Wanderers

I love this beautiful video by Erik Wernquist, set to the voice of Carl Sagan. I watched it again today and thought to myself, "what am I doing to make this future happen?"

Archives

Years ago I started a blog called "End Of Level Boss" and I recently found a backup of some of its posts. A lot of them were uninteresting, but I decided to re-post some of them here with the original dates.

It's strange reading things that I wrote 7, 8 or 9 years ago. I remember I used to take a long time to publish posts because I wanted to make sure everything was perfect, but reading them back now the language that I use seems awkward, and there are a few typos that I've corrected. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere!

Here are some of the highlights:

Plumen 002

I had no idea that Plumen had released a new bulb.

Plumen 002

It's an interesting design, chunkier than the original Plumen, and according to their website it produces a much warmer glow:

Plumen 002 is a more simplistic and poetic design, to suit its warmer, softer light and the more ambient surroundings it was created for. Luminosity is equivalent to a 30W incandescent bulb and the colour is 2500k which is warmer than the Plumen 001 that is 2700k.

The Plumen 002 would look great in one of Grovemade's desk lamps (I'm not a fan of using the extremely inefficient 'squirrel-cage' incandescent bulbs that seem to have become popular lately).

Monument Valley

Monument Valley – Ida

Monument Valley is a puzzle game for iOS (and soon Android) that tasks you with helping Ida on her journey through the ruins of a colourful, geometrically impossible kingdom.

This is a beautiful game - the art style is minimalist and polygonal without being difficult to interpret and it looks as though every pixel was carefully placed, even when you're manipulating the world by rotating towers or pulling at parapets to make new paths.

And the games' sound design is great as well, subtle sound effects make the world feel tangible, and when you slide your finger to pull a platform you hear feedback in the form of gentle, relaxing musical notes.

The world is filled with optical illusions like Penrose triangles and platforms that only align from a certain angle, where the perspective of the player determines whether a path is walkable or not.

Monument Valley – a rotating platform creates a Penrose triangle

Perhaps the most impressive part of Monument Valley is that it never feels too difficult. I don't think many people will be tempted to stop and come back to it later because it's too hard, or find a particular puzzle so frustrating that they'll want to look online for a solution (although I did have to stop and think for a while on the later levels), but equally the puzzles never feel unsatisfying either.

Monument Valley – waves batter a tiny island

The game only takes about 2 hours to complete (to be honest I lost track of time while playing) but still manages to tell a story – not a very complex story, and a lot is left to the imagination, but I still felt moments of joy and sadness as I helped Ida on her quest.

In summary I loved Monument Valley. It's a great game, definitely worthy of the price in my opinion, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else ustwo games come up with in the future.

Visualizing Git Concepts with D3

Visualize git with d3

I love this visualisation of git! It's really cool being able to actually see the difference between commands.

I recommend trying both a git pull and a git pull --rebase on the git fetch example.

I also noticed in the "Update Private Local Branch with Latest from Origin" example that you can rebase your branch against master without pulling master. Doing a git fetch and then a git rebase origin/master is all that you need. I've always checked out and pulled master explicitly. Good to know!

Maps + video from space

Mapbox have combined their Streets map with this footage captured from Skybox's SkySat-1.

There's a discussion on Hacker News about the difficulties and implications of the technology.

Aelita

Aelita

Today at the Zendesk Dublin office we had a Hackday, and David, Alan and myself built this web-based "soyuz"/monome clone, that we called Aelita.

It was a lot of fun, even though we were the only group in the office that didn't build something practical!

The source code is on github, let me know what you think.

WebGL Raytraced Eye

WebGL raytraced eye

This WebGL eyeball looks amazing, it's so cool that this is possible in the browser now.

Fill Murray

Bill Murray

Placeholder images of Bill Murray by Dave Cowart.

(Via Marc Lloyd)

Build with Chrome

A Lego Viking Tour Bus in Dublin

Today I've been playing with this amazing toy from Lego and Chrome that lets you build Lego models on Google Maps. I found this great rendition of a Viking Tour Bus/Boat in Dublin's Grand Canal Quay. (For the record this is what they actually look like).

So cool!

(Via Kill Screen)