What Neil deGrasse Tyson is to astrophysics, Lucy Jones
is to seismology.
"The last time there was a large seismic event on the fault that can do us the most harm, the San Andreas, in 1857
, Los Angeles had about 4,000 residents. “We really weren’t worried about keeping a complex social structure in place,” Jones said. But as we get bigger and more complex, we increase our vulnerability."
Jones presented her talk, “Imagine America Without Los Angeles”
to the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco in 2013.
is the 20th anniversary
of the Northridge quake
, we still haven't quite figured out what to do to mitigate the effects of the BIG ONE to come. [more inside]
John Carmack, co-founder and technical director at id Software, has left the company
to focus his full-time attention on his role as chief technical officer at Oculus VR
"I wanted to remain a technical adviser for Id, but it just didn't work out. Probably for the best, as the divided focus was challenging."
Carmack and Id are known for creating the Commander Keen
video game franchises.
The Physics of Light and Rendering
is a talk given at QuakeCon 2013 by John Carmack, co-creator of Doom, Quake, and many other games at id Software and beyond. It provides a detailed but surprisingly understandable history of 3D rendering techniques, their advantages and tradeoffs, and how they have been used in games and movies. (SLYT, 1:32:01, via
Massive earthquakes in Chile and Japan have been found
the dramatic increase in violent quakes around fracking's
largely unregulated wastewater injection wells observed in the Midwest in the past two years
, where injected water acts as a lubricant for geological faults
that were previously thought to be "dead" or stable for millions of years.
id Software have released the source code to Doom 3
under the terms of the General Public License
. [more inside]
Ross Becker's photographs
of Christchurch. The central business district reopens this weekend for the first time since the earthquake (Previously: 1
) on February 22, 2011. [more inside]
On September 30, 2011 at 11:08am, Derek Deville's Qu8k (pronounced "Quake") launched from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada
to an altitude of 121,000' before returning safely to earth. Above 99% of the atmosphere the sky turns black in the middle of the day and the curvature of the earth is clearly visible. Direct video links inside. [more inside]
A week ago, Markus "Notch" Persson (creator of Minecraft
) received a letter from Bethesda (makers of the Elder Scrolls games) warning him that Scrolls
) was infringing on their trademark. Today, in a new twist on an old idea
, Notch has challenged Bethesda to settle matters without lawyers: Quake 3 Team Deathmatch
Matt Barton's Matt Chat
started as a series of discussions on classic video games from Elite
to System Shock 2
. It now features interviews with the likes of Chris Avellone (Planescape Torment
), Tim Cain (Fallout pt.1
, Brian Fargo (The Fall of Interplay
, Waste land and Fallout
, Bard's Tale and Wizardry
), John Romero (Wolfenstein 3D
and the infamous Daikatana
) and Al Lowe (Leasure Suite Larry pt.1
). [more inside]
The 'GDC 25' Chronicles: A Quake Aftershock.
Shortly after the release of Quake
in 1996, former iD employee Michael Abrash
gave a talk detailing many of the technical hurdles that had to be resolved in making the game. For its 25th anniversary, GDC has put up video clips of two segments (1 2
) as well as audio of the full talk
Nevertheless, many of the gamers I encounter report the same experience of feeling as if they have engaged in some kind of transgression. There’s often a sense of guilt that comes with tales of gaming exploits, as if games were a vice or a character flaw, a symptom of one kind or another. [...]
So my cards are on the table: I’m going to offer some alternative, positive descriptions. This analysis will show how video games have inspired artists, transformed rags into riches, given purpose to empty lives, and entertained bored people on a Sunday afternoon. We’ll see how games turned young people into heroes and how gaming has enabled the realization of previously unimaginable ambitions. We’ll see how games can make us better people, how they dissolve the horrors of boredom—and how they can function as propaganda for a wide range of worthy and unworthy causes.
This Gaming Life
by Jim Rossignol (of Rock, Paper, Shotgun
) is a book about gaming, gamers, and how they affect each other - available in full and for free under a Creative Commons licence.
Prepare to feel old: Quake III Arena
came out nearly ten years ago. Prepare to feel young again: Quake Live
can be played in your browser for free. The long-anticipated
beta opened to the public yesterday. John Carmack says that
they hope to be improving and polishing the game for the next decade. [more inside]
"The Quake-Catching Network
is a collaborative initiative for developing the world's largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers." The Economist's writeup notes
that, since network communications are (sometimes) faster than the speed of sound in the earth's crust, a distributed network's observations of a temblor might reach a warning network before the quake itself reaches a traditional seismometer. [more inside]
You may have heard of Twitter
, a social networking utility to let your friends know
online or by SMS what you're doing right now
. Well, now even fault lines
can do it, thanks to some enterprising developers
. Friend one of these guys
to get San Francisco quake info by text message from the USGS.
Brought to you by the wonderful folks who made the incredible Quicksilver
is a drop down terminal for your mac, similar to the quake terminal
. Plus, you can use quartz composer movies
Q, a sort of digital art hack of Quake
- from Nullpointer
, where you can find all sorts of cool digital art-type stuff. The game world is twisted unrecognizably yet the feeling of motion and action is preserved - . Download here
and run (8.5mb, Windows only, I'm afraid). It's successor is QQQ
, a similar effort done for Quake 3. No download but movies here
. Also on Nullpointer is the fantastic WebTracer
, a tool for visualizing websites as 3d networks of nodes. Here's what MeFi looks like
with 1000 nodes tracked.
Newsfilter: 8.0 Quake Hits Tonga
Lets hope this isn't a repeat of the Indonesian disaster, because 8.0 is huge.
Quake done Chopped.
Courtesy of Speed Demos Archive
. From those obsessive FPSers at Quake done Quick
, this is a complete runthrough of the original Quake 7 years in the making, dispatching all enemies but zombies with only the axe
. If you have Quake you can get the demo files here
, otherwise you'll have to download the huge .avi from archive.org (main link).
If you're interested in other QdQ movies - or simply shorter ones, may I recommend QdQ With a Vengeance
(12:23 on Nightmare, avi here
) as a fantastic introduction, Scourge Done Slick
(an expansion, considered the best - avi here
) or find others at Machinima.com
Psycho Men Slayers The female Quake playing community demonstrates a playful use of names to demarcate a specifically oppositional female identity within the online community. This is true both of the naming of individuals and the naming of clans or communities such as Chiq, Hellchick, Supergirl, Geekgirl, Clan PMS (Psycho Men Slayers), Da Valkyries: The Women of Quake, Clan Crack Whore, Nimble Little Minxes, The Coven, Hell’s Warehouse.
(direct .pdf link via Spitting-Image
Speed Demo Archives
is the Guinness Book of Records for Quake speed runs, but they also have speed demos for other games
, including a 2:57:35 Half-Life 2
run (torrent to video here
). [Via FileRush]
Minor Washington state quake.
It's been a while since I've experienced and earthquake, so when tonight's little one hit my hometown (a mere 3.2) I was a little shocked (and a little excited). I was also really impressed with the seemingly instantaneous response by the USGS and the University of Washington's GeoPhysics Dept. on their websites classifying it.
In the olden-days
(eg- pre-Internet) I'd have to wait for the early morning news to find out any information about it, but through the miracle of HTTP I have all the info I want mere seconds after the event. In fact, less than 15 minutes after the quake the USGS site had over 260 responses on their website about the quake from people who felt it and left comments on their site.
I wonder if there are other sites that help classify and/or disseminate information about other naturally occurring phenomenon (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.)... anyone, anyone?
6.5 Quake Hits Central California.
Felt for over a minute in San Jose, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Interesting time to discover the oft-defunded USGS's
instant earthquake news page.
Talk about dynamically generating your pages your pages from the ground up...
is discovery.com's simple, fascinating and creepy Flash interactive in which you choose the ground quality and construction prevention method for your multi-story building, then select a quake magnitude before you "Begin Quake" to find out how your property fared. Make-a-Quake is a feature of the "San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
" (also featuring a video gallery and audio slide show), a part of Discovery's "Unsolved History" series. Past Unsolved History features here
Heres something for all the "L337"
When was the first time someone babbled in "llama"to you? If you're a fan of the game quake check out this tongue in cheek guide to llama speak
''Tim,'' said Spitzer with a laugh, ''just slaughtered them.'' What's so special about one geek slaughtering other geeks in a game of Quake? Tim is blind
and a company named ZForm
is developing videogames to help blind people compete fairly with sighted people. Way cool.
If you've ever wanted your first-person shooter to feel a little less
may be just what you need. The blueprint
versions are nice, but for my money you can't beat sketchy
Quake. Unfortunately, the NPR in the name stands for Non-Photorealistic Rendering, not that other NPR
, so don't expect Robert Siegel or Linda Wertheimer skins any time soon. (via haddock.org
Hey gamers! Do you still harbor a fondness for the '80s cult classic Discs of Tron
, but you're unwilling to give up your favorite first-person shooter? Welcome to Discs of Quake
Have you ever wanted to be The Tick?
--at least virtually in Quake 3, you can.