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: That was pretty weird. However, I think it reduced my sunfish obsession to managable levels. I feel off-balance, as though I just stepped off a roller coaster: you mean I don't have to work sunfish into every weblog entry? But what about the Mentioning Sunfish All The Damn Time Homeland Security Act of 2002?

Note: for maximum madness, please read MM Day in chronological order.

: Cory, Cory, Cory. Not wearing your anti-idiot goggles is part of being a journalist! (A contributing factor, no doubt, to Danny's distaste for the profession.)

: More tiresome homages in the Enchanter novelization: Indiana Jones, The Empire Strikes Back, Puff the Magic Dragon. Now, an homage can be funny, but it is not automatically funny simply because it references something else. There needs to be some irony; some mismatch of dramatic scale; to scrape the bottom of the funny barrel, at least some self-awareness. Having your characters reenact scenes from popular movies is not intrinsically funny, and absent mitigating circumstances it is actually anti-funny.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Enchanter novelization is aimed at young adults, but it doesn't say "Young Adults" anywhere, and anyway it's got too much profanity. The fact remains, however, that it's a fantasy novel and a novelization of a computer game, which means I'm attacking a target that's effectively all soft underbelly. I can only conclude that this is my day of being cranky about writing-related topics.

: Robotfindskittenlike Games: Third In A Series: Jon Katz wishes he got this much mail, and he also wishes it were all about robotfindskitten variants. Kevan Davis suggests "an appropriately meta-zen game: robotfindsself. Adam Parrish has a similar idea: "After years of fruitless searching, robot engages in intense introspection only to find that robotiskitten." (Adam also suggests a robotfindskitten MMORPG)

Jeremy Penner, of never-heard-of-him-before fame, has a variety of suggestions:

How about robotfindsnothing, in which there is no kitten nor non-kitten items, and when you bump into empty space, you win?

Or robotfindskitten, Junior Edition, in which there are no non-kitten items, just robot and kitten. Studies have shown that young minds have difficulty handling the frustrating challenge of a full-blown game of rfk, frequently giving up before they actually manage to find kitten. This way, the difficulty level for the game would be better suited to the youngsters.

Or perhaps kittenfindsselfwithrobot, wherein you are kitten, you are unable to move, but you have a remote control with which you can control robot to come find you! This would obviously work well with your "superficial changes" initiative.

And if easy money's what you're after, the best way to go is with licensing! For instance, "Dude, Where's My Kitten?", in which the NKI descriptions are replaced by bad jokes from the hit film.

And Brendan Adkins provides a variety of bad puns, including:

Keep your easily distracted charge away from the muggers and pickpockets in the zoo with robotmindskitten!

For the hearing impaired: robotsignskitten! (Could also be an autograph simulation.)

The tragic sequel to Equus: robotblindskitten!

In the darker Clive Barker version, where DOES that delicious sausage come from? It's robotgrindskitten!

: Kevin: "Whenever I get spam about meeting sexy singles, I picture scantily clad slices of processed cheese."

: Red Rock Eater Digest: The Movie!

They opposed judicial activism and budget deficits ... until they took power!

: If you live in or around San Francisco, take note: My co-worker Mark Welch has completed a feedback-incorporating bullhorn called an Obnoxicator (very professional-looking; you plug in guitar effects pedals to provide the noise) and is about to go outside the office to test it out. This explains the horrible noise you are about to be subjected to. But Mark means no harm; in fact, in accordance with international treaties he has pledged to unleash the full power of its devestating sonic crush only against known Burning Man participants.

Update: I can hear it pretty clearly from six floors up. It sounds a lot like FEEDBACK FEEDBACK FEEDBACK!

: Newspeak stoners: "Dude, I was doublepluswasted."

: Caution! Danger - Frequently Asked Questions!

Q. Who are Danger's competitors?

A. Murder.

(Not really.)

: Jeremy Penner, of a-few-entries-ago fame, has perpetrated upon the world a Commodore 64 port of robotfindskitten (screenshot).

People on the RFK list are talking about compressing the NKIs down to a size that can be used by extremely low-memory devices like the Atari 2600 (and for things like the 1K game contest that I can't find the link for even though I searched Google and BoingBoing). Turns out it won't compress to less than about 6K. I've suggested replacing the NKIs with smaller NKIs that are just nouns or noun phrases ("rope", "disaster", "skateboard", "big door"), like the takeable objects in Scott Adams adventures. So far I've gotten no feedback on that idea. I hope people don't think the original NKI list is inviolate or anything. Even Java doesn't have the same (metaphorical) NKIs on embedded platforms; it's a different world.


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