The Moller Skycar is finally making flight tests. Jeez, it's taken long enough! -- they've only been working on the thing since I was in high school, which is an uncomfortably long interval in the past at this point. That link will let you view some footage of the skycar hovering around.
Some of those movies, sadly, are in RealAudio format. Don't download the hideous RealPlayer! Instead, get RealAlternative, a public domain replacement for RealPlayer that gets the job done without endless spyware, advertisements, and taskbar icons. You'll be glad you did.
It's awfully flattering or something that when you do a Google image search for Zhen Ji, the babe-a-licious Wei empress from the Dynasty Warriors games, this blog comes up #1 due to the wallpaper on the sidebar. But really, if you're looking for pictures of the lady Zhen you'd be better off checking more dedicated sites such as kongming.net or yueying.net. Just tryin' to help.
The excellent music from the game Beyond Good and Evil (now in the bargain bin at an Electronics Boutique near you!) can be downloaded from this site. But for how long?!!
The Google cache means never having to say you're sorry. Thanks to the all-seeing eye of posterity, you can enjoy these images of Yuna, Rikku, and Paine in all the dresspheres from Final Fantasy X-2. Really handy for making silly dojinshi comics!
And continuing on with the Final Fantasy theme, The Book Of Ratings examines Aspects of Final Fantasy Games.
Megaman Rhapsody. My God.
While we're all enjoying the brand-new footage from NASA's giant robot tank conquering Mars, spare a few moments to be fascinated by the brand-old footage from Venus. Modern image processing techniques -- in the hands of ordinary citizens -- bring the footage from the Soviet Union's Venera probes, which touched down on that planet in 1975 and 1982 and managed to send back two partial panoramic views of the surface during their brief lifetimes, into startling clarity. Further chasing links brings us to an equally fascinating page on the true colors of the planets in our solar system as they would appear to the naked eye, not just to computers and robotic cameras.
Enjoy this streaming video of a new paraffin-powered rocket.
Back in the summer of 2003, hundreds of Japanese Matrix fans got together to re-enact several scenes from The Matrix Reloaded, up to and including the "Burly Brawl" featuring hundreds of Agent Smiths. America's man in Japan Andrew Vestal has the pics (and here's some more.) Ah, remember the good old days when everyone actually liked The Matrix?
So. I just finished reading The Holy Land by Robert Zubrin. It's a science-fictional satire of the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the War on Terror, in which a small ethnic group unjustly persecuted during a huge interstellar war is rescued by the victors and resettled in their ancient homeland... which happens to be the town of Kennewick, Washington, on the barbarian backwater of Earth. The parallels are crashingly obvious, with the put-upon Minervans playing the part of Israel, a theocratic and corrupt United States filling in for the Arab world, and the powerful but greedy and appeasement-minded Western Galactic Empire taking the place of the West. The writing is clunky and polemical, the characters are cut from the finest cardboard (as David Langford would put it), and The Message is about as subtle as an atom bomb. Such absurd events could never happen in the real world! So then I finished the book and put it down and went to the computer to read the news... and had to cry, because we are clearly not living in the real world, we are living in the book.
The excellent music for the classic Sega arcade game Afterburner II can be downloaded in MP3 format from Afterburner Station I, over at Outrun.org.
I'm surely the last person in America to have linked to this Flash video of Tom Lehrer's The Elements Song.
Learn about the seamy underside of Antarctica over at Big Dead Place.
The 1909 Wright Military Flier, now hanging in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, was the first military airplane ever constructed.
Via A Voyage To Arcturus, a glimpse behind the scenes of Project Genesis; and, some extraordinarily clever people have managed to figure out how to get three times the resolution out of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft currently orbiting the planet, enabling them to photograph (for admittedly generous values of "photograph") the Viking and Mars Pathfinder landers down on the surface. The MPF image locates both the lander and the large boulder, "Yogi," that was examined by Pathfinder's rover.
Samizdata.net points us to the worst skyscraper ever.
As of this hour the Spirit rover has apparently made a successful touchdown on Mars, where "successful" is defined as "not smeared across eighteen square miles of Martian desert." This page at NASA's site describes the eighteen or so steps that must take place for Spirit to land safely. What's amazing is not that so many probes have failed to land on Mars but that any have succeeded at all.
Oh, those eeeevil Israelis. What sinister schemes are they up to now?
Tycho of Penny Arcade has a few words to say about the media and videogaming. You should read them, especially if you happened to have any confidence in the media. I personally haven't had any of that for about two years now, but that's a somewhat seperate issue.
Didn't quite manage to make it to Times Square for New Year's Eve? Not to worry: I'm here for you.
Flash news! Al Qaeda's demands revealed!
SNK-Capcom.com is hosting these nice long videos of Outrun 2. Now, while the game does look awesome, I can't help but think that those courses are... short. Yes, I know, it's an arcade machine, but still. Short.