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Through his Vanishing Cultures Project photographer Taylor Weidman documents threatened ways of life. Regular readers of The Big Picture will recognize his distinctive work from his previous entry here on the Mustang region of Nepal. Weidman writes of the threatened nomadic culture in Mongolia: "Mongolian pastoral herders make up one of the world's largest remaining nomadic cultures. For millennia they have lived on the steppes, grazing their livestock on the lush grasslands. But today, their traditional way of life is at risk on multiple fronts. Alongside a rapidly changing economic landscape, climate change and desertification are also threatening nomadic life, killing both herds and grazing land. Due to severe winters and poor pasture, many thousands of herders have traded in their centuries-old way of life for employment in mining towns and urban areas. The ger (yurt) camps that ring the capital city Ulaanbaatar house a permanent population of displaced nomads. There, they live without running water or a tangible use for the skills and crafts that were practiced on the steppes. The younger generation is no longer learning these essential aspects of their nomadic heritage." -- Lane Turner (29 photos total)
A young nomad herds his animals by motorcycle after an early spring snowstorm. Mongolian herders adopt technology quickly and it is not uncommon to see trucks and motorcycles replacing work animals. (Taylor Weidman/The Vanishing Cultures Project)

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Release Info

Release Group: ANALOG(p2p)
Release Name: Legend.Of.The.Millenium.Dragon.2011.BRRip.Ac3.Xvid-ANALOG
Release Date: 24-02-2012
Filename: Legend.Of.The.Millenium.Dragon.2011.BRRip.Ac3.Xvid-ANALOG.avi
Source: BluRay
Size: 1.45 GB
Genre: Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
Video: 720×304, 1 699 Kbps, 23.976 fps
Audio: English, AC3, 384 Kbps
Subs: N/A
IMDB Rating: 5.7/10 from 304 users
RT Critics: N/A
Directed By: Hirotsugu Kawasaki
Starring: Ryuji Aigase, Satomi Ishihara and Kentarô Itô

Release Description

A 15-year-old boy goes 1200 years back in time to find his unlikely destiny as the savior to end the war between humans and demons.

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A war of geometries

This falls into something of a grey area between trad. RPS posts and the Bargain Bucket, but I’m going to do it anyway because my last post was a trailer for a ludicrously high-budget first-person shooter and, were I to be struck down by lightning or a panther attack or angry Heroes of Might & Magic fans in the next half-hour, I don’t want that to be my legacy.

So, just a note that Farbs’ splendid Captain Forever quasi-trilogy has seen its pricetag shot down from $20 to a mere $9 – which also gets you all future updates in the adventure-tinged arena shooter series. It also includes a new build of the in-development third title Captain Jameson, which gets all RPGy. “This is an as-long-as-it’s-profitable sale, so as soon as income (sales x price) drops below regular levels the sale will end. If the games sell well enough then the sale could go on indefinitely, but it could also end tomorrow,” sez Farbs. Farbs, incidentally, is now part of the team making Card Hunter – whose latest news I shall post shortly.

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ICONIC HANDS

I’m quite looking forward to Driver: San Francisco – partly because I do like to see a fallen series redeem itself, and partly because it puts me in mind of an aggressive Test Drive Unlimited. All driving, no on-foot stuff, trying to re-carve its own niche rather than put an unconvincing GTA costume.

That said, I can’t entirely get on board with this scene-setting dev diary’s repeated claims that protagonist Tanner and antagonist Jericho are “iconic, historic characters.” Iconic how? Historic what-now? Surely they’re just more gruff men in videogames’ endless archive of gruff men? Can’t say they’re burned into my memory. Just give me the cars and the city and I’ll be a happy little motorised sociopath.
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As designers, we often engage in many of what we call "future of..." programs, for both clients as well as for ourselves. These projects often remove some of the constraints that exist in our current product developments cycle to focus on larger macro trends in human behavior and technology to try to look forward into the future. Cynically this is sometimes called crystal ball gazing, but it often it can reveal insights that can help us to course correct more production oriented programs. Hollywood has picked up on how amazing these kinds of future explorations can be in many movies over the past 50 years, such as the way HMI is portrayed in Minority Report (UI which is already looking old) and Iron Man (CAD interface).

These types of explorations have been going on for a long time in R&D departments, the pages of magazines, and as part of promotions. Sometimes they were amazingly close, and sometimes they are hilariously off. They are our best educated guess of what comes next after next. For a look at the history of such predictions, check out one of my favorite blogs Paleofuture.com

In these kinds of projects we often abstract existing behaviors to manifest a vision of where we think technology can take us. I LOVE this new Dodge commercial shows how that abstraction can quickly become irrelevance, annoyance, and even cause an outright backlash.

There are a lot of things that technology could do for us, but the question is, what do we WANT it to do for us and HOW. As software becomes ever more advanced, will it manifest itself in ways that feel genuinely mechanical? A nice example of this are the fly-by-wire systems in commercial aircraft that work hard to reproduce the feedback of mechanical linkages to pilots. Another example are tunnel mounted stick shifts in automatic cars. The gear selection in an automatic car could be a dial, a switch, or a touch screen, but we seem to prefer the large mechanical lever that emulates the mechanical shifter on a sports car. Is this longing for the more understandable what is behind retro styling and Steam Punk? Is the embrace of mechanical interfaces merely a transitional affordance or is it how human's prefer to interface?

I don't have the answers to any of those questions, but continue reading to see the bonus "Slippery Slope" commercial that pokes fun at Google's attempt to drive your car.

(more...)

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