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Journal: I look like crap and feel like worse

Journal by Brainboy

This last week of the semester is really beginning to wear me out. I feel exhausted all the time. I'm scrambling to finish papers to turn in. I do have a problem with procrastination, or rather, even if I sit down to do something ahead of time, it still doesn't get done. And I do sit down, btw, I ain't bullshitting you. But I need the time pressure as motivation. I'd work to fix that little problem with me, but I don't have the time or motivation to worry about it right now. Man do I hate college. But of course, the bullshit I'd have to deal with would be so much greater if I didn't give this a try. Last thing I need is everyone's fucking condescension, "blah blah blah, college you need to do it, blah blah blah" So, my plan right now is to skim through college, so that when I finally start working to do what I want to do (design games) I won't have people bitching at me about I should be at college instead of playing with games.

And I haven't been surfing /. too much lately. Been too busy to check up on people's journals and such. Hope I haven't missed too much.

Meh, just need to blow of some steam before I get started on this PolySci paper.

NoDoz to the rescue!

ugh

I leave with some IRCness. Chill = Me:

Chill> and I finally get some fucking sleep
Chill> I napped for hours today
Chill> right through dinner time
Chill> which is good
Chill> people have been telling me, I look "exhausted", "like a zombie", and "like shit"
Chill> my mom said I looked like a zombie, and she's from Haiti so I guess she knows what zombies look like
Chill> she's been going on, "You think you're fooling people but your not. Everyone can see you're not getting enough sleep"
Aco24> lol
Aco24> =/
Chill> I'm thinking "I don't think I'm fooling anyone, I just don't care"
Chill> I know I look like shit
Aco24> ;p
Chill> I just need a bit more energy to do this paper
Chill> and turn in my shit tomorrow
Chill> gosh, I feel like shit

User Journal

Journal: Karl Malone Help New Orleans

Journal by Brainboy

It's true.

http://sportsbybrooks.com/karlmalone.html

Malone volunteered millions of dollars in manpower (including his own) and equipment from his company based in Haynesville, La., to the effort of clearing debris from the city of Pascagoula, Miss.

Like many during the cleanup process, Malone initially found resistance from federal officials, but he sidestepped them and eventually cleared debris for two weeks, including 115 condemned homes - to allow reconstruction efforts to begin.

He just gained many levels of cool.

User Journal

Journal: Free Game RoundUp

Journal by Brainboy

Games that are free as in beer! So what games has been draining my GPA recently?

N: I think the best way to describe it is a minimalist platform game. It reminds me of Loderunner in a way. The game has a really neat physics engine, and because of it, the gameplay is really neat. Play it and collect the coins!

Eternal Daughter(scroll down) I've just started playing this and it's really friggin sweet. I've been on a slight platforming binge lately. I've just beaten Metroid Prime: Zero Mission on the Gameboy (in 5 hours and 25 minutes, I know I can do better) and this just fits right. Eternal Daughter conjures up memories of all the old Apogee platformers, off-beat story included. I didn't play much Nintendo growing up otherwise I imagine I would have said Metroid and Castlevania. Anyways, the controls are slick, and the story is actually pretty engrossing. At least so far.

Revenge of the Robot Cats from Mars. Galaxian style gameplay, with a fun twist of collecting coins to pay for upgrades. And the art makes me laugh. It's a thoroughly fun experience and a good time for all. ;p

Role Playing (Games)

Journal: Secrets Of Adolescant Love Revealed!

Journal by Brainboy

Okay, I exaggerate but I always liked titles that were full of hubris, so sue me. Anyways...

Guys will look/stare/glance/whatever at girls they have a crush on. They may be doing other things, like avoiding the teacher's gaze, but the attention is pointed at the object of their infatuation. What I've realized however, is that the cause and effect actually goes the other way!

Now maybe, this is old news, but its news to me. It just made so much sense after filtering through all the girls I've been strongly attracted to and not. Now the initial gut attraction is important as it grabs the attention. However if the attention isn't sustained, the 'crush' doesn't occur.

For example, in my english course we sit into a circle. On the first day, there was two girls I was attracted to just on looks, whatever. I became somewhat infatuated with one girl but not the other, why? One girl sat diametrically opposed to me in the circle, one sat to my left just outside my peripheral vision. Guess which one?

Well, after discovering the secret of this and thus realizing that it wasn't fate or anything extraordinary, I simply didn't look at her so much, and she changed her seat, and now she's just a another chick in the class.

BTW, all my high school crushes either sat somewhere in front of me in a class, or had a lead role in a drama club production I was in.

"Out of sight; Out of mind"

Television

Journal: FBI == Anti Porn Squad

Journal by Brainboy

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/09/21/MNGRSER4141.DTL

Thank you FBI. You see, I believe that the War on Terror is diverting resources from much more important cause of the War on Pr0n. Pr0n is destroying the very fabric of our society. I daresay that Pr0n is a dangerous substance akin to crack or crystal meth. In fact its even worse because it has ensnared even rich white people. It is a scourge upon our very way of life as Americans. Congratulation FBI, I salute you!

User Journal

Journal: The Elephant in the Room OR Oil companies suck 3

Journal by Brainboy

I've been treating the whole issue of oil and gas prices as the elephant in the room while the whole New Orleans situation has been going on. It doesn't seems right for me to bitch about gas prices while people are still dying from the aftermath of the hurricane. But this is fucking ridiculous.

http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=101320#

Oil companies came under new fire yesterday when it emerged that ExxonMobil's profits are likely to soar above $10 billion this quarter on the back of the fuel crisis.
          That's $110 million a day, and more net income than any company has ever made in a quarter. It's also a stunning 69 percent increase over the same period a year ago and a 34 percent jump from the $7.6 billion Exxon made just last quarter.

WTF? But I suppose its to be expected that oil companies are making ridiculous amounts of money while the rest of the economy suffers. Greedy bastards.

Oh and for those in Connecticut (and upstate NY), you have an addition reason to be pissed at Mobil-Exxon.

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/scn-sa-gas2sep08,0,1829222.story?coll=stam-news-local-headlines

After peaking last Thursday, gasoline futures, which are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and help determine the wholesale and retail costs for gasoline, have dropped more than 30 cents a gallon the past three days.

The national average was $3.04 a gallon yesterday, down two cents from an all-time high Monday, according to AAA's daily fuel survey.

Connecticut won't be following the nation's downward trend anytime soon, said Michael Fox, executive director of the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers of America in Stamford.

Yeah, they're jacking up our prices while other parts of the US have steady prices or even drops.

United States

Journal: Articles About New Orleans (linklist)

Journal by Brainboy

Articles About New Orleans (linklist)

A list of articles, links, pics, relating to New Orleans. I suppose it's somewhat incomplete, but there's a lot here, so this will get you started.

Black people loot, White people take
http://www.flickr.com/photos/firewall/38725768/
(Non Flickr ness)
http://www.gorillamask.net/blackloot.jpg
http://www.gorillamask.net/whitefind.jpg

Turning people away from Astrodome
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/topstory2/3332869

White House was against money for repairing levees
http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/alpert083105.html

Aug 29: Bush and McCain have cake
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/images/20050829-5_p082905pm-0125-515h.html

Aug 30: Bush gets guitar lesson
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050830/480/capm10208301856

Red Cross FAQ: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans
http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,1096,0_682_4524,00.html#4524

Superdome Evacuations Temporarily Halted
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050903/ap_on_re_us/katrina_superdome_hk1

Editorial: Yes, we're worth it
http://www.nola.com/weblogs/print.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_tporleans/archives/print076010.html

@Andrew Sullivan, Government isn't helping
http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2005_08_28_dish_archive.html#112569138469257629

New Orleans "could be bulldozed"
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002466132_kathast02.html

Satellite Photo over Superdome (I can't make heads or tails of this)
http://www.digitalglobe.com/images/katrina/new_orleans_pshsuperdome_aug31_05_dg.jpg

New Orleans Disaster Relief Request Dated Aug 28 PDF
http://gov.louisiana.gov/Disaster%20Relief%20Request.pdf

New Orleans destroyed because of Southern Decadance festival(?)
http://www.repentamerica.com/pr_hurricanekatrina.html

NEW LINK: Kid saves 100 people via bus
http://www.newschannel5.tv/2005/9/1/4255/Taking-refuge-in-the-Astrodome

I have an opinion on the matter of course, but other people have expressed on /. much more eloquently and better than I could.

Note: When I find it again, I'm putting to put up a link to the radio transcript of the Mayor Nagin on here.

Robotics

Journal: A Storm's a brewing...(Economy, Robots, and Immigrants) 2

Journal by Brainboy

Captialism doesn't work. Or at the very least, it will soon not work. It sort of did at one time, but like that old car, it's going to break down soon, and you hope its not at an inopportune time.

Anyways, when one makes such a bombastic statement, one is should back it up with some sort of reasoning and logic. Except for politicians, they seem to say any old crap and people would buy it. My line of thinking can be somewhat circuitous at times, and I'm sure digressions and run-ons will abound, but work with me here.

Karl Marx, for all of his ideas proved wrong (like they needed to be), he did point out the fallacy in captialism, in that if you let it go, you will reach a point where you have very few people having good lives on the backs of most. Charles Dickens said it much better, and made more sense. Anyways that point is fast coming upon us (or is already here depending on your pessimism level), and frankly, it's time to fix our shit.

Why is the breaking point coming so fast now? Answer: Robots and, to a much lesser extent, computers. You see, Robots are fast replacing people's jobs. It's not hard to envision robots replacing landscaping. Hell my dad is working on a robotic lawnmower and he's certainly no professional MIT graduate roboticist. Or even, fast food places. McDonald's or Domino's robots? Seems almost obvious. The problem here is, once you put all this unskilled laborers out of work, what the hell are they going to do?

Now, I'm reminded of the Industrial Revolution. It's a similar sort of event, which does give me a glimmer of hope we'll make it into the future with out having to go Mad Max on everything. Once Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, slavery was doomed. Once you have machines, slavery is just not an efficient system anymore. So assuming the Luddites weren't right, what do we do?

(I think everyone is with me on the problem right? Short version: When robots do the menial stuff, what do the immigrants do?)

Well let's lay out some bullets perhaps something will present itself. I doubt it, but lists are fun!

-Robots are replacing menial and unskilled jobss

-Computers are making replication of data perfect and the cost of copying miniscule

-Everyone can't be an artist or engineer
Yeah, there is no way that can happen. At least I'm pretty sure that's not.

-Robots start becoming ubiquitous

-Can't have a ton of unemployed people around
That's a luddite revolt waiting to happen

-Not everyone is smart
Connected somewhat to the artist/engineer thing

Honestly, I dunno. I'm playing around with the idea that robots become the new hammer and saw, but I'm not sure how that gets done without turning people into engineers. Hell, I barely know what the means. The idea is that with robots being ubiquitous that means almost everyone has it, and thus can figure out different ways to use it. But again I'm not sure where the nonengineerification is, or the unskilled laborers come in.

Maybe space. I don't know. What am I talking about? Robots basically do that already.

Service industry, what doesn't get replaced by robots? Doesn't seem big enough.

I can't see it right now. I don't know what we're heading to, but it's going to be big. I can't see the Promised Land, only the fact the path go through a desert.

Or perhaps we're all screwed in the end. Either post-apocalyptic or cyberpunk style.

Real Time Strategy (Games)

Journal: My Games: Runtling

Journal by Brainboy

I have a pre alpha/ demo/ thing of my game Runtling.

Runtling version .00000000000000000001
http://www.filefarmer.com/Cullam3n/Runtling.zip

Yes, all you can do is throw the little dudes, and move around the palm trees. It's not exactly Starcraft yet.

TO DO:

        * Test out Combat code (it's mostly written, but i suspect its bug ridden at this point)

        * More Units

        * Bang out Level Design

        * MORE ANIMATIONS(yuk)

        * Change that ugly ass background

        * Better houses and stuff

The basic idea of Runtling is that its a 2d strategy game where your main mode of interaction is pickup units with the mouse and 'throwing' them. Plus the player will be given 'toys' that can be moved around and affect the battlefield. Units will spawn at the bottom, and the enemies will come down from the top. The object will be to defend the Runtling village which will be 10(or so) huts near the bottom of the screen which will be attackable by the enemy units.

Code is split going to split into 4 files

Objects.py - Main game objects. Workhorse of the whole thing
Runtling.py - Game mainloop. Does rendering and gathering of input.
Unit.py - Unit design, plus setting up the animations for the units
Level.py - The level design (not implemented yet)

I'd put up the source code. But's it a bit long for journel entry, and I'm just to lazy to put up at the moment.

XBox (Games)

Journal: Thinking about games and stuff

Journal by Brainboy

Just saw X-Play's preview of Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Seems like a really fun game. However, something I heard in the preview got me thinking.

"The plot, if you want to call it that, has something to do with Banner trying to get rid of the gamma radiated monster within him and...."

Now, obviously I don't know about that particular game itself, so I can't comment on it. That being said, it got some gears moving in my head.

Hulk is a very interesting character. He's more than a brute who smashes stuff, or rather the story is more than just about a brute smashing things. There is a lot of really cool stuff that goes on through the Hulk story, above and beyond the cool action scenes, which admittingly, are very cool. Now how can you convey this in a game, without it being a distraction. I'm not positive, but there are some ideas.

Perhaps it just a matter of good writing. That's certainly needed, but again, it is seperate from the gameplay. Or at least, it is not interactive. Well it could obviously, but somehow having too much KOTOR style dialogue in an action game like Hulk doesn't sound like the smartest thing. Maybe some, as Banner and such, but I dunno, it seems a bit forced.

An intriguing idea I had, was allow the game to have the freedom to do good things. Meaning, allow within the game, the option, to say, save some people, or protect a school or whatever. In that sense it would be a lot like the EMT missions in GTA. A possibility of doing good deeds. Probably would be better if you made it a little more accessible. In a lot of ways it could be a split second decision by the player. Do I just jump away from Abomination or do I protect the school he seems itching to smash? That would be cool.

In fact, one could read up on some Hulk comics and check out some things that Hulk did besides smash things, and put those in the game. They was one comic, where Hulk got 'tamed' and brought to a high class party (I forget the number, but it was the one where he fights Valkyrie). That could be funny.

Also, I remember, especially from the cartoon show, that Green Hulk and Gray Hulk would often have battles in Banner's mind and such. Making a couple of levels in Banner's mind is really obvious. With some good in game dialogue, it oculd present some interesting depth.

I suppose, these ideas are for the Hulk game, but they do get one thinking about games in general. Just fooling around with the grammar of games to find the best way to show some depth.

User Journal

Journal: Ugh, Frontpage...

Journal by Brainboy

Now I don't normally read the frontpage all that much. Sometimes I read through the headlines, occasionally I clickthrough link whatever. When I opened Slashdot today the headline for this article caught my eye. Now being the only geek who DIDN'T think Virtual Light was godawful, I decided to read his new spiel. Honestly it put rather succiently some very important points. I thought it was pretty interesting. I figured it might stir up cool discussions so I read through the comments.

What a big waste of time. Now, I expect the usual trolls on any frontpage article. But c'mon, this shit is ridiculous. Then again, perhaps by mistake was expect interesting conversation from a frontpage article.

Movies

Journal: [Movie Review/Discussion] Layer Cake and My Summer of Love 2

Journal by Brainboy

Last night, I went down to the local independant/artsy/cool movie theatre. to see Layer Cake. It's directed by the guy who produced those Guy Ritchie flicks, Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. I figured it'd be really similiar to that, and I liked Snatch and what I've seen of Lock, Stock (I haven't seen all of it).

Well, it's only sorta like those films. The British crime scene is there. So is the large interesting cast of characters, and the use of a single thing as the major pusher of plot i.e. plot device, in this case boxes of stolen ectascy pills. This is where the the similarites end.

First off, Vaughn has a visual style distinct from Ritchie. A lot of his scene transitions are really good. The script is excellent, clever, and pretty concise. I'll say that this movie is also less... what's the word, whimsical(?) than Ritchie's movie. It's still hilarious, but a very tone than Snatch. Go see it, it's really good.

Hanging out at the movie theatre, a couple of friends and I get invite to screen a movie. Knowing most of the people who work at a movie theatre, including managers, is great. I think, "Okay, sure."

The movie was another British flick called, My Summer of Love. I have this to say about it.

It's godawful.

I found it insipid and nauseating. The dialogue dragged and was generally not very interesting at all. Almost every scene should have been cut 5 seconds earlier. It's horrible, and I'm glad I didn't pay to see this movie.

User Journal

Journal: My Involuntary 2 week hiatus from computer

Journal by Brainboy

A little more than 2 weeks my laptop's hard drive got fuxxored, and off it went to the shop it went to get fixed gratis. Warrenties are handy like that. Fortunately I had done a system restore a week before, so my stuff was already backed up EXCEPT for my Freedom Force vs 3rd Reich saves. Dammit I was more than halfway through!

Well, in anycase, I was stuck with no computer for two weeks. Two weeks without Internet? OH NOES! WERE WILL I C PRON?????????? Fortunately I'm a versatile geek, I can make it through this, right?

In the beginning of the 2 weeks, I vegged out a lot. It was really weird. It almost like I was lost or something. Who'd a thought computers play such an integral part of my life? Yeesh, it's like a bad sci-fi movie. Couldn't you imagine that. *clears throat and does his best movie guy voice*

In a future, where everything is run by computers. What happens when those computers...

aren't there?!

Starring Christian Bale and Natalie Portman

Anywho, after my system was cleansed through the vegging out, I had to something. Hell it got boring after a couple of days. I began watching TechTV in the morning. It's not like cruising Slashdot, but it satisfied the addiction. And hey, now I know what everyone talking about when geeks are all like, "morgan webb is HOT, yo." Aside: She has some sort of look that seems familiar. Wednesday Aadams, maybe? I dunno.

A Star Wars D20 game got started, so my Wednesday evenings got taken care off. Pen and Paper games are fun. And a nice way to spend an evening. However, what really took the boredom away was Warhammer 40k.

For those who don't what it is and are too lazy to google it, it's a miniature wargaming. I build my army out of models, paint them, then play with them against some other guy who did the same thing. It a ludicrous amount of fun.

This paragraph is for those, if any, who play 40k:
I read the new rulebook. I actually like the changes they've made. Except for the using Initative for checking to see if a squad fallback successfully out of combat. But that's cause I use Orks. What do I care, my squads almost never fallback in assault. I really like the new rapid fire rules though. You can get those close range firefights now.

I also watched a bunch of movies: Ghost in the Shell 2, Coffee and Cigarettes, Brasil(again, but this time at the big screen), Fudoh(a Takashi Miike film), Batman Begins. A few more I don't remember. I like the ones I've named. They're all pretty good. However regarding Batman Begins, I liked the film, but I didn't like that one police chase. It felt excessive, gratuitous, and stupidly over-the-top (yes, as opposed to smartly over-the-top).

I had a point I wanted to make in this journal. What the hell was it? I hadn't meant this to just be a dossier on what did the past 2 weeks. Fuckit, I got Internet back, maybe I should be thankful for that.

User Journal

Journal: Samuel E. Clemens was a prophet

Journal by Brainboy

I was reading some at wikiquote reading some Mark Twain quotes. I get to the bottom and read this little gem:

"The loud little handful will shout for war. The pulpit will warily and cautiously protest at first...The great mass of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes, and will try to make out why there should be a war, and they will say earnestly and indignantly: 'It is unjust and dishonorable and there is no need for war.' Then the few will shout even louder...Before long you will see a curious thing: anti-war speakers will be stoned from the platform, and free speech will be strangled by hordes of furious men who still agree with the speakers but dare not admit it...Next, statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."

Hmmmm, this sounds familiar, doesn't it? Smart guy...

The solution of problems is the most characteristic and peculiar sort of voluntary thinking. -- William James

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