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Good News, Bad News, Ugly Audio

The good news: I've got a driver's license - fear me! Also, last Saturday I saw Rush at the Ampitheater at Clark County. It was an awesome show, and the first concert I ever attended. I'll be definitely catching them on their next tour (whenever that will be - probably in 2-5 years).

The bad news: I lost my job last Friday, so I'm looking for a new one (though having my license will make it easier for me to find a job.

The Ugly: I've started a little experiment. I want to (once I get an job again) start doing a podcast with audio commentaries for various movies, and that sort of thing, going for an amalgam of slightly informative, and snarky. Podeo commentaries, if you will. I did a test run commentary for Predator II, and, frankly, it didn't work out as well as I liked, as there wasn't as much material as I anticipated.

Anyway, since I'm unemployed, I haven't set up a Libsyn account yet. So, in the mean time, I've uploaded my test run on MegaUpload, and you can download it here.

I'm primarily looking for feedback regarding sound levels and background noise, that sort of thing. My next commentary will probably be at a lower bitrate, so it'll be a smaller file.

I'm looking forward with eager anticipation to your feedback.

Two More Reviews.

I've got two more reviews up at Bureau42.com.
Voices of a Distant Star
and
FLCL

Enjoy (and post feedback, both here and there. Say, I should probably watch and review that show too.)
This is sort of a random creative thought.

In the past I've talked about this sort of mega-crossover fanfic I did in High School with a friend, involving the Anime Club I was part of. I'd considered, extremely strongly, re-starting it with my friends I made in college: Adam, TGU, and Admael, specifically. The big problem I ran into was starting the damn thing. My first though I had in mind was having the bad guy from the previous "Season" (which was in my senior year of High School") sending a Kaiju to earth near the College. As my new mech wasn't finished yet, and for one reason or another my previous model was unavailable, my thought was to take a page from everyone's favorite Sentai Tokusatsu show, use 4 smaller giant robots to try to take the kaiju down, and then when that didn't work, combine into a Gestalt Mech (basically a MegaZord), and then take the robot down in the grand tradition of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

But then I started thinking on the pitch and various other things, including things I wanted to do with the series later on down the road, when it hit me. I'd dropped one major bombshell at the end of the previous season, I had another one waiting on a delayed action fuse, and I hadn't considered the effects of the former bombshell at all, and I really needed to deal with that.

The bombshell being that at the end of the High School Arc, as I'm going to call it (sort of like the various arcs in Samurai Champloo or Rurani Kenshin) the Anime Club went public, in the sense that we publically revealed we'd been fighting this previously secret war with an evil intergalactic warlord, and we'd even asked the UN to send troops to help beat the BBEG (we'd even provide the transportation and equipment - we just needed people to use it.) Naturally, being this was a lame mega-crossover-fanfic-from-hell, the UN agreed to provide this aid - unanimously. Though, to be fair, it is a genre convention of Mecha Anime that the UN does in fact, posess a spine, and a rather nice one too.

The story concluded with the UN and a couple other friendly planets that had been introduced in previous seasons (including the planet from the Saber Marionette series) forming an "Federation of Planets".

So, now, not only has humanity, in the context of my fanfic, achieved interstellar space flight (without Time Dialation even), it has also encountered alien races and traveled to alien worlds, and allied with those worlds and formed a military/scientific organization for self-defense and exploration, and all of this is common knowledge on all of the worlds of this organization.

And that's the already dropped bombshell. The other one was going to involve the Multiverse concept I'd been working out, but will detail in a future posting.

But now I'm not so sure how I might work it. I'm strongly considering turning it into an "shared world" setting, like Thieves World, or how Known Space was originally intended to be, with authors (generally internet and real life friends) of my choosing (who are interested, of course).

My Review of Gunbuster on Bureau42.com

Sorry for the long time between updates. I've got a new review online, this one of the anime series "Gunbuster". It's online at Bureau42.com. Enjoy, and maybe leave a comment or two.

Tags:

Reason #3 for not moving to France...

Link To Article

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I'll be frank. A free press is truly free when the government and private citizens gets out of its hair. As long as journalists don't lie, and there are ways to bring them down if they do lie, such as anti-slander and anti-libel laws, then the press is not free. This is a double-edged sword, as this leaves openings for "Yellow Journalism", and journalism with a radical (or reactionary) bias. However, it also allows for any wrongdoing on the part of the government or a private organization to be brought to light.

Now, in all fairness, as a member of the press (sort of - I wrote articles for my campus paper), the media does need to follow some limits of their own - theft, breaking & entering, and invasion of privacy are right out (and I'm looking at the Tabloids on the last regard). Also, I feel that any journalist which discloses the identity of an field operative for an intelligence organization (without his/her permission) is grossly in the wrong.

But all that aside, this law is bulldrek. As it says, if you video-tape an act of police brutality, you can be arrested. If you videotape a mob hit, you can be arrested. If Business A has a exec of Business B rubbed out, you tape the hit, you can be arrested. If you video tape a riot, you can be arrested. You begin to see the problems, yes?

This is generally a bad idea, and I'm really against it. Hopefully this law will get overturned in France. If not, well, that's one other country I wouldn't be moving to.

Mar. 5th, 2007

I came across this news article as I was going along the news page at Gamespot.com

Basically, the general gist of the article is that Square is going to make Serious Games, in addition to their usual stuff.

To my surprise, the response from Gamespot users in the comments is overwhelmingly negative. This shocked me, greatly.

To be clear, from what I understand, "Serious Games" aren't games with a serious plot, or games with mature themes, or games deliberately made to be Artistic.

In the industry (IIRC), Serious Games is practically a technical term, referring to games meant to address a social issue, such as disaster relief, or protecting refugees in Darfur, or similar situations. The key idea here is that a Serious Game does social commentary.

This does not mean that "Kuma/War" is a Serious Game either. Kuma/War is simply taking the Law & Order "Ripped Straight From The Headlines" approach to game design. There isn't anything wrong with that, necessarily - nor is there anything wrong with kind of games we have now.

However, by making Serious Games, and making good ones, and calling attention to them, you can build up the idea that Games are something to take seriously as a medium rather then just a genre.

The game industry needs it's Maus (which recounted his father's experiences during the Holocaust), it's Safe Area Gorazde (a piece by a journalist who recounted his experiences covering the war between Bosnia and Serbia during the early 90's). Those comics provided credibility and clout to the medium of comics and graphics novels. Serious Games can do the same thing for video games.

"That's the Layer Cake, son."

I've been watching Layer Cake today, and this movie really hit
the nail the head for why I'm really not hooked by the GTA games.
You're always at the bottom of the Layer Cake. You never really work
your way up the ladder.
Now, The Godfather: The Game, because of the game's story, as well as
the respect mechanic, as well as a few other things, handles this
better then the GTA games, IMHO. You start off at the bottom, but later
on in the game you become a better earner, and you move further and
further up the ladder. I haven't played all the way through "Scarface:
The Game", I really got the feel that you were moving up the ladder
there as well.
The Gangsters series of games also almost did this for me too. The
game's premise had you trying to basically work your gang up the ladder
and run the city. However, from various elements of the controls
(especially combat and watching the "work week") made the game really
frustrating for me.
Does anybody have any recommendations for Gangster games which, instead
of you being basically at the bottom of the proverbial layer cake for
the whole game, instead has you working your way up the ladder to the
top so, presumably, at the end of the game, you're the top boss and
running the city?

RIP Mike Awesome (1967-2007)

ECW Alumnus Mike Alfonso (who wrestled under the name of Mike Awesome) died last week Saturday in his Tampa Florida home. According to reports it was a suicide. He was 42 years old.

In memoriam of his death, the ring bell will sound 10 times.

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

*bing*

EDIT: I did a little digging and managed to find the lyrics to Mike Awesome's Entrance Music.

"Rising up from a land Armageddon
He's a modern-day gladiator
Six-foot-six, angry and mean
A living, breathing, war machine
Made his name in the rising sun
With tons of battles that he won
Time and time his hand was raised
As all his victims felt his rage

Awesome's what they say
All his victims feel the pain
Dropped with an Awesome Bomb
You go down and you never come up

Ice-cold blood with a heart of fire
His victim's doom his one desire
Challenge him, he'll send you home
With a crimson mask and broken bones
He's a force that can't be stopped
Awesome is rising to the top
Puts his body on the line
Now it's time for him to shine"

Query on Horror films.

As you may be aware, I have a membership to Netflix. Well, because Mike Nelson did a commentary for it, I stuck "Halloween" in my queue, and I put the first "Friday the 13th" film in my queue for the hell of it.

Well, now NetFlix has been giving me recommendations for, say, "Saw", and "Hills Have Eyes". Now, generally I'm disinclined to watch these kind of movies, if only because in my mind's eye they're crap, even though I've never watched them or their like before, and previously had no plans to. Plus, I'm a little squemish as far as realistic blood goes, and I can't handle "Injury to the eye motif" stuff at all (so the Saw movies are right out). But what about the others? ("Hills Have Eyes", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre") I know they're gruesome and violent, but are they actually, well, good? Or does the exploitative and violent aspects overwhelm any actual scariness of the films, and any emotional impact?

What more recent horror films would you recommend?

For the record, I've seen The Exorcist, Scream and 28 Days Later, and the Alien & Predator films, and liked them. I didn't like the Dawn of the Dead remake that much, and I don't think I'd like Romero's films - because of the whole "Zombies are going to win anyway" and "The Zombies are more likable than the humans" tone. I also liked Sam Raimi's Evil Dead films.

Huzzah!

Excellent, I am now out of the hole. I didn't even have to sell any of my gaming books either.

On the bad side, my PS2 is now out of commission. I'm going to have to either get a new one, or run some ethernet cable to hook up a PS3 to the internet and get one of those.

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