Tag Archives: books

More Hodgman Than You Require

John Hodgman, everyone's favorite minor television personality and purveyor of totally ture made up facts is back with a new book More Information Than You Require.

To promote his new book he's been making the rounds of some of my favorite internet shows.

Jodgman has recently been a guest on two episodes of You Look Nice Today along with Jonathan Coulton.

Selfish Express
Faux Tog

Also Jodgman has promoted his book on Boing Boing TV and appeared into miniseries SPAMasterpiece Theater.

Leo Laporte of TWIT interviewed Hodgman about his role as the PC in the Apple adds.

Hodgman on TWIT #167

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Entertainment: Movies, Books, Music

Shamelessly copied from grrrace's great reviews, you should read them.

.:What I'm Watching:.

Hitman: Unrated. [A gun-for-hire "Hitman" is a genetically-engineered, elite assassin known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as 'The Organization' is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Eastern Europe. But even 47 couldn't anticipate a "random equation" in his life exactitude: the unexpected stirrings of his conscience and the unfamiliar emotions aroused in him by a mysterious Russian woman.]

Originally I was looking at this for the Digital Copy that's included but what a great surprise this film was. Based off the video games series, it's about a trained assassin who's double crossed. This guy makes the last James Bond look like a traffic cop. Great acting, what a believable character, when is Hitman 2 coming out. Some of it is very violent and graphic but in all fairness the film is called Hitman. Some of the best fighting scenes I can remember. By the way both Donna and I watched the film entirly on the iPod Touch in bed that's how good the film was.

Tekkonkinkreet: [Two orphan brothers the tough, canny Kuro and the childish, snot-nosed Shiro who live in the streets of Treasure City. Together they are known as Neko and they live homeless, living out of a car in the junkyard when not visiting Gramps, an older homeless man, these children also serve as the city's superhero guardians, although older brother Black must also give a great deal of personal attention to White, who even for a ten-year-old can sometimes seem very disconnected from reality. They're going to have to be on the top of their games, because a pair of Yakuza – Rat and Kimura – are returning to Treasure Town, but to a certain extent their only front men for a group of developers looking to build a family amusement center – and they've hired the monstrous looking Snake and his inhumanly powerful goons to make sure it gets done.]

I know you'll be tempted… not for kids. A R rating in the video and a 13+ sticker from the Régie du Cinema, but adults who like tragic, flawed and damaged characters will like it. Also lots of Matrixesque type violence and movement, but it is the same studio that worked on the Animatrix. The animation is top notch but didn't blow me away like a Miyazaki film, and yes I know that is a very high standard. I liked how whether street kid, criminal or cop they all cared about their neighborhood and in strange way were a kind of family. For me it added depth to the characters and story.

.:What I'm Reading:.

Broken Angels (Gollancz)
Richard Morgan

 Broken Angels: [Despite its slick formulaic structure, Morgan's SF–hardboiled hybrid, the sequel to the well-received Altered Carbon, bursts with energy and intelligence. Protagonist Takeshi Kovacs is the product of a brutal future in which corporations and politicians fight for supremacy. Humanity has spread to the stars by deciphering charts left behind by the long-extinct Martians. Since people haven't discovered how the Martians surpassed the speed of light, however, they usually travel through space by broadcasting their digitalized personalities from one planet to another and having them installed in new bodies, a technique that gives virtual immortality to the most unscrupulous individuals. One such is Kovacs, a young sociopath whom the interstellar government transformed into a super warrior before he went freelance. Kovacs resembles a smarter and deadlier Mike Hammer; part of the pleasure is watching him not only use his skills and conditioning but also struggle past his limitations to develop empathy for other humans. The few people Kovacs gets close to are the team that accompanies him on an expedition to claim the ultimate Martian relic—a functioning FTL starship. Morgan is good at presenting Kovacs's mastery of high-tech weapons and other gadgets, as well as his reactions to disturbing alien artifacts. The mystery aspect of the story is also well handled, always hovering in the background of the violent action as Kovacs gathers clues. It all adds up to a superior, satisfying cyberpunk noir adventure.]

I really enjoy Richard Morgan. Broken Angels is fast paced but not rushed, has characters that you end up caring about, and is a great continuation of the Cyberpunk genre (which I love). I like when I see the future, science and space travel and of couse people done realistically, no Lycra jumpsuits here. It's gritty, dark and life is cheap since you'll just get a new body after you die anyway. Excellent book. Really pushed my imagination.

.:What I'm Listening Too:.

Diamond Hoo Ha

Supergrass – Diamond Hoo Ha: I've always liked Supergrass right from their first album way back in High School. They really do the retro 70's & 80's pop rock just how I like it. Catchy tunes, memorable lyrics and musically layered songs. Ghost of a Friend is a favorite. Though Carts and I differ in opinion if he's the only one who's allowed to head bob along in the car to the album. Oh and it's iTunes Plus so no DRM. And he's a preview MP3 of the entire album.

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My God It’s Full of Stars

During high school, instead of being cool I read sci-fi. The books of Arthur C Clarke held my imagination during this time and I look back on them with great fondness.

Back in February I saw this video of Clarke's that he did for his 90th birthday. I didn't post about it at the time but I'm adding it here.

It's quite sad when we lose such a great mind such as Clarke's.

Firstborn (A Time Odyssey)
Arthur C. Clarke

UPDATE: Last night the Science Fiction Book Club called and offered me three free books (with only having to buy two more in the next year). One of the books they offered was Arthur C Clarke's First Born, so I took it the offer.

A coincidence if you ask me. Or maybe not, the woman on the phone a) didn't know who he was and b) that he had just died. If I was the manager of the call center I would so tell everyone to push that book right now. Though it might be considered by some a little opportunistic.

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You Can Never Go Back…

… but you can certainly visit.

Recently I stumbled upon Spacing Montreal a blog that "examines neighbourhoods, architecture, urban planning, transit and cycling". It's a great blog (why didn't I think of it) and it's local (Valley Wag is great but I'm never going to be partying at SXSW or San Fransisco with the technorati).

Reading it has got me sentimental for the days (and when I mean days I mean like a decade ago) when I went to school and worked in downtown Montreal. So when I had some time to walk around downtown I took it.

Of course it's the simple and mundane that you miss most. That's what surprised me. But I guess that's what makes up life.

The sound, wind, and noise of Metro cars pulling into a station. The sound of people pushing the turnstiles and cold florescent lighting. Resting my bag on the escalators since it's over packed and heavy. Homeless people that don't look that homeless asking for spare change.

Overhearing conversations on Saint-Catherine street and trying not to laugh. Jay walking. Sounds of traffic. Timing it perfectly so you can cross at the intersection on a green light.

Buying a 40+ year old sci-fi paperback. Brittle yellow pages, musty smell and the price written in pencil on the inside of the cover. Being able to talk English to the old man behind the counter.

But as with any past love it's rarely as good as it once was, mainly because you forget things.

It takes forever to walk anywhere. I'm not as quick or graceful making a dash across an intersection. All the stores I remember are gone. My bag gets heavier much faster.

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