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So, I bought the new Ghostbusters unseen. Now to find out if I'll regret my purchase, or snuggle up to it and all the extras included. ^_^ FSM knows I watched the original many times - maybe this will turn out the same way, and help reignite my love of filmwatching. (The sequel I recall not being a patch on the original, but to be fair, that was after a long leg of a roadtrip to ConFurence, so I probably wasn't in the best mindset for a film) Well.. I like it. Quite a bit. ^_^ They're very much their own films, thankfully, just with a similar storyline and characters. I wanna be Holtzmann when I grow up. =:) And her grand moment toward the end.. just wonderful. =:D I wonder if IDW will be producing comics with the new Ghostbusters? I also took the opportunity to pick up a copy of Kubo and the Two Strings, which I've begun watching, and.. ye gods, even by Laika's standards, they're working some magic. ^_^ (There's also a four-film set on iTunes US, with Kubo, Coraline, ParaNorman, and Boxtrolls for $35, though sadly, no extras on PN or Coraline. In the UK, it looks like it'll be coming out in early January) And yes.. I think it's all actually helping reignite my love of enjoying good film. ^_^

I sent a little message the other day to Dan Piraro, of Bizarro fame, wondering if they might have considered a Patreon (answer: they're interested, but right now, the move down to an idyllic spot down in Mexico's occupying their attention), and noted "Momentary" along the way. Reply: "I shared your email with Dan and he said the photo behind that link is truly, unbelievably, in the original sense of the word, awesome!" Now that's an endorsement I'm very proud of. ^_^

I must see if I can find out the story behind this costume/sculpture.. ^_^

I'd love to hear about your favorite gig. ^_^ There must be some great tales to be told. For me, it's nothing wildly exciting, just huge fun: 1996, LA, on our way to see Orbital at the Hollywood American Legion. We feared we were too late, having set off late from San Diego, but with some light drizzle, everyone else was even later, so we actually wound up being early, sort of. And thus I spent the entire night between the speaker stacks. Oh, that was some good, good sub-bass. Spleen approved!

Nintendo's partnering with Universal to bring Nintendo themed areas to Universal parks in Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. =:D "These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They will be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants. Guests will feel as if they are playing inside their favorite games – this time in real life."

This new luxury train in Japan looks like it'd make for a rather delightful journey, ne? The ten cars will be host to thirty passengers, with "six sleeping cars, a lounge car, a dining car and an observation car at either end of the train", and the "dining car has a formal, yet comfortable, atmosphere. The cuisine will be overseen and made on-board by world-class chefs in an open kitchen."

Is anybody else following the current "MasterChef: The Professionals"? I'd love to be able to revel in the goings-on with someone else. ^_^ I'm especially keen to see how Roseanna fares - despite her age, she really seems to get it, let alone her aptitude for presentation, outpacing chefs who've been in the industry for a decade or two longer. Maybe she'll stumble at some point in the competition, but so far, I'm seriously impressed - I'd love to see what she's doing in another ten years!

Apropos Saturday's dinner, here's a not-so-random photo of one small sample of the bounteous sushi we enjoyed back at one of our old sushi haunts, back in the East Bay. ^_^ I certainly won't promise Saturday's efforts will resemble this in much more than containing fish. =:)



Following on from a discussion with kishenehn, I'm wondering: are you using an S1 or S2 journal style? Me, I'm still happily on S1 - I haven't felt any need to change it, as I'm simply content with the style as is. (And no, "like" buttons aren't going to lure me over =:)

If you're minded to have your email hosted independently, Migadu appear to offer an appealing proposition: all their paid accounts cover unlimited domains, addresses, and storage, rather than - as is almost universally the case - per account. There are three paid tiers, differing only in how many messages you can send per day, starting at $5/mo or $48/yr, permitting 100 outbound messages a day. There's even a free level, covering just a single domain, and they're explicit on the point that if you want to remain on that plan forever, you're welcome to do so. They're a Swiss company, so, as far as is reasonably practicable, they're liable to take your privacy seriously, though it appears some of their hosting is with the French vendor OVH, which may complicate jurisdiction.

Okay, this is shaping up to be quite the nerd entry. ^_^ I stumbled upon this fascinating TV history tidbit: "The 1943-44 television committee appointed to coordinate British television after the war (known as the Hankey Committee) recommended that a high-definition (1000-line) colour television system based on Baird’s Telechrome should be implemented after the end of the war. Due to the difficult post-war conditions and Baird’s premature death in 1946 these ambitious plans never materialised. The existing 405-line black-and-white television system developed by EMI in the pre-war period was expanded across Britain. British colour television broadcasts did not officially begin until 1967, over 20 years later." Could the UK really have had HD color TV by the 1950s, had things simply worked out a little differently? That seems like a huge challenge for the electronics and CRTs of the time.

thewayne pointed out rather a spiffy offer: the tech publisher PacktPub offers a free ebook every day. (Nov 29 2016's, f'rex, was Android Programming for Beginners, whilst today's is Blender 3D by Example)

Do you have an Apple TV (the current version, with fully fledged tvOS)? How's it worked out for you? I'm quite tempted, at some point - the BD player the roomie has, which we usually use, mostly works well for network playback, but it does throw up occasional issues. With an ATV, we'd have a zero-hassle option with constantly updated software, versus the current one, whose firmware hasn't been updated since purchase.

It's probably old hat to the avgeeks, but I found this clip rather amusing: pouring tea while performing a barrel roll. Yes, for real. ^_^

This will be the star of Saturday's dinner: sake. ^_^



Left to right, they're: Seitoku Junmai ginjo sake "Trapeza", Sohomare Tokubetsu Kimoto junmai sake "Heart and Soul", and Dewazakura Omachi ginjo sake "Jewel Brocade". As for food - well, I bought a salmon fillet, so about 1/3 of that is now sitting in a marinade of water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lots of dill, and a little sugar, for some nommy sashimi. The rest will probably go into a few maki - I picked up a ripe avocado, spring onions, cucumber, and cream cheese, as well as some sea bass, and I've got some crab defrosting as well, plus panko crumb and tempura mix. Then there's some roast salmon pate, chargrilled artichokes, Iberico ham, a raw milk French cheese that looked irresistible, and lemon arancini, so between all that and the sushi, we should have flavors aplenty to complement the three quite different sake. ^_^

Hm! This might be worth checking out, for anyone with an iThing: Attenborough Story of Life, free.
"• Explore the most comprehensive collection of Sir David’s work ever released online.
• Includes six decades of highlights from more than 40 landmark BBC programmes, including Planet Earth, Blue Planet, The Life of Mammals, Africa and others.
• Watch unique collections of films curated by Sir David and others.
• Create and save your own collections and share them with friends and family.
• Hunt for hidden films featuring Sir David, recorded exclusively for the app.
• Explore extraordinary sequences of animals and plants, from iconic large species to rarely seen enigmatic creatures. See them hunt, mate, eat, travel and communicate in their natural habitats; ranging from the high mountains to the deepest oceans, across deserts, forests and the polar ice caps."

NIH announced that they've "identified an antibody from an HIV-infected person that potently neutralized 98 percent of HIV isolates tested, including 16 of 20 strains resistant to other antibodies of the same class. The remarkable breadth and potency of this antibody, named N6, make it an attractive candidate for further development to potentially treat or prevent HIV infection, say the researchers."

A friend recently finished working on Sainsbury's Christmas ad, which is indeed quite superb - all stop-motion animated. They've been working on it since April. =:D And here's a look behind the scenes.

And here's a peek at the Doctor Who Christmas special, c/o Children in Need.

Star Trek: Discovery has cast Michelle Yeoh, potentially as the show's lead. And amongst the endless remakes: Lost in Space, coming as a ten episode season to Netflix in 2018.

I recently revisited one of my favorite watering holes, and enjoyed a quite superb fish dish: monkfish in herbed crumb, with a lemon Hollandaise, atop tenderstem broccoli and roasted heritage potatoes. A veritable delight, with that succulent fish, almost better than lobster, married to the gentle acidity of the sauce, plus just enough crunch from the broccoli, and all with the comfy potatoes backing it up. ^_^

Here's an article that anyone who considers themselves a PC gamer should read: Video Games are Boring, from a veteran game designer. (h/t supergee) "I love video games and I work with people who love video games. But when I listen to Kristina describe the video games she says she wishes she could play, the video games she says she wishes existed-games that would sound extremely boring to most gamers but interesting to most of my friends-I realize that I too would love those games so much more. Listening to Kristina made me realize that I hadn't been having good ideas. I realized that I had been working with people who think too similarly to myself, who draw on the same cultural references (geek culture), who use the same game design theory that was developed mainly by (white, male) gamers for (white, male) gamers. I realized that I was stuck. This is what happens when everyone is the same as each other. We make boring things."

On a minor and fun note: iOS users can now pick up free Star Billions stickers. ^_^ As for season 3, its conclusion, they're apparently aiming for a January 2017 release. Not long now!

"Oh Hey! It's Alyssa" is a fortnightly comic running on Autostraddle, which is well worth looking at, if you're into slice-of-life introspection. Here's episode 9, the most recent, by way of an example. It's not madcap or surreal, but rather, realistic, even if cartoonishly presented.

Rather lovely. ^_^ Here's Claridge's Christmas tree, this year designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson. Breaking with convention, it's not so much the tree, but the space. I'd wander along, but I doubt I'd be able to capture anything better than the publicity photo.

Thursday evening saw the roomie and I wander along into town for the Christmas lights turning on. ^_^ No huge ceremony, or world-famous guests - simply a good, family-friendly time when the center of town is thronged by crowds enjoying nommy munchables (in my case, a chickenn tikka marinated skewer, the meat cut off and sliced into a naan. So very tasty!), the kids on all manner of miniature rides, and the secondary stage host to local schools showing off their vocal talents, finishing off with a Salvation Army brass band. ^_^ We're both atheist, but there's no denying the wonder of some of these classic numbers, rendered with such love.

Nintendo's announced the release date and price for Super Mario Run: it'll be a free download, with a single $9.99 IAP to unlock the full game, and it'll be coming to the App Store on Dec 15 2016. As the embedded video demonstrates, it's only technically an autorunner - really more of a Super Mario platformer where he happens to always be on the move. Myself? I'd be willing, but I've already got so many great platformers to get through, like Leo's Fortune and Paper Monsters Recut. Animal Crossing, though, I'll be there for on launch day, assuming they take a similar approach to IAPs there as well. (The news of which apparently bumped their share price by some 5%)

And, Capcom's just released Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney on iOS, and on Android come Dec 8. Needless to say, I bought it the second it hit the App Store. ^_^ (I wonder if Franziska von Karma will be back.. doesn't look like it so far) It's 99¢/79p to download, including the first half of the first case, with the rest and the other cases available separately, or as a bundle for $14.99/£10.99.

A good review of the new MacBook Pros, over on Ars Technica, with a particular eye for details, down to the low end model's 802.11ac WiFi topping out at 867Mbps, but 1.3Gbps for the touchbar models.

Many of you may already know of the Hydraulic Press Channel on YouTube. Now, there's the Waterjet Channel too, starring a 60000psi jet - eg cutting an old Canon SLR in half. ^_^; (I'll admit to being amused by their surprise discovery of the pentaprism, aka "block of glass" =:)

Once in a while, the spirit of the BBC shines through, as in this clip from the end of Newsnight earlier this month. "You might have seen the demand by Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell that BBC One should play God Save the Queen at the end of the day's programming to mark our departure from the EU. Well, we're not BBC One and it's not quite the end of the day, but we're happy to oblige."

Amongst the words censored by EA's Scrabble app (at least, the crusty 2013 version I keep around; they later redesigned the board layout in a way I really didn't care for, and so, deliberately haven't updated it since): "damn". ^_^; "shag" is also absent, even if you meant the bird or carpet, likewise "fag". Yet, "wog" is valid (!), as is "spic".

Via nou, word of the fascinating concept of cured egg yolks, which are exactly what they sound like - yolks, separated from the rest of the egg, left to cure in a mix of salt and sugar, winding up quite firm after a month or so. "They tear apart with some effort, and grate easily into golden curls that are delicious sprinkled on salad or used in larger quantities on pasta (think of it as a drier way of approaching carbonara – or up the cream)." Don't suppose anyone's already made such, or is familiar with their use? They sound very useful - I sort of have to give them a try, just out of curiosity. ^_^

PlayDOSgamesOnline does just what it says: you can run any of a huge variety of games within DOSBox, in your browser. ^_^ eg Outpost and Bioforge.

Watching the BBC's recent "Scotch! The Story of Whisky" has been quite fascinating so far, with one tidbit I'd never been aware of: the pronunciation of Islay! I'd just been winging it with a fairly literal (to me) pronunciation as either izlay or eelay, when apparently, it's more like eye-lah. On which note, I am informed that Morrisons apparently now carry some of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth's fine wares, including his delicious Rumbullion, and delightfully mellow Bathtub Gin. If you like spiced rum, I can happily recommend Rumbullion, or indeed, its heftier kin, the Navy Strength version, with even more aromatics, and weighing in at an appropriate 57%. ^_^ Similarly the gin - if that's a drink you enjoy, the Navy Strength version is quite a special creature indeed. If you consider Martin Miller to be the word "Gin" inscribed lovingly in Copperplate, Navy Strength Bathtub Gin is chiseled in marble in Times Roman.

As you may have noticed by now, I find it oddly fascinating how films' availability and presentation varies across regions. ^_^; I've just noticed that whilst Ernest & Celestine is now available in HD in both the US and UK iTunes Stores, the US gets an English dub, whilst the UK receives a subtitled version of the French original. That said, going by the English trailer, it's a good version. Still, I so wish the iTunes Store management would push multiple language tracks - there's no technical basis for them not to be available, and indeed, now and then, they're around, but for whatever reasons, the studios seem disinclined to providing such. Even extras are subject to similarly arbitrary boundaries: Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree has iTunes Extras in the US, but it's the feature alone in the UK; same story with Dredd.

What do you get when Porsche decides to go hybrid? The 918 Spyder, developing a peak of 887hp, for 0-60mph in 2.6s. ^_^; It's not that I have any personal interest in that kind of travel, so much as an appreciation for the sheer level of engineering and design involved.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I guess that i found the S2 version easier to use.