One Neat Thing a Day

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  • Who is us?

    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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Archive for April, 2009

4-30-09 Woody Guthrie – So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You

Posted by Sean on April 30, 2009

And people are still getting steamrolled, Shanoah, whether it’s by the British or “acts of God [1]”, like the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. Here’s Woody Guthrie singing about it with So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You.

Courtesy of algeva

[1] Your God, maybe. But mine? No.

Posted in From Sean, I Tunes Not U Tunes | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The World Turned Upside Down

Posted by shanoah on April 30, 2009

Well, meant to post this earlier, but I fell asleep. I’m going to make this one relatively quick, anyways.

This song is The World Turned Upside Down by Leon Rosselson, and is essentally a modernization of The Diggers song, from the 17th century. It’s basically a protest song about land rights. And, well, I like protest songs, as well as murder ballads, songs about outlaws, etc…

Of course, the diggers had fairly fnord communist[1] fnord views, too. Don’t really care about that, though. The song follows a trend I’ve noticed: a peaceful, proud community of people who get crushed and oppressed by the British. I tend to like songs like that for some reason.

[1] fnord Communist fnord is one of these trigger words that people tend to not think clearly when it’s mentioned, and substitute something like mother-raping baby-killing bastard for. Sort of like liberal.

It’s not really a horrible thing so much as something that idealists like to think will work, that tends to lead to lots of corruption if tried in the real world. Because if you try to share everything equally, someone is going to end up stashing all that they can grab somewhere along the line.

Of course, democracy has it’s own problems. It really requires a nation of educated voters, otherwise things like George W Bush happen. Of course, we aren’t really a democracy, either; we’re a democratic republic. Important thing to remember.

But enough political rambling…

Posted in A Thought from a Sticky Mood, Blogs, fnord, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Islamocommunifeminihomofascists, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Mbube

Posted by shanoah on April 29, 2009

Since we’re here on one of the Seanless days again, I felt like playing an old South African folk song. You’ll recognise it due to the popular, Americanized, mispronounced versions, but I thought it’d be worth playing African covers. Besides, I’ve already played the other version.

The earliest known recording of Mbube was sung by Solomon Linda And The Evening Birds in 1939. Mbube and Uyimbube are some of the more common words in there. Pete Seeger misheard the latter as Wimoweh, though. Then a group called the tokens got involved. Here’s Solomons version, though:

Miriam Makeba (who died in 2008), often known as Mama Afrika, also did her own cover of the song.

And here’s the Mahotella Queens, with their own take on it. Wonderful voices, and they give the song their own touch.


Posted in A Thought from a Sticky Mood, Batty, Blogs, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, I Tunes Not U Tunes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Men In Tights

Posted by shanoah on April 28, 2009

That interpretation of Robin Hood is good, Sean, but my personal favorite rendition has to be the one played by Cary Elwes in Robin Hood:Men in Tights. I was already partial to Mel Brooks movies anyways, and Cary had already portrayed another romanticized outlaw in another favorite movie of mine, the Pricess Bride, namely the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Here’s one persons collection of funniest moments from the movie, though it’s lacking some I can think of. (Like the scene with King Richard, Patrick Stewart). Of course, it’s hard to come up with a collection of that sort for a movie like this, anyways. (I’d personally say it’s the bit between the opening and the ending credits, myself.)

Posted in Blogs, bulldada, From Shanoah, Funny, Gettin' Yer Freak On, Gooey Gummi Goodness | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

4-27-09 Ho! Haha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! THRUST!

Posted by Sean on April 27, 2009

Well, while we’ve gotten onto the subject of romanticized outlaws, we can’t neglect the most romanticized and idealized outlaw of all, Robin Hood. He has been the subject of stories, songs, films, comic books and even an animated cartoon or nineteen. But I think I like this interpretation of the Robin Hood myth the best.

This of course, is 1958’s Robin Hood Daffy, courtesy of SuperCartoon.

Posted in From Sean, Funny, I Tunes Not U Tunes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Machine Gun Kelly

Posted by shanoah on April 27, 2009

I’ll raise you John Dillinger (Remember, John Dillinger died for you), and give you not one, but two songs about Machine Gun Kelly, both named, appropriately enough, Machine Gun Kelly.

The first is by a band called Bad Magic, starring some good guitar work by Kelly Blau. This was posted by Peacfrog126, who is the singer and songwriter for the band. The second is a cover of a James Taylor song being sung by carnabyroberts, who is a guitar teacher. Wasn’t able to find James Taylor actually singing it, but it’s a good cover.

Posted in A Thought from a Sticky Mood, Blogs, bulldada, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

4-26-09 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Unretrofied

Posted by Sean on April 26, 2009

Well, since we’re talking about escape, Shanoah, let’s talk about The Dillinger Escape Plan. This is Unretrofied, off their 2004 album Miss Machine.

Courtesy of Relapse Records (site here).

Posted in From Sean, I Tunes Not U Tunes | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Escape Velocity

Posted by shanoah on April 26, 2009

I was tempted to follow up Wasteland with Teenage Wasteland, but you know how I dislike repeating songs I’ve already played.

On the topic of games I’ve overplayed, especially on the Mac, I have to mention Escape Velocity: Nova. This is one of the few shareware games I’ve gone so far as to pay for. (By Ambrosia Software, probably the best known Mac software outfit out there).

The premise is that there was a large series of hypergates to several different areas of the galaxy. Then all the hypergates broke down, and things collapsed into three empires, with a forth basically getting enslaved in the mix.

Then you come into all this flying around in a shuttle. From there, things are marvolously open-ended. There are several main plotlines you can get into. Or you can just run around, doing missions, making cargo runs, and ferrying passengers around.

Or you can find where things are being sold cheaply, and sell them for a profit. Even hire escorts to carry the goods. By a new ship. Pay for all sorts of upgrades. Hang around lurking in wait, ambush ships, loot all their cargo, sell their ships, or even take them over.

And if you start to feel brave enough, challenge planets, and after you’ve whipped their fleets into submission, get them to pay tribute to you. Or you could dink around mining asteroids. All up to you.

And did I mention that if you pay for the game, you can add plugins ranging from adding new ships and outifts, to adding new plotlines, to turning the game into a different game with the same engine. It’s notable that this is actually the third Escape Velocity game they made (and the best, in my opinion), and the previous two were remade as plugins available (for free) for Escape Velocity:Nova.

I got hooked on this on the Mac, and missed it when I went mainly Linux with a dash of Windows. Then, glory be, they ported it to Windows. And it runs decently on Wine. All in all, was worth the $30.

Here’s some video footage of the game, with action music all plastered over it, as some people are wont to do.

Posted in Batty, Blogs, bulldada, free stuff, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, I'm probably going to hell for this | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

4-26-09 Wasteland

Posted by Sean on April 26, 2009

Do I remember Dark Castle? Gods, yes. It was one of the few Mac games I owned, and I remember whiling away the time with it in Montclair State University’s computer labs when I should have been studying. The glories of a misspent youth.

Another game that I can blame for my current lack of marketability on the job market is Electronic Arts’ Wasteland.

Screenshot of Commodore 64 port courtesy of DougGlendower.

This game – PC and Apple versions – ate up more of my time than any other actitivity during my late teens/early twenties. It had much the same feel as Bard’s Tale, but without the annoying 3D graphics and with cyborgs, M16’s, crazed new wavers and opponents exploding like blood sausages. Good times.

I didn’t know it yet, but it also had my soon-to-be adopted hometown Las Vegas! From the Wasteland manual, courtesy of the Wasteland wiki The Guardian Library:

Vegas is the city of Las Vegas.  No one is quite sure how the Soviet missiles managed to miss the city, but most folks figure it was because the “house” was betting against a missile landing – and no one wins against the house.  There was an international rumor about some Russian general’s markers being torn up after the attack, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Undaunted by its brush with perdition,  Vegas is still open for business and does very well for itself. The city is large enough to avoid conquest, and many elements of the desert rabble have even found gainful employment as enforcers or casino employees. Despite the relative success of the city, however, there are dark rumors about horrors descending from the north to taking up residence in the city sewers. All may not be extremely well in the jewel of the Desert.

Here’s a sample of the screenplay in one of the first towns, the Agircultural Center, to show you what the gameplay is like.

Courtesy of BloodPigggy.

And here’s a 16-min speed run through Wasteland. According to chaos5482, this run “makes use of the ’empty loot bag’ bug to get powerful weapons and armor early on”. The items include two items that are otherwise unavailable during the game: the “Red Ryder” weapon, which is almsot a one-shot weapon against all opponents and has unlimited ammo, and the invulernable “NAME AC” armor, always nice to have.

Part 1:

And part 2:

Posted in From Sean, Gettin' Yer Geek Freak On, Happy Media | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Old Games

Posted by shanoah on April 25, 2009

Well, I didn’t really play with an Intellavision that much, Sean. (Though I’m fairly sure it didn’t have Grand Theft Auto…)

I did play a bunch of old mac games, though. As far as RPGs go, I used to like Taskmaker & Tomb of the Taskmaker, and I still play them in emulation occassionally with Basilisk II. Or, did you ever play Dark Castle? I died a lot, but the sound effects were great:

I wasted a lot of hours with Scarab of Ra, too, finding treasure, and being harrassed by monkeys, and chased by panthers, and mummies:

And that’s not even to mention Fool’s Errand. I don’t even know how many hours I wasted on this classic game. A Tarot based storyline with lots of fiendish puzzles. Cliff Johnson wrote 3 in Three[1], and At the Carnival, too. He even has them on his site for free download:

[1] You are wrong! This cannot be! There is no 3 in Three! And therein lies a tale.

I loved this game. Only other puzzle game I played that approached one of Cliff Johnson’s games was Systems Twilight. But then, I’ve always loved Andrew Plotkins games, too.

Posted in Batty, Blogs, bulldada, cats, fnord, free stuff, From Shanoah | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »