Mar 7: Well, what can I say? Most of the crew came
over to celebrate my 40th! I honestly can't believe they were
silly enough to fly 4,000 miles to see me - for Cheryl and Simone it was
for a long weekend only! You are all crazy and I love you!
Mar 7: Bad luck Gazzer. The Doomfest became a
snack as I did not find much meat on dem bones. Scores across a
narrow range of levels (we did not get more than an hour) were: 20-3,
20-8, 1-1, 20-9, and 20-12. And if you think you were getting
better as the games wore on, think again.
November: See some
selected pictures from Summer
- vacation at the Beach with the Boys, and some close friends...and
Ashley's home coming...
October 11: Ipswich Town say
farewell to an era.
My own era. God speed
George - you are the best!
Sept 6: The
Simsonline meets Cyberlia:
from JoWood is a sims online game with life style objectives
July 31: Did you know that the oldest document that has
legally standing laws (in the UK) that impact the English Constitution
go back to 1297! It is the Magna Carta. And that not having
a written constitution is an advantage? Talk about adaptive
July 25: Getting things in perspective. All you need to
know about NEO - Near-Earth Object 2002 NT7; 1 in 250,000 if hitting
Earth and if it did, you can cancel that BBQ; in fact you can cancel
NASA Asteroid and comet
impact hazard site
Some new pics of
Ashley and Danielle and Ali, before their prom, May
Her Majesty, the Queen Mother, left this world for
the next. March 31 2002.
All my 2002 news here.
from 1998 and really old news from 1997 (old format).
My Favorite website
Hey Gaz and Rob, remember Blake 7?
Here is the largest site on
the web dedicated to Blake and the team.
Orac - one of the Seven
(before One of Seven was even conceived!)
My Favorite Books
My current top or recently read boos are:
River out of Eden, by Richard
Dawkins. Review of evolutionary biology; arguments for how complex
beings and things evolve when some would say, "it it so rare and complex,
there is no way you can use 'half an eye'". Also, did you know that
bees tell the time? Not according to a 12 or 24 hour watch, but they
can tell time. Read on maestro! Here are some interesting
quotes from the book:
"Genes do not improve in the using. they are just
passed on, unchanged except for very rare random errors. It is not
success that makes good genes. It is good genes that makes success,
and nothing an individual does during its lifetime has any effect whatever
upon its genes."
"Paternal genes and maternal genes do not blend; they
"To survive in the long run a gene must be a good
"There are now perhaps thirty million branches to the
river of DNA, for that is an estimate of the number of species on earth.
It has also been estimated that the surviving species constitute about 1
percent of the species that have ever lived."
"We - and that means all living things - are survival
machines programmed to propagate the digital database that did the
"Darwinism works only because - apart from discrete
mutations, which natural selection either weeds out or preserves - the
copying process is perfect."
"Nature is not cruel, it is pitilessly indifferent."
"We humans have purpose on the brain. We find
it hard to look at anything without wondering what it is "for," what the
motive is, or the purpose behind it."
Take a party scenario where everyone is talking at
the same time, trying to be heard. Why is it that the party always
gets louder and louder? Why don't people cooperate and talk in
whispers so that more can be heard? Look at this:
"Time and again, cooperative restraint is thwarted by
its own internal instability. God's Utility Function seldom turns
out to be the greatest good for the greatest number. God's Utility
Function betrays its origins in an uncoordinated scramble for selfish
"Nature's Utility Function never values longevity for
its own sake but only for the sake of future reproduction." Why is
it that one species of salmon return to spawn and die, and another will
repeat the cycle (to their original birth place) twice? How can
nature justify the energy diversion?
And my favorite, "..we inherit what it takes to be
young, but not necessarily what it takes to be old."
- Why people buy things they don't
need, by Pamela Danziger. Interesting commentary and analysis of
the discretionary nature of consumer purchases. Most readers will
"see themselves" in this book; mostly straight forward analysis of the
"why" people by rather than the "what" or "where". Good breakdown
by product category in the latter half; and some good advise for brand
managers and marketers.
- Small pieces loosely joined
David Weinberger. Another
explanation of the networked society we now find ourselves in.
Some interesting insights.
- The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of
Socialism, by Friedrich A. Hayek.
Other books in my
PC Game Review
Diggles: the myth of Fenris
You have to play this game to believe it. Heralded in the early
promotion as a cross between Creatures 3 and The Sims, this is awesome.
You control a bunch of dwarves who each have unique settings for each
trait - giving them personality. Some are cuddly, and some are not
so! This is the AI side of the game and its hilarious. Then
unlike The Sims, they have children and in time, die. This is more
like it! You can nurture them (feed, sleep, drink, play) and create
a family that has an end date - just like the real thing. Its
not quite the same "god-like as in Black and White, but its as innovative.
When it loads, you can still see some
German file names - giving away the developers nationality. And you
gotta see the sword fight "slow motion" that takes a leaf out of The
Matrix! But the strange thing is that the defeated (dead) enemy
dwarf simply gets up and walks away - well it is the tutorial. This
might be the next Black and White - that is until the new Black and White
gets going with the new version with hundreds of warring town folk yapping
at the Creature's heels (we will have to wait for this though!) This
IS the game to get. Gorgeous graphics and hilarious interaction
between the dwarves. Even more hilarious - spot the "stick up"
dwarves planted all over the place!
And here is a screen shot of
the family gathering.
Top 20 Games - My
current favorite games as at November 2003 along with my ranked
favorites in each category I track:
Most innovative game formats:
- "Real Life" games: Majestic,
EA Games: like playing "The
Game" for real; highly interactive game with email, phone, fax
- God Games: Black and White (EA Games),
preceded by Sacrifice,
and followed up by Warrior Kings:
massive 3D worlds with complete freedom of movement often with "god"
like control; Creatures 3, and then Sea Monkeys,
and now Diggles: AI enhanced god-like population management
- Simulation/Business: Tropico, and now Cultures: RTS games
typically where you mine goods and build cities, towns, etc., but where
each "person" in the game has their own personality...like little bots
with cute AI
- Massively Multiplayer/avatar focused
online: Mankind: massively multiplayer
format with longevity, promotion, persistent universe, followed up
with Anarchy Online
- The Sims Online (massively
multiplayer, persistent, Sims for real)
Most Promising Games on the Horizon
(not yet released)
Previous TOP 20 Games
Games worth the demo maybe, but not the $20
Future of game
Game Sites worth following:
Cyberlia and Cyberternity
See what's up in the
on-line world, Cyberlia. Sign up and
"get your second chance today!"
Too many of my favorite
people died and got "there" before I did.
Here is a sample.
Remembering John Vidler, May
31st, 2001. After a long illness, we wish him fraternal
rest. And thinking of Ken Crellin. And Uncle Gordon
White. And Jeanie Jones. Ted. Measles.
Sandy. Long way Nanny. Little way Nanny and Grandad.
What is Delboy really about?
See here the Truth behind Delboy.
Access his Record List of Jazz, Funk and Soul from the
1970's-80's. Find out what the "Bog Roll Top 20"
Hall update 8/2002
the sea of life, so many waves travel in the same direction. And
yet, They all break in two." Delboy, "Kingdoms
November 1987. Try these for size:
One by One,
Token, or this
Labour get real chance to damage
My favourite Press
Line: "It has been suggested that Mr Blair, like his
grandfather Jimmy Lynton, is essentially an actor. Every actor needs
a script, and yesterday, Mr Blair lost his favourite
So how far would you go? If you chart Tony Blair's speeches to
notable meetings in the UK in the year before his child's
birth, you would have noticed a change in the message.
Film: Forbidden Planet
See some great pics and hear some sounds from
the greatest sci-fi of all time; and see a review of Jacques
PC Games (with
PC games we have been playing. Also, check out our plans for Barbarossa.
we forget, at Remembrance and beyond... WWII Poem