Showing posts from August, 2006

Assassin's Creed for PC

Good news for PC gamers. Ubisoft's supposedly PS3 exclusive Assassin's Creed (due out in 2007) is also coming out on PC. This is according to Gamespot right here.

Now some of you may be asking why should we be excited about Assassin's Creed and this news?

A) The game is from Ubisoft Montreal, the same creative team behind the brilliant acrobatic and action-packed Prince of Persia series.

B) With its medieval locations, and next-gen graphics, the game looks super super pretty! (see below)

C) The game's exciting, unusual setting and storyline:

Assassin's Creed is set in 1191 AD, when the Third Crusade was tearing the Holy Land apart. Shrouded in secrecy and feared for their ruthlessness, the Assassins intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict. You assume the role of Altair and have the power to throw your immediate environment into chaos and to shape events during this pivotal moment in history.

D) A PC port means we won't have to buy a s…

How’s Work?

I’ve had a few people lately ask me how work is. And it’s good. Very good. Although you can get boring projects, and urgent proofing can drag you from your actual copy writing, it’s strange to be working at a company that values and looks after its staff, and actually consists of (generally) normal people with interests and lives outside of work.

Last week we received half-year bonuses for our excellent turn-over in the first half of the year (sure beats EvilCorp’s Christmas “bonus” tin of crunchies). A woman who has been with the company for 10 years (and there are several people like that) received a Fossil watch in appreciation of her hard work. This evening, as part of our office club, we’re going on a cruise around Durban harbour on a luxury catamaran. I should be posting some pics tomorrow, hopefully.

Oh, with the one copywriter leaving today to go overseas I’ve received a kind of promotion (and payrise) to take up her responsibilities and position. Things are going to get a bit h…

Lady in the Water

I saw M Night Shymalan’s Lady in the Water and there are still portions of it that I’m trying to digest. However, the first word that comes to mind when trying to describe it, is Arb.

Really, the film centres on a Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti), the caretaker of an apartment block who discovers a sea nymph, a Narf called Story (Bryce Dallas Howard – who shudders and sleeps, and does little else) lurking in the building’s swimming pool. Cleveland has to help Story “connect” with someone in the complex who will change the world, as well as help her get home to The Blue World without being devoured by a grassy-wolf-thing called a Scrunt.

That may sound all whimsical and refreshingly different, but the film trundles along without developing any of the characters in a rather extensive cast (Cleveland ropes in various, curiously unquestioning, apartment dwellers to help Story).

The same message of discovering who you are and your potential that is at the heart of all Shymalan movies is present…

Terminator: The TV Series

Well, there seems to be an attempt to make up for Sarah Connor's cop-out absence in Terminator 3... Once of cinemas all-time greatest kick-ass heroines is getting her own TV series. Of course, it won't be the same without Linda Hamilton, and film-to-TV adaptations have as bad a track record as film-to-game adaptations, but I thought it was interesting enough news for Terminator fans like myself.

I just have the horrible feeling it will be week after week of cyborgs being sent back to wipe out Sarah and John Connor, before the leading lady pegs from cancer.


Sarah Connor Chronicles Gets the Green Light

Warner Bros. TV has set David Nutter to direct the pilot for "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," prompting Fox Broadcasting to officially greenlight production on the "Terminator"-themed project.

Nutter, whose last 12 pilots have all been picked up to series, also will serve as executive producer. Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar's C2 Pictures, which…

Emmy Awards

I come from a family who cluster religiously around the TV for 3 award shows – The Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards. While the Emmys aren’t my favourite of the shows (largely because its voters seem to reward their favourites – like The West Wing and The Sopranos - tediously year after year).

Anyway, the show was broadcast on MNET last night, and the following are “main” awards:

Drama Series: "24," Fox.
Comedy Series: "The Office," NBC.
Miniseries: "Elizabeth I," HBO.
Made for TV Movie: "The Girl in the Cafe," HBO.
Reality-Competition Program: "The Amazing Race," CBS.
Actor, Drama Series: Kiefer Sutherland, "24," Fox.
Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Shalhoub, "Monk," USA.
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Andre Braugher, "Thief," FX Network.
Actress, Drama Series: Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC.
Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures o…

Flyby Weekend

What is it these days with weekends that just zip past without you feeling you’ve had a break, or got to enjoy any of the things on your To Do List?

Oh well, at least it’s under a month until Heritage Day on the 24th, which gives us South Africans a 3-day weekend. Plus, this coming weekend Paul’s parents are away so that means A) Parent-free house parties / get-togethers, and B), more importantly, no ‘Could you come here and help me for a minute’ requests that consume whole hours of the weekend.


Anyway, the roads in Durban were chaotic on Friday evening with the heavy rain and wind so Paul and I just stayed in and ended up vegging on the couch watching TV.

We caught half of an episode of Invasion, which actually seems pretty grounded for a sci-fi series, and a lame thriller called Paparazzi that deals with a decent mid-western movie star who decided to take revenge against “EVIL” paparazzi (seriously, the “journalists” were practically twirling their long moustaches and wearing c…

The Ultimate Hippie Drum Circle

Photography, art and weirdness lovers, here’s something to waste your time and bandwidth:

A photo diary of Burning Man 2005.

The sister of one of the designers at work is going to this year’s Burning Man, which is essentially a massive American hybrid of Splashy Fen / the Grahamstown National Arts Festival apparently seasoned with copious amounts of magic mushrooms and Ecstasy.

Assorted hippies, freaks and fun-lovers gather in the Nevada desert for a week for experimental community, self reliance and self expression. This totally commercial-free event culminates with the burning of a massive wooden effigy of a man. It looks utterly bizarre and utterly amazing.

You can learn more about Burning man here.

Dodgy, I know....

Superdickery couldn't resist posting up this pic of Wonder Woman and Hawkman. The scary thing is that I've been in this position many, many, many times... minus the rope.

Wonder Woman's position is called Guard, Hawkman is trying to escape and once again, it's more proof that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the world's most porno martial art.

The upcoming weekend

According to the weather report it’s going to be one of those miserable, curl-up-on-the-couch-and-watch-DVDs weekends in Durban.

My only definite plan for the weekend is that I have my aunt’s baby shower on Saturday afternoon. I felt the need to clarify this in case the usual crowd was thinking I has some ulterior motive for bailing on Ashley’s proposed lunch get-together.

Otherwise I would like to see Lady in the Water or Hoodwinked at cinemas this weekend, play Runebound (I finally read the rules yesterday during a quiet patch at work), and I would love to start colouring my newly inked Girls ‘N’ Games comic strip… or even continue painting the Runebound figurines.

Then, of course, there is the always beckoning Titan Quest…

I’ve been busy every evening this week, with the exception of Monday, so it would be nice to devout some time to my favourite leisure pursuits.

Oh, and I should really take Paul clothes shopping sometime. He bought me a Billabong shirt yesterday, on top of the anni…

Survivor: Apartheid

I kid you not. Although, I’m not talking about the first season of South African Survivor, heading soon to local TV screens. Rather, I’m talking about Survivor: Cook Islands, the 13th instalment of the long-running original American series.

Yep, in a bid to shake things up, and be controversial, the Survivor tribes are being divided along racial lines! From

CBS today announced the 20 new castaways who will compete in "Survivor: Cook Islands" when the 13th installment of the Emmy Award-winning series premieres Thursday, Sept. 14 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

"Survivor: Cook Islands" will feature the series' most ethnically diverse cast to date. The castaways will initially be organized into four tribes divided along ethnic lines (African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and White) before merging in a later episode.

In addition, throughout the series, at least one castaway each episode will be banished to a separate island (Ex…

Leather Anniversary Today

The big news of today is that it's Paul and my 3rd anniversary. We did the gift sharing when he got back from the UK at the end of June, but for the record, the 3rd anniversary is traditionally the "Leather" anniversary. More info on anniversary "substances" here...

We're going out for dinner tonight to Waxy O'Connors in Westville. Our first "official" dinner together was at a Keg in Durban, so it makes sense to have another enjoyable, atmospheric pub-set anniversary. And we both love Waxy's.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was good last night. I took it easy coming off my cold, but I feel I'm finally making some progress in terms of being able to defend myself in dangerous situations, or feel comfortable attaining, losing and regaining a position of advantage.

In other news, Novagen's very own Penny Thomas, (a Durbanite who is also in the Berea Mail this week) has just won the Women's Open Weight Division at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu World Champ…

Thundercats remade?!

Apparently it's open season on 80's animated TV shows in Hollywood. Although I personally will remain sceptical about the information source, Aint It Cool News is reporting that Warner Brothers is remaking Thundercats as another animated series. However, *ahem*, the end results may not please fans of the original:

WB animation is remaking the Thundercats as an animated TV series.
The animation style is whimsical, Americanized-anime, along the lines of Teen Titans.

The setting is modern-day Earth, in a major city (possibly LA)
The Thundercats are all teenagers.

Their leader is Snarf (!) who is now a mystic with a "third" eye.
Each of the Thundercats has a weapon with an "Eye of Thunderra" and transformative powers (not just Lion-O)

When they aren't fighting evil, the Thundercats play together as a rock band. That's not a typo, or a joke. They are rockin' cats in their present form.

Mum-Ra now has wings. And I bet he laughs a bit more than he used …

United 93

Everyone has their personal 9/11 story. Some are more dramatic than others. I just remember getting back to my apartment digs in the afternoon after a day at university, turning on the TV, and sitting there watching CNN well into the evening. It was incredible. Events just spiralled further and further out of control, with multiple airplane strikes, reports of fires on the mall. It was madness.

The next day, in a strange example of globalised over-reaction, the fire drill and bomb sirens were tested on the Pietermaritzburg university campus… As if fundamentalists were going to target South Africa’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’, and fly a rickety old Cessna from Oribi Airport into the university’s Old Main Building.

Anyway, United 93,written and directed by Paul Greengrass, is a superb, powerful movie that strips away the politics and drops you straight into the human drama of 11 September 2001.

The hand-held camera work, excellent editing (Oscar worthy stuff), unknown cast and dabs of information ab…

300 Update

It’s around 7 months until 300, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel take on the 480BC Battle of Thermopylae, is released in cinemas.

Aint It Cool News has received word from a test screening, and responses have been exceptionally positive… particularly if you like muscled men in capes and leather speedos, ample sex and nudity (including lesbians), stunning Sin City-esque CGI-altered visuals and epic, bloody action sequences.

Forget my otehr interests. As a Gladiator, Sin City and Kill Bill fanatic, I’m so overwhelmingly excited for the stylised thrillfest coming our way…

A weekend of ancients and other things


By Friday evening when I got home, my cold/flu was well and truly entrenched in my body. I just curled up in bed until Paul arrived and we began the process of making pizzas from scratch – including making the dough. Although I couldn’t taste the end results, this is what we produced (looks good, doesn’t it):

Afterwards we watched the HBO Chris Rock stand-up comedy special I’d recorded to my hard drive the other week, and dozed off.


On Saturday we headed down to Paul’s place for his grandmother’s 80th birthday celebration. Basically it was a big lunch with the whole family. I managed to taste flashes of the chicken liver pate and toast starter, the roast lamb and veggies main, and the dessert combo of strawberries and cream, mint-caramel pudding and pecan nut tartlets.

Of course what would be a day at the Redheads without drama? Once again it came courtesy of the grandparents upstairs. Paul’s 88 year old grandfather sat down on the toilet and could not get up again on his s…

Getting to know you

It’s Monday morning, I’m sick and I’m pretty much twiddling my thumbs when it comes to work, so here’s a little fun, time-filling ‘Getting to know you’ quiz:

What time did you get up this morning?

The decidedly unholy time of 6am.

2. Diamonds or pearls?


3. What was the last movie you saw?

Miami Vice in cinemas, Lord of War on DVD, Pearl Harbour on TV.

4. What is your favourite TV show?

Lost, The Amazing Race, South Park.

5. What did you have for breakfast?

Nature’s Source Nutzy Crunch Muesli (moo-oo-slee) with a spoonful of plain yoghurt.

6. What is your middle name?

Kagel (it’s an acronym of all the names in my family).

7. What is your favourite cuisine?


8. What food do you dislike?

Raw onion, and organ meats like liver and kidney.

9. What is your favourite crisp flavour?

Chutney (Fruit and Thai).

10. What is your favourite CD at the moment?

Coming off a Hoobastank addiction; but recently bought Fatboy Slim’s Greatest Hits album.

11. What kind of car do you drive?

Silver Opel Corsa Lite…

Survivor South Africa: Panama

Survivor South Africa: Panama starts on Sunday, September 3 at 18:00 in M-Net's Open Time. The following are the contestants... who you can see are hardly the ordinary people on the street fans of the original American series are used to. No wonder my sister didn't get past the first round of interviews.

Brigitte Willers, 24, a sports model who grew up in Ermelo and now lives in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Brigitte was named the FHM model of the year in 2005 and voted the 56th sexiest woman in the world by readers of the magazine this year;

Danielle Vukic, 35, a photographic producer from Green Point, Cape Town, who admits she's a wild, fun-loving kugel who loves pampering and luxuries;

Don Soper, 54, who is a businessman from Hurlingham Manor, Johannesburg, and who attended the SA Naval Academy. He has taken part in several international yacht races;

Gareth Tjasink, 26, a medical intern at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, who is well known as the Archers Aqua man. He also…

Sandi Thom is Dom

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair
In 77 and 69 revolution was in the air
I was born too late and to a world that doesn't care
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

When the head of state didn't play guitar,
Not everybody drove a car,
When music really mattered and when radio was king,
When accountants didn't have control
And the media couldn't buy your soul
And computers were still scary and we didn’t know everything

[Repeat chorus ad nauseum]

Say what you want about all the male and female skanks in the pop music industry but at least they know to sing about subject matter they’re familiar with – sex and parties.

Miss Sandi Thom on the other hand is clearly some up-and-coming pop diva who has just been handed a song to sing with absolutely no clue about what she is singing. Punk rockers with flowers in their hair? Clearly the Scottish songstress is confusing punks with hippies, because I’m sure the only flowers 1970’s punks would wear…

Humans are a disease... again

Uh-oh… I can feel that familiar burning at the back of my throat, and the tickle in my nostrils. I’m getting sick. And just in time for the weekend.

I’m extremely miserable to irritated about it. Especially since I have little doubt that work has been responsible for this. Well, more specifically, the designer sitting next to me has been hacking his lungs up since Monday. There’s nothing like forced exposure to germs in a confined environment.

Cue Noelle’s transformation into a Balrog bitch.

My weekends have become very precious to me, and I jealously guard the ability to do the things I want, and enjoy them. This weekend Paul and I were going to make home-made pizzas on Friday, and Saturday is the big 80th birthday celebration for Paul’s grandmother, where we’re going to have a family get-together and a roast lamb dinner.

Here’s hoping I can maintain my abilities to taste and swallow.

Brand New Evanescence

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy…. Evanescence’s new album The Open Door is available on 3 October, but if the wait until then is killing you (as it is me) you can listen to the album’s first single online.

It’s called Call Me When You’re Sober, and it is awesomely hot! It doesn’t exactly show the band breaking new ground, but many an attempt by groups to branch out in their sophomore album has alienated fans (ahem, Garbage)…

By the sounds of Call Me When You’re Sober, we can brace ourselves for more of Amy Lee’s soaring vocals, with rock accompaniment, piano and strings arrangement, as well as the standard Evanescence aggressive energy, drama and passion. This ain’t no pussy-whipped, whiney Broken.

Oh please God, let Evanescence tour South Africa with this album!

Listen to a streamed version of Call Me When You’re Sober at Evanescence's official site, or streamed off the Real Rock 101 website.

An Age of Conspiracy Theories

We live in an age of conspiracy theories. Wasp Jerky has an interesting (if US-centred) take on last week's Terror in the Skies alert.

Now there's new ammo for disbelievers in the moon landing. The original clear tapes of the 1969 event have been lost. Was the moon landing all just an elaborately staged attempt at boosting the public's belief in American technological superiority during the Cold War and Space Race? And the lost tapes signs of a cover-up?


Red-faced Nasa on the hunt
16/08/2006 07:31 - (SA)

Washington - Red-faced because the best pictures of its glory days are missing, Nasa said on Tuesday it was launching an official search for more than 13 000 original tapes of the historic Apollo moon missions.

What is missing are the never-before-broadcast clear original videos - not the grainy converted pictures the world watched on television more than three decades ago.

The tapes are not lost, insists the Nasa official put in charge of the search. But h…

Miami Vice

Clearly director Michael Mann is obsessed with his surname, and general concepts of masculinity because Miami Vice is probably the most macho movie of the year. The Men swagger around, carry guns, and prove themselves men by having copious amounts of facial hair, and copious amounts of sex with incomprehensible businesswoman-slut Gong Li.

Mann spearheaded the original Miami Vice TV series, starring Don Johnson, which was notorious style-over-substance entertainment. The Miami Vice movie is similarly soulless, with only Jamie Foxx (with surprisingly limited screen time) bringing a likeable, human element to proceedings.

Miami Vice has an excellent soundtrack, and the 2 ‘rescue missions’ sequences provide an adrenalin jolt (they’re actually the only action sequences in the entire film). Otherwise the film is strangely cheesy. Everyone, especially a ‘My name is Earl’ ugly Colin Farrell, seems to take events completely seriously. As the audience you just want to laugh at ridiculous lines li…

Fly By Weekend

I had a very bad case of the Monday blues yesterday morning, especially since the weekend just seemed to whiz by. And I knew I’d be entering the week with a GEAR column deadline hanging over my head…


Anyway, on Friday evening, Paul and myself joined Warren, Kate and Kirsten to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which I thought was mediocre (but apparently I’m in the minority about it). You can read my review below.

While, we were out, I also found The Dirty Dozen Special Edition for my father’s birthday (in December, yeah…) and the Superman: Animated Series boxset for R100. I remember this one as a goodie, from the same people behind Batman: The Animated Series. Superman is more neutral, less goodie-goodie in the series, if I remember correctly.


In the morning I joined Paul on a clothes shopping expedition. Slowly but surely the plan is to get him looking more smart-casual, as opposed to pseudo, baggy surfer-punk. After trying on some laughably unflattering j…

Pirates of the Crapibbean

For the record, I thought the first Pirates of the Caribbean was very over-rated. Sure, Johnny Depp’s camp, finger-wiggling performances was entertaining but the film itself was overlong and followed a very repetitive pattern of kidnap-follow-rescue- kidnap-follow-rescue.

I didn’t hold a grudge though and went into the cinema on Friday evening to watch the sequel, Dead Man’s Chest, with a completely neutral frame of mind. With the box office records this film is breaking, and the stories of assorted nuts out there going to watch it 3 times on weekend, I thought I’d give it a chance. There must be something in the sequel that improves on the original.

Well, I’m afraid that all the flaws of the original are magnified in the sequel. The film is overlong at 2 hours and 20 minutes – I started micro-sleeping during the final battle with the Kraken – and the film is riddled with more plot holes than a leaky pirate ship. Some sequences are ridiculous to completely nonsensical.

What charm there w…

How to make flying even less fun

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, pretty soon they’ll be drugging us and tying us to our seats for the duration of flights.

But I think I know one group who will thank al-Qaeda, or whatever terrorist group is responsible for the latest airport nightmare… South African airport staff. More specifically I’m thinking about those scumbags who have unsupervised access to our luggage.

For a long time, people coming to or returning to South Africa from overseas have been warned to carry all their valuables in their hand luggage. Theft is a huge problem at South African airports, particularly Johannesburg. Many a suitcase or bag has vanished, or been sliced open to steal the valuables inside. Now, with hand luggage banned on all flights leaving the UK, people coming to South Africa have to risk the loss of their valuables, by putting them in their check-in luggage.

The airport thieves are going to have a field day stealing digital cameras, cell phones, laptops, CDs, DVDs, games etc. And so much for the …

National Women’s Day

In case any of the international visitors were wondering about the lack of blog posts yesterday (Wed, 9 August), it was a public holiday in South Africa yesterday – National Women’s Day – a day that celebrates the contribution women have made to South Africa’s history, particularly their role in bringing about the end of the apartheid regime.

You can read more about the history of Women’s Day here…

Anyway, it was very nice to have a midweek break. On Tuesday evening, Paul, my family and I met up with Ashley at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre to see Andre the Hilarious Hypnotist, South Africa’s premier hypnotist-entertainer. The evening was a lot of fun. And it really is amazing to see how easy to manipulate the human mind really is.

Among other things, the participants from the audience were dancing around on people’s laps, impersonating celebrities and objects, were convinced that they had different names, and even had their arms completely twisted around at the elbow.

The show’s annual …

Introducing The Goon

These past few weeks I’ve been reading the volume collections of The Goon, a bi-monthly comic from artist-writer Eric Powell and Dark Horse Comics (I’m currently on Volume 2).

The Goon is really for people who are tired of standard superhero comics. It follows the adventures of a thuggish, buck-toothed Depression era gangster who spends most of his time using his fists to keep the sinister, nameless zombie priest and his undead minions (who have formed a kind of rival mob), as well as assorted other monsters, in check.

If it sounds wacky, it is. And deliberately so. The Goon’s sidekick is a tough-talking midget called Frankie, and reoccurring characters include a hillybilly werewolf and a card-shark spider. The Goon himself is a kind of cross between Sin City’s Marv and Hellboy, with a more retro feel.

In terms of pencilling and inking, the comics have a borderline cartoony style, which is visually very appealing. Flashbacks are usually sketched and shaded in pencil, and this is really …

Another racist Australian

First it was Mel Gibson yelling racist slurs about Jews. Now an Australian cricket commentator, and former player, has been fired after he called a Muslim cricket player from South Africa a terrorist.

Such a forward thinking, liberal, First World nation...

From: News24

Jones sacked after remark
07/08/2006 18:47 - (SA)

Durban - Former Australian Test player Dean Jones was sacked from his job as a commentator on Monday after referring to South African Muslim batsman Hashim Amla as a "terrorist".

Jones, who admitted making the comment and apologised, was on a TV commentary team covering the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo.

According to a statement issued by Cricket South Africa on Monday, viewers heard Jones say, "the terrorist has got another wicket" when Amla took the catch that dismissed Kumar Sangakkara.

Amla is a devout Muslim who wears a beard for religious reasons and has successfully negotiated with the South African team's main sp…

The Photo Shoot

Ashley, AKA Mel, has a selection of Sunday's photos up on her blog. Here's my fave:

See how martial arts brings out back muscle definition...;)

Selling arms and flying kites

The weekend really started for me around 1pm on Friday. All the ‘creatives’, the designers, copywriters, DTP, web and multimedia developers were taken out to Taco Zulu for lunch on the company. Long Island Ice Teas were downed, there was plenty of gossip and crap talking, and my steak enchiladas were delicious. Afterwards we all loaded into the head of production’s minibus and rolled downhill back to the office, bouncing on the suspension and listening to 50 Cent all the way. No more work was done for the remaining 1 and a half hours of the day.

In the evening, I just chilled at Paul’s place, watching Lord of War, an excellent, eye opening take on the arms trade (part filmed in South Africa), starring Nicholas Cage, Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke. I have something of a hate-like relationship with Nicholas Cage, but here he didn’t phone in his usual deadpan performance. His character’s driven entrepreneurial spirit actually brings some much needed humour to subject matter that could otherwi…

Corporate Wage Slaves R Us

Who can't relate in some way to this email I received yesterday, particularly if you have ever worked for an Evil Corp?

Dear Manager....

1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 4:00 pm and then bring it to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.

2. If it's really a rush job, run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how it's going. That helps. Or even better, hover behind me, advising me at every keystroke.

3. Always leave without telling anyone where you're going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.

4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books, or supplies, don't open the door for me. I need to learn how to function as a paraplegic and opening doors with no arms is good training in case I should ever be injured and lose all use of my limbs.

5. If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which is the priority. I am psychic.

6. Do your best to keep me late. I adore this office and really have…

August GEAR column

Arriving at the party late

I admit it. I’m like one of those people who have only just discovered Chuck Norris jokes. Or, still insist on using Austin Powers lingo. Months before the launch of the PS3, I couldn’t resist the special offers any longer and finally bought myself a PS2.

In making the purchase I was forced to consider the arguments in ye olde PC versus console debate. Fortunately I have no antagonism against consoles, having starting my gaming on a wood-panelled Atari 2600.

This said, I’m certainly got abandoning my allegiance to PC now. It will remain my primary gaming platform. The cheaper price of PC games, their high resolution prettiness and the platform’s suitability for strategy and shooter titles has ensured that.

In consoles’ favour, they’re perfect for anyone unwilling to spend an average of R1000 a year on upgrades. After a single cash outlay, you’re set for at least 4 upgrade-free years. There’s no frustrating fiddling with settings either. Simply insert a disc an…

A Fear of Going Down

Released last year in Europe, The Descent is just now getting a big release in North America after being screened at some film festivals in early 2006. What’s the big deal, you say?

Well, The Descent is currently sitting with over 90% positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. It’s being heralded as one of the scariest horror films of recent years.

And, frankly, the posters alone are freaking me out. All female cast. Psychological terror. Deliverance style inbred freaks. I can’t wait for this one.

Plot Synopsis

Face Your Deepest Fear
THE DESCENT is Neil Marshall’s hotly anticipated follow up to his 2002 hit DOG SOLDIERS. Directed by Marshall from his own script, it tells the story of an all-female caving expedition that goes horribly wrong, and stars Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, Nora-Jane Noone and MyAnna Buring. Set in a cave system deep in the Appalachian Mountains, Marshall describes his film as ‘DELIVERANCE goes underground’.

On a daredevil caving holiday, si…

Gaming updates

Apart from playing the game multiplayer with Paul, where you tend to ignore the interactions with NPCs (non player characters) and skim the storyline, I've also been playing Titan Quest solo, so I can enjoy the mythological story at a more leisurely pace.

It does get kind of boring though hacking and zapping endless mythological beasties on your own, and for that reason (and the fact that it sounds so frikken cool), when it came to choosing my character type, I chose someone who could summon a 'pet' to fight with her. So here's Persephone, my level 6 Theurgist (Diablo II's necromancer), with her 'pet' Litch King:

I've nicknamed the Litch King Chad, and he's pretty damn powerful. I'm glad though because I had to pump all my points into the basic Spirit Mastery skill column until I got to Level 5, and could finally 'buy' Chad. Until that point all battles were the tedious pattern of attacking from afar, running away to create some space bet…