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Research links creativity with inability to filter irrelevant sensory information, from Northwestern University.

w00t! Whilst I've stopped entering new competitions for the moment, it was quite a surprise to receive word I actually won one of the.. well, quite a few I entered: two nights in an executive room at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, travelling on Virgin East Coast in first class. Which, from London, ought to be quite a pleasant journey. =:D That's a prize I'm very pleased by - I've never ventured into Scotland, and I'm keen to correct that. And there's so much to be said for a good, long train journey. (I can highly recommend the Coast Starlight from Oakland to LA. Once you're south of Monterey - the tracks run mostly through industrial areas up to then - you're into some gorgeous vistas, with the line at times running very close to the coast)

I wound up getting myself a couple presents. ^_^ First up, some boots I'd seen around a while back, and really liked the look of - but, as the style's at least a year old, they've been becoming rather scarce. And then I stumbled upon a place with them at 40% off.. and apparently just one pair left in my size. I could hardly say no. ^_^ Some typically subdued leggings, and, as I was down to just a single pony shirt, a replacement Vinyl Scratch.

I was looking at what's apparently going to be the new Alamo Drafthouse's menu, down in the Mission - via SF Eater - and one pizza particularly caught my eye: pepperoni, yes, but with a dash of truffle salt. I can't say I'd thought of combining pepperoni with that wonderful truffle pungency (which might be considered an odd menu choice for a cinema =:), but I think I'm going to have to try something like that. (My usual thing with pepperoni, as I've mentioned before, is adding capers and anchovies)

For the first time in.. ever? Linden Lab's actually overhauling the skeleton - bones for ears, hands (full articulation!), tail, lower jaw, lips, and more!

Amazon's apparently made their decision as to which of the new shows I noted the other week will be commissioned, including Danger & Eggs, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Niko and the Sword of Light, Good Girls Revolt, and Highston.

Gah. Checking prices for a replacement cable for the headphones gave rise to a touch of sticker shock.. the official Sennheiser part comes in around £34, whilst a knockoff from Zomo is more like £21. At that kind of price, I'll first make quite certain it isn't just a matter of the plugs having worked very slightly loose over time. As is, the left usually needs a push down before putting them on, sometimes the right as well - given they're only about two years old, I'm a bit surprised they're giving any trouble yet.

An amusing little minute or so: A Kind Drone, being a helpfully censored nude ballet. ^_^ Meanwhile, somewhat less worksafe is this hilarious French ad for a Star Wars-themed glow-in-the-dark condom. =:D

If you've got the odd afternoon to waste, there's a thread on Ars Technica that's surprisingly civil and informative, considering it's in the Battlefront: Is Intel Doomed? Forgiving the inflammatory thread title, it does nonetheless manage to explore the awkward situation Intel now finds themselves in, with the largest processor segment - mobile - almost entirely ARM-based, with the latest generation of such SoCs, like Apple's A9X and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, becoming competitive in performance with Intel's wares, at much lower prices. Intel isn't competing at all in SoCs, and can't readily offer its services as a fab, versus companies like TSMC and Samsung, who do very well out of that line of business - and fueled by mobile incomes, are even edging ahead of Intel in the race to 10nm.

So! I made some new comic discoveries. ^_^ First I've got to mention is O Human Star, which opens to a man being told that he's dead, and has been brought back as an accurate synthetic copy of himself. First stop: his partner in said same robotics development. New pages arrive every Monday. It's all available freely online, but you can buy the first volume, covering the first two chapters (about Jan 2012 to Feb 2014) for a princely $5 as a PDF from Gumroad, or as a paperback book for $20 from BigCartel.

And then there's Lumberjanes, which may appeal to.. well, anyone between MLP and Scary-Go-Round/Bad Machinery. Great sense of humor, no shortage of whimsy, plus darker overtones. Or, as the publisher puts it: "WHY WE LOVE IT: Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp... defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons... what’s not to love?! WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: It’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake." Buying it is more complex, as Amazon and a publisher are involved - so, you can buy each issue individually, or as a collection of eleven issues (but there are more?), or as volumes of four or so issues each, or a edition with extras.. O.o; It looks like buying the bundle of separate issues is cheapest, but it'll be great fun, whichever way round you choose. (Ah! I see issues 1-20 are included in the current Humble Comics Bundle, if you pay $15 or more - cheaper than just Lumberjanes, plus all the other titles, including Bee & Puppycat, Bravest Warriors, Hacktivist, Robocop, Sons of Anarchy, Steed & Mrs Peel, and more)

I'm not a superhero sort, with occasional exceptions - so, I shall have to confess to actually enjoying Supergirl. ^_^ I suppose it doesn't really add anything revolutionary to the genre, but still - yes, enjoyable. (Speaking of which, I should try catching up with Heroes Reborn at some point. And Sense8, Transparent, Extant, Orange is the New Black, Boy Meets Girl, etc =:) Still, I am now starting to catch up with MLP, having watched Princess Spike (much better than I'd expected, as it seemed to be quite roundly panned, as I recall), and midway through Party Pooped, which is proving amusing, but a bit of a thin joke so far.

That was a happy little retail accident - supermarket received a delivery of Bristol Beer Company's rather good Southville Hop by accident, but - understandably - put it out for sale anyway. Naturally, I snagged six bottles. =:9 Now, if they can only also accidentally receive a consignment of Ermie & Gertie's Yarlington Mill & Pippin cider.. definitely not a cider for everyone, being very forthright, and rum casked, but easily one of my top favorites, and (of course) essentially impossible to buy except in a couple branches, and from them in person.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congrats on that win! That sounds awesome. Be sure to visit the Whisky Heritage Center while you're in Edinburgh — I advise booking a ticket online in advance, BTW. The Gold tour is well worth its price, though knowing you perhaps you'll want to go all the way and go for the "Taste of Scotland". :)

Truffles on a pizza (even in the form of salt), that's a bit weird indeed. Truffles should be served on something with a restrained taste, like noodles or eggs, so that the taste of the truffle itself can shine. (Not that I'm a big fan of truffles, mind you.)

For the first time in.. ever? Linden Lab's actually overhauling the skeleton - bones for ears, hands (full articulation!), tail, lower jaw, lips, and more!

That's great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what avatar designers will make of this.
Ooo.. that could be a must-see. I'm very fond of good whisky, as is the roomie. ^_^ I'll have to check what the different levels offer, but if anywhere's in a position - literally - to offer up the the best, that's got to be it. ^_^ I'm thinking we'll go sometime in mid/late-January - enough time for him to be sure of getting the day or two off (it might be a busy month in his office), and still easily within scope of me still being around (in the same country =:).

Ah, I admit, I'm a sucker for truffles, ever since my introduction to black truffle back in Brisbane in 2001, at the end of a truly memorable tasting menu - a honey, truffle, and black pepper parfait. FSM, it was good. But then, I've raved about that menu in the past. =:) (I must, when circumstances permit once more, try more cooking of that calibre)

You can get some idea from that thread - it's got people positively jazzed, to the point where some folk who've not really been actively creating in years are looking into these new possibilities. =:D Myself, I'd really like to see if Uchi's still around, and perhaps interested in a Kani update to take advantage of it all - I know there are newer buns around, like Bifrost's, but.. I really like the Kani. It's sort of become part of my identity, my look - but I'd love to have proper ear support, and tail too, even if I wouldn't really be able to use more than one or two of those bones. =:)

Of course, it was noted quickly that the number of new skeletal bones was odd, and soon after, the location of the "odd" one was located, precisely where you might expect. ^_^;

Halo polish?
Ooo.. that could be a must-see. I'm very fond of good whisky, as is the roomie. ^_^ I'll have to check what the different levels offer, but if anywhere's in a position - literally - to offer up the the best, that's got to be it. ^_^ I'm thinking we'll go sometime in mid/late-January - enough time for him to be sure of getting the day or two off (it might be a busy month in his office), and still easily within scope of me still being around (in the same country =:).

Oh yeah, there's hardly a place where you'd expect a better Scotch whisky experience than Edinburgh, is there? They also have a nice and well-stocked shop, BTW — not that there aren't several others right near by! And BTW, the place is literally right across from the Camera Obscura, which I also recommend visiting.

Of course, it was noted quickly that the number of new skeletal bones was odd, and soon after, the location of the "odd" one was located, precisely where you might expect. ^_^;

Let me guess, a baculum? :P Oh, the canines are gonna be all over that.
Oh Supergirl is quite fun entertainment.
I hear plenty of good things about Jessica Jones, too.. but FSM knows, I just don't get around to nearly enough TV to keep up with half of what I know I'd enjoy. ^_^; (Saturday's usually a good time for some, but tonight saw us enjoy the Star Trek reboot - riffing on it quite liberally - and then a double bill of ABBA's Top Ten, then ABBA Live at Wembley in 1979. Oh, so many fabulous tracks! And so many fabulous costumes, too)
That's a nice looking boot, though it doesn't look like any 'cherry red' I've come across :o) I've never owned Doc Martens, and only just got back to wearing boots exclusively outside of work last year (my treat to myself as well).

I hope you enjoy them!
I can't really speak with authority, not being fond of cherries. =:) It seems to me sort of vaguely like a natural cherry hue - on the dark side, perhaps, and thankfully not into brown, which I'm seldom fond of. I might go for a more vivid hue sometime in a year or so, though. ^_^

This is my first pair from them, other than trying my brother's on way, way back, when they were only known for the original style (very comfy, but definitely not my look =:). So far, having only been out once, I'm very pleased - I wouldn't want to get them muddy, but they look like they'd be able to take it easily, and ought to clean up without any fuss. (I'm thinking along the lines of taking them rabbiteering - the footpath I often use to get to one of the lesser spots tends to be a bit muddy/slippery at this time of year. Much as I love the MBTs, the grip on those is poor, and the sole design means you're (deliberately) never quite stable, which isn't the greatest attribute for wildlife photography =:)
The ducks I've known haven't been to crispy :D !
Ah, not in this case. =:9 (Very good, but I think their crispy bacon & maple syrup might be better still, if perhaps a bit indulgent. And then there's Tyrrell's superb Ludlow Sausage variety, but sadly, few places carry that flavor)
What a great prize - enjoy!

I visited Middle Farm yesterday. Cider was purchased, including 'Dark Cider the Moon' blackcurrant...
Oooo, *envy*. I'd love to try getting down there again, but it's rather a fiddle getting there on the bus - and even allowing for that, I'm not sure I'd love hauling four or five 4-pint containers back on bus/walking/tube/train. ^_^;

Still, if this new gig actually does finally start in February or so, there is UpCider now. =:9 I'm really pleased to see the gradual rise of cider in the US - craft beer's grown tremendously in since 1990 or so, but cider's remained very much in the background, with only a few brands occasionally available widely, none particularly special. To see a place like that open, with cider prominently center-stage, is indeed heartening. ^_^

BTW, was it you who mentioned 400 Rabbits? I think I ought to try getting along there. Maybe I'll try selling them a print or two. =:)
Yes - they seem like nice guys, and they do use some bunny photography on their menus and suchlike, so you never know! (Let me know if you're visiting and we shall pizza.)
I don't normally buy the Humble Comics bundles, and while the Lumberjanes intrigues me, the thing that sold me was the Steed & Ms. Peel. I think I probably saw The Avengers and the Roger Moore Saint before I learned of Dr. Who. And I got to attend a panel at San Diego ComicCon with Patrick McNee, which was absolutely awesome. I also highly recommend his autobiography, Blind in One Ear.

So I guess I'm buying a comic bundle. Makes me very glad that I upgraded our internet connection from 5/0.5 to 16/1.

If you ever plan on going to Phoenix, let me know: a friend of mine is a co-owner of a restaurant in Scottsdale that has a wood-fired pizza oven and does excellent pies. Scott is quite a beer conneiseure and sources them from all sorts of places, and the restaurant has no freezers! Everything is very fresh. He talked about getting a freezer to make icecream, but hadn't done it as of October when I took my parents there when we were in town.

And gratz on the contests! I would LOVE to see the Balmoral, much less the Comedy Festival. We have relatives on my wife's side up there, hope to get up there in a few years.