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mad video game world

April 1, 2011

via boingboinb -- classic video game deaths.

In classic video games, as in real life, death is generally inevitable, which is part of why this manages a certain poignancy...
The function of the artist is to make people like life better than they have before.

Honestly a mediocre honest to goodness attempt at a prank geek news piece would be better than another post about how bad April 1 stuff is.
What if the worst is true? What if there's no God, and you only go around once and that's it? Well, you know, don't you want to be part of the experience?
"Hannah and Her Sisters"
via this Slate piece by a guy who watched all 40 of Woody Allen's films
I love the term "oontz" for that genre music. Super-impressive onomatopoeia.
Now I'm 37. Unfortunately my only numerological reference for this age is a raunchy-ish bit from "Clerks".
Diane points out that 37 is a nice prime number. (The only one between 31 and 41...)

the planetary love of yee & lan

(1 comment)
April 2, 2011

yee & lan - story by kirk israel - art by marissa saradpon

A story I made up a long time ago... I thought I could add it as a "comic" feature here, and also give it nicer bit of UI to go through the pages...

Marissa created the art as a school project a number of years ago, mentioning it after the fact-- it being easier to get forgiveness than permission, but no forgiveness needed, I was really happy with her treatment of the work. (And unlike people who translated it into Chinese, she kept my name on it.)
They say there are no atheists in foxholes, and this is a good argument against atheism. I think it's a better argument against foxholes.

http://www.slate.com/id/2290036/ - if you've ever wondered if the Supreme Court majority might be callous to the point of evil, here's your answer.
"Adjustment Bureau"- most brutally romantic film since "Eternal Sunshine", setting personal achievement vs. romantic fulfillment...

freerunning fest

April 3, 2011

via. I liked the attempt to mask the transitions...
Windows Vista PC looks like it would be a decent TV PC, but hibernate option is hidden and sleep wakes back up immediately. So much fail.

mad world of warcraft

April 4, 2011
Playing World of Warcraft is such a satisfying job, gamers have collectively spent 5.93 million years doing it [...] To put that number in perspective: 5.93 million years ago is almost exactly the moment in history that our earliest ancestors first stood upright. By that measure, we've spent as much time playing World of Warcraft as we've spend evolving as a species"
Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal
Her mathematical reasoning is suspect (because evolution only works as a massively parallel process, kind of in the same way that 6 or 7 years of real world existence can be enough for lots and lots of players to put in millions of years of playtime.) Still it's an eye-opening number!
Reading "Reality is Broken", I realize the way I've been tracking books and movies I consume for the past 10 years is basically gamification
Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want.
Clive Barnes. Then came the Intenet.

The 7 Most Needlessly Terrifying Pieces of Heavy Machinery - Cracked puts me in touch with my inner-7 year old.
In the future, everyone will be as paranoid as Philip K. Dick for 15 minutes.

Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.

Think about death for five minutes every day. (Researchers suggest that we can induce a mellow, grateful psychological state known as "posttraumatic bliss" that helps us appreciate the present moment and savor our lives more.)
Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal. This sounds like the same thing as "Negative Visualization" in William Irvine's "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy"

marching without the horns

April 5, 2011

'Religion seems to make people happy in these dark times, but it's just a delusion. It distracts them from the zombies and everything.'
Teller quoting an atheist friend's young child

http://jtnimoy.net/workviewer.php?q=178 didn't realize many of the Tron sequences (scoreboards, fireworks etc) were by a processing guy!
The word "subscribe" is to my pseudo-dyslexia what "pollen" is to some folks' allergies.

the pope and the b-boy

April 6, 2011

Years ago I posted a photo of the Pope and the Breakdancer, but now there's footage!

I'd like to see a CGI version of this where the pope gets up and gets his turn. Aw well, we live in hope.
I like tablesaw's observation that a videogame is art without audience, because the player is collaborator or performer, not observer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txaUPwC1EyE - whoa Bangai-O sequel... still sad I couldn't quite get into the DS version.
According to cemetary industry statistics, the average grave receives just TWO visits in its lifetime--TOTAL, by ANY friend of family member--after the initial flurry of visits that immediately follows the burial.
Jane McGonigal, "Reality is Broken".
Man, that's kind of sad -- I think Mexico with its Dia de los Muertos has the right idea...
"A house phone? A phone for the house? Who would want to talk to a house?"

the fabric of soviet life

April 7, 2011
From Soviet Fabrics Of The 20s - 30s, via daphaknee:

Clearly we need more tractor-based textiles in our lives!
All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.

the end is nearer

The visual design of the iPhone app icon communicates that it is like a little physical pebble. Unlike other platforms, iPhone icons have no negative space. Every icon has the same solid shape. They can optionally have a gloss, which is applied by UIkit and on by default for developers, and the uniformity of this lighting effect across many icons further reinforces the effect.

I feel like I could take all my apps and put them in a little bag and carry them around. Just like the collection of marbles I had as a kid. There is something viscerally satisfying about the physicality of those little app icons.

You may be thinking you're too sophisticated to be influenced by this, but I'm pretty sure we humans haven't evolved as fast as our technology over the last few decades.
Some astute analysis. It's just one aspect of physicality and kinetic feel that Apple is doing so well with these devices...

eggstreme painting

April 8, 2011

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGbpucWLfpE - James Brown, not Mr. Humanitarian but man could he dance
Daring Fireball rah-rahing the Yankees is just as awesomely awesome as WEEI's morning sport show going on and on with blowhard politics.

in a galaxy far far away or maybe peoria

(1 comment)
April 9, 2011
--(Warning, N-bomb in there) Not super funny but kind of intriguing, both in watching Richard Pryor riff in a constrained kind of way and in having a closer look at what I think are the original costumes from the Star Wars cantina scene.

Been on a bit of a Richard Pryor kick as of late, listening to the Rhino 2 CD set "Evolution/Revolution". He is really funny and very human.
So tired of those asscovering "please mention if anyone in your party has a food allergy" stickers-- like charms for warding off lawsuits.
http://accessmaincomputerfile.net - nice supply of fake computer system screenshots.

photo catchup

April 10, 2011

You want to know something? We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages--they haven't ended yet.

heheheheheh - Buffalo Bill's Brewery Alimony Ale IPA: "It's Irreconcilably Different!" (via http://www.thoughtviper.com/newest.html )

New Blender of Love Digest!

Glad to see Pigmeat Markham getting his props @cracked: 6 Songs That Were Decades Ahead of 'Groundbreaking' Music: http://bit.ly/h6v7L6

to go where no pixels have gone before

April 11, 2011
--excerpt from this limited run poster Trexels -- (too big to put here without reducing and losing the pixel wonderfulness.) It's amazing how identifiable so many of these are, with so few pixels to work with!
say 'did i just say that out loud?' after not saying anything

Friend in Japan says they're raising to Chernobyl-level warning. To paraphrase the emperor, the reactor situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage.

the laws of time and space do not apply

April 12, 2011

via boingboung where they say
Clement Valla collects Google satellite photos where the image-processing software went a little wonky and created the illusion of wiggly-wobbly landscapes. It's inceptiontastic!
Cool stuff... reminds me a bit of the work of Guy Billout
Want To Live To 100? Try To Bounce Back From Stress : NPR
When it comes to the care of the body, our scientists search for longevity amd not for euphoria. If experimenting on chocolate cake, our scientists will study how quickly it kills you, not whether the pleasure is worth it.
Jennifer Michael Hecht, "The Happiness Myth"

Interesting. Based on trailers, it looks like Tag: The Power of Paint is to Portal 2 what Narbacular Drop was to the original Portal.

the pitch

April 13, 2011

(Tim Lincecum Pitching Mechanics in Slow Motion, via).

Baseball pitching is at the far end of human capability. Here is a neat piece on how some perceptual illusions help our selection of what to throw. (Also, like dogs, monkeys are foolable by pretending to throw, which the researchers take to mean they have ideas about the kinetic and mechanical aspects of the activity, even if they're not so good at it themselves.)
Dig the shytergy of copy and paste from Eclipse to Outlook- blue highlight background is included, so blue text is 100% camouflaged. DUH!
That's one of those theist defenses I never got. I'M arrogant? You just asked the creator of the universe to help you win a football game.
(for Ask an Atheist day, on the accusations of hubris)

the most interesting developer in the world

April 14, 2011
making the rounds at work:

RT @GamingPixie For nosy people who like seeing unused sprites and other dummied out features from games: http://tcrf.net/The_Cutting_Room_Floor
http://tcrf.net/Blaster_Master - man, wondered why the last level was so mind-bendingly hard... that "Spike" upgrade woulda helped.
"[On Mad Men] they have whole storerooms full of booze."
"Wow, we can't even get pens.".
me & A

gamecube secrets

April 15, 2011

It's the coolest hidden Nintendo song since Totaka's Song... funny how I listened to that background bajillions of times, and the entire melodic aspect is utterly disguised. I guess there's a temporal aspect to melody recognition -- or even recognizing that there is a melody present.
http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/04/just-simple-truth Thanks you very much, Republicans.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyJaaYoWPPw - a game I'd like to see: "Body Harvest: Liberty City"

draggin' ballz

(1 comment)
April 16, 2011

play online
dbz -
original java version
built with processing

My entry for Klik of the Month #46. Didn't quite come together as a fun game, but I kind of like the weird "ravenous mouth" of the dragon.
Ah, taxes are done. $112 to the feds, $144 to our fair commonwealth, $114 to TurboTax.


April 17, 2011
click to play with
ringthings - source - built with processing

As is probably all too obvious I didn't have much an idea going into Klik of the Month Klub last night, so I built a toy, which arguably is more pleasant to mess with than the final game. Click to make a new whirligig.


April 18, 2011

Besides the crazy athleticism, I dig the crew nature of these things, and how the other crew has that nice mix of boisterous dismissiveness and enthusiasm for what the other crew is doing.

give me the 70s

April 19, 2011

-Most recent addition to my music collection. I like the lowrent goofy fun of the video
Reminder that rich plutocracy is 3rd world sign- RT @screwjaw U.S. Downgraded to 3rd World Nation
A great walk through the odds and awesomes of Javascript. Some clumsy examples, but worthwhile: JavaScript Garden http://j.mp/f0Hbed
I hope that the sequel to Scribblenauts lets me write "A better game than this" so I can create the Game Singularity.
me in 2001: I wonder what kind of graphics games will have in 10 years! me in 2011: I wonder what kind of graphics games have these days...

the new bill

(1 comment)
April 20, 2011
A new look and feel for the front page of my oldest domain, alienbill.com:

I commissioned that alien bill image from harveyjames a while back -- it was cool to have some fun with stretching the image and using space in a different way than most webpages do. You can compare it with the old version here...
Copley Sq Borders is closed. I remember when Amazon just sold books and I was pro-no-Internet-sales-tax 'cause I wanted the online to thrive... I was worried.
Of course now I might be pro-no-Internet-sales-tax because it's such a pain to calculate correctly- really byzantine...
Seriously, you'd need each customer to have a GPS to calculate tax just right... in many ways it makes no sense.
They say to win a game of "chicken", rip off your steering wheel, throw out window- A how strong ARE you? Do you have to pre-loosen the wheel? B Better have a car with good alignment- otherwise you just drift and lose.

Silly metaphor. Stupid game!

Something so lovely in watching poured cream curl into iced coffee in a clear sided glass or cup. I mean it works on so many levels...
Is this just the contrarian nostalgic in me talking or was Bomberman 64 multiplayer (open arena, round explosions) better than classic? Kinda like that Playstation multitap game "Poy Poy".
4:20 on 4/20... time to make a marijuana joke! Remember, if you can't be funny, be meta.

mom dad i have ennui!

(1 comment)
April 21, 2011

--Someone at work posted this outside their cube, it's from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Comics. Good stuff!
If everything is coming your way then you're in the wrong lane.

I think half of my problem with clutter is a refusal to believe that I'm not depriving some future biographer of precious research material.

that's darn peppy!

April 22, 2011
Random anecdote: many years ago in my Palm Pilot I wrote down the semi-cryptic notation "BTK Peppyrock". More recently I realized it was a reference to a song, that BTK was "Birth Through Knowledge", and that it had the video above. Just recently I realized I should have an MP3 of this song. It's no masterpiece, but it lives up to its name, and I dig the percussion and scratching.

Many thanks to Matthias Thorn who is terrific at hunting down these odd MP3 files (without me having to use some super-suspect downloading "service"... here's a hint kids, when they offer you free Firewall and Antivirus, and the option to include that isn't uncheckable, DON'T DO IT.)
You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
Olin Miller

and i don't even know spongebob

April 23, 2011

Wish I could communicate to kitty Rex that no kneading claws, random licking, and less up into our faces would make snuggles more welcome.

and they say there's no such thing as progress

April 24, 2011
-Nice information to know -- but I realy wish it was median income and life expectancy, and not the average. If everyone in your country is dirt poor except for a few small pile septuagenarian bajillionaires, you've failed as a nation.
"Man, if I were president I would totally push to make Kindereggs legal in this country."
"That's... only one reason you're not president."
Me and Amber just now

"Could you clear the table?"
"Sure! [takes plates to kitchen] [bam] [rattle]"
"No... the dishwasher is clean."

egging us on

April 25, 2011
Yesterday Kjersten and Raya came over with a whole egg dyeing setup!

here is the fruit of our labor, except it's not fruit, it's eggs.


The center egg is mine: I made a K with electrical tape, then died it green, the orange. Clockwise from top are two electrical tape colored ones, a neat orange-pink one amber made by using a Q-tip to remove color, an Alien Bill I made using the Q-tip as a paintbrush, Raya's GI Joe/Rambo-ish egg with the tap still on, Kjersten's polkadots, one with the tape technique and stickers, a really ambitious and lovely flower in wax by Amber (with green grass on the bottom) and then an egg I started with Ambers "remove color" technique that came out weirdly so I decided to use a sharpie for outlining. It came out kind of cool and funky, actually.

Comedy gold was me grabbing my glass of beer, noticing it was kind of vinegar-y, and then running to the bathroom to get rid of the green dye before it did too much staining...
Make love when you can. It's good for you.

http://www.thisisaurl.com/ - Leukemia Blog of Austin Castaldi, a guy I knew from a brief stint working in Andover. Man, screw this universe.

ok i'll play your silly little game

April 26, 2011
Three random snarks my dad would play with me from time to time: I'll be playing some of these games with the kids of my friends, having already instructed my (now college aged) cousins in the fine art of video game trash talking.
The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he'll fight and die for it. The way real science goes is that you come up with lots of ideas, and most of them will be wrong.
Francis Crick in this amazing New Yorker piece on the Mind and the perception of Time

'We're stuck in time like fish in water,' Eagleman said, oblivious of its currents until a bubble floats by.
Francis Crick, ibid

the power of words and graphics

April 27, 2011

--My buddy JZ is pretty good at making music suggestions for me... he suggested this song with Black Eyed Peas Just Can't Get Enough. Neither are all-time greats but both are pretty catchy.

I love the format of the "lyric video"... I'm visual enough that I genuinely appreciate being able to see the words, and then combined with playful typography, it's a real win.
Kindle app dutifully has no "copy" function for highlighting. Don't they know the copy UI sucks for anything larger than fair use?
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
Scott Adams

I think I had a beautiful life. I didn't wish for anything I couldn't get, and I got pretty near everything I wanted because I worked for it.
Louis Armstrong

My favorite nickname for Trump is still "Donald Mayonnaise".
The fourth worst thing about a Trump candidacy would be the endless "You're Fired!" campaign jokes. Endless, I tell you.


April 28, 2011

--At the risk of helping to make "Idiocracy's" Ow My Balls a reality, some of these made me giggle.
Man, last night before sunset, the crazy humid pre-rain warmth-- totally trips my nostalgia switch. Want it to be the evening of my life.
Democrats: the political grownups. Neocons, Birthers, Teapartiers, Trump, get outta here with that stuff.
There's some right resentment how we still have wars but no war protests; but 1/2 the protest was against getting us *into* these messes.
Whoa, I'm gonna be in Germany for this whole May 21 Apocalypse thing. Sweet.
On the other hand a May 21 Apocalypse makes for a great http://glorioustrainwrecks.com/ Klik of the Month Klub theme, AMIRITE?
"Oh, it's on. It Is On. It is ON LIKE FROGGER. err, donkey kong."
Trump gloats about the certificate. You know, beyond the hairpiece, beyond how he somehow takes credit for the certificate while still blaming the press for it, I can't get over how his jowls flow over his too-tight shirt collar.
Sometimes I wish the northeast had a more hug-ish cultural. Little awkward waves and smiles and nods just aren't as humane.

red state, blue state, it's all about the edumacation

April 29, 2011
found this online but I resliced it to be vertical

Karl Rove said
As people do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing
Yeah, too much, thanks Karl.

humor for geeks

(1 comment)
April 30, 2011

One of mu favorite parts of Portal 2....

The people that you work with are, just, when you get down to it, your very best friends. They say on your deathbed, you never wish you spent more time at the office- but I will. Gotta be a lot better than a deathbed!
Michael on his final episode of The Office

This next test applies the principles of momentum to movement through portals. If the laws of physics no longer apply in the future, God help you.
Portal 2

When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What the hell are these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN!
Cave Johnson, Portal 2

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