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A Touch of Magic

For the most part, Tumblr is just another thing that automatically posts links to my blog. I don’t really get Tumblr, I guess. But this morning during my usual blog-reading I followed a link to Trish Causey’s Tumblr and fell down a rabbit hole of beautiful pictures.

Some of those pictures have naked people, and some are explicitly sexual. Now you’re been warned and can’t blame me if you click on that link and get fired or have to answer awkward questions or break into a thousand tiny porcelain pieces from the shock of seeing an erect penis or something.

Somewhere, as I delved deep into that archive of neat pics, I saw things that made me think of magic.

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A taste of Hyrule

A couple of things that aren’t depressing. In fact, I think “stunningly beautiful” would be more accurate.

First is The Zelda Project, which combines cosplay and digital photography to create gorgeous scenes from the classic video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The photos evoke a feeling of magic and mystery, hinting at a deep mythology and probably other words beginning with “M”. Frankly I think they capture the imagination more than that actual game did.

Second is Zelda Reorchestrated, which is orchestral arrangements of the music from the various games in the Legend of Zelda series. I suspect a lot of the appeal to this one is pure nostalgia, but it has made a fine soundtrack to write to this morning.

The Zelda games have been consistently popular since the very first one way back in the ’80s. (I can still remember that stupid commercial with the guy wandering around in darkness calling “Zelda? Zelda!” like he was looking for a lost dog, and saying the names of various monsters from the game in tones of dread.) Over the years they’ve built up a surprisingly rich fantasy world, so it’s really no surprise that creative people are doing interesting things with the ideas. But I’m amazed at how good some of this stuff is. It really makes me itch to create something interesting myself.

I suppose it’s a sign of our times that this comment appeared under the first photoset from the Zelda Project:

These photos are taken so well they almost look like CGI, it’s beautiful

That’s not a bad thing by any means, it just made me laugh that CGI has gotten so good that this comment was intended as a compliment. Not too long ago comparing photos to CGI would not have been complimentary.

Home Sweet Home

Bad Astronomy featured this pic today, which came from the ESA spacecraft Rosetta.

Stunning image of planet Earth

Crescent Earth from 633,000 km away.

Breathtaking, isn’t it? For all the wonders of this vast universe, there are few sights as beautiful as our home. The little water world that’s named, with seeming irony, after dirt, and is home to all the life we’ve ever found. It’s lovely to see it as a place with phases like the moon, to challenge our usual perception. Read the rest of this entry

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