Lacy, Gently Wafting Valentines

My yearly tradition returns for another year! Like all yearly traditions ought to. Whenever I can muster up the strength to do so, I make Valentine’s Day cards for my mother and siblings to enjoy. Last year I made a batch in the style of Back to the Future. This year I decided to go with something relatively more contemporary: enjoy my Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog valentines!

If you haven’t seen Dr. Horrible yet… seriously, what’s wrong with you? Please go buy the DVD (or Blu-ray), buy the soundtrack, watch Commentary! The Musical, buy the Commentary! soundtrack… then come back here and print out the valentines and enjoy please.

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Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies

My weekly 2011 updates continue with: baking!

This Christmas season, I wanted to make a contribution moderately more interesting than my usual iTunes gift card stocking stuffers. With that in mind, I decided to invent my own recipe, because I figure everyone’s gotta have their own recipe at some point. After many batches of tinkering, I ended up with this, a recipe for chocolate chip candy cane cookies! Continue reading Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies

Internet Carols (and a resolution)

Happy New Year, The Internet!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. And sorry for an apology that followers of my works hear all too often. A lot’s been happening in my life lately, but I hope to make up for my varied absences with my New Year’s resolution of MORE BLOG POSTS OMG

What will this result in? Hopefully more frequent updates on this blog (and other projects)! When I decided on this resolution, my first thought was to post something daily, but I have a feeling that would get rambly-cluttered and also insane, so my current goal is one blog post per week. I may not always have major projects to discuss, but at the very least I’ll keep all my faithful readers appraised of goings-on like a good blogger should.

Which brings us to my first blog post of 2011, wherein I discuss: Internet Christmas carols!

For the holiday season, Blue decided to make video Christmas carols for her favorite websites. Seeing that this was an awesome idea, I humbly offered my assistance at sprucing up the videos with vocal accompaniment and jingly bells, with iMovie providing the picture-in-picture magic. Here are our collaborative results! Continue reading Internet Carols (and a resolution)

More or less a given thing

For Week 27 of her weekly song project, Blue performed I’m A Believer by The Monkees. And so did I! In Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers attire!

I even remembered most of the words! I’ll copy her credits blurb wholesale now:

Also for full credits: the image at the beginning was from Edgar Wright’s film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which is on sale in DVD/Blu-ray on Tuesday. The music was from Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. The comic itself is the AWESOMETASTIC Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, and the pixel skull shirt was designed by Diesel Sweeties creator R. Stevens!

Also as a reminder, I made the artwork for her album, Infinity Right Now, which is totally out now!


Go buy some!

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Infinity Right Now

Remember Blue? Of course you do! She played the webconcert live at my apartment back in September, and it was made of pure awesome. Well for the past few months, she’s been working hard on not-so-secret projects, and now all that work has come to fruition in the form of a brand new album!

In addition to having excellent songs about stuff like webcomics (including Dinosaur Comics, Questionable Content and Girly!) and Mathnet and people named John(/Jon), this album features special artwork by yours truly. The musician has been faithfully rendered in a Chrono Trigger-style sprite, which can only further enhance the already-intense levels of awesomeness this album already emanates. Here’s the cover:


(when you buy the album, you get the cover in EVEN HIGHER RESOLUTION. If that’s EVEN POSSIBLE)

Infinity Right Now is available RIGHT NOW from Blue’s Bandcamp page! In addition to the twelve official songs, there are two actually-secret bonus tracks, and if you buy during the brief pre-release period, you get a not-secret extra-bonus even-bonusier track!

Go pick it up already! And tell all your friends about it, so that they’ll pick it up and tell all their friends about it and so on! They might end up retelling you about it too. Don’t feel too bad about that, it’s statistically likely that you’ll appear more than once on the Friend Continuum.

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Webcomics Webconcert LIVE! at Mario’s Apartment

Have I told you about Blue? I probably should have mentioned Blue sooner. Blue is the guitarist that plays over at HELLO, THE FUTURE! She sits on her dining room table and plays songs about webcomics and Mathnet and feelings into her webcam for all her fans to enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Last month she did a Webcomics Webconcert via Ustream and played live OVER THE INTERNET, and it was made of amazing!

Why am I talking about this obviously awesome Internet musicianista? Because I’ll be hosting her next Webcomics Webconcert at my apartment!

She’ll be flying to California in September to attend w00tstock (oh geez, have I not blogged about w00tstock either? I’m rapidly losing my blog cred), and while she’s in town she’ll be doing another live performance from my apartment!

“How,” you ask, “how can I ever hope to attend this epic event when I am nowhere near Mario’s apartment?!” Well it just so happens that this Webconcert will be streamed OVER THE INTERNET JUST LIKE THE OTHER ONE from my house to all of yourses!

All you need to do is jump on the Webcomics Webconcert Ustream page on Saturday, September 18th at 6pm Pacific Daylight Time. I will also have an open invitation to any of my friends that live sufficiently locally to attend, and we’ll all go get dinner after the show!

While you’re waiting for the big event, go watch Blue’s past performances and get sufficiently pumped!

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In 3D!

Yesterday Geoff posted the following Facebook update:

Geoff - 3D Movie Remakes Facebook Post

This inspired us to come up with other titles for 3D movie remakes. A sampling:

  • Inglorious Basterds: The 3rD Reich
  • Back to the Future Part III-D
  • 2 Fast 3D Furious
  • Live 3D or Die Hard
  • 3D Men and a Baby
  • 3D0 (300)
  • 3D Ninjas
  • Independence Day – I3D:4
  • Dragon Wars: 3D War
  • The 3D Amigos
  • D3D The Mighty Ducks: “The quack attack is back Jack… IN 3D!”
  • Numb3Drs (technically a TV show, but still awesome)

Got any more?

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HTML5 Video Playlist: A Brief Kludge

Twitter buddy @adecelle issued a challenge:

The listing in question describes how to replace an HTML5 video source in sequence; basically, it lets a single <video> tag change its movie in the course of playing the video, resulting in a YouTube-style playlist. Problem was, in the form presented on the site, there was no intuitive way to add x more videos, and the second video in the sequence would loop forever. It had been awhile since I had gotten to practice some coding, so I figured I’d give it a go.

As it turns out, this was a difficult nut to crack. My repeated Google searches on how to construct an HTML5 video playlist yielded a handful of code examples from various sources, but these examples were apparently written completely off the cuff and were more broken than the Apple code. Eventually I had to cobble snippets from multiple sources to make a functional output with the desired capabilities:


<script type="text/javascript">

function myEndedListener(){
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.addEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc,false);
}

function myNewSrc() {
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.src=”videoplaylisttest2.m4v”;
myVideo.removeEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc,false);
myVideo.load();
myVideo.play();
myVideo.addEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc2,false);
}

function myNewSrc2() {
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.src=”videoplaylisttest3.m4v”;
myVideo.removeEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc2,false);
myVideo.load();
myVideo.play();
myVideo.addEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc3,false);
}

function myNewSrc3() {
var myVideo = document.getElementsByTagName(‘video’)[0];
myVideo.src=”videoplaylisttest4.m4v”;
myVideo.removeEventListener(‘ended’,myNewSrc3,false);
myVideo.load();
myVideo.play();
}

</script>

<video controls src=”videoplaylisttest1.m4v”>
</video>

Example site (H.264 videos in MP4 containers; YMMV)

I was particularly proud of finding the bug on the Apple developer page: the event listener keeping tabs on the ‘ended’ state of video playback (when the video reaches its end) was reloading the same video over and over again when playback concluded. It was on the Opera Developer Community page that I found the solution in removeEventListener() (their multiple video example, for the record, was fairly unusable as well, but I appreciate their help in coming up with a solution).

The end result is messy code, to be certain. I’m fairly confident that someone more technically savvy and JavaScript-fluent could come up with a cleaner solution, but as Paul told me, the important thing is that it fulfills the function (tested on Safari 4.0.5 for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and MobileSafari 3.1.3 for iPhone 3GS; the initial autoplay doesn’t work on the iPhone but the sequential JavaScript fu works like a charm on both).

“Why post all this JavaScript/HTML5 stuff on your sporadically-updated blog about video games and stuff?”, I hear you ask? Simply put, I wanted to add something to the search results pool in the hope that someone else can stumble upon this tiny corner of the Internet and benefit from all this legwork. Good luck, wayward e-vagrant!

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The Friggin’ Future

On a recent trip to Seattle, I once again realized just how amazing it is to live in The Friggin’ Future. With an iPhone 3GS (basically an extension of my arm at this point), I was able to:

•get walking directions from airport to hotel, around the city and back again, including light rail and bus routes with scheduled times (Maps, OneBusAway)
•consult user-submitted restaurant recommendations (Yelp)
•track spending (iBank)
•record the entirety of a concert (Camera) (don’t worry, it was w00tstock and was released under a Creative Commons license)
•keep hundreds of friends and well-wishers up to date up to the minute on happenings (Tweetie)

(I didn’t even get into really fancy stuff like geotracking the whole trip via Dopplr, mostly because I only just discovered Dopplr today. I TOTALLY would have though)

As much as this sort of thing has become commonplace, I can’t help but stop and marvel at times. It wasn’t terribly long ago that the notion of a pocket-sized device that could accomplish all these feats was in the realm of science fiction. But even the tricorders of Star Trek future history are primitive when compared to what has actually been created. The creators of that program could not have conceived of a worldwide network with virtually unlimited information at our fingertips (if you recall, most Treks had all their data stored locally on computers onboard their starships, basically servers with warp drive; I suppose if your ship can outrun data transfer speeds, a long-range Wi-Fi network might become a thing of novelty… but as is so often the case when Star Trek comes up, I digress).

Though I didn’t realize it when I bought my first iPhone in 2007, the device has become an absolute necessity in my life. It is my lifeline to the outside world on a level of profundity that a landline telephone could never hope to achieve. True, it has been a steady source of content consumption as my portable car stereo and TV (though the iPad has taken over the latter function with gusto), but it’s also the primary connection through which I socialize with a myriad of friends and well-wishers online. Some might express concern at eschewing real relationships for so-called “fake” ones with Internet folk, but I fail to see the distinction when the only difference is the means with which we communicate.

I’ve been obsessing a bit lately over one Amber Case, cyborg anthropologist, futurist and Singularity enthusiast (so perhaps you can understand my obsession). She argues that everyone in this modern age is a cyborg, as we all utilize technology to some degree to augment our physical bodies. It’s a compelling thought experiment (see more in her entertaining and informative lecture on prosthetic culture), and I hope it makes everyone realize the importance of devices like the iPhone (or your brand of choice) in their daily lives. Technology interconnects us on a deep level, and connects us all to something much bigger than ourselves.

And it’s exciting to live in a time where we can take it for granted. That’s when you know it’s The Friggin’ Future.

Oh yeah, add another bullet point for:

•update blog (WordPress)

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