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Neko Time!!! =^_^= Dresden

I just moved house and I was a little bit busy. That’s the reason for the delay writing this post….

At the beginning of May I was on Germany. Why? Well there was a magnetism congress… the annual INTERMAG conference held this year in Dresden.

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It was also the 50 anniversary of the IEEE Magnetics division, so they gave us a mug.

I was there to present my work on micromagnetism. Basically I’m studying structures of about 1 micron in size and how magnetization operates inside of them. The same rules for big objects don’t operate on small ones, and new features appear. One of those features is the possibility of using them to detect magnetic nanoparticles. And why magnetic nanoparticles are interesting? Because you can attach them to biological structures (cells, drugs, virus, DNA… ) and in principle is easier to detect/manipulate the nanoparticle than detecting/manipulating the biological structure alone. But be careful, this doesn’t mean it’s an easy task. Is still very difficult and that’s why we are researching how to do it efficiently and in a reliable way. And about the outcomes… well, when this technology reach the market, we will have analysis techniques that will require less tissues (e.g. blood) or that will allow to implement new medical techniques, or improve actual ones making them more specific. It will be a giant improvement on medicine.

But today I’m not here to speak about the science I do, I want to speak about the city of Dresden and what kind of beautiful things it has.

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This lovely city was destroyed during the WWII. I mean, massively destroyed. But it has been rebuilt, and to be honest, they did it amazingly good. The next image is Dresden’s Frauenkirche which was rebuilt in 2005 after it’s destruction during the war.

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Now it’s possible to visit it and even go to the dome and see the whole city. As usual… =^_^= I took a panorama (click on the image to see it).

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So…. Dresden, beautiful city, rebuilt. What did I visit?

About the 3D experiments, I already commented about the Statue of Saxon King John, but I made a second one with better results. (Click image to see both).

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So, next one, the transport museum. It’s just in front of Frauenkirche, so quite convenient.

The last car/transport museum I have been was Turin car museum, but I was also in train museum like the one in York or in racing museums like the 24h Le Mans racing museum… and many more. I can tell you the one in Dresden maybe is a little bit small, but it can stand against the biggest ones.

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The good point is that it is not focused on cars. Actually, cars has the smaller exhibition.

The biggest part (compared to the small size of the museum) is driven by trains and engines.

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Obviously the railway tradition of the city is very big.

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This one was in the transport museum, where kids (and not so young ones….) can play with trains.

Did you notice the cabin picture? Is actually a very good panorama reconstruction. And the engine without the cover? I like it so much, because it represents how technology has evolved through the years. Nowadays the engine is a fraction of that size and has a lot more power.

But the museum was not the only place to play with trains. The next one is in one of the city train stations and everyone can play with it (and of course I did =^_^= ).

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A part from trains, the museum has a brief part about aviation. Especially the period before the WWII, with nice replicas.

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And to be honest, as a kid who grow up listening stories about the Concorde (and who actually wanted to become a pilot). It was nice to see something about it.

Did you saw the “experimenting” area? It was a very nice set-up with panels explaining everything and machines to test it.

I’m a fan of airships, and it was nice to see some of them, but you know what was more exciting? This small aeroplane.

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Want to know what makes it special?

Really?

Well, in the first place, I love seaplanes and specially the ones with engines on top. They remind me Porco Rosso which is a movie linked to very special feelings.

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And in the second place and most important. Only one plane was built. ONLY one! in 1927, and they have the model. Isn’t it amazing? I like this kind of things. Makes it to be very special.

Ok ok, let’s keep going with the visit.

Next stop… boats!

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One word, amazing. The number of models was immense…

Did you saw the “chain ship”? I never saw it before. Sometimes, if the boat is for carrying materials along a river, instead of putting an engine on the ship, you use horses or external engines to pull the boat. In this case a chain lays on the river and the boat uses it to pull itself. I know is something stupid… but its a great idea in fact. Probably the increment in efficiency of the engine was huge compared with wheels or propellers.

Ok ok, I don’t say anything else…. next stop… ship simulator!! They had a copy of ship simulator game where you can use a real wheel (I manage to sink my boat in less than 30s).

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And… not only simulation games. They also have RC boats in real water. It was so cool.

Ahhh I wish I could have that at home. Maybe one day…

The last thing in this museum, and which has the most significance for me. It’s one of the few places where I saw bicycles as a part of an exhibition. Not as the precursors of motorbikes but as a transport.

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I think is curious the evolution from the first model of bikes to these ones with big wheels and back again…

It was nice.

From the Transport museum I move through the Procession of Princes wall.

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to the Zwinger Palace (where a panorama was needed =^_^=).

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The palace has a few different expositions inside… but the only interesting for me was the Physics and Mathematical instruments. weeeeeee =^_^=

Actually the collection is pretty small, but has a nice set of telescopes and mirrors (it seems they like to burn things with the mirrors).

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It also includes some of the most complicated clocks ever made, like one being able to tell the celestial movement through the year and predict which constellations will be visible one particular night.

Yes, there is a bear… and it was a clock… and actually it plays the drum… it was a present for some kind of king or prince…

From the maths and physics museum I move to the puppet museum. And… I finally saw the famous German nutcrackers. And to be honest, they where quite funny.

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The museum is a quite strange building, but a little bit hidden. Fortunately, it’s the only building with a puppet on top of the world.

I think the faces are quite funny. =^_^=

The most valuable object in the collection? How about this landscape inside a nutshell?

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From the puppet museum I made my last visit, the war museum (full of tanks of course).

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And here are the tanks (did I mention I like tanks? And trains? and cars? planes? Almost any machine).

The museum is arranged displaying the war history from the medieval times. But unfortunately, the whole museum is designed by some kind of artist and it’s very weird. Really, fuck off. I mean, don’t invent new things for museums, you are probably going to screw it. (Ok, I really hate the design).

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Really, sometimes you get lost, and everything is in darkness.

The mos interesting thing in the museum? This!

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This is actually a replica of a submarine…. that was the most advanced of his time… and was sunk in the inaugural day… because trying to save money some pieces were removed. (Sorry, but I have to laugh).

Apart from submarines and helmets and useless stuff… they have part of the Berlin Wall…. and I think this is the perfect end. Did you enjoy this walk? Are you going to visit Dresden someday?

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What? More? No more. Just a promise, in 2 months time… Vienna. That is going to be epic.

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Neko Time!!! =^_^= Dresden Asisi Panometer

Welcome to another Neko Adventure!

Last week I have been on Dresden, Germany. I went for a scientific conference and I explore a little bit the city… and guess what I found?

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Panorama! Actually, this time I didn’t make the Panorama, it was already there. I visited the Asisi Panometer in Dresden.

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The Panometer is an exposition where a massive painting arrange in 360º around a tower allows you to see the painting as inside of it. In other words, it’s Google street view handmade.

It seems that Asisi has been doing this exposition for a while, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Everest, Rome… All the time bringing a place to life, either an actual view or an ancient one.

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The one in Dresden offers a magnificent view of the city as it was in 1756, with all the people going around in horses, with traders in the streets, boats, farms… all the small details of the painting offer a story to the visitor.

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If you have the chance to visit it, don’t hesitate, GO! Or maybe one of the others. I want to visit the one about Rome, it promise to be amazing.

If you want to take a look and see how it looks, I took a panorama for you (click on the image to go).

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(Of course, I added this place to the Atlas Obscura ).

That’s all

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What? Want more? Isn’t enough? Ba!

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Ok, here it is

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Neko Time!!! =^_^= Atlas Obscura

During this year I have been several times on the Hampton Court Palace and I though about writing a Neko Time… but then I found Atlas Obscura.

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Atlas Obscura is a social network of places/adeventures updated by the users.

Let me show it to you. For isntance, I love to go to Iceland and I want to go off the track, explore not common places. Is there anything there for me? The search shows 25 places.

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Hmmm let’s take a look and see what is interesting for me. Number 10 looks like an interesting place. It’s called Svartifoss and it’s a waterfall.

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The web gives us the location, some info…

” Over centuries, lava flows cooled at a languid pace in Iceland’s frosty air, gently forming the stacked hexagonal crystals that provide the backdrop for the falls. ”

and show us recommendations and users that marked this place as visited (usually that users will know nearby interesting places).

Ok ok, interesting. Something else? Well, in fact we can make wishes about places to go and receive updates about them. And also, of course, mark places you have been.

I made a profile and mark some places I visited in the past.

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From my own list, things I recommend… Grotta Gigante in Italy, near Trieste.

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(The path can barely be seen on the image, It’s huge!!!!)

So, as a resume. Here you can find interesting places, experience from other visitors, share your voyages… and explore, specially explore. And the more users it gets the more places it will have, so please, join and share.

Neko Time!!! =^_^= Dark Knight ARMORY

It’s been a wile since last Neko Time, so today I will bring something quite good. It’s been a long time since I spot this shop. Welcome to the Dark Knight ARMORY.

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Remember my post about the Imperial Armories? This shop is bigger and more spectacular.

Don’t believe me? Here is the proof.

A mage:

A paladin:

I think this should be enough to convince you… no? Ok, what about a….

Roman encampment?

The think I like the most of this shop is that they have different sizes, so you are less likely to make a mistake.

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And another nice feature, replicas!

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Harry Potter!

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And….

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World of Warcraft!

Neko Time!! =^_^= Nine Worlds GeekFest… and Swords!

This post has been delayed several times because I wanted to finish The Sword.

So, here is the story. August, weekend, 8 to 10, London, Geek Festival! It was the Nine Worlds Geekfest, I had the tickets long in advance, and I invited a friend of mine, a Chinese boy with who I was sharing house at that point. I must admit that we pass a really good day. It was another festival for me, it was first for him, and I think now is the first of lots for him. He really enjoyed.

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This festival has held near Heathrow airport between 2 convention hotels. One for shops, films, activities and small talks, and the other one for board games and big presentations. It’s not the perfect place, because it’s outside London and not near a train or tube station. But as I said, it’s more a convention for learning than playing. So I guess you have older audiences.

First of all, let me tell you that cosplay is not a main activity in this festival. There is talks about how to cosplay and create things, but it is not a festival for cosplayers. But still, they have a small contest running, so there was two or three cosplays.

So, what else to do at the Geekfest?

1 – Talks about future of Sci-fi / Fantasy…. BORING! There is quite a lot of talks about what will be the future, and my point is, just write a good book, argument, short-film, game… and do it happen, don’t discuss about it. Also, apart from these talks, there was quite a lot about different topics reviewed on books. I assisted to 2 or 3 of those, and… oh man, there was nothing more boring than that. Really, if you like literature as a subject, go, please, you will enjoy it, but for people that like stories, reading, playing… those are completely boring.

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2 – Playing. There were 3 or 4 rooms dedicated to board games. Of course, we played. Not too much, but we made a friend and we played all together for a while. Mainly we played Dominion (we have too, it’s one of my favourites, and I learn it with Nimkahl, so I have a special feeling with that game). But we also tried one or two more. There was not a lot of time, and we planned to go for some talks, but the ambient was great. I think that was a good place to play, not like the Comiccons or Filmsfests. On the other hand, those are the good places for cosplay.

But playing was not only board games… Quidditch was included. We meet The UnspeakablesThe UK’s oldest Muggle Quidditch team, and the only one in London“.

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What they do? They organize and play Quidditch. With brooms, balls and people running from one side to another.

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We enjoyed quite a lot playing, and despite the difficult about not being able to fly, they have a good set of rules that compensate that problem completely. If you happen to live near London and want to give it a try, go to their facebook page.

3 – Shopping. The shopping area was really small. I have to say that I was disappointed, but… I brought so many things these past months that It was a good thing. Those are the shops I think will be interesting for you.

Runesmith.

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I brought him a small geode with a metal dragon inside. Suppose to be an egg dragon. Lovely. but unfortunately, I gave it as a gift without taking any photos. But here is a look about what he can offer.

I have to mention that this guy really works it out, because he was there selling dressed as a Druid, and he tries to keep the “magic” all the time. I really enjoy speaking with him.

Masktastic.

Masks, this shop is basically about masks. I don’t like them, and be aware that wearing a mask can be a hard work after one or two hours… but the work she has done is simply great. Perfect complement for your cosplays.

Did you recognise Bucky O’Hare? I watched it when I was a kid.

Urban Faerie Oddities.

I particularly don’t like jewellery, rings and those things are not made for me. But dam, some of the things she makes are quite nice. Take a look.

I particularly like the eye-like pendants and the octopus earrings.

The Monster Company.

I like this one. Basically, they create movies memorabilia. All kind of weird stuff related to movies is there. As the film addict I am, I wish I can have almost everything from this page, but fortunately, I can control myself…

Saw the stones from The Fifth Element? And the skull from The Goonies? As a Superman fan (Christopher Reeve version is the best for me), I like the newspaper the most.

4 – Talks. We attended 4 or 5 talks. As I said, boring… but two of then were quite interesting.

The first one was from the Galactic Knights. It was about making Star Wars costumes, rules to wear them, how to stand, and events to attend.

What is Galactic Knights? It is a society to perform charity wearing cosplays.

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If you have a nice cosplay and want to wear it, JOIN! They main theme is Star Wars, and they are always looking for more StormTroopers, but anyone can join.

So, Storm Troopers rules:

  • You need to be handy, your armour is going to break and needs customization to make it fit to yourself.
  • The armour is heavy and the weapons are even more heavy, and you have to stand with it.
  • Wearing an armour is something hot, expect sweating and drinking.
  • Always be with more people to support you and help with the cosplay.
  • Don’t break the magic, if you wear a helmet, don’t remove it in public.

And now, finally, the reason for the delay on this post, the Sword.

First, put into ambient. Rember my post about London Film and Comic Con (LFCC)? This is part of what you missed (there is 2 or 3 LFCC over the year, so images are a little bit mixed).

Ok, so, this video… why?

Because Lee Houlgate and Rosemary Darkshines apper on it.

And who are they?

They are Cosplayuk.

Basically this couple loves cosplays, wearing then, making then and teaching how to do what they do.

And because they love to teach is why I put them here. They gave a course on weapon making at the Geekfest, and my friend and I attended to it.

The topic of the lesson was how to build a sword from foam-like material.It was a practical lesson with him doing the demonstration and people helping him, and in the end, the unfinished blades were given as gifts. I get one, and it took me 5 months to finish it in my spare time. That’s why this post took so long. So please, enjoy the description of the process, and I acknowledge for the errors or omissions, if you want to learn more, just contact them on their facebook page.

So, let’s start. Lee used a plank of a building material that can be cut and painted, is quite resistant, and mainly, is very light.

  • Look for the sword you want to reproduce and prepare a silhouette of it at real size. Print it or at least copy it into a paper and cut the paper like it. In this case, the sword has 3 different levels.

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  • Using a marker, copy the drawing to the foam and cut the most outer level. In the next picture I also make the handle a little bit round. The first level of sword will be the support, then second the blade and the third one the sharp part of the blade.

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  • Next thing is to cut the foam to mark the second level. Don’t do it like Lee, he is an expert, but is quite dangerous, use a cutter a table and don’t go all the way through.

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  • This is how it must look a like after removing that level.

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  • Notice that in the previous picture I also marked the round part on one side and the next level, the sharp part of the blade. Cut both and try to be imaginative, I added some extra features like round shapes.

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  • Remember that this is your sword, you can make a little bit like you want. Lee used several swords and in the end probably they will not be identical, even if they started from the same model, so don’t be afraid of doing modifications.

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  • This is how it look a like mine after finishing the cutting and polishing (In my case the polishing part was omitted because I didn’t have a place for it).

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  • Now it’s time to paint it and add some extra features.

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  • The features were made of foam and glued with UHU por a glue for polystyrene. A good paint is acrylic paint, and of course the colours are up to you. I really like the effect on the handle.

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In the end I choose a darker colour, but you can change it, and remember that one good thing is that you can always go back and modify something. Just cut more or paste.

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Hope you like this post and the GeekFest. Hope to see you there on the 2014 summer!

The Hobbit part 2. One year later.

It finally arrived, it’s time to see The Hobbit, the Desolation of Smaug. I have tickets for HFR 3D and VIP seats. It’s going to be amazing.

Let’s see if the experience can compare to the first one (Remember this short post?).

This time the story is going to have more action, so it will be more fun. Here are the TV spots. Remember that we already took a shoot at Beorn’s house.

So, as I did last year with the production blog for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, here are the behind the scenes videos for this movie (unfortunately there is not as much as for the first one).

But it is not all, here there is a nice thing from the Hobbit Official WebPage.

Elves watching fans watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug teaser trailer:

And that’s all. Hope you enjoy it!

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What? Want more?

How about artist Jian Guo and his art about the Hobbit?

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Dam, he is good.

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Hope everybody can enjoy the film.

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