irregular burbling

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December 16, 2003

The perils of simulation

Heh, Peter Jackson's big battle scene at the end of Return of the King was almost scuppered by the advanced AI controlling the virtual warriors:

Special effects designer Richard Taylor says this led to the writing of a "massive" principal code for the battle to give more than 200,000 digitized soldiers and some 6,000 horses distinctiveness and individuality.


Basically, all the necessary information for decision-making was fed into this network of computers without determining for them whether they would win or lose.
But this attempt to ensure that they acted spontaneously almost sabotaged the the battleground sequences.
"For the first two years, the biggest problem we had was soldiers fleeing the field of battle," Taylor said.
"We could not make their computers stupid enough to not run away."

This reminds me of the tale of the Australian flight simulation which portrayed herds of kangaroos by re-using the code used to portray squads of soldiers with hilarious results!

Posted by Jonah at 3:33 PM


This week I ar been mostly being amused by Bibleman, the scripture-quoting christian superhero. Seemingly part-Jedi, part Power Ranger, bibleman and his sidekick Cypher help and save vulnerable youths by teaching them lessons culled from the bible.

I'm unsure from the trailer movies whether or not bibleman is actually intended to be a joke or not. If not, then the creators have certainly realised the value of a campy tongue-in-cheek approach. Witness:

Conquering the Wrath of Rage
Shattering the Prince of Pride

"You sure know your bible!"

"That's why they call me Bibleman."

Posted by Jonah at 2:56 PM

December 15, 2003

Mmmmm, pi

We are in pi and live forever

Posted by Jonah at 4:09 PM

December 2, 2003

ARP wrong: Satan better than Smiths

Wiltshire-born gadabout Ashley Mark Pomeroy has listed eleven reasons why fey 80s indie darlings The Smiths were better than Lord of the Flies and Great Deceiver Satan. I would like to offer counterpoints to some of them and also some unrelated reasons why Satan is better than The Smiths:

2. Whereas Satan is only one person, The Smiths were four people.

This is simply untrue. Mr. Pomeroy knows as well as I do that being of a supernatural and once-divine nature Satan can create and operate as many instances of himself as he wishes, as demonstrated in the Al Pacino / Keanu Reeves infernal legal drama movie "Devil's Advocate". In addition to this, he is able to take on many forms which means that Satan can simultaneously be more than four different people, easily beating The Smiths or even Blazing Squad.

3. The Smiths reached number one in the album charts on no less than three occasions, an achievement of which Satan cannot boast.
4. Johnny Marr's guitar work and songwriting skills were and continue to be highly praised; whilst Satan supposedly plays 'the best tunes', there is no evidence of this as he has yet to release a record.

Here Mr Pomeroy blatantly ignores the fact that Satan has a gruelling touring schedule in order to disseminate his music, as opposed to recording and releasing records. It is this which underlies the discrepancy between the chart success of Satan and The Smiths. It could be argued, after all, that The Smiths have won very few hickory-stump-based competitive violin duets in America's deep south. Nor would Johnny Marr be skilled as Satan in dealing with the acoustic properties of string instruments constructed entirely of precious metals.

4. Satan is regularly portrayed in Western culture as a man with horns on his head and a forked tail. Neither Morrissey nor his bandmates were afflicted with such freakish appendages.

Whereas Morrissey mooned about with his shirt hanging out and a daffodil in his back pocket. Who can say what is the greater crime?

6. The Smiths were on Rough Trade Records, who have several shops in London. Satan has never been signed to a record label.

This is simply not true. Mr Pomeroy overlooks that admittedly little-known fact that for a brief time in the eighties Satan was signed up to work with legendary producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman. His first ever release was going to be a song of his own composition, "Don't It Make You Feel Good", but he was dropped at the last minute in favour of Stefan Dennis. This is why Satan has become disillusioned with the recording industry and no longer aims at commercial chart success.

9. According to a poll in a 2002 issue of the aforementioned New Musical Express, The Smiths have been the most influential musical artists of all time ever, even more so than The Beatles or James Brown. Satan was not even shortlisted.

This is simply a product of the forum in which the survey was taken. Even when you take into account the obvious critical deficiencies of Melody Maker readers, a shoegazing indie rag is always going to overlook Satan's enormous influence over delta blues, heavy metal and, more recently, eurotrance covers of eighties pop songs by the likes of FUCKING DJ SAMMY.

Further reasons why Satan is better then the Smiths:

  1. Satan appears in more jokes than The Smiths, even if you include their albums.
  2. Satan has never publicly called for the summary execution of radio performers.
  3. Satan has several of his own adjectives. "Smithish" is not a word.
  4. Satan has never performed a duet with Pete Burns out of Dead or Alive.
  5. The Smiths will never be played by Al Pacino. Maybe Rick Moranis.
  6. Satan is not available on Kazaa and never will be.
  7. You cannot sell your soul to The Smiths for unlimited temporal power.
Posted by Jonah at 12:17 PM | Comments (3)