It's one of my passions although I'm the "american blockbuster" kind of movie watcher, I'm not a fan of the european art movie really. To me, movies should be engaging you in stories that are otherworldly, maybe a bit overdone, surrealistic, enhancing the truths of our live. Anyway if you want to have an idea about the movies I really care about, look at my letterboxd account.
Probably the neatest thing next to sky diving must be Rollercoasters. I never skydove but well I could guess it's a version on rails sometimes. The track designs they come up with nowadays are more and more spectacular. And what few people (only fanatics and engineers) know is that the rollercoaster is a work of physics modeling in it's purest. What i mean with that is that the ONLY time that a rollercoaster train is unpowered. The only time it's getting boost power to advanced on the track is from an external mechanical force called "the elevator". On top of the function of bringing the train on the top of a track it is also a nice "suspense builder" for the user.
From that point on (when on top) the rollercoaster train is totally at the mercy of gravity. As it drops into the first loop, cobra head, zero G roll or whatever "spin" the designers come up with, it's ofcourse gaining speed. The whole further "route" is constructed in such a way that it is a careful game with gravity to ensure the train is always in motion and to provide the coolest thrill for the audience. You've got some rollercoaster designs that have 2 elevators. Typically those are the ones called boomerangs where the train is making a cobra roll 2 loops and then end up on another lift road. That lift road will pull the train up and let go of it so it can fall backwards and do the same route backwards until it reaches the station again. Aything inbetween is possible. Ofcourse at the end of the track (near stations and to correct speed) there could be breaks that control the train as well.
There is this cool software called No Limits Coaster simulator and It's just amazing to try to build my own rollercoaster designs there. There's a hardcore community out there who try to create some seriously wicked designs. Even the industry is using this software to prototype and showcase their newest creations.
I like to explore the deepest recesses of our mind. Ok that sounds so cliché that you probably wouldn't even take me seriously. But I had experiences in my life that actually forced me a bit to try to understand some aspects of a troubled mind of a third person. Thus I needed to be able to tackle some problems and try to see them from an analytical perspective rather than succumb to it and not being able to properly deal with it. I might elaborate about this in a future blog post if the situation and time suits the need. Although I'm a bit overwhelmed by clinical psychology and "hardcore philosophical books": I'd like to think that I am somtimes inclined to "over analyze" the how and why some people do the stuff they do, while sometimes saying stuff but doing something else which in the process really can damage others. How cognitive awareness comes into play when children get older and how it's possible for the brain to give rise to multiple personalities. How our moral grows and how parents can really teach that. There's this doctor here in Belgium who says he could -if he has the right tools - influence if someone would be religious or not. If all of that resides in the brain, then it's both unsettling and reassuring in the same time. Unsettling for some people that think our minds are immortal, and reassuring in ways that our intellect and our intellect allone (not puppeteered by some external force) gives us the possibility to be philosophical and think things trough.
It's only later in my life that I also discovered that gaming is a way of life and that it's not only about playing but also about letting a game absorb you in it's story, or even try to be part of game development. I went as far as co developing a few expansion for the game left 4 dead. Primarily as a musician: but also - because I am versed in how that game's metagame plays out - I developed gameplay content for one of these expansions. My latest endeavor in gaming development is my own portal 2 campaign called THE CORE. I'm not at all a level designer though and I'm not aspiring to become really good. I just felt that portal was one of these games I could build my vision around. I have absolutely no visual memory so building a few rooms with some puzzle design isn't incredibly challenging as I don't need to build detailed landscapes etc.
As said before I want to touch many things slightly rather than focusing to become very pro at one thing only. Except for music ofcourse where I put lots of time and energy into.
I'm a consumer of good and bad sci fi because I can get facinated by thrilling visions of the future that attempt to be "scientificly correct" but also totally over the top stuff like The outer limits, Amazing stories, X-files, Fringe, Heroes etc, you know things that can only emanate from: The Twilight Zone! As out of the box as these things are they have sometimes a very emotional impact on me. The "what if"'s presented in there sometimes make me ponder for hours and there might be inspiration coming from that for a new musical piece. But ironicly they can also contribute to getting some order in my head as well.
I can't tell how many hours i've spent testing software for others while not making music. The biggest project i've done so far has actually been leading the beta tests for a game called "track mania forever". Well that basicly just meant organizing the forums into categories, being en intermediate for the software company, documenting stuff for others and being a beta tester myself, illustrating some problems regarding the dedicated server, graphics or menu systems. But i've also just poke around towards other companies if I find a problem, I just report it but you can hardly call that "being a dedicated beta tester" for these guys. It's just some intrepid work.
What I hate:Reading, hypocricy, the beauty industry and sprouts
I'm gonna be candid in a short rant to illustrate this, lots of "book fans" say the real great stuff come from books. I hate reading books in any fiction whether it's romance or science or whatever. If it's not psychology, world facts or history i'm totally not interested in reading books. So I'm not a walking museum of consumed sci fi books. I find reading those generally dull because I have to do so much trouble for it as a visually impaired person. Then you'd think "why don't you read audiobooks?". Still: dull. you know why ? Because for every scene an author has to explain, he takes 3 pages to do it and then i'd say show the damn thing on a movie already because then I can see what it looks like in 5 seconds. I just get allergic with how these books are generally constructed. Paraphrasing the hell out of the story by always needing to document every centimeter or thought process. It's so much more "efficient" in movies. You still can derrive your own story from it. To me a written story that needs to be complete because of all the visual background lore feels like it's constantly side stepping around the core and I get restless from that.