The Newest Year Yet

So, 2008 is winding down, and it’s been quite the year. Alot of people around this time look to the future and make promises to themselves about changing something or achieving something in their life. That’s all good and well, but I’m thinking of the past. This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I started to think about how I’ve spent New Year’s Eve in the past. Here are the most memorable ones. Not necessarily the most PROUD ones, but certainly… memorable.  😉

One year, I remember vividly, I spent the night playing and beating Super Mario Bros. 3 while eating a whole bag of Doritos. I also remember getting a nosebleed while playing and not noticing until afterward when I saw that my hands, and my Nintendo controller, were covered in dried blood. But I didn’t care. Bowser, or as kids in the late 80’s, early 90’s called him: King Koopa, had been defeated by my hand. Clearly, my blood, sweat, and tears had been poured into the effort, as evidenced by my stained hands. And controller.

Another year, Neil and I spent New Year’s in World of Warcraft. We started the evening checking out the fireworks and revelry in Stormwind’s streets before taking the party to the somewhat quieter Booty Bay whereupon we sat on the highest point we could find in the pirate city before watching the fireworks. After that, we decided to get rip-roaring drunk (virtually), dress up in our tuxes (virtually), and proceed to fight any and every monster between Stranglethorn and Elwynn Forest with our fists (virtually). When back in Elwynn Forest we decided to use our Mechanical Greench pets from Christmas to battle one another, nearly killing each other in the process.

And then last year I saw fit to take an endurance test, of sorts: I watched all three Lord of the Rings movies back to back. But not the theatrical releases, oh my no. No, these were the far-longer-than-reasonable Extended editions. By the end of the last movie, as Frodo and Samwise were about to cast the ring into Mordor, the ball dropped and the new year was reigned in. I must say, watching those movies in a row like that and feeling utterly exhausted, much like those hobbits did, gave the ball drop that much more gravity. I had done it, I had arrived in 2008 and cast the vile ring into the volcano. Or at least, it felt like it.

What about you guys, do you have any strong memories of New Year’s Eve from years past?

Terry Pratchett Knighted

This reminds me that I should actually get around to reading Discworld sometime.

Pratchett, 60, best known for his satirical Discworld fantasy series, becomes a knight, one of the queen’s most important honours, and will now be addressed as a ‘Sir’.

“There are times when phrases such as ‘totally astonished’ just don’t do the job,” he said.  “I am of course delighted and honoured and needless to say, flabbergasted.”

In December 2007 Pratchett announced he had a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and earlier this year he donated $725,000 to research into the disorder.

via The Australian

XBox Live Updates on your BlackBerry

I think it might only be Carl who has a Blackberry AND an Xbox Live account, but I thought this was interesting nonetheless. It’s also available on Windows Mobile and the iPhone (as an app).

Ever found yourself wishing you could get your XBox Live fix on your Blackberry?

Now you can, thanks to the mobile app from Zumobi. In no time at all you can have Xbox 360 news, Xbox Live Marketplace updates, video & audio clips, community updates, and your gamer friends’ status.

via BlackBerryNews

The California Raisins – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

‘Tis the season, and what better way to celebrate than with a festive Monday Music Video! This is from the Claymation Christmas special they had for a year or two in the late 80s. I loved it so much I actually bought it on DVD. Have a merry Christmakwanzannukahdan, everyone!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXzriJ2LDpI]

Weekend Hookup

Hey guys, Cliff tried reaching me last night it seem’s and wants to get together. He mentioned Chris being down too. So yeah, gimme a call. I am good to go anytime tonight or weekend. I will make sure the blackberry is on ring and not vibe so I don’t miss the call.

Wii pole dancing game struggling to find publisher

I think this could be just the thing to put that little-known console, the Wii, on the map. You might not have heard of it, but it’s got spunk!

The company, known for its Carmen Electra-branded poledancing kit — The Electrapole — announced its plans to bring this time-honored tradition to Wii consoles across the nation earlier this year. MTV’s Tracey John is a big fan of female degradation and visits all manner of illicit sex houses frequently, so she caught up with Peekaboo Pole Dancing to see how their game is getting on.

“We have not managed to tie up a deal for this yet but we still remain hopeful,” stated a rep. “We have, however, connected with a company that is manufacturing a peripheral product and we are investigating mutual publishing opportunities. Please feel free to give a shout out to any developers or publishers who want to give this a crack. [The game] just needs someone with a little nerve.”

via Destructoid

8 Truly Strange Christmas Customs

Doesnt like Christmas
Someone who doesn't like Christmas

The holiday called Christmas is an amalgam of many winter holidays from around the world. The name is designated as a celebration of the birth of Jesus, although the date is not recorded in the Bible, and people at that time did not place particular important on birth dates. Scientists say the actual date was June 17th, 2BC because of the appearance of the star that beckoned the Magi. December 25th was set as the date for Christmas in the 4th century by Pope Julius I as an attempt to Christianize midwinter pagan holidays such as Solstice and Saturnalia. Customs such as bringing evergreens inside, eating fat-laden foods, and hanging lights are universal responses to the cold, dark winter season. Some of the stranger Christmas traditions are remnants of those older pagan holidays, and some have been changed over the centuries until their origins are hard to discern. Others were just made up to boost business!

Read the rest at mental_floss

New Technology Could Display Your Dreams on Screen

A research team at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Japan has successfully displayed simple images produced in the human brain on a computer screen. Dream recorder anyone? In a nutshell, the device converts electrical signals sent to the visual cortex into images that can be viewed on a computer screen. In their experiment, they showed test subjects the six letters in the word neuron and succeeded in reconstructing the word on screen by measuring their brain activity. As the technology progresses, it could be possible to “see” what people are thinking, what they dream about and record it for posterity.

Personally, I’d be curious to see my own dreams, if they could be recorded (I don’t often remember my dreams unless they’re really significant or vivid); but the concept of others watching/recording thoughts or dreams is kind of creepy.

via Gizmodo

William Gibson’s AGRIPPA Recovered and Revealed

While the text of William Gibson’s elusive electronic poem AGRIPPA is widely posted around the Web, it has not been seen in its original incarnation — custom-built software designed to scroll the poem through a single play before encrypting each line with an RSA algorithm — since 1992. Today is the 16th anniversary, to the day, of the poem’s initial release. A team of scholars at the University of Maryland and UC Santa Barbara used forensic computing to restore the code from an original diskette loaned by a collector and have placed video of the complete ‘run,’ as well as never-before-seen footage from the night of AGRIPPA’s public debut in 1992, up on a Web site called the Agrippa Files. There’s also a detailed essay documenting the forensic process, plus a mess of stills, screenshots, and a copy of the disk image itself.

via Slashdot

Black hole confirmed in Milky Way

I’m immediately reminded of that line from Red Dwarf:

Well, the thing about a black hole – its main distinguishing feature – is it’s black. And the thing about space, the colour of space, your basic space colour, is black. So how are you supposed to see them?

But, more to the point, this from the article:

There is a giant black hole at the centre of our galaxy, a 16-year study by German astronomers has confirmed.

They tracked the movement of 28 stars circling the centre of the Milky Way, using two telescopes in Chile.

The black hole, said to be 27,000 light years from Earth, is four million times bigger than the Sun, according to the paper in The Astrophysical Journal.

Black holes are objects whose gravity is so great that nothing – including light – can escape them.

According to Dr Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the results suggest that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit.

via BBC NEWS

WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”

Much better than me trying to describe what’s new in the new WordPress, I figured I’d just nick their demo video. It’s different enough that it’s worth a look. Heck, I’m even using the “Press This” part of it to make this post! Hopefully stuff like this will make it easier to keep the blog up to date. 🙂

via WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”

How are things?

Hey guys, how are things going?

Things are not too bad over here. Been a very busy week all around. Had Johns engagement party last saturday which went really well followed by the company corporate christmas party. Was very cool and won an HBC gift certificate which got me Assasins Creed and Ninja Gaiden Sigma for PS3. Assassins Creed is very cool however it is also very repetitive.

My boss came down this past wednesday and thursday. It was a great experience as I got to spend a lot of time with him and pop ideas back and forth. So I got some projects lined up which are green lit which is always good and from what I understand a promotion to team lead in Q1 of 2009. This would mean a nice salary increase of 10-15k. Niiice! It also means I can do the position here which is a relief. Originally it was under the assumption that if I were up for such a position that I would be offered to relocate and thats just an arguement waiting to happen as I lean more towards it. But my boss specifically said he asked around and there was no reason a team lead couldn’t be based in Montréal. I more or less do the position now anyways minus the title and pay.  So thats incredibly good news.

It seem’s lately a lot of focus is career. I am kind of happy as while I liked what I was doing here it was sans recognition. But people have been paying attention and the more I am communicating with the senior level the more feedback I get that I have been on the radar for awhile now. At the christmas party I had a VP ask me my name, I introduced myself and there was a pause and a “I’ve heard really good things about you”. This was before the drinks started really flowing so it seem’s totally plausible lol

And oh god the hangover. I learned some really good and quick tips for hangover recover after 3 hours of sleep and having to go somewhere an hour later. Hydration and some sugar are your friends for these moments. Aside from that I am geared for the holidays. Just trying to get the house in order.

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online Beta

20,000 keys up for grabs, there’s alot of Persona fans out there, so act fast if you want to give it a shot. I’m a beta whore, so I’m going to try it. 😉

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online is the MMO version of Atlus’ acclaimed and slightly twisted RPG series, which covers a wide variety of titles from Devil Summoner to Nocturne to the Persona series, characterized by stylish artwork and the ability to summon and breed demons.

FileFront contacted me to let me know they have 20,000 keys up for grabs here.

via Kotaku

Desert Bus for Hope 2

Ever heard of the infamous Desert Bus? Probably, not, and I don’t blame you. It’s not something any gamer would inflict upon themselves willingly. Well, unless they were to do so for charity. You see, Desert Bus is a “game” in which you drive a bus from Tuscon to Vegas in real time at 45mph. Real time. That’s 8 hours of driving a bus in a videogame. Here’s the kicker, you can’t pause and the bus lists to the right slightly so that if you were to just let the game sit, the bus would actually veer off the road and you’d lose.

So a bunch of guys are going to try to beat it. For charity. There’s apparently a live feed of them as they play the game, but I haven’t been able to get it to load. Regardless, as of this post they’ve raised close to $25,000 for charity. That’s alot of money for a good cause.

Desert Bus for Hope 2