MCC

Ask me anything   This description wouldn't tell you much anyway.

twitter.com/mcclowes:

    Climbing

    Managed to do a V6 and a few V5 problems today! This progress is crazy…

    I am definitely in the best shape I’ve ever been in in my life.

    — 1 month ago
    Run/Walking

    Supposedly walking at regular intervals throughout a run can notably aid endurance, reduce fatigue and as a result improve running time.

    Target Pace - Division
    8:00             - 4 mins run/35 secs walk
    9:00             - 4 mins run/1 min walk
    10:00           - 3 mins run/1 min walk
    11:00           - 2:30 mins run/1 min walk
    12:00           - 2 mins run/1 min walk

    From Runners World magazine 

    — 1 month ago
    goodtypography:

Overkill?
Handwritten typography 7.24.14 photohttp://accidental-typographer.tumblr.com/#NopeNoWay

    goodtypography:

    Overkill?

    Handwritten typography 7.24.14 photo
    http://accidental-typographer.tumblr.com/
    #NopeNoWay

    — 1 month ago with 76 notes
    This book is amazing.

    This book is amazing.

    — 1 month ago

    Stormed the Military Quarter (first time for against each enemy). Whilst playing through the class challenges I drew Lord Jaraxxus but he was summoned by a Void Caller, bypassing the Battlecry. Curious to actually use such a powerful legendary properly, I then replayed the challenge until I was finally in a position to summon him. Eager with anticipation, I dragged Jaraxxus over the field and triumphantly released my mouse to let the animations play out on screen.

    Secrets. They are very annoying (hence why I think the Mage challenge deck is my favourite deck I’ve played with yet). I was particularly excited about playing Jaraxxus as I was on low health and could have used the health boost; thanks to a well timed secret I was brought down to just 1 health. I mean, I still won, but I had totally failed to consider such a situational but very real vulnerability.

    Also, Void Caller is a bloody good card; you’re damned if you kill him, and at 3/4, you’re damned if you don’t.

    — 1 month ago
    #Hearthstone  #curse of naxxramas  #naxxramas  #jaraxxus  #legendary 
    The Plague

    I just finished reading the Plague by Camus, which appears prescient given the current Ebola situation. I absolutely loved l’etranger, so was keen to read more of this Nobel prize winner’s work, but was a little underwhelmed by the Plague.

    The reasons for this disappointment are twofold; I could not connect with it’s rich array of characters and it’s exploration of human character wasn’t as relevant or interesting to me as I had expected.

    To elaborate, I repeatedly found the mental images I constructed of new characters contradicted by later descriptions (this may well be my own failing rather than the author’s) which, given how character driven the prose is, essentially meant I was misinterpreting large passages (as I had a flawed image of the character in that passage) and I had little desire to reread whole sections of the book.

    In terms of themes, for example, the book repeatedly touched upon the subject not of love, but of the absence of love. This was pleasantly refreshing but not something I could really connect with, and as a result little emotion was provoked by those sections. Essentially, the extremity of the book’s setting destroyed the empathy that Camus’ well-observed writing has previously inspired.

    — 1 month ago
    Hobbies

    I do a lot of different things and have a lot of passions and interests. The reason for this is that I am able to get to grips with new things very quickly. This means that I don’t have to do things very often to maintain at least some level of competency. However, it also means I don’t practice much and don’t really progress to a high level in anything (which I why my progress in climbing is such a pleasant change!).

    The logic behind maintaining this array of interests is that I believe that enjoyment of life is very much dependant on memory of life. Although the good feelings that come with doing something fun or exciting last a little while, it is memory of having done something that keeps those good feelings alive and, at least personally, makes me happy with what i’ve achieved and done with my life. If you sit around on the sofa all day, you having done nothing of note and have no memory of the day. When looking back on your life, the length of your life is essentially equal to the number of these memory milestones that you’ve formed up to that point, so by keeping life varied and making more memories you’re actually lengthening your life in your own terms.

    Variety IS the spice of life and all that, so in the interests in attempting to maintain as many of these as possible I’m going to right them all down and regularly update each of them with goals to ensure I keep up everything.

    1. Climbing - Solidify the V1-3 circuit and keep building V4+ ability
    2. Running - Keep running 5km once a week at least (long term goal is tough guy)
    3. General exercise - Keep it up, build pull ups further
    4. Programming - Pick up my latest project (a stripped down version of Sigil North that currently lacks a name)
    5. Typography - Use my brush pens
    6. Singing/playing instruments - Buy a mandolin!
    7. Recording music - Record anything
    8. Songwriting - Write lyrics for S.O.S
    9. Game design - Get back into using a notebook regularly
    10. Illustration - Do some more Hellboy inspired art for Sigil
    11. Graffiti - Do a print of the Tribe Called Quest stencil (black paper?)
    12. Water-sports - Spend a day at the Lee Valley olympic water park
    13. Beer - Get some bottles of Tripel Karmeliet and Samba King
    14. Stamps - Print out my favourite Russian stamps to scale (just cause)
    15. Yoga - Go with my Dad
    16. Reading - Read Norwegian Wood (and then Kafka on the Shore)
    17. Gaming - Hearthstone Naxxramas 3rd wing
    18. Kung fu - Do a session at Shaolin Temple UK before the end of summer
    19. Comics - Buy more Hellboy (loving it)
    20. Bird watching - Go to Norfolk in september to watch birds migrating
    21. Food - Write about food
    22. Football - Organise a 5-a-side game 
    23. Pub Quiz - Win the name prize, stockholm round and overall prize in one night (can it even be done!?)
    24. Darts/Table football - Go play with some guys
    25. Opera - See something before the end of summer
    26. Theatre - More shakespeare!
    27. Ballet - No goal for the moment
    28. Film - Make a dent in my to watch list
    29. Ballroom Dance - Replace with swing and salsa dance
    30. Boxing - See another fight at York Hall

    Other goals:

    1. Handstand - Manage to do them properly (eventually)
    2. Hockey, Rugby - Do when back at uni
    3. At work - Learn to measure up a suit/ basic tailoring skills
    4. Sleep at better times

    I might be a little ambitious.

    — 1 month ago
    "Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise."

    Gray’s surviving letters also show his sharp observation and playful sense of humour. He is well known for his phrase, “where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.” The phrase, from Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, is possibly one of the most misconstrued phrases in English literature. Gray is not promoting ignorance, but is reflecting with nostalgia on a time when he was allowed to be ignorant, his youth.

    - Wikipedia

    — 1 month ago
    I’m having a lot of fun with climbing at the moment. I’ve now been climbing for about a year, but being at university during term time means that I’ve been unable to keep it up consistently. As a result, the first few weeks of this summer have been a little tough in that my ability had declined a little since Christmas and I felt like I was making no progress. I was worried that I’d plateaued at V1! However, over the past week I’ve gone from being limited to just easy problems to being able to do V4s and it feels amazing. The purple course in the above picture was the first V4 I ever managed to do; a few days subsequently I managed 4 more (some of those being on the V4-6 circuit and so potentially being higher still).

    I’m having a lot of fun with climbing at the moment. I’ve now been climbing for about a year, but being at university during term time means that I’ve been unable to keep it up consistently. As a result, the first few weeks of this summer have been a little tough in that my ability had declined a little since Christmas and I felt like I was making no progress. I was worried that I’d plateaued at V1! However, over the past week I’ve gone from being limited to just easy problems to being able to do V4s and it feels amazing. The purple course in the above picture was the first V4 I ever managed to do; a few days subsequently I managed 4 more (some of those being on the V4-6 circuit and so potentially being higher still).

    — 1 month ago
    I got my first legendary! Seems reasonably good. I’m really enjoying the Curse of Naxxramas expansion content. I’ve completed the first wing on normal and the druid and rogue class challenges. I completed the first enemy of the first wing in heroic mode but I think it might take a while to beat all 3. It’s crazy - 45 health and ridiculously powerful hero abilities. Not fair Blizzard (not complaining, the challenge is fun).

    I got my first legendary! Seems reasonably good. I’m really enjoying the Curse of Naxxramas expansion content. I’ve completed the first wing on normal and the druid and rogue class challenges. I completed the first enemy of the first wing in heroic mode but I think it might take a while to beat all 3. It’s crazy - 45 health and ridiculously powerful hero abilities. Not fair Blizzard (not complaining, the challenge is fun).

    — 1 month ago
    #Hearthstone  #curse of naxxramas  #legendary  #winning 
    My new favourite beer

    My new favourite beer

    — 1 month ago
    Life stuff

    It’s been quite a while since I did this. I passed year 1 of my degree course with 71% in Computer Science (ignoring my elective module mark, which would bring my grade down to 68% overall), which makes two years of firsts (I got 74% in the foundation year). I’m now back in London and working and just mentally and physically getting ready for would looks set to be a very intensive second year.

    I got a job at Reiss without applying for a single job. My old manager from AllSaints saw an instagram post I made at a beer festival and offered me a job and 3 days later I started work. Massively convenient, though it feels like I cheated in some (pointless) way.

    I am climbing a lot at the moment as I invested (yes, invested is the right word as I’m trying to physically better myself) in a monthly membership. I successfully installed rock rings in the house so I can work on pull ups and also strengthen my fingers. Gotta get those crimps in. I’m also trying to keep running up, though this unforgiving heat makes it difficult.

    Quizzing every monday goes without saying. Last week we won first place AND the name prize, which is unprecedented. Thats a box of chocolates and a bottle of prosecco. The team name was “We’ll Schürrle win first place, despite our Messi handwriting (or at least a Klose second)”. I know - bad.

    Playing DOTA 2 a lot. I held a DOTA 2 with some friends and I realised quite a how bad I am (technically not rubbish but severely lacking in the necessary knowledge and experience). I’m going to try and get better.

    I read The Wind Up Bird Chronicles, which was brilliant, and I bought some more books (Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore). I am currently reading the Plague by Camus. I’ll probably talk about these at some point.

    That’s pretty much everything…?

    I was rehearsing for a gig with my family (a proper family country band) but it fell through unfortunately. I mic’ed up my banjo. I may very well buy a mandolin (or a dulcimer; those things are beautiful, if lacking versatility). Relationships. I wanted to go to Lovebox but couldn’t get ticket. I fixed my bedroom door (this is a surprisingly significant victory, both personally and for mankind). I went to Henley, it was fun and hot. I went to Ronnie Scott’s, it was awesome. A French boy is staying with usl he is very nice.

    That is everything. Thought for the day: The news is particularly depressing at the moment.

    — 1 month ago
    I just reinstalled Two Dots and I instantly regret it. Two Dots is the Candy Crush-ified sequel to Dots, a simple, visually appealing puzzle game on iOS. By connecting two or more dots of a certain colour, those dots are destroyed, and more dots drop down replacing them. Dots was great fun but limited in longevity due to it’s simple concept, and this, combined with it’s ease, clearly resulted in poor monetisation of the franchise.
Enter Two Dots, taking the life system and level structures of Candy Crush and shoving them into what was previously a charming game. It is visually appealing if a little bland, and the connecting dots mechanic is intuitive and almost therapeutic. It’s based on a game I really liked and yet I really hate it, and I don’t know why I reinstalled it.
"When in doubt, just make squares". The main issue with the gameplay is it’s square mechanic; when a square is formed by connecting dots, all dots of that colour are instantly destroyed. This mechanic worked in the original game, essentially boiling down to "how many times can you fail to make a square". In the sequel, which is level based, the disproportionately effective power of making squares means that each level is either focused on the player constantly making squares or on them not being able to do so (by changing the shape of the board), and it is all too frequently the former once you get to about level 15. 
Generally, I would say that good game design creates a system of play where victory is definitely achievable, and the ability to win is in the hands of the player (with elements of luck thrown in to spice it up). In Two Dots, victory is in the hands of the randomised selection of dots you receive, and the player really only has the ability to fuck up by making the wrong move (which is all too easy as your finger often covers key screen real-estate). Victory could be impossible based on the first array of dots you get (any time you can’t make a square in the first 3 moves), and should this initial array be actually ok, if the subsequent dots that drop fail to provide you with a new square, you’ve failed. And you have to wait 20 minutes for a new life, or pay £0.69!
Also, the original featured power-ups that would have been perfect for this game but are for some reason absent. It seems to me like they missed a trick, because the only power up available is a bomb, which are pretty useless. You can actually form bombs by forming a 3x3 square with a dot inside, but the resulting bomb always seems to destroy dots that would have enabled me to create another square, as a result ruining my streak.
Despite all this it is very addictive and I will probably keep playing it for a few days. Perhaps this addiction lies in the fact that that success is so rooted in the selection of dots you receive, something that is totally out of your control, just like opening booster packs of playing cards (like I keep doing in Hearthstone, despite having failed to get a legendary card yet!).

    I just reinstalled Two Dots and I instantly regret it. Two Dots is the Candy Crush-ified sequel to Dots, a simple, visually appealing puzzle game on iOS. By connecting two or more dots of a certain colour, those dots are destroyed, and more dots drop down replacing them. Dots was great fun but limited in longevity due to it’s simple concept, and this, combined with it’s ease, clearly resulted in poor monetisation of the franchise.

    Enter Two Dots, taking the life system and level structures of Candy Crush and shoving them into what was previously a charming game. It is visually appealing if a little bland, and the connecting dots mechanic is intuitive and almost therapeutic. It’s based on a game I really liked and yet I really hate it, and I don’t know why I reinstalled it.

    "When in doubt, just make squares". The main issue with the gameplay is it’s square mechanic; when a square is formed by connecting dots, all dots of that colour are instantly destroyed. This mechanic worked in the original game, essentially boiling down to "how many times can you fail to make a square". In the sequel, which is level based, the disproportionately effective power of making squares means that each level is either focused on the player constantly making squares or on them not being able to do so (by changing the shape of the board), and it is all too frequently the former once you get to about level 15. 

    Generally, I would say that good game design creates a system of play where victory is definitely achievable, and the ability to win is in the hands of the player (with elements of luck thrown in to spice it up). In Two Dots, victory is in the hands of the randomised selection of dots you receive, and the player really only has the ability to fuck up by making the wrong move (which is all too easy as your finger often covers key screen real-estate). Victory could be impossible based on the first array of dots you get (any time you can’t make a square in the first 3 moves), and should this initial array be actually ok, if the subsequent dots that drop fail to provide you with a new square, you’ve failed. And you have to wait 20 minutes for a new life, or pay £0.69!

    Also, the original featured power-ups that would have been perfect for this game but are for some reason absent. It seems to me like they missed a trick, because the only power up available is a bomb, which are pretty useless. You can actually form bombs by forming a 3x3 square with a dot inside, but the resulting bomb always seems to destroy dots that would have enabled me to create another square, as a result ruining my streak.

    Despite all this it is very addictive and I will probably keep playing it for a few days. Perhaps this addiction lies in the fact that that success is so rooted in the selection of dots you receive, something that is totally out of your control, just like opening booster packs of playing cards (like I keep doing in Hearthstone, despite having failed to get a legendary card yet!).

    — 1 month ago
    #dots  #twodots  #game  #game design  #game review  #ios  #iphone  #squares  #bad