Archive Page 2

Hostile World

Now that I’ve got a steady design gig, my illustration has gone on the back burner. I’ve since found time to work on more art for art’s sake. So that’s probably what many of my blog entries will be for awhile.

I don’t understand why more people aren’t as interested in astronomy as I am. I don’t see how one could know any of the basic concepts and not try to find out more and more. What I’ve heard from some friends, when I get on nerdy astronomy topics of conversation, is that it makes them feel insignificant, giving them a sense of unease. I can understand that, but I find it totally invigorating. The economy, politicians, terrorism, famine, disease, all these things just recede into nothing when you look at things on a universal scale. The universe is ambivalent, if not downright hostile, and it really takes a load off my shoulders to ponder that.

I can’t help but use this opportunity to mention a political topic that I find important. I know that there are plenty of budget cuts that get people riled up, and it’s hard to focus on just one. However, one potential cut that strikes a chord with me is the defunding of the James Webb Space Telescope. You can read more about it in the linked article. The very compulsion to explore the world and universe around us, I believe, is what makes us human. On a more pragmatic note, our country’s investment in science has a serious impact on the types of jobs we create. People from other countries interested in science come here for work and education. Thousands of jobs rely on this project alone, which has already been half paid for, partly by other contributing countries (not debt holders, contributors). It would be a damn shame to abandon a project like this. I may not be a scientist by practice, but America’s leadership in astronomy and other sciences has always inspired me.  I’m not sure where I would find my inspiration if I hadn’t grown up in a country that values the study of space, and I know there are millions of kids out there who can do a lot more with it than I.

–Claude

Pyramid Power

Since the last time I posted, I got a swanky new job and moved into my own place. It’s been about eight years since I’ve been without a roommate. I haven’t felt this much like myself in quite sometime.

Picture unrelated.

–Claude

Note: I don’t condone the use of pseudo science. But it makes for neat pictures.

The Bussard Ramjet

Don’t get me wrong, I love the sleek, beautiful ships of the most speculative science fiction, and I would like to think that any technology would become more simple and intuitive as it becomes embraced. But I just have a thing for big, ugly, dirty spaceships, most notably the ones from the 70s and 80s, as seen in the Alien and original Star Wars franchises. The (maybe slightly inaccurately rendered) ship here is known as a Bussard ramjet, named after the man who first theorized it. To put it simply, as if I can really understand it on a more complex level anyways, a Bussard ramjet is a ship that generates a giant magnetic field. The purpose of this magnetic field is to collect the stray hydrogen ions that float around in interstellar space. The problem with typical vessel designs is that the fuel tanks add extra mass, which means it will will require more energy to move, which means more fuel, which means more mass, so on and so forth. Since this ship can theoretically collect its fuel as needed, it would not be hindered by the extra mass of onboard fuel and could achieve velocities very near the speed of light. Theoretically. As far as we can speculate right now, it’s one of the most likely means by which we could send humans to another star system.

Not that I’m some kind of nerd or anything.

–Claude

La Belle et le Bête

I just recently re-watched the classic French film La Belle et le Bête. I first watched it in my ninth grade French class, and I wanted to see it again. The visuals and special effects are surreal, and it’s fun to watch because in the forties, filmmakers didn’t really have many reliable precedents for making special effects. You can almost see them trying to figure out exactly how they’re going to make something work. I don’t want to shrug off modern movies as if digital effects are easy. I know that it requires painstaking skill to make those “work” as well, but the DIY charm of old movies like this is particularly inspiring.

–Claude

Gaddafi

A guy can’t just waltz across my news feed dressed like that and not expect me to draw him.

–Claude

Dress clothes, and other sketches

Untailored shirt, big tie, shoes that don’t go… I need to have more professional/formal events to go to so I can justify getting a better wardrobe.

And here are a few other sketches:

I’ve been watching a lot of The Dick Van Dyke Show lately.

A meditation on fur vests. Why do they exist?

–Claude

The Whore of Babylon

Okay, okay, time to wipe the dust off this blog and get back into the groove of things. My friend and roommate-at-the-time Topher Sipes once got me the book Revelations: Art of the Apocalypse simply because he saw it and thought of me. I was touched.

I was flipping through it the other night, during a dry spell when I had no project to work on, and I suddenly realized what I wanted to do:

I’m particularly proud of the river of bloooooood!

–Claude