November 2007


Our build manager, Bryan, likes to freak my out with weird music videos. They’re usually strange 80’s-era rainbow colored things that mainly confuse, but this time… Well, see for yourself. I think I’m going to have nightmares after this video. (The video is after the jump: I really don’t want that thing on the main page.)

(more…)

Blair feared faith ‘nutter’ label

In an interview for BBC One’s The Blair Years, he said that his faith had been “hugely important” to his premiership.

His ex-spokesman Alastair Campbell once told reporters: “We don’t do God.”
Mr Campbell has now acknowledged to the programme that his former boss “does do God in quite a big way”, but that both men feared the public would be wary.

But while it was commonplace in the US and elsewhere for politicians to talk about their religious convictions, he added, “you talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you’re a nutter”.

British voters imagined that leaders who were informed by religion would “commune with the man upstairs and then come back and say ‘Right, I’ve been told the answer and that’s it'”.

Wow, that’s quite a different take on religion and politics from what we’re used to: if an American politician doesn’t “plug” their own beliefs, which better coincide with those of the majority, they’re burned in effigy.

Isn’t that ironic, though? Here’s a country that is based on the principles of the separation of church and state, it’s one of the main articles of the Constitution, the founding fathers left England in search of religious freedom and now our friends across the pond embody more of our principles than we do.

Given a few years, will Americans be making the “return” journey to the British Isles?

So, for a bit of good news: I’m in Chicago. Which means that I’m not pulling 14-hour work-days, I get to hang out with my pug, I have time to read Mark Twain and program a Java-based 3D engine and generally relax.

The bad news? Well, there’s not much, but there’s still some: I’m in Chicago. Which means that it’s cold, rainy, the lights went out last night for an hour and it’s generally of cold in the house. I also had to endure a late flight on my way here. Then, when I got here, I was a real idiot and got stuff on my camera’s sensor, which really sucks. It’s not visible with a large aperture, which is good, but it’s still an issue. Add to this the fact that no local stores are selling cleaning supplies or can clean the sensor in a hurry, and I basically have to wait until I get back to Washington before getting any work done on the camera. Back to the list of “bad”, I don’t have my Xbox 360 with me, and this is the week that “Mass Effect” comes out. Argh! The one game I have been waiting for (not counting GTA:IV), and I can’t play it until I come back.

Umm, I realize that the last few posts have been just me bitching about life, and I aim to change that. At the moment I am working on some Java code (not the 3D engine) that could be useful to fellow Java graphics nuts. Here’s hoping I get it done and post it on the blog at some point.

First, the bad.

Singapore’s Media Development Authority (which I will henceforth address as Henry, a single, human-like, entity) is acting like a closed-minded idiot: Henry has banned “Mass Effect” over a same-sex sex scene. Umm, let’s rephrase that: the game has been banned by Henry because a female character controlled by the player (if the player chooses to be female), has some steamy sex with another female. The funny thing is, none of this is actually true. Yes, there is a “sex” scene, but (a) the other “female” is not a female, but a female-looking alien who comes from a species that has only one sex, so the question of lesbian relations is void, and (b) the sex scene in question is so innocuous, and, frankly, boring, that without watching that sex scene from Titanic (where Rose’s hand touches the inside of a steamed-up car), the player has very little indication that anyone is having sex.

Here’s the offending video. Some prudes have labeled it NSFW, but as I said, it’s incredibly boring and shows absolutely nothing of interest to a heterosexual man, a lesbian woman or an Asari.

Now, the good.

And now, more good.

While I was typing up this post, Henry has stopped being a dick and lifted the ban on “Mass Effect”. Good job, Henry, but couldn’t you have waited until I voiced my indignation? Also, what was it that made you double back like that? Was it the idea of how idiotic it is to regulate rishathra content in video games, or did you realize that the objectionable scene was about as exciting as watching interplanetary dust collect in the Earth-Sun L4 point?

You know that scene in “Braveheart” where Gibson’s character does the speech and yells “FREEDOM!” Well, imagine me in a kilt, my faces painted, riding a horse and screaming the same line, and that’s a pretty accurate picture what I look like right about now.

Minus the bit about the kilt and the face-painting. And I’m not really screaming, I’m sort of mildly-shouting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7094387.stm

A US judge who lost a $54m (£26m) lawsuit against his dry-cleaners over a pair of missing trousers has not been reappointed, it has been confirmed.

Roy Pearson’s term as an administrative law judge in Washington DC expired on 2 May and the selection commission voted not to reappoint him.

In 2005, Mr Pearson sued his cleaners after they refused to pay for a pair of lost trousers.

He said they had failed to honour a pledge of “satisfaction guaranteed”.

In his lawsuit, Mr Pearson had demanded repayment for the lost trousers as well as damages for inconvenience, mental anguish and attorney fees for representing himself.

Lawyers are assholes. And apparently judges are twice that. “Attorney fees for representing himself”?!

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