Saturday, 27 July 2013

AI Gone Wrong

This is a great little story I just heard about. An anonymous person posted on a forum the details of an elaborate little experiment using a video game called Quake 3 and a learning AI.

The bots in this particular game had the ability to learn effective strategies where the aim is to kill the other players and not be killed. He put sixteen of them in a match together to see how good at the game they would get, and if they would become essentially invincible against a mere human...

And he completely forgot about them. He remembered four years later, and went to check on them.

After learning, adapting, and evolving for four years, he came back to his bots and assumed something was wrong.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

McDonalds Still in Tecoma

It was eight months ago that I wrote an entry regarding the state of affairs between McDonalds and a tiny little community who want nothing to do with it. If you haven't read the other post, I'll make a long story short:


For over two years now, a little town has been fighting to keep McDonalds out of their town. It started as one person with a Facebook page and a petition. It became the support of hundreds who flooded local government meetings to let their opinions be heard.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Trend-Setting

My natural leadership has always lead to me being a bit of a trend-setter, especially with my younger siblings. I'm constantly finding people just do what I do because I'm often in a position of leadership or authority, especially children.

Even sometimes when it's related to fashion, like when I started wearing fedoras. But not like this before.

On one of the camps I spent the last two weeks on, we had a whole heap of nail polish, so the girls could get into the Christmas spirit by painting their nails green and red, gold, sparkly, etc. (It was a Christmas in July themed camp)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Winter Holiday Camps

The last two weeks were right up there as two of the biggest weeks of my life, right next to my trips to Mexico and India. I spent my entire school holidays, bar three days, leading on children's camps, specifically seven to twelve year old camps.

There were two camps: in the first week I had a Christian Youth Camp on Phillip Island, nearly two hours from my home in Melbourne, and a Southern Cross Kids' Camp just across the road from my church.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

There's this prank we always pull on camps in my youth ministry where we choose a person, and regardless of who it is, or what day it is, during a meal on camp; we will tell everyone it's their birthday and sing Happy Birthday to them. Then for the next few hours at least, everyone will be asking if it's really their birthday.

I was on a camp last week so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pull that one on someone. Being a new ministry, these guys hadn't seen this before, so one breakfast, I got up in front of all the campers and told them it was the director's birthday, and started a round of Happy Birthday.

Friday, 28 June 2013

I'm Sick

It's currently nine am, and I'm sick. Trust me, it's not a new experience, and I'm not putting myself up on a pedestal, I'm sure you've all been so sick that you've been burning up, had splitting headaches, watery eyes, runny noses, unrelenting coughs and asthma attacks all at once, but I just have to rant about how much it's driving me nuts.

I didn't sleep at all last night, besides the gnawing pain in my chest and throat, every time I was on the brink of falling asleep, I relaxed, and suddenly couldn't breathe and had a coughing fit.

I've spent the last entire week in bed, I haven't left the house in four days, not since I went to the doctor to get medication...

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The GAT

Every year, around about two weeks ago in June; the year twelves partake in what can only be described as three straight hours of unnecessary boredom. Teachers call it a General Achievement Test, students simple growl and bear their teeth whenever it is mentioned.

You see, the year twelves are all forced into a room for three straight hours to sit an exam that will not have any impact on most of their lives.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Game Review - Don't Starve


Don't Starve is an open-world survival game developed and published by Klei Entertainment, downloadable on PC. It originally looked promising in its teasers and website, but failed to deliver on one of gaming's oldest rules, achievement for the player's hard work.

The game throws you into the deep end with no way out, and an unrealistically steep difficulty curve. By the time night rolls around, you realise just how far out of your depth you are, and the game continues to abuse you from then on.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

When I Woke Up This Morning

When I woke up this morning; I was ten centimetres taller than before, I had increased sensitivity in both my sight and hearing, I felt stronger, smarter, and braver, like I could take on the world with this new sense of wisdom and intelligence I had never had before.

When I woke up this morning; I could run faster, jump higher, swim deeper, and hold my breath longer. I was funnier, sharper, and more friendly than ever before.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Movie Review - Sync

This morning; I had the absolute privilege of watching an independent feature length film called Sync that was uploaded to YouTube by CorridorDigital and BAMMO earlier this year.

I wouldn't normally review a film on my blog, but the people that made this deserve all the publicity and praise they can get, because I'm not kidding when I say that this was one of the best movies I have ever watched.

There was no multi-million dollar budget, there were no award winning actors, it wasn't even released on DVD or in cinemas.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Creative Ways to Say Goodbye

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might have worked out that I'm a very unorthodox kind of guy, and one thing I started doing recently is coming up with more creative ways to say goodbye, because, let's face it, "See ya later." is just boring, repetitive, and predictable.

My way of saying goodbye sounds beautiful, poetic, mysterious, and quite frankly, a little bit medieval, or Shakespeare.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

More Than I Need to Do

I had a test today, and I had a hundred minutes to complete it in. I finished it in twenty-five. But as I got up and left, feeling the eyes of everyone in the room watching this kid who finished the test in a fifth of the time we had available walk across the room, paper in hand, listening to the faint murmurs of kids exclaim at the speed with which he answered the questions, I couldn't help but wonder if I had been too brief with my answers.

The test had written responses, so it wasn't like I could go down and write C, D, B, A, C, A... etc. I had to describe, elaborate, and explain my arguments and analysis. But I only filled in one page of lined paper, and barely scratched a second.

Monday, 3 June 2013

King Kong

Last week I saw a preview of King King - the musical. I was so privileged to go and see a world premiering musical three weeks before opening night, and even more so to be sitting in the fourth row, but what was a greater privilege was to be witness to such an incredible piece of art.

King Kong is the second largest musical ever produced, and whether that's budget or man-hours or physical size, I don't know, but it's certainly one of the greatest.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Things I Remember - Part Two

I wrote quite a while ago about some random snapshots of fragmented memories I have from when I was younger. I'm not even sure if they are all memories, some may be dreams, or false memories my brain put together from old stories and photos. But there's so much more in my mind than just what I posted then.

This is another list of strange and random memories from my black hole of a brain.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Messing With Telemarketers

Telemarketers are such a nuisance in so many ways. But they don't have to be. I find it's best to take life's pains and turn them into pleasure. So here is a list of ways to make phone calls from telemarketers fun and enjoyable.

Order a pizza

This one works best if you identify a telemarketer before you even pick up the phone, with a caller ID for example. Don't even wait for them to talk, just start ordering pizza and see how long it takes for them to hang up on you.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Shrek

One year, just as the school year was finishing, and it was that last week of school where all the reports are done, there's no more work and there's nothing left to do.

We'd already packed up the tables and stacked the chairs in the corner of the classrooms and gone into the presentation space to chill for the last couple of hours before we could go home for the Summer holidays.

With nothing else to do; the teachers decided to put on a movie. That movie was Shrek.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Typecasts

For anyone not familiar with theatre terms, a typecast is short for "typical cast", as in, a typical part for an actor. A part that an actor typically plays. Every actor has a typecast, some are blatantly obvious, like the ones I mentioned on Monday, some are more subtle. But since I posted that entry on Monday about typecasts and such, I've had a lot of readers ask me what my typecast is.

The funny thing about being in a Theatre Studies class is that you do a lot of improvisation and experimentation. When you work with an amateur theatre and do three or four shows a year, it can take quite a while for a typecast to come out.

And even longer with movies. If you did a movie a year, it would take a long time for a typecast to be established, like Jennifer Lawrence for example. She's really exploded into the Hollywood scene in the last year years, and even still she doesn't have a clear typecast.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Name Games

Every time someone says anything; you have an idea in your head of what it might look like. We don't put any thought into these images, they just seem to come out of mid-air. But they're always based on a past experience.

For example; when I started writing my novel, I couldn't help but picture the protagonist waking up in my bed, in my house. Eventually I was able to change that notion by thinking up a house for him to live in, but my intuitive reaction was to put him in something that I was already familiar with.

This week I've discussed this concept with some people, specifically around names. I realised that a lot of names have very strong judgements associated with them, for me personally anyway. Some names I hear them and immediately think of a particular type of person.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Yolo

I despise that word. I actually hate how significant that word has become in today's culture. It stands for "You Only Live Once." What began as a simple excuse to do things that you might never have another chance to do has become a phenomenon that has actually changed people's world views.

Similar concepts have existed in history for hundreds of years, but the term was popularised by Canadian Rapper Drake in 2011. It soon became an internet phenomenon, especially on Twitter. People would tweet something like "Wasn't sure about going skydiving, but #yolo." It made sense, you only live once, so make the most of it and take the opportunity to skydive.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Poetry Friday - Don't Wake Me Up

I live in a world where,
Dreams come true.
But when I wake up,
My world says adieu.

In my dreams,
Everything’s right.
Everything’s good,
In the middle of night.

Memories become dreams,
And dreams become shadows.
Nights become fun,
And days become mellow.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

"Where Are You Going To Go?"

Whenever I tell people that next year I'm going on a pilgrimage, they always ask me "Where are you going to go?" and the answer is always the same. I don't know. That's the point, I don't want to know. I don't want to have my entire life from birth to death planned out already for me.

If you've read my entry about freedom; you might know what I'm getting at. People often think when I tell them I want to get away from society that I want to avoid responsibilities, or that I'm scared of those responsibilities. That's not it at all.

And it's not because I don't want to get stuck in a rut and live a mediocre, mundane life. I know I could still fulfil all of society's expectations and still have a fulfilling life, the point is that I don't want to have to fulfil all of society's expectations.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Happily Ever After

All my favourite movies are either Disney sing-alongs or animated family movies at the least. I love children's stories and fairy tales for one big reason. "They all lived happily ever after." I love my happy endings. In fact; I struggle to watch movies that are sad.

Sad movies are the ones I usually only watch once and then avoid because I just find them depressing. Even if they're only a little bit sad, I couldn't imagine deliberately putting myself through a depressing experience for entertainment.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

One Thing They All Had In Common

I was at World Vision's Global Leadership Conference a few years ago, and the conference opened with this fantastic video clip explaining the one thing all the great leaders in the world had in common. It showed pictures of all kinds of leaders: monarchs, dictators, ambassadors, politicians, etc.

According to the voice over in the video; all the great leaders in the world had one thing in common, one secret that made them a great leader, a secret that had been unlocked and was going to be shared with the people attending the conference.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Ghoughpteighbteau

The word Ghoti can be pronounced two ways. If you don't already know how to pronounce this unusual word; I'll give you a clue: It's not go-tee. It's not even close.

The word Ghoti has been around for at least a hundred and fifty years, and it's a brilliant way to describe the inconsistencies in the English language, specifically in spelling and pronounciation.

Ever had a teacher tell you to sound out a word to work out how to spell it? I think we all know that rarely works, and this word is an exaggeration of the problems associated with English spelling and pronunciation. 

But I won't leave you hanging any longer, I'll tell you how this infamous word is pronounced.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Song of the Month - Paradox

Paradox is an older song on the Infinity album that I wrote, probably my best. It's got a seriously catchy riff. Like all good techno songs it's repetitive, and I'll probably end up using it as the background music for a video game some time, probably a shooter of some kind.

This song took me a long time to get right, and even still I fiddled with it more. I have two remixes and I'm working on a third. The riff is great, I just want to get all the other parts to work together to make it perfect. This version I've uploaded is the original. The lame vocal part features my voice.

It doesn't have any depth or meaning, it's just an awesome riff that popped into my head one day that I just had to turn into a song. One day it might become the theme song for it's own flash game.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

On a Scale of One to Twenty-Three

"On a scale of one to ten" is boring. It's overused, and it's a cliché. But worse than that, it's predictable, and everyone just spits out a seemingly random number between one and ten when asked. It doesn't require you to actually think about what you're saying.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Poetry Friday - Whenever Life Takes Over

You’ll turn around and look on back,
One day far from now.
You’ll stop and study all that was,
And see what you allowed.

You’ll see what happened miserably,
And where you had success.
Under a microscope you’ll see,
What you never did assess.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Fireball Soccer

Yes, you read the title correctly. Last weekend my life group had a sleepover during the school holidays, and one of the games our leaders decided to play was Fireball Soccer. If you're not familiar with the game, it sounds pretty ridiculous. And we were all a little shocked to hear that was what we were doing.

It was merely a hessian bag rolled up and held together with wire that was then drenched in a flammable liquid and lit on fire. All the rules of soccer applied, the only difference being the fact that this was not a standardised soccer ball.

But so long as no one kicked above knee height (the punishment being dunked in the dam at nine at night) and everyone wears jeans (the leaders brought a heap of spare pairs) and there's a bucket of water on standby; everything will be fine... hopefully.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Time I Saw a Plane Crash

I was on a plane on my way to Japan, and I had a seat next to a little kid, he couldn't have been more than three years old. The hostesses came around handing out hot towels and headphones and stuff, and for all the little kids, they had plush Japan Airlines planes. Little soft toys that resembled the plane we were flying in.

So the hostess hands one of these little planes to the kid next to me and he starts playing with it while I put my bag away and buckle myself in.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Cross Equals Love

I came across a Twitter hashtag that simply said: "#CrossEqualsLove". A simple but beautiful message that sums up all of Good Friday and Easter in a way that anyone can understand. After some digging around, I found out that Hillsong Church was behind it. It was their slogan for their Easter services.

But what really grabbed my attention was all the photos people had put on the internet with just the equation written in creative ways: Lego blocks forming the shapes, a projection shone out of a moving car, a sculpture of milk crates, all kinds of ways to express the Easter message. So here's some of my favourite examples:

Friday, 29 March 2013

Poetry Friday - One Solitary Life

In 1926; Dr. James Allan Francis told a story that has become a well-known poem all over the world. Being Good Friday, I want to share with you a slight variation of his poem that I wrote.

It seemed appropriate that on Good Friday; the poem of the week should be something more than just anything I could write up in a minute or two. Today is the anniversary of perhaps the most significant day in all of human history. And this poem explains why.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Challenge 100

In this diary entry I referred to a camp that I went on a few years ago. A select group of students were chosen to embark on a 100km bike riding and canoeing trip. It involved camping in tents and organising our own food to cook.

I didn't talk about the trip that much in that entry, and I couldn't possibly write down everything that happened because there was just so much packed into those three days.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Face of God

I spent last weekend on a youth camp, basically just three days of prayer and worship, and non-stop chaos with sixty hyperactive teenagers loose on a campsite. Youth camps are always incredible experiences that significantly change lives. I became a Christian on a youth camp, as do a lot of people.

But the Saturday nights specifically are life-changing moments. Last Saturday night, we spent five hours in prayer and worship, truth be told, that's not a huge amount for a Saturday night on a youth camp. But I saw some amazing things that night.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Prayer Heals

Having been on a youth camp all weekend, and spending a total of about eighteen hours in prayer and worship over three days, it came to Sunday night at church, and the service had just finished and people had begun to go home.

Heaps of people were being prayed for and I'm like "Man I'm so hungry for more of God tonight; there's no way I'm going home now!"

So a bunch off us stayed later and prayed for people. All weekend we had seen amazing things happen, but there was one girl that I'd never met before, who had really hurt her back, and could barely move without being in excruciating pain.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Artwork Tuesday - Project Cardgame

Not long ago; I wrote an entry about Project Cardgame. For an explanation on what this is, see one of those links, today I just want to share some of the artwork I've received so far.

All of the artwork here is on the Obsidian Valley Wiki, so you can get more info about these cards and the characters featured on them there.

I can't tell you how excited I am for my little fictional world, and all the submissions I've had already.

I think it's going to turn out all right.

Friday, 8 March 2013

High School Swimming Carnival

This week I had my very last High School Swimming Carnival. It's an event that no one really takes seriously. We all dress up in costumes and race each other in a series of swimming races to determine who is the best house. Next week we'll have the Athletics Carnival. As the name suggests, it's more or less the same thing, except on land.

My house, the yellow house, named Bleazby; has won both of those events every single year that I've been in high school. We are the best house by a long shot, and I'm not just saying that. See, kids get put in the same house as their siblings when they start high school, so if you get a really super sporty kid, you'll get their younger siblings as well, and chances are, you'll get three or four really sporty kids in a row.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Poetry Friday - Tomorrow

Never look back on what happened today,
'Cause it's already gone and it's now passed away.
That day is gone, that moment has passed,
The future is now, and today is the past.

Nothing before you matters right now,
The you that was then is not the you that is now.
If you live in the past and dwell on today,
You'll miss all the things that might happen someday.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Voice

In this diary entry, I said something that I've always believed to be true:

"When you accidentally make yourself look like an idiot; it's embarrassing for you and your friends. But when you deliberately make yourself look like an idiot; you are the greatest thing that ever walked the face of the Earth."

And today I'm going to share a story that made me look like an idiot, and was accidental, and it could have been really embarrassing, but it wasn't. And here's why: it's not over until the fat lady sings.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Poetry Friday - Midnight Love Song

Day break, heartache,
Moonlight, shine bright.
Midnight, half light,
Day time, moon shine.

Daylight, dark night,
Midday, sea spray.
High noon, blue moon,
Starlight, black light.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

People at the Bus Stop

This isn't the first time I've written about people I've met at a bus stop. Last year I wrote an entry about a conspiracy theorist that was into experimental medicine and Doctor Who.

I also met an elderly lady on her way home from Sydney after she had to babysit her grandchildren up there, and found out that I'm good friends with one of her grandchildren who who goes to the same school as me.

See, I always make an effort to be friendly and polite, especially when you could be waiting for a bus for nearly an hour.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Artwork Tuesday - Element Symbols

Not long ago I wrote an entry about a collaboration of artists for a trading card game. I decided to share a little of my own artwork for the game.

The game is heavily dependant on the classical elements: Air, Water, Earth, and Fire, and the entire game revolves around the different elements and the way they branch off into more complex elements. Every character and creature in the game belongs to a particular element.

I'm going to share the symbols I've designed for the four base elements, with a little artistic flare thrown in. I can't stress enough that these symbol designs may not be downloaded, copied, or reproduced in any way. They are the property of Dr Yoshiyahu Games.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Would Anyone Notice?

It's a horrible feeling; feeling useless. A question that's haunted me my whole life is "Would anyone notice if I suddenly disappeared?" If I died? If I ran away? What would change? Who would be affected? It's a horrible question to ask, but sometimes the answer I get is even worse.

I'm sure there are many other people who have asked themselves that question. Maybe they broke up with someone and their ex's life went on like nothing was different. Maybe they left a group and it carried on without a change. Maybe they worked really hard on something and then found out it wasn't needed.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Writing a Song

Writing songs has never been difficult for me. They're usually on piano, and I just play aronud with a chord progression until I hear something I like, but when I did techno songs; it was even easier. I just chuck in a simple arpeggio made up of the chord and voila!

Writing a song with lyrics is such a whole new level of writing. Maybe I just have a serious case of writer's block because I'm trying too hard, but even though I have a chord progression, a theme, and a genre, that's all I've got.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Project Cardgame

One thing that always stumps me in my game development is the artwork. I like to think that I can do some pretty cool abstract stuff, and I dabble in graphic design, but drawing characters, creatures, weapons, etc, is something that has always baffled me.

I have a few friends that have done some artwork for me for my games, but my "company" - if I could call it that - certainly isn't big enough to actually hire a graphics artist.

So there are obviously things that really hinder my development, like when I need some artwork that I simply can't do.

Song of the Month - Infinity

I've mentioned Infinity a few times in my diary. It's a flash game I've been working on for some time. This month's song is the theme song for that game of the same name.

It's a techno song that was inspired by my flash game Infinity. I recorded it using FL Studio.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Poetry Friday - Every Hour

For every day of every week,
Of every month of every year,
For every second in a minute,
And every minute in an hour,

For every hour in a day,
From dawn to dusk and back again,
For every year in every decade,
And every leap year that comes around,

Music in my Life

I've been playing piano on and off - mostly off - for twelve years. But I was never able to stick to it, or practice, or get anything out of it. I'm not even sure why I started in the first place. I never thought I'd ever start again after I quit for the third or fourth time about five years ago, but for some reason, I started playing again.

It all started a few weeks ago when our band met for the first time in the new year, under a new leader. So we went around the circle and introduced ourselves and told everyone what we do. For some reason I mentioned that I can play piano. And I can, I'm pretty good, but I'm not sure why I brought it up.

One thing led to another, and that day when we started rehearsing, guess who was playing keys... I was.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Poetry Friday - Underneath the Sea

I breathe,
I dive,
I sink,
I spin around in circles,
Until I can't no more.

I float,
I swim,
I splash,
It feels like it is magic,
It feels like I'm in love.

Don't Mess With a Man With a Plan

I don't usually make plans. In fact, I try to avoid making plans all together. I think life should be lived as it comes, rather than long before it happens, but the other day I had a plan in mind.

And when I say plan, I merely planned to get off the bus at a particular stop. I had texted my mum and she had agreed to pick me up at this stop, and I was about thirty minutes from the stop when I decided to have a nap on the bus.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Artwork Tuesday - Explosion of Light

This month I'm sharing a picture I made from scratch, using nothing but Photoshop.

I was experimenting with different tools to get different stars and light effects to try and come up with something for a space setting for a game I'm working on. One thing led to another and I was left with this image.

Friday, 18 January 2013

10,000 Hits


When I started this blog, only a few months ago, I never expected it to get 10,000 hits, let alone from 100 different countries. Even if no one ever read anything on this blog I knew that I would keep writing anyway, because I did this for myself, for a chance to just write, and rant, and get things off my chest, or record them in a timeless manner, but it's blown way out from under me.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Game Review - Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Wii U)

I'm going to start posting reviews of games I play, big or small. To start off with; I am reviewing Sega's Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on the Wii U.

I must say, I was thoroughly disappointed with this game. Sega has never been quite as big as the powerhouse Nintendo in many game genres, but racing games has always been something that Sega has done quite well, perhaps even better than Nintendo in some regards.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Song of the Month - Fighting Worry

I know this is late, but I was on holidays through January and had no chance of uploading this song. But here it is anyway:

Fighting Worry is another song from the album Sinking. It's not incredibly meaningful to myself, but it has touched others who have heard it. It's an acoustic quintet with a piano, three violins, and a chello.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Freedom of the City

Freedom to me seems to be an illusion. In our society; we need to go to school. It's illegal to not go to school. And why do we do it? So that we can be educated enough to get a good job, in order that we may make money, so that we can buy and upkeep a car, a house, and a family.

We call that "the good life". We go through the motions of going to school, getting a job, getting a family, retiring, and dying. And if you don't do all those things; there's something wrong with you.

And if I ever wanted to have a girlfriend, and ultimately a wife and a family, I have to have a job, and a car, and maybe a house, or it's impossible.