XBox 360

I paid a friend $100 to stand in line 12 hours for me and got it last night at midnight. It’s quite great and the new XBox Live implementation is really slick.

I got Madden, CoD2, Condemned, PGR3, and Perfect Dark Zero… I don’t know why – I already had a huge backlog of games and books… but, you know.

JK Rowling Makes Bad Games

I saw the recent Harry Potter and I was once again reminded of what a horrible game designer she is.

I already had a huge problem with Quiddich or whatever it is called. All I know about it is from the movies. I think it is a stupid game because it has orthogonal goals. In one half of the game, it is a semi-interesting team-on-team basketball-like game. It’s a pretty impractical game for kids to play, however, since getting a broomstick handle hitting you in the chest at a 500 MPH differential is surely dangerous. And because of the back-and-forth motion of the game, it would happen all the time.

The worst thing about Quiddich is that “seeker” position, where a seeker from each team tries to grab that quick little fluttering ball. If a seeker gets it, then the whole game is over and the rest of the team’s efforts are in vain. It’s a stupid, stupid game.

In the latest movie, you see these crazy rules at work again in her “tri-wizard” competition. Before wizards join, they are warned that they could be killed and it is very dangerous. This is fine… an adequate warning. But in part 2 of the competition, the innocent friends of the wizard have anchors attached to their legs and they are sunk to the bottom of the lake. If the wizards don’t save them, their innocent friends die. This would seem to be a MORE important thing to tell the wizards before the competition.

Vote for Pedro

I got back from Palm Beach yesterday and ended up staying at the Admiral’s Club for six hours in meetings and answering emails. It was very strange to be at the airport for that long and then not actually fly anywhere after waiting for six hours.

Cool offices

One of my meetings took me down to the big advertising agency Zimmerman & Partners down in Ft. Lauderdale. They had some pretty cool offices – sort of what you would expect for an advertising agency. It reminded me a bit of a game studio, except there was even more of an emphasis on creativity around without being heavy-handed. I made some notes while I was there about some good ideas to emulate.

Sketchy Limo Driver

I got into Palm Beach late after a bad connection in Chicago. I was in a real hurry to get down to Fort Lauderdale for a meeting, and I quickly negotiated a very open and confusing deal with my driver. I told him I needed him to drive me around for the rest of the day and night. I told him I needed to go to Ft. Lauderdale while not sparing the horses, to wait outside while I had the meeting, to drive me back to Palm Beach, then to drive me to dinner, and then finally back to my hotel again.

After I got in the car, I realized that I really needed to pee, but I was late for the meeting and it was an hour away. I kept looking over there on the right at that champagne bottle, and I spent HALF the trip thinking about pouring out the champagne and peeing in the bottle. I thought of many many good reasons to justify the action, including that it was my limo for the day, and that is just the sort of thing that happens in limos.

At the end of the night, it came time to pay him. It was $260! The worst thing was, he wanted it in cash! I made him drive me to a grocery store so I could get his stupid money. Here he is with the money in his hand, and he will probably use it to launch some Nigerian email scam.

(Dear Humble Sirs or Madame, I have for you pictures in the sum of one (1) for this to take care of. Please to return send to my communication to receive your pictures. I kindly await your response at driver419@gnail.ng.)

Headed to Palm Beach

I’m packed up for my Palm Beach tomorrow. It’s the only place I take more sports coats than underwear. They won’t let you into any restaurant there on the island at night without one.

The Movies Weekend

Well I spent most of the weekend playing The Movies and had a great time. It’s two things in one, really – a tycoon game and a movie-maker. The tycoon half it is pretty fun and I look forward to making some of my own movies soon after I unlock all the techs.

Here are some funny things that happened in my tycoon game:

– In 1983, I had a 68 year-old-actor show up at my movie studio and ask for a job. He was about 270 pounds, bald, and he showed up at my front gates in a tight Euro-bathing suit.
– In 1938 I released a Western movie with four big action scenes. I made the final scene inside a spaceship and the audience seemed confused.
– I did an alien movie that took place on an alien beach. I accidentally started a second Romance movie in production at the same time that used the same beach set, so the whole cast had to wait for the first movie to finish production. During that time, most of my big stars got addicted to drinking and/or eating and I had to put 3 of them in rehab. Both movies took over eight years to make and both bombed. It was a bad time for John Galt Films.

Monkey behaviors noted in Japanese youth

I found this interesting article about Japanese youth and their mobile-phone behavior prompting monkey-like behavior patterns. It is very interesting to notice how technology is changing social structures. I doubt this is an isolated event, as the technocentric Asian countries are usually good harbingers of things to come to the rest of the world.

Mobile phones making a monkey out of Japanese

Going bananas over mobile phones for so many years is turning Japanese into monkeys, according to Sapio (11/23).

Nobuo Masataka, a professor at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute and author of the monster best seller “Keitai wo Motta Saru (Monkeys With Mobile Phones),” argues that the proliferation of mobile phones has got young Japanese making monkeys of themselves, aping the behavior patterns of chimpanzees.

He says that young Japanese have lost the ability to discern between public and private space. He adds that they have formed what he calls the dearuki-zoku (out and about tribe).

“There’s been a dramatic increase in the dearuki-zoku. They don’t eat meals at home with family members and you can clearly see with your own eyes the large increase in young people who hang about on the streets together with the same old friends,” Masataka tells Sapio. “They make places like Shibuya their territory and rarely head even to places like (nearby entertainment and shopping districts) Shinjuku or Harajuku. They get tired going to new places or meeting new people. If they get hungry while they’re strolling around, they simply get food by going into a convenience store, buying something and sitting down outside on the curb to eat it. If not that, then they just hang around for hours in fast food joints.”

The primate specialist says the actions of the dearuki-zoku closely resemble behavior patterns in chimpanzees, which tend to travel in groups, walking around for a long time without going to any specific place, then eating and disposing of their wastes in the same place before bedding down on piles of grass whenever and wherever the inclination takes them.

“This ability to loiter on the streets exists only because of the proliferation of mobile phones. Parents let their kids go out because they think they’re only a phone call away. And even if the kid doesn’t come home, parents don’t call them because they believe the child’s mobile phone offers them an unbreakable link,” Masataka tells Sapio. “Behind this imagined ease of mind, though, lies a breakdown in communications among the family members. Mobile phones have made it possible to connect to family members or other parts of society 24 hours a day, drastically changing the nature of relationships that humans have created through their evolution.”

The problem is, Masataka notes, despite having this communication device, there’s little real communication going on with parents or children rarely calling each other.

Masataka adds that a tendency for the young to lash out in wild, unprovoked attacks also draws on primate instincts drawn out by over-use of mobile phones that have stopped people from speaking in favor of sending text messages and thus made them more emotional and unable to express their feelings in words.

“Apes will suddenly strike out at people for looking at them. Naturally, apes can’t talk and they’re expressing their emotions in the only way they can. People prone to rage are doing exactly the same thing,” the primatologist says.

Masataka claims that mobile phones have deprived people of brainpower because memory functions now eliminate the need to try and remember phone numbers and GPS functions mean people have no need to learn about their surroundings.

“Mobile phones are now performing tasks that minds once did, such as think and talk. If this continues, people will continue losing their ability to think. Information Technology may have liberated us from a whole series of daily burdens, but IT has also dragged us down. Incidentally, the only people so caught up with mobile phones and use them to send so much mail are the Japanese,” Masataka tells Sapio. “Some may criticize me for likening the behavior of humans with monkeys, but having studied primates for so long, I can clearly say that it’s a fact the proliferation of IT has made human behavior closely resemble that of apes.” (By Ryann Connell)

Peanut Butter & Jelly Monster auction

Monty bought a monster from under a kid’s bed for $560.

The monster was terrorizing this little girl, growling, and eating her toys at night. The mom developed an elaborate plan to capture the monster, which involved putting a peanut butter & jelly sandwich inside a ziplock and putting it under her bed. She then caught the monster by wrapping in the pictured blanket and then selling it on eBay. It is accompanied by the little girl’s drawing of the monster.

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