How to Own Pac-Man

July 18, 2006

“KiLLerCloWn” at mameworld has written a killer Pac-Man Guide that can get you to lvl 256. I never knew the game’s constitutive rules were so robust. I also didn’t know that the ghosts don’t turn blue after level 18.

If you’re jonsing for some Pac-Man action now, play online here (I’m not sure if it has all the rules right).

could keep you occupied for hours.

After you’ve played for a while, listen to the mp3.


July 15, 2006

I saw David Mamet’s new film, Edmond, tonight. “Mamet’s” in that he wrote it. Bill Macy stars under the direction of Stuart Gordon (of Robot Jox fame).

Oh boy did Mamet write it. From the first scene between Bill Macy and Mamet-wife Rebecca Pidgeon, it’s clearly a 100% Mamet film. What’s unclear is why the actors are unable to act naturally with Mamet’s lines.

“I am delivering a line of dialogue.”
“You’re delivering a line of dialogue.”
“I am delivering a line of dialogue.”
“Are you…”
“Are you delivering a line of dialogue?”

The only thing that distracts from the stilted acting is the appearance of a celebrity cameo every 5 minutes. In order of appearance: Joe Mantegna, Denise Richards, Ling Bai, Mena Suvari, DulĂ© Hill, Jeffrey Combs, George Wendt, Julia Stiles. This list is almost as long as the list of the film’s associate and executive producers.

Sometimes I love Mamet. Glengary Glen Ross is one of my favorite films. One of the best pieces of theater I’ve ever seen was Bill Macy and Phillip Baker Hall in American Buffalo. The first time I came across House of Games on cable, my friends and I were in a hurry to get to the grocery store for party supplies, but we couldn’t take our eyes off the screen and the party started late.

As Thomas put it, “There wasn’t anything to like. There wasn’t anything to hate, either. I just didn’t understand why the film exists.”

Seifert Surface has built a tesseract in Second Life.

He built his model of the 4-dimensional cube as a Victorian home. Here’s what you’ll see if you visit the home in SL:

Not exactly astonishing. You appear to just loop around and wind up back where you started. But stay with me here.

A tesseract is the extension of a cube into 4-dimensional space, and it’s very difficult (if it’s even possible) for humans to conceptualize it. Try to think of it geometrically, not realistically. As the square is to a line, and a cube to a square, so is the tesseract to the cube.

Another way to understand it is to imagine the vertices. In a square, each vertex extends in two directions. In a cube, each vertex extends in three directions. What happens when you add another dimension and extend the cube’s vertices in four directions? That’s a tesseract.

Hard to conceptualize, right? Take another look at someone walking through Surface’s tesseract house, this time with the camera zoomed far out:

Is it making more sense? Of course, this isn’t really what a tesseract looks like, but it’s an effective illustration. As in a cube, where each side of its component squares adjoin another side, each face of the tesseract’s component cubes adjoin another face. To represent a 4-dimensional object in 3-dimensional space,* the cubes move so their faces can adjoin.

Meg and Charles Wallace Murray never had it so good.

If you really want your mind blown, here’s a functional tesseract version of Rubik’s Cube.

SL users can portal to Surface’s “Crooked House” here.

More info here.

Still too pedestrian for you? A 5-dimensional Rubik’s Cube here.

*Technically, this is representing a 4D object in a 2D representation of 3D. But lets keep it simple.