Lego video games

My daughter and I are well into the newest Lego video game, Batman. We’ve played Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones. They’re fun games and easy for kids to play, although do have some creative puzzles for adults.

With this game released, I’m curious where the franchise will go next. Rumor has it that the next game will be Lego Harry Potter, which would be a lot of fun to play. Other titles speculated are Jurassic Park, Spider Man, X-Men, and the one I most want to see: Back to the Future.

Harry Potter has been mentioned on a lot of gaming sites to be released next but, since we’re seeing a steady line of Lego games, anything is possible.

Déjà vu

I experience déjà vu every once in a while. While there has been ‘scientific research’ done and it’s been theorized as an anomaly of memory, I love the feeling that I know what’s going down as it’s going down. I experience physical, auditorial, and visual déjà vu. The below ‘scientific explanation is fascinating as it states déjà vu is caused by the brain storing content into memory before the conscious portion processes it. So, déjà vu, based on the below ‘scientific theory,’ is not a precognition, but a defect in the brain.

Déjà vu has been subjected to serious psychological and neurophysiological research. Scientifically speaking, the most likely explanation of déjà vu is not that it is an act of “precognition” or “prophecy”, but rather that it is an anomaly of memory; it is the impression that an experience is “being recalled”.

This explanation is substantiated by the fact that the sense of “recollection” at the time is strong in most cases, but that the circumstances of the “previous” experience (when, where and how the earlier experience occurred) are quite uncertain. Likewise, as time passes, subjects can exhibit a strong recollection of having the “unsettling” experience of déjà vu itself, but little or no recollection of the specifics of the event(s) or circumstance(s) they were “remembering” when they had the déjà vu experience.

In particular, this may result from an overlap between the neurological systems responsible for short-term memory (events which are perceived as being in the present) and those responsible for long-term memory (events which are perceived as being in the past). In other words, the events would be stored into memory before the conscious part of the brain even receives the information and processes it. The delay is only of a few milliseconds, and besides, already happened at the time the consciousness of the individual is experiencing it.

Also, in neural studies, more fascinating stuff:

In the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, it was widely believed that déjà vu could be caused by the mis-timing of neuronal firing. This timing error was thought to lead the brain to believe that it was encountering a stimulus for the second time, when in fact, it was simply re-experiencing the same event from a slightly delayed source. A number of variations of these theories exist, with miscommunication of the two cerebral hemispheres and abnormally fast neuronal firing also given as explanations for the sensation.

Usually when I talk about déjà vu it happens shortly after. My neurons should mis-timely fire in the next week, I deduce.

Loretto Chapel Staircase

I’ve found one reason to go to New Mexico, the Loretto Chapel Staircase.

The architect of the Chapel, Antoine Mouly, died suddenly and it was only after much of the chapel was constructed that the builders realized it was lacking any type of stairway to the choir loft.

Needing a way to get up to the choir loft the nuns prayed for St. Joseph’s intercession for nine straight days. On the day after their novena ended a shabby looking stranger appeared at their door. He told the nuns he would build them a staircase but that he needed total privacy and locked himself in the chapel for three months.

The resulting staircase is an impressive work of carpentry. It ascends twenty feet, making two complete revolutions up to the choir loft without the use of nails or apparent center support. However, the central spiral of the staircase is narrow enough to serve as a central beam. Nonetheless there was no attachment unto any wall or pole in the original stairway; it was only later, when a railing was added, that the outer spiral got fastened to an adjacent pillar.

A local historian published evidence to suggest the craftsman was the French-born Francois-Jean Rochas, who came to the United States as a member of a celibate order of artisans and settled in New Mexico. The findings suggest the staircase was built in France and fitted by Rochas. That would explain why it appeared so suddenly, and why it might have given rise to the legend of the miraculous saint.

Picture of the staircase before the railing was added. Fascinating!

Personal Effects

I was getting ready for work yesterday and had all of my things laid out on my counter to take with me. It’s a ritual I do daily to make sure I have everything with me.

Below is a picture of what I carry everyday to work.

I don’t carry a purse or gadget/tech bag, so all of these I carry on my person. I’m a little OCD about their locations so they are in the same place/pocket everyday.

8GB iPod Nano (shirt pocket)
8GB Flash Drive (l/f pocket)
HTC Touch (work phone, holster on right)
Gen 1 8GB iPhone (r/f pocket)
Fossil Slider Wallet (r/b pocket)
Work Vehicle Key (l/f pocket)
Personal Keys (l/f pocket)
Tiffany Titanium Ring (ring finger, r. hand)
Fossil ‘The Flash’ Watch (wrist, l. arm)

I have to wonder if everyone else is carrying as much stuff around as I am.

Apple Event 9/9/08

Apple’s having an event today and rumor has it that new iPod nanos are being released in new colors and sizes. I have been wanting to get a second nano to keep in my Mazda3. Currently, I have an 8GB black iPod nano that I load with podcasts and music and keep in my work vehicle. I usually bring it in on Tuesdays, load it up with the newest podcasts and then keep it in the car all week.

So, if Apple announces that they’re releasing new Nanos, I am hoping for a 16GB in Orange. That would go in my work vehicle and the black one would end up in the Mazda.

Will be watching a liveblog somewhere, probably Gizmodo.

Update: Gizmodo has already posted an unconfirmed picture of the new Nano in… ORANGE. Shape looks strange. They’re claiming that the new Nanos use a motion sensor. Bad ASS. They’re saying sizes are going to be 8GB and 16GB. Sweetness.