Brainblast 0.1 released

I made the first release of the small game I have made. I have a long list of things to fix and improve upon but at least it is playable so one can see the basics. I have currently made a debian package, but will provide rpm also later. You need linux, there is not any builds for other platforms available at the moment.

If you feel like trying it you can visit http://brainblast.sourceforge.net/

Old blog posts about the game can be found in the category.

Pollution

During the Olympics in Beijing there have been quite a lot of discussion about the bad air in Beijing. And as I have myself visited Beijing several times I can say that the pollution is something that you definitely notice and can be quite bad at times. It’s quite boring when you do not see the blue sky for many days in a row. But it’s also shifting a lot, suddenly the air is very clear.

By the way here is an image of me in front of the olympic stadium which was under construction about one year ago:

There are official measuremnts of the air quality in Beijing that can be seen at MEP, while both BBC and Associated Press are making their own measurements.

The figures differs a bit and of course there can be big local variations, but until now AP has measured an average value of 326 micrograms per cubic meter of PM10 which is the most common measurement for air pollution. You can read more about PM10 at Wikipedia but one reason for importance of this measurement is that it measures particles with a size smaller than 10 micrometers, which is small enough to settle in the lungs and cause health problems. BBC’s values are a little lower with maximum values around 300, also according to BBC the yearly average is around 89. The official government data is around 160 under the olympics so far. Nevertheless it can be interesting to compare these values with other cities and your own local area.

BBC also mentions that the yearly average for London is 21. The most polluted city in the world, Cairo has a yearly average of 169, thats almost double the average of Beijing.

I found an article with numbers from Linköping in Sweden which is not far from where I grew up, there the numbers for the yearly average ranges from 18-26 depending on location in the city. Perhaps the numbers can’t be compared, but just looking at them it seems that London and Linköping is equally polluted, I find that hard to believe but anyway they are far from Beijing. In Sweden the yearly average can not be above 40 without actions being taken.

Looking at the city where I live (Oslo, Norway) one can see that the yearly average is around 25, and the report I looked at actually had data back to the 1970’s and it’s interesting to note that the PM10 values for Oslo are now only a third of what it was then, the average for 1971 for example was 74. In the 1980’s it was around 40-50, in the early 1990’s around 30. The same report also looks at SO2 where the measurements go back to the 1950’s with values around 300-400 micrograms per cubic meter, and in the early 2000’s the values were down at only 4-5 micrograms per cubic meter. NO2 was also down by the way. I was not aware that the air is so much better now (at least when looking at those three pollutants) then a few decades ago, interesting… But I am just looking at some numbers, how much of an improvement this really means I can’t say. Anyway all reports about Oslo and daily measurements can be found at luftkvalitet.info.

Well enough numbers and measurements, I am going to watch some Olympics instead 🙂

Photo Weekend

Last weekend I was out photographing a bit again since I got my camera back from reparation. I went up to holmenkollen:

This panaroma has many flaws, but it gives a nice overview. I also saw some people skijumping into the water:

After that I went up towards frognerseteren, I tried to make a very thorough panorama on one of the houses here in the image, but when done I realised that I had used a stupid setting on the camera and as I was quite hungry so I did not bother to redo it.

I walked down to Slemdal and took the subway back home.

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Science fiction books

In periods I think it’s nice to read, and usually the past years I have mostly read fact books, but currently I have picked up an interest for science fiction. In the last month I have read three books all belonging to the Science Fiction Masterworks series. Using that in the selection process makes it more likely to get something good.

I have read:

The forever war – by Joe Haldeman (1974)
I Am Legend – by Richard Matheson (1954)
Eon – by Greg Bear (1985)

I would say all of them are nice books, and they are quite different.

The forever war – follows one man and the girl he loves through the wars ranging from the end of the 1990’s and many hundreds of years into the future (due to time dilation), and how this affects him. This novel was written in 1974 during the Vietnam war in which the author Joe Haldeman had been badly wounded. But that connection is not too obvious in the book.

I Am Legend – I just discovered that this book has turned into a film that had a premiere in December 2007. I did not know that until today when I just finished the book. It’s written in 1954 and tells the story of a man in the future (1976) who is left possibly as the only immune person to a disease from which everyone else either dies or turns into beings with vampire like behavior. The book is not so much about the bloody vampire or zombies (for which this book was one of the works which many following zombie/vampire works has taken inspiration from, for example Romero’s films), but instead focuses quite a lot on how it is to be so incredibly lonely. I think this was a good book, I have a feeling the movie is quite different, but I should probably watch now when I know it exists. As a side note the 2007 movie is actually the 3rd movie made from this book, there is also The Last Man on Earth from 1964 and The Omega Man from 1971.


Eon – Is probably the one I enjoyed the most, although at times the cold war influences could be a bit too much, it was quite a bit about Soviet vs. USA but in the early 2000’s . Bear plays around with some very imaginative ideas which make the read enjoyable and exciting. CGSociety had a competition about a year ago to make computer generated concept art and movie trailers for a movie for this book. However there is no movie in the plans that I know about.