Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 10:20 on 30-07-2009, Wardog
Sorry for the spill of random in the playpen but I am bored. Dude Watchin' With the Brontes. What's not to love about a comic called Hark, a vagrant!
at 10:18 on 30-07-2009, Wardog
This is entirely pointless, but there's a tabletop RPG available based on Commedia dell’Arte. It's probably pretentious and terrible but it has the best name ever: The Penguin Harlequinade! (sadly no penguins in the actual game - how tragic is that?!)
at 10:14 on 30-07-2009, Wardog
Did anybody here about EA's lastest spectacular marketingfail 'Sin to Win' - there's an article over at Ars Technica covering the fail, which comicon attendees are invited to sexual harrass the boothe babes *cough* costumed reps *cough*. Of course, EA have apologised. My favourite line is "by commmit acts of lust" we meant "take photos with." And by "hit you in the face.." I meant...
at 03:46 on 30-07-2009, Rami
According to some casual browsing I've just done, the actual radiation causing the keratosis is usually years in the past, and once it's been treated (apparently one treats it much like one does a wart) you just need to have your doctor look at it every year or so to make sure it's fine. So, <crosses fingers> you should be fine.
at 01:02 on 30-07-2009, Rude Cyrus
I'm fine, although I'm not sure what caused it -- I spend very little time in the sun. More likely it's a side effect of radiotherapy I recieved as a child. It's just something I should keep an eye out for in the future.
at 00:03 on 30-07-2009, Wardog
Um, gosh - for a long moment I thought that was an especially oblique comment on the white-washing of YA cover art.

Are you okay?
at 22:45 on 29-07-2009, Rami
Jezus. Um. I don't know what to say to that. Wiki says they're benign, though?
at 22:36 on 29-07-2009, Rude Cyrus
So I had what I thought was a wart removed from my belly, only for tests to come back and confirm that it was an actinic keratosis.

So, uh, yeah.
at 16:55 on 29-07-2009, Rami
The "urban music" genre is simply called "Black-Musik" in Germany
Well, at least they're honest about it. It's one of the things I hate about America -- things change glacially, but they get cloaked in different language really quickly. So you have millions of people out there saying "we're not racist, honest, we just [pick euphemism for fear and hatred] [pick the current PC term for minority] people". And the justifications are everywhere, because covering one's ass is the number one priority -- God forbid someone should be so mean as to accuse you of a patently "outdated" attitude like racism just for stereotyping non-whites!
at 16:44 on 29-07-2009, Andy G
The "urban music" genre is simply called "Black-Musik" in Germany. Make of that what you will.

I'm also sure that I once heard a comedian talking about how "inner city" is used in the same way in news reports.
at 14:59 on 29-07-2009, Dan H
"Urban" is a particularly weird euphemism.

It's even weirder when you realize that it's been the name of nine popes.
at 14:17 on 29-07-2009, Arthur B
I'm utterly dismayed by the concept of an "urban fiction" section in a shop, partially because I'm dismayed by the increasing use of "urban" as a synonym for "black people". It strikes me as a nasty cover-your-ass sort of word which your enterprising modern racist can use to say anything they like about minorities and then turn around and say "Oh, well, I was just talking about the problems of inner-city areas, not black people." And even when it's not used that way, how fucking patronising is it when you can't think of any better way to address a particular population than saying "Well, um... they live in cities?"
at 13:49 on 29-07-2009, Wardog
This is interesting and saddening - it's a cover controversary, really, over the fact the cover of Justine Larbalestier's Liar depicts a white girl with long, straight hair when the protagonist is actually a black girl with short hair - here's a link to her journal entry in which she talks about it.
at 12:17 on 29-07-2009, Arthur B
I find it disturbing how similar the HPA's logo (as seen in this article) is to the logo of a certain other political movement.
at 11:30 on 29-07-2009, Dan H
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

I despair for any movement that takes its anti-discrimination advice from Harry Potter. "Okay guys, what we're going to do is we're going to be more polite to Black People, and that way they'll get back in the cotton fields where they belong".
at 02:49 on 29-07-2009, Guy
Hay guys! There is a new religion based on Harry Potter do you want to join it will be great!!!
at 01:01 on 29-07-2009, Arthur B
A good article about how the Republican party is being eaten alive by its lunatic fringe. Puts the video I posted the other day in context, is also hilarious.
at 16:44 on 28-07-2009, Arthur B
Yeah, people are saying rude things about him in some quarters and saying that being in the film broke him, but they're not taking the context of the interview into account: anyone will end up sounding pathetic answering a series of questions exclusively about Star Wars and how it's affected their life.

I hope he made stacks of cash out of being in the film. If his Wikipedia page is anything to go by he did at least get a gig doing voice work for various Star Wars computer games until his voice broke.
at 15:41 on 28-07-2009, Wardog
Awww, poor Jake Lloyd! Sounds like he had a terrible time of it at school and college, but he seems to have grown into a really nice, sane and sorted person. I kind of have a wee bit of a crush on him after that interview actually. His sortedness reminds of the Will Wheaton sanity effect - i.e. that people who play really hated characters seem to develop into astonishingly well-rounded human beings.
at 12:32 on 27-07-2009, Arthur B
George Lucas is already working on the issue and will be digitally altering Hayden Christensen's appearance in the Special Editions of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith specifically to make him look more like Jake Lloyd does now.
at 10:27 on 27-07-2009, Andy G
@ Arthur: He also really hasn't grown up to look even remotely like Hayden Christensen, has he?
at 09:40 on 27-07-2009, Arthur B permalink
at 23:58 on 26-07-2009, Arthur B
The mention of Citizen Kane in the title did in fact make me expect games = art bullshit, and I was quite pleased to see that it wasn't. :)

It was also nice to see the author actually pointing out how some of the camera tricks in Citizen Kane works, which is refreshing. Lots of people namedrop the thing without actually being able to coherently explain why it's so important. (Hell, I've seen it and I couldn't explain the technical aspects of it.)
at 23:33 on 26-07-2009, Wardog
Yeah, I know, I should have posted the link in a slightly more positive way. I actually thought it was a pretty decent article. (for once, none of that games = art bullshit).