Thursday, 31 March 2011

Eurotrip or Bust

Very soon some friends of my from around the world are congregating in England, and some of them are going on to tour some of Europe. I would be there, but complications prevent me. :(

So, in lieu of, I watched other people touring Europe. First of all... yes, this movie is funny. Okay, yes, there are stereotypes of various foreigners, but the best stereotypes presented are of the Americans going around the countries and seeing things through American eyes. And part of me can easily believe that there are Americans that view this as a documentary...

The basic concept is Scotty breaks up with old girlfriend, has a chance to hook up with a new girlfriend over in Germany, so heads on out. Only it's not that simple, and he and his friends end up travelling over various places in Europe and having... not adventures, more like... stupid encounters.

Definitely not a movie that takes anything seriously, featuring names that, at the time, weren't really well known (aside from Michelle Trachtenberg) and various cameos by big names. And although this was 2004, it does hold up well.

Surprisingly, I recommend this movie for a funny time.


Read more!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Watch the Death 2

We make it to the planet of Aurum without further difficulty (or death). We descend to the planet, and start the walk to the city. While on the path up the cliff-face, my fellow Blood Angel brother upsets one of the native beasts of burden, causing a stampede. Parnassius gets trampled heavily, while I fail to control my jet pack to scare them off. We do protect some of the native Aurum, but otherwise don't really make too good a name for ourselves...

In the city itself, we start towards the Cael's resident, first encountering the Word of Faith, the missionary of the Imperium in the city. Father Murphy tells us of Sister Rachael's death, while my Wolven brethren sniffs and detects the presence of an Aurum (who are not known of entering here) and of something industrial (beyond the stone age technology of the rest of the city). Something strange is going on here. We also find a stone temple with a frieze that indicates the Primarchs had been here...

In the Cael's place, we meet the Cael and, in order to gain further access in the Cael's court, we agree to a trial. Before then, we continue out the day in the city. Investigating the temple and talking with the Father, we find that the local religion has many similarities with our own. Hmm... and visiting the local barracks, we see that the Aurum are no mean fighters in their own right.

The next morning, we get to find out about their weapons ourselves. Our trial are us going out with only our clothes and their weapons, and bringing something back from the Duadon...


Read more!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Battle: .. Whereever...

The basic premise of this movie is "what if we had to have Americans fight on their home soil?" From there, the rest of the movie is an exercise in excusing this. You can imagine the conversation at the production level:
"Can we have the Nazis invade?"
"No-one takes them seriously any more since Inglorious Bastards. And besides, we want to be modern day."
"So, Iranian invasion? Canadian?"
"Really? Given America's over the top reaction to anyone who looks at them cross-eyed, you'd think anyone would take any earthly threat seriously?"
"In that case... let's go with aliens!"
"Oooh... be careful, we need to make sure there's no danger of portraying the aliens in any way that could be construed as sympathetic, or even slightly human. We don't want anyone to question that we should be mercilessly slaughtering them, while at the same time showing us to be extremely compassionate to our fellow Americans (and we can score bonus points if the people who are actually in danger and we are compassionate to are not actually Americans but are, say... Mexican)."
"Good point. And we need to make sure we can get a video game out of this."
"Already ready to ship..."

Yeah, let's not pretend. This isn't science fiction. (Although I bet the producers are glad of the opportunity to get cash from those that think it is.) Russians, Arabs, Aliens, just a different enemy, but this is pure jingoism from start to finish. "America is great, gawddammit, and I'll shoot you in the face if you disagree."

There's the usual collection of characters, the disgruntled veteran, the guy about to get married, the token women soldier (played by Michelle Rodriguez, surprise, surprise), the kids to protect... you name it, they've got it.

And the storyline is... well, let's face it, you could not be paying the slightest bit of attention and still know what is going on.

Only worth seeing if you think District 9 or Skyline didn't have enough shooting in it...


Read more!

Monday, 28 March 2011

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

El Bulli is a restaurant over in Spain. Open for half the year, they spend the other half coming up with new recipes. Hey, I've seen something like that with various Heston Blumenthal shows, that'll be interesting!

Well, you'd think that. But Cooking in Progress is one of those documentaries that is just filming what's going on in front of the camera with no comment... I have to say, I think in this case, it would have benefited immensely from having a commentator. Someone to help give context to the choices their making, to give structure to what's going on...

There are some moments of amusement where the head chef, Ferran Adria, doesn't react with full positivity to the other chefs' efforts, but these are occasional moment amidst the general bustlings and goings-on of the restaurant activities. And yes, there are some strange dishes that it would be great to learn more about, but we only see brief moments, nothing's really explained, and there is just this lack of connection between the cooks and the audience the movie doesn't care enough to bridge.

So... yes... interesting documentary, but nothing compared to what it should be.

(Note: the video below isn't for this documentary... it's from a far more interesting sounding one relating to Ferran Adria.)


Read more!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

I M Pei - Building China Modern

This is an episode of an American series American Masters. We know this, because an intro tells us so, as well as reciting various people who have contributed money. And repeated as an outro as well. And also includes thanks to "Viewers like you" for giving money to PBS... hey, wait a minute. You mean this was shown for free to Americans and now I'm paying (a fair bit) to go see it in the theatre?

That said, this is about I M Pei, a Chinese architect who has designed a few major buildings, coming back to his home town of Suzhou to design a museum. It has to fit the design of the town, although Pei isn't known for exactly fitting in, so there's controversy there... although not to much. This was going to happen either way, with old buildings being torn down, which isn't as focused on as in other movies.

Anyway, we get to see a bit of Pei's life, some of his buildings, and... he's a nice guy! This is as much a celebration of Pei as it is about the building. Enjoyable wee documentary, not sure it was worth the price...


Read more!

Saturday, 26 March 2011


Okay, let's get one thing out of the way: the plot has absolutely nothing original to it. The hero makes out he's the next big thing, and needs to find out if he is or not. Yep. Been there, seen that.

In this case, he's a lizard. It's an animated feature, so of course they can get away with talking animals and the like. And it is very well made from the computer generated side. Even the water is believable. On the other hand, there have been so many animated movies, they'd better be getting it right by now!

But we have our hero, and the obligatory collection of wacky characters, including the love interest. Voiced by a range of stars, such as Johnny Depp (in the lead role), Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy... everyone puts in a decent effort.

It's an enjoyable movie for what it is. Just try not to hard to think about the plot (because you'll guess it all), sit back, relax and just go with the flow.


Read more!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

It's Eeeevil!

On a lighter note, have you checked out the latest episode of Reincarnation "A Taste of Evil"? In particular, once you've won (takes about 30 clicks), did you look at the credits? At the rolling list of names?

See any names you recognise....?


Read more!

American Radical

Or, to give it its full title American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein. This is about the trials... very definitely so.

We do get some of his history sprinkled throughout the movie, but the bulk of the movie is repeated scenes of Normal turning up somewhere for a discussion, getting into a heated argument over something, then claiming he was just being himself afterward (fine, he was). Cycle, rinse, repeat.

The movie isn't about him really, nor about his views. In many ways, the movie expects the audience to already know his views on the Palestine matters, it certainly doesn't take time out to explain what they are. No, the movie is interesting in the controversy, the "trials".

And, as such, I didn't enjoy it much at all.


Read more!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Session of the Which

I'll say this about this movie. The makers definitely decided not to bother with "are witches real or not?" Yep, they are, and only the book artifact can be used to destroy them.

However, the movie tries to have its cake and eat it too in that we are presented with a young woman, accused of being a witch, and taken off to get a trial (and there are plenty of anecdotes of the accused ending up dead either way). Is she a witch? Is she just a young woman? But the movie already has its mind made up about the matter and the director only gives a token nod to the uncertainty premise.

This is a journey movie, and there are plenty of encounters along the way, and a big boss fight at the end and... yeah, no-one was really trying here, certainly not the script writer. This wouldn't even make an interesting D&D-style game. It's an action movie, not a thinker. Certainly no real character arc worth mentioning.

Nicholas Cage gives a decent performance for all that, and even Ron Perlman makes his character fractionally more than the one dimension creation it is. Robert Sheehan (Misfits) shows off his range, and look out for a heavily make-up'd Christopher Lee. In fact, that's the real star of the movie, the effects. In particular the CGI. It must be so considering how much CGI there is, and how obvious it is.

I'm not saying it's a bad movie. I'm saying it's not an innovative movie, and should be watched with that in mind.


Read more!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Everything that lives, strives. From one moment to the next, there are obstacles to overcome. When you meet those obstacles, you can back off, go around... or blow it up with your mind.

What is life? What is death? Are we all just spectators? If so, don't eat the food. And don't get involved, don't give your opinion, and definitely don't film what's happening.

Why? No reason.

The question isn't: should you go see this? The question is: why haven't you already?

(Frankly, no review I give how match how bizarre this is. Definitely go watch it.)


Read more!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Do you feel that?

After writing the below, there's been a 5.1. Sigh. No, still not a major earthquake (and I certainly felt nothing), but people will say "ooh, he was right...".
That earthquake? You know, the big one? As predicted by Ken Ring?

No? Really? But it was a whole... 3.1? In fact, looking at Crowe, it was very quiet yesterday. Okay, fine, there were some quakes... but nothing that hasn't already been happening (ie some 4 pointers, nothing of a 5, let along a 6 or 7).

Various people gathered for the big 20th March quake. Oh, the distaster!

Although, even before the time, Ken Ring was backpeddling quickly. No deal, mate. You claim to predict stuff, we will be checking up on you.

Basically, his predictions are "there might be something happening, give or take a couple of weeks". Really? Fine, here's my prediction, within a minute of you reading this sentence, there might be an earthquake. Give or take some amount of time...


Read more!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

Our big battle continues against Constantine. We meet with Sonier (actually, I have no idea how that's spelt), and then have an encounter with Constantine. By which, I mean, we are completely outclasses by Constantine. Again.

And so, the question becomes... will we have enough chips to survive meeting him for real?

Check out game 31, via Rapidshare or Hotfile.


Read more!

Donated to Science

Now, to be clear from the outset, in lieu of seeing the full movie, I watched the half as long version that was screened on TV3 last year.

Donated to Science is a New Zealand documentary that was filmed at Otago University... because that is one of the few universities that actually do dissections. This film follows people who donated their bodies to science, from interviewing them before they die, to the students who dissect their bodies afterward. (At least, we presume that they are dissecting those specific people. It isn't entirely made clear in this version which body was which.)

The focus is really on the students, their reactions, and we see them doing the full dissections. (Not close up for the whole thing, although still some ball-shrinking detail.) [I can only presume that in the full version we get more, more interview time with the donors, more time on the dissection, more reaction from the students.]

And there is a lot of reactions. Some students try to be tough, some are more distant, some are crying. And, yes, there are talks about souls, but only from a few people. There is a vignette where there is a memorial service, where family of donors are there, and it shows up just how much people expect there to be a body during service so they could say goodbye.

Interesting documentary, but not for the easily squeamish.


Read more!

Saturday, 19 March 2011


They say that, on the internet, every young girl is an old man. Talhotblond is about an internet relationship, where one older man is pretending to be a younger man. And he hooks up with a "talhotblond", who sends provocative pictures of herself... and then there's a love triangle that gets ugly... but then it is revealed...

While watching it, I did ask a rather poignant question, which did turn out to be an entirely valid point, but I won't give that away.

This movie is about the relationship, and about who was to blame for what happened. What are the laws when it comes to provoking someone into doing something violent? (That it happens on the internet shouldn't actually matter when it comes to one person manipulating another, it just changes the question of jurisdiction.) There's a big deal made out from the fact that it is the internet, but that really only means that there's more of a record of the conversations that happened. This could easily have been a letter writing relationship, as the internet is used to block a lot of information that would otherwise be obvious in a face-to-face discussion. But since it's about digital media, it's a bigger deal.

There's a lot of honesty here from the people involved, at least those that appear on camera. However, they've also got a pet psychologist that is not offering much beyond armchair psychology, and that's rather annoying.

They say this could become a horror movie. Maybe it's just the LPs I've been watching, but this could totally be the next Silent Hill game...


Read more!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Team Xero #006

I'm certainly not attempting long stories here. On the other hand, they get to the
point and don't linger around afterwards. ...not that I'm just dashing these things off. It took me three hours to put this together, and that was after spending a few hours on it the night before, before the program crashed and I lost everything...

There's a Sasquatch in the city, and the Unicorns aren't happy about it. Who will
acheive their aim first?


Read more!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Overthinking a Phrase II

You ever see this show?

I watched it when I was younger because... it was on TV. That's all the excuse I needed. Watched a few soaps back in the day...

Anyway, the classic line is "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives". Really? How much sand is that, then? First, how many days are we looking at? Taking the greatest scientific text of all, the bible, we get 70 days, according to Psalm 90:10. Multiplying by 365 (and adding in a splash for leap years), we get just over 25,500 days.

What about sand? Well, of course, it depends on the size of the hourglass and on the size of the sand. But let's take this answer. There are 5,000,000 grains in an hourglass. Hmm, rather more than days. 250,000 grains in a three minute timer... so, really, a 20 second timer would be more appropriate. That's, what... just over 110,000,000 seconds of our life compared to one second of the timer? Alternatively, if one grain in the hourglass was one day of our life, we should be living quite a bit longer...

You can see why people choose that metaphor, it's a finite amount, it dribbles away, can't be replenished, and then it is over. However, that's if you don't tip the hourglass over, so it's now horizontal. How many sand flows then? Or what if you smash the glass? Or up-end it, so sand flows the other way? Can you up-end your own life? Or how about if the hourglass is opened and more sand put in?

The phrase should be "Like sands through the hourglass that is fixed rigidly vertical and can't be tampered with, so are the days of our lives, assuming we live to 13,700 years old". Not quite as catchy.


Read more!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

American Her

There is an "album" of Madonna tracks out there, American Me, which is 19 tracks of remixes of Madonna. With a lot of different artists, yes, but no actual new songs, just remixes, all done by DJ Hi-Def.

Which is nice if you like remixes. I like some of them, not so much some of the others. So, yes, as you can guess, I have a copy. Indeed, this "album" appears to be freely available, easily findable via google, or just look in the description of the video below.

And just as well this is being put about for free, as there is no sign that Madonna herself approves of this. Hard to say where remixes come in the copyright continuity, legitimate use of part of a song? (Certainly the whole song isn't use wholesale... and I'm not sure exactly how copyright treats such songs that can easily be listened to via, say, youtube.) Or is any use without approval a bad thing? (Weird Al goes out of his way to get approval for his take-off songs, although he doesn't have to.)

Anyway, remix "album" of Madonna songs. There for the getting if you want it.


Read more!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Into Eternity

This is poem, this is a letter, this is a warning to future generations. Remember to forget. This is nuclear waste, and it should be left alone from now... Into Eternity.

More specifically, it is about the Onkalo, a nuclear waste disposal site in Finland. It should be finished in 2100, and then sealed off... although containing only a fraction of the nuclear waste generated during that time.(*) This film looks at the structure and asks "this is supposed to be left untouched for 100,000 years. Will it be?"

In particular, will it be left alone by humans? Will there still be humans? Will they understand the dangers? Will they be able to read the warnings left behind?

Director Michael Madsen tries to paint a rather haunting, bleak picture, although the positivity of the people he talks to undercuts that somewhat. Yes, it is a disturbing idea, dumping the waste and hoping no-one pokes their finger into it, but everyone he talks to, while admitting the possibility, doesn't really take it seriously. It could happen, but the world would have had to go a pretty bad way for it to be a serious issue, and then there would be "seriouser" issues.

An interesting documentary, but one that doesn't entirely hold up.

(*) Disposing waste into the sun is disregarded with a casual "the rocket might blow up on the launch pad". Yes, it might, but I would like to think this option would become safer, especially if we ever get that damned space elevator.

Read more!

Sunday, 13 March 2011


No, I didn't see the original, just the remake. Don't go in expecting to see great originality...

But then, would you? This is about an assassin, who goes about assassinating people, and if you've seen the trailer, then you expect to see lots of assassinationing. And there is. There's an important assassination (and the truth of which you can immediately guess without any hesitation, because it's such a tritely overdone plot point that the only way it could be made interesting is if it is what is seems!). Anyway, the Mechanic gets the son involved in his business, and, again, without any hesitation, you can see where that's going to go. In fact, the whole plot is completely transparent, frankly no-one's going in expecting to care about the story line.

There's a lot of action. Jason Stratham beats up a lot of people... yay! That's what we want to see! (In any movie starring him not directed by Guy Richie.) Ben Foster also gets some action sequences, but comes off as a pratt most of the time. And the rest of the cast is there to be actioned at, and you miss Donald Sutherland who basically pulls another Italian Job.

Lots of action, no plot to speak of, go in with that expectation and you'll do well.


Read more!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Erasing David

This documentary is about privacy. Given that we give out our information to all and sundry, can we then go "off the grid"? David Bond tries to in Erasing David.

He received a letter letting him know that some of his information went missing when some government CDs were mislaid, and he started becoming paranoid about what information about him was available. Then he eventually decided to remove himself from the information trail for 30 days. During that time, a firm of private investigators (in particular two of them in this case) would try to track him down.

Yes, it is possible to go missing if you are, say, willing to sit in the middle of the woods and avoid all contact with society, but that's not the point. Can you live a normal life and not be found?

This was a fascinating documentary. I'm sure a lot about me is out there and that I could be found rather easily, but David was shocked and horrified just what was out there about himself. And this wasn't stuff the private investigators had to go to lengths to find out, but information that was readily accessible.

This movie shows that being too paranoid might not be being paranoid enough...


Read more!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Not Yogi Bear

I recently saw Yogi Bear, so one would expect I'd blog about it. But I don't really want to. So, I thought I'd blog about why I don't want to blog about it.

The problem is is that I don't really have anything to say. It's a children's movie, live action with CGI Yogi and Boo Boo. [BTW: Justin Timberlake is an excellent Boo Boo, Dan Aykroyd is not an excellent Yogi.] When kids shows are converted to a movie, they usually up the plot from the usual run around (understandably, otherwise you'd only have a few minutes of general goofiness), and in this case it's Jellystone Park that's under threat, and all the good guys need to band together, overcome their differences, and get the girl. (Yes, there is a girl to be got... okay, no, not really the plot focus.) The thing is... by and large, the movie has returned to status quo by the end (really? you think I'm spoiling this? what did you expect? the bad guys to win?). As with most movies of this ilk. You don't get huge changes to the core, otherwise you wouldn't get sequels.

I reached a point with documentaries that the movie model was the same, apart of content, from movie to movie. Introduce the issue, show the problem, show a solution, end. Now I've reached the point with kid movies. Of course they're not going to do anything dramatically amazing, that wouldn't be kiddy-safe, and wouldn't drag in the nostalgia audience.

Are producers just going through the motions and going for the cash? Do they care at all, or just consuming old shows and spitting them out nicely packaged? How long has it been since we had a movie based on an old cartoon that actually ended with the situation being significantly different to the normal set up?



Read more!

Thursday, 10 March 2011


Would be low rated studio pic, this is instead an impressively constructed movie that's slightly let down by the plot.

It starts with an amnesiac premise, two people wake up, can't remember anything, but are on a ship in space where Something Has Gone Wrong(tm). As events unfold they find out that there are strange creatures on the ship, and the obvious monsters on the ship might be nothing compared to the monsters in their heads...

There is a distinct psychological thriller aspect to it, as well as being a "voyage through the ship avoiding monsters" plot. However, some of the revelations come a little oddly and not entirely clearly. And yet, conversely, some of those revelations are very traditional. As I said, the plot doesn't quite match up to the rest of the movie.

Because one of the best things about the movie is the sets. There are a lot of them, they are well built, and give a great impression of the large chambers inside the ship. (If they are, in fact, only small sets, then they are very well dressed, re-used, and shot.) There is dim lighting, as is standard in this style of movie, and it works well to add to the atmosphere of unknown danger.

Ben Foster gives a lot as the lead actor for the character Bower, but cannot compete to any scene starring Dennis Quaid as Payton. Antje Traue kicks ass well, as does Chun Le. Andre Hennicke as the lead alien... and I'll point out here the alien make-ups are very well done, distorting the face of the actor and giving them an extreme weirdness... big thumbs up to the make-up department. (See? Watching Face Off is helping!)

There are wanted to be another two movies, although it's not likely given the current numbers. So if you want to see a good-looking movie that's going to disappear into the unknown, check this one out while you can.


Read more!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Dying Once makes it more likely to Die again

I've played a few RPG games, and in some of them I've died. And in others I've died and come back to life.

When this happens either you are slightly worse off (mechanically) after death, or you paid some (mechanical) price. Either way, your resources are down compared to your non-dying compatriots.

And being slightly worse off means that... you are more likely to die again. You don't have the resources or abilities compared to before, and if you, with better resources, died before, what chance do you have now that you are worse off?

(Note that this lack of resource isn't necessarily permanent, although the conditions whereby you regain those resources back can have different degrees of difficulty.)

In D&D 4e, there are many options to not die, and dying really needs the dice to go against you. When you come back, you need to reach "three milestones", where a milestone is two encounters without an extended rest (ie overnight sleep). When you are doing two encounters per session, that's a long time to get back to where you were. That's really annoying.

In Deathwatch ( / Warhammer 40K), dying is a lot easier with far less bad dice rolls to kill you. I failed to hit, they hit twice, bam, one round / first round, dead. And it cost me a Fate Point to not die. Fate Points allow rerolls, boosts to skills, etc. I started with three, and now down to two. That's a lot of options cut off for me. I can get Fate Points back, but it depends on heroics and the GM. I could be down for a while.

But... should this mean there should be no penalty for dying? That depends on the lethality of the game and what resources death/avoiding death should cost. As a player, it's easy to say "the penalty should be lessened", but at least it should be more balanced. Basically, dying once should not make it more likely you'll die again... and yet, it does.


Read more!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


With the film festival almost beginning, thought I would catch up with one I missed last year. Oceans.

Narrated by Pierce Brosnan, this is a look at the creatures that live in the oceans of the world, and somewhat of humanity's impact on them. But mainly it's all about the creatures, how they live, eat (and there's a lot of eating in this movie, it doesn't shy away from the killing nature of fish), play and generally survive.

It has to be said that this features amazing photography. I don't know how the cameramen managed to get so close without startling the creatures, but there are some stunning up-close shots here. Fantastic stuff.

So... Oceans, won't you?


Read more!

Documentaries I might see

It's Documentary Film Festival time again. However, this year I don't have the time to take off from work, so I'm going to see far fewer documentaries this time around (although I might be able to make other arrangements).

But here are the films I'm interested in, on a first pass through the film schedule.
Donated to Science - what happens to bodies when they are Donated to Science?
Erasing David - One man and his family tries to drop "off the grid".
The People vs George Lucas - Star Wars, need to see.
El Bulli - Cooking in Progress - seem to be interested in food shows recently, so this fits.
American Radical -The Trials of Norman Finkelstein - Documentaries about the reaction to the Holocaust are interesting.
David Wants to Fly - The Transcendental Meditation movie they don't want you to see? Sign me up!
An African Election - Outside and inside the 2008 Ghana elections.
I. M. Pei — Building China Modern - An interesting take on Chinese architecture.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS - Three teams working for a competition.
Make Believe - Teen magicians working for a competition.
Machete Maidens Unleashed! - movie about movies, and exploitation!
Life 2.0 - documentary about Second Life.
Into Eternity - seems to be a rather surreal movie about storage nuclear waste.
talhotblond - looks to be a real life horror movie, cool!
Stand Up - documentary about the early life of New Zealand stand up comedy.
Landscapes at the World's End - a short of vistas of polar regions.

This isn't to say I don't want to see any of the others, but I need some kind of limit. However, because it's Readings, they don't make getting going to multiple movies easy. (They have a "buy tickets to 5+ movies, get them cheaper" deal, but you need to know which movies you are going to (which caused me problems last year when I fell sick during the festival), as opposed to a nice simple ten-trip ticket...)


Read more!

Monday, 7 March 2011

I see a little Silhouette

There's another RPG game I've been in that I haven't mentioned. Until now.

From Heroic Cthulhu to Lost to... Silhouette.

This is set in the 'Verse. You know, Firefly and Serenity. We used the Serenity RPG to set up the 'Verse details, but One Roll Engine for the mechanics, hacked a bit to make rules that Logan liked.

I am Caleb Moses, an engineer, on the ship Silhouette. We wander around, take trade from one place to another. Hear voices from future passengers. You know, the usual.

The files are all on the blog, filed through iTunes with the RSS feed, but if you want the feed to get all the episodes (not the last group) use this feed.

(There are only a few more sessions left before Logan heads off overseas. After that... who knows...)


Read more!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

It's been a while since we played, and it shows in the level of silliness we have. Nick in particular gets broken many, many times. All fun!

As for what we do, we plot about Tesla's body, about the upcoming election, and then get called in as it seems someone wants the candidates to back off. The arc for one character kicks back into action, and Gavin gets to be the Marmoset Avenger!

Hear game 30 from Rapidshare or Hotfile.


Read more!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Have You...?

Turned Japanese? (I just thought this was a funny song back then!)

Believed it or not?

Blessed the rains down in Africa?

, Gold, Always believed in your soul?

Driven you home tonight?

Taken these broken wings and learnt to fly again?

Danced on the ceiling?

Been Gotta'd by the Rhythm?

Doctor'd the Tardis? (Hey, you should be shocked there's no Madonna in this list!)

Sown the seeds, the birds and the bees? (BTW, this song comes to mind whenever I think of The Seeds of Doom.)

No? Then you never lived through the '80s...


Read more!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Water Way to Sleep

So here's a topic that doesn't get brought up that often (that I'm aware of): do you sleep with a glass of water nearby? I do. Most nights, just the occasional sip is all I need. Sometimes a fair bit. Once or twice, I've needed a refill.

However, on the rare occasion I don't have a glass of water nearby, I wake up parched and desperately in need of a drink. Fine, it might be selective memory, but it's definitely a rare night I don't have water nearby, and I can certainly recall that I woke up thirsty those times... (although I won't go so far as to saying the glass of water hydrates the air, which is why I don't wake up parched other nights, 'cos that's silly... and not true).

I can't say I'm aware of any surveys out there asking people this question, yet it says a lot of our habits and our biology that night hydration is necessary. Or is it? I know of a few people who have mentioned it, but is it just us odd dry people? Do you sleep near cool refreshing H20?


Read more!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Wiz Wizard

The Wizard's take on the Christchurch quake... including advice about not listening to Ken Ring.

(I would embed the video here, but the Herald obviously doesn't want people to
spread their word...)


Read more!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Watch the Death 1

Due to game scheduling changing, Tuesdays now alternate D&D and Deathwatch. I am Donatus, a Techmarine from the Blood Angels chapter.

Me and my battle-brothers are called into service to investigate the planet of Arum (or however its spelt), and travel aboard a Rogue Trader ship with Captain Diaz Lam. We are going there... basically to show off how impressive we are, but also to investigate a possible alien presence, strange murders, and potential Decavane Crystals.

However, before all that, we need to get there. On the ship there are some odd people, but my attention is drawn to the servitors, which are acting oddly. We get one story of a servitor being reported, and the seer it was reported to attacked the person who reported it, although they think the person killed the seer as opposed to dying in self-defense. Certainly something to be examined.

Before that, we have dinner, and settle in for the night... and get attacked by servitors. I lash out, completely fail and die get knocked unconscious.

Attention needs to be payed to certain events...


Read more!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Note By Note

Until I can get Pianomania, I'll check out other piano related documentaries... of which, I found one: Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037. (You can buy the DVD from here.)

This movie is about, if you can believe it, the making of a Steinway piano. Number L1037 if you can stretch your imagination that far. At least, a brief 90 minute version thereof. We meet the various people behind this hand-crafting process, and also talk to some famous pianists about how they choose their pianos (hand-crafting giving each piano its own 'personality').

Quite an interesting documentary that shows off the loving care that goes into this process. And that, if you are truly a pianist of note, you'll spend a lot of time not being able to tinkle just any ol' ivories. Not that these pianos are just littering the place. L1037 takes a year to produce, so I'm not sure just how many pianos Steinway manage to make. Obviously enough to keep in business, and Steinway is definitely a known brand of piano, so I'm sure they'll be going for a while yet...

This is more of a character piece than a character study. Although we follow the piano through its creation, it doesn't really play much of a part. Instead, we have a variety of people who mold it that we meet, and many of them are indeed 'characters' in the more notable sense. And of multiple skills. Many of them can (and indeed have to, for their jobs) play the piano, but there are also a lot of people who, as long as they are willing to pay due care, are just as essential to the piano-creation process.

The DVD has extras in the form of some extended and deleted scenes, and most of the extras time is with interviews with, most, pianists, and also some key Steinway people. Some definitely interesting stories there, and in many ways could have separate documentaries of their own.

Not as enthralling as some documentaries I'm waiting for, a good watch nonetheless.


Read more!