Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Mario’s Level Design, Evolved | Game Maker’s Toolkit
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is platforming level design at its best. By taking Nintendo’s level design philosophy to the next level, Retro Studios made a handful of incredible stages that all modern platformers should be judged against.
One of the things I like about Z Nation is that every time I think they’ve reached peak batshit, they’ll go and do something batshitter.
“Oh,” I think to myself, “they can’t possibly do something more ridiculous than the time they took a giant cheese wheel in Wisconsin and pushed it down a hill to flatten zombies, and then the rest of the episode we got occasional scenes of the cheese wheel still rolling down and occasionally flattening zombies.”
And then they go and have a bunch of re-enactment people who were in a bus and all dressed as Abraham Lincoln and have them attack our heroes right after one of the heroes tossed the other main character a zombie baby like a football.
One or both of the showrunners told their writers ‘there are no bad ideas’, and I applaud them.
What are some of your favorite fun facts about the founding fathers? There seems to be an endless amount of ridiculousness going on with them and I love it
Let’s start with some classics:
-Gouverneur Morris and the infamous whale bone in his dick incident that killed him.
-Aaron Burr settling a dispute between James Monroe and Alexander Hamilton, that would have otherwise lead the two to duel (see it’s ironic because Aaron Burr would later kill Hamilton is a duel)
-The time Jefferson had a dead moose sent to a French diplomat to prove American animals were bigger and cooler than European animals.
Now for some of the ones that we don’t talk about nearly enough:
-As Secretaty of State, James Madison accidentally bought prostitutes for some diplomats when they came to America.
-Marquis de Lafayette was given an alligator for a gift when he visited America in 1824, and basically not knowing what to do with it, regifted it to John Quincy Adams (who later used it to prank guest at the White House)
-Thomas Jefferson was given a giant wheel of cheese that weighed 1,000 pounds and absolutely none of the milk used to make it came from “Federalist cows” (They best part is: Jefferson was not even a fan of cheese)
-Thomas Jefferson almost started a war with England because he escorted Dolley Madison into dinner instead of the English ambassadors wife like he was suppose to.
-John Quincy Adams was the first president to be interviewed by a female report because he went skinny-dipping in the Potamac and the report stole his cloth and refused to give them back until he answered her questions.
-Honestly I was going to say “George Washington had a dog named Sweetlips” as a fun fact, but what’s even more fun is that all his dogs had equally ridiculous names.
-John Adams got lost in the woods trying to find the White House when he was elected president.
It’s said that blood magic can allow a mage to find a particular dreamer in the Fade.
And Morrigan seems particularly good with dreams anyway, given that she was able to recognize that she was dreaming under the sloth demon’s influence when even Wynne couldn’t. As you’d maybe expect from someone taught by Mythal.
It’s not great for communication. Just try passing a message along when all the dreamer remembers in the morning is a giant glowing cheese wheel. And a reunion can be a little one-sided when the Warden thinks this is still the Blight and doesn’t remember parting in the first place. So most of the time, watching someone’s dreams is no different for her than scouting ahead in animal form, the raven on Celene’s balcony, keeping silent watch.
Still, every once in a while, the Warden dreams of an old friend.
Previously, we’ve discussed the basic structure of a mind palace and what it’s used for. Today, I’m going to discuss some basic encoding methods, and the building blocks for creating your own.
But first, a little history…
The practice of using a person’s visual/spatial memory to organize non-visual non-spatial data has been around since the ancient Greeks. In its simplest terms, a Mind Palace utilizes images to organize and store information for later retrieval. The ancient Greeks and Romans used this system, also called the method of loci (meaning places/locations), for remembering anything from names of soldiers to important speeches. In fact, the expression “in the first place” refers to the technique of placing talking points in a mind palace (First thing you want to say goes in the first place in your mind palace). The method of loci was also used very often for everyday knowledge - something that, today, you could simply look up in a book. The first “books” were more like very lengthy scrolls with no chapter headings, page numbers, and little to no spacing or punctuation. This meant that in order to efficiently use a book as a reference, much of the organizational data would have to be stored in one’s own head. Today, there is less of a need for a mind palace, but it can still be a useful technique for reliably internalizing everything from a list of names to a phone number to a shuffled pack of playing cards. A detective today using a mind palace filled with crime solving information would be able to have infinitely more data at his fingertips without the dependance on technological devices to access the information he needed.
Now for encoding….
The first thing you need to remember about encoding data into a mind palace is that it’s not an exact science by any means. There are an infinite number of ways to encode information, and very little information can be coded verbatim. Mind palaces are most useful when the data can be easily broken down, only the general idea is important, or you’re working with small, simple data to begin with. Rest assured, any data can be encoded, but not all data can be encoded quickly. As there is no one-hundred-percent right way to encode data for use in a mind palace, I’m just going to give you a few rules of thumb which have served me (and several unnamed international memory champions) quite well.
Make it Simple:
Most of the time, a person who uses a mind palace won’t be remembering anything much more complicated than a shopping list. It’s important to remember that less really is more. There’s no point in telling yourself a long story to remember every single thing - you might as well just memorize the list by reading it over and over again. A good rule of thumb is that whenever you’re trying to remember a list of distinct objects, simply place comically large versions of the objects in various loci in your mind palace (Ex: eggs, cheese, and fruit can code to a giant egg on your porch, a huge wheel of cheese on your couch, and a massive fruit basket on your bed).
Sometimes, you’ll be at loss for what images to place in your mind. My advice to you is to quickly think about things which are related to the item you wish to memorize, and use those instead. As an example, let’s say your girlfriend gives you a list of things to pick up - one of these things is hummus. You don’t know how to visualize hummus - but you know that it falls into the category of Greek food. Instead of trying in vain to place hummus in your mind palace, you place a Greek temple filled with food in there instead. This will remind you that you are looking for a Greek food item, which will send you back to hummus.
Homophones are Your Friends
In a pinch, words that sound similar may also be substituted quite easily, leading to quicker and easier memory storage. A great way to think about this technique is to imagine trying to memorize a list of names of people you’ve never met. Let’s say one of the names on that list is “Kanasha”. If you’re like me, this doesn’t evoke any useful images right off the bat. What I would do in this situation is visualize a few old people sitting around a table playing Canasta (if you don’t know what that is either, then you may want to find a different image), and use that.
More than Just Your Eyes
In the case that you find yourself working with kind of a vague image, remember - YOU HAVE 5 USEABLE SENSES. You’re not limited to just your eyes. You can also use touch, taste, smell, and hearing to enhance the images you’ve placed. Let’s say you don’t have a very specific idea about what a tuna looks like. You know it’s a fish, but beyond that, you’re lost. You do, however, know what canned tuna smells like. Why not imagine a sort of generic fish, then add in the idea that it smells like a tuna sandwich? Bingo.
Make it Weird
Nothing hurts a mind palace more than banality. If you want to remember things, for the love of all things cold and rational MAKE THEM MEMORABLE. Think of it as if you were telling yourself a story as you walk through your mind palace. It’ll be much easier to recall if you know that it’s Darth Vader is waiting for you down the hall as and not your old boss from the previous year (unless you had a really exciting boss). As a general rule, make your images as large, crazy, wacky, lewd, crude, or otherwise weird as you can. You’re brain is hardwired to remember those things BETTER, LONGER, and EASIER.
If you’re interested in continuing your education in the area of mind palaces and tricks involved, I highly recommend reading Josh Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein. It’s an excellent read and is invaluable in expanding one’s knowledge of the mind’s potential (not to mention, it’s where I learned much of what I know about these techniques).
As always, I appreciate your input. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to me. If there’s ever a topic you don’t understand, something you need clarified, or you’d like to suggest an idea for a post - send in a comment or drop me a message and I’ll do my very best to help. Happy memorizing!
There is one incident that comes to mind! I was planning a birthday bash in Manehattan, everypony thought I was great! Except for one little filly, who happened to be the one I was planning for! I pulled out all the stops, giant cheese wheels, musical numbers, you name it, but nothing I did impressed her. I thought I was losing my touch! Until I realized the reason she wasn’t happy. See, she was never without Tony, her little stuffed dog, she carried him around everywhere! And that’s when I realized she didn’t want a party just for herself, she wanted a party for Tony, too! So I replanned everything and bam, she was as happy as a little filly could be. That’s the closest i’ve ever come to a party being a disaster!
In 1836, President Jackson accepted 1,400-pound wheel of cheese from Col. Thomas Meacham, a dairy farmer near Sandy Creek, NY. The cheese was mammoth, and it sat, ripening, in the White House for over a year. Eventually, Jackson invited everyone in Washington, DC, to stop by and help consume the massive wheel. He threw the doors open, and in just two hours, the cheese was gone.
Even members of Congress went crazy for cheese and were absent from their seats. From the Vermont Phoenix, March 3, 1837:
Mr. Alford opposed the motion for a recess. He said it was time, if they intended to do any public business this session, that they forthwith set about it, for they had wasted enough time already. As for the battle with the great cheese at the White House, he was for leaving it to those whose tastes led them there, and to-morrow they might receive a full account of the killed and slain. The gentleman from Maine, (Mr Jarvis) could as well finish the speech he was making to the few members present, as not.
Mr. Wise remarked that it was pretty well understood where the absent members had gone. There was a big cheese to be eaten at the White House to-day, and the appetites of members had driven them there to partake in the treat. To obtain a quorum he therefore moved that the Seargent-at-arms be directed to go to the President’s house, and invite the members there to return to their seats. [“Those that have done eating!"—exclaimed a member.] “Oh yes,” continued Mr. W. “those that have done eating their cheese, of course.” ["And let them bring a portion with them,” said a third.] “No, he did not want any of it—he had no wish to partake of any thing at the White House.”
A motion was again made that the House take a recess till 4 o’clock.
This true story is the basis for today’s first virtual “Big Block of Cheese Day” at the White House, which is hosting an online open house for citizens to ask questions. Sadly, there will be no physical cheese giveaway!
When we heard about the event, our archivists hunted through our records, but there are no official Federal documents relating to the cheese, probably because the cheese was a private gift. (In fact, we only turned up a handful of cheese-related records, including a recipe for making “loaf” from cottage cheese.)
However, we did find a mention of Jackson and cheese in this handwritten note (see page 4 and 5) from President Truman in 1952. The White House was being renovated, and Truman was thinking of previous Presidents and their treatment of the official furnishings.
Truman wrote, “Then old Andy Jackson and his rough, tough backwoods [illegible] walking on the furniture, with muddy boots and eating a 300-pound cheese, grinding it into the lovely Adams and Monroe carpets!”
Jackson was not the first President to receive a giant wheel of cheese as a gift. President Jefferson received on as well. There is even a monument in Cheshire, MA, to the cheese press used to make the cheese for Jefferson.
Alas, this cheese slicer was patented 30 years too late to help President Jackson get rid of his cheese more quickly….
I’m laughing so hard at this Dutch show where they’re trying to trick scammers (rich fake relative and nigerian prince scam stuff) they’re just calling and emailing them back feeding the same type of story and making it more and more soap opera dramatic as they go along.
They met up with one of the scammers who believes this is a rich guy and his cheating girlfriend, bringing a giant dutch cheese wheel as a gift “it’s a typical Dutch thing to show that you trust someone"
The actor is just crying on his shoulder about his relationship problems now and he looks so confused. "It’s all about shopping and partying she’s just with me for my money.”
They got another one to record himself wearing a red hat singing the “Dutch national anthem” because traditions are important, and it’s just a song where he’s trying to sing in Dutch “you lied to me as if I were a child, believed that I was completely blind, honey tell me do you think that you can handle me.”