May 31, 2011

Into the Uncanny Valley


Too hot: Confessions of a noir addict, a review of L.A. Noire.

Too cold: Why L.A. Noire is a failure.

Just right: If you’re like me right now you are playing L.A. Noire now (WHO THE F*CK ISNT).

Good question: Will L.A. Noire change the game for actors?

Good answer: A guide to the stars of L.A. Noire and where you might have seen them before.

Le past: An introduction to Neo-Noir.

Le present: The Uncanny Valley.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

Andrew Hale: Minor 9th

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

May 30, 2011

Take out a sheet of paper...

"...list everything you would like to buy or own and the list the degrees of your friends and ask yourself; 'Do we major in the fields that is necessary to produce the iPads and Xbox's and cars we want?'"

(Via Small Dead Animals.)

In related news: Depressing news, perhaps, if you chose an arts degree over something more practical. But if you are quick on your feet, you can turn a background in anthropology into a career in the video game industry. Just saying.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

John Barry: The Persuaders Theme

Featuring Pan's People.

And dancing to Mama's Pearl from the fabulous Jackson 5. Flick Colby, RIP.

Also, Pan's People dancing to Hamilton Bohannan's Foot Stompin' Music. Because, Cherry Gillespie that's why.

Posted by the Flea at 04:28 AM

May 29, 2011

Revenge of the geeks

"In the rabidly conformist school environment, the qualities that make people different make them targets. In adulthood, however, the qualities that make people different make them compelling."

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM

Fyfe Dangerfield: Call The Shots

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM

May 28, 2011

50 State Stereotypes (in 2 minutes)

Florida is my favourite.

Posted by the Flea at 12:20 PM

How to do marketing

Note re the dozen or so inept pitches I get every week: Send me something interesting or funny and I might link it or talk about it. There. Simple. Or you could pay for your ad. Concept.

On a related note: Dr. Pepper rules. I am also feeling pretty good about xtendplay.

Posted by the Flea at 06:39 AM

Raquel Reed: Key Largo

Posted by the Flea at 06:34 AM

May 27, 2011


Kaydara is a fan film set in the world of The Matrix. It is in every respect superior to the two official sequels.

This is the new gold standard for home brew fan films. If you don't want to sit through The Ratrix, skip forward to 33 minutes or so. The fight choreography is, if anything, even more impressive than the effects.

Posted by the Flea at 08:49 AM

Stromae: Alors on danse

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

May 26, 2011

Born of Hope

Born of Hope is an independent feature film inspired by the Lord of the Rings and produced by Actors at Work Productions in the UK. I am watching the HD version via YouTube.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Shiv City

Feeling stabby?

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Ultra High Definition Display

Get ready to buy all your favourite movies again.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Team Sleep: 11-11

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

May 25, 2011

1938 Phantom Corsair

Playing L.A. Noire has introduced me to a host of potential Fleamobiles.

Take, for example, the 1938 Phantom Corsair.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Dino Merlin: Love in Rewind

Bosnia and Herzegovina was robbed!

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

May 24, 2011

Carry On Up Mount Doom

"If you thought Lord of the Rings was criminally lacking in topless elves and lap-dancing hobbits (and who didn't?) you really need to be watching Game of Thrones."

Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM

Sexy Girls Have It Easy


Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Green With Envy trailer

Jason Segel rules.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Gwen Stefani: Early Winter

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

May 23, 2011

Something odd is happening

"... if you can imagine Darkstar or Amy Winehouse or the Artic Monkeys performing decades in the past without any sense of disjuncture."

"Human League preceded the future while Darkstar arrived after it."

Joanne McNeil on Mark Fisher on hauntology.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

The Caretaker: Cloudy since you went away

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

May 22, 2011


Marvel has made X-Men: The Animated Series available in its entirety online. Season 1 Episode 1 is "Night of the Sentinels", first aired in 1992. It says something about my age that, to me, Gambler and Jubilee are still newfangled.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Dario Calderon met Cesar of Huizache

"The next thing Mr Calderon knew, everyone wanted the bizarre pointy boots."

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

Bobby Taylor: Don't Be Afraid

Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM

May 21, 2011

The Great Disappointment

Posted by the Flea at 01:42 PM

Blondie: Rapture

My looting kit is Rapture ready (hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities).

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM

May 20, 2011

Who was happier than H. L. Mencken?

"The pessimist, after all, is never disappointed. The proper reactionary attitude to mainstream society is detached amusement."

Posted by the Flea at 05:27 AM

Rule of thirds

Concept builder: "The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography and design. The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections."

Posted by the Flea at 05:24 AM

Deadmau5: HR 8938 Cephei

Posted by the Flea at 05:23 AM

May 19, 2011

The art of the title sequence

HBO's Game of Thrones.

A fiery astrolabe orbits high above a world not our own; its massive Cardanic structure sinuously coursing around a burning center, vividly recounting an unfamiliar history through a series of heraldic tableaus emblazoned upon it. An intricate map is brought into focus, as if viewed through some colossal looking glass by an unseen custodian. Cities and towns rise from the terrain, their mechanical growth driven by the gears of politics and the cogs of war.
Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Stormtrooper Effect

Concept builder: The Principle of Evil Marksmanship or Stormtrooper Effect states that enemy marksmen in action films are often very bad shots and almost never harm the main characters.

Ancillary concept: Conservation of Ninjutsu.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Maryla Rodowicz: Four Tankers and Dog

From the series of the same name.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

May 18, 2011

Drinking Game of Thrones

In At the Crossroads considers the beers of Westeros.

“Robert Baratheon took a long swallow of beer, tossed the empty horn onto his sleeping furs, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and said darkly, ‘Fat? Fat, is it? Is that how you speak to your king?’ He let go his laughter, sudden as a storm. ’Ah, damn you, Ned, why are you always right?’” (Game of Thrones)

Special mention for 10th level beer nerd Justin who takes into account the ambient temperatures of the seven kingdoms for his analysis of local beer culture and preferences.

Remember: Obtain beer of Westeros. Play Drinking Game of Thrones:

Swords drawn - One quaff.
Reminded winter is coming - Three quaffs.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

Zero Charisma

As a neo-nerd hipster douchebag for profit, I approve this message (hat tip to Bill, old school nerd purist).

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM

Ensiferum: Victory Song

Posted by the Flea at 08:12 AM

May 17, 2011

Ars memoriae

Gaspar Noé may have the nod to direct Bret Easton Ellis' adaptation of the life and death of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. Sadly, their posthumous fame has thus far fallen prey to the same trouble as the antehumous variety, i.e. production hell.

As to the choice of Gaspar Noé for the job, I am not certain what New French Extremity has to do with the sorry tale. Though Theresa, one suspects, would appreciate a little latter day Grand Guignol as biography.

Related: Auto Focus interviews Gaspar Noé (tl;dw - he is a French director).

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

David Bowie: Subterraneans

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

May 16, 2011

The Spanish Civil War (1983)

Given the biases one might expect of a British television production in the early 1980s, this makes for fascinating viewing. And as my knowledge of the Spanish Civil War had been limited to For Whom the Bell Tolls and Homage to Catalonia, I had no idea how complicated were the political alliances on the Nationalist as much as the Republican side. Episode IV was particularly fascinating in its description of the defeat of Spanish Fascism (Falangism) by Franco.

Part I - Prelude to Tragedy (above)
Part II - Revolution, Counter-Revolution & Terror
Part III - Battleground for Idealists
Part IV - Franco and the Nationalists
Part V - Inside the Revolution
Part VI - Victory and Defeat

Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM

Gillian Welch: Annabelle

"And we can not have all things to please us
No matter how we try
Until we've all gone to Jesus
We can only wonder why"

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

May 15, 2011

Cosmos: War of the Planets (1977)

"Cosmos is the most consistent Italian sci-fi movie: script, special effects, costumes, music, and acting are all terrible."

Special shout out to the incidental music at 8:44.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

Christopher Hitchens for Teenage Smoking and Drinking

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

May 14, 2011

Vintage Judge Judy: 1993 60 Minutes Interview

Part II, Part III.

Back in 1993, before she had her show Judge Judy, 60 Minutes profiled Judith Sheindlin, who was widely known in the family court system in NYC. It's really interesting to watch JJ from back in the day, and to know that her behavior today is not just for the sake of television. She was always a character. JJ made a name for herself — as well as many enemies — criticizing the way the disorganized way the city handled child welfare, assigning too many case workers to each kid.
Posted by the Flea at 11:28 AM

deadmau5: Some Chords

Posted by the Flea at 11:23 AM

May 13, 2011

I am so on this

How to make creamy, soft-serve ice cream with one ingredient and no ice cream maker.

Related: The oldest recipe in the world, "a formula handed down from the god Enki himself."

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

In transmedia news

Alan Moore hints he may be making a video game.

"You didn't hear it from me," Moore added.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

Vegan Black Metal Chef - Episode 1, Pad Thai

The internet is superior to television.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Hi Fashion $9.99: Amazing

The source...

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

May 12, 2011

The Book Show - Game of Thrones with GRRM

Joe Abercrombie interviews George R. R. Martin.

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Drinking Game of Thrones

A sword is drawn: One quaff of mead.
Reminded winter is coming: Three quaffs of mead.

Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM

Flight Of The Conchords: Frodo, Don't Wear The Ring

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Clare Maguire: The Shield And The Sword

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM

May 11, 2011


"For just $175, thrill-seekers can stroll around the top of Toronto’s famous CN Tower with no guard-rail and just a 5ft (1.5m) wide see-through ledge underneath."

For just $17.50, you can sit on my deck with a pair of binoculars and walk them at it.

Posted by the Flea at 08:08 AM

Nunavut Tower

Another stupid idea brought to you by... architecture.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

Domestic Transformer

"In Hong Kong, because of the space, apartments are small and expensive. Gary Chang, an architect, decided to design a 344 sq. ft. apartment to be able to change into 24 different designs, all by just sliding panels and walls."

Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM

Northland: Where the Heroes Die

When we get alternative voting in Canada, I will form the Metal Party and use our brokerage position against all prurient interests.

First on the agenda: Rename Canada "Northland". This shall be our anthem. Thousands of heads will bang in unison on Northland Day.

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

May 10, 2011

World building

Michael Moorcock and a variety of fantasy/sf writers consider the master world builders.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM


The cat that time forgot.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Sabrina Cotugno - Paraphernalia

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Nurse With Wound: The Bottom Feeder

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

May 09, 2011

Vote or vote not

There is no alternative. Compare and contrast:

* How the UK voted in last Thursday's referendum on electoral reform.

* UK Office of National Statistics - Ethnicity and Religion: Jedi.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

L.A. Noire: Building the Imperfect City

"Team Bondi details the exhaustive research behind its long awaited crime epic."

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Kirsten Lepore - "Bottle"

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Depresstival: shove the fucking ipad up your motherfucking arse you motherfucking fucking fuck

The title suggests this track is nsfw. Your mileage may vary.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

May 07, 2011

Novague ECO


"Combining the old traditions of Laurin and Klement, a pre-war Czech company, with modern technology and systems, designer Petr Novague has come up with a car concept that apart from presenting retro design also helps in sustaining the ecology."

Posted by the Flea at 05:28 AM

Chocolate Milk Squid Scarf

"The finest clothing made is a person's skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this."

Posted by the Flea at 05:27 AM

David Lynch Signature Cup Coffee

The correct way to sell coffee.*

* Not recommended you attempt to sell coffee this way if you are not David Lynch.

Posted by the Flea at 05:23 AM

Kate Havnevik: New Day

Posted by the Flea at 05:22 AM

May 06, 2011

Kenneth Branagh's Thor

With Kenneth Branagh at the helm and adapted for the screen by J. Michael Straczynski, small wonder Thor is far and away the best Marvel film adaptation to date: Epic in scale, visually spectacular and with sound design worthy of Asgard.

One caveat: Don't pay extra for 3D. The interface isn't quite there yet, muting every colour and adding a frame rate problem to every action shot. The production did not make much use of the capability in any event.

Thanks to: Dr. Pepper for hosting a preview screening.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Satan machines

"In her article Machines in the Garden, Jessica Riskin discusses the use of automatons for religious purposes."

(Hat tip to Jono.)

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Late Bloomer

A not entirely safe for work short film directed by Craig Macneill, written by Clay McLeod Chapman and produced by Thom Litttle (with a hat tip to several fellow Lovecraft enthusiasts).

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

The Who: Boris The Spider

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

May 05, 2011

This is the way the world ends

The Phantom Ray autonomous jet has made its maiden flight.

“It was a beautiful sight,” said Teri Finchamp, Phantom Ray’s manufacturing lead. “I’ve been part of this program since the beginning, and while I’ve imagined this day a hundred times, nothing can compare to actually seeing the Phantom Ray in the air.”

The video.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

Stealth H-60 Blackhawk

"Well, now we know why all of us had trouble ID'ing the helicopter that crashed, or was brought down, in the Osama raid."

More on the stealth MH-X Advanced Special Operations Helicopter

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

A fear of personal insignificance

Theodore Dalrymple: "You can’t inscribe yourself on world history by writing about Kant (Guzmán) or by continuing daddy’s construction business (bin Laden)."

Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM

Motoneige 0 - Montagne 1


Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Esthero: Superheroes

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

May 04, 2011

Who shot bin Laden?

He is a Robert E. Howard character in Tom Clancy drag.

His hands will be calloused, Smith says, or just plain “gnarled,” as Marcinko puts it. And “he’s got frag in him somewhere,” Marcinko says, using the battlefield shorthand for “fragments” of bullets or explosive devices. This will not have been the shooter’s first adventure.

Related: Finding bin Laden with ecosystems geography. This is the Frank Herbert version of the same story.

Their prediction of a town was based on a geographical theory called “island biogeography”: basically, that a species on a large island is much less likely to go extinct following a catastrophic event than a species on a small one.

“The theory was basically that if you’re going to try and survive, you’re going to a region with a low extinction rate: a large town,” Gillespie says. “We hypothesized he wouldn’t be in a small town where people could report on him.”

More on island biogeography.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Saga: Wind Him Up

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

May 03, 2011

Sunrise from the stratosphere

HD footage from 110,000ft.

The tranquility of what remaining atmosphere exists at 110,000ft allows an incredible sweeping panorama of the earth, looking out over 720km (450miles) to the horizon.

The music is John Butler's Ocean. Just the thing for a spring morning when everything suddenly seems possible.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

Ubisoft Motion Pictures

French video game publisher Ubisoft is set to launch a film studio.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene 2

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

May 02, 2011

Cavaliers and Roundheads

"The reason these terms endured, at least in the English upper class, is that they describe types, and possibly archetypes."

Posted by the Flea at 03:28 AM

Heraldic Banner Cake Toppers

What you’ll need.

Stick them in a cake, a roast, or wherever they will best add to your Game of Thrones festivities!
Posted by the Flea at 03:27 AM

Deadmau5 feat. Kakade: I Remember

You don't know you're born.

Posted by the Flea at 03:24 AM

Yub Nub

In recognition of last night's events.

Posted by the Flea at 03:22 AM