Is it worth being a secondary role? Many of us think that these roles are completely necessary for raising a series or TV program up to a first rate show. This is my particular tribute to those people whose short and memorable interventions make our lives more gratifying. An example: Continue reading The importance of being Bob
Play with one or stick two or more cubes together to build an interactive world(…) As you stack, they’ll interact and visit one another’s cubes.
(…) if you interconnect additional Cubees, the one on top of the singing pyramid will belt out the lead while the others “sing” back-up.
Even though the possibilities of interaction between electronic toys has been already explored for a while (like in the most recent versions of the Tamagotchi or the Digimon), it looks as though there’s a new generation of toys on the horizon which are characterized by their ability to interact with each other regardless of the active presence of the user.
These toys generally come shaped as cubes which provide special connectors on several of their sides. Each cube is entertaining by itself, but in order for the interactions to happen, the user should Continue reading Modular behaviours: cube world&cubees
The Alan Parsons Project was the result of a union between producer and sound engineer Alan Parsons and creative director Eric Woolfson. Sharing some interests like horror movies and literature, they tried to create one project, a conceptual opus titled “Tales of mystery and imagination”. This album was to be a musical resemblance of Edgar Allan Poe’s work. Continue reading Allan Poe by Alan Parsons
The researchers at this Red Planet station have unwittingly opened a door, and all hell has broken loose. A legion of nightmarish creatures of unknown origin lurks in every corner and stalks the countless rooms and tunnels of the facility, killing what few people remain.
Traditionally a bad thing, Doom has been a reason for expectation and happiness to almost every person that has played computer games since 1993. The Doom series was a hit that popularised the 1st-person shooter genre, and its last installment was no exception, with luscious graphics, chilling sounds and, among everything, an unparalleled atmosphere that literally took you to hell.
With these credentials, and after a myriad of copies sold, it just seemed natural that someone wanted to make a movie based on the game. In fact, Doom, the movie is reasonably close to the game, though it’s not quite it… Continue reading Doom(the movie): Afterthoughts
“It’s Christmas time!”. Many of you will remember Jack Skeleton, the main character in a wondrous tale created by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Sellick, “The nightmare before Christmas”. So, you’ll also remember when Jack found the Xmas town, singing the rhythmic and funny “What’s this”, (composed and sung by Danny Elfman), cheering on the new discovery and shouting out loud “It’s Christmas time!”
I’m going to be a Jack’s “alter ego” for a moment, in order to give you some arguments for loving Xmas, not in a usual way, but based on the film that we are reviewing. Continue reading Christmas: A lovely bad dream
The next evolution will be leaner and meaner, with some cool features you might not expect.
Dave Kerr has released an update of aiplanet, the open source dynamic ecosystem simulation. Furthermore, he has also announced that a new version is in the works, one that, in his own words, will be “a radical improvement on the first version”. He is working on a new engine, called AIR, which will add new features and make development much easier. Aiplanet V2 will probably take many months to be released, but it is already very good news to know that new work is being done.
Besides this announcement, it also worths to read the interview that Tom Barbalet, from Biota, made to Dave just a few days ago. The interview gives an excellent overview not only on the underlining principles behind aiplanet, but also on the development process of an amateur project. Continue reading Aiplanet: back on air
a movie by Peter Jackson
With his newly discovered star and coerced screenwriter reluctantly onboard, Denham (…) heads out of New York Harbor… and toward a destiny that none aboard could possibly foresee.
When I knew that Peter Jackson was working on a remake of King Kong, I remember to have doubted that it were a good idea. After the 1933 classic hit the theaters, several versions have been made with more or less fortune, and I wondered if it was too soon for a new one, if there was anything new to show, besides the awesome special effects that the remake would surely bring.
Now that I have seen the movie I wouldn’t say that I was wrong, though I think that it well deserves to be watched and will probably stand out as the most accomplished version to date, only second to the original. Its greatest value is the cast: all the main actors, and many of the supporting ones, have worked their characters as to make them credible, even memorable. Adrien Brody composes his Driscoll with elegance; Naomi Watts shines (literally, indeed), portraying an Ann Barrow as brave as fragile; Carl Denham (reminds me of Orson Welles), shows us the many facets of Jack Black, who would do anything to achieve glory and wealth, always conscious of the results of his actions, often pursued by guilt, never able to admit his defeat.
Then, of course, there’s Kong, which if not the greatest is surely the Continue reading King Kong: Afterthougths
Create millions of Mozart musical masterpieces. Start with the flute and add in the piano. Drop the piano and bring in the violin. It’s that simple!
Since after twenty something years studying music I’m not even close to that, I guess I should be clever for once, quit school and buy one of these :P. Jokes aside, if I had babies I would get them a magic cube (or any of the other musical cubes available). The difference between this toy and a normal music box is that the child can mute the different parts by pushing the buttons with the pictures of instruments, exploring the different combinations and “analyzing” how they blend together in a piece. Therefore, it would be more accurate to say “explore several Mozart famous tunes”, rather than “create”.
or the maraca PDA
To allow browsing of information in a passive and relaxed way, we have developed a prototype personal digital assistant (PDA) terminal with no buttons at all. By operating the terminal with simple tilting and shaking gestures, contents such as movies and music can be enjoyed.
In a former article (see below), I wrote about the increasing importance of what I called “gestural control”, which I had already been following in relation to musical intruments and seems to be slowly finding its way into everyday life (it even went mainstream when it was used in the videogame “Black&White”, for instance). In this case, Hitachi shows us a little neat device, merely a screen, where several icons (bubbles) literally “float” around. Tilting the device will displace those bubbles in such a way that when one of them gets to a “hotspot”, located in the center of the screen, it will reveal its contents, which the user can select in the same way. A second different gesture, that of shaking the device, provides a means to “go back” or deselect the current feature.
As a prototype, the waterscape is a study for new, more intuitive ways of accessing data in electronic devices. However, there are Continue reading Shake that waterscape,
A pulsar is a highly magnetised neutron star, with a radius of 10-15 km, having somewhat greater mass than the Sun which has a radius of approximately 1 million km. Radiation is beamed out along the magnetic poles and pulses of radiation are received as the beam crosses the Earth, in the same manner as the beam from a lighthouse causes flashes.
Saturn is a source of intense radio emissions, which have been monitored by the Cassini spacecraft. The radio waves are closely related to the auroras near the poles of the planet. These auroras are similar to Earth’s northern and southern lights. This is an audio file of radio emissions from Saturn.
POM is the short for Petit Objet Musical, that is, a Little Musical Object (…)They are offered as landscapes or “living sculptures”(…)I record typically two to three minutes as to get a detailed image of all the nuances in the sound, but these are only windows into conceptually infinite pieces.