Summer Palace  (Taken with instagram)

Summer Palace (Taken with instagram)

(Source: haylieerin)

Last night on Spike TV’s 2011 Video Game Awards, Naughty Dog announced the release of its new survival horror franchise called The Last of Us.  The game is set in what remains of the United States after most of the population has been decimated by a modern plague. The story follows two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they fight to survive in a post apocalyptic world. 

We are excited to finally unveil The Last of Us, a project the team has been working hard on for some time.  Naughty Dog’s mission is to change the way people experience video games.  We are confident The Last of Us will take a leap forward in cinematic gaming and storytelling, providing gamers with an experience unlike anything else in the industry.”  -Evan Wells Co-President, Naughty Dog

For me, gaming is all about the story.  Video games have the unique ability to draw you into a different world with the visuals of an exciting movie, provide the intricate story telling of a good novel, but all the while you are in charge of the action.  I can’t wait to see what The Last of Us has to offer.

(Source: forbes.com)

"Are you a millionaire? No? Well, then you probably don’t give cars to people as presents"

   Seasonal advertisements can sometimes be a bit… well, annoying.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gagged slightly at yet another series of clichéd Lexis commercials this holiday season.  This year, Honda decided to take a different approach by poking fun at some of these over the top holiday commercials with an ad campaign created by RPA.   These commercials are the perfect blend of comedic whit and product info, a refreshing change of tone from the typical holiday messaging.  

(Source: adweek.com)

Crazy Reebok Ad

The world’s largest 3D anamorphic street painting in London, created by British artist Joe Hill. 

New Zelda Game! Skyward Sword

Since this blog is for my creative thinking and problem solving class, I figured I should include a blog post about possibly one of the best ways to implement creative thinking and problem solving ever (in my opinion at least).  I am speaking, of course, about The Legend of Zelda.  Today a new video game was released in The Legend of Zelda series called Skyward Sword.  Once again you get to play as the courageous yet humble hero, Link, and explore yet another fascinating and complex multilayered world.

 So why should you be as excited about this new game as I am?  Not only does this new game promise to exercise your puzzle solving skills, but Skyward Sword also promises the most realistic sword combat of any game to date. The introduction of full motion controls enabled by Wii MotionPlus technology synchronizes player movements with Link’s actions, offering a satisfying experience that blends puzzle-solving with a new and distinctly unique combat system.

 One of the things I have always enjoyed about the games is the intense puzzle-solving that only The Legend of Zelda can deliver.  The dungeon levels are designed like labyrinths and there are brainteasers infused throughout the game.  Playing Zelda has always been a fun way for me to exercise my problem solving skills since I first played the now critically acclaimed Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64 back in 1998. 

I am excited to get started on a new adventure with Link.  Perhaps I should hold off on buying it until I will actually have time to play it over Christmas break.

In this short video, musician Bobby McFerrin uses the pentatonic scale to reveal one surprising result of the way our brains are wired.  After introducing the first note and the interval to the next, the audience was easily able to predict the next tone without even thinking about it.  The most beautiful thing about music is that it really is the universal language, and you don’t have to be a musician to be able to understand it. It is something instinctual and hard-wired in all of us.

get excited for snow!

Artist Date: New England Aquarium

Last Thursday I decided to spend the day exploring the New England Aquarium.  Having grown up on the east coast of Florida, I’ve been around marine life a lot.  Our family vacations were often trips to Sea World or to the FL Keys to catch lobster during mini season, and school field trips were to Sea Camp or the Environmental Learning Center to explore the diverse marine life living in the brackish waters of the Indian River.  Even so, the creatures of the ocean never cease to amaze and inspire me.  Their world is so different than ours, I think its incredible that we share the same planet with these amazing creatures.  Hopefully after seeing these pictures you will feel inspired to learn more about the mysterious creatures under the sea. 

I had a moment with this scary looking fish.  Its interesting to me that with many creatures, even if you can’t distinguish any other part of its body, you can nearly always tell where its eyes are.  I wonder if he was thinking the same thing about me…

Jellyfish are so graceful and delicate.  As much as I love watching them I would hate to get caught in the water with one.  Even though I’ve spent much of my life at the beach I’ve never been stung by one (knock on wood) but I’ve heard it’s pretty horrible.  Did you know that sea turtles eat jelly fish? They close their eyes to prevent getting stung each time they go in for a bite. 

This crazy looking thing is not surprisingly called a leafy seadragon.  If I had to give this creature a name, I probably would have made the same choice.  Interesting fact- after females lay their eggs, the male seadragon carries the eggs around on a patch near the base of his tail until they hatch.  Once the babies hatch they are completely self reliant.

When I saw these pygmy seahorses I couldn’t believe how amazing nature can be.  They didn’t look real to me. Seahorses look more like mythical dragons than something that actually exists in this world, so the fact that there are seahorses about the size of a pea blew my mind. This particular species was recently discovered in 2008 off the coast of Indonesia.  It was interesting to watch the way they moved, with tinny vibrating fins on their backs. They didn’t seem to have much control over the current. 

I would definitely recommend spending a day at the aquarium if you haven’t been there yet.  It’s interesting to experience an environment that is so bizarre and wonderful but still a part of the same world.