Categories
Games

Improve your memory and enjoy a great iphone app!

There are tons of great applications on iphone but it’s not that easy to find a great memory game…
I came across a fun and beautifully designed memorization game with 26 levels where you have to memorize sequences of numbers or letters, then pop the mice to uncover the sequence in the right order. It’s very addictive and I have to say I really enjoyed it!
You can check the app here: http://bit.ly/gRxanI
If you want me to review an iphone application, don’t hesitate to send me an email! I am always happy to check new and fun applications!

Categories
Games

What to do to enjoy your time on the internet…

When you browse the web, you can read interesting magazines, enjoy personal stories like on watch videos, check pictures and last but not least play games!
There are thousands of opportunities on the web to play and have fun for a few hours (instead of watching TV for example…). Some of the possible games are blackjack, bingo, poker, scratch cardsor roulette. You can find some of those games online like Bingo sites online or poker sites or virtual rooms where you can play with people from all over the world. This is a lot of fun and on top of that you get to meet different cultures and different nationalities… Very fun, right?
However, there are so many sites out there that it is always complicated to find the right site for you. That’s why you want to ask your friends, or check specialized forums or magazines in the field. It’s always a pleasure to do this investigation to realize what would be the right site for you: the site where you would feel comfortable playing, the site where you have a good time and the site where you want to come back!
It’s like a retail store. If you enjoy the experience in a retail store, you want come back! Otherwise, you decide that this was your last trip there! Too bad…
At the end of the day, what matters in life is to find out the right place for you to hang out and have fun. The internet is so diversed that you can find out many sites that will make you happy… Enjoy the web and be happy!

Categories
Anthropology big screen, little screen, ipod Games other worlds stranger than LOST

Lost in Transmediality: Architecting Contingency in TV's Lost

Lost , a show its producers once described as Survivor meets The X-Files premiered as a new series in 2004 on ABC television. In 2009, Lost will begin its fifth season. Lost will only run for six seasons. This is the amount of time the producers say they needed to tell the story. Since initially airing, Lost has become one of the most widely discussed programs ever shown on TV and a true cultural phenomenon. On the surface, Lost is the story of the survivors of Oceanic flight 77, a trans-pacific flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California that crashed mid-flight on a remote tropical island. Below the surface, Lost is much more.
The most ardent fans of Lost are not just fans of the show; they are fans of everything that composes Lost. The architecture of Lost is trans-medial. Lost begins with the writers in L.A., crosses the Pacific to Hawaii where it is filmed and produced, gets broadcast to the world as television entertainment, enters the liminal space of the internet where it begins to blur the boundary between the created and the real, and then, sometimes, Lost enters into the real world. Those who follow the show most closely exist within a space where the fictional has seemingly become real and as such has become something they, as real world human beings, can touch, taste, and perhaps even contribute to.
In fact, Lost is a composite of technical forms which, through purposeful architectural design, manages to create contingency within the fan community. It is through this lens of uncertainty as to the actuality of what is happening within the fantasy world of Lost that fans are forced to sift in order to discover the answers to their many questions. To add further confusion to the issue, the producers also blur the lines between the worlds of fantasy and that of reality. This inter-textual and inter-world nature of Lost is representative of a contemporary discourse in which the entire range of media and products must be considered in order to understand why fans continue to speculate, argue, and wait anxiously for the next episode of the show to appear. The architecture of uncertainty built into Lost is as complex as it is compelling and in order to have an understanding of how the show has acquired such a dedicated fandom, one must look at what came before Lost.
At its most basic level, Lost is an island survival story in the tradition of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719 and is considered by some to be the first novel written in the English language. The characters on Lost, like Crusoe before them, find themselves stranded on an island where they encounter a number of ‘others’ and are forced to come to terms with a variety of moral, religious, and economic decisions as a result of these encounters.
Lost though is more than a survival story, it is also the story of ‘the island’ and as such owes a large debt to Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island published in 1874. Like the castaways on Verne’s island, those on Lost, arrive from the sky and experience strange phenomenon. In addition, Verne’s story also has a dog, a submarine, a mysterious beacon from another castaway, and supplies which come from an unknown source. The creators of Lost have recently acknowledged The Mysterious Island as the starting point for the story of Lost.
In fact, Lost, owes a large debt to many in science fiction and fantasy. Many of the episode titles are in reference to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Numerous references are made to white rabbits and both a prominent location and an episode are named “The Looking Glass”. Like Alice, the castaways have gone down the rabbit hole and are now in a world which does not always make sense to them in terms of the world they have left. And, like the readers of Carroll’s works, the audience of Lost is left in a state of uncertainty as to what is going to happen next.
Lost uses multiple methods to create this uncertainty, among them, serialized formats similar to those of radio and film in the early 1900’s. While serials fell into many different genres such as science fiction, western, or detective stories; the common elements often included a recap of previous episodes and at the end of the episode a cliff-hanger ending and an ambiguous preview of the next episode. In Taking Soaps Seriously: The World of Guiding Light, Michael James Intintoli looked at soap operas from an anthropological perspective. His descriptions of soaps sound like a description of Lost:
… viewers cannot be sure of an outcome or the well being of any particular character during any particular program. (Intintoli. p.52)
One of the things that Lost fans have both complained and marveled at is that even the most popular characters can be killed off without any notice. Lost has earned a reputation for killing off characters just as they start to become interesting. Of course, sometimes they don’t stay dead, or perhaps they never died at all, or maybe the viewers were looking at the past or future of the characters, or maybe the idea of death isn’t quite the same on Lost as it is in the real life. Fans are rarely sure a character is dead or at least dead and gone. Unless the actor is dead, which hasn’t happened yet, but even that might be no guarantee.
Lost is a trigger to the imaginations of those who have become fans of the show. Unlike the confined two hours of a film narrative, Lost makes time an uncertainty as it progresses in a non-linear format which can move from past to present and from character to character while still maintaining a cohesive meta-arc due to the hyper-knowledge the fans have about the text. In the season three finale, Through the Looking Glass, the show broke with a tradition of using only flashbacks and also began to use flash forwards. This only became apparent at the end of the show. And yet some fans had already figured it out based on the appearance of a cell phone that would not have been available at the time of a flashback.
This hyper-knowledge of the minutest details serves fans as a social currency (Jenkins: 1992) which allows for participation at a higher level within the fan community. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other cult television shows which preceded it, Lost has acquired a discriminating and productive audience which ranges from fans of the actors to fans who role-play as add-on characters within the greater narrative. These relationships between the fans, stars, producers, and the media have created an intricate web of connections which not only define the reaction to the show, but, according to many fans, determine the plot as well.
Charting the ecosystem of the world the show itself has created is not a simple task. While the show has only one ‘official’ website at ABC.com, fans have created millions of websites devoted to the show. A Google search of the keywords “Lost Television Show” brings up over 8-million pages. One of the most comprehensive is Lostpedia.com a community created wiki which details everything from transcripts to pop-culture references. In addition there are the very popular fan message board sites at thetailsection.com, thefuselage.com, and lost-tvforum.com with a combined total of more than 100,000 users. I should emphasize these are only three of the most popular and there are literally millions more websites.
Many of the websites are dedicated to discovering what the fans have dubbed ‘Easter Eggs’. Lost uses these hidden clues which are scattered throughout episodes, websites, and even the real world; to create a sense amongst watchers that there is a secret story that is hidden beneath the surface waiting to be found, however, many of the Easter eggs are so ambiguous that it becomes uncertain whether they are meaningful at all. One example of this is the books shown on the bookshelf of Ben, an evil-seeming character. Are the producers telling the fans where to find further clues or simply dressing the set with Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
In some cases these clues reveal startling things about the meta-narrative and its characters motivations and in others they are simply a way of acknowledging those fans that are paying extra close attention. These nods became important to the fans after a season two episode where the logo of an in-story organization called ‘Dharma’ was seen printed on the side of shark for less than a second. Associate Producer, Noreen O’Toole told me the producers are continually amazed at the speed with which the fans unearth even the most obscure Easter Eggs.
The producers have embedded sub-audible whispers within the show, reversed speech hidden within the soundtrack, shown split second images, utilized historical meaning behind names, and even had billboards put up in real-life New York City advertising Oceanic Air which then led fans to a fake website positioned as if it were real, which in turn took them into an alternate reality game (ARG) based on the show but anchored within the real world. Navigating these multiple realities is not easy and some fans have speculated that they might be looking at alternate realities which may not even exist for the characters at all!
Trans-medial fans analyze the names of characters or in-show businesses to locate anagrams such as ‘Mittelos’ a bioscience company mentioned in the show during the third season which fans quickly descrambled into ‘Lost Time’. Fans also take part in the multiple alternate reality games which the show has created. The trans-medial fans require more than the past, present, and future presented in the course of the series narrative. Instead, they are treated to a meta-story which exists independently of the TV show itself.
The Lost Experience, an alternate reality game which took place between seasons two and three revealed the story behind the story of some of the characters on the show. The New York Times described it “a multimedia treasure hunt that makes use of e-mail messages, phone calls, commercials, billboards and fake Web sites that are made to seem real.” This was followed by alternate reality games titles “Find 815” between seasons three and four and “The DHARMA Initiative Recruiting Project” between seasons four and five which is still in development according to ABC. The Oceanic Air billboard mentioned earlier was a part of “Find 815”. The alternate reality games introduced new characters and storylines that the producers claimed would help unlock the many secrets of the island.
The producers have released at least one book which has brought about intense speculation. Lost Twin is a detective story, written by Gary Troup, a fictional passenger who died when Flight 77 crashed. Characters in the second season find, read, and then burn the manuscript which was salvaged from the flight. Later that year, in the real world, Hyperion Books, released the book complete with an account of how the author had disappeared on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. Troup figured prominently in The Lost Experience, the first alternate reality game associated with the show. This is but one example of how the lines between reality and fiction have become blurred on Lost.
Lost is a unique artifact of the early twenty-first century United States of America. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, “The media is the message,” and as such the totality of the ecosystem the media creates and encompasses is deserving of careful scrutiny. Lost is the nexus of a more modern sort of entertainment.
Lost fandom is a worldwide group connected by shared experience, the internet, common knowledge, and sometimes through meeting in person. They create a community, establish rules and norms within it, and at the same time are perhaps even convinced that they have the means to take a hand in shaping the source of the culture which they are participating in.
Fans of the show see Lost as the cutting edge of breaking down the wall between the production and consumption of entertainment. The producers of the show see Lost as a new way of telling stories. The truth is, Lost, is a means of interactive storytelling which spans multiple media and makes the fans think they might be contributing to the way that the story is told, but they don’t know. The writers and producers of the show create this sense of contingency within a complex global media.
Those who are most interested in the show find meaning in the tiniest details. Elaborate theories have been constructed to explain how and why the characters are on the island, heated debates rage as to the validity of these theories, and the ultimate conclusion is that even those with the best theories are forced to wait for the producers to reveal the plot or the spoilers to leak. Thus far all theories have been disproved or modified to fit new data.
Within minutes of an episode airing, fans have captured screenshots, magnified book titles from the background, played audio forward and backward, identified the most obscure use of previous plot, identified historical or literary references based on the names of characters, locations, or companies, and constructed philosophically deep theories as to the reasons these things have been included.
Lost attempts to cross the boundary from the fictional to the real. The production is architected to create contingency and thus draw the fans into speculation about what is real versus what is fantasy. While it is descended from island stories and serialized drama, Lost distorts time, death, and meaning in new ways. The show has millions of fans and the producers use Easter Eggs to reward dedicated fans with a deeper understanding of the show which can then be used as a form of social currency within the fan community. Lost architects contingency using a combination of old methods, such as literary devices and new methods such as alternate reality games and embedded audio. Through this combination of forms, Lost has become a new sort of entertainment which caters to a new form of fan. Lost is a television show, an online game, an obsession, a lifestyle, and to some extent, Lost is real.

Categories
Games Politics

Happy Thoughts.

I know everyone is all abuzz over the Olympics and Joe Biden (by the way, I am incredibly surprised that Obama picked such a magnificent running mate…maybe he will be okay after all) but here are some interesting thoughts to consider. (Thanks Relevellerr!)

-The Senate is processing a resolution (#580) which calls for a number of sanctions on Iran and urges the president to blockade Iran for the purpose of preventing that country from receiving any shipments of refined petroleum. Because of its limited refining capacity, Iran must import 40% of the oil it consumes. The situation echoes memories of the U.S. blockade of Japan over 67 years ago which prevented that country from receiving the oil it needed and which is now considered to have been a factor in Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor.
-49 Senators have signed on as co-sponsors of Resolution 580.
-The House of Representatives is processing a resolution (#362) similar to the Senate’s, but one that also urges the president to set up a blockade to inspect all people and items entering or leaving Iran and prohibiting Iranian officials from traveling outside the country except for the purpose of nuclear negotiations. In a bulletin published last month, Ron Paul described it as a “virtual war resolution.”
-261 Congressmen have signed on as co-sponsors of Resolution 362.
-Three weeks ago, major elements of the U.S. Navy and several other nations including the United Kingdom and France, concluded a naval exercise in the Atlantic, called Brimstone, and described as a dress rehearsal for a blockade of Iran.
-Since then, the following naval assets have been reported to be heading for the Persian Gulf and the other waters abutting Iran:
-the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, with French Naval Rafale fighter jets on board, and her battle group,
-the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and her battle group,
-the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious assault ship,
-the United Kingdom’s aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and her battle group,
-and the French nuclear attack submarine Amethyste along with other French ships.
-This armada is joining up with the existing elements of the Fifth Fleet already in the Gulf and its vicinity, which include:
-the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and her battle group,
-the USS Peleliu and her battle group,
-at least one nuclear attack submarine and a variety of other U.S. ships.
-It has been widely reported in the foreign press that this is the largest naval buildup in the Gulf area since the inception of the war in Iraq.
-Russia recently conducted a naval exercise in the Mediterranean involving at least 11 warships, an unknown number of submarines, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsoy and the heavy missile cruiser, Moskva, described as the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet. The exercise was conducted out of and supplied by the Russian facilities at the Syrian port of Tartous.
-The German online publication, ALLES SCHALL und RAUCH, reported that the Kuznetsoy carries about 47 combat jets and ten attack helicopters. The planes have stealth capabilities that are considered inferior to America’s technology, according to the article, but Russian planes were allegedly able to approach U.S. vessels without being detected.
-Undoubtedly, the U.S. and its allies have developed an arsenal of cutting-edge weaponry that has been kept under wraps. Nevertheless, the German report goes on to say that Russian missile technology is of a particularly high order. It claims that there are no known effective counter measures at this time to protect against the high speed torpedoes and missiles Russia has developed that could be capable of sinking an aircraft carrier.
-It is also thought that this technology may have been shared with Tehran which recently conducted its own missile tests, following Israel’s extensive dress rehearsal for an aerial attack on Iran.
-Israel, Kuwait and the other Gulf States have already made their “war contingency plans”, according to news reports, in the face of the growing likelihood of a major regional war in the Middle East.
-The recent and somewhat ongoing crisis in Georgia is considered by some foreign analysts to have been an early move in the high stakes game of chess that seems to be rapidly developing. There is considerable disagreement in the world press over whether the Georgian conflict was actually initiated by the West or by Russia. However, given the fact that it occurred at a time when the movement against Iran was already well underway, it is considered likely that there is a connection.
It may already be too late, but if Iran does not soon take the necessary steps to ease the concern over its assumed nuclear weapons program, it appears that a major action will occur. This most likely would involve a blockade, at least initially, although the possibility of a direct aerial, naval and missile attack cannot be entirely ruled out.
Even a blockade would almost certainly disrupt the supply of oil, however, causing the price to surge and cascading another wave of woe across the already struggling global economies.
Furthermore, the unknown reactions of China and Russia, in this respect, represent the ultimate risk of a naval or aerial confrontation between major nuclear powers.

Categories
big screen, little screen, ipod Games kim jong il Politics Uncategorized

Paris Responds, China and the U.S., and Kim Jong Il impersonating Roy Orbison

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

She’s not that hot. Really, not my type at all. As attraction goes however, there is a big attraction between the U.S. and China…and they want the world to know it.

BEIJING — The new U.S. Embassy in the Chinese capital is a sprawling maze of glass and concrete that’s the second biggest construction project in the history of the State Department. President Bush himself will inaugurate the complex Friday.
Last week, Chinese officials opened their own giant embassy in Washington, which, at 250,000 square feet, is the biggest embassy in the U.S. capital.
The almost simultaneous inaugurations of the two mega-embassies weren’t a coincidence, U.S. officials said. The two superpowers have been working for years to synchronize the openings days before Friday’s start of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The two countries wanted to send a clear message to the world that Chinese-U.S. ties were what U.S. Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt Jr. called “the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.”

Categories
Games Ink Dribblers

Sci Fi novel Enders Game could be your game

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Life!) – “Ender’s Game,” the classic science fiction novel about a boy military genius who is trained through war games to fight aliens, is finally becoming a game itself.
Under a deal announced on Tuesday, Chair Entertainment, the game studio behind the recent hit “Undertow,” will develop titles based on Orson Scott Card’s book.
The novel, with its probing of the line between reality and games, has long been eyed by video game fans as a rich source of material for the medium.
Chair plans to make several titles based on the book, with the first one slated to be a downloadable game that should be available in 2009.
Card said he decided to move ahead with an “Ender’s Game” video game after years of wrangling to make a feature film bore no fruit.
“There is going to be a universe of ‘Ender’s Game’ games, hopefully. But that’s like someone starting a restaurant and thinking about opening 100 franchises all over the country,” Card told Reuters.
“Let’s make this one work first,” Card said.
The first game will focus on the Battle Room, the elite military academy where Ender hones his strategic and tactical skills and that provided some of the most memorable scenes in the book.

Sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game” to become video game: Scientific American

Categories
cash and poverty Games

The True Meaning of the Olympics- 1.5 Million evicted and homeless

It’s just what we all aspire for in the world, friendly competition among nations to see who can treat their poor the worst.
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GENEVA – China continues to evict 13,000 people each month in preparation for the Beijing Olympics, despite worldwide attention and increased scrutiny, a housing rights group said Wednesday.
The Center on Housing Rights and Evictions said a recent trip to the Chinese capital confirmed an estimate it made earlier this year that 1.5 million people would be displaced by the time the 2008 Games are held.
Beijing says the group is grossly inflating the number of people being relocated as a result of the Olympic preparations, and that residents are content with the compensation they have received.
“Despite courageous protests inside China, and condemnation by many international human rights organizations, the Beijing municipality and Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games have persisted with these evictions and displacements,” said Jean du Plessis, the Geneva-based COHRE’s deputy director.
The group — which claimed in June that 1.25 million had already been displaced — said it returned to Beijing in August and found that forced evictions were continuing unabated.

Categories
Games snake oil

Sad barometer of decreasing free time – 'express' board games

This is one of the saddest statements on our culture that I have seen recently. People have so little free time that they need “express” versions of classic board games like Monopoly, Sorry or Scrabble that can be played in 20 minutes. If you don’t have more than 20 minutes to sit down and play with your children or your family or your friends, maybe you need to change your life, not buy an “express” version of leisure. Board games are MEANT to drag on, to be lingered over, to pass time… We could probably all benefit from making the time to sit down and play a good old non-electronic board game with other people – for more than 20 minutes!

Hasbro Monopoly Express : Target

Categories
Games Oddities

Rollercoaster Ride Record Rocked!

A thrillseeker has smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest rollercoaster marathon.
Richard Rodriguez overtook the previous total of nine days and 12 hours at 12.01am on Monday.
The 48-year-old broke the record on the Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Not content with this feat, the American is still riding the rollercoaster to maximise his total.
He said: “It feels amazing to be the world record holder once again, but I’m not just going to give up now – I want to stay on for as long as possible and make my record a solid one.
“The ride crews and all the visitors who have come to support me have been a great help and have inspired me to stay positive during this successful record attempt so I’d like to thank them all.”
Mr Rodriguez has to eat, drink and sleep on rollercoasters as he takes on the ultimate endurance test.
In accordance with stringent Guinness Book of Records guidelines, the American will accumulate five minutes respite for every full hour ridden to allow him to change clothes, shower, have a hot meal and transfer onto the Big Dipper for night-time riding.
He was going head to head with two challengers at Freizeitland Gieselwind park in Germany, but they dropped out after 36 hours due to medical reasons.
Mr Rodriguez had held the record for nearly 30 years until German Frank Rossler beat it last year.

Categories
Games Travel

Big Wheels on Lombard Street