A Child’s Mind

Photography of an Autistic Child

Actress from TV’s “Blossom” has two boys and does not use conventional methods to teach them politeness, sharing, etc.

Another source worth reading is the book Einstein Never Used Flashcards“.

“Cloud Atlas” – Reading Book Before Film

I received goose-bumps no less than 3 times during the newly released trailer for Cloud Atlas, being directed by the Wochowski Brothers (“The Matrix”) and Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”). Yeah, 3 directors. Here’s a link to the trailer and commentary.

Last month, I was in a tea shop where someone noticed me looking at this book on the shelf. They immediately started telling me about the story, which is of connectedness that stretches from the past and into the far future. I was allowed to borrow the book to read… but haven’t started it yet.

Today I finished two books I was in the process of reading… both books dealing with the subconscious.  My eyes were exhausted, and I promptly passed out. After my nap, I woke up to see this trailer at the top of my FB feed.

I *think* today would be a good day to start reading Cloud Atlas.

P.S.   I even I loved the Wochowski brother’s Speed Racer movie.

Bob Flewelling: My Friend and Mentor


I met Bob over 10 years ago, during a very challenging time in my life, while I was unemployed and still studying for a new career in 3D animation. This good friend and mentor has provided me with many tools and advice that have been invaluable over the last decade. Some of the tools he referred me to include Many Lives, Many Masters, Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and (a favourite of mine) How to Meditate: A Guide to Self-Discovery by Lawrence Leshan.

I recently came across a list with a few other points of interest that he recommended to check out. I am digitizing them here for future reference.

Thanks again Bob. I hope to see you again soon.

Learning Web Development

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide Dive Into Python - FREE downloadPython Programming for the Absolute Beginner HTML, XHTML, and CSS (Visual Quickstart Guide)

I have made a few web pages in my life, but most are pretty darn simple with minimal code snippets. I’ve built a skeleton database using MySQL and PHP. I have set up phpBB, Drupal and WordPress sites, hacking them in order to get them functioning the way I need. However, I haven’t had the chance to really “build a website”, at least not by my own definitions. Well, this has got to change now, as I’m a little tired of hacking templates to get them to do what I need. As much as I would like to focus strictly on my graphics work, the world won’t let me… for now.

So begins the geek streak.

I’ve started reading this HTML, XHTML & CSS Visual Quickstart Guide that I picked up at the local thrift store. It was published in 2007 so I’m sure that some of the information is outdated, but most is still valid. I’m about half way through it and it’s helped solidify my pretty loose knowledge of CSS. Once in awhile, I put the book and my highlighter down in order to verify some stuff on the computer. HTML5 is something I keep referring to, in order to compare to XHTML. Trying to get a feel for what the future holds.

Boilerplate appears to be a good template of standards to start with. There’s some HTML5 code examples out there and even a test site that gives your browser a ranking based on the number of HTML5 features available.

I think that once I finish with the boilerplate demo video below, I will walk through this code demonstration of common HTML5 techniques.

Lightness of Being

The book at Value VillageYesterday I read this article on synchronicity. In the post, it mentions a friend recommending a book to her depressed friend, saying, “Did you ever read that book, The Unbearable Lightness of Being? You’ve got to have courage. You’ve got to stop being afraid of your own light.

This triggered the memory of a good friend of mine who I am losing touch with. Over a decade ago he gifted me a copy of the Unbearable Lightness of Being (if memory serves). Unfortunately, that book has been stored away in storage this entire time. I never had a chance to read it.

Inspired by this occurrence, I emailed him immediately, saying that I found a copy of the movie and I will watch it the very next day.

The next day (today), I am walking back home from a nice breakfast. I stop by Value Village and take a look at the books. I am looking for technical web development books, but find nothing.

On the way out, I see a book that has been misplaced on top of a clothing rack, on the opposite side of the store from the books section. I almost ignore it and walk by, but my gut convinces me otherwise. I walk over to the book and behold… The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I snapped a picture immediately and purchased the book.

World War Z

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A commentary of the societies around the globe. What happens when our systems are stress tested? How would we survive and reconstruct after a zombie apocalypse?

If you’re curious, this is a must read. If you don’t really care, then read it anyway!

View all my reviews

Richard Williams – Animator / Director

Working in the animation industry, it’s almost impossible to not have heard of Richard Williams. His Animator’s Survival Kit is a bible for most character animators. Every studio that I have worked at, had at least a half dozen copied floating around. A few years ago, Richard also made his live lectures available on DVD. The price is now down to just under $1000 USD. Wiki says that this animator/director was born in Toronto, Canada in 1933.

Richard Williams is best known as the director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Apparently, Williams had also directed 3/4 of the Raggedy Ann & Andy, “A Musical Adventure“. Here’s a great clip of the iconic dolls floating around in a living lake of sugar, via Scribble Junkies.

According to the Scribble Junkies thread, the primary animator for this shot was Emery Hawkins.

If you liked that, I recommend checking out Michael Sporn’s blog, where you can find pages and pages of behind the scene materials, including the original timing sheets. There is also a “The Animated Raggedy Ann and Andy: An Intimate Look at the Art of Animation Its History, Techniques, and Artists” book, that sounds like a good collector’s item.

Finally, it’s difficult to talk about Richard Williams without mentioning his film, The Thief and the Cobbler. If you appreciate his work, I recommend taking 2 hours to see the mostly finished Recobbled Cut“, which is available, in it’s entirety on Youtube.

Dragonlance Chronicles

Donating a copy of the Dragonlance Chronicles to our studio library. In my search for images, I discovered that the first book was made into an animated movie, back in 2007. Can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it.

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