I'm a Human Inbox

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Oh look, messy hair and unshavedness. It must have been a Sunday!

This week is going to get really hectic tomorrow since I have a Calculus midterm and I'm also moving into a new house. I'm not moving far, just a five minute drive from where I'm living currently but it's going to be a bigger, better, cheaper place.

It'll cost almost half of what I'm paying now, but I'll have my own living room, kitchen and bathroom which will be awesome. I'll be living with two other friends of mine, and it's going to be a rocking nerd house. It's going to be grand.

But since I have so much on the go tomorrow I'm not going to be updating I'm a Human Inbox like I normally would. I've got shit to do, so there'll be a one day hiatus. Anyone that knows me in real life should come to the house warming party once Spring Break kicks in. We'll do our best to do non-nerdy activities like normies.

Old School Revolution

[Media: Video]

It took me a while to get around to watching this fan made Nintendo video, but I was certainly glad once I did. This short animation is entirely fan based and features Luigi leading a Rebellion against Microsoft and Sony after Mario has been killed.

You'll see many recognisable Nintendo characters to whom Luigi delivers a Braveheart parodied speech while atop of Yoshi. Make sure you wait until the very end of the video though, because Master Chief reveals his true identity to a defeated Luigi.

Nintendo fandom at its best... or worst.

Link (via 4 Color Rebellion)

End of the Line

[Media: Images]

End of the Line is a Photo Essay talking about a beach in Bangladesh which is used as a natural Dry Dock. Boats are run aground when the tide is up, and then when the tide goes out people in bare feat come out to disassemble the whole thing.
Dry Dock: With one of the world's longest beaches, Chittagong is Bangladesh's biggest port. Half of the world's supertankers are disassembled here.

The pictures here are starkly beautiful; shocking sometimes. This seems to be a strange world and yet a vital part of the global economy.

Link (via Drasl)

Latest DS Rumor

[Media: Image]

I love this image. Miyamato and Iwata look tickled pink with themselves; they look like two little children who just discovered Candy Mountain. If more business men looked like this, I might just be able to forgive their thirst for money.

Seriously. Happiest people in the World.


Jan Pehechan-ho

[Media: Music Video]

I've been watching this music video for the last couple of days, and I've decided that I adore it. Sung by Mohammed Rafi and appearing in the 1966 Indian film Gumnaam this Hawaian, Surfer dance number has an energy to it that's completely infectious. I'm not normally a fan of older music, let alone older music videos, but this is something really special if you can get into it.

A single women in a gold dress is surrounded by men in black tuxedos. Everyone dancing has a black Zorro-like mask, infact everyone in the entire building has a mask on including the audience. The dancers are completely wigging out and having a blast.

The music sounds like one of the songs from Kill Bill, and the black masks remind me of the gang from the movie. If anyone has seen Ghost World you might remember Enid is watching this video on TV while imitating the dancers on the screen.

This video is a fucking classic, I love it. You can download the video here, but make sure you read the article as well.

Link (via The Exploding Aardvark)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Aurora Australis

[Media: Video]

NASA has pictures and videos of the Aurora Australis, the southern counterpart of the Aurora Borealis. The video is quite beautiful and is certainly worth checking out.
Though scientists knew that the aurora were caused by charged particles from the Sun and their interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field, they had no way to measure the interaction until NASA launched the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) satellite in 2000. The satellite’s mission was to collect data that would allow scientists to study the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s magnetic field for the first time. Designed to operate for two years, IMAGE sent its last data to Earth in December 2005 after a highly successful five-year mission.

Link (via Fazed)

CFUN's Pia Shandel And Her Anti Gamer Comments

[Media: Article]

Last week I wrote an article in which I mentioned Pia Shandel from the CFUN radio station and her anti-gamer comments. I started emailing Kotaku about the radio show and Brian Ashcroft put up a good account of what transpired on the show.

I just want to add that there were a couple of other comments that Pia Shandel made since the writing of both articles. One of the things she said "No wonder girls are having a hard time becoming inspired by men these days when all they're doing is playing videogames". And today after tuning in again to see if I could listen to her show I heard her say this: "Online Gamers call it a community, but it's more like a cult! Games are designed to be addictive and it's similar to when junkies get together to share drugs. Games are terrible, I just don't get it!"

Well it looks like Kevin from GoNintendo decided to try to get an interview with Pia Shandel to set the record straight. What ended up happening was that Pia Shandel had a lengthy discussion with Kevin about the topic of gamers.
I couldn’t believe the stuff I was hearing from her. She took the typical viewpoint of fat, pale, kids sitting in a dark basement with no friends. I kid you not, she made those statements. The combination of her rant mixed in with my anger over never having received any confirmation from her made me take matters into my own hand. I listened for the number to the station, called her show long distance JUST so that I could try and make some sense of what she was saying. When I got in touch I explained that I was Kevin Cassidy from GoNintendo.com, to which she replied with something along the lines of I am extremely happy that you called to talk on the show. No mention of emails or forgotten phone calls was made. She then asked where I was from and put me on hold. When she came back she called me Tom and I had to correct her. Luckily this was before I got on the air. Then as she was introducing me she had already forgotten where I was from, but her phone helper filled her in. So began a conversation…a conversation where I thought it was very obvious that Pia had no idea what she was talking about, but had plenty of opinions on it.

Hopefully Kevin will elaborate on what was discussed because I'm finding this really interesting due to the fact that Shandel is a local radio host. Make sure to follow the link to read the whole story.

Update: Whoops! There's an MP3 of the interview, check it out, it's quite fascinating. My favorite part of the Interview was when Pia Shandel referred to an incident where a fatal car crash was linked to Need for Speed. Apparently a copy of Need for Speed was found in the driver side of the car and thus the Toronto Sun linked the game to the accident. Pia Shandel said: "The game was found in the car, thereby proving that [they were re-enacting the game]."

It frightens me that there are people out there that believe that casual links provide evidence. This is a dangerous perception that non-gamers have of gamers, which is why I am very grateful to Kevin for phoning in and debating Pai Shandel.

Link (via Kotaku)

HowTo: Make A Sideways Room

[Media: Article]

Take a look at this step-by-step Livejournal post which describes how to make your very own Sideways room.
The way this all got started was that metamouse and i were sitting around at dinner chatting about what to do for the upcoming room-to-room party. We went through a whole bunch of ideas for room themes. And then — you know how, sometimes when you're bored, you look up and imagine what it would be like if gravity turned upside down and you got to walk around on the ceiling? (Does everyone have this daydream?) Anyway, we both mentioned it at the same time, and then it dawned on us that we could make it happen. Or a variant, anyway. I think sideways actually works better than upside-down, because then you can integrate real people into the scene in strange ways.

There's a lot of really great details to notice here. Not only have they hung their furniture from the wall, but they've also added a lot of nice little touches. Newspapers, books and plates adorn the table while scarves and drapes are realistically arranged on the wall.

How wonderful!

Link (via Boing Boing)

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

[Media: Video]

Check out the trailer for Uwe Boll's new videogame movie based off of Dungeon Seige. I'm not really sure what to think about it because unlike his other movies there's actually a possibility that it could be worth watching.

This movie looks like it's trying to imitate the success of Lord of the Rings, there are a lot of similarities between the two and that's probably not a good sign. The other issue is that they have a lot of recognisable actors, some of them good some of them bad. From the picture above you can see that John Rhys-Davies, also known as Gimli from Lord of the Rings, is in it. But the fact that Jason Statham, the guy who was in The Transporter, is the main character for this movie scares the hell out of me.

But the trailer does show off impressive production values, so maybe just maybe all hope isn't lost. Tell me what you think of the Trailer, I'd like to know what you guys think of it. Is it going to be any good?

Link (via Joystiq)


[Media: Article]

This image really captured my attention. Apparently there's a Hotel which put on an art exhibit in a church where people can go to become vacuum sealed with only a small bubble of air to breathe from.
I didn't design the Shrink in relation to Christ, Golgatha or death. And it was definitely not meant to look like a scary image inspired on wrapped meat. Of course I cannot deny that's what it looks like but they were not intended to exhibit. Kirsten asked to use them as a contemporary image for Golgatha. I designed them in ´95 (again as a physical experience), so people could in a rather private situation go inside, I would explain and guide them, have a conversation afterwards. This was very personal and interesting to see that what you feel inside is opposite of what you see from outside. Someone called it the big hug. If you're able to let go of the first fear it becomes very relaxing and comfortable. You feel protected inside, a feeling of weightlessness and pressure. People relate it to the womb and rebirth. So maybe the experience itself would have been more appropriate than the image of packed meat.

I think it'd be fantastic to try this out if given the opportunity. Hopefully I wouldn't freak out at being unable to move and barely able to breathe because other than that it looks quite peaceful. I wonder how they signal to get out?

Link (via We Make Money Not Art)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Dinner With Uwe Boll

[Media: Video]

This video interview with Uwe Boll is very strange and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. IGN decides to change things up and have a dinner setting with the director Uwe Boll. Over wine, candles, Mountain Dew and Thai take out they discuss with Boll his history in German theatre and directing.

I've read a lot of interviews with Uwe Boll and they've always managed to horrify me. But in this case Uwe Boll comes off as a charming, interesting and nice man and it fucks up my perception of the Universe. Somehow I came out with a new found respect for a director whom I consider the scourge of cinema and videogames. Don't ask me how.

Link (via Kotaku)

Scratch n Spin

[Media: Video]

Check out this video which turns a lazy day at the roundabout into a DJ scratching session. Cars become the records and the bicyclists become the various nobs. Not that I know the correct terminology for anything I just described.

So the question is, how'd they do that?

Link (via Giant Mecha)

The Weekly Un-Postables

[English Storm Trooper in Japan]

From Boing Boing:
Cozy blanket with sleeves: the Slanket
Disney swaps stock for Pixar; Jobs is largest Disney stockholder
Future American lawyers protest Attorney General's speech
Plush robot with girl inside

From Fazed:
Star Wars Nerds Win a Fight - Video
Window Washer Emergency - Video
Quick Punch - Video

Leaked Transformers Footage? - Video
Space Invader Shoes
Zelda Revolution Controller

Weekly Roundup

I'm a Human Inbox's Favorite Post of the Week:
CBS: Cyber Athlete 'Fatal1ty'

Although not necessarily the most entertaining post of the week, it was definitely the most interesting one for me. Not only did Jonathan Wendel receive mainstream attention for being a professional gamer, but I had the opportunity to listen in on a local radio show's impression of gaming. I didn't really do a write up of the radio show incident, but I sent an email to Kotaku and Brian Ashcroft wrote a post about what I told him. Among other things Pia Shandel said was that, "No wonder women are so uninspired by men these days when all they do is play videogames". Be sure to check out the link to read the rest of her comments.

I also brought up the subject with fellow computer science students, and to my surprise they had no idea who Jonathan Wendel, aka Fatal1ty was. I don't expect everyone to know this stuff, but these people are the cream of the crop nerds and I figured they were ontop of their gaming news. Not so. Most people I know are gamers, but usually dedicated to a very small selection of gaming culture and platforms. They were fascinated by the whole story after I told them, but I was a little disappointed that out of 5 hardcore gamers I talked to, none of them knew who Fatal1ty was.

This video earned 19 Clicks this week.

Reader's Favorite Post of the Week:
Bloodrayne Sex Scene

Although the Bloodrayne post is slightly over a week old, it's earned earned 100 Clicks this week which is fairly impressive. People must be doing searches for this kind of stuff.

The post which earned the most amount of clicks due to being linked to was Katamari Damacy Cheques which earned over 471 clicks in one day. What's amusing is that the guy who made the cheques noticed my post and commented about it:
That guy re-typed my image caption! Oh you crazy bloggers.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Gamer Grammar

[Media: Image]

I'd say that getting 4 out of 5 to insert "N00b" into an English assignment is well worth the lost mark. Infact getting a red question mark from the teacher is priceless. I wonder if that extra mark was debated?

"N00b is totally the antithesis of Pro! Give me teh mark!"


The Boy Least Likely: Be Gentle With Me

[Media: Music Video]

This music video is very lovely and everything about it is heartwarming. The video seems to be about a boy surrounded by puppets who attach strings to his arms and legs so that he too becomes one of them. Above him, a trendy looking puppet master hangs in the air controlling everything they do.

I like how the boy moves around which is very much like a puppet would. The only thing that makes me sad is how one of the rabbit puppets steals the girl away. How mean! But she's hot so I guess I can't stay angry with her for very long. Mmmmm stockings.

Link (via Good Weather For an Airstrike)

Top Gear: Toyota Aygo Soccer

[Media: Video]

The Aygo is an inexpensive car costing only 7,000 pounds and is designed to be a compact city car. Top Gear manages to provide a glimpse into a surreal but insanely fun looking game of soccer by using a fleet of Toyota Aygo cars.

Ramming, e-brake turns and other dirty tricks make their way into the game once they get used to handling their cars and the gigantic soccer ball. Fun stuff.

Link (via Drasl)

Katamari Damacy Cheques

[Media: Image]

Check out these sweet Katamari Damacy Cheques! I wonder what it takes to get custom designed cheques like this because that's just plain awesome. If you follow the link you'll see that the cheque's Legend says:

Also near the bottom of the image there's a caption that says:
I designed them. When you spend money people should feel happy and also super lucky. It is the most important thing to be contributing to the success. For very special day, do not chase waterfalls.

Rawr. Now all we need is Katamari stamps.

Update: A couple of the commenters on Kotaku have pointed out that you can indeed custom design your own cheques and stamps.

Link (via Boing Boing)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kung Fu: Finger Trick

[Media: Video]

Apparently this man performed the "Finger Trick" 50 years ago when he was much younger. I'm not sure how old that makes him now, perhaps in his 70's. He is considered the only person in the world to accomplish this feat.

Hai-Tank can do a handstand using only one finger with his feet propped up against the wall; it looks very painful and I'm surprised his finger doesn't break from attempt. Wow.

Link (via Giant Mecha)

Yuko Shimizu

[Media: Website]

Yuko Shimizu is an artist that you may recognise due to a widespread proliferation in mainstream media namely magazines and newspapers. Her work contains a fantastic sense of motion and an ironic energy to it that sometimes seems slightly lost on her customers. There is also an undercurrent of naughtiness and fetish stylings which I quite enjoy in her works.

I had a really hard time deciding on a picture for this post. Not only are the majority of her images fantastic, but there's just so many. I finally decided on two drawings from her Letters of Desire alphabet book, a sexual illustrated book for adults. The two images here represent the letters Z and X.

Link (via Drawn)

Fear of Girls

[Media: Video]

Fear of Girls is a fake documentary about two Dungeon and Dragons players, and is absolutely fantastic. Both people have an intense lack of social skills and an utter inability to relate to the female gender.

The film touches on LARPing, Table Top RPGs, Druidic religions and even some homosexual undertones. It's a good thing that not all nerds are like this in real life. Right?

Link (via Fazed)

Nintendo DS Lite Announced

[Media: Article]

Nintendo has just released information that the Nintendo DS is going to be redesigned with a smaller size, adjustable screen brightness and a new look. The look seems to reflect an Apple-Like appearance which also closely resembles the Nintendo Revolution Controller style. The redesign will be released in March.
"Nintendo President Satoru Iwata today announced Nintendo DS Lite, a slimmer version of the best-selling Nintendo DS™. Also featuring brighter screens, Nintendo DS Lite will launch in Japan in March. Nintendo DS Lite will be less than two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS and more than 20 percent lighter.

But what's really interesting is that just yesterday Nintendo actively denied that it was releasing a redesign of the DS. Why would they release a denial statement the day before? Either this is a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, as in David Yarnton is an idiot who doesn't read his memos, or Nintendo has been flat out lying.
David Yarnton, Nintendo of Uk's general manager has said at an event at the Science Museum in London, that his company currently has no plans to show a redesigned Nintendo DS at the forthcoming Electronics Entertainment Expo. In response to the long-standing and well published rumor, Yarnton said, "That's been rumoured, I don't know for how long, but we haven't got any plans at the moment. Nothing I know of.

Either way it's kind of strange.


Valentines Day Gifts

[Media: Swag]

My apologies for not updating more yesterday but Blogger was down for maintenance and I couldn't log in to write up another post or two. To make it up to you, I have a couple of suggestions of what I, I mean others, might want for Valentines Day.

This Anatomically Correct Heart Shaped Soap from FeMaledictions (I love that name) would be a fantastic way to tell your partner or friend that they should take more showers. I bet this soap turns the water red.

The Heartris Shirt on the otherhand carefully disguises your nerdy intentions instantly into pursuits of romantic endeavors.
Hearts are international love symbols, making this shirt - like a powerful pheromone - an unstoppable attractant.

Incidentally Valentines Day also happens to be my birthday. I'm a subtle one aren't I?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Phil the Alien

I saw the movie "Phil the Alien" last weekend largely due to the synopsis on the back cover.
When an alcoholic extraterrestrial living in a small Northern Ontario town finds God, his spiritual journey leads him on tour with a local bar band. Soon after crash landing in a remote Ontario town, innocent alien Phil strikes up a warm friendship with an open minded young boy and a remarkably intelligent beaver. A stranger in a strange land, Phil eventually begins to fit in by drinking plenty of hard liquor and jumping in on jam sessions with the local bar band.

The movie is a Canadian Comedy, which by definition means that it's really strange. Every once in a while I take a chance on movies which can either turn out to be fantastically brilliant, or downright awful. Phil the Alien turned out to be a lot of fun, it was strange, didn't take itself seriously and pretty funny.

But the main reason I wanted to point this movie out is the fact that the Secret Anti-Alien Agent (shown above), carried a pair of futuristic pistols on him. But wait, are those silver-painted NES Zappers in his hands? Why yes they are! I can't decide whether it's worse that the movie thought that nobody would notice, or the fact that all my friends did.

Burt Flu

[Media: Video]

This has got to be the funniest and most politically incorrect response to the Bird Flue pandemic. Burt Flu, a bird infected with Bird Flu teaches kids just like Sesame Street what to do with dead birds, sick men and if you're infected yourself.

Take the picture in this post for example. Burt Flu says "Don't bury yourself alive! You'll just contaminate the water supply!"

Link (via Drasl)

Kingdom Of Hearts 2: Passion

[Media: Music Video]

I've been holding onto this for a while and I better post it before I completely forget about it. Kingdom of Hearts 2 has been released in Japan and the singer Utada Hikaru has provided the song "Passion" for the opening sequence of the game.

The music video is pretty good with anime sequences and live action mixed with some very pretty CG in the background. There's also a score of choreographed backup dancers in costume. Definitely worth checking out.

Link (via Kotaku)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Smoosh: La Pump

[Media: Music Video]

Smoosh is a Seattle band made up of an 8 year old drummer and a 10 year old (at least back when this video was made) singer and keyboardist.

I actually really like this song; it's got a nice raw punk-ish sound to it slightly reminiscent to Sleater Kinney. I tend to enjoy odd sounding vocals, so that might be the appeal. Although slightly amateurish you don't hear many 10 year olds who can rock out this well and I imagine that in 6 years or so they will undoubtedly be really good.

So check out the video, it may be to your liking.

Link (via Fazed)

Wintergreen: When I Wake Up - A Music Video about ET

[Media: Music Video]

The story of Atari's downfall is well documented, and the favorite story is of Atari's version of ET in which millions of cartridges ended up in a Mexican landfill.

The band Wintergreen has done a neat little homage to the story by actually going out into the desert and unearthing a load of ET cartridges. I don't know if they actually found the landfill site for real, but it's still a pretty neat and nerdy, music video.

Link (via Boing Boing)

CBS: Cyber Athlete 'Fatal1ty'

[Media: Video]

Although every Blog on the Internet has reported on this already, it's still worth mentioning. Jonathan Wendel, also known as Fatal1ty was featured a couple of days ago on 60 Minutes to talk about the emergence of Professional Gamers. Jonathan Wendel is considered to be one of the best gamers in the World and has won over $500,000 US to date. This is probably the first time that Pro Gamers have gotten exposure in the mainstream news, and for most people this is their first time in hearing about Jonathan, let alone Professional Gaming.

The feature was handled with respect, and Wendel answered their questions in an honest and level headed manner. When asked what he thought about the concern for videogame violence he had this to say:
Well, I don't think it's a bad thing,” he says. “I mean you're trying to get the point. Like, I mean, football. Why are you hitting the guy? That's not right. But people will pass it, because that's part of the game.

In otherwords, why is Football considered okay but shooting virtual avatars something completely different?

On a personal note, I was listening to Pia Shandel on CFUN Radio this morning and they mentioned the 60 Minutes segment. I've started listening to CFUN because it pisses me off every time I tune in. This morning Pia Shandel critisized gaming as being "a waste of time for boys" likening it to "40 year old men wearing green golfing pants".

I sent an email to the radio station asking for either a transcript or a recording of the show, so hopefully they can provide me with something. If they get back to me, I'll be updating this post with further information about their show.

Update: My comment on Pia Shandel from CFUN Radio landed an article on Kotaku.


Beautiful China

[Media: Images]

Perhaps it's the skill of the photographer, but these pictures of China's landscape and farming communities took my breath away. I never considered China a place that would be interesting to visit, but after seeing these I might have to give it serious thought someday.

It is really a shame that I had to reduce the size of this picture because it deserves to be shown in its original form. Check out the rest of the pictures, you will love them.

Link (via Sataguini)

ABC: Google Tour

[Media: Video]

ABC has a really neat video tour of Google's head offices and how Google treats their employees. The reporter looks mystified that people actually work at a place where they can get free meals (As shown by the picture above, of Google's Kitchen), haircuts and scooters. The place looks like a gigantic campus, everyone is wearing casual clothes and looks genuinely happy that they work there.

The reporter also didn't seem to understand what benefit a bunch of toys brings a person working in an office job. The programmer said that it helps him feel relaxed and it allows him to take a break from the problem he's working on. I want to make a comment about that actually.

As a programmer myself, I can totally understand the benefit of having an office full of toys. You would be amazed how many times I (and many other people) have solved complicated problems by walking away from the computer, going to get something to eat or drink, standing on the porch or taking a drive. Your brain works in mysterious ways, and sometimes not thinking is the best way to solve a problem. That's why some toys and puzzles in the office is a great idea.

Link (via Giant Mecha)

Monday, January 23, 2006

81 Man Starburst Parachute Formation

[Media: Video]

After taking a look at this amazing 81 Man Starburst Parachute Formation is pretty awe inspiring. The courage, skill and preparation needed to pull such a feat off is amazing. Last November (last year as far as I know), they pulled off this world record stunt just as the sun was rising.

NASA has an article describing the process as well as some larger pictures of the Starburst Pattern.
Once under way, the formation had to develop quickly as the divers dropped toward the Earth. "The whole formation descends at 1,000 feet per minute," said Keenan.

Two more waves of planes arrived, streaming in divers and swelling the size of the formation. When the 81st person docked, he keyed his radio and shouted into it for each of the jumpers to hear: "Complete!" The "81-way" dive took 9 minutes and 12 seconds to come together, and was held in formation for 26 seconds. The next words heard over the radio were "starburst, starburst" - the command to break up the diamond formation and come in for a landing. "We had heard the complete call -- we knew we had got it -- so we were yelling and hollering and high-fiving and jumping around in the field," said Hillebrandt.

Read the rest of the article and follow the link to check out the video.

Link (via I Hate My Cubicle)

The 1UP Show

[Media: Website]

I've been following The 1UP show and I've finally decided that I love it. The 1UP show is a weekly TV-Like show (Except that it's Internet based, so it's not like TV) about videogames. Basically the staff behind 1UP go about their day and talk about gaming and the stuff they're reporting on.

I never tend to enjoy gaming television, it's always far too sensational and trendy. I don't really need to be told about gaming, I want to hear discussions about it, and that's what 1UP does well. They don't try and sell you on new products, or crappy games. They talk about good gameplay, new technologies, and what's out there that's fun.

The 1UP show talks about gaming like a group of gamers would. They smack-talk, they sit down to play Animal Crossing, they hunt for Wi-Fi connections and they argue about whether the PSP is better than the DS.

This is what Gaming Television should be about, maybe TV will finally catch on.


Xbox 360 Interview with Peter Moore

[Media: Article]
(See the Full Comic)

While I'm sure that anyone who reads Penny Arcade has already seen this comic, I wanted to point it out for being a moment of fucking brilliance. Penny Arcade, in my opinion, has been sliding down the gaming comic radar lately, being slowly replaced by better comics like VGCats. Blasphemy I know, I'm still a huge fan of Penny Arcade, but the past couple of months have barely been about gaming and when it is, it's usually about World of Warcraft. I don't give a damn about WoW, and I think that general commentary on the gaming industry is much more interesting. In short, Penny Arcade has been sliding out of the Hardcore niche and into a dedicated WoW corner. Not good.

But this latest comic targeting 1up and Peter Moore is fantastic. Maybe it's because I had read the interview before I saw the comic, but they hit the nail on the head here. The interview between Dan "Shoe" Hsu from 1up and Peter Moore is something really special because for once the Interviewer asks some really hard hitting questions.

Gaming Journalism tends to be very easygoing on the gaming industry because the Journalists are still approaching game designers as rock stars and not as just a job. I'm not blaming these Journalists, truth be told that if I met up with Peter Jackson or Shigeru Miyamoto I would be like "So. How awesome are you? Can I have a piece of your hair?" (Mild exaggeration going on here)

Anyway, to give a good example of how 1up tears Peter Moore a new hole, check this out:
EGM: OK, we're going to throw two games at you at a time, and we want you to tell us which one you like better.

PM: Ugh, just like saying which of my kids do I love more.

EGM: We hope we've made these easy for you. So: Splinter Cell Chaos Theory or Sneakers?

PM: [Laughs] Well, as fond as I was of Sneakers, I have to say that Splinter Cell probably [tops] it.

EGM: How about Soul Calibur II or Kabuki Warriors?

PM: Well, that would be Soul Calibur II.

EGM: Next: Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball or Barbie Horse Adventures: Wild Horse Rescue?

PM: Ah, Xtreme Volleyball...anything that [Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu] Itagakisan does is always a big favorite with me. He's always been a big supporter of the platform, and it would be disloyal for me not to choose his title.

EGM: So here's what we're getting at: You picked three Xbox 1 games that aren't backwards compatible on the Xbox 360, and the other ones—Sneakers, Kabuki, and Barbie—are. It's a weird list, especially when you exclude the heavy hitters....

I want to see more of that. Yeah that'd be nice.


Woody Hearn of GU Comics presented this drawing of Peter Moore and Dan Hsu. I just had to make an update about it:
Peter Moore fighting Dan Hsu, Street Fighter style, with overheated Xbox 360-fireballs and copies of crappy (but backwards compatible) Xbox games for defense.

(Via Joystiq)


Honda Civic: A Cappella

[Media: Video]

Take a look at this impressive and creative chorus which recreates the sounds of a Honda Car using only their own voices, and in some cases their teeth, to imitate the car. It's amazing to hear them create sounds such as rain spattering on the windshield, the wipers going back and forth or going through an tunnel. Pretty amazing stuff.

The site also features a documentary about how they went about writing and performing the song as well as gathering the right people to be able to perform it. All the performers seem slightly weirded out that they're trying to produce very mechanical and mundane sounds.

Link (via Boing Boing)

Top Gear: Playstation vs Real Life

[Media: Video]

It's official, I am now totally a fan of Top Gear. Who would have thought that I would become a fan of a Car TV show? But really, the show has such creative variety in their episodes that I can't help but watch.

This latest video is about the comparison between Grand Turismo (I'm not sure which one it is; probably the second one) and real life. Is it possible to play a track in the game and become familiar enough with it that you could drive the real track in real life? They put it to the test and learned some very interesting lessons. While Grand Turismo is a fantastic driving simulator it doesn't seem to compensate for G-Forces and human mortality.

I lurve it.

Link (via Kotaku)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ferrofluid Sculptures

[Media: Website]

Take a look at these amazing demonstrations of Ferrofluid, a material which is a liquid but is also attracted magnets. It is both beautiful and creepy to watch liquid behave in gravity defying ways. In some cases it looks almost organic.
Ferrofluid is a very interesting material originally developed by NASA it has now found itself been used for a whole range of devices including dampers for controlling and stabilizing large building that move around in the wind. Whats also amazing is that they have such lovely visual qualities when magnetized.

There are a number of great pictures and videos here. By taking an artistic approach to this substance, there's some really interesting and strange imagery to be seen here.

Link (via Fazed)

Battlefield Double Dash

[Media: Video]

Battlefield Double Dash is a cute video which mixes footage from Battlefield 2 with overlays and sounds from Mario Kart Double Dash. You can see from the picture that the cars are using items from Mario Kart, and a couple of other graphics from that game.

All the sounds that the cars are making in this video are straight out of Mario Kart as well. So for example, you've got Waluigi(I totally hate his name, it's ridiculously hard to say) cackling when he successfully bombs another player. It looks like everyone had a lot of fun making this video, go check it out.

Link (via 4 Color Rebellion)

The Weekly Un-Postables

Pink Xbox Mod
Katamari Cookies
Umbrella That Forecasts the Weather
Edinburgh Cops See Value in Games
Steve Jobs Star Wars Parody
Were the Chinese the first to discover North Amercia?
Top 65 Music Videos of 2005

From Boing Boing:
Tony Danza reads chucknorrisfacts to Chuck Norris
Theaters refuse to show movie because of simultaneous TV, Theatre and DVD Release
I was a Copyright Infringement in a Previous Life - T-shirt

From Milk and Cookies: All videos
Bendy Woman - I can do that but I don't wanna
Human Suit - A dog which controls a Humanoid Robot
Humanoid Robot - Can play with you
Spin and Speak - Children's Toy that teaches about life
Cute girl singing - Re-heally Cute

Weekly Roundup

I'm a Human Inbox's Favorite Post of the Week:
Royksopp: What Else Is There?

This week has been a little crazy when it comes to music videos because I found a fantastic list on Good Weather for an Airstrike of some fantastic music videos. I showed some of these videos to a couple of friends and they seemed largely unimpressed. It may be, that my taste in music videos is a far cry from what most people enjoy.

That being said, Royksopp's "What Else Is There?" really impressed me this week and I've instantly become a fan of the director Martin De Thurah because of it. The visuals are so sharply fascinating to me, that I've been watching this over and over for the last couple of days. But that's just me.

This video earned only 8 Clicks this week.

Reader's Favorite Post of the Week:
The Future of Computer Graphics

On the other side of things, this Computer Generated image has seemed to capture people's attention. While some people have commented that the picture does not at all look realistic, I still strongly disagree. People seem to think there's something soulless about the eyes. Maybe there's something to that, because a lot of people would say "Woah, what's that?" even when I scroll quickly by this picture.

There's something strange and noteworthy about this image. This picture earned 47 Clicks this week.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hellgate London: Trailer

[Media: Video]

Pixel Kill did a post about a couple of CG studios of note, and I went back to Blur Studios to check out their work in videogame CG. I've posted about their short In the Rough before, and I've enjoyed their other shorts, but Hellgate London really impressed me during this latest visit.

I've read about the upcoming game, Hellgate London, and it never really impressed me much. It's a RPG First Person Shooter which randomly generates monsters and items, and allows you to create new weapons on the fly with different attributes. I don't normally like random stuff, I like structure so I was never very interested.

But let me say this, the trailer for Hellgate London kicks ass. You're going to see some top notch CG work here, with tonnes of great action sequences and special effects. They just make everything look damned sweet.

To find this video go to Animation then to Game Cinematics. It's the first picture on the left, the one with the zombie head sliced in half.


Trogdor The Burninator: 3rd Birthday

[Media: Video]

Yesterday was Trogdor the Burninator's 3rd Birthday. Trogdor is the best man... I mean the best Dragon Man... Or maybe just the best Dragon. In any case, here's to wishing that the dragon, who is made up of consummate V's, continues to burninate the country side and all the peasants.

So check out his 3rd year tribute and watch as he's transformed into an Anime Trogdor. For some reason...


Street Installations: Meter Pops

[Media: Images]

Mark Jenkins a Washington, DC artist has converted a bunch of parking meters into gigantic Lollipops. I love the pictures which show people amusingly checking out the strange sight.

I have a soft spot for street art which attempts to transform everyday life into something joyful or beautiful. The urban lifestyle is sometimes so devoid of style and colour that it's nice to see that some people take a step to amplify the aesthetics around us. Because God knows that you won't find me spending time making things look "nice".

Notice how I'm a Human Inbox has maintained its default style since its inception?

Link (via Boing Boing)

Royksopp: What Else Is There?

[Media: Music Video]

"What Else Is There" is another music video done by Martin De Thurah, the same guy who did Carpark North: Human which I posted yesterday. I had never heard of De Thurah before, and aparently he's fairly new on the scene, but wow I'm impressed!

"What Else Is There" features a woman floating slightly above the ground in a thunder storm. The woman has a ghostly presence and there are houses pulling out of the ground and floating off into the distance. The video fits the haunting sound of the song, and is truly a thing of beauty. I've been seeing so many wonderful music videos lately, it's tearing apart my heart.

As a sidenote and an interesting fact about the music video, the woman singing in the music video is not actually the singer from the band.
The woman portrayed in the video is not actually Karin Dreijer (lead singer of The Knife and vocalist in the song) and is actually Scandinavian model Lizzie Grubman, but Dreijer appears at the dinner table towards the end of the video.

Link (via Good Weather for an Air Strike)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Comparing the Xbox 360 Launch with Other Consoles

[Media: Article]

I've been thinking about the Xbox 360 launch lately, and in comparison to other console launches it's turning out to be fairly underwhelming so far. When Microsoft announced that it was going to do a Worldwide launch, a lot of people including me thought that they couldn't do it. Well, it turns out that these people were right. By attempting to launch their console in the USA, Japan and Europe all within weeks of eachother, they've managed to severely stem their supplies.

To pull some numbers out of my hat, take a look at these previous console launch numbers in the US within one season:
The Original Xbox sold 1.4 million units
The Xbox 360 sold 607,000 units
The Nintendo DS sold an estimated 1.22 million units
The GameCube sold 1.2 million units
The PlayStation 2 sold 1.1 million units
The Sega Dreamcast sold 1.8 million units

In comparison to the consoles of this generation, the Xbox 360 is performing dismally. To be fair, Microsoft still hasn't shipped all the consoles to the people who have ordered them, but I don't really consider that a point in their favor. Come on Microsoft, you can do better than this!

In an interview Reggie Fils-Aime commented that the Gamecube sold more units this December than Microsoft did with Xbox 360s. Considering that the Gamecube has had a serious drought of games for most of 2005, that's a pretty insulting statement.
We will see more units than Xbox 360 did here in the United States in our launch window," he predicted. "I mean, in December, we sold more GameCubes in the United States than Microsoft sold 360s, and Revolution will do better than that.


Link (via Joystiq)

Samurai 7

[Media: Video]

I haven't found an Anime that I've really liked in a while now, but Samurai 7 has really captured my attention. Oddly enough I overlooked this show due to a bad review, but a friend of mine eventually gave it a good recommendation.

What's special about this Anime, besides its smooth animation, is a sense of fantasy and adventure that is usually lacking from most Anime. This show has a similar feeling to most fantasy novels in that there's a core party of characters which all are interesting and endearing in their own way. I was drawn in by the action and the animation, but I stayed for the story and the characters.

If you want a quick peak into the show, check out the trailer by following the link.


Stainless Steel Stillettos

[Media: Images]

I think a better name for them would be Steel-ettos. Hah!

I'm usually not much interested in fashion beyond various nerdy T-Shirts, and that especially holds true for women's fashion, but these Stainless Steel Stilettos provide an odd curiosity to me. I tend to like all things odd or weird, so I think these fall safely into that category.

Stilettos on their own always look excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable to the wearer. They seriously can't be much fun to wear. But that's the appeal of them, the pain and exaggeration. Stilettos become a fetish object, and these Steel ones only serve to further that goal. Some of these even come with metal ankle locks. Excellent.

Link (via Boing Boing)