In a related follow-up to the kigurumi links yesterday, Warren Ellis posted my proffered Mighty Lady link on Die Puny Humans, and it's also on BoingBoing.net! I've got street cred now. Kindasorta. Thanks, Kristen! This is all thanks to your "disturbing image of the day" series.
Okay, anyone who's read my stuff at Futurismic knows that I'm a sucker for Bastard Pop. To some, it's a bunch of half-wit, technologically enabled music pirates destroying otherwise well-produced pop music. To me, it's a new art form that has the added bonus of being of questionable legality. I'm going to keep tacking stuff into this post, so peek at it from time to time. However, I'd like to draw your attention to el mannion's No Sleep 'Til Bastard album. In particular, I like the way track 6 finishes up, apparently using samples from a language instruction tape to create a strange, foreboding, and discomfiting environment where two androids' date ends in tragedy. Base58 has much more goodness, my goodness.
Addenda: I've seen some of these dolls in non-pr0n shops in Osaka. I thought they were weird, and then just sorta dismissed them from my headspace. I've seen a lot of professional kigurumi actors at amusement parks and such; when the AbaRangers (this year's flavor of Power Rangers), or Anpanman show up, it's these guys. So when I saw there's a fetish attached to it, it didn't really register as weird. I just posted to Japan Tribe to find out what people think about this stuff; pe…
"Conversations this reporter had with gamers themselves indicate emotions run a bit warmer than the mainstream press suggests. Although some gamers may write it off as "just a game," many are uncomfortable with the premise of Rising Sun. As one gamer put it, "You know, even though it's just a game, those are our fathers and relatives we're killing. There's something about it that I just don't like." Another wondered how a game like this would be received in other countries, saying, "...this is a game in which you play as a foreign soldier and try to kill troops from your own country. I bet that you couldn't even sell a game like this overseas. I have a feeling that Japanese are the only people who would brush this off because 'it's only a game.' I don't know if that's good or bad...""
Darkness and light, whimsy mixed with the horrid: It is the spiritual mutant creation that may happen if a Hello Kitty vibrator got caught in a Jan Svankmeyer world. Jojo in the Stars is charming. Which is good, since I was beginning to lose faith in Tim Burton. (via scattershot)
"We truly seem to have entered a new phase in American celebrity, in which there’s almost no one that doesn’t believe Jackson likes little boys and R. Kelly likes slightly less little girls, yet both artists continue to sell albums by the millions ... which is odd, considering that everyone’s so freaked out by gay marriage. If our society was so moral, wouldn’t we be boycotting the horrid musicians and endorsing the legitimizing of marriage of loving adults?" Go, Marc. Tell it.
The Dirty Dozen of the Lion and Lamb project (among other things, like testifying before congress) lists games that parents should not let their kids play. While I'm impressed that they are reasonably up to date, I don't understand how they can include THE CLEARLY ESRB LABELED text, and ignore the "Mature" rating on it. GTA: Vice City's descriptor includes: Neither the video game nor retail industries enforce the voluntary ratings system, which means that teens can easily buy and rent Mature-rated titles. Even retailers with policies that restrict the sale of Mature-rated games to children allowed children to purchase Mature-rated video games 73 percent of the time, according to a recent Federal Trade Commission survey. There's a survey? It's a government survey? Provide a damned URL; I'd like to know if it was in the last two years.
I got so worked up, I forgot to add my gripe. Er, point. Videogames don't kill people, guns do. And guns don'…
The fine yacht, "Seuss" it is, then!
A better boat, there never has been!
Young Sally McPun would take it out daily,
In fact most days, she felt quite sail-y.
On any day the Seuss-boat sailed
A trail of chortles behind it trailed.
The McPuns, they came from smiles around
And wondered at that laughing sound.
From the rivers,
From the tress,
And even from the homes of bees!
On shoreside homes, a rippling sound of dripping laughter
Came pouring, pouring from the rafters.
When it showed no signs of stopping,
The McPunsters felt their bellies popping.
"Stop!" they cried, their sides near-split.
"We are sore from laughing at the boat's bow-sp'wit"
And so that day, young Sally sailed to port, forsooth
and just for them, that day, she dock'd her "Seuss."
[posted to Puns! tribe]
"It was the best of blogging, it was the worst of blogging." B3ta asks, "What would the Victorian Internet look like?" Their readers answer. Caused most consecutive snickers of any website in recent memory. Next up: gilt PDAs on open display at Dickens' Faire. (via boingboing)
MK12's self-promotion brand "Ultra Love Ninja" combines James Bond swank, Porn kitsch, and hot NINJA action in a way that is teh sexy.
The theme song is reminiscent of early Bond theme song offerings. It immediately went into obsessive rotation in the video's tiny quicktime window. I wrote MK12 to purhase a copy of the song; they immediately (and very kindly) pointed me at a page of free, sexay remixes.
Googling revealed a still active, older page; desktops and fonts and PDFs for stickers and such are available under TREATS.
In response to a friend's query about life here, in Japan:
What can I say about life over here? It's great, it's weird, it's tasty, it's polite, and everything is wrapped up really well when one buys anything. It's a lot easier life than it used to be here. In the ten years since the first time I lived here, Japan gained cheese, scones, Starbuck's (and a few other REAL coffee places), and most importantly INTERNET ACCESS GALORE. On the other hand, Japan also "gained" Toys R Us, Blockbuster Video, more McD's, KFC's, and Pizza Huts. I assume Walmart is being beat back at the gates, or is quietly partnered with one of the major, but lower quality shops. In short, 10 years ago I felt like I was on an island, and if I wanted a taste of US items, it was hard to come by. Mail was (9 days going)+(response time)+(9 days coming back), and about a buck a letter. Email has stunningly changed the communication dynamic, as I'm sure you've deduce…
Gamasutra news headline today: "VIS Joint Venture Suffers Staff Loss(reg. req'd)" body text: "Representatives from VIS-ITV, a joint venture between Scottish developer VIS Entertainment and cable operator Telewest, have confirmed that a number of staff have been laid off." Call it nitpicking, but isn't it weird to say the company is suffering, or passively has suffered, when the company has chosen to lay off employees? Suffering implies "being put upon by outside forces" while "layoff" and "reorg" are actions that a company may take. It is something to which they subject their employees. Next up: "Dog suffers bite-compulsion syndrome from presence of Postal Worker."
Currently away from my copies of Kill Bill and RHCP's "By the Way"; I'm not sad, though. Oh, no. I'm shaking my geek-thang to Dread Zeppelin's version of "Sunshine of Your Love." Oh, the weasely, tortelvis-y goodness. "Gimme a towel, Priscilla."
addendum: The way fu-master Anthony Kiedis sings "Universally Speaking" is hard to understand. Until I checked the liner notes, I thought is it was "universal lispy king" -- some kind of Castillian Spanish reference, I'd assumed.
Re: Which comic was it? A comics scholars list I belong to was able to save the day!
"The comic referred to is SAVIOUR, published in the UK by Trident Comics in 1989-90. It was written by Mark Millar and drawn first by Daniel Vallely, later by Nigel Kitching. As far as I recall, there were no more than four or five issues and the storyline was never completed."
What does it take to make me break my reasonably strict rule about using only lower-capitalization in the subject line? Well, it's KIKAIDER! dammit! Tripping around the blogosphere this morning, I was astonished to see DiePunyHumans had a blurb on it, which was then nabbed by boingboing, and I've seen on a couple of other single-user blogs. What is Kikaider? He's only the most bad-ass, guitar-playing wanderer who transforms into a motorcycle-riding cyborg, EVAR. When I was 6 or so, I'd watch this every Sunday, along with Raideen, Dai Apollon, and Go Ranger on Channel 22, KWHY in Los Angeles.
Defective Yeti's Matthew Baldwin has a bwilliant Matrix parody starring everyone's favorite presidential chimp (except "Bonzo"):
TRINITY: Please. Just listen. I know why you’re here, Geo. I know why you left your family and your friends, why you left your home to come to this city.
There is a HYPNOTIC quality to her voice. BUSH’s eyelids begin to droop as she speaks. TRINITY: You’re looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Geo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question just as I did.
BUSH: What – is – the thingie.
TRINITY: The Matrix.
BUSH snaps awake. BUSH: Oh. I was thinking of the other thingie. The sandwich. Just how cunning is Matthew? He foresawthis.
Educators to storm E3 Expo / MIT department to host preshow Games in Education conference. The staid Massachusetts Institute of Technology said today that it would host a three-day conference to take place immediately before the E3 Expo opens its doors. The event will take place at the same site as E3--the Los Angeles Convention Center. The conference will focus on games in education and is part of a larger MIT program called The Education Arcade initiative.
The conference will take place on May 9, 10, and 11 and will include panels that will address a number of topics that draw on education, academia, and pure game design. Session topics include the following: Are Games Educational?; From Simulation to Interaction; and, Fostering Games Literacy. Roundtables will also be a part of the program, featuring topics that will focus on educational, technical, creative, and market trends.
The conference is free and open to the public (aged 18 and older).
By Staff, GameSpot [P…
Now that I've found out what brand I am, I can't wait to capitalize on the franchising. (Why is captalize a Z, but franchising an S?) If I could only work up the will and gall to get a spurious patent on the no-mustache, chin-only goatee combined with a dramatically receding hairline, and enforce it, I'd be a gazillionaire. No-one is paying attention to prior-art, or the clearly defined differences between trademark, patent, and copyright anymore, so I can sue all the other game development art directors!
"Of the six positions, the "freefaller" is the more rarefied of sleeping shapes, with just 6.5 per cent of people preferring to sleep on their front. They tend to have "a brash and gregarious exterior", although this confident front hides a nervous personality that responds badly to personal criticism." So what the hell are you saying? I'm some kind of jerk?
There has been much coverage of camoflage lately. Wired had a big piece on optical, which primarily focused on the work that's being done here in Japan. It's unclear whether or not Ghost in the Shell's camo inspired that work (Like Clarke's geosynchronous satellites), or if Shirow was basing it on existing tech-philosophies. If you're wondering where the punchline for this whole thing is, you'll have to look a little harder.
ColorMatch5K (perhaps an entry in The 5k contest?) is a sassy, but apparently non-HTML-compliant tool for generating a swatch of colors around which to design. The ColorMatch Remix will run in Opera, Mozilla and all that jazz properly, and offers a broader palette. Optimally, I wish there was a more readily available complementary color slot, but it's sufficiently slick without it.
I had just moved to Kyoto, and was staying in the ISE foreigner's dormitory while I tried to find a more permanent place; ISE was a pit of a dorm with very nice strangers all playing nicely. In fact, I understand that Pico Iyer wrote "The Lady and the Monk" while staying there. But a friendly American couple who lived over the hill in Kujo-yama saw the shabby, oily room I was in, and insisted that I say with them in their old, three-storey house, no rent, no nothing, until I could find my own apartment.
Kujo-yama is out on the trolley line that runs out of San-jo, up the hill, past the Int'l Community Center, and into a suburban portion of Kyoto city. Most of the places are quite old. My friends' place was probably between 50 and 100 years old, and in mediocre condition. It had a cesstank for its sewage, but I think it had regular gas lines. Old place. It was built on a hill (very near the trolley tracks) so the ground entrance was on the 2nd floor, with a stairw…
I am participating online in an interesting discussion, where we are all making puns at each other. The topic was "Vagina" so everyone was punning about sex. One guy's user-icon is a Stag/Deer with big antlers. He said:
Deer: Well if this discussion isn't clean, the least we can do is to wrap it up quickly.
Brian: Deer'y, that is just such a typical stag attitude. Be careful, or you'll get a reputation that you're only out to sate your horny self. You'd probably do anything for a buck (or some doe, for that matter).
He directly messaged me back:
Deer: You used up all the deer puns in one message! I've got nothing left, ya bastard! :-)
Activision announced that they are immediately dropping 10 in-progress titles in reaction to lessened earnings:
'Ron Doornink said the company was taking steps to adapt to the new, high-stakes game of console, computer and handheld game development. "The video game market is increasingly dominated by high-quality products based on recognizable franchises supported with big marketing programs. We have decided to take steps to align our business with the continuing evolution of the video game market."' Which is interestingly stunning bullshit. Do you remember the 4-page magazine spreads, TV advertisments, and pre-movie, in-theater cinematic ads shown prior to the launch of GTA3? No, because there weren't any. It was a word-of-mouth hit, with its success entirely due to its quality and innovation. This activistion plan seems analogous to a major TV station discovering that their shows are not popular, and reacting by immediately reducing the number of TV shows they w…
Two interesting stories on wired today:
MTV plans to get into the download music bidness, competing with iTunes, napster 2.0 and any number of other pay-to-play music services. Music on MTV? Great! How uncommon; last time I checked, MTV was about ¼ Road Rules, ¼ Real World (never tiring of the irony of that title), ¼ guest VJ sessions and ¼ carson daly and fred durst popping up, showing how little I should actually respect the creativity of any popular performer, and a smattering of Tough Enough, "for taste." Not many videos, so not much music. When they occasionally played videos, there were annoying comments that popped up in balloons, about as clever and entertaining as someone kicking the back of your seat during a movie, and making their own running commentary. Is MTV even popular as a brand anymore? I thought the big money was in all the 70's and 80's Flashbackers who like VH1.
Some friends I have. Sheesh. My keyboard is beginning to have a cottage-cheese-like substance growing on it from the amount of milk and OJ I have nose-ejected onto it after reading something funny while drinking. Rather than offering to come clean the kybd, or sending me a new cheapie US-101, Weezie suggests that:
I move that we remove Bwana from the list if he can't keep expelling food from his face. In lieu of that, here's some great alternate responses to list humor:
1. The classic shit eating grin.
2. Hard nipples.
3. Knee slapper.
4. Accidental fart.
5. Bat your eyelashes.
6. Give a nearby coworker the thumbs up.
7. Shove your fist in your mouth.
8. Yell YAHTZEE!
9. Head butt the monitor.
10. Double take followed up with an "aw shucks" shoulder shrug.
Which had Chuji follow on its heels with:
11. Run for Governor of California
12. Give out the 'ol "HOO HAH!!!"
13. Do the Arsino Hall fist thing while screaming "Whoo Whoo Whoo!"
14. Fill y…
I've finally started Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, which I've owned for about four years and never previously cracked open, but Justine recently recommended it, so it's my train-ride paperback. Weezie sent me a hardcover edition of Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country, which appears to cover pretty much everything I've been worried about since the shrub entered office after being appointed by the Supreme Court, rather than being elected fair-and-square. Yeah, thanks for throwing in the towel, Gore. Don't quit on my account; as part of the American people that you said "deserve better," I wouldn't have minded waiting for a full recount, or a reconsideration of the entire electoral-vote process, so outmoded after all these years. Or hell, let's have a "do-over," and see how many people turn out to vote when they actually think their effort may make a difference this time…
Be forewarned; this post rambles, and sucks. The links are good, though. Try the links.
Just peeking at Charlie Stross' blog, and found a site that generated this gem:
"He's an immortal drug-addicted master criminal She's a warm-hearted gypsy bounty hunter descended from a line of powerful witches. They fight crime!"It reminded me of one day at Namco when we were comparing which one of us was the biggest weirdo magnet. One guy had the odd fate of any loon that had line-of-sight on him walk up, and begin randomly talking. This had happened for the umpteenth time at lunch, where some stranger got up off a bench and walked up to our appearing-to-be-purposefully-walking group and stop all of us so he could talk to our Weirdness Magnet. When we got back to the office, we tried to one-up each others' stories of confrontations with insane people. It turned out one of us had been cornered in a late night situation a nut who claimed to be bulletproof. It had freaked …
This online sample of artist Miwa Yanagi's "My Grandmothers" series is beautiful and creepy. This was found on Stealth Tribe, a group of creators and webcrawlers who search for found (ephemeral) objects.