Thursday, April 27

Gaming History

The Escapist has a really great article on the history of games, from the first track games of the 18th century to the miniature war games written by H.G. Wells, to Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and World of Warcraft. The author also suggests a few places to look for truly inventive game design today, including Scandinavian Live Action Role-Playing. Who knew? It's a good, informative read.

Tuesday, April 25

Take Note

This September will see the release of A Scanner Darkly, a film made by Richard Linklater (Waking Life, Before Sunset), starring Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson, and based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name. Set in the near future, it will focus on a community of people who use the fictional drug Substance D, which causes users to develop a separate personality. The score will be provided by Radiohead. The film will be rotoscoped, in the style of Waking Life.


Any questions?

Saturday, April 22

Did You Know?

Did you know that there are several cash rewards, one as large as $50k, being offered to anyone who can prove with official documentation or eyewitness accounts that George W. Bush was present for and completed the military service he is credited with. Did you know that not one of these rewards has yet been claimed?

Friday, April 7

Sonic Pleasures

Last night I mounted.... a new Phillips cartridge on my NAD turntable. It replaced an old Stanton cartridge that Sue had with her when she came to Montreal; probably filched from CHMA, and certainly not in the best of repair. Well, let me tell you, what an improvement. Everything sounds better! Instruments like guitar and voice convey much more subtlety; percussion, particularly cymbals, are much more precise and appealing; and the separation of the instruments has improved: whereas before all the sounds were jumbled together and it was difficult to pick out each individual instrument, now the soundscape is much more detailed. I could hear much more of what each member of the band was doing.

The first listen with the new cartridge was Dire Straits' first LP. On almost every track I listened to I was able to pick out lyrics that were heretofore unintelligible. With the improved detail of the sound, much more of the emotion of the instrumentalists is conveyed; I can feel the joy and playfulness they felt when the track was recorded. It took me to another place! I hope that you have something in your life that brings you as much pleasure as listening to records brings to me

Just by chance I recorded a few songs onto my new computer before I replaced the cartridge. I'm in the process of making a mixed tape. Just for fun I rerecorded one of these songs ("Swimming" by Martha and the Muffins) and compared the two versions. While the difference between these two tracks was, naturally, not as great as the difference between the original with two different cartridges, it was still there, particularly in terms of the separation between the instruments. This kinda surprised me; if I were to predict what would have happened, I would have thought that the improvement would have been in the detail of the instruments, and not so much the separation. I intend to rerecord some of the other songs and make additional comparisons.

Thursday, April 6

Pillow Fight Club

Yes indeedy, bring a pillow to Dorchester Square (Peel and Rene Levesque) at 7pm on Friday April 7th for a massive suprise pillow fight. At 7pm sharp draw your weapon and attack those similarly armed. Scare the hell out of ignorant passersby. Check the link: