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Archive for March, 2007

American Pie Recut

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

A re-cut trailer, or retrailer is a parody trailer for a movie created by editing footage from that movie or from its original trailers, and thus are a form of mashup. They generally derive humor from misrepresenting the original film: for instance, a film with a murderous plot is made to look like a comedy, or vice versa. They became popular on the Internet in 2005.

Talos: The First Robot?

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

In Greek mythology, Tálos (Greek Τάλων; Lat. Talus) was a bronze automaton whom Zeus gave to Europa. In one telling he was forged by Hephaestus and the Cyclopes and given to Minos. According to Apollodorus and Argonautica he may have been a member of the Bronze Generation who had survived to the age of the demigods. Europa took him to Crete and he stayed there, circling the island’s shore three times daily while guarding it. He threw rocks at any approaching ship. Talos is said to have heated himself red-hot and clasped strangers in his embrace as soon as they landed on the island.

Talos had one vein which went from his neck to his ankle, bound shut by only one bronze nail. The Argo, containing Jason and the Argonauts, approached Crete after obtaining the Golden Fleece. As guardian of the island, Talos kept the Argo at bay by hurling great boulders at it. According to Apollodorus, Talos was slain either when Medea the sorceress drove him mad with drugs, deceived him that she would make him mortal by removing the nail, or was killed by Poeas’s arrow (Apollodorus 1.140). In Argonautica, Medea hypnotizes him from the Argo, driving him mad so that he dislodges the nail and dies (Argonautica 4.1638). In any case, when the nail is removed, Talos’s ichor flows out, exsanguinating and killing him. The story is somewhat reminiscent of the story regarding the heel of Achilles.

The Last Starfighter

Friday, March 9th, 2007

The Last Starfighter is a 1984 science fiction adventure film. There was a subsequent novelization of the movie that year by Alan Dean Foster, as well as a video game based on the production. In 2004, it was also adapted as an off-Broadway musical. The movie was directed by Nick Castle and was marketed with the tagline “He didn’t find his dreams… his dreams found him.”

The film made early use of extensive computer graphics to depict real objects in place of physical models.

The Last Starfighter was the last film role of character actor Robert Preston before his death. The character of “Centauri” was a “lovable-con-man” nod to his most famous role as Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man.

The film’s premise was based on the well-known urban myth that video arcade games were in fact military recruitment tests for fighters.

The Last Starfighter represents the narratavist approach to video game studies. The narrativists approach video games in the context of what Janet Murray calls “Cyberdrama.” That is to say, their major concern is with video games as a storytelling medium, one that arises out of interactive fiction. Murray puts video games in the context of the Holodeck, a fictional piece of technology from Star Trek, arguing for the video game as a medium in which we get to become another person, and to act out in another world. This image of video games certainly received early widespread popular support, and forms the basis of films such as Tron, eXistenZ, and The Last Starfighter. But it is also criticized by many academics (such as Espen J. Aarseth) for being better suited to some linear science fiction movies than to analysis of interactive video games with multiple narratives.


Thursday, March 8th, 2007

It dosn’t get much nerdarty than this. Play Pac man through the fantastic passages created by Mondrian!

“Pac-Mondrian closes the perceptual distance between fine art and video games by combining Piet Mondrian’s Modernist masterpiece ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’ with Toru Iwatani’s classic video game Pac-Man. The two new Ms. Pac-Mondrian levels return the painting to the dance clubs that inspired it with music by contemporary techno musicians mapping the birth of electronic music in their home towns.

When Piet Mondrian arrived in New York in 1940, he heard the Boogie Woogie piano of Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson, and from then on refused to dance to any other jazz, leaving the floor in a huff if the music didn’t boogie.

After years of completely abstract work he abandoned the black grid to use yellow lines and red, blue, and grey colour blocks to build a representation of New York infused with all the vibrant kinetic energy of raucous road-house piano blues in ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’.

Pac-Mondrian transcodes ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’ into a Pac-Man video game: the painting becomes the board, the music becomes the sound effects, and Piet Mondrian becomes Pac-Man.

Pac-Mondrian disciplines the syncopated rhythms of Mondrian’s spatial arrangements into a regular grid, then frees the gaze to follow the viewer’s whimsical perambulations of the painting: a player’s thorough study of the painting clears the level.

Each play of the game is an act of devotion. Mondrian’s geometric spirituality fuses with his ecstatic physicality when Pac-Mondrian dances around the screen while the Trinity of Boogie Woogie jazz play ‘Boogie Woogie Prayer’.

Each play of the game is an improvisational jazz session. Pac-Mondrian sits in as a session drummer with Ammons, Lewis, and Johnson, hitting hi-hats, cymbals, and snares as he eats pellets.”
via link

And a little background on Mondrian before you start playing:)

Pieter Cornelis (Piet) Mondriaan, after 1912 Mondrian, (pronounced: Pete Mon-dree-on, IPA: [pit ‘mɔndɹiɔn]) (b. Amersfoort, Netherlands, March 7, 1872 — d. New York City, February 1, 1944) was a Dutch painter.

He was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. Despite being well-known, often-parodied and even trivialized, Mondriaan’s paintings exhibit a complexity that belies their apparent simplicity. He is best known for his non-representational paintings that he called “compositions”, consisting of rectangular forms of red, yellow, blue, white or black, separated by black rectilinear lines. They are the result of a stylistic evolution that occurred over the course of nearly 30 years and continued beyond that point to the end of his life.

Musikalisches Würfelspiel

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

A Musikalisches Würfelspiel (Musical dice game) was a system for using dice to randomly ‘generate’ music (long before computer systems). These games were quite popular throughout Western Europe in the 18th century. Several different games were devised, some that did not require dice, but merely ‘choosing a random number.’ Other famous examples are Johann Philipp Kirnberger’s The Ever Ready Composer of Polonaises and Minuets (1757 1st edition; revised 2nd 1783) and Joseph Haydn’s Philharmonic Joke (1790).

The Musikalisches Würfelspiel has since been modified to fit the computer age, and many modern versions have been made.

Systems Theory

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

(pictured Above Margaret Mead)

An Introduction to Systems Theory
While many view Systems theory, in its broadest sense, as the interdisciplinary study of human life and social organization in terms of systems, in reality, it is the fundamental framework by which one can analyze, describe and predict the behavior of any group of “objects” that work in concert, to produce a result. This could be a single organism, any organization or society, or any electro-mechanical, or informational artifact.

Systems theory as an area of study developed following the World Wars from the work of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Anatol Rapoport, Kenneth E. Boulding, William Ross Ashby, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, C. West Churchman and others in the 1950s, specifically catalyst from the Macy conferences. Cognizant of advances in science that questioned classical assumptions in the organizational sciences, Bertalanffy’s idea to develop a theory of systems began as early as the interwar period, publishing “An Outline for General Systems Theory” in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol 1, No. 2, by 1950. Where assumptions in Western science from Greek thought with Plato and Aristotle to Newton’s Principia have historically influenced all areas from the social to hard sciences, the original theorists explored the implications of twentieth century advances in terms of systems.

Systems theory as a technical and general academic area of study predominantly refers to the science of systems that resulted from Bertalanffy’s General System Theory (GST) among the others mentioned in initiating what became a project of research and practice to develop systems theory. Ideas from systems theory have grown with diversified areas, exemplified by the the work of Bela H. Banathy, ecological systems with Howard T. Odum, Eugene P Odum and Fritjof Capra, organizational theory and management with individuals such as Peter Senge, interdisciplinary study with areas like Human Resource Development from the work of Richard A. Swanson, and insights from educators such as Debora Hammond. As a transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary and multiperspectival domain, the area brings together principles and concepts from ontology, philosophy of science, physics, computer science, biology, and engineering as well as geography, sociology, political science, psychotherapy (within family systems therapy) and economics among others. Systems theory, research and practice serve as a bridge for areas to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and advance ideas for their own autonomous frames as well as within the area of systems science itself.

In this respect, with the possibility of misinterpretations, Bertalanffy (1950: 142) believed a general theory of systems “should be an important regulative device in science,” to guard against superficial analogies that “are useless in science and harmful in their practical consequences.” Others remain closer to the direct systems concepts developed by the original theorists. For example, Ilya Prigogine, of the Center for Complex Quantum Systems at the University of Texas, Austin, has studied emergent properties, suggesting that they offer analogues for living systems. The theories of Autopoiesis of Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana are a further development in this field. Important names in contemporary systems science at the dusk of the Cold War include Russell Ackoff, Bela Banathy, Stanford Beer, Mandy Brown, Peter Checkland, Robert Flood, Fritjof Capra, Michael Jackson, and Werner Ulrich, among others.
via Wikipedia

mikro orchestra Pwns ur moms!!1!

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Add these fools. Not sure why they only have 87 friends currently. Check them, Add Them, Listen to them. Chip Tune at its finest coming straight outta Wroclaw Poland.

Link buy video game knick knacks

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

The website which sells items created by its users has a great subsection of video game inspired accessories and paintings. Check it


Jamendo CC music portal

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

by Mike Linksvayer via Creative Commons

Jamendo just turned on a Creative Commons portal for browsing and searching albums by license (very similar to Flickr’s CC portal).

While Jamendo has always been a CC music site, the portal interface makes using Jamendo extra convenient when you care about which CC license the music you’re using falls under (e.g., for remix or commercial use).

If you just want to discover music you can share, Jamendo also recently rolled out The Spiral, a convenient and visually interesting way to explore the Jamendo catalog.

Just imagine if Jamendo keeps adding albums (now 2500+) and features at this torrid pace for the remaining 10 months of 2007…

Philip K Dick Robot Vanishes

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

By: Marc Perton
Replicants, they call them. Created for offworld work. When one of them goes missing, they call me in. But this one’s different. Created in the likeness of Philip K. Dick by Hanson Robotics. Vanished suddenly. Missing for weeks. No one knows what happened. But the story is that some museum called the Smithsonian wanted to put him in a box and display him around the country. Not something a replicant would want. I suspect this one has already found some like-minded supporters who will attempt to keep it offworld indefinitely. Too bad he won’t live. But then again, who does?
via engadget