Archive for August, 2007
Why do the Japanese get all the cool toys? I love crane games; I’m pretty damn good at them too, when they’re not gimmicked to lose. This however, is much cooler. Instead of the traditional claw that drops from the sky to abduct stuffed animals, we have a little robot buddy who you move through a series of button presses. He then lifts his arms up (hopefully) snagging the plushie of your dreams, and whisking it to a drop slot to be delivered to your waiting arms. How cool is that?
You know, I’ve seen some pretty offensive “girl-oriented” titles before. Not that they were offensive in their theme, per se, but in the fact that a) they made assumptions about what girls wanted, as opposed to “all those boy games”, and b) offensive in how badly produced they were. I will admit to having had some twisted fun with Mary Kate & Ashley: Winner’s Circle, but I digress. These new DS titles from Ubisoft are, however, the most blatantly sexist, derogatory things I’ve ever come across. Aside from the above, they also feature such innovative, sterotype-busting titles as Imagine: Babies, and Imagine: Fashion Designer. Look, I know that more girls are buying the DS than ever before, but that’s because they like the games that are currently available for it! They don’t need this pandering, Victorian-mentality crap shoved down their throats. I’m aghast that stuff like this is even considered to be appropriate in the twenty-first century. Go to the original article at Kotaku to see some of their suggestions for further titles in this series, which includes our article’s title.
Ubisoft Puts Women In Their Place [Kotaku]
Ah, you know, sometimes I long for the days of the Cold War, when people didn’t look at you like you were an absolute crazy person for wanting to build an impregnable shelter in your backyard. Now, of course, mine would be to protect against the inevitable outcome of Z-Day, but I suppose it’d be useful in a little nuclear holocaust or something. These images from a scanned brochure of for pre-fabricated fallout shelters, from the Kelsey-Hayes Company, of Detroit, MI circa 1963, really makes me think. About zombies. Enjoy!
I’m told that Square A is the exact same colour as Square B. I can’t see it really, but apparently this is a scientifically recognized principal, published by Edward H. Adelson in 1995. From the Wikipedia article,
“When interpreted as a 3-dimensional scene, our visual system immediately estimates a lighting vector and uses this to judge the property of the material.”
Fascinating, really. I’ve always known that what we see is only a rough interpolation; as it is, my eyes see certain blues differently when viewed with one or the other. This sort of thing just blows me away though. Some people say if you squint you can fool your brain into seeing them as they truly are, and I can almost make it, but there’s still some variation. See? You literally cannot trust what your eyes tell you! How’s that for paranoia inducing truth?
Adelson’s Checkerboard Illusion [bioephemera]
An interesting bit of news from Cinematical passed through the desk today, in regards to the plot for the in-development Jurassic park sequel:
“We’re told that the film is about the government who has trained dinosaurs to carry weapons and use them for battle purposes.”
While I’m sure this news will probably convince Michael Crichton to top himself just so he can start spinning in his grave, I for one am greatly enthused. Ever since seeing Dino-Riders as a young child, I’ve wanted to see more armed reptiles. Why should we stop at guns though? Rocket-launcher equipped Tyrannosaurus Rex! How about a
Brontosaurus Apatosaurus as a mobile launcher for S/A missiles? Suicidal strike teams of Compys wired with C4 charges! The options are endless. Hell, instead of spending all this money on the “War on Terror”, I think the US should pull back, drop the dime on cloning, and get these suckers up and running! I mean, they’re not going to resurrect (and arm) themselves, are they?
‘Jurassic Park 4’ to Feature Gun-Toting Dinosaurs? [Bloody Disgusting : Cinematical]
Phoenix Wright – Boot To The Head [YouTube]
Words fail me, they really do. So spooooky they are, with their big black circles for eyes. It’s odd to remember that once upon a time, running around dressed like Caspar the Friendly Ghost via Zippy the Pinhead was considered not only to be acceptable, but admirable. The times do change, thank fuck.
“In the film Fight Club, the real name of the protagonist (Ed Norton’s character) is never revealed. Many believe the reason behind this anonymity is to give “Jack” more of an everyman quality. Do not be deceived. “Jack” is really Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. It’s true. Norton portrays the grown-up version of Calvin, while Brad Pitt plays his imaginary pal, Hobbes, reincarnated as Tyler Durden.”
And so begins The Return of Hobbes, a metatextual deconstruction of Fight Club which posits it to be a sequel of sorts to Bill Watterson’s amazing surrealist-fantasy comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes. Comparing the commodification of of the life of our unnamed protagonist of Fight Club to the artificial process of “growing up and being realistic”, Galvin Chow presents a thought-provoking comparison between the themes of Calvin & Hobbes (a self-absorbed, precocious child with a runaway imagination) to those of Fight Club (a world-weary yuppie who’s psyche literally forces him to destroy his materialistic life while not taking direct responsibility). It’s really astounding; almost everything fits, it all makes sense in some weird, twisted manner. While one would be foolish to argue that this was the genuine intention of the film, Chow’s essay definitely gives us a different viewpoint on both of these modern-day cultural touchstones.
Fight Club [Metaphilm]
I love The Residents so damn much. When I was but a young man experimenting in the eldritch ways I spent an entire summer hypnotizing myself in the dark with a cigarette, listening to the Freak Show CD. I’d usually fall asleep to the sultry strains of Jelly Jack – “whoa whoa whoa, I’m Jello Jack, jolly boneless boy. I live inside, a jar beside, a rooster-boy named Roy…” – emanating through my subconscious. Even now, I could probably sing the album back to you with a minimum of error. On that note, and for your reading pleasure, the Jefitoblog has posted a massive primer to the best band ever, with sample MP3s a-plenty. Make sure to check out The Electrocutioner and Constantinople, from the album Duck Stab/Buster and Gen. It’s one of my favourites, and those two songs are wonderfully illustrative of the influence the Residents had on later bands such as Primus and They Might Be Giants. Also, please take a moment to listen to Nobody Laughs When They Leave, from Freakshow, to hear the song I want played at funeral. Thanks muchly to the always-wonderful Ectomo for pointing out this excellent retrospective.