I’m sitting on my bed for the third day in a row.
I’m waiting for 5PM to hit so that I can finally close my 3DS. I’ve been ‘tanning’ my avatar in the latest entry of Nintendo’s long running Animal Crossing series, New Leaf. I put ‘tanning’ in scare quotes because the method doesn’t match my intention. Yes, I’m doing the the thing the game calls tanning, but my objective isn’t just darkening my avatar’s skin tone, it’s being able to see in the screen what I see in the mirror
Holy hells this is some great games writing, and a kinda disturbing core issue.
The Santa Barbara airport evokes a delightfully clean ship design—but I have a harder time imagining it soaring through space than through the cells of John Conway’s “Game of Life” simulation. It bears a pretty striking resemblance to the gliders in Bill Gosper’s “glider gun” automaton:
Even Santa Barbara’s baggage claim looks like the jaggy cell hanging onto the glider’s main chevron. I appreciate little moments of synchronic syncopation like this one: an airport built almost thirty years before Conway’s automaton replicates one of the automaton’s natural evolutions. The glider gun resembles an airplane firing tiny replications of the Santa Barbara airport, while the airport sends out its own gliders, shaped like airplanes.
It isn’t hard to imagine the San Francisco airport as a space-faring market, inviting wandering merchants and bargain-hunting travelers to peruse its wares. Trading ships might dock and set up stalls along the radial gate-arms, but I imagine that at night, the permanent establishments located in the colorful hub-area would bloom with night-life. All the boring ship-functions are clearly consigned to the aft end of the ship, with small garage hangars for repair and maintenance craft.
Image source: http://www.flysfo.com/web/page/atsfo/non-flash/
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Some airports are hard NOT to see as spacecraft. Take Fukuoka Airport, for instance. It’s obviously been planted here by some advanced space-faring species hoping that we’ll take the hint and build this ship. It even has a lovely forested space running through the ship’s center (which would be handy in generating oxygen and preserving sanity on those long deep-space trips), lots of room for engineering down near the keel, sensor arrays in the nose, and a raised bridge at the back, Star Destroyer style.
Conclusion: airport planners are total nerds.
Well fine, Port Columbus Airport, if you want to do all the work for me, fine. You’re clearly wrapped up in imitating the Terran Battlecruiser, and I won’t get in the way of that.
Uh oh. I rediscovered a toy.
The Houston airport works nicely as a cargo hauler. That blunt prow and straightforward silhouette say “I don’t have time for all those flares and ellipses—just load some cargo containers between my gates and send me off.” Keep on haulin’, Houston.
Miniature hobby: using maps of airports as inspiration for space opera-style capital ships. Charles de Gaulle is my favorite. I mean, just look at those repair bays by Terminal 2E! And you can practically see the trading ships docking at Gates F21-36 and F41-56. That bulb at the far left would work so well as a forward sensor array, and the red dotted bus routes make lovely representations of force fields.
Give it a try next time you’re thumbing through Sky Magazine. Oh what am I saying. You already do this.
Carl-Johan Rosén’s project “I speak myself into an object” is a book consisting only of the programming code the computer needs to print the book.
Last week I saw CHR give a reading from the book, super interesting because the gibberish of the code is transformed into a kind of poetry. The project gives a whole new meaning to the expression “I publish, therefore I am.”
I tried to swim away from the island in Proteus. Wanted to see what would happen. Nothing. Nothing happens. Beautiful, miraculous nothing. I swam, and swam, and the island receded and receded. Sometime during the night, I lost sight of the island, and when the sun rose, it was gone. Just flat horizon, gentle waves, and the sun arcing up.
I held down “S” for almost half an hour, wondering if I’d fall off the world or circle back around and find myself on the island. Nope. Never did. Just the ocean.
But not just the ocean. The persistent orchestra, the lapping of the water, the shift of the stars around an axis—the simulated universe moving interminably slowly, but just enough to notice. Slight vertigo. Moon sets. Sun rises, the stars blink out one by one. Then colors shift and it’s day again. I hold down escape. The screen-eye closes.