I’m a sucker for a good animated short.
“Rain Town,” a 10-minute anime created by Hiroyasu Ishida (who, if I’m not mistaken, is still an animation student) takes place in a town in which the rain never stops. The story shows what happens when one little girl ventures out into the rain and makes a friend…of the robotic kind.
There are no words spoken, but it’s still relatively easy to follow. Although, admittedly, I did have to watch it a second time before I understood everything that actually took place. Eh…sometimes I’m a little slow like that. But I didn’t mind — that gave me an excuse to watch it again. 😉
Overall, though, it’s somehow very endearing. Oh, and by the way, the art? Fantastic.
So give it a shot. It’s certainly worth the ten minutes.
Okay, so technically, this isn’t really a new find. Literal music videos — peculiar music videos, usually from the 1980s, in which the lyrics have been changed in order to better match the content of the video — have been around for a few years now, and I’ve really only seen a few. They aren’t even new for me…I think I first watched these about a year ago, give or take a few months. But I don’t care. They’re good for a quick laugh, and well worth sharing, just in case anyone reading this has never had the good fortune to watch them before.
I’ll only mention my two favorites. The first is a literal music video of “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” originally sung by Bonnie Tyler. It is also, by far, my absolute favorite.
The second is a literal music video of “Take On Me,” originally by A-Ha. This is my second favorite. I’ll also take a moment to confess that, when I was a kid, I thought the original music video had to be the most awesome thing ever. I still think it’s fun…but, I must admit, the literal version is too fitting and too funny not to like. 😛
So I have this nifty book/calendar — A Working Writer’s Daily Planner: Your Year in Writing — that has various tools and tips for writers looking to organize their writing life. A good portion of the book lists various writing contests, which is how I found this first peculiar contest…
The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges writers to create the worst possible opening sentence of the worst possible novel ever. Excessive-yet-grammatically-correct clauses and punctuation are encouraged. Writers can enter as many submissions as they want, but should keep their fake sentence below 60 words or so. All work must be original and previously unpublished, and the official deadline is April 15. The contest has been going on since the early 80’s, and previous winners (and their sentences) are also available on the site. (Since they’re all only a sentence in length, it doesn’t take long to read through them.) There are some pretty creative sentences on there…and some pretty humorous ones, too.
After I read through that contest, I decided to do some random searching for others. That’s when I found…
Silver Goggle’s, “The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter: A Steampunk’s Shakespeare Anthology.”
…Which basically translates into Shakespeare-meets-steampunk. Essentially, writers are challenged to re-invent classic works of Shakespeare, giving them a steampunk bent. You can choose to write 10,000 words based on one of his plays or adapt any of his sonnets. Use as much Shakespearean language as possible, but you must include steampunk elements as thoroughly as possible — in other words, it has to be unmistakably Shakespeare and unmistakably steampunk simultaneously. Deadline is May 30.
I’m not sure if I’ll be doing either contest, honestly, though I’d love to try my hand at both. I mean, purposefully writing a really bad, drawn-out opening sentence? How awesome is that? And the idea of steampunk Shakespeare sounds like an absolute blast. Still, the first contest’s deadline is rather soon, and I’m not sure if I understand the steampunk genre thoroughly enough to do a proper job of the second task. But these were both quite a find, if you ask me, and worthy of being passed along. 🙂
My first “Friday Find” is more on the serious side rather than the entertaining side, but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, was a devastating blow to the country, and a lot of tragic stories came out as a result. But there have also been some rather inspiring stories, too.
I saw this story on Facebook the other day. Supposedly, this man — Hideaki Akaiwa — braved the cold, powerful waters of the tsunami in order to rescue his wife and mother. How does someone even manage something like that?
Click on the picture to read the full story.
Then there’s also the fact that there have been no reports of mass-looting in Japan. Have things been stolen in the wake of the disaster? Possibly. But not on a mass scale. The Japanese people, overall, seem to consider looting as dishonorable. Imagine that.
(More info here.)
And, of course, there are all those in the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, working to prevent meltdown. It’s pretty scary stuff, even for those of us living clear across the ocean. Imagine how much courage it must take to actually be there.
Click the picture to read more.
A lot of truly amazing stories have come out of Japan, and it’s a shame that more of them don’t get more coverage. Have you heard any other amazing stories coming out of Japan? If so, I’d love to hear about them. Let me know about ’em by dropping me a comment.
In the meantime, please also continue to keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers.