Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland Votes for the Union

I haven't said anything here about the Scottish referendum before now, partly because--being unable to vote--I wasn't following it closely.  But I did have an opinion, namely being pro-Union, and so was glad to see today that the Scottish public agreed.  With over 80% voting, it was a striking demonstration of democracy, and a sign that the British public are still motivated to vote when a serious choice is presented.

Friday, 13 June 2014


It's been a long while since I last reviewed a Roguelike.

Part of the reason is that I meant to review the "Big 5" of Roguebasin first, then move on to other games in time.  So on more than one occasion I mentioned that I'd review TOME4 in the near future.  The problem is that I can't really get into TOME4, despite its merits, for a number of reasons.  And I don't even have ADOM installed on my current laptop.  So I've barely scratched the surface of these games, not nearly enough to comment on them in any reasonable way.

So, the obvious solution finally comes: review games I actually play.  And we start today with Brogue.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Last night I went out with a few friends to watch the new film with Tom Cruise and Emily Brunt, Edge of Tomorrow.  It's based on the Japanese light novel All you need is Kill (which I have not read).  As such I can't compare it to the source material; judged on its own merits, however, I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

The premise can be described as Groundhog Day meets alien invasion flick, with Cruise starting out unlikable and gradually growing thanks to his experiences.  The alien invasion side of things provides our context for the repeated day, as well as a clear motivation for our characters.  The aliens in contrast are not particularly well developed, and don't need to be for this movie.  They do prove clever enough to serve as worthy antagonists and force our heroes to be smart.

One thing I strongly liked about this film was Emily Brunt's character, Rita Vrataski.  She is a soldier, believably hard both in combat and character, who spends her time wearing realistic military clothes and armour.  In short, she is a strong action character who happens to be a woman, and whose main relationship with Cage (Cruise) is as a mentor figure.

(Spoilers follow below the fold)

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Planck 2014 Overview

It's been a week, but I still think it's close enough to look back on Planck 2014 as a whole.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Planck 2014 Liveblog: Day Five Session 4

We come finally to the last session of Planck.  The downside to a week-long conference is that I tend to suffer from burnout, so I skipped the first talk as it was another string theory inflation talk.  I return for the last two, which do look a bit more interesting.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Planck 2014 Liveblog: Day Five Session 3

We return after lunch for another session of leptonic physics.

Planck 2014 Liveblog: Day Five Session 2

We come at last to the end of the conference.  Last night was the banquet, so I regrettably missed the first session this morning.  The second morning session looks to be related to leptonic physics.