if you're bored, you're not paying attention

Month: May 2005 (Page 2 of 2)

E3 notes.

Just came back from a few days at E3, the massive video game conference that happens every year in Los Angeles. As usual, it was an experience in sensory overload that left me exhausted and slightly depressed by the end.… Read the rest

Roomba love me.

Looks like Clara, who took a Sharper Image robot vacuum I was reviewing to preschool for show & tell, isn’t the only kid who loves to play with Roomba. And why not? Roombas are cute, unpredictable, a little bit scary (but not too much), and they’re vacuum cleaners–an endless source of fascination for many preschoolers I know.… Read the rest


Clara’s musical interests have shifted to Aretha Franklin — and now it’s “Respect” that she wants to hear, over and over again. “I want respect!” she says. Most of the time I’m able to bite my tongue, but once I couldn’t help myself: “Respect has to be earned, Clara.”… Read the rest

Mother’s Day Stories.

Only a few days late here.

She was born in the Midwest in 1933, when her dad earned $12 a week and movies cost a dime. It was the Depression, but she didn’t know it. …

My mother used to sit in the den of our house in the San Fernando Valley chain-smoking Kents and reading the L.A.

Read the rest

The best video games of all time.

cover of Analog #20, 1984According to the editors of Analog, circa 1984.

Lee H. Pappas: Star Raiders Commander Level: Star Commander Class I, no shields used the entire game, 54 Zylons destroyed. April 20th, 1984. That’s it, that’s all.

Twenty years from now, will people be laughing about Mobile just as much as we are laughing at Analog?… Read the rest

Fun with names.

Entertaining toys for anyone who might be contemplating a new child in the near future (and I know a few of you):

Baby Name Wizard’s Name Voyager is an amazingly entertaining Java app that lets you see how the popularity of various first names has changed over the decades.… Read the rest

How the movies make their money.

A few years ago I was working on a story about copyright law for a magazine. For a factoid in that story, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what proportion of the film industry’s revenues come from theater showings vs.… Read the rest

Rare good news.

ivory-billed woodpeckersIt’s not often that people who love and want to preserve wild land and wild species get to enjoy unmitigated good news. Every battle won is only a temporary win, while battles lost are permanent failures. Today’s wildlife preserve might be tomorrow’s oil field, but a housing development is never going to turn back into a habitat.… Read the rest

El Mariachi.

Robert Rodriguez’s inspiring 1995 book, Rebel Without A Crew, makes a convincing case that anyone can make movies–all you need is chutzpah, a few friends, and the ability to previsualize the entire movie in your head, so you can do everything in one or two takes and edit it together in a few weeks by yourself.… Read the rest

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