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Steve Grand, the creator of one of my favorite game series (Creatures) has announced a new project: Grandroids. He's currently looking for backers to help fund the project--and he offers some neat rewards for people who participate.


I've been playing Creatures for some fifteen years now. It's usually described as a virtal pet game, but in reality it's much more than that. Norns don't come with preprogrammed behavior trees like Petz or Tamagotchi, which only give the appearance of meaningful behavior. Instead, Norns have complex virtual brains complete with emotions, instincts, drives, and the ability to learn from past experiences and formulate new decisions based on learned information. (I'm hungry, I need to eat something--I see a toy--are toys good to eat? Nope, can't do that--maybe I'll try that cheese instead.)

The first game in the Creatures series was released in 1996. Steve Grand was churning out complex AI long before we even had the technology to make games like Spore or The Sims possible. These later games still have nothing on Creatures in terms of AI--they rely on adding complexity to behavior trees, instead of a system that offers dynamic learning and decision-making capabilities.

It's been fifteen years since the first Creatures game was released. What will Grandroids be like?

I can't wait to see, but it's going to take some help for Steve to be able to pull it off. I hope that anyone with an interest in artificial intelligence--yes, even virtual pets--will be willing to lend Steve a hand.


I spoke with my mother and we worked out a way for me to afford a DA subscription. So I get to stay on deviantART after all, and I don't have to deal with any nasty ads. And I get other cool features to play with, too. :D
I'll still definitely look into Avast, though.

I guess I'd better get caught up on what everybody's been doing. Holy cow, there are already 54 new deviations! Looks like I have my work cut out for me. =O
I really hate to say this, but I'm leaving deviantART.

The advertisements on DA have been giving my computer viruses. So whenever I'm on here, browsing artwork, I'm getting crap like ave.exe downloaded to my computer. According to DA's customer support folks, if I don't want to deal with this I need to to pay for a subscription so I don't see the ads. Nice, huh?

Because I can't afford a subscription, I'm taking the cheap alternative. I recently bought my own webspace, and I think it's time for me to start using it.

I hate the thought of not browsing other peoples' artwork. There are some really good artists on here that I've really enjoyed watching, I just can't continue to risk my computer like this.

I hope to have a site up at www.ghostfishe.com/ within a few months. I'll be posting my artwork, fan fiction, and other fun stuff there.

Until then, adios. I hope to see you there soon.
www.pixeljam.com/dinorun/

What a cute game! I only played through the first three levels but it's easy to see how this could become very addicting.
  • Playing: stupid
The first Ica Stone to be discovered depicted a fish. Most people would not have found any characteristics by which to classify it beyond that very basic category. This takes a truly brilliant scientist, a scientist who is unfazed by the lying, conspiring evolution-believing "scientists" and are actually looking wholeheartedly for such things, in any form they might take. Such a scientist could clearly see beyond the hazy and simplistic line etchings and recognize them for the depictions of open heart surgery, magnifying glasses, caesarian sections, telescopes and use of oral acupuncture for anesthesia, for what they really are.

Dr. Cabrera was such a brilliant scientist. And more. With only these andesite carvings to guide him, he managed to reconstruct the entire history of Glyptolithic man, our ancient, space-faring ancestors who used the Nazca lines for airstrips and rode around on tamed dinosaurs. He was such a brilliant scientist that he was actually able to identify the animals down to the individual genus--proving once and for all that dinosaurs like Brontosaurus, Stegasaurus, Tyranasaurus Rex and the Pteradactyle all inhabited Peru at that time!

These findings are revolutionary to our understanding, not only of ancient man, but of dinosaurs too. Based on these stunning eyewitness depictions, we now know that modern scientists have been wrong all along--Pteranodon really did have teeth, sauropods not only gave birth to live young but they nursed them with cow-like udders. We know this must be true because ancient Peruvians didn't have cows to base their observations off of, so obviously they were drawing dinosaurs from life! Thanks to the Ica Stones we now know that the purported titanosaur "eggs" found at Auca Mahuevo are really hoaxes meant to prove evolutionist "science". When are these evolutionist "scientists" finally going to admit the truth?
Go here and scroll to the bottom of the page. The image on the lower right depicts an invertebrate creature called Pambdelurion. Note the distinctive shape of the "head". Freaky!
Spawned by a journal entry by :iconnetraptor:

Dragon
Baby: Larva
Female: Queen
Male: Bull
Group: Host

Griffin
Baby: Chick
Female: Queen
Male: Tiercel
Group: Flock

Lindworm
Baby:  Larva
Male: Wyrm
Group: Slither

Phoenix
Baby: Chick
Female: Hen
Male: Tiercel
Group: Blaze
Haven't written in a while. Various interesting things have been happening lately. I got the chance to tour the Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington (tall ships) last week. Fun. If you ever get the chance, do it. And bring money, because they have stuff.
The first chapter of my story Metamorphosis is now online over at Netraptor.org. Click here</i> to go to my userpage, from which you can click to read the first chapter. I should have the following chapters up soon.
Taken from :iconsonicgirl11:

If you're one of the first five people to comment on this journal...

1- I'll answer with something random about you.
2- I'll dare you to try something.
3- I'll say a color I associate with you.
4- I'll tell you something I like about you.
5- I'll tell you something I always remember about you / a first memory about you.
6- I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7- I'll ask you something I always wanted to ask you.
8- Smile, because I'm not making you put this in your journal.
I was just thinking that Chaos and NiGHTS are rather similar to each other.

Similarities:

* Physical appearance: both have triangular bodies, narrow waists, long legs and large feet. Both have round, noseless faces and large, almond-shaped eyes, and adornments on their heads.

* They can both shapeshift.

* Both were imprisoned in something at one point--Chaos in the Master Emerald, NiGHTS in the Ideya Palace.



Chao and Nightopians also share similarities with one another.

Similarities:

* Physical appearance: both have squat little bodies and pointed heads. Both lack legs, fingers and noses, and both have something hovering over their heads--Chao have head-balls and Nightopians have halos.

* They hatch from colorful eggs.

* They both sing to their respective guardians.

* They adopt various characteristics from the creatures they come in contact with.



Are there any I've missed?
Last night Reala stole my Orange Ideya of Stupidfunny and my Purple Ideya of Vegetable-Hateyness!

NOW I'M NOT STUPIDFUNNY, AND I CAN'T STOP EATING PEAS!!!!!

Somebody, please help!
My banana peel-eating cat, Ana, has recently decided that one of her toys (a fluffy strip of downy feathers attached to a pole via a long string) is her... baby.

For the past three or four days, she's been crying and crying asking me to retrieve it from the top of the cabinet in the living room (where I keep it so as to prevent the cats from eating it), and I figured, you know, it was because she wanted to play. Well, earlier tonight my mom started playing with her and Tohey with it, and we were laughing because every time ana saw it, she meowed. Every single time. I set it on the ground to see what she would do, and to my surprise, she sniffed out a spot about a third of the way down its length, gently picked it up, and proceeded to carry it into one of the nearby play cubes.

I pulled it back out with the rod, placing it in the middle of the room. Immediately she sprang back out, picked it up at the exact same spot (just as carefully as the first time), and carried it back into the cube, where she then attempted to nurse it! But then, horror of horrors, Tohey stole it, carried it back out, and laid on the floor growling. Ana's eyes were huge. She crouched down, as close to Tohey as she could get, meowing a little in what appeared to be fear for her "baby." I felt bad for her, so I liberated it from Tohey (who would probably have eaten it). Ana then carried it behind a chair. Mom attempted to lure her out with a (normally irresistable) banana peel, but incredibly, she didn't budge.

I have hidden the "baby" in my room--for now. I'm a little sorry that I did, since she seemed a little distraught when it disappeared (wandering all around the chair and the play cubes, calling), but I can't let her have it. Tohey will just steal it again and then either she or the dog will eat it. This is a most peculiar situation. :(
So, yeah, we have snow here. Again. *various moans of non-enjoyment heard in background* There isn't nearly as much as we had back in November, but my street was coated in ice, and the passenger-side door on the car was frozen shut this morning.

Went to the movies anyway. It was my mom's birthday today, so we went to see Night At The Museum, and I have to say, it's a pretty good movie. Some of the details of the tyrannosaur skeleton were a little off (like the antorbital fenestra was where the eye socket should have been, there was a second hole that was too small that took the AF's place, and the skeleton's walking gait seemed a little too erect), but I didn't think it detracted from the movie, and the gait and posture looked great once it got up to a decent speed. Anyway, good movie. Try to see it while it's still in the theaters if you can.

Also, I had an interesting dream a few nights ago. I was Eggman, and while plotting in my secret island base, I came up with (rather, my Imagination Director provided) an ingenious scheme. I wrapped up a present and sent it to Sonic under the guise of a 15th anniversary gift. Actually, it was a device with a special chemical compound in it that would turn Sonic into an exact physical copy of me, Eggman! Unfortunately, the plan backfired when Sonic sent me a package in return, under the guise of a 15th anniversary gift for me, and just before I caught on to his scheme, I opened it, and was turned into an exact physical copy of Sonic! Now this was an odd situation, Sonic being wanted as a criminal because everyone thought he was me, while I was forced to flee my own base to prevent being attacked by my own robot work force, which was convinced that I was Sonic. I tried to build a new island out of a stack of books, a little farther away in the ocean (which looked suspiciously like undulating blue carpet), but books aren't very stable, especially when stacked on top of one another, especially when robots are tearing at the sides in an attempt to climb up and get you. Then Sonic (the real Sonic) arrived with the "cure," which looked suspiciously like a glass of cherry punch. We drank it, and were both turned back to normal.

Read funny.
Bought a pumello from the store the other day, since I've never tried them before and thought it would be interesting. As it turns out, a pumello is a kind of citrus fruit much like a giant grapefruit, only a whole lot milder (I ate an entire half of one, which I wouldn't even try with a regular-sized grapefruit). I offered Ana a small piece, since she was begging and she's eaten a piece of very mild orange before, and not only did she eat the pumello, but she actually begged for more! She even took a piece of the skin right out of my hand and carried it off. So much for cats not liking citrus. Judging by the overall excitement levels, I'd say she likes it more than canned green beans, but less than banana peels.

I really wish somebody would come up with a list of what kinds of fruits and veggies are cat-friendly, since she seems to want to try everything she sees me eating. I've heard of people with parrots that act this way, but not cats.
I was thinking it would be nice to come up with some ideas for fanmade Zim transcripts, and write them down in a list. Which I think I'll start here:

1 - Dib's joke for April Fools' Day is that he's no longer going to try to stop Zim. Zim is ecstatic, believing that he's really won this time. Through not understanding April Fools' Day, Zim puts his own mission in jeopardy. Discovery seems unavoidable. At the end, Dib explains that it was all just a joke and that he really is still going to stop Zim, and Zim tells everyone that everything he did was also a joke, thus escaping real discovery once again.

2 - It's Mother's Day, and everyone at Skool is talking about what they're doing for their mothers. Except Zim. To try to impress everyone by just how human he is by treating his mother, he says he's sending her to the spa--except that he doesn't know what that actually means. RoboMom does indeed go to the spa and wreaks havoc, meanwhile Zim attempts to sneak in and stop her.

3 - After learning how important sleep is to humans, Zim decides to impair Dib's ability to undermine his schemes, by keeping him awake all night. But Gaz also needs sleep, which is bad news to Zim.

4 - Zim is introduced to the world of role-playing games, perhaps at first believing that the adventures are real, but quickly becomes addicted to the world of imaginary conquests.



Anyone is free to use these ideas, so long as whatever they make is PG-rated. That's the only condition.
The Takahē is a small flightless bird from New Zealand that is similar to gallinules, moorhens and coots, which it strongly resembles, except for its high, rounded beak. This beak is bright yellow, with red skin around the base, extending back over the forehead like a squashed rooster's comb. The bird itself has a blue or purple-blue head, neck and belly, with olive green back, wings and tail, and orange legs. It is known from alpine grasslands, where it eats mainly plant matter, but some invertebrates as well. It is known to use its feet for holding food material, like parrots.

Gastornis was a large, flightless bird that stood up to six feet tall, with a huge rounded beak and stubby wings bearing claws. It is known from both Germany and North America, and is thought to have belonged to the Gruiformes (which, perhaps not so coincidentally, includes Takahēs).

The Fachen is a mythical birdlike creature from Scottish folklore said attack any traveler that comes its way. It is described (so far as I have heard) as being tall, with a crested head, bright peacock-like plumage, and having a single mangled arm growing out of its chest. It is my opinion that the Fachen was based on Gastornis, which belonged to the same family as moorhens, and whose fossils are known from nearby (as opposed to some cases where cryptids are identified as animals located on separate continents). The Takahē, which would appear to be the most comparable animal to Gastornis, has plumage surprisingly similar to a peacock, both having blue fronts and green backs, as well as a crest on its head (comparable to a rooster's comb, which is a term I have heard describing the Fachen's crest), a preference for grassland habitats, and the habit of holding food in its feet. The description of the Fachen having one arm growing at an odd angle out of its chest, and a single off-centered leg, are probably due to the bird standing on one leg and holding something in the other foot, which certainly would give that appearance, and which I doubt many other birds in Scotland are prone to doing. The less believable parts of the legend, such as the Fachen supposedly only having half a body, or a single eye (much like the cyclops), could have been added later. The creature's aggression toward people may also have been an exaggeration--remember that wolves were prosecuted as bloodthirsty man-killers for centuries.

I am aware that Gastornis fossils are known from an area that was once forested, however this only shows where that particular animal died, not where it lived (perhaps they died because the habitat they liked was no more), and it is always possible that G's range included multiple kinds of habitats. Wolves can live in just about any terrestrial habitat, and some living birds are known to nest or roost in the forest but hunt in more open areas.
Now personally I don't believe that dreams mean anything, especially in light of the sort of dreams I normally have. Last night's being a perfect example.

First it started off with me being six years old, and my dad and I were on this cruise ship. And there were these evil guys trying to sabotage it so it would crash/blow up/sink or something, and I was trying to warn the captain, only no one would listen to me because I was just a kid (a fairly common theme in my dreams--do I sense a little left-over frustration here?). So the cruise ship was destroyed and everybody died EXCEPT me and my dad, although he promptly disappeared from my dream to be replaced by my mom. So my mom and I were on this really tiny (think twenty feet by six) island that looked like it came right out of the Green Forest Zone in SA2, and wouldn't you know it but the Sonic characters were all there (minus Robotnik), and my mom kept asking these questions hinting that she wanted to know when Big the Cat and I were going to be married! But before I did I was supposed to take part in this duel with Reala, only he never showed up, so instead I turned into a Chao and had to face this cardboard cutout of a woman who kept popping up in front of and scaring the snot out of me.

Somewhere in there was a brief part where I got out of bed to investigate this scratching noise coming from my closet, and found that inside were two cages, one with four newborn kittens and one with four Pomeranian puppies, and a parakeet that was less than an inch tall. I'm pretty sure that this somehow harkens back to the dream I had the night before, with the newborn kittens nursing from the electrical outlet.
Lately I've been having a hard time staying asleep. This is mainly due to the fact that the heater turns on at 3 AM and stays on for a half hour, cooking me in my bed. This morning I came out of my room and realized the thermostat had been turned up to 75* F! I turned it all the way down. Around noon the heater turned on (didn't I turn it all the way down?) and when I went to investigate I discovered that the thermostat was now on 73*. Just a few hours ago the air conditioner turned on, but this time the culprit was still at the scene of the crime. It was Tohey! Apparently she likes to play with the thermostat by batting at the switches. What a naughty kitty! I'm not surprised, though: she likes jumping up into the air to grab a string, and sometimes cries in frustration from not being able to get to the cobwebs on the ceiling.