J.J. Abrams on the Magic of Mystery

Love this sentiment from JJ Abrams’ feature article in the latest issue of WIred.

Think back, for example, to how we used to buy music. You would have to leave your apartment or house and actually move your ass to another location. You’d get to the store, where music would be playing on the stereo. Music you may not have heard before. Perhaps you’d ask the clerk what it was and she’d send you to a bin—those wooden containers holding actual albums or CDs—and you’d look through it, seeing other album covers that might catch your eye. You’d have a chance to discover something.

But wait, you say, iTunes gives you the chance to browse! To that I nod, concede the point, and say, “Bullshit.” Those little icons you scroll past mean almost nothing to most of us. Why? Because we didn’t get on the train, brave the weather, bump into strangers, and hear music we didn’t choose. In other words, we didn’t earn the right to casually scan those wooden bins. Lately I go to Amoeba Music in Hollywood just to watch people flip through albums. It’s a lost art.

J.J. Abrams on the Magic of Mystery



Finally! Someone has had the balls to not only rethink but publish a re-imagining of the English classic “Pride & Prejudice”.  Respect is due to one Seth Grahame-Smith who dared to toy with the whole English Lit fraternity. In his version, Elizabeth Bennet and her merry sisters are a gang of bona fide undead-slayers who are not averse to kicking ass. A sample of what is in the book :

“Mr. Darcy watched Elizabeth and her sisters work their way outward, beheading zombie after zombie as they went.”

What is there not to love?

How I disembowelled my soul mate and reanimated him.

Ok, have to admit that the title is totally to pull in the gullible amongst you. I have recently run into some small issues with my 18 month old iMac computer. It will randomly get stuck at the grey screen during startups. After some snooping around I discovered that Techtool Deluxe and Disk Utility both said that I had problems with volume structure (don’ ask me exactly what this means).

Like a food particle jammed tight between 2 teeth, I constantly had to lick at it hoping to dislogde it from my mind. A few suggestions from forums like macrumors.com and the apple support community later, I decided to do what the industry refers to as an ‘Archive and Install’.

If I am correct, what it does is basically store all the prefereneces, settings and network setup along with all the software that I have installed over the past months in a seperate folder before wiping clean the rest of the hard disk and reinstalling the Leopard OS.

In the time it took to get through Blonde Redhead’s album ’23’ on my iPod, the OS was reinstalled and ready to rumble. The first problem I encountered was my login password. It had been reset without any input from me. The next few minutes were spent frantically pulling out my iBook and getting into the apple support web page. Reset password using the install DVD. Is there nothing this innocuous looking circle of plastic can’t do?!

After nearly having a coronary, I got in and its as if nothing had happened. All my files were intact along with my desktop background and the partially downloaded torrent. The only thing is I had to get through 18 months worth of system upgrades. Surely a small price to pay for that food particle stuck between enamels?          

Settlers of Catan – a gentler kinder board game

https://i1.wp.com/www.boardgames.ca/productimages06d/settlers_of_catan_board_game_relaunch_detail.jpg If Monopoly is the only thing that comes to mind whenever board games are mentioned, well think again. Apparently moving bits of molded plastic on a piece of cardboard is a big thing in Germany. Wired has the low down on one Klaus Teuber who is widely seen as heading the vanguard in board game designs. A sentiment that I found especially enlightening is one interviewee’s take on the concept of Monopoly as a negative game experience.

“Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It’s a very negative experience. It’s all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money.”

“German-style games, on the other hand, avoid direct conflict. Violence in particular is taboo in Germany’s gaming culture, a holdover from decades of post-World War II soul-searching.

I have never thought about Monopoly in this way but now can recall the crushing sense of defeat and humiliation looking at the diminishing pile of fake money at my feet.