I know, I know.
I did say I had done my last version of that Himura Kenshin picture. But I just couldn't help myself.
I suggested Manchester United aren't going to be as motivated as Liverpool for the League Cup Final in an earlier entry but Soccernet reports:
"Ferguson almost choked when it was suggested Liverpool might have more incentive to win the trophy than his own side, who stamped their class on the Champions League in Turin this week, even if the Premiership title seems to be floating out of reach.'The last time we went two years without winning a trophy was 1989 and doing it again is not something I want to think about,' he said. 'This is a piece of silverware and we want to win it.'"
"Ferguson almost choked when it was suggested Liverpool might have more incentive to win the trophy than his own side, who stamped their class on the Champions League in Turin this week, even if the Premiership title seems to be floating out of reach.
'The last time we went two years without winning a trophy was 1989 and doing it again is not something I want to think about,' he said. 'This is a piece of silverware and we want to win it.'"
The Star reports today (page 3, fact fans) the Film Censorship Board has rejected 21st Century Fox's appeal to overturn the ban on the Daredevil movie.
The board secretary, Haji Lukeman, is quoted as saying: "The portions that require censorship were just too much. Watching it with the cuts will only make it meaningless. So, it's best the film is banned."
The only things "too much" and "meaningless" are the reasons given for banning the movie, Tuan Haji.
Incredibly, Haji Lukeman goes on to say, "Hero-worshipping someone with a devil-sounding name like Daredevil is just a no-no."
Tongue firmly in cheek, I theorised in a previous entry this was one of the rejected reasons for banning the movie on the grounds that it was just too stupid.
Can someone hand this guy a dictionary and show him what the term "daredevil" refers to? I'm afraid he's going to try banning Manchester United next on the grounds too many local football fans worship the Red Devils.
Who would've thought the people on the Film Censorship Board were indeed capable of such patently absurd statements? Just think about it: These are the same people who currently decide what's safe for you to watch.
"Hi! I'm Bruce Willis, a major movie star who earns 20 million per movie. Even if it's a bad movie. *smirk* I'm authoring this blog entry for Gobi, who's got an eye infection ..."
I've just watched Letterman. Or rather I've just not watched Letterman. Or I've just watched Rather. Uh ...
An amazingly thin Bruce Willis filled-in for Letterman on today's show. (The Wahoo Gazette has a recap.) It's not often you see a major movie star dying on television. (Question: Willis still qualifies as a major movie star these days, right?) The poor guy was clearly out of his depth. Where did all that David Addison cocky charm go?
It's a pity. The Late Show had a great line-up with Dan Rather, who had just interviewed Saddam Hussein, and Carmen Electra, who might not have had just interviewed Saddam but did trump Rather because Rather -- thankfully -- has never been a nude Playboy centrefold.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one wondering about that parroting habit of Malaysiankini blogger, Oon Yeoh, who responds:
"Some people have e-mailed to ask why I keep quoting other columnists and providing links to these stories. That's what a blog is supposed to be. By definition, a blog is a collection of extracts from other web pages, coupled with opinions by the person maintaining the blog."
That's fair enough.
Take a look at my previous comparison of James Taranto's column and Oon Yeoh's blog entries.
Oon Yeoh's Susan Sontag entry is almost certainly taken from this James Taranto column but the source isn't even acknowledged.
There are bad days. There are calamitous days. Then there are days like the one Juventus had last night in the Stadium Delle Alpi. We're talking so bad that it's comically good.
United came, saw, giggled and conquered the Italian champions 3-0 with a brace from Giggs and inevitably, a goal from van Nistelrooy. All three goals resulted from errors by the Italians. Wonder if they'll blame this week's humiliation on the whooping cough. (They were flu-hit last week, you see.)
To be fair, it wasn't all one way traffic. Juventus did have their chances. But thanks to a combination of Trezeguet's amazing catalogue of misses, Barthez's incredible shot-stopping and the woodwork, United managed to keep a clean sheet.
It's probably United's best performance in Europe this season and a splendid way to qualify for the Champions League q-finals.
However, it's not all good. Forlan and Giggs are injured. The luckless Forlan's probably going to miss the League Cup final and I'm not sure Ferguson would want to risk Giggs's hamstrings on Sunday even in a Cup final against the auld enemy, Liverpool.
But Ferguson has other selection problems. Will he opt to play Keane in the centreback position again? It would give the hungrier Butt and Phil Neville places in the starting eleven.
Ruud in front, Giggs left and drifting in behind the Dutch master, Veron in the middle with Butt and Phil Nevillle behind him mopping up, Becks out right and the back four consisting of O'Shea, Keane, Ferdinand and Gary Neville.
It worked against Juventus and I'm sure Ferguson is contemplating using it against the Scousers.
The wild card here is Veron. He put in a superb performance against Juventus but he does tend to reserve his best for European matches. Will he be similarly masterful against Liverpool?
And if Giggs is indeed unavailable, what then? Solskjaer on the right with Becks in a more central position and Veron out left? Or will Keane revert back to his usual position in central midfield?
My biggest fear is that Liverpool will definitely be the more motivated of the two teams. This is probably their best shot at silverware this season.
I've downloaded the latest version of Ad-Aware ("the morning-after pill for the internet"), Nullsoft's anti-spyware utility. The new version, Ad-Aware 6.0, includes a sexier interface as an easier way of updating Ad-Aware's reference file. Unlike the previous version which required the user to manually download, unzip and install a reference file, Ad-Aware 6.0 updates its reference file with a simple click.
Upon scanning my system, it turned out I had two data mining cookies on my PC: one from Doubleclick and another from Bravenet. Removing them took another click. Couldn't be simpler.
Japanese Transformers fan, Snakas, has pictures from Wonder Festival 2003.
The highlight has to be a picture of a kyoukudai (which according to my amateurish translation attempts is either "maximum" or "large") scale Convoy (a.k.a Optimus Prime). The non-transforming figure is human-sized! The price tag? A whopping 298,000 yen!
Then there are the kyokushou henkei (I'm translating it as "microscopic transformation") Transformers. These are really small versions of G1 toys that actually transform. Pictured were Optimus Prime, Cliffjumper, Skywarp, Soundwave, Starscream, Sideswipe and Bumblebee and they really look a lot like their G1 versions.
Malaysiakini ("only the news that matters") has a blog called Transitions ("a blog about Malaysia in transition").
Transitions (at least currently) heavily features content relating to the Saddam situation. Y'know, because there just aren't enough blogs devoted to that. (Why, yes, that is sarcasm.)
The author, Oon Yeah, is stridently pro-war. I don't mind that one bit. What I do mind is that he reuses links and arguments from Best of the Web by James Taranto.
Compare James Taranto's Susan Sontag hip-hip-hypocrite piece with Oon Yeoh's. Compare James Taranto's Last Chance piece with Oon Yeoh's.
Now I read Best of the Web as well as InstaPundit, Kausfiles and the Daily Dish so I think have enough input from the "Baghdad or bust" crowd.
But I like the fact that we do get to read opinions from locals that would otherwise be hardly heard in local mainstream media.
My own stance on this umpteenth Iraqi standoff? (Y'know, because there just aren't enough blogger opinions on the issue ... heh.)
I ... don't know.
I honestly can't find a position I'm comfortable with. I read everything I can (or at least, everything I can stand ... the antagonistic approach to debunking opposing arguments and ad hominem attacks get real annoying real fast) but I'm still ambivalent about the situation.
Yeah, Saddam's a thug. Yeah, he should be ousted. But a war? Now? Aren't there more pressing concerns?
For the pro-war crowd: Why so eager for war in Iraq and yet so silent on North Korea? Everything you write about Iraq, is equally applicable to North Korea. Which really is the more dangerous and unpredicable threat right now? Saddam or Jong-il? Saddam's been contained for several years now. Jong-il is still very much a loose cannon. So why Saddam now and why not Jong-il?
For the no-war crowd: Wouldn't getting rid of Saddam be great news for the Iraqi people over the long term? Wouldn't the price paid by the Iraqi people in a war be smaller than another decade or two of Saddam?
Reuters reported that more than 250 men staged a full frontal nude protest in Sydney against Australia's potential involvement in a war against Iraq. (Published in today's edition of the The Star ... page 39, fact fans!)
Andrew Sullivan reports that feminists in Harvard have destroyed a giant snow phallus. Amy E. Keel, one of the Snow-Bobbiters, said: "No one should have to be subjected to an erect penis without his or her express permission or consent."
Amazingly, TV2 has started airing Web Diver at 4pm on Sunday. Who would've thunk it? An actual animated mecha show on local TV again.
I caught the first episode but I can't say I was too impressed. First strike, it's dubbed in Cantonese. I would have prefered the original voices with subtitles. Anyway, I muted the sound.
The anime series is notable for its extensive use CGI. Unfortunately the CGI is nowhere near the standards Mainframe set with Beast Machines. Furthermore, the CGI sequences -- poorly animated as they are -- are repeated far too many times for my liking.
On the plus side, the main robot's transformation sequence is incredibly long and detailed. It just seems to go on forever. Since the tranform sequence is the money shot of any series featuring transforming robots, this is a good thing.
The storyline? Well, it's the future and the cyber world is under threat. One kid joins forces with the heroic Gladion -- yes, it's Gladion and not Gradion or Guradion, and I'm guessing it's derived from "gladiator" -- to battle the dastardly virii and locate his missing younger brother.
The show is based on Takara's line of high-tech tranforming robots. The piece de resistance of the line, Gladion, is a large action figure that transforms into a futuristic train. But that's not all. The toy also has a built-in video game which is activated when you connect the figure to your TV set. Furthermore, the toy can interact with other figures in the line via infrared signals.
Juventus coach Marcelo Lippi on Bootgate:
"'What happened in that changing room has happened to me 50 times in my career. I have kicked bottles of mineral water, bags and shoes but I never hit a player. It's a question of technique, and the Scots must have a better technique.'"
I did some additional work on my digi-doodle of *takes a deep breath* Microman LED Powers Perfect Shining Tector L-28 Shining Solomon (or as he's known to close friends, "Microman LED Powers Perfect Shining Tector L-28 Shining Sol"). I mostly added details to the original digi-doodle.
In other Microman news, according to HobbyLink Japan, the release of the new series, Microforce, has been put off until May. I welcome the delay as it will give Takara additional time to work on the figures -- I fervently hope the series is free of any QA issues -- as well as give me additional time to scrounge up money for the figures.
The delay means barring any unfortunate circumstances -- like any further hardware problems -- I should be able to free up funds for Medieval: Total War in two or three weeks.
This Daredevil hoo-ha reminded me of other bizarre moments in Malaysian censorship.
F'rinstance, local male artists with long hair were once banned from appearing on television. The reasons for this was ... well, I can't quite remember the rationale for it but I'm certain it was bizarre and stupid.
The ruling mainly affected hair band rockers. Amy, the lead singer for the rock band, Search, eventually gave in and in a photo-op moment, had his hair cut by the then-Information Minister.
The same Information Minister also threatened to ban Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The reason for this was so stupid I can feel my brain cells killing themselves as I type this out.
Apparently "morphin'" -- short for "morphing" which is how the teenagers changed into Heroes-in-Tights -- sounds a lot like "morphine." By that Minister's way of thinking, the title of the series alone would cause Malaysian kids to turn to drugs.
Did I not mention the fact it was a stupid reason?
Got this link off Metafilter. It's an online comic entitled "Same Difference" by Derek Kirk Kim. It's funny, moving and you will enjoy it.
I got the weirdest e-mail yesteday.
The e-mail title: "Your character".
My reaction: Eh?
I scan the From field. It's from someone with a Swedish name.
My reaction: Huh?
I read the e-mail. The body had nothing but a link to a JPG file.
My reaction: Wha-?
So I'm deliberating whether to click on the link to see what it is. Caution and Curiosity wrestle. Curiosity wins with a choke-hold so I click on the link.
An image of someone's passport pops up and written above it is "Why I am emgee, and you are not." There's a big large red arrow pointing to the name written on the passport and sure enough, the guy's middle name (or more accurately one of his middle names) is Emgee.
Apparently, this guy had seen the bio of Emgee Obie-Nathan, one of my Neverwinter Nights player characters (which I had never actually used in a multiplayer game), and decided -- for no discernible reason other than the shared name -- to send me that e-mail.
It must have been a really dull day in Sweden.
I thought of sending him a reply pointing out that my initials are M. G and so I am actually an "Emgee" after a fashion.
But I decided to let things slide.
Still, it made me wonder about the thinking behind his e-mail.
(Yes, weisenheimer, it was a really dull day in Malaysia.)
My guess is it went as follows:
Thanks to Lena's recommendation, I've signed up with enetation ("annotation for all things web"). It's compatible with both Blog and my host Tripod and most importantly, it's free.
Incorporating the comments system into my Blog-powered site was simplicity itself. All I had to do was CTRL+C, CTRL+V two blocks of code and replace the Blogger variables -- enetation provides the code for most popular blogging software -- with the Blog equivalent. It took me all of five minutes to set things up.
As an admin, I have the ability to delete comments or block IPs, which hopefully I won't ever need.
Just watched Survivor 6.2. My thoughts:
Comics Continuum reports that one of my favourite comic book artists, Bill Sienkiewicz, will be doing a cover for the Dreamwave TF comic series. There's a preview of the piece here.
I haven't got a single issue of any of the Dreamwave TF series -- I think TFs are best seen animated -- but I'm looking forward to the Sienkiewicz cover. Dare I hope someone will make a scanned version of the cover available online?
Survivor's on in a couple of hours. As usual, I've steered clear of all Survivor-related sites until I've seen the latest episode.
My predictions? If the guys lose the immunity challenge, expect Daniel to be tossed out. The buff, cocky Asian-American cost the men the immunity challenge last week by repeatedly falling off a log he had to get across and also had the misfortune of associating with Ryan who ended up being the first guy out.
If the women lose the immunity challenge, I expect whatserface, the middle-aged woman was moaning about how everything was difficult in the first episode, to go. (I'd get whastserface's name from the one of the Survivor sites but I don't want to be spoiled with details of today's episode.)
Tired of racking your brains for inspiration for a blog entry? Michal Zalewski has a tongue-in-cheek solution. The Blog Drone generates ersatz blog entries by taking user-input and finding related phrases from various online blog entries.
Here's an excerpt of what I got when I entered "why is life so difficult":
"You should be glad that im a very easy-going person... That isnt to say that you should let yourself go to seed and be a slob who takes an annual bath and doesnt brush his teeth or use toilet-paper. Although i dont believe that you should depend on horoscopes to direct your life-thats gods job ;> My other tip is that you should apply mascara first. All i ask is that you take good care of the little guy and if you have a camera take a picture or two to document his big adventures while hes with you."
Sir Alex Ferguson's at it again. Not content with playing mind games with opposing managers, he's now trying to needle the England manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson.
"I think Sven Eriksson would have been a nice easy choice for the United board in terms of nothing really happens, does it?"He doesn't change anything. He sails along, nobody falls out with him. He comes out and says 'the first half we were good, second half we were not so good. I am very pleased with the result'."
"I think Sven Eriksson would have been a nice easy choice for the United board in terms of nothing really happens, does it?
"He doesn't change anything. He sails along, nobody falls out with him. He comes out and says 'the first half we were good, second half we were not so good. I am very pleased with the result'."
The Scotsman manages to slip in a dig at Becks as well:
"The press make a suggestion about something, he seems to follow it a bit. Making David Beckham captain for instance. In fairness, there wasn't many options."
For background on this picture, read my earlier entry.
I doubt the movie is all that great. But that's beside the point, really. The decision to ban the movie is so monumentally stupid that it -- and by extension, the Censorship Board -- just needs to be mocked on a regular basis.
Slashdot has a question and answer session with Dave Barry which includes Dave's suggestion on how we should deal with spammers:
"Maybe the solution is for us to stop being so negative. Maybe we should actually buy all the spammers' products -- their low-interest mortgages, and their penis enlargers -- so they will become rich and happy and mellow, and they will decide voluntarily to stop hassling us. Just kidding! I favor castration."
"Maybe the solution is for us to stop being so negative. Maybe we should actually buy all the spammers' products -- their low-interest mortgages, and their penis enlargers -- so they will become rich and happy and mellow, and they will decide voluntarily to stop hassling us.
Just kidding! I favor castration."
The Hub has an interview with Bob Budiansky, a former editor and writer of the original US Transformers comic. For the uninformed, Budiansky named and wrote the bios for almost all the Transformers in the first five or six years of the series.
While the interview does confirm a lot of fan speculation about Budiansky's role in the early years, there aren't that many new revelations. "Remembering precisely what inspired me almost twenty years ago is a challenge" or variations of that line tends to be the most common answer to questions involving specific characters or storylines.
Ever wonder about Kryptonian-human reproduction? Larry Niven did. Favourite sentence:
"Meanwhile, tens of millions of sperm swarm in the air over Metropolis."
I've got a slight problem playing DVD movies.
I can't take advantage of my GeForce2 MX400's hardware motion compensating features. PowerDVD keeps giving me an error message -- something about my current display mode being incompatible. I've tried the obvious remedy which is switching resolutions but no cigar.
I intend to remove the Bravenet forum and institute some form of commenting system for my blog entries soon.
Blog 7.0 does have a commenting system built-in but I think it's e-mail-based, which I'm not keen on. I'd rather have readers post their comments directly to the site and have the comments displayed under the entries for posterity.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. There's no point in having a comments system if there's no one reading the site. Thus, I've made my first major attempt to promote the site. I submitted the site to the Great Malaysian Blog List and it has been listed along with 190-plus other Malaysian blogs.
I don't expect to be inundated with visitors overnight but hey, who knows, perhaps someone out there will find this stuff fascinating.
From Damian Lanigan's funny article:
"After many years of threats, the blotchy maniac has this past weekend launched a vicious attack on his own people with a WPMD (Weapon of Post-Match Destruction), possibly 'Nike-lear'."
Impressed with one of Gurima's pictures -- it's as if the picture, "living in a fishbowl2", was done with coloured pencils on paper -- I enquired about the technique she used. It turns out it was done with the Bump effect in Gonta's filter plug-in sets for Pixia.
Eager to try it out myself, I quickly downloaded and installed Gonta filter sets. Installation of the filter plug-in has to be done manually but it's no more difficult than creating a sub-directory and unzipping the installation files. The filters will then be available when you launch Pixia.
From the Straight Dope boards, Lord of the Rings as written by other writers. Fish42 wrote my favourite:
"At the end of the Council of Elrond, everyone concluded that 'Shards of Narsil' would be a great name for a band."
HobbyLink Japan has tits for sale.
The Toy Industry Association has released its list of the most memorable and creative toys and games of the past 100 years.
Unsurprisingly, Transformers made the list and unlike a lot of the figures and games on the list, Transformers, introduced in the US in 1984, is still selling well.
United were bundled out of the FA Cup by Arsenal yesterday. Goals from Edu and Wiltord killed off any laughable hopes of a United quadruple. Sadly, Giggs will only be remembered in this FA Cup campaign for his unbelievable miss.
Juve are next. Do United have the moxie to regroup and salvage what they can from this season?
A coloured version of this earlier picture of the Takara Microman action figure.
United play Arsenal in the FA Cup Fifth Round in about 10 hours. It doesn't look like Giggs and Veron will be playing.
I suppose Ferguson will have Scholes play on the left but who'll take the vacant central midfield role? Will the manager opt for Phil Neville who had an outstanding game against Arsenal in the league? Or will it be Butt? Will Ferdinand be able to cope with Thierry Henry? Will Silvestre be able to deal with Pires?
Brief Survivor thoughts:
Sometimes people come up with such extraordinarily stupid justifications for their stupid actions that you cannot help but be awestruck.
The Star reported today the Malaysian Film Censorship Board has banned the movie Daredevil. Five reasons were given:
Those reasons are both ridiculous and hypocritical as movies containing those exact same elements have been released in Malaysia before.
The movie's distributor, 21st Century Fox, is appealing the ruling. I expect there'll be a storm in a teacup, some politicians will get involved, the distributors will make some cuts to the movie and the Film Censorship Board, after being ceaselessly mocked for two weeks, will approve the cut version.
But that got me thinking. If those were the reasons for banning Daredevil, what were the rejected reasons, bearing in mind the rejected reasons would have to be even dumber than the actual reasons that were given? My guesses:
I got the DVD-ROM drive -- a Sony DDU1621, firmware version S3.1 -- for RM160 from Exzee Computer on Tuesday evening.
Installation was simple. I just reconnected the cables -- the drive comes with all the necessary cables but I opted to use my old ones -- and the BIOS and the OS detected the drive automatically upon boot up.
But my PC wouldn't be my PC if it didn't produce some strange unexplainable behaviour every time I introduced it to some new piece of hardware.
(See here and here for details of previous snafus.)
The problem? I couldn't watch the Fellowship of the Ring DVD. I was anxious to watch the movie so -- the universe being the wretched, cruel place it is -- naturally, I would have trouble watching it.
Cyberlink's PowerDVD 2.55, the DVD decoder/player that shipped with the Sony drive, produced an error message saying a DVD with an unsupported format was in the drive.
What was weird is that the featurettes -- the various "making of" documentaries -- played beautifully. However, the movie itself can't be played. I tested it out on a standalone DVD player at the shop and all four DVDs played fine. So the problem was definitely either PowerDVD or the DVD-ROM drive itself.
I initially thought it was a region coding issue but even after switching regions I received same error message.
After googling about it, I gathered the Samsung DVD-ROM drive had a problem with the extended version of the Fellowship of the Ring movie as well. The remedy is to flash the drive with the latest firmware.
So the movie should play just fine after I've updated my Sony's firmware, right? Unfortunately, Sony hasn't made any firmware updates for the drive available on its site.
I did test out a Three Kings DVD which I also got and it played flawlessly. Encouraged, I then bought Black Hawk Down yesterday for further testing but wasn't able to play that movie.
I had almost reconciled myself to being unable to watch Fellowship of the Ring and Black Hawk Down when I decided to try out a suggestion by a poster on the Firmware page fora.
I disabled the UDF file system (the option can be found in the Advanced section of msconfig) and what do you know, the solution worked! All DVDs played nicely. No firmware update needed. No updated version of PowerDVD needed
The fix apparently solves the problem of proprietary DVD movie players having trouble with the UDF files system. I'm guessing PowerDVD 2.55 is one such player.
I still need to test out a few things, though. I need to make sure that the system has no trouble reading from the drive after booting from an emergency boot floppy disk as well as ensure the drive reads my Win 98SE installation CD-ROM disk.
I intend to format my hard disk in a couple of weeks to revert back to a single-boot Win 98SE system. (I'm currently running a dual-boot Win 98SE/Windows 2000 system.) It would be aggravating to discover problems reading system critical CD-ROMs after I had executed the "format c:/s" command.
But so far, I'm very satisfied with the drive. It's quieter than my late TeraDrive 52x and the DVD-ROM drive has no trouble reading CD-ROMs.
The quality of DVD movies leaves me in awe. After decades of watching movies on VHS and VCDs, the clarity of DVD movies leaves me slack-jawed. Oh yeah, that was RM160 well-spent.
Series 1.5 of Palisades's Micronauts line will be released in about a month's time. The upcoming figures were produced a factory with better QA than the factory for Series 1.
As an added bonus, the figures have got nice paint schemes. Acroyear 1.5, for instance, has a colour scheme faithful to the comic character. It's quite striking.
The only possible problem with the new series is its availability. The figures will only be made available through Palisades's web site. I hope the company accepts international orders and payment in the form of a bank draft.
My 52x CD-ROM drive bit the dust last night. I can't read any CD-ROMs. The drive spins up but nada, nothing, zilch.
Of course, this would happen just as I'm really getting into System Shock 2 which of course requires the CD-ROM in the drive when launching the game.
But glass being half-full, this isn't a problem as much as it is an opportunity. I had been considering getting a DVD-ROM drive for some time now. There a lot of nice anime boxsets out there both on eBay and in Imbi. So this is as good a time to get a DVD-ROM drive as any. It should set me back RM165 or so. It would be cheaper getting the drive from Imbi but only if I don't factor in the time and travelling expense.
The region encoding thing worries me a little, though. I gather the Sony DVD-ROM drives only allow up to five changes to the DVD region settings.
Most of the DVDs available locally are of the region-free variety so it should be okay. Hopefully.
The kitten has a new fetish. I previously wrote about his foot fetish, but Asimo now has one for fingers. He suckles them. The fact the fingers don't produce milk doesn't faze him at all. I indulge the kinky rascal. It's one way to get the otherwise hyperactive feline to quieten down.
A coloured version of the Serpentor picture I drew. I like how this one turned out. The background looks too computer-y, though.
My biggest problems at the moment are impatience and ennui. I grow quickly tired of the drudgery involved in finishing my digi-doodles. Must learn discipline.
Lockheed Martin has developed missiles that lepak. The 5-foot-long Loitering Attack Missile, once launched, can loiter aimlessly over an area for up to 45 minutes and homes in on targets acquired automatically.
We'll never have something like that in Malaysia's arsenal thanks to our anti-lepak authorities.
I'm thinking of getting Medieval: Total War, a strategy game by Activision. It was developed by Creative Assembly, the same folks who produced the critically acclaimed Shogun: Total War. M:TW is like S:TW except M:TW is set in Europe rather than Japan.
I'm not one for spur-of-the-moment purchases when it comes to computer games so I went on my usual pre-purchase fact-finding and opinion-gathering mission before plonking down RM150-plus for the game.
My favourites sites for getting the low-down happen to be Gone Gold (for its links to reviews written by pros) and pcgamereview.com (for user-written reviews).
You'd expect the reviews written by pros to be more useful (not to mention much better written) than those by Joe Gamer but the latter often pick up on details the pros leave out.
It irritates me that most professional reviews tend to assume that everyone has a state-of-the-art gaming machine. Some game review sites even neglect to include the system requirements for the game.
Now I've got a mere Celeron 900 with 256MB of RAM and I'd like to have some idea how the game is going to run on my rig. Thus, I find those reviews written by users running systems comparable to mine very useful.
In addition, the pros tend to rush their reviews out and rarely do follow-up pieces to take into account elements changed after the inevitable patches are released.
However, reading user-written reviews can be tough. There are some real gems to be found but for the most part it's a mixture of goofy fanboyism and unwarranted or irrational hypercriticism.
Here are some, ah, fascinating user comments about Medieval: Total War from pcgamereview.com:
Two new works in progress. First up, Spider-Man. I need to fill in the details and try colouring it.
Next, another rendition of the Takara action figure, Microman M141 Henry.
Tripod's started a blog program. Unfortunately, it's for subscribers only. Regardless, I'm sticking with Fahim A. Farook's Blog 7.0. The freeware app is simple and to the point and crucially, it allows me to draft my entries offline.
Ah, the perils of political correctness. The writer of this Survivor 6 preview had trouble deciding what to call a particular disability.
I was a big fan of the first three Survivor seasons but I completely lost interest in Survivor: Thailand after several episodes. I didn't even catch the finale.
I'm looking forward to Survivor 6: Amazon though. The locale is one attraction but the tinkering of the format is another. The initial tribes are now gender-based.
The gap between Manchester United and Arsenal has been reduced to three after United beat Birmingham City 1-0 early this morning thanks to a Ruud van Nistelrooy goal.
United take on Manchester City next in what should be "a right cracker" of a match. The Red Devils will be out to avenge their 0-3 drubbing at their hands of their neighbours while doing the double over United would no doubt be the highlight of Kevin Keegan's season. Hopefully, Newcastle will aid United's cause by beating Arsenal later that afternoon.
From the bio of new Aston Villa player, Joey Gudjonsson:
Gudjonsson claims to have a good understanding of the English game due to his addiction to computer game Championship Manager - and straight away praised Villa captain Gareth Barry.He explained: 'I know almost every player by name already. I play a lot of Championship Manager and Gareth Barry is always a good buy. Hopefully he is just as good in real life.'
Gudjonsson claims to have a good understanding of the English game due to his addiction to computer game Championship Manager - and straight away praised Villa captain Gareth Barry.
He explained: 'I know almost every player by name already. I play a lot of Championship Manager and Gareth Barry is always a good buy. Hopefully he is just as good in real life.'
I call myself a Dave Barry fan yet I am the last to know about his web log. I am ashamed.
My rendition of Microman Spy Magician M141 Henry. And yes, he's both a spy and a magician. It might be a difficult career path -- "Bond, James Bond ... pick a card, any card ..." -- but Henry somehow manages to pull it off.
What a guy.
There's a nice article on Transformers on TFormers.com. It's a not-particularly-brilliant translation of an interview with Takara executive vice president Nobuyuki Okude (who's been with the company for 36 years!) published in the June 2002 issue of Hobby Japan.
Someone ought to tell the translator that "transformation cyborg" refers to the Henshin Cyborg line.
Some nifty nuggets:
I've created a new page on the site to showcase my digi-doodles. Rather than forcing my non-existent readership to suffer through Bravenet's pop-ups, I opted to create a thumbnail page right here on Tripod. So my non-existent readership willl be facing Tripod pop-ups instead. Heh.
By the bye, the thumbnails were generated by the incredible Irfanview. I had actually downloaded two thumbnail generator utilities before I checked out Pricelessware's homepage and found out Irfanview had a thumbnail page generator built-in.
From Roger Ebert's review of "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind":
Having been involved in a weekly television show myself, I know for a melancholy fact that there is just not enough time between tapings to fly off to Helsinki and kill for my government.
Here's one of the drawings I'm still working on sporadically. This is the Cobra Emperor, Serpentor, from the GI Joe: A Real American Hero series.
As much as I loved his introduction in the comic book, I think his toy card bio (which I assume like most GI Joe bios from the 80s was the work of Larry Hama) is nothing short of inspiring:
His eyes have seen the legions of Rome trample the Gauls and Nervii into the dust. His hand lifted the horse hair baton that signalled the first charge of the Carthagian armored elephant phalanx. His ears have heard the rattle of French cuirassiers on the streets of Moscow. But it is his mind we must fear the most. The thoughts of the Cobra Emperor have not drifted from global conquest since the reign of King Solomon ...
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Pass comments to tmwarwolf attitude at yahoo dot combut drop the attitude.
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