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 05:17 on 08-06-2011, Frank
Wikipedia articles lead to philosophy.
I tried this out with 'shit'. It took 20 clicks. 'Quantum mechanics' took 12.
'Baba Yaga' was wanky, but fiddling around I got there in 22*.

*with an asterisk
at 04:52 on 08-06-2011, Michal
Did anyone here read Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, and if so, was anyone else a little infuriated by the surprise romance ending? After the glory that was The Last Light of the Sun, I started to feel the creeping feelers of disappointment with this one. Especially since, once again, Kay has snuck in a female assassin (fine, okay), except this time, we get to see someone else partake in almost-necrophilia after her death before someone stops him (...not okay). Though that also happened to be the one time I've laughed out loud at a Kay novel, presumably for all the wrong reasons. I probably should have stopped there.
at 01:25 on 08-06-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Sigh...I know I should probably get angry about this, but I've raged about this issue before, and I've basically run out of anything new to rage about. If we're lucky this thing will end up like that Fallujah video game that sank beneath the waves a few years back.

Thankfully, if seeing video games about murder-happy superspy/soldiers with xenophobic storylines is getting you down, another upcoming game will let you vent your feelings in a mature and reasonable fashion.
at 01:07 on 08-06-2011, Rude Cyrus
Upcoming video game where the player takes on the role of a Blackwater mercenary.

I'm not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, turning Blackwater, a company that's been linked to the killing of civilians and noncombatants into the good guys fighting evil non-whites is crass as hell. On the other hand, isn't every war video game crass as hell?

Still, it's something that's bugged me about contemporary war shooters, most recently with Black Ops, the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise (at least until MW3 is released).
at 23:04 on 07-06-2011, Andy G
Can anyone hear what they were saying in that interview? I heard lots of ROFLing but not much of the actual words.
at 20:27 on 07-06-2011, Melissa G.
I found a video of the interview with David Thewlis mentioned in that Movie Line piece, and he actually says no such thing. He says the director told him to play it gay *without JKR's knowledge*, and then makes a joke about it.
at 19:14 on 07-06-2011, Wardog
I did do a vague amount of digging - 5 minute journalism if you will. And Frank is right, I can't actually trace a legitimate source beyond people all reacting in instinctive "oh no she didn't" to the Movie Line piece. I think it's just shit stirring to be honest.
at 17:19 on 07-06-2011, Sister Magpie
I need to hear an exact quote on the Lupin as ex-gay thing before I believe JKR said any such thing. I feel like that's one of those garbled things, like maybe Cuaron said Lupin was gay but then he got with Tonks so Thewlis said maybe he changed or something.
at 12:50 on 07-06-2011, Arthur B
Some people, when they realise that their political worldview resembles a cheesy 80s cartoon, would reconsider their worldview.

Others conclude that said cartoon predicted the future.
at 23:35 on 06-06-2011, Cammalot
I don't get why anyone is interested in being king

Mostly to keep other people from doing it, it seems.
at 23:26 on 06-06-2011, Dan H
I don't get why anyone is interested in being king

Because in the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die.

I'd also point out that most of the people in tGoT *don't* actually want to be king. Part of the reason that Robert is such a sucky ruler is that he doesn't want the job.
at 23:12 on 06-06-2011, Wardog
They get the best chair, clearly...
at 22:21 on 06-06-2011, Frank
Back to HBO's Game of Thrones.
I don't get why anyone is interested in being king. Do they get the password to the prefect's bathhouse bathroom or something?
at 19:46 on 06-06-2011, Melissa G.
*insert obligatory "Are you fucking serious/sirius?" joke here*
at 17:41 on 06-06-2011, Wardog
Hmmmm...I always thought he was with Tonks so she could be Sirius for him ;)
at 17:37 on 06-06-2011, Melissa G.
Well, I always thought Lupin was gay (and the werewolfism was a metaphor for AIDS), and I saw his marriage to Tonks as a desperate attempt to fit in and be normal. I mean, he didn't seem very into it and just ended up going with it because of all the pressure from Tonks and others. So that kind of fits with my interpretation anyways. Shrug.
at 16:30 on 06-06-2011, Frank
The gay villains of the HP universe are Bellatrix-the-Beard's husband and that hot twink, Barty.
at 16:25 on 06-06-2011, Wardog
Yeah, to be honest, I just didn't pay much attention to the provenance. Someone pointed it out to me at work and I was like "yep, sounds like Rowling" :)
at 15:52 on 06-06-2011, Frank
The MovieLine article/paragraph is questionable. They seem to be rewording Thewlis original statement from years ago when he stated that Cuaron directed him to play Lupin as a 'gay junkie'.
at 15:43 on 06-06-2011, Arthur B
One of these days Rowling will actually decide that a Harry Potter character is gay, sexually active, and happy about it.

That character will most likely be one of the nastier Death Eaters or something. Possibly Voldemort himself. At the very least I will be astonished if it's not some flavour of villain.
at 15:01 on 06-06-2011, Wardog
I'm probably late to the "oh no you didn't JK Rowling party" but apparently Lupin is an ex-gay.... Not a bisexual. An ex-gay. *facepalm* Cured, apparently, by the love of a good Tonks.
at 14:26 on 05-06-2011, Andy G
My reaction to the ending of the latest Doctor Who:
Autumn? Wtf?
at 06:22 on 05-06-2011, Melissa G.
Full story here for those interested.
at 05:48 on 05-06-2011, Melissa G.
OMG, so not cool . Things like this make me lose so much faith in humanity. :-(