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Engadget vs TIMN (or how AOL wrecked a good blog)

Since around 2006 I’ve been a huge fan and reader of tech blog site Engadget. Their coverage of all things tech has easily been best in class for as long as I have been reading it, and certainly they have had their fair share of exclusives over the years that have put every other tech blog into a much lower class. And while I’ve had issues with them over the years for being a bit of an Apple apologist, as well as anti-Microsoft, that is kinda true for virtually all of the tech blogosphere, so I cannot really dislike Engadget for that reason alone.

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Thought's on Stargate Universe's finale

I really hate it when a show gets cancelled just as it is getting good. A lot of sci-fi shows seem to be like that - Enterprise is but one recent example that I can think of where a couple of lacklustre seasons led into some truly amazing stories and ideas. Stargate Universe was a bit like this, although I never felt that the first season of the show was bad by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I relished the slower pacing and the focus on each individual character, and with each week’s episode focussing on a single problem the crew have found with the Destiny. But I will concede that in terms of tone the first season certainly felt like a poor man’s Battlestar Galactica, right down to the style of visual effects shots employed. But then things improved dramatically in Season Two, which is when the axe came falling down on the show - which meant another frustrating finale without resolution.

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Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness

La Boite’s 2011 season is certainly shaping up to be a very strong set of productions, each of them bringing something very different to the audience. In this respect alone, Artistic Director David Berthold is to be congratulated for the choices made. Their latest production, Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness, is one that firmly places the audience into an emotional zone where you’re entirely sure if you should be laughing, or crying, or feeling repulsed at what has just occurred on stage. The show swings wildly about, from concept to concept, that it feels more like a compressed version of a season of The Mighty Boosh or The League of Gentlemen than a traditional theatrical production examining the themes of sadness and the loss that lives in all of us. And so while it isn’t a completely successful production because of this sheer variety, full marks for giving it a go.

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An Oak Tree

For the first time in living memory, the Queensland Theatre Company have chosen to split their annual season into two very distinct flavours. So far we’ve been enjoying (or not enjoying, depending on your perspective) the productions in their Mainstage Season. These are the crowd pleasers, the ones that your average non-theatre type person will most likely enjoy. But in addition to this, we have a set of plays under the banner “The Studio Season”, which appear to be an attempt to respond to the work of groups like La Boite in producing more dynamic and experimental theatre. This is certainly an approach I applaud, and it was with great anticipation that I recently went and saw Tim Crouch’s An Oak Tree, a play which sold itself on the notion that of the two actors appearing in the show, only one of them would have read the script. So it certainly sounded interesting? But was it? Thankfully, yes.

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iBlast Moki

When I was a kid, there was this amazing game on the PC called The Incredible Machine. The idea behind it was you’d create a physics-based contraption to complete some sort of test, be it to move water around the screen, or complete a puzzle. And while the physics inside the game were a bit dodgy, it was amazing fun. Since then, physics in computer games have come a long way, and these days the notion of real-world physics not being present in a game you are playing seems quite odd. iBlast Moki is another amazing iPhone game that has been ported over to WP7, and is highly addictive.

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