Insert Disk 7: TXDOT implodes bridge over Lake Marble Falls

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In which the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) demolishes (in part at least) a 1930s-era bridge to make way for a new one. Kinda counter to all those movies where chained explosions, even ones specifically set up by the bad guys, are slow enough to allow the protagonists to escape in the nick of time. There’s probably a perfectly reasonable explanation for that, like the big bad’s ego or something.

Still, for those penning a work of fiction with a huge thing that needs to explode quickly but dramatically, this might be worth watching for a little inspiration. Outside of a mecha anime, anyway.

If it needs to be one epic all-destroying boom, though, try The Good, The Bad and the Ugly‘s bridge scene.

Video by LCRAvideo
Found via Boing Boing

Insert Disk 7: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games – Damsel in Distress Part 1

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Last year, Anita Sarkeesian announced this project on Kickstarter, a website for this newfangled crowdfunding that’s the in thing at the moment. Sadly, she got a lot of needless shit for it. In fact, she got worse than that, as the most vile abominations ever to inhabit the web crawled out of their internet-holes to voice their somewhat incendiary disapproval (understatement), one arsehole even going as far as making a Flash game asking players to punch Sarkeesian in the face.


Despite this, the project got funded more than 26-fold. She only asked for $6,000 and found herself with a whopping $158,922 to work with. You can’t hear me giving that arcing whistle that denotes how awesome I find that, but I am doing exactly that.

Fast forward to this week, and the first episode has seen the light of day, covering perhaps one of the oldest tropes ever (in terms of both age and “my gods, not this same-old again”), the Damsel in Distress. Watching this video is a complete mind blower, especially the ball game analogy. ESPECIALLY THE BALL GAME ANALOGY.

Depressingly the arseholes of the Internet came out to play once again. Comments have been disabled for the vid, but that hasn’t stopped them. I don’t recommend seeking them out if you value your sanity, your computer and your nearest window.

So, why the hell is this in an Insert Disk 7 post? Well, a lot of the crap detailed in this vid isn’t exclusive to video games. And there’s no denying that this and future videos will detail many of the traps writers have or are likely to have fallen into, whether it’s in games, books, film or any other form of media.

I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen into many myself over the course of the past four NaNos, and I’m far from proud of that.

Also, I’m appalled that I hadn’t fully realised what a steaming turd Nintendo truly made of Dinosaur Planet. I’ve considered it a stain on the StarFox franchise for some time now, but now… ugh.

Insert Disk 7: Apocalypse Miau by SlurpTV

Apocalypse miau from slurpTV on Vimeo.

This has to be the trippiest vid I’ve seen in a while. From the looks of it, it’s promoting a nightclub, but I can’t say for sure.

What I do know is, I can’t get e-frickin’-nough of it. It’s hypnotic as hell. A hell full of kittens that want to stare into your soul.

Insert Disk 7: Binary Flow by Conspiracy

Before I continue, here’s a brief explanation of what the demoscene is. It’s from Wikipedia, but warnings to take it with a pinch of salt aside, it still probably does a better job of explaining it than I can.

The demoscene is a computer artsubculture that specializes in producing demos, which are audio-visual presentations that run in real-time on a computer. The main goal of a demo is to show off programming, artistic, and musical skills.

The demoscene first appeared during the 8-bit era on computers such as the Commodore 64ZX Spectrum,Atari 800 and Amstrad CPC, and came to prominence during the rise of the 16/32-bithome computers(Mainly the Amiga or Atari ST). In the early years, demos had a strong connection with software cracking.[citation needed] When a cracked program was started, the cracker or his team would take credit with a graphical introduction called a “crack intro” (shortened cracktro). Within a year or two,[1] the making of intros and standalone demos evolved into a new subculture independent of the software (piracy) scene.[2]

Now, onto the main event. This has caught my attention of late:

Binary Flow is a demo released in 2005 by Hungarian demoscene group Conspiracy. As well as being an award-winning, first-placing demo, it doubled as an invitation to a “demoparty” in Helsinki, Finland. And it’s all crammed into 64KB (Well, 57KB according to Windows).  Out of many of the demos I’ve seen so far in my life, this one definitely strikes me as the most impressive. Everything from the music to looks to direction is just spot on.

You can download the demo itself from Conspiracy’s website. The ZIP file comes with two versions of the demo, one for ATi graphics cards and one for Nvidias, so try and remember which brand of GPU you have in your system. For the record, I’ve had no difficulty running it in Windows 8.

Insert Disk 7: Lightning Strikes the Tyne Bridge

Video by Marc Burton (marcyboy06)

The North of England got hit pretty hard by heavy rain and thunderstorms today, with this video of the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle being struck by lightning serving as one of the fruits of an otherwise grim day of floods and landslides. Something for the mind to soak up for anyone trying to pen an understated arrival of a thunder-based deity or otherwise superhuman character, because I think that probably as understated as understated gets in that respect, don’t you think?