Being a Dutch-Australian living in the UK, means I’m not that acquainted with the whole Thanksgiving shebang and I certainly didn’t know much about “Black Friday“. So I did a bit of wikipedia-ing for all the non-USers out there: Black Friday is the friday after Thanksgiving and is basically the un-official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Because it is the “busiest” shopping day of the year (it isn’t, but that’s beside the point), a lot of retailers hold special sales and deals to attract customers to their stores.
And one of them is the Apple Store. The great thing though is that it’s not only US based; every single Apple Store has a special sale going on for that one day (today) only. And they’ve got some cool deals going on:
I’m tempted to get a shiny new MacBook, but I’ll have to wait a couple more months until I get the money for that.
By now you should know my addiction to Threadless T-shirts. They have some of the cutest/weirdest/geekiest tees out there. Ever since I bought my first one 1.5 year ago, I’ve been wanting to get more. So far I’ve got 6 tees myself and have bought 6 tees for other people (they make great Christmas presents).
So why this post? Threadless has another sale going on! And this time tees are going for $15, $10 and even only $5. Now that’s a bargain! Here are some of my favourite tees:
The Food Chain:
Well, This Just Really Sucks…:
The Sound of Colour:
Infamous Mishaps Throughout History:
So head on over to Threadless to get yourself some brilliant T-shirts!
I’ve been a bit slacking with uploading photos lately, so here are a couple of older ones.
The Eurostar arrival terminal at St Pancras has this great little stairs right above it’s entrance. We were calling out to Reinier and it was funny seeing him look around trying to find us. Loving the DOF in this photo.
Except for making it black/white, this one is exactly as it came out of the camera. Pretty cool, although I did take it sneakily (with my camera on chest level, without it looking like I was taking a photo). Sometimes I don’t have the confidence completely yet to just take a photo; I’m scared that it’s noticeable and loose the obliviousness of the people.
This one I took during our trip to Dorset back in August. I love how sharp the bird is; although I think you can only appreciate it seeing full size.
Buy the Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock T-Shirt!
See more Rock, Paper, Lizard, Scissors, Spock T-Shirts!
I’m still not completely sure what I think of the sit-com The Big Bang Theory. For those who don’t know this TV series, it’s about two nerdy, geeky housemates and the pretty but slightly dumb blonde who moves in across the hall from them. On one side it’s aiming very much to the geek crowd, with insider jokes only geeks will understand. On the other side though it features stereotypical geeks and makes fun of them.
All that aside, in this week’s episode Sheldon explains the rules to Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock, a variation of the known game Rock, Paper, Scissors:
Apparently it’s been around for some time already (invented by Sam Kass), and has been floating around as a internet meme. Here are the rules one more time:
It can be even more elaborate though; check this version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Gun, Dynamite, Nuke, Lightning, Devil, Dragon, Alien, Water, Bowl, Air, Moon, Sponge, Wolf, Cockroach, Tree, Man, Woman, Monkey, Snake, Axe, Fire, Sun.
Episode 91: “The panic on Wall Street has now reached Main Street”
Natalie Portman and Rashida Jones have the perfect solution to the financial crisis:
See more Natalie Portman videos at Funny or Die
[If the video doesn't load here, watch it on FunnyOrDie]
Interesting links for November 16th through November 20th:
- Map Plates – These procelain plates in the shape of countries look cool, but am I the only to notice that they're leaving countries out? Where's the Netherlands? And Belgium? And Austria isn't *that* big!
- The Twilight Zone – A Vanity Fair article about the hype around Twilight, the vampire books by Stephanie Meyer (and the soon to be released movie adaption). I've been puzzled by the Twilight fans for some time now; while I haven't read the books, they truly seem just like a bad rip-off of countless other (older) stories (LJ Smith anyone?).
- 10 Things You Need To Know About WordPress 2.7 – WordPress is again getting a major update, this time with a lot of user interface changes. This is a useful post on the key differences between 2.7 and 2.6.
- A Q&A With Sound Master Ben Burtt – Interesting interview with Ben Burtt, the genius behind the sounds of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and more recently Wall-E.
This is a cool meme I found on the Ramblings on Romance blog. The rules:
1. Comment on this post and ask for a letter.
2. I will give you one.
3. Think of 5 fictional characters whose names begin with that letter, and post their names and your comments on these characters on your blog.
My letter, courtesy of Kristie (from the above blog) was M. The M for Miss Geeky, the M for Melinda. Shouldn’t be that difficult, right? Strangely enough though, it was. The moment I had to start thinking of characters my mind completely blanked. Finally though after a couple weeks of thinking I’ve got my 5 characters:
Mary-Lynette Carter from Daughters of Darkness
This was one of my favourite characters from LJ Smith’s young adult Night World series. Mary-Lynette is a 16 year old girl from a small town with dreams about becoming an astronomer. And then Ash Redfern comes to town. He’s got ash blonde hair, mysterious eyes, gorgeous features and he’s a vampire. Oh, and Mary-Lynette is his soulmate. Instead of succumbing completely to him though, Mary-Lynette refuses to become a vampire herself and give up her dreams for him. She’s one of the first real strong, sarcastic characters I came across in a vampire story without being something ‘paranormal’ herself and without the need to become something ‘paranormal’ either.
Sigh. Captain Reynolds. Mal. How could I not include you in this list? Malcolm Reynolds is the captain of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity (from of course the TV series Firefly and the movie Serenity). He’s not your traditional type of hero, but that’s exactly what makes him so endearing. (sidenote: I first got acquainted to Nathan Fillion through 2 Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place. After his roles in Firefly and Dr Horrible though, I forgive him for that.)
I love King Arthur and Camelot stories, but it’s difficult to keep track of all the various interpretations out there. Morgan le Fay’s character is especially one that is different every time. In the early works (pre 11th century) she only appears as a brief side character with magical powers. Later in the 13th century works her role is expanded, becoming Arthur’s half-sister and his antagonist.
Of course there are also modern interpretations of Morgan. While I still haven’t finished Mists of Avalon, I liked how her character (Morgaine) was portrayed there: as a priestess of Avalon, scared that Arthur will replace the native pagan religion with Christianity. Another different view is in Kinley McGregor’s Lord of Avalon series. Here Morgen has defeated Arthur and is Queen of Camelot and the demons that now inhabit it. Good or Evil, Morgan is always a great character to have around in an Arthurian story.
The Kushiel books from Jacqueline Carey may be my favourite fantasy books. They’re often classified under erotic fiction, but as I’ve said before there’s less sex in here than your typical romance novel and are much more about political intrigue. Melisande Shahrizai is the main antagonist of the series: blue-black hair, sapphire eyes, alabaster skin and a direct descendant of Kushiel, the god of punishment, she manipulates everyone for her own advancement. She’s one of my fav villains, cause although she’s “evil”, you can see and understand the reasons behind everything she does.
This is one of the most under-appreciated book series I’ve read, mainly cause a lot of people don’t know it. Check out the first book Wit’ch Fire (Banned & the Banished) on Amazon; it’s one of my favourite “finished/rounded off” series. Elena is the main character; a 13-year old girl, who finds out she’s a wielder of blood magic, the first in 500 years and the only hope against the evil that’s claimed the land of Alasea.
So those are my five characters with an M. Leave a comment behind if you want to play and I’ll give you a letter.
Remember the mysterious Dried On Paper invite? Turns out it was all about the launch party of the new INQ1 phone. Dried On Paper == Ink == INQ. Get it? (It was only after two days, reading blog posts of other people that I actually “got” that)
Thanks to the guys at 3mobilebuzz, I also got an invite to the official launch event that Thursday morning, getting a first look at the device and the chance to ask some questions to the brains behind it. I was twittering during the main presentation itself and got really excited about the possibilities of this device. After a hands-on session with it though and some more info on what it can (and can’t) do, I’m not exactly jumping with burning desire to buy one myself. It is, however, a step in the right direction and I’m curious to see what other devices will follow after this.
Integrated Social Apps
The main feature of the INQ1 is that it has several integrated Social apps on it: Facebook, Skype, Windows Messenger and Last.fm. After logging in once, these apps will stay synced and updated, running continuously in the background. They also work without having to be online; for instance, say you’re in the tube. Before going underground, the INQ1 would have updated the Facebook app, giving you access to all the latest Wall messages etc. You can go and do your usual Facebook stuff, and the app will sync everything later once you’re online again.
Address Book 2.0
Another cool feature of the INQ1 is it’s address book. Instead of maintaing your contacts manually, you can access your social network address books. After logging in the first time, the phone will import your Facebook, Skype, Windows Messenger contacts all into your address book. This means when your friend Bob phones you, you’ll see Bob’s Facebook avatar appear on the screen, without you having to do any extra effort.
Because all these social apps are so fully integrated into the device itself, there’s also one main inbox where you can find an overview of all the different types of unread messages. So emails, Facebook messages, MSN and Skype chats and text messages, all together in one overview.
The phone is available for only £79 with a Pay-As-You-Go plan, or for free with £15 per month plan, which includes unlimited web access, unlimited texts, and unlimited free 3-to-3 calls. Now this is what truly puts it apart from all other phones on the market. While the features may seem to be competing with the iPhone and other Smart phones out there, those are not it’s true competitors. People with enough money will buy an iPhone or a Blackberry or a high-end Nokia. No, this phone is aimed at those people who don’t want something as elaborate as that, but do want access to their social networks. And for this price plan I am tempted a little to get one myself.
So why won’t I buy one myself yet? There are a couple of things missing to make me want to replace the phone I currently use. For starters, it depends solely on the manufacturers which “social networks” make it into the phone. They’ve chosen now for Facebook, Windows Messenger, Skype and Last.fm, but what about other more newer networks? I’m sorely missing Twitter on this phone and I would have loved all this integration applied to that app. Besides that it doesn’t have a full keyboard and/or a touch screen, relying rather on the standard 12-button keypad. It’s sufficient, but you’d kind of expect a “social networking” phone to have a smarter way of inputting text.
While the INQ1 for me personally is not the “next big thing”, as I said above I am very curious to see what other devices will come after this. It is the first lower budget phone to focus more on the internet capabilities instead of the type of camera in it or the prettiness of a phone. I don’t use my phone that much for calling or texting or taking pictures; I use it for checking my emails and Twitters and browsing teh internetz. The next step of mobile communication should be social network communication and this is the first phone to focus on just that.
The INQ1 should be available in December on 3, right on time for Christmas.
Episode 90: “When what we want constantly redefines itself, shouldn’t how we watch it do the same?”
Here’s a cool ad from Toshiba:
[If the video doesn't load here, watch it on Youtube]
I remember being so stunned the first time I saw “bullet time” in The Matrix, but since then it’s been used mainly as an extra stunt effect. And now here we have one step further, creating an even weirder type of effect. I’m curious to see how this can be applied in “normal” movies.
[Via Larissa Meek]