Look: emo vampires involved in chaste romance, courtesy of a Mormon
housewife! Who says symbolism is dead?
Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker (and don't think that
wasn't my first thought for a blog title pun), has a couple of really
interesting stories on Portfolio.com: The
End of Wall Street's Boom and The
Evolution of an Investor. Both ultimately stress the same point: the
people running the market had (and probably still have) no idea what
they're doing. It's the equivalent of Taleb's Black Swan theory, where
if there are enough people playing the numbers, some of them will be
successful merely by chance--but since people are notoriously bad at
estimating odds, they will think they had a system that works. At what
point does this not look like a rigged casino game, again?
Boing Boing Gadgets also linked to this Forbes
profile of Honda earlier, which makes for good reading. It focuses
on the astonishing number of experimental technologies they're always
trying out, and notes that they've never had a layoff--very impressive.
I try to be a market cynic, but there are some companies (Nokia, Ikea,
Honda) where I still have a real soft spot.
Muse's "Knights of Cydonia" is still the greatest music video of
Ever wondered what happened to the House Class of '94, they of the
Gingrich Revolution and the Contract with America? Find out here. Although it
is really just another list of dancing heads, similar to my Blue Dogs
graphic (which I now need to update with post-election additions), I
like the presentation. It also leverages several custom Flash classes
that we're building in an effort to code in a more reusable fashion. So
it's not completely frivolous.
On a related note, if you're doing any graphical Flash/Flex
programming, something that was very helpful while working on that
portrait gallery was Adobe's Color
Matrix Guide. The ColorMatrixFilter class is used to sepia-tint the
mugshots in my graphic, but it can be used for all kinds of other
transformations. Adobe nicely provides a handy applet for testing
different matrix inputs, including handy presets for brightness,
contrast, hue, and saturation.
Working on the suspicion that, at some point, Good Old Games is
going to get shut down for being way too awesome, I splurged on both
Fallouts, Sacrifice, and Giants: Citizen Kabuto.
Being a huge fan of Shiny's MDK (still one of the most joyfully
bizarre games I've ever played), I started Giants first. Having a
ton of other stuff up in the air, I haven't gotten very far, but it's
striking how strong the MDK-ish design "voice" is: a combination
of slapstick humor, disturbingly Geiger-esque graphic design, and
over-the-top violence. I don't think anyone's made anything quite like
it ever since.