Molten Sulfur Burns Blue

Amazing stuff as usual from the Big Picture @ the Boston Globe.  Do yourself a favor and click through for bigger pictures, explanations, narrative, and many more surreal photos.

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December 10, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art. Leave a comment.

Not So Boring Drill

Speaking of Minecraft, here’s some real mining craft, crafting mines.

Wikipedia fills us in on the Gotthard Base Tunnel:

After 64 percent of Swiss voters accepted the AlpTransit project in a 1992 referendum, construction of the tunnel began in 1996. Boring operations in the east tunnel were completed on 15 October 2010 in a cut-through ceremony broadcast live on Swiss TV. When it opens for traffic in late 2017, the tunnel will cut the 3.5-hour travel time from Zürich to Milan by an hour and from Zürich to Lugano to 1 hour 40 minutes.

The drill is much less epic when it’s spotless and removed from its natural setting.

(Also, this is only a scale model.)

[via Kottke]

[images via the Guardian and Wikimedia Commons]

October 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Smarts. Leave a comment.

More Minecraft Creativity

Epic Waterslide.

Jordan Devore @ Destructoid explains Minecraft’s appeal:

There’s a fine balance in Minecraft when it comes to resource gathering and creation. Left click on a block to break it down, right click to place it back into the environment; easy, but not too easy. I often liken it to building with LEGOs: finding the individual pieces you want might take a while, but the actual process of putting the blocks together is intuitive, and most importantly, fun.

When you start up Minecraft for the first time, you aren’t placed into a tutorial. Hell, you aren’t even told anything, period. You’re presented with a vast, open world, and that’s it. It’s up to you to explore, to make up your own “rules,” and in a way, cater Minecraft to how you want to play it.

For some players, that’s a major turnoff. To an extent, they need to be told what to do in their videogames — otherwise, boredom will quickly strike — and cannot handle ultimate freedom. For others, the true sandbox-style game has finally been realized, and they couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it. […]

As I said earlier, Minecraft pushes you to do certain tasks, even if you don’t immediately realize it. Another way the game accomplishes this is by way of a day-and-night cycle. During the sunny hours, you had best collect resources and stock up while it’s safe outside, especially during your first few days. During the night, well — that’s when the monsters come out.

[via Jordan Devore @ Destructoid]

October 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Epic Minecraft Highway

Mesmerizing.

[via the Word of Notch]

October 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Guilty Gamer

You know I love indie video games.

Ultimately this here is a review of some recent indie video games, but it sure doesn’t start that way.

Video games are worth loving, but loving them comes with shame. Not passing regret or social embarrassment, but a sharp-edged physical guilt: the hunch-backed, raw-fingered, burning-eyed pain that comes at the sad and greasy end of an all-night binge. You have ostentatiously, really viciously wasted your life; you might as well have been masturbating for the last nine hours—your hands, at least, would feel better.

Waste is not a byproduct—it’s the point: playing video games is a revolt against life. All art forms, even the polite ones, are escapist in that each answers some fundamental objection to the world and its limits. Novels let you know, granting access to inner lives and narrative arcs otherwise hidden and guessed at. Films let you see, permitting you to stare at the world and its inhabitants as long and as hard and as many times as you want. The gratification provided by video games is particularly sweet because the objection that drives them is more urgent. What they offer is purpose […] To play them is to live in a world with knowable rules and achievable goals: to ask, Dear God, what should I do with my life? And be greeted with a tutorial, a pre-mission briefing, and a shot at a high score.

Well said.

[Read more from Gabriel Winslow-Yost @ n+1]

[Comic about Minecraft via Penny Arcade]

October 7, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.

Epic Minecraft Modification

Reminds me of my favorite scene from American Splendor.

[via Marshall Brain @ How Stuff Works]

October 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.