philmophlegm: (Targaryen)

PETA wrote to Games Workshop to ask them to remove plastic and metal fur garments from their plastic and metal miniatures. (I can’t decide if this was clever PR on PETA’s part or another example of them doing something that will only make people ridicule them.)

27 MPs voted in favour of a referendum on EU membership and then voted to ignore the result. Here’s a list of them. If one of them is your MP, please vote for someone else (anyone else really) at the next election.

Russians drink a lot of vodka. The USSR also wasn't the most environmentally conscious of countries. But at Ussuri Bay near Vladivostok, that seems to have worked out quite well.

Refreshingly Radioactive? The Wild History of Energy Drinks

These Game of Thrones pens are rather nice. Personally, I’d want the Targaryen fountain pen.

The 80s D&D cartoon series played like an actual D&D game

New Doctor Who should be a Dalek, say Daleks

A(nother) new low for campus craziness

This Hitler Nonsense...

Guess which corrupt leftie is a friend of struck-off tank chasing ex-lawyer Paul Shiner?

It's unfortunate when the early edition of the local newspaper of one of the teams in the Super Bowl has to go to press when they're losing 28-3 with only 17 minutes left to play, but I guess you have to go ahead and print... (Final score: 28-34, biggest comeback in Super Bowl history and tied for the fifth biggest comeback in any game in the NFL’s 96 year history.)

Hans Rosling has died.

Really clever Russians cheating on slot machines

Possibly one of the most unknowingly ironic articles ever written.

A triple century in T20??!!! Bloody hell. 300 off 72 balls. 39 sixes. Wow. Were they bowling underarm? Was the boundary ten yards away?

The connection between Hayao Miyazaki's film 'Howl's Moving Castle' and the  French Navy of the 1880s and 1890s.

Who said it? Donald Trump or Alan Partridge. (For those of you who haven’t heard of him, the other guy is a comedy character, an incompetent celebrity. I assume everyone knows who Alan Partridge is…)

philmophlegm: (Forgotten Realms)
The RPG campaign I'm currently running is an epic fantasy set in the Second Age in the far-east of Middle-earth. And since large-scale battles are an important feature of Tolkien's works, large-scale battles are an important feature of this roleplaying campaign.

Now while most fantasy wargamers use 28mm scale, that's far too big to look right for a big battle. (Unless you have a truly enormous space). So we use 6mm scale, in which a typical human figure is 6mm high.

This year, without giving too many spoilers to my players, the battle may well feature the castle which guards the only easy entrance to the mountain province of Angren. This is the Morkai Gate.

So, in my first ever work along these lines, I have made a 6mm model of the Morkai Gate.

Read more... )
philmophlegm: (dalek)
So Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who. I think that's a shame. I was greatly pleased when he was announced (so pleased in fact that I almost managed to scrub Rufus Hounds's pathetic pretence at being a 'superfan' from my memory) and I think he's been a good Doctor. He hasn't always had the strongest writing, but his acting and on screen presence has been excellent. His finest hour was 'Heaven Sent', undoubtedly one of the best ever Who stories.

Now it's time to think of a replacement. This is the sort of thing you can put bets on. (Question for scholars of Who and betting: Which new Doctor casting was the first to be covered by a high street or online bookmaker? How far back does this sort of thing go?)

I was greatly amused by this article from the Daily Mash, which pleasingly takes the piss out of those Doctor Who fans (and politicians) who maintain that the next Doctor "has to be" a woman. Harriet Harman even "demanded" that the next Doctor should be female. This woman used to be Deputy Prime Minister for god's sake. It's a good job that there's nothing else going on in the world for feminists to worry about at the moment... Thankfully nobody ever listened to her when she was a member of the government, and now she's a backbench member of one of the least popular opposition parties in history, really nobody listens to her at all except to poke fun at her when she says something stupid like this. Our actual Prime Minister Theresa May was also asked about this (she's a Who fan apparently (allegedly)) but replied rather more sensibly that it was for the programme-makers to decide. Having a state television company is bad enough, it would be really absurd if the Prime Minister was consulted on casting decisions...

You know what though? Go onto the more annoying parts of social media and search for #nextdoctorwho or whatever the appropriate shortcut is, and what do you find? Plenty of sensible suggestions (including some interesting leftfield ones, plenty of joke suggestions, plenty of people saying that it should be them (!), and unfortunately plenty of people saying that it has to be a woman and that anyone who disagrees is clearly a "misogynist". I really hope this isn't going to go on for the next few months.

I'm going to say it. I think making the Doctor female would be absurd. It was bad enough that they did it with the Master and turned a brilliant archenemy into a comedy freakshow (mind you, they did this with the Sontarans too). Making the Doctor female would be jumping the shark. It would hammer the ratings. Those fans (and 'fans') demanding a female Doctor might be loud and obnoxious, but they just aren't that common. Those who are into science fiction probably watch already. So making the Doctor female would gain no new viewers. But it would lose millions.

(And another thing it would lose: a positive male role model for young boys. A male hero who always tries to do the right thing, who prefers to avoid violence, who solves problems by being clever, who is brave, self-sacrificing and noble. If you are concerned about making society better (that 'social justice' thing that people are always talking about) then think about what happens when you remove one of the more obvious positive male role models for young boys.)


I do appreciate that there are fans who want to see an actress in the lead role in Doctor Who.

So I have a compromise. And, if I say so myself, it's brilliant.

Read more... )
philmophlegm: (Gary Gygax)

Rather odd article from a website called The Art of Manliness (logo: handlebar moustache, so I approve of that bit at least). I daresay most if not all of these could be enjoyed by women too, so I thought this had the makings of an LJ meme.

Bold the hobbies that you regularly take part in and italicise the ones you’ve tried at least once as an adult. Ones that you do as part of your job, or did as a child, don't count. It also doesn't count if you did the activity as a chore rather than as a hobby to be enjoyed.

Copy and repost on your own journals, or just comment here. This might be a way of finding someone else who shares a hobby with you but never posts about it because they didn't think anyone else would be interested.

Read more... )

philmophlegm: (Flag)

Applying that decluttering bollocks to a post-apocalyptic world.

This guy really didn't like this year's Sherlock. (SPOILERS in the article.) I gave up on Sherlock years ago. Much prefer the ITV series.

Most A/B testing is bollocks.

"'No regrets': Pakistani mom promised her daughter a wedding reception. Instead, she burned her alive. Nice…

Always funny: posh students completely unaware of quite how patronising they are.

The best and worst memes of 2016.

On the question of whether the government should tell women what they can and cannot wear, Americans are very liberal, and Germans are really illiberal.

A truly bizarre BBC article attacking Donald Trump for being teetotal. That’s not the most ridiculous part. The worst is that they quoted Ted Kennedy explaining why Jimmy Carter being teetotal was so bad. TED KENNEDY??? I bet Mary-Jo’s family wish that Ted had been teetotal too!

"Taliban bomb expert accidentally kills himself and 4 sons" I question the use of the term “expert” in this news story…

CIA assessment of British politics from 1985 "The Labour Party is in the hands of urban leftists given to ideological extremes with only fringe appeal". It also identified Jeremy Corbyn’s links to Marxist guerrillas in El Salvador. Since that’s only mentioned in passing, I assume that everyone already knows that Corbyn is friends with mass murdering scum…

Some really nice photographs of trees.

Trump returns Churchill's bust to the Oval Office.

Life in a nutshell according to Google. (Thanks topum.)

The Tunguska Event might not have been a meteorite impact.

The best day to trigger Article 50 would be March 25th. For the lolz.

philmophlegm: (Flag)
I asked my non-British readers which of the following (important or perhaps less so) aspects of British culture they were at least vaguely familiar with. Sixteen people took part in the survey, which I think is enough to draw some conclusions. Here are the results of the poll:

Cadbury's Creme Eggs 15
'Carry On' films 9
Slade 3
The Raleigh Chopper 3
Coronation Street 12
Lord Sugar 6
Barbour 6
Marks & Spencer 12
Last of the Summer Wine 8
The Boat Race 9
Clotted cream 12
Ant & Dec 7
White Van Man 5
The chip butty 9
Sir Cliff Richard 8
Read more... )
philmophlegm: (Dawn over the Tamar)
Here's an interesting article with the author's take on Britain's Ten Best Cheeses.

Here's his top ten:

  • Appleby's Cheshire

  • Beauvale

  • Berkswell

  • Cornish Yarg

  • Keen's Cheddar

  • Sparkenhoe Red Leicester

  • Stichelton

  • Stinking Bishop

  • Ticklemore

  • Tunworth

It's a pretty good list. I didn't know about Stichelton, but it sounds interesting. I always think that Yarg is overrated though. Beauvale and Ticklemore may well have made my list.

To that list, I'd want to add:

  • Westcombe or Montgomery Cheddar (the other two proper cheddars, and I feel slightly superior to Keen's)

  • Sharpham - a very soft, brie-like cheese. Ideally left to mature until it can be eaten with a spoon.

  • Elmhirst - like Sharpham, but with added cream. Possibly my favourite cheese.

  • Cremet - a bit like Elmhirst, but using goats' milk.

  • Shepherds Purse Mrs Bell's Blue - very strong, very sharp (especially when mature) blue cheese.

  • Laverstoke Park Farm Buffalo Mozzarella - excellent mozzarella made by the 1979 Formula 1 World Champion. (Yes, really.)

  • Cropwell Bishop Stilton - you can't beat a stilton for melting.

  • Vulscombe - creamy soft goats' milk cheese.

Anyone else like to suggest a cheese?
philmophlegm: (Traveller: The New Era)
My impression was that I read rather fewer books in 2016 than in previous years. Looking at the list, it seems I was right. This doesn't include short stories etc or for that matter all the magazines I read cover to cover. I suspect the main reason for fewer books is that there were a few long slow ones that took me a while to get through.

Read more... )
philmophlegm: (Communism)

Two stuntmen die jumping from a helicopter into a reservoir. Not because of the impact, but because neither of them could swim. That’s a special level of stupid.

Reading University is boycotting University Challenge because of "misogynistic and sexist comments".

Something that history shows us pretty consistently, is that democracy works. Some people need to think whether they should really be so keen to ignore it.

Anarchist Monopoly

Keith Vaz will  be one of the MPs scrutinising the new laws on unexplained wealth. Keith Vaz.

Since Fidel Castro has finally died, it's time to remind ourselves just how many people died because of monsters like him.

Steve Bannon is clearly not an anti-semite. (I mean, simple sense-check. Would someone who was anti-semitic really do well in their career at Goldman Sachs? Or Breitbart?)

It wasn't "shy tories" who skewed polling results for the 2015 General Election, it was "busy" ones.

Man Bathes in Yellowstone Basin, Dissolves in Boiling Acid

The Enganche.

It's worth joining Pinterest just to browse through the Flat Earth boards.

At 55 years of age, Joe Thomas Senior of South Carolina State, is almost certainly Division 1 College Football's oldest ever player.

Someone is making and distributing a blacklist of supposedly pro-Trump RPG and other game developers. (Unless they aren’t. While this will seem all too likely to gamers and science fiction readers, I’m not actually convinced of the truth of this story. That said, I’m not convinced by the denials either.)

philmophlegm: (Doom)

Cutting Corporation Tax to 10% wouldn't just be a good idea because it pisses off the French.

There are ten times more galaxies in our universe than we previously thought. That seems a pretty big error. Did some cosmologist put a decimal point in the wrong place?

What if the EU tried to stop us trading with them completely? Well, it's been tried before, and it worked out rather better for us than it did for them.

A quick tour of the remotest island in the world.

Britain's productivity has fallen. That's a good thing.

Nicely illustrated periodic table.

Baroness Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, deserves better paint than we do. We have to pay for it, mind. Oh, and a £4,000 cupboard. And an "extremely expensive" chandelier. And gave a £30,000 a month contract to a close friends  having waived the normal process. If she’s one of the "100 Great Black Britons", it doesn't say a lot for "Black Britons", does it?

"This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide." (Seems pretty straightforward language to this Politics graduate. Not “Parliament will decide and this is only a recommendation” or even “Parliament will implement what you decide”. Simply “The government will implement what you decide”. But then judges seem to use the English language differently from normal people… Or is it that the government lied? But surely only the evil brexiteers lied…?)

Guinness World Record for "Longest Single Game of Football Manager": 173 days, 16 hours and 51 minutes. That’s just short of 4,169 hours. He’s been playing Football Manager 2010, and hasn’t upgraded to any of the subsequent iterations. If I add up the time I’ve put into successive campaigns of Football Manager 2010 (1539 hours), 2012 (3081 hours), 2014 (1176 hours) and now 2015 (2908 hours) it adds up to 8,704 hours. So, I’ve put more than double the hours into FM than he has. Impressed?

Apple now sells 17 different types of dongle.

Bill Clinton on Jeremy Corbyn: "...the maddest person in the room".

The god Ganesha has been reincarnated. That's nice.


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