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Flicks seen lately:

- The Boxtrolls. I admit, it took me a while to warm to it, with some seriously dislikable characters introduced early on. But, the characterisation finally won me over, helped by some excellent voice casting, including Ben Kingsly and Richard Ayoade. The animation's as good as you'd expect from Laika, with some outstanding lighting. Very geekily cute ending, too.

- Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks. Pretty much as expected - plenty of fun (nice to see Vinyl Scratch being given an actual role!), even if I can't quite suppress the feeling of wishing it were an actual pony film.

- Ocean's Eleven (2001). Pretty slick. Very good cast, decently tight script (even allowing for plenty of artistic license, such as the EMP device that only affects devices for thirty seconds), and an appropriately jazzy soundtrack. I'd still prefer to see a big-screen adventure for the Hustle crew, but I'm pleased I've finally seen at least one version of the yarn. (How does it differ from the original?)

The superbly atmospheric point & click iOS adventure The Journey Down currently has its first chapter free. If you haven't got it yet, grab it now. =:D The second chapter is also available, with the concluding part hopefully arriving in 2015 sometime. The trailer does a good job of showing what's in store. ^_^

Food recommendation of the day: Waitrose's pork, ale mustard, and buttered onion sausages. Distinctly yummy! (And at two packs for £5, about the same price as any other supermarkets, discounting the likes of Richmond and Wall's) And one of the local branches now carries Hitachino Nest's White Beer. =:D I'd love to hope they'll carry more from them, especially the Red Rice Ale. Sadly, they also dropped Dunkertons' superbly tangy Black Fox cider, in favor of the newly omnipresent Orchard Pig. Still, the Pig does decent stuff as well, though of all of their ciders, it's Hogfather I'm most fond of, and I've only seen that in pubs.

I check the HotUKDeals competitions listings routinely, especially for travel-related ones, but there's quite a variety to be found - like this one. "The winner of the best suggestion for the [name of the] new purple strain of Brussels Sprout will find themselves popular amongst friends and family in December 2015, when they will receive their body weight in purple Sprouts delivered to their home or place of work, to distribute and use as they choose."

Or, how about £5,000 of Jimmy Choo? (Open worldwide) And for UK peeps, rather an unusual prize: dinner for two at the BT Tower, which has been closed to the public since 1980.

At least there's been some fun to come out of the wretched incident at MFF, where unknown culprits dumped some chlorinated powder of some kind in one of the emergency stairwells, causing an evacuation of the hotel, and 19 people sent to hospital for nausea. Here, a news anchor learns about "furries" as she's reading out the story.

For geeky delectation: the International Journal of Proof-of-Concept or Get The Fuck Out. As an example, issue 0 opens with "An epistle from the desk of Rt. Revd. Pastor Manul Laphroaig": "Neighbors, please join me in reading this first issue of the International Journal of Proof of Concept or Get the Fuck Out, a friendly little journal for ladies and gentlemen of distinguished ability and taste in the field of computer security and the architecture of weird machines.
In Section 2, Travis Goodspeed will show you how to build your own antiforensics hard disk out of an iPod by simple patching of the open source Rockbox firmware. The result is a USB disk, which still plays music, but which will also self destruct if forensically imaged.
In Section 3, Julian Bangert and Sergey Bratus provide some nifty tricks for abusing the differences in ELF dialect between exec() and ld.so. As an example, they produce a file that is both a library and an executable, to the great confusion of reverse engineers and their totally legitimate IDA Pro licenses.
Section 4 is a sermon on the subjects of Bitcoin, Phrack, and the den on iniquity known as the RSA Conference, inviting all of you to kill some trees in order to save some source. It brings the joyful news that we should all shut the fuck up about hat colors and get back to hacking!"

And on a more retro note, how about this GPO short, End of an Era, marking the final London exchange to migrate from manual switching (of all calls) to a fully automatic crossbar system. Quite remarkable to think that was only 40-odd years ago!

IMDb *yay* ^_^
I quite enjoyed Ocean's 11, then I saw the Sinatra version and viewed the latter as more of a farce. I haven't seen the other two Ocean's movies yet though I have them on disc. We saw the Penguins of Madagascar movie last week, it was pure fluff and lots of fun. I saw Big Hero 6 for the second time last week, excellent film.

There's an absolutely amazing app called Monument Valley, it's a maze game where the terrain is all MC Eischer, and it's deformable. An expansion came out a few weeks ago, and a one-shot charity level came out that added some wicked stuff to it. Highly recommended.

The self-destructing iPod sounds quite interesting, I'll have to look in to it.

I read about the chlorine incident. My dad and I were in a movie theater seeing The Black Hole during its original run and the cleaning crew had an accident, exposing everyone in the theater to chlorine gas. Not a good thing. Then 13ish years ago I was working for a taxi company near some train yards and they had a chlorine leak that forced an area evac (xfering chlorine to or from a rail tanker). I went to the hospital for the movie exposure, fortunately I don't think anyone was injured with the train incident.

My mom and my dad's sister were phone operators during WW II and after, my aunt was working in Silver City, NM when the first atomic detonation took place at Trinity. The cover story was that a munitions train had blown up.
Ahh, so quite different in mood! Maybe I'll make a point of seeing it sometime soon, to better contrast against the remake, while it's still fresh in my mind.

Big Hero 6 - well, there's Disney in the way. For some bizarre reason, that tiny, impoverished company doesn't feel confident with worldwide releases. (Same with Ratatouille - it was out on BD in the US before it even hit the cinemas in the UK. Can't imagine why they feel there's any problem with unauthorised copying..) At least Interstellar had nothing to do with Disney, even if it still took me weeks to get around to it. ^_^; I'll be looking forward to seeing what kind of goodies they bundle up into the super deluxe box set.

Oh, yes, Monument Valley! Absolutely amazing. I picked up the recent extension as soon as it appeared, and the (RED) special as well. A triumph of game design. Not that I've played the new levels yet, nor even Simogo's newest, A Sailor's Dream. (The same folk as Device 6)

Must've been a pretty worrying time at the con, suddenly finding a toxic gas seeping through the doorways. I presume that was the end of that particular screening? (I still thoroughly enjoy The Black Hole. True, there's that meteor rolling down the ship, but then there's that eerily atmospheric ship design, the ominous Maximilian, and that dreadful secret, not to mention that "melding" at the end..)

The cover story was that a munitions train had blown up.

Wow. I suppose that'd actually be sort of plausible, given the early devices were "only" in the kiloton range. And even if - as would be almost certain - news did filter back to the Axis forces, there wasn't exactly a lot they could do to prepare. Such unimaginable destructive power.. (to this day, I haven't been able to bring myself to watch Grave of the Fireflies. I did watch When the Wind Blows, though)