1990 Silicon Dreams Games and Movie Reviews: February 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

(Who) The Devil Wears Prada

I have to admit I only watched The Devil Wears Prada, because I generally admire strong independent women. I've always been fascinated by their ability to be a professional of exceptional standards, and at the same time to be able to create a home and a family. Anna Wintour is one such woman, who's managed to rise up into the status of a fashion-industry icon, and rightfully so. The daughter of a  newspaper publisher, her only goal in life from day one seems to have been the Chief Editor position in American Vogue. And now there's a movie about her life, as portrayed by Meryl Streep. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Light Just Went Out

Somewhat busy today, no time for a proper update, but feel free to obsess over the meaning of this particular strip. ; )

In part inspired by: Rejected by Don Hertzfeldt

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The only In-Browser game that I've honestly enjoyed.

I recently went back to playing Habbo for a short while, and it's definitely changed a lot. There's a lot more rooms than I could remember from back in 2008, and there's quests now, that earn you in-game cash to help furnish your own lounge.

The beginning quests will generally walk you through the different areas, requiring you to learn how to interact with the various objects in-game.

There's also several kinds of  'sports' which in the Habbo universe means that you'll be playing mini-games that resemble, and recreate the feeling of trying to make something on Drawball, while a hundred different people try to ruin it for you at the same time. [The Comics]

Ally McBeal: A Sitcom for Lawyers, Who'd Have Thought?

Ally McBeal is a TV series from 1997, about a bunch of lawyers working together at a small private law-firm. Most of them are friends from childhood, and Ally joins them shortly after a scandal with her former boss, only to find out later on that her childhood love is working for the same firm. The story is trivial, they'd known each other forever, and hit it off around high-school, but had to part ways for college. Now she's single, but he's married. Ally proceeds to go through it with equal  parts of denial and manic-depressive. The rest of the series revolves around the equally quirky office environment of the law firm, with strange cases, and an even stranger couple of senior partners, who run the place.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Rum Diary: Hunter Thompson and Johny Depp

The Rum Diary is a 2011 move that follows in the limited success of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It all started out with Johny Depp, a long time friend of Thompson, who spent some time living at his ranch, and was one day digging up stuff in his attic, where he found the manuscript to an unpublished book of his. Hunter Thompson's Rum Diary is a semi-biographical work, following his trails in San Juan, where he was working as a journalist for the local newspaper. 

Written under another pseudonym of his, or another character as you wish, it's an objective and compelling view on how other nations, affected by the US, see the states, as both a savior, bringing on financial opportunities, and a monster, capitalizing on local resources by any means possible.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The New Girl: TV series

The New Girl, is a relatively new TV series in the US, focusing on the life of a twenty-something schoolteacher, who finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her, and in the haste to find a new appartment ends up living with three guys. So yes, it's another sitcom, but somehow adapted to our times, which can be both a positive and a negative. 

Who's the Strongest Character in Video Games?

Minecraft guy can sprint with 11k tons on his back, Doom got nothing on him!

The inspiration for this one was a thread on reddit about how the Doom guy was the strongest character in video games for sprinting at 50kmph or so, while carrying several hundred kg of gear. I beg to differ. :P

Monday, February 20, 2012

How Many Gamers Does it Take???

Add Fake sitcom laughter. But honestly, this joke doesn't work on gamers. We don't need no light-bulbs. Maybe a flash-light. The part of the room, that you can't see is filled entirely with ramen noodles, and a single bowl, a spoon, and an electric kettle. 

Before I Could Afford a Laptop as a Kid, this Was my Dream

Yup, that was my biggest dream as a gamer at the time. To have my own computer in the bathroom, that pops out of the wall at the push of a button. Imagine the possibilities! And then came laptops, so I guess the future is not so bad, after all. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Humble Bundle Mojam is Over With a Tally of $458,151 Donated!


The Humble Bundle Mojam charity is over, with a total of  $458,151 in donated funds. Pretty amazing for one weekend, eh!

"Follow @humble on Twitter to stay up to date, and watch this space too for further announcements. Thank you for your overwhelming support!"

If you want to hear more about up-coming projects you can follow them on Twitter. It was an amazing fund-raiser and I'm looking forward to hear from people who purchased the games. Make sure to check out their web-site for more info on the charities involved. And if you like you can always donate to them directly. 

Be sure to check out today's Review: Twilight: Partial Solar Eclipse or Something or Other

What If You Had Just Came Out of a Coma Since 1997

I'm sure there would be lots more stuff to fill up on, but given the state of the Internet these days, that's likely the first thing you'll notice. ; )

In the world of gaming the scene changes almost every year, but imagine never having played or even heard of Half Life 2, Fallout 3, Star Wars: Jedi Outcast etc.

Anyway just wanted to share this one, before I go to bed. Be sure to check out today's Review: Twilight: Partial Solar Eclipse or Something or Other

Twilight: Partial Solar Eclipse or Something or Other

I recently watched Twilight: Breaking Dawn which is the fourth movie in the installment, on request of my friend who's as much into the movies as I am. I guess she just wanted to have a laugh. And by God did we do that.

The movie starts with Bella and the sparkling vampire guy getting married. They then proceed to travel to an Island near Rio de Janeiro, where they have a very romantic fifteen minutes of a honeymoon, which ends abruptly as Bella finds out that she's been knocked up by the guy, and is now pregnant with a monster of a baby, that's growing at an insane rate, and in the process is sucking up all of her blood.

By that point we're already pretty cosy on the couch, and I'm throwing jokes about various ways Bella could have died in pretty much every scene of the movie. A tidal wave could have hit the island, she could have tripped on the way down the stairs, I even speculated about the beautiful morning light in one scene suddenly erupting in luminescence as a nuclear blast scrapes the piece of rock clean off the face of the Earth. Then after politely being told off, we resumed watching, in a somewhat more quiet state of bewilderment and disgust.

Mr Sparkling Vampire, proceeds to freak out and ditch the scene as Bella is told she's got a flight arranged for her to return home, to see if something can be done. From then on the movie is a wild speculation on weather she'll die by means of vampire demon baby (which I have to admit would surpass all my wildest speculations on various ways she could have met her end) some of the werewolves, the Jacob guy in particular teams up with the vampires against the other werewolves who're suddenly hellbent on killing her. A somewhat less of an epic battle occurs between vampires and werewolves in the night of her delivery and in the breaking dawn of the day, after the baby is born healthy, Bella wakes up from what appears to be a dormant state between death and vampire-ism, her broken shell of a body is restored by the vampiric forces, her chest puffs up from a negative B to a healthy D, and she acquires magic make-up in one of the most awe-inspiringly stupid sequences in the history of CG. Also her eyes turn blood red.

So yeah... we're rightfully expecting the next part of the movie to be about Bella kicking ass as a newly established vampire. It's also going to be interesting to see weather the vampire version of Formula involves blood pudding on some level or another. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mojang Live Weekend Marathon: Watch Mojang Live creating games from scratch for Charity!

This just in: Mojang has decided to participate in the Humble Indie Bundle project to raise funds for a charity of your choice. They're going to stream Live all this weekend as they create games from scratch. It's a 60 hour long marathon, and it's bound to be an exciting look into how games are made at the studio that produced Minecraft.

How it works: You make a donation of any amount you choose, and then choose how to divide it between the four charities available, and as soon as the games are finished you'll get access to all of them. 


I think this is a great way to raise awareness for charities, especially for people who are so good at what they do, they can attract attention simply by doing a coding and design marathon. Check out the art and the coding process and if you can afford it make a small donation. Any amount is allowed :)

You can also raise awareness by upvoting this thread on Reddit:


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Adam Adamowicz The Designer of the Fallout 3 series and Skyrim recently passed away

We're saddened to hear that one of the lead concept artists on the Fallout 3 and Skyrim games passed away recently after a fight with cancer. Since I'm a huge fan of the Fallout series, and I've heard more than one good word about Skyrim, I wanted to pay tribute to the man. 


Here's his personal blog, which hosts some amazing concept art on both the Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3.

source: http://www.adamart08.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 13, 2012

A small Alterac Valley Update: Exalted With Stormpike Guard

So I'm finally exalted with Stormpike Guards after 2 days or so of grinding. Over 20 victories now and I can safely say the key to this battle is setting your roles and defending the towers. Also speed really really counts.

I'm also inching towards level 85 (2.5 bars left) with my hp capped (I'm buying JP so I can keep doing Battlegrounds), although when it comes to gold, I don't do quests or dungeons so I'm poor. But I'm in a nice guild that pays for my repairs with no daily limit.

I'm gonna come back with some more games and movie reviews as soon as I'm 85 and this three day Alterac Valley weekend is over. Then I can take a break from WoW and do something else for a change :D

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I've been tagged: And chances are so have you!

I've just spent a solid 18 or so hours grinding Alterac Valley in WoW, so excuse my nonchalantly opening up some work for you, but be good and follow through. :P

Rule#1: Put the rules on your blog.
Rule#2: Every person tagged should tell 11 things about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the one that tagged you, tag 11 other people and ask them 11 different questions.
Rule#3: Let the people whom you tagged know you've done so.
Rule#4: Don't tag anyone who's been tagged before.
Rule#5: Really do tag 11 others, don't go all ''if you want to take this tag''.

Alright… 11 things about myself, cool.

1. I’m currently a student in Mid-North Sweden
2. I program and mess with computers for fun, and hopefully later on for a living.
3. I enjoy listening to almost every type of music, that has some oomph to it, Skrillex will do when there's nothing harder.
4. I play the piano on my iPhone sporadically and with varying degrees of success.
5. I can speak 2.01 languages - English 1.0, Swedish 0.2, Japanese 0.1, German 0.3, Spanish French and Italian combined 0.05 
6. I can solve a 3x3 or 4x4 panel-sliding puzzle.
7. I’m an avid gamer on PC, not so much on my Xbox 360 that I intentionally left back home, cuz it was boring me.
8. I’m currently in several WoW guilds, which means very little since everyone in WoW's in a guild since lvl 1.
9. I’m an expat, for various reasons.
10. I hate it when people are trivial.
11. I’m going to pursue a career in computer science, with a side of blogging and writing.

These are the questions that I was asked by Omnislash. Well, not really questions, but I guess… things I have to answer.

1.       What’s your favorite childhood memory?
banana ice-cream milkshakes

2.       What’s your favorite game?
Fallout 1 and 2

3.       Favorite superhero?
Captain Obvious (obviously not into superheroes ;)

4.       Happiest moment of your life so far?
Hard to say, but possibly moving to Sweden. 

5.       Where do you want to be right now?
Right here.

6.       What super power would you want if you could have any in the world?
The power to stop hearts (figuratively speaking)

7.       Favorite Song?
Depech Mode - "Na na na na We're damaged people, brought together... la la la"

8.       What is your number 1 dream/goal?
Cash-money (number 1 in terms of priorities, other than that whatever follows I like to improvise)

9.       Worst embarrassing moment in your life?
Possibly my poetry book that I've just published. Or who knows maybe a huge success ;)

10.   If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
All the readers! Three times in a row.

11.   Are you happy? :)

Now for the 11 people I’m going to tag.

1.      My 2 Pesos
2.       DanRobitzski
3.       dopdavid
4.       Bonafide Jones
5.       MRanthrope
7.       nutter666
8.       Dylanthulhu
9.       Dicky Carter
10.    zabuzar
11.    Max Evel

And my questions are…

1. What is the thing that you are most scared of. 
2. What is your favourite book.
3. What is your favourite movie.
4. What is your favourite TV series.
5. What is your favourite video game.
6. What is your favourite color.
7. What is your favourite food.
8. What is your go-to recipe if you don't have much time to cook.
9. What is your favourite thing to blog about.
10. On which probe do you spawn a Warp Gate?
11. If all of A is B and some of B is C, then would you feel like I've offended your intelligence,
 if I asked, if some of A is also C?

That is all :D

World of Warcraft: Alterac Valley Weekend

This weekend in WoW it's Alterac Valley that's getting the weekly bonus if you participate. So I've decided to post something a little bit more geared towards WoW players, but for those of you with less or no experience of the game, it should be an interesting read, because it offers some insight into what makes WoW so much fun even after years of playing. 

The Set-up Alterac Valley is a battleground that takes place in its own entire zone that rivals by its size any other zone of the game, its goal is for a team to kill the opposite team's boss leader by forming a raid, while at the same time protecting its own leader, and protecting and capturing bases along the way. This particular battleground features resources/reinforcements where each team starts with a set number, and as their enemy destroys towers/bases, captures mines or graveyards, their resources go down. Another opportunity to lose is by losing all of your resources to the enemy, so defence is equally as important as offence.

Horde vs Ally That being said there's a somewhat different play-style for this dungeon between horde and alliance. From my experience horde generally just rushes to fight in the middle of the BG, with a complete disregard for the BG objectives, while somewhat sporadically performing hit and runs on allies, who are trying to capture bases. If you're a defender on the alliance side, what you'll experience is at least a dozen friendly players trying to hold off the horde at the alliance leader site, while at the horde leader site, it's generally a bunch of alliance players quietly waiting for reinforcements to arrive to form a raid for the boss.

Organization On top of that from my experience within the Horde, those people DO NOT TALK to each other. Like the many seemingly incompatible races they're comprised of, if you try to organize some structure to the battleground you'll be faced with a wall of chat silence. Seems like everyone on that side is happy to score some easy kills on allies that'd wander off away from the groups, and cares for little else. In that respect playing Alliance is a lot more satisfying for me, when it comes to PvP, since everyone at the beginning of the raid neatly announces what they think we should do, people tag themselves as tanks/healers, including my holy-priestly self, people warn each other about incoming horde forces at this point or another. And generally on my server which is Neptulon EU, Alliance wins eight times out of ten.

The trickz So basically what each and every player is expected to do is first of all rush a smaller boss near the middle of the field, then capture two enemy towers, then go for the last boss. What makes capturing towers essential is that it makes the enemy's boss weaker. Lastly you need to capture two more towers right next to the boss, which is not a problem, since the areas is seen by hordies, as a site reserved for ally tea-parties, careless chatting and waiting for the towers and nearby graveyard to be turned over to the ally side.

Defence as much as Offence All in all what matters is that you divide your forces accordingly towards defending your own bases and capturing, and later on forming a proper raid for the last boss.

Lastly as soon as I could today I got to play a couple of sets of Alterac Valley the first one was an easy win, with me and another healer at the boss, we basically waited out nearly the whole battle in front of the boss's area, and rushed as soon as the graveyard was ours, the second one was a bit more frantic with only me to heal, at level 82, which is nowhere near as effective when your tank is lvl 84. But after dieing myself half a dozen times and rushing back to join the battle (in fact the whole BG group died in portions several times over) we downed him in the last moment, before we would have completely wiped, which would have reset his health and started everything all over. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Everybody Loves Raymond: TV Series

"I was acting!" One of the best moments in TV.

Here's another one of my favourite old shows. This and Alf used to be just about the only TV shows worth watching back then. Everybody Loves Raymond, and everybody loves Raymond bloopers. So enjoy and if you haven't seen this show you're definitely missing out.

Also Ray going: "They don't pay me enough to... oh wait a minute, they do! I shouldn't have pants on for... (what they pay me)"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More WoW fun: Healing in Throne of Tides

Just slowly making my way towards level 85 on my Holy Priest in World of Warcraft. Healing is a lot more enjoyable for me, since first of all you don't wait around on queues, and then you generally have more stuff to do, in a dungeon. You have to make sure everyone stays alive, bubble the tank, heal everyone else, think about wether the boss might stun you next so you can cast some HoTs, it's a lot more exciting than just casting spells in a rotation as a DPS, or even tanking, at least for me.

Throne of the Tides is one of the more annoying dungeons though, since around levels 80-82 you're stick with it and Blackrock Depths, since the other dungeons require an iLvl minimum of your gear. So if you're like me and can't stand questing with anything else than a paladin or a DK, you'll have to stick with those two, until you get the item drops. Which might take a good 20 runs.

If you have experience with RPGs tell me which classes/roles you prefer. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mirror, Mirror (1995) TV Series

Mirror, Mirror is a 1995 TV series, filmed in New Zealand about a bunch of kids who find a magical mirror, that when placed in the house where it originally was and aligned perfectly with its former self, can transport people between the present day (well 1995) and nearly a hundred years in the past. Time-travel hilarity and drama ensues as the characters explore both the old colonial world, and respectively the new futuristic world, from the perspective of the children on the other side of the mirror. 

Classic time-travel moment. "I'm in naa-tee naan-teen?" *gasps*

In present day the series is a depiction of modern day New Zealand, with the kids involved in some school projects like archeology, history etc. In the past though some serious historical events are unfolding with the involvement of a young Russian monarch, treason, betrayal, all in all it switches between slice-of-life and period drama, whenever someone touches the mirror.

At one point the couple (hardly so, but heavily shipped throughout the whole series) end up in a sort of purgatory, a timeless place in 'reality?' where they're stuck until someone saves them. And a lot of the rest of the series focuses on moving the mirrors from one place to another so for example someone from the future can enter a locked jail cell, by placing the past mirror through the bars.

Time-travel is played with in all ways possible. People see their graves, or their great great grandparents, as kids their age, time is not what it seems to be since you can leave a groceries note in a tree trunk for the future folk, and ten minutes later someone will pop out of the mirror, asking you if you want your OJ with or without the pulp.

I remember watching this series ten or more years ago, and it was one of my favourite things to watch. It's clever, it's exciting, Mirror, Mirror is all in all one of the great memories of my childhood along with Pokemon (the Gameboy version) and my Nintendo 8bit. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Requiem for a Dream: Darren Aronofsky

Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 movie from director Darren Aronofsky, who's knows for such culturally defining films, such as Pi, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan. The movie is based on the novel from Hubert Selby Jr. and its premise is exploring the means by which drug addiction in many ways changes and eventually destroys the lives of the people who meddle in them. 

The movie's protagonist, Harry(Jared Leto), his friend Tyrone(Marlon Wayans), his girlfriend, Marion(Jennifer Connelly) and his mother Sara(Ellen Burstyn) all have somewhat of a problem with substance abuse. The former three are products of the culture of their time, they're brought together by the act of shooting up heroin, although they come from different places. Harry and Tyrone are old friends, and Sarah is the daughter of rich parents who wants to gain her own independence by starting a designer clothes business. The movie starts out with Jared Leto's character 'stealing' his mother's TV in order to pawn it at the local market for some cash to go shoot up. His mother in the meantime's locked herself in her closet, and for an opening scene it's pretty intense in portraying the effects of heroin withdrawal in Harry who at the same time needs the hit bad, but professes a sort of misguided manipulative love for his mom.

Later on the movie tracks the characters through their daily lives, living a life of careless enjoyment from one hit to the next, never knowing where the night will take them. All of us should know better than to think it romantic, but the movie makes a great effort to compel with images of the complete wireless bliss that is reducing ones needs and wants in life to a simple substance addiction.

After some time our character decide it'd be a great idea to score some pure heroin, since there's the local heroin convention coming up, cut and sling it for some hard cash. After all Marion needs the money for her clothes shop, and Harry and Tyrone probably don't want to haul that TV every day for the rest of their lives. For a while it actually works out for them, but then it starts going downhill - and fast. Tyrone gets into trouble with the local drug-lord, Harry's arm is already gangrenous from shooting up so much, and Marion and Sara's fate is probably the most horrifying of them all. Meanwhile Sara has been a drug addict herself in a more socially acceptable way taking amphetamines (which at the time were prescribed along with sleeping pills for weight-loss).

Near the end of the movie we see all of the characters completely broken by the consequences of their choices. Back when Requiem for a Dream movie came out it was universally appraised, as an eye-opening tale of how substance abuse can and will ruin both your life and the lives of the people you love.   

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Raid Food: Three quick easy and cheap recipes for gamers.

Naturally, when in the middle of a gaming session none of us have time to cook, but why order pizza, when it's expensive, unhealthy and most of all it takes half an hour to forty five minutes to arrive anyway. So instead get these simple ingredients:

flour / eggs / salt / baking powder / cooking oil / bulk cooking yellow cheese / meat: any meat will do / veggies if you sway the vegetarian way - onions, leek, potatoes etc. / any kind of spices - pepper, chili, barbecue spice etc.

You'll also need tin foil an oven a bowl to mix stuff, one plate, one fork and one knife and a frying pan, preferably a cheap-a$$ non-stick wok and a pot and probably a wooden spatula.

Some quick common sense tips before you start: If cooking for the first time you can waste ingredients and money
at the least and kill yourself at worst. Burning protein like meat chars and eventually catches flames. Overheated
oil smokes up and bursts into flames, totalling your kitchen in seconds, if that happens don't throw water onto it,
unless you want a fire-ball in your kitchen - use a wet towel to smother the flames, since fire hates a lack of oxygen
more than it hates water. Burning carbohydrates such as veggies boiling in a pot (with the water boiled out) 
smoke up and release Carbon Monoxide, which will kill you in minutes, it's a smokeless, odourless, 
colourless gas that can fill up your kitchen in mere minutes.

1: Trinidad Aloo Pies

Start by peeling 3-4 large potatoes throw them in salted water and boil until you can cut them in half with the fork without any effort - that's the easiest way to know they're ready. Meanwhile in a bowl mix half a bowl of flour, 1 table spoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt and water. Add like 3/4 tea-cup of WARM water and with a stirring motion make a soft dough that shouldn't be sticky. If your dough is softer you can always add flour while you knead it, if it's harder add some more water and stir well.

Your potatoes will not be ready by a long-shot, so dump that dough onto a large plate and sprinkle it with flour. Spread the flour on top of the dough and on the sides so when it inevitable sticks to the plate you can use your fingers and the flour to lift it up. Then KNEAD, like you're grinding fishing in WoW, don't burn yourself out just punch it up, until it's flat then fold into a ball again, flour if sticky, and punch up again - do that for 10 minutes.

By now those annoying potatoes should have started to bubble every now and again, but ignore the weak-sauce pre-boil and move on, being rightfully disgusted by the insane amounts of energy that salty water is able to buffer, before it starts to give a f&*(.

Take your dough and make a cylinder out of it, then cut it into 6-9 equal pieces, then roll those in balls, and leave them on the side, but make sure they're not touching each other, since they'll try to merge together, like the Terminator and annoy the living hell out of you, having to do the whole cutting and shaping all over again.

Now your water is probably boiling so go have a smoke, have some coffee, chill out, think about the meaning of life, and come back in about 20 minutes. Try if you can drive your fork into a potato. Do you have to push? No? It goes all the way through and that poor thing ends up in halves? Score! Take off of the stove, dump the water, and using your fork mash the potatoes into pulp, then add spices like pepper, chili, whatever you like, and mash some more. Flatten the thing on the bottom of the pot, and with your fork cut it into the same number of divisions as the balls of dough you have.

Finally heat up your wok with half an inch of cooking oil and be careful here, cuz that thing will smoke up and eventually catch flame if you forget about it. Take a ball of dough flatten it into a pancake the size of your palm, then dump the potato mix, press and fold in two until you have a dumpling shaped thing. Squeeze the edges together and twist to close it. Now flatten it between your hands as thin as possible without breaking it, then fry until golden brown on both sides. Keep in mind it takes 1-2 minutes on high heat per side, and 3-4 on medium heat. Easy way to find out when its done is it's going to sizzle like a motherf*^$#r at first, then it's gonna go quiet. When it goes quiet it's done. Flip it using your wooden spatula, then drain on a sheet of tin foil.

If you've closed the dough well, and your pies didn't have any holes in them, they'll puff up to 2-3 times their thickness, when you fry them. So don't worry about flattening them too much, as long as there's no holes in the dough. The flatter they are the better they'll taste.

You can leave some for later, they're spicy and taste great both hot and cold and in combination with anything else you can think of, they'll also last in your fridge.

2: Home-made pan pizza

Make the dough as you would for the Aloo Pies, but add a tablespoon of cooking oil and a pinch of sugar. Spread it on a piece of tin foil, large enough to cover the baking tray of your stove, the flatter it is, the better. Set your oven on the highest heat (300 Celsius for mine), and throw the dough in it for 3-4 minutes. It may start to form bubbles of air, poke and flatten those with your fork. Don't brown the dough, or you'll end up with a lame excuse for Turkish bread, take it out after 3-4 minutes. We do this so your pizza isn't doughy, cuz it takes more heat for the dough to cook, than your regular ingredients.

So take that out and add some ketchup or tomato sauce on it, cheese, meat, spices, whatever you like. Any leftovers you have will do. Go crazy experimenting. Throw it back in, until the sides are nicely brown and crispy, which on high heat would be around 10-15 minutes. You can add spices after its done, or an egg.

The trick to adding an egg to pizza is it takes 2-3 minutes to cook, after which it turns into rubber. So only add it when your pizza is done, throw a pinch of salt on it, back in the oven, and watch it as it cooks in front of your monitor strained eyes.

3: One-piece hot dogs

Make the dough same as for the Aloo pies, although add an egg, that's gonna make your dough more puffy. Spread it really thin, you can roll it using a rolling pin if you have one, or a thick glass bottle. Make sure to dust it with flour as you roll it, and flip it every now and again or else it'll stick to the tin foil and you'll have to clean that off piece by little piece, which sucks.

Then cut the dough using your knife, into pieces the size of your palm, take some hot dog wieners, or any other meat or veggies or cheese you like, throw them on top and close the dough in the shape of an envelope. Pinch the edges, so it doesn't open up when it bakes, but leave it open on the top, so you can later on add some ketchup to it or whatever you like.

Make sure the oven is heated on max, and throw those things in, making sure they're spread apart on the tray, since they'll expand and you probably don't want to have to cut them off from each other.  As soon as the top is nicely brown and before any of it starts to burn, take them out, add fresh vegetables, sauces or anything else you like and enjoy. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A new Guess the Movie Challenge! and some WoW gameplay.

Since it's Saturday I've decided to kick back a little bit, and give you some gameplay of WoW. I'm not much of a WoW player, but I like to play from time to time. More reviews will be coming up in the days to follow. Also please tell me what's your favourite movie and I might review it in the next week.

Also I'm going to set you up with another part of Guess the Movie! This time the movie is about an Eastern European trying to make ends meet in America. The lead actress is a pretty, petite, dark haired Superstar on the European music scene, who is known for her short temper with journalists. For her role she won a Palm d'Or for best actress and the movie won another palm for best movie.

The movie itself is a dark psychological drama, rivaling by its impact the likes of The Green Mile and Requiem for a Dream. As a last tip, the opening scene of the movie features the same snippet from last week's challenge - you know Roses and Rainbows and Whiskers and Kittens :D 

And here's the play-through on this blog's YouTube channel. The character is an Alliance Holy Priest, the dungeon is Halls of Stone. Parts 2 and 3 are in the video's description. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

American Beauty: Kevin Spacey and Thomas Newman

American Beauty is a movie that doesn't play around with it's premise, from the beginning it's awfully clear what our main character (played by Kevin Spacey) is on about. The movie starts with the revelation that he's dead and this is the story of how he came to be this way. But don't be too sad for him, since he's been dead for quite a while, even though he was still breathing. The opening scene is an overview of his unexciting life, in a passionless marriage, on the verge of a mid-life crisis. 

Then something happens, he's at his daughter's high-school sports event, and he sees a girl in the cheerleaders team, that seems to embody everything he used to love about life, and the entirety of the mindless careless dreams and hopes of his youth.

The movie is a classic example of how a grown woman can take away a man's bollocks, for the better half of twenty or thirty years of marriage, then when he suddenly remembers what he used to be like as a young man, those acquire a coating of pure steel and return to their owner by means of a quantum leap straight into his pants.

Congratz on those who guessed right in the Let's Play update and for the rest who might have not seen the film, American Dream comes highly recommended as one of the best Kevin Spacey movies out there. Oh and on top of that, the soundtrack comes courtesy of Thomas Newman. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Shadow of Chernobyl

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a 2007 PC game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World, that's loosely based on the novella Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky and the 1979 movie of the same name by Andrei Tarkovsky. The premise of the story revolves around the Zone, where a freak accident, this time based around the Ukrainian Nuclear Reactor explosion in Pripyat, has been the cause of paranormal activity and heavy mutations amongst the local fauna. 

Unlike the movie, where the horror, if it can be called that, is purely psychological, the game contains some very real monsters among many irradiated dogs, huge mutated beasts reminiscent of the Fallout Maul Rats, and not the least a throng of human soldiers.

You're a Stalker and that's all you can remember as you wake up in an unfamiliar village somewhere in the Zone. The only clue to your past is a note in your PDA calling you to 'Kill Strelok!'. So you embark on a journey to find Strelok and find out why you should kill him if at all.

What makes the game great is the Fallout suspense and atmosphere, while the action is involving and laden with insecurity and the constant fear of running out of ammo, if you haven't stocked up for the scenario of a Third World War, what really shines about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is how the Ukrainian studio has translated the feeling of the movie into an First Person Shooter form. The game starts out in a small town, with a bar and little else worth noting, but pretty soon you'll be crawling on all four through the sewers and bunkers and fields of Pripyat, running between concrete blocks for cover, from one quest to the next.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. simulates the feeling of an open world game and although you won't feasibly be able to just walk around into the next area unequipped, each quest chain is set in its own large and expansive terrain, that's completely unique save for the ever present washed out Eastern European daylight, the dust and the ticking of your Geiger counter.

Besides being an FPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl possesses some RPG elements. You have a segmented chart-like inventory al-la Diablo, although it's limited by the amount of weight you can carry, rather than the trivial blocks of space you have. Nevertheless the sectioned grid gives you a rough idea of what each item weighs and pretty soon you'll find yourself balancing between carrying an extra weapon or some health packs, or stocking up on ammo for your trusty scoped Kalashnikov, that also happens to be maxed out on shooting speed. Best of all the weapons have grades and statistics, again much like Diablo. Rare weapons are spread throughout the game in tough to find or heavily protected areas, and they also may posses a special ability like extra damage, extra shooting speed, or stability etc. On top of that there's sets of armour, some provide trivial everyday Kevlar in-lay or even just some metal plates to hold them together, others are suited towards radiation-resistance. Both the weapons and armour suits in the game look futuristic and at the same time resemble completely technology that's readily available in the world today.

Among the few problems of the game, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a resource hog, and that's probably its biggest let-down. For a game of 2007 it could barely run on a mid-grade computer of that age and held it together just almost right on maxed out graphics on a high-end rig. But you shouldn't have these problems these days.

So now that prices for both the hardware and the games have dropped significantly, there's no reason why you shouldn't enjoy this particular game to its fullest. There's two expansion that came shortly after the original game - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. The games are exciting, original, they're stuffed with content and they offer it in a compelling way. For a Fallout fan like myself there's nothing better than some post-apocalyptic lone-man journeying around the wasteland - be it my own beloved Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Scanner Darkly: 2006

A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 movie with Keanu Reeves,Winona Ryder and Robert Downey Jr. based on the Philip K Dick novel of the same name. The story revolves around a narcotics agent, who also poses as a drug user, and gradually gets more and more involved into the lifestyle of his junkie friends. 

The film makes use of a technique that saw some amazing movies back in the days. Rotoscoping, although it never became very popular, is a style, where the movie is shot in live action, and later on hand drawn images are layered over the footage in order to create the effect of an animated film with a full 3D depth panning and tilting of the camera. 

As far as the story goes A Scanner Darkly is reminiscent of movies such as Trainspotting, Requiem for a Dream, The Acid House, although the 1977 book far predates the sources of those titles. Other titles that make use of the rotoscoping technique are Waking Life and Sin City.


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