Tiny, Lego-style Apartment →

I would spazz right the fuck out if I had to live in just 24 square metres (shit, all my videogame stuff alone probably takes up about 20 square metres), but fair play to this guy, he seems to be totally zen and came up with a pretty good solution.

NYU Game Centre Interview with Erik Wolpaw →

Obviously, spoilers abound for Portal 2

Game Center Lecture Series- Erik Wolpaw from NYU Game Center on Vimeo.

Starbuck and Starbuck at Starbucks →

starbucks.jpg

via Topless Robot

Portal 2 Authoring Tools →

“The Portal 2 Authoring Tools include versions of the same tools we used to make Portal 2. They’ll allow you to create your own singleplayer and co-op maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music.”

PC-only right now. But still: oh wow.

Everything Tracy Jordan said in Season 5 of 30 Rock →

Can we cut everything but Tracy Jordan from 30 Rock? Even without context, he’s hilarious. The rest of the show? Not so much.

Re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, 17 years later

I don’t know what triggered it, but I decided to start re-watching all of Star Trek: The Next Generation. There’s something about this show that still manages to evoke certain emotions in me. Like it’s hitting a part of my brain that hasn’t been touched since I was a kid. Even now, the sound of that theme song makes me feel like I’m 16 again and I’m just about to sit down and watch a quick episode on BBC2 before I start my homework. I’ve made it through the first season, and here are some of the things I’ve noticed so far.

  • When it first aired, I remember thinking how technically impressive this show was, especially compared to the original series. The effects were great, the make-up was mind-blowing. Was I high? This is terrible! I can’t count the amount of times I’ve watched Worf’s prosthetic head-piece wobble almost completely off his head.
  • Speaking of Worf, who decided this guy was supposed to be a big, tough badass? So far, he’s lost every fight he’s gotten into.
  • Fuck Wesley. The majority of the episodes in the first season - especially in the first half - are solved by Wesley pulling some deus ex machina bullshit in the last five minutes.
  • Picard is a bit eager to pull the Enterprise’s self-destruct trigger, isn’t he? I think he’s done it three times in the first season. In the twenty-something episodes of the first season, that means there’s a one-in-ten chance that Picard will try to blow up the ship. I know this is cheating, but there’s an episode in the second season, where the Enterprise is being treated like a rat in a maze, being tested by some huge cosmic being. Picard lasts all of about fifteen minutes before saying “fuck this” and engaging the auto-destruct.
  • How the fuck did I never realise how racist this show is? Each new alien is a thinly-veiled cipher for the writer’s unique brand of xenophobia. The Ferengi alone should have warranted some kind of action from the Anti-Defamation League.
  • I loved where they brought in Michael Berryman, drew a line down his face with a sharpie and then suddenly they’ve got one of the most believable, fucked-up looking aliens the show has ever seen.

Italian Style

Interesting post by Scott Schuman over at GQ on ‘Italian Street Style’

Now, some people will discredit this and call it “effortless style,” or write it off by saying, “These Italians are just born with it.”

But it’s quite the opposite. There is nothing effortless about their style, or their look. What’s unique is that they put an extreme amount of effort into their look when they buy the clothes, when they have the clothes altered by their tailor, and when they put them on in the morning.

It’s true, Italians do dress better than other nationalities. Even if Rome isn’t the centre of Italian fashion, and they don’t dress as nicely as they do in, say, Milan, the basic level of casual dress is so much higher than the basic level of casual dress in DublinAlthough maybe this isn’t saying much. Before we moved to Rome, I was living in Stoneybatter in Dublin. A place where people would go shopping in their pyjamas. In fact, I saw one girl walking down the street still wrapped in her duvet. My theory behind pyjamas-as-casual-wear is probably best saved for another post. Shirts are more common than hoodies on twenty-something men, and tracksuits are almost non-existent. And Schuman is completely right in what he says about the care that people give to their clothes here. Instead of spending €200 each on a few good-enough suits that will look ratty in a couple of months, Italians would rather spend €1000+ on one fantastic suit that will last them for yearsBut then, they do this with all of their possessions, not just clothes. Theories behind this also best saved for another post.

But there’s one thing that Schuman misses. Perhaps he can’t see it because it’s being obscured by his enormous boner for Italian style. Yes, the men clearly spend a long time making their style look completely effortless, and their shirts are never anything less than spotlessly clean and perfectly pressed - something you rarely see in Dublin, where crumpled, uncared-for shirts are the norm - but you know what? It’s not the men who are putting in the effort. Their clothes are perfect, but that’s not a challenge when you live with their mother who cleans and irons for you and generally make sure your clothes are perfect for youI know this isn’t true in all cases, but as George Clooney says in Up in the Air, “I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.". I see this a lot at the various functions I go to. I see men whose clothes look fantastic, like they just stepped off a catwalk, while I’m there looking like I woke up in a ditch in my suit and rolled along to crash whatever reception I just found myself at. But you can just tell that these men have no idea how an iron works. They just open their wardrobe and see whatever Mama has left for them.

As great as Italian style is, there’s also something to be said for people who usually look like a dog’s dinner and then suddenly put in a bit of work. Yes, Italian style is effortless, but sometimes, knowing the wearer has put in a little bit of effort can look good too.

This post brought to you with a healthy dose of Irish begrudgery.

What's That in Danzigs? →

Fuck imperial. I’m measuring everything in Danzigs from now on.

Life Imitating Art Imitating Life →

Is it just me, or are modern ads starting to resemble the kind of ads we see coming out of Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce on Mad Men? Pretty soon, the only way you’re going to tell an ad is current is the presence of a URL.

I can’t decide if this is a bad thing. I love these hand-drawn technicolor illustrations, but I don’t know if they work for everything. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. For a beer, it works because the ad is aspirational, it makes me want to be a part of that scene. For a sports equipment company, it just makes me wonder if your company is still in business.

Erik Wolpaw on Portal 2 →

Great interview, but lots of spoilers for Portal 2. Favourite line of the whole thing: “I’d really like to make a really credible comedy game. People seem to be skipping straight to the pure art, and yet nobody’s made the Caddyshack in games yet, right? So I’m like, woah woah woah, let’s put on the brakes – let’s make Caddyshack, and then we can make Anna Karenina or whatever.”