Monday, November 9, 2009

Cool Stuff

They're Real


Patapon Cons

Kyozo Kicks via Superpunch

Check out interesting iPhone backgrounds here. Via @Styra

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Science is a verb now

I really like this t-shirt print and it's glow-in-the-dark to boot!

Created by Questionable Content and purchasable from Topatoco.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo Review of Salty Dog - Sea salt & malt vinegar chips

Verdict: Excellent, definitely recommend.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hong Kong and bad photography

I’ve been thinking hard about what t-shirt designs to print. I want to do something that relates to Hong Kong, while I’m still living here, but at the same time I want the designs to reflect things I’m interested in.

The theme I’ve decided on is to try to present the images of Hong Kong that captured my imagination when I first arrived. The three that immediately spring to ming are: the bustling markets, in particular Tai Yuen market, which is next to where I live; the improbably plumbed apartment buildings; and the heavily signed, busy shopping streets, in particular Sai Yeung Choi St. Although I want to capture the overall magical aspects of these places, I also want to show the understanding I've gained of them through living here. I'm hoping to achieve this by including the bits you don't notice when you first look at them, such as the bent-over men pushing cardboard carts, the roasted sweet-potato vendors standing over their unprotected gas burners and the boys that play between the rubbish bags behind their parent's market stalls.

My plan is that these images will be simple, hand-drawn (basically outlines) and probably predominately black and white (I want to only use colour to emphasise an aspect of a picture).

I took the photo below as a guide for how my market image might look.  I've overexposed the image to try to simplify things, so I can use the outlines as the foundation for my line drawing. I’m not very good at photography, so stay tuned for more bad photography as I build up a collection of images to base my drawings on.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Looking for inspiration

Here is a bunch of cool stuff I've come across over the past few days:

1. This interview with Will Wright, where he talks about expanding into the "play industry." I think the concept behind Wright's Stupid Fun Club is fantastic.

2. The music video for Justice’s remix of “Let Love Rule” by Lenny Kravitz, directed by Keith Schofield. It's a refreshingly quirky video.

3. I really like the comic-book style cover McFaul Studio did for Computer Arts Projects - Issue 128. I'm thinking about incorporating a comic-style theme in my design of Silights.

4. These cool skateboard designs by Emil Kozak for LAB Kindergarten. I like his bold clear patterns and the 'do you remember' theme.

5. I think I need one of these t-shirts. The design is aptly titled 'Refill Required'. Glennz Tees via Gizmodo

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ha ha, the Milk & Coffee EVANGELION Project

FYI - The coffee was horrible.

Photo Review of Honey BBQ Chicken Wings Potato Chips

Verdict: I'm a professional, don't try these at home!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Silights instrumentality project

I’ve decided that working during the day as a corporate drone is not enough self-punishment. To address this, I’m going to take on several side-projects, which I will work on in my spare time.

The real purpose of these side-projects is to try to expand and develop my skills and experience in more innovate pursuits, with an ultimate aim of working in a more innovative industry in the future.

The five projects I’ve decided on are:

1. Silights re-design. In fairness, Silights does not have a design, so ‘re-design’ is somewhat of a misnomer. My goal is to draw-up several ideas, decide on an interesting and unique look for my blog and implement it. This probably sounds pretty basic to most people, but as I have never done anything like this before, it will be a challenge for me.

2. Weekly post about casual games and iPhone apps. This idea came about because I really enjoy playing casual games and ‘collecting’ iPhone apps, but I want to develop more of a critical eye about what works and what doesn’t. To force myself to be more critical, I’m going to try to provide a weekly commentary on the games and apps I’ve come across and am playing/using.

3. Make t-shirts. I’ve talked for years about making my own t-shirts, but have never actually done anything - but this is about to change. Once I move apartments (in the next few months), I’m going to pick-up a screen printing kit and print a few different t-shirt designs. I already have some ideas for prints and I’ve looking forward to seeing how they turn out. I envisage the first few attempts will be total disasters. I’ll make sure I take lots of photos, so you can all have a good laugh from the comfort of your browser windows.

4. Make an iPhone app. Similar to 2, my goal here is to draw up several ideas for iPhone apps and make them. I do not expect to make any commercially viable apps (though that would be nice), I just want to prove to myself that I can do it.

5. Make a simple computer game. I’m going to dream up, design, develop and create a simple 2D computer game. This project is the most ambitious because my programme skills are terrible (currently the only programming I do is designing excel macros in visual basic), but I also think it will be the most rewarding.

To force myself to be disciplined about recording my progress and for your entertainment, I will be posting a development diary for each of my projects. Don’t get too excited, as I have a somewhat onerous day job, I’m anticipating a long development time for these projects.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why I hate Bobby Kotick's face

Bobby Kotick’s recent speech at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco epitomises for me what is wrong about big business: it’s souless.

Kotick is open that he wants a company culture infused with skepticism, pessimism, and fear (which sounds like a rejected line from 'Wall Street'). Regrettably, Mr Kotick is not some small fry manager in soon-to-be-obsolete industry. Instead, as CEO of Activision Blizzard, he heads up one of the most successful companies in, arguably, one of the most innovate industries in the world.

Is Mr Kotick really that bad? Take these two quotes:

"You have studio heads who five years ago didn't know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet who are now arguing allocations in our CFO's office pretty regularly." I acknowledge that resource allocation is fundamentally important to managing a project, but Kotick’s message is that managing the balance sheet is critically important, things like quality come second.

"We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games." This quote makes me so mad!

For more articulate commentary on Kotick see ars and Gamespot.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Amazing - D&D soda

The picture says it all. Check out the official website here.

Thanks for the link sleepyanimal

The hiatus is over

Following a work related hiatus from blogging, I'm back. My intention is to start regularly posting again.

For now, here is an awesome box of James Jean series mints from Giant Robot (via Super Punch). Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ferris Bueller's Ferrari House Now For Sale

According to Gizmodo, the stunning Ben Rose Home, which was Cameron's house in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is now available for sale. I would love to own this house.

Did I say that

Sleepyanimal sent me this great Guardian article, which reminds us of some of Cristiano Ronaldo's more memorable quotes, including:

On his best feature:

My body. I have a nice body (2007)

On Manchester:

At 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock in the night you can do nothing special. But in
Portugal it is different (2008)

Asked who Man Utd's best-looking player is:

Well, after me, my team doesn't have many gorgeous ones, honestly. A blond
and blue-eyed guy - there is none, is there? Difficult ... I'd say Patrice
Evra (2009)

On having a son some day:

He should have the same football genes as me so that he could follow in my
footsteps. If he looked like me, it would be even better. I will not say: "I
would like a clone", but hope our similarities would be easy to notice at
all levels (2007)

On being booed during away games:

If they don't boo me now, I think: "Why don't the people boo me?" It's
normal. I like it (2008)

On self-doubt:

It isn't always possible to play beautifully. But I think some players in
the Premier League basically always do - and I am one of them (2006)

On his taste in women:

I prefer them with a full set of teeth (2008)

And finally, a wee gem from former Newcastle owner, Sir John Hall, who described the club's relegated squad "rubbish" and "useless".

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Brilliant - more Daft Punk

I came across this piano Daft Punk medley on Super Punch. It works surprisingly well.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Back from the coal face

Work has been tough down in the mines recently, so spare time and blog posts have been scarce. But I'm back with some computer game related goodness for you.

So, I've been playing some computer games recently.

Wolverine is one of these games. What Wolverine lack in storyline, frame-rate and finesse, it makes up for with brutality and gore. I concur with this review and these comments on the game. Basically, it's total dumb-arsed fun, but I don't recommend forking out your hard earned bones to play it. Play God of War again instead and wait for Wolverine to turn up in a bargain bin.

Plants vs Zombies is also a game I've been playing. This game is seriously addictive and runs on my Mac! I recommend this game as a great time waster and at HK$28, it's a steal.

Keeping with the computer game theme, check out this interesting photo essay from the Guardian: Gold farming: a real economy in the virtual world. I have many thoughts about the implications of virtual economies and the conditions the kids in the article have to live in, but I'll save these for a more considered post.

A moments silence, 3D Realms has closed and it looks like Duke Nukem Forever will never be finished.

Given that this game has been 13 years in development, I don't think anyone is too surprised by these turn of events. Even so, I would liked to have heard the big man say "balls of steel" one last time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday is reading day - The Last Samurai

Helen DeWitt's The Last Samurai is one of my favourite books.

The Last Samurai follows the relationship between Sibylla, a single mother of severe intelligence and limited social skills, and her son, Ludo, who is a prodigy of learning, with an intellectually-detached curiosity about the identity of his father. The novel get its title from Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, The Seven Samurai, which Sibylla requires Ludo to regularly watch, because she believes the film provides the male role models that he is missing.

The novel falls neatly into two halves. The first half describes Ludo's eduction - his search for knowledge and the pursuit of logic. The second half describes Ludo's search for his father and his application of logic to the realms of human emotion.

The Last Samurai is an amazing ride of ideas, which manages to be both profound and funny. This is a must read!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Remember the video that I said was seriously cool ... this is seriously cooler!

Juice boxes that look like real fruit

Tokyomango has a post about juice boxes that look like real fruit.

I love these juice boxes, which were designed by Naoto Fukasawa. I hope the designs gets commercialised, as I would love to sip strawberry juice from a box like this.

Katamari strikes back

I came across this on Dueling Analogs. Quality!


If, like me, you're a big fan of the artistic idea behind the Gorillaz, then you should check out Bananaz.

Bananaz is a 91 minute documentary, shot by Ceri Levy, which tracks the history of the band. The documentary begins in the late '90s at the birth of the concept band created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. You can find out more about the film here, or you can just head over to here and watch the whole thing. I've posted the trailer below to wet your appetite.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Total Tea

Last Saturday, I managed to redefine the term drunken blowout. This is no small achievement for a person whose feats of drunkenness include drinking all the grog out the boardroom liquor cabinet at work, while watching football on the flat screen telly, and singing nessun dorma on a table in a bar in Sydney, as a tribute to Pavarotti.

What marked last weekend's escapade ahead of previous outings, was the impressive level of self-unawareness I managed to achieve.

So what happened? Fuelled by a few glasses of red wine and half-a-dozen beers, I devised a t-shirt company with some friends and brainstormed a few design ideas. This sounds innocuous enough, unless you observed the single-minded voracity with which I pursued the subject and the irritation I displayed at anyone who strayed from the topic in question. For my friends, I'm sure it was like being in the accoutrement equivalent of hell's kitchen.

If we skip forward twelve beers and throw in a few tequila shots, we get to the zenith of Saturday evening's activities. I could describe the bar I was in, but you would know it would be a lie. On Sunday I thought I recalled the bar accurately, however, enquiries confirmed that no bar of that specification exists in HK (consensus is that my memory combined the features of three bars I visited). It was at one of these bars that I failed my test in how to make friends and influence people. Although threatening to punch a friend is an acceptable and common activity in NZ when out with fellow corporate blood suckers, it's not an endearing or even appropriate past-time for non-corporate blood sucker friends in HK.

So what's the upshot of all this? A challenge to myself. I am going to try to go three weeks without touching a drop of alcohol - It's sad that I know this will be very difficult to achieve.

Anyhow, wish me luck and I'll keep you posted on how I'm going.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm Sorry Courtesy Card

This is genius: I'm Sorry Courtesy Card.

Via NotCot

Drastic Celebrity Transformations = Sad

LIFE's Picks of Week for this week include Drastic Celebrity Transformations. I followed the link expecting them to be amusing, but I found they just made me sad.

Amy Winehouse arrives at the U.K.'s Nationwide Mercury Prize ceremony in 2004.

Photo: James Quinton Archive/WireImage

Amy Winehouse attends the End of Summer Ball on Sept. 25, 2008 in London.

Photo: Jon Furniss/WireImage

Monday, April 20, 2009

Matthew McConaughey in "That's A Moray"

I choked with laughter when I saw this on Super Punch today.

To the dude who thought this poster up - you nailed it.

Go here to check out more excellent McConaughey posters.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Daft Punk: The Game

I came across Harder, better: Shane Brouwer's Daft Punk: The Game on Offworld.

The game, which is done in the style of an old-fashion platformer, follows Daft Punk as they attempt to recover their stolen samples from rival electro-duo Justice.

The game is dumb, but fun. Check it out here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This is seriously cool ... no really, it is. Watch it now. Do it.

/Filim posted the Star Wars Macgyver Mash-Up as today's VOTD.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Huh ... was that Sephiroth?

I didn't know a thing about Dissidia: Final Fantasy until I saw this video on Giant Bomb.

This games features a real mash /mess of characters:

Heroes: Warrior of Light (Final Fantasy I); Firion (Final Fantasy II); Onion Knight (Final Fantasy III); Cecil Harvey (Final Fantasy IV); Bartz Klauser (Final Fantasy V); Terra Branford (Final Fantasy VI); Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII); Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII); Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy IX); Tidus (Final Fantasy X)

Villains: Garland (Final Fantasy I); Emperor (Final Fantasy II); Cloud of Darkness (Final Fantasy III); Golbez (Final Fantasy IV); Exdeath (Final Fantasy V); Kefka (Final Fantasy VI); Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII); Ultimecia (Final Fantasy VIII); Kuja (Final Fantasy IX); Jecht (Final Fantasy X)

Plus: Shantotto (Final Fantasy XI); Gabranth (Final Fantasy XII)

According to Giant Bomb: "Dissidia is an action game for the PSP, developed by Square Enix as part of Final Fantasy's 20th anniversary lineup. Dissidia was released in Japan on December 24, 2008, and is scheduled for North American release in "mid-year" 2009."

I think Square have really lost their way with this release. Stay tuned ... I guess.


According to /Film, Mandalay have picked up the rights to develop a big-screen live action adaptation of Full Metal Panic.

When will Hollywood realise that, except in rare circumstances, anime adaptions don't work? The subject matter and tone of most anime do not fit with live action and, generally, the source themes and plot have to be bastardised to make them palatable for mass consumption. Just leave them the way they are - How about writing an original script for a change?

To add insult to injury, High School Musical star Zac Efron is interested in starring in the project.

This makes me want to hurl my laptop at Hollywood.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Out and about (aka longest post ever)

I'm usually really busy with work during the week, which means my weekends are typically crammed full of the all the tasks, chores and miscellaneous things I didn't achieve between Monday and Friday. Miraculously, I woke up last Saturday with a clear schedule. A day to do whatever took my fancy - what a treat!

First-off, I finally got round to setting myself up with a Twitter account. Twitter has been the talk of the town for a while and when HKHam declared that he had signed up, I decided it was time to get on the bandwagon. If you're a fellow twit, look me up, my user name is silights.

I'm totally addicted to Street Fighter 4 and, after a quick coffee run, Saturday morning presented the perfect opportunity to unlock all the characters I was missing. The game is totally rad, though, I suspect I'm giving myself RSI. Having finished the game with every character, I feel I'm almost ready to start playing online - to date my forays into online play have resulted in significant thrashings at the hands of people (i.e. teenage boys) with tags like 'Schpasm' and 'ZakDaSakAttack'.

After wasting half the day inside, staring at various screens, I felt the urge to step outside and get some pollution. Walking to Causeway Bay is probably shortening my life, but I needed to stretch my legs.

I stopped on the way to pick up some fruit for breakfast. The grocer recommended I take a banana because, apparently, they are "full of potassium". All I know about potassium is that it explodes when thrown in water, which made the bananas seem slightly dangerous and, therefore, much more appealing than any other fruit.

Next stop was Uniqlo, to check out the new t-shirt collection. Every season Uniqlo invites a range of designers and artists to design half a dozen t-shirts. The t-shirts are then sold for between HK$70 and HK$100. The designs are generally cool and I really like being able to purchase a nicely designed and produced t-shirt for under HK$100. I walked away with 10 t-shirts for myself and a couple of extras, which I've posted to friends.

I stopped on my way out of Uniqlo to admire an installation dedicated to Polaroid cameras. The information sheet was all in Chinese, so I don't really know what the installation was all about, but it looked cool ... blowout.

I then headed over to Times Square to check out Page One. Times Square had a great installation in the atrium by Chocolate Rain. The installation had all sorts of places for kids to climb and explore. To see the installation, I had to fight past a wall of parents who were looking on with relief as their children entertained themselves in the jungle of wooden alcoves.

I then bolted home, got changed, picked up Sleepyanimal and headed out to TST to meet DJ and TJ for a good old fashioned pub crawl. I wont go into the details of this part of the evening, as it has been articulately covered by Sleepyanimal.

I will, however, mention that we had the best snacks at the food stall on the corner of Hart Ave and Prat Ave in TST. Check it out if you need a feed after a few quiets in TST.