One of Colin’s and my favorite films of 2012 was The Raid: Redemption. Somehow I failed to notice that a trailer for the sequel, The Raid 2: Berandal, has been around since last year. Looks like it’s going to be intense.
I love the way this trailer is structured, by the way. Builds up to something fierce, yet doesn’t really give away any part of the plot.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who took over the league from David Stern on February 1, had some strong words about this, as reported by Tim Bontemps for the New York Post:
"I have mixed feelings, because I’m enormously proud that the first openly gay player is playing in the NBA," Silver told The Post in a phone interview prior to Sunday’s game. "On the other hand, this is so long overdue that I don’t think this should necessarily be on the list of the greatest accomplishments of the NBA.
"This is an area where no one in sports should be too proud. Sports has led society in so many critical areas … this is one where we fell behind."
Colin: As he would agree, it’s sad that that that attitude is so surprising
Leigh Alexander wrote an excellent piece for Gamasutra on the closing of Bioshock developer Irrational Games, the development of the Bioshock series, the roles and responsibilities of journalism in video games, and the mistreatment of video game developers. I loved this paragraph in particular, although it doesn’t quite work as well out of context
The culture of silence that enshrouds game development allows poor quality of life at best, professional abuses at worst to continue. The good headlines are all some board member guy who checks in once a month ever sees. Silence is what preserves the dichotomy between the guys from the floating paradises Ken Levine imagines and the underclass he often depicted as both dangerously-furious and pitiful.
Ben Cosman on The Wire (formerly The Atlantic Wire):
Amtrak has begun offering “writers’ residencies” to, well, writers – long roundtrip rides aboard Amtrak trains dedicated solely for the purpose of writing.
After New York City-based writer Jessica Gross took the first “test-run” residency, traveling from NYC to Chicago and back, Amtrak confirmed that it is indeed planning to turn the writers’ residencies into an established, long-term program, sending writers on trains throughout its network of routes.
PBS NewsHour had a segment last night with Atlantic Council senior fellow Adrian Karatnycky, who talked exclusively about Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. I’ve heard a lot about the protests and the opposition in the Ukraine, but not a whole lot about what’s been going on politically, so I found this pretty enlightening.
But a bill was already tabled for Mr. Yanukovych’s impeachment. And given the fact that firm majorities and veto-proof majorities have emerged in the Parliament and the elite, including many of Mr. Yanukovych’s former backers, is — is working hand in glove with the opposition suggests that the signal’s being sent that his future is not very secure, even through institutional means.
Karatnycky sees several signs that Yanukovych is going to be ousted in the very near future.
Video game player turned racing driver Jann Mardenborough has been taken on by Red Bull’s driver development programme and will race in the GP3 series this year for Arden.
Mardenborough won the Playstation GT Academy in 2011 - a competition based around the computer game Gran Turismo - and has been working his way through the motorsport ranks ever since. Last season he competed in Formula 3, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and took part in tests in both GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5.
'Ili: What if all video games were like that.
'Ili: Being really good at Call of Duty gets you drafted into the army.
'Ili: Okay never mind
Colin: What would happen if you got really good at Mario?
'Ili: The Koopa War is a hell to be.
Colin: I was thinking more like, do a lot a mushrooms, hang out in sewers.
'Ili: I don't think that's something you need recruits for.
'Ili: btw wanna do shrooms and hang out in a sewer tomorrow
Max Woolf on Twitch Plays Pokémon, a live stream where Pokémon Red is controlled entirely by commands from the stream’s chatbox:
At this point in the stream, the audience hit 30,000 viewers. The increased activity caused an input delay of about 20 seconds from when the Twitch user input the command in chat to when the game recognized the command. This can make navigating menus difficult when an “up” or a “down” command is applied to a menu that isn’t even visible yet.
Additionally, as the number of viewers in a stream increases, the number of trolls increases. And those trolls loved to spam the B button command.
Thanks to these two factors, the channel had failed to teach any Pokemon Cut for over 4 hours. The stream chat became a bloodbath of blame.
📣 ATTENTION EVERYONE ANIMATION BACKGROUNDS IS BACK 📣
For those who have never heard of it, Animation Backgrounds was a blog run by Rob Richards, who spliced together the background art from old cartoons (especially Disney and Warner Bros. stuff). In September 2010, he went on hiatus to deal with some major personal issues, and after more than three years it seemed like it would be permanent. But last month he posted asking if anyone would be interested in him continuing, and a month later he’s returned!
I was reading the Wikipedia article of Nullary Sources Tuesday mainstay Tommy Emmanuel, and I just learned that he and his brother Phil performed the song “Back on Terra Firma” during the closing ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. So, naturally, immediately after reading that I hopped on to the old YouTubes, and I found this video of the performance with an erroneous title card saying it’s from the opening ceremonies.