Monday, April 30, 2007

fun or fear?

Obi-Won KaGussy, you are my only hope

Okay, the japanese have frequently dipped into both western classical literature as well as western movies as inspiration for anime features, especially during the 80s. This includes things like a Karate Kid saturday morning cartoon, another based on Little Women, or Sherlock Holmes anime following the actual stories quite closely, except everyone was a dog.

So, when a freind from sweden popped in an anime video he had of "Silver Fang" I figured it was "Japanese Anime Studio retells Jack London Classic" Well, if it was, it was only the slightest bit related. Apparently there is an entire series, but I only saw an single episode, in swedish not japanese or english. The basic storyline while interesting is not terribly original. Still, I enjoyed it. Community raises bear hunting dogs on some far flug island of Japan. Best hunter and best dog go out, best dog gets killed by a bear who is crazy from an old wound. Best dog's son tries to grow up and take his father's place and eventually extract vengance on the bear. Dog seeks out best trainer, some old hermit in the woods, which turns out to be the hunter who had trained and accompanied his father. So far, the plot is the same as your basic kickboxing movie, or what have you.

But then it turns to something more. Apparently the bears are more than they seem, harboring some dark evil, and working in conjunction. Then a strange dog comes to town, at the head of a huge pack, and recruits Silverfang to join his pack, and make war on these mystical evil bears.

Apparently it wasn't very popular in japan, but a lot of nordic communites (where there was a big tradition of hunting by bringing a single spitz-type dog and having it flush game like bear and moose) it was popular. Unfortunately, because it shares the same name as a classical work of english literature, searching for it on google is quite difficult

So Gus, with your knowledge of Anime, you are my only hope for tracking this down

EDIT: Your wish is granted. Long live Jambi.<---cool thanks, btw, how do you edit other people's posts, and who do I thank?

Scratch that, all you found was the japanese and swedish version, where is the english! We only speak one language over here you know

EDIT #2: Here's an English fansub of the first episode. Requires a Divx plug-in of some sort, I imagine.

Justice: D.A.N.C.E.

Justice are part of a French house/electro movement that, in my mind, spawns directly from the work of Daft Punk over the past ten or so years. Most of the heat in this scene is coming from the Parisian record label Ed Banger. Label head Busy P aka Pedro Winter just so happens to be Daft Punk's tour manager.

See also: SebastiAn, Kavinski, Mr. Oizo and tangentially the record label Kitsune.

John Cage: "Water Walk"

In 1960 composer John Cage performed one of his experimental pieces on the live CBS quiz show "I've Got a Secret."

Watch the video at WFMU's Beware of the Blog

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saturday Afternoon

Some of you were there saturday afternoon, others of you were busy wussing out. Anyways, we were discussing the Armenian Genocide, and if Armenia was a seperate nation invaded by Turkey.

Turns out we were all half right.
Links on the bottom, summary below
Note: Many of these links are under constant hacker attack by people who believe Turkey and the Turkish people did no wrong, either becuase the Armenians had it coming, or because it is all an elaborate pack of lies.

Armenians had inhabitited that region of the world for roughly 3 thousand years, and were repeatedly invaded and ruled by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Mongols. The Ottoman Empire held sway over the Armenian Homeland, but the Ottoman Empire was falling apart. The Russians grabbed the chunk containing the Armenians but soon ceded it back. At this time the Ottoman Empire was almost entirely Turkish. The Grerks, Slavs, Romanians, etc were able to get independance. The Armenians, Kurds and some Arabs were not able to gain independance. The earliest acts of genocide in the closing decade of the nintheeth century were done by the Ottoman Government.

There was a big Turkish Nationalist movement, and the old sultan was forced to create a constitutional government and step down. The group that instigated this change was known as the 'Young Turks' While the borders of the Ottoman Empire were unchanged, this is usually seen as the end of the Ottoman Empire. This situation remained only for a short time, when three of the Young Turks took power through the use of military force. Their nationalist goals were twofold: to eliminate all non-turks in their country, and militarlity take over all regions in other countries with large ethnically turkish people. This is usually where most accounts stop using Ottoman Empire and start using Turkish Government. The Armenian region was a twofold problem to this Turkish government. The Armenians made up 10% of the population of the Ottoman Empire in the last days of the Sultan, and the first days of the new government, so by goal 1, they needed to be removed. The Armenina region also bordered a large turkish region under control of the Russians, so even if the Three Young Turks were to go for goal 2 first, the Armenians were right in the way. Of course, WW 1 was in full swing, this allowed great cover for the attrocities. The Russians actually stood up for the Armenians for a time, allowing them to flee through their lines, but troops were pulled to deal with their own revolution in 1917. Many Armenians took this opportunity to flee along with the Russian military, with plans to join a large Armenian community inside Russia. The Turkish government at that time, as well as today's Turkey use this action to retroactively state that the Armenians had been fighting for the Russains all along, hence their attacks on the Armenians were simply standard WW1 warfare.

After WWII a more moderate Turkish government was put in place, and there was an offically created Armenian Republic. Pres W. Wilson attempted to have it made officially a US protectorate. However, just months after, a new nationalistic leader ousted the moderates, ignored the treaty, and reoccupied the Armenian Republic, and finished off the Armenians there.

It must also be noted that the Kurds are not guiltless either. Oftentimes Kurds residing the the same village would join the mobs attacking the Armenian residents. Some of this can be seen as Kurds going along so that the mob wouldn't turn on them as well. However, most of the Kurds were nomadic, and not residing in villages with Turks and Armenians. When the Turks were forcemarching the Armenians, or when the Armenians were fleeing ahead of the Turkish forces sent to eliminate them, the Kurds would ride in, take the food, valuables, and attractive women, kill anyone who opposed them, then ride off with their loot.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Starcraft 2

I know that many of you may already be aware of this, but I felt it my duty to inform the rest: It is rumored that Blizzard will announce Starcraft 2 during the Blizzard World Wide Invitational in South Korea on May 19.


Phantom Dust

Three cheers for 360 backwards compatibility. I've been meaning to play this online, card-based strategy game for ages. It took a "late to the party" thread on NeoGAF to push me over the edge. Nabbed the game for $10 shipped on Anybody else up for trying it out?

Phantom Dust on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Any of you ever hear this song?

"Beauty Queen" by Leather Dynamite?

For some reason I thought Wolf might like it.

Icky Thump

The new White Stripes single. XM radio previewed it recently, you can hear the radio rip here. It'll be available on iTunes midnight, tonight, I believe.

I dig the sound: sorta like AC/DC with solos from Robert Fripp.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007


A defense-type game.

I mean, I played it.

At work.

I got to level 11 on my first try.

Sorry no linky- shortcut command doesn't work in Safari.

Here ya go - g

Playing Halo on guitar and with a whole high school band

Why not mix Guitar Hero and Halo?

Or maybe just sit and listen to halo:

Furries at Home

I'd rather by assaulted with the billiard ball-stuffed sweat sock.

The furries have taken to the streets...

Beware of large rabbits.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fight, sort of.

"F Minus" is the least funny comic strip since "Cathy." Humor and relevance to the group are apparently not a perfect intersection.

Catan Slated For May

The Catan Live website is up. They've got the achievements list, some new screenshots and a slightly more news regarding the AI opponents that Teuber was reportedly putting so much effort into developing.

Also: I can't look at that dancing sheep without imagining that he's saying, "Go, shorty! It's your birthday!"

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Them Crazy Danes

After Hot Fuzz (which was awesome) the subject of the Danes came up and I misremembered a bit of controversy. Turns out it was a Danish politician (not an editorial writer as I suggested). PM Søren Krarup, of the nationalist Danish People’s Party (DF), said the "the symbols that represent Islam and Nazism are the same thing" in reference to headscarves.


I am not kidding.

I have a new favorite song.
Listen here.

"When they open up; they open UP!"


Diamonds and Pearls

This post is really just an excuse to use that image. The next Pokemon comes out tomorrow for the DS, and I will be picking up the Diamond version. The big new addition is the internet battling / trading. I figure here would be a good place to leave your friend code so we can get together and do that stuff.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Friday August 18, 2006
Previous Next
Dear Yahoo!:
What's the difference between a nerd, a geek, and a dork?
Dear Josh:
We've been called all three, and to be honest, we always assumed they meant the same thing. However, according to the cool kids, there are differences.
Official definitions for nerd, geek, and dork each use the words "inept" and "foolish." Nerds have the added distinction of being "unattractive." Ouch. While it's hard to argue with the dictionary, we sought out definitions from the Internet at large.
According to, nerds are people of above-average intelligence who place little importance on their appearance. Nerds are often aware of their status, but they don't mind. In fact, many take pride in the putdown, as it means they're smart and not wrapped up in superficial worries.
Geek is a more specific term. Back in the day, geeks worked at carnivals, and (according to the dictionary) "bit the heads off live chickens." Thankfully, the term now has a different connotation. Like nerds, geeks are smart, but they tend to focus more on technology. As Urban Dictionary explains, these are the people you make fun of in high school and later work for as an adult.
Being called a "dork" is the biggest insult of the three. There's no way you can spin it into something positive. After all, even the dictionary writes that dorks are "stupid" people. And to make matters worse, dorks assume they're cool. Oh, and they smell, too.
So, to sum things up, if someone calls you a geek or a nerd, thank them. If someone calls you a dork, consider going back to school and investing in some new deodorant.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Paprika and Hot Fuzz

There's a special screening of Paprika on Friday at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. The film is directed by Satoshi Kon, director of Perfect Blue, Paranoia Agent, Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers. Next to Miyazaki, he's the best working filmmaker in anime. I'll be attending the only screening which is at Oak Street at 9:30 PM. The date is 4/20. hehe


Then on Saturday, I'll be going to see Hot Fuzz at the AMC Rosedale, the 8:10 show. Hot Fuzz is directed by Edgar Wright, the guy behind Shaun of the Dead and the TV series Spaced. I can't stress enough how awesome this movie is going to be. It's a movie-length piss take on American action flicks like Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys and Point Break. It's not just stupid parody, though. If you've seen Shaun of the Dead you'll know that these guys have a talent for working in genre, subverting it, then rocking it on its ass.


Maybe. Just Maybe.

I know that Gus has attempted to convince Aaron and I that the FPS genre is a place where a spiritually true Shadowrun game could live. He has so far met with limited success, but today's Penny Arcade post may help his cause. Tycho invokes the holy Tribes in his impressions of gameplay. That association alone is enough for me to possibly seek out the demo when it is released. Or at least not regard it as an utter desecration of what might have been an interesting video game universe. I still think it's the best MMORPG setting around.

Look Around You

Here's another great show from the UK. The first series is meant to approximate old TV science programs from the '70s -- only the stuff they're teaching is always fabulously wrong. You'll see what I mean when you watch the clip. The second series apes those shows like Beyond 2000 from the '80s.

Have your copybooks ready!


This Halo fan film rips off pretty much every action movie made in the last 20 years, but it's still pretty impressive. Stay 'till the end when it gets really creepy in a fan fiction sort of way.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Klaxons

The wife and I are going to see these guys at the 7th Street Entry tonight. They're the "indie rave" guys I mentioned over beers a while back. This video for "Magick" has a sort of Evil Dead II meets Hi- C Ecto Cooler vibe.

More tracks below.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Boardgames on XBLA

The XBox Live Arcade version of Carcassone will be released June 7th, according to this press release. The screenshots don't look too bad, maybe it will be enough to make the game fun for me. But where is Settlers of Cataan?

Additionally: Talisman for XBLA? Seriously?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tim, Gus, Geoff and Andy just got rich

Here's to us boys, think back and remember all that you can from our last outing, then cash in!

--->The picture should be right here but I failed blogging 1o1

I gave them a call and told them about myself, but they didn't seem very receptive, I hope I get my money soon. If not, Gus, your dad still lives in Cali, right? What's his favorite color?

Even a Doofus Can Make Cool Stuff...

...with a day off and a super hot MacBook Pro. Shake in terror as you bear witness to the white-hot apex of my creative powers!

Man, just wait until I figure out how to click the touchpad while I'm pointing my butt at the built-in camera.

The New Box

I am 4 minutes away from having OS X 10.4.whatever completely installed on my brand-spanking new MacBook Pro. For those who care, it's got a 2.33 GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and the ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of SDRAM.

I'm having a really hard time not putting my mouth on it.

Then again, I have a really hard time not putting my mouth on a lot of things I shouldn't put my mouth on, like, say, the grab rails on the bus.

Weird Resident Evil Wii Trailer

I don't think it's meant for native English speakers.


Recent Reviews

Andy, since you were asking here are three of my latest reviews.

The Godfather: The Don's Edition
Battlestations Midway

300 Kittens

Only terrorists hate this one.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Choreographed Cosplay Flash Mob

How many buzz words can a man cram into one title?

Pac Man Vs. Redux

One of my favorite gameplay ideas from the recently passed Gamecube era was Pac Man Vs. One guy would play Pac Man on his Gameboy, while the other three players would play ghosts, using Wavebirds and a limited view of the maze on the television. It is one of the few examples of asymmetric multiplayer in video games, and was great fun, if a little annoying to set up. The new one will be all DS, which promises a much smoother route, and it's even going to be one cart multiplayer. I look forward to trying this out with my DS owning friends.


Jivas: A Mixtape


1. Black Forest -- Goblin
2 Hit It And Quit It -- Funkadelic
3. It's Expected I'm Gone -- Minutemen
4. Gut Feeling -- Devo
5. Animals -- Cocorosie
6. Don't Just ****ing Stand There -- Parts & Labor
7. Im Gluck -- Neu!
8. Tempera Tune -- Ghost
9. Signed D.C. -- Love
10. Cuckoo Bird -- Doc Watson and Merle Watson
11. Johnny Appleseed -- Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
12. June Bug -- The Melvins
13. Still Walking -- Throbbing Gristle
14. Jardim Elétrico -- Os Mutantes
15. Lucifer's Memory -- Comets on Fire
16. Moulty -- The Barbarians

The vibe is a mix of psychedelic, folk and experimental. Playlist and album art are in the .zip file. A burnt CD can be made available for the mp3 dis-inclined.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You will all buy this game.

Even the PSP if necessary.
You will all buy this game, even the PSP if necessary and play it with me for hours and . . . months and . . . for years and years. Decades even.
I don't even know what is being said in this pic:

It is probably something like, "Man, this is the coolest game ever. I can't wait for Tim to buy us!"

Why, why is this game not yet in my hands?

"Hey, you! Give Tim here Final Fantsy Tactics: The Lion War for the PSP now or I will beat you silly with this golden orb of pain. The pain of waiting for this game to be in his PSP!"

More mean and inaprropriate humor.

I wont repeat my comment here. Go see it there:

How do I make this a link?

300 Pokemon

Halo 3 Beta Offically Announced

The game will be playable May 16th. Buy Crackdown (a game I've been having tons of fun with) and you're in.

Bungie's official announcement.

Spore: "Planet Attack"

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Arcade Fire + Sergio Leone

This homemade video pairs the song "My Body is a Cage" the closing song from Arcade Fire's new Neon Bible record and clips from Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time in the West. It's damn beautiful.

Grindhouse Sent Me On a Sample Hunt

Between the movies there's a scratchy old "Feature Presentation" reel with a perky soul track playing. It's the same song that Dangerdoom (MF Doom and Danger Mouse) sampled in their song "Old School."

Apparently Danger Mouse cut out some of the spaces in the drum break to make it sound a little more peppy, but you can still tell it's the same track. I'm gonna hit up some message boards and see if I can't find the original source. The tune's pretty hot.

Don't know if you guys dig hip-hop that much, but Talib Kweli's nostalgic rhymes in the song I linked are kinda great.

O Wail, Ye Dwarves, and Despair!

And let your cries be a dirge! For we consign this day our noble Carpenter, Rigoth Dodokaved, Sole Survivor of the Horrible Winter of 1051 to his final resting place upon the rough-hewn Talc of Graveyard Stockpile #42 almost one year from the day when we came upon him in the spring of 1052.

It is our deepest regret that our supplies are so meager at this time that we cannot annoint the chalk floor of his workshop with a symbolic drink of ale or wine, but rest you easily Rigoth! I swear by my beard that as soon as our still is operational I will take in my own hand a mug crafted of the dolomite we struck the day of your death and a vessel of that righteous black mineral will carry the first product of our still so that you can be properly remembered. Until that time, let this water from the underground river serve as a proxy for the real thing, as it had to in too many of the last months of your life.

There are those here today who say you starved, but those who knew you best know you were laid low by the Horrible Winter, although it took a year for your bane to do its work. We will remember you whenever we sleep in one of your willow-log beds, or draw water from a well with one of your willow buckets. We will honor your sacrifice with our industry and build our cliff-face settlement into the exemplar of Dwarven craftsmanship!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Mass Effect Video

Part of me is psyched for Mass Effect and another part of me is afraid it will be the same kind of joyless affair that Jade Empire was. I really dug Knights of the Old Republic, but was the game so great because so few Star Wars game are really ever good? And did Bioware knock the game out of the park because their devotion to fantasy worlds benefited from having pre-imagined universe as a starting point?

In a way this scene is cribbed straight from the sci-fi cliche handbook. We see a military unit overpowered by a mysterious alien force, only to have the transmission cut off before we get a chance to really get a good look at what we're up against. Kinda like Aliens minus the wisecracks. And the human characters look slightly uncanny. Check out the way the commander's mouth moves like a slitted piece of construction paper flapping in the wind.

At the very least that commander character is voiced by Keith David. The guy's got a killer voice. His sound is just a hair shy of Ken Nordine.

James Kochalka Makes Monster Mii

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Pete Bagge on Homelessness

Since retiring his long-running series Hate, Bagge's been doing a ton of comics journalism. A bunch of the work has been for Reason, like this story, "Bums." I also really like his piece about immigration panic, "Beware the Brown Peril!"

City Pages Reviews Grindhouse Twice

Read both reviews here. My anticipation level has been upgraded to "Frothing."

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Contra NES Theme Song

Dwarf Fortress

For those of you who have escaped my latest round of proselytizing:

My recent obsession is from a genre which is woefully under represented in the current marketplace: the ASCII based, single player RTS.

If you can get past the at first utterly inscrutable display and learn to appreciate the quirky interface, this is a game that is full of awesome moments, and very interesting logistical / optimization problems.

If you ever want to claim the high ground in a Graphics vs. Gameplay debate, this is a game that you must love.

The Wikipedia article.
(Read the reviews linked at the bottom if you want to get excited)

Dwarf Fortress

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Here's Why I Love Crackdown Co-op

Making Posts

I keep a link to the Blogger Dashboard on my toolbar, because I'm a big dork like that.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Alan Moore on Pornography

The magazine Arthur has graciously made Alan Moore's sprawling essay "Bog Venus Versus Nazi Cock-Ring: Some Thoughts Concerning Pornography" available to web readers. The piece tracks the existence and import of smut from 25,000 years ago to today and does it with the kind of scope and view that only Moore can pull off.

It also, I'm assuming, congeals part of the comic book writer's train of thought in publishing the porn tome Lost Girls.

The story a long read, but an enriching one. Hopefully the magazine will soon post the massive, doors-of-perception-opening interview with Moore they published in issue four.

Spaced: Episode 1

Here's the first episode of one of my favorite shows. It stars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg -- the same duo in Shaun of the Dead and the forthcoming (and sure to be awesome) Hot Fuzz. All of the aforementioned are directed by Edgar Wright -- who, I may add shot one of the fake trailers in Grindhouse. Anyway, this show is made by geeks for geeks. It's got tons of nerd jokes and video game references -- and it's also got characters you actually come to like.

If you dig it, both seasons are on YouTube. I've also got the UK region DVDs and can arrange screenings on a hacked player.


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Aaron's new do

It is rare that I am jealous of another man. Especially when it comes to hair. I obviously had to get over that too long of a time ago. The man looks like what Wolverine should have looked like in the X-Men movies.

Burning Empires

Burning Empires RPG: Starting June 7th. Ask AvK or Gus for the rulebook after they have looked it over.

Get excited.

Some good links for the game:

Main Page
Wiki (with Character Sheet, and other downloads)
Review of the game

The Top 50 Comics Publications of 2006

Tom Spurgeon's list includes re-issues, collections and new work and leans heavily towards artsy, indie stuff. I've read only a handful (the Popeye collection, The Mourning Star, Perry Bible Fellowship, Ed the Happy Clown and Abandon the Old in Tokyo) , but I know firsthand that Tom's taste is excellent.


Source Dorks, The Group Blog

This place is a repository for all the links, videos and other non-sense inspired by gaming, drinking and other shenanigans at Source on Thursday nights. Can you guys think of any other folks we should invite?

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