This was The Big Holiday ‘round these parts, and we did absolutely nothing for four days. It was glorious. We only ventured out for food and coffee, and quickly retreated back to our cave. So we avoided Black Friday entirely, and escaped with only the minor trauma of seeing every tenth car drive by with a Christmas tree strapped to the top.*

We’ve got a new game addiction; Viva Piñata. It’s a strangely compelling and tooth-achingly cute resource management game. Many of R:tAG’s co-workers are also hooked, and the diabolical cunning of the Xbox 360 designers means that you can judge your score/level against your friends’. So that’s been on the TV a lot. Another new(ish) fave is Taiko Master, from the fine folks who brought you Katamari Damacy. It’s J-pop weirdness, but you get to drum along to the overture to “Carmen” which is worth the price of the game right there.

To continue the last post’s theme, I’m also on the last stretch of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. I really, really, really like it. It’s very crunchy sci-fi; lots of physics, geology, biochemistry and economics but what I really like is how he writes about the future of the interaction of different human cultures. He doesn’t just assume assimilation into some Star-Trek-like “Terran” monoculture.** His characters are also complex and well-drawn. Good stuff.

Miscellaneous Linkage:

Monkey Dress - EEEEEEEEEEE! (a terrified shriek, not an excited squeal. This is terrifying.)

The Funniest - A constantly changing list of images currently voted “The Funniest.” Really, if you click on only one link on this page, make it this one. You can vote too!

Complainers of the World, Unite! - Hee!

Timing Is Everything
– Cool photos!

Gravity is for suckers!

Do you deserve your high school diploma? - I’m only including this to boast about the fact that I got 97%, of course (and the one question I got wrong was tricksy, precious, tricksy!).

* Like, for transport home. Not upright and decorated, which would have only been slightly weirder. Putting your tree up a month ahead of time seems to be the custom here, and I am baffled. Wouldn’t a real tree put up on November 25 be just a bare dry stick come Christmas? Is that festive?

** I also really recommend his “The Years of Rice and Salt” if you like alternate history stories, which I do. The premise is that plague wiped out 99.9% of Europe in the Middle Ages, and shows history without white people. Fascinating.


  1. rilla said...

    Oh. My.

    1) The Gravity is for suckers movie is amazing and I only watched twelve seconds of it because I'm feeling guilty about watching YouTube at work.

    2) The best picture in the funniest picture site, is by far the one labelled: AWESOME. Right now it's number 12. I want that poster for my house. Even though I know it's fictitious.  

  2. Carl Norum said...

    I like Kim Stanley Robinson too, though his new series is leaving me a bit flat. I think the first one is called "40 years of rain", somthing like that. Anyway, I don't even know if the second one is out yet, so I guess that means I don't care very much =). Check out "The Martians" though, it's a nice companion volume to the mars trilogy.  

  3. Terry said...

    Hmm... I got 97% and I'm proud to say the only one I got wrong was the "According to Catholicism, does the Immaculate Conception refer to the conception of Jesus or Mary?" which was painfully obvious in hindsight, but it was a religious question, so I just guessed. (I don't remember learning anything about Jesus or Mary in high school...)

    What was the one that tripped you up?  

  4. Carl Norum said...

    40 signs of rain.  

  5. Amy said...

    Rilla: That was one of my favourites too, but I think the best one was the "Find X." I'm laughing just thinking about it.

    Carl: I think I still have your copy of "The Years of Rice and Salt," actually. When you help me with my iPod I'll give it back. :)

    Terry: Heathen! :) I got that one right; I missed the one about Iran being an Arab state. I should have guessed just from the fact that they were asking it.  

  6. Carl Norum said...

    I aced the test - there are some trick questions on there. Thanks for reminding me about the book, Amy.  

  7. cenobyte said...

    It can't be that best of a test because I got the same score and I don't think I knew half of that crap in high school.

    I got the Iran/Arab country question wrong too. Huh. I think I must have had the brain cell after you were finished with it.  

  8. cenobyte said...

    Oh, btw, I only mention the 'best' thing because I was watching television tonight, and a Highly Edumacated Individual said something really really stupid like "It's not as best as we can do..."  


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