Super Balance Articles II Turbo – 20 articles written by the lead designer of the new Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Very interesting info about design, game balance, and how not to piss off a community of tournament players who have memorized SFII’s moves down to the frame.
A National Geographic expedition to a tiny South Pacific island has discovered scores of new species, including over 600 types of crabs.
The distinctive hexagonal shell, long legs, and claws of this delicate-looking feather star crab help it blend in with its host, the crinoid or feather star.
The crab dwells in the center of the feather star, where it grabs food particles from its filter-feeding host’s arms.
Over 150 scientists from 20 countries participated in the survey of Espiritu Santo in the South Pacific, scouring caves, mountains, reefs, shallows, and forests collecting species. Out of over 10,000 species collected, the researchers are predicting that as many as 2000 may be previously unknown to the scientific community.
A new review of Bone Music, this time from the Grave Concerns e-zine:
What really sets apart Khan’s work from most of his contemporaries in the dark electronic scene is a fondness for more traditional sound sources. While there’s no shortage of electronic ambience and computer-generated percussive sounds, there’s also plenty of mostly unadorned rock and classical instrumentation. “Waiting for Gira” backs its rumbling percussion with the heavy throb of low-end bass guitar, for example, and “Friends of Father” sees what sounds like old-school guitar distortion and clattering snare drum emerging from a fuzzy wash of static. This more organic sound translates especially well to Khan’s use of rhythm. Often, his beats sound less like programmed sequences than tribal percussive ensembles, especially on the ominous “International Dark Skies,” which evokes imagery of some midnight voodoo conjuration, and title track “Bone Music,” which despite the morbid imagery of its title is actually possessed of a sense of fun not unlike Einsturzende Neubauten’s mellower instrumental experiments.
Manifesto for Agile Software Development – Working software is the primary measure of progress.
I’ve been hoping for a Liberal-NDP coalition government since Chrétien left office, but I never thought I would actually see it so close to actually happening.
If the opposition comes out on top when the dust settles, we might see a new era of coalition governments in Canadian politics, and — dare I say it — electoral reform to prevent the vote-splitting which allowed the Conservatives to take power in the first place. Blue sky thinking to be sure, but no more than a Liberal-NDP coalition was, five years ago.
I could go on for days about my dream cabinet, or the platform I think we’ll see, but all of that is secondary to what would be the most important consequence of a successful coalition: The destruction of Stephen Harper.
Stephen Harper is the most dangerous animal lurking in the jungles of Parliament. He is a threat to the future viability of the Liberals. A blood simple opponent of the NDP and the only serious contemporary challenge to the Bloc Quebecois. Without him, his party is an unlikely combination of Reform Party leftovers, Harris refugees and Red Tory desperates. They don’t matter or even exist without Mr. Harper. So before you think a moment longer, opposition leaders, think on that.
And if that’s not compelling enough, remember: He doesn’t play to win. He plays to conquer. Under his guidance, the public interest is always subjugated to his personal political advancement. And he poisons Parliament with an extreme, bare-fanged breed of partisanship that has no hope of repair until he is banished.
This becomes relevant because suddenly, he is weak. In fact, at this particular moment, he is almost unable to defend himself. Owing to a ridiculously ill-considered act of hubris, he has laid himself vulnerable to his opponents. Their imperative could not be more clear: kill him. Kill him dead. Do not, whatever you do, provide him with an opportunity to extend his hold on power. Because you can be damn certain he will never again be so reckless as to give you a chance to finish him off.
He’s right. Everyone involved has gone past the point-of-no-return; this is uncharted territory, and whoever gains ground will be salting the earth behind them.
Dinosaurs, sharks and explosions - The best SomethingAwful photoshop thread this year.
South African prison tattoos – Amazing look at what happens in a culture where your own body is all you have.
What you see here is a photo that never should have been allowed to be taken, and one which provides an amazing, one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of WWII espionage and counter-espionage. As far as I can tell, what is shown in this picture is an FBI agent in New York encrypting a message, passed from “DUNN” – Duquesne – through Sebold, prior to transmitting that message to Germany via shortwave radio.
Think Godzilla’s Scary? Meet His Lawyers – “It’s been 54 years since an atomic blast awakened the slumbering reptilian monster Godzilla, and the fire-breathing, fin-tailed beast has been terrorizing downtown Tokyo ever since — in more than two dozen movies, on television and in comics and cartoons.But Godzilla is a pussycat compared to the coterie of lawyers and investigators in Los Angeles and Japan who aggressively protect the radioactive behemoth from anyone who dares to appropriate his lizardly image for profit.”
When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions – A Discovery Channel documentary series on space exploration of the past 50 years, from the first Mercury flights through the Gemini program to the Apollo moon landings, the Space Shuttle, and the construction of the International Space Station.
Design done right: Using technology to build a bridge between problem-solving and art. The Dutch have always had stunning currency design (I will forever lament the loss of the guilder, and what is perhaps the most beautiful banknote ever produced), and their new coder-designed 5 euro coin is amazing:
The Dutch Ministry of Finance organized an architecture competition for which a selected group of architectural offices (unstudio, nox, …) and artists were invited, including myself. The goal of the competition was not to design a building, but the new 5 euro commemorative coin with the theme ‘Netherlands and Architecture’. The winner will be rewarded with a nice price, but most of all with the honor: his design will be realized and will be a legal coin within the Netherlands.
Close to 100 people crowded into downtown shelter Friday morning to remember more than 40 shelter users who died this year in Ottawa. [...]
About 10 people came before the crowd to share their memories of those whose struggles on the street ended over the past 11 months. A list of the dead, who ranged in age from 19 to the early 60s, were read out and the crowd sang Amazing Grace in their memory.
About 900 to 1,000 people live in shelters downtown, said Paul Soucie, co-executive director of the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter.
Ronald Waldrif, who has been using the Centre 454 shelter for two years, said he knew some of them, including one man who was starting to get his life back together when he died in a hit-and-run collision.
He added that many committed suicide. Others died as a result of homicide, illness, or drug overdoses, Cheam said.
I wish I had known about this. When I was working with the shelters/drop-in, we were never allowed to do anything along these lines.
Our unwillingness to address homelessness in Canada is tragic and shameful.
Repost from 6 years ago today:
“Within every story featuring time travel there really exists two stories: The one about Marty McFly who went back in time and saved Doc Brown from being killed by terrorists and the (much less contemplated) one about Marty McFly who disappeared forever the night Doc Brown was killed.”
Every egg wants to someday be part of a breakfast sandwich – Eggs are the most magical of foods: they can be a binder, a cake ingredient, a protein to mix into salads, OR a delicious goopy yolky mess. It is in this last role that they reach their eggy apotheosis.
Left 4 Dead.
This just might be the best co-op game I’ve ever played. 4 players versus insane zombies, running from building to building, fucking shit up proper. From the Shacknews Review:
It’s actually very easy to quantify just how replayable Left 4 Dead is, in the same way that one can identify an infectious disease.
Because that’s what playing Left 4 Dead for the first time feels like–the beginning of a terrible affliction. We played the game for two straight days at Valve, only occasionally surfacing for a gasp of fresh snacks. We played so much Left 4 Dead that it made us all physically ill. We came home thoroughly infected, bed-ridden and moaning like the undead.
And the most common phrase going around our chat channel? “I wish I could play more right now.”
It really is that much fun.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be on Xbox Live.
From Space Photos:
Imagine a pipe as wide as a state and as long as half the Earth. Now imagine that this pipe is filled with hot gas moving 50,000 kilometers per hour. Further imagine that this pipe is not made of metal but a transparent magnetic field. You are envisioning just one of thousands of young spicules on the active Sun. Pictured above is perhaps the highest resolution image yet of these enigmatic solar flux tubes. Spicules dot the above frame of solar active region 10380 that crossed the Sun in 2004 June, but are particularly evident as a carpet of dark tubes on the right. Time-sequenced images have recently shown that spicules last about five minutes, starting out as tall tubes of rapidly rising gas but eventually fading as the gas peaks and falls back down to the Sun. These images also indicate that the ultimate cause of spicules is sound-like waves that flow over the Sun’s surface but leak into the Sun’s atmosphere.
Your Body Is Mine – German researchers have managed to induce the illusion that participants have switched bodies with a person (or a mannequin) of the opposite gender. “Our subjects experienced this illusion as being exciting and strange, and often said that they wanted to come back and try it again,” say the scientists. No shit. (Via io9)