I wrote a short script that downloads YouTube videos from channels I like so I can watch them wherever I want, whenever I want, and with whatever media player I want.
Politics, Trump, Racism
Trump's Republican Party is defined by racism and those who tolerate it: GOP strategist. "I’ve worked on winning Republican races across the South, and I’ve never seen a racist appeal like Trump's succeed. Why won't his party challenge him?" https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/08/02/republicans-embrace-trump-racism-give-up-on-black-voters-column/5559249002/
(This is basically just an article stating the obvious. The only thing standing out here is who is writing it.)
WHO says there’s no ‘silver bullet’ to defeat coronavirus and ‘there might never be’. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/03/who-says-no-silver-bullet-to-coronavirus-and-there-might-never-be.html
I'm beginning to come around to this view. Of course, some scientists might just find that silver bullet, but based on the research published most recently it seems likely vaccines will be effective only for a period of time and require boosters. Plus we still don't have a truly effective treatment regimen to apply to the people hospitalized with the worse symptoms.
The Perseid Meteor Shower has already started and will peak this year on August 12th. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseids
I'm a huge fan of meteor showers in general. I love the Perseids in particular, not because they are the prettiest (the Leonids can be far more attractive), but because they occur in a warm time of year, often featuring clearer skies.
Except the last two years have been cloudy here. 😕
In any case, it's looking good this year! #Seattle folk: DM me if you want to find darker skies.
So, will there be a next one? Absolutely.
I think any convention aspiring to be virtual–with panel discussions in Zoom and all that–is going to want one going forward. Squid Hall wasn't the first attempt to add a VR component to a virtual conference, but it may be the first one to truly awaken people's imaginations to the possibilities.
Will I be creating the next one? Dunno. Right now I'm taking a break. Then I'm going to rework the tools I created for Squid Hall based on lessons learned.
There was even some talk of nominating Squid Hall for a Hugo award. While I would love to have a Rocket, there's two problems with that:
1. I had hoped to get one for fiction
2. Squid Hall really isn't that good
In truth? It was something we threw together in just over two months. And it looked like it.
We didn't even get all the content loaded. It was more the kind of thing demonstrating the possibilities of a medium than the kind of thing exemplifying them. The next one will be way better.
The CoNZealand World SF convention is now over. It had it's ups and downs, but so far as I can tell from the comments the VR Exhibits Hall my team created was an unqualified success. (The closest thing to negative comments I found was people complaining about VR sickness.)
I even gave a virtual tour of the VR Hall to a small group last night. We used audio chat and the mutli-user functionality of the hall.
Took a couple of group pictures at the end.
Politics, Economy, Election
There is one hopeful reason for the Republicans refusing to do another #COVID19 bailout: they expect Trump to lose in November.
Basically, every president ends up having two years of the economy created by the previous tenant's decisions; because there is that much lag between governmental economic inputs and economic outputs.
Also, every president is judged by the economy; and mid-term elections depend partly on presidential approval ratings.
Looking ahead to 2022?
Almost forgot to mention it, but there is a hidden 'Easter Egg' in the hall, with the team list.
Also? It's multi-user. To reduce poly count I designed a user avatar that looks like a con badge with googly eyes.
So, basically, you aren't wandering around in there on your lonesome.
Of course there's a whole lot more in the hall. We've managed to pack in an enormous amount of content and are adding more as the convention progresses. If you are a member of the convention, check it out!
If you aren't? Well, sorry dude. Member's only.
The Artist Guest of Honor for ConZealand is Greg Broadmore; a Weta guy who writes, creates graphic novels, does classic and genre art, and does 3D modelling. The robot statue near the entrance is his.
So the Science Fiction Worldcon (technically in New Zealand, but 'virtual' this year due to pandemic) is in full swing. https://virtual.conzealand.nz/
As I mentioned before, I was lead developer on a VR Exhibits Hall for the convention. We call it 'Squid Hall'.
Here is a thread of screenshots.
NOTE: I'll be posting some screenshots of Squid Hall this week, once the hall goes live.
Whenever you are past the edge, out in the wind, look for me.
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