Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Numbers

So I'm at a college camp, enjoying free time and dormitory experience. I just finished this book.
Below.

http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/x0/x3479.jpg
http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/x0/x3479.jpg

It was enjoyable. It turns out many of math's roots stem from finger counting and the abacus. That was a truly ingenious invention. They should return them to grade school education as they provide visualization of all basic math.

In addition I was impressed with the later, advanced chapters. As being on the verge of taking BC calculus next year, I'm excited to see new ideas and concepts, particularly the ideas around infinity. I don't completely understand it but it is a logical first taste. And I'm still impressed with the information that "calculus" means pebbles in Latin.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Oasis: Beauty of the Unexpected

So i've been playing some Fallout 3.

(Sub Quest Spoiler)

A solid game, not doubt about it. I was exploring the northern rim, trying to find me some of the final achievement quests I had yet to finish. Passing a rocky mesa I happen to turn my head from the interstate wreckage I was heading toward. I see a small mountain path shaded by the stone cliffs, my meta-game sub conscious clicked, Clearly a programmer had a reason for random paths so finely hidden. I deviate and follow.

Winding up the path i hit a small green shrub and some glowing mushrooms. In just about any game this would have been unremarkable. Indeed, I almost ignored the sign until another part of my subconscious ( I give credit where credit is due) did a double take.

GREEN!?!?

In a world of brow dirt and gray buildings? A gritty, dark color scheme that has been etched into my eyes now dazzles me with the color green? This in incredible. Indeed it was. I had discovered the Oasis of Fallout 3.

http://s3-llnw-screenshots.wegame.com/9165303733667126/9165303733667126_l.jpg
http://s3-llnw-screenshots.wegame.com/9165303733667126/9165303733667126_l.jpg

This lush grove is akin to a druid's sacred prayer ground. Indeed, it is arguably a small nod to the vast landscape that Bethesda creates in Cyrodiil. I then met Harold, the ghoul/man with an intimate deciduous friend. The quest was a complete show stopper, because in a world of nukes, super mutants, and Liberty Prime, I now stood in a tranquil forest. Fallout 3 was indeed the act of stripping away all that was normal until it became ingrained into your head that empty cans and bottles littering derelict houses were commonplace. That all trees could be redefined as charred sticks. That rocks and cracked asphalt were the customary terrain.

Once the status quo is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Bethesda provides one measly location on the outskirts of the game world. Carefully hidden to the point that shear luck is the only key to discovery. But upon discovery, reality of what is normal rushes back and you realize the twisted fairy tale that has been a drain (but an enjoyable one) on your spare time. Bethesda made a capital of aberrations to give you one moment of revelation, one instance of realizing how beautiful the natural world truly is. Because of this stupefying experience to rekindle a lost reality, The Oasis quest in Fallout 3 is the best mini-quest in all of gaming history.

For more info: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Oasis
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Return, and Summer Begins

So i have an exam on monday, then it's summer. Luckily, it's physics, which fits the theme of the blog. There is not much of an excuse for not posting for 7 months but at least I'm back

I'm working on Douglas Adams, currently book two, the Restaurant at the end of the Universe. I am a fan of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and all of their ineffective robots. And Roosta (and his towel) may be my favorite minor character.

In the video game world, I've started Doom 3 but I'll need a full night to truly delve into such a classic sci-fi horror game.

I also finally beat the Starcraft 1 Terran Campaign. Probably 4 years to late but at least I did it.
It is the ultimate ending, rebel leader turns corrupt emperor and the comrades you grow to trust are now outlaws. It's cliche but I enjoy it thoroughly, that is what science fiction is all about. The same story, told in different ways, with different universes to observe and learn.

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