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Showing posts from 2005

comments, redux

Despite the web being a surrogate for a real-world social life, there are plenty of people who don't want to check five different places to keep up with me. Go figure. I am pondering how to best lasso all my presences, My.Bicycle, Flickr, LiveJournal, into a unified whole.

Flickr's easy; I can drop it in the sidebar.

LiveJournal lets me restrict access to some entries, and that's really convenient. Probably what I want is to tie the Comments here to my LiveJournal account. Essentially I want to mirror the posts here to my LiveJournal, and let Comments happen there. This is largely what Game Politics does, and I think it is what Josie Nutter does.

How can I implement this, LazyWeb?
Can anyone see any drawbacks, other than losing the anonymity of my LJ?

no event is too small for the black eyed peas

in-flight movie reviews

Outgoing Flight:
Christmas With the Kranks: gave it a miss, or maybe it wasn't playing.
Kindergarten Cop: I saw and enjoyed this in theaters a long time ago. It doesn't hold up at all. Who the hell is the love interest in this movie? She went up fast and disappeared quick, like a bottle rocket. Whatsit? Penelope Ann Miller? And the villain and his mom? Pure 80's suspension-of-disbelief-stretching movie kitsch.
Must Love Dogs: gave it a miss; I'll watch John Cusack in almost anything. Almost.
The Perfect Man: gave it a miss. Was that Heather Locklear?
The Polar Express: Not /nearly/ as bad as I'd expected. The Uncanny Valley comparisons are not unfair; the characters are all, to a one, very creepy. Where they should have used unmanipulated motion capture data or hand-animated the whole thing, they stay in some middle-of-the-road compromise that looks as unnatural as the weirdly facial motion-captured "acting." Truth to tell, they should have used a greenscreen…

in-flight movie reviews

On the other hand, the return flight's movies were quite good—Return Flight:
A Beautiful Mind: This is the charming and bittersweet story of eccentric mathmetician John Nash, and his struggles with his unique intellect.As much as I am not a fan of Russell Crowe's personal antics, this is an absolutely wonderful movie with stellar performances throughout it.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The most common comment heard about this movie is that there was no need to remake the Gene Wilder film; however, this is not the same story as that movie. Tim Burton has a knack for stunning visuals and offsetting presentation of quirky, nuanced characters. In this, he shows Willy Wonka to be a troubled and imperfect ruler over his wondrous factory. The most common comparison is a rather grotesque and unfair one to Michael Jackson, which fails to notice the healing powers of a good-tempered innocent on a jaded adult, as well as tainting the movie's reputation with implied association …

falling prey

Wasn’t there a videogame based on photographing news events or helping people survive the events?
A photographer has come under fire in China for his pictures of a man falling off a bicycle. The man came a spectacular cropper in Xiamen city after his bike hit a pot-hole submerged in rainwater. But photographer Liu Tao was accused of lying in wait to take his pictures instead of warning people of the danger.
Readers of the Beijing Youth Daily, which published the shots, wrote in to express their feelings. One wrote: "The pictures are well shot, but the person who shot this is disgusting. He knew there was a pit, but was waiting there for someone to fall over."
And another said: "The photographer should really be condemned since he knew there definitely would be other victims."
Liu defended himself, saying: "I just knew that the city government has paved the pit, and without my pictures, the pit would not be noticed by the government, and there would perhaps be more…

q: should bush be impeached?

Spying, the Constitution — and the ‘I-word’
WASHINGTON - In the first weeks and months after 9/11, I am told by a very good source, there was a lot of wishing out loud in the White House Situation Room about expanding the National Security Agency’s ability to instantly monitor phone calls and e-mails between American callers and possible terror suspects abroad. “We talked a lot about how useful that would be,” said this source, who was “in the room” in the critical period after the attacks.

Well, as the world now knows, the NSA — at the prompting of Vice President Cheney and on official (secret) orders from President Bush — was doing just that. And yet, as I understand it, many of the people in the White House’s own Situation Room — including leaders of the national security adviser’s top staff and officials of the FBI — had no idea that it was happening. (continue reading)At this survey, of 153142 responses, 85% say “Yes,” G.W. Bush should be impeached. Sicc ’em!

a: absolutely - this s…

grant morrison may be insane

CXF: Last, but certainly not least. It's December 22, 2012. As humanity takes its last wistful look at the constraints of space-time and dives headlong into the Supercontext, where is Grant Morrison?

GM: Shagging like bloody Shiva, I hope. I think that if anything happens at all, it's most likely to come in the form of a mass consciousness change - possibly triggered by planetary electromagnetic field alterations predicted to occur around that time - so that basically everyone will start peaking on the acid trip that never ends. 'Individuality' will dissolve and your minds will start to merge into one mass mind, which is likely to seem quite frightening and overwhelming, especially for the sheltered minds, and time will seem to disappear as we identify with the mitochondria in our cells, instead of identifying with the physical individual carrier 'bodies' we use to expedite the shuffling around of DNA.

The world's current social structures should collapse qui…


You’ll note the sudden appearance of a backlog of posts. I have been too busy to compose entries until last weekend, at which point (despite paying my bills on time) my web host decided to heisman my FTP access to my account, and I have been unable to update anything for the past five days, though. Back now.

x3 and other trailers I have found interesting

Slither features Nathan Fillon in a role that seems, well, non dissimilar to his role in Firefly. As a horror comedy with action sequences, Slither looks to be a spiritual follow up to the excellent Tremors.

The X-MEN 3 Announcement Teaser is a lot more of a trailer than a simple tease; spoiler for anyone who didn’t read the comic: Jean Grey is back, risen from the ashes, so to speak.

“From the makers of Traffic” comes Syriana, what looks to be a morality tale about lying down with dogs, and then being surprised at the flea infestation that ensues. With oil. It looks very exciting, but I can’t help but think that only us would-be lefties will see it, and it will not change anyone’s mind about mixing politics with business; might it stir us to greater action, though?

If all these visuals overload your Cool Gauge, check out the video for Lionel Richie’s All Night Long to bring yourself back to earth, and possibly begin weeping for the eighties.

pimp slap your inner child

Sixteen Serious Questions Raised By "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
“Why are they such fascists? Like the head elf isn’t way different than all the others? And what about the tall elf? Is he an engineer? Is he from MIT? Why is he tall? And how come the head elf and the tall elf don’t get any shit but Hermy does?”
(thanks, TimK)

“a day in the life”

Sony may not know noninvasive DRM, but they have their marketing and advertising down stone cold. You saw the Qualia advertisement with the horde of superballs, now check out this dynamic, inspiring, batshit crazy PSP advertisement titled A Day in the Life (on which Chris Cunningham consulted).

comic commentary comments on the surly nature of overly active nationalistic guardians in The Occupation of Latveria.

freakin’ enough of gritty urban themed games!

Change everything that’s grey into blue.From now on, everyone wears red shoes.Make everything happen at midday or sunset.Replace gun textures with banana textures.Turn all cars into pink convertibles that wobble and only do 15mph.If you get 100 of anything, a little tune plays.Instead of saying “crew” say “your buddies.”Instead of saying “hood” say “zone.”Make the female characters something other than prostitutes.Make the black characters something other than drug dealers.BLUE SKY IN GAMES campaign (thanks, monty and andrew v)

peer xanth-ony

My friend Kristen has interviewed Piers Anthony for her online magazine, Jitterbug Fantasia.What I want is to have my novels published the way I write them, and that can be difficult in traditional publishing. Those who read them in search of body functions will be disappointed; there’s not that much. Some readers refused to read the Xanth novel The Color of Her Panties because they said there was a bad word in the title. I refuse to cater to the limitations of such folk. My ChroMagic series is an example of my integrated approach. It’s not about body functions, but where they are relevant, they are there. It’s about as simple as that.

top thirty facts about chuck norris

Exerpted:Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.To prove it isn’t that big of a deal to beat cancer. Chuck Norris smoked 15 cartons of cigarettes a day for 2 years and aquired 7 different kinds of cancer only to rid them from his body by flexing for 30 minutes. Beat that, Lance Armstrong.The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.(thanks, TimK)


Beck’s video for the non-bitpop version of Hell Yes features the dancing of four QRIO robots. Very cute. Rockin’ song, too. The page requires an email, but doesn’t check so “” works just fine; privacy maintained! (boingboing)

gimme another one o' those moog breakin' beats

Moog Break-Beats, an SRI project offering. SRI stands for Sonic Reclamation Industries; these are MP3s of out-of-print vinyl recordings from decades gone by. Hard to believe that electronic music has been around for so long, and still relevant. (Thanks, The Other Michael)

tiny robots

Exceptionally cute, faux-vintage robots from Bennett Robot Works; tiny, mythoelectronic ambassadors from a future we were promised but never arrived. (thanks, Monty!)

on state-sponsored torture

While listening to the President denying its use, I find myself thinking about American torture. And I ask myself, "At what point does a tortured man 'break'? Is it the moment when he hears his twisted arm snap behind his back? Or is it, perhaps, the moment when he sees the frayed electrical cord draw blood from his beaten skin? Or maybe it's when he feels the creeping dread of pain promised after hours without sleep, squatting on a cold cement floor, hearing the sound of footfalls moving menacingly down the hall?"

These questions are not born of morbid curiosity. Rather, these are practical questions, the banal stuff of present day American politics and policies. Because, despite the President's pale claims to the contrary, the American government does, in fact, condone the use of torture. The President himself makes this clear when he promises to veto any bill that "makes it illegal to practice the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment&q…

too true

Something Awful tackles honesty in game titles.

grrlgamerz apparently exist

I also meet people at E3 and various other conferences. I go to these conferences and I enjoy myself, but I’ve noticed that very few people actually talk to me. It’s almost as if there’s a giant bubble around me or I’m completely invisible. Wherever I go, the crowd splits or I’m not seen at all, and someone comes running into me, knocking me over.

I’ll try and wave at someone and get no recognition. I’ll walk up to someone and say, ‘Hey, what’s the PvP like in this game?’ The presenter will look at me in shock for a minute, whisper to a friend and then attempt to explain to me what PVP is. I know what PVP is; otherwise I wouldn’t have asked the question.
—The Escapist: OMG Girlz Don't Exist on teh Intarweb!!!!1

more than meets the splinter of the mind’s eye

Star Wars Transformers
Hey! I made a Say-So Post about the toys.

creepy doll body parts

Sadly, these eerily realistic doll body parts are not available for purchase, only as examples or for repairs. (Thanks to The Other Michael)

attack! attack!

Japan has wacky gameshows, as immortalized by Takeshi’s Castle. But perhaps it is even more fun to watch the nauseatingly cute, overproduced aidoru band Morning Musume suffer through wearing pork hats and being stalked by a giant lizard. (thanks, kristen)

art... kinda.

Masahiro Fukuyama: Samurai fuzzies, or plushie codpieces? I, for one, welcome our new samurai muppet-cock sexuality-exploring overlords.

there may come an empress next

BBC NEWS — Japan panel wants women on throne:
The Imperial Household's main succession hopes lie with Akihito's eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako.
But analysts believe the pressure on Masako to bear a male heir contributed to stress-related illnesses which stopped her fulfilling official duties for more than a year.
If the rules were changed, her three-year-old daughter, Princess Aiko, could succeed instead.How cool is that?

dim and distant stars

Lone Star Statements, by Matthew Baldwin:The following are excerpts from actual one-star reviews of books from Time’s list of the 100 best novels from 1923 to the present. Some entries have been edited. (...)

Lord of the Flies (1955)
Author: William Golding
“I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!! It is incredibly boring and disgusting. I was very much disturbed when I found young children killing each other. I think that anyone with a conscience would agree with me.”

The Lord of the Rings (1954)
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
“The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs.”(mckenzee)

woo hoo!

Apparently I get a cameo in Cory Doctorow’s latest work, a serialized novel at Salon called Themepunks:He hopped to, quickly moving to an older man, tapping him on the shoulder, whispering in his ear. Andrea squeezed Francis's hand as the fire chief approached them. She extended her hand and talked fast. "Andrea Fleeks," she said, and took out her notebook, the key prop in any set piece involving a reporter. "I'm told that you are going to let those homes burn because someone representing himself as the title-holder to that property has denied you entry. However, I'm also told that the title to that land is in dispute and has been in the courts for decades. Can you resolve this for me, Chief ...?"

"Chief Brian Wannamaker," he said. He was her age, with the leathery skin of a Florida native who spent a lot of time out of doors. "I'm afraid I have no comment for you at this time."

Andrea kept her face deadpan, and gave Francis's …

very short stories

Friend of this blog, Amy Kelly, has created SPASMS Project, a collection of very short stories at a rate of a story-a-day for over a year. “I can’t help it, words are interesting. What if they weren’t called fingers, they were called something else? Would that change my fingers? Would it change how I used them?”

“Other mothers have daughters who want to talk about ponies and princesses,” Mother chuckled.

“What if ponies and princesses were called zounds and zebras?”

“They’d still be the same thing, Vivian.”

She rolled her head around to look at her mother. “How do you know?”

“These, for instance. What I’m holding. What are they?”

“Pruning shears.”

Mother shook her head. “‘Pruning shears’ is a label, words we use to mean something. You should never confuse a label with what it stands for.”

“But they really are pruning shears.”


The DOOM movie is out, and Rottentomatoes currently has it at a stinking rotten 20%. Even the good reviews top out at “easily the best videogame movie adaptation yet” — which is roughly the same as saying, “easily the most attractive burn victim supermodel yet (barring advances in radical plastic surgery).”

“if you were here right now, i would totally high-five you, while winking”

Comedy Central is hosting clips from The Colbert Réport (the “t” is silent) featuring Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger. Colbert’s onscreen persona is similar to his instance on The Daily Show, with a few extra pinches of self-righteous O’Reilly thrown in for good measure. Where the Daily Show hits the news stories as I'd like to see them covered, Colbert instead mocks the format of News/Opinion programming personalities. Brilliant!

slick but disturbing

Stunningly well integrated CG composited with real footage creates a believable dreamscape of plants with roving eyes. (jwz)

i have no tongue yet i must scream

A flea-like parasite that bites and leeches from the tongue until the tongue dies; at which point the parasite becomes a surrogate tongue, stealing its host’s precious humours of mucous and blood. I’m just going to go collapse in a quivering, shuddery pile now. (boingboing)

“you never know whats inside?”

It has been over a year since I last mentioned Spamusement, comics inspired by the subject line of spam emails, so hopefully it is OK to trot it out again. (thanks for the reminder, JP)

McDS, or, “losing my religion with bbc”

BBC NEWS: Nintendo in McDonald’s wi-fi deal
Nintendo has joined forces with McDonald’s to offer free wireless internet access in the US for its DS handheld games console.

The service means McDonald’s customers will be able to play selected DS titles against other gamers around the globe.

Rivals Sony and Microsoft already offer online gaming on their game consoles.Could that last sentence be any less without point? Could it be any more misleading? It makes Nintendo sound like they are pulling up to the game late. It reads like they are responding to something that Microsoft and Sony have established.

It’s not. What Sony and Microsoft have, in their home consoles is the ability to connect one’s home system to one’s existing internet service. So these are stationary machines in people’s homes that they can connect to the internet service they are already paying for on their own. With Sony’s PSP, and its built-in 802.11g wireless capability, the statement is marginally more reasonable; a PSP…


After promising to fire anyone found to have leaked the information, Bush offered a more qualified pledge in July, saying, “If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration.”

Asked on Monday if he would expect members of his administration to resign or take a leave if they were indicted, Bush said: “My position hasn’t changed since the last time I’ve been asked this question. There’s a serious investigation. ... I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”

things i sometimes forget, in my enthusiasm

WikiHow: How to Communicate With a Non Native English Speaker
Avoid touching your listener. Even if you want to nudge them in the right direction or encourage them with a friendly pat on the back, your gesture may be misinterpreted. Many cultures view personal contact very differently and your friendly touch could be seen as aggressive or overly familiar.And, no, “avoid touching your listener” is not a euphemism. The rest of the advice on that site is also quite good; I find I follow most of it already when trying to communicate in English here in Japan.

the two largest game retailers have completed their merge, and announced restructuring, layoffs - GameStop, EB merger results in job cuts and warehouse closures
Hundreds of redundancies and EB outlet closures planned until summer 2006

Having just completed its acquisition of Electronics Boutique, videogame retailer GameStop has announced the intended closure of EB's Philadelphia headquarters, resulting in hundreds of redundancies.In other news, E3 2006 expects a 50% decrease in sullen, rude, retail register jockey attendees next year.

the new ipod does video

So it is ALL over the web already, but Apple’s new iPod does video, and the new iTunes allows purchase of videos; here is a shot of ABC’s LOST for a buck-ninety-nine. Holy COW is that cool or what? Here’s a link to Jobs’ keynote address covering the other announced products.

music, community

somesongs [list songs]:welcome to somesongs.
this is a community-based site for sharing homemade music. it works pretty simply: a person makes a song and posts the mp3 on his/her website and then posts the link here. then the users of somesongs rate the song (good, okay, or bad) so that other users will have an easier time of finding songs they'll enjoy.


muchos marios

Geek on Stun presents spritely Mario in Cosplay. (waxy)

not what the blog’s title seemingly implies

Old Grandma Hardcore chronicles the reactions and attitude of a very sassy grandma while she plays videogames. It took Grandma a long time to get through Chapter 9 in the game. Her surprise was in the effectiveness of blade weapons over rifles against her enemies. She could target them much easier, finish them off without worrying about the awkward reloading vulnerability period or running out of ammo. She could focus on what is important in life: killing the undead.

“No!!! Fucker! me with a FIREBALL, where the hell am I supposed to RUN?”

“.....SHIT! No, RELOAD. ‘B’ Button! BEE BUTTON!!! I pressed the fucking thing!”

“Fuck this I’m using a sword.”2nd best grandma, evar.

gorillaz inaction figures

Here’s a link to shop. Sit down before viewing price information. (via larking through Flickr: Photos tagged with ‘gorillaz’)

director walter hill on the warriors

Hill: I had a very simple thing at the beginning of the movie which [Paramount] wouldn’t let me do which was a legend that said, “Some time in the future.” The great minds at the studio thought that was too much like Star Wars. I thought the movie was close to being incomprehensible without that because it always seemed to me to be a science fiction movie.
The FADER Magazine - New York MythologyHill also notes being influenced by his love of American comic books in structuring The Warriors. Between science fiction, and comic books, I think I am happy with the way that it came out more than what Hill proposed. It is easier to think of The Warriors as taking place in some parallel New York than it is to deal with what would have been perceived as half-assed post-apocalyptic vision.

I am unclear on how much of The Warriors meme-boom is due to marketing efforts on Rockstar/Take 2 Games’ part, how much is synergy between the two studio and Take 2 to celebrate the Extra Super Special Edition…


now make it manifest

The machinery of gaming has run amok. Instead of serving creative vision, it suppresses it. Instead of encouraging innovation, it represses it. Instead of taking its cue from our most imaginative minds, it takes its cue from the latest month's PC Data list. Instead of rewarding those who succeed, it penalizes them with development budgets so high and royalties so low that there can be no reward for creators. Instead of ascribing credit to those who deserve it, it seeks to associate success with the corporate machine. It is time for revolution.

-- The Scratchware ManifestoManifesto Games has been started-upped by Greg Costikyan. This is exciting! (via)

move yo’ body

All of us have experienced days when our productivity soared. It was like nothing could slow us down. Everything that we had planned for the day toppled like a row of dominoes. We were unstoppable. Then, the next day, we couldn’t buy a check on our next action list. We couldn’t make anything happen. If pressed, we couldn’t say what the difference was between the two days.

Several things came together this week to explain one cause of this phenomenon to me (continued)
—Your Central Nervous System: Your Biological Key to Productivity (Open Loops)

revolution controller

So, it’s a mouse, but it’s not. It’s the classic Famicom controller, but it’s not. It’s substantially adaptable, more sensitive than Sony’s EyeToy, and more intuitive than a lightgun. This thing is going to be teh awesum. Looking around, some people get it, and other people aren't paying attention. (originally written on 9/22; i be catching up on my Drafts)

han is gonna be pissed

fucking vandalism

While I am against the dog-pissing, territorial markings of bombing and tags, large piece grafitti and reality-hacking advertising alterations are an art forms I can respect and get into. Fuck This Book’s contents, however, are just kind of stupid, naughty fun. (boingboing)

Master BrickChief

Lego HaloMOCs; You know, I think I need to make one of these. Or more. (kotaku)


Reactions to backfires, captured on film. (4rthur)

“free” upgrade for psp firmware

PSP Hubs Hand Out Free Stuff - Kotaku: these were on the show floor at TGS. I tried to take a pic, but got shoo’d out of the area (“I’m very, very sorry sir, but this is a throughway, and nobody may stop here!” *frantic hand waving*) before I could get out my cellphone, which would have been heisman’d anyway. It struck me as odd that the big thing at one PS Spot was the ability to upgrade one’s PSP firmware to 2.0. Not sure if it was needed for the downloadable content or ...

Oh, wait: It looks like PSP firmware 2.0 may soon be successfully haXX0r’d.

i had to kill the pig

The first bit of fiction from author Warren Ellis that I read was I Had To Kill The Pig; it is still my favorite among his work, though the abandoned novella he was doing on LiveJournal, about a cyborg’d journalist/blogger being shipped to post-pandemic America to cover its re-emergence, was a near second. This story has been posted here before, but his old site Die Puny Humans has since died, puny human; its current location is posted here for the common edification.


iPod Nano, hm?

There goes all the money I bet on the product announcement. Everyone thought it would be a new Shuffle, or an iPod Phone. I was convinced they wouldn’t do both, so I bet they would put both features in one product:

New from Apple: The iPhone Shuffle

“Life is random.”

This would be a small white cellphone with no display, and no keypad. In the spirit of the iPod Shuffle and the one-button mouse, the iPhone Shuffle would allow users to call people in their Address Book randomly.

“Don’t just surprise them; surprise yourself.”

Alternately they could sync with their Address Book and use the iPhone Shuffle to call people in a pre-determined order from a new Address Book Smart Playlist feature.

korea may be the king of online games...

...but it will only spread to the USA if they start hiring actual native English speakers for their marketing materials (and preferably game content as well) when they do an English-language launch. Rakion looks and sounds like a lot of fun, but if the website is indicative of what the in-game help will be like, it’s doomed. We did not intend to create similar game. Feel free to browse through new concept that Rakion provide for you.If Engrish is Japanese English, what is the Korean equivalent?

RSS feed for Comments?

How many people would use an RSS reader to keep up with this blog’s Comments, if it had one?

I do not believe that Blogger’s native Comments feature supports the addition of Comments to any page (someone please correct me if this is wrong), so I’d be reinstating the very nice and friendly HaloScan Comments. Dunno what I did last time that messed it up, but it broke the page. I suspect if that happens again, someone who can read markup better than I will need to help me un-break it, but if there is a strong preference for RSS feed, it shoudn’t be too hard.

If you don’t know what RSS is, check the wikipedia article on it, then go to Bloglines and set some up for yourself. If you are on Mac OS X, check out NetNewsWire Lite, or use Safari 2.0’s native support for the feed: protocol.

Please drop your Comments in the handy bloggercomments link here.