Monday, March 31, 2008

My last foray into web development

This was awhile back when I had to build a website as part of a media arts project. I was just reminded of it now and thought it'd be interesting. Here are the screenshots:

Rendered with Gecko (Firefox/Netscape engine)

Rendered with Trident (IE engine)

I think I ended up submitting just screenshots of the site.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

ITT: We learn about image formats

Ever wonder what you should save an image as? Well now you have a handy guide!

So first, the difference between lossy and lossless formats. Lossy means that in all subsequent modifications of the image, data is lost making for progressively worse quality. So if you save a JPEG three times, it will degrade in quality every time. Lossless just means that in subsequent saves, there is no loss in quality, it does not mean there's no loss in quality from the source image. GIF is considered lossless because whether you save once or fifty times, the image looks the same. However, if you've ever tried to save a photo as a GIF, you know it looks like crap. This is because GIF only supports 256 colours and will force the document into those colours. Of course, no format can support infinite colours so all formats will force colour if needed. That means that not all lossless formats are going to give you the same result.

Secondly, if you're saving a vector, you're going to be saving it as SVG. End of story.

So, the leaves the raster formats:

GIF - 256 colours, compression, lossless, supports animation. If you're using black and white, there's no reason not to use it. If your image is animated, there's no other format as supported. With other images it becomes quite iffy, I'm actually inclined to say a dithered photograph actually looks better than a image with a smaller pallet, but with unsupported colours. Either way, I'd rather use something else, but bear in mind GIF files usually have the smallest size as a combination of their compression and limited colour data.

PNG- Up to 24 bit colour, compression, lossless. It's viewed as a successor to GIF since GIF makes things look so crappy. I like to use it with most things that have a limited pallet. If you're saving something like a photograph, the PNG file would be several times bigger than the JPEG counterpart and not noticeably better (assuming you're saving at a high quality, i.e. not with MS Paint). If I do something in Paint, I'm most inclined to save it as a PNG because GIF looks like crap and it saves JPEG at pretty low quality. Greyscale I think would be better served under JPEG, but I tend to save those as PNG too, because I'm not keen on losing my data.

JPEG- Up to 24 bit colour, compression, lossy. What can I say, it's JPEG. If you have a large colour pallet, that's going to beastly huge under most lossless formats. It has an efficient compression process and if you save it right it will look just fine. Try not to further edit JPEGs though (obviously it's unavoidable, but prevent it where you can), because the loss is going to be noticeable after a few generations.

BMP- Up to 64 bit colour (you just can't do it with Paint), no compression, lossless. That's a huge colour range. That's also going to be a huge file size. You can still compress the file by zipping it though. The nice thing about BMP is that you know it will be compatible with everything. If you need to make sure something is compatible and bandwidth is not going to be a problem, then go for it. That said, if you go and upload some 3000px x 2000px BMP and then post it on a forum, you're an idiot.

TIFF- Up to 48 bit colour, compression, lossless or lossy, very versatile. The inter-application format of choice for professionals in the graphics business. There's a large colour pallet, which is nice, but more importantly is its versatility. For instance, you can define layers in a TIFF document, so you can move something from Painter into Photoshop without skipping a beat. The problem is that often something is marked in a TIFF document that is unrecognizable by a program. Compatibility with TIFF is kind of a developer's nightmare.

RAW- Compression, lossless. This is for photographers mostly, it gives you the raw data captured by the camera's sensors. That means there's a huge variation in RAW files between different cameras. It might not seem like a huge difference from a JPEG copy, but it gives you more control for processing later. Usually I'd just make JPEG copies though, I'm not that hardcore about my photos.

Now you know how to save your images! That gives you a step up over half the internet. Spread the word and maybe one day I can dream of reading my webcomics without JPEG artifacts.

Bonus section: How to waste ink like a pro!

Just making a black square is so passé, what you should do is go into Photoshop (version doesn't matter as long as it's not a consumer level product), start a new document in CMYK mode, make sure you're using rich black, fill the entire document. Then go into Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer and max out the outputs of all the channels. The result should be a stunningly black document, either that or a really damp piece of paper.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't believe in the me that believes in you, don't believe in the you that believes in the me that believes in you!

Believe in the you that believes in yourself!

The two paths between human and beast,
Intertwine to create the path of the Spiral!

Piercing destiny as yesterday's enemies,
Creating a new path towards the future with these hands!

The union of fate!

Gurren Lagann!


Monday, March 24, 2008

What the truck?

From here.

At the interplanetary defense seminar, an astronomer named Doc Travis takes the podium and introduces himself as a "high-tech redneck" who has worked for the Defense Department and NASA. To make his case, he explains that one can use the Drake Equation to determine the odds of space aliens coming to our planet and encountering our missile defense shield. In case you want to run your own calculations, here is the formula: N = R* fp ne fl fi fc L

"The probability that there is an alien who could visit Earth," Travis says, "ended up being 0.0000000043 percent at the worst and 0.19 percent in the most perfect case." If aliens attack, he adds, we'd probably use a Directed Energy Weapon against them -- but there are problems. "Our weapons could probably hit them, but I don't think they would do any damage," Travis laments. "So my prediction is that we have to build new weapons and come up with new technology. That's eally the reality."


Pro-tip: If aliens attack us, we're going to be pretty much fucked no matter what.

Alternative response: Let's build us some battlestars!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What, we have an army? Since when?

The Canadian Land Forces are finally replacing the current fleet of aging Leopard C2s with Leopard 2 A4/A6s. Apparently they're surplus tanks that the Dutch are selling. What, they have an army? Since when?¹

Meanwhile, we got 20 of them on loan from Germany operating in Afghanistan. They were borrowed free of charge (what friendly Germans), but of course being Canada, we don't actually have the planes needed to pick them up. They were shipped (also free of charge) over by Germany.

It's about time, those C2s have been operated by Canada since the 70s. Of course, being Canada, that means the Leopard 1 (the platform those tanks were based off of) has actually been operational since the 60s. Aging might have been an understatement.

What pushed the Department of Defense over the edge?

The C2s weren't air conditioned.

Yep, that's the Canadian Forces for you.

¹ Alternatively, they don't have an army. Hence the surplus tanks.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a new "documentary" on intelligent design.

What is the first warning sign? When the entire movie is some kind of twisted invocation of Godwin's Law.

That's right, the movie compares evolution to Hitler.


You can't make this kind of shit up. Ignoring the absolute ridiculousness of the claim, let's assume that Hitler was in fact motivated by evolution. How the does that address the veracity of the theory itself at all? Hitler also enjoyed watercolours, ergo watercolours must be a lie? With a premise that stupid, no wonder ID has such trouble gaining support.

Now I will talk of the host, Ben Stein. Ben Stein, a former professor of law. Hey, professor of law, whatever happened to separation of Church and State? Jackass.

And your game show sucks too.

On a concluding note, here's the obligatory link to PZ getting expelled from Expelled.

Friday, March 21, 2008

So, my wrists are still intact...

...from a day of boarding.

Fuck Lamar; I am dumb.

Actually, I'm okay with the board, bindings and case for now, but the boots are terrible. Then again, I don't remember if the boots are Lamar, they might have been separate from the set.

They loosen so badly, by the end of the day my feet were slipping out. It doesn't make a difference heel-side because there's a backplate on the bindings, but I have to lean so much to apply any pressure on my toe-side.

edit: Appropriately enough, apparently the boots are made by some company called Heelside.

Nice stomp pad though. Thanks, Ness.

Screw you Rob for leading us into the middle of nowhere.

In other news, Transformers seems like some kind of hour long recruiting ad for the US military. I bet if Michael Bay had the choice, he'd spend another half hour showing Scorponok getting pounded by Tomahawks and Paveways. 'Hogs are badass though, I can't see any Raptors flying back after getting hit by 20mm cannon fire.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Tribal tattoos are pretty bad.

Horoscopes are pretty cliché too. I thought Finnie had 69 tattooed to his back until I realized it's a Cancer tattoo.

I hate the random Asian character tattoos¹ even more though.


If I ever worked at a tattoo parlour, I'd just write random things on those people.

For instance,


"But what does it mean?"
"Don't worry about it, it means you have courage."²

The only thing worse would be a Zune tattoo. edit: What's worse than that? This guy.

¹ As an end note, Kaiser is adamant that his tattoo is Japanese. He doesn't realize it's completely indiscriminate when everything is written in Kanji.
² That's a lie.

edit 2: This is how you make a badass tattoo.

The "Union" Jack

It's pretty old actually, but I decided it's worth sharing.

The comments section is particularly enlightening.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

On booty

Nope, not a follow up on breasts.

Five pirates have to divide a treasure of 1000 coins. The pirates have a ranking from highest to lowest. This is the system the pirates use to see who will get how much treasure:

1. The lowest ranked pirate proposes a way to divide up the treasure.
2. The pirates vote on the distribution scheme.
3. If more than half of the pirates vote yes, the treasure is divided as planned.
4. Otherwise, the pirate who proposed the scheme is forced to walk the plank, and the next lowest ranked pirate proposes a scheme.

The pirates have the following traits:

* They are perfectly logical.
* They are greedy and will vote to maximize their own treasure regardless of all other considerations.
* They are bloodthirsty and, all other things being equal, will vote against a proposal.

What should the lowest ranked pirate suggest?

On a different note, my rapcore phase is over, thank god.

I am downloading rapcore

Because I am an idiot.

Also because it makes me feel like a hooligan.

Gangster rap has no such effect; it just makes me facepalm.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

About my distaste for IE

When was the last time a real web-developer talked about their love of IE?

That's what I thought.

Opera was actually the first non-IE browser I used, I don't remember the reason I switched to Firefox but dammit I know there was one.

People complain about Fx leaking memory like a sieve. Hey, maybe some of us like shut down our computers once in a while*. I don't think I could switch to anything else at this point, I'm too used to my addons.

Finally, obligatory Telnet to Port 80.

*Although I do concede, once Firefox managed to expand its RAM consumption to ~1gb on my computer before I killed it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My torrent finally started!

It's just been sitting in Frostwire for like 4 months. The site said there were 6 seeds at the time, that was bullshit.

Anyways, it just started moving now. I knew there was a reason I don't delete my inactive torrents.

I am going to be listening to Cannonball Adderley tonight.

HaHA! Pentacle Scrape!

I was actually looking for this picture yesterday.

Someone ought to make a picture of a girl raping an octopus. That'd be original.


Peter says: I found it
crobert says: the octopus?
Peter says: the octopus
crobert says: so you say there's no rape?
Peter says: not yet
Peter says: definite sexual harassment

My goal in life

Is to get awesome at art before I'm 20.

939 days left.



Haha boobies.

Actually, what I really wanted to rant about was how people tend draw such large breasts.

Let's get this straight, if under normal fitting clothing, chest protrusions can be clearly identified to be spherical in nature, that is pretty big.

When they start becoming elongated and oblong, I think that is the limit for maintaining attractiveness.

When are comparable to the size of one's head, it's time to seriously consider trimming those suckers down.

When they hang to the bottom of the ribcage, that is grotesque and unnatural. No woman should endure a burden such as being permanently pregnant with twins.

On a final note: Fuck Rob Liefeld, fuck him so hard.

Brushes are nothing and everything

I've seen people do awesome things with default brushes.

But damn is it frustrating trying to emulate a style when you haven't a clue what kind of brushes or textures are being used.

Also, Painter Essentials is by far more welfare than Photoshop Elements. You can't download more paper textures in Painter Essentials. It is also a resource hog. That said, anyone who blames their failings on not having the latest version of Photoshop is a tool.

Inkscape must have the most non-intuitive interface known to man--ironic for a graphics editor. Every time I try and figure it out I just give up and to this day, I've no clue how to even change the canvas size.

On a different note, I knew there was a reason I hated Flash:

"Flash is, frankly, the most obnoxious piece of software ever. fucking. made. Originally, Shockwave was for displaying vector graphics in a web browser. Then someone hacked on animation. Then someone hacked on input and called it Flash. Then someone hacked on bitmap graphics. Then someone hacked on a GOD DAMNED VIDEO PLAYER. Then someone hacked on a fucking half-fucking-assed programming language. And throughout this hackage, someone decided it should be written in x86 assembler, because nobody is ever going to use any other platform. Ever. And then someone hacked it up to run on PPC to make the mac users shut the fuck up.

And then Adobe bought Macromedia, and fired the assembler guys. Because what the fuck, who needs assembler? And then they went to make a new version of Flash, and discovered - FUCK, half of it is written in fucking assembler!

Reportedly, there's a rewrite-from-scratch effort for Flash in the works at Adobe."

edit: Fuck people who say Photoshop CS is bloatware. It's meant for professionals, obviously some random 13 year old who pirates it off Gnutella isn't going to know how to use curves. Hell, I don't even like to play with curves. When was the last time something like GIMP supported CMYK outputs? Oh that's right, never. If anything, it's 90% of those oh-so-commonly used filters that's going to be useless for professionals. I'm looking at you, Lens-flare.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Haha, Wikipedia

This might be the best article I've read yet.

I lol'd so hard reading it. That's how you write an encyclopedia! If only I could get everything else to be similarly written.

The picture at the side too, everything about that page is genius!

I even took a screenshot, for prosperity.

The former Yugoslavia is messed up

Serbian jokes aside, the whole situation with Kosovo is a hell of a clusterfuck. Like, Israel levels of clusterfuck. I suppose in Canada when people think of a province trying to separate, Quebec comes to mind. Kosovo is a bit more complicated though.

So, once upon a time there was this country called Yugoslavia ruled by a communist leader named Tito. The Serbs were most populous, but he wanted there to be a balance of power so then he got a bunch of Albanians and moved them into Kosovo. Then he gave them an autonomous government. But then Tito died, and then Yugoslavia starts falling apart like a house of cards. So at this point they're left with a whole bunch of Albanians in Serbia.

Then the Albanians started wanting to secede and decided to go all IRA on the Serbs in the region. The Serbs decided that they had enough of that shit so they went and politely disagreed. By which I meant they took their tanks and marched into Kosovo.

Then the Kosovo war happened.

Now we have this mess as it is today.

So there you have it, history in a nutshell. Serbians are stupid lolol.


Sometimes when I make a mistake sketching in real life, I reach for the ctrl+z key instinctively; especially if there's a keyboard nearby. That's one thing that's better about working digitally.

That and the eyedropper tool.

In other news, more speed painting:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

俺を誰 だと思ってやがる!?

Whether it's impossible or laughable,
Great men open up paths of battle!

If there's a wall, we break it down!
If there's no path, we make one with these hands!

The core of the heart burns with flames!

Everlasting combination!

Gurren Lagann!




To hell with gattai!

Friday, March 07, 2008

PNG is not GIF

I've been noticing JPEG artifacts more and more.

People need to use .png more often.

If it's not a photo, highly rendered artwork, or black and white, then it should be in .png.

Also, APNG has potential in replacing GIF for higher quality animation in images with limited colour pallets. Firefox 3 supports it, all the more reason for web designers to hate IE.

Everything seems moves faster late at night

I went to sleep 3 hours ago.

Then I woke up with the strangest desire to dodge glowing bullets.

Then I realized that I really suck at it right now. So here I am, maeking poast.

One thing I've never mentioned before is that you get points for grazing in the game--that is, having bullets pass through your sprite without touching your hit box. In addition, the character theoretically most useful for scoring has attacks that are extremely difficult to control. In other words, the game rewards you for going out of your way to do dangerous things and surviving.

It doesn't seem to be a good philosophy for living life in general.

edit: Haha, my graze counter was over 500 at the end of the first stage on Lunatic without even trying. That is the number of bullets that almost killed me but didn't.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

People are sane...

...until you put 10 or so of them together in a group. Then things start breaking down. But not in a normal train wreck kind of way. If you ever tried to cut a Möbius strip in half lengthwise, that's the kind of twisting I'm talking about. And it's an unsettling thing, to be nothing more a spectator and watch whatever sinister scenario furtively unfold.

It's a general trend I'm noticing.

Targeted at no one in particular.

Though I think I have more than enough anecdotes by now.

What a splendid opportunity to unveil my new tag though.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Obama may take Texas yet

Evidently the early reports only took into account the primaries in Texas.

But there is also a caucus.

Obama performs a lot stronger at caucuses.

So basically Texas is tied right now with 31 pledged delegates left to distribute.

If Obama takes Texas, Clinton is most assuredly a goner because any reasonable hope of regaining momentum for her is gone.

Totally unrelated, but this makes my 5th post of the day and March now has more posts than all of 2007.

Stupid blog, I can't take math seriously anymore

The first paragraph of my report goes as follows:

"Geometric vectors are known, as free vectors in part because they can be moved at will but also "because of the cutthroat prices that they are offered for at army-surplus stores. Vectors are generally notated as lowercased letter marked in a distinguishing way. The shared commonality between most of the the notation methods being that they were specifically created to thwart users of Microsoft Word."


"As such, the process remains similar, with the vector components arranged tip to tail with the original vector such that a triangle or parallelogram is formed, and then the shape is solved through application of trigonometry. And courage."

Wait what?

It just occurred to me that everyone tells me that giving new players an affinity deck to play is a bad idea.

What the hell? How do you screw up with affinity? The entire strategy consists of playing everything that can be played, then attacking. It's not even necessary to do anything with most of the cards in play, just smash things with Broodstar.

Besides, it's a hell of a lot less confusing than a control deck. Or any combo deck.

Also, the new lands without the tap mechanic are retarded. There wouldn't be such an issue with new players getting confused between lands and mana if the swamps don't have a giant fucking skull printed in the text box. Besides, under this system there'd still be some newb who taps Llanowar Elves to put a forest into play. Retconning creature types is a huge clusterfuck too, because now you can never be sure if something like Cerulean Wyvern is still a wyvern (hint: it's not).

Food Fight

Double Trouble


I've forgotten how awesome the fight scenes are choreographed. Ranks third in missile slinging madness only to Eureka Seven and Macross.

...and it drags on

Clinton needed to win both Ohio and Texas to keep her campaign going.

Well, she's done that.

Now it's going to be another torturous 3 months before the next major state: Pennsylvania.

I really wish she'd just drop out, nothing personal, but it'd be best for everyone if it just came to an end, then the Democrats have months to heal and unite before the general. As opposed to fighting tooth and claw all the way to the convention center, which looks like what is going to happen now.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I can see into infinity

"The problem starts with an empty vase and an infinite supply of balls at a starting time before noon. At each step in the procedure, balls are added and removed from the vase. The question is then posed: How many balls are in the vase at noon?

At each step, balls are inserted into and removed from the vase in a particular order:

* In the first step, ten balls (numbered 1 through 10) are added to the vase, and then the first ball (numbered 1) is removed from the vase.
* At each subsequent step, ten more balls are added to the vase (numbered 10(n−1)+1 through 10(n−1)+10 at step n), and then the lowest numbered ball (n) is removed from the vase.

As part of the problem statement, it is assumed that an infinite number of steps is performed. This is allowed by the following conditions:

* The first step is performed at one minute before noon.
* The second step is performed at 30 seconds before noon.
* The third step is performed at 15 seconds before noon.
* Each subsequent step n is performed at 2−(n−1) minutes before noon.

This guarantees that a countably infinite number of steps is performed by noon."

The answer is zero. For every ball n, it is subsequently removed in step n; thus in the end, there is no ball that can be said to remain in the vase.

If you graph it, there'd be a jump discontinuity where time is 12:00.

My mind is blown.

Part 2:
crobert says: hilbert's grand hotel ftw
Peter says: I heard of that
Peter says: sucks for the first person
crobert says: yeah
Peter says: so uh
Peter says: instead of the previous tenents moving down
Peter says: why don't the newcomers just go to the end?
crobert says: you could do that
crobert says: it'll end up being the same
Peter says: it seems more fair though
Peter says: because the late arrivals are the ones
Peter says: who have to find room lim -> infinity
crobert says: no person i is moved to room (i + 1)
Peter says: but assuming the hotel is full
Peter says: then isn't i lim -> infinity?
crobert says: but by definition you can always find one more room
crobert says: because there are infinite rooms
Peter says: but whole idea
Peter says: was that they had a hotel with infinite rooms
Peter says: that's full
Peter says: how do they accomodate more guests
Peter says: oh shi-
crobert says: gg
Peter says: that's why everyone had to move down

How is this possible?

The sine waves, they move!

Imperishable Night is actually the easiest recent game in the series. Perfect Cherry Blossom is perceived to be harder I think because there's no way to consistently counter-bomb. Mountain of Faith is like the creator decided people were getting too good, so he needed to ramp up the difficulty.

Peter Owen remarked that the game concept is so Asian. I tend to agree with him.

Awfully pretty though.


Pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pon pon pata pon pon pon pata pon pon pon pata pon pon pon pata pon pon pon pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon pata pata pata pon.

Pata pata pata pon.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Am I the only person who hates negative numbers?

It just feels so uncomfortable leading with a negative sign.

Also, I hate even numbers except ones divisible by 10 and numbers that end in 7. A number like 21 just doesn't feel like it has closure, whereas 45 feels nice and complete.

I also hate inexact numbers. I like to keep things as roots and fractions. You can imagine trigonometry driving me crazy, except for right angle triangles with angles divisible by 15, because then an exact answer can be easily found.

Actually that's not true, I'm fine with pi and e because you can express them as exact values.

60 is such a nice number, it's divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6; I think it's my favourite.

Whoever invented gradians is retarded, 400 isn't divisible by anything except products of 2 and 5.

I get the strangest information from my feeds

"I can’t find a link, but there was an article I remember reading a few years ago about how some Japanese moms would have sex with their teenaged sons to help them focus on their schoolwork."



Goddammit Japan, for all the mocking Texas gets, at least they weren't the ones who came up with tentacle rape.

L-O-L Germany

Steak tartare sounds like the most disgusting thing in the world. It's basically raw beef or horse meat, sliced into tiny pieces, then seasoned and served raw. Yes, what I described sounds very similar to hamburger. Raw hamburger.

See, I'm fine with sushi and crudo because those are fish. But steak tartare, that's red meat, raw. I thought it'd be at least cooked through with some kind of acidic sauce, but it looks like I was wrong.

Then again, it seems quite in character for the Germans to come up with something like this.

Don't get me started on Mett, which is raw ground pork. At least no country has dared to experiment with raw chicken yet. Either that or they're all dead.

edit: Incredibly in character for Germany, "In some countries, health concerns have reduced the popularity of this meat dish because of the danger of contamination by bacteria and parasites. In countries with high hygiene standards, this is not a concern and the dish remains popular."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Warships are durable things

This is the USS Cole.

This is the Cole with a 36' hole in her.

She floats just fine.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I bet Iron Man votes Republican

1) He was pro-registration in Civil War.

2) He is a defense contractor.

3) His suit is red.