I Read Stuff!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mario, as High Art

Roger Ebert has set the fan boys afire with his recent commentary on video games. This very same argument broke out a year ago when Ebert made the brash claim that video games are not art and never will be. Growing tired of the mockery, Ebert has written a more detailed explanation of his stance. In a direct response to Clive Barker, Ebert explains that he didn't mean video games cannot be art. He meant that video games can never be High Art.

Luckily for the game community, there has been some growth over the last year. Specifically, there has been a maturing in the realm of game journalism and criticism. N'Gai Croal stands as the best of the new guard, and he has decided to respond to Mr. Ebert in defense of games.

The basic plot is that Ebert knows little to nothing about games, and his close minded remarks sound identical to those made in the infancy of cinema. It's a fun debate to follow if you are so inclined. Croal includes excerpts from the others if you want to skip to the end, but a first hand reading of Barker and Ebert is available on the intertubes.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Common Problem

Most insurance companies will cover you in a rental vehicle. You really don't need to pick up the insurance offered by the rental company. However, there is fine print associated with this setup when you rent a U-Haul. Your insurance company probably won't cover the truck when you attempt to drive your 12 foot truck under a 10 foot bridge.

The reason they don't cover this incident is because it's so pervasive. Apparently it happens so often that covering it would lead to a significant loss in profit. Which brings us to today's pictures, sent to me by a friend in the 'ta.

Straight from Hays Kansas we have an impressive example of what happens when your square peg is jammed through a round hole.



Snopes's thoughts on the incident.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Today's Waste of Time

To be completely honest, this will probably waste considerably more time than a single day...

Jamie Sanders wrote a Java based emulator for the original Nintendo. But what does this mean! It means that if you visit this site, you can play hundreds of original Nintendo games in your browser. Super Mario Brothers, Contra, Zelda, Double Dragon, Master Chu & The Drunkard Hu....??

The controls are a little difficult on the keyboard, but I think with a little practice and determination you can save the princess once again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

MIT Invents Party Drug

Congratulations are in order for a group of researchers at MIT. They have successfully cured fear. Not all fear mind you, but 'learned fear'. They describe learned fear as the brain's inability to stop experiencing fear surrounding a particular event.

For example, they put a mouse in a multi-roomed box, and in one of the rooms they electrified the floor. The mice quickly learned to avoid that room. The researchers stopped electrifying the floor, but the mice continued to avoid that room. Huzzah for Pavlov. After receiving the new drug the mice lost their 'fear' of the room.

I'm guessing that this drug can be used to overcome other types of learned fear such as fear of social situations and fear of embarrassment. I like to call these fears 'inhibitions'. Traditionally, lowering inhibitions has been accomplished with the use of copious amounts of alcohol. Unfortunately, those levels of alcohol lead to the dreaded hangover. Lucky for us there are teams of scientists, such as these MIT researchers, working diligently to provide us with recreational solutions for our partying needs.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sing Along!

Someone collected together what they claim to be the top 15 most memorable theme songs from what could be called 'my youth'. I don't want to spoil the list for you, but Tailspin should have been closer to number 1.



Note: For some reason YouTube has a bug when you load more than 10 or so videos on a page. Basically when you start playing the last 5 or so the sound will cut out. Just reload the page and the world is right again.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Will It Blend

Viral marketing is usually the most entertaining way to learn about a product. Today's example is brought to you by Blendtec and their amazing blenders. For $400, the blender better cut through just about anything.

Well, thankfully there is a whole series of films demonstrating just that. This installment shows what happens when you drop your iPhone into a Blendtec.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On the Job Education

Always a nice perk, as a group of would-be cat burglars discovered. This top team of criminal experts broke into the Family Fun Center in Colorado Springs. Once inside they disabled the security camera's with WD-40.

Perhaps 'disabled' is too strong of a word. They inadvertently cleaned the lens of the security camera in an effort to mask their presence. Yeah....

Advancing to stage 2, they approached the safes. They tried for hours to open the safes in the back. With a drill? No, with sophisticated listening equipment? No, with explosives? Unfortunately no. No, this group unsuccessfully worked on the safe with the actual combination. Apparently none of them had ever used a school locker.

Out of frustration one of them sat down at a computer and pulled up Google. He searched for "How to Open Safes". Well, Google helpfully informed them the proper method of entering the combination with a safe dial. They had the safes open and are still at large with $12,000.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Life Lessons

One of my fellow bloggers linked me to an old Onion article today. (If you don’t know, The Onion is a satirical news site. Not Real News) The article, like so many other Onion goodies, is brilliant.

The Money Quote:

Though Braxton said he sympathizes with his coworkers, he added that the decision to pursue a prestigious, high-paying career path was entirely their own.

"They wanted to go for the brass ring and really live the good life," Braxton said. "What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Door Dings

A common habit among new car owners is to park their fancy new vehicle in BFE. A misguided effort to keep that paint job sparkling clean and dent free. The majority of thought about preventing door dings has gone into creating bounce back door panels.

However, Lincoln had another solution back in 1993 that never made it into production.




Think about how excited people were to see the power sliding door on vans. Why can't all cars share in the benefits?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cat's Day Out

Ever wonder what your cat does while you are gone? Not as much as this guy. He picked up a tiny digital camera with a lot of memory, made some minor changes, and attached it to his cat's collar.



The changes he made were to water proof it, and to cause it to automatically take a picture every two and a half minutes. Surprisingly the cat turns out to be a pretty good photographer.



You can follow Mr. Lee's highly edited adventures here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Proper Roman Candle Usage

Well, I know what we're doing next year...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rock Band

I'm a little addicted to Guitar Hero. Well, maybe more than a little. When I hear 'Carry On My Wayward Son' I have flashbacks to green, red, yellow, and blue buttons. (I can't handle hard, so orange is out of the question)

The developer of Guitar Hero, Harmonix, has passed the torch to Neversoft. This isn't because they don't like GH, but it's because they wanted to make a new IP called Rock Band.

Up till now there hasn't been any Rock Band game footage. Thanks to Gamespot we've got our first look. It's an mp4 file that's about 50MB, so be patient while it downloads. (Takes about 2 minutes)







Take note of all 4 player's cues on the screen. Lead guitar is on the left, percussion in the middle, bass guitar on the right, and vocals along the top of the screen.

The bass and guitar are your standard GH controllers. The mic isn't special, but the software apparently has some very sophisticated word detection. You can't hum your way through a song like previous karaoke games. The drum set is a digital quad similar to what's found in a marching band. Except this set comes with a kick pedal for the phantom bass drum. You can see on the drummer's cues the solid line representing a bass hit.

This line of games is forcing me to buy a 360. At $400 plus the $60 Guitar Controller, I'm going to have to spend my birthday and Christmas getting it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rejected Wii Games

A guy at work sent me this video of some Wii games that you probably won't see in the stores. Though, I do think Operation could be fun...


Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?