Archive for July, 2004

What Happened to Pierce Brosnan’s Head?

brosnan-stache.jpgIs this moustache-enabled look what the new Pierce Brosnan has in store for the world? If so, check me out now! While it does seem that he needs to make a statement about his post-Bond status, I’m not sure it’s necessary to give little children nightmares.

For instance, compare the box office take of his last Bond and non-Bond efforts — just a discrepancy of roughly $300 million is all. It’s hard to blame Pierce for taking risks, though. And who didn’t love The Thomas Crown Affair besides some snotty critics?

Still, I have yet to find one person who wasn’t terrified by Mr. non-Bond’s new look. Hopefully, he’s just prepping for a role in the next Farrelly brothers movie. What do you think?

image grabbed from cnn

Enjoying the Freedom to Innovate…or something

Microsoft built its moral case against antitrust allegations on the argument that restricting their business practices would be restricting their freedom to innovate. The dream goes something like this: After a favorable settlement is reached between the DOJ and Microsoft, Microsoft’s future will be all about enjoying the unfettered ability to innovate, newly validated by the courts. A stirring victory for the grass roots Freedom to Innovate Network!

Strange, then, the moves that have been made since — especially when it comes to Microsoft’s recent obsession with Google:

Instead of taking the lead in challenging Google, Billy’s boys waited for them to have the good ideas and fast-followed, as they’re wont to do. Where’s all this unbridled innovation they promised? It ain’t in their responses to Google’s products, that’s for sure. It doesn’t seem to be in their hoplessly bungled .NET strategy, either. As for Longhorn, we’ll see in 2006 or later…

After the DOJ settlement, then, everything was in place for innovation except, well, the fact that Microsoft don’t do innovation. Go figure.

For more, see Wired’s list, read Pride Before the Fall, or just get Longhorn now.

Now That’s Character Design!

Nobody knows if Creature Conflict will actually turn out to be any fun, but who really cares when you have character design like this…

It’s tough to top a Kalashnikov-toating guinea — she’s got to be the most inspired. The Jonh-Woo-styles goat on E, sly wolf, and rightly suspicious monkey ain’t far behind, though (click for enlargements). Oh, and the models don’t animate too shabby, either.

It sure would be nice if rookie (Hungarian!) developer Mithis makes a quality gameplay experience of it. I’m rearing to spend a little of my recess time with these varmints!

Father of Demon Bread Remembered

Shinya Nishigaki, creator of Dreamcast titles Blue Stinger and Illbleed died last week of a heart attack. He was only 42. While Blue Stinger got better ratings, it’s Illbleed that holds a special place in my heart.

You see, although Illbleed didn’t exactly bowl the critics over, it did feature some of the most strangely amusing scenes ever to grace a television (see demon bread above). Heck, while exhibiting some fairly flawed gameplay, even the trailer manages to convey some of the most bizarrely funny situations and one-liners you are likely to see anywhere. Check these quotes:

“You’ll vomit with excitement! You’ll puke with pleasure! You’ll shit with fear!”

“Get excited. Get disgusted. Get pissed off!

“You’ll see dead people! They’ll see you!”

“Maximum pulse. Maximum bleeding. Maximum spraying.”

But that’s only the half of it. The trailer is classic stuff. Watch it here.

Illbleed’s E3 2000 video is just as entertaining now as it was four years ago, and its wickedly amusing take on the horror genre hasn’t been anywhere near matched. That says something both about the state of the genre and the importance of Nishigaki’s voice. His contribution will be missed.

image grabbed from gamespot

Alien Vegetation at Lincoln Center

“These look like alien vegetables” were the first words out of her mouth as we walked by Lincoln Center. With that kind of instant visceral response, one can only assume that she was on to something. The alien squash is a good spot for a nap and there’s a twisted green bean for some extra vitamin B. The pink one, though, is clearly ice cream. And, vegetable or not, the brown squiggle is gorgeous.

Who’s responsible? There weren’t any signs and others seemed to have the same question. With the number of kids playing and adults gawking, it seems that it’s only a matter of time before the mystery is revealed.

Update: And there it is — we have Franz West to thank. Read more about Franz at

photos by jellis

Welcome to Reaganistan

Are we clear of the reality-challenged posthumous love fest for Reagan yet? Maybe not, but here are a few bits I just can’t hold back anymore:

Does anyone remember what Reagan did about the AIDS crisis? The mountains he moved to help make people aware of the dangers this new and deadly virus posed? That’s because he didn’t do jack.

What about his opposition to Apartheid and support of the black folks in South African in their struggle for equal rights? That’s because he vetoed sanctions.

And his tough hand on regimes that would do us harm? You mean like when he personally armed the Mujehadin in Afghanistan? True. Noble indeed. Perhaps we should rename it Reaganistan in his honor.

The ugly list goes on and on, but likely the most ironic episode in Reagan history started when he presided over one of the nastiest bits of union busting ever in the firing over 11,0000 striking air traffic controllers. (And the problems those controllers complained about haven’t gone away.) Ironic, then, that nearly 20 years later they named National Airport after the man. Now there’s a nice little reminder of who’s boss, and it ain’t the little guy.

So, why the huge outpouring at jellybean’s demise? Maybe it’s just that our current leaders leave even more to be desired. Heck, even Gipper Jr. thinks we could do better.

For more, see Democracy Now,, and the Reagan drinking game.

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