Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
×
Some more context on my Facebook profile.

It's nice to have a private place where you can bounce ideas off similarly-minded people and generally be sociable but I've come to realize, as for other Web 2.0 modes of interaction in the past, that there's a risk of that becoming all you do. So after a year or so testing the likes of Facebook and Discord as chatting platforms I've decided Skype is the chosen one (for now at least) and it seems to me that the first chat group I've joined on there has an activity level I can keep up with.

So all invites to join chats elsewhere are preemptively declined (as are for other venues like forums and sundry sites). Thank you for your comprehension.
 
  • Listening to: Radio
  • Reading: Scientific Papers
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Let's see if I can summarize this ramble of mine on why I am turned away from most art contests into easily digestible points.

:bulletred: Always read the rules in detail. Overwhelmingly you'll find an item that says you relinquish your commercial rights pertaining to the submitted artwork or even all of them to the entity holding the contest just to participate.

:bulletred: All things being equal, a contest corresponds to a ballot where a "ticket" is something for which entrants likely worked hard for and yet only three of them at most get a one time payment, resulting, if that hasn't already happened, in the complete forfeiture of the winning artworks to the contest manager.

:bulletred: I hope it's clear that this is a trap designed to have most of the entrants work for free under dubious pretenses, which is especially troubling when children are involved. A lottery ticket compared to this is a sound investment. 

:bulletred: I would like it that otherwise ostensibly idoneous institutions such as are those whose purvey involves scientific research would consider other, far more transparent methods to obtain artwork.

That's about it, I think. I'm not sure that even if this situation is satisfactorily resolved I'll participate in one of the many paleontologically-themed scientific illustration contests due to other considerations, but, all the same, this is something that cannot be in a society that should appropriately value people's work.
  • Listening to: Radio
  • Reading: Scientific Papers
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
SpecPalaeo

Hopefully one of the more productive community-oriented efforts stemming from #buildabetterfaketheropod. I hope those of you approached by the administrator can exercise forbearance regarding the pertinent recent bout of querulousness over Brian Engh's modest proposal, but that exercise, with time, has have given Lediblock2 a better appreciation for those that like their speculative fiction with a bit more inventiveness. That said, I'm sure the more conservative  imaginings will also have their place there.
  • Listening to: Radio
  • Reading: Scientific Papers
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
...an admin wonders about the point of it all.

So beyond all the issues pertaining to my livelihood that take precedence over most community efforts I can part-take in, there's this failure of communication I don't understand and consequently can't figure out a way to tastefully resolve and frankly leaves my charitability tattered and frayed far too quickly. So unable to be agreeable enough in this situation most of the time I move on to other things.

Let's see for how long I can avoid that tropism this time around.
  • Listening to: Two Steps From Hell
  • Reading: Scientific Papers
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
...Thus time for the customary dA anniversary post. 

I guess most of all I must apologize for the state of neglect I've let things come to here. I can only promise to do my best to more regularly upload art and generally interact in this venue.

Work on Palaeos continues at a good clip. Perhaps once I get to illustrate things there an uptick in activity will be seen here.

I'll see you now and then.
  
  • Listening to: Instrumental Core
  • Reading: Facebook Feed
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Very much a work in progress intended to help people obtain the most they can from researching subjects academically on the Internet, it can be found on my Facebook notes and on my Tumblr blog among other venues. 
dA is a bit too fiddly with emoticons for me to bother posting the text as a journal here. 

I do hope it's helpful enough regardless.
  • Listening to: Antena 3
  • Reading: Facebook Feed
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Try as I may there does not seem to be a market for my set of skills. While I haven't exhausted all possibilities, the local politics seem far more foreboding than encouraging as to what one can expect from the results of a job search.  

As a bid to not dwell too much on it, I am occupying myself with Palaeos* and trying again to go through my high school visual arts textbooks doing the proposed exercises. As such you might want to keep tabs on the scraps gallery: that's where most of the action will be.   

*If you want to give a hand be sure to check the Public Review.
  • Listening to: Antena 3
  • Reading: Facebook Feed
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
In the chapter of things I had no hope of cleaning up ever was this mishap nearly a decade ago when I first tried to set up an account here:  

:iconjesterrysources:

The details are a bit fuzzy now but it seems account activation e-mails weren't as reliable way back when so when I didn't get one in a timely fashion for "drakontes" I used the next best iteration of that name. It turns out however that I could have that e-mail resent and after I did that I had two accounts to my name and little idea of what to do with the earlier attempt as the latter one was already established as my main account.
There was a notion of making it available to someone else but that was rebuffed by the forum community at the time. So with little else to do I decided that should I obtain a camera it would be my photography and writing venue.
So it came to pass and for a year or two things went relatively well in the aspect of making the best of it. However personal reasons waned my interest in photography for a spell and that account was left to languish and became a chore in maintenance. So I decided to vacate it transferring the work I found pertinent to this account.

Recently jesterry contacted me to take over that old account, which prompted me to do some sleuthing which found out that we don't have the ability anymore to make more than one user account per e-mail address.
I've really been out of it it seems...
Well, long story short there was a mutual agreement for ownership transferal and ~drakontes is now jesterrysources.
I wish her the best managing that namespace :)
  • Listening to: Antena 3
  • Reading: Facebook Feed
  • Watching: The News
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Yep, it's been 9 years since I joined here... I guess after the first five it becomes less of a momentous milestone: the persistence of your work in the Internet is remarkable if the favourites, watches and submission requests are anything to go by.

Life elsewhere however has a way of demanding complete attention and that's pretty much why I neglected this venue. Now I find myself jobless in a country that doesn't offer much prospect of finding a job in my area of expertise on short notice.
We'll see what the future brings.

In any case, I'll do my best to catch up with the events here. Much obliged for your patience and comprehension regarding this turn of events.
  • Listening to: Youtube Playlists
  • Reading: Twitter Feed
  • Watching: Youtube Videos
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Mary Poppins said it: "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down".

In the case of tasks where I need to zone out either because they need my undivided attention or are repetitive, like this journal, music is a choice "spoonful of sugar".
The thing is that my musical selection, try as I may to stray far and wide, ends up being... off-color and as such limited.  Let's go over the examples, in rough order of importance, though I should warn you that most of these aren't at all safe for work.

:bulletblue: Tom Lehrer. Who would think people had a sense of humor during the McCarthy era? It still amazes me how current this man is in his satire despite his short run as an entertainer.
   :bulletgreen: We Will All Go Together When We Go. Celebrating our tendencies toward civilizational self-destruction.
   :bulletgreen: Smut. Like art is in the eye of the beholder...
:bulletblue: Roy Zimmerman. The next iteration of the satirical singer-songwriter... Which is by no means a disparaging statement: his work is up there with Lehrer's.
   :bulletgreen: Limbaugh (How Low Can You Go?). Still current...
   :bulletgreen: Summer of Loving. Just plain awesome.
:bulletblue: Tim Minchin. He is God!
   :bulletgreen: Storm. I could quote sections of this beat poem to explain scientific skepticism.
   :bulletgreen: Lullaby. This one had me laughing my ass off the first time I heard it.
:bulletblue: "Weird Al" Yankovic. I only found about this guy some six months ago. Well, I did watch the Spy Hard opening aeons ago.
   :bulletgreen: The Saga Begins. I'll take the opportunity to be polemic and state that I don't hate Jar Jar Binks. I even find him moderately funny.
   :bulletgreen: Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me. Just the thing to send in reply to those pesky spammers that get past the filters.
:bulletblue: Jon Lajoie. An interesting mix of silliness and biting genre satire.
   :bulletgreen: Alone in the Universe. Not so alone...
   :bulletgreen: Pop Song. The reason why this list of artists I listen to regularly is relatively off the beaten track.
:bulletblue: The Bloodhound Gang.  My most recent find. As their TVTropes page says they are fairly all-over-the-place but enjoyable anyway.
   :bulletgreen: Hell Yeah. My kinda metal.
   :bulletgreen: Fire Water Burn. True I had already heard "Bad Touch" but this was the one that caught my attention.
:bulletblue: Daft Punk. The odd man out: I listened to their music on the radio (cool) but after hearing their live performances I'm a fan. They make for an awesome working groove.
   :bulletgreen: Technologic. I first heard this one on a car commercial IIRC.   
   :bulletgreen: Dezzered. However I haven't watched Tron: Legacy yet.

As you can see there is some focus on Lyrical Dissonance, so I couldn't but become fond of these two from the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise which I watched in full recently (except for the Rebuild films):
:bulletred: The full opening.  
:bulletred: Komm, Süsser Tod. Listen to the lyrics.

So thoughts, suggestions, etc. are very welcome. I wonder:
- Did I paint myself into a corner with my guilty pleasures?
- Except for pertinent Portuguese bands, is this all there is that manages to appeal even moderately to my intelligence?
  • Listening to: Youtube Playlists
  • Reading: Twitter Feed
  • Watching: Youtube Videos
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Cliché title but I'm not feeling particularly creative. Anyway...

Apologies to all for seemingly dropping from the face of the Earth for 4 months but on top of work and other activities my desktop went out of order and I had to wait until I accumulated enough money to get it fixed. Now comes the slow ongoing process of rebuilding my software setup. Again bear with me...

As things have laid fallow for the last two years I'm afraid I can't report much progress on the artistic front.
  • Listening to: Computer Fan
  • Reading: Twitter Feed
  • Watching: Youtube Videos
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
There's been a relative dearth in recent years of forums dedicated to paleontology and paleontography, so I'm happy to do my part in pointing everyone to Hell Creek, z13.invisionfree.com/Hell_Cree… .  If you like knowledgeable discussion on these subjects be sure to dive right in. You can also try your hand at the current art challenge, z13.invisionfree.com/Hell_Cree… , to hone your art skills.
  • Listening to: Computer Fan
  • Reading: Field Work Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Yep, after almost a decade I finally got my degree: Biology with a minor in Earth Sciences.

I still haven't quite processed this so I'll leave you with links to previous pertinent journals detailing my travails:

The fail is strong in this one...
Mopping Up...
Success isn't too hard...
Summerlog 5  

Now for a Masters in Geology...
  • Listening to: Computer Fan
  • Reading: Field Work Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Finally, some would say, I've bitten the bullet with this Web 2.0 pièce-de-resistance:

www.facebook.com/dracontes

Let's see if it doesn't fall into disrepair like my Hi5 or Myspace accounts...
  • Listening to: Computer Fan
  • Reading: Study Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
:bulletgreen: Who?
   I'm a skilled amateur artist looking to earn some pocket money from his work. Thus I'm putting this up for people who like my work enough to spare a pertinent amount for a new piece.

:bulletgreen: What?
   :bulletblue: Art: Works commissioned should have both general subject and technique already present in my gallery. As I will not snail mail originals let alone sell them, you will get your choice of a 300dpi *.psd/*.png/*.tif file uploaded to Sta.sh, the link to which will be subsequently sent you and will be valid for 3 months. You will obtain the right to display and modify for display the aforementioned work and I'll at least retain those rights. I will have full rights to the work, if it includes no copyrighted material including likenesses.
   :bulletblue: Science: You can hire me as your consultant within my areas of academic expertise, Biology and Geology. As best as I can and as the references allow, a list of them will be provided along with a distillation of the knowledge they contain. Acknowledgement of my work for you will be required but otherwise you may disregard my advice as you wish.

:bulletgreen: When?
   There will be only one commission/consultancy slot open at a time. If more than one person applies, it's settled on a first come, first served basis. My schedule priorities are commissions/consultancy and personal work by that order.    

:bulletgreen: How?
   My standing rate is (Euro) € 5 per hour of work. Final prices will be agreed upon when the work is finished and will be payed via Paypal to Dracontes@gmail.com . The details of the progressing work may be discussed as the commissioner/consultee wishes. If privately, preliminary work will be uploaded via Sta.sh and linked to in the private messaging venue of your choice.  

:bulletgreen: Why?
   In short, I am between jobs and I'd like to have a source of revenue on my own terms and doing something I like.    

:bulletgreen: Where?
   The money I earn with the commissions will be used to, among other things:
    :bulletblue: pay the bills and put food on the table
    :bulletblue: support finishing my graduation and in the near future a Masters in Geology and a Doctorate in Paleontology
    :bulletblue: upgrade my desktop computer and the installed programs and buy a new laptop

The commission/consultancy slot is closed.
  • Listening to: Computer Fan
  • Reading: Study Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Rules
:bulletgreen: Copying it is right out. By copying I mean posting the pertinent file as if it was yours without previous agreement and credit given by linking back to the original.  That will result in copyright being enforced fully. This also includes alterations meant to obscure any copyright lines I may have on my work. E-mail or note me if you intend to do this so we can make an arrangement.
:bulletgreen: Derivatives will be judged on a case by case basis. As a rule of thumb, they should be different enough from the original, have artistic merit and give credit by linking back to the original. While I'm usually lenient with this I would prefer I would be made aware of these works before or as they are posted.
:bulletgreen: Referencing as long as it doesn't fall in the derivative bin is welcome though a link back to your references would be strongly recommended as a gesture of politeness to the artists you referenced from. While noting or e-mailing me about this point is not required, it's definitely a plus. If you want, you can have a critique to go along with it.
:bulletgreen: The above will be judged by me personally. While I appreciate the thought when people report art theft I'd rather when it pertains to me that it would be reported by note or e-mail without any action being taken. I'm not sure I like the actions of other people being confused for my own.

Honor Wall
By posting the links to these works here I mean to say that these are fine by me:

Derivative
:bulletgreen: plumebleu.deviantart.com/art/D… www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7eEcU…
:bulletgreen: dilong-paradoxus.deviantart.co…
:bulletgreen: spikeheila.deviantart.com/art/…

If I've forgot any feel free to remind me :)
  • Listening to: Computer Fan
  • Reading: Study Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Having the computer ask for a HD consistency check first thing in the morning isn't too distressful: I can go outside and get some fresh air and walk the dog. It was being awaken a six in the morning by a mosquito trying to feed that's the real annoyance.
Another one is the recurring glitches on my broadband USB stick. It eventually works but only after I wait three minutes for the notice saying "This device could work faster if it was connected to a USB 2.0 port". From what I've read into it you wouldn't guess it from the sound zap I got when I inadvertently touched what I think is the distal plug on the data cord.

In these three months...

Uh...

Well, to be honest...

In these last six months or so a good deal has happened that I hadn't the time or mind to put into writing:
- Mrs. Tabbyspots died in October, probably a conjunction of her old age and a pregnancy. She was succeeded by Nyx, a black female and Tigris, a tabby male. An older black and white daughter simply vanished...
- Ye Olde Cocke died in March, definitely due to old age.
- The ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Portugal was something I kept tabs on as much as hearing about it as of late has become a chore, especially the live feeds from the Parliament, which were nevertheless both enlightening and harrowing. I have to hope for the best but I'm gonna prepare for the worst :(
- The process of cataloging the 11'000+ reference files on my computer with Mendeley is still unfinished but very much a necessity as my work will depend on it. It was the main reason I didn't do much art in this period but I'll see if I can squeeze in something edgewise in the near future.
- I got a memorable experience watching the behavior of a mare a neighbor set grazing on the plot surrounding ours. I also got a truckload of reference shots too :D A highlight was noticing that that the horse's feeding behavior while unglamorous was nevertheless interesting: it's worthy of note that the animal rejected food items after it had chewed on them somewhat. perhaps it was only interested in the less fibrous and phytolith-ridden shoots.
- As for the GSP debacle, it's no skin off my back: his aren't the only references I use for my work. The rationale of his request is understandable as far as blatant copies go but patently unfeasible for referencing as one would a human anatomy guide: the cat's been out of the bag for so long I doubt it'll ever go back in and there's something dastardly about withholding scientific research.

That's about all I can remember or care to write about for now, see ya :)
  • Listening to: Computer Fan
  • Reading: Study Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
After many years pining for an Internet connection at home I finally have one :w00t:
It's one of the mobile broadband persuasion if you fancy those technicalities.

So those of you who have been waiting on me for months to update, reply, whatever..., you'll hopefully wait a smaller amount of time: I still have classes after all :P

Some of you may be asking yourselves, why now? Well, I was offered a job working as a field and lab research assistant in Geology in the university I'm studying at. As I have little income to call my own and the work relates to my minor, it was an opportunity I had to take.  

Anyway, I'll stop before this turns into a long digression about what I did in  the last trimester as I have loads of feedback to take  care of. Thanks once more for your patience :)     

*Hopefully the latin's not too mangled
  • Listening to: Antena Três
  • Reading: Math Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
Wilderness Update: I passed Math :w00t:
However unlike what many people would do I'm not going to toss my math notes or my old high school books in the garbage bin. Math is a fundamental if tedious part of a number of personal projects never mind the fact that the way I'm headed academically I'm sure to find Math in abundance.
Again thank you for bearing with me. See you in two months.   
_____

Not literally, though I did have a good walk along a back-country road this morning.

This is the time again to excuse myself for 10 to 12 weeks of hiatus. The first reason for this is that a Math exam is two weeks away in the future and I have to put as much time as I can in studying for it. Afterwards, there's no good reason for me to set foot on campus as I haven't got any classes for the next two months. Times being tough I'd rather save the money I'd pay the train and/or bus trips with.

Again many belated thanks and many thanks in advance for comments, deviantwatches, favourites and llamas. My apologies to the people I'll keep waiting on my feedback: I'll try my best to get back to you when I can.
  • Listening to: Antena Três
  • Reading: Math Notes
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water
As surviving for the better part of five months without the Internet is, in this day and age, an epic tale in and of itself.

The parts I find more relevant are as follows in a more or less chronological order...
At first, I fancied that the various answers to Fermi's Paradox would be a good subject to try out my PowerPoint skills and hopefully post a good video of it on Youtube. While searching my references turned up a good number of items, it was reading the better part of what I considered the main sources that made me rethink the whole enterprise. Tersely put we don't know enough to say more than "to the extent of our knowledge, we, humans, are alone in the universe as far as intelligent, technology-dependent civilizations go, but do keep looking for others". Somehow that's not particularly satisfactory to me. By the same token the various rationales people propose for their chosen solutions to the paradox are exasperating by the data giving these scenarios a flimsy support at best. While I do know that astrobiology as been under the scientific spotlight for little over two or three decades I feel a tad uncomfortable reporting on something that is, for now at least, more opinion than fact. Not all is lost as I'm going to reuse the research to create a tutorial on hard science fiction worldbuilding. It's as much an attempt to help others along their way as it is an effort to remind myself of stuff I've learned and have forgotten or may eventually forget.
The above project was stopped on its tracks when I realized my mathematical knowledge wasn't particularly up to speed in regards to what was required. I then reminded myself that I do have still to finish Math to conclude my degree. After yet more reference collecting, I decided, as a start, to take care of the parts of elementary school math I didn't quite get at the time (whole division for one). This effort was such a success I'm left wondering why I didn't try this earlier. I also got solid proof that math is indeed an excellent way to organize the way you think provided you take some time try and explain how you do it even if is only done for your benefit so as to correct shoddy reasoning.
It was some time after the above realization that I found to my chagrin that the reference collecting method I used was too much work, took too much time and was too often repeated. So, researching reference cataloguing software on one of my few days with Internet access was a must, as was learning to work with it afterwards. All in all I've got at least two or three more months of bibliographical work to do having started in October.
     
As such, my time for art and replying to comments, favourites, watches and llamas (let alone doing that for other deviants...) is very limited, but while I'm at it, I'll take the chance to thank each and everyone who took their time to leave them.

So thank you all very much for your consideration :)
  • Listening to: Antena Três
  • Reading: Skimming loads of *.pdf's
  • Watching: National Geographic
  • Playing: Magic: The Gathering
  • Eating: Meals
  • Drinking: Water