Futile Devices

I was struck last week by the realization that I hadn’t done long division in decades. When the Casio FX (can’t remember which; it was small and solar) hit my life, the need to do long division vanished. So it’s probably around 30 years since I last had to do it.

My first attempts to remember how were dismal. Then I remembered the whole bit about “bringing down the units”, and it all clicked. I made the following animation to show how I did it:

This might be a slightly odd way of doing it, but it’s the way we were taught.

How to select broken URLS from e-mail

(without resorting to TinyURL.com, xrl.us or is.gd when posting …)

Some mail clients wrap URLs in a way that breaks their ability to be clicked on. Trying to explain a method to fix this is tiresome, so here’s an animation that explains it:

a_handy_guide_to_fixing_broken_urlsBasically, it helps to select the URL from the end to the start. Once you’ve got all the text, copy it, and paste it into your browser’s location bar.

The Danish Poet

still from “The Danish Poet” (c) 2007 Microfilm AS and The National Film Board of Canada

If you haven’t seen The Danish Poet, you should. I had some time to kill on Thursday evening, so went into the Mediatheque. I’d heard that the animation had won an oscar, so I looked it up. It’s a really sweet (if extremely convoluted) story of true love and Scandinavian coincidences.

The demented mind of Adam Elliot

a scene from Adam Elliot\'s Harvie Krumpet
I like animation more than Catherine does, so last night while she was teaching, I rented Harvie Krumpet. It’s a series of shorts by Australian animator Adam Elliot. All of them are poignantly strange. The main feature follows Harvie from his birth in Poland in the 1920s to his dotage in Australia. Bad things happen to him, but he abides.

If you can imagine Wallace & Gromit on mogadon, and imagine liking it, you’ll know how I feel about Adam Elliot’s work.

Rendez-vous with the Triplets

triplets of belleville
Ah, how I love The Triplets of Belleville. I was brought up on a steady stream of Jacques Tati and Django Reinhardt, so it’s natural that I get along with this film very well. Especially since I scored a region-free copy in the UK. I can live with it being called Belleville Rendez-vous on the box.

It was robbed of an oscar. Finding Nemo was an amusing little merchandising platform, but ToB is genius. But what chance did a joint French-Canadian production have in a US-based competition?

The Triplets of Belleville

Go and see this. Best animation I’ve seen in a long time; it’s edging out “Spirited Away” for me. Fabulous score, and many wonderful tips o’ the beret to C20th French popular culture.

The Belleville residents look like refugees from The Quigmans. The structural gangsters in their 2CV limos are both menacing and comic.

Oh yeah, and stay for the end of the credits.