de matar a niños.

A diferencia de la estructura de escena de acción-diálogo a puerta cerrada de primeros planos de la 6, la tercera es trepidante, una concatenación de escenas de acción que hacen palidecer la mano en la dirección de Tim Miller. La escena de persecución de la nueva no es sino un resumen de la impresionante secuencia de ocho minutos con un camión-grúa tras el camión bomberos. Lo mismo con esa lucha de ciborgs a torta limpia, volando y atravesando paredes con especialistas, con hostias que duelen de verdad.

También hay una vuelta al gore loco y un primer acto que lleva a la macarrada de la escena del cementerio y el ataúd. Bazookas, otra persecución estupenda y la sorpresa de utilizar otro modelo de robots con animatronics reales. Todo se une para descubrir que toda la misión es un señuelo y presenciar uno de los finales más desoladores que puede dejar un blockbuster. Nada ha cambiado, no se puede luchar contra Skynet desde el pasado. Mientras, la 6 calca el de la segunda parte pretendiendo hacer como que lo ha visto.

La única salvación de la franquicia estaba en el futuro

Volver a lo bueno de la saga ‘Terminator’ no es repetir la misma película una y otra vez. Por mucho que se empeñen en decir que ‘Destino oscuro’ conecta con los elementos que hacían exitosas las dos primeras, lo único que plantea es una repetición sin mucho sentido de momentos claves de aquellas con escenarios sin mucha alma y acercando el concepto de la saga al mercado blockbuster con efecto en China. La repetición es tan desvergonzada que incluye las mismas paradas en el camino, a modo de remanso para los protagonistas por dos veces.

En el final, tan solo hace falta ver al T-800 haciendo el pulgar para arriba a Sarah Connor mientras se deshace en un horrendo caldo digital junto al remedo sin fuerza del T-1000. Mucho se ha hablado, sin embargo, en lo decepcionante que es la cuarta entrega de la franquicia ‘Terminator: Salvation’ (2011), la única que se desarrolla en gran parte en el futuro lleno de máquinas. De nuevo, hay un desaprovechamiento de la idea de postapocalipsis azulado y lleno de lásers, pero para nada es la mala película que se retrata.

Pecaba de querer incluir una subtrama poco interesante, demasiado vaga, que luego serviría de base para ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (2017). Es una aventura de ciencia ficción con buenas ideas,una proyección visual que en muchos momentos se adelantaba a recursos de planificación efectos especiales que ahora hemos asimilado tras ver 23 películas Marvel e incluso momentos kaiju-mecha, pero lo cierto es que su escala panorámica y sus espantapájaros ajados con esqueleto de metal planteaban un escenario novedoso en la franquicia, que todavía podía ser utilizado en un par de filmes adicionales.

La rompedora de cadenas, Madre de John Connor

Lo del odio a Emilia Clarke es para hacérselo mirar. Vale que no es la gran actriz de su generación, pero siendo honestos. ¿Cuántos actores bastante peores de género masculino hemos visto en diferentes papeles principales en incontables productos comerciales de acción a lo largo de los años 2000? De ella, principalmente, emana el odio a la secuela ‘Terminator: Génesis’ (Terminator Genisys, 2015), un inofensivo tebeo de línea Norma editorial hecho cine que ni siquiera se tomaba demasiado en serio a sí mismo.

A diferencia de ‘Terminator: Destino Oscuro’ y su obtusa reformulación de la misma línea temporal de siempre, esta continuación o spin off, jugaba a ser una especie de ‘Regreso al futuro 2’ (Back to the Future II, 1989) que se atrevía a remezclar y samplear las realidades conocidas de la película, convirtiéndose en un buddy Movie fantástica con Sara Connor y el T-800 convertidos en dos supervivientes marginales preparados para cualquier ataque del futuro. No sin antes, por cierto, ofrecer un prólogo estupendo en el futuro lleno de máquinas.

Una película que encadena escenas de acción, una tras otra y apenas da respiro, muy tonta en su concepto de comedia de acción pero desprejuiciada y por gusto por las escenas más grandes que la vida, como esos disparos de bazooka desde un helicóptero a otro o autobuses cayendo de puentes con los héroes salvados en el último momento. Arnold Schwarzenegger está más gracioso y digno que en la última y al menos no tratan de darle un tono grave a sus giros impracticables, proponiendo a John Connor como un malo de opereta mientras suenan los Ramones.

Y la concepción será menos ambiciosa, pero sus escenas de acción, con helicópteros entre edificios y persecuciones sin fin son efectivas y tienen una puesta en escena sólida, pese a su sencillez. Ni siquiera hace falta meterse en el mejor producto salido a partir de la segunda parte, ‘Las crónicas de Sarah Connor’ (The Sarah Connor Cronicles, 2008-2009), —que confirma a dos protagonistas de 'Juego de Tronos' como Connor y a la que esta sexta entrega fusila su prólogo— para confirmar que ‘Terminator: Destino oscuro’ no solo es la peor de toda la saga, sino uno de los blockbusters más decepcionantes del año.

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La noticia Comparadas con 'Terminator: Destino Oscuro’, las secuelas denostadas de la saga no son tan prescindibles fue publicada originalmente en Espinof por Jorge Loser .


The Fiftieth Anniversary of New Dwaraka Dhama

Rukmini Dvarakadhisha

Srila Prabhupada spent much time in his “Western world headquarters,” overseeing his worldwide mission.

The place Srila Prabhupada called his "Western world headquarters" remains a vital oasis of Krishna consciousness.

Part One: Some History

Starting off in Midcity LA, 1968

"Rathayatra Is Deity Worship"

Srila Prabhupada could not attend the first Rathayatra celebration in Los Angeles in 1977 because he was in England at the time and too ill to travel, but when shown photos of the new chariots, he said, “We have never seen such carts!”

The Rathayatra festival is a high priority for the devotees of New Dwaraka. Mahanta Dasa, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and a special servant of the LA Rathayatra, is one of the happiest and most persevering devotees you will find.

“When I joined here," says Mahanta, who started serving in New Dwaraka the year the festival was introduced, "the community was bigger. There were many, many disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and many flourishing projects started by him and his disciples. The worship of Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakadhisha and, of course, our big Rathayatra have really been maintained very nicely. I like working for Govinda’s Buffet because I know it does a big service maintaining what Prabhupada gave us here.”

In August of 2018 New Dwaraka held its forty-second annual chariot festival, attended by thirty thousand guests. Mahanta managed the free-feast booth, which served eight thousand plates of prasadam.

“For me," he says, "staying fixed in Krishna consciousness is all about the association of devotees, my Rathayatra service, helping with Govinda’s Buffet and Juice Bar since 1986, and my deity worship. I dress the temple Gaura-Nitai deities.

"I really like to take shelter of my deity worship. I went to Hawaii for two years, but when I returned to help with Rathayatra, Gaura-Nitai gave me back my service to Them. They took me back.

“The Rathayatra festival is deity worship too. People ask me, 'Why do you spend so much time after Rathayatra washing buckets, trays, and lids? You could just hire someone.' I tell them that when I first arrived in New Dwaraka, Prabhupada’s disciples told me that taking care of Rathayatra paraphernalia is just like massaging the lotus feet of the Lord.”

Ratna Bhushana Dasa, another steady servant of the Rathayatra, concurs.

“The carts, the tents, the stoves, the trailers and trucks – we are told they are all part of the Lord’s own body,” he says.

The Nectar of Devotion," Mahanta Dasa says, "tells us that anyone who comes out to the street and just happens to see Lord Jagannatha riding on His cart becomes a resident of Vaikuntha.”

The Bhagavad-gita Museum

In 1971 Srila Prabhupada asked a few disciples to go to India to learn the art of diorama doll making. He said dioramas would become living books. Bharadvaja Dasa headed up this ensemble of sculptors for New Dwaraka's FATE museum, as the Bhagavad-gita Museum was originally known. By 1977 the full set of clay dolls were completed and on display. Ameyatma Dasa built a computer to meld the dolls with the multimedia technology of the times. Each of the eleven exhibits came to life. The concepts he helped invent would later come to be known in the industry as animatronics.

Radha-Krishna Dasa currently directs and hosts tours of the museum. He is a soft-spoken devotee from Iran, with degrees in civil engineering. He provides routine technical support for the museum and brought it into the realm of social media as well.

“I enjoy this service," he says. "It brings many people to the temple who might otherwise never come. Some are curious artists; some are from the Hollywood production scene or social clubs. Thousands of Atlas Obscura members have toured the museum.”

In its inception the museum received rave reviews and attracted many guests to New Dwaraka, as it does now. But over the years, the old technology wore out. The original resplendent-clay dolls that were the genius artistry of Bharadvaja Dasa and many other diligent devotee artists waited in limbo for something better. Purushottama Kshetra Dasa eventually adapted the audio/video displays to a smoother running animatronics-specific program.

“The museum is a great educational tool,” says Radha-Krishna Dasa. “Such a small space packed with so much profound transcendental Bhagavad-gita philosophy.”

Under his management, museum attendance has more than quadrupled in recent years.

Still Prabhupada's Western World Headquarters

by Svavasa Dasa, New Dwaraka Temple President

Keeping the same temple morning program, with mature devotees guiding younger members, opulent deity worship, book distribution, the Bhagavad-gita Museum tours, weekly bhakti-yoga club meetings at several universities, and harinama singers going out regularly to greet the public, New Dwaraka remains the “Western world headquarters” of ISKCON, as Srila Prabhupada defined it fifty years ago. The temple is situated near major transportation routes to UCLA, USC, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and various tourist attractions, so we get a wide variety of visitors who appreciate this transcendental place. They express gratitude for the delicious prasadam and peaceful atmosphere. Our Venice Beach Rathayatra Festival, now in its forty-second year, continues to attract tens of thousands of people.

It’s no wonder New Dwaraka holds such charm; when we add up the periods of time our founder-acharya, Srila Prabhupada, spent here, it sums up to two full years. Out of the ten years he toured the planet establishing ISKCON, two of those years he invested in Los Angeles with his personal managerial supervision, spearheading many lasting projects, translating and publishing books, and offering spiritual protection and guidance. Prabhupada’s personal quarters and garden are well kept here. This is certainly a holy tirtha full of transcendental blessings for everyone.

As a temple president, it is a great blessing to work here with many of the same nice devotees for over thirty-four years now. It’s been a great honor for Tadit and me to do this service for Srila Prabhupada. What makes it really worthwhile is the generous support we feel from our congregation. They have lovingly contributed to renovate the deity-paraphernalia room. They have also contributed to protecting the devotees from the possibility of earthquakes by sponsoring the retrofitting of our properties, as well as supporting every festival.

Tadit and I started out at the Denver temple in 1973, and in 1978 we were put in charge of the temple. We had a community of fifty devotees with a small party of book distributors. It was a satisfying beginning, developing relationships with devotees, with the aim of distributing Srila Prabhupada's books in large quantities.

Tadit and I were then requested to move to Los Angeles, where I was to take the post of temple president. We were really surprised by the enormity of the Los Angeles temple project, but very excited about the possibilities of distributing huge quantities of Srila Prabhupada's books.

Years have gone by, and after some contemplation, and with the impetus of the devastating 1994 Northridge earthquake, which destroyed the opulent carved onyx columns and arches adorning the temple interior, we began an ambitious, still ongoing program to repair and enhance Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakadhisha’s temple facilities. The many enhancements in New Dwaraka are our humble offering on the fiftieth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's installation of Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakanatha.

About the Author: 
Karuna Dharini Devi Dasi

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