Playpen

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 20:14 on 16-12-2011, Ibmiller
I have to say I'm distinctly nervous about Brave, especially since Up and Cars 2 really, really didn't work for me. Except for the first ten minutes of Up. But everything after that was just not terribly interesting or cohesive.

Also, Happy Birthday, Jane Austen! I don't care if Google and Google.co.uk ignored you this year! I wish you were here to write dystopia with good manners :-)
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at 03:53 on 16-12-2011, Guy
You know how extreme metal bands have those really awesome and totally unreadable logos? Thanks to this guy, now Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber do too.


Michael Buble, awesome. Bieber's satanic enough that his one kind of makes sense.
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at 21:04 on 15-12-2011, Michal
We've totally missed the boat on that whole cyberpunk dystopia thing, but there's still hope. (I do, in fact, own a trenchcoat. I just don't have the cybertech body enhancements to go along with it yet.)
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at 20:32 on 15-12-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
and tom paris invented an engine that could go to infinity. the drawback of which could be cured so easily it happened off-screen. in a series about getting home.

And that engine he invented? It's exactly the same as a regular warp engine, only with a fancy new form of dilithium in it. To make a crude analogy, it's the equivalent of switching from Yorkshire to Columbian coal and discovering you can make a steam locomotive break the sound barrier.

(Honestly, that's one of the things that pisses me off the most about latter-day Trek: the fact that no one writing it seems to give a shit how the technology works anymore. I'm not demanding you swear fealty to the laws of nature, but I would like if you could friggin' remember the rules you wrote for yourselves way back when.)

brannon braga is a genius.

He has to be. Who else other than a genius could be given a show with the premise "Humans colonize dinosaur times" and think to himself "I know what I'll do! I'll make the colony functionally identical to modern-day America, and I'll center the plot around an incredibly fucking tepid family drama!!!"

No normal man would think these thoughts. Genius is the only explanation.
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at 18:51 on 15-12-2011, Arthur B
You know how extreme metal bands have those really awesome and totally unreadable logos? Thanks to this guy, now Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber do too.
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at 10:29 on 15-12-2011, Fin
and tom paris invented an engine that could go to infinity. the drawback of which could be cured so easily it happened off-screen. in a series about getting home.

brannon braga is a genius.
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at 10:06 on 15-12-2011, Arthur B
And for the rest of the series everyone pretends it didn't happen.
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at 09:31 on 15-12-2011, Wardog
Two words: newt babies.


Is ... is that the episode were Janeway and Wossname de-evolve into giant slugs and shag each other?
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at 19:31 on 14-12-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Oh, and Voyager rules.

Two words: newt babies.

No, that's unkind; invoking "Threshold" is the Godwin's Law of Star Trek. I liked Voyager back in the day, but now I see it as a show that could put out some decent episodes, but one that never lived up to its original premise or found a better premise to replace it. It was wasted potential, which is the real tragedy in my mind.

'Course, Enterprise was all that and more, but that's another story.

It looks pretty good, although I get the distinct impression that the first half of the movie playing out the tired old "But I don't want to be a 'proper lady,' I want to be a tomboy!" scenario.

Well, maybe, but it's Pixar, and their craftsmanship more often than not makes up for other potential weaknesses in their films. (Mind you, it didn't with Cars, but we don't talk about that movie in polite company.)

As for me, brain-rotted TF2 fanboy that I am, I'm wondering if Gary Schwartz is doing a voice for the movie. Then again, it would be hard for him to top his previous work as the best CG Scotsman ever made.
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at 17:45 on 14-12-2011, Michal
Be not afraid, Michal. You're smart and an excellent writer, and you'll rock. :-)

Aw, thanks Cammalot.

(Meanwhile, I did end up reading The Fall of the Kings while you were gone from the Playpen. I liked it very much.)
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at 15:15 on 14-12-2011, Robinson L
Frank: This makes me cautiously hopeful. Fingers crossed the baddie won't be a woman.

It looks pretty good, although I get the distinct impression that the first half of the movie playing out the tired old "But I don't want to be a 'proper lady,' I want to be a tomboy!" scenario.
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at 21:57 on 13-12-2011, Shimmin
For anyone who, like me, is still a decade behind on gaming, there is a big Christmas sale on at GOG. By which I mean, I've just bought about twenty games for about forty quid.
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at 18:41 on 13-12-2011, Frank
This makes me cautiously hopeful. Fingers crossed the baddie won't be a woman.
Oh, and Voyager rules.
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at 05:26 on 13-12-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
And now, from Twitter, synopses from the lost eight season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

"A temporal virus that infects the crew’s ancestors reveals a mystery involving human evolution. Data & Geordi’s prank war gets dangerous."

"A derelict space station harbors a dangerous secret from Guinan's past. Riker's one-man play has a lot of shirtless scenes."

"Riker befriends elves to survive while stranded on a planet similar in flora to Southern California. Picard misses his childhood sailboat."

"Picard's poems come to life and seize the ship. Data's new obsession with his ventriloquist dummy is starting to affect his work."

Ehh, still better than Voyager.
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at 10:02 on 12-12-2011, Cammalot
Be not afraid, Michal. You're smart and an excellent writer, and you'll rock. :-)
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at 13:23 on 11-12-2011, Wardog
Hmmm, there's a reasonably interesting article over at Eurogamer about Dark Souls versus Skyrim - his conclusion is basically that Skyrim is stale and rubbish whereas Dark Souls is proper story telling for proper gamers, but the article itself is quite interesting. Unfortunately since all I've done in Dark Souls is DIE, it's hard to really, err, access this amazing story-telling.
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at 08:17 on 11-12-2011, Michal
Thanks, everyone!
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at 03:05 on 11-12-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Oh, this is nice. I was browsing the Youtubes looking for some LPs to watch over dinner, and I came across a duo known as Slowbeef and Diabeetus, two SA goons who basically invented the concept of LPing, and I stumbled across the commentary they did for two forgotten third-person shooters called Dead to Rights and its sequel, Dead to Rights: Retribution.

They're not good games. But they're the kind of stupid I like. The first game follows the adventures of homicidal supercop Jack Slate and his equally homicidal Siberian husky companion Shadow as they fight crime in Grant City, and by "fight crime" I mean "murder everyone." If you can imagine what Max Payne would have been like if the developers had spent their time huffing paint, then you can imagine Dead to Rights. The sequel manages to be even more gloriously stupid, which sees Jack reacting to the murder of his father (Col. Campbell from Metal Gear Solid et al.) by waging a one-man war against the Combine AND the Geth, and culminates with a knife fight against Squidward (well, his VO). Oh, and Shadow is upgraded from "husky" to "wolf-bear-demon thing."

There's an entire "best of" compilation of their run here.

And just to whet your appetite, here's an excerpt from their commentary of the first game. I promise that it is the best thing you will see all day.
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at 01:10 on 11-12-2011, Janne Kirjasniemi
Congrats Michal! I hope you'll have fun studying.
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at 20:36 on 10-12-2011, Robinson L
Ash: How did NaNo go for you, Ferretbrain?

For me it went about the same as last time I participated. Which is to say that I won, and I finished the story I was working on, but only within the last two hours of the month.

I guess I'm getting better in some areas, though. Last time (2009) I was essentially throwing random crap (and a whole lot of shout-outs and in-jokes) at OpenOffice Writer for thirty days. This year I had an actual plot worked out, and an interesting theme to tackle. The end result was still rubbish, as before, but I think this time there's a salvageable story buried in there, should I ever feel energized to revisit it.
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at 20:02 on 10-12-2011, Ash
Good luck and congrats, Michal!


How did NaNo go for you, Ferretbrain?
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at 14:36 on 10-12-2011, Wardog
That's fantastic news - congratulations Michal!

(thank fuck for Xmas and hello again Fb - work has been slaying meeee!)
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at 03:52 on 10-12-2011, Sister Magpie
Congratulations!!
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at 20:00 on 09-12-2011, Robinson L
Congratulations and best of luck, Michal.
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