Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Painted This for You Too (Andrew helped)

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I Painted This For You

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flavor Tripping and the Miracle Fruit

Yesterday, tablets made from freeze-dried extract of Miracle Fruit arrived in the mail. The fruit is native to west Africa and contains an active glycoprotein called --I kid you not-- miraculin, which binds with your taste buds and makes sour foods taste sweet.

Last night, I hosted a small "Flavor Tripping" party with my family. After mashing the tablets around in our mouths for about 30 seconds, we tried an arrangement of citrus fruits and acidic treats. And it works! The effect was not quite as pronounced as I had hoped, but it did last for about 45 minutes and there certainly was a discernible difference.

Lemon wedges tasted like delicious lemon drops and lemon water like lemonade. Whipped cream tasted like ice cream. Raw strawberries tasted like they were dipped in sugar. And Guinness tasted like a chocolate shake!

It was a fun and unique experience. I look forward to trying it again. And although flavor tripping is something of an expensive habit, one box of tablets contains 20 servings. The benefits for sugar addicts like myself and patients suffering from diabetes are pretty obvious, so I'd expect to see miracle fruit becoming more available. There are, however, rumors circulating that the big sugar companies have been quietly suppressing the introduction of the plant to western markets. So get it while you still can!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Disney the Despot

So, apparently, "Uncle Walt" Disney was something of a racist, antisemitic, paranoid douchebag and hack. Well don't that just beat all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Derren Brown Portraits

I've written before about the amazing mentalist Derren Brown, but it seems the man has some other, equally impressive talents. My eyes just glue to his stylized portraits of celebrities. He's releasing a book soon with copies of his work and I'm tempted to make a purchase. Here are a few of my favorites (can you name them?):

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Music Video -- My Dear Princess

I tried a couple different game intros, but my music seemed to line up best with the opening to Final Fantasy VIII.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gandalf Promises

Big things for Nintendo at this year's E3 conference? I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Top 20 Games of All Time

With E3 2009 on the horizon, there's no better time to wax nostalgic about some of the best game titles ever to hit the shelves. And hey, I might even score a free trip to the conference, so let's proceed with the countdown!

20. Halo (XBOX)
19. Metroid Prime (GC)
18. Tetris (GB)
17. Super Mario Kart (SNES)
16. Doom (PC)
15. Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
14. Half-Life (PC)
13. Mike Tyson's Punch Out! (NES)
12. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (GEN)
11. Resident Evil 4 (GC)
10. Goldeneye (N64)
9. Super Metroid (SNES)
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
7. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (GC)
6. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

5. The Neverhood (PC) -- This little-known claymation spin on the point-and-click adventure genre is bursting at the seams with witty humor and mind-bending puzzles. Artist Doug TenNapel, best known for his work on Earthworm Jim, brings the quirky story of Klayman to life as you uncover clues from your past in order to save your home from the evil usurper Klogg. Although The Neverhood spawned the platformer sequel Skullmonkeys on the Playstation, the original PC adventure is the better of the two. If you happen upon a copy of this rare game, be sure to pick it up!

4. Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow (GB) -- Also known as "kiddie-crack," the original Gameboy games sparked the international pocket monster phenomenon that continues to line Nintendo's pockets to this day –-and for good reason. This turn-based RPG follows the player's rise to fame as he collects, trains, and battles his pokemon. Featuring charming graphics, catchy tunes, addicting gameplay and a classic multiplayer mode, Pokemon deserves a spot on any "Best of" list.

3. Super Mario 64 (N64) -- The game that proved analog control, this 3D romp collecting stars in the Mushroom Kingdom is an impressive showcase of Nintendo innovation and Shigeru Miyamoto's imagination. When Super Mario 64 launched alongside the Nintendo 64, it laid the foundations for what a successful reimagining of a franchise could be and set the gold standard for 3D platformers. While the once impressive graphics are certainly showing their age, the core gameplay remains as whimsical and satisfying as ever.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) -- Where Super Mario 64 innovated, the Ocarina of Time refined. This epic installment of the Legend of Zelda franchise conjured breathtaking visuals, sprawling worlds, memorable music, a time traveling plotline, and solid action adventure gameplay. What's more, the game introduced a dynamic day and night system that changed as you played as well as a lock-on targeting system that continues to be used in the series. Earning perfect scores almost across the board, Ocarina of Time is considered by many to be the greatest game of all time.

1. Super Mario Bros. (NES) -- The game that revitalized the industry after it nearly crashed and introduced Nintendo's mustachioed mascot to living rooms across the globe is not the greatest game of all time because of its storied history alone, but it also remains such a blast to play! Thanks to clever level design and tight play control, it doesn't matter if you're a kid discovering Mario for the first time or a pro making a speed run; there's nothing more gratifying than stomping goombas and throwing Bowser's butt into that final lava pit!


Please visit my Gamespot blog and boost my traffic so I have a chance of winning a trip to E3 2009! While you're at it, why not try the contest yourself?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Music Video -- Warrior Quest

Finally got around to making a youtube video for this song. Enjoy.

New Song -- My Dear Princess

Written in the style of an RPG love theme. What do you think?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Family Guy, Before Family Guy

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's Opera, Tolkien?

I managed to score a (free) ticket to tonight's opening performance of Wagner's Das Rheingold, the first of four operas that make up Der Ring des Nibelungen, which is being performed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at Clowes Memorial Hall. I'm extremely excited!

The storyline sounds suspiciously familiar to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Here are a few snippets:

"The Rhinemaidens tell Alberich about the Rhinegold, which their father has ordered them to guard: it can be made into a magic Ring which will let its bearer rule the world, but only by someone who first renounces love. They think they have nothing to fear from the lustful dwarf, but Alberich, embittered by their mockery, curses love, seizes the gold and returns to the depths, as the Rhinemaidens flee in despair."

"In Nibelheim, Alberich has enslaved the rest of the Nibelung dwarves. He has forced his brother Mime, the most skillful smith, to create a magic helmet, the Tarnhelm. Alberich demonstrates the Tarnhelm's power by making himself invisible, the better to torment his subjects."

"Wotan seizes it from his finger and puts it on his own. Alberich is crushed by his loss, and before he leaves he lays a curse on the ring: until it returns to him, whoever does not possess it will desire it, and whoever possesses it will suffer unhappiness and death."

Actually, this opera makes a good backstory to the Lord of the Rings. The wiki entry notes that Wagner and Tolkien draw from the same mythological source material. However, Tolkien reportedly denied Wagner's work as an inspiration, claiming, "Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases."

Also from the wiki: "Several researchers have another position, stating that both the authors, indeed, used the same source materials but that Tolkien was, in fact, indebted to some of the original developments, insights and artistic uses made upon those sources that first appeared in Wagner such as the concept of the ring giving to its owner the mastery of the world and its corrupting influence upon minds and wills of those that try to possess it."

So I'd say Tolkien comes off as kind of a dick.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see Gooby! Seriously, I've watched this trailer like 10 times already. Looks like that other movie about a boy who befriends a monster may have some serious competition.

lol, oh Gooby.

Well, You Can't Argue with Science

They've got numbers and everything! lol

How Does Prayer Work? A Spiritual Perspective

Ur doin it wrong...

...there ya go!

Monday, May 11, 2009

That's A Wrap!

Shooting on "AMANDA" has finally come to a close. It was a great 4 weeks, filled with emotional highs and lows. I don't want to talk much about it publicly, but I'll be happy to share stories in person.

I met a lot of great friends too. Even though it wasn't a paid gig, I think the experience was well worth it.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Who Needs Amusement Parks...

...when you have the highway? Yesterday, I took the highway to get to set downtown for the first time. While my heart was palpitating, I realized I had not been that nervous since waiting in line for a roller coaster on my last trip to the amusement park. I'm glad I met the challenge head on, but the experience of increased heart rate, sweat, and shortness of breath is not exactly enjoyable. Thankfully, I feel more comfortable about the whole thing. I'll have to do it again, some time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From the Set of "Amanda" Week 3

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blue Skies -- Ukulele Song of the Week

Or maybe it should be "ukulele song of the whenever I get around to it."

This week's selection is my attempt at "Blue Skies," written by Irving Berlin in 1926.