Saturday, September 30, 2006

South of Matlock

Pig and I went out for a stole today. To blow some cobwebs away and formulate Pennine Way plans for June next year.

From Matlock, we headed up to Riber Castle then south across the hills to Crich, lunch at The Midland and then back up along the disused Cromford Canal to the aquaduct, a swift pint of Crag Rat at the White Lion Inn and then back down the hill next to the cable car station.

We did plan to do about 16 miles, but we set off a bit late and had to be at a social this evening so we had to cut it short.

Nice walk though. If a bit pedestrian. The weather was good for it. I forget what's on the doorstep sometimes, and that we live in a World Heritage site.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Robert Downey, Jr. is gonna be Iron Man!

Awsome choice. Especially considering the blokes background and all. I think he could look spot on with a goatie beard and a Martini in his hand.

I heard a while ago that
Terrence Howard is in talks for the part of War Machine too.

See Ain't it Cool News for the full skinny.

A Load of old Bosch

M&Ms (dark chocolate) have a fantastic little online campaign!

The crack is, to find 50 'dark' movie titles in the disturbingly Hieronymus Bosch style painting.

brilliant, and it just cost me a morning (well, just over 2 hours). Good job I got a day off.

Have a go, and if you get stuck you can highlight my answers (below).

12 Monkeys, 39 Steps, A Clockwork Orange, Alien, Beetle Juice, Blade, Blue Velvet, Children of The Corn, Childs Play, Dark Water, Eraser Head, Friday The Thirteenth, Halloween, House of Wax, Jaws, Leprechaun, Lost Boys, Nightmare On Elm Street, Piranha, Pitch Black, Psycho, Pumpkin Head, Rear Window, Rosemarys Baby, Saw, Scream, Seven, Signs, Silence of The Lambs, Sixth Sense, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Birds, The Butterfly Effect, The Candy Man, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Crow, The Dead Zone, The Fly, The Grudge, The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, The Omen, The Ring, The Shining, The Village, The Wickerman, Twin Peaks, War of The Worlds.

Enjoy. Some of them are whore hoppers from hell.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Extreme Pen Twiddling

That's 5 solid points spent in legerdemain...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Marvel Universe Online

I should probably get a divorce immediately, in preparation at the news today from Cryptic Studios...
Today at X06, Xbox’s annual official industry event in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft Game Studios announced further details around its eagerly awaited project based on the Marvel universe of Super Heroes. Microsoft and Marvel Entertainment confirmed that Cryptic Studios has been named the developer of “Marvel Universe Online,” the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) video game exclusive to Xbox 360 and Windows Vista.

“The vision behind the alliance of Microsoft Game Studios, Cryptic Studios and Marvel is to expand the MMO genre and create an epic ga
ming experience exclusively for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista gamers to experience together online,” said Frank Pape, senior director of business development, Microsoft Game Studios. “Cryptic Studios is widely respected for their established track record of innovation and understanding of the MMO space, and they are a perfect fit for the creation of the best possible experience in ‘Marvel Universe Online.’”

"As an independent developer, Cryptic Studios has the freedom to make games and forge partnerships that we are truly passionate abo
ut," said Michael Lewis, president of Cryptic Studios. "Cryptic Studios and Microsoft share a common vision for online gaming and commitment to quality titles. Together we will create a new exciting game that captures the uniqueness of the Marvel IP."

David Maisel, executive vice president, Marvel Entertainment added, “The huge Marvel fan base has been eagerly awaiting new information on our massive multiplayer online game. We are proud to have a premiere developer such as Cryptic Studios who has had such incredible success in the online gaming world developing this game. Marvel, Microsoft and Cryptic are committed to creating the definitive interactive Marvel universe experience via this massive multiplayer online game.”

Cryptic Studios is known as the developer of the renowned MMO titles “City of Heroes®” and “City of Villians™,” and bring a history of excellence in MMO design and best-of-breed community support to the development of “Marvel Universe Online.” “Marvel Universe Online” will unite gamers in a cross-platform experience, allowing for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista users to play alongside one another. Marvel’s repertoire of Super Heroes have evolved from the pages of comic books to become driving forces in entertainment, from the silver screen to television shows and best-selling video games, including “Spider-Man,” “X-Men” and “The Hulk” franchises. As part of an MMO gaming experience, “Marvel Universe Online” players will be able to interact simultaneously in a truly unique atmosphere featuring all their favorite Marvel characters, creatures and villains.
...I'll probably never see the wife again. I'll probably never see anyone again who isn't wearing a costume.

Lets find The Brood, and waste us some sleazoids!

It better not be shit, or I will have to go Hungerford on their sad sorry asses.

Pitching Lucas

Personally selected by 'The Bearded One' himself for the coveted George Lucas Selects Awards, Pitching Lucas also won the 2006 Star Wars Fan Film Audience Choice Award.

These guys owe my company a new keyboard.

I just sprayed mine with coffee.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Herds of Wandering Dutch Robots

Theo Jansen is a scientist turned artist that creates remarkable wind powered robots called Strandbeests.

These robots are super low-tech with no electronic components and designed using the simulated evolution program made by Jansen over 17 years ago.

His goal is for these robots to one day live in herds, on beaches along the Dutch coast.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Parental Hassles

To add to all the other stuff that's happened this year, it looks like my mam has MRSA. She's heading back into hospital, quarantine, as soon as they find her a bed.

It's gonna be lazy blog posing for a while. Expect lots of YouTube and please bear with me.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Might Try This With Frogs

Damn nice animation. Damn nice. Really, damn damn nice.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Gangsters Paradise

I'm neglecting the blog a bit of late. And the cat. And the bike. And the wife.

Instead I bin hangin' wi my Grove St crew. Makin' some wad. Earnin' some respect. Obsessivly playing a computer game. Yada, yada.

As we have soddin' months to wait for the new Grand Theft Auto on PC (the bloody PSP version comes out next month), I thought I'd catch up on what I've been missing in the way of San Andreas.

Oh my, it's good.
Good enough to invest in a drip and a catheter.

I may be gone for some time. Homies.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dr Who “Goaded to Death”

I'm speechless at this one - Read here.

What is the world coming to?

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

This is an art project by a chap called Seth Weiner. It's a vehicle called Terranaut II.

This intriguing little vessel is driven by the motions of a parrot cichlid in a fish bowl. A camera mounted above the tank tracks the fish's movement and relays that information to a computer, which then drives the robot in the direction the fish was traveling. With this contraption, Polly the Parrot (fish) is capable of exploring land in a way he never dreamed possible. Polly does appear to just go around in circle though, which may have something to do with his bowl being round and him having bog-all long term memory.

This is insane. As my collegue BubbaFett pointed out "...a set of robotic arms and fish could become our overlords!". Surely this is the beginning of the end.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Everbodys Turn in the Barrel

My bestest and most favouritest day of the whole gosh darn year!

International Talk like a Somerset Farmer Day!" Woo-hoo! (matey)

I've been at work an hour. I'm bored of this already...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Little Solders in Christs Army


Speaking in tongues, weeping for salvation, praying for an end to abortion and worshipping a picture of President Bush [well, perhaps 'worship' is a weeny bit strong, there's a cardboard cutout of Dubya in the room, which is still pretty damn messed up admitedly] — these are some of the activities at Pastor Becky Fischer's Bible camp in North Dakota, "Kids on Fire," subject of the provocative new documentary, "Jesus Camp."
And again I say, WTF?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

b3ta Meet in Derby

Sat 14 Oct 2006, 17:00 at The Bless - [map]

The first ever Derby b3ta bash. See here for more info.

I may well 'pop by'. I do like an excuse for drinkies ;-)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Wedding Anniversary Ride

As it's our wedding anniversary today (5, count them, 5 years) we both had the day off and went to Alton Towers to shoot zombies and try the 2 new rides.

Rita, Queen of Speed: great name, fantastic logo, really fast (0 to 100 in 2.8 secs) but too short with no inversions and we had to stand in line for over an hour cos the bugger broke down and we were in the que for the front (as usual)...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: kids ride but still inexcusably disapointing. They don't even pipe smells at you. The glass elevator ride at the end is the highlight, but I'd sunk into apethy by then and so had all the other adults making up todays crowds...

Did the usuals, like Oblivion (click for video), Nemeis (click for video) and Air (click for video), which are all still the daddy. Runaway Mine Train is still closed after the accident but Duel and Hex are still the 'cleverest' family rides and the most fun.

I didn't know before today that the 'chained oak' story behind
Hex is a 'true story'. We got chatting to a guy who worked on it and he gave us directions to the actual tree - there's a quick ameteur vid here.

We had a good wander around the gardens (the weather today was great) and the towers themselves and, even though it's been a couple of years since we were last here, there seems to have been very little done in the way of noticable restoration. Makes you wonder how much Tussauds spent on Rita compaired to how much they spend on work on restoring this stunnin' Staffordshire landmark.

Ate pizza, played video games, and enjoyed the day together :-)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Freak Gust of Wind

I think the picture says it all. This wasn't strong wind, it was one freak 'mini-tornado' (as the DET will no doubt label it) of wind that just batterd Derby town centre.

Andy R and I were in the Eagle Centre Market and a big chunk of roof lifted off and slid down the outside of the building (with a noise remarkably like that cloud of black smoke monster in Lost).

When we got back from lunch the 2 Jags that have the best parking space in the carpark had a tree on them and there was crap everywhere.

God hates Derby and Jag drivers. Who can blame him.

Update: Nothing 'mini' about it, the Derby Evening Telegraph claims full tornado status (10:36 - 15 Sept '06) :-)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hanso Exposed - Lost - The Truth About DHARMA

This is what is known as The Lost Experience, a number of events to do with Lost outside of the TV show from Hanso Foundation adverts in papers to the Hanso Foundation website. JJ, and the boys and girls at ABC marketing have released 70 clips over the net for people to find, and to sort into order. This is the edited version of all 70, on YouTube. Big thanks to Timdorr for dedicated collation and orientation :-)

Be warned, this has spoilers a plenty (but won't spoil too much for you).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Return to Pemberly

Back home. Nice to see the good lady wife, who was thrilled with all the chocs and tulip bulbs.

Popped into work to pick up eBay deliveries and films so we sat in this evening and digested 9 episodes of Lost season 2 and had a first look at Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (which I missed when it was new, due to having a crap computer and no space cos of living on Andromeda).

interesting link from Daz tho. Peter Jackson is doing Téméraire. Hope it's better than Kong. Keep it under 3 hours. Learn dude.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Snakes in the Mall

Flew home this morning, well, back to Pigs in Cheshire anyway.

Went over to the Temple of Mammon, ate my own body weight at Yo! Sushi, and caught Snakes on a Plane (funny, terrible dialogue, surreal after flying EasyJet this morning, and lives up to it's title).

Assembled some Playmobil then got stuck into Dead Rising on the 360 for the rest of the evening (funny, brutal and unforgiving, surreal after coming from the Trafford Centre, and lives up to it's title).

Pig, the perfect host as ever, but I'm knackered and crashed as soon as the option was there.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Geocashing and Cakes

The iPod was still on in the room when I woke up this morning and, through a half asleep Isolator haze, I could hear Johnny, from 'Naked', battering on about "Energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the amoeba to fish, yada, yada..." which is an interesting way to start the day with a hong-over.

We treated ourselves to another breakfast of champions, a coffee and 'cake' breakfast in Baba, and had a Sunday morning strole along the canals, the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, the Oudezijds Voorburgwal (collectively known as the Burgwallen), and around the Oudekerkplein, in the area bounded by the Warmoestraat and the Nieuwmarkt, to see how this part of the city fairs after a Saturday night. Pretty well, it woud seem.

We had 'an objective' this morning. We took Adam and the gents geocaching. 11 o'clock at Anne Franks house (which is now clad in metal and looks nothing like it did the last time I saw it). Pig and I had our GPSs and we hired a couple of pedal boats as you could only get to this one from the water. This turned it into a bit of a race, which my boat (in no small part having 4 people in it, unlike Pigs which had only 3) lost. Without giving the location away, this one was a beauty and probably the best cache I've done so far.

Adam and Roland nearly killed us in front of massive pleasure launch on the way back. We were so determined not to look knackered or like 'goobers in a boat' in front of the crowds of American students at Anne Franks that we didn't see it coming 'till the last second. I swear to god, those guys got us to aquaplane they pedalled so fast. It was well touch-and-go for a minute. James and I laughed so much it hurt.

Sat outside The Greenhouse for a bit talking 'napalm bats' (which has now become someting of a by-word for anecdotal trivia bollocks) and watchin life go by.

Adam, Roland etc. were off to the Banana Bar (to pick up last minute 'postcards' or something) so Pig and I went for another wander instead and, it being our last night, cruised from bar to coffee shop taking in the 'ambiance'. Around 10 we headed back and packed up our stuff for an early flight tomorrow.

Finishing the evening with a spot of 2 man Shithead and the last of the
'Super Silver Haze'.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


IBC was HD (even Ultra HD) tastic. Encoders, tagging, loads of ideas for the future and some interesting solutions for Web2.0 delivery. Themes this year were: Multimedia in the Networked Home; HDTV Lift-Off; Media on the Move; IPTV; Content Production; User Contibuted Content; and D-Cinema. The 'mobile zone' alone was twice the size of last year.

We even 'bumped' into H, peddling his usual quality merchandise (including the
MK-V A-R) and his new Segway based hands-free mounting system. Pig and I had a quick go, and yeah, 10 minutes in a car park you'd be a god. Surrounded by other peoples expensive kit and with H pappin' himself in case his dumb ass stoner mates broke his new toy wasn't the best way to try it out tho ;-)

Sounds great, and it was well worth a shufty, but the place is a million acres of a billion stands. All these stands seemed to have a load of silver (or occasionally black) boxes with LEDs on them and 2 bored Japenese guys desperate to finish for the day so they can go cruise the Red Light District, with zero indication of what these boxes actually did. We saw what we wanted to see, hung around drinking Heineken for a bit, ransacked peoples freebies, and called it a day.

Had time to do a bit of shopping. I bought the mother load of weird and whacky tulip bulbs for Jema (early anniversary present) in the flower market and Pig invested in some Playmobil that we can't get yet in the UK. Playmobil Romans; a couple of 'Legions' of troops, a Senator, and a well tasty Roman ship with soldiers etc. Top investment that I'm itching to 'animate' :-)

Caught up with Adam etc. for some cards and food at The Grasshopper, then met up with H and his crew at The Old Church around 10. As usual, we chatted movies and caught up on old times. He's just finished doing some stuff on the new Harry Potter, which was coincidental as I saw the Hogwarts Express as I was going through Crew on Thursday evening (surrounded by 45 year old blokes who still live with their mum).

Wandered around for a bit (as you do in that part of town) and left H on the Damrak, heading back to his hotel, in the wee small hours.

Sod all on TV, so mooched through the Playmobil then battered outselves to sleep with a good dose of Isolator and ambient iPod.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Taking in the Sights

We arrived in Amsterdam this morning at around 9.30 and headed direct to Barneys for an Irish breakfast and to stock up on supplies.

By the time we had done the rest of the chaps had arrived and we met up in a coffee shop near Dam Square.

We checked into the Hotel Delta mid afternoon and then wasted away the afternoon with Adam, Roland, James etc. playing Shithead and taking in the evening.

Went for a jolly nice Indonesian meal at the Aneka Rasa in Warmoesstraat and, after the obligatory stroll around the red light district, finished up at the new Grasshopper. Without making an actual plan, we set a few 'objectives' for the next few days and dabbled in a bit more Merde de Tete.

Crashed out early, being knackered after the early flight.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We're Off

Right. Pig and I are off to IBC. It's a 4am flight tomorrow, from Speke airport.

Adam, H, see ya soon. See the rest of you in a few days :-)


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I am Jaks Wasted Youth. Literally.

While we're playing with YouTube and skipping recklessly down memory lane. 10, count them, 10 years ago. Remember Cause & Effect? If you worked on this drop us a mail, especially you Andy :-)

As the saying goes, "Jack's back, and it's about time."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Anyone still alive...

...who remembers this?

My god, this was so long ago! 6 years, something like that? Me and Andy did this in the back bedroom at the flat in Leeds. We knocked this out in around 2 hours from start to finish. Our first animation (and my first thing on YouTube, as of today). Well funny.

I was having a play with my cruddy old webcam, a knackered Dalek and MonkeyJam last night, and this came to mind. Maybe I should dig out some old Heroes of Film or Deadhead stuff and stick it online for the nostalgia value. Or maybe not ;-)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Inappropriate Googling

Looks like that lovable bunch of geeks at Google want the press to stops using the term "googling" as a verb.

According to Times Online Google sent off a series of legal letters to the media this week. According to Times Online, Rose Hagan, Google's senior trademark counsel said"Protecting our trademark is important to us, so we want to be sure that when people talk about 'Googling' they mean searching on Google and not on any other search engine."

What? There's another search engine? I wonder who uses that. Oi, come on Google, get a life. This is part of your branding and part of why you're so popular, because you are a verb. Don't screw it up by being anal corporate types. We will mock you, and mock you, and mock you, 'till you see the error of your ways.

Anyone get the feeling they are slowly starting to screw this up?

Friday, September 01, 2006

I've Done Lara

Jem and I finished Tomb Raider: Legend tonight. Pig was round too.

Top wheeze.

I'd compaire it to Liz Hurley. Nice to look at, some really impressive bits, short, but well worth doing ;-)