Friday, May 27, 2011

Halo Review

Is the Halo franchise on the wane? Perhaps. It no longer dominates the Xbox live online stats, it's records for largest entertainment launches in history have been eclipsed and re-eclipsed by Modern Warfare sequels, and the fever-pitch of a new iteration's announcement has taken a cold shower compared to the initial teasers for Halo 2.

But, while it doesn't generate the same buzz that it once did, it has aged, like a fine wine, into an iconic franchise. A staple in the modern buffet of video games. A hero with a look so recognizable as to be placed in the elite branded leagues of Mario, Sonic, and Lara Croft. We here at BofHam enjoy our Halo, though our affection is certainly tempered by the franchise's more questionable decisions. (Halo 2 tried a bit too much graphically, Halo 3 jumped the shark story-wise, etc.) But with the rumor mill whirling full-tilt with speculation about a re-release of Combat Evolved, we decided to sit down and blow through the first iteration of Bungie's cash-cow.

And boy, were we ever blown away all over again.

Smashing Friday

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Hilarious review of Wing Commander. Via Kotaku.
  2. Trials for deposed leaders.
  3. The story of economics. Via Marginal Revolution.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Kim Jong-il heads to China on his armored train again.
  2. Incredible Lego diorama. Via The Awesomer.
  3. The Bible in video-game form. Or at least content inspired by the Bible. Or at least not another Greek / Norse romp. Can't wait until Fox gets their grubby little mitts on this. 
  4. Dennis Rodman is more valuable than Michael Jordan? Via Marginal Revolution.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Swiftly Tilting Planet

The ponderous pace of nature seems a lot less ponderous when viewed in time-lapse. Beautiful, beautiful time lapse.

El Cielo de Canarias / Canary sky - Tenerife from Daniel López on Vimeo.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Foursquare infographic.
  2. SNL with Justin Timberlake. I'm not even sure if it's funny but they have so much fun there's a vicarious thrill to be had.
  3. Funny thoughts on The Rapture.
  4. Two bits on North Korean documentaries from 38 North. The first, an interview with a filmmaker, the second, an essay on the role of documentaries in the Hermit Kingdom.
  5. More not good news for optimists on the fall's UN decision on Palestinian statehood.
  6. Interesting science on the Earth's soil. Via Marginal Revolution.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Airplanes taking off from Logan. Those little bastards don't seem to wait long enough before jumping the queue.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

More since we've been lazy as of late.
  1. Riding the escalator. We truly live in the future.
  2. 35 years backwards.
  3. Funny, creative charts.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Jon Stewart vs. Bill O'Reilly. Do you almost respect?
  2. David Ortiz getting hugs in NYC. Extremely feel good stuff.
  3. Breakdown of a mashup, via Infosthetics.
  4. A history of Christian Rock. Via Marginal Revolution.
  5. Big Oil in today's economy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Serenity Review

"Wait...Buffy and Angel? Aren't shows?"
Serenity has a difficult line to straddle. It must be accessible to those not steeped in Firefly's universe (not a small percentage of the population given the low ratings and subsequent cancellation of the show) while not retreading so much ground as to be redundant to the faithful (for whom, it must be noted, the movie was almost exclusively created). In short, it must be a movie for everyone and a last ditch, Hail Mary of an attempt to stir up enough interest to get the show back on the airwaves. Does it succeed? In all ways but one.

The show, after all, was never resuscitated.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

Apologies for the sudden disappearance fans, our senior editor was called away to Japan on short notice. He has returned this morning, happy to report that, despite doomsaying articles to the contrary, Japan seems to be doing well. He is also happy to report that he has not yet grown a third arm.
  1. Two articles on North Korea. One on their relationship with Burma and the other continuing the adventures of Inspector O.
  2. Portents of future conflict.
  3. Best cities to live in. Via Marginal Revolution.
  4. A photo that is rapidly becoming famous.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. An unsurprisingly graphic account of what happens when you're shot in the head.
  2. After so many awful quotes from all sides of every aisle, it's genuinely shocking to hear an articulate politician. Via Gawker.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

The flood of Osama news continues. Might as well embrace it.
  1. Funny user reviews of Bin Laden's compound.
  2. Colbert's routine celebrating Bin Laden's death isn't particularly funny until the end. And then you realize how long it's been the world has been hunting this guy.
  3. Uhhh...conservatives can't predict anything. (Hides.)
  4. Imagine you'd never seen any of the movies used to create the fake trailer. Via the Awesomer.

Firefly: Objects in Space Review

The crew.
It was not without a tinge of regret that I fired up the final episode of Firefly. Though hardly the holy grail of science fiction television that many contend it to be, the series was heartfelt, creative, and clever without being too highbrow. It managed to capture the gee-whiz appeal of science fiction without ever letting it dominate the thoroughly human characters and stories. And it is tragic to ponder the directions and advances the show could have made had it not been prematurely canceled. While 14 episodes could never dethrone TV's sci champion Star Trek: The Next Generation (at least in the minds of BofHam's elite editors), a full run might have been a different story.

But we've got a job to do here and it's not about lamenting long-dead television programs. It's about reviewing them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

Well, they got Osama, effectively covering our normal internet watering holes in a deluge of redundancy. But here are some nice things (only one of which is about Mr. Bin Laden).
  1. Redneck carrier landing. Via The Awesomer.
  2. Just the facts regarding Bin Laden.
  3. Realists being realists. Numbers 7 and 8 are important bits of fresh air. But it is worth remembering that, without a degree of wishful thinking, nothing would ever get done. In other words, we need to think some good will come of an action for us to take that action in the first place.

Firefly: Heart of Gold Review

Firefly seems to make an economic assessment on the value of water along the lines of the econ 101 thought-experiment of the water-diamond paradox. (Said thought-experiment simply noting the primacy of scarcity over function in valuing a good on the free market.) In Firefly's future, it would appear that water is an expensive commodity, at least when bought for terraforming. The poorer the planet, the drier the climate and Heart of Gold is no exception. Unlike the wild-west styled dust-balls of Our Mrs. Reynolds and Safe, or the muddy mess of Jaynestown, Heart of Gold takes place almost entirely in a desert.