Over the past few months I’ve been working on a game called Merdor. It’s a project I started five years ago, back in 2009 when I first started programming. Things have been pretty hectic with Architecture over the last 6 months, and I haven’t had much time to work on side projects. So I made time. I have a number of things I’m working on; which I’ll reveal later.

Merdor is built in a game engine called Game Maker.

Over the past few months I’ve rebuilt the game [the previous mechanics were horrible due to a lack of programming knowledge].

Personally of the various game projects I’ve been working on this has the greatest appeal to me.

As it is currently a playable build, I’ve decided to release it as an Alpha to see what everyone thinks, and gain some feedback as to what I can prove/what works well. I’ll release updates to build on the existing game and add more features/levels.

Check it out here:


Learn Anything in 20 Hours

There was a TED talk, by Josh Kaufman “Learn anything in 20 hours”. He explains, step by step how it can be achieved.

Essentially, it’s the emotional barriers that get us, that stop us from reaching our potential. I find the best method is to try to do something smaller and build on it. Focus on something basic but useful, and go from there. Maybe try an hour or two and see how that goes.

Also, this is related

After Josh learned the ukelele, I decided to learn guitar, properly. I had been playing for a while, but never really got into it, played chords or anything. So I started with the Axis of Awesome, and learned the four chords: G, D, Em, C. Then Am, E, Fmaj and so on. I managed to improve quite a bit from before. That’s the thing though, once you give it a bit of effort you get quite a bit better, then it’s just refining and improving your skill.

Start out small, and build on it. Sometimes our ability is often not fully realized; once you realize that you can learn nearly anything. It really does begin with a single step.



I saw this the other day in town, a little surprised memes actually exist outside the internet.

I’ve set up a board at uni with memes in my work room. So it turns out, searching Architecture memes only ends in despair, sadness and tears. They’re not jokes; they’re warnings.

I did manage to find a few though. Obscure architecture memes that only a few arch students would actually get. And those that did would only find them slightly amusing.

They were inoffensive so they wouldn’t be taken down. After a month or so, someone decided to steal ALL the memes. My response was this.

Seems to have worked.


A rather useful tool I discovered today.

Spreeder allows you to speed read text one word at a time, for faster reading and better understanding of the text.

Enter the text to read and set the speed depending on your level of comprehension.


Why is this a better method?

Firstly, when reading words in a paragraph, it is harder to understand and digest the sentences.

Secondly, the speed is fast; meaning you have to read each word in order for it to make sense.  and you therefore learn more from reading this way.You are made to read more closely,

Thirdly, the more you use Spreeder the faster you will and better you will be at reading.

You can find Spreeder here.

The Secret Door

Imagine being able to travel almost anywhere. That’s teleportation: we’ll still have to wait a few years for that (anyone who has a teleportation device can continue to laugh at this article then). In the meantime there’s The Secret Door.


Google maps is already incredible; you can find where you’re going in a super convenient map that has satellite directions which can calculate the time to travel somewhere based upon the distance and current traffic. It can measure traffic, or how long it will take by bus, which one to catch, when each bus will arrive. If you zoom in really close it takes you into street view, where you look around at all the buildings as if you were there.

The Secret Door takes this idea a step further. While it’s fun looking around your neighborhood, or traveling down your local roads, The Secret Door takes you away to distant locations around the globe. When you click on the door, it takes you to a random place. My first place was an tunnel aquarium under the water. The next, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, then a restaurant in Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, which decorated with cats. Tons of cats. Like seriously, a lot of cat decorations.

CaptureThere’s at least three times this amount around the room

So I’m hoping the last one wasn’t too much of a buzz-kill for some of you. There are stacks of great things to see, from the great pyramid of Giza, to the Eiffel tower to the great barrier reef. The amazing thing is that it is so random, you have no idea where it will take you next. And then, you get a feel for why this world is so wonderful.

Business In Lyon

“Cash or Check, monsieur?”
“Cash, thanks.” He handed him a note, the man accepted with a nod.
“Merci. Have a good day,”
He left the hotel without a word; on a usual day he would have returned the greeting, but today was far from usual. He stopped for the moment at the curb and counted how many notes he had left. A five, a twenty and a fifty as well as an assortment of change, all in Euro. He looked down the busy street of Lyon, cars continually rushing down the narrow way.
He had come here for a few reasons; he had business here in Lyon, the company had sent him for certain ‘negotiations’, and he was a very good negotiator.
He walked ahead, having to dodge a few people as they rushed along the footpath. He reached a small café and entered; the smell of coffee in the air. A man walked in from the storage room and moved to the counter; he didn’t see his face as he was sorting out his money.
“Coffee monsieur?”
“Ah, no thanks, I’ll have…” at this point he glanced up at the fridge, then resumed rummaging through his wallet, “A Coke will do, thanks”
“Ah, I see,” It was clear the café owner was not impressed by his choice, but in all honesty, he didn’t even care. “3 Euro, monsieur,” he looked up at him. He looked down, counting his money, realizing the exchange rate meant a Euro was nearly double a dollar. He also knew it would be rude of him to refuse it now.
“Fine, here you go,” he pulled some coins out and handed them to him, “Merci, monsieur, a pleasure doing business with you,” were his final words, and he handed him the Coke. He took the pro-offered drink; with that he turned and left. Still something seemed a bit strange; he hardly thought of buying a Coke as doing business. He walked outside, since he had been in the café the sky had turned grim as it began to rain.
He headed for the nearest alley way and walked down it, the rooftops above a welcome shield from the pouring torment that had arrived. He looked back for a moment at the street, still walking, then turned to face the alleyway ahead. He could see shapes ahead, partially obscured by fog, the forms of two men. He turned to go back but the way was blocked by a third man wielding a spanner. All three closed in, and he saw no exit. The first swung his arm at him. He ducked at the right moment, then rose up beneath him and used the man’s unbalanced action to pull him to the ground, rendering him unconscious. He rose just as the second man’s fist came for him, hitting him squarely in the jaw. The guy behind hit the backs of his legs with the spanner, and he staggered, just as the second man him again, this time in the stomach. The ground embraced him, gasping for breath the last thing he saw was the two men running back out onto the street, his wallet in hand.
He awoke to the sound of groaning somewhere behind him. He got up steadily, looking around. He registered the source of the groan; the man he had rendered unconscious earlier. He got up, rubbed his head, wondered how long it had been that he had been out for. Recalling the events that had transpired earlier he remembered his wallet, the men had taken it. The huddled figure on the ground moaned louder this time and made to get up, but he struck him on the head, grabbed him by the hair and pulled him close.
“Your friends seem to have liberated me of my wallet. Maybe you might know where they were headed?”
“Je ne comprendz pas. Je ne parle pas anglais!” he explained, a sense of urgency in his voice.
“You don’t speak English? That’s too bad; I really didn’t want to kill you.”
“Non, non, attendez, le café, le café!” he was scared now.
“Merci, monsieur, have a good day,” and with that he released his grip and left, walking back to the street he had come from. He walked along the street for a bit, the rain had cleared up, the streets damp and the sky was ashen.
He reached the Café then strode inside. The smile that previously on the café owner face disappeared, recognition dawned, dropping the money extracted from the wallet.
“Je suis desolé, monsieur,” he pleaded, money in hand, spanner abandoned on the front counter. “A misunderstanding, I’m sure,”
“Yeah, I’m sure too,” he said, and with that he drew his pistol, aiming it at his forehead. He smiled, somehow today did feel normal now, “My wallet, thank-you, now.”

By Nathaniel Harrison

© 2013 Nathaniel Harrison – All rights reserved