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Weblog | Archives for June 2004
Past posts.
Kill, Move, Copy | Comments (1)

RetroCell

I wrote this sim in QBasic on an IBM PS/1 around 1994. It has been restored and remastered from the original floppy.

Om | Comments (4)

Om Bloom

Tendrils arc and branch, sprouting fruit along their paths.

Simulate

Ecosystem Simulations — Several mathematical models of natural and economic phenomena: Predator-Prey cycles, human population growth, resources in an open aquarium, and so on.

Time

I've been talking to a coworker today about how experiences change as we age, and how nothing seems as important and shiny as it used to be. In other words:

I believe that you've had most of your important memories by the time you're thirty. After that, memory becomes water overflowing into an already full cup. New experiences just don't register in the same way or with the same impact. I could be shooting heroin with the Princess of Wales, naked in a crashing jet, and the experience still couldn't top the time the cops chased us after we threw the Taylor's patio furniture into their pool in the eleventh grade. You know what I mean.
Life After God, Douglas Coupland

(Coupland has a nice page; check out this insane subpage.)

We're both headed to our high school reunions this month; it's his 20th and my 5th. I'm nervous. He passed on a piece of his mother's wisdom about high school reunions: at first, its all about your success ... but by the 50th, you're all just happy to be alive. Word to Bob's mother; she's got it pegged.

Bloom

Scanning

Gallery of scanning and transmission electron microscope images from Dartmouth's Rippel EM Facility. Images are in the public domain. Pollen! There are some great colorized images too.

A Link to the Past | Comments (1)

Ocarina of Time 2D is a flat remake of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64. The graphics and style are lifted from A Link to the Past.

I never did finish playing Majora's Mask...

Nostalgia:

I remember the day I got my Nintendo exactly, down to how our living room was arranged. The package came with Mario, Duck Hunt, Gyromite, the light gun, and ROB. My parents were consumed with tech paranoia over every step of installation. You can imagine how they felt about our first computer.

One of my birthdays was to land right after the release of Mario 3 (1989). I watched The Wizard over and over for the sneak preview. I got the game ... while I was stuck at summer camp.

By the beginning of junior high, the Super Nintendo was out. Kids divided into the Sega and Nintendo factions, and we could recite the arguments in our sleep. Sega had better sound, better games, and blood in Mortal Kombat. Nintendo had more colors, better games, and Zelda. This was a big deal.

Video games were a cultural force in my preteen years. In place of music or television, certain games (like A Link to the Past, or Mortal Kombat) were the basis of our shared experience. With so many systems, and game develpment becoming easier, I have to wonder if this is still true.

Army of Clerks

"Army of clerks proposes an architecture which consists of self-organising algorithmic processes. It tries to develop new architectural aesthetics which are not grounded on the creative genius of the architect, but on the relentless accumulation of unintelligent calculations, a mindless arithmetic performed by computational armies of clerks."

Proton Drawings

An interactive browser for the Mira-Gurnowski function. Gorgeous.

More about the function.

23rd Birthday

My girlfriend took me to Miso Lounge last night for my birthday. The downstairs space is wonderfully designed, from the black plants in white alcoves and glowing walls down to the gender icons on the restroom doors. Sophisticated atmosphere, but not intimidating. We enjoyed great sushi: flying fish egg nigiri, avacado maki, california roll, tuna maki, and snow crab nigiri. Mmmmm. I love the sushi dining experience; such variety and style.

Wednesday was the actual day of my birthday, and we celebrated then too. All manner of nice things from Beth: a Japanese cookbook, a plush squid (my favorite animal), a picture frame with my favorite photo, a tumbler, and professional socks. After a quick trip to my parents' for cheesecake, we did 25¢ tacos at Laurie's with my friends. I maxed out at a slovenly 14 tacos. Terry gave me a Star Trek hat. Took a nap on the farm, and headed out to Stagger Inn for the shooting gallery. Upwards of ten shots of other peoples' favorite hard liquors. A divine force carried me back to the farm, where I slept like a wounded animal.

Naturally, I'm still recovering.

breve

breve: a 3d Simulation Environment Designed for the Simulation of Decentralized Systems and Artificial Life.
"breve is a free simulation environment designed for multi-agent simulation. breve allows users to define the behaviors of autonomous agents in a continuous 3D world, then observe how they interact. breve includes support for a rich visualization engine, realistic physical simulation and an easy-to-use scripting language."

Physics simulation, collision detection, web functionality, xml formats for objects and world states, plugin API for C, sound support, fractal terrains, and its own scripting language. Nice.

Groups using breve for research.

Peeping Bob

The Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis is implementing a new kind of neighborhood watch program: closed-circuit cameras which can be viewed and controlled by neighborhood residents over the web. The project is being driven by STL liquor commisioner Bob Kraiberg.

Some background:

Kraiberg was taking calls on the radio this morning on the issue. Callers kept suggesting that a pedophile could break into the system and use it to track victims. Now, it's good to have a healthy paranoia about the internet, but I get crazy when non-technical people suggest that some technology or other could get hacked. I liked Hackers too, but the movie theater is not a degree-granting institution.

Balloon Music

Balloon orchestra caresses Birmingham with sleep music
"The massed balloons of the Sky Orchestra took off at 6.30am, broadcasting a piece written by Dan Jones. The flutes and oboes, bird song and whale calls, were based on scientific research to promote deeper and sweeter dreams."
(via Subterranian Notes)

Serendipitous Transfers

NEST — "is a network cooperation that examines the corruption of data transfer in virtual space. This is achieved via a community of users passing an audio file around in a ring. Connected by an unreliable method (UDP), the communication becomes prone to corruption, much like the children's game of ‘Chinese Whispers’, where each client is linked to their closest geographical neighbour. Passing a ‘virtual whisper’ around the internet, each link in the chain can create new versions with each imperfect cycle."

Traditional
Cease to resist, giving my goodbye Drive my car into the ocean You think I'm dead, but I sail away On a wave of mutilation — Pixies, Wave of Mutilation

I had a good ride on the trail yesterday. There were a lot of field mice and rabbits, but the frog pool was abandoned. The day lilies were blooming. After a nap, a traditional but fun night out: Stagger Inn and J'n'B. The musician played Pixies, Johnny Cash, and a song from the Donnie Darko soundtrack.

So, so early to work. I'm cashing bad checks from the Bank of Sleep.

I'm cooking sumo proportions of sushi tonight. Watashi wa kanojo ni betobore na no sa.

Efficient

Meta-Efficient — a weblog reviewing products that are resource efficient, affordable, reliable, non-polluting, and portable where possible. "The information presented here will be of interest to those who wish to live more simply and self-sufficiently."

Artificial Planet

AI.Planet — "a virtual world for artificial intelligence. The environment has water, land, suns, moons, and atmosphere. Plants, animals, fish, and insects can be added to create a dynamic ecosystem. Clouds, rain, wind, lightning, rivers, and icebergs naturally arise from the sun and other influences."

Pop vs. Soda

The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy — Looks like I was wrong; the generic term for soft drinks in the United States is "pop" more often than "soda."

Drifting

Beyond the Reef Exhibit — an introduction to plankton and stunning microscopic images from photographer Peter Parks of Image Quest 3-D. Baby octopus!

Harold's Parrots, and other Spectacles
"and I, have to speculate, that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes, like puzzle pieces from the clay" — The Postal Service, Such Great Heights (make it the Iron and Wine cover)

I had a great Memorial Day weekend meeting and staying with my girlfriend's family in Chicagoland. I was pretty nervous about it at first, of course, but it was a lot of fun. It felt like vacation. I broke my coffee habit, too.

Friday
I set out at noon to ride I-55 north. The sky was perfectly clear; the first such day after a week of thunderstorms. Four hours at 70 mph, windows down, working on my left arm tan. One hour in Chicago rush hour, trying to make the last five miles.

We went out for Thai food with her friends Sarah Jo and Patrick. Awesome ice cream at Gayeti's: "They use homemade whipped cream here; it tastes like shit but it's homemade."

Took the downtown tour, and played in the park. Watched Jesus' Son.

Saturday
We set out around noon to see some of the local sights. The only church in the world with a Starbucks! Emu, a llama, and a pony in a little zoo in the middle of the suburbs, run by a veterinarian who takes in wounded animals. Best of all, "Harold's Parrots."

As the story goes, a former Chicago mayor lost two of his Quaker parrots, and they managed to colonize certain suburbs. Beth's dad's old neighborhood is one such area. They're bright green, and build massive nests out of twigs. How they survive the winter without leaving is a mystery, but they're everywhere. (Brooklyn and Barcelona have them, too.) If something like this happened where I'm from, they'd rename the town after it.

Picked up some tasty sushi.

We went to her grandma's 90th birthday and family reunion, where I met the extended family. Met her brothers, Marc (6'5"!) and Gus (6'6"!); nice, gigantic guys both. Talked shop, new tech, and Adult Swim. The little ones ran aroubd back and caught her and I holding hands in the back yard; "hey you cuties, no kissing!"

Hit Kilroy's, one of the local bars, with Beth and her brothers afterwards. Miller products just kept appearing... thanks guys. If they every come downstate, we're doing the Stagger Inn experience.

Sunday
I went to mass with Beth and her mom at Our Lady of Knock (as in the Knock Shrine in Ireland). It was a great experience; I think it really helped my understanding of religion.

Later on, during the storm, we did some painless shopping and hung out at Borders. Read coffee table books on modern architecture. Heard someone actually say "Canuck" for the first time.

She took me to the Carmelite Shrine in Munster; it was incredible. The main feature is a three story grotto built with sponge rock, showcasing various minerals and religious icons. The final room is lit by a black light, and depicts the Rapture using statues and a mosaic of ultraviolet-sensitive rocks.

For dinner, we had deep dish pizza from Jimmy K's; dear god it was good. I learned from her mom that "having a grabber" is Chicagoan for having a heart attack. They've got to be common there; Chicago is the center of the take-out food universe.

Monday
Fantastic homemade enchiladas. We followed each other home to the Metro East, with frequent stops.

Attractive

DieselPrint — very nice attractor generated prints, obscured by a very poor interface.