Friday, August 31, 2007

Express Ex Mortis

Sad news today, as the headline on, 'Diana Recalled as Princes' Guardian, Friend' was not, as I had hoped, a spot of Daily Express-sponsored necromancy, but was merely another example of the atrocity heaped upon the English language by those that consider themselves to be journalists.

A great shame, on so many levels.

No pictures.

*A note before we begin. Arachnophobes, do not click on the link. You will never sleep again.*

Wow. I'm slightly baffled by this. Behavioural ecology is kind of my thing (it passes the time, but is so much tidier than casual violence), so I will be pretty interested to see what people think is going on here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Barbarians at the Gate.

At work today, I was approached by a gentleman with an apparantly keen interest in Evelyn Waugh. The conversation went roughly like this:

Gent: 'Er, yeah, so you don't have what I'm looking for, and I know there's a Waterstones, but I'm from Lincoln.'

Me: 'It's pretty much right outside our front door. We have almost everything by Waugh, what was it you wanted?'

Gent: 'I don't know. I'll know it when I see it. I'm from Lincoln.'

Me: 'OK. Did you actually look at the bookshelves?'

Gent: 'Yeah. You don't have any books by Evelyn Waugh. I'm from Lincoln. Where's Waterstones?'

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sometimes I Get Angry

I really can't stress enough how much I hate Asda supermarkets. Huge, hanger-like buildings filled with the lowest possible quality goods, harsh lighting, and endless false-cheery anouncements about delightful special offers (something my own workplace is sadly eager to imitate). I occasionally have to venture in to the one behind my house when I forget to pick up everything I need from the much better supermarket near where I work, or if I simply need booze. I could, if I felt the need, go in there whenever I felt the need to see a wondrous, stereoscopic display of how not to raise a child - to be in an Asda store is to be surrounded by a hundred screaming kids, being ignored by a hundred disinterested parents as they shovel sugary processed crap onto a conveyer belt, finishing chemically what their behavioural cues have started.

This isn't really going anywhere, I just felt the need to get it off my chest. The one ray of light in the shitstorm that is this hive of modern commerce is that today i found a marvellous product. Or rather, the packaging was marvellous.

"Pork Scratchings - Low in Carbs!"

Marketing genius.

One thing that doesn't depress me is Bioshock. I've been playing it for every spare minute of the last three days, and would seem to be only about halfway through. The sheer amount of content is incredible - it's so incredibly detailed, and the amazing thing is that virtually nothing in it has a real-life counterpart. Virtually every surface, machine, item of clothing has been designed from scratch. OK, it's drawn from a twisted revivalist art deco style, but that doesn't really diminish what's been created.

So, It's pretty much all I wanted. Huzzah. It's a pity it launched the same day as Blue Dragon, as I was planning on using that as my jumping-off point back into the creepy and obsessive world of Japanese RPGs. It shall have to wait.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Grow Discouraged by the Tone.

If I were a less civilised man, I'd embed a midi file of 'Ride of the Valkyries' to go with this.

Go, Bill, Go!

Kicking My Heels and Waiting for Bioshock

I'd warned the people of Japan to pay more attention to their limbs, but apparently they they just did not listen. If they're going to refuse my help, there's very little I can do about events such as these.

In gaming news, the latest game from ruminant-bothering Welshman Jeff Minter hit Live Arcade today. Space Giraffe (yeah, that's right) is kind of like Tempest, but seems like it's been put together by a drug-addled Llama farmer in his mum's cottage. And with very good reason. I think I like it, but it's so odd that I can't be sure. I'm almost certain that it's the sort of game that has quite a degree of hidden complexity. I'm also certain that it's the sort of game in which the closest thing there is to a cheat mode is guzzling peyote and spinning round in a big fucking circle.

Also investigated EA's challenge to the Tony Hawk franchise, the irritatingly lower-case skate. Difficult to control, but all the more satisfying for it, there's a chance that EA will steal the top spot in yet another genre. Peculiar thing is, this time they might deserve it. A few other demoes have appeared in recent days. Fatal inertia is some sort of futuristic racing game; also abomination. Blazing Angels 2 is very similar to Blazing Angels 1, insofar as it is wilfully, Earth-shatteringly shite.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Buzz buzz buzz

Sometimes , there are just no words. And sometimes there are the words "Dude, you held up a betting shop with a dildo, what the fuck did you expect?"


Bees! Everywhere!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Much worse than that chicken...

It's a good day when you click on a headline like Beijing's Penis Emporium and it's not just a story about Second Life.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Sentiments Exactly.

A Certain Degree of Abomination.

Apologies for the orientation of the picture. I am not yet fully back up and running with all my technologies, and so am reliant on sending things from my phone to add pictures. What I will not apologise for, however, and what you can clearly see is what I spent last night doing, is ramming a beer can up a chicken and setting it upon a barbecue.

This is not something I did purely for comedy value, or from a desire to shock, though it is very, very funny (particularly the jaunty angle on the wing -steppin' out!). It's a classic (insomuch that something can be in this context) piece of redneck cookery, and I felt compelled to try it. It works really well. Lovely juicy meat from being steamed with beer, nice charred skin. It was definitely the tastiest abomination of recent days.

In other news, it would really please me if the people of Japan would pay more attention to their limbs. They're useful for all sorts of things.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Of Giant Drills, and Whether You Kill Things

So, Bioshock then. The demo finally downloaded, a full 12 hours after I started it. Were hopes and dreams fulfilled? Shattered, shat on?

Mostly fulfilled, as it happens. You're never going to get the best (by which I mean the open ended moral and economic choices of the best RPGs) that you get in this sort of game from a short demo.

What you do get from this demo is the impression that this is a game that has been designed with genuine care and intelligence. It was fun, a bit more shooty than I was expecting perhaps, but good. The only real mis-step, to my mind, is having a main character called Atlas.

We got it.

A plea for Moderation

It turns out that, should you be a bit daft, it is possible to overdose on caffeine.

To give perspective, this girl drank fourteen espressos. I am 6' 2", 17 stone, and a coffee whore. I could only drink that much coffee in a full day if I really pushed myself. After the first 4-6 I start to feel paranoid and quite unwell. How you push yourself past that point, especially over such a short period of time, I really do not know.

I like the fact that she's dedicating herself to stopping others doing the same profoundly stupid thing that no-one in their right mind would do in the first place. The denial-laced comments from the father are a joy as well. You don't have to peer to hard between the lines to see a broken man muttering "She's a cretin. A fucking cretin." over and over to himself.


There's a demo of Bioshock on Xbox Live Marketplace. A progress bar has never moved so slowly. I needs me some art-deco-Randian-ultra-leftist-social-engineering-gone-wrong-in-a-fucked-up-undersea-world action. Needs it bad.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A spot of bother.

People more moderate than I have said that religion should be tolerated, in spite of the incredible damage it does to society, because of the joy it brings to individuals. Normally I would dismiss this as piffle, and strike them soundly about the skull with whatever came to hand, but today religion has brought me a certain happiness.

Let's assume for a moment that we are evolved from some sort of precursor species. One that perhaps did not have all of mankind's intelligence and capacity for self-delusion. That creature would behave much like every other animal demonstrably does - that is, attempt to find food and breed. Maybe the males would help look after their offspring, though that would depend on whether the food available and the level of danger in the environment would make it a better bet to father and abandon many children, or protect and nurture one to developmental maturity.

Assuming the latter is the case, which seems likely as this is how humans tend to behave, males should show a preference for partners they think to be loyal, reducing the chances of their wasting time and resources to raising another male's child. This brings me, in a roundabout way to my point.

One of the most obvious ways of assuring a female was, if only to begin with, faithful, would be if she was a virgin. Therefore males that actively selected for this (I'm assuming this precursor to be social because of overwhelming evidence that I'm not listing here) should have more luck reproductively, and a greater chance of passing their genes on.

The huge, belly-laugh inducing irony therefore is that one of the traits of the major religions (no sex before marriage) held up as an example of how humans are somehow inherently different from other species, that they possess some spark of the divine, is simply a ritualised form of a demonstrably evolutionary trait.

I'll be chuckling under my breath for weeks.

Sometimes, the world makes me very tired.

I was aware that various loons were pushing for the re-establishment of a Muslim caliphate, but I wasn't aware that so many women were keen on it. Not to worry though, if you're feeling like your fundamental rights as a human being are not being infringed upon enough, the fine, fine folk at Hitz Ut-Tahrir can help. Not feeling enough as you're being treated enough like property? You know who to call.

There's a reason that Muslim law is not embraced the world over. It is because it is insane.

Trouble in the Colonies

Earlier today, I had written a little piece on gun control, on how it's good, I like it. It was focusing on how countries in which you can't buy a gun have lower crime rates than those in which you can. However, I decided to spare you all that, as it's pretty much common sense, providing you don't live here.

I couldn't let the day end without bringing up this little gem. Seriously. Why are they keeping up the pretence any longer? If someone's buying a gun, it's not for self defence. They either want to rob you, or shoot their fucking cat. Pure and simple. The sad fact is, as long as sales tax is paid on guns, they remain vital for the protection of freedom. If sales tax on guns was dropped tomorrow, I think the US government might start to consider the possibility that they have a role in violent crime.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A minor discovery

This is a work of pure fucking genius, and it allowed me to create this:

I'm petitioning these guys to produce the same thing for NES carts as soon as possible.


There comes a time in a young man's life where he must ask himself a very important question.

Not "Is my vacuum cleaner on fire?" - that much should be obvious, there are flames coming out of it, after all - but rather "Is my vacuum cleaner on too much fire? Could I not get that big spiderweb out of the corner before being consumed by the uncaring inferno?"

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Good news for Cillian Murphy, bad news for almost everyone else.

The study points at features like curved eyebrows being a deciding factor, but unfortunately for me neglects to mention what your chances are if you have a single, gargantuan eyebrow straddling your face like Brian Blessed on his birthday.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dear Thailand...

Because nothing says 'vicious military coup' more than anthropomorphic cats.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


A human skull with neanderthal features? Why, that would seem to be one of those things the religious have been so very worried we might find. What's it called? A missing...

It's on the tip of my tongue.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

F'n Metal!

The lead singer of Whitesnake fought a bear and won!

Seriously, terrible band. But he fought a bear.

Friday, August 03, 2007

No, we are just King.

Anyone who knows me has seen the powerful love I hold for Katamari Damacy. It's one of the few things that warms the cockles of my usually joyless black heart.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Oh God.

Actually, whilst I can't pretend that this bit of news doesn't upset me, it's easy to remain philosophical. A year in which I can still look forward to Assassins Creed, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Halo 3, Haze, Super Mario Galaxy, Call of Duty 4, The Club, Zack and Wiki, Half Life 2: Orange Box, Left 4 Dead, Burnout Paradise, Rock Band, Metroid Prime 3 and Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is not a year that needs a Grand Theft Auto game, per se.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bringing Me Some of That Good News.

Coffee apparently helps prevent cancer these days. I am fucking invincible. Ignore the bit about exercise, I'm sure it's not important. And anyhow, Wii counts.

And They Have a Plan.

I have now been up for almost 24 hours. Most of this involved lifting heavy objects. A small amount involved playing Monkey Ball. This is a balance I intend to redress.