Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What kids are searching for online

via eSchool News:

What are students searching the web for most frequently while at school? Turns out, it's math games, animals, and historic figures and events, according to an unscientific index of the 15 most popular in-school search terms released by Thinkronize Inc.

Here's the full list:

1. Games
2. Dogs
3. Animals
4. Civil War
5. George Washington
6. Holocaust
7. Abraham Lincoln
8. Multiplication
9. Math Games
10. Weather
11. Frogs
12. Fractions
13. Planets
14. Sharks
15. Plants

--I loved this quote:

I really think it says, 'I want something more than what I'm getting from my [textbook].'

Also glad to see Sharks still have their pull!
Thanks, Brian!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nintendo the new Disney?

I've heard people compare Nintendo to Apple as of late, but here's an article from the New York Times which basically compares Shigero Miyamoto to Walt Disney. And Mario to Mickey Mouse—apparently Mario is only second to Mickey as the most recognized fictional character around the world (I guess they both have white gloves!). A fun article; give it a read. This was something of particular interest to me:

"Just as a film is not measured by the quality of its special effects, a game is not measured merely by its graphics. This concept is lost on many designers, but not on Mr. Miyamoto. And just as a film buff might prefer to watch an old black-and-white movie instead of, say, “Iron Man,” even Mr. Miyamoto’s earliest games hold up as worthy diversions."

via Cartoon Brew

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ugly Dolls + Flash

I am a huge fan of Ugly Dolls. A few months ago, I stumbled on their website and signed up for updates. (nerd) Anyway, one of the most recent updates announced a new website. Check it out, it's an interesting blend of "hand drawn" illustration and flash animation. (plus they have some super cute icons you can download)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

I was just looking at some images from Kung Fu Panda, due out in theaters on June 6th. The film is getting a lot of positive buzz in animation circles. The character design and color design are right up there with anything Pixar has put out recently, so it looks like Dreamworks is finally stepping up its game. Though I'm a little sick of all these animal films, and I'm not sure how the story will hold up. Take note of the use of limited palettes and unconventional color.

Go on over to the Character Design blog to view a series of striking animation stills. The blog regularly features character design from animated films past and present.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


via Wired Blogs:

We didn't get a Wii just so You-Jin could beat Keith in boxing. What game could we make? WiiWare is on the way. Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario and Zelda) spoke to Wired recently. Read the article.

"With WiiWare, Nintendo is attempting to flip the equation. By opening the service to even the smallest indie designers, the company hopes to tap the talents of the world's brightest gamemakers and snag brilliant new ideas for its popular Wii console. If the company finds the next little thing that blows up big -- like 2007's sleeper hit Portal, which got its start as an undergraduate project -- Nintendo will benefit from both the sales and the critical buzz. And it will do so with a minimal investment."

Put your gamer-caps on!
Official info from Nintendo--->here

UPDATE: Here's a review of a game called Lost Winds (a title coming to WiiWare). Looks great! Thanks, Keith.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great Color (and bugs!)

Another nod to Rex Hackelberg for some beautiful
color schemes and bug designs.

Previously blogged about.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Brad Bird on Fostering Innovation

via Gigaom:

We were just talking about Brad Bird today (and his work on The Incredibles). Read this article about why he was hired to Pixar, and some ideas he has on fostering innovation. Here's specifically what Steve Jobs told him:

"The only thing we’re afraid of is complacency—feeling like we have it all figured out,” Bird quotes his boss as saying “…We want you to come shake things up." Bird explains to McKinsey how he did it — and why, for “imagination-based companies to succeed in the long run, making money can’t be the focus.”

He offers 9 key lessons (detailed in the article)

Herd Your Black Sheep
Perfect is the Enemy of Innovation
Look for Intensity
Innovation Doesn’t happen in a Vacuum
High Morale Makes Creativity Cheap
Dont Try To “Protect your success”
Steve Jobs Says ‘Interaction = Innovation’
Encourage Inter-disciplinary Learning
Get Rid of Weak Links
Making $$ Can’t Be Your Focus

--Thanks, Matt!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Twistori: A Microblogging Microscope

via Compiler:

---> Twistori

"Strip Twitter down to its raw, emotional core with Twistori. The simple website scrapes Twitter posts for exactly six keywords using the search engine summize. Now you can filter the Twit-o-sphere to see what your fellow microbloggers are loving, hating, thinking, believing, feeling or wishing."

Very cool. Nice design, too.
Reminds me of another great site: We Feel Fine