Saturday, May 07, 2005

"Yes, as I recall, in the very first Legend of Zelda, in the very opening title screen, we used to use the classical music of [Ravel's] 'Bolero,' because that tempo was perfectly matched with the speed of the opening screen rolling. But I remember it was just before, when we really had to complete the final ROM for reproduction, they told me that unfortunately the copyright of that music hadn't expired yet, so I had to compose a completely new piece of music that night. I recall that I did it within one day. You know, 'da-da-da-da' -- that was done in just one day." -- Koji Kondo
From ToastyFrog

Amazing how such pressure can inspire one of the greatest video game themes of all time.
Speaking of videogame music, I happen to be the only person I know who owns the entire soundtrack to "Final Fantasy VII," which in my opinion is absolutely brilliant. The composer, Nobuo Uematsu, has a knack for kicking out gem after spooky melancholic gem. I recall he did some tracks with a vocalist and a small instrumental ensemble, and they were also fantastic.
Another one of my favourite videogame soundtracks was for a game called Wild Arms (also an RPG) which was by Michiko Naruke. It was basically a huge homage/rip-off of Ennio Morricone, but it was SO SO GOOD. It takes some kind of genius to figure out how PERFECT a Morricone score works in a video game (especially a weird sci-fi/western hybrid). Unfortunately the CD version of this soundtrack was incomplete and left off many of the best tracks.
Lately, playing newer videogames, I have been upset that many have been exploiting the ability to license a bunch of shitty rock songs and just throw them in, on shuffle. Very dissapointing. However some games like Silent Hill 3 take sound design to fantastic lengths. It does seem that the golden age of RPG music might be over, though. I hope I'm wrong.
A few months ago I went to a concert of the Hidden Cameras, and one of the opening bands were some local teenagers called "The All-Purpose Voltage Heroes," who were basically two keyboards, a singer, and a really good drummer. In between funny, overwrought punk songs, they squeezed in an absolutely amazing cover of the theme from "Mike Tyson's Punchout!" for which the vocalist equipped himself with a key-tar. It was unbelievable!
posted by Barrie , 8:11 AM Þ 

Boing Boing: FAQ: How Real ID Act will affect you
Over at, Declan McCullagh files this FAQ about the Real ID act, which passed in the House yesterday.

What's all the fuss with the Real ID Act about?
President Bush is expected to sign an $82 billion military spending bill soon that will, in part, create electronically readable federal ID cards for Americans. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the package--which includes the Real ID Act--on Thursday.

What does that mean for me?
If you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service starting three years from now. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.
posted by Barrie , 7:26 AM Þ 
Friday, May 06, 2005

Some thoughts on the MIT Time Travellers Convention:

If Time Travellers FAIL to attend, it means possibly that:
  1. News of the convention did not survive into the era of Time Travel.
  2. News did survive into the era of Time Travel, but no one wants to attend.
  3. Time Travel was/is never invented.
  4. Time Travel is 'not possible'.
  5. Time Travellers attend, but in timelines other than ours.
  6. Time Travellers attend but no one knows it.
  7. Your suggestion here.
posted by Irdial , 11:17 PM Þ 

C.S. Nott's books on his time with Gurdjieff are indeed some of the best I've read out of the journals
written by pupils and I've read quite a few of what have been published - he in fact wrote two:
'Teachings of Gurdjieff - The Journal of a Pupil' and 'Further Teachings of Gurdjieff - Journey Through
This World'. Also recommended in my humble opinion is J.G. Bennett's 'Witness' (which is really great
for all the other things he'd done too, not just for the G.I.G. sections) and 'The Unknowable Gurdjieff'
by Margaret Anderson. Also recommended by J.G. Bennett is 'Gurdjieff: Making a New World', which is
a much broader survey of Mr. G., not just memoir based.


posted by THESE , 10:21 PM Þ 

will make your mouth water"

oh geez. i'm all bashful now.

still snow?

Spring! Skiing! until June 5, and all year round on the glacier, if you are truly hardcore. I have hung up my skis till next year, even though my knee is much better.

Kinky Boots?!
that's top secret information!
posted by mary13 , 5:35 PM Þ 

This is a frustratingly fun logic game:

Everybody has to cross the river, but there are rules:
1. Only 2 people on the raft at a time.
2. The father can not stay with any of the daughters without their mother's presence (or he will beat them).
3. The mother can not stay with any of the sons without their father's presence (or she will beat them).
4. The thief (striped shirt) can not stay with any family member if the Policeman is not there.
5. Only the Father, the Mother and the Policeman know how to operate the raft.
6. To start click on the big blue circle on the right.
7. To move the people click on them. To move the raft click on the handle.
posted by Josh Carr , 2:44 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 2:01 PM Þ 

Ahhhh. What a strange last few weeks. As you may or may not know, I tore the medial collateral ligament in my right knee, and was ordered to rest for 3 weeks to let it heal.


theres still snow there?!

no yoga (terrible),

time to bone up on your CSS (sorry, couldnt resist)

and limited use of my lovely tall heeled boots (we did not listen to this one).

WTF - Kinky Boots?!

how often do we willingly slow down and take care?

once a week, whenever possible. Yes, thats what I mean.

And now...

The windows either side of the sign are our living room and dining room. I'm in bed one floor above that, medieval timbers bridging the room. It's cosy.

And we know where to 'get you'!!!

Am now watching BBC election night coverage streaming on one side of my screen as I write this. So funny!

I stayed up to watch the acceptance of Galloway. He, Dennis Skinner and Arthur Skargil are some of the best speakers ever.

What a disaster, but a disaster of the Tories own making. When you have as your leader, an unctuous monster, who would, by his own admission, break the law and invade another country only because he thinks "he is right and you can dissagree if you want to", knowing in hindsight that all the reasons for going to war were completely fradulent, well, at least Bliar...honestly, that admission on television was the nail in the Tory vampire heart.

What a total and utter moron.

Only one set of labour supporters voted properly, but only because they were not given the candidate they wanted, not because their party is filled with liars murderers and cheats. Their candidate spluttered and whined about thier integrity and how they were not shown any respect - wtf? Every other idiot in the traditional safe labour seats - what about their integrity and the lack of respect shown to them by their liar leader? These people are so thick it beggars belief.

Now the UK has a government put in power by "the smallest percentage of the electorate since Britainn became a democracy". No one (with a brain and any self respect) can claim that this government has any moral authority to tell anyone to do anything.

But what elese did you expect? Actually, we all expected a rout like they had in Spain. But then, the sun shines over there....
posted by Irdial , 1:37 PM Þ 

Mess, thanks! I'll check it out.

What is wrong with UK politics?

Lib Dems: 22.5% of vote, 9.1% of seats in Commons
Conservative: 33.2% of vote, 30.2% of seats in Commons
Labour: 36.3% of vote, 54.7% of seats in Commons

Guess who draws the constituency boundaries?
Guess who wants proportional representation?

36.3% of a 61% turnout means just over 20% of the population of voting age voted for Labour.

Accounting for juveniles, prisoners and such, perhaps 1 in 8 people voted for a party which now has a 65-seat majority.

There is no democracy.
posted by Alun , 9:50 AM Þ 

Alun: I was in York this week, and bought a couple of Blyths here. Still lots of Zen there for the taking, though, and C.S. Nott's fantastic Gurdjieff memoirs (for £3.50, IIRC), which I recommend wholeheartedly.

On the 22nd of December 2004, Kyle Van Horn taped a disposable camera to a piece of black foamcore and inscribed upon it the following message: "ATTENTION POSTAL WORKERS! Please help us with our project. As this camera travels across the country we want photos of all whom it encounters. Please take a photo before you pass it along. Thank you!" And so they did...

I can't remember if this has ever been posted on Blogdial. It's a great site, anyway. Thought-provoking and wanderlust-inspiring.

posted by Mess Noone , 9:31 AM Þ 
Thursday, May 05, 2005

I just listened to a news broadcast with some exit polls just now. All I have to say is


More accurately, what the hell are you NOT doing? AARGH.
posted by Barrie , 10:44 PM Þ 

Well, here I am, alone in York. (Sarah arrives in... 38 hours)

Our older Hästens bed didn't make it up the narrow stairs (it's a 160cm wide solid one piece) so it's in storage. But everything else seems OK, though the hifi and vinyl is still boxed.
Actually, most stuff is still boxed.

Hästens beds are the best in the world! Eco-friendly, allergy-friendly... no latex and all natural... and sooooooooooo comfortable. And if I'm going to spend nearly a third of my life in one place, it had better well be bloody comfortable!

Anyway, here I am.
In the old gatehouse of Merchant Adventurers Hall.

The windows either side of the sign are our living room and dining room. I'm in bed one floor above that, medieval timbers bridging the room. It's cosy.

I'm really tired after all the moving and stress and physical effort on my poor unfit body packing and unpacking.

Been catching up on some sites.

Mary13 has been out and about having fun as usual! Watch out... Mary13 will make your mouth water.

Subsytence has released volume 5. So far I like the 'Office Hours' images. New site design.... my jury is out from a functional point of view. In a weird kind of way, the content of this issue comes across as verging on feeling commercial, yet I have no reason why I get that feeling. Yet. I could be wrong. I'm very tired indeed.

Have been reading about using two-bath film developers and have good intentions.... they're really simple but I'm yet to convince myself that it's what I need at the moment. When I finally get a 5x4 or 10x8 camera, however...

Been checking out restaurants in York, and Sarah and I will be going to Vanilla Black, a vegetarian restaurant, to celebrate moving here.

Am now watching BBC election night coverage streaming on one side of my screen as I write this. So funny! Jon Snow has more fancy graphics than ever before and Jeremy Paxman is horizontally relaxed. Dimblebore has apparently turned into a short-sighted teddy bear with white hair. Mr PotatoHead, editor of Private Eye, is on form.

Unfortunately, it seems that Blair will win and the tories are doing better than expected. But what about the LibDems?

Of about 10 people I asked if they were going to vote, our house movers and some people here, NONE of them had! Not a one!

I voted by postal vote. This was THRUST upon me in Hackney, without consultation. But wherever you vote, your ballot has a unique ID number on it linking it to YOU. So we have a secret ballot, but NOT an anonymous one. I would wager that every vote for the BNP, for the Communists and weirdos is whisked away and every secret "extremist" voter's name added to the secret government list.

Now Boris Johnson is prattling on. He's funny!

Sleep tight!
posted by Alun , 10:32 PM Þ 

! .
/_\ /-o-\ B L A C K D O G T O W E R S
(o..) | *
+ |:| /^\ /~\ 24 Hours
! |:|/\ _| |____|:|
/^\ / O |/...\ /_-_\ 300/1200/2400/9600/14400
|@ \_| @ /:::::|/|- : -|
| | | /~ |/| _ | +44-(0)81-983-3472
|____|/~ @ /~\ |/|_(_)_|

THIS Archive has been tested, scanned, and found pure...

posted by Irdial , 5:22 PM Þ 

Hmmm two bombs go off in NEW YORK on polling day in the UK.

'A good friend of me' pointed out that, "this is not in the style of OBL - two litle knocks at the door".

Plus there was the report of the white powder at Heathrow yesterday....rather pathetic intelligence staged nonsense to try and frighten the electorate. If the UK were populated with awake people like Spain, Bliar would be out, and these small theatrical reminders would only hasten the axe falling.
posted by Irdial , 10:46 AM Þ 

Texas targets 'sexy cheerleading'
Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders
Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are known for their skimpy outfits
Legislators in the US state of Texas have voted to ban "sexually suggestive" cheerleading in schools.

The bill - which requires approval by the state Senate - would allow authorities to police routines deemed vulgar and force schools to stop them.

Texas is famous for its Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, who perform in high boots and low-cut tops.

Some lawmakers have expressed outrage at similarly suggestive performances at local schools across the state.

"Some of them are just downright vulgar, something you would see at an adult club or something," Joe Deshotel, a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, told AFP news agency. [...]

Ah yes, the Taliban consults to the Texas legislature so that they can clean up their act.

After the Department of Homeland Security will come the Department of National Virtue...and why not?

posted by Irdial , 10:23 AM Þ 

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Boy: Do not try and bend democracy. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no democracy.
Neo: There is no democracy?
Boy: Then you'll see that it is not the democracy that bends, it is only yourself.
posted by Alun , 10:19 AM Þ 

One podcast I do like to listen to is the one offered by Brainwashed, which I'm sure most Blodialians have heard of. It's a varied mix of "avant" sounds that is always at least interesting.
I do think podcasts are a great idea, as long as Mr. Big Lawsuit doesn't come barreling down the alleyway. Not like anyone cares about him anyways.
Podcast give the average person, or a small organization, the ability to easily produce a compilation or documentary or any sort of broadcast that is non-time-specific. One can choose to listen or not listen. Difficulties publicizing the broadcast may however hurt the podcaster. Not everything is free.
posted by Barrie , 8:33 AM Þ 

I had one of the original ipods in 2002 with the rotating front, I sold it in 2003 to a friend when the screen on my G3 Powerbook cracked and broke. I am seeing more mentioning of podcasts on internet surfs lately. At first, I ignored the word entirely because of its annoying nature, (I did not trust the aspect of the word which relied on 'one "brand" only' of portable music devices, but now come to think of it, I call all portable tape players Walkmans, so...) Perhaps I was wrong about these podcasts?

I just listened to my first podcast; it was about libraries, produced by a librarian at a librarian blog. It amounted to nothing more then an mp3 file of a guy talking as though he was on the radio. I am curious to find out if any blogdialians are listening to podcasts? Perhaps there are some gem feeds out there with interesting sounds? (or is it all radio wannabe bore, or worse just rehashed radio dribble?) What can a podcast do that a regular mp3 cannot?

It's also odd, because I began my day reading about the earliest uses of telephone technology including the work of Tivadar Puskas, a bloke who got conceptual with Thomas Edison and traveled to Europe to experiment with "central telephone exchange" leading to the development of telephone newspapers, such as Telephon Hirmondo in Budapest (which lasted from 1880-1930,) and also telephone concerts in 1880's Paris, where telephones were used to broadcast performances of the Parisian Opera on a system called the Theatrephon.

...I will spare you from my assertions of the non-advancement of man in the area of sound dissemination in the last 100 years, and also from a criticism of the capitalist marketplace which breeds in, and promotes a certain stagnation of ideas, but I still question: are podcasts, as the aggregation of time-shifted audio content through networked computers a good or bad thing?
posted by telle goode , 4:28 AM Þ 
Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Surfing around from this page I managed to find this page which has many soundtracks of old SNES/Famicom games.

I then found this page which lists the names of the great unknown legends of 20th century music, whose sounds have been heard by hundreds of millions of people billions of times over. The greate composers from Konami, Natsume and Nintendo are all there. Astonishing.

The purple page has a great player for OS-X through which you can play the actual sound files from these games. I reccomend the endlessly fascinating Hansei Zarujirou Kun no Daibouken by by Kyohei Sada, Inata, Ootera and Toyoshima. One of my favourite games with one of my favourite game soundtracks.

Decades later and the names of these geniuses are still relatively unknown; they are probably very well known in Japan....Who knows? Who lives? Who dies?

One thing I have always found fascinating about game music is the way that it can loop for hours without becoming tiresome. Is there some rule of thumb that these composers have discovered that allows them to make these masterpieces endlessly loop without causing the player / listener discomfort? How many of you used to even think about muting the music on a game that you played in the 90's? How many games had an option to even do this? For certain, titles like Mariokart didnt have this option, and that is a perfect game, meaning that the developers were sure that the players would fall in love with the music and be able to listen to it for hundreds of hours without ever tiring of it. A great example of this, and another must listen is Ganbare Goemon by Kazuhiko Uehara and Harumi Ueko. Another priceless game with beautiful, unforgettable music....listen in particular to "A Game of Chance"....The Generation That Had It All And Threw It All Away....
posted by Irdial , 11:37 PM Þ 

Your Birthdate: March 29

Your birthday on the 29th adds a tone of idealism to your nature.

You are imaginative and creative, but rather uncomfortable in the business world.

You are very aware and sensitive, with outstanding intuitive skills and analytical abilities.

The 29 reduces to 11, one of the master numbers which often produces much nervous tension.

This is the birthday of the dreamer rather than the doer.

You do, however, work very well with people.

are all people born on the 29th of any month exactly the same in attributes then?


posted by THESE , 1:49 AM Þ 
Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Be comfortable around firearms. Learn to shoot and clean a gun

I have a Zombie Survival Handbook which has the same advice.
posted by alex_tea , 10:05 PM Þ 

Tough my invitation is in Danish, I cant help but inviting you to my next techno-party with a chillout tomorrow night. Cheers!

posted by Alison , 8:08 PM Þ 
posted by Alison , 8:06 PM Þ 

Your Birthdate: May 11

Your birth on the 11th day of the month makes you something of a dreamer and an idealist.

You work well with people because you know how to use persuasion rather than force.

There is a strong spiritual side to your nature, and you may have intuitive qualities inherent in your make up, too.

You are very aware and sensitive, though often temperamental.

Although you have a good mind and you are very analytical, you may not be comfortable in the business world.

You are definitely creative and this influence tends to make you more of a dreamer than a doer.

No, not quite true...I do my dreams...

You scored as Hedonism. Your life is guided by the principles of Hedonism: You believe that pleasure is a great, or the greatest, good; and you try to enjoy life’s pleasures as much as you can.

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!”

More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...









Strong Egoism


Justice (Fairness)






Divine Command


What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

posted by Alison , 7:16 PM Þ 

Quick nuggets of wisdom from John Titor:


-Hats are more common in the future and flashy colors are less common.
-We do not spend nearly the amount of time on our hair as people do now. Women like to wear their hair longer and men have it much shorter.
-I suppose an average day in 2036 is like an average day on the farm.


-Be comfortable around firearms. Learn to shoot and clean a gun.
-Eat less.


-Why do people wear shorts to church?
-I have noticed that no one in this time dresses for occasions even when they have the clothes.

posted by telle goode , 7:06 PM Þ 

the west is a dream world
I agree. That story set my mind ablaze yesterday, It was all I could think about on the bus, if anything it would could, in the right hands, make an amazing film, something up there with 2001, THX1138 or Robocop or Terminator without the testosterone schtick.
posted by alex_tea , 6:54 PM Þ 

I threw it all away - Dylan

I have been thinking about the John Titor story - wether it is true or not is irrelevant; what makes it so powerful is its ideas about desstiny, possible futures and how much we take for granted.

Those that have met and know me know that I think the west is a dream world (and my reasons for thinking this), where anything is possible if you have the imagination to pull it off. It is this dream world that is being threatened...that is in crisis...and that is what came across most strongly for me in the story.
posted by Irdial , 3:04 PM Þ 

mine is dead on:

Your Birthdate: May 29

Your birthday on the 29th adds a tone of idealism to your nature.

You are imaginative and creative, but rather uncomfortable in the business world.

You are very aware and sensitive, with outstanding intuitive skills and analytical abilities.

The 29 reduces to 11, one of the master numbers which often produces much nervous tension.

This is the birthday of the dreamer rather than the doer.

You do, however, work very well with people.
posted by telle goode , 2:51 PM Þ 

The British, while no strangers to sophisticated political tactics, are drawing on lessons the American learned through two of the most closely fought presidential elections in history - the use of computerized models and consumer data to identify supporters.

Labor Party advisers have purchased sophisticated banks of data on consumer behavior - from what newspapers people read to how many cars they drive - to identify prospective supporters, precisely the tactic that President Bush's campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, used so effectively last year.

Party officials cautioned against overstating the influence and presence of Americans, reflecting a sensitivity toward any suggestion of American paternalism or political superiority.


Your Birthdate: January 1

Your birthday suggests that are executive ability and leadership qualities in your makeup.

A birthday on day 1 of any month gives a measure of will power and self-confidence, and very often a rather original approach.

This 1 energy may diminish your ability and desire to handle details, preferring instead to paint with a broad brush.

You may be sensitive, but your feelings stay rather repressed.

mmmm.... not quite.
posted by chriszanf , 12:45 PM Þ 

Your Birthdate: December 28
Your birth on the 28th day of the month (1 energy) adds a tone of independence and extra energy to your Life Path.

The number 1 energy suggest more executive ability and leadership qualities than you path may have indicated.

A birthday on the 28th of any month gives greater will power and self-confidence, and very often a rather original approach.

Unlike much of the other 1 energy, this birthday is one that endow with the ability to start a job and continue on until it is finished.

You may prefer to use the broad brush, but you can handle details as well.

You are sensitive, but your feeling stay somewhat repressed.

You have a compelling manner that can be dominating in many situations.
posted by alex_tea , 11:45 AM Þ 
Monday, May 02, 2005

Ace weekend just had in Dorset.

Alun, good luck oop north. Will you come back if we ever get the London Blogdial Meet arranged?

Hey, I just noticed that Blogger is checking HTML now - handy, as I'd made a mistake!
posted by captain davros , 10:59 PM Þ 

Perhaps we'll see a John Titor here.

The Time Traveler Convention
May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)
East Campus Courtyard, MIT
42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W
(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

What is it?

Technically, you would only need one time traveler convention. Time travelers from all eras could meet at a specific place at a specific time, and they could make as many repeat visits as they wanted. We are hosting the first and only Time Traveler Convention at MIT in one week, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Why do you need my help?

We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull them.

Great idea, I'd love to help! What should I do?

Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve them into a clay tablet! If you write for a newspaper, insert a few details about the convention! Tell your friends, so that word of the convention will be preserved in our oral history! A note: Time travel is a hard problem, and it may not be invented until long after MIT has faded into oblivion. Thus, we ask that you include the latitude/longitude information when you publicize the convention.

You can also make an absolute commitment to publicize the convention afterwards. In that case, bring a time capsule or whatever it may be to the party, and then bury it afterwards.

Can't the time travelers just hear about it from the attendees, and travel back in time to attend?

Yes, they can! In fact, we think this will happen, and the small number of adventurous time travelers who do attend will go back to their "home times" and tell all their friends to come, causing the convention to become a Woodstock-like event that defines humanity forever.

Unfortunately, we of the present (2005) don't have time travel, and so we only have one chance at observing the convention. If the time travelers don't leave us their secrets, we won't be able to go back in time and see our convention in all its glory unless it is publicized in advance.

Unrelated: A year ago I was having some fun in England. Right now I'm stuck in Alberta, and sick as hell too. What a year!
posted by Barrie , 7:23 PM Þ 

You go in the cage.
Cage goes in the water.
Sharks in the water....

Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies, farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain; For we've received orders for to sail for old England, but we hope in a short time to see you again.
posted by Irdial , 7:00 PM Þ 

tonight is our last night in hackney
just finished packing

see you in york...
posted by Alun , 6:36 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 5:55 PM Þ 
Sunday, May 01, 2005

I wonder if there are any secret military bases in the UK?

I was watching some Mark Thomas Comedy Product only the other day and it was about the secret map of Britan, covering this very subject. There was music on it from Anthony and excerpts from The Conet Project.

Its available @ (you need to create account)
posted by chriszanf , 1:13 AM Þ 

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