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I remember playing the computer “Life” game years ago (Commodore 64 years ago!).  Basically you place a number of “organisms” – dots or similar – on a grid.  When X number of dots are in contact, a new dot is formed, if Y dots are not touching a dot, it disappears.  There are variations, and I don’t remember the exact numbers for the games I played, but it was fun watching the patterns evolve and disappear from different starting patterns.

I came across an audio version of the “Life” game (or cellular automation to be fancy) recently.  It was developed by Batuhan Bozkurt and in addition to moving “dots” (squares in this case), it produces sounds when each “dot” touches an edge.  The note and pitch vary depending on where it touches.  Because the often replicating patterns, it usually creates rather pleasing “new age electronica” sort of music.  The name of the program is Otomata and it can be played on line without any downloads, etc.  Definitely worth checking out.


New Yellow Submarine Movie

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Beatles Yellow SubmarineThe original Yellow Submarine movie is, in my humble opinion, an all time classic.  The animation was both innovative and accessible, and the music was excellent (although the voices of the “Beatles” in the movie were not actually the real Beatles).  Great in it’s own right, the Yellow Submarine perfectly reflected the late 1960s.

Disney is now making a remake of the Yellow Submarine.  It’s going to be 3D and will be using the original songs from the movie (the producers have gotten the rights for the music).  I’m mixed on this – I don’t see how the movie could be better than the original, and I’m worried that the creativity, artistry and energy of the original movie will be replaced with generic 3D and CGI flair (I’m somewhat “eh” about 3D movies).  On the other hand, it might be interesting to see what they do with it.  I doubt it will stand up to the original, but hopefully it won’t be a bomb like the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” movie from the late 1970s (although the music was interesting).