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    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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Posts Tagged ‘Gooey Gummi Goodness’

12-31-08 Happy New Year

Posted by Sean on January 1, 2009

Well, Shanoah, I don’t know about you and the rest of the Secret Worldwide Discordian Conspiracy, but I celebrated my New Year 11 days ago, on the solstice. Took you slugabeds almost two weeks to catch up.

But you do do your New Year right. Hard to knock a rolling, global, 24-hour party. So, as the clock counts down here in the Other City of Lights, let’s see how you’re celebrating around the world…

In New York…

Angela Sytko of New Jersey, right, and T.J. Clark New Yorks of Brooklyn Borough kiss at the stroke of midnight during New Years Eve festivities in Times Square in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008.
Angela Sytko of New Jersey, right, and T.J. Clark New York’s of Brooklyn Borough kiss at the stroke of midnight during New Year’s Eve festivities in Times Square in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. — AP Photo/Peter Morgan

In the Florida Keys…

In a photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, female impersonator Gary Marion, transformed into ‘Sushi’ hangs above Duval Street and talks to thousands of New Year’s Eve revelers outside the Bourbon Street Pub Complex in Key West, Fla., late Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008, awaiting to be lowered at the stroke of midnight to celebrate the dawn of 2009. The Big Red Shoe Drop, with ‘Sushi’ in a huge facsimile of a woman’s high heel, is a whimsical takeoff on New York City’s Times Square ball drop. — AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman

In Seattle…

Silhouetted by the Space Needle, Joe Myxler, left, proposes to Polly Yerkovich at Seattle's Kerry Park on New Year's Eve, Wednesday, Dec., 31, 2008. -- AP Photo/Jim Bryant

In London…

Fireworks are seen over the Millenium Wheel as part of the official New Years Eve celebrations in London. Revellers braved freezing conditions in London to see the New Year fireworks spectacular on the banks of the River Thames, which engulfed the London Eye in a blaze of colour. -- AFP/Carl de Souza

Fireworks are seen over the Millenium Wheel as part of the official New Year's Eve celebrations in London. Revellers braved freezing conditions in London to see the New Year fireworks spectacular on the banks of the River Thames, which engulfed the London Eye in a blaze of colour. -- AFP/Carl de Souza

In Bristol…

The Holmes family and friends from Winchester Road, Brislington, Bristol, bang pots and pans to celebrate the New Year Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. Some residents in Brislington, South Bristol, still celebrate New Years eve at the stroke of midnight in the traditional and environmentally friendly way by banging pots and pans. -- AP Photo/PA, Ben Birchall

The Holmes family and friends from Winchester Road, Brislington, Bristol, bang pots and pans to celebrate the New Year Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. Some residents in Brislington, South Bristol, still celebrate New Year's eve at the stroke of midnight in the traditional and environmentally friendly way by banging pots and pans. -- AP Photo/PA, Ben Birchall

In Budapest…

Children with a mask blow trumpets as they wait for New Years Eve festivities to begin in Budapest December 31, 2008. -- REUTERS/Karoly Arvai (HUNGARY)

Children with a mask blow trumpets as they wait for New Year's Eve festivities to begin in Budapest December 31, 2008. -- REUTERS/Karoly Arvai (HUNGARY)

In Sofia, Bulgaria…
People gather at Sofias main square to celebrate New Years Eve, January 1, 2009. -- REUTERS/Oleg Popov (BULGARIA)

People gather at Sofia's main square to celebrate New Year's Eve, January 1, 2009. -- REUTERS/Oleg Popov (BULGARIA)

In Berlin…

Fireworks illuminate the Quadriga sculpture atop the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin January 1, 2009. Around one million visitors attended the German capitals spectacular New Years Eve party between the Brandenburg Gate and the Sigessaeule. -- REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (GERMANY)

Fireworks illuminate the Quadriga sculpture atop the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin January 1, 2009. Around one million visitors attended the German capital's spectacular New Year's Eve party between the Brandenburg Gate and the Sigessaeule. -- REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (GERMANY)

 In Dubai…

Low level clouds float over Dubais Marina area as the sun sets on Dubai on New Years Eve, December 31, 2008. Dubais ruler on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of all New Year celebrations in the Gulfs tourism hub in solidarity with Palestinians facing Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip. -- REUTERS/Steve Crisp (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)

Low level clouds float over Dubai's Marina area as the sun sets on Dubai on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2008. Dubai's ruler on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of all New Year celebrations in the Gulf's tourism hub in solidarity with Palestinians facing Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip. -- REUTERS/Steve Crisp (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)

In Sao Paulo…

Brazils marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima celebrates on the podium following his final participation in the Sao Silvestre mens road race in Sao Paulo, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. The 15-kms race is held annually on New Years Eve. -- AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini

Brazil's marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima celebrates on the podium following his final participation in the Sao Silvestre men's road race in Sao Paulo, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. The 15-kms race is held annually on New Year's Eve. -- AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini

In Paris…

Homeless people attend New Years Eve celebrations at the Saint-Merri gymnasium in Paris, five days after more than 100 people who were living in poor housing conditions took shelter there December 31, 2008. -- REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE)

Homeless people attend New Year's Eve celebrations at the Saint-Merri gymnasium in Paris, five days after more than 100 people who were living in poor housing conditions took shelter there December 31, 2008. -- REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE)

In the Vatican…

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a New Years Eve vespers service, at St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. Pope Benedict XVI is calling for sobriety and solidarity in 2009 as the world struggles with economic and social woes. His appeal was made amid the splendor of St. Peters Basilica during a New Years Eve vespers service on Wednesday. Benedict described these times as being marked by uncertainty and worry for the future. -- (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service, at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. Pope Benedict XVI is calling for 'sobriety and solidarity' in 2009 as the world struggles with economic and social woes. His appeal was made amid the splendor of St. Peter's Basilica during a New Year's Eve vespers service on Wednesday. Benedict described these times as being 'marked by uncertainty and worry for the future.' -- (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

In Manila…

A fire dancer juggles torches during a New Years eve countdown at Manilas Makati financial district December 31, 2008. -- REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)

A fire dancer juggles torches during a New Year's eve countdown at Manila's Makati financial district December 31, 2008. -- REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)

In Auckland, New Zealand…

The first major city to mark the start of 2009 was Auckland, New Zealand, with a spectacular display of fireworks from its Sky Tower. -- Courtesy of the BBC and Getty Images

The first major city to mark the start of 2009 was Auckland, New Zealand, with a spectacular display of fireworks from its Sky Tower. -- Courtesy of the BBC and Getty Images

In Hong Kong…

In Hong Kong, half a million people gathered around the historic harbour for the new year countdown. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Hong Kong, half a million people gathered around the historic harbour for the new year countdown. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Bangkok…

In Thailand, performers in traditional dress carried candles during a Buddhist ceremony in the capital, Bangkok. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Thailand, performers in traditional dress carried candles during a Buddhist ceremony in the capital, Bangkok. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia…

In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, party-goers danced in front of a laser and water show in the early hours of 2009. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, party-goers danced in front of a laser and water show in the early hours of 2009. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Tokyo…

In Japan, many went to Tokyos Zojoji Buddhist temple to offer a prayer at the end of the year. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Japan, many went to Tokyo's Zojoji Buddhist temple to offer a prayer at the end of the year. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AP

In Valencia, Spain…

In Valencia, Spain, revellers took part in an unusual new years tradition - a red underwear race. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AFP

In Valencia, Spain, revellers took part in an unusual new year's tradition - a red underwear race. -- Courtesy of the BBC and AFP

 And, finally, back home in Las Vegas…

Leroy and Rosemary Baca of Trinidad, Colo., celebrate as confetti falls after midnight during the New Years party last year at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. Crews will set off fireworks at eight locations tonight on the Strip and downtown. -- Leila Navidi/File Photo, Courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Leroy and Rosemary Baca of Trinidad, Colo., celebrate as confetti falls after midnight during the New Year's party last year at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. Crews will set off fireworks at eight locations tonight on the Strip and downtown. -- Leila Navidi/File Photo, Courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Happy New Year everyone. Hope it’s a better one.

(Thanks to Yahoo! News, the BBC and the Las Vegas Review)

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Posted in Gooey Gummi Goodness | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

12-21-08 Joyous Winter Solstice

Posted by Sean on December 21, 2008

Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. This may seem an odd way to put it but – astronomically, cosmologically, spiritually, magically and psychologically – it doesn’t get any worse than this. In a sense, the Earth has hit rock bottom, and there’s nowhere to go but up from here. So relax. You made it this far. Gather those you love and care around you, count your dead, cherish those who survived to see another solstice, and wait out the long night with song and flame.

I spent what day I had with my parents cleaning up the house. They did it because my brother and sister are coming in from out of town for Christmas. I did it to start off my new year, and the lengthening days, on the right foot. There’s something that’s psychologically very powerful about simply putting your house in order.

I’ve got some music that I think is fairly appropriate for the solstice and for you, as you observe the shortest day and longest night of the year, contemplate the cycle that brought us here and celebrate the year to come. It isn’t “traditional” pagan music, but that’s the point. The music changes, but the reason for the season stays the same.

Lying in the Sun – Koushik

Heard on Ken‘s show on WFMU on Dec. 10.

Courtesy of stonesthrowradio.

The Sun – Mr. Lif

Heard on Billy Jam’s Put the Needle on the Record show on WFMU on Dec. 12.

Courtesy of tuckdragon.

Sing the Changes – The Fireman

Thanks for this one, Shanoah.

Courtesy of thefiremanmusic.

The Rising – Bruce Springsteen (Live in Barcelona 2003)

An odd choice, I know, especially for a pagan celebration. But when you consider that the Sun is enduring much of the same things as the narrator of the song, it suddenly becomes appropriate.

Courtesy of smiddy53.

The Rising is too Christian for a pagan holiday, you say? Silly boy. Many paths, one destination and all that. Read your Joseph Campbell some time.

Oh, all right, I’ll throw in something Ren Fest-y. Must have some vanilla on hand for those who don’t like pistachio, after all. This’ll be a good soundtrack for awakening Mother Earth during the post-circle Bacchanal, if ya know what I mean, wink wink nudge nudge.

Bacchus – Corvus Corax

Courtesy of Kessi1958.

Posted in From Sean, Gettin' Yer Pagan Freak On, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

9-14-08 The Trap

Posted by Sean on September 14, 2008

Well, Shanoah, while I could do another music post, I shan’t, because I want to post a documentary that I found over the weekend.

The Trap, which could also be called Unintended Consequences (which sums up American domestic and foreign policy of late very nicely) is a documentary that the BBC broadcast in 2007. It documents how the Western world shot itself in the foot by carrying over strategies and thinking from the Cold War, when they may have been relevant, into today’s world, and how today’s world is built on paranoia and cynicism.

Like any Theory of Everything it has, by its very nature, holes in it, and things are stretched a bit too much to cover those holes. But it’s nevertheless eye-opening, and it neatly sums up a lot of what I’ve seen floating in the air the past eight years. Highly recommended.

A warning: This documentary is three hour-long episodes, and it’s probably not work-safe because of some language (and the fact that it’s three hours long; bosses kind of frown on their galley slaves employees watching movies on the clock).

Thanks to The Sideshow for cluing me into this.

Part 1: Fuck You, Buddy

Part 2: The Lonely Robot

Part 3: We Will Force You to Be Free

Posted in Blogs, Facts for Freaks and Other Criminals, fnord, FREAKIN' ME OUT MAN, From Sean, Happy Media, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Not Work Safe, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

8-14-08 Parts and Labor – A Great Divide

Posted by Sean on August 14, 2008

Continuing the Parts and Labor theme today, we move on to A Great Divide, off 2006’s Stay Afraid. Never has alienation and isolation sounded so damn heroic. Worth a listen or three.

You can listen or download the MP3 version of A Great Divide by clicking on the link below. It comes courtesy of Parts and Labor and the Audio/Video section on their Web site.

Parts and Labor – A Great Divide (MP3)

Posted in Blogs, free stuff, From Sean, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

8-13-08 Parts and Labor – Fractured Skies

Posted by Sean on August 13, 2008

You read Slashdot, Shanoah? Be careful. Someone might think you’re a geek or something. 😉

Anyway, I’d like to continue to focus on Parts and Labor today with probably my favorite song from them: Fractured Skies, off 2007’s Mapmaker. Why is it one of my favorite songs? That requires a little explanation.

I’ve noticed lately in pop music that songs like to build you up, but not to release you. If you listen to pop music with any regularity, you know what I mean: A song will build you up with, as noted music scholar Dr. Gonzo put it, “a rising sound” – higher notes, rising volume – but won’t let you release that emotion. Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit is a perfect example: Grace Slick’s singing will get higher and louder, but she never “jumps off the cliff”. She never switches to a lower key, which allows you to release all the emotion that you’ve pent up during the song.

That’s why my favorite song from Nirvana isn’t Smells Like Teen Spirit but rather Heart-Shaped Box; I live for that cymbal crash in the refrain between “Hey, wait” and “I’ve got a new complaint”, which marks Kurt Cobain switching his voice to a lower register. And that’s why my favorite Parts and Labor song is Fractured Skies. It  builds you up and then lets you down rather nicely and, more than that, it does it multiple times. Very nice.

You can listen or download the MP3 version of Fractured Skies by clicking on the link below. It comes courtesy of Parts and Labor and the Audio/Video section on their Web site.

Parts and Labor – Fractured Skies (MP3)

Posted in Blogs, free stuff, From Sean, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

8-12-08 Parts and Labor – Nowheres Nigh

Posted by Sean on August 12, 2008

I am rather excited about today’s neat thing, Shanoah.

I’ve wanted to put the music of the Brooklyn wall-of-noise outfit Parts and Labor on this blog for a long time now. (If you think you’ve heard Parts and Labor here before, well, maybe you have) Problem is that most of the YouTube videos out there are from live performances with poor audio quality.

This is a problem cos I’d almost call Parts and Labor a strictly studio band. This statement is given the lie by the fact that they obviously kick ass live (or at least they do in the many live performances up on YouTube), but it’s nevertheless partially true. Noise rock in general, despite its name, can be full of subtleties and complexity, despite its name, and Parts and Labor’s sound is no different.

Like I’ve said before, they can come at you with the hammer of the gods, but trailing the hammer are drones, dirges and lots of high-frequency and (dare I say it?) delicate sounds that don’t survive a big concert amplifier, a teeny video camera mike or YouTube’s compression algorithms very well. Such music deserves to be contemplated in a smaller venue – headphones, perhaps, or computer speakers.

Well, I finally figured out a way to post their music yesterday (post a link to the free MP3s on their site… duh), shot off an e-mail to them for permission and received a response in gratifyingly short time. That’s why your neat things for the next three days will be from Parts and Labor.

Your first neat thing Nowheres Nigh. This is from their newest album Receivers, of the Jagjaguwar label and due out Oct. 21. (One Neat Thing a Day is actually ahead of the musical curve for a change? Isn’t that a sign of the Second Coming?) It sounds like it’s going to be a killer album. They asked on their Web site for sound samples that they could use for the album and, according to Jagjaguwar, managed to use every single sample that they got. Listen to it through the link below (the one that says “Parts and Labor – Nowheres Nigh”), download it and then buy buy buy when it comes out in two months.

Parts and Labor – Nowheres Nigh (MP3)

Posted in free stuff, From Sean, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

7-24-08 The Bats of Congress Avenue Bridge

Posted by Sean on July 24, 2008

Well, since the subject was bats

The residents of Austin, Texas got a little surprise when they reconstructed their Congress Avenue bridge in 1980. The underside of the reconstructed bridge had lots of narrow, deep openings, which turns out to be perfect roosting conditions for the Mexican free-tailed bat. So they moved in…

All 1.5 million of them.

You’d probably never know it, though, until sunset, when they fly out to eat. This becomes truly impressive in the summer, when they migrate into under the bridge from their winter roosts in Mexico.

This is what 1.5 million bats look like, courtesy of TRSLLC. Those black puffs in the sky aren’t smoke. They’re thousands of bats.

You’ll probably notice that there’s a lot of humans watching the bats emerge. That’s because the Congress Avenue Bridge colony, which crosses Lady Bird Lake, is the largest urban colony of bats in the world, and the emergence of so many bats at once is the kind of spectacle that tourists like to take in. There are boat rides down the lake at sunset and there’s even a music festival called BatFest.

In fact, why am I telling you this? The Austin tourist industry does a much better job than I ever could. mostlymark shot this from one of the bat-watching boats on April 18, 2008.

It’s amazing, really, that Austin still has this colony 28 years later, and indeed the residents of Austin wanted to get rid of the bats when they heard that they’d moved in. I don’t how they did it, because people tend to react to bats the way Gandalf reacted to the Balrog, but Bat Conservation International (BCI) and other bat lovers persuaded the city not to eradicate them.

The benefits from the Congress Avenue Bridge bat colony are numerous, even beyond the mad tourist jack that they help Austin to rake in.

The Mexican free-tailed bat is a little fella – with an average length of three inches and weighing just over half a pound. But they form some of the largest bat communities – indeed, some of the largest mammal communities – in the world. Mexican free-tailed bats, like almost all bats[1], are innocuous critters, eating only insects, but colonies that size need lots of food – around 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of insects a night.

Think about that. That’s at least five tons worth of free pest control. Five tons of bugs that won’t eat crops. Five tons of insects that won’t bite humans and transmit disease.

Additional reading at:

[1] Vampire bats only rarely feed on humans, and they are blamed for loss of livestock in Latin America, mostly due to infection after being bitten and rabies. I’ve got to believe that the loss doesn’t compare to the scale of true carnivore predation. But if you’re a poor farmer, the loss of one of your animals can mean a lot. That’s why I say almost all bats are innocuous… and really, vampire bats aren’t that bad, either. Get the skinny here from, of all people, Bat Conservation International.

Posted in Facts for Freaks and Other Criminals, Gooey Gummi Goodness, Happy Media, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

7-8-08 Oh yeah, Jesse Helms died, didn’t he?

Posted by Sean on July 8, 2008

Now, I was going to mark the death of prayer-in-schools-pushing, abortion-opposing, gay-bashing, HIV-research-and-programs-opposing Sen. Jesse Helms the Anton LaVey way: by not marking it at all, and helping to make sure that the memory and the man went unremembered and unmourned. And it was going so well that I, um, kind of forgot that he died at all. (And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it)

But then WFMU‘s Beware of the Blog put me on the scent of something truly wondrous: the day in 1991 (Sept. 5, to be exact) when Helms’ house was covered in a huge condom by the Treatment Activist Guerrillas (later Treatment Activist Group) of ACT UP.

Video courtesy of bobinevu.

Peter Staley at Peter’s POZ Blog, who was in on the prank, breaks it all down here. The whole point of it was… well, I’m not exactly sure, actually. As one of the pranksters in the video says, “We’re here to basically say, you know, you mess with us and you’re going to wake up with a condom on your house,” which would be terrifying to some, I guess. I’m sorry, but these performance art protests tend to leave me cold – after making me laugh my ass off for ten minutes straight, that is.

But maybe that’s the best way to remember Helms: not as a five-time U. S. Senator and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, but as some poor shmuck who had his house covered in a giant condom… and had it show up again 17 years later, not just in his obituary, but all over YouTube as well. Blessed are the pranksters.

Posted in Blogs, From Sean, Gooey Gummi Goodness, Happy Media, Islamocommunifeminihomofascists, Mailing List, Not Work Safe, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

6-6-08 Magician Lord

Posted by Sean on June 7, 2008

Well, Shanoah, if you’re gonna do your favorite video game music, guess I’ll do mine.

I think that some of the best arcade music ever [1] was on this pisser of a platformer called Magician Lord, which was released by Alpha Denshi for SNK’s Neo Geo system in 1990 (and recently re-released for the Wii in 2007). The game was simple: you’re Elta, the last magician lord, and you have to blast your way through eight levels of enemy redshirts and bosses in order to save the world, transforming along the way into various other forms with different attacks (the Dragon Warrior was my boy). The game’s tough – nigh impossible in places – so it needs a pretty good hook if it wants you to come back.

It does. The graphics are still some of the best and most detailed I’ve ever seen for any game, a fever dream of monstrous parallaxed backgrounds and enemies that look like the demonic perversions that they are. And the music…

The music sounds heroic. The game starts with a tidal wave of synth fanfares and choruses and, while it never hits the high notes that it does on Level 1, it manages (most of the time, at least) to convey a sense of danger and high stakes and of just how bad things will get if you fail. Even Masters at Honest Gamers, who panned the game, had to admit that:

As questionable as your chances of survival are, at least there will be lovely music at your funeral. The tunes that sing behind Magician Lord’s majestic backdrops are excellent mood-setting pieces, though they regrettably repeat themselves at different junctures in the proceedings. The whole audiovisual experience reeks of brilliant fantasy, telling you that you are truly in another world, a dark hellish one… more than telling: convincing. [2]

Magician Lord hooked me. I remember that the only place in my hometown that had Magician Lord was on the opposite end of town from where I worked, and I found out that I could race across town on my lunch break, get in one game and then race back and clock in just as my break ended. Yes, I was that pathetic.

mcdnol decided to post his/her/its/their run through Magician Lord on YouTube. Not only did he/she/it/they clear the game, but he/she/it/they did it killing of Elta once. I hate him/her/it/them.

The whole run is split into four segments, with a total run time of 33 minutes. Unfortunately, this is the only way I could get all the levels in; most of them have excellent, or at least above-average, music. It’s also the Japanese-language version of the game. Fortunately, I took some notes, so you choose what you want to see.

The first segment has Levels 1, 2 and 3. Levels 1 and 3, “Dale of Evil Gods” and “Highway Leading to a Foreign Space” are the musical highlights of the game, in my opinion; the music to “Dale of Evil Gods” still gets my heart racing. And “Highway Leading to a Foreign Space” is the best looking – weird, organic, cavernous and thoroughly alien, not to mention thematically unrelated to any other level in the game.

The second segment is Levels 4 and 5. Level 4 has the better music, plus a parallaxed background of a huge castle.

The third segment is Level 6. I never got past Level 6; hell, I was lucky to survive 30 seconds on this level. Those damn catwomen jump on you, something that almost nothing else in the game did. They always fucked me over.

The fourth is Level 7, plus a fight with all of the sub-bosses or “guardians” (who, honestly, are tougher than the bosses they were protecting) and then the Ultimate Showdown. Level 7 dials up the difficulty to 11. Remember as you’re watching the first sequence – the part with the floating platforms – that Elta can only fire in four directions, but those floating eyeball things are coming from everywhere, and one slip off those platforms means Chunk-style Magician Lord Salsa. By comparison, the Final Showdown with Hideous Ultimate Blackest Evil is anticlimatic; you just choose the right transformation, then crouch down and lean on the Shoot button until HUBE is toast. To paraphrase Spaceballs: “This is why good will always triumph: because evil is dumb.”

Also notice that the player lets Elta get down to his final bar of health in this segment- and he still finishes the game without getting killed. Methinks that was deliberate: “How bad am I? I had two broken legs and I was coughing up blood, and I still saved the world!”

[1] That’s my favorite music for a coin-op game. My favorite PC game music is for Star Control II. But that’s a whole ‘nother slew of posts.

[2] Since I want to be fair and balanced, unlike a certain news channel, here’s what David Hinkle at Wii Fan Boy said when Magician Lord was released for the Wii: “You do not question the Magician Lord. You will only speak to the Magician Lord when spoken to. You will not make eye contact with the Magician Lord. If the Magician Lord hits you with a projectile attack, you will cease to exist and explode into a fine powder. The first rule of the Magician Lord is you do not speak of the Magician Lord. Look. Just download it.” Remember, this is a review on a game that was released 18 years ago.

Posted in From Sean, Gooey Gummi Goodness, Happy Media, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5-29-08 How To Build A Prop Gun

Posted by Sean on May 29, 2008

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “Gee, I really want a Cyber/Steampunk Futuresque Sci-Fi Hand Gun prop, but I don’t know how to build one?” If you have, then you may want to up the dosage on your medication.

If, after doing so, you still want to get your sticky little hands on a fairly bitchen gun, like this…

… then gmjhowe is can hook you up.

He/she/it/they have step-by-step instructions at http://www.instructables.com/id/Steampunk-Futuresque-Sci-Fi-Hand-Gun/ to build your own break-open prop gun, which is reminiscent of Decker’s gun from Blade Runner and comes complete with light effects. I also like the grip – less a modern pistol grip and more the curved handle of a flintlock pistol. Probably makes it harder to aim, but it’s a nice combo of old and new.

As he/she/it/they write on Instructables.com, which may just become my new favoritest site of all time:

This is a project I’ve been working on for a few weeks now. I basically wanted a cool hand gun. I didn’t fancy any replica movie props, and the law makes it hard to buy normal replica guns. so i made my own.

“So I made my own.” Gotta love it. English majors with zero mechanical sense and aptitude (like me) are always fascinated by people who can hack reality in their own image like this – people who can take a seemingly-random pile of parts and a plan and just build something. I’m sorry to say this, Shanoah but… you can buy a ray gun, sure. But going all mad scientist and actually making your own is just so much more impressive. (And it probably won’t cost you $690 like those Dr. Grordbort’s ray guns, either, grumble grumble).

This post is YET ANOTHER fine product of Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing.

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