Thursday, June 16, 2011

[Gaming]Max Payne

 Let's get back to the old school gangsta game shall we? If  I needed a 3rd person shooting game, I wouldn't choose Hit man, I would choose Max Payne.\
Max Payne is a BAFTA award winning third-person shooter video game developed by Finnish developers Remedy Entertainment, produced by 3D Realms and published by Gathering of Developers in July 2001 for Windows. Ports created later in the year for theXbox, PlayStation 2 and the GameBoy Advance were published by Rockstar Games. A Macintosh port was published in July 2002 byMacSoft in North America and by Feral Interactive in the rest of the world. There were plans for a Dreamcast version of Max Payne, but they were canceled due to the discontinuation of the console. The game was re-released on April 29, 2009 as a downloadable game in the Xbox Originals program for the Xbox 360.
 I think if you're a gamer, you must have played this game before, It was one of the best shooting game with story lines ever. It has its own style which is very impressive like the slow motion shoting, the flying-shooting (works awesomely on slow motion), camera tracks behind the bullet when using snipers, Illusions in dreams are also interesting and unique. Max Payne 2 continued the story perfectly and didn't let me down when keeping the classic style, so did Max Payne 3 but I can't tell you much 'cause I haven't played it yet.

comic story telling style impresses me the most

 Here's each plot of Max Payne:



The story is told in medias res and consists of three volumes: "The American Dream", "A Cold Day in Hell", and "A Bit Closer to Heaven". The game begins in the winter of 2001, as New York City finishes experiencing the worst blizzard in the history of the city. The intro sequence shows Max Payne, a renegade DEA agent and former NYPDofficer, standing at the top of a skyscraper building as police units arrive. He then experiences a flashback from three years ago. Back in 1998, Max returned home to find that a trio of apparent junkies had broken into his house while high on a new designer drug called Valkyr. Max rushed to the aid his family, but was too late and his wife and their newborn daughter had already been brutally murdered. After his family's funeral, Payne transferred to the DEA.
Three years later, Max Payne is employed as an undercover operative inside the Punchinello Mafia family responsible for the trafficking of Valkyr. His DEA colleague B.B. gives Max a message asking him to meet another DEA agent, who is also Max's best friend, Alex Balder, in the NYC Subway station. Max's arrival at the subway results in a shoot-out after he encounters mobsters working for Jack Lupino, a Mafia underboss in the Punchinello crime family, attempting a bank robbery by breaking through from the station. Working his way back to the surface, Max encounters Alex, who is then killed by an unknown assassin and Payne becomes the prime suspect in the murder because he is still under cover to the media and the fact that he fled the crime scene. Additionally, the Mafia find out that he is a cop and now want him dead.
While searching for Lupino in "businesses" owned by him, Max busts a Valkyr drug deal and discovers that the Russian mobsterVladimir Lem is engaged in a fierce turf war against Punchinello's men. Max eventually finds Vinnie Gognitti, Lupino's right-hand man; he wounds and chases Gognitti through the city and finally learns the location of Lupino's hideout. After gunning down the insane Lupino, Payne meets Mona Sax, a female contract assassin, who pours him a drink which turns out to be laced with a sedative. In this state Max is found by the Mafia and is dragged away to be tortured.
Max manages to escape from the Mafia-owned slaughterhouse and enters a brief alliance with Vladimir Lem. He agrees to kill one of Vladimir's traitors, Boris Dime, and his men aboard the cargo ship Charon at the Brooklyn riverfront, which contains a shipment of high-powered firearms belonging to the Russian mob, which Max keeps in exchange for the favor. After surviving a bomb ambush at the Mafia restaurant Casa di Angelo, Max uses the new-found Russian mob's weapons to storm the residence of Don Angelo Punchinello. There he finds the body of Lisa Punchinello, Mona's sister, and discovers that the Don is only a puppet in the Valkyr market when the mafioso is killed in front of Payne by agents of Nicole Horne, a ruthless CEO of the Aesir Corporation. Horne then injects Max with an overdose of Valkyr and leaves him for dead, as he experiences a drug-induced nightmare and suffers his internal torment and guilt for not being able to save his family (as well as strange letters allegedly written by his deceased wife telling him that he is a character in a video game).
After surviving the overdose and awakening, Payne pursues his only lead to a steel foundry located over a hidden underground military research complex. Inside he discovers that Valkyr is the result of Valhalla Project, an early 1990s U.S. military attempt to improve soldiers’ stamina and morale following earlier The Ladder experiments; the project that was sharply halted due to poor results, but was later restarted by Horne and Aesir. He also discovers that his wife accidentally found out about the project, and Horne let loose the crazed Valkyr test subjects into his house. Aesir initiates "Operation Dead Eyes" to get rid of evidence and witnesses, including their own scientists. Max escapes the bunker at the last moment just as it self-destructs.
Max then gets a call from B.B., who arranges a meeting at an underground parking lot. B.B. reveals he shot Alex and framed Max for his murder; a running gun-fight then commences as Max chases him through the garage. After killing the traitor, Max gets a phone call from a man named Alfred Woden asking him to come to the Asgard Building. Alfred reveals himself to be part of a powerful secret society called the Inner Circle, which has strong ties to the U.S. government. The Inner Circle members inform Max about Nicole Horne's identity but cannot pursue her themselves because "their hands are tied". They ask Max to kill Horne in exchange for dropping any criminal charges against him. Suddenly, Asgard is overrun by Aesir gunmen who kill everyone in the meeting room except for Max, who escapes, and Woden, who pretends to be shot. Max has to fight his way out of the building.
Max arrives at the main office of Aesir Corporation and makes his way through this high-tech security building while avoiding strafing runs by a minigun-armed helicopter. Along the way he runs into Mona Sax again in an elevator, but she is shot in the head by Horne's men after she refuses to shoot Max; her body vanishes when Max goes back to the elevator. At the top Max finally confronts Nicole, who escapes to the roof and boards the helicopter. Max shoots the guy wires of the building's antenna, which snaps off and crashes into the helicopter, killing Horne. The game's storyline arrives at the very point where it first started. The NYPD ESU arrives at the scene, arresting Max and leading him out of the Aesir building, where he sees Alfred Woden. Knowing that Woden will ensure his safe passage through the judicial system, Max smiles genuinely.

And the plot of Max Payne 2 (The fall of Max Payne)



Take-Two Interactive issued a press release on December 5, 2001 that announced its acquisition of the Max Payne franchise from Remedy Entertainment and Apogee Software for US$10 million in cash and 970,000 shares of common stock, and its plans to release Max Payne 2. On May 22, 2002, Take-Two announced that they agreed to pay up to $8 million as incentive payments to Apogee Software and Remedy Entertainment to develop Max Payne 2. On September 3, 2003, Take-Two officially announced a release date of October 15, 2003 for the game.
Originally modeled in Max Payne after the game's writer Sam Lake, Max's appearance was remodeled after professional actor Timothy Gibbs for Max Payne 2; James McCaffrey returned as the voice of Max. The game's plot was written by Lake, who decided to write it as a film noir love story, as he felt that it suited Max's persona the best. Lake hoped that the story would break new ground, noting, "At least it's a step into the right direction. I'd like nothing better than to see new and unexpected subject matters to find their way to games and stories told in games." Lake remarked that basic, archetypal film noir elements found in many classics of the genre "can go a long way" when telling a story, and gave examples that included a hostile, crime-ridden city; a story that takes place late at night with heavy rain; and a cynical, hard-boiled detective down on his luck. Lake considered writing a sequel to Max Payne an "art of it's own". Since the setting and characters were already established, Lake decided that the primary goal of the sequel was "to keep what's good and fix what was not so good", and to take the story in surprising directions. The screenplay for the sequel ended up being three times longer than the one for Max Payne. Lake predicted that the more complex story would add to the game's replay value.
The story, sometimes told through in-game dialogue, is pushed forward with comic panels that play during cut scenes. The developers found comic panels to be more effective and less costly to use in the cut scenes than fully animated cinematics. They also noted that comic panels forced the player to interpret each panel for themselves, and "the nuances are there in the head of the reader... it would be much harder to reach that level with in-game or even prerendered cinematics." The developers also found it easier to reorganize the comic panels if the plot needed to be changed while developing the game.
Max Payne 2 uses the same game engine as the one used in Max Payne, but with several significant upgrades. Even though the game only supports DirectX 8.1, the graphics inMax Payne 2 mimic those generated by DirectX 9 by making optimal use of effects such asreflection, refraction, shaders, and ghosting. The developers considered one particular scene in which effects are used well: When Max has lucid dreams, the screen appears fuzzy and out of focus. Since Max Payne, the polygon count (the number of polygons rendered perframe) has been increased, which smooths out the edges of character models. In addition, characters have a much greater range of expressions. Previously, Max had only one expression available; in Max Payne 2, he often smirks and moves his eyebrows to react to different scenarios.
The game uses the Havok physics engine, which the developers chose because it was "hands-down the best solution to our needs". They found that a dedicated physics engine was vital to create Max's combat scenes, which Max Payne was known for, "with increased realism and dramatic, movielike action". The physics engine made several situations seem more realistic. For example, when in combat, the player can take cover behind boxes; however, when enemy bullets impact the boxes, they will topple over, in which case the player will have to find another suitable object to use for cover. When an enemy is hidden behind a wall divider, the player can throw a grenade next to it to send the cover flying through the air, rendering the enemy unprotected. The Havok engine was tweaked to make weapons, bombs, and Molotov cocktails act more naturally, and the audio was updated to make them sound more realistic. The new physics engine allowed for certain actions that could not happen in Max Payne; boxes can be moved and follow the laws of gravitation, and explosion detonations make enemy bodies fall realistically.
The Bullet Time mode that Max Payne was known for was improved; the developers referred to it as "version 2.0". The mode, which allows Max to move in slow motion to kill enemies more easily, was enhanced to give Max a longer period to continue using Bullet Time when he kills enemies consecutively. This was done to encourage players to dive head-on into dangerous situations rather than crouching at a safe distance and waiting for enemies to come to them. A new reload animation was also introduced, which, when Max reloads while using Bullet Time, allows him to duck to avoid bullets, spin around to survey the combat situation, and pause to give the player time to think of a strategy. Development tools were made available for Max Payne 2 by Rockstar Games and Remedy Entertainment to allow players to create modifications for the game. Modifications can perform several functions, such as the ability to add new weapons, skills, perspectives, surroundings, and characters.

 Both versions have received worthy awards and became a classic game, a must-play of all time. The've made a movie after the game, which SUCKS very badly x.x.
 So guys, I recomend you this one, try it, it's not so heavy for you computer, and rather adictive.
 Have fun!

Monday, June 13, 2011

[Music] Your mother should know-The Beatles

 I've watched "Magical Mystery Tour"(a movie by The Beatles) over and over, and they singing "your mother should know" was my favorite part of the movie, they were all wearing white suit and walking down the stair to the music beat, and alot of people were dancing around.
 The melody was very unique, It was like a kind of Eroupian classic music, in The Beatles's blues style. This is why I love the Beatles, they always find something new, a brand new air to music. The song's title was very curiously and I couldn't guess what the song was about (actually I still confused when I heard it). I think it was about the love of old classic songs and the desire to live with the good old pass...the melody was very simple.
here's the lyrics:
Let's all get up and dance to a song
That was a hit before your mother was born.
Though she was born a long, long time ago
Your mother should know (Your mother should...)
Your mother should know (...know.)
Sing it again.
Let's all get up and dance to a song
That was a hit before your mother was born.
Though she was born a long, long time ago
Your mother should know (Your mother should...)
Your mother should know (...know.)
Lift up your hearts and sing me a song
That was a hit before your mother was born.
Though she was born a long, long time ago
Your mother should know (Your mother should...)
Your mother should know (Aaaah.)
Your mother should know (Your mother should...)
Your mother should know (Aaaah.)
Sing it again.
Da-da-da-da...
Though she was born a long, long time ago
Your mother should know (Your mother should...)
Your mother should know (Know-)
Your mother should know (Your mother should...)
Your mother should know (Know-)
Your mother should know (Your mother should...)
Your mother should know (Know-)





Sunday, June 12, 2011

[Music] Rocky Raccoon-The Beatles

 I guess you have to be a Beatles fan to find this song. It wasn't so famous when compared to other Beatles's songs but this one amazed me the first time I hear it which rarely happen. Maybe because it has an American Western...cowboy style, and the Beatles, an English pop band wrote and played it so well. In other hand, the song only have one sequence of 4 chords, but not boring at all. It was a perfect match of harmonica, honky-tonk  and accordeon. It tells a pretty interesting story about this boy Rocky Raccoon whose lover "ran off with another guy". The song is amazing to me, I hope you like it

Friday, June 10, 2011

[Music - Other] How to reduce mass on guitar.

So... this is almost the first post I mention a guitar. Guitar is my main instrument.
1. What?
The first thing someone will actually think is "What the hell is guitar mass?"
Guitar mass can be spotted by the extremely disturbing sound comes off your sound system, which sounds like "bzzzzzzzzzzz". Yeah.
And after you put your hand on the bridge/strings, it disappears. What?
So, the idea is to connect the bridge to the electric part inside your guitar body.

2. How?
If you have a contour body guitar, it probably has a one-way locked bridge. The only thing you have to do is to get a copper cord, and connect the bridge with the part inside your guitar. Just get the cord, solder it on the bridge, and then solder it on the electric part inside the body.
But what if you have the Les Paul-like guitar like me? The bridge is totally not connected with the electric part inside, neither there is a hole so you can put it through and connect it?
You will have to connect the bridge with the pickup. At least that's what I do.
Connect the bridge to the pickup cord with a copper cord, but instead of soldering with resin, solder it with iron. It will probably reduce the mass even more.

3. So?
I am not an expert when it comes to modifying guitars, so there are lots of trick I don't know. But I did this and it worked fine for me. I hope it will do for you too.

3. Warning. As always.
This is not a professional blah blah blah... Try this at your own blah blah blah.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

[Movie] Kungfu Panda 2.

 This seems like the time of 3D animations to develope, and we can find out which animation picture has their best movies and greatest ideas. Pixar of course still the big boss of animation film making, Disney animations's 2d and 3d movies rapidly let me down, I don't like Universal since "Despicable me" (a big face palm), 20th Century fox animations...yeah, quite good, Warner Bros, I don't see their animations recently (probably working on Harry Potter, which is AWESOME!)...Let just say that non of these is a good opponent for Pixar. But let's consider Dreamworks. I don't like them after the dead end "Shrek 2,3,4..." but Wallace and Gromit was very good, and "how to train your dragon" in 2010 was a dangerous opponent for Pixar's "Toy's story 3" (but of course, it was too awesome), Dreamworks is getting strong at 3d animations. And "Kungfu Panda 2" was a perfect show.
 extremely funny, beautiful story, amazing martial art direction and perfect animation. I don't know if this one would get any Academy awards but it way better than the first one which was already not bad.
 For anyone who hasn't gone see it, GO SEE IT!
 The fat panda's adventure continued by a beautiful story, other place, other enemy, more dangerous.
 Here's the plot:

Long ago, Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), heir of the peacock clan that ruled Gongmen City in China, sought to harness the power of fireworks as a weapon with which to rule the entire country. When he learned from the court's goat soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) that "a warrior of black and white" would one day defeat him, Shen assumed she was referring to the giant pandas and had them exterminated to avert the prophecy. Shen's parents were horrified at this atrocity and exiled Shen, who swore revenge.
Many years later, Po (Jack Black) is living his dream as the Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, the Furious Five, but is told by Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) that their masters have gone missing and fears Lord Shen is responsible. While fighting off a pack of wolf bandits who have been stealing refined metal for Lord Shen, Po is distracted by a symbol on the head wolf's (Danny McBride) armor, which causes Po to have a flashback of his mother and allows the wolves to escape. Po asks his goose father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), where he came from, but all Ping can tell him is that he found Po as an infant in a radish crate and adopted him.
Afterward, Shifu receives word that Master Thundering Rhino (Victor Garber), leader of the kung fu council protecting Gongmen City, has been killed by Lord Shen with his newly developed weapon, a cannon, which threatens to destroy kung fu tradition. Po and the Five go to stop him, reaching Gongmen City to find it under the control of Shen's forces. The heroes find two imprisoned council members, Masters Storming Ox (Dennis Haysbert) and Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme), and ask their help to liberate the city, but both masters cite their helplessness against Shen's weapon and refuse to escape. Po and the Five are then discovered by the wolf leader, who they chase to prevent him from alerting Shen, only to be captured.
Upon being brought before Shen in his tower, Po and the Five free themselves and destroy Shen's cannon. However, Crane burns his wing and Po is again distracted by a flashback upon seeing the same symbol as before on Shen's plumage, allowing Shen to escape and destroy the tower with an arsenal of cannons. After escaping, Tigress (Angelina Jolie) confronts Po over his distraction. Po explains that he remembers Shen's presence on the night he was separated from his parents, and wants to question Shen about his past. Though empathetic, Tigress orders him to stay behind for his own safety. Po regardless breaks into Shen's cannon factory to confront Shen, inadvertently foiling the Five's attempts to destroy the factory. Shen claims that Po's parents abandoned him before he blasts Po out of the factory and captures the Five.
Po is rescued by Shen's soothsayer, who has been exiled by Shen to the ruined village where Po was born. Guided by the soothsayer to embrace his past, Po remembers that his parents had endangered themselves to save him from Shen's forces, his mother hiding him in a crate before she was subdued. Attaining inner peace, Po returns to Gongmen City to save the captive Five from being executed by Shen at the city harbor, as well as to prevent Shen's army to enter the open waters to begin his conquest of China. During the ensuing battle (in which Shifu participates after having persuaded Ox and Croc to do the same), Shen fires a cannon at Po, however Tigress pushes him out of the way and is greatly injured by the blast. Po then uses his inner peace to enable a kung fu technique to redirect Shen's cannon fire against his own armada and destroy it. He then urges Shen to let go of his own past, but Shen refuses and attacks Po until Shen inadvertently slashes the ropes holding up his last cannon, which falls and crushes him to death. Victorious, Po returns to the Valley of Peace and reunites with Mr. Ping, declaring him to be his father. At the same time, Po's biological father (Fred Tatasciore) is shown to be alive in a hidden village inhabited by surviving pandas, sensing that his son is also alive.

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

[Wallpaper]My wallpaper collection.

This is my most used ones. Enjoy.



I also have a HAL9000 wallpaper, but It looks too simple, and you can find it anywhere so I won't put it here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

[Music]Per Olov Kindgren - Stairway to Heaven.

Well, you have already heard Per Olov's music right ;). Now it's time for some cover from him.
The epic Stairway to Heaven became much more beautiful under the hand of this guitar master :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

[Music]Per Olov Kindgren - The Four Seasons' Winter.

This one by far is my most favorite from the Four Seasons album.
Enjoy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

[Music]Per Olov Kindgren - The Four Seasons' Autumn

The third piece in Per-Olov's Four Seasons album.
Enjoy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

[Music]Per Olov Kindgren - The Four Seasons' Summer.

So, you have listened the Four Seasons' Spring right?
You might as well love this.
I personally consider this piece to be the best one.
Per-Olov Kindgren's Summer, from The Four Seasons.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

[Movie] Inglorious Basterds

in the 82nd Academy award (when Steve Martin was 10 times funnier than all his movie), I found it was a very difficult decision for the best picture that year, we got "Up","Precious","An education","avatar"(almost forget) and "the blind side", but in the end, the oscar went to "the hurt locker", I confused about this. I think it got an oscar be cause It's about the American war today which makes it has a bigger meaning. But here what I thought for that best picture award: Inglorious Basterd, great writting, an amazing original screenplay when considered it's about a history war(its a developement from the 1998 version but most of the script changed). So, to day I would like to recomend this one to you, it's a fictional story about the German Nazis in France and a team of Jewish Allied soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt)(a fictional story,because Hitler actually died in this film).It's a war movie, but the emotion is not so harsh, rather funny.
 this is the movie's plot:
In 1941, SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) arrives at a dairy farm in France to interrogate Perrier Lapadite (Denis Menochet) about rumors that he is hiding the Jewish Dreyfus family. Landa persuades the farmer to confess to hiding the family underneath his floor. Landa then orders the SS soldiers into the house to shoot through the floorboards where they are hiding. The entire family is killed, except the teenage Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), whom Landa allows to escape.
In the spring of 1944, First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is tasked to recruit a team of eight Jewish-American soldiers for a mission to go behind enemy lines and bring fear to all German servicemen. He tells the soldiers that they each owe him one hundred Nazi scalps. They operate with a "take no prisoners" attitude and come to be known as the "Basterds". One survivor of an attack by the Basterds, a soldier named Butz (Sönke Möhring), is interviewed by Adolf Hitler (Martin Wuttke). Butz's account of the attack is shown in flashback: his squad was ambushed and his sergeant (Richard Sammel) was beaten to death with a baseball bat by Staff Sergeant Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth), known by the Germans as "The Bear Jew". Butz then reveals that Raine carved a swastika into his forehead with a knife.
In June 1944, Shosanna has assumed a new identity as "Emmanuelle Mimieux" and is operating a cinema in Paris. She meets Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl), a German sniper whose exploits are to be celebrated in a Nazi propaganda film, Stolz der Nation (Nation's Pride). Zoller is attracted to Shosanna and convinces Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) to hold the premiere of his film at Shosanna's cinema. Shosanna realizes that the presence of several high-ranking Nazi officials provides an opportunity for revenge and resolves to burn down the cinema during the premiere by setting fire to a large quantity of extremely flammable nitrate film.
The British learn of the premiere and dispatch Lieutenant Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) to infiltrate the event aided by the Basterds and German film actress and double agent, Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger). Hicox and two of the German-born Basterds meet with von Hammersmark at a tavern where Major Dieter Hellstrom (August Diehl), of the Gestapo, notices Hicox's odd accent and that he gives the wrong (non-German) three-fingered order for drinks; three fingers up instead of two fingers and the thumb. The resulting standoff erupts into a firefight, leaving everyone dead except von Hammersmark. Raine interrogates von Hammersmark, and upon learning that Hitler will be attending the premiere, devises a plan whereby he, Donny, and Omar (Omar Doom) will pose as von Hammersmark's Italian escorts at the premiere. Landa later investigates the tavern, retrieving von Hammersmark's shoe and an autographed napkin.
At the premiere, Landa asks to see von Hammersmark privately, where he makes her try on the shoe. Convinced to his satisfaction that she is in league with the Basterds, he suddenly strangles her to death. He then orders Raine and Utivich (B. J. Novak) to be arrested. Communicating by radio, Landa makes a deal with Raine's commanding officer (Harvey Keitel) to be granted a full military pension and American citizenship, in exchange for allowing Donny and Omar—still seated in the cinema—to kill the Nazi high command. During the film, Zoller goes to the projection room to see Shosanna and confronts her angrily due to her multiple rejections of his advances from the beginning. When his back is turned, she shoots him multiple times, but he manages to shoot her dead before succumbing to his wounds. The film is then interrupted by an inserted close-up of Shosanna informing the audience that they are going to be killed by a Jew. At the same time, Shosanna's employee and lover, Marcel (Jacky Ido), who has locked and bolted all the exits of the cinema, ignites the nitrate film stacked behind the screen. Omar and Donowitz successfully attack and kill Goebbels and Hitler, then shoot into the crowd of panicking Nazis until the timers on their bombs go off and destroy the cinema, killing everyone inside.
Landa and his radio operator drive Raine and Utivich to the American lines, and according to the deal, Landa surrenders to Raine and hands over his weapons, allowing Utivich to handcuff him. To Landa's shock, Raine then shoots the radio operator and orders Utivich to scalp the dead man. Raine then carves a swastika into Landa's forehead proclaiming, "This just might be my masterpiece".


[Music]Per Olov Kindgren - The Four Seasons' Spring.

Looks like it's time to change a little. It's always been Metal.
Today, I give you the classical piece Spring from The Four Seasons,Composed by Per Olov Kindgren, a master guitarist.
Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

[Music]Metallica's To live is to die.

So, you guys have been reading about the instrumentals of Metallica. This one is the last one in 3 of their instrumental pieces.
"To live is to die", in many fans' minds, is the most memorable piece. Why?
If you have ever come to Ljungby in Sweden, you can somehow walk by the memorial stone of Cliff Burton, you can see the line "CANNOT THE KINGDOM OF SALVATION TAKE ME HOME" was engraved on it. That epic line came from the song "To live is to die". Yes. This song we are talking about.
To live is to die by far is the longest song Metallica has ever recorded(9:49. If someone is gonna argue that Mercyful Fate is longer, I am gonna say that song is a mixed up of 5 shits). The song was recorded under the record label Elektra and was released in "...And justice for all" album on august 25th, 1988.
About the song, it's hardly for me to say any word. The song itself is a tribute to Cliff, and most of the riffs are written by Cliff. In another word, the song is the soul of Cliff, the very last rhythms that he left on this cruel world.

[Music]Metallica's Orion - Silent and Rebellious.

Lately I have been posting quite a few about Metallica's songs. And 2 out of 3 songs have the most comments(detail: Master of Puppets with 22 comments and For whom the bell tolls with 40 comments so far), so I think people will love this song.
Out of 3 instrumental pieces from Metallica, Orion is a very different piece to both Metallica's instrumentals and all other instrumentals.

Of course, for an instrumental song, there are absolutely no lyric(To live is to die doesn't count. James does not sing, he just read those lines) so the instruments in this kind of music must fill up for the space that vocalists left. Mostly other pieces use the same riffs with heavy beat to make this space filled up, but not for Metallica.
Metallica used the different riffs for different part, and only the first and second riffs are repeated twice, the rest of the song totally changes through time and absolutely does not have any repeated part, for both rhythm guitar and lead guitar. In this song, most of the people who listen to it will probably say "Hey, this song sounds familiar". It's because the melody after the bridge part. The tune of the song will go to everybody's minds without them knowing, and the melody will always be familiar. I learned this song for around 1 week and I can't get the tune out of my head, while my fingers keep running like on the fingerboard.
The drum is also a special part. In most other songs, Lars only break the beats in the end of every parts,
but in this song, Lars break it all the time. I, at first, always miss the break and lose the beat, but luckily, in a while I started to catch it and it becomes catchy.
But the most special part is the bass(Yeah... It's Cliff's). The bass sounds catchy, soft while still violent and rebellious. After the bridge, the bass' melody was very beautiful.
Anyway, hundreds of words cannot fill up the space of the ears. You should check the song out yourself.

Monday, May 30, 2011

[Music]Metallica - For whom the bell tolls.

If you have watched the movie Zombieland, you will hear the song in the intro of the movie. It starts when the "Rule #4: Seat belts" appears, and the music comes up when the worker throws the zombie off the stairway. Why do I know this? Well I have just watched it and I immediately heard the familiar tune and everything comes to my head. I decided to share with you guys this.
As you can see, the video was captured before Cliff is dead. I posted this video as a salutation to Cliff Burton, a talent bassist, the soul of Metallica.
For whom the bell tolls was written based on the novel with the same name, by Ernest Hemingway. The novel was about the story of Robert Jordan, a young american in the Spanish Civil War.
The song start with the sound of the bell. It reminds us about the church far away from the field in the dawn of the day. And the sound of the bass started, makes us think of raids and raids of devil coming through the land.
This masterpiece doesn't have a clear solo. Most of the song's guitar sounds are mixed into the sound of drum and bass, resemble the chaos in the wartime. The ending is the solo and it gradually fades out, as if the life of the soldier is slowly drained into the death(which is like in Fade to Black).
All in all, I think this song is the best piece of Cliff. He created the sound of the bass through both wah wah and distortion pedal, make a thick, violent and creepy sound that every of us can never mistake to any other sound of bass.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

[Technology]PsykoPaint - now everyone is artist.

"It's evolution baby!"- Charles Darwin
Yeah. If you know who Van Gogh, Monet are, you probably would have looked at their paints. Have you ever wanted to try to paint like that?
With PsykoPaint, you have the brush of the greatest artists in the whole history. And with that, you can either turn one of your picture into a paint, or just paint your own.
As you can see, you can upload a picture on PsykoPaint and turn it into a paint with your own way, or just paint something that comes through your mind.
Go ahead. Give it a try. It won't bite(well nothing on the internet can bite you though). And who knows, maybe 100 years later, your grand grand children will find the painting of yours in their hard drive, and the humanity will know a "*Your name here* The Great Artist ".

[Movie] Pan's labyrinth.

 Guys, here goes another movie for you to check out, it's not a horror film nor a comedy, more like a scientific but it's known as a fantasy film, the wonderful mixing of the real history and unreal event, and in the end, we don't even know weather it was real or just the maint character's imagination. yeah, check out Pan's labyrinth (or El Laberinto del Fauno , It's a Spainish movie). Now many people made mistake that this is a movie for children, a model fairy tale or something...IT'S NOT, so make sure you are 18+ and have awared of the disturbing images (like blood, and more blood), because it is one of the most violent movie I've seen so far.
 It is a 2006 Mexican Spanish-Language fantasy film, written and directed by Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by the Mexican film company Esperanto Films.  Guillermo del Toro as I know its also the director of the movie Hellboy II the golden army, if you have seen both, you'll notice certain similary of these 2 movies especially the fantasy creatures. Anyway, Pan's labyrinth has received 3 Academy awards for best cinematography, best art direction and best make up, 3 other nominations for best original scores, best original screen play and best foreign language movie.


 
Pale man-the movie's famous creature
 the movie is around the Spainish Facists in 1944.The movie opens with  A young girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), lies on the ground bleeding, while the narration explains that long ago, Princess Moanna of the Underground Realm escaped to Earth out of curiosity, where she forgot her past and died. Nonetheless, her father retains hope that her spirit will eventually return to him.

The story then cuts to post-Civil War Spain in 1944. Ofelia, a great lover of fairy tales, is traveling with her pregnant mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil) to join Captain Vidal (Sergi López i Ayats), Ofelia's new stepfather and father of Carmen's unborn child. Ofelia discovers an insect that she believes to be a fairy along the road, and it follows them to the mill where Vidal is stationed. Ofelia chases the insect into an ancient labyrinthnearby, where she meets Vidal's housekeeper, Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), who treats her kindly and brings her home.
Captain Vidal, who is stationed at the mill to hunt down Spanish Maquis guerrillas, is shown early on to be a violent and cruel man. When his men find two farmers who claim to be peasants hunting rabbits, Vidal brutally beats one of them and kills them both for supposedly aiding the rebel cause before actually searching their belongings and finding a dead rabbit.
One night, Ofelia is awoken by the insect, which physically changes into a fairy. Ofelia follows back to the labyrinth. There, she meets a faun(Doug Jones), who tells her he believes her to be the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. He then tells her that in order to return to her father's realm, she needs complete three tasks for him before the full moon. He gives her the Book of Crossroads, an artifact that will help her to complete three tasks.
Eventually, Captain Vidal hosts a dinner party, which Ofelia is also expected to attend. Carmen gives her a new dress and shoes to wear at the party. Before dinner starts, however, Ofelia receives her first task from the Book of Crossroads. Ofelia crawls through the muddy tunnels under a fig tree in the forest and tricks a monstrous toad at its root into eating magic stones that the faun gave her. As the toad dies, it vomits out a key, which Ofelia takes.
Meanwhile, a guest at Vidal's dinner remarks on how Vidal's late father, also a prominent military figure, had smashed his watch at the moment of his death on the battlefield so that his son would know the exact time he died. Captain Vidal replies his father never owned a watch. Ofelia returns to the house, late for dinner and with her new dress ruined. As punishment, Carmen sends her to bed without supper.
Soon after, Carmen has an episode of severe bleeding, and is prescribed bed rest until she gives birth. The faun tells Ofelia of a way to restore her mother to health: place a mandrake root in a bowl of fresh milk underneath her bed, and feed it two drops of blood each day. After carrying out the faun's prescription, Ofelia undertakes her second task. Using the key she found, she is required to retrieve an ornate dagger from the lair of the Pale Man (also played by Jones): a grotesque, child-eating monster. Although she was warned not to take anything but the dagger, she eats two grapes, awakening the Pale Man. The Pale Man eats two of the three fairies that accompanied Ofelia and chases her. She narrowly escapes and returns to the faun, but he refuses to give her the third task because of her disobedience.
Vidal is shown capturing a rebel and brutally torturing him during an interrogation. The doctor is called to ensure that the rebel remains alive for questioning, but the doctor euthanizes the rebel at his request. Vidal kills the doctor for his disobedience and treachery, because he also discovered that the doctor had been aiding the rebels by giving them medicine. Vidal then catches Ofelia feeding the mandrake under her mother's bed. Carmen tells her daughter that fairy tales are not real, and to prove her point she burns the mandrake. As the root is destroyed, Carmen goes into labor and dies in childbirth, but delivers a healthy son.
Vidal calls Mercedes into his office and informs her that the captured rebel spoke of a spy at the mill, hinting that he knows that the rebel was referring to her. He then orders her to fetch more liquor from the storeroom. She forgets to ask for what she assured him previously was the only copy of the key as she turns to leave, and, after Vidal reminds her, realizes her mistake too late. Mercedes knows she must leave for it is no longer safe for her, and alerts Ofelia of her escape the night of. A sobbing Ofelia clings to Mercedes, begging to leave with her, to which Mercedes reluctantly agrees. As they trudge through the rainy night into the forest, they are met by Vidal and his waiting men. Ofelia is locked in her bedroom and the troops guarding her are ordered to kill her first should anyone try to fetch her. Mercedes is taken to be tortured, but she frees herself using a hidden knife with which she also severely injures Vidal. He survives and has his men pursue her, but she is rescued by her brother and a group of rebels.
The faun returns to Ofelia and gives her one more chance to prove herself, telling her to take her baby half-brother into the Labyrinth. Ofelia sneaks into Vidal's room, drugs his liquor and grabs her brother from his cradle, but Vidal sees her as she escapes. Ofelia enters the labyrinth as the rebels attack the mill. Upon reaching the center of the maze, Ofelia encounters the faun, who wields the ornate dagger that Ofelia retrieved from the Pale Man's lair. The faun explains that he needs the blood of an innocent to open the portal to the Underground Realm, so she must hand him her brother. Ofelia refuses to do so. Vidal stumbles upon the scene, and does not appear to see the faun Ofelia is speaking to. Vidal forcibly takes the baby, and shoots Ofelia in the stomach.
When Vidal leaves the Labyrinth, he is confronted by Mercedes and the rebels. Realizing that they will kill him, he calmly hands the baby over to Mercedes, and requests that they tell the child the exact time his father died. Mercedes refuses to do so and informs him that the child will not even know his name. Mercedes' brother then shoots and kills him.
Mercedes and the rebels enter the labyrinth to find Ofelia dying in a reprise of the opening scene. As Ofelia's blood drips onto the supposed portal to the Underground Realm, the scene flashes to an alternate state: Ofelia is reunited with the King (Federico Luppi), her deceased father) and Queen (her mother Carmen) of the Underground Realm. The faun is there, as are the fairies. Ofelia learns that by sacrificing herself, instead of her brother, she has succeeded at the true final task, proving herself to be the Princess Moanna and achieving immortality.
Mercedes is then shown weeping over Ofelia's corpse. The narrator explains that Princess Moanna went on to rule the Underground Realm with kindness and justice for many centuries, and that she left small traces of her time on Earth that would only be visible to those who knew where to look. The movie ends with the old fig tree in bloom again where a piece of her new dress had gotten caught in a branch.
 This movie got exelent visual effect and it's a very beautiful story. But don't watch it with you kids (your girlfriend too). 



[Technology] Tineye the Reverse Image search engine - The infinite resource with a single picture.

Alright. I can see that many friends of mine just bump into my house, plug their USB in my computer, show my a manga's frame and want me to tell them which manga did that come from. I was always using tineye.com. Tineye works on every kind of picture, not just manga(if you just need to find manga, you can use idqb.org)
The idea is that you upload a picture to their server, and the server crawls on every websites and see if there are pictures that are similar to the one you upload. From those website you can find the source you want.
For example: I surf on the internet, and bump into a random girl's picture on a random website like this:
For this instance, assume I do not know her name, aside of just looking into the file name if there is any chance that there is her name in the picture, I will throw it on tineye.com. So here is the result:

Remember, for this instance, the girl we are looking for the source is an asian, so focus on korean, chinese and japanese sites. First, how about taking a look at the first link?
How comfortably, I've bump into a chinese site(see that chrome's site translator? Chinese(Simplified Han). Now, I can't even understand what this site say, so I will just translate it. And...
Tada! Gotcha!"Monday beauty: South Korea's top car models Huang Mei-ji (Hwang Mi-Hee)". So what you need to do is Google her name(Hwang Mei-ji or Hwang Mi-Hee).
Now there are lots more potential that can be done with this engine. You can almost find the source for everything except those that aren't posted anywhere. Well, at that point, you will need someone to find it for you.
Remember, using Tineye needs you to work with both adaption and common sense. Be wise when looking for the source.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

[Computer]Guide to "awesomize" your desktop with Rainmeter

Well, I think this will help someone to make their desktop looks "cool and shits".
I strongly recommend Windows 7, since it is much better in the side of appearance, and it totally kicks Windows XP's ass. Of course you can still use Windows XP, but you will have to go through a hell lot of trouble. But I will leave it for another time.
So... you can download Rainmeter from rainmeter.net. After downloading it, you need to install(duh). But after the installation, you just get a default skin. So, you need to download another skin.
Also, you should note that "skin" and "theme" is different. The "skin" is a package of resources, such as clock, calendar, RAM meter, CPU meter etc... and "theme" is a config of how you modify the skin's resources.
To download a skin, go to deviantart, where all the artists are just awesome, go to the customization menu, then skins and themes, select system monitoring, and choose Rainmeter. All of those are in the menu in the left of the site. You can choose any skin you like, and download them.
After downloading, there are 2 ways it can work:
- If you downloaded a rainstaller file, just run it.
- If you downloaded a file which is a folder of the skin, copy it to (system disk):\Users\(Your username)\Document\Rainmeter\Skins in Windows 7 or (system disk):\Documents and Settings\(Your username)\Document\Rainmeter\Skins in Windows XP.
Now, you have to right click on the rainmeter's icon in the notification area, and choose refresh all.
If you want to add a skin's component to the desktop, you can right click the rainmeter's icon->configs->(the skin you want)->(The component you want) and then tick on the variant that you like. Be warning that only one variant of a component can be placed at one instance.
If you want to remove a skin's component, right click on it, choose close skin.
You might be extremely furious when you press windows+D to show your desktop, and all the skin's components are disappear. In that case, you have to manually right click on EVERY COMPONENTS, choose settings, choose position, and select on desktop.
If you don't want the components to snap its edges together, you can right click the component, settings and deselect snap to edge.
Here is my desktop. I hope I helped someone with this.
And happy awesomizing your desktop.

[Gaming]Minecraft - Addiction

At first I thought this post would be so useless because, well, my knowledge of Minecraft is not really impressive, because I have just recently start playing it. I must say that I am really addicted to it.
Minecraft is a game by Mojang Studio, and was created by lead producer "Notch". The game focus on the  creativity of the player. Although everywhere is Minecraft world is full of cubes, the view of the nature in Minecraft still touches many hearts.
Every player, at first, has nothing in his hand and must start by chopping down some tree with his hands(well that was awkward...) and craft the needed tools for gathering more resource and make more advanced tools. And those advanced tools is for, well, gathering more advanced resources. The loop keeps repeating, and many people not knowing Minecraft reading to this point must be thinking "then what the hell is the point of playing this game?". The answer is the creativity. Minecraft is full of creativity. If you have enough imagination and enough patience, you can make the very simple things like a boat, or a plane, to an extremely complicated things like a spaceship or space station.
Minecraft is not focused much on its Singleplayer feature, but Multiplayer. The Multiplayer feature can provide many people, upto 64 at once, a personal world, personal script, and personal right in that world. You make modification (aka "modding") to your server so that it allows you to make a spaceship, a plane, or a boat that will actually fly/sail in that world, or you can make up shops. Summed up, Minecraft is a creative First Person game, with the feature of RPG(You can level up, get skill, killing monsters for items, crafting items), building game(duh, almost every cube in Minecraft can be placed on a surface), and communication(people can chat and help each other to build, hunt, or even PvP,etc...). If you are not a hardcore player who seeks extreme graphic, rushing gameplay and realistic sound system, you can always give Minecraft a try and be careful, because you will be addicted.

Friday, May 27, 2011

[Movie] Trainspotting

 Lets back to the pass a while, it's a good thing too because we know wich move is considered good by many people. I want to introduce you a movie that many of you may haven't heard of, but it has 3 winning for best movie at 3 difrent award and and has nominated by the  Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay . its a drama about drug atics in Scotland, based on the novel of the same name bt Irvin Welsh.
 I've seen it a thousand times, but then again you should not watch this with your family (your friends maybe) drama movies are just for you lonely saturday night I guess. It's a British movie, and it has been ranked 10th spot by the British Film Institute (BFI) in its list of Top 100 British films of all time. 

 It's a Danny Boyle's film, so it probably won't let you down. It has a very unique opening and some actors you might me familiar with. The film the film begins with Mark Renton's (Ewan McGregor) statement that unlike people who "choose life" (i.e. a traditional family lifestyle with children, financial stability and material possessions), he has chosen an alternative lifestyle of a heroin addict. Renton's close circle of football enthusiast friends are introduced: Sick Boy, Spud and Renton are all heroin addicts, while Tommy and Begbie openly criticise heroin use, even as they indulge in binge drinking and chain smoking. After quitting heroin, Renton struggles to adjust. The return to sobriety forces Renton to view his friends much more critically as they spend time together sober engaging in unconventional activities.

After a tragic relapse, Renton moves to London and starts a job as a property letting agent. He begins to enjoy the vibrancy of London, still clean off heroin, and saves up money on the side. His happiness is short-lived, however, as his 'friends' continually bring their dramas to him.


 I hope you like it.

[Music] Harmonica technique: bending note

well here is to anybody who has a harmonica and wants to play it, I'll show you some cool stuff about the guitar later in the future.
 If you don't know how to bend a note on a diatonic harmonica, you'll soon get boring with this intrument, because this is the most popular ,the best and the trickiest technique on the harmonica, along with the over blow technique

 Bending note only happens when you draw. At playing a harmonica, you should start with the C harmonica. You can only bend notes at the 1st,2nd, 3rd,4th and 6th holes. Here is the picture wich illustrates possible bend and overblow notes on a C harmonica:

you can see in the 2nd, 3rd, you can bend more than a half step, it depends on how deep is your tounge bending in the middle.

 First, let me show you how this works
 the Hamonica notes change when you change the dirrection of the air you draw in.



 In order to do this, you have to make a special position of your touge and lips. Some people say the best way to learn this technique is saying "Weeeeee", and then say "ooooooo" to bend (of course we just need the mouth position when I said that, you can't actually say anything when you are drawing XD) . If you do this the first time and the note actually bended, then you're better than me!
 It took me sometimes to figure out, and what I did is I put the hole a little down, it worked to.
remember this is not how you do it and don't get used to it because this is just for you to understand how it works.

 As I said before, you have to bend your touge, and remember to put your tounge always at the middle of your lips so in can dirrect the air.

 I found a really nice web site, wich has picture that make you easy to understand, is one of the top web site when you find "bend harmonica" on Google.

so this his how you bend it on the 4th (D to C#)
Note Bending
 bend your tounge lower when for a step a step and a half at the 3rd hole:
Note Bending

 Pretty hard right?. That is because you've just made your tounge to something it has never done before. Now you've understood how to bend it, it's just the matter of time until you become a harmonica pro. good luck
 This is the most difficult technique on the harmonica, others are pretty cool too,like the overblow, it's still a note bending technique but way easier, the easy wah-wah that you cannot miss in a blues song... I'll teach you next time. Have fun practicing!

[Music]Metallica's Master of Puppets - The Masterpiece of Cliff's.

If you are a fan of Metallica, or just someone who likes to listen to Metallica's songs, you must have heard of Master of Puppets.
Master of Puppets, which comes from Master of Puppets album (ironic, right?) is probably the most succeeded song of all time for Metallica. Also, it is more than just a song, it is like the last piece of memory of Metallica about Cliff Burton, the no-longer bassist, the former member of Metallica.
The tragic death of Cliff Burton occurred while they were on Damage Inc. tour, and when they were passing through a mountain area in Sweden, the bunk tripped, and Cliff was crushed to death.
The song Master of Puppets' riffs were actually written by Dave Mustaine, a former member of Metallica and now is the rhythm guitarist for Megadeth. The riffs were modified by Kirk Hammett and the bass part was rewritten by Cliff Burton.
As seen in the video is the show on 89' tour of Metallica. This show was considered to be the best show of Metallica.
Master of Puppets is a classic Thrash Metal song with 172bpm speed, which makes the most calm people become rebellious and overjoyed. They start the song with the strong power chord, comes with a drum beat. Right after that, the chop-down riffs start and the speed of it makes everyone want to put their hand on the table, take a knife and chop it off if they want to play(believe me, I tried to play it while standing, but I can't do anything to not make my hands tired. The riffs are freaking hard!).
The solo is what I like the most. It's not very hard, and actually, it's just overrated in the side of difficult. The technique required to play it is not so hard to get, yet you need firm hands and good catching to play it right.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

[Music] The harmonica

Well, I'm not gonna tell everything about the harmonica because I will make you bored even before you have read half of this post. It's just that...since I've been fascinated about intruments, especially the harmonica, I feel like I should share something with those who (might) want to play this wonderful intrument.
 I was suprised to know that the harmonica's great grandpa was from South-East Asia (Indo-China) since the 12th century, and came to Europe. Well since then, that big old bamboo horn developed...
 I'm a big fan of Blues music, so there wasn't a doubt that I was interested right away by the sound of the harmonica, from the songs of BB King, Elvis Presley,The Beatles, Bob Dylan... yes sir! On my opinion, no harmonica sounds better than a blues diatonic from the club bars of the American streets or from desert of Western cowboys...
 If you want to buy a harmonica to play the blues, make sure you didn't buy the wrong harmonica, the diatonic harmonic sounds way driffrent from the others. There are many kind of harmonica, I'm going to show you a few popular kind that new players may mistake it with the diatonic.

-The tremolo: This one has light kind of sound which is aproppriate with modern love songs and maybe asian romantic love song, so this harmonica is very popular in asian's intrument store, in other word, It'll be difficult to find a Diatonic in asia, you might get a Tremolo instead.


a tremolo harmonica
 The tremolo Diatonic has 3 sizes, the 16 holes, 20 holes and the 24 holes. The Tremolo has double reed-plate (the metal plate that make notes when you blow) so if there is 16 columns, there are 32 holes since there are 2 rows.
The tremolo harmonica sounds the same when you blow or draw it, and you can't do anything but blow or draw it, and the tremolo is just for playing melody parts of the songs, not for playing chord or solo, so it's pretty boring.

-The Chromatic. Now I don't know much about this guy but I'm pretty sure it's just for playing simple melody too. This one has much more convenient to play because it has (almost?) every note, there's a button (or something like that) on the side of the harmonica, normally there are major notes when you blow or draw the holes, but if you adjust the button, each note will become its sharp note. There not much you can do more with the chromatic than the tremolo wich is usually cheaper, this one is usually for children to play as I knew.






a chromatic harmonica
-Others like the orchestral harmonica, chord harmonica and some Chinese harmonicas do pretty much the same, but they have certain different sound wich could be interesting. There are kinds that design for playing chords too
a chord harmonica
this Chord Harmonica can play very much every kind of chords:minor, major, sharp, flat, even seventh...

 But yeah! nothing interests me more than the diatonic. The Diatonic harmonic is more difficult to play well with tecniques and missing note that you have to figuer out to make a good solo. Each Diatonic harmonica only designed for a few among of chords, like the C harmonica can solo at the C, G, D(maybe) major chord,the diatonic harmonica is just for blues or rock n roll music so it plays very well on seventh chord and rarely on minor chords. With a diatonic harmonica, you can think of your own harmonica solo quickly with the right song,right chords, using various techniques like bending notes, wah wah, the train... everthing that fits the rythm and the chord.
 So have a harmonica (10$ or 20$) and have a great time, you can perform with other intruments (usually guitar) by using the harmonica holder. so you can play the guitar for the chord, sing for the melody and play the harmonica for the solo, the chicks are gonna like it XD

 I can play the harmonica, not so good but I know a few poppular techniques that I will show you in the note of the near future.

 Here are some examples for songs wich has harmonica playing: