The Infinite Zenith has no limits, but as its author, I do. Even though I can’t afford to know them, on the day that I find find out, I’m willing to bet that even though everyone would be itching to tell me “I told you so”, they won’t want to. Probably.
The sharp-eyed readers may have noted that I was going to do a post on a special topic at month’s end, and as promised, this post will deal with special topics; specifically, what’s been going on over the past month, and a new series of posts that will grace this site to diversify things up a little. Working backwards, the new series of posts will take the form of a question and answer, not dissimilar to that of Anime News Network’s Answerman program. To keep things interesting, I’m going to call this “The Infinite Zenith’s Mail Sack”, and the formatting will be quite simple. Things kick off in August: every Saturday, I will pull two to three questions from the comment sections of posts designated as in the Mail Sack series, and answer them with my unique approach. Naturally, I am not an expert on the anime industry, but I will make an effort to answer the questions to the best of my capacity. I am answering a smaller number of questions per week so that I can address everything adequently. If this program is successful, I will continue to answer questions, but on a bi-weekly basis starting September for reason to be explained later in this post. The rules for questions are simple: all questions must be in English, pertain to anime or gaming, and may not contain personal attacks (although my past experience with the individuals have been positive, so I don’t expect this to be too much of a problem). This series of posts was inspired by Ninety Beats’ “30-day anime challenge”, and here, I’ll hope to engage readers to a greater extent than I had previously.
- Basically, what the new “Mail Sack” posts boil down to is me answering questions. As much as I would like to, I’m not going to do “terrible anime” challenges; this entails my watching exceptionally poor series and then try to provide a fair assessment of it. While it sounds fun, I don’t think I’ll have the time to do this.
Moving on, over the past month, I’ve been working diligently to complete the first version of the visualisation software for the Giant Walkthrough Brain, a special performance by Jay Ingram and his band (presently dubbed “The Free Radicals”). With a musical and scientific aspect, this show aims to instruct and entertain the audience on the nuances surrounding the human brain; the original project was inspired by Joseph Bogen’s conception of a massive brain museum built in the brain’s likeness, and although engineers find such a structure unfeasible, the fact that our computers now allow us to explore entire worlds mean that the time was ripe to build a massive brain museum within a virtual environment. At the summer’s beginning, I picked up Unity3D and C# to help assemble the visualisation software. Much of May was dedicated to becoming familiarised with Unity3D, while in June, the basic frameworks to the virtual model were assembled. However, in July, a multitude of features were added to the project. In addition, with the opening night fast approaching in a few hours at the Banff Summer Arts Festival, the project was rigourously tested to ensure that the visualisation would work in conjunction with the musical and lecture components of the Giant Walkthrough Brain show. There will be future shows at the Telus Spark Science Centre for the Beakerhead event, and those in the Calgary area may be inclined to check it out.
- As for the Giant Walkthrough Brain, here’s the Beakerhead website for those who are interested. The show’s in just a few hours at the Banff Center, but that’s for the Banff Summer Arts Festival; the Beakerhead version will probably see a few improvements to the visualisation model. If this has your attention, the best way is to swing by Cowtown in September and see the show for yourself, which is the only way to properly enjoy it. You can bet your bottom dollar that I won’t be providing screenshots of the project here for all to check out.
Between the Giant Walkthrough Brain, blogging and Deus Ex: Human Revolutions, July was remarkably busy, but also productive and enjoyable (contrasting last July!). Naturally, I have spared no effort and pulled all the stops to make sure that the software for the Giant Walkthrough Brain will work exactly as required, and as such, I have not been ensuring correctness for my blog posts: after a long day, I just want to push the posts out, and leave it at that. Thankfully, the more technically-inclined readers have been kind enough to point out several mistakes I’ve made in my series of blog posts over the past month, allowing me to remove any inconsistencies from my writing to ensure that the content here is correct and useful. With this said, the impact of a busy schedule on the quality of my writing is becoming increasingly apparent, and after a long day of building and testing software, I admit that it is quite difficult to sit down and maintain the blog. While it’s still summer, and August looks to be a little slower in that regard (for now, I think August is about refining the visualisation software and preparing it for Beakerhead), I would imagine that once my graduate program starts in September, I would be hard-pressed to find time to blog well, between coursework, the thesis project and teaching. The end result is that blog posts will probably be slower to come out, but I would also like to let the readers note that, while I’m slowing down for now, this does not mean I’m disappearing. At the minimum, I will stick around until the Girls und Panzer movie gets a home release. For the present, though, there’s still a month left in the summer, and with the time remaining, I will get around to writing about a few more things, including the halfway impressions for Glasslip, the “after three” impressions for Sword Art Online II and Aldnoah.Zero, and a talk on War in the Pocket (amongst other things), before setting out on the next great journey called grad school.