My Jazz Hands, Let Me Show You Them

Athena saw the Spore Creature Creator and wanted to try it out. And thus, meet Ramona Roar:

You can’t tell from this head-on picture, but Ramona has a wicked case of scoliosis. But she has a good personality and loves to dance. Her creator is very pleased with her. As well she should be.

14 Comments on “My Jazz Hands, Let Me Show You Them”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, cranky.

    My kid has been a Spore junkie since I downloaded this. I think I got make one as opposed to her making fifteen. I am really looking forward to the game.

  2. “In the kingdom of the blind …”

    Ramona has no depth perception, poor thing.

    Unless her species has a way focus/refocus her eye on objects ‘very quickly’?

  3. I liked the Creature Creator a hell of a lot better when the offspring only jammed up ONE computer with it instead of hogging every machine in the house so they can all play at the same time.

    I guess “Save your creature and quit – Mama wants to play Age of Conan now is not going to get me the Mother of the Year award, huh.

  4. Brian Dunbar @ #4: It could happen! The mantis shrimp has trinocular vision with each eye (and, in general, a mantis shrimp missing an eye can see better than most things on Earth).

    Or, you know, Ramona bangs into doorframes a lot. But I’m sure she does it with grace and style.

  5. Scoliosis is lateral curvature of the spine and would be apparent in a fore-and-aft shot, so it’s not present. There could be a great deal of kyphosis or lordosis, though.

  6. neutronjockey – Jeff Richard (J.K.Richard) a.k.a. the neutronjockey, is a former nuclear mechanic supervisor and medical officer recruiter for the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged from military service in January of 2006. In his civilian life he is a digital artist, leathercraftsman, and writer living in Tulsa, OK. Occaisionally he commits to research work for SF/F authors. Jeff is owned by a gray Maine Coon cat while at home and three awesome horses while at the barn. <a href="">I blog on LJ</a>


    (All right, that’s it…that’s all I could say between the shrieks of laughter.)

  7. It could happen!

    I’m sure it could – depth perception is so darn handy, it’s gotta be a ‘must have’ for successful species.

    Or else you’ll get eaten up by lions who DO have depth perception and you’ll never evolve to build doors.

    The mantis shrimp has trinocular vision with each eye

    I just learned something. So .. while I’ve been productive and made breakfast, lunch and dinner for two boys and sort of cleaned the house AND spun myself up on CSS .. I’ve learned something about mantis shrimp.

    Including that there is such a thing as a mantis shrimp. Today has truly been good – thanks!

  8. Brian Dunbar–be glad you learned it the easy way.
    Learning about mantis shrimp the hard way could result in the loss of a finger.
    Or other small appendages.
    You know, depending on how much you like shrimp.

    I’m not kidding. Google it. They’re nasty.

  9. I am embarrassed to admit that I can’t play this yet. My video card does not include a “pixel shader”, so the program loads, but won’t play. Oh well, I guess it’s back to H3 for me. Sigh.

  10. Brian Dunbar @4,10:
    Depth perception need not involve having multiple eyes; another approach is to move the one eyeball you have and compare successive images over time. Objects which are relatively close will appear to have largely-varying relative bearings, while distant objects only shift slightly in relation to “the background.”

    First read this in a book by Carver Mead¹, who in turn got it from behavorial biologists. Turns out that in humans, the ocular baseline — call it 60-80mm — is only sufficient to resolve distances out to about 8-9 meters using purely stereoöptic (static) methods. Dynamic depth resolution kicks in before then and works to much greater distances, while intuitive depth assessment operates sporadically over the near to middle range.

    In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed creature will spend a lot of time bobbing and weaving to maintain its dynamic depth perception … and also to protect its single eye from all the bastards who want to gouge it out!

    [1] Introduction to Neural Networks and Analog VLSI, IIRC. Carver used this principle to design the SeeHear chip, which interprets a moving scene and generates audio cues to assist the unsighted in placing (and avoiding) objects.

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