Goat Simulator is a third-person perspective game in which the player controls a goat. There does not appear to be any kind of storyline or plot. The player is free to explore the game’s world as a goat, destroying things in the environment, running, jumping, and biting. According to the developers, Coffee Stain Studios: ‘Goat Simulator is like an old school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you’re a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff.’
The game boasts the fact that various glitches and bugs have been intentionally left in the game, as to add to the light-hearted entertainment value. Another gameplay feature is the ability to ‘lick’ objects with the goat’s absurdly long tongue, which will then stick to the goat’s tongue and can be carried and swung around to provide an alternate method of wreaking havoc on the game environment.
Surgeon Simulator 2013, a humorous medical sim, was initially created in a 48-hour period for the 2013 ‘Global Game Jam’ (the four developers spent an additional 48 days building the commercial version). The game is played in first-person perspective. A mouse is used to control the surgeon’s hand (holding the right button rotates the hand; the left button grabs items). Gameplay consists of various surgical procedures, for example a heart transplant. Extra modes are available after completion of the early operations, such as performing an operation in a moving ambulance with surgical instruments bouncing around at random, and operating in outer space where instruments float.
Reception for the game has been positive, with critics stating that although the game was hard to control, this difficulty was ‘part of the appeal.’ Ars Technica commented upon the narrator’s voice over, saying that it ‘belies the ridiculousness that unfolds as he flops and flails his way through surgery.’ ‘Rock, Paper, Shotgun, praised the game’s humor and fun, and said ”Surgeon Simulator 2013′ is not a brilliant game. But it is a brilliant joke. In the form of a game. It’s an idea that is a clean magnitude of awesome above 90% of what will be released this year because it is so absurd.’
Florentijn Hofman (b. 1977) is a Dutch artist known for playful urban installations such as the ‘Rubber Duck’ (a giant floating sculpture). They were built in various sizes, including one created in 2007 that is the largest rubber duck in the world at 105 feet long. Hofman’s tour was named ‘Spreading joy around the world.’ He aimed to recall everyone’s childhood memories by exhibiting the duck in 14 cities. The ducks are constructed with more than 200 pieces of PVC. There is an opening at the back of the body so that staff can perform maintenance. In addition, there is an electric fan in its body so that it can be inflated at any time, in either good or bad weather.
Since 2007, the ducks have been on display in Amsterdam, Belgium, Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, and Pittsburg. In 2009, while it was on display in Belgium, vandals stabbed the duck 42 times. The duck on display in Hong Kong was damaged and deflated in Taiwan after an earthquake, before bursting a few weeks later. In 2013, Sina Weibo, China’s most popular microblog, blocked the terms ‘Big Yellow Duck.’ The censorship occurred because a photoshopped version of ‘Tank Man’ (the Tiananmen Square protester), which swapped all tanks with this sculpture, had been circulating.
Taser safety issues include cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) in susceptible subjects, possibly leading to heart attack or death in minutes by ventricular fibrillation, which leads to cardiac arrest and—if not treated immediately—to sudden death. People susceptible to this outcome are sometimes healthy and unaware of their susceptibility.
Although the medical conditions or use of illegal drugs among some of the casualties may have been the proximate cause of death, the electric shock of the Taser can significantly heighten such risk for subjects in an at-risk category. In some cases however, death occurred after Taser use coupled with the use of force alone, with no evidence of underlying medical condition and no use of drugs.
A feral child (also, colloquially, wild child) is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and crucially, of human language. Some feral children have been confined by people (usually their own parents); in some cases this child abandonment was due to the parents’ rejection of a child’s severe intellectual or physical impairment. Feral children may have experienced severe child abuse or trauma before being abandoned or running away.
Feral children are sometimes the subjects of folklore and legends, typically portrayed as having been brought up by animals. Myths and fictional stories have depicted feral children reared by wild animals such as wolves, apes, and bears. Famous examples include Ibn Tufail’s Hayy, Ibn al-Nafis’ Kamil, Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan, and the legends of Atalanta, Enkidu and Romulus and Remus.
The ship’s cat has been a common feature on many trading, exploration, and naval ships, and dates back to ancient times. Cats have been carried on ships for many reasons, the most important being to catch mice and rats. These rodents aboard a ship can cause damage to ropes and woodwork. Also, rodents threatened the stores the ship carried and were a source of disease, which is dangerous for ships that are at sea for long periods of time.
The natural ability of cats to adapt to new surroundings made them suitable for service on a ship. They also offered companionship and a sense of home, security and camaraderie to sailors who could be away from port for long periods, especially in times of war.
Beyond the Black Rainbow is a 2010 Canadian science fiction film written and directed by Panos Cosmatos in his feature film debut. The films begins in the 1960s, as Dr. Arboria founds the Arboria Institute, a New Age research facility dedicated to finding a reconciliation between science and spirituality, allowing human beings to move into a new age of perpetual happiness.
In the 1980s, Arboria’s work has been taken over by his protégé, Dr. Barry Nyle. Outwardly a charming, handsome scientist, Nyle is in fact a psychopath who has been keeping Elena, a teenage girl, captive in an elaborate prison/hospital beneath the Institute. Elena demonstrates psychic capabilities, which Nyle can suppress, using a glowing, prism-like device.
Hard to be a God is a 1964 science fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky set in their ‘Noon Universe (a fictional setting in the 22nd century). The novel follows Anton, an undercover operative from the future planet Earth, in his mission on an alien planet, that is populated by human beings, whose society has not advanced beyond the Middle Ages. The novel’s core idea is that human progress throughout the centuries is often cruel and bloody, and that religion and blind faith can be effective tools of oppression, working to destroy the emerging scientific disciplines and enlightenment.
The title ‘Hard to be a God’ refers to Anton’s (known by his alias ‘don Rumata’ throughout the book) perception of his precarious role as an observer on the planet, for while he has far more advance knowledge than the people around him, he is forbidden to assist too actively, as it would interfere with the natural progress of history. The book pays a lot of attention to the internal world of the main character, showing his own evolution from an emotionally uninvolved ‘observer’ to the person who rejects the blind belief in theory when confronted with the cruelty of real events.
Pictograms [pik-tuh-gram] are small images that convey their meaning through a pictorial resemblance to a physical object. Early written symbols were based on pictograms (pictures which resemble what they signify) and ideograms (symbols which represent ideas). Ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, and Chinese civilizations developed them into logographic (word-based) writing systems including cuneiform and hieroglyphics, which also uses drawings as phonetic letters or determinative rhymes.
Pictograms are still in use as the main medium of written communication in some non-literate cultures in Africa, the Americas, and Oceania. In certain modern use, pictograms participate to a formal language (e.g. hazards pictograms such as the skull and crossbones, a common warning for poison). Pictograms have also been popularized in use on the web and in software, better known as ‘icons’ displayed on a computer screen in order to help user navigate a computer system or mobile device.
Psychoactive toads are amphibians from which psychoactive substances from the family of bufotoxins can be derived. The skin and poison of Bufo alvarius (Colorado River toad or Sonoran Desert toad) contain 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin, which both belong to the family of hallucinogenic tryptamines. The skin or poison of the toads may produce psychoactive effects when ingested. To obtain the psychoactive substances the toxin of psychoactive toads is commonly milked from their poison glands. The milking procedure does not harm the toad — it consists of stroking the animal under its chin to initiate the defensive poison response.
Once the liquid toxin has been collected and dried, it can be used for its psychedelic effects. The toad takes about a month to refill its poison glands. Rumors dating from the 1970s claimed that groups of hippies, some including teenagers, were licking the psychoactive toads to get high. Albert Most, founder of the Church of the Toad of Light and a proponent of recreational use of Bufo alvarius poison, published a booklet titled ‘Bufo alvarius: The Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert’ in 1983 which explained how to extract and smoke the secretions.
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally, independently of the influence of culture. The questions of what these characteristics are, what causes them, and how fixed human nature is, are amongst the oldest and most important questions in western philosophy. They have particularly important implications in ethics, politics, and theology. This is partly because human nature can be regarded as both a source of norms of conduct or ways of life, as well as presenting obstacles or constraints on living a good life.
The complex implications of such questions are also dealt with in art and literature, while the multiple branches of the aptly named Humanities (e.g. history, law, religion) together form an important domain of inquiry into human nature, and the question of what it is to be human. The branches of contemporary science associated with the study of human nature include anthropology, sociology, sociobiology, and psychology (particularly in evolutionary or developmental subfields). The nature versus nurture debate is a broadly inclusive and well-known instance of a discussion about human nature in the natural sciences.
Carbon fiber is a material consisting of long thing fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter (about half the width of a human hair) and composed mostly of carbon atoms. When used in a composite material it has the highest compressive strength of any reinforcing material, and it has a high strength to weight ratio and low coefficient of thermal expansion. The density of carbon fiber is also much lower than the density of steel.
Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (carbon fiber combined with a plastic resin and wound or molded) is very strong, but extremely rigid and somewhat brittle. However, carbon fibers are also composed with other materials, such as with graphite to form carbon-carbon composites, which have a very high heat tolerance.
Comics studies is an academic field that focuses on comics and graphic novels. Formerly dismissed as less relevant pop culture texts, scholars in fields such as Semiotics and Composition Studies are now re-considering comics and graphic novels as complex texts deserving of serious scholarly study.
‘How to Read Nancy’ is a 1988 essay by underground cartoonists Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik. The piece examines the comic strip ‘Nancy,’ focusing on creator Ernie Bushmiller’s use of the comics language in to deliver a gag. Finding correspondences to the minimalist architecture of Mies Van Der Rohe, the essay calls ‘Nancy’ ‘a complex amalgam of formal rules laid out by [its] designer.’
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, these were published in newspapers, with horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in daily newspapers, while Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections.
Strips are written and drawn by a comics artist or cartoonist. As the name implies, comic strips can be humorous (for example, ‘gag-a-day’ strips such as ‘Blondie’ or ‘Marmaduke’). Starting in the late 1920s, comic strips expanded from their mirthful origins to feature adventure stories, as seen in ‘Popeye,’ ‘Captain Easy,’ ‘Buck Rogers,’ ‘Tarzan,’ and ‘The Adventures of Tintin.’ Soap-opera continuity strips such as ‘Judge Parker’ and ‘Mary Worth’ gained popularity in the 1940s. All are called, generically, comic strips, though cartoonist Will Eisner has suggested that ‘sequential art’ would be a better name.
Bill Watterson (b. 1958) is an American artist and the author of the comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ which was syndicated from 1985 to 1995. Watterson stopped drawing the strip at the end of 1995 with a short statement to newspaper editors and his readers that he felt he had achieved all he could in the medium.
Watterson is known for his views on licensing (he refused to merchandise his creations on the grounds that displaying their images on commercially sold mugs, stickers and T-shirts would devalue the characters and their personalities) and his move back into private life after ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’