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Bartlomiej Owczarek weblog

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Freakangels, online cartoon

Found freakangels today. It is published weekly. So far just two episodes.
20080223 freakangels.jpg

I think I like it.




Best SF movie this year

I just saw Cloverfield. By Bad Robot Productions.

Bad Robot

I know that the year is still young.




Polish teen tops theregister news

14-year-old modified TV remote to manipulate tracks and play with trains in Lodz (not surprising, there is hardly anything to do in this city). The Brits are impressed, the news gets privileged position on theregister:

theregister

At last, news of impressive tech innovations are starting to come out of this country.

Fancy a cartoon noir?

Here, enjoy.

Biblefight (Flash)

Ok I need to mention Przemek’s idea of the best Flash game:)

Biblefight

Biblefight (combat game). Technically rather impressive.

Flash games: Japanese (Makibishi)

Oh it seems Japanese can make beautiful games:

Makibishi

Weird but beautiful.

Flash games: M. Skutnik

Yesterday I got to fight zombies, but today I bumped into works of Mateusz Skutnik, which are a bit more refined than that. I was pleasantly surprised, that while looking for quality stuff, works of someone from Poland pops up.

Instead of shooting, the games are more into exploring rooms, finding stuff and solving riddles. As for me – on a minus side, there is less mood than in zombies and no soothing action (shooting), on the other hand, exploration is a plus. I believe mixing action and thinking and mood is the way to go, riddles alone may get tiring after some time.

See here for one called Covert Front. First episode. I finished it myself so I am proud.

Covert Front

I clicked a bit around and it turned out that Mr Skutnik is a rather known Polish illustrator. He co-created a cartoon illustrating one of the Polish philosophers. Read some of his blog. Impressive.

First cool flash game I played

I’m thinking if it is possible to make a cool game online, let’s say in flash.

So far the coolest game I found is Last Stand:

Last Stand

Not exactly the deepest story, but still I played till I finished it.

Maybe not deep but it has: a dark mood, exploration element (new weapons), and shooting which is cool.

Philharmonic experience

On Saturday it was first time I went to Warsaw Philharmonic and now I’m hooked.

I already bought ticket for this Friday, when Mendelssohn’s violin concerto will be performed, among others. Never heard it before, but I’m in love with it and can’t wait to hear it live.

On Saturday I went with Ania, who, as it turned out, had some kind of uneasiness disorder and it was difficult for her to sit motionless for relatively long.

When we left, she commented that it must be so hard for the composers to compose these things where so many tracks are developing simultaneously and that they must had been schizophrenic in order to do that. Which in my opinion makes little sense because being schizophrenic, to me, amounts to having multiple personalities kicking in randomly, not like hearing in stereo or something.

And she heard Tolkien was schizophrenic too. Whatever.

The Witcher

I didn’t expect to be inspired today, but I was, and the reason is a game called the Witcher. I’m inspired by things that happen in Poland that have the potential to break through and be successful not only domestically, but also globally. We need more of this kind of things (and I plan eventually to create one myself).

Witcher is considered to be the Polish most successful fantasy novel (a series of novels in fact). Also personally, I think it’s a world class writing. Not sure how it translates to English though. But for sure it is a killing in Eastern Europe, because even my Russian colleagues knew it.

Nevertheless, attempts to transfer the story into movie format have been embarrassing failures. Low budget crap you better avoid watching, not spoil the feeling of book.

But now, Atari is developing a game together with CD Projekt, and, to me at least, the preview feels spectacular. See here for trailer. And here for some gameplay.

Start of the preview summarizes key success factors of the Witcher:

  • Blood and gore
  • Partial nudity (this should in fact not be partial but maybe they had to tune down)
  • Strong language
  • Strong sexual content
  • Violence

Only for adults.

The premiere is on 26th of October.

Let’s hope for something like the Russian “Nightguard” kind of success.

Definitely best movie this year

Azuloscurocasinegro

(It’s easy for me to say “definitely” since I don’t remember anything earlier than one month)

Crazy Spanish movie.

Maybe some things, characters feel like reused, but nevertheless, great fun watching.

The only time when I can listed new stuff on my ipod

Is when my hands are not free and I cannot skip tracks.

Sad, this inertia.

Terrorists and their essays

Today, looking for links between RAF and Individual Eleven.

Live event: Brigitte Mohnhaupt, a former RAF terrorist, was released from the prison after serving 24 years out of her five life sentences.

Ulrike Meinhof

Many of her comrades are already dead, some of them through collective suicide in the prison. The group included and was even named after (Baader-Meinhof Group) Ulrike Meinhof (on the left), who was earlier a journalist with leftist magazine konkret. Even before, according to Wikipedia, she studied philosophy, sociology, Pädagogik (roughly pedagogy) and Germanistik.

In 1970 she became a wanted terrorist after assisting escape of RAF’s leader.

Can’t help but be interested in this kind of people (women).

In her essay “The Concept of the Urban Guerrilla” she wrote:

The urban guerrilla can concretize verbal internationalism as the requisition of guns and money. He can blunt the state’s weapon of a ban on communists by organizing an underground beyond the reach of the police. The urban guerrilla is the weapon in the class war.

The “urban guerrilla” signifies armed struggle, necessary to the extent that it is the police which makes the indiscriminate use of firearms, exonerating class justice from guilt and burying our comrades alive unless we prevent them. To be an “urban guerrilla” means not to let oneself be demoralized by the violence of the system.

The urban guerrilla’s aim is to attack the states apparatus of control at certain points and put them out of action, to destroy the myth of the system’s omnipresence and invulnerability.

I spent some time trying to figure out what RAF was in fact supposed to achieve. The answers by Richard Huffman (recommended reading):

I don’t really think that Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof, and the rest really did much thinking about the “Utopia” that they were trying to usher in. It was all very vague. Mostly, they were concerned with attacking the Capitalist state, and the supposed injustices inherent within it.

The whole problem with most of the European Revolutionary terrorist movements is that for their movement to succeed they had to ultimately generate mass support of the proletariat. For obvious reasons, this never happened. Essentially Baader, Meinhof and the rest adopted an elite attitude as discussed by Debray. They felt that the proletariat was enslaved in the temporary comforts of a a crippling Capitalist society, and they needed to be educated by an enlightened elite; they clearly felt that this was their role. The way to educate the people was to attack the state, provoke a massive “fascist” response, and have the proletariat “learn” the true nature of the German beast. Unfortunately for them, because they were so caught up in the intellectual, internal Marxist debates of the time, the terrorists never really understood that the people — the “proletariat” — would never find their actions appealing.

And last on Ulrike:

Here’s a small bit of “pop” psychology that I have developed about Meinhof: She was a woman plagued by self-doubt. Essentially she had very low self-esteem and spent much of her life attempting to alleviate her self-doubt. Though she was possibly the most famous female journalist in Germany in 1970, she didn’t feel worthy of her success. She told herself that she was a hypocrite for earning large sums of money as a journalist while using her column to espouse radical Marxist and Socialist views. She joined up with Baader, she felt, to “put her money where her mouth was” (–an American expression meaning putting into action the views that a person espouses). As for myself, I believe that it was a more fundamental desire that motivated Meinhof — the desire the alleviate her self-doubt. It was less a political act and more an emotional act.

Of course it didn’t work. Quickly after joining the RAF she was pushed to the sidelines by Baader and Ensslin. She was still very important within the group — she wrote their manifesto “The Concept of the Urban Guerrilla” — but she was not one of the top two leaders.

During her time in Stammheim prison, the other defendants ostracized her. It was clearly this ostrazation that pushed her to commit suicide. Having thrown her lot with Baader, Ensslin, Raspe, etc., she found that she was still plagued by self doubt. But stuck in prison, having turned her back on her old friends, her family, her children, and now her only companions were turning their back on her, Meinhof felt she only had one option left: suicide.

Periodic table of data visualization

Nice.

Periodic table of data visualization methods

Linked by Guy Kawasaki.

Horseriding improvements

Today, I presented myself favorably against the background of the remaining Group 1 members, namely, two kids, and got promoted to Group 2. Not sure if the timing was good, but better late than never.

Anyway, welcome to the world of gallop. Today I tried it for the first time. It rocks.

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