Monthly Archives: July 2008

Hamlet and Ophelia are in a relationship and it’s complicated

I’m not ashamed of my affinity for Facebook, nor am I ashamed of my affinity for Shakespeare, specifically his works involving morose Danes.

So this had me rolling:

HAMLET
(FACEBOOK NEWS FEED EDITION).

BY SARAH SCHMELLING

Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it’s annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet’s annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet’s father is now a zombie.

– – – –

The king poked the queen.

The queen poked the king back.

Hamlet and the queen are no longer friends.

Marcellus is pretty sure something’s rotten around here.

Hamlet became a fan of daggers.

– – – –

Polonius says Hamlet’s crazy … crazy in love!

Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.

Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.

Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.

Ophelia removed “moody princes” from her interests.

Hamlet posted an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family

The king commented on Hamlet’s play: “What is wrong with you?”

Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.

Polonius is no longer online.

– – – –

Hamlet added England to the Places I’ve Been application.

The queen is worried about Ophelia.

Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.

Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don’t Float.

Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone.

– – – –

The king sent Hamlet a goblet of wine.

The queen likes wine!

The king likes … oh crap.

The queen, the king, Laertes, and Hamlet are now zombies.

Horatio says well that was tragic.

Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, says yes, tragic. We’ll take it from here.

Denmark is now Norwegian.

Original can be found here.

–DB

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I wouldn’t be a good geek if I didn’t post this:

Commence squeeing.  I know I did.

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Webcomic Wednesday

Phrigid promises he’ll write a post soon.

In the meantime, I’m attempting our first “regularly scheduled” segment: Webcomic Wednesday! (Ah, alliteration, so original).

The premise? Well, like all good hipsters-in-denial-chained-to-a-desk-for-8-hours-a-day, I spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet, and I spend a lot of that time reading webcomics. So each Wednesday I’m going to share one of my comic bookmarks with you.

If you read Questionable Content (which you should, if you’re not), you saw the awesome guest comic on Monday starring “Hipster Batman”, written and drawn by Rene Engström. Rene has her own comic, Anders Loves Maria, which I dutifully spent the last two days reading the archives of.

The story centers on a young couple living in Sweden (don’t worry, only snippits of the comic are in Swedish, and she provides translations) who find out they are pregnant, and then go through a breakup. It’s not a story I recommend jumping into, you really need to go through the archives and read it through to understand the continuity, but trust me, it’s worth it.

The art (as you can see) is beautifully done, and reminds me of a combination of Craig Thompson’s Blankets and Scott Kurtz’s PVP.  It’s also reminiscent of the clean, retro-animated style we’re seeing a lot of in graphic design recently, but she doesn’t rely on Illustrator cut-and-paste jobs to get the work done.  There’s a span in the archives where all the comics are hand-drawn, and I personally found them the most compelling of all.  At the end of the day, this woman is an amazing artist.

The storyline relies a lot on Engström’s art style (many of the comics have no words at all) and it doesn’t give away too much, too soon.  Like I said, it’s a comic you need to dedicate yourself to, not one you can jump in and out of.  But I guarantee you’ll find yourself attached to these characters and compelled by the emotions Engström pulls out of them.

The jokes are there, and are of the 20-something, ironic, dry humour variety (with quite a bit of sexuality), but the main point seems to be character development and storytelling. Overall, it’s a webcomic that reads like a graphic novel, and while the art certainly reminds me of Blankets, think more along the story-telling of Box Office Poison, Any Easy Intimacy, or Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed.

Anders Loves Maria is what most would describe as “NSFW”, a large chunk of her comics include a healthy dose of sex, boobs, and penis, so if you have a monitor that faces your decidedly prudish cube-mate, you may want to hold off on this one until you get home. But it’s worth the wait.

–DB

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Scrabulo–wtf?

UPDATE: Read the full story here: Facebook Takes Down Scrabulous

Scrabulous has been shut down on Facebook.

If you try to pull up the popular Scrabble-like game, you get the following message: “Scrabulous is disabled for U.S. and Canadian users until further notice. If you would like to stay informed about developments in this matter, please click here.” If you click, you get a form from the Scrabulous founders asking for your e-mail address so they can keep you posted on further developments.

It is a bit of a surprise that Scrabulous, an obvious copy of the board game Scrabble, managed to avoid shutdown as long as it did. I loved to play Scrabulous as much as the next person, but Hasbro, owner of the rights to Scrabble in the United States, was not amused.

After Hasbro started its own Scrabble application on Facebook, it sued Scrabulous and its India-based creators, Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla, to shut it down.

In the suit, Hasbro also asked Facebook to remove the game for violating copyright law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

David Swain, a Facebook spokesman, said Tuesday morning that Facebook forwarded the takedown notice to Scrabulous. “They decided in the middle of the night to disable the application in the U.S. and Canada.” He said the game is still available to Facebook users outside North America.

Swain said that the social networking service isn’t taking sides in the Scrabulous-Hasbro dispute. “We’re trying to maintain just being a neutral platform.”

So what’s a Scrabulous junkie to do while the legal dispute plays out? You can try Hasbro’s official version of Scrabble on Facebook (if you can get it to work — I and many other users had trouble loading it Tuesday morning). Or you can open a new browser window and play Scrabulous on Scrabulous.com, which still appears to be functioning.

—————————————————

I was all set to write about how much I love Scrabulous, the one Facebook app that doesn’t make me want to pull an Office Space and start screaming about where my friends can stick their pieces of flair and lil green patch requests.

My old boss and I have been engaged in an epic battle of Scrabulous for a few weeks now. And I was kicking ass. Words like “flavonian” (thank you, 3.5 years of high school Latin), and an 80 point score on “azure” flew from my fingertips. I was on fire. I was going to beat him. It was going to be epic.

Well, it WOULD have been, if this hadn’t invaded my screen this morning:

If you can’t read that, it says “Scrabulous is disabled for US and Canadian users until further notice.”

I can’t help but feel a little betrayed. Does anyone know what’s up with Scrabulous?

–DB

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A goat chimichanga and why The Spirit is going to suck

Phrigid and I used to frequent a wonderful restaurant/bar in Northern Liberties by the name of Azure. Reasonable prices, good food, good servers, awesome margaritas. When we found out a few months ago that it had suddenly closed, we were heart broken.

A week or so ago we noticed that a new restaurant had popped up in its place. Well! The nerve! To replace our beloved Azure so soon after its sudden demise! It was all too much. We went home and got drunk and listened to the Cure while writing tear-stained LiveJournal entries.

Ok, I’m being over dramatic here, but the point is that we didn’t think anything could replace Azure in our fish taco and margarita-loving hearts.

Yesterday, we decided to give the new place a try:

Cantina Dos Segundos

Mon-Fri: 4pm-2am
Sat-Sun: 11am-2am

931 N 2nd St
Northern Liberties
Philadelphia, PA
215-629-0500

We entered hesitantly, and were greeted by the same warm and laid-back atmosphere that we had loved so much about Azure. We sat at the bar, and were immediately presented with chips and two kinds of salsa (the salsa verde was awesome).

The beer selection has improved. On tap there were 2 PBC offerings (Rowhouse Red and Kenzinger), Hennepin, Jevel, an IPA I can’t remember and Franziskaner Hefe Weiss. Phrigid got the Hennepin (which is a little strong for my tastes), and I got the Hefe Weiss.

It also looks as though the tequila selection has expanded. They have tequila specials and even tastings. One day when I’m not feeling the urge to be conscious for the rest of the evening, I plan to try that.

Phrigid ordered the Roast Goat Chimichanga, I got the Empanada Special (Roast pork and Mexican cheese). The empanadas were brilliant, cooked with cinnamon and served with pineapple relish and guacamole. I will refer to them as fried pockets of awesome. I’m personally not a huge fan of goat, but the bite I had of the chimichanga was really good. He couldn’t finish it, which is aying something for portion sizes. Phrigid isn’t shy about eating.

The entire meal (including drinks) came to less than $40 for the two of us, which is on par for what we used to pay at Azure.

The bartenders were funny, kind and attentive. One I recognized as a holdover from Azure, who deftly made recommendations for both food and drink, and kept us in good (and decidedly geeky) conversation all night.

Speaking of geek things, The Spirit is going to suck. And it pains me to say this. First off, I can’t stand how it’s being marketed. It looks like a giant T&A fest with some one liners thrown in for good measure. Oh, wait, no, that was Sin City. But I had no problem with that for Sin City. Sin City is about guns and darkness and tits and violence and quotable lines. That’s fine. The Spirit is a classic storytelling comic. It’s real detective noir, not the faux nouveau noir of SC (say “faux nouveau noir” 5 times fast). I mean, it’s fucking Eisner. The Spirit was an adult comic, it had storylines and it made you think a little. Yes, it was campy and racist and sexist, but it was well-written and the characters were fleshed out. Miller is not a bad writer (well, he used to not be a bad writer) but Miller is not Eisner. The Spirit is not Sin City. Stop making it seem like it is.

Judge for yourself:

–Digital Bohemian

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the shit we talk about at bars

This weekend I had an epiphany of sorts. Within a 24 hour period, I had two separate conversations at two separate bars about The Watchmen.

P.S., if you haven’t seen The Watchmen trailer yet, get off your ass and go , squee yourself silly, and then come back. We’ll wait. Promise.

Anyway, the epiphany was not of the “I probably drink too much” variety (although I admit that after about 8 Walt Wits, my conversation skills had probably degraded some), but rather of the “man, someone should write about all the cool shit we talk about at bars”.

I mean, there are blogs about geeky shit. I’m not going to try and be another Geekadelphia. There are blogs about food. There are blogs about beer. I don’t think we’re filling a niche here. I think we’re two geeks who like to go to bars, drink dank beer, eat good food, and talk to the bartender about video games and comic books. So why not write some of this shit down?

So, yeah. We’re (btw, the ubiquitous “we” I keep referring to would be myself and my partner in crime, Phrigid. See the Meet the Geeks page for our illustrious and incomplete profiles) going to talk about the beer we drink, the food we eat, and the cool shit we talk about while doing it.

We’ll probably also post funny pictures of our cats. We’re like that.

–Digital Bohemian

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