the flash inspirations

This is the King Features ‘↑Flash Gordon‘ Sunday strip by ↑Alex Raymond as it was published on 23 June 1940. We see Gordon [whose adventures began on 07 January 1934] disguised as a ‘Power-Man’ [‘the experts on whom Mongo’s electrified civilization depends’] infiltrating the palace of ↑Ming the Merciless—and being detected. Please note the design and colour-scheme of the Power-Man uniform Gordon is wearing. The full uniform first was depicted two weeks earlier, in one panel of the strip of 09 June 1940.  Earlier the same year the DC-superhero ‘↑The Flash‘ first appeared in Flash Comics #1, published in January … Continue reading

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what is that?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #45 What is the large mechanical contraption in the picture everybody is staring at? In which movie does it appear and what does it do within the plot of that movie?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your … Continue reading

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arab spring media

My friend ↑Vít Šisler just notified me via email that ↑CyberOrient 6(1) is out. Vít writes: [The new issue] aims for critical and evidence-based evaluation of the use of social media in the Arab Spring, the coverage of the Arab Spring in cyberspace and beyond, and the remediation and appropriation between social media and traditional media outlets, including satellite TVs and the press. See also ↵anthropologists on egypt, ↵irevolution in bahrain, and especially ↵heretics house tripoli and its follow-up ↵teliasonera’s black boxes. For those into computer games, check out ↑Vít’s publications, ↵computer games, Islam, and politics, and ↵tahta al-hisar—under siege. … Continue reading

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wolfenstein 3d online

At ↑Tom Hall’s weblog I ↑read that Bethesda has celebrated the 20th birthday of ‘Wolfenstein 3D’ (id Software 1992) by putting it online as a free browser game. But when I clicked ↑the link I got a 404—it ain’t here anymore. Either Bethesda has taken it offline again, or the fabulous German banning mechanisms kicked in. I am too lazy to go via proxy, especially because there’s another solution. At Virtual Apple you can ↑play that milestone of computer game history via an Apple ][ emulation. ID SOFTWARE. 1992. Wolfenstein 3-D [computer game]. Mesquite et al.: id Software et al. … Continue reading

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more nuclear follies

  This is a kind of a follow-up to Japanese artist ↵Isao Hashimoto’s chilly time-lapse map depicting the 2053 nuclear explosions having taken place between 1945 and 1998. I again embedded it above because it’s quite a testament. When I watched these horrific quarter of an hour for the first time at a certain point I thought: They are speaking with each other. There are segments in the animation when suddenly the frequency of nuclear blasts e.g. in the USA speedens up. After a short pause the answer comes as a rapid succession of nuclear fireworks within the Soviet Union. … Continue reading

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proto science fiction

As the faithful reader might have noticed, I am, among other things, fond of early science fiction—of course always on the hunt for elements of ↵the cyberpunk discourse, and for entries to my ↵according list, where I strive to furnish downlod links as far as technically and legally possible. Now, in the wake of a recent panel on Victorian and Edwardian science fiction at ↑Chicon 7, over ↑at Wondermark there’s a list of according science fiction with download links. The post also hints us at the fine anthology ‘Science Fiction by Gaslight’ (Moskowitz 1968), and a commenter added the two … Continue reading

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assassin’s creed framework

Although the main plots of the ↑‘Assassin’s Creed’ games have historical settings—during the Third Crusade (Ubisoft Montreal 2007), the Renaissance (2009), and the American Revolution (2012)—the narrative as a whole bows down to ↵the cyberpunk dicourse. The story which delivers the framework decidedly is cyberpunkish: In the present day, or 20 minutes into the future, the evil corporation ‘Abstergo Industries’ abducts one Desmond Miles. In a secret apartment hideaway he is made to connect to the ‘Animus,’ a computer able to revoke ‘genetic memory.’ That way Miles is able to experience the lifes of his ancestors as interactive virtual realities … Continue reading

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tommy flowers’ diary

At least parts of the personal diary of ↑Thomas Harold Flowers (1905-1998) soon will be on display at ↑The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, ↑reported the BBC two days ago. Flowers was crucial in constructing ↑Colossus—for the whole story see Randell 1980 and the excellent book edited by Jack Copeland (2006) including texts by Flowers himself (2006 [1998]a, b).     The story of the Colossi—all in all ten of them were at work at Bletchley until the end of the war—not only illustrates the outstanding relevance of electronic computing technology, but is also an example for … Continue reading

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difference engine day

From the ↑Charles Babbage biography at ↑The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive (University of St Andrews, Scotland): Babbage is without doubt the originator of the concepts behind the present day computer. The computation of logarithms had made him aware of the inaccuracy of human calculation around 1812. He wrote in [C Babbage, Passages from the life of a philosopher (London, 1864).]:-     … I was sitting in the rooms of the Analytical Society, at Cambridge, my head leaning forward on the table in a kind of dreamy mood, with a table of logarithms lying open before me. Another member, … Continue reading

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