After nearly a year of testing, tweaking, and getting things just right, I’m officially “launching” the site. The update today will be (I hope) the first of many this year, as I am trying to follow the sage advice of a good friend and not let “the perfect be the enemy of the good”.

In any case, on to the update.

Today I have seven fresh manips for your enjoyment. There’s a little of the supernatural, some of my more traditional tech stuff, and I also noticed (after the fact) a sort of common “Bystander mc” theme in a few. It always interesting to see the different ways an idea works itself out sometimes.

4 new pics added to the FD / MD Gallery

Limo Game

1 new pic added to the Supernatural Gallery


2 new pics added to the Tech Gallery

Hotel Room

Also in this update, in what I hope will become a regular feature on the site, is the maiden voyage of the Interviews section. I love the Bravo series Inside the Actor’s Studio, not just because I’m an aspiring film maker, but because I really enjoy listening to people talk about what influences and motivates them creatively. One day it just occurred to me that it would be really interesting to ask those kind of questions to some of my favorite artists from the mc-scene.

And so, I’m happy to present this first interview with the wonderful writer and manip artist Tabico. If you’ve read her fiction or seen her photo-manips, you know Tabico’s one of the most talented artists in the scene, but did you also know that she holds a PhD in Biology? Funny, intelligent, and always insightful, her thoughts reveal not just something of herself, but I think, all of us.


The title pretty much says it all.


Turn the projector on…and relax…

Takara Tomy is putting on sale a new projector called UMINE destined to help you relax whenever you need it, after work for example…

Umine is a LED projector displaying various “atmospheres” depending on your mood… ocean, beach, forest…where do you want to go today? A nice way to travel while being comfy seated in your living room…And you can also connect it to an audio player!

Standard batteries will make it last 8 hours.


UMINE relaxation projector: $84, iPod Nano to hold hours of soothing hypnotic commands: $150, Finally realizing your dream of becoming an evil mind controller: Priceless.

Subliminal Message

Subliminal Message is a free application (available for mac and pc) that allows you to create and display custom subliminal messages while using your computer. Trying to quit smoking? Just add a custom message (“Cigarettes taste like the floor of a public bathroom”) and tweak the settings to determine the text size & color, how long the message appears on screen, and the period between flashes. The software comes with 90 built-in messages and also features a picture mode that allows you to display a jpg instead of text.

An interesting free application for anyone interested in experimenting with subliminals. Recent research suggests that the brain does perceive subliminal messages, though many question whether these messages influence behavior. I’m currently using the software with the message: “My mother-in-law is not evil incarnate”. Do subliminals work? Time will tell.

Photoshop CS3

For all the manip artists out there, you’re probably aware that Adobe recently released Photoshop CS3. But what you might not know is that Adobe has set up a video workshop site highlighting some of the impressive new features for CS3. While some of the vids are purely to show off Photoshop’s shiny new toys, a number really focus on techniques that every manip artist could benefit from learning. I think great manips start with great images. And whether you need to replace a model’s head so that her perfect facial expression can match the most ideal pose, or simply create a bit more drama within a manip by increasing the contrast and darkening it up a bit: almost every photo could benefit from a little retouching. And that’s where this series of videos can really benefit you.

I think one of the best lessons one could take away from these vids is the extensive use of non-destructive techniques when doing any kind of work in Photoshop. Time and again, you’ll see the authors using layer masks instead of the eraser tool, adjustment layers instead of image operators. Non-destructive editing allows you to polish and refine your images without ever having to choose between accepting a flaw and starting over to fix it.

While not all of you may be willing to fork out the money for CS3 (or jump through the necessary hoops to obtain a copy), just watching these vids can make you a better manip artist if you implement the same workflow and habits employed by the authors at the Design Center. From basic use of curves to improve contrast and clarity, to the use of adjustment layers and gradient masks to correcting lighting, there are some very useful lessons to be learned in these video tutorials. Some are more beneficial than others and some won’t really do you any good without a copy of CS3. But, if you want to learn some techniques that can really add polish to your work and help take your manips to the next level, then check them out.

From the “Select a Product” box in the upper left, select Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop CS Extended, then select a vid to view.

Some of my favs are:
-Making Tonal Corrections
-Making Lighting Corrections
-Using Blend Modes for Photographers


If you’ve not already been made aware, this week’s all new episode of Mythbusters will feature a segment dealing with hypnosis. The intrepid band of crusaders will explore the validity of four “classic hypnosis hypotheses”.

Now. Are you ready for the good part?

Yes mind control fans, your dreams have been answered. While Adams & Jamie explore the possibility of screaming a raging inferno into submission, the B-team will be handling the hypnosis investigation. Those of you who have seen the show are already scrambling to set your Tivo’s, those of you who haven’t, let me help you out here. It would seem that the show’s ridiculously smart/hot Kari Byron might just be doing some submitting of her own. There’s no official word on whether or not she or any of the other cast members will actually be placed in trance during the show. However, given that she willingly subjected herself to water torture in episode 25, I’ll bet my secret stash of illegal mind control technology she’s going under.

Will the Mythbusters find a way use hypnosis to meet their weekly explosion quota? Will the smartest woman to ever grace FHM become a willing hypnotic plaything? Will somebody auction her trigger phrase on eBay?

Find out, when Voice Flame Extinguisher airs at 9 pm Wednesday, April 11th on the Discovery Channel.

Until then.

I just finished reading this article on a man who went to see a hypnotherapist to quit smoking. Before the session, the man mentions that he develops some type of rash around his neck whenever he wears a necklace. While he believes it to be nothing more than an allergic reaction, the therapist suggests they try past life regression. Lo and behold it turns out that the man spent a past life as a ruffian (and braggart I’ll wager) who clubbed someone over the head, took their money and was subsequently hanged for it. I guess after a few reincarnated lifetimes, he’s still feels a bit dodgy about wearing anything resembling a six-coil necklace.

The guy in question says that the rash hasn’t returned since his regression with the therapist and that he’s really become a “believer” after a lifetime of skepticism regarding the supernatural. Ironically, though, he’s not been able to quit smoking. I don’t know if that’s his subconscious playing “pick your battles” or what, but I think its hysterical. Not that I think hypnosis failed in this regard, I just think smoking is one of those things that you’ve really got to quit yourself, no one can quit it for you. Still, this is like the therapeutic equivalent of taking your car into a garage to have a broken tail light fixed and getting back a car with a brand new engine, drive train, and paint job. But that tail light…there’s just nothing we can do about that.

Subliminals are a much-loved facet of the mc fetish and often a topic of scientific debate. When most people hear the word “Subliminal”, they think of the famous “Eat Popcorn/Drink Coke” experiment (a topic of much debate itself) or perhaps Tyler Durden’s “enhancement” of family cinema in Fight Club. While some question the ability of subliminal messages to influence behavior, the practice of utilizing submliminals in advertising is banned in the United Kingdom (though still permitted in the U.S.). Obviously, somebody across the pond thinks subliminals work, or are perhaps just erring on the side of caution. In any event, a new study released by University College London claims that they have found “the first physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain’s attention on a subconscious level.” The study’s findings indicate that the brain does, in fact, recognize and process images that the conscious mind isn’t “aware of and can’t ever become aware of.”

However this study does not address whether or not those same images or messages will have any affect on behavior. Dr Bahador Bahrami, of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the UCL Department of Psychology, said: “I believe that it’s likely that subliminal advertising may affect our decisions – but that is just speculation at this point.” The study suggests that the brain is only able to process these subliminal images if its full attention is not already focused elsewhere. In a situation where research subjects were engaged in an activity which required greater concentration, the brain ignored the subliminal information being displayed.

Beyond my fetish-related interest in these types of stories (they can be great inspiration to start a new manip project), I find myself genuinely fascinated by the study of the human mind. To understand one’s own nature is a fundamental goal that we all spend a significant amount of our lives pursuing. I, for one, am intrigued by any advancement of knowledge where our own self-understanding is concerned.