Tag Archive | video games

EMP Museum Seattle (review = image heavy!)

The EMP Museum in Seattle is like someone asked “what is Nicole a nerd about?” and made a museum (minus the board games, get on it EMP!). The EMP Museum used to be the “Experience Music Project” but has grown to be generally a pop culture – film, movies, music etc – museum in a gorgeous Gehry building.

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I was lucky enough to be in town while the Star Wars costume exhibition was showing, and made a beeline to see that first. It is a mix of costume and design information from the newer prequels, and also the original trilogy. Even though I’m not as much of a fan of episodes 1-3, the costuming is incredible and it was amazing to see it close up.

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But I did get the most, nostalgically, out of the older info, designs and costuming. I especially loved the sketches and inspiration cited for many of the costumes, and the droid design. Beautiful stuff.

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Next stop were a couple of smaller exhibitions as part of the (what I believe to be) permanent displays. I didn’t know they were part of the museum (I planned my visit poorly, obviously) and I was so excited to wander through. The first was “Can’t Look Away: the Lure of Horror Film“. There’s a little bias on some of the content due to the directors that consulted & curated clips of their favourite films (Roger Corman, John Landis, and Eli Roth), but it does a great job at looking at the genre overall, highlighting the history of the iconic movies in the genre, looks at monsters and fear and has loads of cool artefacts on display. I legitimately flipped out at the Sean of the Dead shirt. It had a lot of great information, and was a good primer for those not familiar with horror movies. And the design of the space, plus the audio playing around there, was perfect.

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Heading out of horror into Sci-Fi, the Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction exhibition has a bit less of a narrative, but still showcases the vastness of the genre  in film and TV very well, old school and new. Terminator 2 is one of my fave all time movies, so I geeked out a lot at that little glass case, but really enjoyed all of the stuff on display. So much is from a private collection, I’d love to be in a place to have that stuff in my own collection!

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Onto something slightly more laid back, the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibition was thematically a gorgeous space (down to the stone walls, magic tree structures and fake pine needles on the floor) and had a lot of my favourites in there. I really enjoyed the interactives they had on various screens in this exhibition too – taking quizzes to see what kind of fantasy archetype you are, creating a map of a fantasy kingdom etc. It was a real treat to see the Princess Bride costumes and weapons!

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I wandered the “main” part of the building after that, popping into the Indie Game Revolution exhibition and also checking out the very cool Sound Lab interactive (I learnt to play a little hook on the piano!). Marveled at the massive guitar installation, too.

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My last stop was the Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibition. I came a little late to being a fan of Nirvana, but in the mid 90s I was a huge fan of grunge in general, especially Pearl Jam. And that also influenced a lot of the music I ended up getting into, especially other punk and riot grrl. This blurb about the exhibiton says it as well as anything else: “Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses explores the public and personal story of a single band, but it also invites visitors to discover the underground music scene in which Nirvana developed.” I very much enjoyed the look at the band’s development in context of the local scene, and especially the ‘oral history’ of music around that time, which was accessible at screens throughout the exhibition to sit down and explore. There were also lots of music stations throughout the exhibition to listen to Nirvana’s music from certain periods, along with their peers.

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I felt a lot of emotion and connection to the exhibitions I saw at the EMP Museum. Usually when I’m visiting a museum in a city, it’s pretty history-centric, about a place/culture/environment. This was about stuff I loved, and it was great to have that experience when visiting a museum.

The EMP Museum is open daily, you can buy tickets online & also (like I did) get them as part of the Seattle City Pass. The price is a little high, but for the extensive content on display, I believe it’s worth it – especially when you are passionate about pop culture!

Links for everyone! Digital Dozen time.

Digital dozen – 12 ways to distract yourself with shiny internet things this hump day.

I think if I were to get married, this would be 100% the wedding ring I want. Yep. Adulting!! (via)

Though I’m not a fan of their coffee (it’s my last resort when there’s nothing else coffee..) I do love this Tumblr of Starbucks sleeves sketched on to transform them into awesome portraits.

This design is fantastic!! My keyring’s pretty slim these days but if I had more, I’d be into this.

These tiny creations are so delicate and wonderful. I don’t think I could ever have the patience for them.

I’m constantly amazed at how creative people can be when given a restricted set of materials to use to create something. Design Within Reach have a ‘champagne chair’ contest each year, and these are this year’s winners. Super!

Air safety is no joke.. but these are pretty funny, c’mon.

Pixar artists turns R-rated movies into kid’s book illustrations. GOLDEN.

While we’re in the Disney realm.. here’s some lovely Baymax cosplaying as other Disney characters. The best.

Rain-activated sidewalk art! Of course someone in Seattle made this.

New wave rock stars as Marvel heroes was built for my brain.

This artist is carving a wooden spoon a day, and sharing on Instagram. They’re so wildly diverse and interesting!

Old to new – discarded books carved into art.

Digital Dozen – more midweek distractions for your tired brain

I don’t understand how it’s already Wednesday, but also, how is is only Wednesday? Hump day, you vex me. Onto the fun stuff!

First of all, I’ve been watching and rewatching and sharing this everywhere, but it needs to take first mention here. Magic dogs. I love it.

Animal problems. They’re real, and they’re adorably illustrated by Geoff Hewer-Candee over at this Tumblr.

Let’s talk about some REAL distractions, like the incredible archive of MS DOS games now available on the Internet Archive! There’s a little about the process behind it here. There are so many to play, right in your browser! Have you any idea how awesome that is? Especially for me to relive all those hours of..

Interspecies friends always make me happy. This squirrel is so persistent, and the dog is so patient! Although I imagine it’s nice to have someone combing around in your fur 🙂 There’s a load more videos here!

Speaking of interspecies interactions.. this kitten’s reactions are pretty priceless. GIF included for good laughs. Oh, the look of terror!

Who knew bananas could be a medium for art? Their very browning nature must make this tough..

If I still played D&D, I’d be on these dice like.. a flash! *zing* The only thing that would be better is if they made a *womp-womp* noise on a critical fail.

It’s amazing what folks can do with digital media nowadays.. these GIFs show the colouring of B&W photos so that they look like they were always meant to be that way. It’s incredible!

This dude climbed the ice next to Niagara Falls. It’s terrifying, when you think about it, and especially when you see the scale of it:

I love the style of these pieces – ‘Super Families‘ – there’s something really sweet about the way they are framed. And it’s safe to say I definitely want this one, because have you met me?

I’m usually not too taken with landscapes unless they really stand out to me – and these did. Look how dreamy they are. Finland! Gosh.

While we’re on dreamy, and somewhat humbling (or should that be Hubbling?) in sense of scale. Check out this amazing image of the ‘Pillars of Creation’ taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s hard to believe something that incredible exists, but look at it.

Thursday & the things I love today! TILT returns, and so do I.

Well, well. Here I am again, back at the helm! So far June’s been a pretty busy, challenging time for me, so writing even the basics here has not been a priority. I started a new job just at the end of May, and then on the 1st of June we moved apartments. I would recommend to anyone that this is not the greatest idea in the world, but it just kinda worked out that way. At least it’s all out of the way and summer can get on, now!

So to kick off this first TILT of the summer, let’s give some love to my new place! We’re still not fully unpacked and organized, but the important stuff is there, and we have a totally sweet new couch! It’s a nice little one bedroom, north facing, and in the ‘hood with Grange Park and the Art Gallery of Ontario! And I love that it’s such a short walk to work for me!
We’ve spent a lot of our downtime between unpacking playing a lot of Mario Kart 8. Oh man, is it ever fun! I have slowly been improving since I first sat down to play, but Adam still beats me every time. Just like at board games! I can swear loudly a lot more when sitting down to a Grand Prix of Mario Kart 8, though 😀 The best part of the release of this game has been the wonderful video captures and GIFs of Mario Kart TV, showing fantastic driver reactions. Especially Luigi’s death stare. I love it so much.
Toronto is still rockin’ on being a great city for vegans, and this weekend will be no exception! The city’s first vegan pop up market is happening on Sunday June 15th. I am so looking forward to going to an event like this, that I know is curated to contain great vendors, and that I can walk around happy to spend my money knowing it won’t compromise my values. Hoorah! Maybe you’ll come too?
Last of all, I love that the snacks at work contain delicious vegan options, including Cocoa Camino’s wonderful dark chocolate peanut butter bars. Mmmmm. Sugar fuel and happiness.

The Return of the Digital Dozen!

  • Tomorrow is Star Wars day. Enjoy these wonderful geometric and abstract Star Wars portraits!
  • And while we’re at it, who wants to send me this hoodie? Han and Chewie in one! Yesss.
  • Finding inspiration in negative space makes for good art. See?
  • Seals love belly rubs – you’ve always guessed it, right? RIGHT? Well, now you can see it in action. (From 0:35 on)
  • A pen that 3D prints as you write with it in thin air? No way. This is the future. Check it out!
  • Remember that kid playing Space Invaders on the side of a building? Now someone’s done it with Tetris!
  • I’m pretty sure these would cripple me, but I do love the look of them!
  • This is a genius re-imagining of the houses from the Game of Thrones series as modern brands. All of them are wonderful, but this is the most golden of all:
  • How would you like to kick back to a smooth jazz cover of the Game of Thrones theme? Yep.
  • Someone went through a lot of painstaking photoshopping to create these images of classic album covers superimposed over real life locations. That is some very specific stuff. One of my personal favourites is..
  • Giant machinery playing jenga – no, you didn’t think you needed to see it. But it is thoroughly enjoyable.
  • I’m looking for work right now, and I’m beginning to think I need to something creative to sell my Administrative Superstar package just like this amazing Lego Resume! It stands out from the crowd, no lie.

Things I Love! And It’s Thursday! Hey, look at that.

How’s Thursday treating you, folks of the internet and beyond? I’m back to feeling the love for a TILT post, which feels nice.

I love seeing a friend’s blog post about great food things in Toronto that make me go “Oh man look at all the stuff I’m missing out on” and get my butt out of the house. So I went to the Depanneur’s Wednesday evening vegan drop-in dinner last night for Golden Latkes & Hammin Toscano. FLAVOURS! So many flavours. In the cozy warm space of the Dep, within chatting distance of the chef & owner, I felt very welcome & happy, and well fed. The latkes were super tasty (and yes, so much better when someone else makes them for you!), accompanied by beautiful apple sauce & a coconut sour cream I might have eaten spoonfuls of given half the chance.  The surprising taste sensation for me was the Hammin Toscano, a “Jewish-Italian stew made with winter greens, cannellini beans, and yuba”. I would eat a huge bowl of this every single day of my life given half the chance – such simple ingredients, but rich and hearty. I treated myself to dessert afterward, because I’ve never had rugelach before – it was a beautiful not-too-sweet pastry with pecans and chocolate hidden inside. On the side was a sorbet of poached pears and Manischewitz wine – I wasn’t overly keen on the texture, but the simple combo of those two flavours was perfection. Makes me wanna poach some pears, asap. (And I don’t even like red wine.)

The Dep Drop In Dinner

While I am indeed  lover of coffee, I also enjoy nice, quality loose leaf tea. I usually pop in to David’s Tea because there’s a store super close to me and their ingredient and allergen listings are excellent! I’ve got some nice chai mixes at the moment, and I’m really loving the seasonal Chocolate Chili Chai mix (so spice!). My favourite of the teas haunting my cupboard currently, though, is Coffee Cake. Oh MAN. Sweet, cakey, fruity. Gosh.

  

There’s a new addition to our household – the WiiU. While we’re having fun with a lot of games, the one I’m loving the most right now is Nintendoland. It’s a collection of twelve games, some of which are just solo play, others multiplayer (up to 5 players), or some combo of both options. I’ve had fun with the ninja castle throwing star one on my own, but my favourites to play with a group are Mario Chase, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion & Animal Crossing Sweet Days. The first two have hidden aspects: Mario is running away from Toads in Mario chase, gets a head start and can see where we all are, but we have to find Mario by running around the maze. In the Ghost Mansion, one player is a hidden ghost – as they approach players, their controllers rumble and you have to shine your flashlight to try and get them before they sneak up and catch you. Sweet Days is just ridiculous fun – players are running around trying to collect candies in their animal hats while the gatekeepers, played by one person, is chasing them around trying to poke them with a giant knife and fork. You haven’t lived until you’ve sat in a group of adults shouting “Elephant head, no! Run away! Drop some candies! Knifey is coming!!”

I love smart dudes who are working at making the world better for everyone by standing up and taking responsibility for ending violence and harassment of women. I’ve written about Jackson Katz’s thoughts on this previously, and he’s listed in that blog post, but there’s a lot of guys going out of their way to take ownership of their privelage, and do something with/about it for good. Linked also, but worth a mention specifically, is this blog Men: we can start a movement to stop violence against women and the “#BeThatGuy” campaign. I want every person who perpetrates violence and harassment against women to have those ideas wash them down with full force.

Finally, I love this video from Kid President – 20 Things We Should Say More Often. It’s a lot of great sentiment and common sense with some laughs thrown in. Very nice reminders of how we can be more considerate and thoughtful – who doesn’t need that reminder every so often?

Here’s a few things for your Monday morning reading over coffee.

While I might have dropped the ball on the digital dozen this weekend, I did find myself with a few good tabs open that all sort of tie in to each other after my catchup on social media over breakfast. And I wanted to share them with all of you!

First of all, this slightly old but always 110% relevant clip from Ellen, where she gives a good burn to Bic for their ‘For Her’ pen products. Every time I see strongly gendered products it makes me think of this flowchart. (On the upside, changes are starting to be made regarding gendered marketing – for instance, Toys “R” Us in the UK is removing specifically labelled “for boys” and “for girls” signage in their stores! Wonderful.)

Moving toward the “but it’s for guys” category, have a read of this amazingly articulate breakdown of why it’s not okay to say “video games are aimed at dudes, so don’t complain if you don’t like it and you’re a lady”, and more: “Sex Sells. Deal with it.” It’s one of the best articles I’ve read in a while that plainly states what the troubles of speaking up as a feminist can be, especially when a lot of the response you’ll be getting is from dudebros who miss the point. (I saw this article linked by the MESSAGE – Men Ending Slurs and Sexist Attitudes in the Gaming Environment – which you should all check out!)

And for a little more sprinkling of the double standards category, this video imploring HBO to show us some wiener is a marvelous exercise in fantastic feminist humour. More please!

Go forth into your week with your brain all fired up!