0 comments Sunday, December 23, 2007

I just finished Portal. Part of the Orange Box, it's been out on PC and XBox 360 since October, and was just released on PS3 this month. If you have access to any of these platforms, I strongly urge you to do what you must to acquire and play this game. It is fun.

It's not a long game, 19 puzzle-like levels, and I probably finished it in about 3 or 4 hours. All I can say is that on about the second or third level you begin to realize that you're playing a game like no other before. And that feeling only intensifies throughout the game, up to and including the closing credits.

Which is my real reason for posting. Have I mentioned Jonathan Coulton before? Oh yes, here and here. I read several months ago that he had been asked to write the music for a video game, which I thought was awesome. Then I learned that it was only the music for the closing credits, which seemed less awesome. So I forgot about it.

When I finished Portal, I was impressed by the song at the end, but it didn't jog my memory. It was only when I played the game again with the developer commentary turned on (that's another thing about this game, it has built in commentary like a DVD--how cool is that?!) that I learned that it was Jonathan Coulton, and then I was all, oh yeah...

ETA: And Portal sweeps the WRAs!

2 comments Thursday, December 20, 2007

These guys are awesome.

1 comments Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You know the drill. You type in a word, and then R2-D2 translates it into his language.


I've seen several studies cited recently that show that kids perform better in school when they are taught to focus on effort rather than talent. A recent article in Scientific American reaches the same conclusion.

The students who held a fixed mind-set, however, were concerned about looking smart with little regard for learning. They had negative views of effort, believing that having to work hard at something was a sign of low ability. They thought that a person with talent or intelligence did not need to work hard to do well.

I wouldn't say I had "little regard for learning," but I can definitely identify with the disdain towards effort. In my high school, all of us smart kids knew who the "workers" were, and how many of them had usurped our rightful places at the top of the class. In fact, the ultimate betrayal was when, around sophomore year, one of our own became a "worker," instantly shooting to the top spot with his unstoppable combination of effort and talent.

Of course, the "workers" were the ones that got into med school.

0 comments Sunday, December 2, 2007

I'm no singer, but I'm guessing this guy has a well trained falsetto.