Archive for December, 2005

Lists for 2005: TV

December 27, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Before I run off on my rather random last-minute year-end vacation trip, this is my must-watch-immediately-after-downloading (umm, after obtaining digitally through perfectly legitimate means?) list:

  • The Daily Show: Brilliant as ever. Bringing us to its spinoff…
  • The Colbert Report: Shaky, shaky start, but it really grew on me. Seriously, who would’ve thought Colbert the comedian could really pull off Colbert the character while interviewing real guests?
  • Arrested Development: Better when watched in one go, I think. Like, say, all two-and-a-half seasons in three months. Hopefully it’ll come back.
  • Scrubs: Season four was great, but it’s been eight months since the last new episode. Come back! Please please!
  • How I Met Your Mother: A surprisingly good new series, and the best-comedy-with-a-laugh-track (the first two shows on this list don’t count) in recent memory.
  • Lost: Still hooked. Damn those occasional two-month break between episodes, though.

Lists for 2005: Comics

December 26, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Favourite graphic novels from the year.

A Random Giant Ape Animation

December 21, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Watched King Kong over the weekend, and it was quite entertaining. However, the little in-joke about Fay Wray at the beginning was so mind-bogglingly self-referential it hurt.

The movie reminded me of an old 3D animation we made back in JC about giant gorillas duking it out QBasic Gorilla-style. The animation is available online (WMV, unfortunately — ffmpegX threw a bunch of codec errors at me when I tried to convert it).

Here’s a screenshot of one gorilla grabbing a banana from its ass.

I marvel at our blatant disregard for inverse kinematics or even a decent ending. Ah, good times.

Lists for 2005: Annoyances

December 19, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Comprain, comprain, comprain.

  • NIE Portal. Click on it to marvel at the awesomely poor design, and be glad you don’t have to use it on a near-daily basis. Personally, I’m glad I only have to endure this for another half-year, unlike those poor sods in the longer NIE programs. I mean, look at this gem of a browser warning: (1) This website requires a Java and JavaScript enabled browser and is best viewed with IE 5.x on Windows 95/98/NT. (2) You will most likely experience problems on all other browsers and platforms, due in part to browser settings and infrastructure compatibility issues. Good grief. And that’s not even mentioning how the portal managed to send Safari an empty page on my attempt at the mandatory three-moonth password change, only to lock me out entirely from the system right when I wanted to look at my grades for the semester. I give them points for helping me live in denial.
  • The NIE course I’ve been attending for the last few months… but, hell, where else would I enjoy seven weeks of paid vacation? And the all-nighters with the roommate were kinda fun. Next semester’s three-day week means it can only get better, too. I’ll let this one slide.
  • The good ol’ Straits Times. Why link to it? They’re not even a free news site any more. Highlights this year: Sensationalistic return to 80s fearmongering on AIDS, more nationalistic chest-beating over the THES survey results from 2004 (until the 2005 results came out), kena slammed by MM’s press secretary for arrogant conceit, and most recently, losing all pretences of objectivity and taking a bewilderingly pro-government stand on the whole Nguyen hanging issue by publishing a (two-part!) Sunday Times feature on just how absolutely unbearably horrible the drug situation is with Vietnamese runners in Australia, and how the country should bask in righteousness for putting an end to it. Real subtle, kids, real subtle.
  • Nothing else I can think of, really. Good job, 2005.

Lists for 2005: Music

December 18, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

Yeah, everybody’s doing it.

Favourite albums, in not entirely much order:

  • Arcade Fire, Funeral*
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree
  • Stars, Set Yourself on Fire
  • Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
  • Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • Yeah it was all over the “best of” charts in 2004, but it was only released here in 2005.

Metacritic has a nice compilation of what real reviewers think are the best of 2005.

Chicken vs Fried Chicken

December 13, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

While we’re at it with the Colonel and all…

Nobody wins.

Previous: Chicken vs the Colonel

Info: What’s with all the chickens?

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Chicken vs Colonel Whatshisface

December 7, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

The harassment of the bespectacled (and heavily copyrighted) world continues!

Chickenvscol

Chicken wins.

Previous: Chicken vs Little

Info: What’s with all the chickens?

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Chicken vs Disney’s inability to write quality animated movies

December 5, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

It really wasn’t that bad… but it could definitely have done with a more coherent plot and, say, characters that moviegoers could care about. Such a shame.

Chicken wins!

Previous: Chicken vs Redesign

Info: What’s with all the chickens?

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Flock theme for Firefox

December 3, 2005  |  Tags:   |  

While we’re on the whole theming business, but I thought I’d point to this: Flofox – Flock theme for Firefox [UNEASYsilence]. Makes Firefox look like the (interesting, and much prettier, but for me not currently worth running without a compatible SessionSaver extension) Flock browser.

The theme does look a bit odd on my Linux box though (running Firefox 1.5) — the favicons in the tab bar look a bit stretched. To fix this, simply edit your userChrome.css file and add the following lines to the end:

.tab-icon { padding-top: 1px !important; padding-bottom: 3px !important; }

Looks fine for me now. Your mileage may vary, and all that — edit the padding amounts as necessary.