Thursday, 29 May 2008

Games need more sex to become mature - a stunning visual speech

In this little video, 9 minutes, professor Daniel Floyd at savannah college of Art and Design delivers a brilliant and visual stunning speech that the problem with games and sex is that they don't have enough in it.

Simply put if we ever want the computer game become a mature medium of art then we need to accept the presence of sex in games as well. Considering that the majority of gamers are above 25 this makes a lot of sense.

However as the whole Mass Effect sex scene fuss showed, games still have a long way to go before.

And even if you do not agree with his point, at least the video itself is worth watching.

via Boing Boing

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

I won! I won! I won! I wo... shut up, we know it now.

Last week I entered the writing contest John Scalzi was having on his own blog Whatever. The goal was simple: describe the events of the night of 19 August, 1994.

I wrote a little piece of statistics concerning that particular night. To my great delight last monday Scalzi declared the winners and I was the second runner up! <>

It's really amazing to be selected from all the different entries, a lot of entries were really good so I am really honored mine got picked out.

So what did I get? Well I will receive a autographed book by John Scalzi, which is very cool. So now whenever I lend out a book I can lend that one and just casually flip open the first page with the autograph. 'Oh yes, that. I can still remember how I got that one: it was the night of 19 august, 1994 and I was left with two others after a gruelling 72 hour lasting battle royale that started with 300 fame starving writers... "

Ahum, sorry about that.

And of course I also got my fifteen minutes of fame. My little piece got to shine next to the two other winnners, and you should really read those as both are brilliant pieces. Plus people really made nice comments. Reading that people enjoyed my little piece really put a smile on my face. Commenter 26 thanks for rooting for me!

So what will I do now? Well to be honest this contest really uncorked a bit of creativity, so I guess I will keep writing more. Look out for more flash fiction soon to come here.

Gim out.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Font Vader

This a rather creative way of using fonts. Besides looking at the awesome image of Vader it's also fun to deconstruct the picture and see all the different letters and symbols used.

via Boing Boing

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Amazing mural animation

This is a amazing animation made by the Italian graffiti artist Blu. It is hard to imagine all the hard work that went into making this. It's fantastic that someone would make this for free just to enrich other people's life.

via KK

The night of 19 August, 1994.

John Scalzi is holding a little contest at his blog Whatever; you can win a signed copy of his new book Zoe's Tale. The goal is simple: describe the events on the night of 19 August, 1994.

So I decided to have a go at it and the result is already posted on the comment thread for the contest. But of course I wouldn't want to deprive you guys from my writings, so without further ado:

The night of 19 August, 1994.

4.789.677.003 ideas were born.
80% involved sex.
45% were already forgotten after five seconds.
10,5% were big ideas for a novel, 1 of them eventually got blurbed on Whatever, another was unmasked as fiction on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
5,6% resulted in a divorce.
0,0001% had the solution to world peace, unfortunate it was thought up by a cat who’s owner mistook his message for peace as a cry for food. The cat had a nice diner.

30.887.239.969²³ spermatozoa went on a voyage that night.
99,99% panicked when they discovered they were out in the open air. They died within
five minutes.
0,004% kept bumping against glass. Then the cold came.
0,005% got on the right racing track but were thwarted by another team. The other
team was sponsored by milkman inc.
0,001% Made it to the egg. They were very pleased with the result nine months later.

3.987.452.221 pounds of food was consumed
74,5% consumed by humans. Icecream was a favorite that night.
25% consumed by animals. They loved their grass.
0,5% consumed by mould. Silently plotting their bid for world domination
0,0023% was human consumed by animals. Eight pandas had indigestion afterwards.

256.666 persons claimed to have a supernatural encounter.
68% claimed to be abducted by aliens. They had the sore ass to prove it.
12% said they spoke with God. One actually had.
11% reported they were terrorized by gnomes. The gnomes allied with the mould.
9% encountered a ghost. 20 people had watched a video seven days before.

3.798.333.113 pairs of shoes were used.
77% suffocated due to sweaty feet.
12,5% conducted sabotage against their slave-masters.
6% were thrown away. Enduring afterlife on the seventh tier of Hell: the fiery field of
chew toys for dogs.
4,5% were missed in action. They will be remembered.

23.566.016 acts of kindness were perpetrated.
68% involved candy, flowers and remembering a birthday or anniversary. They had an
assistant with a good memory.
18% was a kind word or two. Being kind only takes a minute sometimes.
12% was helping old ladies across the road. 255 grannies yelled they didn’t need to cross
the road.
2% was extraordinary. You can rent the movies to see it.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Japanese Show: movie moments with string

I have no idea what they are saying, but luckily we don't need to. The only thing you need is appreciation for the truly remarkeable movie enactments they pull of with string.

via VKmag

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Suggest a book

At the moment I have finished reading every single book I have. This is rather odd for me because usually I am reading two or three books at the same time and five other ones waiting.

However this time I have nothing on my to read list. So to expand my horizon I will read any book that you guys suggest. Yep that's right, you can decide what book I will read next.
I am always excited to know what other people read and what books have had a profound influence on them. The best way to know a person is by the books he/she recommends reading.

So post your suggestions in the comments or send me a mail. I am eager to hear your suggestions. One thing though, you don't have to recommend the bible, I already read the spoilers.

Rec my Outpost

As stated before: I love zombies. Unfortunate the zombie genre does not attract the greatest of directors, so most of the time your average zombie movie is as brainless as the walking corpses on the big screen.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered not one, but two excellent new movies featuring the walking dead. The Spanish movie 'Rec' and the British made 'Outpost'.
Both are low-budget and non-Hollywood; both are excellent and bring a refreshing new take on the zombie genre.

Technically speaking both movies do not really have zombies. With Rec you have people infected with a kind of rabies that turn them into flesh ripping madmen, a bit like the rage-virus in 28 Days Later, and with Outpost you have Nazi ghosts who have the nasty habit of pushing iron nails into soft fleshy places.
But hey, if it shambles like a zombies, moans like a zombie and tries to bite you like a zombie, it really doesn't matter anymore what it is.

First Outpost. The story takes place somewhere in Eastern Europe in a war torn country. A scientist hires a group of mercenaries to take him to a deserted bunker. The group is led led by a gruffy sergeant played by the always excellent Ray Stevenson, best known for his role as legionnair Titus Pullo in the hit TV-show Rome. As soon as they arrive at the bunker all hell turns loose as the place is cursed with the presence of the earlier mentioned Nazi-zombies. Basically the story then turns into a 'this little piggy went to...' fest, in which the mercenaries are killed off one by one.
I really liked the pace and the gritty atmosphere Outpost contained. With minimal effects it really conjures a frightening and almost claustrophobic feeling that remains the whole movie with you. The only real drawback of the movie is that the story is not as fleshed out as it could have been. As soon as the characters and setting is introduced the remainder is used for scary and gory moments and not much more. A little bit more of whys and how's would have turned a good movie into a excellent one. But still, this is a must see if you're a zombie fan.

Then Rec. This movie really has a lot in common with the recent released Cloverfield, as that all the action is viewed through the lens of the character holding a camera. So the camera does not merely record but is also a part of the story itself, in effect it is as if you are self in the movie. The story takes place in Barcelona and it follows a TV-crew making a show about what the local fire brigade does on a average night. After a somewhat dull tour of the fire brigade building the action start to happen when the firemen are called out to break open the door of a sick elderly lady.
And this is the part where again all hell breaks loose. Without spoiling to much, the old lady has a nasty case of biting people in the throat.
The rest of the movie is just one long roller coaster ride with loads of adrenalin filled chases. Guaranteed you will be scared. In fact this movie is so scary that one of the trailers for Rec did not show any footage of the movie itself but reactions of a audience watching the movie. How cool is that?
Rec is a excellent movie and probably one of the better movies of 2008, the only fault being that it is a little bit short.

Both movies are made outside of America, but as often happens Hollywood is quick to make a remake of it. So of Rec there is already a remake called Quarantine. I have not yet seen the remake, but for some reason I think it will not be as good as Rec. Even more I wonder why Hollywood have to insist so much on always making remakes of foreign movies. Why can't the original be released in the US?

Anyhoo, besides my mutterings about bland remakes, I can suggest downloading these movies or buying them on DVD. That's the sad thing about independent movies, almost never you will get to see them on the big screen.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Don't let the pro-life people know

This is some serious 'makes you think, wonder and freak out' art.

"One of the central works in the exhibition “Design and the Elastic Mind” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (until 12 May), Victimless Leather, a small jacket made up of embryonic stem cells taken from mice, has died. The artists, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, say the work which was fed nutrients by tube, expanded too quickly and clogged its own incubation system just five weeks after the show opened."

link ( via Futurismic)

It's Summer!

Today is a beautiful summer day in the Netherlands. I just had to make a picture of all the flowers.

Next time, use a dictionary...

or else you get a rather amusing and embarrassing moment if you use words you do not know the meaning of.


Random found amazing art

I like the next blog option the nav bar above has. It's like the equivalent of switching channels on a television, only then with blogs. Most of the time it's not very interesting, for some reason loads of blogs are about babies, not that babies can't be interesting, but basically if you have seen one baby blog, you've seen them all.

Sometimes however you come across something very cool, like Art of Danky. I have a weak spot for fantasy landscapes and he draws the most beautiful I have ever seen. I just had to share this one.


Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Art-Eggcident in Leeuwarden

Dutch artist Henk Hofstra's made these giant eggs in the centre of the city of Leeuwarden. They will stay there for six months. I hope Google Earth will make a new pass over the Netherlands before then. It would be cool to suddenly see giant eggs appear on the map of the Netherlands.

Worst kind of voicemail a parent could receive

Apparently a 22 year old American soldier had left his mobile phone on during combat. He bumped against the side of a Humvee and the phone accidently phoned the last number it had dialed: his parents.

So his parents heard three minutes of their son engaged in combat: swearing, shooting and yelling for more ammo, until the voicemail abruptly stopped at three minutes.
They had to wait for more then two hours before they could get any news that their son was okay.

Here is the link to the voicemail.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Make your own Iron Man suit - if you have a few billion dollars

Cool article at Wired about what it would take to actually build a Iron Man suit. Not surprisingly the US military already has a project for it.


Monday, 5 May 2008

Little Brother released with Creative Commons

Last week saw the newest book by Cory Doctorow released - Little Brother. Doctorow is one of my favorite bloggers at Boing Boing and he's also becoming one of my favorite writers. So I was rather excited about Little Brother, especially as the plot really hits a string with todays freedom vs. security debate: contemporary school children rebelling against the ever more intruding invasion of privacy these days; defeating tracking and snooping measures. It's even more interesting to read because the surveillance technology, and the ways to counter it, in the book are real or nearly real.

However if you are like me, always broke, the problem with wanting to read the newest releases is that it usually costs you money you don't have at the time. Luckily Doctorow is one of those writers who understands that it is better to have a lot of people read your work and not all of them paying, then to have every reader pay for your book, but not having a lot of readers in the end. So in the spirit that books should be shared as much as possible Doctorow released Little Brother as a free e-book under a Creative Commons license.

This is smart, because most people are willing to try things when they are free and then pay for the real book when they like it. I know I will buy the book when I have some money, but in the mean time I can enjoy the free e-version. Plus I can link it here so that it evens reaches a bigger audience. I've read the first few chapters today and this book should be read by every sf-fan.

Get. Reading. Now.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Gruesome but very beautiful Japanese drawings

I found these drawings of japanese anatomical drawings earlier on the net, but at time they were without any text to explain what they were about. Now however there is some information that explains the details and history of these fantastic if a tad bit morbid drawings.

When history has a voice

I like to read about history. For some reason it intrigues me to know how people lived in earlier ages and it is always handy to know why things are as they are today.

So I was very excited when I discovered this site today: soundportraits.

It is a site that collects audio interviews with historic value. I can't stop myself from listening more interviews. The sound quality is very good and all the stories you hear will make you stop doing anything else and just sit back for a while.

You have the story of a ex-confederate soldier about the day Lincoln died. You can listen to the only English eye-witness account of the bombing on Hiroshima ever. Or listen to the tale of Billy Mcune, a texas prisoner who was sentenced to the chair only to have it turned into life because the Governor was so touched by the songs he wrote.

This is just one of those sites that proves the Internet is one of the greatest creations by mankind.

Oh for crying out loud

I always have two distinct feelings when going to a highly anticapted big blockbuster movie. One of joy, finally I get to see the movie I have been waiting for months; one of dread, high-profile movies tend to attract the scum of the cinema visiting civilization. For some reason there is a large group of people who do not understand that talking is not required to watch a movie. They simply cannot comprehend that the majority of people in the room do not wish to hear their comments, or would even be happier if for some fluke reason a small meteorite would vaporize the chatterbox on the spot.

So my two friends joy and dread accompanied me when I went to see the highly anticipated Iron Man movie. It's great, I'll post a review in a few days when I have collected my thoughts about it in a coherent story that contains more then sweet and ooh and aah and drool.

Anyhoo I entered the cinema and the first thing I did was scan the room for little groups of children. Avoid these, for they will wreck your movie experience by their inability to keep their mouths shut and their ability to produce loud farts.
I found a nice little spot far away from any potential nuisance and laid back to relax and wash my self in the greatness that is Iron Man. The fact that only ten seconds after I sat down two jipjapping ladies decided to sit right behind me, was of course to be expected. Luckily the movie was played loud out enough to drown out most of the chatting. Yes I told them to shut up, but another thing these people have in common is apparently a five minute memory span.

But I have endured far more in the past than to let two noisy ladies wreck my movie experienc. So the first fifteen minutes I was basking in Iron Man greatness. Suddenly I heard a noise that disturbed me greatly. However this was a noise that not even the greatest nitwit could have brought into a cinema without feeling ashamed, so I assumed perhaps I was just imagining things.
Then it sounded again throughout the whole room, and again, and then some more, and then it decided to keep on going.

This. Cannot.Be.True.... I thought to myself.

However the yelping sounds were all to real.
The sound of a baby crying.
What on earth makes a parent think that you can take a six months old baby to the movies?

You would expect that any parent with babies would have the following reasoning:
A) babies are afraid of the dark and very loud sudden noises; B) cinemas are known for being rather dark and Iron Man suprisingly has a few loud explosions; C) because of that babies will cry during the whole movie, maybe even annoying other visitors who have paid good money to see the movie without baby sounds; D) therefore you should not take your baby with you to the movies, ever.

Unfortunate the mother of said baby lacked such basic reasoning, making you wonder about the future her child has.

Never in my most gloomiest estimates about irritating cinemawreckers would I have have even thought about crying babies in cinemas. Alas, people will never cease to amaze you in their creativity for stupidity.

This concluded my rant for this week.

Gim out.