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Matt Barton's picture

If Only Spirit Had Attended More Quilting Bees

Phone Home, Damnit!Pick up, you Nickel-plated Nincompoop!It's Wednesday, May 25th, 2011. A day that will promptly be forgotten and wasted. I imagine when you're old, infirm, and rotting away in a nursing home tended by a robot who's stopped responding to your cries for help, you'd gladly give it all for just one more day like you're going to have today. To be young, healthy, and free, just (gasp) one more day! And on that note, news.

First off, something really neat: Depixelizing Pixel Art: Upscaling Retro 8-bit Games. It took me a little while to figure out what's going on here, but it amounts to a new algorithm that turns blocky pixel images into smooth vector images. The actual article is pretty technical, but also includes lots more cool transformations. I can see tech like this being used to "update" old games, perhaps even on-the-fly. The researchers really seem to get what they're doing, too, and believe they've "managed to capture some of the charm of the original" from the 8-bit "masterpieces." Can't wait to see what Samantha Fox will look like.

Speaking of art, check out the Color palette of glorious hues of the golden age of comics. If 64 colors were enough for decades of comics, why do we need millions today? Eh. I don't know if you can ever have enough shades of black.

Matt Findley appears to be swiftly becoming the Rebecca Black of game design. Or, at least, his inane comments are causing more Diet Pepsi to be spewed into monitors and keyboards. Good ol' Rampant Coyote has posted his thoughts on the matter. He does a much better job than I did of trying to explain why Findley is so wrong (I'm still too stupefied to say anything but ugh!). Let's just hope that Hunted has plenty of opportunities to have a bowl and have cereal, catch a bus, see friends. Oh, wait, that's a bit too intellectual for fans of "action."

Remember Karateka? This is awesome!!!

Ham on! Better watch this now before the copyright police nab it.

In case you haven't heard by now, there's a new Conan movie coming out. I've seen the previews a few times now, and I'm still not sure what the hell to make of Jason Momoa as Conan. I know a lot of people hate Arnold's versions, but I always loved them (campy or not, Arnold has the body to pull off the role). I have the same complaint about Thor--I mean, Chris Hemsworth is in shape, but he's not massive. I guess these modern heroes are more into bicycling and tofu than pumping iron and shoving down steaks. ANYWAY, Funcom has decided to make its flop Age of Conan MMO free-to-play. Remember that game that was supposed to be a "wow killer?" Now it's entering that slow death called free to play. People, please stop messing with one of my favorite mythos!

Oh, well, even if movies these days suck, you should go see them anyway: Theater-Goers, Volunteers Take Heart: Cultural Activities Are Good for Your Health, Norwegian Study Finds. And I thought it was the "butter-flavored topping" on the popcorn. If you dig a little deeper in the article, you find that men get more out of cultural activities than women, and you get more out of "creative" than "receptive" cultural activities. So, me buckos, let's get ourselves to a quilting bee before it's too late!

One sad item: NASA Gives Up On Stuck Mars Rover Spirit. NASA has called again and again, but there's just no answer. Kinda like your ex. There are plans for an "Irish wake" for the rover, but no funeral. Be sure to tip back a pint of Guinness for our plucky little robot friend. We're gonna miss ya...

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