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Archives for September, 2008

delany on violence in narratives

I was reading Delany’s About Writing recently when I ran across the following (pp. 408–409): Excitement, Drama, Suspense, Surprise, Violence Each of these five nouns names a very different effect. What makes so much popular narrative (especially in films and TV) seem so mindless is that someone, usually a producer, has mistaken one for the […]

new blog theme

I’d been feeling a bit nonplussed for some time by the fact that I was using the WordPress default theme for the blog. But not nonplussed enough to actually do anything about it: I have other ways in which I’d generally prefer to use my limited free time, I don’t have strong design skills or […]

low-carb diets

A while back, I mentioned that the book Good Calories, Bad Calories had gotten me curious about low-carb diets; here’s an update. On the reading front, I figured I’d take a look at the Atkins book, since he has the most experience with diets of this sort. And, frankly, I wasn’t too impressed: if I’d […]

and now we are going to have a party

If any of you are a fan of books with experimental presentation and/or books as physical objects, I recommend And Now We Are Going to Have a Party, by Nicola Griffith. It’s a memoir of her early life, leading to when she was starting to become a published author; it’s rather well done as such, […]

rock band, learning about music, and failure

Rock Band is the first game I’ve played in ages where I’m actively trying to improve my skills at the game, replaying challenges at harder difficulty levels instead of going through it once, enjoying it but moving on to the next game on my shelf. I’m still trying to figure out why this is. It’s […]

deus ex, week two

As expected, I found the second week of Deus Ex to be a lot more relaxing than the first week. I had a better feel for the game and my character had a full inventory; this meant that my brain could stop seeing potential disaster every time I failed to be perfect at something and […]

math books

Miranda does her violin practice in the library/guest room; while she’s getting things ready, I spend some amount of time looking around at the shelves. Most of my books up there are nonfiction, and in particular I have a bunch of math books up there. In order to keep my books under control, I have […]

deus ex, one week in

The Vintage Game Club chose Deus Ex as its second game. I think I’ll probably do most of my commenting on the game in the forum, but I’ll leave some notes here periodically, too. For me, the most interesting aspect of the first week of gameplay is watching how badly suited my brain is to […]

random links: september 1, 2008

Hmm, been a while since I’ve done one of these; sorry about the length… Visualizing the Python commit history. Leadership, responsibility, and sausage. Solving sudoku games via package management. Japan, computers, appliances. (Via Niels ‘t Hooft.) Breakpoints as a checklist. Programmers, insecurity, source control. I linked to a movie of strandbeests (amazing wind-powered sculptures that […]

subarashiki kono sekai

The World Ends with You is an, uh, RPG? from Square-Enix. Honestly, I’m not sure which pigeonhole to stick it in: in particular, I’m pretty sure that the main reason why my brain leapt toward the RPG category is its publisher, because it varies significantly from traditional RPG design. You return to the same areas […]