July 2, 2011 · Print This Article
As you almost certainly noticed I haven’t posted a lot of opinions on my blog lately. The likely culprit is Twitter, where you’ll find my current state of mind updated daily in 140 characters of less. It only seems right to add a feed in the sidebar to the left – feel free to follow me for frequent updates!
May 23, 2010 · Print This Article
I saw this in the newspaper and immediately had to Google it, post it to my webpage, and let all my Facebook friends know about it.
Oh, an email!
Calvin & Hobbes
April 1, 2010 · Print This Article
Amazing evocation of emotion in four simple panels. I’d love to attribute credit, but I don’t know where this fake strip originated from (I found out about via Harvey’s Twitter feed).
Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Evil, Part 2
March 22, 2010 · Print This Article
I don’t claim to understand the low-level science behind all of it, but if you watched Robert H Lustig’s lecture from a few weeks ago, this new study from Princeton University university shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: High-Fructose Corn Syrup Prompts Considerably More Weight Gain, Researchers Find. Several of the points from Lustig’s lecture return in this article, for example that
as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.
The researchers go on to show that “rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same”, and conclude that even though
“some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, [...] our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests”. [...] “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
I’m not on a holy crusade against America’s corn industry, but that pokes conclusive holes into their propaganda and proves something that a lot of us have known intuitively for a while. I used to drink one Coke per day, thinking that by closely monitoring my sugar calorie intake and treating the soda for what it was, candy, I was still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Maybe I was, but HFCS is ubiquitous. With the evidence mounting, we’ll hopefully return to a life where consumer goods like simple bread aren’t “enriched” with sugars anymore.
February 25, 2010 · Print This Article
I now have a Twitter account. Follow me if you like!
Samuel Drake and Baby Crunch Time
February 25, 2010 · Print This Article
Our first child, Samuel Drake Worch, was born a week ago. It was quite a journey: from rushing home because Victoria’s water had broken; to driving to the hospital and seeing my wife go through six hours of painstaking labor; to supposedly seeing him being born “any minute now”; to rushing to surgery for an emergency c-section because as it turns out, Sam was so tangled up in the umbilical cord that it was pretty much impossible for him to come out the natural way. But mom and baby are doing fine, and we’ve been home since Sunday. The first few days have indeed been challenging – little rest, irregular sleep patterns, mid-night feedings, lots of diaper changes, and the ever-present need to care for somebody who simply doesn’t yet have that capacity for himself. I should be absolutely exhausted and dead in the water right now, but somehow I’ve managed. And I believe that a lot of that has to do with thirteen years of professional game development. Because really, all that Sam is asking of us is yet another crunch time.
Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Evil
February 7, 2010 · Print This Article
Much has been made of the food industry’s overuse of High Fructose Corn Syrup as an ingredient in… well, pretty much everything (especially in America). Is it unhealthy for you? Dangerous? Or simply a natural sugar replacement that, just like anything else, can and should be enjoyed in moderation?
For the answer, I urge you to watch Robert H Lustig’s lecture “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. While not singling out HFCS, it makes a very compelling argument against high fructose corn syrup, and for cutting foods with HFCS (and that includes most bread you buy these days) out of your diet.
Wondering why HFCS is bad for you? And in fact worse than regular table sugar? The short answer is “because it’s ubiquitous and metabolizes like fat and a toxin”, but I suggest you watch these videos for a much more comprehensive answer. It takes 70 minutes (don’t worry, I promise you’ll get hooked), and will help you make much better food decisions in the future.
Happy New Year!
January 1, 2010 · Print This Article
Here we go, starting a new decade. I hope you had a great new year’s eve and a healthy and successful 2010. We went to Lake Tahoe to celebrate with a bunch of friends again, and had a great time ! Here’s a couple of iPhone pictures of where we stayed.
December 30, 2009 · Print This Article
Jerry was the first bird that Victoria and I got together. He died a couple of months ago, but had a great run (and a few love affairs) in our budgie world
My New Job
December 27, 2009 · Print This Article
Ever since Lair shipped in 2007, I’ve been waiting to post about the next big game I’d been working on. Unfortunately, game development doesn’t always work that way. When Factor 5 folded at the end of last year the process took my projects with it. And even though I worked on two games in 2009 there wasn’t anything to post about; one game is still unannounced, while the other one ultimately got canceled.
Which is why I’m all the happier to post about my new job, which I started working at a few months ago: I now work at Visceral Games (an Electronic Arts studio), as a Senior Level Designer on Dead Space 2. This was an interesting decision for me for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I hadn’t done professional, hands-on 3D shooter level design since Unreal 2 (which was in 2003!). But I very much liked the first game, like this game’s creative director, Wright Bagwell (in fact, I’ve known Wright via the internet since our Quake modding days in 96), and got a good feeling about the team when I visited for my interview. Add the fact that I’d never worked for a company bigger than 150 people (so joining Electronic Arts seemed like a good change of perspective), and that I still love making (although not necessarily finishing) 3D levels whenever possible, and this seemed like a great, logical decision.
So here I am, hoping to contribute to a great follow-up of a great game. I’ll post more about the job and the game as information becomes available. Obviously you won’t read any breaking news here that haven’t already been published officially by EA’s marketing team. But hopefully I’ll be able to point you to a few pieces of information you might otherwise have missed.