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October 2007 Archives

theflymovie.jpgA 6-year-old Central Florida boy nearly died when he became tangled in a large spider web Halloween decoration hanging at his home...
The spider web was so tight that Cade's parents said they were not able to get a finger between it and his neck. The couple quickly cut the nylon with scissors and saved the child.
I guess it's good that their Halloween decoration wasn't a noose.
Very often, clients will provide logos that are copied straight from a web page and wonder why they look so cruddy enlarged to any size larger than a postage stamp. Without resorting to eye-glazing descriptions of the difference between raster and vector art, you have two choices - trace the logo or find a suitable vector version. Now I am a huge advocate of not creating work for myself, so I generally lean towards grabbing from PDF documents posted around the web. It's also better for you to find an 'official' version than a recreated version, as some people have tender feelings about the sanctity of their brand.

(You can also find quite a few logos at brandsoftheworld.com - this is a technique of finding those logos you just can't seem to find anywhere)

For example, we needed a logo for AIG Investments with "AIG Global Real Estate" as a footer. A quick search of Google with "AIG Investments filetype:pdf" turned up quite a few PDF documents, most of them were press releases and such. After downloading a few and not finding the correct logo, I tightened up the search with "AIG Investments global real estate filetype:pdf". Bingo! The first result was a two page profile of the Global Real Estate division of AIG Investments. Drop that into Illustrator, delete all the extraneous information, and I had my official, vector logo.

The key to this search is to use the filetype:pdf modifier of the search. This will return only PDF files, which generally will contain vector information. From time to time you just will not be able to find the logo you want no matter how long you search - or you will find only a raster version. In rare instances, the PDF will have a no-edit security placed on it and you won't be able to open it in Illustrator (there are ways around this, however).

However, this technique beats recreating the logo from scratch. Why do all that work when someone's already done it?
According to police reports, the victim, 46-year-old Robert McDaniel, agreed to be tied up during sex but became alarmed and asked to be untied when Sutton pulled out a knife and said she liked to drink blood. Sutton then attacked him, slicing his leg, puncturing his arm, shoulder and back and cutting his neck and stomach. When he escaped, she chased him with a pickax.
Who doesn't have a pickax leaned up against their bed for this express purpose?
bullcrapvendingmachine.jpgThe wearer hides behind the sheet, printed with an actual-size photo of a vending machine. Ms. Tsukioka's clothing is still in development, but she already has several versions, including one that unfolds from a kimono and a deluxe model with four sides for more complete camouflaging.
I'll believe that this is Japan. I'll believe that this thing really exists. But I won't believe that it's anything other than a pseudo-art-project re-tooled as a 'disguise' to hide the wearer from criminals. As an aside, I do own the '101 Un-useless Japanese Inventions' book and it's filled with ideas like this.
NEW YORK (AP) -- "My Sweet Lord," an anatomically correct milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ that infuriated Catholics before its April unveiling was canceled, returns Oct. 27 to a Chelsea art gallery, its creator said Tuesday.
chocolatejesus.jpgAll I'd like to know is whether the head is hollow like a chocolate bunny. In fact, the artistic effect could be intensified by adding some delicious crunchy eye-buttons to his yummy, chocolatey head - or even a chewy, nougaty center. How about Longinus poking him in the side with a giant Pixie stick, opening a hole through which pours sticky treats such as Now & Later, Laffy Taffy and Skittles? That would be the cherry on the top of this blasphemous sundae.

Blasphemous Sundaes - now that's a great band name for you.

For what it's worth, he looks less like Jesus and more like Frank from Hellraiser. Maybe it's the hooks though.
University of Colorado police are looking into an incident at Macky Auditorium on Tuesday night during which a man, dressed in a black cape and wearing a gas mask, approached the stage where British singer Annie Lennox was performing and frightened her into retreating backstage.
So she's frightened of a guy who just approached the stage? I mean, come on, it can hardly be the first time that she's seen this. Isn't 'Sweet Dreams' still somewhat of a goth anthem?

Somewhere, Billy the Impaler weeps. And it's much more intense than his normal everyday, "I wear black on the outside because it's how I feel on the inside" weeping. He weeps for innocence lost.
...and I'm still vertical.
Pareidolia is a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct.
skeptic's dictionary

"Humans are very unusual creatures," Arkin said. "If you ask me if every human will want to marry a robot, my answer is probably not. But will there be a subset of people? There are people ready right now to marry sex toys."
OSLO, Oct. 12 -- The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to Albert Gore and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Africanized Honey Bees for their work to alert the world to the threat of killer bees.

Mr. Gore "is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted in the fight against murderous Africanized honey bees" the Nobel citation said, referring to the issue of killer bees. The United Nations committee, a network of 2,000 scientists that was organized in 1988 by the World Entomological Organization and the United Nations Honey Bee Program, has produced two decades of scientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between killer bees and death by anaphylactic shock," the citation said.

"We face a true planetary emergency," Mr. Gore said in his statement, peeking out from behind white drifts of smoke created by off-stage smoke-pots. "The killer bee crisis is not a political issue; it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level - plus, this beekeeper suit is pretty snappy, don't you think? They are available for purchase in the atrium - get 'em while they last!"
...go for the real thing:
Police say Jennings had the woman climb a ladder so she could test a noose that would support a skeleton during a neighborhood haunted house later in the month. The woman says her husband then turned on the garage radio and pulled the ladder away.
No comment on the intelligence of someone who can be convinced to test the strength of a noose, by standing on her tiptoes, no less. And Lucy isn't going to pull the football away at the last minute, this time, Charlie Brown.
Performance artists are known for pushing the bounderies, but one Australian has astonished his contemporaries by having a third ear implanted onto his arm.
You'll notice that it really is just a bunch of cartilage implanted under his skin, so it's not like he can listen to his iPod by strapping it to his arm. When you can have extra [working] arms attached at the elbows or eyeballs implanted in your palms - now we're talking. I could consider something like that.
"We quickly used all the available vials of 100 per cent alcohol and decided the next best way to get alcohol into the man's system was by feeding him spirits through a naso-gastric tube," Dr Gelperowicz said.
"Three standard drinks an hour for three days," = 216 shots (assuming that a 'standard drink' is equal to a shot - this is Australia, after all, and a 'standard drink' could be an oil-can sized shot).

'That's not a hangover - that's a hangover, mate."

All of the images and text contained in this website remain the sole property of me, Erik Ruhling. The images found in the 'Infernal Device' database may be used in an educational setting free of charge with an appropriate attribution, i.e. "image copyright Erik Ruhling, used with permission".

High-resolution, print quality versions of the images are also available, generally for a nominal fee. Please contact me with your request. In the past, I have supplied images for Maxim magazine, an academic book, and a traveling exhibition of torture methods and devices. I can also be persuaded to create custom images - drop me a line and make your request!

Ignore all the tedious pseudo-intellectual art-school drivel that reads like it was generated by machine [SnobMaster 2.01]. This art project is interesting, if only because it looks like outerwear and accessories fashioned by and for cenobites.

Makes a great substitute for all those times you have desired to hollow out a human head and wear it as a hat while driving through three states.
Moving around/adding memory in my work G5 seems to have screwed up the registration data for Adobe CS3; everything worked fine except Illustrator which returned an error about the registration being invalid.

To make a long story short, I fixed Illustrator and yanked the new memory. Then InDesign failed at launch. Hesitatingly, I went for a reinstall of just InDesign. The installer was smart enough to recognize that something was wrong with InDesign and automatically offered to reinstall just that application. A good sign, I should think.

The reinstallation started and immediately looked suspicious. This was CS3 Design Standard, and as such only has 1 DVD that has any real applications on it, the other being labeled as "Content" which is filled with near-useless files.  However, the installer was reading from disk 1 of 2 - I was skeptical that there was anything on the "Content" disk that a reinstallation would require.

15-20 minutes later, the disk ejected and a blank alert popped up. After that, nothing. No amount of clicking, key-pressing, or disk-inserting would start the process again. I ended up with a nice force-quit.

After repeating a couple times with different disks, I found out that apparently the installer is looking for the Adobe Extend Script Toolkit 2.0.1 disk image. I had installed a beta of Flex last month sometime and that presumably installs something that InDesign from that point forward forever needs. Some solutions to this problem involve uninstalling just about everything with the word Adobe in it, running a cleaner script, and then reinstalling everything (sprinkled with some prayer for effect, I assume).

Luckily, I was able to find a link to the Extend Script disk image in the Adobe forums - Adobe Extend Script Toolkit 2.0.1

Running the installer with this image mounted should get you past the blank dialog. It still takes about 20 minutes, but that's a separate issue...
tdcb_thumbnail.gifWhat better way to spend a rainy afternoon than with the Torture Device Coloring Book? Inside you'll find 20 black & white line-art drawings ready for coloring (with crayons or any other substance). Each illustration is accompanied by a short paean to the implement - for example, this little ditty goes along with the Interrogation Chair (pictured on cover):
Relax here a bit,
May we make a suggestion?
Count the spikes in your flesh,
or answer the question.
What are you waiting for? Get those thumbscrews off and start coloring!