Twice in the last couple of days, I’ve been privy some eye-opening views on families. One of my friends is trying very, very hard to have a baby. She’s struggling, but it’s her goal, and what most of her energy seems to be going towards.
It was fascinating to sit and talk with her about her research on everything from breastfeeding to cloth diapers to her psych class education on child development. She’s a critical thinker who has a sharp eye for analyzing what she sees in other parents/kids and cutting through bullshit.
I love it. Didn’t make me want to have a kid, but I always enjoy being around someone geeking, and I still suffer from wanting to know something about (almost) everything.
Yesterday, one of my coworkers was talking about her family–her brother did this, her other brother did that. Most of the stories she tells–which are all great and funny–are about her family, which struck me as unusual. She has non-family friends, but doesn’t talk about them much.
Finally, I asked, “Your family seems very… family-oriented. What’s up with that?”
APW Book Club: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, Round II « A Practical Wedding – Not all choices are empowering. "Because here is the thing: the more we talk about marriage here, the more I worry. I worry that we’re being given the illusion of lots of options, and the reality of really sh*tty options. I worry that the sh*ttiest of options (over-work, under-appreciation, enormous sacrifice) are being sold to us under the guise of 'independent womanhood,' instead of under the guise of 'life is hard sometimes, and you can make it through, but you should fight for things to be easier.'
I worry when I hear about most of us* doing the bulk of the chores around the house. Not because we have to, but because we want to ('I just care more about cleanliness than he does, so I need to take responsibility for that.')"
Reproductive Writes: I Choose My Choice: An Interview with Elizabeth Kissling | Bitch Magazine – It's about a commercial that ran back in March of this year, but Kissling defines "post-feminism"–a term I've heard and never seen clearly described–and ties it into an enlightening analysis of this commercial and neo liberalism. I don't know enough yet to analyze her comparison of post-feminism and neo liberalism, but I agree with her analysis of this "period-control" product: it's control over your body (yay, superficially), but not necessarily actually empowering.
Her words on the neo liberalism dilemma with regards to menstruation: "A menstruating woman can't present herself as a rational, self-actualizing subject, she isn't able to participate in consumerism 24/7. A non-menstruating body is much better suited to market success in the consumer economy."
Elf M. Sternberg – Someday, Cognitive Dissonance will be Painful – "He got riled up to the point where he said, 'If I'm ever at a baseball game and the guy next to me doesn't take his hat off and stand up for the pledge, I'm going to knock his hat off, grab him by the collar and stand him up.'" I'll tell you, there'd be two cases of felony assault going on.
MenTaLguY: Metroid: Other M – The Elephant in the Room – I don't play the Metroid Prime games, but this coverage of the Other M game is an awesome read. "For the last few releases, the games have been getting more and more story-based, with Sakamoto’s very strong emphasis on narrative in Other M turning Metroid into a series with a story that literally can’t be ignored except through well-timed bathroom breaks. This might be fine if the story were different."
I picked up Steam’s Indie Future Pack this weekend–great buy, by the by–which includes Uplink, a game about hacking. And more hacking. …And getting caught.
The premise and mechanics are pretty simple: you’re an agent of Uplink with a handle, a plaintext password, and a bank account. You connect to the web through your gateway (think: managed, dedicated server), and hack companies and government databases to earn money, increased rating through Uplink, and status amongst your fellow hackers. There’s also some sort of “hack the planet” or “save the cheerleader” plot in there, but we’ll get to that.
Or not, actually.
I played this game a few years ago and loved it. I don’t remember why I stopped, except that maybe I graduated college and became exhausted.
Picking it up this weekend, though, I found that I have a much more analytical eye towards it. I blame the Weir(d) One. The game suffers from a narrowly-defined path to success, which gives the feeling that there’s only one (or two, or three) ways to succeed at the game. When a game opens by giving me a crap-ton of missions, no plot, and various ways to upgrade and optimize, I expect more of a sandbox than Uplink provides.
SlashNBurn was my first hacker. (Hey, at least it wasn’t “ZeroCool”.) Keep reading >>
A thousand dollars for photos, or a thousand dollars for video?
Surely, this is a normal modern bride’s dilemma. If I pick only one to be done professionally, which is better?
Or should I pick neither to be done professionally? Disposable cameras on the tables are very “in” now, and neither service is cheap.
How often do we really look back on photos? Greg: never. Me: I… like organizing things. On the flip side, how often am I going to watch a video of my own wedding? At our first anniversary? When I’m contemplating divorce in seven decades?
As of yesterday, I had two Google accounts: my irrsinn.net Google Apps account and my regular ol’ Google Account. Both had the same email address, but the Google Account let me into services like Reader, Voice, and Feedburner.
Having two accounts was annoying, but not unbearable. It meant that Google Voice, for instance, had none of my preciously-maintained and iWone-synced contacts. I just created contacts within Voice as calls came in, no biggie, but I’ve definitely been using the service less as a result.
Turns out that Google’s been working on this, and recently added a boatload to services to Google Apps users: Voice, Feedburner, and Reader being the three I’m more interested in. AdSense was tricky, and was only moved for posterity. Keep reading >>
So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.
*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…
It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.
I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.
In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.
Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.
Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.
Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.
As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.
So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.
One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.
I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”
But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.
But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.
Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.
It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.
Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.
After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.
Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.