Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mark Cerny

Mark Cerny has worked on many computer and video games in his career as a designer, programmer, producer, and business executive. As president of Cerny Games that he founded in 1998, he now acts as a consultant in the video game industry.
Cerny, a fan of computer programming and arcade games, started in the game industry at the young age of 17 when he joined Atari in 1982. In those earlier days of professional game development, teams were small and each member was responsible for a wider range of roles than today.
Cerny's first major success is usually cited as Marble Madness in which he acted as the designer. For years he worked with Sega in Japan and the United States, where he worked on Sonic the Hedgehog 2. He was the president of Universal Interactive Studios. He continues to work with Naughty Dog , Insomniac Games and Sony.
From his extensive experience on the "do's and don'ts" in the game industry he has developed the "Cerny method", a strategy for game development. His method prefers a free-form, pre-production stage that explores a game's viability prior to full development. For example, he advocates that if the first level produced does not excite customers, then the game idea should be set aside before too much effort is put into it.
The International Game Developers Association awarded Cerny with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards on March 24, 2004, calling him the "master collaborator". His success rests not only on number of games he's worked on, but also their quality and commercial success .

Friday, January 19, 2007

People mover

A people mover or automated people mover is a fully automated, grade-separated transit system. The term is generally used only to describe systems serving relatively small areas such as airports, downtown districts or theme parks, but is sometimes applied to considerably more complex automated systems.The term does not imply any particular technology, and a people mover may use technologies such as monorail, duorail, automated guide way transit or maglev. Propulsion may involve conventional on-board electric motors, linear motors or cable traction.

Some complex APMs deploy fleets of small vehicles over a track network with off-line stations, and supply near non-stop service to passengers. These taxi-like systems are more usually referred to as personal rapid transit. Other complex APMs have similar characteristics to mass transit systems, and there is no clear cut distinction between a complex APM of this type and an automated mass transit system.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shi'a Islam

Shi'a Islam, also Shi'ite Islam, or Shi'ism is a denomination of the Islamic faith. It is short for Shi'at 'Ali . Even though it is the second largest denomination of Islam, among the hundreds of millions of Muslims Shi'a muslims are considered to be a minority in number. Shi'a Muslims adhere to what they consider to be the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family whom they refer to as the Ahlul Bayt. Thus, Shi'as consider the first three ruling caliphs of Islam a historic occurrence and not something attached to faith. The singular/adjective form is Shi’i and refers to a follower of the Household of Muhammad and of Ali ibn Abi Talib in particular.
Shi'a islam, like sunni islam, has at times been divided into many branches but today there are just three branches. The best known and the one with most adherents is Twelvers the others being Ismaili and Zaidiyyah. Also Alawites known as Shi'a but because of their idea about Ali this claim is disputed, though mainstream shias denounce for taking an extreme view of Ali, and not actually following the pillars of islam.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Seahorses are marine fish belonging to the genus Hippocampus of the family Syngnathidae, which also includes pipefish. They are found in temperate and tropical waters all over the world.
Seahorses range in size from 16 mm to 35 cm. Seahorses and pipe fishes are notable for being the only species in which males become "pregnant”. The seahorse is a true fish, with a dorsal fin located on the lower body and pectoral fins located on the head near their gills. Some species of seahorse are partly transparent and are rarely seen in pictures.
Seahorse populations have been endangered in recent years by over fishing. The seahorse is used in traditional Chinese herbology, and as many as 20 million seahorses may be caught each year and sold for this purpose.
Import and export of seahorses has been controlled under CITES since May 15, 2004.Sea dragons are close relatives of seahorses but have bigger bodies and leaf-like appendages which enable them to hide among floating seaweed or kelp beds. Sea dragons feed on larval fishes and amphipods, such as small shrimp-like crustaceans called mysids, sucking up their prey with their small mouths. Many of these amphipods feed on red algae that thrives in the shade of the kelp forests where the sea dragons live.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Maluku Islands

The Maluku Islands are an archipelago in Indonesia, and part of the larger Malay Archipelago. They are located on the Australian Plate, lying east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, and north of Timor. The islands were also historically known as the "Spice Islands" by the Chinese and Europeans, but this term has also been applied to other islands.
Most of the islands are mountainous, some with active volcanoes, and enjoy a wet climate. The vegetation of the small and narrow islands, encompassed by the sea, is very luxuriant; including rainforests, sago, rice, and the famous spices--nutmeg, cloves and mace , among others. Though originally Melanesian, many island populations, especially in the Banda Islands, were killed in the 17th century. A second influx of Malay immigrants began in the early twentieth century under the Dutch and continued in the Indonesian era.
Politically, the Maluku Islands formed a single province of Indonesia from 1950 until 1999. In 1999 the North Maluku and Halmahera Tengah regency were split off as a separate province, so the islands are now divided between two provinces, Maluku and North Maluku. Between 1999 and 2002 they were known for religious conflicts between Muslims and Christians but have been peaceful in the past years.