Oh. Must. Have.

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Spirited Away is one of my long standing comfort movies, and who doesn’t love Kaonashi (No Face)? I absolutely must have this.

OMG guys — Studio Ghibli is releasing a Kaonashi coin bank!

The official name of this why-hasn’t-this-been-done-sooner contraption is Spirited Away Kaonashi Musha-Musha Coin Bank. And it’s a coin bank (we can stop calling them ‘piggy’ banks, right?) modeled after the Kaonashi character, also known as No Face, from the beloved 2001 film Spirited Away.

Similar to the way that great Itazura Kitty Coin Bank worked, it’s activated when you place coins on the sake saucer. Kaonashi’s arms then raise that saucer to its mouth and your coins fall into the depths of its stomach. It even makes that “ah” sound when it’s activated, and then burps once the movement is complete.

It’s set to go on sale online and at Donguri Kyowakoku shops, the official retailer for Studio Ghibli goods, on May 20, 2017 and will retail for 4800 yen.

Eeeeeeeeeeee. Must. Have. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Horses Of Course.

I have a backlog of submissions I’m slowly getting posted, but serendipity strikes, and I have two horse submissions, very different from one another. We start with the amazing and beautiful art of painting resin horse models, thanks to Kestrel. This is time consuming and difficult work. This isn’t a type of art where the artist gets to simply go with flights of fancy, the object here is intense realism. One such artist, Mindy Berg, has her latest up for auction, and it is a beauty!

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I am so very proud to formally introduce to you my newly completed Lucius resin, sculpted by Emilia Kurila. Lucius needs no introduction.. but in case you have not seen him before he is one of the most coveted resins in the hobby (for good reason!). Made from a small edition, he is one hard resin to find, either painted or unpainted. This particular copy has been with me since the start of the edition, and it has taken me since then to complete his coat. Now we all know that time doesn’t necessarily equate to quality, but, I do want accentuate the fact that I have taken my time on this piece with no holds barred, and allowed myself to boldly go where I have not gone before…

Introducing Skywalker. Destined for great things, in this horse I aimed for the stars. He is by far the most detailed and complicated pattern I have ever attempted. Skywalker was painstakingly hand painted in oils, with each tiny hair a stroke of a minuscule brush, and there are thousands upon thousands of tiny hairs. There is a great reason that this technique is not commonly employed! Although a beautifully effective way to create realistic coat patterns, it is an incredibly slow process. Acrylics and pastels, and some pencil, were also sparingly used in his creation as well. He is an example of what I can create without time constraints, my painting “magnum opus” to date.

Then we have some photos from rq, of an interesting place visited for a work event, which also had a horse. I think it would make a cool cabin. They should have made the tarse large enough to slide down! Click for full size.

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© rq, all rights reserved.

The Dubious Dealings of Shite Supremacists.

NPI.

NPI.

The largest donor to Richard Spencer’s nonprofit National Policy Institute had no idea the funds were going to a white nationalist.

A Georgia community group, the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, gave $25,000 to Spencer’s group in 2013 and 2014, according to three years of tax returns Spencer provided to the Los Angeles Times.

The community foundation, which receives much of its funding from the Masters golf tournament and promotes a wide range of philanthropy, gives away between $5 million to $9 million a year, according to the newspaper.

Neither Berry nor Spencer would reveal the original donor’s identity, the newspaper reported, and those funds were then funneled through the community foundation in a common arrangement in the charity world.

The foundation’s chief executive, Shell K. Berry, told the Times that money was given to Spencer’s group as part of a “donor-advised fund,” a common arrangement for charitable groups where donors give money to one organization with the intention of those funds being passed on to others.

Not being a rich person, I’m not so sure that the “donor-advised fund” leaves everyone involved innocently unaware of where the money was going. I have to think that some people certainly did know. I know that if I had $25,000 to give, I’d be very sure of where it was going.

Spencer, who says the nonprofit organization is his full-time job, collected salaries of $3,156 in 2013, $7,984 in 2014 and $13,275 in 2015, according to the tax returns.

The records also show the National Policy Institute used donor money to pay off more than $26,000 in credit card debt since 2011.

Spencer refused to tell the Times how that debt was accumulated, saying those details weren’t important.

Oh, the devil is in the details, as the old saying goes. Those tax returns certainly strike me as suspect, but I’m not an agent of the IRS.

The white nationalist also declined to tell the newspaper how he supports himself financially, but a recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting showed his parents received at least $2 million in federal farming subsidies over the last decade.

Goodness. I guess part and parcel of the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States is to game the system, then sit back and blame it on all those brown people who happen to be poor. That’s quite the gig.

The Times reported last week that Spencer’s group lost its tax-exempt status after failing to file required forms with the IRS.

Spencer stated that was an embarrassing mistake, and the NPI’s bookkeeper has been fired. A bookkeeper, fancy that. I wonder if they were getting by on three thousand a year, too.

Via Raw Story.

A BIG Book!

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Oh, if I had young sprogs, I’d get these books in a heartbeat, which puts a whole new spin on interactive books.

The Big Book is precisely that – a children’s story that unfolds into a gigantic single sheet, revealing a beautiful illustration of something central to the story. The redesigned children’s fairytale adds another dimension of interactivity to storytelling, allowing kids read a story with their eyes, ears and whole body.

It was originally designed by Japanese illustrator Mao Fujimoto in 2011 as a school project (we actually covered it back then, so we’re super happy it’s finally been turned into a product). Fujimoto came up with the idea by following a keen fascination about what it would be like to ride on the turtle, which carries the young fisherman to a sub-sea palace in Urashima Taro, one of Japan’s most beloved stories.

Now, Urashima Taro and The Giant Turnip have been turned into real books thanks to Seigensha Art Publishing. Each features Fujimoto’s beautiful illustrations accompanied by story text in both Japanese and English. So not only is it great for storytelling, it’s also useful for learning another language!

Because it’s designed to be spread out on the floor and walked/crawled on, the books are made from water-resistant, highly durable paper so it holds up to toddler abuse.

You can see, and read much more at Spoon & Tamago.

The Key to Republican Votes? More Cruelty.

Disney.

Disney.

It seems the key to all the Republican Cruellas is Cruelty. The Fuck You Care Plan was looking at crashing and burning, but the two prime Cruellas, Trump and Ryan, have found a way to pull in the reluctant rethugs, who felt the “replacement” was simply too kind.

In a sane world, the problem with the House’s Trumpcare bill would be that it kicks 14 million people off of their health insurance in year one and uses the savings to give rich people a big tax cut.

In our world, though, the problem for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was that scores of his own members didn’t think the bill was harsh enough. With only a couple dozen votes to spare in the House, and party leaders rushing toward a vote to minimize public scrutiny, the initial revolt was enough to force tweaks.

Those changes landed Monday night in the form of a “manager’s amendment” to the Trumpcare proposal. The amendment makes Medicaid cuts even deeper, frees up governors to raid the program to plug other budget holes, and ends Medicaid expansion under Obamacare much sooner than Ryan’s original bill.

This would be why there was the previous insistence of a vote first, without looking over the changes. No one is being allowed all that close of a look, however, so there are no estimates as to how many people this version will screw over. You can be certain it will be more.

The new version accelerates that process of shoving poor, disabled, and elderly people off a health care cliff. Medicaid expansion would freeze immediately rather than in two years. While the 11 million slightly-less-poor-than-the-poverty-line Americans who today receive health insurance thanks to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid would technically be grandfathered in, there’s a false bottom to their recently-gained financial and medical security.

Anyone whose coverage lapses, or who takes a seasonal job that bumps their income up too high to be covered, would not be able to re-enroll in Medicaid after that blip. At the same time, the topline reductions in federal Medicaid spending would create fiscal attrition, effectively forcing states to throw Medicaid expansion patients back into the uninsured gutter a bit more quickly than the first version of Trumpcare.

The amendment also adds a cash incentive for states to impose work requirements for non-pregnant, non-disabled, non-elderly Medicaid recipients. Work requirements in anti-poverty programs are a longstanding and bipartisan white whale, despite their failure to achieve anything other than higher poverty rates.

Medicaid will be no exception, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities health care policy expert Judy Solomon told ThinkProgress. “While most adults on Medicaid already do work, the work requirement would likely prevent other eligible people from enrolling, including, for example, a young adult attending college, a married mother taking care of an infant, or an adult caring for an aging parent,” Solomon said.

There really is no limit to just how much rethuglicans want to stomp all over poor people. I expect what they’d truly like to do is “cull the herd”, but as that might meet some hard edged resistance, this slow way of killing people will have to do.

A few key low-ranking Republicans have already hinted the changes will secure their votes. A dozen members of the hard-right Republican Study Committee summoned to the White House on Friday agreed to embrace Trumpcare if the deeper Medicaid cuts were added, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) told the Washington Post.

Is everyone feeling loved by their representatives?

The amendments to Trumpcare effectively trade American lives for Republican votes. Like its predecessor, the 2.0 version is a swindle masquerading as technical, wonky reform. It will take medical care away from low-income families, which will mean more people in those families die sooner than they would have if they could still afford insurance coverage.

The bodies will be piling up against The Great Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.

Oh yes, almost forgot – this is what the Tiny Tyrant is concerned about:

According to CNN, Trump began his meeting with Republicans by congratulating himself for the crowd size at a Monday night rally in Louisville, Kentucky. The president warned that the value of his earned media would be diminished if the health care bill fails.

“We won’t have these crowds if we don’t get this done,” he reportedly complained.

There Was A Wiretap!

Brian R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

Brian R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

Oh my. There was a wire “tapp”. It was in 2013, in pursuit of Russian mobsters inhabiting Trump Towers. The Daily Kos has an excellent breakdown. Contrary to what Trumpholes might think, this isn’t, in any way, good news for the Tiny Tyrant. This simply highlights unsavoury and possibly illegal ties, and illuminates the nest of lies which pass for facts in Trumpland.

Via Daily KosABC News reports that the FBI obtained a warrant to eavesdrop on “a sophisticated Russian organized crime money laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower” starting in 2011 and ending in 2013.

ABC News notes that the FBI’s investigation into the mobsters led “to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.” Despite the fact that the scheme was being run out of Trump Tower, Trump himself was not implicated in the FBI’s indictment.

Although Tokhtakhounov evaded arrest in the early part of 2013, he did manage to publicly resurface later that year when he appeared at the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in November — where he was spotted near Donald Trump in the VIP section.

Oh look, there’s Donnie, happily hanging with the other villains. Trump’s insistence that he “doesn’t know any of these people” is such a weak attempt at covering up, I’m surprised he’s trying it on. Ah well, Trumpholes will swallow anything.

Trump in 2013 took to Twitter to express excitement about attending the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow that year, and even wondered if Russian President Vladimir Putin would become his “new best friend.”

Yes. Look how that’s turned out. Tsk.

Via Daily Kos, ABC News, and Raw Story.

The Hidden History of A Homicidal Cop.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

The cop who murdered Eric Garner is still employed. As of last year, his salary was $119,996 , a 14% increase over what he was making when he murdered Garner. A person could get ideas about that. I certainly have number of ideas, none of them painting cops in a good light. Think Progress has gotten an exclusive look at hidden documents which highlight Pantaleo’s past behaviour as a cop, and it’s not a good record in any way. The article is long and in-depth, so head on over for a read.

Now, documents obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress indicate that Pantaleo, who is still employed by the NPYD, had a history of breaking the rules. These records are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, and the city refuses to release them.

Before he put Garner in the chokehold, the records show, he had seven disciplinary complaints and 14 individual allegations lodged against him. Four of those allegations were substantiated by an independent review board.

Neither Pantaleo nor the NYPD responded to Think Progress requests for comment.

EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS: The disturbing secret history of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner.

Outside the Gold Curtain: Ugly Americans.

Students party on a beach in Cancun (Screen cap).

Students party on a beach in Cancun (Screen cap).

The Gold Curtain is on its way down, to encompass oh-so-special Amerikka, but unfortunately, the ugly is still escaping, and is busy leaving trails of Trumpslime all over the place.

CANCUN — What would be a dream night for Suly and Anaximandro Amable, a newly married couple who went to Cancun for their honeymoon, became a bitter experience on Monday March 13.

During a family show on the high seas, young American spring breakers began to sing the controversial “Build That Wall” chant, which shocked Mexican national tourists and workers.

This is just one of the many blameworthy behaviors that young spring breakers have shown recently in Cancun and that are described as acts of xenophobia and discrimination against Mexicans within their own country, which is (or should be) totally unacceptable.

Anaximandro, from Perú, made the following statement on social networks: “Today I was with Suly, my wife (who is a native of Mexico), watching an entertainment show off the coast of Cancun aboard a boat, and at the end of the show, a flock of Americans (maybe under the influence of alcohol, or maybe not), began to sing the infamous “Build that wall” chant louder and louder”.

[…]

Several Mexican tourists on board the ship expressed their annoyance, but the Americans did not stop at all and continued singing the racist hymn.

This situation is far from being an isolated incident, and it adds to the growing number of complaints from tourism sector workers, who point out that in recent days many Spring Breakers have been offensive, rude and haughty towards Mexican people.

This is way beyond embarrassing. Light years beyond. This is a type of terrorism: ugly, screaming, insistent braggadocio of invasive idiots, who are utterly certain of their greatness and specialness. Well, you’re special alright, you excel at being fucking idiots. Here, have a teeny star for mindless braying, never once having a thought invade those shit filled heads, about how you would feel, if upon arrival for your drunken revelry, you were greeted with “Back behind the Gold Curtain!” and swiftly expelled from a place you expected to enjoy. Americans have a tendency to assume they are oh so grand, and of course, always welcome, and oh yes, always right. There’s little realization of just how many Americans are poisonous, entitlement-stuffed bigots, whose mouths are one hundred times larger than their brains. Many times, even when that’s realized, there’s a bit of scuffing, grabbing a broom to sweep such under the rug, and an assumption of innocence. This doesn’t even cover the exceptional stupidity attached to exceptionally ugly Americans: they are spending money in the country they so denigrate. Heeeeeey, we’re spending Amerikkkan money here, so we have a perfect right to be shit-filled, obnoxious fucking idiots! Yaaaaay Amerikkka!

Christ. I’d think such fucking idiots would have been insistent on being really truly good Amerikkans, and spending behind the Gold Curtain, in Florida or something. Guess the good ol’ USA ain’t good enough for the Trumpholes.

Given the incredible ugliness of too many Americans, I don’t think it’s going to be long before other countries decide they have had enough, and just ban us all. If you want a fine example of the ugly I’m talking about, head on over to the Yucatan Times, and read the comments. You might want to make sure you have an empty stomach.

Via The Yucatan Times.

Santiago.

An animated self-portrait exploring the line of human evolution and a projection of a possible future.
As our evolution turns from biological to technological, are we now the bridge between the born and the made.
I painted this stop frame animation on myself using face paint, a mirror and a camera.

Copyright Emma Allen.

Story, animation, performance -Emma Allen – emmaallen.org
Post Production – Huxley Studios – thisishuxley.com/
Sound Design – Edapollo – soundcloud.com/edapollo

Emma Allen
instagram.com/imakefings/
twitter.com/imakefings
facebook.com/paintfaces/

Wonderful! I like the beginning best. Santiago on Vimeo. Santiago at The Creators Project.