what is inside?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #26 What is inside the armoured car so strongly guarded by the coppers? The rule is that every Monday I post one pop culture quiz question, but as the last times, and today, they were solved just too fast I decided to post a second one today. Obviously my riddles are too easy—now dig your teeth into this one!     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the … Continue reading

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what is closed?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #25 What has been closed? After the quick solutions the last two times, hopefully this one’s harder … the screencap is from an extremely well known movie, though.     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t … Continue reading

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colonial crimes records

again a glimpse into the heart of darkness Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded.     Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.     … Continue reading

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evil overlord workstation

Way back in 2008 I reported on attempts to cyberpunkify ergonomic solutions for computer workplaces: see ↵laid back and ↵laid back flagship. Now MWE Lab has driven it to new heights in every respect … the ↑Emperor 200 comes with a lavish price-tag of $45,000. Roberto Baldwin at Wired’s Gadget Lab ↑has commented perfectly: Upon sitting in the Emperor 200, users tap on the touchscreen to lower the monitors and nestle themselves into a computing bubble worthy of a Bond villain. Because each workstation is built to order, MWE labs can customize each installation to handle different computing platforms, even … Continue reading

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gaming and murder

Over at ↑Rock, Paper, Shotgun John Walker insightfully debunks the media’s way of dealing with computer games in connection with Anders Breivik: It is inevitable that during the trial of Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik, that the matter of videogaming will come up. Soon after the horrendous events I dug into what Breivik had actually said about gaming in his ghastly manifesto, and it was pretty much nothing of relevance. But with the press still not having found the next nasty to leap on, gaming is the scapegoat. It seems reasonable to point out how inaccurate this remains, and how … Continue reading

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science fiction debt

Jo Walton’s ↑The Best Science Fiction Ideas in any Non-Fiction Ever: David Graeber’s Debt: The First Five Thousand Years has some nice ideas about why so many science fiction readers and writers are fascinated by ↵anthropologist David Graeber’s book ‘Debt’ (2011): One of the problems with writing science fiction and fantasy is creating truly different societies. We tend to change things but keep other things at societal defaults. It’s really easy to see this in older SF, where we have moved on from those societal defaults and can thus laugh at seeing people in the future behaving like people in … Continue reading

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last riddler challenges

Just yesterday I had a longer conversation [not online, but face to face, beer by beer] with a doctoral student of mine ↑who does deeply immersed fieldwork around and within the ‘StarCraft II’ (SC2 | Blizzard Entertainment 2010) pro-gamer scene. Matchingly enough the day before yesterday I reread ↓Bearman 2008 and ↵watched ‘King of Kong’ (Gordon 2007) and ‘Chasing Ghosts’ (Ruchti 2007), wondering at the lengths high-end arcade-gamers go. Well, he told me about the lengths the SC2-specialists go, especially in terms of analysis of the game, its patches, actual matches, etc. Up to writing book-lengths compendiums. After enough grinning … Continue reading

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who dropped it?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #24 It still is noir-time around here: Who dropped the ten of clubs on the dark, wet street, and why? On the one hand playing cards have something to do with the character in question, on the other hand the dropping is needed for the advancement of the plot. Plus, in the time the dropper was a star, a true icon.     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill … Continue reading

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