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Friday, 20 April 2012

“We fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice.” ― Suzanne Collins

So, recently The Hunger Games went round our group like some INSERT METAPHORE.
I therefore decided to use my many many spare audible credits to my advantage and get the audiobook, despite the many others which I currently have on the go, though after a lot of driving recently, I am now further through the behemoth that is American Gods...

So onto Hunger Games, just the first book that is. There will be spoilers so don't read this if you want to watch the film or read the books. Though all I can say for you people now is read the books...

Hunger Games is set in a Dystopian Future. One box ticked already.
No space pirates, but can't have everything, and maybe they pop up in the 2nd and 3rd books, who knows?
Well, I think Elle and Gareth and Brian know, but DON'T TELL ME!

Basically the book is an indeterminate amount of time in the future, Gareth and I think around 300 years, where America has become the Nation on Pan-Am, run out of the Capital after an uprising of the other 13 districts and a war, which was won by the Capital through the eradication of District 13.

Now the remaining districts live in poverty, especially those outlying, such as District 12. Also, as a reminder of the Capital's power, each district must enter a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the Hunger Games. Yay, got the name of the book into the review, awesome.

The Hunger Games are basically a Battle Royale, putting kids up against kids in a battle to the death. Yeah, right, it is a bit dark. The book follows Katniss Everdeen as she attempts to stay alive in this "game".

So the book from here is obviously quite dark, but it really is dark. Really...
That's what I think is the weirdest thing about it. It's written for teens, but it is no way stuff that young teens (12-14) should be reading about. Which brings me nicely to the film..

The film is tame, all of the cool creepy and and dark bits have been taken out, except for the obvious theme and is probably deserving of the 12A rating. That is not to say that I agree with the 12A rating as a whole, but this is not one of those films like... oh I don't know...


that it is wholly ridiculous to take a 10 year old to see.
Which brings me to my Daily Mail story. A group of us saw the film in Guildford, and after were interviewed by a Daily Mail editor hoping to get some sort of comments out of us. We said what we thought, how the film was far more child-friendly than the books (which anyone can buy and read) and how the rating system is fine. She said how she had some concerns, but her 9 year old BOY said it was fine and that the worst part was when they kissed. (It is pretty icky to kiss a girl)

Then we came across this, from the same woman.

I'll give you a sec to read...


Really? What a pile of completely absa-fucking-lootedly ridiculous todswallop (and a few more colourful words to go with). This pile of what I can only assume was fiction writing is the reason that people shouldn't read the Daily Mail. She obviously knew that she couldn't write anything so boring as to say that the film was fine and that everything is dandy in the world, no... She had to write bollocks to get people with fucking tiny brains to read it and believe it.

You know what, if you don't think that the main theme is appropriate for your kids.
Don't fucking take them to the movie!


Back to a non-angry book review.

Apparently the book is weird to get used to since it is all written in 1st person narrative, but fortunately that didn't seem to be weird with the audiobook. It was very well presented and read, meaning that the story was enjoyable.

The main thing I enjoyed was the pace of this book, it does seem to have easily enough "WHAT THE HELL?" moments for a book of it's length for my liking, making it a joy to listen to. The story is slightly predicable, but has enough slight deviations from the norm and plot hooks to keep, certainly me interested.

I would wholly recommend the books, certainly if you saw and enjoyed the film.
Bring on books 2 & 3, after some others which I have to catch up on!

How else would you know who serves first?

If you feel like more laughs, check out some more spillings from the font of all fuck-tards.


Monday, 19 March 2012

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock and roll." Shigeru Miyamoto

I was going to go slightly off my usual tabletop gaming topic and talk about video games this week. Seems like a reasonable idea, since that is what I have mostly been filling my time with, in between gaps from work & lectures & work & Wates & Pathfinder & work & shower falling...

Basically the main reason I have been prompted to do this is my sheer excitement at the launch of Guild Wars 2. Squeeee... This will be the step function in the MMO world, not since WoW has there been such a monumental overhaul of the system. Good luck talking to me shortly after it comes out! Btw, I shotgun both Guild Leader and Engineer class! Yay!

But that is still well off at the moment, preorders don't even start until April 10th, where I will be repeatedly pressing my refresh button like a button hooked up to the pleasure centers. Right now I have a multitude of other games to talk about, so let's start with those.

Firstly, it wouldn't be right not to mention Skyrim. Another achievement in the world of gaming, Elder Scrolls games have always been impressive, and on a scale far grander than any other games of the time, but Skyrim really brings a new sense of realism into the equation. Not in the sense of battling dragons or wielding ancient weapons and destructive magic (cause that's totally real) but in the sense of everything being interactable (I'm gonna go with that being a word, cause it totally is). You find yourself actually being annoyed at silly things which would be possible in real life, but then you realise that that's only because the rest of the game is so realistic.
I have now finished the main plot and despite the fact that I was very slightly dissapointed at one obviously missing cut-scene or cool combat (ask me if you want to know), but apart from that it is a very cool game, which I mostly enjoy as you can role-play really well in it, decisions are realistic and there is easily enough of it, though I have completed the main quest to keep me entertained for years.

(As a side note; don't play this or watch it played if you don't like Spiders, seriously)

However, I am now moving back into SW: TOR.
Ah, a game where I get to be a Jedi, or more accurately, a Sith! How awesome is that?
The answer: Frakking amazing.
Bioware have really outdone themselves with this, plots are deep and fulfilling, hehe... and the voice acting is fantastic. The combat system and everything are well polished and interesting as well and how different the builds are. Easily, easily worth a subscription, and I'm not a person who buys subscriptions light-heartedly, due to my love of Guild Wars.

I'm currently working on my Sith Juggernaught, good old tanks, so if people want to come and join, remember I'm on the Pegasus (or something) mining facility.

Those are my main two recent gaming vices. I would like to talk quickly about some of the other stuff which is played, but less due to the awesomeness of the above games:

Yes Mandy! I am sort of playing it! One of the greatest games where you play a semi-God painting wolf thing... Yeah, sounds a bit weird, but it's a well done game, with brilliantly different art, as you can probably see in the image!

Mass Effect!
I found the wonderful little gem in Game. Apparently there are like 3 in the series, though I haven't got onto the second one yet. People should really try this out as well, as far as fps games go, it's about as good as it can get, brilliant plot and acting, just like I like in a game. Anyone who hasn't seen it should pick it up asap! What a find! Score! ...

Twilight Princess:
Yes Mandy! I am sort of playing it! Just got this back from home, planning to complete before I can allow myself to move onto Skyward Sword. I've been in love with Zelda, no wait... The Legend of Zelda (that's better) ever since I first completed Ocarina of Time and have loved every game since then. So it pains me that I have left the land of Hyrule to go unkept, it's citizens saddened by my lack of presence. I will be back. Link shall return triumphant!

Okay, I must get back to work. So, some games quickly that I'm looking forward to.
Apparent, not confirmed Elder Scrolls MMO, probably not released before I die.
The Last Story: Wii JRPG game
Skyward Sword: Wii, obvious really...
Guild Wars 2. SQUEEEEE...

So that's what my future looks like, maybe I'll get around to doing another video games based blog at some point...

Monday, 12 March 2012

"I don't think it's healthy to take yourself too seriously." Payne Stewart

Okay, so basically I thought I would spend some time laughing at myself, since I am pretty funny, and modest (honest...)
So last Saturday it was decided that we would all go out to Tease, what a wonderful idea! You know, Gay night at the union, what could possibly go wrong?

Everything, everything could go wrong... but little was I to know this.
So, we had just finished another awesome session of pathfinder, playing We Be Goblins! (fantastic module) and were heading off to pre-drinks at Brian/Le-Roy's house, all good so far. I decided to pick up some red wine to drink (getting worse).
At Brian's we played some rather strange drinking games, such as German Sex Noises (pretty self explainitory) and eventually left for the union after drinking some sort of strange pink drink at approximately 11pm with (inexplicably) none of my wine left.

The union was the STUPIDLY empty... and the rest of it was filled with guys, very strange experience. Strange...
Okay, so the day after I insisted that I remembered everything from the union. I however, do not remember so well anymore... Thus, I'm gonna take a stab at an approximate series of events.

1. Drank some sort of shot which tasted like Cinnamon
2. Watched some sort of contest on stage until Brian was voted off, then it got weird...
3. Went outside for serious talks (I think) with Le-Roy, Travis & Rosh
4. Back inside somehow, danced for a bit with people.
5. Somehow ended up outside talking again, with a Corona.
6. Lost people and ended up sitting on the sofas, knowing that I was pretty drunk, so decided to give up and go home.

That's when things got bad.
Basically noone at the Union knew where I had gone, so, before the fact that I could have gone home with someone went through their minds, they assumed I had died, been abducted by Aliens or rode some sort of Frakking magical unicorn to live as the king of the Syuiyes people... so Le-Roy managed to get through to Elle, who came round to mine to see if I was there.

By this point in the evening I had made it into my bathroom after getting half undressed and ready for bed, so that I could get some water and sleep. Elle ringing the doorbell (I will insist this until the day I die) shocked and confused me to such a degree to such an extent that I stumbled and tried to use the shower guard as a wall.

You know what shower-guards are not good at being?           Walls.
You know how I know that?                                     I fell through it.

Yes, I fell through the shower.

I'll skip through the whole bit where I opened the door to Elle with glass in my back and having to pick glass out my back, plus the whole going into shock thing... Because that's totally boring..

So, yeah basically. I hope you all enjoy the second awesome shower story of my life, for those of you who don't know the first one ask ANYONE I KNOW!

Overall, I am fine and was fine that evening, just went to bed. All was good. So we can all laugh at it now...

Monday, 5 March 2012

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting." Ernest Rutherford

Okay, wrote this a while ago, like a month and have had all the busy since then, so I'm gonna post it now and the posts will continue from now as weekly (hopefully) supplements of my life. 

So, lets get down to some Physics!

I was never really planning this blog to go with the whole Physics side of things, but you know what?

Physics is cool. People like Physics. And those people shall be rewarded, with... well.. Physics!

Tomorrow, my Dissertation for my Masters is due in. Thus, slightly just for my own ease and slightly because it's cool, I'll let you all know what I did at Yale!

I think I'll put the dissertation up on some kind of filesharing if people want to learn more about it at the end, but for now, here is a brief history of Matt @ Yale.

I've been wondering for a good 2.4 seconds how far I should go back, in terms of Physics. I believe this will best suit people either doing Physics, or with an active interest in Physics, since you probably won't bother reading this if you have neither of these things. So I won't go right back to things like explaining what the nucleus is or anything like that, but I'll try and make sure you all understand me without a Physics degree.

Okay, first things first. MY BAD! I got caught up in the whole after dissertation being done thing that I completely neglected this blog entirely. So I'm here now, getting it done just before the presentation about this work tomorrow and then I shouldn't be doing Nuclear again, well maybe, possibly at some point...

So, my dissertation is titled Precise Measurements of lifetimes and deorientation in 92,94Zr using the g-plunger technique. Yeah, bit long isn't it? In effect it means we measured some stuff about some interesting nuclei really well. That's about it.

So, how did we do this? It starts with the simple effect of Doppler Shift. For those that don't know, this is the apparent shift in wavelength of waves due to their motion relative to the observer, in other words, like a car: Neeeeeeaaawwwwwwwhhhhhhh....
Basically the set-up excites a nucleus through coulomb (electromagnetic) interactions, from which it then flies a set distance to a stopper foil, where it becomes embedded.

This means that 2 things can happen;
1. The nucleus decays and emits a gamma-ray during flight, observed Doppler Shifted by the detectors
2. The nucleus decaus stopped in the foil, meaning an unshifted ray is observed

By increasing the flight distance, it will be more likely for the nucleus to decay during flight, which can then be plotted to obtain the lifetime of that state, in essence.

There are a whole load of corrections which have to be firstly applied to this lifetime, to account for the
  • Efficiency of the detectors
  • Lorentz (relativistic effects) 
  • Deorientation during flight of the magnetic moment. 
 Using this deorientation, a relative g-factor to a nearby nucleus can also be calculated, by comparing the rate of deorientation, which should be dependant on the magnetic moment of the state.

Most of this is what I actually did on my placement! That is the simple version of everything which I got done. Dissertation is done. Presentation is done. Paper is (nearly) done!

My presentation should be up on youtube soon, since they were recorded, including a small interview, brilliant! The presentation is actually much better than this explaination, I think, so I'll link to that as soon as it comes up!

Brilliant. Until next time!

Quick update, the youtube video with us talking has gone up, couple of snippets of me, but it's really terrible.

Paddy looks really sad in the still...

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

"I think Linux is a great thing, in the big picture. It's a great hacker's tool, and it has a lot of potential to become something more."- Jamie Zawinski


Yes people, for the something for the others column this week. I thought I would look into something that has always intrigued me a little bit, as a kind of techy type person...  that is the world of  "hacking"

Now, let me be Frank. Now Matt again, now Frank!
Enough Frivolity...
I would just like to say that this will in NO WAY help you to "hack" I would have no idea how to do that, nor would I try, also if I did, then I wouldn't tell you, so I guess you still don't know if I do or not...

Let me first tell people what in no way counts as "hacking"
Guessing people's passwords...
Logging into their computer and using the book of faces as if you are them, henceforth to be referred to as a new term (I made up) called "fraping".
Changing icons or codes or reg files on someones pc, that's just called breaking it! and it's not nice!

Hacking has been in the news (at least my news) recently as Anonymous is hitting places around the world after the U.S. tried to take down MegaUpload. So, who is Anonymous? I hear you asking through the communication lines of the interweb... Anonymous are a group of hackers, or "hacktivists" (very funny, I like it), whose members wear Guy Fawkes masks (watch V for Vendetta and then get back to this blog). They act as secret vigilantes on the internet, taking down hard faced corporations and governments when they do silly things. 
The main thing I wanted to talk about here actually refers to how awesome a company Google is. 
Now everyone knows Google as the best search engine in the world, but they are so much more awesome in so many ways.

Firstly, bet you didn't think you would learn anything here, but, think again! 
The word "Google" originates from the word "Googol" which is 1x10100.

Google is one of the few companys pushing the boundaries in this world all the time, partly because they have enough money to do so, but still it's impressive. Also who else would do street maps, or gmail, or host an event challenging hackers to break their software. 

Yes, that's right. Google run a hacking contest, known as Pwn2Own. Top Prize for this year is $60,000. 
Basically hackers are given points based on how many exploits they find in various pieces of software, recently aiming at web browsers (should be fairly easy for internet explorer right?) 

I definitely feel that Internet Explorer exploits should be worth less. Definitely. 

Google also offer $20,000 if someone can find just a single exploit which compromises the security of the users of Chrome. Now that's a frakking Business model. Get the best people in the business to try what they're best at, offering loads of money, and when none of them can, you get to definitely offer a damn safe internet browser. 
Google is awesome. 

But, I digress, back to hacking. 
So, should we be afraid of people "hacking" our computers? 
The media says yes. 
Matt says no! 
It's super effective!

Basically the media blows any claims of hacking waaaayyyyyy out of proportion. 
For instance, another one of my pet peeves, The Mail. 

Could hackers develop a 'computer virus' to infect the human mind?

Oooohhh, big scary headline, what if we're being controlled right now man? Oh no...

When you read the article the basic principle is; No. No, it could not really happen, the technology is years away, if ever going to exist, and all of this comes from one guy who talked to The Mail, about a hyperthetical world where we would be able to do this.

And why are these people called hackers? Is that some sort of code? Are hackers working in labs across the country, even world, trying to develop this? Once again, the answer is; No! If anyone is going to create a (yes lets use the term) "virus" to "infect" the human brain, it's gonna be a SCIENTIST!

Man The Mail is a pile of shit.

But overall the main reason that you shouldn't be worried is that there are BETTER people in control of your privacy. It's worth far more to facebook, or google, or windows to avoid being "hacked" than the hundreds of code monkeys they employ to stop exactly that. Facebook gets about 600,000 attempts DAILY, to break users accounts. You know how many get through. FRAKKING NONE. And facebook are damn proud of that. As they should be.

So, set easier to remember passwords; none of this "kj&^$uhasfug7645732hsbs."

Stop reading The Mail, or anything else you hear
Because on average, hackers are not after your money, or your details. Most are there to make the internet a better place, and through whatever backwards means they do.

I'll leave this with a fantastically true xkcd comic, instead of the usual motivational.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

"Quantity has a quality all of it's own" Warlord Gravetail of Clan Kythos

I was recently a little bit naughty and bought myself, as a present, an Exaulted Vermin Lord to leaf my Skaven army! This is an AMAZING Forgeworld model. Which I have given an awesome paint job and is shown below...

Yeah right... How many of you believed me? None..? Oh...
Mine is currently unpainted, but is waiting to be so and I truly hope I can do it justice.
Me owning this awesome model did mean that I couldn't wait for it to hit the table. So, I went along to the Wargames sunday with GameSoc, after bugging EVERYONE to make 3000 point lists to play me with my rat demon lord.

Fortunately I had a taker, an army of Orcs massed at the other side of the table, not outnumbering the Skaven, but enough to make me worried... My Skaven stood, cowering in fear from their new master.

Just a quick note: I forgot my camera SD card, so these pics are from my phone. I also decided that I would stop taking pictures halfway through. So A LOT of it will just be story.

I'll speak about the Battle at the end, which is more of a Story of what happened than anything else...

In the meantime I have 2 GameSocs to comment on. I'm sure I've mentioned GameSoc a lot and thus don't need to explain how awesome it is, but it is awesome, damn, I just mentioned it didn't I?

Firstly, I got to play Warmachine finally! Played an intro battle with my Cryx starter army and I do still love this game. I like the skirmish feel. I don't think I would want to play anything too long with it, since I already have Warhammer for that, but at the moment nothing else can fill the small skirmish 30 min game for me. Need to get that stuff painted up!

I also got to play 7 wonders with the leaders expansion that I got just after christmas.
We jumped straight into a game with newbies, which might not have been the best idea since I am TERRIBLE at explaining games. People probably understand the game better before I explain it than after. Thankfully Lucy took over explaining all the confusing things which I had said, so we could play.
I really liked leaders, having something to plan for longterm, even if it was just small was a good thing for me, and they don't seem to be overpowered. Sure Lucy kicked us all, with the 7 vp for every full set card, completing it twice, but she had 2 newbies passing her nice cards...
I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to many more games, and future expansions. I'm also definitely going to keep playing it with this expansion in the game all the time. 

Although I didn't get to play it too recently I also feel I should quickly mention one of Soph's Xmas presents, seeing as it seems to be hitting the table regularly. That would be, Dude, where's my Fish? Otherwise known as that to the right------->>>>> This is a lovely little game by ffg, with fantastic production, where you have to collect as many fish as possible. It scales so brilliantly with number of players, and strategic level of players and only takes about 10 mins to play. Brilliant game. Well done ffg, looking at getting the wiiware game soon!

Then we move on to GameSoc number two:

We got started with a further game of 7 wonders with leaders. Despite the fact that people to the sides of me didn't let me get sets of 3 science, I got enough to just win by it! Still enjoying leaders, though I had some awful leaders this time! Also, that is definitely Inara!

This followed with me sitting out of a game of Quarriors. Quarriors was the big hotness at GenCon this year, which is dice-building. Basically you play just like a deck building game, but WITH DICE. It's a great quick game, that people always seem to want to play again. I have the expansion at home now, so am looking forward to screwing other people with corrupted quiddity!

We finished the evening with Neuroshima Hex, 4 player hex grid battle mayhem. I love this game, it's brilliant fun with 4 players and uber-strategic with 2. Always great fun and really tough. Blue started by kicking red's ass in, then moving on to kill yellow. We (Elle & I) just stayed away from that, doing bits to them both and finally took down blue with a massive ranged assault for the glorious victory.

Ah, GameSoc, how I missed thee, let me count the ways.

6, I think it's 6.  Anyway...

 Stuff for the future
 At the moment the future seems to hold a magic draft tournament, storm of magic session and the possibility of a dual 40K / fantasy battle, if we can make the rules. So watch this space in 4 weeks time for updates on all of the coolness which just flows out of me. Hmmm... maybe I'll reword that...


And now... the moment you've all been waiting for...

This... is... Warhammer Fantasy Battles...

My 219 models were amassed, the Clanrats poking the slaves in front of them with whatever they could find or hurling rocks at them. Chieftans of Clan Kythos attempting to keep each of their designated hordes in check, while Warlock Engineers each polished their individual contraptions. The Orcs on the other side of the plane grunted, snorted and with a great WAZZZARG! from their leader the battle began... 
The Orcs were massing forward before the Ratmen could get their slave-fodder forward. Great storms wracked the sky as lightning flew upward from the banner at the center of the Ratmen horde.

A unit of maddened spider-riding goblins appeared out of nowhere, attempting to take down one of the Warplightning cannons, set up to the sides of the main army. Fortunately, one Warpfire thrower team was ready, and let off a stream of green fire, killing the entire unit in a single burst of the hideous flame.

Then it was time for the Skaven to move, starting with the Doomwheel, which pondered ahead of the army, letting off bolts of additional charge into a mass of slaves, killing 3 instantly. This got the slaves moving, and the Clanrats followed. The Exalted Vermin Lord moved into the center of the battle, howling and challenging the Orcs to, in effect "Bring it on, Bitches." At least that's what I think I got, my skaven isn't too good. He let out magic from his fingertips, a great, dreaded spell, but it was silenced by a scroll from an orc wizard... All fell silent for a moment and the Orcs continued their assault...

 A second unit, attempting to take down the cannon on the side appeared, riding boars. They failed to organize themselves for the charge, allowing Clanrats to turn and face what would be left of the war-machine. The main body of Orcs slowly advanced, in a circle formation, towards the skaven mass and waited for combat to ensue.

 The Vermin lord took none of this bait, moved to right next to a unit of trolls, after one of them recklessly charged forwards and was instantly caught in between the pincers of the Dire Glaive of the Vermin Lord. From his forward position, the Vermin Lord let off a cloud of putrid disease, killing off Orcs in all nearby units. Following this, he waited for the Orcs to DARE charge him. The Doomwheel to his left managed to get just far enough to crash into a large unit of Greenskins, just about aimed by the engineer in charge of the unit. This took down several, impaled upon spears or lightning crackling from the contraption. The rats used to run the wheels began biting at the orcs, taking down a couple more. But, the orc leaders bashed some heads in and the grunts got their act together and attacked the wheel, peeling away parts of it, making the engineer flee - flee for his life, a sensible choice...

(This is where I'm out of pictures...)  So imagine people, use those brains of yours!

The Orcs plucked up their courage against the mighty vermin lord, as the clouds above began to clear from their darkened state. A unit of boars on the left flank also charged the slave unit covering a unit of Clanrats, revealing the secret to the slaves! Each slave had an explosive in their stomachs, wired to the engineer in the unit behind, making them explode when they looked as if they will lose combat, hopefully taking out some more of the enemies with them! This tactic took out a grand total of 5 boar riders, in exchange for all the slaves. A good trade, thought Warlock Sqeek. Meanwhile, as Gork stomped his massive foot through some Stormvermin, the Exalted Vermin Lord was trading blows with Orcs. He decided to go after the three remaining trolls, killing all of them with lightning sweeps of his glaive, however, forgetting about the orcs; which hurt, as their stabbas cut into his side, causing a couple of serious wounds. After this, the grunts took one look at the massacred trolls and decided to run, the Vermin Lord looked to his right, smirked and bounded after them, killing each one as they fell over each other, attempting to flee, or not be the next one killed!

In the meantime a unit of boars had run down the Warplightning cannon crew on the right flank, now looking to run through into the back of the Skaven army. It was at this point that the 3 Warlock engineers unleashed their secret weapons.

The engineer on the left flank took out his death globe, aiming square at the Orc Warboss and sorcerer that remained in front of them, mixed in some further warpstone for good measure and let it fly, hitting both perfectly,  slaying the sorcerer instantly and wounding the Warboss in a small explosion. The engineer in the center lit the fuse on his doomrocket and aimed in somewhere towards the newly teleported Orcs which had suddenly appeared right in front of his unit. The rocket flew right through that unit, through a unit of clanrats and into a further unit of Orc savages, hitting one square in the chest, exploding in green flame upon impact, taking down many in the explosion. The engineer on the right flank threw his brass orb as far as possible, toward the boar riders coming from the right flank, but it hit a rock and rebounded nearly into a unit of slaves, oh well, can't win everything!

With the units of Orcs looking depleted, the Skaven looked to the boar riders heading down the rear of their army. They overran a unit of Clanrats and proceeded toward a further unit, after an accidental Doomwheel malfunction took it into a unit of savage Orcs, killing most of them but being finally destroyed in the process. The Vermin Lord set his sights on the boar riders, knowing he was the only thing fast enough to reach them before they took out a further unit of Clanrats, which were simply standing and watching in awe as their Chieftain took blow after blow from an Orc warlord. The Vermin Lord, Bolt Throwa bolts hitting him in the sides, bounded towards them, releasing several spells to take down 4 of the boar riders, but wasn't quick enough to prevent the charge. Dozens of Clanrats died, but not enough to make them flee, and thus the Vermin Lord laughed. He charged the remaining boar riders, releasing cracks in the very ground and a horde of rats around him, killing all but the Orc warlord, who barely got to look around to see then deathly wounded Vermin Lord take his Glaive and chop him in twain.

And so that's how the Battle went. It was an awesome battle, couple of things went my way very nicely, lots of things exploded badly, but that's what skaven are designed for!

Friday, 20 January 2012

“Being a supervillain means never having to say you’re sorry … Unless it’s to the judge or the parole board. Even then, you don’t really have to. It’s not like it’s going to change the outcome or anything.” - Calvin Matthew Stringel

Well, I think it's fairly safe to say that the blog title sums the book up fairly well.

I went for a relatively short book this time, seeing as I needed to do my dissertation still (66 pages), which Audible recommended to me since I enjoyed Ready Player One.

The book follows Calvin Matthew Stringel, a self confessed D-list supervillian "Mechani-Cal", in his attempts to take down some sort of massive corporation and it's leader, who goes by the name, UltraWeapon (after his suit, which outstrips everything anyone else owns by far).

The main plot is related in first person from Cal's perspective. This means that you get to see superhumans "The Olympians" from the light of a supervillian, i.e. complete nuisances, who are actually sometimes just as evil as the people they are facing, without realising it themselves. It's because of this that it lies to a no-body D-list supervillian to save the world, if he wants to....

 The book is so filled with ridiculousness that it takes a while to realise that the entire thing is a complete joke. All of this is to be taken light hearted, and once you do, it's a damn good read, which is very amusing, even with a  sometimes adult theme, which is impressive.

Saying that, the main character is entirely believable, and relatable, if you're a budding supervillian in the making yourself, as I definitely am... Plots twists aplenty occur, but where this book mostly shines is the battles. These are not only exciting, but fast paced and clever. It was these that made the book for me. 

It won't have you thinking an amazing about the plot, or not being about to wait to read the next chapter, but if you want a good, light book, definitely pick this one up. I thoroughly enjoyed it, for what it is.  After all, it beats reading my dissertation... 

Next up, will be either American Gods, which I have not read in a long time, and am looking forward at getting back to, or Leviathan, another Steampunk book by Scott Westerfield. If you have any preferences then put it in the comments and I'll try to get around to that one first.

Thanks for reading,