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This is a fun little Flash diversion: Chaos Theory. (Downloadable here, 19k) Just wait for the blue dots to arrange themselves to your liking, then click somewhere to trigger an explosion. Any caught by that then explode, and so on. Three levels, maximum of 50 points each. (130-139 results in the game being ranked "miracle", 140 gets "pro".. if anyone hits a perfect score, let me know!)

Or, there's Planarity - just drag the vertices so no edges overlap. It's dangerously puzzling. ^_^ (Not to mention a little time-consuming.. once you're around level 9 or 10, it'll take upwards of 20 minutes, let alone level 11. Unfortunately, by the time I'd completed that, I needed a break from it, and forgot that OmniWeb swaps out workspaces unused for an hour or two - so returning to it later wound up reloading it, from the start) [URL edited, as it's recently moved]

At the other end of the scale, there's this curious tale of getting cash back, and How To Return Videos.. or not. ^_^;

rabitguy pointed out this rather cool band, The Great Bamboo.

In wake of the ESRB dismay over the GTA mod, a new reference game has been produced, guaranteed entirely inoffensive: Mario Battle No. 1.

How This Old Brit Sees It is a worthwhile political weblog, from a Liverpudlian perspective.

Amongst the videostuff that's been keeping me busy, then - Zettai Shounen continues to be a quiet mystery of sorts, with our protagonist, now realising something of the origin of his new friend in the woods (I'm avoiding giving spoilers, but you can find plenty of those in the Animesuki forum thread for the series). Yakitate Japan continues to be imaginatively amusing, with the trio at the world breadmaking championships in Monte Carlo - if you like Iron Chef, you're in with a chance of enjoying YJ. Far from the same thing, but there's a similarly indomitable spirit of creativity and excellence. And, a series I've only just got around to trying, Kamichu, which has something of a whisper of Spirited Away to it.

And movies too! I was quite taken by Primer, a very low budget (but surprisingly well shot nonetheless) sci-fi puzzle. As there's no budget, there are no special effects - just plenty to think about, and more than enough to twist most minds into confusion. I'm going to have to see this again once or twice. Maybe I'll run a triple bill someday, starting with Donnie Darko (as the most straightforward - and easily the best written), then Pi, then Primer.. ^_^

Then, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, an extremely British comedy from the 60s - except this was made in 1980 - penned by Vivian Stanshall, who might, with luck, be a familiar name as the perpetrator of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Needless to say, it's dry, surrealistic humor in the vein of The Goon Show, just less grounded in reality. eg, Sir Henry's nephew, fresh from a few frames of snooker in the adjoining room, on horseback, trots through the (closed) window. "That's the trouble with these Italian aeroplanes. Too much damned hair on the wings." Some other brilliant one-liners there too:

"Sir Henry: Generally speaking, if I've eaten something I don't want to see it again.

Sir Henry: I never met a man I didn't mutilate.

Sir Henry: If I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink.

Sir Henry: If a thing is worth doing, it is worth forcing someone else to do it.

[Playing cards.]
Florrie: My dear Henry, if dirty fingers were trumps, what a splendid hand you'd have."

Speaking of the Bonzo Dog Band, they were apparently regulars on Do Not Adjust Your Set, starring "the then little-known Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin". (I did like the note about "the shows were recorded 'as live' as they were forbidden to do any editing. This, which would have involved physically cutting the videotape, meant that the tapes would no longer be worth £40.")

Next, Survive Style 5+ - a stylish Japanese dark comedy featuring Vinnie Jones as a hitman? I couldn't very well refuse. "Survive Style 5+ is without a doubt one of the most bizarre, beautiful , original and over the top films I have seen in the past few years. I couldn't help but smile throughout the entire movie. It's simply unlike anything you have ever seen before. Mindblowing decors, surreal dialog, commercial breaks, hit men & hypnotists. It really is an amazing collection of scenes that are edited and interwoven in a unique way. The oil-painting-like colors and completely insane soundtrack alone are worth it." As a brief taster, here's a clip (9.4MB) from just after the opening titles; and here are the subtitles, in SRT format. (It's visually mostly worksafe, though the opening audio might not be considered so. ^_^) Any player aware of external subs will be fine, such as VLC or Mplayer.

And, Ma Vie en Rose, which I'd been angling to see for some time.

.. and an exceptionally obscure episode of an ancient furry children's show, Animal Kwackers. Glam rock for the ultra-impressionable, yay!

In keeping with the cinematic tone of this - admittedly less miniature than originally envisaged - entry, I was intrigued by the recent British Film Institute's "top fifty films for children up to the age of 14", as worthy a collection as I've seen in some time, including Spirited Away, Toy Story, Some Like It Hot, Star Wars, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, La Belle et la Bête, The Princess Bride, Finding Nemo, Edward Scissorhands, and A Day at the Races. (The top 10 is here - the most votes apparently went to Spirited Away)

I was quite intrigued by the apparently still effective injunction against the Rolling Stones documentary, Cocksucker Blues: "The Rolling Stones were upset by this film's portrayal of them and sued to prevent its release. The film is under a court order that only allows it to be shown once a year with director Robert Frank present in person."

The joys of phone menus.

A working miniature chocolate fountain for fondue nights.. but how much for a 6' version? ^_^

mp3otwclub - MP3 of the Week Club - could be of interest to the musically inclined.



.. okay, this didn't turn out to be quite as minor an entry as I'd originally thought..
 
 
 
 
 
 
I want to see Animal Kwackers. I think I could fall for Boots the Tiger.

And this is available as well now: http://olpa.od.nih.gov/tracking/109/senate_bills/session1/s-659.asp
I'll see if I can transcode it into a servable size. ^_^ (There were, as that article notes, plenty of other episodes produced, but I've seen claims that that one's the only one to survive, as well as a refutation, claiming they all still exist in the vaults. At any rate, that's the only one that's around)

Oh, good grief.. talk about zero-risk legislation. :-P Still, I suppose it looks good on their resume, that they've introduced legislation, howsoever unnecessary. Of course, in that ethical debate, I do have a certain inclination. ^_^
I just realized the URL I posted wasn't the one I intended to post. This is: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061233/
Ahhh! Okay, I'd thought that was a bit of a tangent. ^_^

Again, so many episodes lost? Such a pity - and odd, thinking that something broadcast to millions, intended for being seen as widely as it could be sold at the time, should wind up being almost lost, mere decades after its creation. Film, too, we've seen poses its own problems, especially on nitrocellulose stock - these are things within one person's lifetime! It's quite a reminder of just how ephemeral life is, however mighty we may regard civilisation's accomplishments.

Definitely, that's a DVD I'll have to pick up when I can. I've always loved surreal humor, from early on - I didn't get much of it, but I always liked Terry Gilliam's animations in Monty Python, when I couldn't sleep, and if it happened to be on, I'd be allowed to watch the show. ^_^ (Parents! See what can happen? :)

That reminds me - I did notice a large bundle of something like 150 episodes of The Goon Show nestled away in a nook of the net recently.. now there's a series the BBC should release in AAC, or online. There are simply so many episodes, after all, and plain audio CDs don't really make sense for such a large series, leaving many unreleased. I really hope their plan underway for releasing much of their work online, for free (at least, to those they can gauge as being within the UK, presumably so as not to infringe on rights within the shows), progresses to plan in the coming years. The net's got such immense potential for being a vast resource of information and entertainment, and the BBC's almost uniquely positioned to take full advantage of it, with such archives as they have, and a mandate for bringing it to the people.
Again, so many episodes lost?

Uh-Huh, The Beeb "Lost" them by chucking them in the dust bin. That was some fun times, I have a whole closet of full "lost" BBC tapes. You would think they would have tossed me something to play them with. Gits.

I'm shocked the Goons weren't "lost" as well.