Category Archives: Technology

From Nintendo to Windows.

War At Our Doorstep: Finally a Worthwhile Promo

As the YouTube description goes:

The last “War at Our Doorstep” video I found to be quite a bore without the additional text and music…

Thus, the purpose for this slightly better video, which only took a small portion of time to create. Some of my blog posts likely take longer!

If you’ve already read War at Our Doorstep, then I recommend closing your eyes and listening to the soundtrack. Garage Band loops (legally available from the Apple Inc.) were utilized to create the soundtrack which was composed by Zechariah Barrett.

The soundtrack is a remix of something I composed for a prior obligation. This time there’s an extra background loop to add to the tone, as well as sound effects.

“It all started three weeks ago, when the first HWK-325 emerged from the night’s sky followed by a score more of its kind. 

The residents of our humble town knew little of the ways of war and were unprepared for the onslaught to come. Many lives were taken that first day, mainly of those who did not heed the alarm.

Since then, many of us have not dared to set foot out into the now foreboding pastures of our country which holds such terrors in the night.

Our storehouses we have filled with what sustenance we may until the bombers pass (which is our one last hope).

Those who have lived to see the bombers firsthand, such as myself, have reported many great wonders, such as the arrival of the AGL-435’s, great white bombers of extraordinary size which fought against the HWK-325 in a war of unknown causes.

Perhaps they warred for control of our land, for every day they would annihilate a few of our land’s kind residents in their destructive conflict.”

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Photographic Specs

For those interested, here are the specs WordPress has gathered about my camera which has been used for the majority of the compositions posted on this blog.

Type: JPG (sometimes changed to PNG)
Date: Oct 12, 2010 (France)
Camera: Kodak EASYSHARE M341
Settings: 1/400s, f/3.1, ISO 80
Focal length: 6mm (35mm for 35mm film)
Flash usage: No flash (not usually)
Exposure bias: 0 EV

Another Day Will Soon Pass

Tonight I aided my grandmother with basic computer skills, including monitoring e-mails, composing them, and adding contacts. It’s amazing what complexities we grow used to in life, and the capacity of the human brain to store such knowledge and practically apply it on a daily basis.

At around twelve or thirteen years old I was already developing and managing forums for fans of LEGO, motivated to do so after an adult fan had shut down his site. Even before that I was attempting to make video games out of Powerpoint presentations, and those diagrams I uncovered of my hopeful programs make for a great source of amusement regarding the imagination and perseverance behind it all, despite such fledgling knowledge.

Now, however, that time has brought with it maturity and even greater knowledge, I desire to use the full extent of my mental faculty for the glory of Christ, and to surround myself with people of the same pursuit.

Having studied world views, I am aware that the motivations of my readers may greatly differ. In the case of Secular Humanists (Atheists, Agnostics, [Neo]Darwinian Evolutionists, etc.), it may be the betterment of all mankind, or greater self worth. For Cosmic Humanists (New Age, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.), attaining a better realization of their “godhood,” or supernatural wellbeing may be more likely. Having this understanding of other beliefs has benefited me greatly, and provided a better comprehension of the goals, aspirations, desires, and proceeding actions of those around me.

Note: The mission statement has been updated on “About Me.”

Lackluster & Brilliancy: Contrast in Photography

Often times, when a photographic gem presents itself, it must be captured in the spur-of-the-moment, during which the adjustment of the lens, exposure, and whatnot will result in the loss of a moving subject. A few days ago I provided a glimpse at what little steps I take to restore compositions to their intended beauty.

Below is the original (albeit cropped and resized for space preservation and artistic purposes) version of the Courageous Takeoff, as well as the modified version which was included in the Goose~ology post.

"Unaltered" PNG Image

Unaltered with exception to cropping, resizing, and reformatting (JPEG – PNG). No touch-ups.

Altered PNG Image

What follows “The Triumphant Charge?” The Courageous Takeoff.

The difference is staggering, is it not?

 

 

 

 

Revitalizing: Adding the “umph” in Triumphant

Yesterday I posted a cropped photograph which I drew from my hundreds of compositions. As often happens, the crop did not have such clarity as its much larger counterpart, albeit there were certain elements (bordering houses, too “spacious,” etc.) that I found to be distracting and detrimental to the quality of the photograph.

Therefore I revitalized the composition to its original luster with a few slight tweakings:

Tutorial PNG

It’s amazing what a few little alterations can do.

Content ID Strikes Again!

For the third time on the same video, YouTube’s Content ID program has informed me that I have infringed on the copyright of others.

Due to the amount of such claims, I have developed a thorough explanation to be sent to each owner of said “infringed content” :

The content used within this video, and my other videos, are from loops provided by the Apple Corporation within their garage band application. These loops, Apple has stated, may be used without infringement ramifications with the stipulation that they are not used in their original form and sold as loops (for full legal terms, see terms of use). Without inspiration from music, videos, etc. I developed my videos from loops in a creative, legal manner, as permitted by Apple. The mistaken content ID match is likely generated due to Apple’s loops within the video, as has occurred with the other cases where my videos have been identified as matching copyrighted content, when in fact they are consisting of these loops mentioned. I thank YouTube and Google for their dedication to protecting the rights of their respective owners, as I too am a copyright holder. However, I would greatly appreciate if a distinction could be made with Garage Band loops, as those who use them as properly stipulated are not in violation copyright.

(Prior Claims were Released)

 

Notre Dame de La Rue: Paris, France

(100_4765-AW) PNG Image

Over the years, the famous Notre Dame of Paris has been captured at many different angles. There are various bridges spanning the length of the Seine throughout Paris – each offering their own unique advantage of composition. My most popular Notre Dame depiction was taken while floating upon the Seine, not at all uncanny. In this particular instance, however, I explored the “less pretty side,” viewing the Notre Dame from the streets of Paris on a very dreary and unabated rainy day.

The Crashing Waves

Over the course of a few days I developed a soundtrack for a mini-movie which I will be presenting before an English class representing the poem, Dover Beach. This is the soundtrack in question, with shooting for the video in progress:

This video is made legally using Apple Co. loops provided with the application, Garage Band, in accordance with Terms of Use.

After the Storm

Ever heard of the calm before the storm? Well this is the calm... AFTER the storm.

Kid Icarus: Uprising – Review

Kid Icarus: Uprising is the latest Nintendo 3DS game released by Nintendo and designed by Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the hit Smash Brothers series.

Introduction

You play as the angel Pit, following the orders of Palutena, the goddess of light and protector of

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

humanity, as you fight against the resurrected Medusa. Your journey takes you from towns to spaceships, futuristic landscapes to ‘natural’ wonders – each equally captivating, with an added vibrancy due to the extra dimension of 3-D. The story, however, does not end after your primary objective, taking an unexpected turn and extending gameplay exponentially as a result. Chapters may also be replayed at different intensity levels, from practically effortless to an infernal onslaught which may pose a challenge for even the most experienced of players.

Gameplay

Ease of gameplay has been disputed among players, however, it is certainly do-able. Albeit more suited to right-handed players, lefty’s should by no means be deterred, as only simple swipes of the stylus are required of their right hand. As a left-dominant player myself, I found the game to be difficult at first, albeit much easier after the first few missions had accustomed me to the configuration – no adjustment of the controls was necessary, albeit Nintendo has provided that as an option in addition to the circle-pad pro.

Sound

The soundtrack of Kid Icarus: Uprising is incredibly beautiful and uniquely assorted. From soothing orchestral, violin accompanied tracks, to simple ditties which serve but a momentary purpose – all serve to heighten the enjoyability of the game and immerse the player within the world of Greek myth. Not to mention, each piece is made available as an unlockable, by the completion Treasure Hunt achievements (which also reward hearts, weapons, idols, etc).

Dialogue is a key characteristic of the game, seemingly present without ceasing. Albeit, it rather serves as a compliment to gameplay, once a player is acquainted with the controls and may appreciate the witty repartees and mindless jabber with comprehension. Otherwise, they are aggravations at best. Once, however, this condition has been met, the dialogue maintains interest in a seemingly empty world (aside from the attacks of underworld minions), where there is little character interaction, aside from these exchanges.

Content

HNI_0079 (PNG Image from 3DS System)

Defeated! Visual depicts an AR Card idol battle captured with in-game camera applications.

The content of Kid Icarus: Uprising is truly abundant. With 25 chapters, unlockable back-to-back boss battles, dozens of weapons (to be bought with hearts, the KI:U currency) and power customizations (and a land + battle practice range to try them out on), three treasure hunts with one-hundred twenty achievements each, collectible in-game and paper-card “idols” (digital figures with descriptions and AR Card capabilities), streetpass-spotpass enabled, online / local multiplayer, and much more. Albeit some features are more engaging and useful than others.

Multiplayer is a competitive challenge, although there are no overall leaderboards, which is a letdown. Players accumulate points during the process of each match and are ranked according to their totals at the conclusion. Wins are saved and exchanged via streetpass.

Playable characters include:

  • Pit (primary): chief angel of Palutena, the goddess of light and protector of humanity. He is persistent, passionate, and often quite silly.
  • Pittoo: Pit’s Doppelganger, created by Pandora’s mirror, often an antagonizing force, albeit (highlight spoiler > ) linked with Pit in life force and becomes an ally due to necessity and a slight change of heart.
  • Magnus: powerful human mercenary, dedicated to fighting against underworld forces.
  • Little Girl: details unknown, resident of a ruined city.
  • Dog: details unknown, resident of a ruined city. Can sniff out and locate food in garbage, runs without tiring.

Family Analysis (E10+ [ESRB])

The characters within KI:U aren’t exceptionally frightening, albeit some are notably grotesque, such as the lord of the Underworld – with pointy fangs, red eyes, and whatnot. There is no blood, and most combat is against the forces of the underworld, in the form of giant eyeballs, frog-like beings, and other odd but otherwise inhuman creatures. There are, however, a few human / god encounters where a character will make known they have been defeated and may even make a corresponding exclamation of defeat. However, deaths are seldom, often with enemies returning to fight again unscathed. Albeit, this does not dismiss the violence in itself. The game is likely more suitable for tweens, teens, and older, than ten year-olds, unless families take care to monitor their child’s gameplay and discuss plotline implications. There are a few  sexual references – in one instance, Palutena jokingly tells Pit she can read minds and that he “better not be thinking anything naughty,” to which he exclaims in surprise, as if he had been contemplating unsavory matters. Some characters, such as a Nature-Force leader is flirtatious, while Amazon Pandora takes it a step further, emphasizing her appearance and is overtly coquettish.

Christian Implications

The fact that there are collectible “idols” should be telling in itself of the game’s religious affiliations. Rape, murder, and other mature concepts of Greek mythology are not mentioned, however, spiritual references are made. Pit “prays” for Palutena’s safety, at which point another goddess remarks he is a very confused angel, since he has no god/dess to pray to at the moment. A reincarnation of Helios, Hades, Medusa, and Poseidon (as well as others) make appearances, with a few original gods and goddesses exclusive the Kid Icarus realm. Pit is the protector (by extension of Palutena) of the helpless humans who are referred to as selfish and greedy, the gods are also revealed in their folly (often warring against one another and causing trouble).

Point de la Mort: World War II

During World War 2, these cannons were more than menacing. Having significant range to fire upon the beaches a substantial few miles away, the man operating this machine of death could be almost completely disconnected from the battle at hand.