Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Moved house. Van went boom. Rear window of emergency replacement went boom. Did heavy lifting for seventeen straight hours. Pissed off agency. Fell over. Drank beer. Getting food. Need shower.

Monday, July 30, 2007

This week we have a special on Methuselah.

"Mom, can I get the Job action figure with the realistic weeping sores, or the Abraham with child-killing action?"

"No Bobby-Joe. You'll only start asking for the God figure with the believer-restraining grip to go with it."

The really worrying thing is that American teenagers will be able to recreate the fundamentals of my psyche with their toybox. Every time I lay down to sleep it's just 8 hours of Spider-Man kicking God's arse.

An epiphany.

After a few days of quiet reflection I have decided that Transformers is not, as I had previously claimed, the worst film I've seen in three years.

It is the second worst. My repressed memories of X-Men 3 have returned.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Press 'A' for Roundhouse Kick

Last night, a Welshmen chewed the top of my skull. Whilst a novel experience, it was still deeply unpleasant. It did, however, confirm a few things for me.
  • Everything I thought about the Welsh was 100% correct.

  • The many hours I've spent preparing for zombie attack have given me useful skills to apply in other areas of my life.

Valuable stuff.

Friday, July 27, 2007

They're in disguise. As pure shit.

I have just seen Transformers. A lot of people told me that it was a pretty good movie. Various magazines that I will usually give the time of day to gave it strong, if not raving reviews.

They were all wrong. It was an absolutely grotesque shambling abortion of a movie. And I use the term 'movie', not 'film'. I don't think I went into this with unreasonable expectations. I wanted big robots, knocking the crap out of each other, and/or shooting each other. I got that, for all of seven minutes.

The rest of the time I got the single worst-written movie I've ever some across. I can't honestly cope with how bad it was. The techno-babble was the standout piece-of-shit, lack of research bad writing cliche that you expect from this sort of thing. I thought we'd left "They're giving our system a virus!" behind with Independance Day. We have not. What's worse, is we've gained "They have taken all our internets! They've literally taken them, and stuffed them under a hat somewhere!" And: "It's full of gigabytes! We need fewer! Or maybe more! With quantums!"

Without wanting to spoil it for anyone, the film ends with the main human characters getting nasty on Bumblebee's hood while Optimus Prime watches. If that's not enough...

Thursday, July 26, 2007


My current feelings on religion, casually summed up by a random act of the uncaring universe, in this case book placement at work.

I just want to make it perfectly clear that this was not posed, that these were, and belong, right next to one another.

The Future Baffles Me

A few weeks ago I got my first experience of finding out major news about one of my friends via facebook - namely that she was now in a relationship. I realise that I'm pretty far behind virtually everyone else on the planet in terms of pop culture (saw Heroes last night, I liked it) and technology uptake, but I did and still do find it peculiar that people below a certain age will now find out major events in the lives of those they're close to via a status change on Facebook.

On booting my laptop this morning, I found that someone I know is getting married. I'm not sure I'll get used to this sort of thing anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

All kinds of everything.

This will be a multi-purpose post, trying to encapsulate all the topics usually only covered by a months worth of my online outpourings. Firstly, the zombies:

Next up, I played a video game. Bomberman Live is delicious.

A strange news story.

And I think the Catholics are up to something. There, we're done.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence"

Following a peculiar conversation with my brother earlier, in which he revealed to me that he has actually met someone in the UK who believes in Intelligent Design Theory (referred hereafter as IDioT). I had though that we had managed to isolate this form of stupidity to the United States, and was alarmed to find that this was not the case.

What does a good, no-one fearing atheist do in this sort of situation? Well, thankfully we are prepared.

  • The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    For the two people with internet access who haven't stumbled across this, it is a masterful display of how to manipulate statistics in order to prove whatever you damn well please. What is even better, they get perpetual hate-mail from good, forgiving Christians who believe it to be a genuine religion, rather than a cunning display of the myriad logical fallacies that underpin Intelligent Design.

  • Richard Dawkins.

    Yeah. He's a prick. There's no argument here. However, for the most part he's right. Apart from his infuriating insistence on referring to atheists as 'Brights', he's pretty much worth listening to. The God Delusion would be an obvious place to start

  • Daniel Dennett.

    Slightly less aggressive than Dawkins, so slightly less annoying. He goes one further than Dawkins, and portrays religion as a biological process. I don't entirely agree with him, but he annoys people so much it's worth reading his work.

  • Sam Harris.

    Sam Harris is probably my favourite writer on the harm religion causes society. A few months ago, I posted about something from his book Letter to a Christian Nation. I quite honestly defy anyone to read that book and still labour under the misapprehension that faith is a power primarily for good. It is mainly focused on the Conservative Christian right in America, but as a dicourse on the unspeakably foul acts that often pass for religious morality, it is invaluable.

  • Christopher Hitchens.

    I like Christopher Hitchens because he's an angry little man, and I therefore find it pretty simple to relate to him. His most recent book, God is not Great is, after Sam Harris' work, the best non-scientific argument against religion I've come across. Focusing on the harm religion causes society, it is rhetoric, but rhetoric that is the same time impassioned yet sensible.

  • Ann Coulter.

    Not an obvious one for this list, I'll admit, given her ravening insanity, but she does play a valuable role. In reading her work you can clearly see the desperation and willingness to lie, cheat and mislead that such staunch defenders of Christianity are willing to go to, in order to maintain the compliance of those not smart enough to filter through her gibberish. The best example of this comes from Godless: The Church of Liberalism, in which Ann claims that the 150 years across which biological archaeology has been practiced is absolutely long enough for us to establish a complete fossil record. Of course, that's not really enough time to investigate the entire surface of the Earth, including all sea beds, to a depth of at least 60 feet, much more in places, then catalogue and correllate every finding. Of course, if it's what you want to believe, it comes over as a valid point, and will pass by unconsidered. As such, it's one of my favourite examples of overwhelming stupidity presented as valid logic or scientific fact. It still scares me that there are people out there who could read it and believe it.

  • DNA.

    This is kind of important. If DNA behaves in any of the ways we can unequivocally demonstrate it does, then it is pretty much impossible evolution does not occur.

  • Seriously, where do these people think disease comes from?

Let's not forget the Church's wonderful record on matters of science. For a long while it was imperative that everyone believed the Sun revolved around the Earth, because to think otherwise was to diminish the importance of man in the cosmos. And wait, if they could be wrong about that...

It's bad enough that the church has been willing to imprison, torture and kill people for their unwillingness to repent 'heretical' ideas that happen to 100% fucking true. Let's not forget that they are also perfectly willing to invent a concept, such as witchcraft, and then persecute people for this utterly impossible-to-commit crime. The Vatican still maintains exorcists, who are sent out to torture Schizophrenics who are unfortunate enough to have parents ignorant enough to both maintain Catholic faith and be unable to recognise Schizophrenic behaviours.

Whenever someone from a major religious organisation figures out the implications of quantum physics, it's going to make this whole 'evolution' problem seem like a pillow fight.

Well, that's that.

Just about recovered from the Harry Potter launch now. It's been a tumultuous few days, most of which has been spent arguing with teenagers and people old enough to know better. It is not how work usually goes, but what the hell. We mostly survived, though we were perhaps missing 'military precision'.

Oh, and I read the thing. Underwhelming.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I have used up all my English...

I work in a bookshop. That's pretty depressing all by itself. This certainly does not help:

I'm bothered.

The rest of E3 was of so little consequence I decided not to bother writing. Bah.

On the walk home from the cinema last night, a car passed with a roof rack bearing in large letters the brand name 'Thule'. Now, I'm not a marketing guru, but I would have thought a quick Google search just to make sure you're not naming your product after a far-right, pre-war German occultist organisation, one that by a process of degrees effectively became the Nazi party, would just be common sense.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

They said it would never happen

Another E3, that is. But the shining cubic zirconium lurking in the crown of the gaming calendar is upon us once again, and that means more gaming news than even my brain, custom-made for the task as it is, can handle. I shall be brave though, and press on through.

One of the novelties of the age we live is that we get content straight from the show, as soon as it's out there. The internet is filling up with trailers that I can't watch due to the ineptitude of my aging laptop, but much of it falls off Xbox Live and onto my television. Something that did this today was the new Halo 3 trailer. I played the public beta of the multiplayer, and was in no way particularly impressed. It was more of the same, and I'd played a lot of Halo 2. I'm not much one for more of the same. The single-player campaign that was shown off today did stir me a little, and I have to say, without anything really standing out, I am definitely looking forward to it. Going to a midnight launch looking forward to it? We shall see. Haven't been to one of those in over a year now, so it may be worth doing just to reaffirm my alpha geek status.

A couple of demos appeared as well. Ace Combat 6, as you might guess from the facts:

  • That it's called Ace Combat

  • That it's the sixth in the series

is a staggeringly bad game. It's afterburner, but takes place on top of a crudely pixelated Google map.

Thankfully, there's also Blue Dragon. It looks lovely, with some great character design by Akira 'I inflicted Dragonball Z upon the world' Toriyama, and surprisingly decent English voice acting. It's far too complex to really appreciate from the demo, but what I've seen so far appeals to me, much more so than most Japanese RPGs. I'd been looking forward to it, as it's appearance on the release lists was really the first major sign that the 360 wouldn't suffer the drought of decent Japanese software that the original Xbox did. Seems my patience has been rewarded.

2 more days of overly-keen analysis to go, folks...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Now finish the job...

I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who finds the idea of an enraged gorilla pelting Will Young with rocks the size of a small child amusing.

Prime Fritters

A previously abandoned feature makes an unwelcome return today, as we take the richest, creamiest subject lines from my inbox's spam harvest:

Require Additional Size Adolf?


Why must they keep doing this?

From the BBC, a new Japanese invention:

"The Boyfriend's Arm Pillow, shaped like a man's torso with one sturdy arm, has been on sale since December and has so far been snapped up by 1,000 singles."

"It keeps holding me all the way through. I think this is great because this does not betray me,"

Japan, please stop poking witches and hugging pillows for just a moment and take a look at yourselves. Seriously. You're starting to weird me out a bit here.

Bee Watch: That bee is fucking huge.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Florida Bar to Jack Thompson

"Dear Mr. Thompson,

It has come to our attention that you are a ravening batshit loon. Please submit your brain and no less that 2/3 (two thirds by weight) of your spinal material with our crime lab. For testing and stuff.

Love 'n' hugs,

The Florida Bar Association."

Yes, the folk that get to say who's a lawyer and who isn't have come across the fact that Jack is just far, far too mad to really make an effective lawyer. Shame that. Damn shame.

Monday, July 02, 2007

His Rich, Tasty Courage.

Bought and finished The Darkness over the course of the weekend, and I have to say it's one of the best first-person shooters I've seen in a long while. It's also staggeringly violent. It's the only game that I know of in which you level up your character by eating your enemies hearts.

Good voice work and storyline don't hurt either. The developers have taken the brave and sensible step of redesigning almost everything from the comic. Makes sense, given that the comic was originally illustrated by Marc Silvestri, one of the many hacks that formed Image, and insisted on drawing in exactly the same style as Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, et al. So, as a result the main character doesn't have a ridiculous superhero suit made out of 'darkness'. This can only be a good thing.

Crazy Folk of the Hinterlands

From now on, whenever anyone asks the question 'what are you doing?', I am going to have to respond with 'I'm killing a vampire!"

It may take some getting used to, but we'll all be richer for it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Oh my...

Work do. This sort of thing happens.