Friday  the Eighteenth of April, 2003

"ho-ho-ho jingle-jangle! argle-argle! cluck clack *bradadada*"
I dashed off this automated sound-effect generator to aid an MCiOS game - one player offers a sound effect, and others attempt to rationalise it; the original ISIHAC version of the game uses obviously-scripted one-joke setups, but it's much more interesting with pseudo-random feed noises. Seeing what patterns the human brain can see in the static, and being struck by how obvious they seem in retrospect. (That one was: turkeys enlisting the help of chicken rebels to hijack Christmas.) Comments? ]

Passing Frenzies: Thief II - Button Men - Startopia - BlogNomic

 Wednesday  the Sixteenth

"On the first 605 occasions something small, usually infuriatingly minute, went just slightly awry and the whole delicate arrangement was wrecked. A drop too much oil there, or here maybe one ball-bearing too many giving a fraction too much impetus to the movement. Whirr, creak, crash, the entire, card-house of consequences was a write-off and they had to start again."
That amazingly Heath Robinson car-component advert was not only shot for real, without a shred of CGI fakery, it was also filmed in one continuous take. And I still haven't registered the brand of car it was advertising. [via Joh] Comments? ]
A magnificent chronological archive of Tube maps, stretching from pre-Beck 1908 through to post-Beck 1999. The 1921 map is astonishingly, almost mediaevally anachronistic. [via Matt] Comments? ]

 Tuesday  the Fifteenth

I'm informed that the Electric Sheep Screen Saver is very kevanish, and it is. SETI is all well and good, but connecting the sleeping computers of the world with visible feedback - the same group-generated animation on every monitor - is quite glorious. It's just a pity that it isn't more dynamic; more affected by how many machines are asleep and where. Or available for Windows. Comments? ]
Behold a new, hastily-written comments system to replace the crashy backBlog one, which I'm fed up with - if you've made a backBlog comment this week which has now been lost, see if you can remember it and make it again. Comments? ]
"The Game Protagonist. This is you, a nameless cipher of a person who just loves picking up objects and toting them around, because you Never Can Tell when they'll come in handy. Your goal is to fiddle around with all these objects in any way you possibly can, so you can explore your environment as thoroughly as possible and amass all the really important objects, so you can get to the really important places. Strange urges guide you -- whispered warnings from disastrous alternate universes your player 'undid', oracular impulses to pick up the can opener in the kitchen because it's the only thing you really feel is important there."
Crimes Against Mimesis; an essay on text adventure realism, and how much of it can be sacrificed in the construction of meaningful puzzles. An entertaining melange of wishful thinking and the bleeding obvious, mostly, although the dissection of the player mindset stands out - how it can be used to the story's advantage, by having a protagonist whose motivations correspond with those of the player.

(Has anybody managed to Escape from the SS Borgarís yet?) Comments? ]

 Monday  the Fourteenth

A careless game invention which I must develop further:- "Sko (n.) Ancient Japanese board game where the object is to make the other player unsure of whose turn it is." Comments? ]
"I think that we believe there are chemical weapons in Syria, for example. And we will -- each situation will require a different response and, of course, we're -- first things first. We're here in Iraq now; and the second thing about Syria is that we expect cooperation."
I was hunting around for this because Bush actually said "Sirius" when I heard it on the Today programme this morning. Quite aside from the Strangelovian effort not to end each sentence with "WE WILL BOMB THEM", it's worrying how this arbitrarily-chosen transcript is littered with hesitant, grammatical confusion. That the Middle East is being reorganised by a man whose brain tells his mouth to say "the second thing about Syria" because it vaguely remembers using the word "first" in the previous sentence. I know this is a dull, blunt, boring old cliché, I'm just depressed at how true it still is. Comments? ]


Brain children. Recent or noteworthy Web offspring.

Online cliques. Trespassers may be welcome.

In the bookpile. Powered by

Incidental music. Ohrwurmen or otherwise.

Other weblogs. The ones I make a point of returning to a lot.

Supporting cast. That have Web pages. In alphabetical order.

Weeks beginning. All having ended.
2003: 14.04 07.04 31.03 24.03 17.03 10.03 03.03 24.02 17.02 10.02 03.02 27.01 20.01 13.01 06.01

2002: 30.12 23.12 16.12 09.12 02.12 25.11 18.11 11.11 04.11 28.10 21.10 14.10 07.10 30.09 23.09 16.09 09.09 02.09 26.08 19.08 12.08 05.08 29.07 22.07 15.07 08.07 01.07 24.06 17.06 10.06 03.06 27.05 20.05 13.05 06.05 29.04 22.04 15.04 08.04 01.04 25.03 18.03 11.03 04.03 25.02 18.02 11.02 04.02 28.01 21.01 14.01 07.01

2001: 31.12 24.12 17.12 10.12 03.12 26.11 19.11 12.11 05.11 29.10 22.10 15.10 08.10 01.10 24.09 17.09 10.09 03.09 27.08 20.08 13.08 06.08 30.07 23.07 16.07 09.07 02.07 25.06 18.06 11.06 04.06 28.05 21.05 14.05 07.05 30.04 23.04 16.04 09.04 02.04 26.03 19.03 12.03 05.03 26.02 19.02 12.02 05.02 29.01 22.01 15.01 08.01 01.01

2000: 25.12 18.12 11.12 04.12 27.11 20.11

Archive search. You never know.