Interesting links for October 18th through October 28th:

  • Hot Cold Openings – Interesting blog post from Jane Espenson (writer on Buffy, Battlestar) about the pilot openings from tv shows and how they set the tone and atmosphere of the entire series. She gives examples from famous TV shows, like Cheers, Battlestar Galactica and (of course) Buffy.
  • TOKYOMANGO: Hair product that makes men cool & wet & wild – I love the names of these Japanese hair gels: Wild Shake, Loose Shuffle, Nuance Motion, Air Rise. Just wondering what the difference of the effect of each of them is.
  • An open letter to Apple regarding dead hobo fingers – Funny post from the Blogess about why she can't use her iPhone.
  • Exclusive: Heroes Star Brea Grant Talks About Her Speed Addiction – Interview with the new Heroes character Daphne (the Speedster as Hiro likes to call her).
  • 50 Beautiful Movie Posters – Cool collection of pretty movie posters. Some of the usual suspects are in between them, but there are also some that I'd never seen before. It's also great that the list consists of beautiful posters, disregarding the popularity/success/badness of the movie. Some terrible movies have super posters, which is such a shame, cause no one is gonna hang up a poster for a movie they didn't like.

Halloween is the one holiday I love, but never really got to experience. Both in Australia and the Netherlands it’s not an actual holiday. The closest I got to a “real” Halloween was a birthday party on the 31st of October which had a Halloween theme. Trick or Treating, pumpkin carving, etc… never experienced that. I also don’t think there’s a real Halloween spirit here in the UK (or is there? enlighten me please, in case I’m wrong). Instead I’m holding my own Halloween party here on my blog for the next 5 days. Hence the name: 5 Days of Halloween.

I thought I’d start with 5 movies that scared me. Not all of these are actually Halloween themed movies or even horror movies what that concerns. They are all movies though that scared me after watching them for the first time.

1. The Ring

This still creeps me out now and then. My parents have a small tv in the attic and whenever I have to get something there when it’s dark I start imagining Samara, the creepy girl, crawling out of the TV.

2. The Time Machine

I know, I know, not really a film that’s scary, right? But I saw it when I was 8 (the old version not the Guy Pearce one) and I have a vivid imagination. For days, I wouldn’t sleep on my side (only on my back), cause I was scared whenever I turned a Morlock would be lying behind me.

3. Requiem for a Dream

Again not really a scary movie and I’m not sure ‘scared’ would be how I described my feelings afterwards. I was left completely disturbed by it though.

4. Saw

My brother had seen this before me and for some weird reason (I really have no freaking idea why) I thought this was a Japanese movie. Not a remake, mind you, I thought it was a full-blown Japanese speaking, Japanese actors movie. Ehm, yeah, so I was kind of surprised when it wasn’t. Anyhow the Jigsaw Killer and that disturbing puppet stayed in my mind for some time.

5. Hannibal

So I didn’t actually get scared from this movie, but from it’s poster. Back in high school, I covered one entire wall of my room with small magazine sized movie posters. In the upper most right corner I had the poster of Hannibal (the sequel to Silence of the Lambs). After a couple of days though I had to take it down and replace it with something else (the Blade poster, which btw took me ages to see what the background actually was. I always though it was just random mist hovering there). Now wouldn’t you be creeped out by seeing this just before you go to sleep:

So any movies that left you completely scared?

These smiley coffee cups from Studio Psyho (and no that’s not a typo, it’s not meant to be Psycho) are just so much fun:

 

 

Can you imagine waking up to a cup of such smiley goodness?

[Via Why Me?]

Operation: Sleeper Cell

Games October 22nd, 2008

About a year ago there was a contest called ‘Let’s Change The Game‘, where teams had to submit their ideas on how to design an Alternate Reality Game to help cancer research. The team that won would get money and help from the best ARG designers in the world to implement their design. Operation: Sleeper Cell is the game the winners came up with.

In Operation: Sleeper Cell you are an Agent for The Agency, a secret organisation dedicated to making the world a better place. After registering you can try to solve missions that others have already unlocked. Some of these missions can be online puzzles, for which you have to find the answer. Here’s one example:

Tuesday, 7:45pm. Through delicate contacts (the frail man in the fish section of the local supermarket) I’d managed to arrange a secret meeting with a contact who claimed to have inside information on E.V.I.L’s current status. And here we are, me and my contact “Rachelle” sitting opposite me in this quiet multicultural restaurant just down the road from my flat. Problem is, I noticed on my way in that one of the chefs has changed just for tonight, and so has the usual menu. I can’t help thinking that one of the items is out of place, but my six European languages are not what they used to be.

The menu reads:

1. Smazené Zampióny
2. Caracoles con Queso

3. Filet de Poisson du Jour
4. Fettucine alla Boscaiola
5. Homard Froid Ostendaise

6. Schokolade-Gift-Torte

7. Lepeshka s Medom 

Before I order for us both, is there anything I should avoid? Enter the full name of the dish.

Other missions can be “real life” assignments like going to a Cancer UK 10K run dressed as a spy or recreating a James Bond scene with friends, stuffed animals, lego or anything else you can come up with. Besides these already unlocked missions, every week some locked missions are released. These can only be unlocked if you donate or raise money to “buy” these missions. The person or team (after registering you can join a team and play with your friends) that bought the mission has a 12 hour head start to solving that mission.

I’ve been playing now for more than three weeks and it’s been great fun. It’s surprising how the missions can be simple and difficult for different people. There were some puzzles I was stuck at for ages, that others got in one go, and yet other puzzles that I found easy that others couldn’t figure out. 

If you want to play too, just go to the Operation: Sleeper Cell website and register as an Agent. There will still be six more weeks of missions and it won’t be too much trouble to catch up with all the already unlocked missions. I’m playing under MissGeeky for Team Marsh-Ayre Mob (the We Tell Stories survivors). Even if you don’t want to play, how about sponsoring me and donate some money to cancer research? Just go to this link and follow the instructions.

Episode 88: “How bouta kiss?”

I love the Super Mario games. They were the first real console games I ever played. I still have my trustworthy little NES (plus the Duck Hunt gun) and it’s something I’ll never sell or give away.

This clip just made me laugh out loud:

[See post to watch video]

I got a ticket to Playful today and it’s one event I’m really looking forward to. To quote the Playful website:

Playful is a one-day event all about games and play – in all their manifestations, throughout the contemporary media landscape. The event aims to promote lively debate on the nature of games: what they mean to different people – both inside and outside the industry.

Besides the ‘traditional’ area of video games, there are also so many other forms of games out there. Board games, alternate reality games, social party games (like Werewolf), there are lots of people designing these games and even more playing them. The Playful event brings key practitioners from all of these different game areas together, exploring how to make the games medium more meaningful to more people.

Just check out the speakers list, it will show the variety of all the different backgrounds and fields of the participants. I’m very curious to see Eric Clough‘s presentation. Remember the Mystery on Fifth Avenue, the New York apartment that had a game hidden within it’s architecture? Clough was the main brains behind that. Two other speakers I also look forward to seeing are Adrian and Dan Hon, the guys behind Perplex City and We Tell Stories. I loved playing those games, so I’d like to hear more about the design behind them. These three are only a glimpse of the great lineup of speakers that are confirmed for Playful

So when, where, how, you ask? Here are all the details:

When: Friday October 31st
Where: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London [map]
Price: £25 (Buy Ticket)
Speakers: current confirmed speakers

Check out the Playful website and be sure to buy a ticket, if you plan on going.

In my blog post the other day about my week of madness, I mentioned the launch from 3 of the Sony Ericsson W595. And this is my write-up about that evening; an actual review of the W595 will follow some time later (once I’ve actually sat down with it and tried all the features out).

I wasn’t planning on going to it first, because it was arranged the same day as the London Blogger’s Meetup (and the Girl Geek Dinner Superstruct event, which I also had to miss). Luckily for me it was rescheduled to one week later: the same day though as the Mini GeekDinner and the day my parents arrived in town. Anyhow, I managed to get to the launch nicely on time, despite all the other events happening too.

I was invited by the PR guys from 3mobilebuzz, whom I had previously met during some other events. Besides me, there were 3 other bloggers (2 of which I also had met before): Anthony from Fresh Plastic, Abul from adonismobile and Ben from Mobile Industry Review. The rest of the guests were (to be honest I’m guessing here, cause I didn’t actually talk to any of them) all actual, traditional press. That’s a first for me; I mean, I’ve been previously invited to special bloggers events, but nothing along side normal media. 

The whole event revolved around the W595′s ability to upload videos directly to YouTube. To make it a bit more ‘special’, it was all about creating scary videos, giving the event a Halloween type of atmosphere. It helped that it was held at the Holy Trinity church at No 1 Marylebone (opposite Great Portland Street tube station); inside (even without the extra props) it’s pretty creepy. Next to that, there were some scary characters walking around: a vampire, a ghost/white lady, and some paranormal investigators. Ooh, and we were served The Dark Side cocktails with blueberry and vodka. Yumm!

 

It all was pretty elaborate, in a cheesy, but likable sort of way. The event was split into two bits: First each guest got a personal hands-on demonstration from one of the paranormal investigators in how to make a ghost video with the W595. Because we were guests of guests though, we weren’t on the list and weren’t allowed to try out the W595 (because of time constraints). 

The second part consisted of The Darkside Pod, an abandoned, rusty lift shaft. In groups of 2 or 3, you had to go sit in it and scary things would happen to you. What I didn’t know at the time though (must have missed it during the explanation) was that we were being recorded. Oops. We were giggling through out it, talking about how non-scary it was (I think one of us might have called it ‘lame’ at one point). Some of the funniest reactions are now on YouTube, like this one:

Last but not least, we all got a very cool goody bag. The main coolness goody: the W595. Sweet! It was bit weird though, cause during the whole evening we hadn’t even been able to see it, and then we’re allowed to bring one home. I’ll be doing a review some time next week (thinking of a video review, what say you, dear readers?), but I’m really loving this phone at the moment. Then again the one that I was using (also a Sony Ericsson) was already 2.5 years old, so anything new compared to that one looks good.

All in all, it was a fun event and an interesting way to launch a product. Thanks to 3, Sony Ericsson and the guys at 3mobilebuzz for inviting me!

Episode 87: “I have Google Maps”

I don’t always find all the College Humor videos funny, but this one is pretty good:

If All Movies Had Cell Phones from CollegeHumor.com

I love the Labyrinth one! Can you imagine how other movies might be if they had cellphones in them?

[Via Geeks Are Sexy]

Blog Action Day: Poverty

Other October 15th, 2008

I wasn’t planning on blogging four times today, but I thought I should join in this global blogger’s effort. Today is Blog Action Day – a day where bloggers unite to discuss, raise awareness and initiate action in one issue: poverty.

I’ve never experienced real poverty and I’m guessing most readers on my blog won’t have either. And it’s so easy to forget just how lucky we are. I already couldn’t imagine a life without my computer, let alone the more vital aspects of life, like food and clothing. And yet there are thousands of people living in these type of circumstances. 

So what can I (and you) do to make a difference? For starters, spread the word. Talk about this Blog Action Day and see how many people you can reach. Secondly, donate. How about lending money on Kiva.org? Kiva is a great way to help entrepreneurs in developing areas raise money for their projects and helping them build and improve their community.  

I also want to mention Skellie’s blog post here. Besides it being a great post with 30 simple things you can do today to battle poverty, she’ll be donating 5 cents to Kiva.org for every visitor today. So head on over to her blog post!

One last thing: if you’re a blogger, have you already blogged about Blog Action Day?

When I saw this ladder, I immediately thought I should hang over the side of the dock and make a couple of shots. I didn’t expect it to look this dreamy though!

Descent

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