Friday, March 30, 2012

Impossible Flashbacks

Had a bit of minor surgery so I've been sitting at home not wanting to leave the house. Fortunately I planned ahead and picked up a couple of books and games on clearance to see me through the week of sulking. One of the games I picked up is Impossible Mission a remake of a sort of platform adventure game from 1984 that I played back then on the old Commodore 64.
The new version has identical game play to the original just with nicer graphics, it also comes with a clone of the original in all its 8bit graphical glory. I'm finding I prefer to play the crunchy graphical original version. Amid all the 80's retro montage flash backs, I came to the conclusion: It's still an awesome game.

In the game you have 6 hours to find 36 puzzle pieces in an underground, non-linear, complex of interconnected rooms and lifts, while avoiding electrified robots and holes in the floor. Every time you die you lose 10 Minuets. Different robots had different behaviours. Some are stationary, others move in patterns, and others chase the player. Some shoot electricity and others just try to crash in to you. Some have to see you first before they activate, while others know where you are all the time.

The puzzle pieces are assembled in nine groups of four, have three changeable colour variants that need to match and may need to be flipped vertically and or horizontally. Interlocking combinations of four overlap, so three pieces and significant angst may be assembled before you realise you're putting the wrong ones together.

What made it so good back then and still so good now? Partly because it was practically impossible! But mostly because of it's random nature unlike most other games on the market. The arrangement of the rooms and elevators, location of puzzle pieces, and behaviours of the robots are randomised each time you play so everything changes every time you play.

Modern games could learn a lot from an old game like this one, there's a reason for it's longevity and why it's been recoded over the years through fifteen different consoles/platforms. It's not about the pretty graphics its about the play and the challenge, quite a few too many games these days overlook that. I score it a retro 10/10.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cigarette Education

A 1931 educational booklet about cigarettes pubished by a cigarette company so you know it's the truth.

Remember: Cigarettes don't harm the undead.  Back in the late 1800s cigar smoke was one of the treatments for asthma.   These days  the most frequent source of fires leading to loss of lives in private homes are attributed to cigarettes.

The first anti-tobacco campain was by the Nazi party in Germany before the first world war, after German scientists discovered a link with lung cancer. Adolf Hitler was a heavy smoker in his early life but gave up the habit, concluding that it was a waste of money. In later years, Hitler viewed smoking as "decadent" and disapproved of the military personnel's freedom to smoke.  He was angered when a statue portraying a cigar-smoking Goring was commissioned. Adolf Hitler is often considered to be the first national leader to advocate nonsmoking, (although James VI and I of Scotland and England predated him by three hundred years).  So keep smoking or peoole will think you're a Nazi.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Plan 9 From Underpants

The second instalment of the three part Colin Mochrie vs. Jesus H. Christ animutation series by Andrew Kepple.  The music is "De Kabouterdans" (the lepricondance) from a Dutch kids TV show called Kabouter Plop (lepricorn plop ?). You can obtain the free MP3 of the music here if you like it that much.

The included "St3reo Vision" will actually work if you cross your eyes, but it may give you a headache.  That "Slap me round, Olsen clowns" line is going to be spinning in  your head for years.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Devolution of Art

Art Then:

Art Now:

Are you serious?! You have got to be kidding me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cake Threat

No, no!  We're saving that cake for the peasants when they run out of bread.

The "Let them eat cake" phrase is commonly misattributed to Marie Antoinette, but it was actually some other princess over 100 years before Antoinette was even born.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

All The Short Words

Remember when you were a kid and you played scrabble, and you haven't got any good letter combinations so you put down words like “Um” and “Ha” but your parents would tell you it's not a real word.  Well turns out they were cheating! There's over a hundred two letter words and they are all allowed under official international scrabble tournament rules.

This is how you cheat and get away with it next scrabble match. Here's the list of all the two letter words allowed in scrabble under international rules. The (+s) shows if you can just add an “s”

AA (+s) type of Hawaiian lava
AB (+s) short for Abdominal muscle
AD (+s) short for Advertisement
AE Scottish for one (also YAE)
AG (+s) short for Agriculture
AH (+s) express surprise or joy
AI (+s) Tupian for three-toed sloth
AL (+s) East Indian shrub (also AAL)
AM exist
AN indefinite article
AR (+s) letter ‘R’
AS (+s) Norse god
AT denoting place or time
AW expressing sympathy
AX chop or cut down (also AXE)
AY (+s) affirmative vote (also AYE)
BA (+s) ancient Egyptian soul
BE (+s) exist (BES Hebrew letter)
BI (+s) short for bisexual
BO (+s) pal or buddy
BY (+s) pass to the next round (also BYE)
CH dialectic ‘I’
DA (+s) heavy Burmese knife
DE from, as used in names
DI (+s) Latin for god (also DEI) (DIS dismiss or put down)
DO (+s) musical note
EA (+s) dial river
ED (+s) short for education
EE Scottish for eye (also EEN)
EF (+s) letter ‘F’
EH (+s) say 'eh'
EL (+s) letter ‘L’
EM (+s) letter ‘M’
EN (+s) letter ‘N’
ER (+s) expressing hesitation (ERS bitter)
ES (+s) letter ‘S’ (also ESS)
ET short for eat
EX cross out
FA (+s) musical note (also FAH)
FE (+s) Hebrew letter (also FEH)
FY expressing reproach
GI (+s) martial arts uniform
GO (+s) move
GU (+s) old Shetland violin (also GUE GJU)
HA (+s) expressing surprise
HE (+s) male
HI (+s) calling attention
HM expressing hesitation (also HMM)
HO (+s) halt (also HOH HOA)
ID (+s) self
IF (+s) condition
IN (+s) gather in harvest
IO (+s) cry expressing triumph
IS exist
IT (+s) neuter of he, she, him, or her
JA German for yes
JO Scottish for loved one
KA (+s) serve (also KAE)
KI (+s) Japanese martial art spirit
KO (+s) Maori digging-stick
KY cattle
LA (+s) musical note (also LAH)
LI (+s) Chinese unit of distance
LO (+s) see or look (LOS arch expressing praise)
MA (+s) mother
ME (+s) musical note (also MI)
MI (+s) musical note (also ME)
MM expressing agreement
MO (+s) short for moment
MU (+s) Greek letter
MY belonging to me
NA (+s) Scottish no, not at all (NAS has not, or was not)
NE born with the name of
NO (+s) negative response
NU (+s) Greek letter
NY (+s) approach (also NYE NIE)
OB (+s) short for objection
OD (+s) mystical force
OE (+s) Scottish for grandchild (also OY OYE)
OF belonging to
OH (+s) express surprise
OI attracting attention
OM (+s) intoned Hindu symbol
ON (+s) go on with
OO (+s) Scot wool
OP (+s) short for operation
OR (+s) heraldic colour, gold
OS Latin for bone
OU (+s) South African for bloke
OW expressing pain
OX bovine animal, clumsy person
OY (+s) Scottish for grandchild (also OE OYE)
PA (+s) father
PE (+s) Hebrew letter (also PEH)
PI (+s) Greek letter, confuse (also PIE PYE)
PO (+s) short for chamberpot
QI (+s) Chinese physical life-force
RE (+s) musical note
SH requesting silence (also SHA SHH)
SI (+s) musical note
SO (+s) musical note (also SOH SOL)
ST requesting silence
TA (+s) expression of thanks
TE (+s) musical note (also TI)
TI (+s) musical note (also TE)
TO in the direction of
UG (+s) dread or loathe
UH expressing surprise
UM expressing doubt or hesitation (also UMM)
UN (+s) dial one
UP (+s) move up
UR expressing hesitation
US we
UT (+s) musical note
WE group that includes me
WO (+s) misery (also WOE)
XI (+s) Greek letter
XU Vietnamese money
YA you
YE (+s) arch you
YO (+s) call for attention
YU (+s) Chinese for precious jade
ZA (+s) short for pizza
ZO (+s) Tibetan yak (also DZO ZHO DZHO DSO)

See with these short words, getting rid of that difficult letter tile is now easy and you can argue your word with confidence and if they dispute your claim you can tell them to go Funk and Wagnalls.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Carry On Card Games

I have no idea what this LP is called nor who sings on it.  But it's awesome.


The kid reminds me of that old camp English comic actor Kenneth Williams.

Kenneth Williams had an impressive career consisting of 41 films, 22 televison programs, 17 stage plays, 13 radio shows, 6 books and 2 music albums.  Williams became good friends with playwright Joe Orton and had holidays with both Orton and Kenneth Halliwell in Morocco untill the day after he sold Halliwell a hammer.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Mmmm for Mos

A Mos Burger just opened up down the road from me. Hurrah! It's one of the few fast food places that has something decent on the menu that I can actually eat (the rice burger). Mos Burger bills themselves as the most popular burger place in Japan. Most of their menu also seems much healthier than anything sold at the other burger franchises around.

Several months ago someone took me to try a rice burger at the first Mos Burger restaurant to open in Australia and I found it very good. The rice paddies are made from rice pressed into shape.  The rice burgers are not that big, so my plan thus far has been to buy two at a time.  The plan is working well.