Thursday, 7 June 2007

Firefox extension: Nuke Anything Enhanced

Having just printed out several articles from Gamasutra, the Nuke Everything Enhanced extension was extremely useful. Typically Gamasutra articles have padding on the right hand side of the page to fit in some text about the author and maybe some links to some other unimportant and disinteresting parts of the website. And an ad at the top of the page with a banner just below that.

With this extension I could just select sections of the page and choose the context menu option "Remove this selection". And within seconds the only thing left on the page was content.

Before:
After:

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

mudlab.org: Distance-based descriptions

Link: Distance-based descriptions.

This is just a summarisation of the first part of the thread. There are some interesting posts after this point by shasarak.

Kavir:

Long ago Alayla and I discussed the concept of having multiple descriptions for things based on how far away they are, and I've now come to the point where I could really do with the support for a centaur camp, which is only visible as a camp when up close, but can be spotted from a distance by smoke rising above the treetops.

However while thinking about it's usage for the centaur camp, I've come to realise that perhaps it'll need more flexibility than simply a handful of descriptions based on distance - I think it may require support for the sense of smell as well, which in turn may need to take into account wind strength and direction.
...
Kjartan:
Sound, too. Because there's necessarily a wind shear as you move away from the ground, sound headed upwind gets deflected into the ground after a certain distance, while headed downwind it gets deflected upwards. See this page, for example.
Kavir:
Good point, I hadn't considered that - although arguably there should be an overall "sound pollution" of which wind is only one factor. Other factors might include rain or nearby noises (eg if you're standing in a noisy town centre, you might not hear the distance sound of mine workers).

Although come to think of it, the same argument could be made for smell as well. Tracking someone by scent through a sewer or during heavy rain is going to be pretty hard, even for the most gifted of werewolves.

Could these all be handled through the combination of two generic factors though, I wonder? Weather (rain, snow, wind, etc) and Local (sound/smell/etc polution in the current area)? Light and dark could possibly be extensions of the same system, too.

Thus light rain might give a minor sound penalty and a medium smell penalty, while heavy rain could give a medium sound penalty and a major smell penalty, and a thunderstorm would give a major sound penalty and an extreme smell penalty. Equally, a rushing river might give a minor sound penalty, a sewer might give an extreme smell penalty, and so on.

You'd then just combine the two to calculate the overall penalty for each sense, which would then apply as modifiers to the PCs personal senses (adjusted based on injuries and such).
Kjartan:
Well, you've got a computer, might as well use it. If you're already coding a wind/smell interaction then it's minimal extra work to do sound.

It's actually a real effect, I have noticed it when shouting - it's not just that the sound gets dampened, if someone is far enough upwind - not even all that far if the wind is blowing hard - they absolutely cannot hear you no matter how loud you shout, but if you climb up a tree and shout then they can hear you just fine.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Rice milk with strawberry sauce

This is the third of three flavours.

Once again the strawberry sauce was very nice on its own and had a strong strawberry flavour similar to a more liquid strawberry jam. But I also preferred the rice milk without sauce here. See the cinnamon entry for more details.

2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Strawberry rice pudding - 216
2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Strawberry rice pudding, open - 231
2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Strawberry rice pudding, mixed - 234

Rice milk with caramel sauce

This is the second of three flavours.

Flavourwise, the sauce had a very nice caramel flavour, but once again, I preferred the flavour of the rice milk when I had it without the sauce. There isn't much more to say over what I said in the entry for the cinnamon flavour.

2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Caramel rice pudding - 219
2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Caramel rice pudding, opened - 227
2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Caramel rice pudding, mixed - 229

Rice milk with cinnamon sauce

This is the first of three flavours.

I love rice pudding. So it gives me great pleasure to see a form of it available in Icelandic stores as a snack food, although I would never buy or eat this form of it. The rice pudding I make myself has a much ricier taste and is less fattening for much more volume.

2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Cinnamon rice pudding - 220
2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Cinnamon rice pudding, opened - 224
2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Cinnamon rice pudding, mixed - 225

When I tasted the rice milk part by itself, my first impression was that the rice was undercooked as it was surprisingly firm. But having tasted the other two flavours in the range where the rice was so soft as to blend in with the cream, I actually prefer it firm. Although I suspect in this case it was a manufacturing anomaly that it was firm at all.

The cinnamon sauce is sweet and tasty, as it should be given the nice amount of sugar which probably went into it. Mixed into the rice milk, I tend to find they blend together in such a way to produce a confusing flavour which doesn't stand out. This is something I find for all three flavours of rice milk pottle -- that I prefer the rice milk by itself. And that the sauce only really has a flavour when tasted by itself.

Skyr

As part of my dietary regine, I try and keep a given ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fat. This being high in protein is something I rely on to keep the protein part of that ratio. It saves me a lot of time, effort and money to be able to just grab a pottle out of the CCP fridge each morning.. well most mornings when it is in there.

It has a rather strong taste, a little bitter. I used to flavour it with honey and cinnamon, but I don't think that made much of an improvement. Now I kind of don't mind the flavour and eat it plain. I would also recommend cutting up bits of red pepper and scooping skyr out with them, they go nicely together, and the skyr then has a sour cream taste (but is much healthier).

2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Skyr - 222

Skyr.is mango and passionfruit drink

I usually have one of these first thing in the morning. While it is definitely mango flavoured, I am not 100% certain about what √°staraldin is. I think it is passionfruit. It tastes like neither of these things to me, but unlike some of the other yoghurt drink flavours, it doesn't taste chemically either. The liquid inside just looks like thin white milk.

2007-05-30 - CCP snacks - Skyr.is drink, mango and passionfruit - 223

The CCP snack fridge

CCP is a great place to work. And one thing I really like about it is the food. While I no longer eat the lunches there (the only meal I am present there for), I do eat from the snack fridge in order to get more protein into my diet. It is interesting to note that you have to mark down what soft drinks you consume and that gets taken out of your wages at the end of the month but these snacks, most of which are healthy, are free.

The full selection you can see here is actually missing some items. Usually there are rice puddings and more flavours of the yoghurt drink on the lower shelf.

2007-05-30 - CCP snack fridge - 205

These skyr drinks are all very tasty. I tend to go for green mango one as it has a higher ratio of protein to carbohydrates. I think they are all sweetened with aspartame, which keeps the calories low. There is no need to be afraid of the aspartame :-)

2007-05-30 - CCP snack fridge - 206

I tend to avoid these flavours of skyr. None of them particularly taste appealing. Not that they taste bad, they just don't register as something I recognise the flavour of.

2007-05-30 - CCP snack fridge - 207

The one the left is the plain skyr. This is what I eat and tends to have a lower amount of calories and higher amount of protein. The yoghurt drinks I tend to avoid, finding they taste more like some weird chemical combination rather than fruity goodness. And the breakfast cereals / yoghurt combos.. well, they like the rice puddings are unlikely to be too healthy. I tend to find yoghurt tends to crowd out the flavour of anything mixed with it anyway, so it would just be a grittier yoghurt.

2007-05-30 - CCP snack fridge - 208

Sausages, eggs, bacon and scones

Since seeing something similar on someone else's blog, I had been craving a Saturday morning meal along these lines. And normally eating like a monk, that craving was getting stronger and stronger. This is what I ended up with.

2007-04-20 - Sausage, egg, beans and scones - 159

The sausages were of course tasteless, the beans most likely hiding the distinguishing taste of nitrates. As was the bacon. But the beans and scones were delicious.

Icelandic cheddar

Iceland isn't a country I would recommend to someone who enjoys food. And cheese is one of those things which there is a lack of availability of decent types - especially cheddar. Since Noatun is the cheapest place to buy the brand of tea I prefer, I often pick up other items I need while I am there. This led to me stumbling onto an Icelandic cheddar.

2007-05-10 - Icelandic cheddar - 182

The cheese had a distinctive flavour which I am no longer able to recall. I would qualify it as edible but a little bland. One might say it was a worthy representative of other Icelandic food.

Shortbread with cornmeal

I have become addicted to shortbread to the point where I often find myself thinking that a cup of tea just isn't enjoyable without a piece. When I made this batch I decided to substitute cornmeal for cornstarch - I think I mistakenly thought I was out of cornstarch.

That substitution is not something I would recommend. The shortbread tasted like someone had mixed cigarette ash into it and had a sandy texture when eaten. However after sitting for several days the ash taste seemed to go away, reinforcing my preference that a batch of shortbread should sit a few days before being eaten.

2007-04-21 - Shortbread, cornmeal, cigarette ash flavour - 168