Another SVG icon, this time of a red ant.
I've created two more vector icons -- an African and an Emperor penguin -- and have added SVG and PNG versions of all three on the Zapaticons page. These are still experimental and are subject to change. If your OS or desktop environment supports SVG icons, let me know if they work or if there's any issues with them. I'll add more once I'm satisfied with the format.
Thinking about my icons in the previous post reminded me of an idea I had a while back to make vectorized versions of some of them for use with newer operating systems and desktop environments that support that sort of thing. So I whipped up a take on my thorn-mimic treehopper icon. It's more cartoony and simplified, yet bold like the mighty treehopper himself! I'm undecided as to whether I should add vein lines in the wings -- if I do other insects, some, like dragonflies, will look better with them so I might add them for consistency's sake.
I'll put a vector version of it, and any other's I do, on the Zapaticons page when I figure out the best way to save it for use by OSs/DEs. Currently it's in SVG, but Inkscape adds extra info to the file that's unnecessary. (Anyone with any suggestions on this, feel free to email me.)
In the mean time, you can enjoy this rastorized version, which coincidentally makes the front page look more festive... Feliz Navibug!
For some odd reason, lately people (11 to be precise) have been buying the Penguin t-shirt from my Zapaticons store. I say "odd reason" because it's the only thing from that store that anyone has bought in the almost one year that it's been there and people only started buying it in October. I haven't done any advertising of it other than the banner ad on the Zapaticons page that has been there since I added the store. I thought maybe it was because of the shirt's placing on Cafepress's search, but it only shows up on the third page for "penguin". I also thought it might have something to do with the increase in Cascadia sticker sales around the same time, but the only place where the two stores are mentioned together is on the front page sidebar, so that doesn't make sense.
What gives? Has there been a sudden outbreak of penguinophilia? Some sort of joint Penguin-Belgium psy-op campaign aimed at influencing my website?
Anyway, the Zapaticons store is a hodgepodge mess of random icons on random items; however, if penguins are so very, very popular (does no one appreciate the homopterrific cuteness of the thorn mimic treehopper?) I could increase the penguin-to-nonpenguin ratio there (I already added a second penguin shirt and two penguin ornaments), or add a separate penguinicon store with a full complement of penguiny products (unless that's what THEY want!) If anyone has any requests or suggestions regarding this, email me and I'll take it under advisement.
Here's a look at the glorious future monorails offer...
This train was part of the SAFEGE suspended monorail, built in Saran, France in 1959 and discarded a mere decade later. Since that picture was smuggled out of France, the train remains have been recovered and transported to an abandoned military base, where they are under close guard by government officials. (More pictures of a SAFEGE train in disrepair here.)
When operational (or at least as operational as monorails can be) the SAFEGE was featured in the 1966 film Fahrenheit 451 (see right) in order to give both the film and the SAFEGE an air of near-futuricity. Director and crypto-monorailist François Truffaut had the driver crouch down while filming its scenes so as to give viewers the false impression that it operated automatically.
Oddly, French directors seem to have some special connection to the monorail proponents, the significance of which I haven't yet determined. Last April, Seattle's KIRO TV learned that French director Olivier Venturini would be flown into Cascadia to produce TV ads for a $1.3 million pro-monorail propaganda campaign for the extension of Cascadian monorails. When a KIRO investigative reporter tried to ask him questions about the ads he refused to talk, clearly hiding some agenda.
The French were suckered into adopting monorails in the late 1950s, but ended up throwing them away when they became disillusioned with the constant spontaneous combustions and elephant accidents. Ten years -- and who knows how many dead people and circus animals -- from now, will Cascadia's proposed national monorail system end up strewn along the I-5 corridor, providing taxpayer-supported housing for raccoons?
Thanks to "Frenchy" in the guestbook for bringing this to my attention.
While monorailist literature insinuates that they are a futuristic technology, monorails are actually archaic devices that predate the airplane. Case in point: the Schwebebahn in Wuppertal, Germany. This suspended monorail was built in 1901 and is still in operation -- thanks to the backroom influence of the Monorail Industry -- even though it exhibits all the dangers common to monorails; there have been train collisions, trucks hitting piers, and four people died in 1999 when a train derailed and fell into the river. However, even in the storied annals of monorail dangers, the Schwebebahn manages to impress with an incident involving an innocent baby elephant named Tuffi.
On July 21, 1950, the 3-year-old elephant, enslaved by a cruel circus-director/monorail-fanatic named Franz Althoff, was forced to board the Schwebebahn as part of an ill-conceived monorail propaganda stunt. Tuffi had suffered through many degrading stunts in the past -- Althoff had her driving streetcars and marching through department stores -- but she balked at riding on that dangerous contraption (the Wuppertaler Todesfalle as it was secretly called by locals). One and a half minutes into the ride, Tuffi freaked out, no doubt sensing something was awry with the train (in other words: normal monorailular operating conditions). In her instinctual desperation to escape death and with no other safe means of egress, she smashed a hole in a side window and, rather taking her chances with the Wupper river 5 meters below, bravely leapt through.
Tuffi was not seriously injured in the fall and was unfortunately recaptured shortly after. There's no telling what would have happened if she had stayed in the train, which was understandably stopped after experiencing an unexpected elephantine defenestration. Perhaps the train would have derailed or spontaneously combusted. We will never know for sure, but it is highly likely that the actions of this monorail-doubting pachyderm might have saved the lives of the human passengers.
(Of course, had this monorail been constructed over city streets instead of a river, as many monorails are or are planned to be, she would have been killed and probably have taken out some pedestrians and small cars too. When will people learn what even baby elephants seem to understand: monorails are a menace.)
Photos from the incident:
Thanks to reader Crosbie for bringing this to my attention.
Now you too can get blog in a tube delivered fresh to your pneumatic port array.
This blog now has two RSS 2.0 feeds:
Choose the feed that best suits your purpose.
Furthermore, being the cutting edge innovator of Internetting technology that I am, I have also added a pneumatic tube feed using my newly invented ZPi Tublog™ technology. If you have p-tube connectivity, available through the Cascadian Postal Authority or your local pneumatic tube provider, you can now get freshly printed hard copies of my blog posts delivered right to your home. Who needs Push when you can Suck! No longer must you suffer the inconvenience and potential electromagnetic dangers of using a computer to read my random musings. To use, simply make sure there's an autoprinter/encapsulator attached to your tube network and point your pneumatic aggrivator to:
Wisdom found on the back of an "M-Azing" bar...
Tampering, whether of chocolate or brains, can really diminish one's enjoyment. Always check the foil before using either.
This blog now has an RSS feed, as per the suggestion of someone on the guestbook. It's still experimental, but works well enough to get the last 10 posts without having to go to the trouble of coming to the site.
I'm trying it out with the actual post in the <description> element instead of a summary, since these posts can't be summarized automatically. So if you use an aggregator you can read the whole post in it. (Depending on your software, the images may be broken as I have been using relative paths for them instead of URLs.) Of course, this makes the XML file somewhat large (~30 Kio currently). If this arrangement if too unwieldy, let me know.
Also, RSS 2.0 insists on an email for the <author> element in order to be valid. Since I haven't implemented per author emails yet, all posts will have my address on them, but with the actual author name listed in parenthesis. Don't worry, I will forward all your philately-related queries to the Philatelist.
Feedback on improvements is welcome.
© 2004-2018 Lyle Zapato & ZPi
unless otherwise noted or implied.