I realized recently that I had not read any of Tom Tomorrow’s “This Modern World” comics in quite some time, so I spent several hours reading the archives on DailyKos.

The conclusion that I’ve come to after having read so many TMW comics in a row: If I had access to the big red button that would wipe out all of humanity today, I think it would be really hard not to press it. Politics are simply the worst thing ever invented by humankind and should never be allowed to spread beyond our planet. Ugh.

Check out the rest of TMW’s archives yourself, if you have a strong mind for such things.


Exploring the Zone

This past fall, I took a cinema topics class that focused on the life and work of the brilliant Russian filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky. I had taken the class because I knew that I was already a fan of Stalker and was interested to see his other work.

I found his long takes, his attention to the smallest details in every aspect of the film, and his aesthetic sense to be inspirational. I would love to make a film emulating his style someday (when I have enough money to blow on making a movie like that, because quite frankly it’s hard to see how such a film could be commercially successful in the modern world).

So it was with his work looming large in my mind that I went to the work of creating the videos that I needed to for my very first true cinema production class. Both the Tarkovsky and production classes are taught by the fantastic Santanu Chatterjee.

I wish I could say that you could see his hand in some part of this following video, certainly I was thinking of them when I made it (hence the title), but honestly, he would have hated this film and he probably would have hated me for thinking that he inspired it in any way. Were he alive to deliver such a comment today, I would consider myself very well complimented because I would be in very good company with a great deal of filmmakers whose work he hated.

This video is called “Exploring the Zone” and is meant as an entertaining atmospheric piece. The music is “Synthetic Forms” by Front Line Assembly, from their “Implode” album.

(Please don’t sue me, Metropolis! This is a non-commercial student film!)

Celibacy Day

aka “The Connor’s Johnson Chronicles”

This exists solely because my friend Samm requested it after reading this story about future sex robots. Not to be confused with the way more awesome Futuristic Sex Robotz. Contains terrible fiction, parody and castration.


“I don’t get it. What was that thing? Why was it trying to kill me?” I screamed as we sped away. I still didn’t know the name of the mysterious crew-cut dude who was driving, but what I did know is that he had just saved my life.

“It’s a machine, called the H-1000, sent back in time to stop you from becoming the head of the Resistance, Connor.” He answered, swerving to avoid a car stopped at a red light.

“What the fuck? Seriously?” I was incredulous.

“Yes, I was being very serious.” He responded in a very serious manner.

“Does that mean you traveled back in time as well?” I asked.

“Yes. My mission is to protect you from the H-1000, hopefully destroying it in the process.”

“Okay, so are you, like, a less advanced version of that thing back there?”

“What? Like that thing? No, man. Fuck no. Jesus.” He shook his head at me with a disgusted look on his face. Continue reading

Portrait Special plus Kay and Carla

These are some images from the super fun photoshoot that I did with Carla and Kay last week, two of my absolute favourite people in the world. Special thanks to Theresa and her hubby for the use of their amazingly cute farm!

As many of you know, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately working in the world of video and audio editing so I’ve been a bit quiet on the photography front. I’m hoping to fix that this summer with lots of equally exciting shoots, and I’m hoping to do so with YOU! To that end, I’m running an on-location portrait special for anyone in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. Just $125 for a standard 2 hour session at a location of your choosing! We’ll get together and make some beautiful images! To book your slot during this special, just send me an email at drayke@photosynthetique.com or call 612-424-9760 (if I don’t answer, make sure to leave voicemail!) before July 1st! I can’t wait to hear from you!


Additional Credits for this shoot:
Carla’s Dress: Samantha Rei
Kay’s Crop Top: Megan Maude
Kay’s Skirt: KMK Designs


I landed on the Mun!

If you’re a Kerbal Space Program player, and let’s be honest here: all the awesome people of this world are, you know just how incredibly difficult it is to land on the damn Mun. After having spent two full days learning about pro- and retro-grade manoeuvring, relative velocities and other stuff that a non-physicist should never have need of, I finally did it!

Granted, I was using the MechJeb control module the first time (the built-in lander legs and small monopropellant engines made it significantly easier to keep things intact during the landing attempt) but it was a fully manual attempt and I was just attempting to save myself the trouble of dealing with bits and bobs flying off of my module as I inevitably scraped my way across the Mun surface. I did go back the second time and do it again, this time with good ol’ Jebediah behind the stick. In both cases, I was able to safely return to Kerbin. I have to admit that I feel like I achieved something real here. What a brilliant teaching tool KSP is!


There's my Mun lander, Dragon I, happily resting before the return trip to Kerbin.

There’s my Mun lander, Dragon I, happily resting before the return trip to Kerbin.

The Two Old Lady Theory of History

Group (Myself with others, Murman) by Prokudin-Gorskii

Group (Myself with others, Murman) by Prokudin-Gorskii

From a really fascinating article on Pajiba- “The first color photographs and the two old lady theory of history”:


“…we see on paper that the Civil War was 150 years ago, and our mind boggles at that span of time. …  But find yourself the right great-grandmother, the sort who likes to tell stories of the alien worlds of a long time ago to the patient kids who prefer to hear strong-voiced tales to running amuck in the yard. Find the right one, and she might just tell you about a time when she was a little girl listening to tales at the feet of her great-grandmother, pass on to you the firsthand words of someone who saw slaves and masters with her own two eyes. Slavery was an eternity ago when you think of 150 years, but it was the day before yesterday if you remember that it was just two old ladies ago.”

Thunder Wolves

Thunder Wolves is one of those games that is totally just mindless fun. Fly your fancy military helicopter around firing unlimited amounts of rockets and gatling ammo at small moving objects on the terrain below you. The graphics are meh and the voice acting is pretty awful but I can get past all of that. I can even handle the fact that they’re going for a super retro late-80’s/early-90’s feel, but some of the “You’re kicking ass” combo messages they plaster across the screen are just downright unacceptable.

Hella sick? Fuck you.

I am going to be hella sick if you say that again.

The 90's called, they want...nevermind.

The 90’s called, they want…nevermind.

Hellz to the Nope

Hellz to the Nope