I’m grown up now, but refuse to learn… So I enjoyed awesome things today

I spent the better chunk of today in the park.  It was magic.  My home town swings between the very beautiful (open parks, hills and valleys, gravel footpaths, &c.) and the very ugly (I received more than a few scathing looks for wearing this shirt…).

… I love the description of that shirt, by the way… ‘It’s a situation all too familiar. Your parents taught you how to walk, eat, drive and in most respects fend for yourself — with one key exception. They never taught you Arabic.

And while sitting in the park, copping abuse from the local 12-year olds because I look like Harry Potter (apparently) and being completely unable to return fire (and I am quite ashamed that I had to fight the urge), I realised that I’ve managed to come across some incredibly awesome things.

Lately, this blog has been unabashedly critical of things.  Looking back over recent posts, there hasn’t been a lot of positive posts about how great things are.  So this post is about some things I love.

Topatoco

The only shirts I have which I didn’t order from Topatoco.com were given to me by other people.  When I become mega-famous, I’m going to endorse their clothes, that’s how awesome they are.

I remember the first package I ordered from them because they forgot to include a few items which had been ordered.  It was when they were still fairly new and I felt really bad for saying: ‘Oh, hey.  I’m in the far off land of Australia and things have gone so wrong that the Jedis are going to feel it.’  Instead, they were incredibly lovely about the whole thing and worked with me to find a solution.  Now, I buy all of my t-shirts there and get mega praise from family and friends.  Also, I get to feel good about supporting creative people from the internet (like Chris Hastings and David Malki!).

Paper.li

I’m not sure how to describe this, except in terms of what it could be.  Paper.li creates ‘newspapers’ out of Twitter links.

While I’m not cool with ‘Hey, the internet makes news spread faster’ because it seems that the internet just promotes disinformation, I am cool with networking opinions.  With journalism facing a need to reform in order to deal with the new structures and frameworks, it looks like we could be turning to the internet to provide us with better quality opinions rather than better quality facts.  Paper.li could establish a positive and flexible platform for those opinions to find receptive audiences.

And this is where it gets into what it could be…  At the moment, it’s a little bit limited (it’s really new) but the possibilities of where it might go are quite exciting.  I like the idea of slowing down my Twitter stream into a page where I get an overview of interesting things.  The jump from there to new media experiences of the news is not a large one: an app for an iPad would mean I could download updates before I board a flight and be able to read through a host of opinion pieces in the air.

There’s also room for ‘top level’ newspapers: instead of waiting for somebody to create something based on a trending topic, Paper.li could provide an overview of the trending subject, including backgrounds and the latest commentary.

It also provides a platform for relevant and targeted advertising: adverts could be linked to a topic or idea which would allow them to be embedded along with the newspaper relevant to the topic or idea.  If you have a Paper.li account about, say, movies and theatre, adverts about upcoming films and plays would find the relevant audience.

It’s really awesome.  I hope things go well for it.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

This blog started out discussing nerdcraft.  The Clone Wars started out with a fizzle.  The movie (which was just three episodes smashed together) really, really sucked.  Holy crap, it sucked so hard.  The television series has finally found its feet (by the time Aayla Secura arrived on the scene, things were going well for the series).  Season Two has been awesome (I’m about half way through) and I’m really pleased that season three is on its way.

Given that Lucas has said that he considers the films unfinished works continually updating, it would be good to see if he’ll get around to digitally remastering the prequels such that they follow entirely different plots and have different actors.  I’m such an optimist.  SW:TCW is the best thing to come from the prequels.

Triple J: Unearthed

This site is my home away from home.  Though it was a bit fiddly at first, the app is also epic. The key difficulty is downloading from the app to your iPod’s music file. I tend to feel like I’ve got two playlists: my regular music and my Unearthed playlist.

This morning, I woke up with this feeling I didn’t know how to deal with… and 2009 was awesome

I voted in triple j's Hottest 100, have YOU?

My top ten songs for the year (in no particular order):

BAT FOR LASHES – Daniel

DATAROCK – Give It Up

EDITORS – Papillon

FLORENCE and THE MACHINE – Drumming Song

FRANZ FERDINAND – No You Girls

KAREN O AND THE KIDS – All Is Love

LA ROUX – In For The Kill

METRIC – Help I’m Alive

THEM CROOKED VULTURES – Reptiles

FLORENCE and THE MACHINE – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

Best movie of the year:

Where the Wild Things Are

Admittedly, I’m yet to see District 9 (I bought the DVD yesterday) and MoonStar Trek was more awesome than anybody could have expected but still didn’t manage to be as absolutely perfect as WtWTA.

There were some right stinkers this year as well.  Coraline was probably the worst new film I saw this year.  Everything that WtWTA did well, Coraline managed to foul up (even though both films were largely exploring the same territory).  Dragonball Evolution managed to be disappointing despite the already low expectations (it wasn’t even fun).  And Up! was an exceptional waste of time.  I still can’t work out what the plot was.

The biggest disappointment was X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  What a bafflingly confused pile of crap that was.

Favourite meme:

Boxxy.  It was a good start to the year.

Best new book:

It was a bit of a shitty year for fiction.  A new Dan Brown novel and Eoin Colfer’s attempt to impersonate Douglas Adams rather ruined the year for me.

Unseen Academicals by Pratchett was a lot of fun.  It’s interesting to see the continuing development of Vetinari, and I wonder if there’s much more development in store for him.

In comic books, I really liked Messiah War.

Best new video game:

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.  It won’t break any records and it probably won’t go down in time as a classic game, but it is so much fun.

For sheer brilliance, special mention should be made of Batman: Arkham Asylum.  I bought it for my younger brother (who has an XBox) and it’s mesmerisingly good.