Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bring Back the Music!

A shout out to music exchanges of the past!
I challenge you! Yes You! Build a mix and share it!
This one goes out to the love of my life, Illustrious Laura!

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Music

Music to consider:

These are not all new bands by any means but the bands I am currently enjoying

Baby Shambles
The Shortwave Set
MJ Hibbett & the Validators
Regina Spektor
The Fiery Furnaces
Duke Spirit
Goggle Bordello
Bus Driver
The Dears
The Hidden Cameras
Sons & Daughters
Magnetic Fields

My new music is coming from listening mostly to BBC 6 Music. There seems to be so much more variety and less-paid-for crap ( perhaps the paid for music is just of a higher calibre - i'm not sure).

I have also encountered more Canadian music there than anywhere. It's quite like a university radio station as the DJs actually know something about music and are able to play at least some of the music they like.

RIP Jane Jacobs

May 4th, 1916 - April 25th 2006

A great thinker has left us. She has imparted a wealth of knowledge to us about urban spaces and how humans interact with them. Her ideas changed everything about city planning. If you haven't read "The Death and Life of Greate American Cities", go right now to the library or bookstore and get it. And if they don't have it, pick up any of her books. She thought ahead of her time and will influence us far into the future.

I can't do her justice, but read her books, watch any interviews you can. You will see what i'm talking about.

Friday, March 03, 2006


This week, two people who have brought me many hours of enjoyment and laughter have passed away.

Octavia E Butler died on Feb 24 2006.

I think I have read every book she wrote. Her book 'Kindred' was first recommended to me in University. I wrote it down in my book of things to look for and attempted to locate it at any library or used bookstore I could find. To no avail. Instead, I encountered many other of her books, I started with Parable of the Sower, then onto the Xenogenesis series and on and on until there were none left. For several years I have been anxiously awaiting the next book in the Parable series and hopefully checking the new bookstore shelves for it. If you haven't read any of her work I would go to the nearest bookstore and find any of them now.

Also this week,

Linda Smith died on Feb 27, 2006.

I listened to her on the hilarious BBC 4 program Just A Minute. A panel game where the speaker must speak for 60 seconds on a topic without hesitation, repetition or deviation. If you haven't heard it, go there now. She was one of the few female panelists on this program and there won't be anyone to match her. I am going to find the other shows she contributed to and listen. There will be a tribute show available to listen to this weekend hopefully.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Revolution Games Announced

I have been trying to keep track of potential game titles which have been announced for Revolution. I have searched high and low for additional info and have compiled the list below. There are many unnamed titles listed because many companies have only confirmed support for the new console.

The only titles I would expect for the launch of the console in Oct/Nov (cross our fingers) are from Nintendo - Twilight Princess, Super Smash Bros, Super Mario, MarioKart, Donkey Kong, the 20 years of downloadable content. These are a guess but the Cooking Game intrigues me. Hopefully some other developers are able to offer some original content and use the new Controller to it's full potential.

I am hoping for many new and quirky games from independent developers as the Software Development Kit is quite affordable ($2000US). By comparison, Sony's Play Station 2 SDK was $20 000US. A friend came up with the wonderful idea that this could allow small developers to potentially release games through Nintendo's Virtual Console (ie the downloadable content section). All the great ideas we have for games everyday could be made, and played by all - how cool would that be?!!

Please let me know of any addition or incorrect info in the list below (?? means speculation on a possible title but not announced). I will update as I find out more information. Enjoy.

Activision - Madagascar Rev
Activision - Spiderman Rev
Activision - Gun Rev
AQ - Unnamed Action Comic Title
Atlus - Trauma Center Rev
Bandai - Unnamed Title
Blitz Games - Unnamed Title
Buena Vista - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Bungie - Unnamed FPS
Camelot - Untitled RPG
Capcom - potential downloadable content
Capcom - Resident Evil Rev
Capcom - Dead Rising
Capcom - Lost Planet
Capcom - Devil May Cry Rev
Clover Studios - Viewtiful Joe Rev
Crossbeam - Orb
Crossbeam - Thorn
Electronic Arts - FIFA Rev ??
Electronic Arts - Simpsons Rev
Electronic Arts - Madden Rev ??
Electronic Arts - Casino Royale
Free Radical - Title with Ubisoft
Grasshopper - Unnamed Title
Halo's J. Jones -Unnamed Title
Koch Media - Unnamed Title
Koei - Unnamed Title
Konami - potential downloadable content
Konami - Silent Hill 5
Konami - Dance Dance Revolution 3 Rev
Krome - Ty the Tasmanian Tiger Rev
Kuju - Battalion Wars Online Rev
Left Field - ?
Majesco - The Darkness
Metal Gear Solid's Hideo Kojima - Unnamed Title
Midway - Unnamed FPS
Namco - Ridge Racer 6
Namco - Soulcaliber Rev
Namco - potential downloadable content
Natsume - Unnamed Title
NIBRIS - Sadness Rev
NIBRIS - Raid Over the River Rev
Nintendo - Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (will it only be on GameCube?)
Nintendo - Rev Zelda title - Completely separate title?
Nintendo - MarioKart Online Rev
Nintendo - Mario Party ???
Nintendo - Super Smash Bros Online Rev
Nintendo - Donkey Kong Rev
Nintendo - Animal Crossing Online Rev
Nintendo - Super Mario Rev
Nintendo - Kid Icarus Rev
Nintendo - Starfox Rev
Nintendo - Wario Rev
Nintendo - Mario Paint
Nintendo - New Franchises for Rev
Nintendo - MMO
Nintendo - 20 years downloadable content
Nintendo - Cooking Game
N-Space - Unnamed Title(maker's of Geist)
Rare - ?
Retro Studios - Metroid Prime 3
Sega - Beijing 2008
Sega - Sonic Rev
Square Enix - Final Fantasy (original for Rev)
Square Enix - Crystal Chronicles (original for Rev)
Tecmo - Golf Title
THQ - Cars (Pixar/Disney movie)
Treasure - Unnamed Title
Ubisoft - Unnanmed FPS
Ubisoft - Killing Day
Ubisoft - Splinter Cell 4

updated mar 6/06

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I love Nintendo.

It's not just nostalgia. Though I do fondly recall the NES and the hours of fun I had as a child (though many of you will also remember Mario 64 - Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time was the first 3D game I ever played). But I digress.

I am awaiting the release of the Revolution console with baited breath. I could care less about Sony or Microsoft's consoles because none of the gaming possibilities excite me - the same controller, a ramped up processor with the same old ideas in a new cover. Nintendo is trying to stretch itself, challenge itself, to take ideas to a new level, to challenge the audience and wow them with something new.

Nintendo has always innovated with its products. They were the first to bring us:

+Control Pad aka directional pad
Wireless Controller - Wavebird
Rumble aka vibration
3D games like Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time
Dual Screen Games - Game & Watch and then Nintendo DS
Gameboy in its various iterations - Monochrome and Colour

Last year they released the Nintendo DS - with its dual screen play, integrated Wi-Fi. Two new features that were unveiled were a V tuner and a web browser using Opera. They have added free Wi-Fi nodes at hundreds of McDonald's locations in North America. The new capabilities annouced for DS show Nintendo will remain the leader in the handheld market and develop the DS into much more than a game device.

There are many who doubt Nintendo, who continue to think of them as childish. With this new console, there will be many who will change their minds.

The Revolution is set to be their biggest innovation yet. It will have a new one-handed wireless Controller - with many secrets not yet revealed. With all the patents Nintendo has acquired, the console will have a unique displacement mapping system to provide graphics superior to 360 using less processing power. It will be backward compatible with GameCube discs and support the GameCube Controllers and Memory Cards to play them.

In additon, they are offering downloadable content from their back catalogue from the past 20 years (NES (Famicom), SNES (Super Famicom), N64) for a sum (no information on how much yet). Several of the titles available have never be released in North America. How these games will function with the new Controller is not known. Rumours that a deal for the Sega back catalogue may be in the works abound.

Nintendo is keeping a great deal of information secret to keep up the level of anticipation but somehow they aren't burning out their traditional audience.

They are in fact they are going after a huge new audience - basically everyone. This must be the smartest marketing move and so far with the DS they have been very successful. Games with new iterations of classic characters and non-traditional games that appeal to any and everyone. This is the strategy they will employ for Revolution as well.

They want to simplify gaming and make it fun for everyone across age and sex. This will inevitably generate more market share and profit but it also shows an attention to their audience - 18-35 males are a limited group. Females of all ages, older men. former gamers - these are the new target audiences for Nintendo. It's genius.

By following this strategy, they are creating a new market unto themselves, as Nintendo has said they are not competing with Microsoft and Sony. They are unrivalled. This innovation, this willingness to change and adapt, this ability to reinvent games as they are currently conceived - this is why Nintendo is the true leader in games.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Olympic observations

Olympics – Torino 2006
Opening Ceremonies

I enjoyed the 8 women in white carrying the Olympic flag, it was very symbolic and hopeful, with each woman representing goodwill, hope and understanding in the world, a silent protest against conflict and war. It would have been perfect if they had walked the flag all the way to the pole but alas it was not to be. Some kind of military para-troopers marched up and took the flag the final length. To me, it said we don’t trust in goodwill, hope and understanding; we need conflict.

Olympic Flag Bearers –

Sophia Loren, Italian actress
Isabel Allende, Chilean writer
Nawal El Moutawakel, Moroccan Olympic champion1984
Susan Sarandon, American actress
Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel prize winner
Manuela Di Centa, Italian IOC member
Maria Mutola, Mozambiquan Gold medalist
Somaly Mam, Cambodian activist

I love Yoko Ono and everything, but could she not see what was written on her paper, or was it blank and she made it up as she went?

I would have preferred an experimental shrill high-pitched wail. Wait, that’s what happened.

If that wasn’t enough, Peter Gabriel (looking quite pirate-esque) came on stage next, doing a convincing impression of Leonard Cohen. ‘Imagine’ is not meant to be sung as a dirge, funeral march, or eulogy. It should have some hopeful tones.

Canada’s first Gold Medal – Jenn Hiel - Freestyle Skiing Moguls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Women’s Hockey:
Canada vs Italy
Final 16 – 0 (!)

Potential advertisement for the gold and orange ass-shaking cheerleaders during the hockey game:

“Calling all fitness instructors, cheerleaders and skinny bitches. Must be able to shake Pom-Poms and ass in freezing temperatures with little clothing, in close proximity to highly excitable fans, for several hours with potential for overtime. Pom-Poms provided.”

Thursday, February 09, 2006



We are nothing without new ideas.

To create new ideas we need knowledge.

Language, Art, History, Science, Sociology,
Technology, Anthropology, Politics, ........

My interests are wide and varied. I am
learning, understanding and
passing on
as much knowledge as I can.

I believe every subject informs every other one
new ideas and understanding come from
the connections we can make between them.

This is an attempt to assemble my thoughts
into some semblance of understanding and
may be generate some new ideas and spur others
to their own new ideas and understandings.

Rambling as my thoughts may be
I intend
to write about the following:

any questions or curiosities I have about
the below items and how they shape my
understanding of the world

books i'm reading
books i'm waiting to read
books i'm looking for

photos i have taken

movies i've seen

music i've heard


Any comments, book recommendations,
corrections are welcome.

P.S.The name The Light-Hearted Curmudgeon was
lovingly given as I often vocalize my frustrations for
some of the illogical infrastructure and people I