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Nov 2011 16

Blackboards In Porn is a highly amusing site that claims to celebrate “pornographers who go the extra mile when set dressing classroom porn and actually write something on the blackboard.”

Its anonymous but obviously British editor and webmaster, who we’re reliably informed has a BEng in Electronic Engineering and an MA in Screenwriting, focuses his or her considerable analytical and creative skills on the equations, diagrams, and notations drawn on said boards, checking for accuracy and scouring for greater meaning.

Though not a porn site ourselves (we like to think we’re naughty but not nasty, and pinup rather than pornography), we thought it’d be fun to set BiP some homework. Thus we challenged ’em to set their logical prowess loose on the chalk boards of SuicideGirls. Here’s what BiP came up with while checking out Nina Suicide’s Back To School photo essay…

WORK HARD AND DO YOUR BEST

Lessons in Life – universal
Computer Science – A-level/undergraduate level

There can be few better exhortations to students than this. Working hard and doing one’s best will always produce the finest possible results, either in the classroom or on the playing field. After any exam or sporting challenge there is no failure if one can say afterwards “I did my best.” (England footballers please take note.)

A game of Noughts and Crosses is underway on the blackboard. If this has been done by a student then it should have been rubbed off immediately (see post #9 re Wilson and Kelling’s broken windows theory). But if this is actually part of the lesson then a gold star should be awarded as Noughts and Crosses is a great introduction to many mathematical and computer science concepts from combinations and symmetry to artificial intelligence.

A first question to pose to the class would be how many games of Noughts and Crosses are possible (the game tree size)? A naive answer would be 9! = 362,880 (assuming X always goes first). However, many games will be over before all the squares are filled, and many more are simply rotations and reflections of others (in effect there are not nine, but only three starting places: corner, centre and edge). Taking these into account gives an answer of 26,830.

Devising an algorithm to produce perfect play is also a favorite challenge, exploring ideas such as backwards reasoning and recursion. These can then be applied to other, more complex games such as Connect 4 and draughts, through to unsolved games such as Reversi, chess and Go (with its game tree complexity of 10360).

However, if this is an attempt to teach the strategy of perfect play then one must hope that the teacher has picked a very poorly played game to illustrate what not to do. Assuming that X’s first move was in the corner (always the best start: of the then 73 possible games, assuming perfect play on X’s part, 71 result in victory and two in a draw), then O has immediately blundered by playing the far edge instead of the centre (where his/her only hope of a draw can come from), resulting in what should be certain victory for X. X could then force a win by playing the centre, but has him/herself blundered by playing middle bottom. O can now snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat by playing centre or top right, leaving X to harp on about how the Wags should have been allowed to stay in the team hotel.

Despites its pedagogical pedigree, Noughts and Crosses quickly becomes futile when both players can easily force a draw. This was well-illustrated in WarGames, when the military supercomputer, equating the game to global thermonuclear war, evaluated all possible outcomes and remarked, “Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” Failing that, just work hard and do your best.

8/10 An inspired choice of teaching material.

Visit blackboardsinporn.blogspot.com/ for more case studies on mathematics as featured in erotica.

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Nov 2011 16

by A.J. Focht

The internet exploded early Monday morning when Variety announced that David Yates, director of the final four Harry Potter films, was “teaming up with the BBC to turn its iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who into a bigscreen franchise.” The only problem with this was the BBC didn’t even know about it. A tweet from the BBC’s official Doctor Who Magazine said:

To those hearing Doctor Who movie rumours, it’s just the same rumours which have been going round for years. Nothing’s currently happening!

So for those of you who were hoping that the Doctor would finally make it to the big screen, it looks like you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Still, Yates seemed rather adamant; maybe something will come of it.

Thor director Keneth Branagh has revealed his reasoning for not returning to Thor 2. Turns out it was simply an issue of timing. Branagh didn’t have time to get back into the project quickly like Marvel needed. He also generously noted that he, along with many others, is excited about the new director Patty Jenkins.

The first previews from Middle Earth will likely hit this December. According to Andy Serkis (Gollum), the first trailers for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey should be in theatres this holiday season.

In a recent interview with TV Guide, Bruce Campbell talked about the decision to cut the role of Ash from the new Evil Dead. Campbell said that while the decision pissed many off, ultimately, they decided it was best not to run a direct parallel to the character, even though this is a remake. Campbell also notes that he wouldn’t have wanted to put any actor in that position, and I don’t blame him. Following in the footsteps of Campbell in his most famous roll would be rather daunting.

DC heroes aren’t just storming the comic stores, Cartoon Network is adding a block program called DC Nation that will feature several DC cartoons. During the sneak peek to the new Green Lantern animated series, Cartoon Network aired a teaser for the block program. It looks like many of the classic heroes, as well as some new ones, will be featured in the segment.

Geek news has been a bit lacking this past week. It might be because everyone has been stuck inside playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The newest game in the COD franchise broke its own record selling more than 6.5 million units in less than 24 hours. While the game might have been the best seller, it wasn’t the only major game released this week; it was also competing with The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Assassins Creed Revelations.

Modern Warfare 3 is getting the sales, but it is one of lowest ranked games of the month generally pulling 8/10 and ‘B’ ratings. Batman: Arkham City, Skyrim, and Assassins Creed have been pulling in higher 9/10 and ‘A’ ratings. All of these games are likely to land one Game of the Year prize or another, although Skyrim and Arkham City have managed the highest reviews.

The Xbox 360 is the oldest system of the current generation on the market. After six years on the shelf, everyone is wondering when it will get a replaced for real and not just upgraded with accessories like the Kinect. That time might be closer than you think. New rumors report the next Xbox will be called the Loop. Those who claim to have the inside scoop say the system is smaller and cheaper than the current Xbox system, yet more powerful and next generation. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes of these rumors.

Finally, the final episode of Dragon Age Redemption starring Felicia Day is now live. For those who haven’t been following, it is an excellent web series based in the Dragon Age universe. If you haven’t tuned in, now is your chance to watch all of the episodes without the week wait in-between.

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Nov 2011 11

by Steven-Elliot Altman (SG Member: Steven_Altman)

Our Fiction Friday serialized novel, The Killswitch Review, is a futuristic murder mystery with killer sociopolitical commentary (and some of the best sex scenes we’ve ever read!). Written by bestselling sci-fi author Steven-Elliot Altman (with Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse), it offers a terrifying postmodern vision in the tradition of Blade Runner and Brave New World

By the year 2156, stem cell therapy has triumphed over aging and disease, extending the human lifespan indefinitely. But only for those who have achieved Conscientious Citizen Status. To combat overpopulation, the U.S. has sealed its borders, instituted compulsory contraception and a strict one child per couple policy for those who are permitted to breed, and made technology-assisted suicide readily available. But in a world where the old can remain vital forever, America’s youth have little hope of prosperity.

Jason Haggerty is an investigator for Black Buttons Inc, the government agency responsible for dispensing personal handheld Kevorkian devices, which afford the only legal form of suicide. An armed “Killswitch” monitors and records a citizen’s final moments — up to the point where they press a button and peacefully die. Post-press review agents — “button collectors” — are dispatched to review and judge these final recordings to rule out foul play.

When three teens stage an illegal public suicide, Haggerty suspects their deaths may have been murders. Now his race is on to uncover proof and prevent a nationwide epidemic of copycat suicides. Trouble is, for the first time in history, an entire generation might just decide they’re better off dead.

(Catch up with the previous installments of Killswitch – see links below – then continue reading after the jump…)

[..]

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Nov 2011 09

by A.J. Focht

Even the prequels are getting sequels. British actor Jason Flemyng who played Azazel in X-Men: First Class has said that a follow-up could soon be in the works. First Class was a surprisingly good addition to the franchise; hopefully tacking another one in won’t kill the series on a bad note.

Iron Man 3 is being shot in Wilmington, North Carolina. If you want to make the trip out there (or are lucky enough to live nearby), you can register to try and be one of thousands of extras needed for the shooting.

Over the last few weeks, dozens of set pictures and several videos from the shooting of The Dark Knight Rises have been leaked – see roundup here. A couple of major spoiler could be contained, including a characters death scene.

Not everyone is convinced that the Metropolis project is happening. For those of us still holding out hope, the Metropolis IMDb page now lists Joe Davola and Alfred Gough as the executive producers; Gough being one of the original creators of Smallville.

On the comic front, DC Comics continues to dominate. The New 52 has really paid off as DC pulled in over 50% of all comic sales last month.

J.J. Abrams reportedly is after Benicio Del Toro to play the roll of the villain in the up coming Star Trek 2. No one is quite sure who the main villain will be. Theories range from the return of Khan to the Klingon’s and everything in between. The last movie created an entire new timeline so the possibilities are endless.

We’ve known that there were plans to another Blade Runner film; Ridley Scott says the project is likely to be a direct sequel. Scott also said that the project is quite a ways along, and they are close to finding a writer.

Reports from Middle Earth have been scarce lately. Last week, Peter Jackson and the crew released the new video blog. The video covers the finer points of shooting The Hobit in 3D, with several on set shots. The first part of The Hobbit is set for release holiday 2012.

Do you want to forever immortalize yourself in the Whedon-verse? Well, if you’ll settle for a walk on role, this could be your chance. A walk on role in Whedon’s next project, In Your Eyes, is being auctioned on eBay. At the time of this writing, the bidding is up to $2,550. So how bad do you want it? Oh, and did I mention the proceeds go to The Adrienne Shelly Foundation.

Sad news from the land of Oz. Bruce Campbell’s cameo scene has been cut. Bruce tweeted that such things happen in epic flicks, and that there were no hard feelings toward Sam Raimi.

Barnes & Noble has revealed their tablet, complete with Marvel comics. As if almost in response to the Kindle Fire’s deal with DC, Barnes & Noble has released their own tablet featuring several of Marvels comics. The tablet is starting at $249 and is available on November 18.

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Nov 2011 09

by Mentalrage

Arkham Asylum pretty much set the standard for how good a game based on a comic book character and the world they inhabit could be. Previously, game’s based on comics were generally speaking either ill thought out, poorly executed, hurriedly produced tie-in’s with film properties or otherwise underwhelming and insulting to fans of both good games and the comics they were based on with very few exceptions.

Developer Rocksteady at that point had only produced the distinctly average Urban Chaos. Which made both their treatment of the Batman universe and it’s polished presentation and execution in Arkham Asylum all the more surprising.

Now the much-anticipated follow up Arkham City is upon us.

Simply put, Rocksteady has defined how to produce a follow up to a successful game. It builds on everything featured in the previous game, tweaking things here and there as well as adding plenty of new elements. Arkham City is an almost perfect example of digital alchemy, balancing deep lore that Bat fans will appreciate, but not to the extent that it will drive away gamers unfamiliar with the intricacies of Gotham City.

Arkham City finds a section of Gotham City partitioned off and transformed into a vast penal colony overseen by mysterious psychiatrist Hugo Strange. Bruce Wayne soon finds himself incarcerated in Arkham City for speaking out against Strange and it’s down to the Dark Knight to figure out what Strange is really up to and what “Protocol 10” is.

Chances are, unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few decades, you’ll be familiar with at least some of the numerous villains that make up the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery (which is arguably the best in comics). Rocksteady has once again produced some great character designs with the Penguin re-imagined as a sadistic, eccentric Cockney wide-boy being just one of them. You can also look forward to seeing Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, The Joker, and Solomon Grundy, to name but a few, and that’s just the main story, there are side missions involving Bane, Mr. Zsasz, and The Riddler, plus additional Catwoman story missions which intertwine with the main story (her design is heavily influenced by Adam Hughes iconic take on the character).

The presentation all round is slick and highly polished. The Arkham facility which you find yourself in, with its array of buildings and alleyways, really feels like part of a city. It’s a gothic delight that’s equal parts urban decay and neon excess. These aren’t just random buildings either, Bat fans will pick up on numerous things like the building you first suit up as Batman in being Ace Chemicals. The voice acting is universally excellent with Kevin Conroy once again being a solid Dark Knight and Mark Hamil putting in another sublime performance as The Joker.

Unlike its predecessor you have a vast area that you’re free to explore open world style after the opening scenes. Gliding and grappling your way across the myriad of rooftops and perching upon a gargoyle before listening to a bunch of thugs debate whether crossing Two-Face or The Joker is worse before dropping out of the night sky and taking them all out is a thing of beauty it has to be said. If you’re so inclined you can actually spend a considerable amount of time just exploring before even starting any missions.

The downside of this new open world approach is Arkham City doesn’t have the claustrophobic story driven narrative of its predecessor, the varied selection of villains are battling each other for both territory and screen time it seems. Though I don’t think –– as impressive as Batman’s rogues gallery is –– there are many characters that would support a full story like The Joker, so in this regard Rocksteady has made a wise move.

To aid your navigation around Arkham City, Batman now has a divebomb move which can be used either as an offensive maneuver (once you’ve got the necessary upgrade) or can be used to gain height and speed by pulling up at the last minute before soaring into the night sky. Another addition is the line launcher, an adaptation to the Batclaw which enables you to travel horizontally between buildings and can even be fired mid flight to travel around corners.

Combat in Arkham City is built around the same mechanics as the previous game, but things have been tightened up with new options thrown into the mix too. Now you can use the numerous gadgets at your disposal in the midst of a fight easier. Watching a hammer wielding goon take out half his own men after being hit by the Remote Electronic Charge (a new addition) never gets old. Counter moves are a big factor in combat and learning the timing will literally save your life. Arkham City thugs aren’t completely brain dead either, they will team up on you and not just form an orderly queue while you take them out. Also if another gang of thugs is witness to your brawling, they’ll come steaming down the street and join the fray. This can result in facing a literal horde of bad guys where you can really show off your combat prowess.

One of the best things about combat in Arkham City is it doesn’t fall into the all too familiar problem of tedious repetition. Performing the same few moves over and over can quickly go from exhilarating fun to boring chore in a combat oriented game. Thankfully the combat here is influenced by your surroundings, find yourself up against a wall facing a mob of goons, and your counters will take this into account with Batman slamming faces into said wall until you move away from it.

Stealth quite rightly is also an important part of surviving in Arkham City. Even the Dark Knight isn’t invincible, so taking on tooled up goons head on will just lead to a quick demise. Vantage points are key and so is patience. Learning patrol patterns and picking your moment to strike before disappearing into the shadows will lead to goons freaking out and firing at shadows, which will lead to an intimidation experience bonus when you clear the area. If things do go a bit awry you can employ a new smoke bomb to cover your escape.

It’s not quite as easy this time around though, with goons later in the game sporting some hi-tech gear. For example they’re equipped with thermal imaging headsets which make you visible even if you’re hiding in the shadows, and have signal jammers which screw with your Detective Mode, meaning you have no access to the usual readouts on enemies in the vicinity.

Experience will allow you to level up where you can upgrade your Batsuit and gadgets, and learn new special combat techniques, amongst other things.

As for the Catwoman missions I mentioned earlier, they’re just as well executed. In fact they’re so good you’ll find yourself wishing there were more of them. Navigating Arkham City as Catwoman is a completely different experience as you utilize her whip and pounce from rooftop to rooftop or scale larger buildings in stages. Combat is different too. Catwoman is faster, but takes more of a beating if a goon connects. Her combat style is similar to Batman’s but the counters and stealth takedowns (dropping down off the ceiling for one) are more graceful and acrobatic in their approach and there’s a different set of gadgets to have fun with. I think Rocksteady may have gone a little overboard on sexing up Catwoman, I don’t think her catsuit needs to be zipped down quite that far to be sexy.

There’s plenty of other little details like Batman’s Batsuit taking damage as you progress, radio communications with both Alfred (with his trademark subtle dry humor) and Oracle. And listening to Penguin or Joker berate their goons as you take them out is highly amusing in a twisted way. “Batman’s never killed anyone but that doesn’t mean he won’t start with you,” quips The Joker.

Added to all that, there’s Riddler trophies to find, challenges to complete, and did I mention you get to punch a shark and can hitch a ride on a helicopter?

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Nov 2011 04

by Steven-Elliot Altman (SG Member: Steven_Altman)

Our Fiction Friday serialized novel, The Killswitch Review, is a futuristic murder mystery with killer sociopolitical commentary (and some of the best sex scenes we’ve ever read!). Written by bestselling sci-fi author Steven-Elliot Altman (with Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse), it offers a terrifying postmodern vision in the tradition of Blade Runner and Brave New World

By the year 2156, stem cell therapy has triumphed over aging and disease, extending the human lifespan indefinitely. But only for those who have achieved Conscientious Citizen Status. To combat overpopulation, the U.S. has sealed its borders, instituted compulsory contraception and a strict one child per couple policy for those who are permitted to breed, and made technology-assisted suicide readily available. But in a world where the old can remain vital forever, America’s youth have little hope of prosperity.

Jason Haggerty is an investigator for Black Buttons Inc, the government agency responsible for dispensing personal handheld Kevorkian devices, which afford the only legal form of suicide. An armed “Killswitch” monitors and records a citizen’s final moments — up to the point where they press a button and peacefully die. Post-press review agents — “button collectors” — are dispatched to review and judge these final recordings to rule out foul play.

When three teens stage an illegal public suicide, Haggerty suspects their deaths may have been murders. Now his race is on to uncover proof and prevent a nationwide epidemic of copycat suicides. Trouble is, for the first time in history, an entire generation might just decide they’re better off dead.

(Catch up with the previous installments of Killswitch – see links below – then continue reading after the jump…)

[..]

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Nov 2011 02

by A.J. Focht

After a few weeks with no new updates, The Dark Knight Rises released several updates this last week. The first photos of Joseph Gordon-Levitt on set have spread across the internet. A full synopsis of the film has been leaked, but it doesn’t reveal much more than what we’ve already known. Finally, the movie’s second official trailer will release with Sherlock Holmes:Game of Shadows on Dec 16.

That’s not the end of the Batman news either. WB Interactive has announced Batman: Arkham City has shipped 4.6 million copies for PS3/Xbox360. Despite some tough competition, Arkham City is looking more and more like Game of the Year.

Iron Man 3 is taking a change in scenery. After shooting the past two films in California, the next installment in the franchise is filming in North Carolina. The change in location is likely the first in a wave of updates bound to come now that The Avengers has wrapped.

Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel will use the infamous villain General Zod, but unfortunately, the character is not likely to use the immortal line, “Kneel before Zod.” It’s sad to see such a famous line being excluded; it would be like not having The Terminator say, “I’ll be back.” Even Smallville used the line when they introduced General Zod.

Speaking of Smallville, it looks like the show isn’t as dead as we may have thought. A new IMDB has been created for a show titled, Metropolis. Currently, Tom Welling, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, and Michael McKean are listed in the credits. Is it possible the show is getting a reboot/remake?

While we’re on the note of remakes, that’s apparently exactly what the new Evil Dead project is, minus Ash. A synopsis has been released for the film that sounds exactly like Evil Dead with different characters.

Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin where they discover a Book Of The Dead and unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.

Evil Dead isn’t the only undead movie making a return, reports confirm that Michael Keaton is returning to his role in the Beetlejuice sequel. I’m not sure how I feel about a sequel, but it sounds like they’re at least trying to do it right.

One last thing, I present you the best video game based movie to date, and it’s based on Duck Hunt. This new ten minute short film is by far one of the best video game to film adaptations I’ve ever seen.

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