For whatever reason I'm not feeling terribly philosophical today, so I'm going to be lazy and just do a round up of various things I happen to find awesome. In no particular order (or more accurately whatever order they happen to occur to me in), the following things are hereby given the Aiwevanya seal of approval:
1. Home made Scanning Electron Microscope... I have no words, the science geek in me is doing cartwheels over this. I get similarly giddy over stuff like the top gear team trying to launch a Reliant Robin into space (or a mini off a ski jump, that was awesome too), I'm not sure how related those things are, but anyway.
2. Potion Bar So it's a casual game, so what, it's fun. I have literally dozens of casual games on my computer, puzzlers, hidden objects and so on, some I've played through once, some I've not even managed that, this one I've completed probably a couple of dozen times now I just keep going back and it's sort of hard to explain why. The game play is pretty simple, you mix potions for customers in a bar and every so often there's a mini game level where you create a new flavour of potion or move to new location. The story is also pretty simple, the person who normally tends the bar has done the magical equivalent of chloroforming you and chaining you to the drink dispenser, you're trying to find him and make him take his job back, while finding out various things about some kind of end of the world magic thing and the love lives of the regulars. I think it's the regulars themselves that keep me coming back though, the bar's customers are a quirky bunch, there's a witch and a demon and some kind of faerie girl, a werewolf who's tutoring a valkyrie through college and my absolute favourite, Cupid, envisioned as an emo kid with black and pink hair and a skull on his t-shirt, who's thoroughly fed up with all the love triangles going around, makes me smile every time.
3. Nightmare Before Christmas - What's This? Painting Actually most of the digital art in action videos this guy has done, wouldn't ever have known about them except the artist started following me on twitter (why exactly I have no clue) and I did what I normally do when that happens which is check out what kind of stuff the person tweets about and start following them if they seem interesting (and don't tweet so frequently that they drown out everyone else I follow). Serendipitously one of their most recent tweets was a link to a video of a digital painting that blended Disney's little mermaid with Van Gogh style swirly background to a tune by lady Gaga and watching it I had this break through moment when I suddenly understood how to go about revising my wip novel in a way better suited to my rather messy thought processes... what do you know? not only is inspiration everywhere, inspiration about inspiration is as well (and yes I have a very strange brain). Also the cover version of the song 'What's This?' that this is set to is absolutely kick ass.
4. Orlando Furioso specifically this prose translation. Absolutely awesome tale of knights running around the world having adventures with dragons and fair maidens and stuff (some of the fair maidens are knights and this was first published - in Italian - in 1532, that's a trope that's older you think, or at least older than I thought). The original was an epic poem, but the translator of this version maintains that the differing rhythms of English and Italian make poetic translation awkward which made sense to me. Anyway I'm now wondering where my copy is because I fancy reading it again, very, very cool book.
I think I'll stop there, I could go on, but if I don't I'll have something to blog about next time I'm at a loss for a topic. Oh, also I apologize for overusing the word 'awesome' in this post.