Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: science

FUTURE FURSUITING: furry’s most original creations and the rise of tech-enabled smart suits.

by Patch O'Furr

The most original creations of furry fandom.

Here’s a fun feature about the future.  But first, let me make a bold claim about fursuiting.

Male-Peacock-displayingMascots and costuming have been around forever. But furries are doing something new. They don’t just play with generic icons from myths and media. They add original fursonas and custom craft for everyone. It makes a subculture with personal expression beyond anything else.

Of course, many furs don’t have (or want) fursuits.  But the ones who do make a photogenic face of fandom. Other groups do art and writing like this one, but I don’t think anyone else does costuming in such a specialized and devoted way.  So there’s nothing wrong with the way the fursuiters stand out.  Everything else is imagination – they bring it to life and help to define the tactile name of “furry”.  And the quality is developing beyond anything you can buy commercially.  Some dedicated makers now have careers by fans, for fans, leading a Furry Economy with an exciting future.  Look forward to amazing things.

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“Species Identity Disorder” is absurd, and Boomer The Dog is awesome.

by Patch O'Furr

Joke news is fun.

The Hard Times is a punk rock version of The Onion. They put out some of the funniest fake news anywhere.

“No One of Any Gender Wants To Use Venue Bathroom”

Did you hear news controversy about sharing bathrooms with trans people?  Personally I pee on hydrants, so I don’t give a shit about where other dogs pee.

On a Furry topic, here’s a news story that reminds me of Poe’s Law (the internet rule that says that parodies of extreme views will be taken as sincere, unless you tell people it’s a parody.)

Willamatte Week: Getting a Grip on Furry Fandom and Species Dysphoria Blues.

“It’s 2016. Time to check your Cishuman privilege.”  Cishuman… ha ha it’s fake, right?

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Wombats pooping cubes – and a chunky blast of furry news! NEWSDUMP (11/17/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Atlas Obscura – The Fursuit of Happiness Begins With Customized Dog Abs.  It’s a nicely written curiosity piece about what fursuit makers do.  There needs to be a Tip Sheet for Journalists Who Want To Write About Furries.  It would say “quit using that title.”

Austrian “Furry News” site Furry Stammtische shares a long TV feature of fursuiters. Google translate can give you a rough understanding of the story.

Fangcon gets a little slice-of-life mention in Knoxville news.  Writer bumps into fursuiters at an outdoor concert, and gets charmed.

Courting Comedy blog reviews a live talk show in San Francisco, with a special Furry guest speaker. “They defanged prejudices or assumptions about the Furry community, and was cautious to not speak for the entirety of his tribe.” Really happy to see this.

Furry Site Content Statistics – and a possible game changing new art site.  [Adjective][Species] presents comparison of 5 established sites – and Flayrah’s Sonious writes up Furry Network with some details that could be highly worth your attention.

VICE is digging on DeviantArt for unusual furry fetishes.  This fellow fan enjoys expressing “objectophilia”. He has a rewarding relationship with his car.  Thanks for visiting our garden, Vice – lots of special varieties grow here, but don’t poop in it.

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Furry Halloween treats, McGruff Goes To Jail – NEWSDUMP (11/4/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

12189827_1150763194953018_5433177237520487821_nHalloween treats:  Popularity for Rocket Raccoon, and some looks at the culture of costuming.

Mom’s costume creation goes viral, ‘wins’ Halloween 2015.  A very lucky kid in Michigan got to be an accurately-diminutive Rocket Raccoon, complete with moving jaw.  It got shared on Facebook by the director of Guardians of The Galaxy.  This isn’t claimed to be overtly “furry”, but when Mom makes cosplay outfits for Comic Con… it makes you wonder what research helped to build it from scratch.

UPDATE: The maker confirmed to me that Furry tutorials helped build it. I asked her opinion of furries, and she says:

It’s some tough work everyone does and all of you should be proud. I made so many mistakes because there aren’t a lot of tutorials for doing stuff like this. I honestly didn’t know too much about furries until I was trying to research how to make a movable mouth for my son.

In Huntsville Alabama, inside the business of Fig Leaf Costumes: “it looks like a dressing room for furries in here.” Read between the lines, and the article might involve us, maybe indirectly. There’s this thoughtful tidbit:

So why does he still enjoy playing dress up at age 35? “I love how people react. If you dressed up as a character they love they come over and give you a hug. It’s just a good feeling,” says Harrison, who along with his girlfriend plans to dress up in a couples costume for Halloween this year: “Lady and The Tramp.” Burkholder thinks the trend of adults continuing to dress in costumes, for Halloween and otherwise, is due to “Gen X feels a little bit lost so what we’re doing is claiming a little bit of a community for ourselves, especially with cosplay. And also with modernity people move away from so they want to form a sense of community, so whether it’s videogames or cosplay it’s people coming together. And I like that.

Milford Schools Criticized Nationally Over ‘Halloween Ban’.” A smaller city in Connecticut planned to stop costuming at some public schools.  That quickly changed after everyone growled about political correctness.  It reminds me of a similar-sized city in Vermont banning fursuiters.  Are they just too uptight in New England?  Are some people afraid of self-expression?

16 year sentence for McGruff the Crime Dog.

“The actor who played the crime-fighting cartoon character McGruff the Crime Dog, was sentenced to 16 years in prison stemming from a 2011 arrest in which police seized 1,000 marijuana plants, 27 weapons – including a grenade launcher – and 9,000 rounds of ammunition from his home…”

mcgruff-grenade-launcher

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Animation Show of Shows – Yiff vs. Murr – History of faux fur – Newsdump (6/25/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips are always welcome. 

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Media and Fandom News

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The Animation Show of Shows: There’s no better source for artistic animation, and they need support.Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 3.33.32 PM

This touring show presents the best of the best in the world of short films, by the most talented directors.  It’s ordinarily only seen by invite at top movie studios (your Pixars and so forth), and at colleges, with special public access to those who hear through word of mouth.  You may not have heard of it, because it’s been a personal project funded by one amazing guy, Ron.  (He also runs Acme Filmworks, who directed a good couch gag for The Simpsons.)

Now, The Animation Show of Shows is appealing for support for their amazing art cause.

I don’t ordinarily post crowd funding (too much to cover!)  Leave that to awesome Furry journalist Corbeau at Furstarter.  (We need more “furry news” specialists.) This is just an exceptional cause. If you like animation, don’t miss it.

Through this show, I discovered the hilarious short, Flamingo Pride.  It shows what happens to the only heterosexual flamingo at the birds celebration.  It’s almost as fabulous as the San Francisco Bay Furries will be this weekend, in the SF Pride parade.

Knoxville, TN has furries in their Pride parade.  Draconis, Chair of Fangcon, reports: Read the rest of this entry »

SEX! Researchers, journalists, and furries debate The Topic They Love To Hate.

by Patch O'Furr

Just published in the media: SF IS A HOTBED OF ONE KINKY-CREEPY-CUTE SUBCULTURE. AndSAN FRANCISCO – A FURRY FETISH EPICENTER.  More on that shortly.  (I apologize if this post is jumbled to read all at once- a lot of related topics just happened.)

1) Researcher Debra Soh recently wrote about Furries in Harper’s Magazine.  I invited her to submit a piece here.  She sent:

“A Lesson Everyone Can Learn from Furries”

 

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Researchers from Northwestern University want Furries to answer their survey.

by Patch O'Furr

When pop culture notices furry fans, it loves leaping to conclusions.  The internet has porn, and the weird furry stuff can make people’s eyes bug out and stick in their minds.  So is that what being a furry is about? Some people have a kink for that – is it fair to stick all furry fans in that category?

The assumed link of furries and sex is often made thoughtlessly by outsiders. It’s the topic furries love to hate.  But despite the attention, I’m told that no serious research has been done on this.  Sure, there have been surveys that ask blanket questions about sex orientation, or a selection of certain kinks.  But there isn’t enough broad knowledge for anybody to be fully informed.  That’s bad for two reasons.

rsearch

First, common beliefs can’t be challenged or disproved without data. Second, if data does support some of these beliefs, then the topic deserves better understanding.  Objective answers reduce assumptions.  It can replace fear and rumor with real information.  Informed people make a more tolerant society.  There are more gay people in this subculture than general society – the reason isn’t clear, but their socializing has gained more tolerance with understanding.  Other questioned activities may be reconciled too.

Researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois are spreading a survey about these sensitive and murky topics. They intend to research relations between furry fan sexuality, and their identities and personalities. Their survey is on lesser studied aspects of this.

Disclaimer:  to avoid making bias, I can’t guess or tell specific aims behind their work.  Building studies and their methodology is out of my area, anyways.  All I can do is pick apart interpretation of statistics afterwards.  I did spend time talking with the researchers and emphasizing respect.  I told them to hold their cards and not tell me what the survey is testing, to prevent bias in sharing.  That leaves it up to you to choose how to respond.

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Scaly, feathery alternative limbs leap the uncanny valley into the future of prosthetic design

by Patch O'Furr

Flayrah News, 4/29/2013:

The mention of an amputee flaunting a showy, bird-plumaged prosthetic arm should make the Furry connection clear, in this story about the work of the Alternative Limb Project (ALP) and it’s director, Sophie de Oliveira Barata.

prosthetic179De Oliveira Barata is “challenging the belief that prosthetic limbs should aim to look as realistic as possible.” Her career started in special effects for film and TV, before she moved to work with a realistic prosthetics company for eight years. In her opinion:

The dominant thinking is that a new limb should be as close a match to the previous limb as possible. But until technology gets to the point where you can have a realistic looking limb in movement and aesthetics, there will always be this uncanny middle ground. Having an alternative limb embraces difference and can help create a sense of ownership and empowerment.

The new option for limbs include crystal, stereo speakers, lighting, and simulated internal anatomy to tranform disability-concealers into creative, eye-catching fashion. What’s next, hooves and paws?

Fursuit-owning readers may appreciate why, as custom-designed pieces, these limbs do not come cheap, with a cost between $4,600 and $21,000. In Britain, government health funding is dedicated only to realistic prosthetics. But De Oliveira Barata argues that alternative prostheses could be just as beneficial. It opens the imagination to a whacky sci-fi future where species-transition could be as acceptable as gender reassignment. Until then, artists, designers and biomedical engineers can explore creative inspiration and improve the lives of patients with this new kind of prosthetics.