Monday, January 30, 2006

1374 Seconds

Yep, That's the time (~ 23 minutes)it took me to complete the 27 levels of Hot Seat Gunner. This is a free game where you are a girl (Girls Rock!) with a gun trying to get rid of a mech-type robot. Shoot your way through 27 levels in this mindbending combination of action and puzzle gameplay. Note: If you die on a level, you have to start from level one again -- there is not an option to save at a specific level.

Check it out and let me know if you beat 1374 seconds. If you do (and screenshot for proof is required), please save that baby! Good luck on your shots.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kick shots

In pool, a bank shot is when you drive an object ball into a rail, and then into a pocket, somewhere on the other side (or end) of the table.

A kick shot is when you drive the cue ball into the rail, and then into the object ball. Kick shots are something I have never been good at, but the need to do them seems to come up frequently. These are a couple of ways to calculate your shot. Heh, and I need to practice them.

The "X Method": This method is in Willie Hoppe's book. You mentally draw the X in this diagram, from the cue ball to the "image" of the target ball on the rail, and from the target ball to the "image" of the cue ball on the rail. These two lines intersect somewhere between the two balls (and toward the rail from the two balls). Your target point Y is the image of this intersection point. Unless the two balls are a long distance apart, this method works very simply. Incidentally, geometry shows that the point Y, determined in this way, is the same exact point Y, determined above using similar triangles.

The "Parallel Method": Yet another method, this one advocated by Dr. Cue, is to find the midpoint between the two balls. You can imagine drawing a line between the two balls, and finding its midpoint. Then aim along the line between this midpoint and the image of the object ball. The actual cue ball path (from the cue ball to point Y) will be parallel to this line. With a little practice, you can easily move your cue parallel to this line. This method works very well. It tends to be very inaccurate, if the balls are a long distance apart (because judging parallel lines is error prone). Incidentally, geometry shows that the cue ball path, determined in this way, goes to the same point Y, determined above using other methods.

The "Ghost Ball Method": This one works well if the angle is shallow (nearly parallel to the rail). Imagine a ghost ball off the table, about the same distance outside the rail that the target ball is inside the rail. If the angle is shallow, you may even be able to adjust your hit on the object ball in order to make it go where you want (like into a pocket), accurately. With this method, you can deal with the complications (which I cover below) in two different ways. You can deal with them in the same way that you do with the other methods. Or you can make your ghost ball farther outside the table, through point Y' (which I also describe later). Some adjustment has to be made, depending on how far the object ball is from the rail. Experiment, and let me know if you hit upon a good method. You can actually measure the position of the ghost ball, with your cue or fingers.

I don't recommend doing kick shots during your match unless you are in a bind and have no other choice. Keep these little secrets in your back pocket and pull em' out when you need to go for the win. They are tough shots --- but ah, such beauties when they roll in!

Good luck on the felt!

James Cameron on Battle Angel Alita!

James Cameron, the director of Titanic and Aliens confirmed that his next movie will be Battle Angel, a live action take on the Battle Angel Alita manga/anime. The movie will be shot in 3D, using the same technology of Cameron's IMAX 3D movie Aliens of the Deep. The main character will be completely CG (computer generated). It is set to release in 2007. Can't wait!

Basic Plot:

On a future Earth, 26th century, the story takes place 300 years after a societal collapse caused by a major war, but in that society, it's a technological dark age following a pinnacle of achievement far, far beyond where we are right now. So in a sense it's post-apocalyptic, but it's post-apocalyptic from a very high level. So now, you've got cyborg technology as just a way of life. People are augmented a lot as workers and so on, so being a cyborg is not unusual. The main character is a cyborg. She has an organic human brain, and she looks like she's about fourteen years old. She has a completely artificial body and she's lost her memory- she's found in this wreckage and she's reconstituted by this guy who is a cyber-surgeon engineer who becomes her kind of surrogate father. He rebuilds her and gives her a name Gally, which later known as Alita. Alita awakens in a world where living conditions are poor, gangs roam the area, and "survival of the fittest" applies. Alita is apparently a child with no past...even to herself. Mysterious combat abilities are within her though and after a period of some confusion, Alita registers herself as a "hunter/warrior".

It will be PG-13 -- lots of blood, but it's all blue.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Break Shot Manga

There are not too many mangas about sports, but there are exceptions - For example: Break Shot is about billiards.

It was released in 1987 and 16 in the series. The author is Takeshi Maekawa.

I've been looking for the comics, but haven't been able to find them. I did find them on (the Japanese Amazon). I had a hard time trying to translate the page and then I saw the magic "Display in English" link. Heh - um, it doesn't work.

Plot Summary:

A boy named Chinmi is infatuated with billiards. Problems arise when a new student body president, Olive, suddenly decided to cut the funding for his billiards club. Unhappy with that, Chinmi wants to convince Olive that the club is worthy of the funding. He decided to challenge a two-time former national billiards champion. Chinmi goes on to re-create legendary techniques and enters the National Championship Billiards Tournament.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Can I hide?

Yamaha is now selling a private sound booth

Um, Yamaha's Sound Proof Entertainment Room is the solution for isolating some badass MMORPG'ing, studying, working, or hiding from your family. It's only a 2.5 square meter area -- perfect hideaway for blasting those peeps or using as recording studio (not bothering your neighbors).

It's got two power inputs -- plenty of ventilation with the fan. You can easily add internal options with ethernet, phone, TV connections, windows, etc. The grandest part, AN INTERNAL LOCK that only you have CONTROL. I think I'll take the black one. Yes, ladies and gents - this could be yours for the mere price of 4K.

I want one...

"Dear Santa,

I promise I will behave from now on. I know I say that every year -- I mean it this time *sad eyes*"