May 24th, 2007
(First published at Teleread.)
Not really news, except to me: the classic graphical adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky has been republished as freeware by its original authors. When the game first came out, somewhere in the 1990s, I thought of buying it based on playing a cover disk demo, but never got around to it. Later I noticed that there had been a PC release, and I started looking for a copy in the bargain bins, but failed to find it there. So imagine my surprise when I found the freeware version. You can find it at the website of the Scumm Virtual Machine, which you’ll also need to download to play it.
BaSS is a point-and-click adventure that takes place in your average dystopian future, where the poor live in the polluted skies atop towers while the rich live safely underground. Your mission: get down. The game starts with a hunt-the-pixel puzzle, and has a few spots where you have to sit still and watch the game unfold the story, but apart from that I’ve been enjoying myself so far. Art by Dave Gibbons and professional narration make this a tight production.
May 13th, 2007
After a hiatus of a couple of weeks I went hiking again with my brother and his girlfriend. We took a short 10 mile walk south of a small picture postcard town just North of A’dam called Broek in Waterland, which is Dutch for “more water than even we consider healthy” (“broek” is pronounced “brook,” you figure out the rest).
Lots of birds and plants you can also find in the city, and some that you won’t such as buzzards and swallows.
Apparently Peter the Great stayed here once in a wooden house just like this (or perhaps exactly like this; we didn’t look very far).
In the next photo I enhanced the contrast a little. OK, a lot.
The bright colours on the next one are pretty much as they came off the camera. Most of the rest of the photos I took had a pretty strong blue colour cast, which I had to correct by hand, but this one was just fine and only required some local sharpening after the scaling down had blurred it.
I am not sure I managed to fix the blue colour cast on the next one, but I like the oily look.
Some more flowers.
May 11th, 2007
“Territory size shows the proportion of all contributions to international food aid programmes that come from governments there.”
Eamelje.net, where I found the link to the Worldmapper service, displays almost exactly the same map, but there the legend says: “Territory size shows the proportion of all McDonalds restaurants that were open in 2004, that were found there.” (Go spot the differences.)