Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Last Stand (Flash Game)

Kotaku linked to this great zombie survival flash game called The Last Stand.

Each night for twenty nights you have to defend a barricade from hoards of zombies. During the day you can allocate twelve hours of time between repairing the barricade, searching for better weapons and searching for survivors who will help you repair the barricade by day and defend the barricade by night.

General Tips
Don't wast time keeping your barricade in perfect condition. There seems to be a magic six hour number to finding survivors and the chainsaw is an awesome secondary weapon.

The final weapon in the game is an awesome weapon that will allow only the very fastest zombies anywhere near the barricade, but to select it you have to first find it after getting all the other weapons in the game and then once you have it, select it by click on the maps at the bottom of the weapon's locker, as it is invisible. You can see the effects on this screenshot below.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Contrasting Real Team Shooters with Counter Strike

Last Sunday I went PaintBalling for the first time and although I should have enjoyed myself absolutely, there was something that bothered me in the back of my mind and it took me a few hours to realise that I seen issue with some of the gameplay mechanics. So inspired by
Foofly's Posting of some of his university work, I thought I would take a more academic approach to this post and contrast PaintBalling against team based multiplayer video game Counter Strike and the hybrid of the two which is LaserTag.

I choose Counter Strike for this comparison because not choosing just one video game meant that the scope of the comparison would be too broad, Counter Strike is very popular and has a very similar play style to that of PaintBalling.

Paintballing is an objective team based game where players use Paintball Guns to fire balls of coloured liquid by way of pressurised gas at opposing players. Player elimination occurs when a player is hit by an exploding paintball.

LaserTag is a team or individual based multiplayer game where players fire laser beams from rifles at eachother to score points which are recorded by computer. For this comparison I will be using the indoor variety of LaserTag as I have no experience with the outdoor variety.

Counter Strike
Counter Strike is a virtual team based multiplayer game where players use a variety of virtual weaponry moduled from real world weaponry to complete objectives.

Player Environment
Traditionally PaintBalling is played outside in wooded areas (known as woodball), however more recently themed areas and open areas filled with geometrical obstacles (known as speedball) are now commonly used.

LaserTag (the inside variety) is played inside enclosed buildings with dark, florescent lighted environments. This is done to give a futuristic feel to the game and enhance the visibility of the lasers. This means that most LaserTag venues are normally limited to only having one environment for players to play in.

Counter Strike is played infront of a computer in any virtual environment that the player feels conformable with. The game comes supplied with twenty five virtual environments called maps which are all based on real environments from Oil Rigs to Airfields, but the game includes the option to download or make new maps on anything the player desires. Counter Strike unlike PaintBall and LaserTag where there is no player limit, is limited to a maximum of thirty two players in any one game.

Game Types
PaintBall has an unlimited number of game types, but most consist of a combination of bases or start points and flags. Points are awarded for a variety of things like getting the enemy team's flag located at their start point back to your team's base or getting a flag in the centre of the game zone back to the enemy team's base. Then bonus points can be awarded for having a set number players alive at the end of a match or occupying a set position like a tower at the end of the match.

LaserTag has two types of game, deathmatch where the objective is to score points by shooting other players. And team deathmatch where the objective is for one team to score points by shooting the other team.

Counter Strike has one gametype consisting of two teams, terrorists and counter terrorists. The objectives for the terrorists is to win by either killing all the members of the counter terrorist team or by planting and detonating a bomb with a forty five second timer at one of a marked location or locations on the map. Counter terrorists can win by killing all members of the terrorist team, however if that happens and a bomb has been planted then they must also find and deactivate the bomb before it explodes, otherwise even through the terrorist team is dead, they could still win by the bomb detonating.

In PaintBalling all players are required to wear facemasks to prevent any paintballs from travelling through a player's eye and make the game relatively safe. It should be noted that in the UK there is a legal age restriction that all players be at least twelve years old to play PaintBall. All players are issued with a rifle, a belt that carries refill canisters filled with paintballs and then paintballs themselves. The number of paintballs a player has depends on how many they have purchased from the facility owners. Player are not allowed to bring their own paintballs as the organisers have to guarantee the quality of all paintballs used at their facility (this could also have insurance implications).

In LaserTag all players wear sensor packs over their chests and back. These are connected to rifles that fire a laser out of the front for a very short duration when the trigger is pulled.

To play Counter Strike a player first needs to buy a Personal Computer with all the necessary peripherals like a Keyboard, Screen, Mouse, an Internet Connection and then a copy of the game. The computer's screen is used to display the game's virtual world that the player is in from a first person perspective as if the player was actually standing in that world. The keyboard is used to control movement and buy equipment. The mouse is used to look around and aim in the virtual world. And it is recommended that the player has a set of speakers so that they can also hear what is happening in the gameworld. Optionally a player can also connect a microphone upto their computer so that they can talk to other players that are also playing the game instead of typing messages with the keyboard to communicate. All the weapons that a player might use are all included virtually in the game and in unlimited supply. It should be noted that for a player killing an opponent, staying alive at the end of a round, planting or deactivating a bomb, their team winning, they receive money which can be spent on ammunition, weapons and armor in the next round. The equipment that can be bought in Counter Strike is (not most equipment is not available to both terrorists and counter terrorists):

High Explosive Grenade
Smoke Grenade
Assault Suit
Nightvision Goggles
Magnum Sniper Rifle
Maverick M4A1 Carbine
Krieg 552
Leone YG1265 Auto Shotgun
ES C90
Clarion 5.56
Krieg 550 Commando
IDF Defender
Leone 12 Gauge Super
Schmidt Scout
K&M Sub-Machine Gun
Schmidt Machine Pistol
Ingram MAC-10
Night Hawk .50C
.40 Dual Elites
ES Five-Seven
228 Compact
K&M .45 Tactical
9x19mm Sidearm

Reloading in PaintBall is performed with the following steps:
1) Remove refill canister from ammo belt.
2) Open ammo hopper on rifle.
3) Open lid on refill cannister.
4) Tip paintballs from refill cannister into ammo hopper on rifle.
5) Close lid on hopper.
6) Close lid on now empty refill cannister.
7) Place empty refill canister back into ammo belt.

Reloading in LaserTag (if indeed the player is playing a game that requires reloading as this can be turned off) is done by going to a reloading station and shooting at a sensor on the wall.

To reload in Counter Strike the player simply runs out of ammo where the computer will automatically start reloading for the player if they have sufficient spare ammo to do so, or by default the player can press the R button on their keyboard for their virtual self to start reloading for them.

Scoring a Hit
Hitting someone in PaintBall with a paintball is fairly straight forward, a player simply paints their rifle at the opposing player and pulls the rifle's trigger. A paint ball will then be ejected from their rifle by way of compressed air and travel towards the opposing player. On contact however the paintball may or may not explode. A hit is only counted if the paintball makes contact with the opponent and explodes on impacting leaving a paint mark on the opponent's body or rifle. This can result in some confusion as players who have been hit by a paintball do not always know if the hit left a mark or not. Once shot a player should leave the battlefield as all successful shots are counted as kills, however some players can continue playing the game once being shot simply because they do not realise that they have been shot.

In LaserTag it is necessary for a player to point their rifle at an opposing player, pull the trigger on their rifle and with the laser that is emitted from their rifle hit either the front or back sensor packs on the opposing player's body. Upon a shot being registered a player who has been hit will have their pack emit a sound so they know they have been shot and have their rifle disabled for a set amount of time (usually three seconds) to prevent them immediately firing back.

In Counter Strike a player must point the centre of their viewpoint which is marked with a cross-hair at an opposing player by moving a mouse and then press the left mouse button to fire. Upon firing a virtual bullet or bullets are projected at the opponent, damage done to that player is calculated and then this is displayed on their screen by changing health stats on their display and a red triangle appearing which communicates to them that they have been hit and by which direction they have been shot from. If sufficient damage is dealt to a player, they will die and have to wait until the next round starts before they can play again.

Rule Enforcement
Rules in PaintBalling are enforced primarily by the players themselves, however all games will have several none combatant marshals who will walk around the battlefield and make sure a game is being played correctly and that no serious harm comes to any players.

A computer keeping track of all the player's scores enforces the rules in LaserTag meaning unless one player physically harms another there are no rules that the players can accidentally break.

As Counter Strike is a Video Game the rules are enforced entirely by computer. Specifically the server that all the players connect to, to participate in the same game. This server and the player's own computer will keep track of their, armor, health, money, weapons, ammo, their position in the world, where they are facing and any actions they are performing when the player performs them. Some of this information is shared with other players so that they can see who is playing, their score and where they are in the gameworld.

Cheating in PaintBall happens when a player is hit by an exploding paintball and then proceeds to wipe the paint off of themselves so that the mark as evidence of them being hit no longer remains. They then continue playing as if they hadn't been hit. If a marshal sees evidence of this they will escort that player from the game.

Cheating in LaserTag can happen if a player covers their sensor pack with something that prevents any laser light from hitting the sensor. Or if they take off their pack and place it in the environment so that it is very difficult for any other players to hit. In this case it is upto the players themselves to inform the owners of the facility, who will then deal with that player.

Computer based software hooks known as hacks can aim for the player in Counter Strike giving them a 100% hit count on opponents. These hacks can also allow a player to see through walls to where other players are. Valve (makers of Counter Strike) have attempted to prevent software hacks by developing a system called VAC which scans a computer's memory for known hacks and then reports that information back to the game server. If a hack is found the game server will disconnect (known as kick) that player from the game and report their activity to Valve who can choose to ban that player from playing multiplayer for a set period of time or permanently.

The price of PaintBalling varies dramatically depending on where you go, but a half day costs around £30 for four to six games and a fullday with about eight games can cost upto £50. One game will last a maximum of twenty minuets, but this will probably vary between venues.

LaserTag games are priced at under £5 per game, duration of a game will vary from venue to venue. And in case you where interested the outdoor variety is priced at about £10 per hour, but again this varies from venue to venue.

The cost of playing Counter Strike can be as little as little as £10 if the player already owns a computer with internet connection. However if a player does not already have a computer to play the game on then purchasing one can cost between £250 to £3000+ and an internet connection costs around £20 a month. Once a player has the game and the equipment to play Counter Strike they can play as much as they like without incurring additional costs.

Physical After effects
Being hit by a paintball does hurt a little and will leave some minor bruising. Plus the act of physically running around can result in such things as exhaustion and muscle pain later if the player is unfit.

LaserTag does not inherently cause injuries however just like with PaintBalling running around can be exhausting and unfit players will find activity of this nature harder than fit players.

As Counter Strike takes place in a virtual world players can effectively play anywhere they like as long as where they are has a computer. Most players who play Counter Strike today will do so from a desk at home. This has the advantage of being able to play in a relaxed state while having food and drink on hand. There is also growing evidence to suggest that some players will even smoke marijuana while playing.

Rule enforcement in PaintBalling is an issue as even if a player is one who wishes to not cheat as they may not realise when they have been hit. And PaintBalling is experience enough that to play with any frequency is very costly.

LaserTag benefits greatly from having a computer keep track of every players score, but having to shoot at and wear sensor packs can be awkward at times.

After the initial cost of buying a computer, Counter Strike is by far the cheapest way of playing a team shooter. However the fact that the game doesn't take place in a physical environment means that the social interaction between players that normally takes place between players and makes such games socially rewarding is abstracted, which will have a negative effect on the player to player bonding process. That is unless a player is playing with other players in the same environment which is either difficult to organise or in the case of a cybercafe sometimes difficult to find as most don't carry Counter Strike.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Freedom

America does a lot of things in the name of freedom, the Iraq War is a current example of that. Nobody seems to be able to explain how the Iraq War is necessary to preserve American Freedom, but the war still continues in Freedom's name.

As a free country it surprised me earlier to learn that in January they forfeited the right to Habeas corpus. Which is the right to not be held in incarceration without reason. Seems to me like the current administration has done more to harm American freedom than any terrorist. And the ruling in January applies to everybody in America including citizens. So although I don't hate America I do think they are hipocritical B.O.B.s sometimes.

Monday, April 23, 2007

BBC's Battle of the Brains

In kind of a follow on post from my last one, the BBC showed a documentary last Tuesday called Battle of the Brains which is a documentary about how we measure intelligence. It is very interesting and I suggest you watch it fullscreen through This Link.

I thought it was funny how the Academics dismissed the idea of multiple intelligences without explanatory reasoning. But anyway it seems obvious to me that measuring intelligence on a single linear scale is silly as it ignores the distinction between natural ability and learned intelligence.

Ken Robson on Education

Sir Ken Robson PhD and Author did a talk at TED, a conference about the future of technology, education and design. His talk was about the importance of creativity in education and the first eleven minuets is mostly rubbish, but Watch The Rest because he says some very interesting stuff about why education is the way it is today (the result of the industrial revolution) and why that should change (creative industries are profitable and creativity is fundamental to all fields).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Paprika (Completed)

Today I had the chance to watch Parpika (2006) by the same director that did Tokeyo Godfathers (2003) and Paranoia Agent (2004).

The story of Paprika is the story of a research team that has created a device called the DC Mini which allows for waking dreams and for physiologists to enter thoes dreams to help people find answers to their physiological problems. All is well until the dream world and the real world start to merge into one.

Paprika shares a lot of similarities with Paranoia Agent where there is stuff happening that doesn't make sense until the end, you don't know who the bad guy is until the end, there is a policeman that doesn't seen significant until later, a female character who has an alternative female personality, another character who's alternative personality is that of a toy and if you have seen Paranoia Agent then you will be glad this isn't as drawn out as that was.

Paprika is one of those Animes that a lot will rave about and I can agree with those ravers that the animation and characterisation is excellent, but as much as I love the drug endued Super Flat esk styled visuals, stories based in the realm of dreams just doesn't please me (and I know this is a personal thing) because as much as I like dreaming, stories based in dreams where there are no rules but for the willpower of the main character boars me as I know the main characters could aways just will the dream to stop being crazy and it would be. So I do and always have preferred watching stories based in reality, but again that is just a personal thing and Paprika is well worth watching.

Joe is Japanese

Japan is a nation of tolerance, dignity, respect for elders, keeping ties with old friends, low rates of crime, a deep love for nature, and sometimes the strangest cultural intolerances or misunderstandings you will ever encounter. And this is kind of what Joe is Japanese an Anime by independent studio Humoring the Fates is about being halfu (half Japanese) and the kinds of things that are caused by it all because you live in Japan.

There is a Clip from Episode One up on the Page which looks stunning, but what happens in it is just one of those things you can only describe as a halfu-moment.

I am VERY much looking forward to Joe is Japanese, but something strikes me as a little odd. Joe McCunney is half Japanese and half Irish, yet like a lot of English speaking people in Japan speaks with an American accent. Being half Irish, one would assume he would speak with a slight Irish accent or maybe that is just me. No idea when or where it is coming out, but if it is as good as it looks I am sure we will be hearing from it again.

And My 360 Came Home

Tuesday I had two deliveries, the first was Air Conditioning, which is great because it means I at least will survive this year's deathray attack from the sun. And the second delivery was my 360 which arrived as I was looking up the tracking number on the UPS website to make sure it had arrived to it was going.

I think the problem with my 360 might have been something to do with a short one second power outage we had while I was playing Geometry Wars a few weeks ago. But anyway what I got back was a refurbished unit that by it's birth date near the serial number on the back, was manufactured two months after mine. Now I know some people would be unhappy with a nice clean fully working refurbished model, but I am fine as long as it works.

After turning it on and putting Oblivion in and playing for a bit I noticed three things. Firstly upon turning the 360 on the drive tray sometimes forgets that it is closed and requires me to press the eject button twice for the tray to come out, I would be annoyed by this but for the second thing I noticed which is that the drive is quieter! Not silent, but as quiet as the standard PC DVD drive. And thirdly my Oblivion disk had a read error on injured sounds, so if my guy was attacked then there would be a delay as the drive struggled to read the bad area on the disk and sometimes it would popup a disk read error that required me to restart the game (I save often so not a problem, just an inconvenience). So really the whole tray sticking thing is a none issue as sending it back again could mean I get same drive that I had before which looking at's 360 DVD Drive Comparison I had a Hitachi and now have the Samsung which apparently isn't the quietest, yet I know it is way quieter than the Hitachi.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Skiing + Escalator = Fun

I got my 360 back from Microsoft earlier and I will do a specific update on the whole experience after I have had some sleep, but in the meantime:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Answer to Pascal’s Wager

So there is this thing called Pascal's Wager by a French guy named Blaise Pascal who essentially said that it is better to worship God because if he exists you go to Heaven. Where as if you don't worship him and he exists you go to hell. I am not sure if god would let phony worshippers into Heaven, but Pascal does pose an interesting point as if God doesn't exist then wither you worship him or not makes no real difference.

My issue with this has always been with by which religion to worship him with, as there are many religions to choose from all stating that they have the correct method. Obviously if God cared which worshipping method he preferred he would say. So I take his continued silence as a message that simply by trying to live my life the best way I can as an ok from him. Obviously if he was to tell me which method he preferred I would dually follow his devine instructions.

Anyway I just read the Atheist's Wager and that puts the whole thing in much better terms that what I can. Pascal's Wager falls down on scrutiny because he ignores the fact that there are multiple religions. Still I would encourage you to read the wonderfully written Atheist's Wager or at the very least the final paragraph.

How to Stop Global Warming

Currently the world is starting to show the effects of global warming and it is simply because the resident Human Population is outputting more greenhouse gasses than the planet can deal with naturally. If nothing is done natural disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes will become the norm. Wet areas of the world will become dry and dry areas of the world will become wet. Global Warming will probably not kill off humanity and certainly not spell the end of the planet as planet will survive any disaster that would cause the extinction of the Human race, but the worse global warming becomes the more people will suffer. So I have put together a simple list of things that should halt global warming.

1. Home Insulation
By insulating a home it will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Insulation represents the biggest energy saving of anything that consumers can do to their home and unlike today's solar panels, insulation will easily pay for itself.

2. Lighting
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light-bulbs) will save 80% power per lightbulb changed. To think of that differently five CFLs will use up the same amount of power as just one Incandescent Light-bulb. Scale that up to the 24 million homes in the UK and we as a nation are looking at a very significant energy saving. Plus although CFLs might cost a little more, they also last six times longer than traditional incandescent lightbulbs.

3. Electrical Appliances
When buying new appliances make sure you take into consideration the appliance's Energy Performance Certificate as a refrigerator with a D rating might be cheaper to buy, but a refrigerator with an A rating will be cheaper to run.

Simply turning appliances off when they are not in use is an excellent way of saving energy. And if for example you turn your computer off, make sure you also turn off any peripherals connected to it, like screens or speakers too.

Cooking food with a microwave is more energy efficient than useing an oven. Plus using timers and thermostats on appliances can cut energy usage quite dramatically in some cases.

4. Energy Supplier
You can now in the UK buy energy from any energy company you like as opposed to water where there is still a fixed supplier model in place. This means that you can signup to energy suppliers like Ecotricity that only produces power by renewable means.

5. Vehicle Fuel
The use of petrol is an unnecessary resource that we currently use to fuel our vehicles with. This resource will run-out so moving from a dependence on petrol is good for the environment and for future sustainability for when it does run out. Buying a Hybrid car will reduce the amount of petrol you use for transportation, but a better solution is to send a message to manufacturers by refusing to buy any gas guzzling cars. As this will make them take fuel efficiency as a priority without a two tear car consumer model being created.

Alternatives to petrol sound good, but There is an issue with many alternative fuels, Hydrogen is energy costly to produce and Vegetable Oil as well as Ethanol requires large areas of land to grow. So the future for fuels this clearly a purely electric one. Vehicles like the car currently being produced by Tesla Motors is the future because using power from the mains is more environmentally friendly than using petrol and with renewable sources used to produce that power, is CO2 neutral.

6. Recycling
Recycling is a better way of disposing of waist than burying it in the ground as it saves natural resources.

7. Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsets are an excellent way of reducing CO2. When a new cleaner coal fire power planet is built, a forest can be planted next to the power plant so that the carbon the power plant produces is absorbed by the forest. This offset can make a new development carbon neutral or even carbon negative.

8. Political
And finally politicians are quite willing to get behind green issues if it means more votes. This should be encouraged because politicians can really make a difference to the environment by putting forwards new environmental standards, new policies and they are the ones who choose where public money is spent.

Final Thoughts
Some global warming is quite natural, but the levels we are seeing at the moment means we will all suffer. Poorer countries will suffer more than the rich and it will get worse before it becomes better, but even if you are one of those people who believe God will come and save everybody at the last minuet like Superman did by flying around the earth backwards; or that Aliens will make contact and give us some newkind of technology to produce free energy (I say 2:1 odds against). You should still take energy conservation to heart because it saves money.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Guitar Hero Custom Tracks

Been playing a bit of Guitar Hero with the 360 controller around a friend's house today and apart from being surprised how well the controller performs in the game, I was thinking about what track above all others I would want added to the game if I could choose and at first I was thinking Alien Ant Farm's rendition of Smooth Criminal. And since the PS2 version of the game can be modded so custom tracks can be added, I actually found an approximate video of what I want to be playing:

However after being through my classic rock collection I am now thinking Jimi Hendrix's All Along The Watchtower and Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper, which I found modded.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Boom Boom Rocket

The UPS guy came around earlier to fetch my 360. The poor thing doesn't know what it is in for, but it or one just like it should be back in my hand in about three weeks. Until then I have an empty space to look at where it once was.

Anyway Boom Boom Rocket is released on Arcade today and I saved this video for just this event. From the 1UP Blog somebody playing Boom Boom Rocket very well, maybe even too well, for a Human.

My XBox360 Died

This is one of those things that happens to other people. I was fully aware that there was a severe TRLOD (Three Red Lights of Death) manufacturing issue with 360s that where produced in 2005, but mine was March 2006 so I thought I was safe. I thought that I would never have a technical problem or ever see the red LEDs in the front panel working. But those other people that this happens to, is now me!!!

A few weeks ago we had a slight power outage while I was playing Geometry Wars and when my 360 started again I seen the dreaded TRLOD. After a restart all was well, but now all I can see is the TRLOD.

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Not liking my XBox looking like a Cylon I through it was best to Call Support and get it fixed no matter how much it was going to coast me, I want to play Geometry Wars again (plus I have Guitar Hero II on the way). Fortunately as it turns out I still have four days left on my Warranty so it isn't going to cost me anything. I have heard of people being just over the Warranty period, but I was just under and this makes me feel very fortunate.

I have had to package everything myself which cost me some money when I bought the packaging, but UPS is picking it up tomorrow and I should have it back in three weeks, so all is well I guess.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Amazing Graphing Calculator Story

Wikipedia says it best:
Ron Avitzur is a software developer. He worked with Apple Computer in the early 1990's. After Apple cancelled his project, Graphing Calculator he, together with his friend Greg Robbins, continued to work for free, sneaking into the building every day in order to continue development of the software. When completed, the software was so impressive that Apple executives used it as their standard demonstration of the then-new PowerPC chips, and agreed to ship the calculator with Mac OS 9.
- Wikipedia
It is an amazing story that Ron Has Written About, but then you could instead just watch Ron Give the Story in His Own words on Google Video.

And if by any chance you want to have a look at the latest version of the Graphing Calculator, you can do that Here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cheapest Place to Get Guitar Hero 2 for the 360 has Guitar Hero 2 for £53.75, but if you get a get a voucher code from This Foxy Page you can get the price down to £48.75.

Not a bad saving if like me you haven't owned the PS2 version.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Conspiracy Nuts Hastle Astronauts

I seen this video on YouTube earlier and it is of some conspiracy nut trying to get Apollo Astronauts to swear on a Bible that they landed on the moon. Astronauts have been hastled by these types of people for years so it isn't surprising that they don't meet them with the friendliest of greetings.

The truth of the matter is that American Astronauts did land on the moon and we can show this today because one of the experiments left on the moon by Apollo 11 was a Mirror (NASA calls it a Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array) that is used to fire a laser at from earth so we know the true distance that the moon is from the earth. It is from this experiment that We Know the Moon will Eventually Leave Earth Orbit although it is only moving out at 3.8CM per year so it will take a while.

Opportunistic Documentaries

There seems to be somekind of growing trend amongst new documentary makers to not research their facts and when presented with facts, reinterpret them to fit their sensationalist viewpoint.

The first one of these I seen was Loose Change (you can watch it from this page) which does the whole Bush ordered the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York thing. Certainly if you are someone that believes Georg Orwell's 1984 vision of the future will come true, then you will find complementing viewpoints in this documentary.

The truth of 9/11 is that terrorists hijacked some planes and in acts of Jihad gave their lives to their hatred of America and possibly the west in general. If they hadn't done that America probably wouldn't have invaded Afghanistan, invaded Iraq and Bush probably probably wouldn't have been re-elected.

The second false sensationalist documentary that I knowingly seen was in February this year on Channel 4. It was called called The Global Warming Swindle which states that global warming is a natural phenomena and that Humans are not effecting the earth's climate in any significant way.

The Independent and then The Times where the first to call this one BS and I am now wondering why Channel 4 allowed it to be shown as charts in the documentary have been altered and people have been misquoted (film enough footage of someone speaking and you can do that). The truth is that the earth is getting much warmer and we are causing it. This can be reversed by using low energy compact florescent lightbulbs, by ridding ourselves of our dependency on oil and not protesting politicians that are doing the right thing. Until then the climate is just going to keep getting worse, probably won't mean the end of humanity, but enough people will suffer before it is over to warrant immediate action.

On a side note, nobody ever talks about the success of the Montreal Protocol which was the international effort to save the Ozone Layer. Now Ozone Layer should be repairing itself over time (the first detectable signs will possibly be in 2024), but the replacement gasses we now use instead of CFCs are still greenhouse gasses and so contribute to our current crisis, global warming.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And in Local News

I read This today about some guy in Leicester who was jailed because he... well just read it and that film scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.