Stuff to look at - odd advertisements, packaging, cookbook covers, and (definitely my favorite) the Spanish board game "El Juego de la Oca". Olé!
The Romanian tourism board is actually planning a Dracula-based theme park in Transylvania, set to open later this year. Is nothing sacred, or, um, the evil opposite of sacred, anymore?
A gallery of beautiful panoramic photography by members of the International Association of Panoramic Photographs, including one of Lolowai Bay, Vanautu that I wanted to point out as Vanautu is the island James Michener wrote about in Tales of the South Pacific. However, this particular shot of an old car is my favorite. It's yellowish tint and flat, dry land remind me of something out of a Steinbeck novel.
Darkstar is a multimedia CD-ROM "game" that is more like a movie than anything else. At all times, the resolution will be ultra-hirez with special effects that better most film projects, not to mention other computer "games". The environment is completely interactive as the player encounters strange rooms, and a few time-hole generated "ghosts", remnants of the past. There is none of the "bitmapped" looking play, and it is NOT a shoot-em-up game. It's an explorable world with a complex story that you are thrust into stone-cold. It's like Myst or Riven, but less puzzle, more story. And more action... from the MST3k guys... tarpo, why didn't I hear about this from you?
Ever since I was a little bear, I've had a major jones on for the cliffhanger pulps of the '30s & '40s, featuring characters like Doc Savage & The Shadow. Something about them... the stories, the characters, the aesthetic pushes my gee-whiz buttons in a big, big way.
It's full of pulp goodness & pseudo-science weirdness. And it has a lot of similar qualities with another geeky love of mine, the comics written by Warren Ellis & others, published by Wildstorm Comics, all set in the same universe. The writers of these comics... The Authority, The Monarchy, The Establishment, & especially Planetary... have a great sense of the history of comics, as well as what makes superhero comics good.
It's a fun genre to work with... dreaming up ideas about a secret history of the world, in which daredevils, adventurers, explorers, mentalists, and people with inexplicable super powers all work secretly to influence the development of humanity. A world of shadowy conspiracies, weird science, alien incursions, & evolution. A world of mystery, wonder, & strangeness. Not so unlike our own, if you believe that sort of thing.