The book I chose to read, incidentally, was A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, which was almost as good as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which is high praise indeed.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
In other sports news, the Badwater Ultramarathon was earlier this week. 135 miles, through Death Valley and to the trailhead to the peak of Mt. Whitney. I used to see it on TV occasionally, Wide World of Sports or something like that, but I haven't been able to find anything about it being televised this year. The webcast is archived, though.
Monday, July 14, 2008
And as reports come in, it looks like the release will be day-and-date with the PS3 release. Holy fuckin' shit, indeed. Honestly, did this leak out at all? I hadn't heard any Final Fantasy XIII port rumors in a long time, am I just not following the video game blogs as obsessively as I should? Or did my inattention actually make this happen?
Other than that, nothing too groundbreaking, but some cool stuff still came out from Microsoft's E3 presentation. Portal: Still Alive coming to the Xbox arcade, pretty much a port of the original Portal, with a few extra levels. This would have been exciting at launch, had it spared me purchasing the Orange Box just to get Portal, but too late for that now. I'll probably buy it again, though, as long as they add a reasonable amount of new content to the single-player mode (new online modes don't interest me). A massively-multiplayer online version of 1 Vs. 100 has the potential to be awesome, especially with real prizes on the line. And at last the Netflix partnership we all knew was in place is official; I'd be more excited if I wasn't already streaming Netflix Watch Instantly to my Xbox with an unofficial plugin, but it will be nice to have an official solution that actually works well (vmcNetflix is great, but freezes up a lot).
But, yeah. Final Fantasy XIII. Wow. I've been getting bored with these big new product presentations, like the last couple Apple announcements, because there's no surprises. And then, bam, Final Fantasy XIII goes multi-platform. Amazing. I recently started playing the original Final Fantasy, with the intention of playing through the entire series. Now that will be a lot cheaper to pull off.
Friday, July 11, 2008
I browsed the iPhone app store last night, downloaded some free programs that I can load on my iPhone when I get home tonight and upgrade the firmware, which was released this morning. Streaming Pandora on my iPhone sounds pretty sweet. Some nice-looking paid programs available, too, I'm sure I'll be sporting crosswords and sudoku on the phone soon.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
The most interesting thing I found in the discussion about the difference between impulsive and planned suicides, is that those whose suicide is preceded by well-documented mental illness and multiple warning signs choose hands-on methods, like pills and slitting wrists, while the impulsive choose to jump from great heights or use a gun. Yet it is the impulsive methods that are most successful; "The natural inference, then, is that the person who best fits the classic definition of 'being suicidal' might actually be safer than one acting in the heat of the moment — at least 40 times safer in the case of someone opting for an overdose of pills over shooting himself."
I, personally, was of the "they'll just find another way" mindset on bridge barricades, but it makes sense that one might impulsively jump to one's death. I am not in a habit of randomly falling over in my day to day life, but I'm always convinced, when I find myself near a railing, I'm somehow going to accidentally clear the jump and plummet to my death. I have dreams where I'm up at a great hight and resort to crawling on all fours to avoid falling, and I still manage to take a fall. More a fear of heights than suicidal impulse, but it still helps me understand how such things happen.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Yes, that is the greatest thing you have ever seen or ever will see. But the upcoming documentary about the Rock-afire Explosion looks pretty sweet, too:
I've never been to Showbiz Pizza Place, I don't think; it was all about Chuck E. Cheese around these parts. But they had a similar act, and I did have a huge crush as a child on the purple Hippo, who was based I believe on Dolly Parton. She sang "Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," and I just thought that was hilarious, because you wash shampoo out of your hair, not a man. Silly hippo. I'd watch her over and over again. So I wish it was her instead of the Rock-afire Explosion that was enjoying a Renaissance, but I'll take what I can get.
Anyway, I did some internet research, and my first true love was named Dolli Dimples, and while the name obviously came from Mrs. Parton, she's more cabaret than country:
All of which just goes to show, sometimes you think there's no reason to get out of bed in the morning, but then, bam, you find something that makes life worth living.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Failure, here, would actually be a form of vindication. His opponents argued that allowing him into the Olympics was tantamount to permitting the use of jet packs. If his prothesis is such an advantage, how come he can't qualify? It's almost as though there might somehow be some disadvantages for a runner to have only one leg. Who would've thought?
Still, though, I hope he does manage to qualify. I understand that, even should he not qualify, he might compete in a relay event; I'm not sure if his awkward starts are more or less of a disadvantage in a relay setting, but I would assume he's not particularly well-suited to the format. But in any case, good luck, Oscar.
One complaint I have, is I have lost multiple games because I got colors confused. Nothing's worse than saving up red cards and suddenly realize you're trying to build an orange line. Ditto purple and blue. I notice they mention this at the above-linked review, so it might be an issue above and beyond my color-blindness. Early on, I also made some mistakes about city locations; the name of the city would appear right above a dot, and I wouldn't realize until it was too late that the label actually applied to the dot towards the left. But I soon got that figured out, and even the color issues aren't as bad now that I'm aware of the problem, and since the colors are static, I've pretty much memorized the more troublesome routes. Catan, to its credit, has a color-blind mode, optional offline and standard to ranked online matches, which helps me out.
But yeah, if you have an Xbox 360, check out both games, if you haven't already. I always feel a little silly, having bought an expensive video game console, only to spend most of my time playing simple board games on it. But they're hella fun, and Catan in particular is brilliantly executed, and the computer AI makes for a skilled opponent, mostly.