"Although entertaining shoot-'em-ups such as Microsoft's 'Halo 2' still dominate the $10 billion video game industry, a new breed of designer is crafting programs that teach much more than just hand-eye coordination."
I knew those fast twitch skills would come in handy for the Gen X crowd someday. Now is the time to make your mothers proud of all the hours spent on Counterstrike and Quake.
Of course, for a split second I excitedly misread the headline as saying 'Asia Faces Living Dead Nightmare from Climate Change'. No such luck, though. Would have made for some exciting TV coverage, with all the bits of decayed Asian flesh sloughing off, horrid moanings of teeming zombie hordes clamoring for brain snacks splashed with yummy soy sauce, and chop-socky undead beatdowns.
"Alaskan blogger accused of mother's murder
A teen blogger in Alaska has been arrested for her mother's murder.
Rachelle Waterman had posted to an online journal dating back to February. In the journals, which she titled 'My crappy life, the inside look of an insane person.' She says she lives in Hell, Alaska, details conflicts with her mother and writes about a desire to commit violent acts against herself and others..."
Of course, there is a ton of trolling going on in the comments section.
"In California there's a computer manufacturer that makes powerful machines beloved by a tiny niche of creative users, featuring a media-oriented Unix operating system and stunning industrial design. But it's not Apple Computer." (full story at the jump.)
If you're going to use a Jewish title (messiah) and Jewish yardsticks to measure him by, then I'd think it reasonable to say he should be judged on whether or not he accomplished what the Jewish texts say was his mission.
And my all time favorite person on Belief.net and supreme troll of the universe JohnCrawford.
Follow him as he battles the encroachment of science and evolution on modern thinking.
Just received this scam email from Mr. Mike Robert G. Read it and then I will cover some reasons why Mike Robert G. is not a very good grifter.
“DEAR, GOOD DAY.I KNOW THIS MAIL WILL COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISEE CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT WE HAVE NOT KNOWN EACH OTHER NOR HAD ANY FORMAL DISCUSSION BEFORE.I GOT YOUR CONTACT AS I WAS GOING THROUGH THE SEARCHING FOR A RELIABLE PERSON TO ASSIST ME.MY NAME IS MIKE ROBERT GUEI. THE SON OF FORMER MILITARY HEAD OF STATE COTE D"IVOIRE GEN.ROBERT GUEI WHO WAS MURDERED BY THE REBELS ON THE 19th SEPT.2002 DURING A COUP ATTEMPT.AFTER THE TRAGIC INCIDENT I RAN TO DAKAR-SENEGAL FOR SAFTY.BECAUSE LAST YEAR MY LATE FATHER DEPOSITED THE SUM OF$9,000,000:00 US DOLLARS.(NINE MILLION US DOLLARS) IN A SECURITY COMPANY HERE IN DAKAR-SENEGAL WITH MY NAME AS NEXT OF KIN.FURTHERMORE, I HAVE ALL THE VITAL DOCUMENTS THAT COVERS THE DEPOSITED FUND WITH ME HERE IN DAKAR-SENEGAL AND ALL WILL BE FAX TO YOU. I AM LOOKING FOR A TRUSTWORTHY PERSON TO ASSIST ME WITH THE FOLLOWING BELOW:(i)TO ASSIST ME WITH A TRUSTWORTHY ACCOUNT WHERE THE FUND WILL BE TRANSFEREE TO.(ii)TO ASSIST ME AND INVEST THE FUND IN PROFITABLE BUSINESS AND START A NEW LIFE. I HOPE YOU WILL TRUST TO ASSIST ME AS YOUR FRIEND OR YOUR BROTHER,IF SO THANKS BE TO GOD BECAUSE WITH HIM ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.I WILL BE LOOKING FORWARD TO HEAR FROM YOU.YOUR URGENT REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED.THANKS AND REMAIN BLESS YOURS,MIKE ROBERT G.”
1. Stop typing to me in all caps motherfucker.
2. Dear, Good Day is not an accepted greeting in my country.
3. Grammar, grammar, grammar…oh, and spelling.
4. Never trust a man with two first names.
A very big dear good day to you too,
I am, if nothing else, trustworthy. If you would be so kind as to fax all of the information to me I would be more than willing to give you my account numbers so that you could rob me blind. I have been looking for quite some time for someone to come along and cleverly scam me out of my life savings and you Mike Robert G. are that lucky person.
I have not met her face to face, but I sure hope she likes the freaky sex.
All the hearts on the website tells me that she is full of love and desperate, so I am sure I can get her to do some nasty stuff.
I really like the romantic way that I first saw her. I mean it is not everyday you met your future ex-wife on a billboard, but I like her adventurous spirit.
The one thing that I do find troublesome is that some other guy that saw this billboard has already knocked her up. I am nothing, if not understanding, so I am pretty sure I can work past this.
"Why would I rent a billboard to find a husband?I am simply ready to be a wife and a Mom. I realize this isn't the most conventional method of finding a husband, but is anything really "conventional" anymore?"
"With 45 seconds to play out of the final quarter of Friday nights Detroit Pistons v Indiana Pacers game at the Palace of Auburn Hills an altercation between Ben Wallace and Ron Artest broke out on middle court."
This site has the whole lowdown: videos, photos, links to news stories on the fisticuffs, everything.
Sure, that little slap fight made for some bitching TV, but I don't think they went far enough with it. I vote for giving those glandular misfits some machetes and 2x4s with rusty nails poking out the ends. Every week, no holds barred, mano y mano.
Not only would it get the best ratings ever, it would provide basic TV with some desperately needed quality programming AND demonstrate excellent role-modeling for today's disaffected urban youth.
Awful White Boy Rap: The Ypsilanti All-Starz (or 'The Phoneix Arises from the Ashes of the Icy Hot Stuntaz', as I like to call them)
(Note from Monkeyman: This has to be some of the worst white boy rap I have ever heard. Pure genius.)
"the ypsilanti all-starz
These ten musical gems came to me by way of Greg Warner in Phoenix. A few years back Greg's friend Nigel Morgan found an unmarked cassette-tape on the street in Ypsilanti, Michigan which contained a string of minute-long booty-rap anthems. Apparently some thugged-out white kids with a drum machine had put together a demo tape
I've given these dudes the name Ypsilanti All-Starz and titled each of the songs. My favorites are 'Yo' Shit Be Up in My Face,' 'Yo' Ass is So Fine' and 'Wiggle on the Flo'.'
What's remarkable to me is the earnestness with which these songs are performed. Some folks disagree with me but I don't think the Ypsilanti All-Starz are aware of their comic brilliance.
This tape circulated around south-east Michigan for two years, copied and recopied. Then Greg played it for someone who said, 'I know these guys!' This person said it was not a satire; these guys were out to make it big. They were fully confident they'd sell a million records. If it means anything to the Ypsilanti All-Starz, I'd buy one.
1. Wave Yo' Booty in the Air (Bounce)
2. Yo' Ass is So Fine (real, win)
3. Ass-Whomp Bustin' Out of Yo' Back Pocket
4. Yo' Shit Be Up In My Face (real, win)
5. Wiggle On the Flo' (real, win)
6. Booty Time
7. Taste That Booty Flava'
8. Booty Shake (a capella)
9. Your Booty Don't Stop
10. (She Got a) Big Fat Booty
11. Wave Yo Booty in the Air (remix)
12. Yo' Ass is So Fine (heartfelt remix)
13. Ass-Whomp (re-dux)
14. Yo' Shit Be Up in My Face (abandoned)
"A coalition of religious and family groups criticized video game makers Tuesday for creating products that allegedly glorify murder and hate crimes--and slammed retailers for selling such games to minors." (Full story after the jump.)
"Game developer Valve is reporting that it has banned more than 20,000 accounts from its Steam online gaming service after detecting attempts to register illegally obtained copies of its hit PC game 'Half Life 2.'" (Full article after the jump.)
(click image for larger Todd Schorr pencil drawing)
Todd Schorr's artistic journey is one that hardly conforms to the time-honored stereotype of Bohemian artist. It is rather a post-war tale bracketed by an America infatuated with the limitless potential of consumerism. His formative years were spent in a world surrounded by the atomic and space ages, by Saturday morning cartoons and racks of comic books at the local drug store, a land populated by Revell models, Mad Magazine, Testors glue, Mickey Mouse and Rat Fink. Further fueling his developing image bank were the seemingly endless icons from television's early years: Robbie the Robot, Mighty Joe Young and reel upon reel of animated toons from the likes of Tex Avery, George Pal and Max Fleischer The compulsion to replicate these characters led to a formal art education and exposure to a new set of influences drawn from the world of advertising and commercial art. (more of his biography)
Beautiful artwork, his paintings are great, but I especially like the pencil renderings that he does as a prelim to his paintings.
Those flapjacks have got themselves a bad attitude. I like feisty breakfasts, but that's just me, call it a quirk. Or a feature.
Aunt Jemima's ghost probably had a hand in this small town tragedy, getting a lil sumthin' sumthin' for all those years of racial stereotyping. Slice up those crackas with some IHOP chop-sock, you go, grrl!
I didn't know she was down with Macromedia Flash, though.
I have some good news for you. I do not want to brag. I do not want to gloat. I do not want to prance around the rainy streets of Seattle, exulting because after years of hard work and frustration and discouragement and rejection and perserverance:
I SOLD MY BOOK. TO RANDOM HOUSE.
Look at me - I am so calm. Sitting here in my windowless office telling you that I SOLD MY BOOK."
All the ladies love the donkey punch. Quite possibly the worst Flash animation I've ever seen, but it has a few bright spots. Where else are you going to see a nympho Democratic robot knock out President Bush with a condom? Hmm?
"The world of online 'scholarly' research is changing today as Google introduces Google Scholar. This specialized new interface -- which will NOT be linked from Google's main search page -- will allow users to search a treasure chest of 'scholarly material.'
As you've read here many times, Google is brilliant (that is, ingenious at marketing and trying new things), and this is yet another example of their savvy. This is something that some other large web engine(s) could have done years ago to help separate themselves from other players and also provide a useful service. No one did it. Now, others will likely play catch-up with Google. Basically, users of Google Scholar can, via a single search location, access content from 'scholarly' materials found on the OPEN WEB that they've found in the Google crawl of the web. Btw, it might also be time to take another look at what has traditionally thought of as 'scholarly' since some of the material in Google Scholar is not 'scholarly' using a traditional definition." (see link for full article on Google Scholar)
For all of you Linux fans in the hizzouse, Red Hat has started pubbing an online magazine to keep you updated.
Speaking of Red Hat, I just got fixed up with a new machine at work that uses Fedora (Red Hat's free-to-download flavor of Linux), and it seems pretty functional so far. I'll have to bookmark this mag to check out updates and tips.
this is a group moblog event, sharing the lives of 24 people over 48 hours in new york city."
I like this concept. They are currently updating it on the fly throughout tomorrow, Nov. 20th. Refresh the site's main page every so often, or track updates through the RSS feed on the site, or the flickr link.
Sort of like a reality show, but you only get to see snapshot glimpses of what in happening in each person's life. Images roll in at random from each person, clicking on a particular poster's name will give you a short bio of that person and a chronological list of images they have snapped. No dialogue, just pictures. The detail you have to fill in with contextual clues and your imagination.
A little Adobe Premiere, some good editing chops and music, this could be worked into a nice short film.
UPDATE: They are still mobloggin' away, here is bio and page of images documented by geoff.
They will continue documenting snaps of their day until midnight tonight (11/20/04).
(click pic for larger pic to see how Target plans to compete with Walmart this holiday season.)
LOFL! I took a screencapture (no photoshopping, honest!) as proof that this existed on Target's online website. It will soon be pulled once someone notices the flurry of pageviews caused by this fleeting web meme as it scuttles across monitors all over the world. Even better, it's categorized under 'Entertainment'. Target really calls 'em likes they sees 'em.
For the budget minded consumer, you save $3.99, that's what I call thrifty shopping.
It says the item is available in 4 - 8 weeks. I hope eager shoppers can wait that long.
"There's a scene close to the beginning of Half-Life 2 of an urban vista in which a flock of birds flies toward a pale ecru sky against the backdrop of a very tall, black, ominous building. It seems so visually interesting -- even better than real -- it's hard not to pause for a moment and say, 'Wow. That's really cool.'" (full article @ link)
A little Google action uncovered more about the artist:
"Peter Horvath works in video, sound, photo-based and new media. Camera in hand since age 6, he inhaled darkroom fumes until his late 20‘s, then began exploring art forms in time based media. Immersed himself in digital technologies at the birth of the Web, co-founded 6168.org, a site for net.art, and adopted techniques of photo-montage which he uses in his net based and 2D works."
"Thirty years ago, the media in Taipei began reporting how an ordinary old man from a fishing village had become an extraordinary painter. The legend of his paintings, naive and lovable - though deeply mysterious and sometimes hard to understand - caused excitement and debate in Taiwan. Hong Mi-Jen tells the legendary story." (full story at the link.)
(from the article)
FOR A WHILE, it seemed, I was part of a generation with no discernable qualities, no great contribution to American culture. Too young to be boomers, too old to be "Gen X," this generation was a product of the burned out excess of the seventies married to the surface glow of the eighties. But here in 2004, I realize I belong to the luckiest generation, and not only that, I am part of the luckiest sub-culture within. Maybe we didn't give the world the Beatles or John Updike, but we gave the world Dungeons and Dragons.
Ah. Such memories. The early 80's were laden with AD&D and living in the Bible Belt where the youth ministers in Southern Baptist churches quite possibly frowned on such devilish activities.
"An escaped prisoner who stole a deputy's gun and patrol car then kidnapped her three-year-old son was shot in the head as she held the weapon to the terrified toddler's head in a stand-off with police."
That is an awesome t-shirt. Man, George Lucas's Star War lawyers would freak the hell out if that isn't licensed. Although, whoever made that shirt might say it's wearable art.
Or, maybe it has been quietly licensed by Lucas Entertainment. That's would be a great move for the Star Wars franchise. Viral the imagery out, get Star Wars on a trendier edge? I would do it, smart business.
Tim Greenburg is a filmmaker living in New York City. He’s not the type who’s going to be bringing you the next Day After Tomorrow and we think this is a good thing. His work appears in festivals and screenings across the globe and you can check out his work here, at OUCHTHEWEBSITE.COM. (rest of biography at the link)
When you go to the linked site, click the picture of the stuffed critter on the toy car to watch the 'Ouch!' short film (it's in QT). That nifty lil plush critter looks a bit like one of the Ugly Dolls. (link 1, link 2)
Hilarious, I laughed hard enough to forcibly hose down my monitor with spittle projectiles.
W.A.T.C.H.'s annual "10 Worst Toys" list nominates representative toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries, or even death. W.A.T.C.H.'s annual "Toy Conference" has generated extensive national press and media coverage. Because of these efforts, and the positive response from both the media and the public, there have been many toy and product design changes. Founder Edward M. Swartz and W.A.T.C.H. have fearlessly exposed potentially dangerous toys to the general public. As a result, children’s lives have been saved.
1968 The Beatles release "The White Album"
2004 Jay-Z releases "The Black Album"
2004 DJ Danger Mouse mixes both "The Grey Album"
Pretty cool video of mashup of The Beatles and Jay-Z. God rest his soul, John Lennon can pop and lock with the best of 'em.
'Grey' and 'gray' are both acceptable spellings of that word, the former used in the UK and latter here predominantly in America. I remember pwning my English teacher with that lil bit o' knowledge in high school. She marked it wrong on an essay of mine, and I had to bust out Webster's and The Fellowship of the Ring on her ass. :>
Preach and I use it because it's easy to use and web-based, no install required. Just set up a free account and start adding RSS feeds (those lil orange XML buttons you see on web pages, this is SnarkySpot's: . Just right click on the button, copy the link location, and paste it into your Bloglines Add RSS Feed setting after you set it up.) Blam. Then you can see what is happening here at Snarky or any other page you set up by just checking Bloglines. It will give you a short summary of new items posted.
(Here's more about Bloglines from their site, I personally think their write-up sounds a little dumb, ok, ok, we get it, it's FREE. But it'll give you the gist of what it's about.)
About Bloglines Free and Easy
Bloglines is a FREE online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content. With Bloglines, there is no software to download or install -- simply register as a new user and you can instantly begin accessing your account any time, from any computer or mobile device. And it's FREE!
Bloglines is a window to a whole new world of dynamic content that is being created and distributed over the new "live" web. You can make your own personalized news page tailored to your unique interests from our index of tens of millions of live internet content feeds, including articles, blogs, images and audio. And it's FREE!
Bloglines shields you from the confusion of news feed standards -- RSS, Atom, and others. Bloglines allows you to search for, read and share any updates from your favorite news feed or blog regardless of its authoring technology. And it's FREE!
Last, but not least, Bloglines provides you with the tools you need to begin creating your own clip blogs and blogrolls. Become a publisher, share your thoughts and opinions! And it's FREE! Get started today!.
"NEW YORK - Look out kids. SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney and Clifford the Big Red Dog are joining forces to rerecord the disco tune 'We Are Family' to promote diversity and tolerance in classrooms." (full story at Link)
God has officially turned his back upon us, a moment of silence, please...
lol, that lady nearly made some serious cash on that thing. Looks more like the 'face on Mars' to me, but I'm not Catholic, so what do I know? She should take a hi-res photo and sell some "cheesy" t-shirts... (ba dum bum!)
"From the to-your-right,-jokes-about-alcoholic-appliances dept.
If you're a gamer or a fan of online comics, you've likely already heard of Penny Arcade. Mike 'Gabe' Krahulik and Jerry 'Tycho' Holkins have been writing and drawing their comic for almost exactly six years under the PA name and in that time they've grown into something of a representative voice for the gaming community. An honesty in dealing with the delays, hype, and frustrations of being a gamer has made their comic into a shared experience for dorks the world over. Recently they've been involved with their games-for-kids charity Child's Play, contract work for game-specific comics, and efforts to improve the grammar of forum posters. They've kindly agreed to answer our questions, so ask away. One question per comment, please. We'll send the best on to the gents and post their responses as soon as we have them."
I don't think the brave men and women of the 101st Fighting Keyboard Battalion get enough credit for the hard work they do defending freedom in the Eternal War to Resubjugate Brown People, so I thought it'd be a good idea to profile a few of them every now and then. Today, we'll meet Sean and Chad of pass the ammo.
The whole site is slightly bizarre, in a funny way, of course.
Neat effect, artist video-referenced a head on walk cycle in a robot-like costume, then made a stencil of each frame. Spraypainted each stencil in a different location around town, taking a picture of each one. Voila! A nifty animation from the sequential photos. Link has compiled animation to watch.
On a serious note. I recently watched the documentary "Be Good, Smile Pretty" and was really taken with it. It is a self made documentary by Tracy Droz Tragos. It chronicles her attempt to deal with her father’s death during the Vietnam War 32 years after the fact. Her family, especially her mother, never spoke of him and never shared much of him. At age 32 she sets out on a life affirming journey to try and get a glimpse of, who he was, and what he was about. I highly recommend it.
While watching this film I could not help but think about how the impact one instance like this reverberates through hundreds of people lives for years and years, and given that we, yet again, have young men dying we may have a sequel to this movie in 32 years.
"Parents and students say they are outraged and offended by a proposed band name and song scheduled for a high school talent show in Boulder this evening, but members of the band, named Coalition of the Willing, said the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. The students told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver they are performing Bob Dylan's song "Masters of War" during the Boulder High School Talent Expose because they are Dylan fans. They said they want to express their views and show off their musical abilities.
But some students and adults who heard the band rehearse called a radio talk show Thursday morning, saying the song the band sang ended with a call for President Bush to die. Threatening the president is a federal crime, so the Secret Service was called to the school to investigate. Students in the band said they're just singing the lyrics and not inciting anyone to do anything.
The 1963 song ends with the lyrics: "You might say that I'm young. You might say I'm unlearned, but there's one thing I know, though I'm younger than you, even Jesus would never forgive what you do … And I hope that you die and your death'll come soon. I will follow your casket in the pale afternoon. And I'll watch while you're lowered down to your deathbed. And I'll stand o'er your grave 'til I'm sure that you're dead."
The 90-page "Quality of Life in the Game Industry: Challenges and Best Practices" white paper was prepared by the IGDA's Quality of Life Committee, representing a wide range of game development professions and companies.
The white paper discusses the problems and consequences developers face when trying to maintain a career in the industry and the solutions for establishing a better work/life balance.
The white paper is partly based on the results of the "Quality of Life Survey" commissioned by the IGDA in early 2004, which garnered nearly one thousand responses from developers. The survey examined developers' attitude toward work, their internal pressures (salary, long hours, job instability), external pressures (family and relationships), inadequate staffing and work organization problems. Some of the alarming findings from the survey include:
34.3% of developers expect to leave the industry within 5 years, and 51.2% within 10 years.
Only 3.4% said that their coworkers averaged 10 or more years of experience.
Crunch time is omnipresent, during which respondents work 65 to 80 hours a week (35.2%). The average crunch work week exceeds 80 hours (13%). Overtime is often uncompensated (46.8%).
44% of developers claim they could use more people or special skills on their projects.
Spouses are likely to respond that "You work too much..." (61.5%); "You are always stressed out." (43.5%); "You don't make enough money." (35.6%).
Contrary to expectations, more people said that games were only one of many career options for them (34%) than said games were their only choice (32%).
The IGDA white paper explains how studios can adopt best practices to help alleviate some of the stress and allow for a more balanced life:
Family friendly practices
A conscious effort to minimize overtime
Better communication between management and developers
Better contracts between individuals, studios and publishers
Better planning and budgeting
Better human resource management
The following is the 'Preamble' from the IDGA Quality of Life White Paper - download PDF (90 pages, reg. req.)
The workplace is a stressful one everywhere, more so in the game industry than in most others. Long hours are endemic. Most projects fail in the marketplace. High-profile studio closures are announced every month. And while the work we do is stimulating and rewarding in its own right, there is no reason not to make our working conditions a lot better than they are today. For young career-oriented people fresh out of school, our industry’s shortcomings, with its endemic long hours and 95% marketplace failure rate, may not always seem obvious or crippling. But after a few years, all-nighters fuelled by coffee and pizza lose much of their appeal. Most people come to want significant relationships, a more balanced life, and sometimes, children as well. None of this is easy to achieve in the typical game company. As a result, many experienced developers fed up with the crunch cycle decide to leave the industry, taking with them a wealth of talent and experience that we can ill afford to lose. Some within the industry consider long hours, high pressure and generally poor quality of life as normal, or even as signs of strength to be bragged about. We do not. No enlightened company should, either: one of the surprising findings of the IGDA Quality of Life Survey is that the majority of game developers now consider games to be only one of many valid career choices for them, not the be-all and end-all that industry folklore still holds dear. As projects get ever bigger and we have to compete with companies like Qualcomm, HP and Pixar for talent, we just can’t afford to drive our best people away by offering comparatively mediocre quality of life conditions. Contents of the White Paper This white paper, prepared by a group of developers representing all game development professions and all types of companies, discusses the quality of life issues most common in our industry, their causes, and some of the solutions elaborated by enlightened individuals and corporations. Its core contains 6 major sections: • Introduction sets the canvas by looking at the state of the contemporary workplace in general. • The IGDA Quality of Life Survey analyzes the results of the survey we held in early 2004 and to which nearly a thousand developers responded. • The Balancing Act describes the challenges that developers face when trying to balance a quality personal life with a fulfilling game development career. Topics discussed include the industry’s high-risk economics, scheduling, peer pressures, lack of concern and support for the family unit in game companies, community resistance to controversial game content, family tensions and early departures toward rival industries.
In yet another glaring example of how the internet is creeping into real life without the “non-nerds” understanding what is going on, Kermin, a contestant on College Jeopardy placed a rather odd bet during the Final Jeopardy round. Already winning by over $10,000 and in no danger of any other contestant catching him, Kermin placed a bet of $1337.