So I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was killed yesterday by a stingray while filming a documentary. If you hadn’t somehow, now you have. I suppose everyone kind of expected him to get mauled by a crocodile or something one day but it’s still a shock when it happened, but at least he had the fortune to die doing what he loved most.
What’s made this strike close to home for me is that he was diving off Port Douglas in Queensland when it happened, which is exactly what I was doing almost three weeks ago. Admittedly I wasn’t provoking dangerous animals for the purpose of entertainment, but it’s a humbling idea that nature isn’t all cuddly and friendly and this could happen to anyone. Just sad that it happened to such a fun guy who did so much good work (both on TV and in conservation) and had a young family. One day after Australian Father’s Day, no less.
I guess you never know how well-liked someone really is until they die. Irwin’s always been popular but there’s just been a mass outpouring of grief. It’s been the banner headline on the CNN and Fox News sites for the past two days, a treatment that’s generally reserved for the Hollywood glitterati and major world leaders. Speaking to friends in Australia, it’s like they’ve lost a national hero which, in a way, they have.
Rest in peace, mate.
This made me laugh. The nominations for the 24th annual Golden Joystick awards are open and us gamers can show how democratic we are by voting for our favourite games of the year. The esteemed UK Resistance (militant Sega fanboys who still resent Sony – see here and here – for murdering the Dreamcast, for those who aren’t in the know) are calling for everyone to vote for 50 Cent: Bulletproof so that the developers have to go and collect their award and get publicly humiliated on TV.
Naturally this will also lead to nobody making any more stupid urban “gangsta” games, so we all win. Do it now.
Hooray! The biggest sporting event in the world is underway and I now have at least 96 hours of football (the real one; not armoured rugby) to watch over the next month. I’m one of the 1.8 billion people watching Germany play Costa Rica at the moment (2-1 to Germany with 35 minutes played at the moment) and I’ll be switching over to Poland/Ecuador in a couple of hours. The real moment of truth for me will be tomorrow when England play Paraguay.
Either way don’t expect me to talk about too much else in the meantime. It’s not like there’s much to play at the moment, and even so I’d be dropping everything for this. Maybe I can hold a controller as I watch and pretend that it’s next-gen Pro Evo.
Anyway, in my experience it seems that even in countries where football is the meaning of life, gamers are generally one of the more apathetic groups towards it. So is anyone else out there planning on watching all that they can, just watching their team, or avoiding it like the plague? Being American is no excuse.
I’ve got a decent TV, a decent DVD player, and decent cables connecting everything into it, but the slightly incongruous link is my sound system, an Interact DSS-900, which has served me well enough for a few years but just isn’t that great. It only cost me as much as three of the digital coaxial cables that I use though, so I suppose it’s been good value.
It’s been loud enough to annoy my parents on a regular basis (late night Call of Duty 2 is a particular sore point) but it only supports Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II which has left DTS on DVDs inaccessible and it doesn’t have a remote which means that even with my lovely Harmony I have to get up to turn it off with the rest of the system unless I want a low hum 24/7.
Anyway, with a student loan to blow I decided it was time for an upgrade, so I went for the Logitech Z-5400. It has a remote and supports DTS which is two of the criteria down immediately, it’s more powerful and so can keep family members awake even more effectively, and it has support for seven devices at once (up from three) while negating the need to flick an optical/coaxial switch hidden away on the back when I want to change between DVD and 360. At a shade under £150 I’d say it’s even better value than the £100 spent on the old one, and just look at the white-on-black LCD. Look at it. That’s worth the money alone. Continue reading Logitech Z-5400
I had to laugh at this. Isaac Hayes has quit his role as Chef in South Park because he objected to the “intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs” of the show.
That’s fair enough, but he didn’t have a problem with the jokes about Christians and Muslims, or the jokes at the expense of Kyle’s Judaism in pretty much every episode, but only decided to quit when the show inevitably turned its sights on his own religion, Scientology. With Tom Cruise’s well-publicised descent into madness continuing it was only a matter of time. Matt Stone put it best:
“[We] never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.”
Hypocrites can suck on my (white) chocolate salty balls.
I picked up the second season of Deadwood on DVD yesterday, and I have to say that I think this is one of the finest shows on TV at the moment. I don’t get to watch it until it comes out on DVD because it’s shown here on satellite, but I’m not bothered because I love DVD as a medium for TV shows.
I’m always up for a good western, preferring the more gritty ones like Unforgiven to the older, more quixotic ones, and Deadwood does nothing if not fall into that bracket. I’m not entirely convinced that conversation in the real Old West was quite as populated with “fucks” and “cocksuckers” as it is in Deadwood, but the setting is still remarkably authentic. The characters are similarly believable, all painted in varying shades of grey and subject to their own numerous vices. If you haven’t seen it and like westerns at all, definitely check it out.
The show is obviously a western but often seems to turn into something of a political series, as much of the storyline is based on the struggle for power and wealth in a soon-to-be-but-not-quite legitimate frontier town, complete with the necessary negotiations and murders that this entails, usually with an especially gruesome method of disposal. Even though HBO DVDs never seem to drop in price, the first season is still readily available and worth every penny.
Now I just want to see HBO’s Pacific War miniseries. It’s the spiritual follow up to Band of Brothers, which probably is the finest thing ever to be on TV.