The terracotta warriors are getting heavier

Each terracotta warriors has got about 4kg since it was made.  Why?  Because it turns out  bricks and ceramics absorb moisture at a fixed rate, even over thousands of years.

 

Would limiting moped passengers lessen moped crime?

Moped crime is big news in London.   Two people on a moped drive past someone looking at their phone.  Phone is stolen.   But what if there was only one person on it?

I rarely ever see two people on a moped in London.  When I do, I wonder if they’re out to rob people.  Rider rides, passenger steals.

I wonder if making it illegal to be a pillion passenger on a moped would limit crime.   I don’t think it would affect commuters, who ride solo, but may be an easy way for the police to spot people that might be up to no good.

How to unstick a bucket

Stick a hose down the side of the buckets and let water flow between them.   The gap between the bottom of the buckets will fill.  The water pressure will unstick them.

I’ve had two buckets stuck together for months.  To make it worse, there was dried mud between them and they were ridged, and the ridges were pushing against each other.

I tried everything.  Prizing them apart, bending them and trying to hold one down with my feet while pulling on the other.

The videos I found suggested using a compressed air line from a garage, but I didn’t have that.   One day I realise that it didn’t matter what was providing the pressure to push.  Water would work.

I first stuck the hose as far down as it would go and cranked the tap.  The water spurted backwards and started flowing out, faster than it was pushing up.

When I let the water flow more smoothly and slowly, the gap between the buckets filled and they pushed themselves apart.

People in front of polling stations are not part of the election. Ignore them.

The people in front of polling station that ask for your polling card are not part of the election.  They have nothing to do the voting process.  Ignore them.

They work/volunteer for political parties.  They are there to keep track of who voted. This way they can see who is politically active.  You can ignore them and still vote.

A woman asked me for my polling card as I walked approached the station.  She had no identification on her.  She said she was from X party and pointed to her associate who had a political sticker on her coat.

I said I didn’t see the sticker.  The first woman then said that her sticker was on her baby – a baby that was on the ground in a box between her legs.

In retrospect, I should have said ‘Am I supposed to have checked the baby for ID, then?’.

Turn a reality TV show into a game. Describe it.

From NeoGaf:

I’ve been watching Highway Thru Hell. It’s a reality TV show about a group of recovery drivers in Canada that specialise in clearing crashed big rigs. Most of the show is filmed in winter when it’s very very cold and there’s heavy snow.

Before each job they go to, there’s a CGI video explaining how and why the truck crashed.

During each job they’ll show them picking up the big rigs with cranes and cables; the drivers will talk about the geometry of each wreck and how they’ll recover it.

Will a single tow truck do, or do they need a crane? Should the chains be attached to the top of the rig or the side, or both? If the trailer is full of supplies, how does it affect the momentum as it’s pulled upright?

It would make a great physics based game. The obvious part would be about having different ‘puzzles’ of crushed trucks, where you have to choose the right equipment to recover them.

You could even have a prelude section where you try to recreate the crash to understand it. It could be like Burnout’s crash mode, but more serious. You have to create a jackknife truck that ends up straddling concrete barriers in the middle of the road.

If you wanted an RPG element, you could unlock new trucks or try to manage party members – different drivers and how they relate to each other.

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyyINDKeRJ0

Actors should be hypnotised to believe what’s happening is real.

I’m watching the latest Independence Day films. One of the Hemsworth brothers is flying a spaceship through falling debris and chunks of rock. He’s shouting, because it’s exciting and dangerous.

He’s doing a fine job of screaming and shouting, but there’s no tension to the scene because I’ve seen it all before. Better graphics don’t make it more immersive.

I need to rely on the actors, but they can’t out-act over-familiarity and desensitisation. But if they were hypnotised?

COuld you elicit a more realistic performance than terror?

Grand Theft Auto’s wanted system & Ghost Recon Wildlands

I’ve been playing a lot of Ghost Recon : Wildlands recently.  It’s a fantastic co-op game – because of Grand Theft Auto.

Thinking about the most exciting times in the game, they all involved Unidad.   Unidad is the in-game police force. It fights both enemy NPCs and human players.

The more you fight them, the more of them you fight and their armoury changes.  They come with miniguns and helicopters.  Soon you’re faced with overwhelming odds.

It’s the wanted/star system from GTA.

But let’s think about what a leap in logic (and technology) it must have been to implement GTA’s wanted system in the first place:

It affects a small set of NPCs

Gives them tools no other NPC has

Affects NPC AI

Introduces dynamic difficulty based on player behaviour

The wanted system breaks the rules of the main game.  Can you imagine trying to pitch that in a planning meeting?

Everyone I play with is wary of Unidad.  Everyone I play with is worried they’ll get involved and excited when they do.

Because the thing that makes Wildlands – and I think makes any co-op game – is forcing players to deal with overwhelming odds.   Because those are the shared moments when co-op play is most important and most difficult.

Whoever invented the wanted system, I salute you.

 

BBC story on blind cheerleader

BBC story on blind cheerleader competing with the GB paralympic team.

Disabled sports are thought-provoking because the rules always seem to take mechanics into account.  How do you adapt a sport so disabled people can take part and how do you rate their ability against other disabled athletes?  (And why does that cheerleader’s accent swap between English and American?)

Wheelchair rugby is particularly interesting. Player ability is rated on a point scale: the less disabled a player, the higher their point rating.   A team can only have players worth eight points total.

There are seven classes ranging from 0.5 to 3.5 with functional characteristics identified for each athlete class. In general, the 0.5 class includes those athletes with the most disability and the 3.5 class includes those athletes with the least disability or “minimal” disability eligible for the sport of wheelchair rugby.

In international wheelchair rugby the total number of points allowed on court at any time is 8.0. That is, the total points of all four athletes actually playing cannot exceed 8.0 points. A team may play with a lineup that totals less than 8.0 points, but not more. 

My bold.

 Must add a wrinkle to team selection; more players with less mobility or fewer with more?

I believe a similar points system is used in Warhammer 40K.

http://www.iwrf.com/?page=classification

 

 

 

Very easy pasta sauce recipe

Butter in pan.

Garlic cloves.  Remove when browned.

Half an onion.  Not chopped.

Can of plum tomatoes.  Salt.

Cook for 45 minutes on a medium heat.  Reduce.  Stir now and then.  Remove onion (eat separately).

Adjust ingredient amounts to taste, apart from the onion.

Based on a Marcella Hazan recipe.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19552.Essentials_of_Classic_Italian_Cooking

 

Put two unrelated movies into the same universe.  How will you do it?

You have to take two separate films and put them in the same universe.  You don’t have to use lead characters.  How would you do it?

Example:

Godzilla attacks New York, but the Ghost Busters and the Statue of Liberty are there to save the day.  (Or Cloverfield attacks NY and ‘Zillow and Stay-Puft fight it off.)

CondorMan’s comics help inspire a young Bruce Wayne to build his gadgets.  Together they team up to fight The Joker and an army of Soviet Porschses.

The house from the Amityville Horror is where Kevin McAllister is left Home Alone.