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Degraff Return of the Jedi crop

Artist Andrew DeGraff, known for his clever cartography and caricatures, has created a lovely collection of maps that track the paths of characters through the popular Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. For example, "Paths of Hope" captures Luke's travels from Tatooine to the Death Star in a beautifully simple artistic summary of the film's events, and "Paths of Crusade" catalogs Indie's quest for the Grail using delicate architectural sketches. The collection is currently on display at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, where it will remain until January 26th.

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The Hidden Meanings in Kids' Movies: Colin Stokes at TEDxBeaconStreet

Watching "The Wizard of Oz" and "Star Wars" with his son and daughter made communications expert Colin Stokes wonder about the stories we celebrate. Thanks to a growing awareness of gender representation, the world is now safe for girls in armor - but is the hero journey we've gotten used to inherently limiting? This funny and thought-provoking talk from TEDxBeaconStreet will make you look twice at your favorite films. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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empire strikes back

According to The Hollywood Reporter, writers Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have agreed to write installments of the new Star Wars trilogy, and they will write either Episode 8 or Episode 9. Kasdan's already got some serious credentials under his belt: he previously co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kasdan's counterpart Kinberg has written titles including X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes, and Jumper. The Hollywood Reporter says that the writers' exact responsibilities haven't been determined yet, and it's unclear if the duo will take on both movies. Regardless, it's exciting news for Star Wars fans who hold the original trilogy in high regard.

The new Star Wars trilogy resulted...

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[In a report originally published on the INA Global website, University Sorbonne Nouvelle senior lecturer and author Alexis Blanchet breaks down the statistics of video game film adaptations, analyzing what films get turned into games and why -- over the course of the entire game industry from 1979 to 2010.] Among the many links connecting the cinema industry with the video games industry, the adaptation process comes to mind immediately. This is also the most ...

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porsche911 points out a recent post by Stephen Wolfram in which he plots out data on his communication habits collected over a period of years — or in some cases, decades. He presents visualizations of the times and frequency of a third of a million emails since 1989, 100 million keystrokes since 2002, phone calls, meetings, modification times on his personal files, and even the number of footsteps he takes in a day. It provides some interesting correlations and insights into the structure of a person's life, and how that structure shifts over the years. He says,
"What is the future for personal analytics? There is so much that can be done. Some of it will focus on large-scale trends, some of it on identifying specific events or anomalies, and some of it on extracting 'stories' from personal data. And in time I'm looking forward to being able to ask Wolfram|Alpha all sorts of things about my life and times—and have it immediately generate reports about them. Not only being able to act as an adjunct to my personal memory, but also to be able to do automatic computational history—explaining how and why things happened—and then making projections and predictions. As personal analytics develops, it’s going to give us a whole new dimension to experiencing our lives."


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mikejuk writes with a bit from I Programmer on what sounds like an intriguing new game: "If you're bored with games where you run around shooting soldiers or monsters, how about a game where you shoot enemies to win computer code snippets that you can then use to shape the reality around you? It's good to play and good enough to win both the Editor's Choice and Kid's Choice at this year's Bay Area Maker Faire." The linked story has a video demo, too.

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In his latest Designer's Notebook column, veteran Ernest Adams takes a frank and factual look at in-game tutorials, explaining exactly what games do wrong so you can make sure that, when you set out to create your tutorial, you do it right.

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