Rockstar Expecting More Controversy Over Next Grand Theft Auto

Games

GameDaily reports that Rockstar executive and “Grand Theft Auto IV” writer Dan Houser is expecting the new game to generate some controversy. Drunk driving and strip clubs are among the new game features that have been revealed.

All in the name of in-game realism, eh?

I think this concern is just a ploy to generate some free press and interest in the game. At the bottom is the latest trailer for GTA 4 “Move up Ladies”, based on the accent I’m assuming this is based on the Russian mob?

Even better than that trailer is this excellent spoof movie on youtube based on that very trailer, hilarious game mechanics.

My question is:

Isn’t there a market for other games that delve into real-life sordid and seedy behavior like, oh I don’t know, maybe politics? You could have political backstabbing, name calling, extramarital affairs in the white house, charges of racism, assassination, lies, cheating during the televised debates, extortion, rigging elections, …

Now that sounds like fun to me! 8)

[youtube GSsVZcKHues]

Games

Podcast: Grammar Girl

Grammar Girl

I found a great Podcast the other day called Grammar Girl, created and hosted by Mignon Fogarty.

She provides short, friendly tips to help improve your writing skills covering everything from grammar rules, word choice guidelines, punctuation and everything in between.

Give her a quick listen for yourself, here’s an example podcast (may pop a separate media player) she recently posted on Apostrophes.

Grammar Girl also has an interesting flickr pool of photos displaying the common errors seen in the real world of adverts, traffic signs, etc…

Here’s the details of her podcast -

Name: Grammar Girl
Website: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/default.aspx
Podcast subscription Link: http://www.qdnow.com/grammar.xml
Speaking ability: Clear, concise, not condescending
Length of pods: Short, 3-5 minutes
BONUS: She also has the transcript of the shows, here’s the text for her Apostrophes show: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-apostrophes.aspx

Word Geek

“The Linguists”: Doggedly Pursuing Languages On The Brink Of Extinction

There are about 7000 languages in the world today. In this century, it’s estimated that roughly half will no longer be spoken, that’s about a language every 2 weeks extinguishing from our world.

The Linguists is an Indie Documentary that played at the 2008 Sundance Festival and it focuses on this topic, visit that link to watch the trailer. After watching it, I quickly added this one to my Netflix queue, I can hardly wait.

In this documentary, American linguists K. David Harrison and Gregory Anderson travel to remote regions of Siberia, India and Bolivia to examine the root causes behind the imminent extinction of several languages. Along the way, they face social and economic upheaval, violence and racism as they doggedly pursue their academic goals.

How close to extinction are some of the languages they’re interested in? Take for instance Tofa, there are fewer than 30 fluent speakers in the world today.

And then there’s Native Australian Charlie Mungulda seen below with our linguistic duo. Charlie is the only person alive known to speak the language of Amurdag.

Charlie Mungulda

Word Geek

Looking To Waste 5 Minutes And Have A Blast Doing It?

Muxicall

Muxicall is one of those great examples of a web site that has 3 good qualities:

- it’s a simple concept

- it allows you to interact with the site to create something

- it allows you to interact with both the site and other visitors at the same time

The page layout has all the musical notes for 3 types of instruments, you either click on a button to generate the appropriate tone for that musical note, or you can drag your mouse around to stitch them together in a continuous string.

Oh, and while you’re doing this, other visitors to the site also have control over the tones generated, you can interact with the instrument at the same time. While I was typing this up the wife is sitting nearby and commented while filling out her NYTimes Crossword: “hmm, that’s interesting music you’re playing on the PC”, to which I asked “Oh? You like it?” and she responded “I don’t know, it is kind of dark but interesting”. So I showed her what was going on over at muxicall, she instantly got it and thought it was cool.

Click the pic to jump over there and have some fun.

Stumble of the Day

Man Gets New Jaw, Thanks To His Own Stem Cells

Medical

Sorry religious zealots, nothing to see in this stem cell story to get you riled up, move along.

MSNBC is reporting that scientists in Finland have successfully transplanted a new jaw in a 65 year old man that had lost his upper jaw earlier due to a tumor. This new jaw however was cultivated from the man’s own stem cells, grown within his abdomen for 9 months then grafted into place with the remaining jaw bone material.

Grafting in a transplant bone is not new, but having a new bone material with it’s own new blood vessels grown from scratch and designed to be compatible with the recipient of the transplant is what’s cool about this operation.

We’ve known for years that stem cells hold the keys to radical and previously un-thought of surgical capabilities that a decade ago you would have thought would only be possible in sci-fi movies.

And now being able to extract stem cells from something other than embryos removed the religious zealots from the picture opening up possibilities I’m anxious to hear about moving forward. What are they going to fight science over now? Give them time, they’re always spoiling for a good fight.

Question: If it’s this easy, with our simple 21st century technology, to build a custom replacement body part, why did Luke Skywalker have to settle on a robotic forearm and hand at the end of Empire Strikes Back as opposed to receiving a new flesh and blood part?

Luke Skywalker's Hand

Medical