Saturday, December 13, 2008

Science Part. 1

Yawn, right?

Science is dull, dull, dull.

You can't make the Periodic Table of Elements fun, I don't care how much clown makeup you slap on it.

Or can you...?

Okay, sorry I used that clich├ęd device. I hate myself for it almost as much as you do right now. I promise it won't happen again.

Or will it...?


I'm not too proud to go on record as saying "science is hard." I don't have a head for it but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it. Why does it have to be so effing hard? Probably because it seeks to quantify how everything in existence actually works. You try explaining precisely why the sun is hot and just how hot is it and see how much accurate detail you can get with laymans terms and a slide rule.

If you're one of those people who hate science with a passion bordering on "Quit Dry-Humping My Leg, Bitch" then you are not alone. Plenty of fruit loops think the world is going to hell in a hand-beaker owing to science and its all-consuming hunger for advancing the quality of life.

Science has given us medicine. So now ignorant a-holes who otherwise wouldn't have lived long enough to complain about how unnatural chemicals are can protest the devastating effect H2O is having on our embattled planet.

It has given us power. So a-holes can boot up their computers and whine online about how it used to be so much better back in the days when wearing filth for weeks at a time was all the rage.

It has given us computers and the internet. So a-holes with computers and internet access can whine about antiscience a-holes who think we would be so much better off living with famine, disease, unsolved murders, warm beer, radios that don't do squat, guns in briefcases on airplanes, the earth being flat, and Steven Spielberg out of a job.

F*ckers.

But can you blame them for their ignorance? In the past Science education managed to do more harm than good. Remember how excited you and your mates would get at the prospect of watching yet another science program detailing all the hip experiments you could do in class?

Me neither.

To jog your memory, they go a little something like this.





But isn't Science also capable of great evil? Like those scientists trying their darnedest to destroy the planet with a Large Hadron Collider, say for example?

In short: nope. Science as a principle isn't evil at all. You might get the odd individual who is capable of evil and chooses to weild knowledge gleaned by science in an inappropriate manner. Like, say, an extremist with a dirty bomb wandering downtown Manhattan. But for the most part the purpose of Science is the persuit of knowledge. And knowlege gives us answers to questions, which helps us solve problems. Problems like: What is the best way to squander billions of dollars in an effort to suck the world as we know it into a black hole?

Actually, that's not what science is trying to do with the LHC and I think you'll find that those doomsday predictions are only being touted by people who are entirely ignorant of the science involved - suprise, surprise.

Just what is the LHC really doing then? Apart from cutting record deals? A good place to get the lowdown is here. If you're curious.

Otherwise just sit back, crack open your favorite beer, and wait for it all to end.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Skippy: A Friend Ever True

Crikey! Is it time to showcase some home grown Aussie humor again?

Must be. So lets talk kangaroos.

Having been born in Australia it makes perfect sense that I would have known a kangaroo or two in my time. Of all the 'roos I've known (more than you can count on one paw) there's one in particular that stands out. That kangaroo is, of course, Skippy.

Skippy the bush kangaroo.

Bush kangaroos are a different breed to your everyday urban variety. For starters they're bloody clueless when it comes to dealing with traffic, lack all the niceties of dinner table etiquette, and if perchance some task requires of them a little fashion sense - well, you can forget about it. But don't make the mistake of writing bush kangas off as complete imbeciles just yet. They can still be resourceful little buggers!

In many ways Skippy is to Australia what Flipper is to America or Doctor Who is to Great Britain, or the Tunguska event is to Russia. Whether it's saving missing children who ill-advisedly go bungee jumping down wells, cleaning up oil spills at sea, saving us from the latest Dalek masterplan to conquer the universe, or matchsticking kilometers of former Soviet Republic real-estate; no job is too big an ask for our be-pouched hero.

Which brings us, inevitably, to THE BIG QUESTION:

Whose arse could Skippy kick?
(NOTE: Being Australian, Skippy has no capacity to kick ass. Only arse.)

In no particular order: Willie Ames, Jean Reno, Shakespeare, Dracula, MacGuyver, Simon & Schuster, Brooke Brodack, Steamboat Willie, Helium, Optimus Prime, Malignant Melanoma, The Wiggles, Stuart Little, Zuul, K C & The Sunshine Band, every last stinking Anti-vaxxer, The Bismark, Marky Mark, The Battle of Waterloo, the combined cast of Dawson's Creek, Shetland, and the red paperclip guy.

We would like to have gauged how well a Skippy vs. Chuck Norris deathmatch would have turned out, believe me, but we had trouble finding Chuck. I guess we may never know.

It just occurred to me, some of you have yet to be introduced to the talents of our national treasure. For your edification:




Okay. Maybe Skippy really isn't all that. In fact, I'm starting to come down off the whole Skippy is the shiz head trip. Know what? Screw that giant hopping rodent! What has Skip done for us lately? Bludging, boozing, cooz-hound he is!



Brings back memories of another show don't it! You know the one. Where they'd make fun of bad shows. I think it was called MST3- ...err, Bargearse!



Sorry. We seem to have gone off on one of those 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon tangent thing-a-majigs and I just can't help myself. I demand a second helping!



Hell, I'd post all the Bargearse eps if it wouldn't make me appear so bloomin' self-indulgent. If you're as tickled as I am then I'm afraid you're going to have to hunt them down for yourself. I'm guessing it'll take you all of oh, say, 12 seconds.

So. Yeah. Uh... Kangaroos. Whatever point I was making I can say with unshakable confidence that I think I proved it. Nerr.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mash-up Fire Sale

Time for some more trailer shennannigans. I do love me these pretties so very, very much. A variety of talented folk put a lot of time and love into their crafting. If you go looking you'll find plenty of inferior content out there - their downfall is they have continuity that's all over the shop. You really have to work to believe in the premise of those trailers. Not so with these ones. Which is what makes them remarkable in my book and worthy of Levitude top honors.

Turn out the lights and slip into your scaredy pants for our first adventure because Mary is back and boy is she pissed!



You're okay. It's over. The nasty nanny is gone now. Relax. Deep breath in... and out... in... and now lets completely change tack. Maestro? College hi-jinks if you please!




Sinead O'Connor fans, represent!

The same geniuses who gave birth to that channeled lightning into this next monster. For those of you who haven't seen Glengarry Glen Ross beforehand, just know that this brilliantly repurposes the film. Go ahead and pause the blog if you'd like to check out the riveting original first. We'll wait.

WARNING THO: EXTREME LANGUAGE (and I do mean Extreme)



When I think unrestrained foul language I think of kids up to no good. And when I think of kids up to no good, I think Goonies. Which brings us to one of the greatest adventure movies of our time. My momma used to say "Clever is as clever does" and this trailer does clever quite... cleverly.



Finally, not really a trailer per-se but a re-imagined scene. An all-time favorite that I am proud to feature here so that I can watch it over and over and over at leisure. Ladies, Gentlemen, Sith Lords and Sith Ladies, I give you Darth Vader: Dick.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Help A Starving Prince

Nigeria.

Sparkling jewel of Africa. Land of opportunity. Home to the riches of the gullible.

From here anything is possible, and often is!

Marco Polo once said of Nigeria: "Nigeria? Where's that?" Before turning his attention back to making up rules for the swimming pool game for which he is named.

Nigerians are a friendly bunch. If you've ever had the pleasure of trading emails with a Nigerian you no doubt learned they are a kind and generous people trying their best to struggle through so much oppressive economic red tape, and necessarily seeking foreign assistance in order to get their billions out of the country.

This is where you come in.

A pinch of compassion and you're on your way. You'll soon find yourself up to your spam filter in totally credible sob stories and too-good-to-be-false gold mine opportunitites. Why in the world would anyone ever bother working a regular 9 to 5 job when all it takes is a little up front cash for you to make an obscene return on your investment?

The fact is, a few small communities have sprung up to take full advantage of these offers and you won't believe what adventure stories they have to tell.

Governors, Clique Mobs, Fire Sticks, Anus Laptops - but I've said too much already. You simply must check it out for yourself.

Tip: you'll need to register on their forums to get to the marrow. Well worth it for the many hours worth of laughs.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lets Make Movies!

a. You're a Star Wars fan.

b. You're such a fan you don't just want to watch Star Wars. You want to be in Star Wars.

c. You resolve to make a fan film.

d. Most likely only Star Wars fans who have been thinking about making their own fan film are going to appreciate it.

e. Unless you happen to be Ryan Wieber and Michael "Dorkman" Scott, who understand that hokey dialogue and poor acting skills are what kills fan filmdom dead when all people really want to see is the coolest light saber duel ever.



f. But now the problem is you've created an internet phenomenon and the fans crave 'more'.

h. It's kept you so busy you've not been able to study up on your alphiebets in a long time.

17. Because you've been working hard on making RvD2 for the ravenous fans. With more special effects. More drama. An original score. And more all-round awesomeness in general.



xviii. You now officially rock and have a dedicated website to showcase all the hard work that went into building your rockfulness.

g. Hand them the keys, George.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fluff Piece

With Halloween behind us it's time to exorcise our demons, lock away our Necronomicons, and return to walking in daylight once again. Pretending we live in a Demon Haunted World is fun for a time, but I prefer the real, tangible world any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

I'm sure you know people who believe in a lot of whacky stuff. Maybe you have some whacky beliefs yourself? What's the harm, right? Without getting all serious lets just leave it at "I've seen this kind of thinking make victims of people" and get back to the levitude.

Today we're spotlighting a story that aired as one of those fluff pieces at the end of the "news" and subsequently went viral: The Gas Station Ghost. Only we're paying no attention to the original cut. We're going with the RECUT! version. Because its way funnier.

The original story, as you'll soon figure out if you haven't seen it already, was about a ghost caught on a gas station security cam. It's your typical non-news news story where the reporter lets "you decide." Which is always code for - everything you just saw and heard is complete rubbish but if we came out and said that we wouldn't have a story now would we? *wink*

Anyway, The Gas Station Ghost Recut is the handiwork of a real life superhero who goes by the name Captain Disillusion. Captain D likes to take all sorts of hokey videos on the web and break them down for us, showing how they were faked. It really is an entertaining production for something free to the web. I promise you'll have loads of fun catching up in his channel. I give it 5 bugs. Highly recommended.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Spooks

BOO!

Did I scare you? Did I? Hmm?

No?

Well crap.

I got an excuse. I come from a land Down Under. Where Halloween never caught on (and men plunder?). Oh, they tried it a few times. But people just weren't ready with the candy and the kids didn't come prepared with any tricks. So trick or treating was a bust from the get go.

Due to this glaring hole in the litany of holidays we observe here in Oz, we're just not up to speed with being scary. And there you have it. But I will endeavor to get with the program, seeing as how I love ghosts.

Did you just think of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore? Dude, you should see a doctor about that.

I'm talking about ghost stories in general. The entirety of ghost lore. The idea of restless spirits, unable to leave this plane. Earthbound souls trapped due to some incomplete task. Like, say, employing Whoopie Goldberg to help you get back at the guy who murdered you.

Shit! I knew this would happen once you mentioned Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. What? I did not bring it up. You did!

Moving on. Because I'm tired of your bullshit and I wants me to go to bed. I got a video for you. Relax. It's not what you're thinking. It does not feature Unchained Melody or clay pot sex. It contains no Rick Astley as far as I'm aware. And its not a screamer. I wouldn't do that to you. I rely too much on your continued patronage.

What we got here is a spooky little ghost video. It's subtle. There's no shrieking violin strings, no dischordant piano stabs. No running from a vague humanoid figure whilst shaking the camera and yelping like a kicked dog. It's just someone's footage they took at night, in a field, at some civil war site. That's all you really need to prime your imagination. Because that's what you'll be using when you see what goes down.

The question is: What is it you are really seeing? Civil war ghosts? A well choreographed hoax?

Matters little to me. I don't actually believe in ghosts. But I love them just the same. So this footage is a fave simply because of its vague subject and unexplained spookfulness. It isn't set up to be a cheesy shock. It's believable. And that's why I think it's so damn effective.

Happy Halloween, my Halloween celebrating friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"F" This and "F" That!

Viewer discretion advised: This post strictly not for the easily offended.

As the story goes, when director Ridley Scott was preparing to make his Mogadishu masterpiece Black Hawk Down he decided to cast a then unheard of Australian in the role of Hoot, the tough-as-nails Delta Force commando. Scott saw Eric Bana's breakout performance as the self-aggrandizing underworld crusader Mark 'Chopper' Read in the film Chopper and immediately cast him without the need for a screen test, thinking 'this Chopper guy is just the kind of hard bastard I want to play Hoot.' But the Eric Bana who turned up on set wasn't what the director had been expecting. Regardless, Bana did the role proud and has been enjoying internation success ever since. On ya mate!

Who Ridley thought he'd cast:
(Chopper trailer)



The character Bana brought to the screen was too good to leave be, so comedy troupe The 3rd Degree kidnapped him for one of their more popular recurring sketches on The Ronnie Johns Good Times Campfire Jamboree Half Hour Show, Now on Television.

(*gasp* out of... *wheeze* ...breath...)

Heath Franklin's charicature of Bana's characterisation turned out to be just as riveting to watch. Like a shock-jock you can't bare to tune out because you're compelled to hear what inflammatory remark is up next.

The Ronnie Johns Half Hour (as it was often shortened to for ease of reference) was a half hour sketch comedy show that knew where the line of bad taste was drawn and didn't give a rat's arse about stepping over it. From sketches Dealing With Alcoholism to Giving The Sex Talk all the way to the infamous Jihad Joe Toy Commercial, nothing was off the table.

But what drew audiences was foul-mouthed Chopper. Each week Chopper would lecture us on a variety of subjects he was unfit to teach. Come to think of it, I doubt there's a single subject he is fit to teach. Oh, wait. Maybe: How To Breach Broadcasting Standards. . .

Since the title of this post is "F" This and "F" That I'm going to give you two doses. A warning to the uninitiated -- there will be "F" words aplenty.

First, Chopper teaches us the rules of the road:




And of course, the now immortal - Harden The F*ck Up!

Monday, October 20, 2008

If I May Get Literal For A Moment...

First it was mashups that messed around with film trailers for a laugh. Now the next big thing looks like it's going to be re-interpreting music videos. In today's example, by stripping out the old music and replacing it with a fresh coat. Same old tune, with new-and-improved "Literal" lyrics.

Literal the what now?

It's like what MST3K were up to when they made fun of what was going on in a movie by talking over it, except here it involves recording an entire new song that is a musical counterfeit of the original - but with altered lyrics. In this case, the lyrics describe literally what is going on in its own video clip.

Lets face it. Most video clips are pretty weird to begin with. Now you can have that weirdness pointed out to you as you listen to the song. Pointed out to you, that is, by the song!

Who's responsible for this madness/genius?

Some dude, calls himself Dustball.

Thus far he's literalized A-ha's classic Take On Me video and now he's cranked out another pearler with Tears For Fears' Head Over Heels (featured below).

Can life get any sweeter?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Awwwwww

It may surprise you to know that as a big, burly, masculine hunk of a man who isn't afraid to beat people up when the need arises, I like to spend my spare time voting on which animal is the cutest.

The hell? you say!

Chris Leavins runs an internet show named Cute With Chris. Sounds like something that'd make a grown man puke, don't it? Excepting one memorable occasion, the show manages to steer clear of triggering any up-chuck reflexes, by charting a course for dry humor.

Each week Chris has the thankless task of catering to the needs of crazy cat ladies, gay bears, and teenagers the world over who make up the vast majority of his 4.39 million viewers. And what does he get for his troubles? A small plastic horse, an inner child and a robot cat who continually plot to kill him; a deviant stud horse that keeps trying to steer the show in the direction of smut; and a whole hoarde of opinionated viewers who feel compelled to spread negativity at every turn - managing in the process to earn for themselves a well deserved public smackdown as only Chris knows how to deliver.

When not voting on the cuteness of viewer pets, Chris likes to recite lyrics to current pop songs. One of the must see episodes is where one viewer, Ralph, criticises Chris for his hysterical rendition of T-Pain's "Buy U a Drank". Chris's response, which consumes an entire episode, should be studied by all who would like to know how best to deal with one's detractors. Result? Ralph + negative comment - Chris's response = Ralph's ass handed.

The following linked episode is one of my all-time favorites. They're all so good its darned hard to pick just one. So if you enjoy it be sure to check out the rest on YouTube, or iTunes and once you're up to date with the current episode get cracking on voting in this week's Cute Down.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's Made Of Wood And Weighs The Same As A Duck?

It may surprise you to know that the smartest person on the Earth at this very moment is neither you nor I. It is a classy Brit who likes to call himself Derren Brown.

At some point in the past Mr. Brown must have had a lot of time on his hands. Wisely he chose to invest that time into learning "magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship" - his words. It was these skills that served to make him a very clever and equally smug individual indeed. The kind of guy who might play Russian Roulette with himself on live television (honest, he did!).

His shennanigans have entertained me for hours on end and I must say how glad I am that he wasn't identified as having a flair for the cello at an early age, because he probably would have spent time practicing that instead and consequently deprived the world of his rare talents.

But Derren's talents are not always what they appear to be. Most of the time, whilst he's leading you to believe he's using one skill to perform a trick, he's really using another. That's the misdirection part. It's the best part of any magician's repertoire. It's the real make or break talent because, honestly, most magic tricks are insultingly simple once you learn how they're done.

With that in mind, have a gander at the psychology tricks on display in today's supplied video. Is it all about reading a person's body language? Or are other conjuror's techniques being employed? It could be either or perhaps a combination of the two. Who knows?




This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Derren does. The boy has a truly amazing repertoire. If it entertains you, you can find plenty more of his stuff on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In The Beginning. . .

It couldn't be easy being God. First you gotta create the entire universe top to bottom, which you can't tell me wouldn't be the biggest logistical nightmare of all time. Then you gotta run the danged thing.

Forever.

Plenty of kinks are gonna need ironing out, ten or so hard rules will have to be thought up, and don't even get me started about the prayers that need answering - it's a lot of hard work.

Thankfully, help is close at hand. It comes in the form of Larry the trusty assistant, Jesse the new full partner and Lucy - the on again off again flame.

What? Don't believe me? Oh ye of little faith.

Fine then. Check it out for yourself:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Survival - It Does A Body Good

For the longest time mankind has been fighting a battle against odds insurmountable.

It is the battle for survival.

Every time you eat a meal, every time you choose to fly overseas instead of swimming it, every time you copulate with a drunken skank you picked up in a bar instead of blowing your brains out, you are making a voluntary effort to ensure the continuation of the second most precious asset you have. Life.

But life is not one big, happy game of Smell The Cheese. Sometimes in order to win someone has got to lose.

If you've ever littered a highway before, you know how hard it was to make that choice. It was the choice between leaving your car untidy and crawling with germs that might lead to cancer or, nearly as tragic, your children's cancer; or dumping it out a convenient window and thus effecting a minor act of genocide against the indigenous-American crybabies who refuse to get with the times. You embraced the comforting notion that, to ensure your own continued existance, someone else must live in squalor, contract dysentery and die. The equations balance. The world maintains its equilibrium.

Axiom of Survival #1: Whatever doesn't kill you, though it might make someone else weaker, still makes you stronger.

In researching human survival, psychologists wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to dream up the assumption that our fear instincts came to us via evolutionary processes. This occurred long before we we got tired of our poo flinging shennanigans, and is thought to have developed as a mechanism for protecting most of our species from becoming Darwin Award nominees. Now, instead of grinning like an idiot when some dickweed lobs a rock or tactical nuke in your direction, you instinctively know to duck and cover. Your survival instinct then kicks into high gear, calling on every violent movie you've ever seen to lull you into a raging psychotic state. It does this by dumping lethal quantities of adrenalin and oxyacetaline into your blood stream, prompting you to retaliate before anyone has a chance to call you a "pussy".

More recently, librarians and really old people who still read books came to realize that both fear and survival instincts are central to the greatest tales mankind has ever told, and even some he hasn't! These concepts, whilst thought of as fundamental to dramatic storytelling, are unfairly considered dangerous "extremists" in the eyes of the illiterate Western capitalist invaders.

Axiom of Survival #2: Blowing yourself up does NOT make you stronger.

For those of you still unclear on what this post is about I offer the following graphic depiction of the human struggle. Scholars think it to be the greatest our civilization has to offer:


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Is There An Upper Limit To Coincidence?

Whilst drafting this post about coincidence, wouldn't you know it, a couple of coincidences occurred!

The other day I wrote about the mash-up trailer for The Shining. The next time I went to visit my favorite capping site, which movie do you think was currently playing on the schedule? You guessed it. The Shining. The fact that this happened whilst I was drafting a post about coincidences is in itself ANOTHER coincidence!

Life is strange.

Anyway. Onto the post as it was originally intended--


A bit of a darker theme to today's post as it has something to do with the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center. Don't worry, this isn't going to be another flogged-to-death opinion about the mayhem that occurred that day. Instead, I'm going to focus on an eerie coincidence.

When coincidences crop up they can really do a number on you and it can be very easy to read more into what has occurred than was there to begin with. I try not to let myself do that. Either there's a simple explanation I've failed to notice that only makes it seem like a coincidence has occurred, or what we're dealing with might be a genuine, bona-fide, 24 Karat, real McCoy coincidence. That's nothing to be afraid of. Statistically speaking, it would be very strange if there weren't any coincidences in our lives.

The following anecdote on coincidence I've been carrying around for a while now. The context makes it pretty hard to forget. Here's how it goes:

On the morning of September 11, 2001 you could walk into a music store in the U.S. and pick up the latest CD from prog-metal supergroup Dream Theater. Of all the factors that go into deciding the release date of a product, this one's just happened to align with that exact date.

There were probably a great many other products slated for release to consumers on 9/11. So, no great coincidence here, really. At least, not yet.

A year before, Dream Theater had played a live date in New York City. The set included a track by track performance of their previous studio album - a concept album titled Scenes From A Memory. They had recorded the event and set about preparing it for release as a live album. It seemed a fitting choice, then, that when the album was released it should feature cover artwork depicting the iconic New York City skyline, with the Twin Towers prominently featured--

Ablaze.

An unsavory coincidence; sure. And more than enough to warrant pulling the album from circulation for a makeover. But, the thing is -- we're still not done.

Because the album was a live presentation of Scenes From A Memory it made good sense to give it a title that implied as much. Unfortunately, the chosen title would mimick a phrase the world would hear again and again as they surveyed the mortally wounded Twin Towers on their TV sets that fateful September morning:

"These are Live Scenes From New York."


I decided not to publish the artwork in this post, mainly because you'd likely cheat and skim the picture, rendering my prose inert. You can find the original art on the Wikipedia entry.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Film That Will Haunt You

When you think back over the distinguished career of director Stanley Kubrick, one stubby little faggoty word leaps to mind.

Joy.

In almost a half-century of work that spanned nearly 50 years, Kubrick brought much needed inspiration to the lives of cinema-going families. So much so that global divorce rates went into steep decline. His legacy was to break a new dawn of cinema in which sentimental, inspirational, touchy-feely crowd pleasers were the gold standard. Cherished holiday favorites like Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot and Escape From L.A., owe much of their continuing success to Kubrick.

I carry such fond memories of the time I first saw Kubrick's antepenultimate masterpiece, Shining. In one all-too-brief film (runtime: 146mins) the collective works of Frank Capra had been rendered obsolete. I left that showing with a spring in my step and the rapturous notion that if you go out of your way to help people, you will get everything you deserve. Suffice it to say, had it not been for this film I would never have had anywhere near the self-confidence needed to start this blog!

If you have yet to experience this film for yourself, you owe it to yourself to experience this film. Maybe you'll even think to share this wonderous,* life-changing classic with your family.

For your approval - the trailer:



*WARNING: Some families have reported experiencing an adverse reaction that renders their wonder as dead as Kubrick himself. Adults are cautioned to privately review the film before deciding if their children or household doors can hack it. Induce vomiting if imbibed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is That A Lightning Storm Brewing Overhead?

(WARNING: Explicit talk of Dungeons & Dragons ahead.)

If you've never rolled a d20 to save your life you haven't lived. Those of you who have, this post's for you.

Remember gathering with your friends at the end of the week to munch through bowls of salty chips, suck down copious amounts of soft drink, and bicker endlessly with the DM over game mechanics, some of which were ill-conceived if not irrelevent in the first place? Yeah, me too. I haven't played D&D in a looong, long time, but I still have fond memories of those games, which just goes to show how fallible memory can be.

To remind us what it's really like, Shamus Young, on his Twenty Sided blog, created a series titled The DM of the Rings. In it Shamus, our beleaguered DM, illustrates just what happens when you take Tolkein's classic Lord of the Rings trilogy and try to play it as a D&D campaign. He's managed to do this by stringing together screenshots from Peter Jackson's LotR films in a comic form. Such a simple idea, right? Right. Simple. And insightful. Also a little unnerving. But damn funny!

To find out why (and do set aside some hours for this unless you intend to string out the experience - something you will inevitably fail to do) you should go check it out!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE SPOOF!

Who are The Delusionists? I really couldn't say, which is a shame seeing as they hail from the same Croc infested shores as yours truly. Surfing the net one day I came across one of their YouTube videos which I thought mildly funny. I decided to give another of their efforts a shot. It was a skit that turned the courtroom climax to A Few Good Men on its ear in an innovative and completely irreverent fashion. I won't risk spoiling it for you by rabbiting on further, other than to say, the next time a friend invites you to play a round of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon -- I dare you not to crack a smile.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's All A Big Mystery

For a while there things looked bleak. Nothing but murder, murder and more murder. But then something changed. House cut through the 'Police Line Do Not Cross' tape to become one of the top rated mystery shows on TV. Not only did I start watching mystery television again, but I had cause to do a little happy dance for Hugh Laurie. He suffered long and hard to get a dream gig like this. Hurrah and huzzah for him!

One of my favorite clips of Hugh is from his comedy years on A Bit of Fry and Laurie, a sketch comedy show he did with Stephen Fry a ways back. Mystery, as this comedic song is called, is something very special. Every line unfolds like a revelation. If you haven't seen it before and you like a good laugh, then this may be just what the doctor ordered.