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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Quick Review: Oculus Rift (game-toy-thing, 2016)

Before I start, it is important to make one thing clear: even if I were inclined to give this thing a positive review, I would recommend not buying it because it is made by assholes.

Further disclaimer: I am basing this review on a relatively short trial experience (which I probably wouldn’t even have bothered with if I’d remembered about the assholes); I happened to be in a Best Buy store where a salesperson was giving demos and my father and I were both talked into trying it out. I think I saw enough to get a pretty good impression of what it’s like, but for the record I spent at most 10-15 minutes with the thing so that’s probably worth acknowledging.

What is Oculus Rift? Apparently released in March of last year, it’s a virtual reality headset thing with stereoscopic display and so forth; it seems to have been designed with gaming primarily in mind but they claim it can serve other purposes also.

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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in mitchell

 

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Some disorganised thoughts after the Women’s March(es)

So yesterday (21 January 2017), for anyone who doesn’t already know, the day after the tragic inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the (not-so-) United States (I will not give him the dignity of the office and refer to him as President Trump, he’s a loathsome despotic buffoon #notmypresident), was also the day of the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches in major (and not-so-major!) cities throughout the US and beyond.

Here’s the official Women’s March site and the Sister Marches page.

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Posted by on January 22, 2017 in mitchell

 

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Recommended Reading: “Let the Record Show”

I second everything John Pavlovitz says in this incredible piece. Just read it.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in mitchell

 

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Chapter One

Content warning for fat hatred. Right from the first page. Sigh. Nothing notable about the chapter illustration either – I’ll try not to be too lazy to add them in when we do comment on them. Cut time:
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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in loten, mitchell

 

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Introduction

We made it to Book Two, everyone!

I know a lot of readers have been looking forward to this one; it seems to be a favourite of the series for many. I can certainly see why – this book’s villain is easily the best by about a million miles, poses an actual threat, is actually scary and causes actual harm. There’s a genuine air of fear at the height of things. That’s all great, but for me personally I think this book still isn’t going to hold up. Before we even start I can think of two or three serious plot holes that make it impossible for all those lovely praiseworthy parts to ever happen in a coherent story, which is a shame.

[Mitchell adds: I’m also really curious to see how this one plays out. When I was young this was my least favourite book of the series, though some of the reasons I disliked it are strengths in retrospect: for instance, I think I didn’t like the tone, and the tension and fear that characters could come to actual harm. So looking back I think it has a lot to recommend it that I missed, and it could surprise me in a good way… but at the same time, there are also a lot of deeply problematic and stupid things that happen in this book, and most of the individual scenes I remember are infuriatingly bad.]

That said, it’s still almost certainly going to be the high point of the series [we decided in discussion we think either this book or Order of the Phoenix is the strongest, not that that’s necessarily saying much] and is probably the least awful of the seven, so let’s take a look at the two editions your writing team here are using for this, under the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2017 in loten, mitchell

 

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Happy New Year

I’ve been saving this.

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Thank you, John Oliver.

Let’s hope the new year doesn’t suck as overwhelmingly as the last one, eh?

See you soon for Chamber of Secrets and whatever else we decide to babble about. Happy new year from both of us.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in loten, mitchell

 

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