November 30, 2011

Ice Age Columbus (2005)

Who were the first Americans?

Whoever you think they were, you are probably wrong.

Le French! Bet you didn't see that coming.

Traditional history tells us that European settlers discovered America about the time of the Renaissance. But revolutionary new archaeological data and the latest DNA research reveal that Europeans visited our shores far earlier - some 17,000 years before Columbus was even born. Filmed in glorious high definition, this two-hour, epic drama follows an intrepid family of stone age hunters as they trek from their homeland in southwestern France, cross 3,000 miles of ocean and eventually make their first permanent settlement in what is today the northeastern U.S.
Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

Catch the vandals and stick them in a wicker man

Police are investigating the malicious destruction of a pagan stone circle at Lampeter University.

The site in Lampeter, south-west Wales, which includes an altar and fire pit, was found destroyed earlier this month after thugs used weapons to cause 'as much damage as possible'.

Police believe the attackers could have used crow bars and pick axes, with speculation that the attack could have been religiously motivated.

Dear vandals: The last time Odin got up and walked, it wasn't pretty.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

I never write 'metropolis' for seven cents when I can write 'city' and get paid the same

J.K. Rowling actively edits her books on an ongoing basis to "fix errors and to adjust the story to fit the larger saga" with changes added as new editions are released.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Gus Gus: Over

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

November 29, 2011

World building


Quotulatiousness cites Charlie Stross on worldbuilding for SF.

Not having - knowingly - read the man's work, I googled Charles Stross and learned two things. First, he invented the githyanki, and; second, where he borrowed the name from.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Stross published some role-playing game articles about Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the White Dwarf magazine. Some of his creatures, such as the death knight, githyanki (borrowed from George R. R. Martin's book, Dying of the Light), githzerai, and slaad (a chaotic race notable for their rigid caste system) were later published in the Fiend Folio monster compendium.

It was about two years ago I realized I would never have time to read all the books I would like to read before I die. And the list just got longer.

Related: How I learned to stop being critical and love the Fiend Folio.

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Everybody who has vague dreams of making an RPG

It is time to publish your book.

...you can do whatever else it is you do for eleven other months out of the year, but take one (not necessarily continuous) month's worth off work you would've put into a freelance gig and write your nutjob project.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM


The definitive guide to South Asian lingo.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Lana Del Rey: Video Games

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

November 28, 2011

Address is Approximate

Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

The human heart in conflict with itself

William Faulkner's speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1950.

Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.

Still topic sixty years on. But today the conflict is all too clear and we refuse to write about it at all.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

The man behind the mask

Alan Moore has gotten used to the fact that some of his fictions "percolate out into the material world."

For example, a mask borrowed by Anonymous to take on a litigious cult is now found everywhere as protest fashion.

A sallow, smirking likeness of Guy Fawkes – created by Moore and the artist David Lloyd for their 1982 series V for Vendetta. It has a confused lineage, this mask: the plastic replica that thousands of demonstrators have been wearing is actually a bit of tie-in merchandise from the film version of V for Vendetta, a Joel Silver production made (quite badly) in 2006.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

7 Minutes in Heaven: Christina Ricci

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Ofrin: Dry

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

November 27, 2011

Prometheus 2012

A leaked trailer to Ridley Scott's forthcoming Alien prequel. Watch it before it gets pulled from Youtube (hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities, who caught a spelling mistake).

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

The Meads Of Asphodel - Life In The Shadows

The Meads Of Asphodel: "Despite a fluctuating line-up, the band continues to release well-received music. The band's most consistent feature is their use of often unusual guest musicians, including members of Hawkwind and a Rabbi."

Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM

The Meads Of Asphodel: Agrat Bat Malah

Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

November 26, 2011

Stop-Motion Biscuit Cake

Stop-Motion Biscuit Cake from Alan Travers on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 10:48 AM

Earth II

"Gliese 581g, located around 123 trillion miles away, orbits a star at a distance that places it squarely in the habitable - or Goldilocks - zone."

Scientists have discovered a planet which could have the most Earth-like environment ever found - raising a 'very compelling case' for life there.
Posted by the Flea at 10:44 AM

Genesis: Watcher Of The Skies

Posted by the Flea at 10:42 AM

November 25, 2011



Posted by the Flea at 10:32 AM

An interview with Mark Hamill (1977)

"A rare 30-minute interview with Mark Hamill, which appears to have been taped in late 1977 just before the release of Star Wars in Britain that December, has surfaced on YouTube."

The interview, which is described as having been conducted at Imperial College London, seems to have been broadcast on British television in October, 1978 — although Hamill at one point mentions the film hadn’t yet released in England, likely placing the original session sometime in late 1977.

Comments to the piece suggest the British still don't grasp American humour.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

Star Wars Identities

A vast collection of Star Wars props, costumes, models, and artwork from the Lucasfilm Archives coming to Montreal and Edmonton for some reason.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Snuffleupagus has a first name


Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

You Say Party! We Say Die!: Monster

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

November 24, 2011

StarShipSofa interviews Michael Moorcock (2006)

Some nsfw expressive language. Part I, Part II, Part III.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Anne McCaffrey, R.I.P.

"Anne McCaffrey wasn't just the inventor of Pern, the world where a whole society is based on dragon-riding. She was also an incredibly influential author who helped transform the way science fiction and fantasy authors wrote about women, and the way all of us thought about bodies and selfhood."

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM


An ice finger of death has been filmed in the Antarctic. Bloop!

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

A terrifying downhill plunge

To me this looks like fun.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

The Soft Moon: Total decay

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

November 23, 2011

Skyrim Schmyrim

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

A patch on the original

A Skyrim patch arrives... for the worse.

The 18MB downloadette is essentially there to stop the game from running without Steam: the main executable is now tied thoroughly into Valve’s security, unreliable offline mode et al. Nothing remarkable there, save for the surprising fact that it was at all unbound at release, but one of the upshots of this is that we’re now limited from faffing about with said executable. Most particularly, the large address aware third-party patch that enabled Skyrim to use more than 2GB of system RAM.

A workaround at the link.

For example: "If you’ve been looking at your own version of Skyrim, and then seeing the images that likes of Dead End Thrills have been putting out ... you might be forgiven for wondering how you can push the game beyond its prescribed options. There are ways."

Take a look at the above Dead End Thrills link to see what Bethesda has achieved with its game design and game engine. Those are all screenshots from the game.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Blomkvist Menswear

"Trish Summerville, the costume designer for David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo... wants to do for a menswear collection based on the looks she designed for Daniel Craig's character, disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist."

Hat tip to Bedhead.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Lara6683 w. Lara: Morrowind/Skyrim Theme

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

November 22, 2011

Star Trek cast on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow (1976)

"NBC's Tomorrow with host Tom Snyder and guests DeForest Kelley, James Doohan and Walter Koenig."

Exercising a long forgotten liberty, DeForest Kelley smokes through the whole appearance. Then, when it can't get any cooler, Harlan Ellison appears.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

William Shatner On The Mike Douglas Show (1969)

There is a parallel universe where Pierre Trudeau went into acting and William Shatner went into politics. These universes are exactly alike in every other respect.

"William Shatner interviewed and singing on The Mike Douglas Show 25th February 1969. This first part is the interview only, watch the second part for Shatner singing tracks from the Transformed Man live. Shatner talks about Captain Kirk, Star Trek, his new album and more."

Part I, Part II.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Oh man, I don’t really like you. You’re not like I thought you were.

“That’s too bad! You know, you’re not like I thought you were either! I thought you were an adult.”

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Britta Persson: Meet a Bear

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

November 21, 2011

The Wildcats of St. Trinian's (1980)

"The Girls of St. Trinian's hatch yet another fiendish plot -- a trade union for British schoolgirls!"

The Flea: Lowering workplace productivity everywhere.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

Harry unearthed

One of three tunnels prepared for the Great Escape has been uncovered by British archaeologists.

Many of the bed boards which had been joined together to stop it collapsing were still in position. And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered milk containers known as Klim Tins, remained in working order. Scattered throughout the tunnel, which is 30ft below ground, were bits of old metal buckets, hammers and crowbars which were used to hollow out the route.
Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

South Of Watford - Positive Punk (1983)

"Michael Moorcock hosts 1983 ITV show about the Positive Punk genre - based on an NME article by Richard North (Richard Cabut) featuring the bands Brigandage and Blood and Roses, etc."

Part I, Part II, Part III.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

November Növelet: Street Of Lost Hearts

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

November 20, 2011

Meanwhile, at Hogwarts

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

Password, for example

The 25 worst passwords of 2011.

Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

No spoilers

Six everyday offenses that should be punishable by death (via Five Feet of Fury).

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM

Mireille Mathieu: Mon crédo

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM

November 19, 2011

Cognition as Ideology: A Dialectic of Science Fiction Theory

China Mieville speaks at the University of Kansas September 24, 2009.

Posted by the Flea at 12:28 PM

Somewhat lagging

Bethesda pledges to fix PS3 Skyrim lag.

The bug arises from what sounds like the most trivial of causes: a design fault which means that save files grow in size enormously as players progress through the game.

Skyrim's open-world nature means that a vast amount of data is accumulated regarding what abilities and objects players have acquired, as well as their movements through the game.

Perspective: Useful Skyrim mods.

No matter how good Skyrim is, there will always be mods wanted with the PC version, and this need will always be filled for the PC gamer. ... This latest mod lets you create a Google style street view, which will let you zoom into the map and see details that Xbox 360 and PS3 users can only dream about.

Posted by the Flea at 12:27 PM

Ivan Dorn: Don't be shy

Posted by the Flea at 12:24 PM

November 18, 2011

Xbox 720

Rumour has it dev kits are on the way, an unveiling is set for CES 2012 in January and that Microsoft plans to take the Xbox 720 to market for Christmas next year.

According to Edge, Ubisoft Montreal – which is not commenting on rumour or indeed speculation – is already working on PCs which have been kitted out with the Xbox 720's specs.
Edge is also hinting that Sony is working on a quicker release of the PlayStation 4. In its report it believes that "one major Sony-owned studio has now ceased PlayStation 3 development [with] its entire focus having shifted to the console's successor."

Xbox 720: Every rumour about the new Xbox.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

And the Eiffel Tower gets destroyed

"During its first 24 hours on sale last week, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold 6.4 million copies and earned more than $400 million in revenue."

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Meanwhile, in Tamriel

Skyrim sells 3.5 million copies in 48 hours and expects to make 450 million dollars from the game launch alone.

Dragonborn: Bethesda says parents Eric and Megan Kellermeyer gave birth to son Dovahkiin Tom last Friday.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

This is what handheld video games look like now.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Kim Wilde: Blade Runner

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

November 17, 2011

RoboKopter Zamieszki I

Independence Day riots in Warsaw as seen from a remote-controlled helicopter. I expect this is going to become a thing.

Posted by the Flea at 06:58 AM


Mysterious structures in the Gobi desert appear to be used to calibrate spy satellites. And the return of the Old Ones.

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM

Toast sandwich

Well played, Mrs. Beeton.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Princess Chelsea: The Cigarette Duet

Posted by the Flea at 06:52 AM

November 16, 2011

Doctor Who, I presume

David Yates and Jane Trantor are working on a Doctor Who feature film. Expect several years in development and a film that will not "follow from or be based on the current TV series in any way."

This combination could bode well for a new big screen incarnation of The Doctor, since Tranter was involved with the series reboot in 2005, and Yates preceded his successful “Harry Potter” outings directing several BBC TV projects, including the acclaimed “State of Play”.

I haven't seen the American remake but the original State of Play was very well done. And as Yates tends to work with an ensemble could this mean... Bill Nighy as the Doctor?

Too much to hope for. But James McAvoy would do an excellent job as well.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Texture glitch

A reported texture glitch in the Xbox 360 version of Skyrim would suck if I were playing the game on Xbox. I admit that in places my PS3 version does suffer from the same lagginess I am hearing other folks complain about.

Not to worry. Bethesda is on the case.

"We are continuing to work on an update for all platforms to address any bugs and perf issues we can," [Pete] Hines says on Twitter, later reminding folks that "patches/updates take a little time. We can't turn it around quite that fast. It's been three days. Calm down. We're working on it."

Related: Now thinking of picking up a set of these Pelican PS3 Trigger Controller attachments for PS3.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Christmas Island is a busy place at the moment

Fortunately, red crabs now have a pedestrian overpass to get from A to B in their migration.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Winter is coming

Ice skating dinosaur!

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

King Crimson: In The Court Of The Crimson King

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

November 15, 2011

Snow White and the Huntsman

I question the Mirror's taste level.

Just saying: "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend." - Stephen King

Posted by the Flea at 12:29 PM

Valyrian Steel

"US Customs has held up the Damascus Ice shipment because they want to know the Latin name of the species of the tree or trees which contributed the sawdust used to create the fiberboard used to create the plaques. I wish I was joking, I'm not. So things have been pushed back at least a week."

Posted by the Flea at 12:27 PM

Something amiss in the Plateau of Leng

Vast, unidentified structures have been spotted by satellites in the barren Gobi desert.

Posted by the Flea at 12:24 PM

In Russia, vote rocks you

Posted by the Flea at 12:23 PM

Grimes: Vanessa

Posted by the Flea at 12:22 PM

November 14, 2011

Epic Reality

This is what video games look like now.

The art direction philosophy of Skyrim.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Artists in high demand for video game industry

USA Today points to an opportunity in a difficult job market, saying artists are integral to the $60b video game industry, citing a team of forty who helped create the sixteen square miles of Skyrim.

For current blockbuster games, budgeted at $40 million to $60 million, artists are needed to conceptualize environments and characters, create visual effects, add lighting and mesh the art with the game programming.

"We obsess over all the small details," says Bethesda Softworks' Todd Howard, Skyrim game director. "Our art team created all the stuff and placed it all by hand, every tree and every rock."
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Married achievement trophy

A guide to getting married in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

The Sound of Skyrim

First, there is the barbarian choir.

Then there are the seventy plus actors who performed one hundred and ten roles including Max von Sydow, Joan Allen, Linda Carter, Michael Hogan, Vladimir Kulich and Christopher Plummer in his video game debut.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Fallout: Middle Earth

The making of Skyrim.

And working life at Bethesda Game Studios.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

November 12, 2011

Afghanistan – touch down in flight

Afghanistan – touch down in flight from Augustin Pictures on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 02:14 PM

Apparat: You don't know me

Posted by the Flea at 02:12 PM

November 11, 2011


The finest hour.

Wars are won by fighting.

Posted by the Flea at 11:11 AM

Rosa (2011)

ROSA from Jesús Orellana on Vimeo.

"Rosa is an epic sci-fi short film that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all natural life has disappeared."

Posted by the Flea at 06:49 AM

Another skywalk

"The 200ft long bridge joins the west cliff at the Yunmeng Fairy Summit, the summit of Tianmen Mountain and Zhang Jiajie."

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Can't quite reach

Red Panda!

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Main Theme

This time with lyrics!

The tongue of Dragons.

"DOVahKiiN DOVahKiiN


"Dragonborn Dragonborn
By his honor is sworn
To keep evil forever at bay
And the fiercest foes rout
When they hear triumph’s shout
Dragonborn for your blessing we pray

"And the scrolls have fortold
Of black wings in the cold
That when brothers wage war come unfurled
Alduin, bane of kings
Ancient shadow unbound
With a hunger to swallow the world"

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

November 10, 2011

Amleth, Prince of Jutland (1994)

"Prince of Jutland (AKA: Royal Deceit) is a 1994 film adaptation of the Danish legend of prince Amleth, drawing upon the 11th century works of Saxo Grammaticus, which was also the inspiration for Shakespeare's Hamlet."

NSFW due to naked Helen Mirren (only in the first bit, sorry to say). Also featuring Gabriel Byrne as Fenge, Christian Bale as Amleth, and Kate Beckinsale as Ethel.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM

The Night Wanderer

Racoon Dog!

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Eivør: Undo Your Mind

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

November 09, 2011

It comes across to us that some people from America are heavy sensitive about the use of certain words

"The thing is, what you need to understand is, we are not from America."

NSFW/NSFL due to Die Antwoord content: "May my enemies live long so they can see my progress."

FOK JULLE NAAIERS from Die Antwoord on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

For the man cave

CIL Paints launches a line of paint colours for men.

Quotulatiousness comments.

I thought it was silly until I remembered the last time Elizabeth and I painted a room in our house. She’d selected some paint colours that she thought would work well, and I immediately renamed them as “Luftwaffe Canteen” and “Feldgrau”.

Good news: "British Teeth" should get me a cool 15 grand from the HRC.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Siri-integrated HAL 9000 dock for iPhone

If they can give Siri HAL's voice, I might need to buy an iPhone.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Comic Impact: Grant Morrison - The Superhero Myth

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.

The first superhero comic ever published, Action Comics no. 1 in 1938, introduced the world to something both unprecedented and timeless: Superman, a caped god for the modern age. In a matter of years, the skies of the imaginary world were filled with strange mutants, aliens, and vigilantes: Batman, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names as familiar as our own. In less than a century, they’ve gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look: on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and dreams.
Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

Ziggy Stardust: Life On Mars?

Also: A special shout out to rock critics.

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

November 08, 2011

Back to Lovecraft

The poetry of H.P. Lovecraft set to music. By Corsicans.

"The poetic masterpieces by the genius of Fantasy Literature now in music! Bluegrass, Dixie, Country, Folk, Blues, Jazz… The Gentleman of Providence’s words brought to life.

For a variety of reasons, I am not at all certain this is a good idea.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Putting a Hex on Hitler, 1941

Dressmaker's dummy. Check. Nazi uniform. Check. Nails. Check. William Seabrook, tom-toms and plenty of Jamaica rum. Check, check and check.

The hotness: One Birdseye frozen-food heiress, an apparently stupid woman I would have happily married.

Also featured: The "pagan deity," Istan, i.e. "Nazi" backwards.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Art of the Hobbit

Art of the Hobbit is "a magnificent volume celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit with 110 beautiful, many never-before-seen illustrations by Tolkien, ranging from pencil sketches to ink line drawings to watercolors" (hat tip to Manaf).

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Dark Incal trailer

A movie trailer project inspired by the graphic novel The Incal by Moebius and Alexandro Jodorowsky.

Some 25 years ago, film director Jodorowsky and French comics artist Moebius collaborated on The Incal, a mind-blowing sf epic centered on a crystal with incredible powers. Now DC Comics is gathering the series, retranslated since its 1980s first U.S. appearance in Heavy Metal magazine. The story starts as a futuristic hard-boiled detective caper. Low-rent dick John Difool takes an assignment from a mysterious beauty and, when the job goes awry, seeks refuge in the city's nether regions, where he encounters a dying alien creature who slips him the Incal. Here the tale becomes a cosmic space opera, lightly touched by Philip K. Dick weirdness.
Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

Arkona: Goi, Rode, Goi!

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM

November 07, 2011

Guillermo Del Toro - Geometria (1987)

Geometria, an unreleased 1987 short horror film by Guillermo del Toro, appears as an extra on the Criterion Collection edition of Cronos (1993).

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

An even better giant cockroach movie

On the set of his forthcoming aliens vs robots feature Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro discusses his lovingly re-edited and restored Mimic (The Director's Cut).

... I loved showing how the characters were, and the pacing is now a lot more deliberate and it is not about generating false scares, is much more grounded. The restored footage was [originally] removed for cheap, second unit scares, but now there is very little that remains of the second unit and I’m very relieved about that.

We reinserted ten or twelve minutes, but it’s only about seven to ten minutes longer in the running time because we removed lots of second unit. The new material is almost exclusively on the thematic and tonal level and now the movie is more coherent.

Actors, insects and standing your ground as an artist at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

Leather and leaves

Everything from Alexander McQueen, 2011.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Badass swords

The problem with swords in Gears of War 3.

Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

Celluloide: Imprévisible

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

November 06, 2011

The Height of Goth (1984)

A night at Xclusiv: Batley, West Yorkshire.

Of course it's Batley.

A blast from the past. Please note: this film has been rescued from an old mildewed-and-damaged VHS cassette tape so the quality in the first few minutes is pretty poor, but it settles down fine just in time for the action inside the club itself.

Featured Blitz Kids: Old school Goths, Gothabillies, New Romantics and at least one tranny who figured (correctly) this was the right crowd. Also, lesbians and besties dancing to Glenn Miller.

I have had two of these hairstyles and dated women with four of these hairstyles. No, wait, make that five. Meanwhile, right off the top, The Smiths.

I would have hit the dance floor with Temple of Love. The Flea Dance appears with Bauhaus, naturally. Or, more recently, to the bemusement of my students at last week's Hallowe'en thing.

Posted by the Flea at 09:58 AM

The The: This is the Day

Posted by the Flea at 09:57 AM

Crazy English summer

Forensic investigation of Roman burials in what was once Londinium suggest they never took to the climate and local cuisine.

From the comments:

The Roman Warm period (which Global Warmists deny happened) was much warmer than even the Global Warmists predict due to awful horrible Carbon pollution. The Roman Warm period ended and the climate really cooled, in several stages (which the Global Warmists deny happened) because of at least one mega-eruption of Lake Taupo in New Zealand. Lake Taupo is actually the remains of a supervolcano which blew up sometime between 100AD and 150AD. Then Kratatoa blew up in a huge eruption sometime around 550AD and the Roman Empire collapsed completely (as did many other civilisations right the way around the world). This caused the Dark Ages to become really dark, and really cold (the Global Warmists deny this happened). Then came the Mediaeval Warm period (which the famous "hockey stick" graph of the Global Warmists deny ever happened).
Posted by the Flea at 09:54 AM

The Girl & The Robot: I don't care

Posted by the Flea at 09:52 AM

November 05, 2011

Umwertung aller Werte


All too predictably, the London Olympics 2012 official posters have nothing to do with London or the Olympics.

What they celebrate is nothing which, as it turns out, is entirely appropriate to the occasion.

Posted by the Flea at 12:58 PM

Nanny Pat's sausage plait

Celebrate the close of this year's British Sausage Week with Nanny Pat's famous sausage plait.

Posted by the Flea at 12:57 PM

Set course for the heart of the sun

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a quasar accretion disc, "a glowing disc of matter that is slowly being sucked into its galaxy's central black hole."

Posted by the Flea at 12:54 PM

In Time trailer

Posted by the Flea at 12:53 PM

Björk: Solstice

I guess I am in a mood.

Posted by the Flea at 12:52 PM

November 04, 2011


The Indo-Europeans of the East (complete with tartans).

The Roman historian Pliny the Elder reports a curious description of the Seres (in the territories of northwestern China) made by an embassy from Taprobane (Ceylon) to Emperor Claudius, saying that they "exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and made an uncouth sort of noise by way of talking", suggesting they may be referring to the ancient Indo-European populations of the Tarim Basin.

The new finds are also forcing a reexamination of old Chinese books that describe historical or legendary figures of great height, with deep-set blue or green eyes, long noses, full beards, and red or blond hair. Scholars have traditionally scoffed at these accounts, but it now seems that they may be accurate.

Also featured: Some PRC officials who seem anxious to prevent history.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

Is the stench of massed zombies toxic?

Straight Dope turns to Mark Twain for... the wrong answer. While people still fear miasmas, they shouldn't (via AoSHQ).

However funky their smell, dead bodies aren’t especially dangerous, setting aside those that are trying to eat your brain. Precautions may be in order when the cause of death is an infectious disease. (Tuberculosis is said to be especially problematic.) But for the most part toxic pathogens are waterborne, not airborne. True, some germs can be spread by aerosol droplets, but these are exhaled only by the living. The dead have stopped breathing, and one assumes the undead have, too.
Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

The Left Hand Path

Chet Zar at the CoproGallery from October 15 - November 5.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Theme Song

Barbarian Steve writes: "1 week, and my naked, bearded, drunken Nord, Bonan will beat everything down with his bare fists."

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

Daphne Oram: Pulse Persephone

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

November 03, 2011

Grand Theft Auto V

The trailer. If you haven't looked at a video game in a while, this is what they look like now.

PikiGeek offers a shot-by-shot analysis, noting the first appearance of pets in the GTA universe. And one of my students also noted a resemblance between a homeless man in the trailer and the protagonist of GTA IV.

Observant fans have noticed that his clothes and hairstyle bear a passing resemblance to GTA IV’s Niko Bellic. Some have speculated that this is Rockstar taking a shot at the pay dispute they had with his voice actor.
Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Rapture Edition Monopoly

Rapture City Archives hosts KatMann's download-and-print BioShock Monopoly mod.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

iPad 2 Gold History

The iPad 2 Gold History is clad in four and a half pounds of 24-carat gold and 12.5 carats of diamonds and, yet more cretinous, the "crushed-up shavings" from a fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Off Book: Video Games

PBS pomposity aside, they make a fair point.

Video games are important. They are a storytelling medium, a place for self-expression, a sandbox for the human imagination, and an extension of an ages old tradition of gaming. We play out some of the most essential aspects of our culture in games, and we learn more about ourselves and the world around us in the process. From the powerful cinematic experiences of mainstream gaming, to the hyper-personal environments of indie games, we are in the midst of an explosion of gaming activity that, as some predict, will continue to define the way we live and interact with information, and each other, far into the future.

They're also, you know, fun.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

The Knife: Heartbeats

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

November 02, 2011

Paraglider vs vulture

“Himalayan vultures, which are truly amazing and giant birds, really like to fly with us,” Takserman said. “They like to fly above the wing and in front of the wing and near the pilot and sometimes for a long time and they are very playful. Most of the time it’s a very harmless experience.”

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Cheerleaders touch down in Bastion

"Emergency crews pride themselves on being ready for anything. But even the duty watch at Bastion Airfield fire station were taken aback when surprise visitors dropped in.

"A US Marines helicopter touched down next door to deliver four American football cheerleaders clad in tight white hot pants and matching knee boots."

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Wadsworth Constant

The Wadsworth Constant notes that the first 30 percent of every YouTube video is unnecessary.

Please note: Not the case for paraglider vs vulture videos.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Tanya Tereshina: Ponimai

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

November 01, 2011

Dragon Age: Redemption - Nyree (Episode 4)

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

GRRM Male Affect Disorder

A friend who I am going to assume wants to remain anonymous sent the following.


I just finished "A Dance with Dragons." I've been reading the Martin books bit-by-bit for the last 3 months.


Send suggestions, elsewhise I'm going to reread Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series.

So there's good news and there's bad news. The good news is you are not alone, being stuck after the latest Ice and Fire book brings on the male equivalent of postpartum depression. The bad news is there is no cure for the condition. Fortunately, with breakthroughs in narrative treatment, GRRM Male Affect Disorder may be considered a chronic manageable condition.

My first suggestion is a course of The Last Ring-bearer by Kirill Eskov. The Tolkien estate is on Eskov's ass so it is best to find as a pdf download (unless you read Russian in which case you can get a physical copy). It is a short book and will help with the initial effects of Westeros withdrawal.

In the longer term, immersion in an epic world of comparable scale but - critically - employing non-fantasy tropes will, in time, allow you to resign yourself for the next four or five years while Martin posts updates about the football game he just watched when he should have been typing his ass off instead.

Hopefully you haven't read Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. Start with Consider Phlebas. It will be good for what ails you.

PS: I have also found watching the Sharpe television adaptations helps. Sean Bean stars as himself.

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Concerning Hobbiton

Bag End, the Shire and Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins on the set of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM

Elves and the underworld kingdom

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Wardruna: Hagal

Technology update: The Father of the Flea notes a Varangian connection.

I notice that Hagal has the old style oar racks! but the oar holes have an early IKEA quick-fit peg and slot system to stop the oars falling out!!
Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM