Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Use your Harry Potter Amazon coupon before Friday!

If you pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from in the US then you may have got a promotional coupon for $5. If you did then you should use it now as it expires on Friday. You can thank me later.

I liked the book, though I found the epilogue a bit sickly. I liked JK Rowling's other post book comments (summarised here) better.

Friday, August 24, 2007

World War II Games

Boris Kobe (1905-1981) was a Slovenian architect and painter imprisoned in Dachau. He created this full set of tarot cards while in the concentration camp.

The BBC reports on games that were created in Britain during World War II. There is also a gallery of pictures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How to build a Cathedral, part 7

Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland, California, 14 August 2007

The wooden structure is finished and they are starting to install the glass on the outside. The water in the background here is left over form a flooding that was deliberately done to test the roof of the underground car park.

Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland, California, 14 August 2007

So far all the glass sections have the same design, though there are two ways of positioning them as they are asymmetric. It is rather a pity that the wood is being covered up. Some people say the glass looks like shower stall doors. The glass is coated with ceramic frit to form a pattern.

Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland, California, 14 August 2007

CIA Black Sites

I felt physically sick after reading the New Yorker's article about CIA Black Sites. I believe that when we degrade others we degrade ourselves. The International Committee of the Red Cross

described the agency’s detention and interrogation methods as tantamount to torture, and declared that American officials responsible for the abusive treatment could have committed serious crimes. The source said the report warned that these officials may have committed “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions, and may have violated the U.S. Torture Act, which Congress passed in 1994. The conclusions of the Red Cross, which is known for its credibility and caution, could have potentially devastating legal ramifications.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dinosaur Jr.: Live in the Middle East (DVD)

As discussed previously I a have an embargo on seeing reformed bands. Instead I watch their videos. This is a concert featuring the reformed Dinosaur Jr. As concert DVDs go this was pretty good, I hardly used the fast forward key at all. It is a bit like seeing the band in a small venue, which is pretty much all you can expect form a DVD. As well as the music there some fairly interesting interviews with fans, including Kim Gordon, Steve Albini and Kevin Shields. J Mascis has long grey hair now, which as we know is very cool. It is fun to hear J talk, his voice is almost expressionless. In a great story Murph the drummer explains how J used to tell him exactly what to play in the beginning. They would have 2 drum sets and J would teach him the songs measure by measure. I really love the Dinosaur Jr. sound. Their records have stood up well, unlike, say Husker Du, whose records now seem very badly produced.

The Seven Deadly Virtues

roz chast

Roz Chast is the greatest.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tony Wilson RIP

Tony Wilson has died at the age of 57. He was a cocky bastard, but you have to respect him. When I was a kid he was a presenter on the local TV magazine show Granada Reports. It was always worth watching in case Tony slipped in an appearance by a cool band (who would quite often be signed to his record label, Factory Records). Even when he was famous (he was never rich), he still presented on this regional TV show and he stayed based in the North West.

In the movie 24 Hour Party People Tony is portayed by Steve Coogan. I think this is a great performance in a great film. He really captures the essence of Wilson as a trickster and chancer. He was never cool (look at his haircut in the video above) but he was a true hero.

Update: Click on the NME to read Paul Morley on Tony Wilson.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Robin D. Laws

Robin D. Laws writes insightful stuff about RPG. He also does cartoons and blogs. Bah! Click on the cartoon to see the punchline.

New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest:

You have to invent the caption for the cartoon.

Why do I always get stuck next to the guy who wants to talk about his new Prius?

Highlight the text above to see my entry (sorry feed readers, you can probably see it already).

Animal Battle

Read about it at the beeb.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Barry Bonds #756

Amateur video from the bleachers as Barry beats the record. It is very loud so watch out. You only need to watch the first 45 seconds or so. Yeah, he is a cheat, but he's, er, our cheat, or something.