Sunday, 1 May 2011

Random Things Of The Week

None of these are really WTFFTW material, because they're not WTF enough. Most of them also aren't from this week either, and were things I was meant to post a while ago, but didn't get around to because of revision. In my opinion "Random things I've been neglecting to post for a while now because I've been busy and stuff" didn't really have a great ring to it as a title, so instead I've chose to sort of lie and as a result post slightly old things and be behind the times.

Back when I was a kid there used to be a show on TV called Transworld Sport. I didn't particularly care for this show much at the time because I was a small child and this show was basically something that was on when I could have otherwise been watching cartoons. My dad watched it though, and with him being the commandeer of the TV remote that meant that I watched it too. I don't remember a huge amount about it, but they'd usually have sections on random sports from around the world that were generally mental, and had an element of THIS LOOKS AWESOME WHY DO WE NOT HAVE THIS. I don't remember much, but I do, for example, remember a sport that seemed to basically be hockey, with the small difference of the ball being soaked in oil and on fire.

So a week or two ago I got shown a video on Sepak Takraw, a sport that basically seems to be identical to hockey, only instead of touching the ball with your hands, you use your feet. "But then how do they spike the ball?" I hear you cry. The answer is that they use batshit mental overhead kicks and jumps. It is crazy. The height they can jump, the ability to kick like that, and the fact that they usually manage to land on their feet again is just ridiculous.

So on the subject of this video I did a bit of searching on YouTube for actual Transworld Sport clips, and found another crazy sport from Germany, uninventively called "Cycle ball":

Take five-a-side football, reduce the number of players on each team to two, and stick them on bicycles. That's basically what it is. The control and balance these guys have on the bikes is just awesome.

My second item is really old, but I only saw it for the first time a short while ago, so I'm putting it here (given I've been linked to Star Wars kid recently, among other things from yesteryear internet, I feel OK posting this). It's a pretty damn impressive 700x10000 pixel drawing done entirely on MS Paint. I would stick the image in the blog, but it's huge, so I'll link to it instead.

I think it's great for two reasons. The first is just the sheer size of it and level of detail involved. It's been done pixel by pixel for large portions of it, and when you consider that there are a total of seven million pixels there, that's a lot of time and work. It's also not particularly easy to work on a pixel level and make something that looks decent when zoomed out, as I've found many times on the occasions where I've tried to make use of the shite art skills I possess.

The second reason is the fact that it's done on MS Paint with a mouse. I've seen cool stuff done on MS Paint before, but they were all with tablets, and I feel that's a cop-out in comparison to this thing. Drawing with a pencil, or electronic representation of a pencil, is fairly easy. Trying to string together the motor coordination to draw with a mouse is bloody difficult. Trying to write even simple everyday shit like letters with a mouse makes you look like a sodding four-year old trying to write. My handwriting isn't particularly hot with a pen and paper either, but I can at least give some semblance of control to where the hell the lines are going.

The guy has also made a post giving a bit of an explanation on how he did it, which is pretty cool.

The third and final thing for this post comes from the great land of America (and my source for finding this was The Metro), and it is a online mugshot gallery for Maricopa County.

I don't feel like I fully understand what the hell is actually going on with this thing, and how the sheriff's office can apparently just post people's picture on the internet along with their name, DoB and misdemeanour, presumably without their consent. But however it works out, it's still a fairly amusing thing to browse through. You can vote for the mugshot you feel is the best, and the daily top ten gallery is usually pretty good viewing.

I would class them vaguely into three broad categories. There are the ones that look fairly normal. They might appear a tad rough around the edges, but if you met them in the street you mightn't think a huge amount of it. Then there are the ones that just look like you would expect a typical criminal to look. Just take a look - there's plenty of people who just have the "I'm a hardass motherfucker" look.
For example:

Preconceptions are always a bad thing, and they say appearances can be deceptive, but if I was in a jury I'd convict that guy on looks alone.

The third and final class is the class of people who just look plain weird. There are a surprisingly large number of mugshots that fit in this category, and some of them really do make you question how serious this thing is. People pulling odd faces, or with totally daft hair, or just generally looking like their face has been mangled a bit in Photoshop. I'm sure anyone who owns a passport or driving license can agree that generally portrait photos fail to portray you in the most flattering of ways, but some of the images on that site really do push the boundaries of the camera not being kind.

I mean, that woman was supposedly done for prostitution. She was apparently arrested because apparently people were paying money to have sex with her. Either that site is questionable, or some guys in Maricopa County have it seriously bad.

I've got a few more things, but I'll save them for another post this week (plus I've lost the links to a couple, so will have to re-find them). In the mean time, I've got exam stuff to be getting on with.

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