Archive for June, 2010
“Disaster Area” is a fictional band from the second book (and television show) of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series. As the Wikipedia entry puts it:
Disaster Area, claimed to be the loudest band in the universe, and in fact the loudest sound of any kind, anywhere. So loud is this band that the audience usually listens from the safe distance of thirty seven miles away in a well-built concrete bunker.
Hitchhikers.wikia.com adds that the “musicians themselves play their instruments by remote control from within a heavily insulated spaceship which stays in orbit around the planet – or more frequently around a completely different planet”.
Final amp-related image of the day. This is a proposal for a public monument titled “Heavy Metal Hara-Kiri”. Requiring 37,153,522 amps (not the approx. 300 shown here), a guitarist can enter the ring, stand in the middle, and strike his final power chord. The resulting sound waves will be so loud they will cause instant death.
Also, fog in SketchUp is awesome.
For a long while I’ve been wanting to figure out how many guitar amps it would take to equal the volume of an atomic bomb. After finally finding the right formulas (number of sources = 10 x (increase of level in dB/10)) given the volume of a standard Marshall full stack (122.3dB) and the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (248dB), I found it would take 3,715,352,290,971 amps.
If a regular Marshall speaker cabinet has a footprint of 14.5 x 30″, that many amps side-by-side would span a 441.1 x 912.6-mile grid, or a swath of land from New York City to Niagra Falls and south nearly to Atlanta.
As a side note, if this was to be a ring instead of a grid, it’s diameter would be 2,006 times larger than that of Jupiter.
Also, as Angeles notes, this could be powered by Niagra Falls.
… and a 360-amp circle. If a standard Marshall speaker cabinet is 30″ wide, then this ring would be 75 yards (227′) across, or roughly 3/4 the length of a football field. Next step is to place this “temple” on top of some remote mountain in Google Earth.
Great quote from an article in Frieze by Edward Allington. First published in Issue 92, June-August 2005; the article contains notes which are not online. Must find that McEvilley quote…
Most pieces of Conceptual art are, to quote Thomas McEvilley, objects: ‘Theories, of course, are things; they are what Edmund Husserl called Noemantic objects, that is, mental objects. Every thought or concept is an object, and every object has form or aesthetic presence (what does a centaur look like? an angel?). There is, in other words, an aesthetics of thought with its own styles and its own formalism.’
The following is a “minimal essay” on the varied representations and interactions with the landscape in NES games of the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. With the videos shown, all attempts were made to find high quality videos that were not “speed-runs” or attempts to play the game perfectly as fast as possible, since those do not show the full and normal range of gameplay.
LANDSCAPE AS ENEMY
Where the landscape is itself an enemy, constantlly in a state of collapse. Much like the first scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” this cave, more than creatures or people, are the danger.
Like Edwin Abbott’s book “Flatland”, a sort of “transcendental” or psychedelic geometry.
Isometric rooms floating in black nothing, filled with strange and non-representational geometry filled with roaming monsters.
Psychedelically-patterned trees and grass that shake with wind when enemies appear.
LANDSCAPE AS FULL OF TREASURE
A landscape hiding that it is chock full of treasure. “Super Mario Bros” and its coins hidden in ordinary-looking bricks would be another example.
An infinitely-running corridor of trees full of seemingly harmless animals (like snails) that are deadly. Part of an interesting sub-group of games with clouds that can be stood on (subject for further investigation).
Located in an infinite suburban neighborhood, when watching a video of gameplay this seems to be more like drive looking at the details of people’s houses (a pig turning on a spit in the front yard of one house). The pure-black streets seem like space, with the blocks of houses floating space stations, similar to “Solstice” above.
LANDSCAPE BUILT FOR DESTRUCTION
The entire landscape of this game is built for destruction in a never-ending city-scape. Could equally have been listed with “Spelunker” as a landscape full of treasure to be horded (in this case weird dollar-signs and other objects hidden in the buildings) or with “Adventure Island” and “Paperboy 2″ as an infinite city, but the idea of the destruction of the landscape as both the purpose of the place and of the creature was too interesting not to list on its own.
“North and South”
This game somewhat re-creates the Civil War as gameplay, mixing historical and virtual landscapes. Maps and simple, stylized battlefields are the majority of the game. Extra points for 8-bit banjos.
SLOW-MOVING HOTSPOTS OF DANGER
Graphically very interesting search lights puncturing pure black create sparse landscape with “hotspots” of danger. Similarly, guns shoot extremely slow-moving bullets (reminiscent of hunting in the game “Oregon Trail”) that, rather than dissipate quickly, fill the space with dangerous particles.
More info here.