Il fait beau dans l’Metro!

il fait beau dans l'metro screenshot, great movieKathleen threw me this last night and It’s been raping my memory ever since. It’s almost patently absurd but catchy and hilarious nonetheless. I love the part where the frustrated motorist curses the joyful bus-riders and they tease his lamentable position, damn right! If only the metro was actually full of dancing hippies instead of downtrodden city-dwellers.

Link to video on YouTube, who should be thanked for allowing this kind of madness to resurface after so many years of obscurity.

(For people who don’t get french or don’t get this french, it goes like “The weather’s great in the subway, everyone is joyful, everyone has sunshine in their hearts” etc. on and on)

Snake Jump: zomg teh fun

screenshot from snake jump

[Update: iPhone users should check out the free and amazing “Papijump” game in the iTunes app store. It’s basically the same thing as snake jump but making ingenious use of the iPhone’s accelerometer to control the character]

When I was still rocking my Palm Treo (an absurd cellphone-palmpilot-camera gadget) I had one game that actually kept me playing and had my friends grabbing the phone and trying to beat my score, SFCave (Internet Version, PalmOS Version). The premise was simple almost to the point of being mathematical (which I guess describes all the old Atari games as well). You’re a parabola that is falling, the one button makes you go up but will kill you if you hit the roof and you have to navigate through an increasingly narrow cave-path. Something about just having one button and the way the parabola is drawn just makes it a ton of fun despite the fact that it is effectively a one dimensional game (up/down).

Searching for snakes for some reason I came across this upgrade to the premise, Snake Jump (pictured above, works without downloads or anything), which adds a whole other dimension! Allowing you to move side to side and kill some bricks or something. Needless to say, you will be hypnotized.

Bonus: You can’t possibly spend more than 20 minutes on this. Praise games that lack life-destroying potential.

(If anyone with windows wants to try the THREE DEE version, I’d love to hear if it’s as fun)

Stephen Colbert Reconsiders his Role in the New American Political Landscape

stephen colbert getting worked up about people smoking drugs
While I’m posting videos I can’t say no to this amazing clip of SC reacting to the results of the US midterm elections ( link).

Obviously the results were good (though really not good enough, it shouldn’t have even been as close as it was), for the planet as well as the United Statesers specifically. All we need in Canada is a chance to do the same thing before Harper gets his own 911 to use as an excuse for screwing us over Bush-style (or before all his small, shitty decisions pile up and actually get implemented).

Link to the video. (hosted at OneGoodMove, who faithfully posts the best Stewart/Colbert stuff for people who don’t want to put up with the insanely useless and broken Windows Media Video that Comedy Central uses to post videos. If anyone from CC is listening, I’m willing to look at your ads while I watch, but I’ll always be stealing from you if all you offer is to crash my browser with M$ DRM)

Guide to hiring a new web developper

I’d hate to keep posting links to Ze Frank every day because you should just be watching it on your own, but his guide to hiring a web developper is a little too good and a little to personally relevant to pass up.
ze frank teaches us about hiring a web developper

Next, take the web developper to the kitchen area. A good web developper will instantly recognize the model of your single-serving coffee machine and will immediately tell you of a hack to get twice the caffeine into a cup

People who steal bikes should be forced to inhale car exhaust through special gas masks that also have ‘asshole’ written in big block letters across the forehead

I’m going to do what everyone has to and pretend I didn’t know it would happen.

On CBC Radio yesterday they were saying that the happiest type of commuters are cyclists (though most commuters enjoy the downtime, cyclists were happiest about their daily journey). What a crummy world where such an elaborate industry exists around stealing and reselling the most enjoyable and cheap way to get around. Can’t even buy a used bike without worrying that it’s just the recycled remains of other people’s fun machines. Can’t you guys find another source of income? Do you really have to sell my own horse back to me with new shoes?

MySpace is even deader than it was 10 minutes ago. You are clinging to a falling rock.

Facebook satisfies the demands of the mbfLooking at my bulletin block in MySpace and seeing a bunch of pornspam generated by a virus on someone’s account I can’t help thinking that MySpace is officially the Windows of social networking. It’s ugly, stupidly designed, full of obnoxious bugs and extremely popular for no good reason at all (which leads it to be targeted by hacker-assholes for their spamming purposes, which I’m sure is made easier by the abominably low coding standards used in its development.)

All that to say that if you want to interract with me online you really should just get a Facebook account. Anyone can get one and the interface is not only sensical and elegant, but actually inspires you to follow the goings on of your friends and communicate with them with various “feed” metaphors. If anything you shouldn’t join because it’s so much more fun than MySpace that you might have problems getting things done. (Not to mention the fact that they released an api for people to write other applications based on the Facebook network, like BillMonk.) Facebook is poised to become the default social network for all kinds of uses, and I won’t mind one bit.

I’ve changed the homepage of the Myspace Beautification Front to reflect the fact that Facebook meets its guidelines and demands in a way that Myspace probably never will. It feels good to be obsolete.

[Note: Jay points out (appropriately, in a myspace comment) that Facebook doesn’t have your favorite band/artist/movie to add as a friend, which is likely to remain true. Facebook focuses on making sure everyone is a real person and accurately guaging relationships, so there’s no profiles for bands and stuff. There’s groups, which have a similar effect, but if you really want that specific interaction with the artists themselves then you now have one (1) reason to stay with MySpace instead of switching (This is basically the Mac user who’s forced to run windows for their favorite game. I’d just find a new game :p ]

The future of gaming – I can’t help feeling this is all too real

future wow player art, guy strung out in the corner

The title of the article I found this in was “What will a World of Warcraft player look like in 2030?”, and it seems about right. Click the image to see a larger version, the goggles are showing hillsides and rainbows.

As you deepen your experience of the game you lose your grasp of and interest in the real world. This sounds silly when you haven’t experienced it, but I’m always shocked to hear how literally players are willing to express this feeling, especially when I remember to insanity issuing from my own mouth right before I quit (“Isn’t all of society a game?”, “The goals and rewards are just more interesting in the game than out here”).

The comments on the article linked above are an excellent microcosm of the problem, with anonymous visiters actually debating whether the pictured situation is worse than the way humans currently interract in society:

Anonymous said…
So what.
Why is glory in the real world better than the glory in a fake one?
If a game can be designed that has more opportunity for a meaningful life, perhaps it is a good thing.
Evolution made us to survive, not to live.

People aren’t just playing a game, they’re experiencing massive shifts in lifestyle and ideology that are necessary to support their interest in and compulsion to play the game. Things they would otherwise believe in (family, friends, romance and, nightmarishly, politics) lose their sense of immediacy and become abstract and neglected. Alternately they can be replaced or hijacked by flimsy in-game versions (Guilds replace families, romance happens between battles and politics becomes how you feel about the “administration” of the world by the game developers). Either way the end result is a simulation that propagates itself; sucking people in, then, in the context of maximizing fun, changing the way they feel about the world to keep them in.

The painting above is scary, but the current reality is almost worse. Horror myths about getting lost in the Holodeck or addiction to “virtual reality” have been around as long as computers have, but the idea that we already have virtual drug addicts eschewing reality in favor of a game, even though the “virtual reality” on offer is only keyboard-and-mouse based paints a worrying picture of a future where immersive environments are available. Who will be able to say no? And if the games are any good how will we avoid succumbing to their ideological influence?

(The image itself is from Pyxelated on the DeviantArt community site. Prints seem to be available for sale.)

Word of the day: "Bitchy Smackdown"

The young director even got a bitchy smackdown from fellow auteur Gus Van Sant, who accused him of having “MTV eyes.”

image from requiem for a dream

Found here (Wired News article), discussing Darren Aronofsky’s use of fast-edits in Requiem for a Dream (trailer link), which you should absolutely see if you haven’t yet. The article itself is about his new film “The Fountain“.

(Found, of course, via BoingBoing.)