Archive for the ‘Good Stuff From around the Web’ Category

It might be said that the characters we hold most dear are those we relate to on the deepest level. We see part of ourselves in them, and a connection is formed. Fiction is only really effective insofar as it reveals truth about reality. I love it when game developers take the opportunity to explore these poignant themes within an immersive medium!

Problem Machine


Isn’t it strange how complex and overwhelming our feelings about fictional people can become?

There is a conflict of impulses: The sympathetic and the dramatic. We want characters to be happy for the same reason we want our friends and family to be happy– hell, I’m such a goddamn hippie, I even want my enemies to be happy, if possible. However, we also know that bad things need to happen to the character or there won’t be much of a story– or at least, often, not the right story for that character. Indeed, since characters are so often formed by their misfortunes, sparing a character pain could undermine the very qualities that made you love them in the first place.

We are time travelers trapped in a paradox of our own devising. We are helpless to swim against the tides of our own fictions.

To The Moon is a small…

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inage credits:

Seriously, calm down. It’s just code!


What’s in your pocket right now? (If you said: the ring of power, then you are my hero) Probably a few different things, but what’s the one thing that you know is also in your friend’s pocket, and the pizza guy’s pocket, and in the hands of your crazy athletic friends who are too cool for pockets?

Yep, a phone. And if you care at all about it, it’s a smart phone.

I am a creature of carbon-based flesh, but also of habit. Every day I wake up, put pants/shorts on, and then I turn to my bedside table to enact the daily filling-of-the-pockets ritual. Into my left pocket goes my iPod Touch and ear-buds, and into my right goes my wallet, some pens if its a school day, and my bite-sized GoPhone. (Why not just get an iPhone and meld the two devices? Some day my friend…)

So before the ramble sets in, where am I going with all this? Yeah we have phones and tech, so what?

*clears throat*
Sorry… where was I? Oh yes, let me tell you a story.

Once when I was a young sproutlet, I became interested in computers. Correction: technology. Anything would do. Hell, I could kill a solid 15 minutes just messing with a calculator. I was that annoying kid who always asks adults for their phones (I am sorry anyone I have ever done that to, I know what it feels like).

Flash forward a few years; I’m in middle school. My favorite classes are Latin and Computer Applications. While my Latin teacher has me translating Caesar and Roman myths, my Tech teacher has me taking apart a computer and building webpages. I learn what binary actually is and how computers evolved (If you’re curious, a trip to Wikipedia couldn’t hurt…). I learned how the internet started, and how for a while it was just a bunch of really ugly webpages (honestly, thank God for graphic design) full of all sorts of boring stuff. 70% encyclopedia, 25% geeky chat-room, 5% hackers trying to spy on/steal from you. Nothing like the time consuming and entrancing cyber dimension that it is today.

But the scope of it was what amazed me. Just for funzies, take a look at this video that my Tech teacher showed me all those years ago. It took me forever to find, but it’s awesome because it illustrates beautifully all the steps that happen between you hitting “enter” and a webpage loading.

Anyway, I digress. As I got older, I became very interested in software. I mean hardware is cool and all, and if computers ever go quantum, or use DNA storage I want to be right there, but what’s the skeleton without the lifeblood, the nervous system you know? Stories of overnight billionaires captured my imagination. Facebook and Twitter connecting people online… You know the story. Video games turned computer science into an art-form  and I was enthralled, but still, programming seemed like wizardry to me.

As “apps” took over the mobile scene, I entered my teen years, and acquired the aforementioned iPod. I explored a world of bite-sized programs for palm-sized computers. I saw how apps could be works of art (check out the apps “Thicket” and “Eufloria“). I began to wonder how apps are made. Could I do it?

Then my math teacher showed me this video.
WATCH IT. (It’s a fun time, seriously.)

I realized the advantages of having this kind of skill-set  You become a golden chicken nugget in the eyes of employers.

image credits:

I wish coding was like playing an antigravity level in Dead Space…

I signed up for (and, and started learning a new language: JavaScript  I want to learn how to make an app, to program a computer, to create a game. It comes from the same creative desire as my desire to write. I want to make something people will love to use, like Prezi or Pandora. I want to speak computer.

Yeah I know, that’s a super nerdy thing to say, but without people who are interested in that, your iPhone (or Android or whatever) wouldn’t exist. And without young people becoming engaged and involved in computer science, your phone will look the same in five years. And who wants that?

So, that is why I code. What I once thought was indecipherable nerd language (Weird Al says he’s fluent in JavaScript as well Klingon…) turned out to be a delightful journey into the world of programming. Why do I code? Because like Owl City says, this is the future. I dream of a future when even the most backwards hick can design simple applications. Give it a shot!

Jes Goodwin – Sketches of Pain | Thursday, May 12 | What’s New Today | Games Workshop.

If ever there was a man with a wild imagination, it’s Jes Goodwin. Warhammer 40K has long had the reputation of having some of the best looking models in war-gaming, and Jes is part of the reason for that.

This is a link to a White Dwarf archive post, where Jes goes through the design process of creating the Talos Pain Engine and Cronos Parasite Engine. He even shows his concept sketches which are… just… wow. I’ll post them here for those of you who just want to look at the pictures.

Talos concept 1Talos concept 2Talos concept 3Talos concept 4Talos concept 5Talos concept 6Cronos concept

Follow the link for bigger versions of these pics (so you can read the little notes), and pics of what the actual models look like. There’s even a nifty thing where you can rotate a picture of the model to see it 360°. Win!


For those of you who have read up to here, but are very confused as to what all this is and what “Warhammer” and “Warhammer 40K” are, I shall not leave you in the dark! In short, Warhammer is a tabletop war-game (you get little miniatures, build them, paint them, and play battles) which is popular worldwide, although it is centered in the UK (Nottingham actually). Warhammer has a fantasy setting, and 40k (the one I play) is the far future.

Why is it awesome? Warhammer is a hobby, but you don’t have to be skilled to get into it. It has the richest background of any epic-mega story I have ever seen (yes the lore is more expansive than Lord of the Rings); spawning a massive line of beautiful miniatures to collect, hundreds of books (, video games (Space Marine, Space Hulk, Warhammer Online), and even a movie: Space Marine the movie.

Why does this awesomeness not conflict with my love for Tolkien? Well, most of the people who create Warhammer (Games Workshop) are Tolkien fans, and Warhammer is enjoyable in it’s own right (it even has orks! (not to be confused with orcs, which are pure Tolkien)). Plus, there’s LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT WARHAMMER!!! Whoot!!!

Yeah… well, sorry to rant, but Warhammer is awesome, and you should totally check it out. Yes, I apologize for all the parenthetical phrases, that just mirrors the way I think. Godspeed good friends!

This just struck me as particularly poignant. So many people post ridiculous nothingness on the internet that it is really degrading the quality of social networks. Let’s make the internet a place where people can get inspired!

CE: The Magazine


That is a frozen piece of pizza, on the ground, covered in snow. I found it in the parking lot this morning as I was leaving school. I posted an Instagram of it.

At the outset of the new year, I set some social media goals for myself. Things like learning to better leverage Twitter as a networking tool, expanding my presence and my brand online, and trying to take more Instagram photos. I hoped to achieve that last one by taking at least one Instagram photo each day for the entire year. For the first few weeks, I did quite well. I started taking photos of everything, some days posting more than one. On occasion, more than five.

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This is amazing. I hate when my dreams suck, and I feel like the night was wasted…

Nonsense Party

I’ve been having weird dreams lately. And sleeping kinda restlessly. Sleep is literally my favorite thing to do, so it makes me a little bit cranky when it doesn’t work out quite the way I want it to. A lot of things make me cranky, though. Like:

  • Bathrooms that don’t have toilet seat covers
  • When you think you have another mango in the fridge, but discover you don’t
  • (Related) Starting a recipe and discovering half way through that you’re missing a key ingredient
  • People that don’t signal
  • Anything sticky

I could go on for some time in this fashion, because I’m essentially an 84-year-old woman in a 33-year-old’s body. I’m fine with that.

Aaaanyway…so yes, I’ve been having cranky-making sleep as of late. And the weird dreams always linger in the morning, so I spend the first couple hours of the day trying to get over the yelling match I…

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