A couple of brief visual divertimentos to lighten your day:
Yowsers – Quake 3 on 24[!] monitors. It takes 12 Linux servers running parallel processing to power that badboy, but whoooo dang, that’s a sweet rig!
I initially reacted with some disappointment that Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica is due to be delayed until October, that is, until reading the following tidbit:
There are mutterings that one reason could be that parent network NBC is considering lifting the critically acclaimed show from the smaller niche channel to NBC proper, as there’s a dearth of promising new shows in the pipeline, according to SyFy Portal.
Galactica, coming to network TV full-time? Wooohooo!
For a small investment – PCB, microcontroller kit, LEDs, batteries and some solder – all you EE/CREG geeks out there can deck out your bike with SpokePOV and have PacMan chasing ghosts in the spokes of your conveyance in mere hours. Now that’s some clever real life geekery.
If you’re not immediately familiar with the name Will Wright, you’ve probably never played Sim City, The Sims, etc. If you do know his name, you’re probably cursing it at this very moment for the countless hours you lost to his addicting creations. Well, prepare yourself for even further profanity-laden tirades, as he’s been hard at work on the ultimate incarnation of “Sim-ness”, Spore. Hit that link, but be warned: it’s a 35 minute video showing the current state of Spore. For those of you not willing to sit through the video, here’s a rough approximation of Spore in its current state: Tamagotchi + Black & White + Magic Carpet 3D + Warcraft II + Sim City + Civilization II + Master of Orion II. Egads! Sound appealing enough to all you sim wonks out there?
*drool* My Spidey Geek Sense is firing on all cylinders. Here’s to hoping that Wright 1) keeps the system requirements at a rational level and 2) actually folllows through on his grandiose, sweeping vision. ‘Course, if he does, I may just well be lost to the world for a very, very long time. (Ref. the ill-fated Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri incidents of the mid ’90’s)
Finally, a mainstream artist or two seems to be truly realizing what is at stake in the Global War on Terror. Frank Miller, of Sin City and The Dark Knight Returns fame has revealed his plans for his next work, Holy Terror, Batman!:
Miller proudly announced the title of his next Batman book, which he will write, draw and ink. Holy Terror, Batman! is no joke. And Miller doesn’t hold back on the true purpose of the book, calling it “a piece of propoganda,” where ‘Batman kicks al Qaeda’s [butt].”
The reason for this work, Miller said, was “an explosion from my gut reaction of what’s happening now.” He can’t stand entertainers who lack the moxie of their ’40s counterparts who stood up to Hitler. Holy Terror is “a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we’re up against.”
It’s been a long time since heroes were used in comics as pure propaganda. As Miller reminded, “Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That’s one of the things they’re there for.”
“These are our folk heroes,” Miller said. “It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you’ve got Al Qaeda out there.”
I do believe I’ll be picking this one up.
During the 2004 election cycle, Lefty bloggers of varying stripes took to labeling Rightwing pundits (such as myself) “chickenhawks” and, less-commonly, the “101st Fightin’ Keyboardists”. Their claim was that, if we supporters of the WoT were to be non-hypocritical, we should head immediately for the nearest recruiting station and request to be shipped off to Iraq or Afghanistan forthwith, reasoning that, in order to avoid charges of hypocrisy, we should be willing to lose our lives in the fight. My 4-F status aside, this has always struck me as a specious argument whose strawmanship is nearly unequaled, but that’s beside the point and outside the scope of this piece.
Instead, let’s focus on the fact that I, through my countless hours of playing Half-Life, Quake 1/2/3, Unreal Tournament 1/2003/2004, and most especially America’s Army and Counter-Strike may have inadvertently been training our men and women in uniform in the art of game fu.
From the linked article:
American troops appear to have a considerable advantage because most of them grew up playing video games and using PCs. More and more military equipment uses computers, or are basically electronic gadgets. American troops require a lot less time to learn how to use this stuff, and tend to be very good with it. This extends from fire control systems in armored vehicles, to new radios, electronic rifle sights and training systems (which are very similar to those video games.) Many other countries have to spend a lot more time training their troops to use this stuff, and the proficiency of the troops is never particularly good. This effect is often seen when this high tech American equipment is provided to foreign troops who didnâ€™t have such an electronic childhood.
(Glenn Reynolds has written on this very subject elsewhere. Go ye and read, for it is good.)
See, Mom? You said I wasted all those hours in Contra, Life Force, and 1943, when in reality I was saving your very life by proxy. Bet you wish you had let us get that NES (with Light Gun, of course) a couple of years earlier, huh?
An interesting initiative has popped up over the past couple of days seeking to convince Fox Broadcasting to produce a second season of Firefly using direct-to-DVD or iTunes-ish technology instead of committing to broadcasting it over the air. Please head over to that site and indicate your willingness to purchase such an offering, posthaste.
That is all.
Serenity Might Fly Again?
Loni Peristere, visual-effects supervisor for the SF movie Serenity, told SCI FI Wire that there’s hope for future flights of the cast and crew of the movie, which just came out on DVD. Director Joss Whedonâ€”who also created the canceled Fox TV show Firefly, on which the movie is basedâ€”expected that the movie might draw the low numbers it did in its theatrical release, Peristere said in an interview. But he added that the movie’s sales on DVD, which came out on Dec. 20, are running neck-and-neck with the hit comedy Wedding Crashers, which bodes well for a possible Serenity sequel.
Pinch me, please. C’mon, Universal and/or Fox, pull the trigger already.