Monday, March 12, 2007

Half-Life 2, Episode Two: Team Fortress 2

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Valve, developer of the blockbuster series Half-Life and Counter-StrikeTM, unveiled Team Fortress 2 to be included in its next release, Half-Life 2: Episode Two. In addition, the studio announced its plans to deliver it for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2, an all-new version of the title that spawned team based multiplayer action games, features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date. Players choose from a range of unique character classes such as medic, spy, sniper, or engineer and must work together to complete a variety of tactical objectives.

Team Fortress 2 and Portal will be included with all retail and Steam versions of Episode Two for the PC. In addition, these products plus Half-Life 2 and Episode One will be available in one tremendous offering for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. New videos from Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2 will be released next week.

Team Fortress 2 Trailer: (

Wikipedia - Team Fortress 2:

Just like its predecessor, Team Fortress 2 players will be able to choose to play as one of several archetypal classes at the start of a match, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. While it is unknown if the abilities of each class will be similar to the original Team Fortress, all indications so far are that the basic elements will remain the same: Heavy Weapons characters will have huge guns with incredible firepower but will have a slow walking speed, scouts will be able to move very quickly, but are lightly armoured, and so on. While it is unclear at this time what sort of game types will be included upon release, capture the flag and control point matches are likely to return.

Team Fortress 2 will not opt for the realistic graphical approaches taken by the official Valve games Day of Defeat and Counter-Strike. Rather, it will use a more stylized, cartoon-like approach. The effect seems to have been achieved using a special Valve in-house rendering and lighting technique making extensive use of Phong shading [3]. The game will debut the Source engine's new dynamic lighting, shadowing and soft particle technologies, among many other unannounced features, alongside Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It should be noted however, that the depth of field and motion blur effects seen in the game's trailers cannot feasibly be rendered during gameplay[4] unless inferior approximations, such as vector motion blur or image -space depth of field, were to be used.

A collage of the Team Fortress 2 player classes in action. Top row: (left to right) Demoman, Engineer, Heavy; Middle row: (left to right) Medic, Pyro, Scout; Bottom row: (left to right) Sniper, Soldier, Spy.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Message

The Message

It's like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under
It's like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under

Broken glass everywhere
People pissin' on the stairs, you know they just don't care
I can't take the smell, can't take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat
I tried to get away but I couldn't get far
'cuz a man with a tow truck repossessed my car

Don't push me 'cuz I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head
Uh huh ha ha ha
It's like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Year: 2007

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five fomented the musical revolution known as hip-hop. Theirs was a pioneering union between one DJ and five rapping MCs. Grandmaster Flash (born Joseph Saddler) not only devised various techniques but also designed turntable and mixing equipment. Formed in the South Bronx, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were one of the first rap posses, responsible for such masterpieces as “The Message,” “Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” and “White Lines.” The combination of Grandmaster Flash’s turntable mastery and the Furious Five’s raps, which ranged from socially conscious to frivolously fun, made for a series of 12-inch records that forever altered the musical landscape.

Flash, along with DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, pioneered the art of break-beat deejaying—the process of remixing and thereby creating a new piece of music by playing vinyl records and turntables as if they were musical instruments. Disco-era deejays like Pete “DJ” Jones, an early influence on Grandmaster Flash, spun records so that people could dance. Turntablists took it a step further by scratching and cutting records, focusing on “breaks”—what Flash described as “the short, climactic parts of the records that really grabbed me”—as a way of heightening musical excitement and creating something new.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees:

A permanent Museum exhibit that celebrates the lives and work of Hall of Fame inductees.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors the legendary performers, producers, songwriters, disc jockeys and others who have made rock and roll the force that it is in our culture.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

American Experience: Citizen King

Citizen King
American Experience,

About the film

President Johnson Meeting With Civil Rights Leaders The story begins on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, when a 34-year-old preacher galvanized millions with his dream for an America free of racism. It comes to a bloody end almost five years later, on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee.

In the years since those events unfolded, the man at their center, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has become a mythic figure, a minister whose oratory is etched into the minds of millions of Americans, a civil rights activist whose words and image are more hotly contested, negotiated and sold than almost anyone else's in American history.

Video: Three Perspectives: Dr. King, Malcolm X and James Baldwin talk about race relations

Boston public television producer Henry Morgenthau III's "The Negro and the American Promise," featuring interviews with Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin, made headlines in spring 1963. The program aired in a climate of racial conflict, just months after Alabama governor George Wallace's defiant support of "segregation forever," and before the March on Washington.

The New York Times described the James Baldwin segment as "a television experience that seared the conscience." A viewer wrote of the Malcolm X segment that he was shocked "that such a blatant display of racial prejudice could be aired."

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind"

Mahatma Gandhi