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Ugh, I hate being sick. I don't know whether to be happy or not that it's progressed from nose to chest, but at least I don't have that crappy neck/lymph node ache from last Sunday. I choose to believe this means my body is thrashing its viral nemesis most thoroughly.

In the meantime, have some inappropriate metaphors courtesy of vintage health posters! It strikes like a man-eating shark, people. LIKE A MAN-EATING SHARK!

(I think I shall call this sickness Bruce.)

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HA HA HA EAT MY DUST, OLD WIRELESS INTERNET CONNECTION OF 4KB/S. Man, you have no idea how nice it is to click on a youtube video and have it play immediately rather than pausing it for half an hour so it can buffer 2 minutes of film. Or use gmail not on the "for slow connections" setting. And not be randomly booted off the webbernets because there's no signal.

Touch wood the new connection remains shiny.
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I love the surreal quick-change artistry of this Old Spice ad (and amazed that they did it in one take with minimal post-shoot special effects). And his voice is over-the-top and still completely perfect :).

"I'm on a horse."

ETA the follow-up ad )
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I remember while watching Sherlock Holmes thinking how much I enjoyed the score - the reeling dance-hall piano, staccato strings, the gyre spinning always almost out of control. It's by Hans Zimmer, who also did the music for Pirates of the Caribbean (among zillions of others - he's something of a That Guy1 in film composition).

Here below is a music video for "Discombobulate", the key motif of the film. Rather than show clips from the movie, they've got the musicians doing their thing. I hate to use the word zany, but... check it out for yourself.

Gloriously steampunk piece, and the musicians are having a blast. Fireplace with dog and wine, boxes, boats, beaches, ELEPHANT, dancing... wondrous :D.

1 The That Guy website is so very neat. Seen a film and gone "Hey, it's that guy!"? Chances are you'll find him here. There are a few exceptions (for instance, Mark Sheppard is a That Guy on genre shows at the moment, to the extent that he's gone from "It's Badger-from-Firefly" to "Eee, Mark Sheppard!" for me), but the sheer number of character actors listed is impressive.
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I'm back at my regular computer, but have accumulated such a ridiculously large number of links that fic recs shall have to wait till I can sort through them. In the meantime, three things make a post:

I would watch this in a heartbeat (especially with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry)... What if Bertie Wooster was Batman?

Yet another entry in the games I can't play when there's a deadline. Far too distracting, with its cuteness and gardening and undead and stuff... Plants vs Zombies.

And yet another facet of folklore: frequently apocryphal, but cool... Ley tunnels.
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The "Aboriginal" dance by the Russians? Still offensive, and craply boring to boot. Random head-scrabbling and arm-flailing do not an Australian Aboriginal dance make, nor do the half-hearted bodypaint stripes or bizarre inclusion of bright green leaves in the costume. Can't believe it scored well.

Also disturbing? Her crazyface grin.
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More from the resource horde: The Dark Room is a gorgeous multimedia exploration of key tropes in film noir. There's still a few pages under construction, but the rest is awesome and informative.

And of course no exploration of the hardboiled genre is complete without Raymond Chandler's excellent essay, The Simple Art of Murder. The last paragraph or so is the key (and memorable) section, but the whole essay is well worth a read. (What's interesting to me is how I can see reflections of Chandler's hero in early Anita Blake novels, and how my waning interest in the series can be charted by its exponential divergence from the model.)
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Here's to possibly the best driving/roadtrip music ever written:

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The last hour or so of misery shall henceforth be known as "For God's sake don't completely delete shit in the synaptic package manager when you don't know what it does, particularly when you don't have a system restore point/backup. Just--
Also maybe do not listen to random people on the intertubes until you know the ins and outs of Xandros."

*clutches precious (Squ)eee*

O little eee, never leave me again!
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How long has Olympic Ski Jumping had judges awarding style points?! ("Always?", she asks with bitter cynicism)

Judges in a nationally-representative sport mean possible corruption/favouritism (hello, Eurovision voting blocks!), and really, who gives a damn if your jump technique isn't "stylish" as long as you go a long way? It's the snow equivalent of longjump, not a gymnastic floor routine. Beautiful technique should be a happy bonus to excellent competition, not something that could lose you a placing.
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Writing inspires a certain information pack-rattery in the hunt for useful resources. I have no idea what I'll be doing with this (if anything), but the Free Fall Research Page is a fascinating documentation of people who have been lucky enough to survive falls from a great height, including free fallers in WWII aviation, "wreckage riders", and unlucky skydivers. I blame Biggles for my own fascination with the topic :). Also, there's something endearingly steampunk about "Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium: Alfred Muhler fell from the wreckage of a German zeppelin into a monastery (June 7, 1915)".

(via Popular Mechanics: How to Fall 35,000 Feet - And Survive)
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There are mice.

They scrabble around at night. Gnawing. Scuttling. Squeaking.

Athena isn't nimble enough any more for full-on mouse hunts, but Kismet has matured into a very dedicated mouser. It is by turns creepy and hilarious to watch her: creepy because she will stand stock-still for minutes at a time just waiting and listening in some corner of the room, and I will forget she's there and do something else and five minutes later I turn around and JUMP-SCARE!; hilarious because sometimes she *knows* they're in there, dammit, and why won't they come out and be eaten?. Cue quizzical looks, bowing, clawing the skirting and (sadly not captured in these photos) licking/mouthing the door in an attempt to change reality with the power of her mind. In this case, trying to wedge her head into the sliding-door cavity and catch the mouse two inches too far away:

Sorry, honey. My head doesn't fit in there either.
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There's a number of interesting multiracial cast lists in the Chromatic Recasting meme, but these two in particular caught my eye for being *amazingly* perfect:

How I Met Your Mother recasting. (complete with Wayne-Brady-as-Barney in-joke)

Buffy: the Vampire Slayer recasting. (Gabrielle Union = awesomeness³)

(the Supernatural recasting of Shemar Moore as Dean Winchester is also pretty inspired, though that may be my newfound love of Criminal Minds speaking)
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Bless Twitter and the people who liveblogtweet events. I see that Clarion peeps Peter M Ball and Chris Green have both won Aurealis Awards - Peter the Science Fiction Short Story for Clockwork, Patchwork and Ravens, and Chris tied Fantasy Short Story for Father's Kill. I loved both stories, and it's thrilling to see them get recognition. Congratulations, guys!

(Congrats also to the lovely Cat Sparks for winning YA Short Story!)
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I have very little to say but "Eee, froggie!". OMGWTFWILDLIFE strikes again :).

Three more pics behind the cut )
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Asklafagleeee SHERLOCK HOLMES!!!

I am in love with everything about this movie.

So. Frikken. Awesome.
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As presents from nature go, a whole day of steady rain is pretty decent (27mm so far, the most my parents have had in a long time). Yay sky-water!

I'm away from my usual computer at the moment, but when I get back there'll be a mini rec-a-thon to share some of the fics and new fandoms I've enjoyed in the past year.

Have a lovely holiday season whatever you choose to celebrate; and wherever you are, I hope the weather is to your liking :).
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Yet another reason why I generally don't eat octopus: tool-wielding octopus builds armour out of coconut shells. Video is also up on Youtube here if the other one is down. That is a) adorably funny, and b) downright suspicious.

You may laugh now, but just wait till they finish the land-saucer assault vehicles.
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Further to my previous entry pimping the Slingers sizzle reel (and because a proto-fandom deserves some icons): an icon post (featuring pretty peoples, shiny tech, and a fledgeling OTP). Show writer Mike Atherton has also done an interview with Live For Films here, in which he drops a few more tantalising details about the characters and 'verse.


27 Slingers icons behind the cut )

Want/take/have; comments and credit are made of shiny blue things that please my bowerbird soul.
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Oh my goodness, this is the most deliciously, delightfully awesome sizzle reel I've ever seen. Better even than most actual tv previews or movie trailers. It also fills my yen for more caper/heist stories in speculative fiction, two genres that go together like chocolate and raspberries - tasty on their own, but also amazing in combination.

The show-to-be is Slingers, starring Sean Pertwee, Adrian Bower, Tom Mison, Margo Stilley, Haruka Abe, GUN and JUNIOR (how awesome is GUN? Just watch the video!). It's Oceans 11 IN SPACE!, or Cowboy Bebop, or Firefly, or Stainless Steel Rat, or...look, the trailer got three giggles and a lot of grins from me, it's visually stunning, and it has SEAN PERTWEE. Sean Pertwee awesoming it up as voiceover man and (I'm guessing) main antagonist. The "Slingers" category on writer Mike Atherton's blog is here, the production company's blurb (plus images) is here; both are worth checking out. And the sizzle reel is here:

SLINGERS from Mike Sizemore on Vimeo.

Word is they've plotted it out to season three; here's hoping it takes off like a superpowered rocketship and blazes across the heavens in comet-like glory.


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