Magic

For the last week or so I’ve been spending a fair bit of time thinking about magic and various tricks with card, coins, pens, etc. This is entirely because of Dan. We ever made a special trip to a magic shop where Dan bought a book that I then remembered I’d bought online many years ago.

I like going through little fads for a few weeks and then doing other stuff. It’s nice to have some variety. I do wish I could stick with one thing for long enough to get really good at it though.

Last night at the pub quiz I did the only magic trick I know how to do with a coin: making it disappear. That’s not some sort of pun based on spending money. I think it went down fairly well with the Fairmont House crew, so that’s good. Also, at one point Aron was holding a pen and he span it around. It’s something that’s been on my list of things to do for quite a long time, right along with winning a pub quiz. Needless to say neither goals were achieved. πŸ™‚

Kaboom!

After a brief conversation with a colleague I decided to write a little bookmarklet that you can use to make your days just a bit more fun.

Everyone knows that when Batman hits someone there’s a big Kaboom! or Kapow!

If you drag this Kaboom! link to your bookmarks toolbar and press it on any page you will be able to Batman punch things at the click of a button.

A man being punched by Batman

Batman punching some poor guy.

The bookmarklet is a little bit of Javascript that generates a random selection of stars using the canvas tag introduced in HTML5. That means it might not work on rubbish old browsers, but should work just fine if you’re living in the second decade of the 21st century.

Subscription TV over the Internet

I recently signed up for Lovefilm again when I saw that I can stream a bunch of stuff via my PS3. They’ll also send me DVD/Blu-ray/PS3 games in the post and I can send them back when I’m done. I pay Β£14 a month no matter how much I watch, which seems like a good deal to me.

I pay for an Unlimited card at Cineworld so that I can go and see as many films as I like at the cinema for Β£13.50 a month. Cheryl and I tend to go to 4 or 5 films a month, which makes it considerably cheaper per film than not having the card and seeing the same number of films. We get to see all of the latest films as they come out in awesome quality complete with surround sound (and idiots with their phones on).

I pay Β£10 a month to Spotify so that I can stream whatever music I like (with very few limitations) to my work and home computers, and also my mobile phone without any advertising, at a high quality.

When I want to watch a TV show I have to watch it as it plays out on TV with advertising, or record it with a DVR when it’s on so I can watch it later. Other than sometimes on Virgin there seems to be no concept of an on demand catalogue of shows. Why? I would quite happily pay Β£15 a month or so for an archive of TV shows to be available at the press of a button on a variety of my devices in different locations. If LoveFilm had rights to more shows I would definitely go there for them, but sadly they don’t.

An additional problem is that I am a fan of shows on Facebook, so I get all sorts of updates as the latest episodes of How I Met Your Mother or House get shown over there, and then I get to wait 6 months for the episode to air over here on a channel (as part of a package) I have to pay Sky to watch even though I only want 1 or 2 shows.

Why would I do that? Why should I do that? If I want I can download the entire episode within hours of it airing in the US with ads removed and play it on my PS3, my phone, burn it to DVD and play it basically anywhere, etc..

It is obvious that the subscriber model works, I subscribe to almost all of my media these days. If you guys make it available in a sensible way then I will happily give you my money for it. If you continue doing it this way then people will continue to make it freely available. If you want to succeed you have to make your stuff as available as TeH pIrAtEz do, but legally and for a decent price.

London, staying up late, Assassin’s Creed, the wait for GT5

Just over a week ago Cheryl, Hayley, Dave, and I went on a road trip to London to watch the last F1 race of the season with JonP and Alex. We all made mix CDs to play on the journeys, which was cool. We also played the psychic game, where only one of us was allowed to put The Chain by Fleetwood Mac onto their mix CD but we couldn’t discuss it. If more than one of us put it on then we all lost, if none of us put it on then we all lost. somewhat amazingly I was the only one who put it on their CD, although Dave did put it on a secret CD by itself because he doesn’t believe in our psychic powers. πŸ˜‰

The time in London was fun. We mostly just had some drinks and watched TV and films into the night. Very relaxed (and cheap!) compared to most of my trips to London. We watched the race on the Sunday and we were all pleased that Fernando Alonso did not win the championship, because he’s a wanker.

Cheryl’s friend Holly came to visit over the weekend. We all ended up staying up until about 8:30 in the morning watching random movies and just generally chatting, drinking, and stuff. It was fun even if the movie choices were a bit dubious.

The other day I bought Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. I had no intention of buying it until a little while before I got it from HMV, but oh well. It’s actually a really enjoyable game. I’m just hoping I can finish it tonight because I should finally get Gran Turismo 5 tomorrow! πŸ˜€

I’ve been waiting for Gran Turismo 5 since I first got my Playstation 3 a few years ago. It’s been delayed many times, but this time there are no more delays. It is out tomorrow and I should get my copy in the post really soon. πŸ˜€ I was kinda hoping it would arrive a day early because it was sent on Saturday, but no such luck. If it doesn’t arrive tomorrow I will probably go on a killing spree… I hope I don’t lose my job and get taken to court for saying that, as it’s obviously a joke.

Cinemaness

Cheryl and I were talking about how many films we wanted to watch at the cinema yesterday, so we decided it would be worth investing in an unlimited card for Cineworld. It costs Β£13.50 and you use the card to go to as many films as you like.

We ordered our cards online yesterday and then printed the temporary passes out. We met near the cinema in time to watch Toy Story 3 in 3D. It was a really good film. It was sad in parts, hilarious in parts, and just plain great overall.

After that had finished we went to get our tickets for Inception. After getting the tickets we went to Subway for a quick sandwich. We sat upstairs and had to listen to chavs talking about their illegitimate children, or whatever it is chavs talk about these days. We left there as soon as possible to go play on the IT Box in the cinema. We ended up playing on Word Soup about 6 times. We did fairly well, but couldn’t seem to be consistent enough to win money.

We went into the screen to watch Inception and sat down. When the film was ready to start the lights came up to full brightness for some reason. They stayed like that until someone went to speak to the people. Then the lights dulled, then flashed bright again. Stupid lights or stupid staff, I’m not sure. Eventually they turned off and we could see the screen properly.

Inception itself can be a bit confusing with the timeline changes, but the film itself isn’t that complicated. I’m sure it could be difficult to follow if you have a short attention span, or if you lost concentration for a few minutes, but it’s still enjoyable. It’s jumped into IMDb’s Top 250 at number 3, which is ridiculous. I’m sure it’ll get lower and lower over the coming weeks, but I imagine it’ll stay in the middle of the list for a fairly long time.

We got out of the cinema at 11:50pm after arriving there at about 5:30pm. It was a long evening in the cinema, and there will be many more to follow. πŸ™‚

Benicassim

Today is my last day at work for about a week. I am going to the Benicassim festival in Spain tomorrow afternoon. I can’t wait to get there! πŸ˜€

Benicassim Line-up

Benicassim Line-up

I’ve been looking at the line-up for a while and wondering which stage to stay at so I see the most bands that I want to see. Most of the time the main stage is where I want to be, but there are some bands I’d like to see on other stages. On the first day I would like to see The Temper Trap and Kasabian, which I imagine will not be possible.

I’ve been trying to work out which stage offers the most so I can stay in one place. I’m really not that bothered by Ray Davies on the main stage, but Charlotte Gainsbourg is pretty awesome. She’s a good actress too. Check out Science of Sleep for proof of that. She’s the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg, so there’s a lot of music in her family.

My favourite part of Science of Sleep

I guess I will just end up going with whatever someone else suggests on the first day. I would be happy to see either of the main two headline acts that day.

The second day is all about the main stage, although I would kind of like to see Calvin Harris, Mumford and Sons, and even Goldfrapp. They don’t come close to Hot Chip and Vampire Weekend though. πŸ™‚

The third day is going to be spent at the main stage. Sadly I will miss The Cribs on the third stage, but I imagine The Prodigy will be pretty awesome. I’ve seen both of them live before at some point, but not Ash, Klaxons, Ian Brown, or The Specials. Sarah would kill me when I returned if I didn’t see The Specials. πŸ˜‰

On the fourth day I really want to see Two Door Cinema Club and Foals on the second stage, but I also want to see Gorillaz. Maybe I can manage all of those. I’m not particularly interested in Lily Allen or Dizzee Rascal, but The Courteeners are pretty cool.

I guess I’ll really have to wait until I’m there to see who I can see. I know that I’ll see a bunch of good bands anyway, so I’m not particularly worried. I suppose I should probably be a bit more worried by the fact that I don’t have a tent to sleep in as far as I know at the moment. I also have no Euros, and nothing to sleep on when I’m there.

I do love a good adventure! πŸ˜€