My OUYA came! Thoughts coming soon….
I have to hand it to Audi – this is the funniest commercial I’ve seen in some time, especially outside of the Super Bowl.
This commercial has it all – and the best part is some of the in-jokes for Star Trek fans. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so go spend 2 minutes of your life and watch it.
I don’t remember how I was first introduced to Henry Rollins and his spoken word performances. I know it was a long, long time ago and when I first purchased the CD Box Set of his albums, it was over twenty years ago now. I wore those CDs out and they helped me drive cross-country at least once.
For a man who got his start in punk music singing for Black Flag, Henry may be the closest thing we have to a Renaissance man. He sings and writes music, writes poetry, acts, and tours non-stop on his spoken word tours. His stories are touching, funny, and over the last 10 years, he has become much more political with his messages, in a good way. Just don’t read his poetry – after I first got into Henry, I bought a couple of his books, and it was the darkest, most depressing poetry I’ve ever read. But when you see him live on a spoken word tour, he’s mesmerizing.
I haven’t listened to the CDs or watched a video in quite a while – but Boing Boing linked to JWZ’s site today, with some videos of Henry doing his spoken word thing. Next thing I know, an hour has gone by and I have a craving for some more Rollins.
I’m a bit disappointed to see Netflix doesn’t have any of his shows available any more. But I know what I’ll be listening to while I work this week.
(Via Boing Boing)
I was sad to learn this morning that Iain Banks shared that he has terminal cancer and probably only less than a year to live. I first saw the news via Charles Stross’ Twitter account and a number of other people have shared the news this morning.
The first book I read of Iain Bainks was his Culture novel, Use of Weapons. He writes his science fiction books as Iain M. Banks and his fiction books as Iain Banks. Use of Weapons is still by far my favorite book from the Culture series – and when the protagonist makes a cameo appearance years later in a different book, I was thrilled (don’t worry, I won’t spoil which one!) The Culture books are one of the most imaginative and unique universes ever created. I can’t do justice trying to explain it, but Wikipedia has a detailed page about all things Culture. One of my favorite things is the names he gives the ships / AI in his books – how he came up with these names is beyond me, but they’re hilarious and stunning at the same time.
Years later I would dive into his fiction as well. The themes of his books, whether fiction or science fiction, deal with the human condition and how we interact with family, friends and the groups we belong to and are a part of.
I can’t recommend his books enough and I’m thankful I’ve been able to share in his imagination.
This Saturday, March 30th, is Table Top Day! Geek & Sundry has organized an international day to support, enjoy and play table top games. About a year ago a friend invited a friend of ours, my eldest son and myself over to have a table top gaming night. I was blown away by number of games now available. You’ve probably heard of some of the biggest, such as Settlers of Catan, but there is a revolution going on in old school games. We don’t get together as often as we’d like, but about a month ago we scheduled it for this Friday night – coincidentally, just a day before Table Top Day, which Felicia Day talks about in the video above.
I’ve bought a number of games to play with my littler two over the last year, most notably Castle Panic and Small World. Tuesday nights are now game night with the kids, whether it’s a board game, chess or a card game. We usually try and play more games over the weekend as well. I really like that Castle Panic is a co-op game – working together takes a lot of the competitiveness (and trash talking) out, making a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
Small World also released an iPad version last year and are now working on Small World 2. The sequel is looking for funding on Kickstarter, with the hope of building a version for PC (on Steam), Android tablets, and iPad. If you’ve already purchased the iPad game, it will be a free upgrade on iPad.
One of my favorite features of Small World 2, is if the player starting the game owns any of the expansions, you get to play the expansion as well – even if you haven’t bought it.
I highly recommend Small World – if you’re looking for a new take on the classic board game, this game has it all – strategy, quick combat and turns, and infinitely replayable.
Want to learn more? The very first episode of Table Top on Geek and Sundry reviewed Small World:
So grab a game and play some board games this Saturday, for Table Top Day!
You can’t turn around these days without hearing about Kickstarter. From movies, music, books or technology products, it seems everyone is using Kickstarter to raise funds to start a project. Over the course of the next week, I’ll be blogging about some of the projects I’ve backed, reviews, and thoughts about how Kickstarter may be used in the future.
What is Kickstarter? From their frequently asked questions:
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.
Since our launch on April 28, 2009, over $500 million has been pledged by more than 3 million people, funding more than 35,000 creative projects.
I first heard about Kickstarter in 2009 when Polyvinyl, a small music label out of Champaign, Illinois, started a Kickstarter to save some records:
Polyvinyl needs your help! Some of our distributor’s warehouses around the world are being downsized or consolidated and we either need to destroy over 10,000 records or face some high storage costs.
Destroying the records is not an option (it’s too wasteful and besides, these are great records, they’re just overstocked)! Storing the records at our warehouse is not an option (we cannot afford the storage costs). So to keep them from destruction, we’re hoping to have all the records shipped back to our office.
I had heard of a few Polyvinyl artists from listening to The Current, most notably of Montreal, and supporting their Kickstarter seemed like a great way to support them and to be introduced to some new artists.
The Kickstarter worked great. I received my CDs after the Kickstarter closed, but more importantly, I became a loyal Polyvinyl customer.
I would go on to buy vinyl from Polyvinyl fairly frequently, buying artists I had heard on the radio (of Montreal, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin) to taking chances on new artists or artists I hadn’t heard of (Deerhoof, Stagnant Pools, Japandroids) because I knew Polyvinyl was a quality label and did a good job of curating artists. The best part? Polyvinyl always throws something extra in to each order. They’re famous for including a piece of Airheads candy with each order and always throw in an extra CD to introduce you to another artist on their label. Their vinyl records are high quality 180g releases, the album art and posters are printed on high quality stock, and they also usually have extras you can order, from buttons to t-shirts and more.
This is just one way using Kickstarter can introduce you to a new brand or company and hopefully I’m not the only person who became a loyal customer because of their Kickstarter.
Have you tried to buy concert tickets lately? Once you get past the sticker shock of how much a ticket will cost you, especially with the fees, you can then enjoy the frustration of trying to find seats. Good seats. And you won’t find many.
And that’s why I only go see shows at clubs.
We are only 49 days away from Record Store Day 2013, to be held on April 19th.
Support your local record store and get some cool, limited edition releases. The official records to be released isn’t out yet, but some sites are up with the leaked lists. Other than the Mad Season re-release, I haven’t seen a lot that I’m personally interested, but there are enough records coming out to make everyone happy.
Want to learn more? Watch Jack White, this year’s Record Store Day Ambassador, to learn more.
Having been born in the early 70′s, I am a child of the 80′s. One of the best parts of being a child of the 80′s was living through the boom (and later bust) of the arcades. Whether it was going to Godfather’s Pizza and playing a handful of arcade games or Chuck E. Cheese with dozens of games or getting dropped off at an arcade in a mall while my parents went shopping, the fun in plugging quarters in for hours can never be re-lived.
Or can it? In the last year, two arcades have popped up in the Twin Cities. Rusty Quarters, in South Minneapolis, opened last year and has an impressive list of arcade cabinets available for play at $0.50 per play.
Zap-Arcade, located in Jordan, almost an hour from the Twin Cities (but only 15-20 minutes from where I live in the suburbs) also opened last year and has a unique pricing model. You can buy a day pass for $5.00 or family pass for $15.00 and play all of the games for as long as you want to stay. They also have monthly plans available.
The kids had a blast, but they didn’t know better. Zap Arcade has two floors, with 12 cabinets one each floor. I was disappointed with the games available. They had three “A” games available – Pac-Man (a re-issue, which featured about 8 different ways to play Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man), Space Invaders, and Galaga (which wasn’t working). They had a few “B” titles – Double Dragon, Araknoid, X-Men, Zaxxon, and Raiden. The rest were third tier titles which few people would remember from the hey day of the 80′s. All the games were on free play, though there were times you had to grab an employee to open up the cabinet to add more credits.
The price was right – for two hours of entertainment for a family of 4, it was far cheaper than going to a movie and the kids had a blast. I was worried that Jack, who is only seven, would get frustrated, but he was happy to bounce from game to game trying different things and didn’t get frustrated.
I was happy to see the place was busy. We got there fairly early after opening, and more people and families filled the place up quickly over the course of the two hours we were there. Hopefully they will be stay busy over time giving them some revenue to buy even more cabinets. We’ll definitely be back.
If you, like me, are nostalgic for arcades, The Verge has a great look back on the rise and fall of the arcade industry.