Punny for your thoughts?

I'm Brian. I like the brain and puns and general wordplay and nothing too ostensibly exciting and memory and fiction and non-fiction and logic and overly pompous-sounding subjects like consciousness and classical/jazz music and Spanish guitar and obnoxious run-on sentences that constitute simply a laundry list of topics thrown together to satisfy one human's unfortunate mixture of curiosity with the inability to be wholly satiated by the curiosities it finds.

Aw man, this is something that's troubled me a little. I'm trying to design races that are supposed to be animals that evolved to the point of sapience, but for some of them there's a question of how anthropomorphic to make them. Like would bird people have problems flying if they had wing-arms holding objects? And do I make elephant people have trunk-arms, or have them just look anthropomorphic and therefore not terrible-looking? I don't know how much artistic liberty to take here.


I’m glad you brought this up! The thing about sentient animals is that for some reason a lot of people come to the conclusion that they have to look like people— but that is not the case! I once saw a dino book where the artist was told “Troodons were thought to have been very close to becoming sentient” and decided to draw a half Troodon/half man. That… is not really what sentience means.

I think it’s far more interesting and challenging to design races that are merely extremely intelligent animals (though they can still have differences from actual modern day animals). You can think about what kind of shelters these animals wold build to suit their bodies— whether they be much smaller than human homes in the case of birds, or much larger in the case of elephants! You have to wonder if they would need clothes, what they might use clothes for, how the clothes would be shaped. You have to think about what appendage they would use for tools.

Modern birds are extremely adept at using their claws and beaks to help them, so would probably have tools shaped for that, while elephants have awesome trunks to help them out. And octopuses would be incredible as sentient creatures! They have eight arms of pure muscle and no pesky bones to get in the way.

I encourage everyone who wants to make a sentient race of animals to consider straying away from thinking human shapes are the most useful shapes! They worked for us, but there are a lot of ways to solve the same problems we solved.

BUT if you want to make human shaped animals, that is also okay. It can be really fun to think about animal/human hybrids. Except I’d stray away from elephant trunk-arms, trunks go on faces only!


Did some editing on a couple of the Masquerade pictures. I’m just so proud of this cosplay, never let it die.

Here’s the video of the performance, which was based on the comic by modmad, and the designs by kada-bura!

((ft. Myself as Notepad, and doppelgangerihardlyknowher as Clock))


More Masquerade pictures! (Featuring myself as Notepad and doppelgangerihardlyknowher as Clock) — Based off a comic by modmad!

(X) for the other pictures

(X) for the full video

In case you missed me and Marina as Notepad and Clock in our biggest taste of internet stardom ever wow

If you haven’t stayed up until 5 am watching Chris Evans being told life advice by friggin Mr. T and breaking the fourth wall in a love song on a beach

Then, well,

Your life is kind of okay without it

Even though it’s on Netflix under the title Not Another Teen Movie


I love everything and everyone thank you


I love everything and everyone thank you


Mine and Brian’s Masquerade performance as Notepad and Clock from Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared!

(Our performance was based on a comic by modmad!)

MASQUERADE AT PHOENIX COMIC CON WAS AWESOME and hi tumblr it’s been 580 days and here’s a video of my part in PCC with sharpewit doing Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.
"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?" — Snoopy
I’m not one for sentimental quoting but HOT FUCKING DAMN SNOOPY YOU SAID IT


Neurons growing in a cell culture

These time lapse animations use phase contrast microscopy to show neural stem cells in a nutrient medium for 4 hours.  They reveal the dynamic growth and recycling of dendrites and synapses as neurons establish relationships with each other.  The social behavior of these cells creates the incredible properties of the mind and brain.

Credit: University of Victoria Medical Sciences

Arriving at color from smell, the blue towel from the red towel


Directive 1:

I will work to better understand my brain. Where else to put this extremely personal thought but the internet? But really. Over the last few weeks I keep experiencing all these strange sensations of color. Most of the people around me have at least one color that I don’t see around…


This is wonderful. Let me attempt to explain the towel phenomenon using what cognitive science knows today, barring any philosophical questions as to the individual perception and meaning of color.
Retrieval of memories is generally categorized into two categories: semantic and episodic. This is related to but on the whole a different system from the storage of memory. While the hippocampus lights up during the storage of memory, the retrieval of memory has more to do with the cerebellum and two concentrated regions of the prefrontal cortex, one in each hemisphere. One is devoted to semantic recollection; the other to episodic. Indications of repeated activity in one region when none is expected is evidence that the semantic and episodic memory systems have overlap and aren’t mutually exclusive.
Now, on to the color thing. Your mind wanted a meaning to attribute to that scent of the towel regardless of whether you consciously demanded a meaning. One of the first meanings that is sought after is past experience with this scent and an object. If you can match this smell to something you’ve experienced before, your brain will retrieve the concept of whatever you smelled before. However, towels smell the same, and you’ve likely smelled more than one towel before in your lifetime. Therefore, there is no singular input-output connection: the input of olfactory information yields multiple visual and conceptual outputs — different colored towels, different sizes, etc. But what is the common denominator of these relations? What makes these different towels still considered as ‘towels’? It’s their rectangular shape, function as an absorbent material, and fluffy texture.
Now semantic memory recollection steps in. The recollection now is of the idea of a towel — the conglomerate common elements of all towels your brain has ever wanted to remember. But this has to manifest into some sort of sensory information if you are to comprehend the meaning. In your mind’s search for a particular towel — no matter conscious or subconscious — it needed, well, particulars. So the brain had an incomplete model for your towel: fluffiness, geometric shape, and function. What does it look like, though? Rectangular… and that’s about it. More is necessary if a particular image and not just a concept is to be brought forth. You need a color, and the relative shading of that color based on the lighting and curvature of the towel.
So a color needs to be found. Your mind might already have the color in its manifestation of the concept of ‘towel’ as a sort of light blue because your mind mixed together all the colors of towels rather than simply cast them off as extraneous, unique characteristics. The light blue might be like the median color; the best estimate when it comes to determining color. However, the color may as previously mentioned be exempt from the manifestation of the concept of ‘towel’ because the greater set of ‘towel’ had way too many colors to be worth your brain’s while to mix them together. Coloring may be lacking still.
There’s a color vacuum. What can be done? Well, the two systems of working memory and semantic memory can put their heads together to provide some data. Working memory refers, of course, to memory that has recently been processed and is ‘on the mind.’ The color of light blue might be in your working memory, and because your brain is always looking for correlations between stimuli, the working memory may think that the light blue color has something to do with every little thing you do. So it brings up the light blue color to the model provided by the semantic memory and voila: the image of a light blue colored towel is rendered.

In conclusion, one of the following has happened:

  • Your brain has really only ever paid attention to light blue towels and so any time the image of a towel is to be retrieved the only information your brain has is of light blue towels.
  • Your semantic concept of ‘towel’ includes a blending and standardization of all the colors you have perceived from towels which has yielded a neutral color, in this case light blue.
  • Your semantic concept of ‘towel’ lacked the blending and standardization of those colors and didn’t have any reasonable color estimate at all, leaving the working memory to jump in and try to make the light blue color of something else relevant to your present searching for information.

I love you, John, and anyone who actually read this. If tl;dr then look at my summary above.

Paganini expressed in facial terms