Monthly Archives: August 2013

Humpday Playlist 28/08/2013

Ok, it’s that time again to flip off your boss, down that cup of coffee and strap yourself in for the freshest, tastiest links you’ll find on the web this week.

Words. That you read.

From The Atlantic we have Bruce Scheier’s “The Real , Terrifying Reason Why British Authorities Detailed David Miranda”.

On a far sillier note, apparently a Canadian dentist is trying to clone John Lennon using his old teeth. For reals. Personally I think it would be better if we just cloned three more RIngo Starrs and we could finally have the ultimate rock supergroup (sorry Travelling Wilburys).

Like this, but three more of him. Photo: Schröder+Schömbs PR _ Brands | Media | Lifestyle / flickr

So Fukushima is in a bad way. In August this year, regulators announced that 300 tons of radioactive water had leaked from storage tanks into the Pacific. Benjamin Sovacool, over on The Conversation, suggests that it’s only a matter of time before we see similar disasters spring up around nuclear power plants. Oh and what’s Japan doing to stop any more contaminated water from entering the Pacific? Apparently they’re planning on building an underground, Game of Thronesian, ice wall to stop any more leaks.

Some more stuff from my buds over at The Conversation: are you a fan of Breaking Bad? Ever wondered exactly what Heisenberg’s blue rocks does to you chemically? Well wonder no more. Warning: there’s a pretty gross picture of meth-mouth in the article. They also have a great piece on the way politicians, and other men in the public eye, wield their wives and daughters like a deadly PR weapon in an attempt to make themselves look better.

If you haven’t seen the fantastic The World’s End yet then you’re a madman. The movie is fantastic and if you plan on seeing it then don’t click on these next few links. The first is from Badass Digest and looks at Simon Pegg’s Captain Kirk moment at the end of the movie. The second is from The Dissolve and is another entry in their The Conversation series where they discuss The World’s End and how it fits into the Cornetto Trilogy as a whole.

  • New Republic‘s Isaac Chotiner wrote about how Hollywood is in pretty bad shape with its focus on sequels, reboots and giant budgets.
  • People lost their mind about Ben Affleck taking on the role of Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. I wasn’t super sold on it but the A.V. Club rightfully points out that we should all just chill the eff out.
  • Swing back over to Badass Digest for a list of cinema’s worst bartenders. Because why not.

If video games are your thing Polygon have a look at what the next 30 years will look like for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii owners. They also have a feature on the first Native American games company and how they want to change the way indigenous people are portrayed in games.

Once again a mainstream news organisation has run a story about a video games and violence after an 8-year-old shot and killed his elderly caregiver after playing a video game. And once again it takes a video game publication (this time the Penny Arcade Report) to actually discuss how and why an 8-year-old came to be in possession of a loaded handgun in the first place and why he was even playing such a violent, mature game. Unfortunately, once again, they are preaching to the choir. It would be nice of places like CNN, Fox News and other mainstream outlets would actually take the time to look at the real issues instead of finding easy scapegoats that make for snappy headlines.

All right, that’s it for today, there’s probably enough in here to last you a while. Enjoy the rest of your day and I leave you with this video of Chris Hadfield explaining how exactly you poop in space!

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Humpday Playlist 21/08/2013

“I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be” / Photo: Legozilla, flickr

Another day, another opportunity to coast through life by reading all this cool stuff instead of doing your job.

Read this

Turkish archaeologists have uncovered small carved stones in a nearly 5,000 year-old burial. They believe them to be the earliest gaming tokens ever found.

Leigh Alexander continues to prove she’s the best ever in this piece about why gaming culture “sucks”.

The Dissolve‘s Nathan Rabin wrote an excellent compare/contrast on Sucker Punch and Spring Breakers, two movies I never really expect to be brought up in the same sentence, let alone have an entire feature dedicated to them.

Why y’all acting ‘spicious?

Also on The Dissolve is the latest in their “The Conversation” series. This week their looking at the pros and cons of director/actor team-ups.

Finally, Polygon has a feature on The Fullbright Company, the indie games studio responsible for Gone Home, one of the most critically well received games of the year.

Watch this

Check out this awesome time-lapse video of the Perseids meteor shower.

Aaron Paul’s The Bitchies are a thing now.

AND CHECK OUT THIS COOL PAINTING ROBOT!

 

Ok that’s it for today, folks. Enjoy the rest of your day and remember: don’t do what your boss says, they’re only trying to hold you back!

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Humpday Playlist – 14/08/2013

Lego Cthulhu is now one of my favourite Cthulhus / Photo: Norman Chan, http://www.tested.com/art/lego/457092-bricks-bay-carl-merriams-cthulhu-lego-moc/

Lego Cthulhu is now one of my favourite Cthulhus / Photo: Norman Chan, http://www.tested.com

Loosen up your ear-holes and moisten your peepers because I have a big ol’ list of links and vids to get you through the last few hours of another crappy Wednesday at your Soul Sucking Day Job™. I have literally spent every waking hour trawling the darkest, most horrible corners of the internet to bring you this list* so enjoy!

Linked In

  • Bricks by the Bay, a Lego convention held in Santa Clara, California, is the place to be if you love plastic dioramas of the Battle of Hoth or the Tower of Orthanc. Norman Chan from Tested covered the event and took a bunch of photos but one of my favourites was this custom made Lego Cthulhu. Read the story here.
  • Patrick Klepek has written a feature on collusion in competitive fighting game tournaments.
  • Researchers from John Hopkins and Princeton Universities have managed to 3D print a bionic ear. The researchers wrote:

As a proof of concept, we generated a bionic ear via 3D printing of a cell-seeded hydrogel matrix in the anatomic geometry of a human ear, along with an intertwined conducting polymer consisting of infused silver nanoparticles. This allowed for in vitro culturing of cartilage tissue around an inductive coil antenna in the ear, which subsequently enables readout of inductively-coupled signals from cochlea-shaped electrodes.

Indeed!

  • Polygon has a fantastic feature on the Adults Only rating for video games. This sort of stuff is fascinated, especially considering the number of games that have been flat-out banned in Australia while only receiving M ratings in the US. Also Polygon really knows what they’re doing when it comes to layout and design for their features. THIS IS HOW YOU DO ONLINE PUBLISHING, REST OF THE WORLD.

Tinnitus is a badge of honour

  • On the podcast front you should really be listening to The Thrilling Adventure Hour. It’s a comedy stage show in the style of old-timey radio. It’s funny and incredibly well written so click here, you know you want to.

The Talkies

Watch these things!

This next video has been out for a while, it’s the third in a three-part series on the “damsel in distress” trope found in video games. It’s definitely the best entry in the Tropes vs Women in Video Games series so far and well worth a look.

OK that’s it for now, I’m going to go back to watching episodes of Bunk and eating cereal in bed because I lost my self respect years ago.

*none of this is true.

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Humpday Playlist

Ok, I know, I’m the worst. It’s been forever since I’ve posted, there hasn’t been a podcast in months. I’m sorry I gave up so easily, I guess my ex-girlfriends were right when they said I have no stamina.

But whatever, I’m here now and I’m going to force the things I like onto you because that’s the kind of person I am. Also I get excited about the things I like and I want to share them with people. So, with that in mind I’d like to welcome you to what I hope will become a regular weekly thing that I do called the “Humpday Playlist”. Every Wednesday I’ll look over everything I’ve been listening to, reading, watching and playing and provide a list of stuff that I think is Super Cool©.

This is hardly a new idea, tonnes of places do exactly this sort of thing but I’ve been off the wagon for a while so I thought I’d ease myself into it. Be gentle.

Stuff these in your ear-holes

I don’t get a lot of time to listen to music these days. That’s not because I’m super busy with work or have a lot of social gatherings taking up my time, quite the opposite really. I probably have the most free time of anybody you know, unless you happen to know someone who’s three. The big “problem” – and it’s not a problem at all, this is a really dumb thing to complain about – is that I listen to too many podcast. I listen to them when I have breakfast, when I shower, when I’m at the gym, pretty much at any time that doesn’t require me to directly interact with other people and I still can’t keep on top of them. I finally cleared my unplayed podcast list yesterday morning only to look at my phone in the afternoon and find roughly 7 hours of new podcasts had downloaded while I was napping. But, in the brief time between these events I did manage to listen to some Fresh Beats.

K.Flay, one of my favourite rap-persons, released a new EP yesterday called What If It Is. I’m no music critic and I barely know my breakbeats from my…microphone controllers(?) but whatever, What If It Is is awesome and you should pay some money for it instead of pirating everything like some filthy criminal.

Actually that’s it, that’s all the music I’ve managed to listen to in the last week. Well I guess I should point you in the direction of all these damn podcasts that are eating my life. 

First up My Brother, My Brother and Me is an advice show for the modern era hosted by the three McElroy brothers: Travis, Justin and Griffin. They answer questions submitted by listeners as well as from Yahoo! Answers. They’re hilarious and most of the questions lead into deep riffs about anything ranging from proper dating etiquette to horse emotions. Check out their sampler, it’s good stuff.

I also listen to Sawbones: a Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine which is exactly what it sounds like. Dr Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin (again! What can I say, I like the McElroys. They do good work) explore just the weirdest, worst, grossest ways we’ve tried to fix people throughout history.

Finally, check out Comic Dorksit a show where a bunch of dudes talk about comics.

I have about 15 more podcasts I listen to on a regular basis but this should keep you busy for now.

A feast for your peepers

Comedian Chris Hardwick played the original Stacee Jaxx in the Rock of Ages stage show. While he was hosting a Comic-Con panel for Tom Cruise’s new movie, magic happened.

Rev3Games has a new video series hosted by Max Scoville called Max Scoville’s Study Hall. Each week they take a topic that relates to video games and make recommendations for other media that’s related to the topic for you to check out. I’ve got a tonne of music, movie and book recommendations from the show. You should check it out.

There’s a fantastic feature over on Polygon about blind games and accessibility and over at The Dissolve there’s a discussion about moviegoing in the digital age that’s well worth a look.

What now?

I think that’s about it for today. I decided to fire this blog back up a few days ago and this really just came together because I found myself with nothing else to do. Hopefully in the next week I’ll have a codified format for this sort of thing. Also expect a giant feature on digital board games in the next few days, maybe Friday.

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