Monday, 31 December 2012

Music of the Teenies

I always keep up to date with current music, and I find myself looking at the Australian charts and the trends of music. I always find it really interesting.

Every decade has "its music". In the nineties we saw a lot of pop, europop, dance, and other party songs like that. And the noughties were filled with a lot of pop as well, but with the inclusion of auto-tune and other special effects and synthesized sounds.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Poetry Friday - Never Give Up

Whether you want something,
Or whether you don't.
You don't want to quit,
You say that you won't.
But every time you start,
You can't see the end.
And at every decision,
There's a fork in the bend.

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Middle of Nowhere

There is a well-known place in Australia.

Only Australians can go there.
Any Aussie can get there, no matter where they are.
No matter where they're going, or where they came from.

It has no houses, and no shops, no buildings at all.
No one stops there, everyone just passes through.
No one lives there, but everyone has been there.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Shrinking English

In this incredibly fast paced world that we live in, everything is happening all at once, and we have to constantly speed up to keep up, or get left behind.

Ludicrously fast internet, multi-tasking smart phones and tablets, and AI such as Siri all help us to spend as little time as possible on any given task so we can move onto the next one.

With SMS messaging, along came the invention of a shortened, abbreviated English, and the invention of hundreds of words such as "lol" and "ily".

English has never really been the same since, in fact, for a long time; English has been shrinking.

Strength in Subtlety

The reason I haven't been able to write a diary entry as often as I'd have liked to recently is partly due to my work at a little theatre near my house where I've just started doing lighting and sound design for the plays.

I have been at the theatre for performances and rehearsals nearly every day for the last two weeks. But tonight was our final performance. The play we were doing was none other than The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde.

It's a brilliantly funny play about a couple of aristocratic young men living in England in the 1890s, who both adopt an alias in order to visit the women they love. Both adopt the pseudonym of Ernest, yet neither are actually called Ernest, which is problematic because both the girls they are in love with, have a complete obsession with the name, and it turns into a terrible catastrophe when they are both found out.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Your ATAR

I need to state quite frankly beforehand that none of the following should be taken seriously. It is a satirical joke, making fun of the stress and apprehension that students experience before finding out their ATAR. To read my real opinion on the subject, read my previous entry.


No One Cares

In Australia; at the end of year 12, each student is given a rank from one to one hundred that tells the student how well they did. If a student gets eighty for example, it means that they did better than eighty percent of the state.

The rank essentially tells universities and colleges who to choose for particular courses. Almost every tertiary course has an ATAR cutoff. The hardest and most prestigious courses, such as physio therapy and medicine, have cutoffs around 95. So that only the best 5% of students in the state can do that course.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Poetry Friday - Somewhere

Somewhere way up in the sky,
Somewhere where we all can fly
Somewhere where the grass is blue,
Where cows miaow and ducks say "boo!"

Somewhere where the flowers sing,
Somewhere where the bees don't sting.
Somewhere where the mik is honey,
And every stranger is a bunny.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Summer Holidays

Summer is not a particularly interesting time of year in Australia. Christmas is the most fantastic day of the year, and New Years always brings bitter-sweet feelings, reminiscing, and party food. But other than that, essentially nothing happens. I'm really only writing this because there's nothing else to write about, and my blog was looking a little bare.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Song of the Month - The End of Time

This month I'm going to share a song I wrote about a year ago called The End of Time, from the album Sinking. My aim was to write a beautiful song that could be played during the closing credits of a game that could perhaps be very emotional and powerful.

It's not a very complex song, and there's no amazing story behind it. But I really like it, and I think if used correctly; it could be really powerful.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Dash for Cash 2

It might help to understand my predicament if you read my previous post. It tells the story of that day before, and how I found myself playing this dreaded game again.

But to summarise my day that far; I had gotten four hours sleep, worked eight hours as a labourer, ate my body weight in marshmallows, and found out that I was going to be playing a surprise game of Dash for Cash with just a few hours notice.

Friday Night Games

I recently got a job as a labourer on a farm, picking, sorting, and bunching Calla Lilies. They're pretty yellow flowers native to Southern Africa, but picking them for hours in the sun is hard work, and quite tiring.

Yesterday I was on the farm for nearly nine hours. I got up at six in the morning to be there by seven, and I was finished at three thirty in the afternoon.

My back was wrecked from bending down to pick the flowers over and over, as it is every day I work, and I was quite tired having only slept about four hours the previous night, and I was leading worship at my youth group that night.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Poetry Friday - My Angel

My friend is the best, she’s everything to me.
I wouldn’t trade her for anything; nothing’s as much to me.
Her hair is always frizzy and her laugh is like a roar.
But her smile is the one thing I most of all adore.
She’s just a little crazy, and she’s just a little strange.
I love everything about her, there’s nothing I would change.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Artwork Tuesday - Flash Spirograph

I recently wrote a diary entry about the three games I've finished work on and published, one of them - Flash Spirograph - is capable of making some really interesting patterns and images.

It's simply a spirograph with capabilities that are only possible digitally. I remember playing with a spirograph when I was little and thinking it was the best thing ever. This is my chance at recreating that experience with someone far more powerful. For this month's Artwork Tuesday; I'm going to share some interesting patterns I've created using it.

I encourage you all to try it out here. It's incredible what you can make, and I'd love to see some patterns that other people have come up with!

Enjoy!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sneak Previews of Games

My blog hit 5000 hits yesterday. What a fantastic week it has been. This week I finished school for the year, won a 5G iPod Touch, and got my first job, and now this. Things are simply great right now.

As a little reward for my dedicated readers; I'm going to share some sneak previews of games I'm working on. I don't do this very often, not in the early stages of development anyway, because so much can change in a short amount of time. But these two I'm going to share are two games I plan on working on extensively this Summer and hopefully finishing in the near future.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Poetry Friday - The Backwards Poem

This poem isn't mine, the original author is a subject of great dispute. But it's just such a great poem I had to share it with everyone. There are plenty of versions all over the internet, so I mashed them together and came up with this one:

Ladies and jelly spoons, hobos and tramps;
Cross-eyed mosquitoes and bow-legged ants.
I stand before you to sit behind you,
To tell you something I know nothing about.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

My Friend The Nerd

There's this guy at my school who you could say is a stereotypical nerd.

He can build you a laptop from scratch and install Linux on it, he can use the chemicals in plant fertiliser to make rocket fuel and fly a home made rocket on the stuff, he works with his father soldering electronics together during the Summer holidays, and he studies electro technology and computer science.

But when I say stereotypical; I'm referring to the social ineptitude that is often associated with nerds and geeks, especially in film and television.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Things I Think I Can Guarantee I Will Never Become

At school they always tell you to keep your options open. They always advise that you don't close any doors on your future career because you never know what you may want to be.

Especially when it comes to maths. At the end of last year I decided I was going to stop doing maths at school, and every told me I should keep doing it to "keep my options open". But I decided to close that door anyway because I don't think I'll ever follow a career with a serious focus on maths.

And who decided closing doors was a bad idea? I can't keep all my options open can I?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Power in a Story

I was on a forum talking to some other game developers about stuff they're working on, and someone mentioned that in his game he wants players to feel the emotion behind the story he wants his game to tell.

I've always thought that ideas like that are fantastic. I've always thought of video games as being an art form. It was a video game that kept me up until the break of dawn like a book I couldn't put down that inspired me to take up game development myself.

There are video games that leave their players in tears, question their morals, change their beliefs, and inspire them to do something.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Artificial Intelligence

I was talking to a friend of mine about artificial intelligence today and she confessed to me that she is frightened by the thought of it, especially after seeing I, Robot. See, I started working on an algorithm to get from any one point in a maze to another, taking the shortest route possible. It's not an incredibly complex algorithm, but it is a basic form of AI.

My friend didn't entirely understand the concept and was under the impression that I was creating a robot capable of taking over the world. Her first mistake was assuming that AI only pertained to hominids, cyborgs, robots, whatever you want to call them.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Poetry Friday - Cloud

The wind gushes through me; fast and cool,
Like a rainbow tastes straight from a pool.
It feels so good on my fluffy cheek,
On every day of every week.
The wind is all I need to feel,
It replenishes me like a big refill.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Dr Yoshiyahu Games

I've mentioned a few times on my blog that I'm a games developer but I neglected to post links to my games. I make online flash games. They're free to play and only require an internet browser and the latest version of flash.

I took the alias Dr Yoshiyahu and started working on a few games over a year and a half ago. I've only finished and published a few because my skills are continuously being increased and I'm leaving games behind if the code is too old or messy.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

My Favourite Little Charcoal Chicken Place

Yesterday I got my lunch from my favourite little charcoal chicken place. I ordered some dim sims and sat down to wait. They put my food into the oil to fry and started working on all the chickens they were going to sell around dinner time.

After sitting there for quite some time, the chef came out and told me that they accidentally put the dim sims in the cooker before they were properly defrosted, and it was going to be a bit of a longer wait than expected.

Monday, 19 November 2012

How Sweet to Be an Idiot

Monty Python wrote a song called How Sweet to Be an Idiot. Obviously it was a joke like all their other songs, but it has an element of truth behind it.

My whole life people have told me I am "gifted", or "special". I taught myself to read on my own before I was even in school, I've done schoolwork a year above my level since my first year, I was top of my class throughout primary school, and I retain information like a sponge.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Man in the White Coat

People seem to have a disturbing predisposition to believe anything that comes out of the mouth of someone with perceived authority or expertise. I understand that it's important to listen to authority figures, but people will believe anything that anyone says if they're wearing a white coat, or in a suit, on even just on TV.

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Sauce is All That Matters

Eating lunch today; I came to a realisation. I was eating a bread roll with a piece of crumbed chicken and Tartare Sauce. In most people's eyes, that's a pretty weird combination. Tartare Sauce almost always goes with seafood, but I love it, so the fact that I was eating chicken and not fish didn't deter me.

Poetry Friday - Lucky One

I guess there’s more than what I can see,
Why was I be so simple minded?
It’s like a solar eclipse came and passed,
And I was temporarily blinded.
I felt a little bit left out of it,
I didn’t know what was wrong.
Is there something they knew that I had missed?
Had I simply become too strong?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Things I Remember

I don't remember very much at all of my childhood, perhaps because of my depression, but there are a few random bits and pieces that I remember, and I don't know why, but I do. And I'd like to share them with you.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Adolescence


The term teenager has not been around very long. In fact, the entire concept of adolescence is fairly new. In the past, we went from children to adults instantly, usually with a rite of passage. Children would go through this ceremony, sometimes involving a test or trial, and come out the other side fully-fledged adults.

But with changing times, a new type of person has been created, the teenager. People asking for the rights of an adult with the responsibility of a child.

Celebrity Crushes

Today on Twitter the hash tag #dumbfanficmoments was trending. People simply tweeted the most ridiculous and outrageous extracts from fan fiction writing that people had seen before. Almost all of the excerpts were from stories about celebrities like Justin Bieber or One Direction falling in love with them and getting married.


So the question is: Why on Earth are people so obsessed with celebrities and stars that they fall in love with them? The same person without their celebrity status could walk right past these fans and not get so much as a second glance.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Three Laws of Game Development

I've been an independant flash game developer for about a year and a half now, and having spent a lot of time talking to other developers, giving critical feedback, rating and judging games, and having my own judged and rated, I realised one day that I could narrow down what makes a good game into three simple laws.

The law of Entertainment.
The law of Immersion.
And the law of Achievement.

Basically, in any game you can see these three elements come together (or not come together) to make the game what it is. They make up the guidelines for the descisions I make in every game I work on. They will make the difference between a good game, and an average one.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

King of the Dance Floor

Two years ago I was named the King of the Dance Floor in my youth group. At the young age of fifteen I became a champion of a sport I had well and truly avoided up until then. In fact, the previous year I had been the shy, depressed kid that no one knew. So how did I go on to become the King of the Dance Floor?

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Song of the Month - The Stillness of Remorse

Wow. I can't believe I've reached 2000 hits on my blog. It was only this Tuesday that I celebrated 1000! My blog has grown exponentially, and I want to thank all my readers. All the people from Tecoma who read my post about McDonalds, the one hundred or so people from California that I've never met, and the two people from a tiny country I'd never heard of called Wallis and Futuna, out in the Pacific Ocean. Thank you all.

To celebrate this occasion: I've decided on the tenth of every month, starting with November this year, I will post a song that I have composed. I set up an account on BandPage just for it.

Friday, 9 November 2012

McDonalds in Tecoma

There's a small town called Tecoma not far from my house where McDonalds applied to build a new resturant. A small town on the edge of a rainforest, and a national park, where tourism is its biggest industry, where people come through to spend the day out in the bush and get away from the city, where there are heaps of locally-owned resturants and caf├ęs in the town, and the towns next door.

So when a councellor named Samantha Dunn heard that McDonalds wanted to build in her community, she started a campaign to stop them, way back in April 2011.


Poetry Friday - Logic

A poem of logic, a poem of truth,
A chance to finally pull out your tooth.
But where will it go? Under the floor?
Into the alley and out the front door?

Stop it before it gets away,
Don’t let it ruin your perfect day!
Hold its front legs back, give it a spin,
Turn it around and now we begin.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Hyperreality

Hyperreality is a term I heard earlier this year. It's a postmodern philosophy about how we perceive the world around us. And in the last few decades; it has significantly affected a lot of people's lives, specifically the way in which we look at ourselves and compare ourselves to people on TV and in magazines.

The way hyperreality is used to advertisement is what really strikes me as disturbing. We see things in magazines and on TV and wonder why the actual product doesn't reflect the image we saw.

Ghosts

Today, I was talking to some friends, and the conversation eventually led to them talking about ghosts, I sat there in silence as they talked about friends and family that had haunted houses. One of them lived in a hundred year old house, and there was no doubt in either of their minds that there were ghosts in that house.

They talked about ghosts they had seen, and experiences they had had. They had seen something that was convincing enough to make them believe in ghosts. I began to think about what this was...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Purple Lightning

Today I went for a walk into town, I did a few things, and then I started to walk home. As soon as I began the trek back home, it started raining. It was pouring! And then came the lightning and thunder. All day it had been fairly dry, and all of a sudden it was a torrential downpour. Last night I was complaining that it was too hot, and here I was, soaked to the skin. Welcome to Melbourne, the city with bi-polar weather.

Artwork Tuesday - Hebrew Wallpapers

First of all: thank you to all my readers. Today I celebrate a thousand hits, in over fifty countries! And in such a short amount of time too!

So to celebrate this momentous occasion; on the first Tuesday of every month from now on, I will post some artwork, something that I have made either on the computer or by hand.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Rap, Screamo, and Spoken Word

Currently, my favourite album is Love Riot by Worth Dying For. I love every song on it, and I listen to it all the time, there's a bit of rapping, a bit of screaming, and a bit of spoken word.

None of which I have ever enjoyed until now.

I was trying to work out what the difference between these songs and others I've heard is that makes rap, screamo, and spoken word okay.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Why is 'x' the Unknown?


It started in Maths class. "2+5=x. Find x." That's a statement we've all seen far too often. But it's not just algebra where x is unknown. It's everywhere else too. We have the X Factor, The X-Files, Project X, and so many more.

The question I'm sure a lot of people have asked is "Why does the letter 'x' represent the unknown?"

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Three Laws of a Crush

I was talking to a friend recently about girls. Actually it would be more accurate to say I was counselling him. He wanted to know why he liked particular girls and not others and why crushes happen.

Remembering a psychology lesson I had years ago, I recalled information about what I call "The Three Laws of a Crush". Reciprocity, Proximity, and Similarity.

Basically, these three things are what make us attracted to people, either platonically, or romantically.

The three laws don't necessarily have to all be present for a crush to occur, but when they are all present, a love interest is likely to be born.

Let's go through them.

Poetry Friday - The Dark of the Night

As I begin on my perilous plight,
I cover myself with the black of the night.
I collect what I need and begin to depart,
And dream up some tale to tell from the heart.

My forehead is dripping, my fingers are burning,
My luggage is heavy, my taste buds are yearning.
The clouds are all grey and the sunlight is hot,
I’ve too much to carry and nowhere to stop.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Next Three Years in Cinemas

Earlier this morning, the announcement that Disney was buying LucasArts for four billion dollars hit the internet. The news was all over the world after just a few hours, with "George Lucas", "LucasArts", "LucasFilm", "Star Wars", and "Disney" all trending on Twitter.

But the big news that made people sit up and listen was the announcement that Disney was going to create at least three more live-action movies in the Star Wars franchise, starting with Episode VII, to be released in 2015.

The Problem with Halloween

There's been a lot of talk about Halloween and the problems with it, especially in Christian circles. Not just because it's a widely celebrated pagan holiday, but because of what it says about us.

For one thing, I'm Australian, I don't even want to know about Halloween, and I certainly don't want to be invited to participate in Halloween events. At what point did we start celebrating American holidays? Next it'll be Thanksgiving, and then it'll be the 4th of July.

On top of that, it's barely a real holiday. It's more a chance for consumerism than it is for celebration. Most people have no idea of its pagan roots, its Christian influence, or any other part of its history.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Best Part of Leadership

Last weekend I had the honour of leading a junior youth camp, and while I'd been a leader in a lot of areas, officially and unofficially, for a long time, this was a big change for me.

The camp was no different to any other, the kids were mostly normal, and the stuff that happened was fairly routine. But there was something really significant about what happened to me.

Monday, 29 October 2012

My Rubik's Cube


This is just a fun little story I like to tell people. See, I've always had a bit of a fascination with puzzles and logic, and one day I decided I was going to solve a Rubik's cube. But I also have this thing with tutorials. I've never used a tutorial to accomplish anything in my life. I will use them to expand on a pre-existing accomplishment though. Like, in a video game I'll get past the main storyline on my own, and then do the side quests with some help, or I'll solve a Rubik's cube on my own, and then learn to do it faster with some help.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dash for Cash

I can safely say that leading a youth camp is one of the most terrifying things anyone can do. In our youth group, we like to play a game on camps that we call Dash for Cash. Simply put, the leaders have cash prizes duct taped to their shirts, and the kids keep the money if they can pry it off the leaders. The leaders can keep the cash if they survive the onslaught for ten minutes.

It was my first time leading on a youth camp and I knew this game was going to be played. But it wasn't until I was being taped up that it really hit me. All the kids were waiting for the starting horn, nearby, but out of sight, while all the leaders were taped up with amounts ranging from $10 to $50, and a whole lot of "Bad Luck"s and "Try Again"s in the middle.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Poetry Friday - Live Your Life

You can only be as scared as you’ll let yourself be.
But you’re constantly crying out to God; “Why me?”
Do one thing wrong and the plate will fall,
Sending delicate treasures all over the floor.
A monster is flying up high all above you,
Sending shadows across the walls all around you.
You hide amongst excuses of “No, I can’t.”
But you know that you’re bigger than some tiny ant. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Make It Count


As the Year 12s finish their schooling and move off into universities, colleges, or full-time work, one of the biggest problems is that they don't know what they want to do. I hear that from a lot of my classmates actually.

One response I heard to that question was "What if money was no object?" What would you like to spend your life doing if you didn't need to make any money?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Perspective Changes Everything

Public transport brings out the crazy in people during the day when all the normal people are at school or at work. Today I met a very interesting man, an extrovert much like myself. In fact, I hadn't been at the bus stop for more than a second when he interested himself and started talking about who knows what.

He was approaching fifty years old, ridiculously polite, and interested in Doctor Who, alternative medicine, and conspiracy theories. He spent a fifteen minute bus ride talking to me mostly about 9/11 and the conspiracy theories surrounding the event.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Muck-up Day

Some time ago, I heard the story about one class of Year 12s that pulled off what may possibly be the best Muck-up Day ever. For those of you who don't know; Muck-up Day is an Australian thing where on your very last day of High School ever, the Year 12s get to basically do whatever they want. They dress up, have water fights, you name it. Sometimes it goes too far, and there's violence or vandalism, but sometimes there are very clever jokes and pranks. This story is a good one fortunately. It is pure genius.

Once You've Been to India

Anyone who has been to India before will get this.


What is Time?

Recently, I was thinking about time, and how we perceive it. What struck me as interesting was how many different ways people think about it. Some people think there are an infinite number of pre-determined timelines happening in parallel universes, some people believe that we are destined to follow one unaltering path, some believe that our one and only timeline is like a river that can divide and go off in any direction.

Interesting how different opinions can be about what is seemingly a simple subject. I began to think about it, and I came to a very simple conclusion.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Chapter Two

Three years ago I went to India on a missions trip that changed my life immensely. I had been depressed my whole life, I had very few friends, if any at all, I was bullied by my classmates, I wagged school and thought about suicide occasionally. My life was not in a good way, but worst of all, I didn’t know Jesus.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

My Bestie

When I started this blog; I told a friend of mine I was going to write all about them on the internet for everyone to see. So here it is: My Bestie:


Friday, 19 October 2012

The Power of Social Media

For the first time in the history of media, the power has fallen into the hands of the public, the citizens, and the ordinary. Social media gives every day people a chance to be heard in a world where traditionally, we only hear a handful of important people.

Earlier this year; a nine year old Scottish girl named Martha Payne started a blog online called NeverSeconds, on which she would judge and rate her school lunch each day and write a review of it. Each day she took a photo of her lunch and updated her blog.

Poetry Friday - You

I love you because you are you.
No one is better at you than you.
You are the youest you you can be.
And no one is youer or more you than you.

I love that you are so good at you.
No one but you could be as you as you.
You are the youest you there is.
And no one but you can be you like you

Introduction

I was walking home one day after school as I vented to myself in my head over something that I found upsetting, when I realised that I don't really have anyone to vent to. Occasionally I have a little venting session with my mum, but she talks too much.

It was then that I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog. It seemed I was always thinking about something that I just wish I could tell someone. An achievement, a problem, something that makes me happy or something that makes me angry. I figured I could share it with the internet. And even if no one reads a single post on this blog. At least I will know that it's out there, and off my chest.