Thursday, January 31, 2008

Punahou Carnival

Hey, so anyone up for going to the Punahou Carnival tomorrow? We're going to try to get there when the thing opens, around 11:30 or so. We're bringing the boys, and I'll be reminiscing about high school, making up things as I go.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Division of Labor in Space Lego

Here's a thing: It's no doubt because I used to watch so much Star Trek, but very early on, I discovered that the color of the spacesuits worn by my LEGO astronauts was, in fact, an identifier for their jobs.

The Red guys were all technicians and engineers. They built and repaired stuff, sort of like in Star Trek, except they didn't die all the time. I don't think any of my dudes ever died, because then you'd have to set them aside, and what kid in his right mind would voluntarily decide that he now had fewer toys to play with? They did lose hands, though. Kind of a lot. Space is dangerous, and large fragments from ships breaking up can shear your hand right the hell off.

The White guys were pilots. If I remember right, this was because I really paid a lot of attention to the brick color I used in the small, 1-2 man fighters I used to build. With space stations and planetary bases, you want to go big, so you're kind of at the mercy of your collection. For small ships, though, I really paid attention to the colors, sticking to white and gray and black; the natural colors of the materials I imagined I was using. You wouldn't paint a spaceship blue. That would indicate quite a bit of vanity, which my LEGO space explorers were certainly lacking. They were professionals. Anyway, the White-suited pilots looked pretty sharp in their sleek, minimalist fighters.

The Blue guys were in command. They stayed at the bases and gave orders, only going on missions when they were totally important. They got this job because I only had a very small number of Blue guys (This was before I learn how a real hierarchical organization actually works, with twenty-five managers giving orders to two workers).

When the Yellow guys came out, many months into the whole space lego thing, the whole division of labor thing kind of fell apart. At first, they were the Blue guys' bosses; admirals and generals visiting from Earth. Then I got more, and they stuck around, and I demoted them, deciding that they were actually ground troops; soldiers. Of course, with no one to really fight, this didn't make a whole lot of sense either. In fact, the biggest obstacle to my LEGO space explorers up until that point had been cataclysmic malfunctions and unfortunate accidents. Exciting, I know.

I think I toyed with the idea of making the Yellow guys the bad guys, maybe some breakaway faction who wanted to explore space... differently... or something. That idea never really got out of the gate. Pretty soon the whole system broke down, and I decided that suit color didn't have anything to do with their jobs any more. Everyone was kind of doing everything, and I guess if you liked blue, you could wear blue. Or maybe you were from a different ship.

And anyway, around this time, some wise-guy gave me some castle LEGO, and all of my reasoning about who was doing what had to go out the damn window, because why was that guy wearing a pointy helmet and carrying a sword anyway?

LEGO Patent is 50 Earth Years Old.

For me, Lego is all about feelings. Happy Birthday, Lego.

I love you.


This blong can now be accessed at the URL

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Has anyone played this?

I read about it in one of the trades, and it looked kinda sexy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Things That Made David Banner So Mad He Turned Into The Hulk

A coworker sent me an exhaustive, spectacular list of things that made David Banner so mad that he turned into the Hulk. What strikes me first is how bumbling he is. He's always dropping things on his feet, or knocking things over so that they fall on his head, or wandering into dangerous areas that are on fire. Here are some key moments:

25. Grabbing the pipe that is below freezing temperature

32. Getting his jacket caught in the printwheels at the newspaper printing room, and then inexplicably sticking his hand into the rollers

74. Trying to run away from the nasty prison work camp, only to fall through a rotted bridge, and then being bitten by a rattlesnake

99. Accidentally leaving the laser beam on in the chemical lab so that it cuts across the room and into the highly toxic chemicals so that David is enveloped in poisonous fumes

He reminds me one of those hand models in a commercial for some new inventiony product who are trying to use a completely regular product, and making a total mess of things; and hurting themselves in the process. You can see them saying, using only body language, "There's no way I will ever be able to open this damn jar! I give up! Forever! I'm going to totally murder my husband for sticking me with all the housework!"

CUT TO: David's eyes (wearing contacts)
CUE: Hulk music

Friday, January 18, 2008

Please Don't

Please don't watch this. If you do, don't watch past 1:00. But don't. Please don't. When you get the urge to stop, please, please, stop. Actually, when you get the urge to stop, it's already too late. It's too late for you. I'm sorry. Goodbye.

Brigitte Bardot In All Her Spacey Glory

You probably already know that I'm partial to french loungy music. I am also partial to OUTER SPACE. And wimins. Therefore, I give you this!

There's not enough dancing in this one but I think the excess of shiny, futuristic gadgetry makes up for it.

By the way—if you haven't been to io9 before, I highly recommend it. It is also known for such great posts as: BSG stuff, MMO stuff, comic stuff, real science stuff... I totally  heart this place. ^_^

Hey it's no Raquel, but...

It's kinda curvaceous.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Raquel Welch In All Her Spacey Glory

You may have seen this on Boingboing already, but in case you've been hiding under a particularly large rock today, here's some Raquel Welch.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin

Yet another wonderful wonderful thing to look forward to in our charmed and happy lives: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. The promo site is actually pretty funny--a dark, literally post-apocalyptic "environment" you'd expect to see for a super-cool nextgen game, with awesome cutscenes of the Earth being laid waste by shards of burning glass, I think. It takes you a while to get to shots of the game, at which point you realize that it's like, the same game as last time, and the time before, and the same as whatever game the original Advance Wars was based on, and so on, and on and on and on. Strategic Conquest is in there, somewhere.

Not that this game is without upgrades. It looks like some writing went into the battle scenes there (see screenshot, at right), and if you watch the videos on the site you can hear two of the designers talking about some of the new units. It sounds like they really went all out on the new unit design, really putting a lot of thought into which of the three unit-defining parameters they should tweak, and by how much. Not an easy task. One? Two? It sounds like they really cranked the bike's move parameter up to three. That's gonna be sweet.

I'm being too harsh. I love this franchise, and the gameplay is all about understanding the nuance behind little stupid details like that. I had so much fun playing this game with you guys, that time I came back for the holidays and spent every free moment of my Hawaiian Vacation playing Advance Wars 2. This time, there won't be cables, which I guess means we can drink heavily when we play it. This game will rule, which is good, I think, even if it's for the exact same reason the previous one ruled, and the exact same reason Strategic Conquest ruled. The way I remember it, some of the harder solo levels actually resemble puzzle games, where a single misstep on the field means you should probably restart. It sounds annoying, but it's nice the way the game sort of builds to that.

I do sort of to wish they could release new versions of games like this without having to upgrade the graphics, though. Did the units in this game always look like that OS that Apple never released?

Saturday, January 12, 2008


did i actually ever post this? i don't think i did. i think i'm gonna post it. yup. here it is.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This post alone gets me hyper about lego again. 

The complete lack of color coordination leaves me feeling like I need to wash, though.

Look at how smart you aren't!

where is that "snidely whiplash/oilcan harry" face from by the way?

Steampunk, Improved

Using Photoshop™, I have altered the design of this "Steampunk" laptop to create a sleeker, more efficient machine. The previous design contained a lot of exposed mechanical parts that the end user has no need to interact with. Hiding them beneath a case seemed the most reasonable way to keep them both out of harm's way, and from confusing the interface of the device.

Also, where the original uses metal and wood parts vulnerable to corrosion, the new design uses plastic, molded in a single color to create a visually unified and minimalist shape, with an elegance the original laptop is completely lacking.

I have also added an optical drive.

While this exercise is completely theoretical, I believe it solves the inherent design problems of "Steampunk" in a most satisfactory manner.

Steampunk Snowspeeder Concept Sketch

Monday, January 7, 2008

For the kids- Gever Tulley: 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

i.e., Turbo. Though I have a thing about gauging age appropriateness, and he might be too young to break the DMCA, for example. Or binge drinking. Probably too young for that.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008