I Read Stuff!

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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Buffalo's Day Out

This is like watching a train wreck. It's pretty slow in happening, and you know what is going to happen. However, it's hard to look away.



The video is pretty long, so maybe you find it difficult to watch the whole thing. I'll help you out by providing CliffsNotes:

0:00 Tourists begin yammering - turn off sound

0:16 Lions discovered in path of water buffalos. Tourists discover the meaning of dramatic irony. (This is called installation according to Wiki)

1:04 Lions discover water buffalos. (Exploitation)

2:00 Water buffalos discover lions. (Resolution, this concludes today's English lesson)

2:09 Baby is tackled by a lion. Therapist bill just tripled.

2:11 Lion and Baby end up in the watering hole.

3:29 While dragging the Baby out of the water, a crocodile says, "Hmm, free meal!"

4:13 Lions win the gruesome tug of war contest. Points go to the crocodile for lasting so long against 6 lions.

4:33 Buffalo herd, thought to be long gone, returns in large numbers.

5:12 Buffalo charges lions, sends a couple running

5:48 Buffalo charges again, this time hooks a lion and sends it flying. Two more lions take off.

6:09 Turns out Baby is still alive! With only three lions guarding, Baby makes a bid for freedom.

6:24 Entire herd converges on lions which forces them to let Baby go!

7:04 Last lion is chased off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pink Is A Lie!

Digg directed me to a little science article about colors and your eyes. The idea of 'color' is manufactured by your brain based off of incoming light. Your eyes see a certain wavelength and associate it with a color, from the shortest, red, to the longest, violet.

Great, so if you create a spectrum you can see all the possible colors of light. Only you can't, magenta(pink) doesn't exist in the spectrum.

There is no Pink!



In a gross simplification, when two different wavelengths of light enter your eye, the brain basically averages the two colors together to create the color you see. So when Red and Green enter your eye, the brain says, "Yellow!"

However, when red and blue enter your eye, you get magenta which indicates that the brain doesn't see the spectrum as a strip. Instead the brain treats it as a loop. When it averages blue and red, it connects them together with the completely fabricated color of pink.

Monday, August 25, 2008

AirKick

Seriously, diving boards are for pansies.



The catapult launches you 24 feet where you will hopefully land in a swimming pool. I don't see a price, so you'll have to find it at a water park to ride it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Would You Do With Billions?

Well the fine folks in Dubai do crazy things like this:



and this:



but more recently, a man by the name of David Hobcote took some very nice aerial photos of the tallest building in the world. It's not due to be completed until 2009, but it's already a wonder to behold.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Games Of The Future!

The Game Critics Awards announced their winners for E3 a couple of weeks ago. I just ran across them, so better late than never.

Best of Show - Fallout 3
Not very surprising due to its pedigree.

Best Original Game - Mirror's Edge
The premise of this game is very exciting, but I find it hard to believe it will deliver.

Best Console Game - LittleBigPlanet
Yes, yes, it will change the world. Blah blah blah...

Best PC Game - Spore
For the third year, perhaps they will release the game this decade.

Best Handheld Game - Resistance: Retribution
It's been my experience that reading a book is more rewarding than playing handheld systems.

Best Hardware/Peripheral - Rock Band 2 Ion “Drum Rocker” Set
Look! A metal drum pedal! What innovation!!!

Best Action Game - Gears of War 2
This genre is a bit weak this year, so Microsoft should put this award in the back of the trophy case.

Best Action/Adventure Game - Dead Space
I just don't understand the fascination with this game. It must be awesome to play, because it beat out Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Best Role Playing Game - Fallout 3
I think you have to win your group before the all breed judges look at you.

Best Racing Game - Pure
Why aren’t racing games part of the Sports genre? NASCAR is desperate to know...

Best Sports Game - Madden NFL 09
This sums up my thoughts.

Best Fighting Game - Street Fighter IV
It beat out Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.... I'm not kidding. Perhaps we are in need of some new IPs in fighting games.

Best Strategy Game - Tom Clancy’s EndWar
This is scary because it's a console first release. I refuse to believe that consoles can provide a superior game play experience for strategy games. Watching the videos makes my thumbs ache.

Best Social/Casual/Puzzle - LittleBigPlanet
$60 casual game... maybe Braid and Castle Crashers would be money better spent.

Best Online Multiplayer - Left 4 Dead
This is my personal favorite game of the future. I'm having RB6 LAN night flashbacks just thinking about it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Harry Potter Apparates

What the deuce? "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is no longer being released in November! It's been pushed back to July of 2009.

"Why?" you say.

The Writer's Strike

I know. It sounds ridiculous, because the writer's strike has been over for months. The problem is that while they were on strike, they were supposed to be writing the 2009 summer blockbusters. So now the studios are without any big movies to release during a prime money making season.

Instead of losing those theater goers, they are going to extend "The Dark Knight"'s time in the theaters until basically December. It's printing money, so why not? And then place Mr. Potter in the July spot so their revenue stays high for both 2008 and 2009.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A New Take On Fountains

I ran across a couple of very different takes on the traditional fountain. First we have the 'Billboard Fountain'. Which is neat, but it isn't really beautiful.



The 'Vortex Fountain' is much more attractive. It's definitely something I would put in my billion dollar yard. One change I would make is to move the drain in all six axis. That way the vortex would no only change shapes but would roam around the tank like a true tornado.



Of course, my billion dollar lake would have to outshine the Dubai fountain currently under construction.



Why yes, that water does shoot over 500 feet in the air.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Google Earth

The infinite monkeys on the internet have discovered a number of very strange things since the introduction Google Earth. One of my favorites is this jet parked at an apartment building.



With the growing collection of Google's new Street View there is a different kind of strangeness being discovered, real life. Below is a shocking example of how Google's simple drive bys capture a moment in time.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Lightning in Slow Motion

This is just cool...


Thursday, August 07, 2008

How To Pull A Hammy

My father dropped these videos on me last night. An odd little sport called Sepak Takraw, which is essentially volleyball. Only, in Takraw, you can't use your hands.

Here are the pros showing off their bicycle kick skills in slow motion.



To get a better feel for the speed of that bicycle kick, here are some college kids playing at full speed.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Mummy 4?

That's right folks; Rob Cohen has confirmed there will be a Mummy 4.

"But how can that be!?", you cry, "It was critically assaulted receiving a ridiculous 9% rotten from Rotten Tomatoes."

Yes, but you forget that movie goers have no taste. The Mummy 3 earned $45 million domestically and an additional $61 million internationally. In other words, it earned $106 million in one weekend.

Granted its budget was $175 million, but I think it's clear that campy undead hordes earn the green.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Developers vs Fan Boys

Diablo III was announced recently with some fancy game play movies showing off new class types and monsters. The fans have gone wild, well, most fans. A vocal minority has complained that the game is overly 'cartoony'. To show what they meant, these fan boys released Photoshopped images showing the changes they want to be made to Diablo III.



The trouble with fan boys is that they think they know best. They have played a large number of games which gives them a certain insight. They have played their game of choice into the ground, memorized its lore, and fantasized about its sequel. A good start, but they are missing some crucial elements.

To help highlight what they are missing, MTV's Multiplayer took the screenshots to Blizzard to elicit a response from the developers. Jay Wilson goes shot by shot and quite reasonably explains why the fan boys' art is unusable. It's a good read, but I'll hit the main points here:

1) Hardware limitations. A few shots he liked how the lighting is done, but ultimately it just isn't possible on today's hardware.

2) Play Tested. They actually started with a darker, grittier version of the game, but after having it play tested, the gamers' complained that they couldn't tell one monster from another. They asked for brighter environments.

3) This last one's so good I'm just going to quote Jay Wilson directly:

It’s a very simple game, and [you need to ] constantly vary what you throw at the player — big look changes in the environment, creature changes with different behavior. And not just behavior; we spent a lot of time trying to make creatures show up and die more interestingly. Because those are all the things that keep you going. Each one of those things is a reward. When you pull all the color out of the environment and you make it too homogeneous across the game, essentially what you’re doing is you’re pulling away the player’s reward of feeling like they’ve progressed because the area they’re in now looks like the area they were in 30 to 45 minutes ago.


Preach on brother, preach on...


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?