July 17, 2012
July 13, 2012
Last week, CBC radio – Canada’s national radio station – were discussing a question: why don’t people care more about global climate change? Now, there was a lot of discussion back and forth, much of it from people that were genuinely surprised that there even WERE people who don’t care about it.
It doesn’t surprise me at all.
There was a study done once on how people donate to charity. (I promise this will relate to the climate change thing in a moment.) The study did two tests. In the first test, people were given $5 for performing a survey, but after the survey, they were told about how there were a million people in some African nation who were in desperate need of food, water, and medicine. They were then given the chance to donate some of their $5 towards the charity.
In the second test, other people were still given $5 for performing a survey, but after the survey, they were told about a single child in that nation who was in desperate need of food, water, and medicine, with some details were given about that child’s life and family. The second group was also given the chance to donate some of their $5 towards the charity.
The people who donated towards the million people in Africa gave an average of $1.14. The people who donated to the child gave an average of $2.38.1 That’s more than double. Crazy, but true. See, when people see a challenge that they truly can’t do something about on their own, they’re less likely to even try. A million people? I can’t possibly help that many. One person? Sure, I can help!
So, what does this have to do with climate change?
- Source: “Made To Stick”, written by Chip and Dan Heath, 2007 ↩
July 11, 2012
Alphie and Bettie have decided to take an unusual road trip through some of the United States, so they got in their car and started driving. They started in a state that had the letter K in its name, then drove to a neighbouring state with the letter L in its name, then to a state with the letter M, a state with the letter N, a state with the letter O, and ended at a state with the letter P. They only drove through six states in total, and never drove through the same state twice. Can you figure out the trip that they took?
(click to read the rest of this post…)
July 4, 2012
In honor of the Fourth of July, here’s a quick puzzle. Every one of these answers has USA in it:
- _ _ USA _ _ – Breakfast meat
- U _ S _ _ A – Villain in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
- _ _ USA – Composer of “Stars and Stripes Forever”, along with other marches
- _ U _ S _ A – Largest country in the world
- _ US _ A _ _ – Hot dog topping
- U _ SA – ____ Minor (The Little Dipper)
- US _ A _ – Ordinary, as expected
- _ U _ _ _ SA ? – “What’s up?” in Spanish
- _ U _ SA – Oklahoma city
- _ _ _ USA – Mythical creature with snakes for hair
- _ US _ _ A _ – A stage performance with an abundance of songs
- U _ _ _ _ SA _ – Bearded old man that symbolizes America
- _ US _ _ A _ _ _ – Island continent
- _ US _ A _ _ – Man with a wife
- _ _ USA _ _ _ – Christian military expeditions in the Middle Ages
June 12, 2012
I’ve made it no secret in the past that my favorite video game console of all time is the Nintendo Wii. So, I’ve been following the news about the Wii U, Nintendo’s upcoming console, with quite a bit of interest. Many of Nintendo’s fans have been wondering why the Wii’s successor looks the way it does. A tablet with buttons? What was Nintendo thinking? To be honest, I wondered the same thing, until I thought some more and realized that the Wii U is exactly what Nintendo’s next console had to be.
First, some background. When it launched in 2006, the Nintendo Wii caught the world by storm. For over 2 years after that launch, it was difficult to even find the Wii on store shelves. As of May 2012, over 90 million Wiis have been sold. Despite heavy declines in recent years, the system has been huge for Nintendo. However, the Wii also had some faults, some which got worse with age (such as the lack of support for HDTVs). Nintendo knew that it would have to make a new console soon, and that it would need these features:
- Backwards compatibility. When your previous console sold 90 million units, it would be a serious mistake to make those games impossible to play on your brand new console. (I’m looking at you, Playstation)
- High-definition support. HDTVs were relatively uncommon in 2006. Now, not so much.
- Better ways to connect online.
There are others, I’m sure, but I want to focus on the first one, backwards compatibility. To make the new console work with Wii games, it needs to support the Wii Remote, which is a big restriction. But, it also has to have something unique, something that will make the new console truly feel like an upgrade. What to do?
Nintendo’s answer? Turn the next-generation Wii into a gigantic Nintendo DS.
The DS was launched in 2004, and when its various incarnations are included – DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL – it has sold a combined 150 million units. The newer 3DS, while having a slow start, has become a good-selling console as well, and both the DS and 3DS lines have been remarkably capable in a variety of game genres.
The handheld DS console has two screens, and games are played one screen or the other depending on context. The bottom screen is touch sensitive, the top screen is not. The left side has a D-Pad (directional buttons shaped like a plus sign), while the right side has four circular buttons in a diamond shape. On the top corners of the lower screen, there are two “shoulder buttons” for additional functions.
I have just described the DS. I have also just described the Wii U.
This is the Wii U. It has two screens; your TV, and the Wii U Gamepad, which looks a whole lot like the bottom screen of the DS. The Gamepad has a touch-sensitive screen that can communicate with the main TV screen. The Wii U is a super-sized DS.
I’m not the only one to figure this out, by the way. Scribblenauts, a popular game series for the DS, is making its way to the Wii U, and it appears to play just the same way on the Wii U as it did on the DS.
Bottom line, Nintendo knows what it’s doing with the Wii U.
Now, for some predictions about the Wii U:
- Scribblenauts won’t be the only major DS franchise to come to the Wii U. Other DS titles, like Pokemon and Rhythm Heaven, would be natural fits to move to the console.
- There will be more video games that end in the letter “u” released in the next two years than in the entire history of games combined.
- The Wii U will be less successful than the Wii was. The Wii was a perfect storm of popularity, and expecting Nintendo to beat that is unfair.
- At least a few of the most popular games on the Wii U will be completely new games, not based on any existing Nintendo IP (Mario, Zelda, etc.). The over-reliance on sequels isn’t healthy.
- I will help make a game for the Wii U. (At the moment, this is wishful thinking, but I am hopeful that it will come true.)
May 25, 2012
I’ve been working on a game made in Unity 3D. In it, you defend sheep from asteroids using the stars of the night sky. The codename for it right now is GLEAM, and here’s the first public screenshot of it:
It’s still being built, and much of the art you see here is temporary. However, if it looks interesting to you, tell me in the comments! If there’s enough interest, I’ll put up a version of it that you can beta test.
May 23, 2012
Each puzzle is a list of five words that all start with the same three letters. Can you figure out the three-letter answer to each puzzle?
|1. _ _ _ Y
2. _ _ _ LL
3. _ _ _ GED
4. _ _ _ NDBY
5. _ _ _ RFISH
|1. _ _ _ X
2. _ _ _ IR
3. _ _ _ BBY
4. _ _ _ NNEL
5. _ _ _ MINGO
|1. _ _ _ D
2. _ _ _ GO
3. _ _ _ NET
4. _ _ _ USES
5. _ _ _ ELESS
|1. _ _ _ B
2. _ _ _ ET
3. _ _ _ MON
4. _ _ _ PUTE
5. _ _ _ ATOSE
|1. _ _ _ U
2. _ _ _ SE
3. _ _ _ RNS
4. _ _ _ RIUM
5. _ _ _ USAND
|1. _ _ _ K
2. _ _ _ RY
3. _ _ _ LIN
4. _ _ _ QUEE
5. _ _ _ IGOLD
1. _ _ _ R
2. _ _ _ OS
3. _ _ _ LET
4. _ _ _ PTER
5. _ _ _ MPION
1. _ _ _ E
2. _ _ _ SA
3. _ _ _ AMI
4. _ _ _ VAGE
5. _ _ _ ESMAN
1. _ _ _ M
2. _ _ _ AR
3. _ _ _ DLE
4. _ _ _ BERY
5. _ _ _ GHTEN
1. _ _ _ L
2. _ _ _ CH
3. _ _ _ NUT
4. _ _ _ SANT
5. _ _ _ CEFUL
May 12, 2012
I told my followers on Twitter that I was going to do a blog post this week. I intended it to be about something else, but that fell through, so I decided to sketch up an idea from my friend EditorGeek instead. This one’s his fault:
March 24, 2012
Random sketchbook comic from about two months ago.
I’m not entirely happy with it, to be honest. I feel like the punchline could have been written much stronger. Oh well.
March 9, 2012
In 2003, I heard about the show “24″, in which each season has 24 episodes, each being the next consecutive hour of a day. It inspired me with an idea… what if there was a 24-hour comic strip? No, not a traditional 24-hour comic (although I greatly respect any who completes one of those). No… a comic where each new strip is the next minute of a day, making 1440 comics in total by the time that day is done.
So, I started the comic. And here it is, with all the strips that I actually finished:
And… that was all I wrote. Want to know how the rest of the comic would have gone?
(click to read the rest of this post…)