LOLing: The Daily Show - new plans for Iraq

There's really nothing to be said here, just enjoy the clip :)

Making: games with FPS Creator

Sometimes I love my job/field of study. FPS Creator is a fairly easy to use piece of software that you can use to create basic 3D First Person Shooter (FPS) computer games.

The FPS genre includes seminal titles including Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Half-Life, Duke Nukem Forever :), Counter-strike, Halo, Call of Duty and GoldenEye 007.

It is characterized by an on-screen view that simulates the in-game character's point of view and a focus on the use of handheld ranged weapons. (wikipedia)

Interestingly, the genre itself dates back more than 30 years to the first FPS game Spasim (which interestingly, was also a networked game), created in 1974.

In using FPS Creator, you don't need to know how to create 3D models or how to write any code, it's all done in a click and drag visual interface.

Here's a promo video for the software - it's from 2004 so things have moved on a little since then but you'll get the gist. (There's also a stack of other video guides on YouTube if you search for FPS Creator)

I bought this software a while ago now and it's always been on the list as a project to get around to - but I never have.

Now though I have an assignment for Interactive Multimedia Design where I have to create a learning object and I'm thinking this could be perfect.

Oooookkkaayyyy I hear you drawl, how does that work exactly? Where is the learning in running about blowing stuff up and killing zombies? (Well if you don't know that then don't come crying to me when there is no more room in Hell and the dead walk the Earth)

Actually, the theory at this stage is to make use of a decision tree structure used in teaching correct responses for first aiders arriving at an accident. This sets up a scenario and offers several options to choose from at each decision point. These decision points could just as easily be represented as doors or corridors in a maze in a 3D space. (Only one option is the correct one and feedback as to why is offered)

I just need to find a way to incorporate text (I suspect as a texture on a wall or in audio form) at the decision points and off we go. Whether to include weapons and monsters/enemies is unclear at the moment - seems like it would be more fun this way though.

Ok, well I'm going to get stuck in now, I'll update this when I've done something worth seeing.


Watching: The Amen Break

I came across a really interesting video a little while ago (pretty well just audio really) about the history of the Amen break. It's a six second drumbeat (a.k.a breakbeat a.k.a break) from the song Amen Brother by The Winstons, recorded in 1969.

This video looks at the way it became almost a standard sample in hiphop tracks through the 80's and 90's (including NWA's Straight out of Compton) and then as sampling got more sophisticated became the foundation for almost all Jungle music and was eventually taken over and used by big business in advertising. Lots of really interesting stuff about copyright as well.

It's about 18 minutes long but it's really worth checking out. It was made by Nate Harrison in 2004.


Studying: Working on assignments

I've got a fair slab of work to do today - 3 heuristics about different aspects of learning theory and I also need to get stuck into a multimedia learning object that I've been tinkering around the edges of.

I've been reading a lot of interesting articles on different aspects of education - if you're interested (or chronically bored, insane or in need of a good laugh), check out my thoughts at http://elearningnews.edublogs.org


Watching: Nazi Robot Attack

Robots are cool (but also potentially a little scary).

Bec from work pointed me to this amazing CGI animation of robots in World War II made by Marco Spitoni from Cee Gee.
It looks like a cutscene from an incredibly cool computer game.

Check it out here - http://www.e-motionaldesign.com/blog/nazi-robot-attack/

Reading: John Peel's all-time favourite records

In the course of taking a stroll down memory lane, I've been reading about John Peel's record box.

If you don't know who John Peel is (or have heard of the Peel sessions), he was probably the best music loving radio DJ of all time. (Read up on him here)

The Pussycat was working for the BBC in Wales at the time of his death and she tells me that the whole institution mourned him.

In his collection of more than 25000 albums, he kept a special box of his current all-time favourites - the box to grab if the house caught on fire.

Obviously everyone's favourites change over time and no doubt this box reflects his favourites at the time of his death - had it been a week or a month earlier or later, the list could be quite different but it's pretty interesting to see who Peel rated.

There's a great article here about the 142 songs that lived in this box - here's a short quote.

The first thing that strikes you about the full list is how little of the grinding dark-core, impenetrable electronica and twisted ultra-noise that he loved to champion — “The unpleasant and disorientating racket”, as he once described it — actually found its way into his heart.

There’s a lot of old-school soul there, such as Eddie & Ernie, OV Wright, Johnnie Taylor and Ann Peebles, and plenty of reggae: Lee Perry, Andy Capp, Blood Fire Posse and Izzy Royal. Indeed, if a theme emerges, it’s that he truly loved music that was simple.

He seems to have had a bit of a thing about two-piece outfits, or raw, basic tracks with straightforward lyrics: Al Casey’s Surfin’ Hootenanny, five Charlie Feathers singles, Don French’s Lonely Saturday Night and an astonishing 12 tracks by the White Stripes.

Rather than hunt through this slightly hard to navigate website, here is the complete list.

1. Al Casey - Surfin' Hootenanny + Easy Pickin (PIE INTERNATIONAL) 1963

2. Al Ferrier - I'm Not Drinking More + Don't Play Blue Eyes' (MASTER TRAK) 1980

3. Alan Price Set - I Put a Spell on You (DECCA)

4. Andy Capp - Popatop + Reco - The Lion Speaks (TREASURE ISLAND) 1969

5. Anemic Boyfriends - Guys Are Not Proud + Bad Girls in Love (RED SWEATER RECORDS) 1980

6. Ann Peebles - I can't stand the rain + i've been there before (LONDON) 1972

7. Anti-Social - Traffic lights + teacher, teacher (DYNAMITE RECORDS) 1977

8. Arthur K Adams - Wildwood flower + It's a wild, wild, wild, wild wildwood flower (JETSTAR)

9. Big Stick - Drag racing + Hell on earth (RECESS RECORDS) 1985

10. Bill Oddie - Harry krishna + on ilkla moor baht'at (DANDELION) 1970

11. Boards of Canada - Aquarius + Chinook (SKAM)

12. Bobby Lee Trammell - If you ever get it once + Don't you know I love you (ALLEY RECORDS)

13. Cat Power - Headlights + Darling said sir (THE MAKING OF AMERICANS)

14. Charlie Feathers - Deep elm blues + Nobody's darling' (HOLIDAY INN RECORDS)

15. Charlie Feathers - Nobody's women + When you decide (KING) 2x copies

17. Charlie Feathers - Today and tomorrow + Wild wild party' (MEMPHIS RECORDINGS)

18. Charlie Feathers - Tongue-tied Jill + Get with it' (METEOR RECORDS)

19. Charlie Feathers - When you come around + Too much alike' (KING)

20. Cheeze - Dancin With The Dead - Dancin queen + Direwolf 1989 (BOB RECORDS) 1989

21. Clague - The stride + I wonder where (DANDELION) 1969

22. Clefs of Lavender Hill - Stop! - Get a ticket + First tell me why (DATE)

23. Cleveland Crochet - Sugar bee + Drunkards dream (GOLDBAND)

24. Don Covay - It's better to have + Leave him (MERCURY) 1973

25. Don French - Lonely saturday night + Goldilocks (QUALITY) (LANCER) 2x copies

27. Dreamland Express - Groovy + u.f.o (EMI)

28. Easy Teeth - Car noise + Her blade (DENTAL RECORDS) 1980

29. Eddie & Ernie - I believe she will + We try harder (CHESS) 1984

30. Eddie & Ernie - I'm gonna always love you + Outcast (EASTERN)

31. Eddie & Ernie - Time waits for no one + That's the way it is (EASTERN)

32. Electro Hippies - Mega-armageddon death (STRANGE FRUIT) Peel session

33. Elmore James - The sky is crying + Standing at the crossroads (FLASHBACK RECORDS)

34. Firemen - Old smokie + Louie's theme (LE CAM)

35. Freshmen - You never heard anything like it + Bombing run (RELEASE RECORDS) 1979

36. G L Crockett - It's a man down there + Every hour, every day (4 BROTHERS)

37. G L Crockett - Look out Mabel + Did you ever love somebody (CHECKER)

38. Geater Davis - For your precious love + Wrapped up in you (HOUSE OF ORANGE)

39. Gene Dozier & The United Front - Give the women what they want + The best girl I ever had (MERCURY) 1974

40. Golinski Brothers - Bloody + Toy (BADGE RECORDS) 1980 2x copies

42. Green Hornes - Stayed up last night (ITALY RECORDS)

43. Hooten 3 Car - Danny + Numena (RUMBLESTRIP RECORDS)

44. Idle Race - Here we go round the lemon tree + My father's son (LIBERTY) 45. Izzy Royal - Coronation St (WEA) 1983

46. Jane Bond and The Undercover Men - Hot rod Lincoln + Come on up (EAR MOVIES RECORDS) 1982

47. Jerry Byro - Memories of Maria + Invitation (MONUMENT) 1961 2x copies - different labels

48. Jody Reynolds - Endless sleep + Western movies (LIBERTY)

49. Johnnie Taylor - I've been born again + At night time (STAX) 1974

50. Johnny Adams - You're a lady + I wish it would rain (ATLANTIC) 1972

51. Johnny Fortune - Dragster + Soul surfer (SONET) 1964

52. Ken Colyers Jazzmen (TEMPO RECORDS) 1953

53. La Peste - Black + Better off dead (BLACK RECORDS) 1978

54. Larry Bright - Mojo workout + I'll change my ways (TIDE)

55. Laurie Anderson - O Superman + Walk the dog (ONE TEN RECORDS) 1981

56. Lee Perry - Bafflin' smoke signal + Black smoke signal (BLACK ARC) 1978

57. Lightnin Hopkins - Mojo hand + Glory be (FLASHBACK RECORDS)

58. Marc Bolan - Marc Bolan talking to Stevie Dixon, 1973. Jennifer Sharp, Steve Harley & John Peel talking to Stevie Dixon 1977. (CUBE/PYE RECORDS)

59. Mary Monday - I gave my punk jacket to Richie + Popgun (MALICIOUS PRODUCTIONS)

60. Max Romeo - Sipple out deh' Lee Perry + Revelation (UPSETTER)

61. MC5 - Looking at you + Borderline (A-SQUARE RECORDS) 2x copies

63. Medicine Head - Coast to coast + All for tomorrow (DANDELION) 1970

64. Medicine Head - His guiding hand + This love of old (DANDELION) 1969 2x copies

66. Mel and Tim - Starting all over again + It hurts to want it so bad (STAX) 1972

67. Meow - Kat nip + One night stand + Anthem + Kill kill kill + Catastrophe + Boy groupies (TWIST LIKE THIS RECORDS)

68. Mickey Lee Lane - Tuitti Fruitti + With your love (MALA)

69. Mike Spencer and the Cannibals - Good guys + Nothing takes the place of you (BIG COCK RECORDS)

70. Nice - The thoughts of Emerlist Davjack (IMMEDIATE)

71. Nilsson - Everybody's talkin' (RCA)

72. Nilsson - Kojak Columbo (RCA)

73. Nilsson - Without you (RCA)

74. O V Wright - That's how strong my love is + There goes my used to be (GOLDWAX)

75. Paul Blake & The Blood Fire Posse - Every posse get flat + Flat out (STUDIO WORK) 1984

76. Paul Revere & The Raiders - Him or me - what's it gonna be? + Legend of Paul Revere (CBS) 1967

77. Pavement - Demolition Plot J-7 (DRAG CITY) 1990

78. Pocket Fishrmen (sic) - Yr story + The leader is burning (NOISEVILLE) 1989

79. Quads - You've gotta jive + There must be thousands (BIG BEAR RECORDS) 1979

80. Ray Martin - Blue tango + Bell of the ball (COLUMBIA) 81. Revelino - Step on high (MUSIDISC)

82. Rod Bernard - This should go on forever

83. Roshell Anderson - The grapevine will lie sometimes + Such a beautiful thing (CONTEMPO) 1974

84. Roy Head - Treat her right + So long, my love (VOCALION) 1965

85. Sam & Dave - I can't stand up for falling down + Soothe me (STAX)

86. Sasha Caro - Grade 3 section 2 + Little maid's song (DECCA) 1967

87. Scrugg - Will the real Geraldine please stand up and be countered + Only George' (PIE) 1969

88. Sheena Easton - 9 to 5 + Moody (EMI) 1980 2x Copies

90. Sipho Bhengu - Tickey dopies + I saluti (INKONKONI) 1971

91. Soledad Brothers - Sugar & spice + Johnny's death letter, with Jack White (ITALY RECORDS)

92. Some Chicken - New religion + Blood on the wall (RAW RECORDS) 1977 2x copies

94. Spit Out - O from I + Tan + Rot'n'roll' (MA FROG RECORDS) 1996

95. Stanley Winston - No more ghettos in America + It's alright (JEWEL)

96. Status Quo - Down down (VERTIGO) 1974

97. Super Sister - No tree will grow + She was naked (DANDELION) 1971

98. The Beatles - Come together + Octopus's garden + Something (foreign pressing, country unknown)

99. The Big Three - You've gotta keep her under hand + If you ever change your mind (DECCA) 1964

100. The Buzzcocks -­ Ever fallen in love (UNITED ARTISTS) 1978

101. The Factory - Path through the forest + Gone (MGM) 1968

102. The Galactic Symposium - Y.M.C.A + Money (VAGUE RECORDS) 1978

103. The Legion of Super-Heroes - The great name dropper part 1 + The great name dropper part 2 (AMY RECORDS)

104. The Mark Four - Hurt me if you will + I'm leaving (DECCA) 1965

105. The Mighty Avengers - So much in love + Something they say (DECCA) 1964

106. The Misunderstood - I can take you to the sun + Who do you love (FONTANA) 1966

107. The Move - I can hear the grass grow + Wave the flag and stop the train (DERAM) 1967

108. The Negatives - Love is not real + Stakeout (LOOK) 1979

109. The Nightcaps - Wine wine wine + Nightcap rock (MUSICOR)

110. The Ramrods - Zig zag + Riders in the sky (LONDON AMERICAN) 1960

111. The Smoke - My friend Jack + We can take it (COLUMBIA) 1966

112. The Squirrels - Oz on 45 + Alone again (POPLLAMA PROD) 1988

113. The Undertones ­- Teenage kicks (GOOD VIBRATIONS RECORDS) 1978 3x copies

116. The Upholsterers - Makers of high grade suites (SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY)

117. The Upsetters - Bucky skank + Yucky skank (DOWN TOWN)

118. The Upsetters - Key card + Domino game (DL INTERNATIONAL)

119. The Users - Sick on you + I'm in love with today (RAW RECORDS) 1977 2x copies

121. The Versalites - Cutting rasor + Black belt Jones (DL INTERNATIONAL) 122. The White Stripes - Lafayette blues + Sugar never tasted so good (ITALY Records)

123. The White Stripes - Party of special things to do + China pig + Ashtray heart (SUB POP)

124. The White Stripes ­- Merry Christmas from.... (XL)

125. The White Stripes - It takes two, baby + Fell in love with a girl (SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD COMPANY)

126. The White Stripes -­ Dead leaves and the dirty ground (XL) 2001

127. The White Stripes - Hand springs (EXTRA BALL RECORDS)

128. The White Stripes - Hotel Yorba (XL) 2001

129. The White Stripes - Lord, send me an angel (SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY) 2x copies

131. The White Stripes - Hello operator + Jolene (SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY) 2000

132. The White Stripes - The big three killed my baby (SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY) 2x copies

134. The Henchmen featuring Jack White - Some other guy + Psycho daisies (ITALY RECORDS)

135. 2 Star Tabernacle - Ramblin man' (BLOODSHOT RECORDS) 1998 cover photo by Jack White

136. The Wildbunch - Danger - Jack White backing vocals (FLYING BOMB)

137. Surprise Package vol 2 featuring White Stripes, Rocket 455 and the Blowtops (FLYING BOMB)

138. Surprise Package vol 3 featuring The Real Pills, MHz, The Dirtbombs (FLYING BOMB)

139. Travis Wammack - Fire fly + Scratchy (ARA) 140. XL-Capris - My city of Sydney + Dead bugies (AXLE)

141. Yami Bolo - Richer than Cory (JAMAICA INTERNATIONAL)

142. Yardbirds - Happenings ten years time ago + Psycho diaries (COLUMBIA) 1966

I was going to bold the albums that I've heard but there are very few, looks like there is work to be done here.

When Peel appeared on the famous Desert Island Discs programme in 1990, these were his selections.

* Handel's Zadok the Priest as recorded at the coronation of George VI
* Roy Orbison – "It's Over"
* Jimmy Reed – "Too Much"
* Misty in Roots – "Mankind"
* The Undertones – "Teenage Kicks" (choice if only allowed one record)
* Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto
* The Fall – "Eat Y'self Fitter"
* Four Brothers – "Pasi pano pane zviedzo"
* Book: A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
* Luxury: A football, and a wall to kick it against.


Watching: Nothing

That'd be the film called Nothing, obviously.

Reasons to check it out:

1. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, the legend behind Cube (and thankfully not Cube 2)
2. Original, creative, humourous and quirky (not in the bad way either)
3. Bouncing heads
4. Tofu
5. Based on a true story (we assure you)

In short, two guys suddenly end up (with their house) in a big wide empty nothing, just after it looks like their lives couldn't get much worse. Then they discover why they're there and a pretty amazing new power they have. A little weird but very wonderful.

I could go into more detail here but the concept of this film is really what makes it - so enjoy.
I found it at Civic Video in Braddon in the comedy section, so it's out there.

Quote: (from IMDB)

(A cop on a horse has just knocked on their door)

Mounted Police Officer:Dave Johnson?
Mounted Police Officer:You're under arrest. For embezzlement
Dave:[closing door] Oh, hang on a sec, let me just get my horse.

Apparently the trailer makes the film look much more like a horror film (there are certainly unsettling moments but it's much more a weird comedy) but you can find a bunch of clips by searching on YouTube if you want to get some idea of what you are in for. Here's the opening part - but things get progressively stranger and funnier as the movie progresses.