Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jailbreaker

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I've finally jailbroken my iPod Touch 2G. Hahaha.

And it was actually quite easy. It just took time. And boy, it was worth it. After a bit of tinkering about this is now how my Springboard (menu) looks like on my iPod Touch.


I've also recently modded the wildly addictive Fieldrunners game so that I get double the money for every enemy killed. It was awesome. I got to level 450, when previously I'd only got to about level 150. Anyway, I think I might change it back. I miss the old settings. Hahaha.



Jailbreaking is like discovering your iPod Touch again. Now I can play Gameboy, SNES and even Playstation games on it. And now I can directly put stuff like pdf files and word documents onto my iPod so I can view or edit it anytime. Of course you can do this with some apps on the App Store, but by jailbreaking, you can do it for free! I'm not willing to pay £10+ just so I can read my eBooks.

This is my video of the day:


Truckers Of Husk - Person For A Person

Now, if only that Tubelord album could come sooner.

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: Kings Of Leon - Knocked Up (Lykke Li vs. Rodeo Remix)
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's A Lonely Island

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The Lonely Island is simply my favourite comedy band right now.

When not discussing gift ideas with Justin Timberlake on "Dick In A Box" or enjoying a boat ride with T-Pain on "I'm On A Boat" these guys are on the famous Saturday Night Live.

Here's their song with Natalie Portman. I didn't know Nat can rap! Hahaha.


video
The Lonely Island - Natalie's Rap (Feat. Natalie Portman)

Metal (Tenacious D), Folk (Flight Of The Choncords), Pop (Axis Of Awesome) and now Hip Hop /R&B with The Lonely Island. There aren't many good ones out there, but these are brilliant.

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: The Lonely Island - Dreamgirl (Feat. Norah Jones)
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Banality Of People

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I have another blog. It's really just a collection of things I've written over the years.

The link is up there, where it says "This Other Place I Go To." You can also click here.

Signing out

Over and out

Monday, March 9, 2009

Smile You're On Camera

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If you've seen or read 'Watchmen,' do you remember the crater on Mars with the smiley? Well, that's not just the writer's imagination. It's a real crater on Mars, known as the Galle Crater.


When Alan Moore was writing 'Watchmen,' he was using the smiley as a motif/recurring symbol in the graphic novel, and when he found out about the Galle Crater, he thought it was too good a coincidence. He set some of the plot on Mars because of this, thinking that people would think it's too farfetched for a crater to be shaped like a smiley.

Here it is on Wikipedia.

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: Bon Iver - The Wolves (Act I and II)
via FoxyTunes

Review: New Found Glory - Not Without A Fight

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Artist: New Found Glory
Album: Not Without A Fight
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
In a nutshell: a good album, but a little variety would've helped

New Found Glory has been one of the few pop punk bands to survive over the years, making a name for themselves with their energetic forays into the minds of the lovesick. Broken hearts and friendships are New Found Glory's main concerns.

For the unsentimental, don't let that scare you off. This is much more mature and grown-up than the likes of *gasps* Simple Plan or Good Charlotte, the two worst Pop Punk bands out there. In New Found Glory we have veterans of at least ten years, growing with the likes of Blink 182, even having Mark Hoppus to produce this album.

The album is indeed a really good one. Each track is strong, and is trademark New Found Glory. Whether your favourite album was 'Coming Home,' 'Catalyst,' 'Sticks & Stones', the self-titled debut or even their album of movie song covers ('From The Screen To Your Stereo'), you'll find something you'll like in this album.

New Found Glory - Listen To Your Friends


The only problem is that the saying 'you CAN have too much of a good thing' rings true here. It's not quite formulaic, but a little variety would've helped.

I am a big fan of New Found Glory ever since their excellent album 'Sticks & Stones,' (which was introduced to me by my friend, Nasrullah), and though this is not by any means in my top three of their whole discography, it is still pretty damn good.

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: New Found Glory - Truck Stop Blues
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Disease Called Happiness

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I'm running out of space on my laptop. I'm thinking of buying an external hard drive for my music. If I could put all my music into an external source that would make my remaining hard drive space rocket up from 4.75 GB to around 110 GB.

The external hard drive that I have now is almost out of space too. I need to delete some stuff there. Like maybe skim down through my list of 500+ movies and delete rubbish like "Afghan Knights" or "I Know Who Killed Me."

Yes, I'm a fucking show-off. Fuck you.

Not really. I'm here to organise my thoughts after an afternoon nap.

Here's my video for the day:



Yes, it's in Malay. Your ears aren't fooling yourselves. It's Plague Of Happiness from Malaysia, with their infectious brand of Ska. This is from their album "Kawan."

Isn't Ska lovely?

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: Plague Of Happiness - Tiada Idea
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Review: Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li

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Film: Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li
Rating: 1.5 out of 5
In a nutshell: incoherent, forgettable and cringeworthy

What the fuck was Kristin Kreuk thinking? Or for that matter, the rest of the cast?

Okay, I'll start with the good points. Some of the fighting scenes were well-choreographed.

Now, the bad points. And there are many. Oh so many.

Look at how horrible that blue dress is!

Chun-Li is a legend in video games, there is no doubt about that. She is the first female ever to appear in a fighting game, so you know she's pretty iconic. She's also very sexy. At first it might make sense to cast Kristin Kreuk into that role. Well-known, beautiful and looks vaguely Asian.

Then they had to mess it all up. It's soon evident that Kreuk is terribly miscast into this shambles of a movie. Lacking passion, she gives a performance worth a bag of rotten tomatoes. In what was supposed to be a sexy girl-on-girl dance scene she lacks any beauty, grace or sexiness to even keep your eye on the screen. In the serious scenes (usually when one of her loved ones dies) her tears made me felt like laughing. She was that unconvincing.


Taboo as Vega? Really? Did you have to? The one scene he is supposed to make a big splash and he fails it, miserably. Michael Clarke Duncan, horrible. Robin Shou, laughable. Neal McDonough, terrible. Moon Bloodgood and Chris Klein, no chemistry at all.

There goes your career, Mr. Clarke Duncan.

The first half an hour tries to evoke sympathy for Chun-Li, showing how hard her life is supposed to be. Yet it's hard to feel sympathetic for two-dimensional characters who speak utterly inane and cliched dialogue.

"Legend Of Chun-Li" doesn't know what it wants to be. Does it want to be an action film? As I said, only a few fight scenes were worth mentioning. The others are dull and uninteresting. Does it want to be a drama? There's no drama if you can't evoke any emotion from the audience. Does it want to be realistic or over-the-top? You can't have it both.

I wouldn't really care that it's genre-indecisive if the dialogue wasn't so badly-written. Bad cliches from bad kung fu movies will still be bad in a Street Fighter movie. There's virtually no memorable lines from the whole film.


There's virtually no character development. Attempts to establish some kind of relationship between characters (especially between Nash and Maya) ultimately fail. It's all terribly black and white. There are the good guys, and there are the bad guys. They fight. The good guys find the bad guy's weakness. The bad guy is killed, happily ever after. It's neither plot-driven or character-driven. Heck it's not even action-driven.

It's only 1 hour 30 minutes long, but that's for me long enough to make me want to blind myself with a hot piece of metal. I wanted this film to end by the first half an hour. But I stayed, thinking it might get better. But no, it didn't. In fact, it became worse.

It's so bad I wanted Jean Claude Van Damme to be in it. At least that film (the 1994-released "Street Fighter") - however horrible it was - had the guts to completely go over the top and bring lots and lots of our favourite characters onscreen. And Bison actually looked badass. Cammy was there. Woo hoo. At least that one had a few ounces of fun. "The Legend Of Chun-Li" is neither fun nor thought-provoking.

Signing out

Over and out

Who Watches The Watchmen?

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For my review of the film 'Watchmen', read my previous post.

This is the opening sequence of 'Watchmen' that was made available by the company who made it. It's absolutely breathtaking, and Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" fits perfectly well. This is possibly one of the best opening credits, filling you up on a lot of the backstory without any tedious dialogue or giving them precious screentime in what is already a lengthy film. It also tells Rorschach's background story in a more economic way than in the comic book.

video

There's a lot of historical references to famous events and famous photographs. See if you can spot them from the photos here.

This photo even has it's own wiki. Both the lovers were never identified.

Click on the photo to find out more.

The John F. Kennedy assassination

The first lunar landing

'The Last Supper' by Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Pentagon Flower

The Vietnamese Monk sets himself on fire in protest

I'm sure there are a lot more references than I mentioned or noticed. Again, for my review of the film, read my previous post.

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 6, 2009

Review: Watchmen

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Film: Watchmen
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In a nutshell: Faithful adaptation that provokes and delivers in great measures

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

For people who don't speak Latin (that includes me) it roughly translates to "who watches the watchmen?," a question Plato asked in his work, 'Res Republica.' In the film, 'Watchmen,' it is the superheroes (or vigilantes) that get asked this question.

They are masked vigilantes, prepared to risk their lives to uphold justice. Yet like the people they fight, they are themselves flawed. For one masked hero, being a sociopath is necessary to stop other sociopaths. The Comedian is almost amoral in his approach to justice. "What happened to the American Dream? It came true. You're looking at it."

So what made Time Magazine refer to 'Watchmen' as "a superlative feat of imagination, combining sci-fi, political satire, knowing evocations of comics past and bold reworkings of current graphic formats into a dysutopian [sic] mystery story" and even made it to their list of the 100 best English-language novels (yes, novels) from 1923 to the present? Why did 'Watchmen' deserve the Hugo Award? Entertainment Weekly placed it at Number 13 of the best novels written in the last 25 years, referring it as "the greatest superhero story ever told and proof that comics are capable of smart, emotionally resonant narratives worthy of the label literature."

The fight the Watchmen fight is more morally ambiguous and emotionally exhausting than what Bruce Wayne faces in the excellent 'The Dark Knight.' These 'heroes' find themselves outcasts of society, unable to become normal yet has no choice but to adhere to society's contempt for vigilance. Society cheers these brightly-clad warriors when trouble strikes, but quickly cast them aside as freaks, as self-proclaimed Gods or judges who have no right to exercise justice without a designated badge.

Yes, this is the closest thing comic books (or graphic novel) had ever come to literature. Many would argue 'Watchmen' even crossed that boundary by a great margin. With its abundance of motifs and layers, the story is character-driven, and it dealth with themes like heroism, morality, human nature and war in such depth that many novelists can't even dream of. It requires multiple readings to fully appreciate the depth of Alan Moore's exploration to the notion of heroism.

And I haven't even started talking about the film.



This is as faithful as it gets without it getting to five hours long. Still, at 160-minute long, it'll be quite hard to digest if you have a short attention span. Its highly stylistic aesthetic is gorgeous and beautiful to look at. Like in '300' the screenplay is pretty much the comic book. Yet it works in a completely different way. The colours are more human, more gritty. The costumes are both parodies and tributes of the common comic book superhero. The sets are wonderfully constructed, detailed to the point you can point out countless graffiti that also appeared in the book.

The narrative, though captivating and beautiful, can feel disjointed. This is really what you expect from a straight adaptation of a comic book. These two are very different mediums. Some people have said in the past 'Watchmen' is the most unfilmable comic book out there. Yet Zack Snyder succeeds with few hiccups.

The soundtrack is quite unique for a very serious superhero movie. Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix shouldn't even work in a movie like this, but it did, wonderfully.

I suggest reading the comic book first. It really helps with the multi-layered story. Stick to your own pace. The film gives you no breaks to digest the story, essentially compressing a 12-book series into one motion picture. Many people will find the film convoluted because of this. But like when watching many great films (example: 'The Shining,' '2001: A Space Odyssey,' 'There Will Be Blood') you have to treat patience as a virtue.

By the way, it's rated 18 for graphic scenes of violence and sex (though not explicit) and mature themes. Does that make a difference? I think in Brunei some of the scenes will be cut, inevitably. I hope this doesn't make the film more disjointed and confusing.

Signing out

Over and out

Monday, March 2, 2009

Semantically Hopeless

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Our semantics lecture earlier this afternoon was a disaster. Our dear Eytan, forgot his precious slides, and so proceeded to give a lecture bordering on assisted suicide.

I got so bored for the first time I wrote notes. But not notes of the usual kind. Here are my notes:

Section 1: Introduction

- you used the words 'semantics' and 'word' twice each in the same sentence.
- what?
- what the fuck?
- Uh... Er.... Uh...
- right...
- when talking about syntax, get your sentences right
- no slides = hopeless

Section 2: Stuff I Can't Understand

- I don't understand your sentence.
- affector -> Femo-what?
- beneficiary -> Mary ->Virgin
-> Bloody

- I think the problem is you.
- Ah yes. Just away from the problem.
- Your words are stabbing my ears with incomprehension.
- We're not learning anything yet.
- Yes, crystal clear. Sense the sarcasm.
- With what? What what?
- Your words might as well be arbitrary.

- Yes, but we just don't want to respond because that would give the illusion of attention.
- are we still in the introduction?
- it is not clear. We just don't know enough to even start asking questions.

- Yes, we know what a morpheme is.
- No slides = no direction
- you're repeating yourself

Section 3: Further Confusion And An Exercise In Incomprehension

- 'sometimes' should only be used sometimes.
- rate of the word 'semantics' used by Eytan per minute : 5 per min
- 'morphology' : 2 per min
- rate of words per min when explaining an important fact: 2321 words per min

- creativity in choosing names: 1 out of 10
- John
- Bill
- Mary
- Creativity in making sentences: 1 out of 10
- John is larger than Bill.

Yay! Complicated!

Verbal Predicates
- State of being
- Action
- Process

- inco-what?
- how do you expect to see your teeny handwriting from 20 feet away?
- watching the projector rot is more interesting
- we all don't know what John did. That's his business...
- Urm... Hebrew morphology. That sounds interesting
- Finally! Someone asked a question!
- I don't know why I'm reading about pensions
- Oh, I know why. This actually makes more sense.
- ennobled? 7 "noble"s in one sentence!

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And that was the fruit of my semantics lecture.

Signing out

Over and out

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Now playing: Porcupine Tree - Lazarus
via FoxyTunes