October 2012


A colourful and strange new art installation called ‘Umbrella Sky’ caught my eye today while websurfing. The art is made up of 45 colored umbrellas suspended within the historic walls of Clifford’s Tower in York, England. It is the first time this medieval tower has had any kind of covering since 1684 when an enormous explosion blew the roof off (the tower was used as a store for gunpowder and munitions). And for those who think this is inappropriate, no it’s not a permanent exhibit – it’s only up for a month.

Photo credit: AP / Anna Gowthorpe

Only a month away from the exciting release of Nintendo’s next gaming console. Los Angeles Times writer, Todd Martens has some interesting views of the new Wii U when he tried it out at the recent Wii U press event at the W Hotel in Hollywood on Oct. 16, 2012.

You can tell from reading the article that the main draw of the new Nintendo system will be the tablet game controller and that many families will buy this system because of the currently trending popularity of tablets that the iPad originally had started.

For the casual crowd who want to know what else the Wii U can do other than gaming:

…It was the system’s TVii feature that looked to be one of its more promising aspects. If done right, the TVii  can become a one-stop shop for all  TV viewing needs. On-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are placed side-by-side with network schedules, allowing users at once to see all that is available for viewing or purchase… For sports fans, the TVii looks to be rather addictive, with previews showing the GamePad as being able to provide in-game statistics, digitally simulcast games and host all sorts of other goodies for those with short-attention spans.

An example of an interesting use of the tablet on the Wii U:

The GamePad goes a long way toward providing [an] immersive experience. Flip on its flashlight and do a 360 on your couch and the GamePad screen allows you to see more of the environment than what’s on the TV screen. Intriguing also is the social aspect — friends who are completing their own missions on their own consoles can leave in-game messages for you to find, a la “Dark Souls.”

Maybe Sony and Microsoft will soon jump the bandwagon:

When playing with a friend locally, the GamePad is a vital tool –  clunky split-screens become a thing of the past; I found I’d much rather view the action on the GamePad than the large flat-screen TV in front of me. Maybe that says a lot about the strength of the GamePad’s slick 6.2″ LCD touch screen, or perhaps it’s a simple acknowledgement that smart phones and tablets are transitioning the living room of the future into a place populated with multiple, more intimate screens.

Will you be buying the Wii U at launch? Are you the wait-and-see type? As for me, I’ve long been a Nintendo fan since the NES days, so I’ve already pre-ordered the black bundle! How ’bout you?

Read the entire LA Times review here.

To hear more about the TVii feature, view the Wii TVii trailer below or click here:

To see how the tablet gamepad is used within the New Super Mario Bros U game, jump to 0:34 sec (or click here):

OMG… Russell “The Gladiator” Crowe, is that really you? This photo taken just recently on the set of his new movie “Noah” shows a Russell Crowe that made me look twice. Mr. Crowe, I’m sorry about your recent divorce, but you’ve really let it go. Now I’m a little worried about this movie…

This 2014 film is about the Biblical Noah who suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge, and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.

The casting is strong: Emma Watson (Harry Potter), Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, and the director Darren Aronofsky has done Black Swan, The Wrestler, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream, all highly regarded movies.

So who’s going to see Steven Spielberg’s next big movie “Lincoln”? And no, this is not the poorly-rated vampire hunter Lincoln movie.

This biopic of Abraham Lincoln focuses on the last four months of Lincoln’s life, as he fights to amend the constitution to outlaw slavery, while also seeking peace with the Confederates in the Civil War. It was recently shown in a secret screening at the New York Film Festival (cell phones, iPads and even Kindles were not allowed), and will officially release Nov. 16, but those who made it into the screening were under oath not to review the film yet. Ohhh, the secrecy!

Apparently, the film has already been billed a sure shot for Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis) – they are expecting a total of 12 nominations. Listen for Oscar-winning composer John Williams (a la Star Wars / Indiana Jones) as he teams yet again with Spielberg.

One of 2012’s top five films? OMG definitely!

At this year’s tenth annual BrickCon, a convention for Lego hobbyists that took place between Oct. 6-7, 2012, two fans created a 20,000 piece Batcave!! I am always amazed at how creative people can be with their Lego, but this 100-pound masterpiece is on a higher level. Carlyle Livingston II, 48, and Wayne Hussey, 58, spent three months and 400 hours putting it together in their garage. Must click for larger resolution now!

Click to enlarge!

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See the intricate cavern work and the bats!

So, you learned your lesson from past launches of console releases and remember that you don’t wanna be left out of the water cooler chat after Xmas. Everyone will be talking about the Wii U and how fun it is (it has happened to me when the original Wii came out, and I hated it). Well, get your butt moving, because the black Wii U is sold out almost everywhere (at time of this posting). However! As of Oct-04-2012, you still have three chances left: Toys R Us and Wal-mart have not yet started taking preorders (watch my blog), and The Source (Canada, no in-store pickup) is still accepting preorders (for now).

The question is: should you fork over the extra $50 for the Deluxe Bundle at $349? The answer is an absolute OMG yes! The Basic set doesn’t even include a game! The deluxe set comes with the game Nintendo Land, hard drive space increases from 8GB to 32GB, a Deluxe digital points system (a Rewards system to use for later purchases), and accessory stands (as well as everything in the base set including the tablet controller). Remember, you can use your old Wii remotes to play on the Wii U (so you save money there).

So, how is this Nintendo Land game? Game critics and hardcore gamers usually dismiss Nintendo games as too casual or one-dimensional, especially mini-games collections. However, watch this newly posted eye-opening game review by GameInformer below (or click here), they explain how the game is originally deceiving in its gameplay depth and yet extremely addicting. Below that video is the E3 gameplay presentation of Nintendo Land that GameInformer was referring to in their review (or click here).

How quickly did the first set of Deluxe bundles sell out? Just three to four days at Gamestop, EB Games, Bestbuy and Futureshop. I expect the same for the others that will sell preorders. I highly recommend to take the safe route and NOT to go to the store to buy after the release date, November 18th, unless you enjoy waiting in huge lines for hours or enjoy being disappointed with sold out signs. You will not see supply until after January 2013.

REMEMBER, you snooze you lose!

I can just see it… Soccer moms hearing about the new Wii U thinking, “What a steal for $300 for a Nintendo iPad!” They rush over to the store, hoping to surprise the kids with the best Xmas present of 2012, then leave disappointed when they learn they’re all sold out and no supply till next year (or they settle for the basic and not realize they could have saved some money with the Deluxe).

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Also, this is historic for Canadians: This is the first video game console launch where both the US and Canadian prices ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!!! I’m really shocked! Go Canadian Loonie Go!!

Just posted a few days ago, and almost 900,000 views, this is funny to watch… Deer 1, Longboarder 0. I hope the deer was ok. Oh yeah, and the guy also.

youtube credit: the papdog