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But yeh, enough of dead internet memes, here's an update!

WEDDING

It's happening, it's mostly paid for, me and Alexx need to meet the officiant and fill out the last form with the hotel to confirm our exact details and timings and such, but my suit's picked out and paid for, Alexx has her dresses, our rings are both fully paid for, my family has their plane tickets booked, and we got a bunch of house shit at Alexx's family bridal shower. Roll on the mid-to-late August! :D

PERMANENT RESIDENCY

I've finished filling out the forms and copying documents, and today I got a bunch of photocopies "notarized" (meaning someone who does legal shit has gone "yep, that's legit" and put a stamp on it) by a friend I have in city hall who helped me pull off the Science March back in April, who I am grateful for, cos that saved me a bunch of money that all went towards the application fees which are now paid ($1040 for the main application for the visa, $155 for the work permit application). The only thing I have left to do is wrap that sucker up and stick it in the post and wait. And also at some point soon get my UK and Canadian police certificates (documents from the cops saying "yeh, he's not a criminal", basically), cos they'll ask for that at some point during the application processing. I don't know exactly when, but at some point. The visa I'm going for can take like a year, but I'm hoping that it'll be less than that, cos I'd rather not have to leave in order to stay.

INSTAGRAM

I have one now. Find me at @ the_addictedartist! I post doodles n sketches and sometimes photos of shit. It's neat. If you have it, feel free to consider following me! :)

SUMMER PROJECT

So there's been something I've been thinking about doing since late last year, and that I've been planning since about February, that I'm now starting to try and get done (almost halfway there with the first phase of it). I don't want to fully announce it until I know I can pull it off - by which I mean I have all of the artwork for it done by the project's intended start date. If I don't mention this project before or on July 22nd, then it's postponed until after my honeymoon in September/October.

THAT ELECTION THOUGH...

Holy shit. :XD: When the exit poll came out I was just getting off the bus, and when I saw it I laughed the whole way home. The Tories are fatally wounded, Theresa May especially so. They've had to ally with the religious right wing DUP in order to keep power, an alliance that will backfire as soon as the Tories have any kind of moderate policy come through parliament. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is poised to win the next election, whether that happens in 2022, 2019, or this autumn. Even this long after the election, I still have leftover ripples of elation. My age group actually showed up for once and good lord what a difference it made. Imagine what the result would have been if we'd shown up in the same numbers as our grandparents! Another future is possible and within our grasp, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, we can salvage the opportunity to make Brexit work for the people rather than for the vested interests. I still think Brexit will be a disaster regardless of who's in charge, but I think Britain will be massively better off with a government that invests in its country's people rather than one who starves the people of wealth while giving more and more away to the top 0.1% of earners and foreign speculative investors. I have genuine hope for my country's future for the first time since 2010. This last section with the MayDUP coalition will be rough, especially as Brexit really starts to bite during the negotiations, but there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Drinking: Tory tears
DO IT. SHOW THE FUCK UP THIS TIME. LEAVE WON BY JUST 4% - A FEW VOTES CAN MAKE A VITAL DIFFERENCE. THERE'S NO POINT KICKING OFF THE EUROPEAN ESTABLISHMENT IF WE DON'T KICK OFF THE DOMESTIC ESTABLISHMENT TOO. VOTE THEM OUT. tactical2017.com/

ISSUE ONE: BREXIT

Brexit is going to be an economic disaster that will scupper both party's plans, so it's important to look at their behaviour so far (to see how good at negotiations they'd be) and the principles underpinning their manifesto pledges (to see how they'll react when the shit hits the fan). The Tories have made clear that they'll sell normal people down the river to make sure the elites can still pad their wallets, and their war posturing has made no friends in Brussels, so it will be an uphill climb for them to get favourable terms and they'll abandon the regular Joe given the first excuse. Labour, on the other hand, has made clear their intention to protect normal people from the negative effects of an economy increasingly dependant on low-pay insecure work, and their leader has won international awards for fighting for and facilitating negotiations. When Brexit pushes the country tits up, they'll strive to limit the impact on those who can't afford to weather the storm, and on more friendly terms with the EU they'll be able to get us a better deal to minimising the tits-going-up-ness of the whole thing in the first place.

ISSUE TWO: NHS

The introduction of market mechanisms within the NHS has pushed pretty much every health trust in England and Wales into deep debt, while companies like Virgin walk away from increased waiting times and floundering health outcomes with fat stacks in their pockets. Yes, Labour bares some of the blame for increasing their use of PFI schemes (first introduced under John Major's Tory government) to build more hospitals, but Corbyn's Labour is obviously a different beast to Tony Blair's New Labour and having learnt from their mistakes will not repeat them.

ISSUE THREE: IMMIGRATION

The Tory target of bringing net migration down to below 100,000 has never once been met in 7 years in power (during her 6 years as Home Secretary where it was precisely her job to do this), and every assessment of this target has made clear that it would be an economic disaster. Coming onto something that directly effects my foreseeable future - they would increase the minimum income requirements on Brits who want to live with foreign spouses in the UK. Right now it's £19k a year - they would increase it to an as-of-yet unspecified amount. That would kill any chance of me and Alexx being able to return to live in the UK until that law is removed. Labour has said they would remove this requirement and make immigration fair, giving familial ties a higher priority than is currently the case. If I ever want to live in my own country with the woman I love, Labour has to win. If they don't, then I've no choice until after the next election in 2022.

ISSUE FOUR: ECONOMY

I deconstructed the Tories' fundamental economic argument two years ago when I joined an anti-austerity march in London. The arguments are unchanged. Trickle-down neoliberal economics is bunk, economies require investment in regular people and infrastructure - business investment will follow. Labour is pursuing this people-first economic model, one that has produced high standards of living, education, and healthcare, as well as budget surpluses, across the bulk of Scandinavian nations. No competition.

ISSUE FIVE: ENVIRONMENT

The Tories have a track record of overruling local democracy to impose fracking on communities that don't want it. Labour isn't as good as the Greens on environment (obviously - which is why I'm hoping the Greens take Bristol West), but they far outdo the Tories. Labour's energy policies sound a lot like the ones used in Germany to encourage communities to willingly adopt local renewables as a means for those communities to take control of their own future. Those policies have been a massive success in Germany and I would love to see them in my country too.

SO BASICALLY, GO VOTE. OUST THE TORIES. SHOW THE FUCK UP.
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I've been somewhat vocal recently on my personal Facebook about my thoughts regarding terrorism and I figured I might as well publish some of those here, see what other people have to say to them, maybe have some conversations (constructiveness not guaranteed - I've been on the internet too long to think every response will be well reasoned) and see if we're perhaps more united on what the next steps should be than is often portrayed in the media. Anyway, here goes.

____________________________________

Me:

1 person set off a bomb.

Dozens of hotel staff took in separated children.

Dozens of taxi drivers offered rides to the stranded.

Hundreds of police and medics helped and are still helping the shocked and wounded.

Thousands have donated money to help victims.

Millions - too far removed to do anything directly - will be sending their thoughts and prayers.

When one person shows humanity at its worst, remember the nearly innumerable people showing humanity at its best.

Friend:
 It's a shame that it take an act of cruelty for humanity to show kindness.

Me: A candle shines its brightest when the lights are out. Doesn't mean it hasn't been lit the whole time.

____________________________________


[OP: LINK TO PETITION CALLING FOR INTERNMENT/MASS DEPORTATION OF THOSE ON TERROR WATCHLIST]

Me: If we start suspending the rule of law in pursuit of revenge, they win.

Friend: How do they win?

Me: 

They want conflict. They want a clash of civilisations that justifies their cause and lets them die martyrs for their sadistic cause. They want us to drive moderates into their ranks, to be the image they slap on their recruitment videos. They think us the barbaric ones and will seize on any perceived barbarism as a means to advance their sickening agenda. They're desperate to see in us a reflection of their own bloodlust. Fuck that, and fuck them. When we're hated for our freedom and our law, stick harder to our freedoms and laws. You don't defend freedom by removing it. You don't uphold the law by suspending it. You don't rise above barbarism by treating human beings like cattle - disposable with no consequence. We are better than that, and we are better than them. 

Internment or mass deportation just keeps the record spinning, until it comes back around with another tragedy on our streets. 

If we want terrorist atrocities to stop this is what needs to be done:
- Destroy the circumstances that allow people to fall for that bullshit. Terrorists are most often frustrated young men, people who feel disconnected from both the identity imparted by their family and from the identity of the nation they live in. Strong community initiatives can help fix that. Positive interactions with law enforcement will breed trust in authority, and we then need to act when those in the community tell us that certain people are dangerous or saying dangerous things. 
- End the conflicts that give these groups the time and physical space to train and practice. Terrorism likes to wrap itself in religion, but the truth is it's roots are almost always in political conflict - not religious ones. Spaces like Syria and Libya need to be brought back out of war, and to do so in a way that limits the resentment among the population and cools off ethnic and sectarian tensions.
- Stop funding and arming it. We send tonnes of guns to Saudi Arabia and then go ahead and buy oil off of them. Through Saudi Arabia, and governments like it, our money and arms filter down to the very same people who would murder children at a pop concert. Boycott them, and use diplomatic leverage to force them to change.
- Give the police the resources to do the job. Since 2010, 20,000 police jobs have been cut. The Prime Minister was warned in 2015 that these cuts would open us up to attack, and look: not even a year into her administration and we have two attacks with multiple fatalities. The kinds of leaders who would cut our security for the sake of a couple quid are weak as shit and need to go. 

That's my view, at least. Probably went on a bit longer than I meant it to.

_______________________________


There are plenty who'll be looking at this attack to justify voting for the party with the more hard-line rhetoric. I hope those people are outnumbered by those who want us to have a counter-terrorism strategy that'll actually work. I know we're not supposed to politicise an event like this, but that doesn't stop groups like Britain First capitalising, and let's not pretend the Tories won't use it to say "See! We need strength and stability!" despite it happening on their watch and being made possible (or at the very least more likely) by their actions - both domestically in cuts to border controls and community policing, and internationally in their failure to help stabilise Libya after aiding the revolution. Theresa May will try to call Jeremy Corbyn dangerous despite 22 children and young adults dying on her watch. Call out that bullshit wherever you see it.

_______________________________

Maybe I'll add more to this later, but for now that's all I've got.
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There's only today and tomorrow left to register to vote before the upcoming general election! If you've got time to browse DeviantArt, you've got 5 minutes (probably won't even need that) to register. Young people (ie - the demographic most likely to be here on DA) have a famously low turnout - the fewer of us vote, the more that the government thinks they can ignore us and do shit to us without any consequences. We need them to wake up and show them we're listening - and the best way is by registering to vote, turning up, and denying the Tories the landslide they're so desperate to get this election!

REGISTER TO VOTE NOW. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE ON THIS.

I'm in Nova Scotia, and I've managed to register to vote - what's your excuse? I'm registered to vote by proxy, as during the EU referendum my postal vote didn't reach me here in time. Probably not too hard to guess, but I'll be voting Labour and I think you should too. But right now, the priority is simply that you give yourself the option to vote when the time comes! Better to have it and choose not to use it, than to not have it and realise you actually need it!
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Need something non-political to put here (difficult at the moment - there's a general election in the UK and a provincial election here in Nova Scotia XP), so here goes this! Tagged by ImSooMuchCoolerThanU 

RULES: I will feature the first ten users who comment on this journal below. Next to their avatars, I'll link three of my favorite gallery pieces with full thumbnails. If you comment here you must make a journal like this and do the same thing as I have, putting me - timsplosion  - in the first slot. Those who don't comply with the rules will be omitted, no exceptions.

1. :iconimsoomuchcoolerthanu:

The End by ImSooMuchCoolerThanU   I made an art by ImSooMuchCoolerThanU   Pirate Pinkie by ImSooMuchCoolerThanU

2. :iconmangopocalypse:

charlie charlie by mangopocalypse   uni work - background concept by mangopocalypse   050117 - the sun by mangopocalypse

3. :iconjdailey1991:

The Ice Age Giants That Never Were, GLEWhenever one thinks “ice age”, we usually think of the great beasts who ruled the world during the Pleistocene—hairy elephants, cats with teeth like daggers, armadillos the size of cars, horned turtles, giant waterfowl, deer with antlers bigger than a moose’s, bears larger than the largest brown bear and sloths so big that they could not live on trees.  Indeed, that was the case back home.
 
But not on Great Lakes Earth.
 
Before we answer as to why not, let us rewind back to the beginning of these megafauna.  Meiolaniidae, the horned turtle family (though doubt exists on how closely related they are to other turtles), first appeared 58 million years ago, two million years after Terra Australis (Sahul and Antarctica) split off from Africa.  Back then, Sahul was full of reptiles.  But between 45 and five million years ago, the Icing of Antarctica forced the decline of Sahul’s reptiles until the horned turtles were left.  T
   Temperate Forests of Great Lakes EarthLike the tropical rainforests, Great Lakes Earth’s forests in the temperate zones are products of multiple mass extinctions.  444.4 million years ago, all waterlogged spore-bearing plants became extinct.  250 million years ago, the plants that transdimensional botanists labeled as “Pandoran”, after their resemblance to the flora of the James Cameon film Avatar, were unable to deal with the Permian’s cooling, drying climate, making ample room for the conifers, ginkgoes and cycads that had been ecologically rare for less than 100 million years.  144 million years ago, sudden, dramatic global warming drove the ginkgoes into extinction, making room for the angiosperms, or flowering plants.  65 million years ago, a series of lava eruptions made the planet even hotter in a duration of ten to twelve thousand years, too fast for 100% of the cycads and 75% of the conifers.
 
Five million years ago, after many millions of years of warmth an
   South America, Great Lakes EarthFor :iconInkGink:’s May contest in :iconSpec-Evo-Club:.  Theme:  TROPCIAL
 
The jungles of Great Lakes Earth boast quite a history.  Since 444.4 million years ago, all plants on Great Lakes Earth were vascular seed-bearers.  Even though rainforests had been around for longer than that, modern rainforests would not make their debut until the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum 144 million years ago, when a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide raised the global temperature by nine to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  This resulted in the extinction of the ginkgophytes (ginkgoes) and the gnetophytes (gnetums and ephedras).  The conifers remained untouched, consisting of araucarians, plums (“fruits” belonging to Cephalotaxaceae, not Amygdaloideae like back home), podocarps, cypresses, redwoods, umbrella pines and “China-firs”, but now spreading to include true pines.  The cycads, which had been in decline since the Perm


4. :iconorigami1105:

Origami Dragon by Origami1105   Oriponi and Blissy by Origami1105   Beep Beep by Origami1105

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  • Listening to: Vote Labour
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So, following 2016, a year in which polarising electoral contests divided society in ways that may take years to heal, British Prime Minister Theresa May has decided the best way to heal the divide is with another polarising electoral contest. That's right - Theresa "I won't call a snap election" May has called for a snap election on June 8.

WHY?

Most likely as a way to shore up support and increase the weight of her negotiating hand with Europe. May, and the Tories in general, are riding high in the polls right now, despite Labour's recent efforts to unveil policies with massive approval ratings, so her gamble is that this will continue, and that people will forget about the whole "7 years of chasing an economic goal that they completely and utterly failed to hit at the cost of huge chunks of the social safety net" thing, so long as she looks strong on Europe.

A big win in the election would mean she gains some standing because as it stands, no one voted for her. She was elected to her seat in parliament in 2015, but when David Cameron resigned and the Tories held a leadership contest, everyone else dropped out. Theresa May became Prime Minister because she was the only one who didn't step down. When you're negotiating with people like Angela Merkel, who've been winning elections for decades and is likely to still be Chancellor after the German elections this year, "not stepping down" doesn't earn you much respect at the negotiating table.

SO, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Well, because of the law regarding fixed parliamentary terms, there has to be a vote where two thirds of parliament agree to hold a new election. Given that Labour has already said it will back it, this vote is largely symbolic. After that, the official election period will start 6 weeks before June 8, and then it happens.

The most likely outcome, and the one I'm most strongly opposed to, is an increased Tory majority in parliament. Currently, their majority is thin enough that losing just 7 seats would turn them into a minority administration, and leave them leaning on other parties to get important law through. They still manage it, but backbenchers have a lot of clout at the moment to dig their heels in if a policy hurts their constituency too much. An increased majority means these mini-revolts from their moderate wing wouldn't be enough to stop them ramming through every hair-brained scheme they come up with to "properly manage Britain's economy and get the best deal from Brexit" (read: Make sure rich people aren't hurt by the coming Brexit shit-storm). Winning this election would give the Tories a mandate to stay in charge until 2022. 

There is, of course, the outside chance that the Tories actually lose seats. This will force them to govern either as a minority administration (at which point they'd have to take into account the interests of people who didn't vote for them, god forbid right?), or they'd be superseded by another party. Labour are still the only party with enough seats and experience to realistically lead a government, but the SNP have Scotland on lockdown, especially since the Tories are proving all of those "England doesn't give a shit about us" stereotypes correct. So a Labour majority government would be a long-shot by a mile. If the Lib Dems can displace enough Tories in England, soaking up some of those die-hard Remain voters, then perhaps a Labour-Lib coalition might be possible, but a Labour-SNP coalition is the most likely outcome of any scenario where the Tories don't end up forming the government. Not ideal, but I'd take it.

WHY ARE YOU SUCH A CUCK?

Because I refuse to blame poor people and immigrants for the problems caused by rich people with power, and happen to think maybe we should fix the whole climate change thing as soon as possible. Also fuck you, hypothetical strawman question-asker and also the one or two actual alt-rightists who accidentally followed me because they thought I would post pony regularly.
Science Tim by timsplosion

So something I’ve been fairly quiet about on most of my online presences is the fact that I’ve been helping organise the Halifax March for Science. I started an initial Facebook group to try and gauge interest back in February, and - seeing as how I started the group - everyone just kind of assumed I was in charge. The heavy lifting’s being done by city councillor Richard Zurawski, but me and the core group of 4ish people I’ve been talking to have been e-mailing scientists, researchers, professors, teachers, and anyone else who has a relevant interest in the goals of the march, as well as commissioning posters and managing the social media accounts and promotion.

Part of that is reaching out to media, so I’ve written a piece for Science Node as part of their series on the different marches. My impostor syndrome shows through in it, but I’m hoping that helps make the point that this march isn’t just for scientists - it’s for everyone who cares about their countries, and indeed the world, being run on the basis of solid science and fact. 

Climate change is real and man-made. There are no credible scientists left who are still refuting that. (Hint: If they're willing to go on a show that usually promotes ghosts, aliens, and tinfoil conspiracy theories as real, they're probably not credible.) If we remain on our current course, it will won't lead to anything good. We have to listen to the scientific consensus, and we have to let our governments at every level know that we want change. 

That’s why I’m trying to make this happen where I am. I highly recommend you see where the nearest one near you is and join it to make the whole “don’t disregard science” message as loud as possible.

So today, the Tories (who promised to be the party of financial security while plunging the NHS into dangerous levels of debt and increasing the national debt more in 3 years than Labour did in 13, and who promised to "make work pay" while overseeing the creation of millions of insecure low-paid jobs that aren't enough to live on) are implementing the first steps of the Brexit campaign (which promised we'd stay in the single market and have more money for the health service and ended up admitting neither was possible as soon as they won), on the basis that we'll bring decisions about British law back to British courts (unless those courts say things Brexiters don't like, in which case they're "enemies of the people"), and take back control of the country (and then promptly give up that control by selling and contracting vital public assets to private companies as they've been doing for the last 7 years).

Those worried about immigrants bringing in backwards and dangerous philosophies will have their fears soothed by a clampdown on immigration and refugees from Europe and the Middle East (though the EU has already ruled out a full stop on freedom of movement so any clampdown would have to take place over a period of at least 3 years, and the long-term damage to the economy will leave us more dependant on investment from the kinds of tyrannical gulf states that help fund terrorist groups abroad and use slaves to build their FIFA World Cup stadiums at home), but don't worry we'll connect with commonwealth countries to make up for the economic loss for the most part (although Australia has said their top priority is talking to Ireland to get a deal there to stay connected to Europe, and India has stated that a free trade deal with the UK is conditional on Indian citizens being given the right to live and work in the UK - there goes the immigration gains). Even if that falls through, we'll always have America (who've said they're excited to try and snap up businesses and jobs moving out of the UK due to Brexit).

But all of that will be worth it because we'll finally take back control of the UK (except that Northern Ireland doesn't currently have a government and restoring a hard border there would likely restart the violence there, and Scotland just voted to move to hold another independence referendum, so maybe both of those will end up not under the Westminster control).


Rule Britannia.

DEADLINE TOMORROW IF ANYONE'S STILL INTERESTED

First, the update, just to get this out of the way:

- Been working a lot, not had much time to come up with stuff I feel is good enough to post.
- Plans in the works for a This is Normal event this summer.
- Currently beginning process to apply for Canadian permanent residency.
- Trump is still a factually-challenged dickwad and has done nothing of value for America or the world.
- Me n Alexx have officially been dating for 4 years as of last Sunday. :)
- Chestnut is still a crazy kitten, she's just bigger now.
- Plans for Doctor Chaotic still fermenting, considering releasing the animatic if no real progress made soon.
- I've been helping organise the local March for Science - anyone Halifax based? Check that shit out!

OK! Now for the fun stuff!

CONTEST CHALLENGE: DRAW DOCTOR CHAOTIC MEETING ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS!
PRIZE: 100 points FOR FIRST, 60 points FOR SECOND
DEADLINE: MARCH 25TH (entries on March 25th will be accepted), ENTRIES MUST BE LINKED TO IN THE COMMENTS OF THIS JOURNAL

I wanna see funny situations, interesting interpretations of Dr C, and how much character and story can be in a single image or short comic. The more of those three things you hit, the better your odds! And hey, if only two people enter, you're guaranteed a prize, so that's probably the best odds you'll find out there!

May the odds be ever in your favour!
Any of you with younger siblings, or who are on the younger side yourselves, look out for my name in the credits of "We're Lalaloopsy", coming to Netflix on Tuesday! It's aimed at a similar audience as My Little Pony season 1, so y'all pony people may find some stuff in there you like! :) I animated on episodes 14 onwards, and helped revise the animation from episode 9 onwards. This was actually the first project I worked on at Cartoon Conrad, so it's nice to be able to finally talk openly about it and have an actual release date to point to. I'm gonna be uploading a coloured version of a sketch I did while working on it on the day it comes out (you can see that sketch already if you follow my art tumblr), so there's that to look forward to too. :)
I have a little time off work, so I decided to enter Show Me the Animation's monthly Do It In Ten contest again! This month's theme was "Defeat", and given the last couple of days, I think I got pretty close to how a lot of people probably feel right now.



It was made in a couple of hours this morning and it's up against two other entries, but still. Fingers crossed, eh? :)
Something I've worked on at my studio is finally available for public viewing! :D A couple weeks ago, I worked on just under a minute per episode of a YouTube series called Max & Midnight - a cartoon based on this YouTuber family that imagines one of their sons as a secret agent.






I'll keep you posted on when other stuff I've worked on gets released so you guys can see I'm still doing something, even if it doesn't look like it. X)
I have been stupidly inactive online these past few months - not just here, but everywhere. The key reason for that is simply work. Once you do something 8 hours a day five days a week, it's harder to get into it inbetween those times without feeling like you're just stuck at work 24/7, so a lot of my drawing stuff has fallen by the wayside, including - most surprisingly - This is Normal.

But yeh, I feel like it's a decent trade off on balance. I've been working on a series for Netflix since June which wrapped production a couple weeks ago, dabbled in another Netflix show in Toonboom, and am now on another show for YTV. I think my official title on this show is "Layout Artist", which makes a neat addition to my CV.

Of course the downside is that I hardly get to make anything for you guys anymore, but it's not because I've deliberately abandoned this page or anything like that.

From time to time I get time to make doodles, but nothing really finished enough for DeviantArt, so if you're interested in "behind the scenes"-ish doodles, check out my art tumblr! I sometimes post up scraps and small bits and pieces I'm happy with alongside old TiN comics and other old things.
I held a gym today for a few minutes. :) My team still holds the gym, but my Hypno had a comparably low CP and so had it's butt kicked first time someone else came along.

So yeh, figured I'd pop up, let you know outside of comments and replies that I'm still alive! I've been getting more and more into my new job, and it's been taking a lot of my drive to create things there, which means less produced in my off-time. But yeh, still kicking - still planning on doing stuff, especially Pokemon related stuff given the game and how into it I am at the moment. :)

Also, anyone checked out that new Netflix Voltron series? Thought it was pretty good - sometimes the writing felt weak, but being animated by the same studio that handled Legend of Korra makes it one of the most spectacular shows I've seen recently on the visuals front. Princess Allura's accent grated on me sometimes (it's just a bit too stereotypical sometimes for me), and Keith and Lance seemed a bit too similar, but other than that, I liked the cast. Pidge and Hunk are my favourites. :)

Also I should probably catch up on pony, eh? Saw some spoilery polls that seem to suggest something very interesting happened in the last episode/is going to happen in an upcoming episode...
So someone asked me to explain the EU referendum and what might happen next, and like the last time someone messaged me related to a UK political event, I wrote an essay. Seriously, I could write a book detailing the reasons why the vote went the way it did, what might have swung it, what's most likely to happen next, what could happen next, what could be done to make the best of the situation. I feel like no one would read it and by the time I finished it most of what I'd be predicting would either happen or be proven wrong, but hey ho. Anyway, I felt like sharing it here in case anyone else had anything to add or say about it.

QUESTION ... this whole Brexit vote, were you expecting this? And like, what exactly is it and what are the ramification? All I know is that the UK is voting on whether or not to leave the EU. 

ABRIDGED VERSION
I thought it'd go the other way, it's like the USA but less so, and the shit is in the process of hitting the fan.


LONG VERSION:
I knew it was going to be a close run thing, but I expected Remain to pull through in the end, much like No won the Scottish Independence referendum. In referendums, the status quo usually has the advantage of being the status quo - normal people know the pros and cons of it and decide that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. So for the change vote to actually win takes some doing, even by as narrow a margin as this. I'd not seriously considered that it would actually win, so I'm caught off guard and feeling incredibly depressed about the whole ordeal.

The European Union is essentially a free trade area that has evolved into something resembling a federal government, but loose enough that the states involved are still sovereign nations rather than simply different parts of the same country. Under the existing set up, I could move to and work anywhere within the EU. The EU is also able to subsidise industries across borders, fund science projects, regulate industry standards (particularly where enviornmental concerns are raised). There is also the European Economic Area, also known as the single market. As a condition of being in the EEA, free movement of people is a non-negotiable condition. The single market is the original function of the EU, back when it was the EEC (European Economic Community). And within those is a smaller area called the Eurozone, which are the group of nations who have officially adopted the Euro as their currency.

There are several main reasons why people in the UK had grown tired of the EU. The most common and most significant is immigration. During the great recession and the never-ending trudge of a recovery, people have felt their living standards slip, their incomes squeezed, and their futures uncertain. Through the interplay between the media, culture, and politics, much of this ends up being blamed on immigrants, not the actual economic crisis that caused it. On top of this, the Conservative Party - and David Cameron in particular - has talked up how the recovery has been going. People wound up believing that the government was probably doing it's job (hence why they voted for them last year) and have instead pinned the blame on Brussels, something Cameron had been doing here and there as a convenient way to get people off his back. Other reasons include concerns about laws applying to Britain being made without British consent, the opacity of the EU's decision making process, their treatment of governments who choose to oppose austerity, and their handling of the refugee crisis. 

Cameron originally placed the referendum on the Tory party manifesto in order to try and undercut UKIP's support base as well as shoring up the support the eurosceptic wing of his own party. He calculated that he wouldn't get enough MPs to govern alone, and so could ditch the referendum promise during coalition negotiations and blame it on the minor party - a strategy he'd been doing quite well with the Liberal Democrats for the 5 years prior. However, having won an absolute majority - and having that majority be smaller than the number of MP's in his part demanding the referendum - he was backed into a corner and had to hold it. He originally set the date as late 2017, but moved it sooner so as to get the uncertainty out of the way and head off any prolonged effects of that uncertainty on the economy. So that's how we got to yesterday.

The most instant ramification of the whole thing started playing out as the first results dribbled in. The value of the pound rose as the earliest remain results came it, but dropped dramatically as the picture became clear. The drop in the pound was the largest in nearly 40 years. The last of my money in the UK lost the equivalent of $40 Canadian worth of value overnight. Some companies have already started announcing movement of staff and/or job cuts. We'll likely see the UK being overlooked by many companies wanting to set up EU based headquarters, favouring either Ireland or Germany. European leaders have already said that Britain will not be allowed access to the single market, and while there are two years of negotiation ahead where this stance could soften somewhat, even a less harsh outcome would still have impacts on businesses in the UK and the economy as a whole. On the whole, in terms of living standards, the price of goods (a weak pound will make importing more expensive), and financial stability, there will almost certainly be either an impact or a steady decline. Brexiters may well end up being able to say "see? that wasn't so bad" because most of the decline happened over the course of two years of negotiation, rather than on the day of leaving itself. Additionally, poor areas of the UK receive noteworthy amounts of investment from the EU. These same areas tended to be the strongest leave vote areas, meaning there may be something of a karmic effect where the leave voters reap most of what they sow.

The real chaos will likely be focused around Scotland and Northern Ireland. Both of those regions of the UK voted to remain, and both have strong nationalist movements within them, one for Scottish independence, the other for Irish reunification. It is very likely that there will be another Scottish independence referendum either during the negotiation process or within a couple months of the UK's official exit, and when it does happen, there will be little that England or Wales could do to stop them walking. The SNP have the momentum, and now also concrete proof of England dragging them about and disregarding them. If another referendum goes ahead there, Great Britain will be divided for the first time since 1707. Northern Ireland's referendum is less likely, but if Scotland goes then that will definitely embolden them. It's hard to say which way it would go if it went ahead, but I think we'd be able to get a sense of the support for it over the next couple years or so. Either way, the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" is a title that's approaching it's use-by date.

In the next year or so we'll see the early stages of that begin to play out, but we'll also see the Tory party go through a leadership contest. One big surprise is the emergence of Micheal Gove as a contender, but his reputation among teachers, parents, and lawyers is likely to play against him having good odds. It looks like it could well come down to Theresa May and Boris Johnson, with George Osbourne lurking nearby. The Tories will try to smooth the transition so as to avoid a general election, but the pressure could be mounting from the general public could force on through. It's not the most likely scenario, but it's definitely plausible. If the government manages to not implode in the time during the exit negotiations, it will probably limp on until the end of it's term in 2020.

2020 is still too far away to make any educated guesses, but if an early election became possible (which might be more likely if the election spending scandal results in any invalidation of certain election results) it could well depend on Labour's ability to present a united front. Labour MPs have been a bit of a house divided against itself since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as it's leader. The rightwing side wanted someone more like Tony Blair, despite Tony Blair's unpopularity with the British public, and have been making things very difficult for Corbyn. Plus, they now resent Corbyn (who's tendency is toward Euroscepticism) because he is accused of failing to lead Labour strong enough for the Remain campaign. If Corbyn and his allies are able to bring the dissenters into line and present a strong alternative, it could draw in enough voters in England and Wales to make a coalition with the SNP plausible. However, the big threat is UKIP. Despite having produced the result they were set up to create, UKIP would likely be a strong force in any snap election, as Leave voters will feel validated and see themselves as having more in common with UKIP than with any other party. This could lead to a Tory-UKIP coalition if it's strong enough to claim enough seats - most of which would fall from Labour's control. So we would have Labour severely weakened, Tories losing their absolute majority and requiring a coalition or other form of co-operative governance, UKIP ascending, and the SNP sealing their Scottish gains indefinitely. The UK has never been as divided as it is right now, and an election result that looks like that would definitely be what I consider a worst case scenario. And unless Labour is able to start reaching people and stop attacking itself, it's also unfortunately the most likely scenario of a snap election. I do think, however, that if enough people could be convinced to back Labour on the fact of Jeremy's antiestablishment credentials, a Labour government, even a minority one, could become feasible.
So the storyboarding position at Huminah didn't work out, but I got a response from another studio and they're bringing me onto one of/or two projects they've got in there! There are two animated series there at the moment - one being done in Toonboom Harmony based on a popular animated film franchise, the other being done in Flash based on a children's toy franchise. I'm starting on the Flash one first as that's where more of my experience lies, but there's definite potential to move from one to the other! I don't yet know how long the Flash project is scheduled to run - I just know that it's less than a year. Either way, I'm back in business! :D

Also apparently I just can't stop stirring shit about the whole gun thing, so there's a new crappy animation I did in an hour over on YouTube.

And yes, I'm aware a British MP was shot dead yesterday, but in Britain this is a freak occurrence. The last time someone tried to assassinate an American politician, 6 other people died, so bare that in mind.

I'll also be deciding in the next couple weeks how likely it is that I'll actually get the Doctor Chaotic short done in reasonable time, and if I reckon it's not going to be done for a while I'll share the animatic with you guys so you can see it. I definitely want to get it done, I've just been so distracted with the job hunt and the new kitten and everything. That and arguing about politics on the internet. Always a worthwhile use of time, right? XP

But yeh, that's about where I'm at!
Worth a shot.

On the bright side, I showed them my animation reel and I've got a sort've-an-offer-but-not-a-100%-solid-thing from them to come on board when the project is ready for the next phase towards the start of next month. So there is that.

Also, there was a new This is Normal over on the main TiN site, so go check that out (it's got both kittens and bunnies).

If anyone feels like cheering me up a little, I'm open for those $10 commissions again. Anyone want?
So yesterday/Saturday, I sent off an e-mail pretty late into the evening asking about a storyboard artist position I came across. What with it being both an evening and a weekend, I wasn't expecting a response, but tomorrow, I'll be heading into their studio and doing a legit storyboard test! If I do good, I'm hired! :D I'm so excited, you have no idea! I was bouncing around the flat when they told me they wanted me to try out for it, and I've spent today familiarising myself with Storyboard Pro, the program they use! I've even produced a nice little Harry Potter animatic that I think you guys would like! :D So yeh, check that out! The software seems pretty intuitive so far, so I think I'll be alright. If there's any particular feature I'm not clear on, ToonBoom's website has a shittonne of tutorials and learning materials, so I'll likely iron out any remaining kinks tomorrow.

I'm just so excited about this. I can't quite believe that it might actually happen. I want to hold off on gushing too much until I know for certain whether I've got it, but god damn. It might happen.
TWO COMMISSIONS DOWN, TWO REMAINING! BEST HURRY UP IF YOU WANT ONE!

So I feel like doing stuff for people between commissions for my Dad, This is Normal, and the Doctor Chaotic project, so I'm opening a few commission slots! Fully coloured and shaded, human, pony, or inbetween, with either a simple or transparent background, for just 10USD or 6GBP, depending on your preferred currency.

Here's some examples of the type of things you could ask for:


[com] Sombra: The Warrior King by timsplosionArc Light in the Office by timsplosionStormblaze Wonderbolt by timsplosionChroma Star Gets Sorted by timsplosionAce Trainer Scribbsie by timsplosionGraphite Sunset by timsplosionDragon by timsplosion

Anything like one of these! :)

SLOTS:

1) AmethystWind on Tumblr
2) Oldbottleofwhiskey on Tumblr
3) Origami1105
4)

One spot left to claim!
So, it's been a few days since the deadline, and I've been trying to choose between the three entries in the superhero design contest. In the end, my decision was based on which made the best fit for the episode, because there's a specific point that I wanted to include the winning design in. So I had to be able to see it having a quick gag, bonus points for pop culture reference in that gag, and not having to spend too much time explaining the character to the audience in order to include them.

Just some quick news on the Doctor Chaotic production front actually, I've gotten the audio for nearly every line of dialogue, I think there's literally one line left to divy out and I think I know who I'm going to ask to do that one. My first choice has been jam-packed busy and going through some serious shit, so it'd be unfair of me to kick down their door demanding they do my bidding, but I've got one or two others that I think might have the time/voice/recording equipment to quickly shout a few words for me, so it's all good. :) I'm starting the storyboarding process today, which for me means going into Flash and making it straight as an animatic. Progress is being made!

Also, I had an e-mail from one of the animation studios here in Halifax! There's no confirmed offer of anything yet, but it's a small acknowledgement that could lead into some work! Fingers crossed!

Anyway, back to the contest. A quick refresher of the entries that are competing:


Announcer by timsplosion:icongeek666:
 :iconmvendredi13:
 
  Tooth and Claw by AnnoyedClaude:iconannoyedclaude:


So the entry which a) was the easiest for an audience to look at an intuitively know what they were, and b) I could come up with the funniest and best fitting gag for is....





*drumroll*













Warnerbot, by
:iconmvendredi13:


Congrats! Your character will be featured in the Doctor Chaotic short I'm making! I've just now updated the script to include that little segment. mvendredi13, you'll also get a digital copy of the script sent to you via your preferred mode of file transfer so you know what to expect from your cameo.

Thanks to everyone for entering! And I hope you stick around, cos I really am excited about this project! :)