Google Website Translator Gadget

Thursday, 31 May 2012

A couple of useful translation and pronunciation websites

An unpronounceable Northumberland market town yesterday...
Ever struggle to work out how to pronounce a word? My (evil foreign) wife is always asking how to pronounce things. I'm fine with most words, but some place names can be a real horror. I live in the small town of Alnwick - can you guess how to say the name? It's ah-nick - silent L, silent W. The next town along is called Alnmouth (both towns are on the River Aln) so one might presume that it's pronounced an-mouth, but it isn't, for reasons that no one can explain to me. It's pronounced alan-mouth.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

DayZ single player / practice / training / (not really) cheating - DaiZy

DayZ single player DaiZy

Once upon a time there was a single player mod file for DayZ written by a chap named Kronzky. It was pretty good and added a whole new dimension to playing DayZ. Sadly, for various reasons Kronzky and Rocket (the DayZ developer) fell out and they both decided that the file should be discontinued.

There are videos out there on YouTube that explain how to get single player working with DayZ. Most of them are patched-up versions of the original Kronzky single player file (which only worked up to DayZ version So most of those videos are concerned with downgrading your version of DayZ and will mess up your online DayZ folder. They also lack AI units, helicopter crashes and all kinds of stuff.

DaiZy works with any version of DayZ, but you're advised to use the most recent one. We also test against future versions of DayZ before they're released to make sure this keeps working.

DaiZy (yes, it's a stupid name) has been written from scratch and is completely different from those patched-up versions. It is designed to be a simulation of online play and includes vehicle spawns, helicopter crash sites and even has AI bandit units.

This is not the only version of DaiZy. We have a forum where we have many other versions with different features (better AI handling, bandit groups, extra weapons, base-building, built-in cheats, etc) and supporting different maps (Namalsk, Lingor, Taviana, etc). The version I'm detailing here is the default Chernarus one

This article was last updated on the 26th of September 2013

September 26th Updated for DayZ 1.8
July 22nd Added launcher utility information. Change Support Call installation to use modfolders
June 12th Complete rewrite of article
February 25th Updated information on Support Call
February 7th Changed the CBA installation process due to the updated version and took account of DayZ
January 21st Added a video and rewrote guide for new install location
January 3rd Added bit about DayZ base version
December 27th Added Loki's Lost Key installation instructions and a video
December 3rd Completely rewrote page to include changes to DaiZy

October 6th Added manual installation instructions, updated article for 043
September 29th added section on Lingor Island shortcut, removed section on Depositfiles
September 28th Completely rewrote the whole article
September 16th Added Chernarus single player file with dogs
September 20th Added DaiZy 0.38b links, Desposit Files guide and mirrors

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Jpop: Heavy metal by tiny girls

One might be forgiven for thinking that all contemporary music in Japan is jpop. A lot of it is, but there's a large rock scene, punk has never quite gone away and there are a surprising amount of metal bands. What is peculiar is the recent rise of entirely female metal bands.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Comics: The Kameoka Diaries

Today, maybe I'm being a bit lazy, but there's not too much I can say about this. Lars Martinson is a cartoonist whose autobiographical strips are simply charming. I particularly like his Kameoka Diaries. Here's one. Others can be found at his website and there's even versions that can be downloaded to mobile devices if you're into that.

Friday, 25 May 2012

DayZ - how to stay alive for more than five minutes

This is the last of the DayZ articles (for now). Regular blog posts resume next week. Today we're going to look at tips and strategies for staying alive.

Once you've read this article, there's also:
How to install DayZ (with ArmA 2 Free, Operation Arrowhead or Combined Ops)
DayZ - How to get on a server
How to play
DayZ offline single player / practice / training / (not really) cheating

This is displayed on the homepage of the DayZ mod. It's not kidding either. It was running a bit higher until the recent influx of new players. And people like me who've survived for much longer periods through out that average quite a bit. You really are going to die soon. So what can you do to improve your chances? Read on after the jump...

Thursday, 24 May 2012

DayZ - How to play

Okay, so you've got the mod installed, you've managed to connect to a server. So just how do you play DayZ?

DayZ is a mod for ArmA 2 which is a complex military simulator with a horrible control system because it's trying to cater to every eventuality. There is a PDF manual in the Operation Arrowhead folder, but that'll only take you so far. Read on to find out a bit more.

Once you've read this article, there's also:
How to install DayZ (with ArmA 2 Free, Operation Arrowhead or Combined Ops)
DayZ - How to get on a server
DayZ - how to stay alive for more than five minutes
DayZ offline single player / practice / training / (not really) cheating

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

DayZ - How to get on a server

DayZ has gone from unknown to massively popular in a very short time and there aren't many servers, so it can be quite tricky to get on one and it's hard to know exactly what to do to ensure success.

Once you've read this article, there's also:
How to install DayZ (with ArmA 2 Free, Operation Arrowhead or Combined Ops)
How to play
How to stay alive for more than five minutes
DayZ offline single player / practice / training / (not really) cheating

The developers of DayZ have to approve all new servers and they've been inundated with offers recently, but have still only approved a few. The servers all communicate with a central database which means that your inventory and location remain consistent across servers - switch to another and you'll have the same kit and be in the same place. The lack of servers can mean it takes a long time to find one that you can actually join, so be patient - it is worth it.

It may seem a little odd to have all the game servers need approval but this is in order to prevent abuse. There's already been one server where the admins hacked in weapons that aren't supposed to be in DayZ and there was a case of another where players were being kicked just for killing the admin or any of his friends. So a tight rein is being kept on all servers to make sure they're fair and consistent for all. Servers are required to have SQL installed as, in the future, they will be running their own localised databases.

So how do you get on a server? More after the jump...

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

How to install DayZ (with ArmA 2 Free, Operation Arrowhead or Combined Ops)

Updated for Article last updated 30th April 2014

30th April: Changes to ArmA 2 Free information and DayZ standalone
21st February: DayZ now available on Steam
16th February: Updated everything for
27th December: General article tidy-up
30th November: Steam sale over
23rd November: Updated article for
15th September: Updated article for and added note about beta patch mirrors
7th September: Added holiday notice

If the comments go above 200, then things get a little messy, so I regularly remove older comments. I won't delete any with outstanding questions and I try to preserve any that I think are helpful to other players. I'm sorry if I remove your comment, but I only do so to make this more manageable.

Okay so you want to play DayZ. Good for you. But it's not easy to get set up.

Once you've read this article, there's also:
How to get on a server
How to play
How to stay alive for more than five minutes
DayZ offline single player / practice / training / (not really) cheating

Ronnie O'Sullivan and his wife

Ronnie O'Sullivan wife Jo Langley 1Ronnie O'Sullivan wife Jo Langley 2

I've no idea why, but quite a lot of people end up at this blog searching for pictures of snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan's wife, Jo Langley. So here you go. That's his daughter Lilly too. Not pictured is his son Ronnie Jr.

Monday, 21 May 2012

DayZ - Our story

DayZ is not an easy game. That little image below is from its homepage. Despite being a sandbox game set on a very large map, your average life expectancy is 29 minutes. Some players survive for days, so that 29 minutes is a bit on the generous side when it comes to new players.

Once you've read this article, there's also:
How to install DayZ (with ArmA 2 Free, Operation Arrowhead or Combined Ops)
DayZ - How to get on a server
How to play
How to stay alive for more than five minutes

The first thing to point out is that it's not a standalone game at all - it's a mod. You need to have ArmA 2 Operation Arrowhead and another ArmA 2 game in order to get it. This is why ArmA 2 has suddenly shot to the top of the Steam charts despite being three years old. I'll post an article on how to get it and install it tomorrow.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Free Game Friday: Project Zomboid and Zombie Typocalypse

Project Zomboid isn't entirely free, but there's a free version that lets you do pretty much everything that the full game does, or will when it's finished. I'm not explaining that terribly well. There's a basic free version of PZ but you can also pay a couple of quid for a slightly more updated version which will also get you the full version when it's done.

Okay, so it's a zombie survival game and there have been quite a lot of those recently. But Project Zomboid differs in that you're not going to win. The game starts by telling you that you've already died and now you're going to re-enact the moments leading up to your demise.

You begin in a house with a wife who's a bit hurty. You're going to have to do what you can to make her more comfortable and scavenge supplies to keep you alive. You'll have to combine items to create what you need. Get hold of a hammer and nails and you can barricade your home with wooden planks. Some bottles, rags and a lighter and you've got yourself an armful of Molotov cocktails (that are as much a danger to you as to the walking dead).

Lots of factors affect your survival and you'll need to be careful to make sure you get enough rest, keep yourself healthy and even treat yourself for depression.

Zombie Typocalypse is a stupid little browser game that I came across when looking for ways of getting Typing of the Dead (Sega's surprising House of the Dead typing tutor) to work under Windows 7. It's a very simple game where zombies shamble down a hallway towards you and you can stop them by bulleting them to death. Rather than point and click, your gun skills rely on your typing. Type the word over a zombie's head and you'll let fly with the lead. Quicker and more powerful weapons and ammunition can be bought with the money you earn for slotting zeds which does seem a little like a vicious circle, but it's a fun game for ten minutes on a Friday.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Peace though superior fire(power)

Nazi Olympic flame

In a few weeks, the Olympic flame is going to wander past my front door. My wife's already planning how to suspend water balloons over the street to put it out, but quite honestly she probably needn't bother. During the excruciating flame lighting ceremony the other day, the flame went out on its own.

One thing that surprises me is just how few people know about the torch relay's recent origins. In 1936 the Olympics went to Berlin (they were supposed to be held there in 1916, but we were all a bit busy) and Hitler and his chums were keen to make it a bit of a spectacle. One thing they dreamed up was the torch relay.

Initially Adolf wasn't actually keen on the idea of holding the Olympics at all, condemning it as "a project of Jews and Freemasons" which was the 1930s German equivalent of calling everything "gay" or "lame". But the torch relay really helped convince Hitler that the Olympics were a decent idea for showing off Aryan values of youth, fitness and athleticism.

Hitler was keen to stress the historic origins of his Aryan race and the torch relay was seen as a neat way of suggesting a shared lineage with the ancient Greeks. In the ancient games, a flame was kept burning to symbolise Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. Carl Diem came up with the idea of lighting the flame at the birthplace of the Games and running it across Europe. Interestingly, almost everything about that first relay is present in this year's version. The flame is lit with the using mirrors to concentrate the sun's ray, each runner covers about a kilometre and it is used to light a cauldron at the Olympic venue. About the only thing that does vary is the design of the torch - the German used magnesium to make sure it didn't go out, but other have used gas, petrol and even olive oil. Astonishingly many of the torch designs have suffered stupid problems like going out, being too heavy, injuring the carriers or shooting sparks at spectators.

My favourite torch moment: 1988 Seoul Olympics. Skip to the five minute mark to find out if you should release flocks of doves before or after lighting the cauldron.

I had an encounter of my own with a travelling flame a few years back. I was helping out in a Buddhist centre when the world peace flame came to visit. Seven flames were lit in various corners of the globe and then brought together to in Wales (of all places) to form a single peace flame that has since travelled all over the world, healing conflicts and ending wars (or not).

At the centre I was happy to help out my Buddhist chums, but I really disliked the annoying hippy hangers-on who often inhabited the place. With the world peace flame coming to visit, the place was full of crystal-wearing divorcees decked out in purple velvet and sandals. I always refused to join in any of their nonsense, but they never learned. I was working away in the office when some of them came in to insist that I also came out to light a candle from the peace flame. When "fuck off" didn't work, I realised it would probably be quicker just to go and light a candle than to argue with them. So I went and did that. I escaped the frigging meditation circle though.

I brought the candle through to the office and left it on the desk like in the picture above. I had a bunch of stuff to print out so I set the printer going and went to the toilet. Now you might notice a potential hazard in that photo - I didn't. Returning from the bathroom, I found flames everywhere and they were markedly behaving in a less than peaceful manner. As each sheet passed through the printer, it was projected directly over the flame of the candle, catching light on the way past and then falling to the floor.

So upon my return there were sheets of burning paper all over the place and various parts of the office were getting a little toasty. The hippy meditation circle outside was rudely interrupted by me swearing at the top of my voice as I hastily attempted to extinguish the word peace conflagration that was threatening to engulf the office. Good times.

I haven't been asked to carry the Olympic torch through Alnwick. I can't think why not.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The incredible educational world of Vi Hart

Despite my great love of knowledge, I despise pretty much anything labelled as "educational". I reserve a special hatred for everything termed "edutainment". And any time something is promoted as "making learning fun", I have an urge to punch people.

Usually when something is made to be educational and enjoyable, it fails on both fronts. Creativity and imagination are sacrificed for education and the learning is normally pitched so low and badly that you wonder at the level of mental retardation supposed of the consumer. When fun and education are combined, fun takes the back seat.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to encounter the work of Vi Hart. She actually explains mathematical concepts in a fun way. With Vi, the fun comes first, but rather cleverly the learning is intrinsic. Have a look at the following video which is a simple story for kids that deals with the concept of Möbius strips.

Wasn't that cool? I especially like the way she left the viewer to discover the end of the story for themselves and thus illustrating a further surprising quality of Möbius strips.

Now this might seem a little advanced for your moronic offspring, but what I think is surprisingly clever about Hart's videos are that they don't require children to understand the concepts at a technical level. The kids don't have to be told that a  Möbius strip is a chiral object with handedness and zero Gaussian curvature - they can gain an understanding of this stuff just by playing with it. As they grow up, when they encounter these concepts again from a mathematical standpoint, it'll be a lot easier for them as they have a practical and intrinsic knowledge of how this shit works.

You know what a Möbius strip is and you know that you can make one by sticking a half-twist in a strip of paper. But I'll bet you have no idea how to represent one mathematically like you do a triangle or a hexagon.  But then you never encountered Möbius strips until after you'd learned most of your mathematical knowledge and they were difficult to understand through the window of geometry. This kind of stuff is a lot easier to deal with if you first encounter it through the lens of play.

Well, I went a bit ranty there, didn't I? So ignore me and have a look at the video above which is all about mucking around with those snake toys that we've all used. I'm almost ashamed that I didn't figure out half the stuff that Vi manages to discover just by mucking around with them.

Do yourself a favour. Get that sprog of yours away from Peppa sodding Pig and try some of Vi's activities with them instead. You'll both get smarter and have a lot of fun in the process. Oh and Vi can explain exactly why Spongebob Squarepants is a twat... with mathematical proof.

Vi has a blog with lots of videos here:

You can find out more about Vi herself in an article in the Noo Yoik Times:

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Comics: Oglaf

I'm always interested in a good online comic strip, but there really aren't that many that really grab my attention. My chum Matt pointed me at cracker though: Oglaf. It's set in a sort of medieval fantasy universe with other bits and pieces (like that Ponce de León strip above). There isn't an over-riding story as such, more a collection of small storylines, although there are times when there is a longer story arc.

It's frequently dodgy (in a not safe for work manner) but it's damn funny. And when I say it's a bit iffy... well, you probably wouldn't want your kids to be reading it. I've avoided posting any of the more explicit ones here - you'll just have to pop over to the website to see those.

What's quite surprising is that it's drawn by an Australian. Even more surprising is that the author is female. Trudy Cooper is a cartoonist, illustrator and animator and Oglaf is just one of her strips. She also publishes Platinum Grit, which has a different art style and is nothing like Oglaf.

If you're wondering about the title... it's actually the name of one of the characters in the strip. Oglaf is a young farm boy and also happens to be The Chosen One although it's never exactly clear for what he's been chosen.

There are a whole pile of recurring characters and sometimes the strip will follow one for several weeks, but just as often it'll skip back and forward without settling on a particular one. A new strip is published every Sunday and, if you read it via the RSS feed, it'll even tell you if it's 'clean' or not.

Some stories are just one page, but most have two or three. Be sure to click "next page" until you can't any more. Then you can click "next story" to move on.

When you reach the end of a story, the bottom right hand panel corner is cut off just so you're sure you haven't missed anything.

That's got to be my favourite one. The joke is just spot on and so underplayed that I find it brilliant.

Head on over to to catch up. There's about 250 strips for you to read (at the time of writing).

You might also want to check out Cooper's other comic here:

There's an interview with Trudy Cooper about Oglaf and other stuff here:

Monday, 14 May 2012

The streets are safe in Moscow

As we've seen recently, Russia's in a bit of a mess and Putin seems set to be in charge for life. Without any apparent sense of irony, he said in a speech the other day: "I promise you that all democratic gains of our people will without any doubt be upheld and guaranteed. We shall strengthen civil society and do everything to uphold media freedom."

Mmm, what a delight. Presumably all those riot police we've seen beating protesters are doing so to safeguard democracy.

Recently, one chap decided to test out the authorities and the very notion of safety on the streets of Moscow. He did it in a very simple way: by taking his AK47 for a walk. Despite walking past police, militia and soldiers in the centre of the city, no one stopped him or took any interest in what he was doing.

Yes indeed, whilst walking the streets with a protest sign will get you a trip to a hospital and/or a police station, strolling around with an assault rifle won't even arouse a second glance.

More photos of Comrade Ballsy can be seen on the excellent English Russia site:

F1: Williams garage catches fire at Spanish Grand Prix

Williams F1 garage fire Bruno Senna car Spanish Grand Prix

Just after the end of the Spanish Grand Prix, a fire broke out in the Williams garage. Many are reporting that a KERS units ignited a fire in a fuel rig at the back of the garage. Pastro Maldonado's car was in Parc Fermé at the time, so only Bruno Senna's car was present.

F1 Spanish Grand Prix Williams smoke blaze

Smoke poured out of the garage as pit crew rushed to contain the blaze. Although wheelchair-bound Sir Frank Williams was in the garage at the time, he was quickly rushed out the door without injury.

Sky Sports F1 Williams fire

Several people required medical treatment after the fire was put out. Four members of the Williams team were injured at treated at the track's medical centre. One was released at that point, but the other three were sent on to the local hospital. The Caterham team in the next door garage also had casualties, with three of their crew treated for smoke inhalation and a fourth reported as having a hand injury. A Force India team member was also treated for smoke inhalation.

Williams F1 garage Senna car fire aftermath

Bruno Senna's care was damaged in the blaze, but not as badly as initially feared.

Police and firefighters are investigating to find the cause of the fire. The next F1 race is at Monaco in two week's time.

Williams F1 explosion fire

The FIA have released a statement

Montmelo, May 13th - The FIA can confirm that a fire broke out in the Williams garage after the conclusion of the Spanish Grand Prix. The flames were quickly brought under control through the combined intervention of staff from Williams, Caterham and Force India, supported by the circuit fire services.
Thirty-one team members were seen by Circuit Medical Centre staff and all have been released, with the exception of seven who were transferred to a variety of local hospitals where they are receiving treatment.
The FIA is collaborating closely with the Spanish authorities investigating this incident and will be providing a further update as soon as more information becomes available.

Big fire in Williams' garage

Catalonia's regional government also issued a statement say that one person was airlifted to hospital in Barcelona with serious burn injuries. Williams have confirmed that this person is one of their staff.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Free Game Friday: Stunt Rally and Tricky Truck

I don't deliberately theme these game articles, but it seems to happen anyway.

Stunt Rally might not have the most original name, concept, execution or gameplay, but that isn't a bad thing. You drive a car jolly fast through a landscape and try not to screw up too much. It comes with an impressive 79 tracks spread over 11 different regions and it's even possible to play multiplayer.

Although the tracks are very much made for rallying, there's quite a variety and some of the loops and bridges and things are simply excellent fun. There's even a track editor if you feel a bit creative and the game is updated quite often.

Go here to get it (it's about 200MB):

Our other game today isn't quite as free. Tricky Truck does have a free version, but you need to cough up approximately eight quid for the full thing. You're actually best off playing the free version initially to see if it's your kind of thing. It's a challenging physics-based truck driving simulation.

The game is satisfyingly hard. The first couple of levels will seem a bit finicky and unnecessary, but you'll soon be trying some very challenging mountain tracks. Completing a level is... well, tricky and you'll feel a real sense of accomplishment in doing so. Failing may be frustrating, but it's one of those games where messing up is definitely your fault; you haven't been cheated, the game has not tricked you, you just turned that corner way too fast.

There's also a lot of enjoyment in taking a stupid risk and pulling it off or smashing and caroming your way around a track in a manner that you know you're not supposed to be able to. The first time I managed a track in a top fifty time, I was ridiculously pleased with myself. Playing on hard mode restricts you to views from within the cab which just adds to the fun sometimes. The best time I've scored on the first shorcuts track (24th place) was on hard. Hah!

Hang on a minute, lads. I've got a great idea
The free version limits you to one truck and only about ten tracks, but surprisingly does include features like the level editor. The full version gives you a lot more vehicle choice, many new tracks and a heck of a lot of other little fun bits and pieces that you can see some of in the video.

Grab it here (about 20MB):

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Border security

There are few TV programmes that my wife enjoys more than all those customs and immigration shows. Her favourite has to be the Australian one Border Security. I quite like it for its ridiculously overblown attitude and stupid sense of self-importance. Just look at that subtitle: "Australia's Front Line" - it might just about be literally true, but taking plant cuttings out of the bags of tourists isn't quite the same as say, serving in the military in an actual conflict.

The introduction to the show bangs on about how this elite group of men and women have "dedicated their lives to protecting Australia's borders" whereas it might more accurately be termed "couldn't get a job anywhere else". But still, it is a bit of a laugh. My wife likes this Australian show the best because it has the highest proportion of Chinese people on it. And they're all guilty. Every single one of them has illicit food in their bags.

Every conversation between the customs agents and the Chinese travellers goes exactly the same way:
Customs Guy: Do you have anything in your bag that you ought not to have?
Chinese Traveller: No.
Let's have a look. Hey, there's lots of food in here.
I don't know anything about that.
You frigging do. It's your bag.
That food is all fine.
No it isn't. It's very much against our rules.
I don't know anything about that.
You frigging well do. You were given a card, in Chinese, that explained all the rules and you signed it to say that you'd read them and had nothing in breach of them.
I not understand card.
You bloody well did. And hey, this bag of sweets is made of Triffids! Do you realise that these could harm the delicate Australian ecosystem?
I not know about that.
What's happened to your English? You were fluent a minute ago...
Me know nothing.
Right, well, I'm going to let you off with a warning this time. But if you do this again, you might have to pay a small fine.
Loads of fun. I don't know why they don't just grab every single yellow person that goes through Australian airports as they all have food in their bags. It's like on those American highway patrol shows where every person they pull over for a routine traffic stop has dope in their car.

However, there is one border show that doesn't appear to have been made yet that really ought to be.

There you go TV bosses, that one's on me
Just imagine what that show would be like, eh? When Chinese customs agents find something dodgy in a bag, it's not going to be anything as pedestrian as a bag of noodles. And for a country that's not particularly interested in human rights, they'll probably do more than hand out fines and stern looks. Remember when that British guy got caught smuggling drugs, but he had learning difficulties or something and Gordon Brown ended up having to beg the Chinese (unsuccessfully) not to execute him? Wouldn't this be a great show? I'd watch it and I know the wife would. Wouldn't you like to see Chinese border guards kicking the shit out of student backpackers?

Let's have a look at some of the stuff Chinese border police have been up to recently:

Chinese border police seize ten severed bear limbs at Chongqing Airport
Chinese border police patrol Gobi desert on camels looking for Mongolian smugglers
Chinese border police capture fibreglass submarine full of cocaine. No, really
Are you sure you wouldn't like to watch that show? Heck, I couldn't find a picture of this one, but in 2007 the Chinese border police seized a shipment of 270 smuggled crocodiles. I particularly like that the article says "the seizure was the largest this year in Guangxi" - rather implying that it wasn't even the largest seizure of crocodiles in China that year and that the Guangxi region has seen larger hauls in other years.

Come on TV bosses, make it happen!

PS. According to my wife, the bear paws aren't used in medicine. They're just really tasty. There's a Chinese saying about bear paws that pretty much paraphrases the Furry Freak Brothers one about pot "Fish and bear paws are both great, but bear paws will get you through times of no fish better than fish will get you through times of no bear paws." Well, something like that. It's hard to translate. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Unknown Chinese: Keye Luke

Although we're only tending to notice Chinese people showing up in our media now, there have been some that blazed the trail a long time ago. Keye Luke was one of those people and you've seen him in dozens of things and never noticed that it was the same chap. And he's an interesting fellow indeed.

Keye Luke (陸錫麟) was born in Guangzhou in the Cantonese-speaking part of China and thus has his name pronounced Luk Sek Lam. When he was still quite young, his family moved to Seattle. His father ran an art shop and Luke started off by working as an artist himself.

Grauman's Chinese Theater as designed by Keye Luke

You'll have seen Grauman's Chinese Theater used as the venue of choice for many film premières (all the Star Wars films for a start) and it's the place with all the hand prints in the cement. It might seem these days that Grauman's is a horrendous mish-mash of Chinese styles, but actually many of the murals and decorations were created by Keye Luke.

King Kong press pack as designed and illustrated by Keye Luke

Luke also designed many of the press packs for films (including the original King Kong here) and it was this work that got him into acting. RKO signed him as a contract actor.

Keye Luke as Number One Son Lee Chan in the Charlie Chan films with Warner Oland

One of Luke's first roles was as "Number One Son" in the Charlie Chan films. Although the lead was taken by white actor Warner Oland in 'yellowface' makeup, Keye Luke became famous as Lee Chan. Many actors at the time struggled to establish themselves outside of such a role, but Luke appeared in a series of films for RKO, usually in action roles.

Keye Luke as Kato in the Green Hornet

Although many people associate the role of Kato in the Green Hornet with Bruce Lee and think that he pioneered the part as a Chinese man, Keye Luke came before him and established Kato as an action character.

Keye Luke appeared in dozens of films and helped lend credibility to many Hollywood films that were ostensibly set in China. He continued to play Number One Son in the Charlie Chan films, even when the lead was changed to Roland Winters. Hilariously, thanks to his youthful oriental looks, Luke was actually several years older than Winters, who was playing his screen father.

Luke became a veteran Hollywood actor, regarded as a "safe pair of hands" often used to support upcoming actors in a variety of films. Here he is with Peter Lorre in Mad Love, Lorre's first film.

Yeah, that's Keye Luke in the original Star Trek series. In later years he was due to play the part of Noonien Soong in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but illness sadly prevented him from doing so and the part ended up being performed by Brent Spiner (Data).

Hanna Barbera made a cartoon version of the Charlie Chan stories and Keye Luke went full circle and provided the voice for Charlie Chan.

Keye Luke as Master Po in Kung Fu

In the TV series Kung Fu, although the lead was taken by David Carradine, the part of the enigmatic Master Po was taken by Luke.

In another interesting part, Luke played Lord Sun Ming in the TV version of Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders. Detective/Judge Dee (aka Di Renjie) was an all-too-real official of the Tang dynasty who became known to the Western world through a series of novels written by Robert van Gulik.

One of my favourite parts that Luke played was that of Mister Wing in the Gremlins films. Despite being 80 years old at the time, Luke didn't look old enough and had to wear heavy make-up to make him resemble his true age. I've never had this confirmed, but I always presumed that the character was named after Luke's relative Wing Luke who was one of the very first Asians to hold public office in America, becoming Assistant Attorney General in Washington.

In one Scooby Doo episode, Keye Luke memorably played every part other than the gang in an admittedly Chinese- themed episode. And yeah, he would have gotten away with it too...

One of Luke's final roles was playing Zoltar the trans-gender/hermaphrodite alien bad guy in Battle of the Planets. Dubbed and edited from the extremely violent and profanity-laden Japanese original (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman), Battle of the Planets was a surprise success in the West and Zoltar a favourite character.

Keye Luke died in 1991. His body of work was incredibly varied and included many iconic characters, but he is virtually unknown to Chinese audiences, which is a bit of a shame. Hopefully in years to come, he'll be recognised in the East as the pioneer that he was.