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November 21, 2008

Filed under: random»linky


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 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 all time:
  • 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.

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