Testament : Akedah

10/22/06 | by Nimble | Categories: Books, Fiction, Religion

Link: http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=5387

DC's Vertigo line is a pretty reliable source of intriguing, dark, mythology-based graphic novels. Douglas Rushkoff and Liam Sharp's Testament is no exception.

The approach is intriguing. The landscape is a 'twenty minutes into the future' type take, the world we know now tipped significantly more into authoritarianism for the sake of safety, taking concepts like RFID to almost ridiculous extremes. The timeline slips back and forth between ancient times and modern times, but the Biblical stories, such as they are, are not taken to be the source of authority for authorities and preachers, but rather from the point of view of the modern-day "Hebrew slaves".

The deities of the time, Jehovah, Moloch, Astarte, are shown outside the frames, occasionally with the mortal world shown as cubes. Old Testament stories and predicaments of the more modern setting of the graphic novel are set side-by-side in an intriguing manner. Like the story of Isaac and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Vertigo has the first chapter online free for viewing.

It's an interesting series so far; I'm looking forward to the next trade paperback to arrive. It looks like it is going to be part Biblical allegory, part... cyberpunk?


A car programme for those who don't like car programmes

10/22/06 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube

Link: http://www.topgear.com/

When I lived in the UK, "Top Gear" was a very traditional motoring show. They reviewed new cars, discussed their mechanical systems, looked at motorsports, and ended up being extremely boring. Take, for example, this review of the Sierra Cosworth from 1989. Dull, isn't it.

At some point in the last few years, the show got a makeover. While it's still a motoring show at its core, it's a pretty irreverent one. Wandering through the YouTube archives (it's not broadcast over here), you can find full-size remote control car racing, a comparison of a Range Rover and a Challenger 2 Tank, a game of Car Darts, the attempted destruction of a Toyota HiLux pickup, 30 mph headon collision tests of sub-100 quid cars, a used van test that included an evaluation of bank-robber getaway potential and, well, rather a lot more.

Definitely worth a look.


Escape From the Entropic Provider

10/19/06 | by Nimble | Categories: Announcements [A]

Nimblebrain has at last found a new home.

With quota problems and some troubles generating downloadable backups before we went on holiday, to the hacking after we came back that apparently lost all the backups, too, to a DNS problem that went unresolved for a week or more, I'd had enough.

I can say very little about web hosting company mergers that hasn't been said by many before me, but add this case study to the pile.

Full story »


Tauren Plushie

10/19/06 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=111304.0

For a homemade toy, this tauren shammy plushie is quite amazing. I've not been into stuffed animals for years and even I want one!



10/19/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2006/10/19/desktop_accessories.html

I don't really have much to add to this entry by "Rands" except "Yup" to all points raised. If you work with computers for a living, go read.


The web is forever... (kinda)

10/19/06 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Copyright

A few years ago -- 2003 to be precise -- I wrote up an article on ripping DRM'd CDs to MP3 and stuck it on my website. I updated it a bit last year and then forgot about it. Today, the feedback mechanism on the site produced this:

Just wanted to say thank you Adam.

When you go through the trouble of spending $20 a cd to rip it for your ipod, you expect the studio would treat a customer with respect… Well they don’t. When attempting to rip Delerium Chimera, I too couldn't at first. After trying several diff ways, I finally came across your article and used the freeware Audiograbber. Works like a charm, as if the protection wasn’t even there. Next time when I see that little c in the graphic, I'll think twice about spending my $$$ on the cd...

Alrighty! Score one for the good guys.

I periodically think about pulling much of the old content down as I'm really not maintaining it, but sometimes even old information has value. Besides, it's easier to just leave it there in stasis.


Referrer searches

10/19/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly

The Nimblebrain blog logs referrer details, including the search string used to get here. Usually they're pretty mundane ("nimblebrain", "ritchie blog") but sometimes they're just odd. Some examples, in no particular order or importance:

alternative cheese to use if you can't get Kefalotiri
"yak roast" recipe
THE CHINESE Mask of Hebu
jamie oliver cookware
"crib wars"
hostdime blank
russia black "pet fox"
aye song mp3 suaheli

One, "dilbert kevorkian disconnect", I can actually place but I can't think what connection it has to the site. Maybe Ritchie wrote something about annoying support desks at one point. Update: Ah, he did.


The birth of the iPod

10/18/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.wired.com/news/columns/cultofmac/0,71956-0.html?tw=wn_index_11

Leander Kahney over at Wired News has put up a great article on the development of the iPod. What stood out at me is how much of the original design was licensed or purchased from third parties. This isn't a slam on Apple; I'm always impressed when people figure out how to use off-the-shelf components and software to produce something significantly better than their competition.


The Cognoscenti Attack

10/17/06 | by Adam | Categories: Macintosh

Link: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2006/october#sun-15-bodine

Having recently moved to the Macintosh from a long sojurn on Windows after the Amiga imploded, I've been following Mac-related weblogs. Generally I find personal computer blogs a good way of tracking down tip and tricks to make the systems more comfortable to use. Daring Fireball is one of the more interesting and informative Macintosh sites.

Alas, this is where something that I've seen pop up in other fanboi discussion areas crops up. There's an assumption that since you know something, everyone else should, and any implication or demonstration to the contrary is evidence that he's just "A Lousy Person" (TM). I saw it on the Amiga on BBSes and IRC, I saw in on the PC, I see it on Linux support forums, and yup, here it is present in the Mac world too.

Full story »


Odd disclaimers

10/17/06 | by Adam | Categories: Games

Link: http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=0665000FS10075540&catid=11124&PCName=Games%5FFuture%5FReleases%5FPC&logon=&langid=EN

While looking at upcoming game releases on the Future Shop website, I took a look at "Alan Wake" and happened to notice the disclaimer at the bottom. It reads:

*Please Note: System Requirements Not Available. Future Shop is not liable for soiled undergarments or weak knees caused by this game.

That's just a little odd.


Another Need For Speed

10/17/06 | by Adam | Categories: Games

Link: http://www.ea.com/nfs/carbon/us/home.jsp

Oh, look, another version of Need For Speed. Prettier graphics for sure, but I wonder if they've made the multi-player part of it worthwhile yet.

I doubt it.


The God Delusion : Richard Dawkins

10/17/06 | by Nimble | Categories: Reviews, Books, Religion, Science

Link: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.ca%2FGod-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins%2Fdp%2F0618680004%2F&tag=thecerealkill-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=15121&creative=330641

I think it's a sign of the times that the number of books professing frustration with religion are on the rise.

In Dawkin's case, the times are ripe for a book like this. As an evolutionary theory promoter, he has witnessed galling inroads of attempts to throw out evidence-based science, particularly evolutionary theory, in classrooms. He has been heavily quote-mined (e.g. here) by the sorts of people promoting this Trojan Horse. Radical well-funded fundamentalist Islamist sects have taken the world stage with violence, and many developed nations have reacted with their own fundamentalist rise.

I suppose it's also a sign of the times that at the time of this writing, this book is the number one best seller on Amazon Canada, and at a mere number seven south of the border.

So what has Dawkins to say in this small tome, this time focusing on religion?

Full story »


Gritty Canadian Forces Ad

10/17/06 | by Nimble | Categories: Distractions, Thoughts, Politics

Link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=r_6vK_JSSTo

This ad for the Canadian Forces has been showing up on television of late.

I must say that the approach is intriguing. It's gritty, it's unglamorous, and it's tense, both in music, visuals and themes. One scene, if I don't miss my guess, even flashes by a homemade nail grenade, obviously not military issue. The forces are shown sneaking around buildings, throwing a flashbang into a room, rendezvousing quietly by boat, skydiving into an area, helping scared, injured and hungry people. The background noises sound like some of the creepier scenes in Half-Life 2.

The YouTube version of this is three and a half minutes long, which doesn't get the point across nearly as quickly as the television spot, but you get the general idea.

Apparently, recruitment is up in response to this, so the campaign seems to be working.

I'm glad we're stepping up our commitments in Afghanistan, though it does leave us more of an international target, in general.

CBC has some pretty good pages on Canadians' involvement in Afghanistan.


Rest in Peace, sweet People Eater!

10/14/06 | by dena | Categories: Announcements

I loved my Mazda.

Purple People Eater


It is the end of an era-- the Purple People Eater is finished and is just now a donation to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Full story »


Album cover wars

10/13/06 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Silly

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP83IrERdP4&eurl=

This decidedly untame animation pits record album covers against each other. Sounds wierd? Well, yes, but it's quite funny. Enjoy a new internet fad in the making!


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