2010 in review

January 2, 2011 at 10:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 5 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 490 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 572 posts. There were 617 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 133mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was July 15th with 2 views. The most popular post that day was Ninjavideo.net.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were guildwars2guru.com, Google Reader, guildwars2.si, twitter.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bugs bunny, ninjavideo.net, daredevil, facepalm, and runes of magic.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Ninjavideo.net July 2010
14 comments

2

Exploits of Runes of Magic November 2009

3

Classes of Guild Wars 2 January 2010
8 comments

4

More Exploits of Runes of Magic January 2010

5

Elite Skills of Runes of Magic November 2009

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The Year In Nerd

January 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments
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The older I get the more proud of my characteristics I become. Foremost among these is my nerd qualities. Where as once I might have hid my interests in shame, now I proudly wear them on my chest. I am a nerd, and proud of it.

If only people more fully owned who they are.

I have a friend who works in computer repair, plays video games all day, but no he isn’t a nerd. Of course not.

Nerd culture is far reaching, crossing mediums, and has exploded with the internet. A decade ago if you were a nerd you were a dedicated but isolated and lonely person. Today anyone can be a nerd in minutes by looking through google and wikipedia.

I no longer have to delve so deeply into any one topic, I can spread my wings and enjoy nerd culture on all levels. Whether it be television, movies, music, clothes, games, or anything else.

In any case, here are the things I was interested in as a nerd in the year 2010.

Games

Let’s address some really obscure stuff you guys probably don’t know I like. For instance, there’s this upcoming game called Guild Wars 2. Apparently it’s a big deal. Despite some popular blogs impressions, turns out you can jump, and it isn’t heavily (not as much as Guild Wars) instanced.

People really freaking love this trailer.

If you weren’t playing Minecraft this year I suggest you turn in your nerd credentials. I’m going to need your laser gun, your Star Wars dvds, your flash drive, and a sworn statement written in Klingon or Elvish that you will not participate in nerd activities.

I won’t summarize the game except to say, it’s legos, and it kind of rocks.

What quickly became one of my favourite games of all time and surpassed it’s predecessor with ease, was also one of the best selling games of the year. It sold 2 million in it’s first week, who knows how many more since. Mass Effect 2.

What was so great about it? A streamlined approach to action, a fully fleshed out and deep universe, great voice acting, well written story, and an epic sense of adventure. There is little to complain about when saving the galaxy as Shepard.

Honorable Mentions:

I don’t think New Vegas quite measure up to the likes of Mass Effect 2, but then I’m not sure if any game does. It’s good. Worth playing. Not Mass Effect 2.

Dragon Age is a good game but felt stiff in the corners. The fights all too often just ended up being larger and larger numbers of enemies to increase difficulty. The story was good, and the companions, but I thought it was brought down by the mechanics and play.

Not worth mentioning and yet here we are:

Warhammer, Aika, Free Realms, EQ2, LOTRO, all games I tried and didn’t really feel like trying again.

LOTRO was probably the best of these, but I just couldn’t get past the long boring travel and kill ten rats quests.

Television

I’ve quite grown accustomed to being able to watch British series through various shady sites on the web, and one of the first was Doctor Who. I thought Eccleston was cool, Tennant was great, and I’m still figuring out Smith, but all the same I really enjoyed the most recent series.

I don’t think DW measured up to some of the Tennant series, Blink and Midnight come to mind as transcendent episodes, but it’s still one of the best shows on television. I know some people don’t like the glorious farcical elements, the trippy fantasy mixed with unlikely science fiction, but that’s one of the best parts. There’s also this deep seated pacifist message in just about every episode, kind of brave for this day and age.

Sherlock was the real surprise for me this year. When I heard remake, I just thought “oh god please don’t crap on the memory of Arthur Conan Doyle”. However I was greatly pleased to find the 3 episodes absolutely entertaining. Great chemistry between the leads, tight story telling, absolutely no lame “updates” to the character, only realistic representations of what Sherlock might be like in the 21st century.

As a mystery fan I felt obligated to check it out, as a nerd, I feel obligated to show it off on my blog.

I, like most men, played cowboys and indians as a child. Or alternately cops and robbers. Justified is like the two of them put together, only instead of indians you get white trash. The simmering rage that surrounds the main character is so interesting to watch. The hot female leads don’t hurt either.

I nearly entirely forgot to mention one of the best sitcoms I have ever watched. The IT Crowd. The short 6 episode series always leaves me wanting more, but the jam packed quality of each episode is impressive. The first season may start out slow, but by the end, stretching into this years fourth season, is non stop laughter. My absolute favourite this year was The Final Countdown. It was brilliant. Satire on that level is unbelievable. Truly one of the most knowing satirizations of what it is to be a nerd I’ve ever seen.

Honorable Mentions:

Chuck is pretty consistent. it lays on the line between mediocrity and greatness on a regular basis. I like that it is purposefully and willfully nerdy at times but there are a few problems. The needless conflicts (that could be resolved if two people just had one conversation) are a little irritating, and I often wish Chuck would grow a spine.

The Good Wife is perhaps the best network drama on the air. The deep rooted cynicism appeals to my particular sense of nerdery. The storylines are complex and interesting. The acting is superb, and they veer away from cliche whenever possible.

The Daily Show and Conan are what I watch to laugh. I am grateful every time I watch Jon Stewart that I don’t live in the United States. Conan’s brand of humour has entertained me greatly for something like 18 years now. I used to stay up late on friday nights just to watch the first 15-30 minutes of his show which came on at 1:35 in the morning. Dedication people, that’s what being a nerd is about.

I keep adding to this. Community also rocks, along with How I Met Your Mother. Two network shows secretly written by huge nerds.

Not worth mentioning and yet here we are:

The more time passes the more disappointed I am in the Lost finale. What a terrible ending for all those who watched for the science fiction and fantasy. Nerds who were drawn in over so many seasons were left out to dry.

Stargate Universe started out fairly boldly, a dark, endlessly hopeless approach to the Stargate…. uhm, universe, that stole from Battlestar Galactica heavily. Unfortunately it was too rooted in the old shows and had too many miracles to keep a sense of realism.

After the cancellation of Legend of the Seeker, a show I watched simply because it was the only fantasy show on television, I started to watch Merlin, the only fantasy show on television. They both suck.

Oh and I was fairly outraged by the cancellation of both Spectacular Spiderman and the most recent X-men cartoon, not because they had bad ratings, but because Disney bought Marvel, and Disney likes to make their own cartoons. They were 2 of the best Marvel animated series to date, making Disney look like idiots.

Movies

Scott Pilgrim vs The World is probably the best movie I saw all year. Altogether I don’t have a high opinion of most movies I see, but Pilgrim appealed to me on several different levels. It was funny, interesting, well written, well directed, and showed an originality few movies do anymore. I wrote in a previous post that, essentially, the box office take is why nerds can’t have nice things. Too few of us paid to see a movie made by, and for our community.

It is just plain enjoyable to witness comic book movies being made that aren’t garbage. The Batman movie of 1989 certainly began a new era for comic book movies but it has taken some time for studios to understand what it takes to do it right. There are still bad ones being made, Ghost Rider perhaps, but Iron Man 2 was a continuing example of how to do it right. Great casting, good special effects, well written, good direction, and best of all a sense of realism. Nothing worse than seeing purple pants in a Hulk movie or an accurate wolverine costume in an x-men movie.

Okay I haven’t seen Inception, but I believe it belongs here. A huge budget, massive stars, brilliant director, and all for a heist movie that’s inside someones dreams. I don’t know how anyone could say it’s not fit for nerds. And who better to exhaustively pore over the ambiguous ending and themes of the movie than nerds? Nobody, that’s who.

Honorable Mentions:

Believe it or not The A-Team wasn’t terrible. Certainly the very last action scene was, but the rest of the movie was affable if entirely unoriginal.

I can say the same for Prince of Persia. It certainly tried very hard but it was lacking a certain amount of rewatchability. Most of the characters just didn’t have much depth.

Winter’s Bone. Again I haven’t seen it. A crime noir set in the country. One of the best films of the year. I’m kicking myself for not having seen it yet, it’s right up my alley.

Not worth mentioning and yet here we are:

Airbender. Nuff said. Or is it? I loved the cartoon, they massacred it. Now it’s nuff said.

Dinner For Schmucks/The Other Guys. Could have been a great movie considering the talent it’s trucking around, but I wasn’t particularly impressed by the weirdness and the lack of jokes.

Jonah Hex. What I said about Iron Man 2 only the opposite.

Books

Can’t say I read too much that was particularly impressive. I’m a big Star Wars fan but this year I read last year’s books, Abyss, Backlash, Outcast. I was surprised by the quality of the Star Wars ebooks, Lost Tribe Of The Sith. They are free and well written.

Ghosts of Ascalon was a surprising treat. After years of hearing of absolutely terrible game tie-in books, I was not expecting such an impressive read. A well written story that although contained a few cliches, was fleshed out with deep characterization, well used lore, slight twists on old ideas, and an appetizing cast.

Only read about 6 or 7 books this year. I admit, I need to buff up my book habits.

Not worth mentioning and yet here we are:

I’m not happy with Del Rey. Their policy on hardcover books has quite irritated me. While most publishers release a paperback about 6 months after a books hardcover release, they wait a year. When their Star Wars series only had the occasional hardcover this wasn’t as much of a problem. Each release in their latest 9 part series, Fate of the Jedi, is released in hardcover. I’ve therefore been boycotting their hardcover books, where before I might have bought them from time to time. For a book company to prey on the rabid fandom of their customers is abhorrent to me.

Internet

I started using Reddit. Years ago I used digg, but never really found it to be all that great. I mostly used it because my best friend liked it. Cut to years later and the content on Reddit suits me much better. Farcical cartoons, images, memes, linked right next to serious news, politics, and information. It’s mostly liberal but does entertain opposing views, has a large amount of Canadian content, and plenty of nerd references. To keep up with internet jackassery I have to do nothing but check in with reddit on a regular basis. For me it was one of the top internet sites of 2010.

The Gregory Brothers had some of the catchiest music of the year, who cares if its funny too. I was tempted to go with Double Rainbow as well, but Bed Intruder is just king.

I don’t even know where I came across this video, who made it, or why it’s so funny. It’s awesome, that’s all that matters.

I think images with concise, witty, observations and one liners quite took off this year. I found the following meme particularly therapeutic. I hope it helps out fellow nerds as well. Socially awkward penguin rules!

Although I think I’ll give Forever Alone a nice second place finish. He really worked hard for it.

This video was not very popular but ended up being one of my favourite videos of the year. So true to life and if you can type, you can make something similar. I suppose the trend in general towards these text-to-movie videos alone is worth noting, as there are several other well known and similar videos.

I first saw the following linked from the AV Club. Just as with any sane teenager, I dismissed Insane Clown Posse back in the mid 90s. I find it incredible that in 2010 they suddenly beame irrevocably relevant, even if it was only because they’re funny. Unintentionally funny. Leave your scientist talk at the door folks and enjoy.

The year was filled with countless things I haven’t mentioned, reams of comic books, console games, tech devices, zombies, you name it. These though were what occupied my time, or shortly will occupy my time. What was in your year of nerd?

URL AI

September 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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It can only be attributable to human error.

I noticed on Twitter (groan) that poppyshock from I Have Touched The Sky linked URLAI.com. You plug in your website and it analyzes it, telling you various things about your blog or at least, you’re writing style.

While it’s not as interesting as I Write Like… I did find myself compelled and so I plugged in my URL. It only tells you about age, gender, mood, and tone, and even then doesn’t get as specific as I might like.

Apparently the options for mood are only happy or upset.

Anyway here’s mine, and I didn’t find the results overly satisfying. I’m not between the ages of 36 and 50 and it seems to barely register that I’m male at all. If that wasn’t emasculating enough my mood is usually happy and I’m very personal in my posts.

Scott Pilgrim vs My Eyeballs

August 25, 2010 at 1:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized, video | 8 Comments
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KO'd

I settled into my seat in a surprisingly busy theater. The local chain is only showing Scott Pilgrim once a night, couple that with the cheap Tuesday night tickets (7 bucks) and surprisingly it was mostly full. I had read about the box office woes of the movie (60 million to make, but only having grossed 20 so far) and had half expected to enjoy the movie in silence.

I was 15 minutes early so of course I was subject to the various ads, which immediately gave me the feeling this would not be a good night. There was a public service announcement about going back to school, I noticed most of the people in the theater were barely above half my age, and various chocolate bar and candy ads aimed at tweens. Great.

The previews started. Often for me this is the best part of a movie, particularly if the movie stinks, so I watched with intense scrutiny. The new Bruce Willis “Reds” movie could be watchable, especially with Helen Mirren. I could watch Prime Suspect, particularly the last season over and over.

Finally the movie began. The Other Guys starring Will Farrel and Mark Wahlberg.

Wait. What.

Apparently they forgot to switch the reel over from the 7 o’clock showing.

Sitting through 2 sets of previews is a boon to a person like me, but it still ended up starting the actual movie 40 minutes late. I can be pretty prickly so starting my movie late is not a good thing.

I guess it just didn’t matter though. Scott Pilgrim is wicked awesome.

Early on I almost instantly recognized a song that was playing. I couldn’t quite place it. “I’ve liked you for a thousand years, a thousand years”. Later on Scott Pilgrim wears a t-shirt that says Plumtree. I’ve seen them in clubs like a dozen times. Halifax’s own. They even go on to play Go! by Plumtree as well.

As to the actual movie, I have to admit, I didn’t think the acting was particularly strong. Does that even matter in a movie like this? No.

The visuals were fantastic, I loved them. You rarely see a movie so fully invest itself in the visual ideas of its source material. Sin City I think was the first to do this, followed by a few other comic book movies. Usually you just get crap like Fantastic Four with Jessica Alba. Does that adaption of the comic book sit right with anyone?

The visual style isn’t the only thing to like of course. There is the humour. I’ve yet to read the comic book, blasphemy I know. Unfortunately that means I’m not sure how funny the comic is in relation to the movie, but the movie is quite funny. Sure there are kind of lazy pee jokes, like when Scott empties his pee bar. The audience laughed but I don’t think it was that funny. There are other pee jokes though, and I did laugh at those. I tend to not laugh at bodily function humour, it seems so junior high to me. Yet there it is.

The continual odes to geek culture were truly impressive. Video game sound effects, references, and visual gags require a second viewing I think.

I loved the characters. Well written and while not necessarily deep, the large cast complements the story instead of holding it back. Some of the situations ring true as well, I mean its a fantastical comic book story but, heart break and humiliation go hand in hand with break ups. Super villain induced or not.

I think the most impressive thing about the whole movie is how easily it splices a sort of romantic comedy with a super hero comic book. I like that real world situations are told through a fantasy epic adventure story. It pulls it off really well. I’ve always thought that Spiderman’s best stories, or his best villains anyway, weren’t just random strangers but the people he knew in real life. Docr Ock or Doc Connors as scientists Peter respected, Flash Thompson as a bully, Eddie Brock as a rival photographer.

Scott Pilgrim does exactly that. It takes the real world problems of dealing with break ups and ex’s, turns them into hyperbole and metaphor and not coincidentally a great movie.

Is it wrong that I sort of wanted Knives to end up with Scott at the end? Or wait maybe I just want to end up with Knives in the end. She is so frickin adorable.

Ladies and gentlemen of the nerd world. If you do not see Scott Pilgrim, you shame us both sir. Good Day.

Your Lack Of Funds Disturbs Me

July 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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You know what. Times are hard. There’s this whole financial crises, you can’t get a loan to save your life, getting credit is impossible. If you made a big investment right before the banking crises, like say for instance building 2 space stations the size of a small moon that can pulverize entire planets into oblivion, you’re in trouble.

I assume that’s why Darth Vader is robbing banks.

Don't worry, No Disintegrations!

I Write Like

July 15, 2010 at 10:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments
Tags:

Taking the blog world by storm is the latest craze. Who do you write like? Just take your latest blog post, plug it in over here and boom, you’ll find out who you emulate.

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Having never read more than an excerpt from Ulysses I can’t say whether or not I actually write like James Joyce. I do find it vaguely insulting somehow that my style is reminiscent of someone born in the 19th century.

Apparently it only has about a dozen possible authors.

Who do my fellow bloggers write like?

Since everyone seems to be curious as to just how many authors I’d thought I’d update this with all the writers I’ve seen. I plugged in a different entry and got J.K. Rowling btw.

j.k. rowling
james joyce
stephen king
kurt vonnegut
dan brown
Chuck Palahniuk
H.P. Lovecraft
Raymond Chandler <- i would have loved to have gotten this
Mario Puzo
Ian Fleming
Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Atwood
David Foster Wallace
J. D. Salinger
Isaac Asimov
Arthur C. Clark
Nicholas Sparks
Charles Dickens
Agatha christie
Vladimir Nabokov
Edgar Allan Poe
Ursula K. Le Guin
Douglas Adams
Robert Louis Stevenson
P. G. Wodehouse
J.R.R. Tolkien
William Gibson

Thanks for the last 4 mmogc.

Apparently there’s a lot. I give up counting :(. And when I say a lot, I mean there’s a bunch more but I’m not going to continue adding them.

Blog Issues 2

July 14, 2010 at 8:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I think if I was going to get a URL it would be .ca

On July 1st, my beloved national holiday, NinjaVideo was shut down. Its a site that uploaded the previous days television shows to sites like megaupload and provided an easy to use interface for downloading and watching them in high quality.

Apparently nobody knew what the hell happened, because after the July 4th weekend ended, I suddenly began getting major hits based on the post I did. Google liked me for it and my hit counts have doubled due to something completely unrelated to the general motives of this blog. Hooray?

I’m also having trouble with my blogroll. For some reason people keep disappearing from it. I’ve had to replace SecretAgentCat, Relics of Orr, GuildCast, High Latency Life, and others. I’m not sure why they keep disappearing. If you notice you’re missing, just cough really loudly.

I replaced the header image a while back but I don’t think others like it. The only person to remotely comment on it was Ryan from Relics of Orr who saw it and immediately made a replacement for me. I actually kind of like the one above, obscuring text or not.

I reached one thousand comments recently, but since most of those comments are mine, I don’t see it as much of a landmark.

Its only been 2 months since my last issues post, so I won’t dive into detail. Its sufficient to say not much has changed.

Finally I should not have posted that Double Rainbow song from a while back. It gets stuck in my head a lot. So intense.

Fredo LIVES!!!

June 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized, video | 6 Comments
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Why are you giving me the secret signal to shut up?

Perhaps one of my all time favourite television shows, and certainly one of my favourite sitcoms of all time is the amazing “The IT Crowd“. It airs on Channel 4 in England.

Its premise is straight forward. 2 IT nerds work in the basement of a large corporation. In the first episode a woman who knows nothing about IT gets the job as their boss. Hilarity ensues.

The thing is its so farcical and satirical that it becomes much more than a show about office workers. Everything from nerd culture to Russian cinema is put to the coals. I love this show so much.

I love everything about it from the opening credits and music to the bizarre tangents the show often goes on. Everyone I have suggested the show to has loved it. The first episode is just the tip of the ice berg, and I think the funniest episode is in the 3rd season 4th episode, but I have many favourites.

Anyway, I just watched the first episode of the brand new 4th season. Illegally of course. Any other IT Crowd fans out there?

Lost: 6 Moments for 6 Seasons

May 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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You're Gonna Die Charlie!

I was reading Lola’s blog and I guess it inspired me. She posted her 6 favourite moments, 1 per season of Lost, which airs it’s finale tonight. I happened to catch the pilot, knowing absolutely nothing beforehand about the show. It was striking from the beginning. I’ve followed it ever since.

Season 1: I liked the pilot, it had a lot going for it. Action, mystery, Jack getting sewed up by Kate, a terrifying howl from the jungle, and in the second part, the pilot getting eaten alive and a polar bear!? I can’t even remember what episode they discover the radio signal was playing for 16 years but that was cool. It was all good but the 4th episode, if the pilot is 2, was what really addicted me. Walkabout is one of the greatest episodes in television in the past 10 years. Not only was it shocking to discover Locke was paralyzed, it was played with such intensity and pathos by Terry O’Quinn that I didn’t miss another episode until halfway through season 2. Because, you know, season 2 sucked.

Season 2: There was a lot of filler in season 2, most of it having to do with the hatch and the countdown and the button and OMG stfu ffs! No matter the shocking revelations (locke finds the glow in the dark map on the drop door) or disturbing character deaths (michael murders libby and ana lucia), my favourite episode came in the season finale, Live Together, Die Alone. Knowing we’d never have to go back to the Hatch was thrilling. They blew it up, those maniacs!

Season 3: There are a lot of good plot elements in season 3, Juliette changing sides, Desmonds precognition, jack’s incarceration so that he can operate on ben. There’s a few memorable episodes too, Tricia Tanaka is Dead, The Glass Ballerina, Expose, Flashes Before Your Eyes. The whole sequence where Locke has Sawyer beat Lockes father, fantastic. The second best moment was obviously having Locke pushed out a window, but it’s just not the best. I hate to keep going straight to the season finale well, but Through the Looking Glass had my favourite moment. Charlie was my favourite character. You all everybody! It also had the first flash forward which blew my mind, so it’s a winner either way.

Season 4: Argh it starts in 5 minutes I should wrap this up. I’m going to say the Economist. Although finding out Jermey Bentham equals John Locke and oh yeah they’re both dead was awesome, seeing Sayid in bad ass mode was spectacular. It just was.

Season 5: I can’t think of any specific moments. LaFleur as an episode was good, I’m not sure if that’s where you find out Sawyer has somehow become apart of the dharma initiative. Perhaps I should go with finding out that the new locke is not locke. Or not his corpse. When did we find that out? Not good blog writing Hunter. Maybe commenters can help.

Season 6: Far and away one of the best moments of season 6 is Desmond Straight Up mowing down locke in a wheel chair. I’m a big fan of that moment. Just did not see it coming.

Bye Lost! I Love You!

You Will Never Again Receive So Much Enjoyment From Seeing An Innocent Paralyzed Man Get Hit By A Car

Posted It Anyway: Chinese Walmarts

May 23, 2010 at 3:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Orange Juice and Cooking Oil Packaged Together

Dear Internet

Often I am amazed by you. Not due to the wealth of educational material, but by your users ingenuity, imagination, and the ability to have fun with virtually anything. Whether it be the revelation that there will be a MacGyver movie, or what items are only sold in Chinese Walmarts.

Regards, hunter.

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