thistlechaser: (Flames)
NPR has been hitting it out of the park for me lately. So many interesting things were talked about this morning!

First was a story about an English cathedral with a rather unique welcoming message on their door:



You can listen to the full story here: Link.

The second might be news only to me, as he's been on Conan now. Disturbed is a hard rock band, but the lead singer had been raised as a Hazzan (a Jewish person "trained in the vocal arts who helps lead the congregation in songful prayer"). He did a cover of The Sound of Silence, which is beautiful. He makes it sound like a more traditional religious song, his voice is so rich and wonderful:

thistlechaser: (tree)
Thing the first: Pixar made this really great, sad short animation. I can't embed it here, you need to click through to the page.

Thing the second: I've had this image open in a tab for days, so I've seen it endlessly, yet each time, the eyes keep catching me. The MMO I play has an expansion coming out in a few months, and someone did a digital painting of the main character:

Click here to see him.

Not only is he a good looking guy, but his eyes keep snagging my attention each time I glance over to it. It's so well done!
thistlechaser: (tree)
Disney made a video of Dug (the dog from Up) in real life. This may be the cutest idea ever.

thistlechaser: (Girl with flowers)
I'm working from home today, so I have a TV station running on my second monitor. Since I have to watch it online, I take what I can get -- a station from some other state, a station from Europe, whatever people have online today. In this case, I'm watching CBS out of Ohio.

More interesting than the TV shows are the commercials. (Seriously, I only see commercials maybe once a month. They're interesting and generally well made!) I'm especially interested in the political ones (which I never, ever would have said when I still had TV service). I've only seen Hillary ones so far, but this one especially caught my attention:



First off: Holy crap. If I hadn't already been certain about my decision, that would make it for me. Second, man is that sad. I know the 'respect women' comment from him is old, but... man. That someone would ever say that.

More than the political decision, the commercial is really well made. Sad, but well made.

I apologize to anyone who is sick of political ads! I've only seen a very small number of them so far this season.
thistlechaser: (Chi_ :o)
In this season of Game of Thrones, there was a big battle. Supposedly one of the biggest ever made for television. I hadn't realized how much of it was done with special effects (basically, almost all of it).

I'd say that even if you haven't seen the season yet, this video is only minorly spoilery. You should probably skip it if you want to avoid all spoilers, but be sure to bookmark it to watch later, because it's really cool to see how they did it all.

thistlechaser: (tree)
This is really great to watch. Pretty music, great costumes, wonderful dancing, and a Mad Max-like setting.



A comment elsewhere suggested that this was filmed at Burning Man, and all the extras supplied their own costumes. I'd believe that.
thistlechaser: (Chi_ :o)
[livejournal.com profile] isiscolo posted this mashup of Hamilton (the musical) and Batman.. Even not knowing Batman well, this worked for me. Such singing talent! A really well-made mashup/parody.



This second one was linked to me as a joke, supposed to offend? shock? me, but I loved it. Smashmouth's All Star song mixed with In The End by Linkin Park. In my opinion, this makes both songs much, much better -- the silly lightness of All Star made dark and serious. And the two seem made to be combined into one song.



I love it so much!
thistlechaser: (tree)
I wonder how many more future movies will get the Inside Out treatment? I hope the answer is: All of them!



I'll admit I was a tiny bit disappointed, I was hoping it would be the emotion characters inside the Star Wars characters' heads, not just Riley watching the trailer. Still, it's a fun watch even if it's just basically a commercial for Star Wars.

Edit: Hmmmmm. I hadn't seen the trailer before this video (I'm just not that much of a Star Wars fan), but it made me curious, so I've been googling. Interesting how the new SW movie and my MMO seem to be crossing paths. We have a major patch coming out soon, and the title of it is As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness.

Apparently Stephen Colbert is a very big SW fan, and he has guesses as to how this movie will end.

Not a spoiler, as it's just Colbert's guesses, but I know there's at least one person on my friends list who wants to know nothing about the new movie... )

I've been wanting to post how much I love the As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness title, but it seems like such a small thing, not worthy of posting about. Handy how it ties in with this trailer.

thistlechaser: (Feathery dinosaur)
This sounds like a win-win situation. Sesame Workshop, the makers of Sesame Street, is partnering with HBO in a 5 year deal. Sesame Workshop will be able to produce a lot more content ("35 new Sesame Street episodes a year, up from the 18 it now produces", as well as two new shows). HBO shows the episodes first, and then after nine months PBS stations get all the shows for 100% free.

I don't see a downside to that, other than if HBO tries to influence the content. The story I linked had parents upset about "having to pay to see the episodes", but I suspect that's just people wanting to be upset -- do kids really care how soon they get new Sesame Street episodes? As young as that audience must be?

---

And in wacky Japanese video news: Cats wearing hats shaped like cats wearing hats:

thistlechaser: (Dinosaur: green derp)
Wow. Jurassic Park gay porn made in Thailand. NWS (duh), though only kissing is shown? Though there might be some dinosaur/man action going on, it's kind of hard to tell.



I posted about this Toy Soldiers: War Chest game before -- a combat game using toys, but brand name toys from our world. He Man, My Little Pony, GI Joe, etc. Here are the latest armies: Cobra (From GI Joe) and the main character from Assassin's Creed:

thistlechaser: (Moon)
Child of Grass (Book 2 of the Sea of Grass Trilogy) by David Gerrold
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

In book one of this trilogy (which I loved so much), Kaer and her family were getting ready for life on "another planet" (an alternate Earth), a very low tech world with a young culture. It was a slow story full of wonderful worldbuilding and very little plot. What plot there was I disliked, but there was so little of it, I enjoyed the book overall. Unfortunately book 2 was just the opposite: Nothing but that plot I disliked.

While I'm no fan of organized religion, I really, really hate the "all organized religion is evil and everything bad in the world is caused by it, and every single religious person is bad/evil/stupid/cruel" plot device. It smacks of lazy writing. That was the whole plot of this book.

In the first book, we learned that one of the families that went to the new planet had lied through all their training: They, like other religious families in the training program, never intended to give up their current religion (basically Christianity -- it had a different name, but the main figures in it were named Jesus/Mary/Joseph/etc) and adopt or pretend to adopt the local religion. People from Earth had to believe or pretend to believe the new world's religion, since no one was supposed to find out they were from a different planet.

I lost interest before I got 10% into the book, but forced myself to keep going because I had liked the first one so much. By 20% I found myself skimming more than anything and forced myself to slow down and read... at which point I encountered many pages of two characters talking about what 'empowerment' meant -- just two characters, father and daughter, doing nothing about talking about what that term meant. (Which fed back into the 'all religion is bad' theme, since religion disempowers people.) I gave up on the book at that point.

I loved the first book of this trilogy so much, but I couldn't even come close to finishing the second one. But what really pisses me off is that Child of Grass made me want to defend religion! Arg!

You know, it's almost odd to run into an accurate Amazon review anymore. I checked them after writing this post. One reviewer wrote:

Kaer proves herself to be one of the more deep-thinking and resourceful 12-year-olds you're ever likely to encounter.

Unlike last book, I didn't for a moment believe Kaer was 12. I constantly found myself thinking she was an adult. She was smarter and "deeper-thinking" than any adult I know. Moral issues, planning/tactical issues, everything.

"Child of Earth" ends rather abruptly and continues seamlessly in "Child of Grass."

That amused me. My one complaint about the first book was that the author seemed to have the whole story ("trilogy") finished and just cut it into three chunks to publish -- there was zero attempt to make book one into a complete story at all, it cut off mid-scene to be continued into book two. "Ends rather abruptly" indeed.


---

Game of Thrones: Season 5. No spoilers outside of the cut.

Oh man, this season. What a miserable mess. I heard nothing but bad from everyone about it, so my expectations were low, but the season was even worse.

There were a few enjoyable moments in the season (and I literally mean "moments" -- a good episode meant there was an enjoyable scene somewhere in the hour). But there was so so so much bad. Really bad. Unwatchable bad.

Spoilers/details back here. )

I think by this point in the story I had lost interest in the books as well. I'm not intending to get the next book when it comes out, and it's highly questionable if I'll bother watching season six.

---

[livejournal.com profile] chichiri posted a link to some beautiful, interesting music, perhaps from a video game:

thistlechaser: (Moon)
In no special order:

1) Toy Soldiers: War Chest looks like it will be quite an amusing game! It's a war game, but played out with toys. Oh, not just any generic toys, It's got big name licensing going on: Hasbro and Mattel. So you'll be able to use Rainbow Brite, He-Man, GI Joe, and many other toys.



2) My apartment has a silverfish problem, which is gross enough (I know they're harmless, but they're so ugly and horrible!), but now it's worse: Millipedes! Those things are big! Up to two inches long! They're so much worse than silverfish, ugh.

Last night one came in under my door (!!!), so I put a cup over it, scooped it up, and threw it back outside... and it ran right back in. WTF, bug, you belong outside. D: There was one in my bedroom, too. It must have gotten in through a closed window somehow, because my bedroom is on the opposite end of my apartment from my door.

We can have a visit from an exterminator for free, but they need the apartment cleared for 5 hours. That's easy enough for me, I can go to work, but my cat is another issue. If the exterminator can get rid of millipedes too though, I might have to take her and go sit out in the car or something. Even though I don't like the idea of poison being sprayed in the house... might have to look for a more natural solution tomorrow.

3) I think maybe I just don't like jerky. I bought some from a recommended company ($18 for 12 serving sized packs), and I hate it. It was supposedly teriyaki pineapple flavor, but tasted like neither. I don't like room temperature meat much either, I guess. I wish I could have spent less and gotten a smaller package of it, but that was the smallest one. I give up. :/ I keep trying jerky, but never like it.
thistlechaser: (Avatar: Zuko)
My to read pile is getting "low" (only ten pages of books on my Kindle, six books per page), so I decided I could let myself look for some new ones. Oh the number of wacky books out there.

- The Green Kangaroos by Jessica McHugh
Overview: Perry Samson loves drugs. He’ll take what he can get, but raw atlys is his passion. Shot hard and fast into his testicles, atlys helps him forget that he lives in an abandoned Baltimore school...

- This Shifter Squad series, which has laughably bad covers:


And for the porn: I love these comic book movie porn spoofs. This is just the trailer for one, and work safe (no naked bits, no sex). It's quite amusing, and has an ending more serious than I would have expected from even a non-spoof:



Hopefully the full movie will be around online somewhere, like most of these porn comic book spoof movies are (official free online releases, not pirated). I suspect it will be quite amusing. (The DVD is even offering a non-sex version of it!)
thistlechaser: (Tetsu points "Hey..." (PMK))
Oh how I love you Japan.

A Japanese guy lip synching to that Frozen song, while slapping another guy's mostly naked ass.

NWS for naked man butt )

In less NWS videos, here's A Bad Lip Reading of Marvel's The Avengers: Redneck Avengers

thistlechaser: (Moon)
I'm rolling at this trailer. I laughed out loud a number of times!



In Lost news: Wow, season 6 is really, really good. I'm about halfway through it, and I'm so very tempted to go spoil myself because I want all the answers NOW NOW NOW. I suspect I'm going to really like how the series wraps up, this season is hitting all the best religion-in-fiction buttons for me.

It was worth sticking with the slow seasons to get to this point.
thistlechaser: (Chi_Point and laugh)
Best. Ad. Campaign. EVER!

[livejournal.com profile] coconuthead mentioned this whole "South Dakota vs. Mars" thing on her LJ, so I googled to find out more, and cracked up.

More than 200,000 people have signed up to go to Mars (a one-way trip!), but no one wants to live in South Dakota. So SD made a pro-state ad campaign out of it! "Why die on Mars when you can live in South Dakota?"

What benefits does South Dakota have over Mars?
An abundance of oxygen!
Plenty of jobs!
You can leave if you want!

They also claim Mars is "cold and barren", but... isn't South Dakota as well? Haha. :D

I wish they ran these commercials around here!

thistlechaser: (Puzzled (Getbackers))
There's an amusing new game show on Japanese TV: Can men sing karaoke while getting a handjob from a pretty young woman?

Video is NWS, though no details are shown.

Video preview screenshot is suggestive, so sticking it behind a cut. )
thistlechaser: (Dinosaur: green derp)
1) Can I tell you how excited I am about the new Jurassic Park movie? It's been years since I last stepped foot in a movie theater, but I might have to go back for this. It's going to be such a hard challenge though, if I do. Popcorn is my #1 favorite food in the world, but it's also a food I can never eat again. I can resist it in day-to-day situations, but going to a popcorn-scented movie theater? Don't know if I can... but still, Jurassic Park movies MUST be seen on the big screen. :/

Anyway, they hired on a new star, and made a promo for the park featuring his character:



2) This song came up in RP today, and I died when I googled and found it was a real song. ("Real" song? A song that was sung by a character in a TV show.) NWS lyrics.
NWS video behind cut! )

3) This tree is quite amazing! Linked for size. It's like some kind of modern artwork thing. I see a dancer with more trees growing out of her.

4) #3 lead me to the most amusing discovery. I visit reddit a lot (a social/information/interesting links kind of place). Different groups or subjects have subreddits. Apparently 'tree' is slang for pot, so the /trees subreddit is actually about smoking pot. Since that was taken, someone made /r/marijuanaenthusiasts for people who like trees! Ha!

5) Seraphina (by Rachel Hartman) is the BEST BOOK EVER. I have about 8% left to go, then can review it. And I'm SO HAPPY SO SO HAPPY I was offered the next book for review! I have it waiting for me right now! It's not for sale yet, which usually doesn't matter to me, but this time it works out so eeee! It's put out by a major publishing house (Random), so hopefully this will get me lots of good offers in the future.

6) I had previously accepted a different book for review, and usually read them in the order accepted, but I'm making an exception in this case. I suspect this other one (Chaos Station by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke) is actually Captain America fanfic with the serial numbers filed off. (It's about a "retired, broken super soldier" and his lover (officer in the military) who everyone had thought was dead...). I accepted it for review more to see if it was fanfic-ish than anything else, so Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) comes first.
thistlechaser: (Dinosaur: purple cartoon)
The Jurassic World Lego Game Trailer is really cute:



And look, Star Lor-- er, Jurassic Park raptor wrangler guy!


Neither cute nor funny: They're remaking Poltergeist. Because of course, what in the world aren't they remaking?



All the best Superbowl commercials done with Legos:



I want one of those Lego raptors!
thistlechaser: (Moon)
In 60 seconds, this video shows you what was considered 'beautiful' for each decade. An interesting watch!



In other news, I use reddit a lot. Mostly the FFXIV subreddit, but a few other small subreddits as well. It's a free site, but you can help support it by buying "gold" (paid account time) to give out to posts you like. I never really felt the need before, but I came across an especially amusing FFXIV one this morning, so I shelled out $4 x 3 so I'd have three months of paid membership to use or give out.

Unfortunately the site wasn't very clear, so I ended up buying one three month of paid membership instead of three one month ones. (You give out one month of paid membership when you like something, not multiple months.) So I hunted down a help email address for them and sent off an email.

The site is free, there's no membership charge ever (other than this optional gold), so I figured the customer support would be crap. I didn't expect to get a reply at all, and if I did I figured it would take weeks and they'd likely tell me they couldn't help.

I got a reply within an hour, fixing the issue.

I boggled. I don't get that good of support from companies I do real, paid business with!

Good work, reddit.

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