Meet Generation I – The Interplanetary Generation

Valles Marineris Hemisphere Enhanced – Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Those of you who follow my Twitter stream will remember a while back that I published a few comments about Generation I.

It seems particularly topical to expand on the idea with the news today that the Mars One project has announced its shortlist of 100 candidates for the program. This is one of the final steps remaining before they announce the final 24 participants. Despite the many technical challenges that still remain to be overcome for the endeavor to succeed, this is exciting news indeed.

The Telegraph also reports that one of the participants is looking forward to having a baby on Mars. This raises a number of deep questions in the light of a situation that has not taken place in a very long time: humans will set foot on a new land, not in the service of a national interest, but rather as part of a private commercial venture.

I’ll save discussing those questions for a later time.

Instead, I want to turn my attention to the importance that this moment could represent for humankind. The possibility that a member of the human lays his or her roots down on a different planet during our lifetimes is very real. Indeed, this could make our children, those born between the year 2000 and today, prime candidates for the early participants in the flow of colonists to this new world. This marks the first time in the history of our species that our kind would span worlds. We would become an interplanetary life form.

This new generation should thus be rightfully called Generation I, or Generation: Interplanetary. Quite appropriately, it could also be read as “Generation One” as the first generation to set sail away from the cradle of humanity.

There are few parallels in history that carry as much significance. Our ancestors venturing out of Africa, the exploration and settlement of the Pacific, the discovery of North America, are some notable comparables. Certainly, each of these were fraught with danger, and none were guaranteed success. Yet, they led to great things. The same could be said of plans to colonize Mars.*

The Rosetta probe – Image credit ESA

When taken in conjunction with the heightened efforts being placed on unmanned research projects like the Rosetta probe, one could believe that we are entering a new golden era of space exploration. Ventures like setting up permanent settlements on the Moon and Mars would certainly frame well in such a situation.

Someone asked me whether I would be supportive of my child wanting to immigrate to another planet. I answered unequivocally “yes.” I would certainly miss my child, and I imagine Skype conversations are a little tough to get around with the asynchronous communications resulting from the time it takes to beam a message to and from such vast distances. And yet, as we stand on the verge of a new era, it seems slightly selfish (although completely understandable) to want to hold on tight to the precious gift that we send out into the void.

Here’s to Generation I. May great things await.

*Note: There is much room for an expanded role in unmanned exploration, and it should not be relegated to a backburner with the advent of manned exploration.

Film Noir Portraits ~ Pictures and techniques

Some great tips on shooting Film Noir portraits.

Photofocus (old site)

Just for fun… In my last post I showed my Hollywood portrait lighting style using just hard light from fresnel spotlights. The post before that featured two point lighting on the street using Speedlights. Now I’ve combined two point lighting with fresnel spotlights and styled the shoot with a Film Noir theme. Film Noir calls for some dramatic acting and there is no better actress for this role than Chloe-Jasmine. Let the drama begin.

The Wikipedia entry for Film noir is “…a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasise cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.” Hollywood’s classical Film Noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s however it often depicted scenes from just after the great depression of 1929 – 1933.

LED fresnels can run on battery even though they deliver the equivalent of 1000w of tungsten…

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Xbox One vs. PS4: Competition at last

A great analysis of the current state of the console competition between XBox One and the PS 4 by After Dark Gaming.

After Dark Gaming

Microsoft is still playing catch-up in some ways – but Sony’s competent launch is finally starting to see a genuine challenge from Redmond.

Xbox One vs. PS4

It is not a novel observation to note that Sony’s success thus far with the public perception of the PS4 is not down to any radical, brilliant innovation on their part, but rather down to the fact that the company’s relatively conservative and perhaps even unimaginative strategy is being executed competently and sensibly, which contrasts with the ungainly flailing and flapping as Microsoft attempts to turn the corner on a host of unpopular and ill-conceived platform strategies in a very public way.

The same scenario was played out at Gamescom this week, albeit in far less dramatic form than it was at E3 a few months ago. Sony turned up to the event effectively to confirm that everything is going smoothly – it announced price drops for…

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20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized

You’ll find some breathtaking colorized black and white pictures from yesteryear. There is a ‘je ne sais quoi’ that photographers were able to capture that I have been unable to replicate in my work. I am always humbled when I see photographs such as these. The colorization work that modern artists have done to bring these images to life is also stunning. They give the feeling some of these pictures could have been taken yesterday and posted to the internet by a smartphone.



One of the greatest facets of reddit are the thriving subreddits, niche communities of people who share a passion for a specific topic. One of the Sifter’s personal favourites is r/ColorizedHistory. The major contributors are a mix of professional and amateur colorizers that bring historic photos to life through color. All of them are highly skilled digital artists that use a combination of historical reference material and a natural eye for colour.

When we see old photos in black and white, we sometimes forget that life back then was experienced in the same vibrant colours that surround us today. This gallery of talented artists helps us remember that 🙂

Below you will find a collection of some of the highest rated colorized images to date on r/ColorizedHistory.

I’ve also provide a list of some of the top contributors (in no particular order):

zuzahin aka Mads…

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Kickstarter to Launch in Canada This Summer

Some significant news for Canadians on the Kickstarter front. Kickstarter will be moving up to Canada this Summer. This is huge for startup hopefuls hoping to get into the crowd funding scene. Until now, Kickstarters required access to a US based bank account in order to administer the project, significantly raising the barrier to entry for many. This should stimulate yet more great ideas into reality.

Game Design: Mining in Star Citizen

If you ever wondered about what makes or breaks mining and resource gathering game mechanics, Plotscaper has an article for you. The topic is covered in depth, and you can find several very clever insights that may improve your own game.


A Wild New Blog Entry Type Appears! Alright, so normally I try to keep my blog focused on my game designs, but I’ve been obsessed with Star Citizen lately, so I wanted to share my thoughts on how Chris Roberts should go about designing the mining aspect of Star Citizen. I’d just like to emphasize that I’m not trying to tell the master how to do his job; just that outsider observers into design often bring a fresh perspective that can inform positive changes. I certainly know that sometimes I become obsessed with certain designs, spend weeks polishing them, only to realize that I’ve just polished turds. Well, Mr. Roberts, in the hopes that Star Citizen is turd-free, here are my thoughts on how to properly implement a mining minigame that proves to be actually fun rather than simply present.

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