Coming to terms with being human.


Nation's Tacky Bead Necklace Industry Devastated

America's bead industry is reeling in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The traditional beads for breasts barter economy developed by Louisiana natives provides almost 80 percent of many bead makers yearly income. "The bead industry may have sunk with New Orleans," laments Trisha Coatly, of Bead and Button magazine. She added,"thankfully most southern locals wear t-shirts or the button industry would be equally screwed."
In related news has begun selling commemorative editions of Girls Gone Wild: Mardi Gras.

Hurricane Fun Fact: Katrina is of German derivation and means PURE.


Wiping an Avatar's bum, and other Joys

Clive Thompson posted an interesting article on Wired concerning the human need to be needed. Using Nintendogs as a starting point, Thompson examines the state of robots in our society. Robots are everywhere now, but the truly popular ones aren't shining our shoes and mowing our lawns: they're virtually defecating and starving. As Thompson says, "maybe sci-fi doomsayers have got it all wrong. Artificial intelligence won't be dominating us with its superhuman cognition and bloodless logic. It'll be peeing itself and demanding to be taken for a walk."

I wonder how this aspect of our nature can be incorporated into gaming? An aspect of our desire to preen avatars already exists in the daily drugery of building up a character's stats. Perhaps allowing certain features to degrade from disuse would further draw in the users? I wouldn't advocate stat changes, that would just piss people of. More cosmetic changes may be fun. Stop playing World of Warcraft for a week and your warrior could appear thin, with dulled armor. Actually, this could work for anything. What if ATMs had built in avatars that respond to your banking management. Mr. Fluffy is so sad that you haven't made a Bank of America withdrawal lately. Suckers would likely make extra withdrawals just to feel approved of.


Heteractis is the new Coleoptera

Did you know that sea anenomes are similar to ants? I sure didn't. Yet it seems that certain anenome types live in social systems with at least three "rankings" and a communication system based on stingy parts. What does this all mean? I don't know. I've been out of commentary for a while.


Same Difference

Derek Kirk Kim can develop a fine story. I wanted to share Same Difference, because I find it to be real, touching, and just downright enjoyable. It is technically a webcomic, though the conventions he chooses are strictly from the paper-printed bag of tricks. Anyway, I enjoyed it.


I Can Read You...

There are two types of books I enjoy. First, the book of big ideas. Second the book of human experience. If both are mixed, even better.
From the book of human experience comes a novel product of a Swedish library. The Living Library project will let you borrow a person for 45 minutes. I would like to check out a Japanese Salariman and talk over sake. I suppose one can't find many of that type in Sweden.