Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Nerd’ Category

Star Wars Editorial Cartoons

Thursday, September 2nd 2010 by Pat

While I’m on a Star Wars kick…

Mike Krahulik over at Penny Arcade added to his collection of Star Wars editorial cartoons last week.

I love his work but it’s very rebel alliance and I thought I should speak up for the hard working men and women of the Empire…

I like the idea of looking at the Star Wars galaxy from the eyes of a good imperial citizen. A galaxy upsidedown where ewoks are terrorists, the Jedi are religious extremists, and the one man trying to bring justice to the galaxy is the good Emperor, a man who won’t let anything stop him on his quest for peace.

Dude, I heard Darth Vader went to school at the Jedi Academy, aren’t we supposed to be fighting the Jedi? Isn’t that the same religion that flew X-Wing fighters into the Death Star and killed 37 million people? Vader doesn’t even have a birth certificate, how is he commander-in-chief of the galactic army? This body armor sucks against lasers.

Greased Scotsman

Tuesday, August 4th 2009 by Lou

scotoilThese are the sort of things that come out of the late night bullshit sessions with Jamie Karnik and Andy  Kline.  Greased Scotsman!  Kind of a rip-off of the great khaaan.com (turn down your speakers for this one if you’re at work pretending to work), but just imagine a world without this combination. “Greased Scotsman!” also works well as a home page for the unsuspecting and as a replacement for “good bye” or “see you later”.

Greased Scotsman!

The (Awesome) Ghost of Bailey Jones

Tuesday, July 14th 2009 by Pat

The (Awesome) Ghost of Bailey Jones

Cayleigh says this is the happiest comic about suicide she’s ever read. It was intended as an experiment in print, a simple story that could be read in different ways depending on how you held it to the light.

I’m not sure why suicide was the topic but I knew I wanted to flip the mood so I started with something depressing. I wanted the reader to lift the page and have the light reveal the underlying story, turning the tragedy into something more lighthearted.

Many comics have pages that create interesting, unintentional patterns and framing in that moment when the page is turned so I thought I’d try to use the effect in an intentional way here. It’s probably been done before but I can’t think of any examples.

I’ve made a pdf file so you can print it out yourself if you like, just print double sided.

The web version is in Flash and it took a ridiculously long time for such a simple project. I think my brain is turning into mush in all this heat we’ve been having.

The Last Unicorn

Monday, June 15th 2009 by Pat

The Last Unicorn
Thanks to Tara Greenwood who inspired the unicorn comic with her contribution to the office quote bucket.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen The Last Unicorn and I forgot how much I liked the backgrounds and illustrations from the film. I wanted to learn more about the animation and fell down an interesting rabbit hole.

The animation for The Last Unicorn was done by Topcraft, the same studio which animated The Hobbit. After completing The Last Unicorn they animated Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind for Hayao Miyazaki. With the success of Nausicaä, several Topcraft crew members went on to form the core of Studio Ghibli, the studio responsible for Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and many of the best animated films of our time.

Other members of the Topcraft crew went on to work for Pacific Animation Corporation, the studio behind the Thundercats, a connection I think Aaron will appreciate.

I thought that was all terribly interesting, maybe I’ll be inspired to make an animated film for the summer JUMP Festival.

Server Move

Thursday, June 4th 2009 by Pat

Movem out!  Rawhide!
We’re moving to a new server. Hopefully things won’t get too bumpy.

Wishing Well

Wednesday, March 18th 2009 by Pat

alaskanThe urinal at the Alaskan Bar is full of small change. I’m not sure when it started accumulating or exactly how much is in there but it makes for a fun guessing game.

First, how much change is in the urinal? It’s a little bit different than the elementary school game where we had to guess how many jellybeans were in a jar because the coins come in several denominations. It’s a graduated challenge for a more adult audience.

The next, and more interesting, part of the puzzle is trying to determine exactly how much change it will take before before some drunk guy decides it’s a good idea to scoop it all out of the urinal and buy his buddies a round of drinks.

This becomes a more difficult puzzle because the amount of alcohol involved will affect the judgment of the coin grabber, reducing the aversion to diving for coins in a dirty urinal and at the same time interfering with the ability to accurately solve the first problem — determining how much money is actually in the urinal.

In the end, I imagine consideration of the scattered spectrum of answers will reveal the most likely outcome and with a bit more consideration I think this could evolve into a problem for the Mathematical Contest in Modeling.

Creative Daemons

Monday, March 16th 2009 by Pat

I’ve been writing a story this past week and I’m starting to make some solid headway. The process has been agonizing, like trying to thread a needle with a rubber band, but it’s been an equally wonderful sense of accomplishment to actually begin putting the thoughts in order.

This TED talk by author Elizabeth Gilbert is a fantastic journey through the creative process and an appropriate redefinition of genius. Many great artists and storytellers recognize that genius is a matter of being moved by something greater than yourself and I love this idea of little creatures flitting about in the walls and stories that will run away to the next author if you’re too busy to sew them down with a pencil.

Thanks StumbleUpon

Tuesday, March 10th 2009 by Pat

Stumble SquidMany thanks to the StumbleUpon users who have been checking out our comics and films. We’ve been getting giant traffic spikes from the site and it completely crushed our server on Friday.

We’re working on developing better page caching to keep up with the traffic and we’ll probably upgrade our hardware and software before too long. In the meantime, apologies for any database implosions and thanks, this is one of those good problems.

I’m not deeply involved in the StumbleUpon community but I am an occasional stumbler and use the toolbar in Firefox. If anyone wants to friend me, here’s my profile page-doodle thingy.

Super Awesome Comet Photo

Monday, March 2nd 2009 by Lou

boringcometComet Lulin was at it’s brightest Wednesday night and it was a rare clear and moonless sky.  The comet was hard to see so I brought out the camera  after being inspired by some nice Lulin photos.   Can you see it?  It’s that green blob.  I thought it would look more impressive than this.

Our Search Terms for 2008

Wednesday, January 21st 2009 by Lou

What are people searching for when they find themselves at Alaska Robotics?

5. fetish comic
9. humons
20. sarah palin is awesome
70. nipple
115. brainworms
137. knuckle hair
143. snarfl
145. thousandaire
245. in the pooper
343. what if i was a robot
395. comics, wholesome
423. monkey hand
550. animated unicorns that you can copy on a web site
566. palin working it animation
589. hobo season
620. aliens examining humans anal probe
742. my kittens are staggering like drunk?
802. sno-bo
915. how to draw a graffiti turtle
927. how long can you freeze a scorpion for

As an added bonus, we are the first result in Google Image Search for knuckle hair.