Monday, March 9, 2009

Jesus spells Pareidolia

Our brains are basically pattern-recognition machines.

I'll save the meta discussion for another time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Penguin Video Game Classics

In the style of Olly Moss' "classic" video game covers, here are my interpretations of two of my favourite games:

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Tale of Desperaux

This past Saturday, the Vancouver Siggraph chapter hosted a charity film showing of The Tale of Desperaux, with all proceeds going to local food banks. Kyenta and I had both read Kate DiCamillo's book when it came out and were eager to see how it had been translated to film.

Luckily, most of the book's charm makes it through. The animation and look (by the folks at Framestore) are both suitably captivating, with a standout pseudo-2D style employed for Desperaux Tilling's flights of fancy.

The film stumbles on occasion. There are a few notable continuity problems where it feels like they had too much material and decided to drop important scenes. Also, I'm no book purist -- changes do need to be made when translating from one medium to another -- but a few of the alterations were rather jarring and unnecessary.

Overall, though, The Tale of Desperaux does entertain. It's a worthwhile fairytale film to watch this Christmas season.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Torturing Democracy

I watched Torturing Democracy last night, a stupefying documentary on the legalization of torture by the current US administration -- not just for Abu Ghraib but in Guantanamo Bay and in dozens of CIA extraordinary rendition black sites around the world.

I couldn't stop watching. It wasn't so much that the documentary proved enlightening; I was already aware of much of the information presented. However, it was gripping in the sense that each progression and each revelation provoked a fresh reaction of disbelief.

How can human beings behave this way? How can a person make such decisions and be able to live with himself or herself?

Abu Ghraib was the public face of US torture. My belief then, as it is now, is that Abu Ghraib combined with the reprehensible legal shenanigans by the US government as to what torture is acceptable has done irreperable harm to the US. Not just that other regimes can treat US soldiers the way prisoners are treated in Gitmo, although that in itself is bad enough. No. Now, any higher value or purpose espoused by the US is seen as hypocritical, viewed by everyone internationally through a lens of distrust.

Can the US really be considered a shining city upon a hill any more?

Do yourself a favour. Watch this documentary. And ask yourself if an administration that participates in this kind of behaviour is worth any kind of support.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fire(works) Walk With Me

I hadn't planned on going to watch the Celebration of Light fireworks this year, having gone at least once a year, if not more, ever since I moved to Vancouver. Plus I thought it was probably prudent to skip a year, considering how busy my life has become of late. Kyenta and I are moving to East Van in just a few days and we had to get a bunch of packing done on the weekend.

At around half past nine, we had just finished packing for the day when Kyenta turned to me and said, "You know, this is probably the last time we'll be able to walk to the fireworks."

Right now, we're about a thirty minute walk to Kits Beach, which is a prime viewing location. Once we move, we'll have to drive to see them -- although we'll still park south of Broadway and walk the rest of the way to avoid the crazy post-fireworks pedestrian traffic.

We scrambled out the door and just made it to the beach when the fireworks exploded into action.

The fireworks themselves were great, but the musical selection was a bizarre medley of opera lite, pop rock, and vegas glam: Sting, U2, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion.

We walked back home amidst the throng, enjoying the cool night and the slight breeze.

I'm going to miss living here.