June 27, 2007

An old project becomes new

Back in the day, I mentioned a little project I wanted to work up one of these days.

The rough draft is done. I was surprised at how quick it went together once I found most of the pieces I needed. Having done no prior video editing, Windows Movie Maker didn't come across as the clunky piece of junk most people say it is. I'm sure if I were to work with a more fully-featured piece of software, I'd have similar thoughts.

But I really don't want to put it up for God and everyone to download until I have a couple key people give it a look over, gather some opinions, and make some revisions. I also don't want to decimate the monthly bandwidth allowance. The 3:57 file is about 40MB. (but it's probably the height of arrogance to assume I'd get enough interest to burn all my allotment.) My hope is to put up a private password-protected page so those key people could review the video and comment. After that, I'll probably just throw it up on Youtube or something.

Supposedly, there are improvements in the works to make just such limited access possible.

*wink wink nudge nudge*

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June 21, 2007

Records that are bad.

I play on a municipal D-league softball team Thursday nights. Each week during the 6-week regular season, we play a double-header of one hour games at 6:30 & 7:30, or 8:30 & 9:30. We're now into week 7, the first week of the double-elimination tournament.

The green-screen jockeys are calling for potential record highs near 112º today. That should put the temperature at about 102º at 8pm.

Tonight we play in the 6:30 7:30 slots. Remind me again why I live in the desert?

UPDATE: Well that didn't quite go as planned. The first game was a close loss to a team that could charitably be called "unsportsman-like." The second was a solid win against a team that we've played many times before and that knows how to win or loose gracefully. That puts us in a rather awkward position. We could still theoretically win this thing, but that means a marathon four games in a row next week, starting at 6:30. It's too bad I'm being forced to go on a business trip that very day.

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June 15, 2007

The Abomnibus Immigration Reform

I'm going to try to avoid politics around here if I can, but a potentially severe problem has crossed my mind recently that I have yet to hear brought up by any talking heads on either side of the issue. It may be that no one is thinking this far ahead, or it's something no one wants to bring up for fear of giving anyone ideas.


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June 11, 2007


I've been a fan of the Xenosaga series from the moment it was announced. Early rumors reported it as a spiritual sequel to Xenogears (one of my favorite games of all time). In some ways it turned out to be that sequel, but in the many ways necessary to make a financially successful game, it failed miserably.

In a severe over-reaction to complaints that the Episode 1 characters looked too "cartoony" by people (re: morons) in the US, the developers revamped the character designs to make them more realistic. One casualty of this change was the bonus figure included with the special edition release of Episode 2. Somebody didn't have their head screwed on straight when they approved the mold. The Japanese took to calling it " jashin MOK-KOS" for its almost demonic and ugly appearance.

The first I'd ever heard of MOK-KOS was seeing this Flash file linked from the now-defunct zenosaga.com forums. Every once in a while, MOK-KOS will make a cameo appearance in some little thing coming out of Japan. That Lucky Star crossover yesterday reminded me I still had this file. I always get a chuckle when I see it.

Posted in Videogames by: Will at 10:24 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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June 08, 2007

Crossovers... or how I broke my brain in one simple step

There is just so much random stuff thrown in this video that I can't quite wrap my mind around it. (beware a bit of naughtiness in the ASCII art)


There's one particular inside joke in there (between 0:36 and 0:38, or 1:19 and 1:17 if you're looking at the countdown) that is insanely obscure and about three years old. The tragic part is that not only did I get it, but I couldn't stop laughing about it for a couple minutes.

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June 04, 2007

A "Novel' Idea

When it comes to hard sci-fi, I am not a well-read individual. I'm much more familiar with fantasy literature (but that's still not saying much).

I've had an idea kicking around for a bit to write a story.

What I want to know is, has there ever been a sci-fi story set in the extreme distant future? I'm not talking about 1,000 years, or even 100,000 years. I'm talking about a story set so far in the future that the Second Law has had its way with the Universe. The last few red-dwarf stars are guttering out and any exergy source is priceless. Universal expansion has spread everything so thin that, even traveling faster than light, trips would consume decades, centuries, and millenia. There are no points of reference left. The universe is littered (thinly) with dark objects to smack into. All in all it's a pretty dreadful scenario. There are a few fictional works listed in this Wikipedia entry, none of which I've read I'm afraid.

My basic setting is based on projecting *ahem* knowable knowns, knowable unknowns, unknowable knowns, and unknowable unknowns way out into the future:

    What if humanity becomes capable of mastering our corporeal form (aging, death and hunger all but unheard of through genetic engineering and mechanical augmentation), but never masters FTL travel? At this point, c still looks like a hard speed limit. I've run into a lot of people who say, "Well, we broke the sound barrier, we'll get past light too." The part they don't seem to gather is that we'd empirically observed objects (bullets, namely) traveling faster than sound. We just didn't know what it would take to push a vehicle to those speeds. We don't have much to go on when it comes to going faster than light. If the math is too be believed, the energy requirements are "non-trivial."

    Science fiction is full of fictional races that somehow "evolve" into energetic forms.

      What if that evolutionary "next step" never comes? What if we can't even force it? What if there's nowhere to go but sideways?

      What if that evolution is possible, but doesn't mean escaping this Universe? Would that state of existence really be less confining?

    If a human, through science and technology were suddenly able to live for millions/billions of years, would the human mind be able to contain all the accumulated memories? What would be the psychological impact of living that long?

    Which universal fate do these people have to contend with? Big Freeze, Big Crunch, or the Big Stall (aka Flat Universe). I could flip a coin I guess. Heads you Freeze. Tails you Crunch. Edge-on you Stall. Freeze and Stall are functionally the same thing, and something about the Big Rip just doesn't click with me.

    What kind of theology would you expect to develop in such an environment.

    Would people even bother having kids? Would suicide hold the same stigma?

I've been trying to world-build by taking all these what-ifs and cogitating on how they would interact to come up with an intriguing setting. What I'm afraid of is stepping on somebody else's toes.

Feel free to throw up any thoughts you may have. If anything, I find it fun to speculate on this sort of stuff.

      Posted in Random Debris by: Will at 02:38 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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