21 August 2011

They're baaaaack!

In one week's time the second half of the 2011 season of Doctor Who gets underway, and will hopefully answer some very important questions (and stop us feeling quite so guilty about giving up on the current series of Torchwood). How does the whole River thing work? Why is the lady with the eyepatch such a total bitch? How many times will Rory die? Will Amy continue to be a whiny twerp? Head under the cut for some first half discussion, the trailer for the upcoming episodes, and a wee bit of gloating by yours truly.

19 August 2011

Fruitless Pursuits now live!

It's been a little bit quiet round these parts for the last couple of weeks, but for good reason! A group of pop culture enjoyers (including yours truly) have decided to pool our talents to create a SUPERBLOG. The Voltron of blogs, if you will. This does not mean the end of Wall of Nerd of course, but it does mean that if I'm being a bit quiet with posting you can always pop over to Fruitless Pursuits and read the other great content generated by all my pals.

Go on! Go! Over there! Now!

08 August 2011

Sunday HNNNG #2

A somewhat belated Sunday HNNNG, but it's still Sunday in...Honolulu. So it's technically still okay. You may notice there has been a couple of weeks in between hnnngs. I did originally plan to make it a weekly event, but nothing really stood out to me as a true hnnng in the last fortnight.


You may be aware of my recent minor infatuation with Michael Fassbender (you know, Magneto), an infatuation that I'm admittedly rather proud of myself for, as crushing on a manly man is much more satisfactory than the girly boys I tend to go for.


He recently starred in an adaption of Jane Eyre that has been out in the rest of the world for months, but is not out in Australia for another week (oh, the pain). I stumbled across the following cover the other day in my searching of the googlemachines:

Oh. My. I hear there were a lot of insurance claims stemming from that photoshoot. All the ladies in the immediate area became spontaneously pregnant after witnessing his carnal gaze.

HNNNG. Head on over to the W Magazine website to check out the full gallery of The Fass and his Jane Eyre co-star Mia Wasikowska. To state the obvious and crude: he can Bend my Fass any time.

06 August 2011

Kickin' It Old School

The other day I discovered a stack of books that caused me nothing but pain and torture in days gone by. Yes, that's right. REQUIRED READING MATERIAL. I did English Literature in high school, which was wonderful in that it started my life-long love of Shakespeare, but bad in the respect that it was brain-smashingly hard and almost resulted in me failing Year 12.

Most of the required material is incredibly tedious when you're 16. I was actually really surprised to find I still had these books. The only one that appears to be missing is Hedda Gabler, but I had such a special hate for that book that I suspect it may have met a fiery end post-graduation. I've decided to revisit these now that I'm somewhat more 'mature' to see if they're any more enjoyable. Except Hedda Gabler. Just reading the synopsis on Wikipedia just about put me into convulsions.

Let's have a look at what we've got:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

What I remember: In a dystopian future, women are slaves. They wear red, they breed, they hang out. 

What Wikipedia says: The Handmaid's Tale is set in the near future in the Republic of Gilead, a country formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. It was founded by a racist, male chauvinist, nativist, theocratic-organized military coup as an ideologically driven response to the pervasive ecological, physical and social degradation of the country.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

What I remember: Africa. Some crazy white dude. Tim Roth (we watched the movie after we finished the book). 

What Wikipedia says: The story centres on Charles Marlow, who narrates most of the book. He is an Englishman who takes a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Heart of Darkness exposes the dark side of European colonization while exploring the three levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters: the darkness of the Congo wilderness, the darkness of the Europeans' cruel treatment of the natives, and the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil.

Othello by William Shakespeare

What I remember: Black guy...something something...a-hole white guy named after the parrot in Aladdin...something something...conflict.

What Wikipedia says: WAY TOO MANY THINGS. In summary, Othello is a black guy in the army and a total badass. He's married to a chick called Desdemona. He's got a buddy called Iago who gets really pissed off when Othello promotes a younger guy called Cassio head of him. Iago proceeds to ruin the shit out of everyone's lives. Cause he can.

In all honesty I probably won't read this one again, but I have been wanting to re-watch a modern adaption called 'O' starring Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles & Josh Hartnett (oh, early 00s, I love you), so will probably do that instead.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

What I remember: It being really boring til we got the watch the BBC version. Ey-o! No, I do like P&P, but until you get it into your brain that Mr Darcy is a super Hottie McHottiepants, the book goes like this: Fairly nice girl has a whole lot of idiot sisters and an idiot mother. One idiot sister loves the new bland rich boy in the neighbourhood. Bland rich boy's friend is a frigid douchebag who is in general quite a douchebag to the fairly nice girl. The most idiot of the idiot sisters runs off with a total manslut, so frigid douchebag goes and finds them. Turns out he was only a douchebag cause he totally loved the fairly nice girl. Fairly nice girl marries him. You never find out if he stops being frigid.

I don't plan on reading this again, I have read/seen it ten million times. It's just an excuse for a picture of Colin Firth. The actual caption on this picture when I found it was 'Ideal Breeding Material'. TRUTH. Would also accept Matthew McFayden as potential babydaddy.

There are a couple of other books I'm going to add to this list even though they technically weren't school books. They feel like they should have been though.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I'm currently reading this for the first time, so no memories. I am quite enjoying it, even though there have been quite a few passages I've skimmed due to preachy God things. Though even those are ok in the end cause the character will say something along the lines of 'If I suffer without complaining, then God will like me and I'll get into heaven' and Jane will be all 'What is WRONG with you??' Very much looking forward to the movie, and not just for The Fassbender. Though I'm looking forward to The Fassbender a lot.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

This book was gifted to me by my Year 10 English teacher from his personal library, but I must admit I'm yet to read it. I saw the movie adaption 'In Love and War' starring the dreamy Chris O'Donnell and the sassy Sandra Bullock, but that's as far as I got. It's totally my sort of thing, wartime romance and all that, so I'm not sure why I haven't bothered to tackle it before now.

My task is set! Keep an eye on the Currently Reading section in the sidebar to see what I'm up to in my quests. I may or may not reblog about the books at the end, cause it'll probably be quite boring to read 'No, they were all just as boring as they were 10 years ago', but we'll see how it goes.

03 August 2011

Joining the iCult

I am only a recent iPhone owner. I bought a second-hand 3Gs about six months ago because the idea of getting an iPhone4 and having a micro sim & not being able to immediately switch the sim to another phone if the current phone died horrified me. I'd bought myself an iPod Touch prior so I could try out this 'app' business and see if it was going to be something I would use. A few months later the second hand phone was offered, and the rest is history.


I check my emails on my phone, I check all my social media accounts on my phone, I watch videos on my phone, I look things up on my phone, I do my banking on my phone, I play games on my phone...

And I suppose I make phonecalls too. Sometimes.

Even though I am painfully addicted to Tiny Tower, and I check Echofon every five seconds, my favourite apps are easily the inventory ones. I have a lot of crap, in various forms. I often come home with doubles of CDs and DVDs cause I can't remember what I do and don't have, so being able to have every single stupid thing I own at my fingertips is a godsend. Pop below the cut to check out my favourite inventory apps.

02 August 2011

Kiva Karma

A few months ago I decided once and for all that World of Warcraft was not for me. I barely touched it in the months after Christmas, and despite getting back into it for a little while in April it seemed like a bit of a waste of money. 

Around the same time I was contemplating kicking WoW to the curb, I heard about Kiva. From Oprah. Oprah told me about it. Specifically, the episode of Oprah's Favourite Things where she gave everyone a Kiva gift card told me about it. Essentially, you loan money to a small business owner in a developing country (usually, I've seen some USA loans) so they can start/expand their business, and then they pay you back. It's kind of nice knowing that giving as little as $25 can make such a huge difference towards someone's life. And it was a far more worthwhile thing to spend money on than battling internet dragons.

I've currently got two loans on the go:

Ariel Francisco is 26, from Nicaragua, has two kids, and a business selling CDs and DVDs. The loan was to buy more stock, so he'd have more variety. I couldn't NOT give money to a dude with a record store. From everyone's first viewing of Empire Records, up until they're old enough to realise it's a stupid idea, they dream of owning a record store. Livin' the dream Ariel. Livin' the dream.

Sudura Qafarova is from Azerbaijan, has two kids, and wanted a loan to buy more cows and  fodder for her cattle breeding business. This one is less out of personal interest than the last one. I saw someone from Azerbaijan, went 'I loved their entry in this year's Eurovision!' and gave money. No matter how ridiculous the motivation, all the dollars count.

The reason I chose to throw my good deeds in your faces today is because Kiva are giving away a limited number of $25 free trial loans. There were over 2000 still available when I first looked this morning, but it's down to a little over 250 now. Click HERE to check out Kiva and sign up if you wish. Go on! Help someone buy a goat today!

PS. If anyone's in Azeroth, could you do me a favour and pop in and feed Wuff, my wolf and Vince, my turtle? It's been a while, they've probably started a fight club to see who gets the last of the food. My money's on Vince, tbh.

EDIT: Due to the success of the first lot of freebies, they've just released 4000 more. Go go go!

28 July 2011

The one time it's not cool to be a Jedi Knight

Now, it's not very often that I talk about Serious Things on here, but I've had to take a bit of a detour on this particular issue (though essentially, it's still pretty nerdy, woo!). On the 9th of August Australians will take part in the Census, something that I didn't really give a shit about until I started watching Who Do You Think You Are and they were getting all this bitchin' info from the Census like 200 years ago.

Anyway, during the course of the Census exam paper we will be asked which religion we follow. In previous years people have put 'Jedi' or 'Jedi Knight' for the lulz. Specifically, around 55000 people put that as their answer in 2006. Instead of Jedi Knight being recorded as an actual religion, it is recorded as 'Not Defined', which is as good as being lumped under the greater 'religious' banner. By specifically putting 'No Religion' it will decrease the political impact these groups will have when it comes time to formulate new laws and policies for the entire country. 'Oh, gay marriage? Hm, seems we have a religious majority in this country, and they won't like that. DE-NY'.

'The Atheist Foundation of Australia believes all government laws and policies should benefit all members of society, not just those who adhere to a particular religious faith - even when that religion holds a majority position. As such, all government decisions should be based on empirical evidence rather than religious beliefs.'
I have no issue with people who believe in God, it is absolutely their personal choice. But it is not my personal choice for my country to be run on guidelines set by some 'hokey religion'. So, if you have no particular allegiance to a faith, put 'No Religion', and leave the Jedi Knight stuff for when you're LARP-ing with your friends.

Ugh. LARP-ers.