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August 4, 2006
August 4th, 2006

I'm taking a flight tonight to Hong Kong, on the tail of a taiphoon. If my plane comes down in Shangrila like the film Lost Horizon, I'll say hello to Sam Jaffee for you. ( Sam Jaffee was the all-purpose ethnic actor of the 1930s. he played Gunga Din in that title film, mad Czar Peter III in Von Sternbergs Scarlett Empress and in Capras Lost Horizons was the High Llama.
Yes, I did read all the stuff about that LaSalle guys jejune comments about animation in his review of Monster House in the San Francisco Examiner. I think the web blogs like Cartoon Brew, The Blackwing Diaries and the Digital Animator covered that ground very nicely. Suffice it to say last year the Motion Picture Academy's Science and Technology division in two shows made the definitive connection between rotoscope and motion capture. So anyone saying this is an amazing new technology never before seen, is engaging in baloney throwing P.R.. Performance Capture, Motion Capture or whatever has it's roots in the device invented by Max Fleischer in 1917. Check out the humans in Gullivers Travels (1939) the FLeischer Superman shorts(1941) and even some of Disney's Snow White and you'll see the same technique, only the type of finished color is different. And I like Grim Natwicks handling of Snow White better than the roto anyway.

Debuting at Siggraph right now are new mo-cap inventions that will make the look of human facial structure even more natural. But that is if you want to just do human figures. Ollie Johnston taught us " Good Animation is not about copying life, it is caricature of life. It is life- plus."
History for 8/4/2006
Birthdays: Nicholas Conte'1777-inventor of the modern pencil and the conte'-crayon, Louis Satchmo Armstrong, Richard Belzer, baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, Billy-Bob Thornton.

1693 Come quickly Martin, I am tasting stars! monk Dom Perignon invented the
Method Champagnoise to create champagne.

1821 - 1st edition of Saturday Evening Post -published until 1969.

1855 - John Bartlett publishes his first book of "Familiar Quotations"

1892-" Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks, when he saw
what she had done, gave her father forty-one.", etc. In Fall River Mass, Andrew
and Abbie Borden were found brutally murdered and their daughter Elisabeth was accused.
Ms. Borden pleaded innocence and cited a long history of abuse from her parents
.She was acquitted but the murderer was never found. When Lizzie died peacefully
in 1927 she left $30,000 to the ASPCA.

1918- Young corporal Adolf Hitler was awarded the Iron Cross, First Class for bravery.
He was quite proud of it and wore it on his uniform for the rest of his life. The
German officer who recommended Hitler and pinned his medal on was Captain Hugo Gutmann,
a Jew.

1921 The Motion Picture Fund created.

1922- In honor of the passing of Alexander Graham Bell, all 13 million telephones
in the United States observed three minutes of silence.

1925- Conrad Hilton opened the first Hilton Hotel in Dallas Texas.

1942- The Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire-Marjorie Reynolds film the Holiday Inn released.
The film featured Irving Berlin hit songs like White Christmas and Easter Parade
but is hardly ever shown anymore because the Lincoln's Birthday skit featured the
cast in embarrassing minstrel blackface, singing 'bout Massa Lincoln.

1956- Elvis Presley released his version of the Big Mama Mabel Thornton song "
You Ain't Nothin but a Hound Dog".

1964- Rand Corporation analyst Daniel Ellsberg's first day working at the Pentagon.
Ellsberg would be the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

1984- Actor Johnny Depp opened his own club on the Sunset Strip called the Viper
Room. The original club on that site had once been owned by mobster Bugsy Sigel.