Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mondona " Confessions Tour " Press Release

"This is a thrill for H&M. Aside from being great fans of Madonna's music and fashion sense, we admire her ability to always be ahead of the trends in everything she does. We look forward to seeing how her touring family translates H&M's seasonal trends to their own personal looks," says H&M's head of design Margareta van den Bosch.

About H&MFounded in Sweden in 1947, H&M, which has over 1,200 stores in 22 countries, is synonymous around the world with affordable, up to date and high quality fashion.

The company's collections are created by their own designers. The spring/summer 2006 seasonal trends are romanticism inspired by the early 1900's - clean cut tailoring in light neutrals and Riviera style preppy glamour. In addition, there is a wide range of updated classics including knitwear, denim, t-shirts and mix and match sweatshirts and accessories to complete any individual look.

About MadonnaMadonna, a multi-Grammy Award winning artist, children's author and visionary is a cultural innovator of astonishing diversity and enduring appeal. Her current album Confessions On A Dance Floor debuted at No.1 in 29 countries.

The Confessions Tour is scheduled to travel the world through the end of September. For more information visit H&M at and Madonna at

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hair splitting...hunmmmm

Need a photo here......

A hot tip...from....SexyVideoGame Blogger...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Breaking the Fourth Wall
Internet surfing can be a surreal, meandering adventure sometimes; personally, I always end up on Wikipedia for a quick look-up, and then end up spending too much time reading articles that link to the articles that link to those that were linked in the original entry.Anyway, I stumbled upon this list of video games that break the fourth wall. Gasp! It's being considered for deletion? Quick, quick, check it out before it goes. It lists a whole bunch of games that suspend the pretense of fantasy temporarily in order to engage with the player, or to otherwise indicate that (lest you forget) you are, in fact, playing a video game. This can be anything from a vanity blip by the game development team-- say, sneaking into a crack in the map in Duke Nukem, only to be told by Levellord that "you're not supposed to be here,"-- to more elaborate stuff, like the freak-tastic devices surrounding Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear.Technically, the list could be a lot longer-- how many times have you been saving the world, only to encounter a character who instructs you to "press square to..."? That sort of thing is probably unavoidable, though; the most effective way to learn to play a game is through tutorials, and the most unobtrusive way to present a tutorial is to try and embed it in the game-- like a battle arena that teaches the combat system, or a wise sage-type NPC who spouts instruction on what to press to interact in the environment.Even when you're accustomed to and expecting that element to crop up, at least early in gameplay, it can sometimes be if not jarring, just slightly disappointing-- an interruption of a willful immersion in an interactive unreality, depending, of course, on the game. I have this fantasy of an entire gaming package, where the game itself comes with a fab story book or little artifacts or cards or something that, through indirect analogy, provides enough clues to the players that they can essentially explore, themselves, how to play. Seems to me they used to do this, to some extent, but I'd really like to see it done all-out in the modern day, making using the game as much an adventure as playing it.One of the things I liked best Back in the Day was that many of the games I played on my Apple IIe were fairly clapboard affairs; the accompanying literature was often word salad, or so it seemed to my unsophisticated mind. I was also spoon-raised on Mac freeware, point-and-click adventures that were largely buggy or entirely incomplete, entries in competitions, perhaps, that their designers never expected anyone to play with extensively. Nowadays, I wouldn't tolerate such a thing for a minute, let alone for years, and neither would anyone else in the audience. But back then, it was an adventure-- figuring out HOW to play, how to play around the bugs, and whether you could think of something that the game hadn't was probably more than half of the fun. Every new game was a blank slate, and I had a vested interest in teaching myself its ins and outs so that I could make good use of the experience. To this day, I'm not habituated to reading manuals, and prefer to stubbornly fumble my way through the beginning stages of a new game. It bewilders anyone who plays with me-- but hey, the game's gonna tell me how to play in a little while, aren't they?When Hotel Dusk: Room 215 came out, I reviewed it for Paste. I was kinda divided about it; it was too easy, too linear, and too slow. But it was also fantastically drawn, endearing and innovative. The best part was the use of the DS's touch screen, microphone, and even its hinge. You'd be confronted with a screen of objects, and then have to figure out how to manipulate them to achieve the goal. Sometimes doing the obvious-- tapping away with the stylus-- was utterly useless; you might have to use intuitive logic and blow into the microphone, or actually close the DS to flip over a jigsaw puzzle from one screen to the other. That the latter info is actually a spoiler, though, is an example of why I wish this game was as strong as it could have been. But the fact that, without explanation, I was confronted with how to best handle a situation through trial and error was one of the things I liked best.I think that there's a time and place where it's useful to break the fourth wall to create gameplay (not just to train the player). This article in the Escapist by Wired's Susan Arendt discusses Evidence: The Last Ritual, where players tracking a serial killer actually get helpful (or haunting) emails from story characters, as well as other similar games that, for example, have you use the Internet to search for clues to the next stage. I'm sure I tried things like this a few years back; without remembering many specifics, I seem to recall they didn't work very well-- elements that were supposed to be intuitive felt manufacted and heavy-handed. But I'd definitely like to see games continue to explore how to best use the barrier between player and game, whether that means building a seamless iron curtain or an effective transparency.
Posted by SVGL at 12:58 PM
Labels: , , , ,

Sean Barrett said...
That sort of thing is probably unavoidable, though; the most effective way to learn to play a game is through tutorials, and the most unobtrusive way to present a tutorial is to try and embed it in the game-- like a battle arena that teaches the combat system, or a wise sage-type NPC who spouts instruction on what to press to interact in the environment.As the programmer who randomly took on the task of designing and building the tutorial levels for Looking Glass Studios' Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri (1996) back in the day, I thought about this issue and very very carefully made it so the instructor voice just told you what he wanted you to do in fictional terms, and a simultaneous text overlay pointed at the UI gadget you would need to operate to get that result. So he'd say something like "you can set a marker on your map which will show an overlay on the hud to help you see which way to go" and the text overlay would say 'right click on the map to place a marker' with an arrow pointing at the map.In hindsight, I don't think it made any difference.
May 29, 2007 8:05 PM
SVGL said...
Hey Sean,Glad you commented-- I was totally itching to hear from a programmer who'd had actual experience with this game element, as I can imagine it's challenging.One would think games where technology plays a major role would have it easier, as the tutorial could be disguised as instructing the character how to use his gadgets. I think your picture-in-picture idea sounds promising (aside from the minor point that heroes in that kind of game would probably be expert in use of their necessary gadgetry already). Why do you think it didn't make a difference-- because you had to "talk" to the player anyway?Thanks so much for stopping by!
May 29, 2007 8:28 PM
Sean Barrett said...
Some time after doing this for Terra Nova, I played Battlezone, which had a similar tech-y setting, and it had tutorials with an instructor telling you what to do, and he just told you "press the 'b' key to something-or-other". And while that is theoretically weird, it just didn't in practice feel substantially worse, distracting, or inappropriate than what I'd come up with for Terra Nova. (I agree that this is easier in a tech-y setting. In Terra Nova, you were wearing battle armor, and we actually drew the inside of your helmet at the edges of the screen, which is where the UI elements were. This made it easy to do the thing I described originally.)Let me see if I can nail down why.I mean, I'm a big fan of immersion, and I hate breaking immersion or suspension of disbelief. One of the most jarring things to me is when games say "this isn't like a videogame" (or even "this isn't a story"), just as when novels or movies do something like that.But a movie watched in a darkened theater with a big screen in front of you still has other people in it making noise, putting head-shaped silhouettes at the bottom of the screen, and other distractions. In some sense those things are constantly reminders of the fourth wall, even if the movie itself doesn't break it, but we somehow learn to tune that out.In a similar way, I think the user interface in games is already "fourth wall broken", in some sense. Unless you're physically in a cockpit simulator, you're already juggling on some level the fact that you're controlling this character indirectly, not being the character. And so there's something that happens when the tutorial instructor tells you what to do with the UI to accomplish tasks. It's info you need in the real world, after all, and even if it's technically an inappropriate boundary jump, you're probably too busy thinking about the UI task at hand to be distracted by that hand reaching across the already-broken fourth wall. (I think the fact it happens in a tutorial is significant; it's a very different thing to e.g. change controller ports in Metal Gear Solid to defeat Psycho Mantis.)At least, that's roughly how I think it felt to me, as best as I can recall many years later.
May 30, 2007 11:48 AM
SVGL said...
Sure, I think you're absolutely right-- thanks for the insight. Definitely agree that the tutorial may be a particular, or separate, sticking point in immersion, too.
May 30, 2007 12:38 PM

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hip Hop

Mr. America 2004

Something to look for Gals......... A visual break....

The International Cultural Fiesta Movement

This site is says alot and in a very short time when you consider the subject matter being developed.

Queen Rina

This is real life Queen of Arabia, and she is breaking gorund for a lot of Arab Women.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Russian Art On Fire and Well Done:

Maxim Kalmykov

To Go: Focus on Female Directors, January 18 in L.A.

From No Good For Me <-----back linked

To Go: Focus on Female Directors, January 18 in L.A.

We are all aflutter about seeing Zoe Cassavetes's short film Men Make Women Crazy Theory at tomorrow night's second annual Focus on Female Directors spectacular, probably because we're still holding onto early-90s suspicions that its stars (Donovan Leitch and Ione Skye) might be the most glamorous brother-sister team on the planet, and because lately we've been reminiscing about when we used to watch Allison Anders's Gas Food Lodging over and over and long for Donovan's eye makeup and Ione's red-and-white leather jacket.

At last year's Focus on Female Directors we most droolingly anticipated Sofia Coppola's first film, 1998's "Lick The Star" (although Gaelle Denis's beautiful and ridiculously happy-making City Paradise ended up really taking the cake). And now it's on YouTube so girls like us everywhere can indulge in nostalgia for preteen Flowers in the Attic obsessions and past fondness for way-too-dark lipstick and glittery eyeshadow.

Plus it's neat to see little glimpses of Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette imagery, and the songs by Free Kitten and The Amps still make us wanna jump all around the room. Here's part one:
I just love this site check it out and write your own review in the comment section of this blog.
KA, January 17, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

From the Archive

New Fashions

Introduction:During this age of post feminism European Fashion designers are pushing the envelope by introducing topless fashion designs on the leading fashion run ways in Paris, Milian, Madrid, and others. Moreover, there is an opposite movement in the retros in which the thing is to out do the designers of the 40s and 50s.This is in reaction of a growing shift in the nightlife in key Europan cities in which women are finding safer environments from which to find personal release, and topless is gowing. In Paris, Berlin, Bonn, Caan, and Madrid free open tops of early 2004 have given way to mild see through topless causuals personally crafted. Moreover, increasingly at more and more plush parities given by the Euro Dollar - New Rich, the topless look is growing.
All reflect both growing safety women are now experiencing, and the implications and self-realization of ones own rights personal taste and social fantasies. European designers who are trying the catch up are still unknown. Increasingly, the binding of bra staps, and the constant irritations felt in sudden body turns during social dancing, especially in the new moves provided by the Hip Hop culture is suddenly loss by the freedom now being opted for.In one email, Rene Litz from Caan commented " That women covering their tops are really not natural for a womyn's body.

It was a condition impossed by males who feared women assuming power during the early development of European civiliations which only sought her sexual exploitation. She has always questioned in her life ..Why the part that produced milk for innocent children? ."With this in mind, a really discussion needs to be look at and properly reacted to. The key factor of which is a result of the social movements developed by every University and College activist feminist group who push the Take Back the Night Campaigns both and off their respected campus. Especially at the Unversity of Rochester's Feminst's Coalitions, in which the success of this campaign during the 1970s triggered topless yearly demonstrations in downtown Rochester to promote legislation in Albany to allow women who so chose can go topless-which was subsequently passed. There is a proposal for a parade now being discussed.
The one time increasing incidents of sexual assaults and rape closely and academically examined in depth during the 70s and 80s have made a dramatic down turn since the late 90s. Howover, though similar trends ocurred in Eruope, Anmerican women did not respond in the same manner as did the Europeans. All of which caused the need to fully examine this aspect, especially the casual anxieties involved, in as much as style and fashions are outward expressions of the social and cultural conditions which exist in ones time and era.

The website Fashions Trendsetters / Trend Setters was specifically developed and put together to gain wider attention, and this forum is where the answers should be examined. I once trought of developing my own forum, but instead I found this one which already existed. Now I am actively promoting this forum through my Night Life ( NightLife ), RMC Internet Network.
What should be looked at from my point of view is simple this.Is the American nightlife coming up to par with the early feminist aspirations which created The Take Back The Night campaigns of the 70s ?As per the course Introduction to Womyn Studies, State University College at Buffalo, the resolve that a womyn's breast is not a sex object, why we still have this puritanical point of view while Europe in increasingly rejecting this ?What are the clear implications to creative style features in American fashions once some of the base issues become clearer? And more importantly, which American city is going to take the first step ?
All the while this is going on why are retros assuming a permenant and at times growing marketing nitches? Seeming'ly only in America.Lastly, in the past advant of AID's destroying the leadership of American fashions during the 1980 - 1990, quess who is filling in the void, and where did they get their initial experiences ? Victoria Secret ? Wicked Fashions ?
With the once dominate Europeans now being over-shaddowed by Asian dominance, especially from Tokyo, and the growing power of and other groups related groups and blogs, we are on the verge of new era of fashion who are smiliarly looking at these issues. Post feminism is developing more diversity in lifestyles at the sametime.
They plus other monitored internet groups, especially those sponsored by MSN, and Yahoo for free clearly indicates a growing shift to what the Europeans are doing. In addition. in every advocate rape and sexual program nation wide, " What a women wears is not any grounds for violation, or any question concerning her integrity, but is solely her own right to do so." Anti - Rape Task Force, State University of New York at Buffalio, University of Buffalo.
These two elements are converging and is it how and when which the more serious discussions should be focused. Also, and reports which are trace'able concerning this topic should likewise be added.

The Media Scene " PR " Iconic Talent And Drama

Iconic Talent And Drama To Lead The FremantleMedia Charge To NATPE 2007

NATPE will begin with a bang as FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME), brings the hottest names in television to Las Vegas. FME are set to descend on the market with its family of iconic talent, presenting only the most sought-after television. From talent-led big brand shows, to a stellar line up of drama programming, let FME be your one-stop-shop this NATPE.

TOP CLASS TALENT COMES TO NATPE Kicking things off will be The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (10 x 30’, plus 1 x 60’), with the inimitable Janice Dickinson, aka the world's first supermodel, making an exclusive personal appearance at the Mandalay Bay to showcase this brand new series, which goes behind-the-scenes as Janice endures the trials and tribulations of setting up her own modelling agency.

After five seasons as the ‘Simon-Cowell-of-modelling’ judge on America's Next Top Model, Janice is now taking the reigns as both star and producer of this hit new show which has already made waves around the world. The huge music television event that is Live From Abbey Road (12 x 60’) makes its NATPE debut, with the likes of Snow Patrol, Massive Attack, LeAnn Rimes and the Red Hot Chili Peppers celebrating the 75th anniversary of London’s legendary Abbey Road recording studios. Both new and established artists offer a unique insight into the world of the musician as they rehearse, discuss their work, and build towards the final exclusive performance at the home of music. Series three of Project Runway (1 x 60’ casting special, 12 x 60’, 2 x 60’ finale) is available, hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum.

This wildly popular series from The Weinstein Company was nominated for three 2006 Emmy awards and screens in 21 territories worldwide. Series three sees fifteen new fashion designers battling it out for the chance to show their designs in front of the global fashion community in New York and be displayed in the pages of Elle magazine. A hot property, the series three finale of Project Runway recently achieved a record-breaking 5.4 million viewers – the highest rated programme ever on Bravo. The Martha Stewart Show (360 x 60’) makes a return to NATPE, featuring celebrity-studded and informative segments, with the spotlight on Martha Stewart's sense of humour and love of fun.

Having recently been renewed for a further series on NBC, each episode features movers and shakers, headline makers, A-list celebrities plus everyday people who've accomplished extraordinary things. With guests such as Russell Crowe, Jamie Oliver, Olivia Newton-John, Jessica Alba, Harrison Ford, Sharon Stone, Jason Biggs, Paul Walker and the cast of Desperate Housewives, season one of The Martha Stewart Show received five Emmy nominations and scooped one award. Coinciding with NATPE, series six of reality juggernaut American Idol will premiere on FOX in the US on January 16 and 17, 2007.

FME is delighted to present TV, DVD and licensing rights for season five (30’ and 60’ episodes available) of the record-smashing television phenomenon featuring America’s favourite judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. Season five of American Idol delivered its highest rated premiere ever with an audience of 35.5 million viewers, and season six is no doubt on track to break more records this time around. FME is proud to present TV rights to Sundance Festival Dailies 2007 (10 x 30’), from the Sundance Film Festival. This series provides an insider view of the Sundance Film Festival 2007 (18-28 January), a ten-day celebration of independent films, held each year in Park City, Utah. In the Sundance Festival Dailies series, viewers see the festival from the inside and enjoy a look at the most innovative films and filmmakers. With candid insights into the current productions and behind-the-scenes exclusives, Sundance Festival Dailies is the only place for the latest news in film.

FME LEADS THE PUSH INTO DRAMA For the biggest, boldest brand new drama look no further than FME this NATPE. Spearheading a drama catalogue steeped equally in quality and popularity will be the hugely popular Falcon Beach (26 x 60’, plus 1 x 120’ pilot). This is family drama with the lot – it’s sexy, edgy and full of energy, it’s the essence of summer. Already snapped up by 24 broadcasters worldwide with DVD rights also available, Falcon Beach is produced by Insight Productions and Original Pictures, in conjunction with Global Television and ABC Family USA. It centres on the lives and loves of the town’s young men and women, as they find their way towards their futures in a quiet lakeside town where locals and summer visitors mingle and where seduction, sand and scandal are abundant.

From Kudos, International Emmy Award-winning UK producers of hit dramas Hustle, Spooks and Life On Mars, comes the brand new 1 x 120’ period drama Wide Sargasso Sea for TV and DVD. Set in lush 19th century Jamaica, Wide Sargasso Sea tells the story of the relationship between a passionate Creole heiress, Antoinette (Rebecca Hall), and a brooding Englishman, Edward Rochester (Rafe Spall). Based on Jean Rhys’ award winning novel and fresh from its BBC4 hit ratings debut, this is the story of one of fiction’s most mysterious characters, the ‘mad woman in the attic’ from Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, Jane Eyre. Brand new US drama Monarch Cove (14 x 60’ for TV and DVD) makes its international debut at NATPE 2007.

Having endured six long years behind bars after a wrongful conviction, Bianca Foster (Virginia Williams) is a young woman with a new lease on life, but whether she’ll find the quiet existence she craves in Monarch Cove, where secrets and scandals are as commonplace as surf and sand, is another question. Produced by FremantleMedia North America for Lifetime, Monarch Cove also stars Academy and Emmy Award-winner Shirley Jones who leads a hot up-and-coming cast.

THE FINEST IN FACTUAL PROGRAMMING Already the talk of the town, 638 Ways to Kill Castro (1 x 90’, TV and DVD rights available) is set to ignite fresh interest at NATPE. A controversial, provocative and politically satirical documentary from Daisy Goodwin’s Silver River, 638 Ways to Kill Castro explores the relationship between the USA and Cuba via the countless attempts to bump off revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. From exploding cigars to booby-trapped seashells, the attempts have left no stone unturned; yet this is a remarkable 50 year-long detective thriller about the man who always got away.

Executively produced by BAFTA award-winning Peter Moore (The Apprentice, Jamie’s Kitchen and Cutting Edge), the documentary features former head of Cuban Intelligence Fabian Escalante, the man who had the job of protecting Castro for many of the 48 years he’s been in power and who alleges that there were over 600 plots and conspiracies to end the life of the “red menace”. Along with interviews and archive, the film also features intriguing, seldom seen unfamiliar footage – of Castro the person, rather than the military man. Tasty treats for TV and DVD from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will no doubt be sampled by NATPE buyers, with the brand new show, Jamie Oliver: Australian Diary (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’), the first morsel on offer.

Following Jamie as he tours Australia wowing sell-out audiences with his world-renowned high-energy live shows, in Jamie Oliver: Australian Diary viewers will get a rare ‘access all areas’ look at Jamie down-under, including an exclusive look at Jamie away from the cameras, with an insight into the white-knuckle whirlwind ride that his life has become. Jamie gets back to basics in Jamie At Home (13 x 30’), doing what he does best - cooking at home with simple, accessible ingredients. Each episode is themed around one primary ingredient – it might be sampling the flavours of different tomato varieties, or how to cook different cuts of lamb. Jamie demonstrates how easy it is to grow your own produce; sometimes in weird and wonderful ways. Jamie At Home is a celebration of no-nonsense, beautiful seasonal food – a proper cooking show for modern-day people. NATPE buyers will have more factual fare from Jamie with Jamie's Chefs: Cutting the Apron Strings (3 x 60’).

A follow-up to the immensely successful Jamie’s Kitchen series, this programme focuses on Fifteen’s alumni. With 40 graduates over five years, it’s time for Jamie to see whether they have what it takes to open and run their own gastro-pub. A mass cook-off leaves Jamie with four potential candidates and a series of challenges will determine who will get their hands on the keys to an Essex pub. Following the huge international success of Prehistoric Park, adventurer Nigel Marven now heads to the beautiful sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia to present Nigel Marven’s Penguins (1 x 60’). The programme takes a close-up look at the lives of King, Gentoo and Macaroni penguins in their natural habitat.

Living amongst a colony of 200,000 King penguins near the Antarctic ice-cap, Nigel explores the real-life drama during 40 days of live-action shooting; getting to know individual penguins from courtship, the mid-season, survival of their eggs, newborn babies and dodging carnivorous neighbours. Nigel Marven’s Penguins will also be available as a 60’ presenterless version, for TV and DVD.

Available for broadcasters and home entertainment distributors is Booker prize-winning author DBC Pierre’s journey back to the Mexico of his roots in the search for The Last Aztec (2 x 60’ or 1 x 120’). DBC Pierre hopes to discover what happened to Aztec Emperor Moctezuma whose body and treasure vanished without a trace following the 16th century invasion by the Spanish. In this historical ‘gonzo’-style road movie, DBC Pierre follows the original path of ruthless Herman Cortes and his army as they make their way to Moctezuma’s kingdom. A further factual title for broadcasters is talkbackTHAMES’ Buildings That Shaped Britain (8 x 60’), profiling the most significant evolutions in British architecture and the impact this architectural history has had on the cultural, social and political development of Britain from The Dark Ages to the 21st Century.

Presented by Dr Simon Thurley, respected historian and Chief Executive of English Heritage, viewers are taken on a journey looking at Britain’s historic buildings, showing how over the last thousand years, Britain has developed its own distinctive architecture and how this tells us much about who we are today. In Digging Deep, also from talkbackTHAMES, FME presents ‘horticultural psychotherapists’ Andre Smith and Amanda Brooks as they tailor-make gardens for the soul. They make a ‘blind reading’ of the garden, assess the sort of person they believe maintains it, then set about designing the garden to suit the owner’s emotional needs. Fresh from its season on BBC2, Digging Deep (8 x 30’) will make its NAPTE debut in 2007, available for the TV and DVD markets.

Commenting on the NATPE line-up, David Ellender, CEO, FremantleMedia Enterprises said: “We’re very proud to represent such a strong array of talent-led, factual and powerful drama, all of which have broad appeal for an international audience on television and home entertainment platforms alike.

Programming that pushes boundaries, excites, informs and entertains is what buyers are after and clearly FME can deliver this. We know that NATPE will be a success, as we engage buyers with our top class content.” Visit FremantleMedia Enterprises at NATPE - Stand No. 626, Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas. /ends… For further information: Lynne-Mei Lee, FremantleMedia Tel: +44 (0) 20 7691 6782

Megan Kirkcaldie, The Lippin Company Ltd
Tel. + 44 (0) 20 3008 5407