Friday, January 29, 2010

The Gone-Away World, 2008

This was a really good debut novel by Nick Harkaway, son of John Le Carré, also a great author. The Gone-Away World takes place in a world that has been savaged by Go-Away Bombs, supposedly "clean" bombs that destroy by pulling information from matter. The book has some awesome settings, fast-paced kung-fu action, and I bet the surprise revelation in the middle of the book you didn't see coming. Well worth a read!


Very beautifully photographed: a photo gallery of many consoles since the 70ies, most of them photographed to scale with each other, and with a description in German and English. It includes also the first console I remember playing, the beauty from 1977 in the first picture above.


Unique browser IDs

Scary, but not surprising: it's possible to remotely read your browser and system configuration when you open a web page -- in fact, that has always been the case and is usually being used to optimize that web page for you. What Panopticlick (a project by the Electronic Frontier Foundation) now does is read all available information, including installed plug-ins and installed system fonts. Cross-relating this information with your screen resolution, operating system and time zone, among others, there's a lot information to create a unique "fingerprint" of your exact configuration, so when you visit another site, you could be identifiable through these settings. Well it would rather surprise if someone wasn't already using this, right?


Dubai sky

Yes, Dubai always gets me: here's a nice video with time-lapse images from Dubai.

EPICponyz: The Dubai Sky

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to survive an atomic bomb...

Wow, that comes in handy. Don't forget to print it out and keep it in your purse all the time. At leat you can use it to shield yourself from the rays, so be sure to print it on really thick paper...

Holy shit, that stuff exists...2 person nuclear shelter

Long time no post,
but here I am back, finally posting from work.
I first saw this playing Fallout 3 and even then i thought "amazing", but hey, what do you know - this things really exist.
Imagine sitting in there while the wolrd outside goes down, realizing after a couple of hours that you will not be able to go out FOR THE NEXT MILLION YEARS?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Netrunner cards

These look funny: a couple of cards from the mid-nineties collectible card game Netrunner, which was published by the same company as Magic. It's incredible how clichéd the themes depicted here are: you have the Japanese angle, the "cyberpunk" elements and the "crazy" nerd quotes like "Watch my katana spill your subroutines, inferior gaijin tech!".. oh my.

io9: The Quaint 1990s Cyberpunk Of Netrunner

Splash screens

I'm kind of fond of splash screens for software programs. If you work a lot with computers, these are the logos you see dozens of times every day, and when you come along a great collection of old screens as the one below, there's certainly room for nostalgia.

GUIdebook > Splashes

Comfort the dying

This old public service announcement of the city of Portland doesn't euphemize regarding a nuclear attack: they actually propose to "place newspaper over your head" and "comfort the dying".

mappeal: Comfort the dying

Lovely Bones

Here's a production video for the upcoming movie The Lovely Bones, the latest Peter Jackson-produced movie. If there's one thing to say about it, it has too little Saoirse Ronan in it! I liked this young actress in the movie City of Ember and I'm looking forward to this movie, even though io9 really ripped it apart in their review.

The Horror Of Pedophilia Overwhelms The Lovely Bones - The Lovely Bones - io9

Star Wars Adidas

So, the Adidas / Star Wars collaboration shoes are out. Check out the advertisement video above, featuring Daft Punk, David Beckham, and Snoop Dogg. Hell, this is way post-modern for sure.

Topless Robot - Star Wars Adidas Are Daft Punk-Approved

The Plan

So I finally got around watching Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, the 2-hour feature movie detailing some of the background for the invasion of the colonies by the Cylons. It's really quite well done and fills in a lot of blank spaces in the story, and of course it's also quite cool to revisit the series now, watching Brother Cavil losing more and more control over his fellow Cylons that get increasingly emotional or psychotic or fucked-up.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Retro games for modern movies

These are quite nice: a couple of fake artworks for old-school Atari games based on modern movies such as Avatar and Cloverfield.

Bloody Ohama

A group of three people recreated D-Day in the Normandy by filming themselves over and over and then putting together the footage on a PC to look like hundreds of soldiers are storming the beach. Skip towards the end of the video to see most of the footage, which doesn't look bad at all.

Blame It On The Voices: Recreating D-Day with 3 people

Spotting a hidden gun

Here's a useful infographic about how to spot a hidden handgun: there are a couple of telltale signs, such as an asymmetrical walking gait, involuntary hand movements and conspicuous clothing that could give away that someone is carrying a concealed weapon. On the other hand, if you're packing heat yourself, you might want to study this so you can avoid these mistakes.

the world's best ever: how to spot a hidden handgun

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kick-Ass new trailer

Yes I admit I was skeptical about this movie at first, but now I'm convinced that this will be awesome: here's a new Kick-Ass trailer.

Explaining The Entire Plot Of Kick-Ass Just Makes Us Want To See It More - kick-ass - io9


The abandoned town of Bechyovinka, formerly a secret submarine base, is on the island of Kamchatka and is also called Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskya located a few kilometers down the bay from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskya.

You can look it up on Google Maps and you'll see that there's only a blurred out satellite view available, showing that it's very much at the end of the world, on the tip of the peninsula... indeed a perfect spot for a secret base.

English Russia » Bechyovinka, the submariners’ secret town

Tabletop Pong

Really neat DIY Pong game, not 100% functioning but it's a cool idea!

A playable game of Tabletop Pong - Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Doom Bible

I just love this: here's the Doom Bible, written by Tom Hall, the original design manual for the (at the time of writing still unfinished) video game Doom. It outlines ideas for Doom, including an intricate plot, most of which were later scrapped in favor of a more simple, straightforward game. So whole passages regarding the back story are totally different to the final release. Also, there are multiple characters mentioned, whereas in the final game, you only had the opportunity to play as an anonymous "Space Marine". This change in direction was what ultimately led to the resigning of Tom Hall, the original creative director of the game.

Parts of the manual are more like a collection of notes or brain-storming, with passages going like "Insert interesting description of behavior and how they are beat here."

You can also find out that the BFG 9000 has been in the game all along:
BFG 2704 (red). Horrible hallway-scouring weapon. Damages user a bit. Awful recoil. BFG stands for "Big Fucking Gun." Safest use: back to wall, distant target.

Also, apparently one of the first things Hall planned was a "nude" mode, check out these command-line parameters:
DOOM /bubbies Replace all actors with naked women
DOOM /prude Cancels effects of bubbies parameters
DOOM /drunk Occasionally invokes the bubbies mode

The Doom Bible is dated November 28, 1992 and is a lot of fun to read. You just gotta love the whacky typeface, sketchy in-joke descriptions and general nerdiness attached in this, thankfully preserved, document.

Doom World: The Doom Bible

The guy behind the Phantom Menace review

Here's an interview with Mike Stoklasa, the guy who did that hilarious Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Youtube review. Can't wait to see more reviews by this guy!

Heeb: HQ : Man Behind Epic _Phantom Menace_ Review Speaks

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Angry video game nerd

Yes, this is a long-ongoing Internet meme which for some reason has passed me by so far: the Angry Video Game Nerd. This guy is funny and cool and the videos he produces are really quirky and well thought through. I like his frustrated mutterings like "nnngh.. get up there.. come on.. graargh!", I can so relate.

AVGN Videos Full List | Cinemassacre Productions

asdfmovie vs Rejected

Well yes, this is pointless humour, and even though it does have some funny moments, for my liking it's too close for comfort to its big daddy, the classic Rejected by Don Hertzfeld from 2000: rejected

Space Battleship Yamato

First teaser trailer for a live-action version of Space Battleship Yamato, which was an immensely popular 80ies anime series about a spaceship built into a WWII era battleship. Don't get too excited just yet.. projected release date is in December 2010.

SPACE BATTLESHIP ヤマト 公式WEBサイト 主演・木村拓哉

Friday, January 1, 2010


Funny I never picked up on this great movie, it's probably because the story sounds a bit goofy when you read it but makes sense in the film itself.

The premise of Gamer is that multiplayer games have involved into a new format where players control real humans, convicted murderers who are put through real-life "maps". Meanwhile, the corporation behind this game is also running another game called "Society", but both games are just the preparation to take control over all humans through the nano-technology involved. Imagine Running Man meets Counter Strike meets Dollhouse meets Second Life. It's really a gory, sometimes goofy, dirty piece of movie entertainment and also gives gamers enough details to chuckle occasionally, such as the dummy NPCs in the maps, or the huge bulldozers that guard the "boundaries" of the playfield.

Gamer (2009) - Release dates

Star Wars with a laugh track

It is funny: the confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back with an added laugh track.

Topless Robot - The Empire Laughs Back

Best and worst movies of 2009

Okay, I'm kind of relieved now: even though I have seen (and enjoyed actually) 3 films from the "Worst of 2009" list by io9, namely 2012, Terminator and Transformers, I've also seen the top 5 of the "Best" movies of last year -- not bad that ratio.

io9: Best And Worst SF/Fantasy Movies Of 2009 [Year In Review]

Iron Sky in production

Yes, we have been suckers for the Nazis-went-to-the-moon Scifi flick Iron Sky since it's been first mentioned, but according to Finnish web site YLE it's now actually going into production:

Producers will begin filming the Iron Sky feature film in Frankfurt next spring, and they hope to have the movie finished by the end of 2010.

Sci-Fi Parody Masters to Launch Space Nazi Flick | News | YLE Uutiset |

Philco PC

Nice, can I get this with Brazil-like magnifying screen in front? Schultzeworks is building the Philco PC, inspired by the 1954 design classic Philco Predicta. Interested in buying one? Well too bad these are just 3D design renderings:

Thank you to everyone who has called or written to inquire where they could buy the Philco PC. However, these images are 3D renderings of a design concept which does not yet exist in the real world. We are currently meeting with PC manufacturers and hope that will change in the near future. In the meantime, thanks for the interest, and it’s very cool that you thought the images were real.

SchultzeWORKS | PhilcoPC

Oh Mikey

Speaking of laugh tracks, do you know Oh Mikey? It's a Japanese TV show detailing the life of an American expat family in Japan, dramatized through stills of mannequins. They are faced with all kinds of strange situations in their life and usually for no reason break out in maniacal laughter. It's quite hard to stomach because it's so asinine, but be sure to skip to the episode at minute 5:20, the part about James and Christina is a fucking classic.

The Fuccon Family -|- Oh Mikey!

Best memes of 2009

Always good to recap: here's a list of some 25 memes from 2009 (not the best mind you, but that kind of "best" will always be up for discussion I guess). Featured above: the "Your argument is invalid" meme (quite similar the "I don't know what you're talking about, so here's ..."), the running girl meme and the Ragetoon meme. 25 Best Memes of 2009