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3-D at Its Best

 

Welcome to March, everybody! I know it’s a couple days late, but March is great because it puts you that much closer to spring. And what’s so great about spring? It’s not winter. Snow is for old ladies who have no need to go outside and kids who enjoy sledding more than they enjoy being not cold. I’m not one of those kids. So, happy March, and here’s to warm weather!

 

Anyway, I’d like to direct your attention to the video at the top if you haven’t already looked at it. It’s a really cool concept, and I hope to see it in the future of gaming. If you absolutely refuse to watch the video (which I finally figured out how to embed!), then it’s basically about a cool little computer program this guy makes that changes the perspective of what’s on the TV screen based on where your head is located. He uses the Wii tracking technology to accomplish it, allowing anyone to experience this really cool 3-D effect by downloading the program off his website.

 

The concept looks really, really (gotta have two for emphasis) awesome. I mean, imagine applying this technology to video games. You want to peer around a corner to shoot the bad guys, you actually move your head to change your view. But I guess the Xbox Kinect could theoretically do that, too, if it actually had good games (although Sonic Free Riders looks pretty good; I’ve always been a fan of racing games). But anyway, the most exciting this about the “head tracking” is that it gives you the most realistic looking 3-D yet, and it doesn’t even need a special TV.

 

So, yes, the head tracking sounds all great and wonderful, but if you do apply it to video games, there is one thing I take issue with. It’s not that only one person can see it as 3-D–no, that can be fixed with a helpful setup called “split screen.” What I’m afraid of is wanting to play a really addictive game late at night and being too tired to move anything other than my fingers. You gamers know what I’m talking about. It’s 3 a.m., you’ve consumed more Mountain Dew than you’d like to admit, and you’ve been playing the best game in the world for the past 6 hours. There is no way you’re going to have enough energy to take a deep breath after a difficult boss, much less move the upper half of your body to look around a corner. I experienced something similar when playing Twilight Princess on the Wii. So many lost hearts that could have been avoided if only the attack command had been just a simple button…

The Life of a Nerd

(Ironic that Data wants his cat to lack typos when he himself cannot spell “grammatically.”)

 

 

Lately, I’ve been noticing little nerdy quirks about me that I find a bit amusing. So here are 12 of my geeky traits; feel free to leave a comment with some of yours!

 

1. Almost every Thursday, I think of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because in the movie, Arthur Dent says, “It must be a Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays.”

2. Bow ties remind me of Doctor Who.

3. I cut my sandwiches into cosine waves and then think, I guess this means the length of my bread is equal to 2 pi.

4. I have enough nerd shirts from various shows and video games to wear for two weeks straight.

5. When people tell me, “you’re late!” I secretly think, a wizard is never late (not that I think of myself as a wizard). Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. I would say it out loud, but people usually won’t get the reference.

6. Every morning, I need to drink orange juice out of my Star Trek mug (which has Spock, my nerd crush!); otherwise, I’ll be cranky the rest of the morning.

7. When I do something accidental like bump over a cup, the first thing that comes to mind is control + z!

8. The background on my cell phone is Shifty Looking Cow from Mass Effect. My message tone is the sound of a Star Trek communicator.

9. Old buildings with lots of horizontal beams remind me of Assassin’s Creed.

10. I actually say the word “click” when clicking on webpage buttons.

11. We have a pizza cutter in the shape of the Enterprise. When I do the dishes, instead of simply putting it away, I ‘fly’ it to the drawer where it’s supposed to go.

12. I write a freaking nerd blog!

Red Ring Disease

The Red Ring Disease is a very serious illness that not a lot of people know about. In 2005, the number of victims carrying this disease spiked, surprising the world, as the illness had never before been a problem. Of those susceptible to the disease, 30 to 33% are plagued with this illness. The Red Ring Disease has claimed the lives of thousands, leaving an empty spot in the hearts and lives of families across the globe.

 

So what is the Red Ring Disease? Don’t worry, it is not contagious, but the illness develops very easily, showing virtually no symptoms until the system is down. Another name for the disease is The Red Ring of Death, and it can be identified by a red ring surrounding the power button on your Xbox 360. The cause of this terrible disease can vary, as do the solutions, but there are ways to reduce the risk of catching this Xbox cancer: click here.

 

I hope this post has been both informative and eye-opening. Many Xbox owners carry out their daily lives completely ignorant of the Red Ring Disease. For more information, click here. This is a very real illness and people need to know about it. Spread the word!

Red Ring Awareness ribbons and bumper stickers coming soon.

The Doctor is In

 

Doctor who? Why, Doctor Who! Well, okay, the new season doesn’t start until this spring, but I’m pumped about this year’s series! If you’re a long-time watcher, then you know that BBC doesn’t seem to satisfy our craving for more than one episode every 3-4 months, but this season, there will be 7 episodes this spring, and 6 episodes in the fall. Too much of the Doctor? I think not! We have to make up for all the Doctor Who we’ve missed over the last couple seasons.

 

Sick of waiting for the snow to melt? Here’s a link to the trailer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw/videos/p00cyvpy.

 

If you simply cannot wait until spring, here’s a little something about Daleks, my favorite characters in the series.

The Daleks were invented by the brilliant Terry Nation, a famous film script writer. The Nazis were his inspiration for the creation of the Daleks, which makes sense, as their organizational structure and drive to “exterminate” other races are similar to that of the Nazis. The Daleks debuted in the third episode of the first season, released in 1963, making the Daleks 48 years old. Click here for a video of the first Dalek appearance.

 

The Daleks hail from the planet Skaro. Under their mechanical shells lie Kaleds, a race of aliens that became immobilized through mutation, rendering them capable of only operating the controls inside their robot suits (Notice that if you rearrange the letters in “Kaled,” you get “Dalek”!). So if they can’t move, how did the Kaleds build their high-tech wheelchairs? The Kaled scientist Davros foresaw the mutation of his race by noticing all the radiation and chemical poisoning leaking onto his people. He devised the garbage can-looking transportation devices and saved his race, only to destroy it again by removing the emotions of compassion and pity from every Kaled. Now, the Daleks are on a never-ending mission to rid the universe of all non-Daleks. I bet now you’re wondering, so why are they your favorite species?! If you see a picture of them, you’d know why. One of their arms is a plunger. Also, I find their battle cry, “Exterminate!!!” kind of cute.

Viral Video Secret Strategies

Today, I’m feeling kind of lazy (just one of those days), and I’m crunched for time, so I’m going to give you a link to an interesting article titled, “The Secret Strategies Behind Many ‘Viral’ Videos.” Click here to read it.

 

If you’re a fan of viral videos on YouTube, well, sorry, but it might ruin your day. But on the other hand, if you’re looking to be YouTube famous, then this is the article for you.

 

After reading it, I can still enjoy viral videos, but I just keep in mind that they didn’t get so many views all on their own. Meh, I can live with that.

Just What Do They Do All Day?!

No, this post is not about Congress…

 

I recently recalled a conversation I had with my friend Diandra a while ago about non-nerds. She was sleeping over at my house and we had just spent numerous hours on my couch watching anime. I don’t remember who brought it up first, but we began to wonder what normal people do at sleepovers (this is a completely innocent conversation, so I don’t want to see any dirty comments about what you wish you could do with your friends at “sleepovers”). I honestly cannot remember the last time I went to a sleepover and didn’t do something geeky. We  have ventured a little from anime and gravitated toward video games—always doing something nerd-related. After we finally decide to go to bed, we stay up even later talking about plans for future gaming or our opinions on the latest Rooster Teeth video.

 

Non-nerds probably make up for the lack of something interesting to discuss by going to the theater or bowling. But when they’re at home, and they’ve already watched their gag-inducing chick-flick or repetitive football game, just what do they do for the rest of the night? Talk about whose boyfriend said what for hours and hours? That must be awful! Just how much is there to say, anyway?! There’s got to be more they do with their time! Or have I put too much faith in the human race?

 

Maybe this is why I have trouble talking to people. I don’t know how to start a conversation without, “So did you hear about that new Dead Island trailer?”

The Return of ‘Firefly’?

Ha! I got you there with the title, didn’t I? I bet you were all excited and thought, Golly gee whiz, new episodes of Firefly?! I could DIE from extreme fanaticism! Well, sorry to disappoint, but there will be no new episodes. There will never be new episodes. I’ve lost all hope for that ever happening. I guess there could be a remake, but without the original cast we’ve all come to love and adore, would it still have that same flare Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau and the rest brought to Mal’s lovable 03-K64 “Firefly”?

 

But that’s a speculation not worth getting all worked up over. Fox probably hasn’t even realized just how many people hate them for canceling the show. Anyway, although new episodes will not be released, we can all experience Serenity’s charm once again on TV through the Science Channel, as the network is re-airing the show for the whole ‘verse to see—or at least for those of us with cable.

 

This doesn’t really affect people like me who watch Firefly over and over again via Netflix, but it is nice to know that some networks still appreciate the ingenuity of Firefly’s fine balance between the genres of sci-fi and western. However, I am excited about the “new extras” that will accompany each episode as well as Dr. Michio Kaku’s discussion on the scientific concepts behind this short-lived series.

 

Although the show’s run was brief, its fan list is extensive, and the ever-growing group of enthusiasts will be sitting pretty in front of the Science Channel on March 6 for Firefly’s original two-hour pilot. Every following Sunday will reveal the next episode in the intended order. It’s nice to know that SOME PEOPLE care enough to get it right. For the article I read as well as a short and sweet interview with Nathan Fillion (Captain Malcolm Reynolds), click here.

 

 

Still upset over my being a jerk and misleading you about Firefly’s return? Then here’s something to take your mind off it: 10 fun Firefly facts!

-In Battlestar Galactica’s original pilot episode, Serenity was spotted flying among other ships in the background. Click here for a picture.

-The shape of Serenity varied in the series and the film. For example, the Firefly’s neck grew longer and the interior more roomy for the movie.

-When describing Serenity in “The Train Job,” River says, “Mid-bulk Transport. Standard Radion Accelerator core. Class code 03-K64–Firefly.” Want to know what the “K” stands for in the class code? The Japanese word for “firefly” is “kei.” It’s a pun.

-The kitchen walls in Serenity are yellow with decorative vine paintings—supposedly embellished by Kaylee.

-The uniforms worn by Alliance troops were originally worn in Starship Troopers (1997). After Firefly was discontinued, Starship Troopers rocked the uniform once again in the 2004 sequel.

-The sonic gun in “Trash” was also recycled as Dr. Horrible’s freeze ray. I guess the captain of both shows (Nathan Fillion) wasn’t the only thing they had in common.

-A toy Han Solo frozen in carbonite was hidden in at least one scene of every Firefly episode.

-The cast of Firefly would hang out on set in the ship’s lounge rather than take their breaks between scenes in the green room. Not very surprising, though—if you could crash in Serenity’s living room, wouldn’t you?

-The Enterprise from Star Trek, the Tantive IV from Star Wars and the Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactica all had cameos in Firefly’s “Heart of Gold” episode.

-Nathan Fillion’s current show, Castle, makes many references to Firefly, including direct quotes, a passing comment that Castle learned Chinese from his last job, and even having Fillion play dress up as a ‘space cowboy,’ which is obviously a Malcolm Reynolds costume. Click here for a video.

 

 

Sources: http://www.fireflywiki.org/Firefly/FireflyTransport, http://furiousfanboys.com/2010/12/8-things-you-may-not-have-known-about-firefly/, http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2204947231&topic=1659, http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Television/Firefly-12087.html

The Worst Thing Ever Conceived

Online job applications.

 

Is there some job application association I can submit a formal complaint to? …Or informal? I don’t mind screaming into someone’s ear. It’s hard for me to stay calm enough to form complete sentences so I can explain just how frustrated I am. Here it goes:

 

Not even five minutes ago, I was filling out a job application for a company because I heard they were hiring and I’m in desperate need of a job. It was an online application, and I became frustrated at how it wouldn’t accept certain answers, like my salary for a previous job, because the idiots who make you fill out this crap don’t have enough foresight in their measly little brains to think about the fact that some people don’t get paid hourly (it was a flat rate). I run into this sort of thing ALL THE TIME in online job applications. If you’re going to ask specific questions, at least give room to explain the special cases! Plus, they ask all sorts of pointless things like, “Are you: a) organized or b) artistic?” WELL CAN’T I BE BOTH?! (This question was found in another company’s application.) And they don’t think to ask something important that might clear up some misunderstandings like, “Are you currently a student?” That way, they won’t see that I haven’t graduated college and make the assumption that I dropped out.

 

Getting back to the pointless questions, I just wanted to say, I HATE THEM SO MUCH! (Wow, is this the first time I’ve used caps lock in a post? I feel like a whiney ten-year-old complaining about parents on the Internet. Once your parents finally understand you, the job applications don’t. It’s always something…) Anyway, if you’ve ever filled out an online job application, then you know about those questions at the end that look like one of those personality quizzes on Facebook, like “Who’s Your Celebrity Boyfriend?” The applications ask questions that take forever because you’re always second guessing yourself, making sure your answers won’t make you seem immature or unsociable. My longest online job application took me 4 hours, and I wish I could tell you for which business it was, but by the time I submitted, I had forgotten where I was applying. Anyway, my point is that these online applications are hell. There are, I kid you not, usually well over 100 questions about how easily you socialize at parties. What ever happened to the days where you would give them your name and they’d learn about you through real human interaction called a “job interview”? See what Facebook has done?!

 

That was a long but necessary tangent. Anyway, back to the application I was working on. So after taking almost an hour to fill out my education and employment history (which is sad, because I’ve only held one job. For a month. My brother was my supervisor), working around setbacks like the before mentioned application creators’ lack of foresight, I was finally able to move on. When I clicked the next page button, I was presented with a happy picture of their employees smiling (who I’m assuming by this point must have been hired actors) and text that went a little something like this: “The page has expired. Click here to start over.”

 

Yeah…… I screamed.

 

Well, I tried. I hear you can make a decent amount of money begging…

 

And my parents wonder why I don’t fill out very many job applications.

The picture above is a watch. It doesn’t have a TV remote, nor does it play movies. It simply tells the time. But, this digital sundial looks freaking awesome. This “traffic” design watch hails from a Japanese company called Tokyoflash that makes many more types of timepieces. They all have the futuristic, time traveler’s wristwatch style, varying in shape and time-telling technique.

 

I just thought these watches looked awesome. Apple and Google seem to think so, too, according to Tokyoflash’s website. The wristwatches have also been featured in the popular blockbusters Crash (2004) and Tekken (2009). Tekken was based off a video game, which means, by rule of thumb, the movie probably wasn’t very good. But oh well, the watches are cool.

 

Anyway, if you’d like to check them out, click here for the website. The prices may seem high at first, but considering everything that goes in to designing and manufacturing the watches, they’re actually pretty cheap. Still too pricey for my wallet, though.

Illustrator Art

I made some stuff in Adobe Illustrator, so I thought I’d put it up.

 

I know this is already on my Facebook, but I thought I’d post it anyway because it’s relevant. I made this for the Illustrator project in my CS5 introductory class last semester. This is Tali from Mass Effect, and she has 98 sub-layers.

The most recent is this picture of a gnu (as a tribute to my username). I made it in my Illustrator class for a Charley Harper project. We had to copy his style of using basic shapes to make animals. Here are some examples of his art: cardinal, dog, animals. After working on this project, I’ve become a big fan of his work.

 

And this is an image I made a couple weeks ago and entered it into Rooster Teeth’s art contest. It had to be something that had to do with the 8th season of Red vs Blue, so I made this epicness, composed of 181 sub-layers. I don’t think I’ll win, because I’ve seen the other contest entries, and they just blow me away. It was still good practice, though, and a lot of fun.