The well-known fantasy artist Dave Dorman paints an Alien queen live on Facebook.

Lately, one of my favorite things to do is to check out art demo videos on the internet.

It’s always fascinating to watch someone who’s an expert at something do their thing in real time, particularly in creative pursuits. Often, when a person encounters a work of art, it’s in the context of a final, finished work. Perhaps it hangs in a gallery, or appears on a book cover, or perhaps in a magazine or in an advertisement. And of course, I always enjoy seeing finished works. But it can obscure the fact that reality has a surprising amount of detail, and just having a look at the finished work (particularly if it’s a reproduction, and not the original) doesn’t reveal the process by which the work came to be. Why did they make this decision? How did that detail get made? Where were the mistakes or the false starts?

When I was a kid, the only time you’d ever get to see artists actually producing work was if you took a class, or you watched Bob Ross (or his many imitators) on PBS. Thankfully, in this day and age, we can often get a much richer experience of an artist’s creative process.

A quick YouTube search turns up a zillion tutorial videos on any number of topics, in whatever medium you like.  Like this fellow doing a portrait in oils:

Or maybe you like digital paintings? I know I do. There is a whole genre of videos called “Speed Painting,” which can be amazing; you get a time-lapse of a whole work coming together:

Painting not your thing? Why not check out a sculpture video?

Maybe you’d like to hear the artists talking about the techniques as the work unfolds?

Perhaps there is a particular style or artist you are fond of, and you’d like to learn more about how they made their works.

No matter what kind of art you’re into, there’s someone making videos showing off how they do it. That’s why it’s become one of my favorite ways to spend some time; you can get art lessons from all across the world, in any style or medium you like, at a moment’s notice. The whole world is your art teacher.

The game is called “Damage Control”. Who wants to play?

David Sparshott Damage control is an excruciating, highly addictive game that among my friends has destroyed relationships, rekindled others, threatened to ruin careers, sparked sexual intrigue, and caused no end of terror and laughter. It is a game for two friends, and best played drunk. The instru…

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Posted from Facebook

So my favorite thing I’ve seen so far today is blog-spam comments that are come-ons for joining the satanic Illuminati conspiracy. Seriously.

Check it out (email address removed to thwart their schemes):

my name is michael i really want to share my testimony on how i became an
Illuminati member, through my friend. i was moving with my friend for more
than 10 years and he have been getting rich everyday and even giving me
money but he never told me the secret of his success until a day i was
frustrated to let him know that he should help me also that was when he
open up to me and tell me that he was a member of the Illuminati that he
have been in the court for more than 10 years that his riches and
protection came from this i told him to let me be into the court
but it not an easy task to be a member but i was finally initiated into the
devil church of the Illuminati and i was confirm in there church. after a
month of being a member of Illuminati i got promotion that same month in my
working place and within a year i was promoted thrice in my working place
to the extend of being a managing Director i never know how to thank this
church of Illuminati and today am rich as my friend also, and also the one
that surprise me most was that i got an accident with my new car and the
car was right off but i still survive the accident and nothing happen to me
i really thank you people Illuminati. so i just want to share to the world
that this is real and it have help me and work for me so if you want to
become a member i can lead you into the court of richness and you will
never be poor again, know that it only a member in the Illuminati that can
initiate you into the church of illumination they do not contact directly
because they are fake Illuminati all over the world, this is my email they will tell you how to join,

Who could resist?! Shut up and take my money!

As you can see, I’ve implemented a new WordPress theme on ye olde weblog.

It’s a custom-built layout, with a fair amount of typography from the open-source “Alibi” theme, supplemented with some fancy font faces from Google’s font api.

I think it looks cleaner and more modern. What’s your opinion?

This is a neat little mash-up.

Say you want to know what people in your geographic area have to say on a particular subject.

It’s trivially easy to find out with this map of tweets by subject.

Or, to be more clear, choose a geographic area using the Google map, and then type in a search term, and it will map out recent tweets that contain your phrase.

Try it out, it’s pretty fun, and could be useful.

EgoAnt Productions: Tweet Map.

Ok, after just about EVERYBODY I know pestered me about Twitter, I finally broke down and joined, mostly to follow people that might give me tips for stories.

If you follow me, I’ll follow you.  @ian_monroe

A visualization of my social networks, based on Facebook data.  Image generated by Nexus Friend Grapher (

A visualization of my social networks, based on Facebook data, Feb. 2009. Image generated by Nexus Friend Grapher ( Click on the image for full-sized graphic