Tag Archives: YouTube

Pulp Science Fiction Miniatures 2/2

And here’s some more of the same series.


A rap song about Monopoly

thats a phrase I never expected to utter.

Dan Bull, an English rap artist (and a pretty good one AFAIK) raps on Youtube about a wide variety of topics, including games (of the video variety). the Monopoly one is charming, in a rough trade sort of way.

Emphasizing the story aspect of wargames

Conflict goes hand in hand with drama; and military conflict generates dramatic moments by the bushel load.  Very rarely are games presented as stories; as players, we tend to get caught up with either the history as it really was or the tactics of the situation we are in, or the mechanics of the game simulating the event.  There are all kinds of players out there.  One kind that I admire is the kind that can recognize the story aspect of a game and does what he or she can to try to communicate that to you in some fashion.  Like “Stuka Joe”, for instance.  Whomever that is.  Check out his video of a recent B-17: Queen of the Skies game.  Joe invested in a component upgrade and took pains to give the game a multilayered three dimensional look– and shot the event as a dramatic narrative instead of a series of dice roles (which is mostly what B-17 is– looking things up on a table and rolling a number of D6s).  Dice rolls aren’t even mentioned, just the results.  The result is a fun, dramatic narrative as “Diamond Lucy” makes her second trip over the skies of Occupied Europe.

I particularly liked the idea of inserting the faces of people the author knows as crew members on the “Diamond Lucy”, instead of just a nameless Ball Gunner, Tail Gunner, Flight Engineer, etc. Nice touch!


I’m sure there are honest Kickstarter promotions..

The thing is, I’m one of those naive UP FRONT backers on Kickstarters. It’s totally on track with that comment about empty promises and lots of G-D D-mned emails. So I don’t want to be cruel or anything, but this is funny!

Thanksgiving 2013

I think this just about says it all.

In the end, all we have is each other, and for that, I’m thankful.

Everything Old is New Again: The Love War (1970)

It’s fun, sometimes, to make a rediscovery courtesy of the all encompassing pluralism of the Internet.   Background: For most of my adult life, I have had this vague memory of watching a specific movie on ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK, the anthology series that ran back in the 1970s and 1980s.  I don’t recall the actors very well, or a lot of the plot. I was a little kid. But it was the kind of story that I loved back then, and it made a kind of indelible mark in memory. Not anything distinct; Just that there were aliens, on Earth, in disguise, and they needed visors to see each other.  They were fighting a war and had sent proxy representatives to Earth to fight a decisive conflict. There’s supposed to be an equal number of antagonists in this war, armed equally, looking human, with detectors that indicate another alien is near, and the only sure way of seeing them is to use a special visor (many years before THEY LIVE). Both sides agree to the conflict and both sides cheat.  That’s about as much about the movie as I can recall, except an excellent final sequence where the hero (Lloyd Bridges) gets double crossed by the love interest, who kills him in a deserted ghost town and incinerates his body. She tosses the visor in the street, and very, very briefly, you see her outline, as an alien, through the visor at street level. It’s not particularly brilliant as a premise, but it is decently acted and the effects are yeoman-like for that time and that place and ABC’s budget. For years, I couldn’t remember the name of this movie, but it stuck with me, particularly that last scene in the street. Fortunately this is the Internet, and movie nuts abound with secret lore they are more than willing to share. A buddy of mine steered me towards one of the movies of the week called THE LOVE WAR. Sure enough, the plot matched my memory fragment I had of this movie. Lo and behold, thanks to Youtube’s new policy about allowing full length posting of movies broken into parts, we can now see the entire LOVE WAR from beginning to end on Youtube. This is a great side benefit from living in the future, I guess!


(Segments 2-5 are linked to the link above)


Сражение (Srazhenie) is a Russian version of Battleground, a short story by Stephen King that originally appeared in the collection SKELETON CREW. Renshaw is a professional hit-man who returns from his assassination of a toy-maker to find a package delivered to his penthouse apartment. The package contains a G.I. Joe Vietnam Footlocker, sent to him by the mother of the toy-maker he had recently killed. When he opens the package he finds that the toy soldiers are alive with working copies (albeit miniature) of weapons, jeeps, and helicopters. To Renshaw’s surprise the tiny soldiers begin to attack him.

The Russian animation adaption (Сражение), is amazing and brilliant.  Сражение was created by the (then) Soviet Kievnauchfilm studio in 1986, directed by Mikhail Titov.

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That’s not my Game Video from Level 20 something

Level 20 Something is video series about a group of gamers produced in glorious 8 bit retro-style,  all with a gaming theme.  In this episode, they encounter a young lady with a penchant for playing Settlers of Cataan.

Pretty hilarious!



A visit to the largest Fireworks outlet in America. Memorial Day Weekend, 2012.

Thumbs down!


H.L. Mencken says: “Bite Me.”

As part of my Williamsburg convention experience for the February muster, Gar and I put on a test game called THE BATTLE OF THE STEAM PLUME, which features an Uncharted Seas game taking place near a live volcano that was shooting dollops of lava into the ocean from time to time.  If you read this blog regular-like, you’ll know that I indulge in a little bloviation and narration of conventions I attend, under the heading of AARs (After Action Reports).  I wrote one up for the Uncharted Seas game and was very fortunate to get several great photos from Dewey LaRochelle that I included in as a slideshow and as a video (of still images) which I posted to my Youtube account.

Yesterday, I get this response from “battlemind77”:

Sorry man – badly painted models, an ugly table and no narration or story. I have to give this a thumbs down.

I was a bit floored by this discourtesy.  I don’t live or die by Youtube ratings and it doesn’t bother me at all that this chimp dislikes something I do.  But the comment.. to accentuate being nasty about it, seemed over the top.   People put their heart and soul into games.  I know I certainly do.  And some of us are awful painters. I don’t think the scenery was that bad, and we were playing for fun.  I certainly think the players had a good time, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

I tried to come up with a witty rejoinder worthy of a latter-day Twain, Bierce or Mencken, and I think I hit upon exactly the right tone:

jeez, what an asshole.

I know, that may be too esoteric for my readership, and for that, I apologize.  I try to keep a polite tone in these posts.  (grinning)

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Before we kill you, Mr. Bond…

Cover of the soundtrack of the film Dr. No, wh...

Image via Wikipedia

You may recall the amazing University of Pennsylvania Quadriroter robot helicopters from a previous post. That was just formation flying. This is really spectacular, they play the James Bond theme.

(once again, I think the theme from TERMINATOR might have been more appropriate, but there’s still a huge cool factor at work here).


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DUDE SCIENCE: The Mini Cannon

“Dude Science” is my catchall category for things that are done for inexplicable reasons for the cool factor and the sheer hair-brain-edness of the basic idea.  Sure, it was important to figure out if there was water on the Moon.  So we figured it out how?  By BOMBING IT.  That’s Dude Science.. the kind of thing that makes you say… Duuuuude….

The following two videos are certainly Dude Science in spirit, but reside more in the category of wonderful craft projects.  Here is part one and part two of “Firing the Mini Cannon”

Note the author of this work (and mighty cannon forger) destroys all manner of electric lights, food, mushy objects and glassware in his lab… INCLUDING HIS OWN COMPUTER MONITOR. Could he have gone to the dump to scavenge a few junkers to blow up? Sure! But where’s the cool factor in that?


(Dude Science: (n) A Descriptive noun for an area of scientific undertaking that causes objective observers to exclaim, “Whooa, DUDE!” involuntarily)

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You might recall the recent GRAND RAPIDS lipdub (posted here a while back). Now Traverse City, Michigan has their own. If this is a trend, I’m loving it. That’s former Screensavers host Kate Botello in the middle, there.

Grand Rapids Don Mclean Flash Mob: For once, I’m speechless…

It’s astounding. My flabber is wholly gasted.

I can’t argue with Roger Ebert’s assessment. Just watch and enjoy. I’ll shut up now and watch again.

Hey, a little feel good video for today

The Hole – video powered by Metacafe