Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Assassin's Creed: Ember

Nice!  I just found this trailer for a new PSP Assassin's Creed and Ezio's last Chapter (Haven't played bloodlines yet, but there is still time, despite the crappy reviews it got).
The game? Assassin's Creed: Ember ... looking forward to it!

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Weekend end game update: zombies, zombies and more ugly things

Apprentice Rank Insignia
This weekend has been a video game bonanza (and lots of video game relate frustration, but I guess this is what they term "good stress").  This past weekend I started off with Halo 3, in which I continued the same mission I've been on for the past 2 weeks...the damned mission to "find cortana." I have to say that this level has been the most frustrating Halo level ever since it feels like it never ends, and there are a ton of alien looking things - you know, those things that such on your face and pass on the alien egg.

In any case, to break up the monotony of dying over and over again by aliens, I decided to take advantage of xbox live, since it's ending soon, and play some halo multiplayer where I quickly proceeded to get pwned. I did manage to make the rank of Apprentice.  OK, sure, it's quite low on the ranking scheme, but I did get 2XP to get there (1XP per hour it seems by my rate...). What I learned here was that I am much better in a hand-to-hand combat match (with one of those alien blades) than in a match where everyone has guns.  Unfortunately for me, most matches had guns and were not not blade-only. Oh well.  Gotta figure out how to be in blade-only matches.

To break up the monotony of getting pwned I decided to look at two zombie games. Left 4 Dead, or "holy f*ck these zombies are fast!"  and Deadrising, or "wow...these are Romero zombies..."  Now Deadrising wasn't bad, but the assault controls are a bit clunky (maybe that's why the zombies are slow). The thing that I hate most about this game is that you have to find a save point.  Seriously?  What is this? 1999?  Why can't I save on-demand? or better yet, auto-save for me!  Left 4 Dead I played for 20 minutes. I didn't want to get too far into it considering that I want to finish Halo first. So far this game seems like a better zombie game, but Deadrising has that capcom look and feel that makes me nostalgic for those days of yesteryear at the arcades :-)
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PhD - the Movie

PhD comics is coming out with a movie version! I have to say that I really like the comic strip but I don't really know how well it will translate into a movie.  The Garfield movie seemed ridiculous (disclaimer: I have not seen it but I may if it's on Netflix) and no one has made a Calvin and Hobbes movie yet ;-)  I fear that what seems like witty in a five panel comic strip will look pretty bad in a 90 minute film.

PHD Movie Trailer from PHD Comics on Vimeo.
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Παιδί του βιβλίου

Το περασμένο σαββατοκύριακο, απ’ ότι είδατε στο χτεσινό μου μπλόγκ ποστ, έκατσα και τελείωσα το βιβλίο starship troopers. Ήταν περίπου 60 σελίδες, οπότε με ένα κρύο φραππεδάκι στην βεράντα και μερικές ωρίτσες στον ήλιο το βιβλίο το τελείωσα. Αφού λοιπόν τελείωσα το βιβλίο και αγνάντευα τον ουρανό σκέφτηκα κάτι περίεργο: τα τελευταία χρόνια το έχω ρίξει πολύ στο βιβλίο. Όταν ήμουν μικρός, άντε μέχρι και πριν ένα χρόνια, τα βιβλία ήταν αγγαρεία. Δεν ήθελα ούτε ζωγραφιστά να τα βλέπω. Αν υπήρχε βιβλίο και υπήρχε ταινία εμπνευσμένη από το βιβλίο θα έβλεπα την ταινία. Και ότι βιβλία διάβαζα για τις σπουδές τα διάβαζα νωρίς νωρίς για να μην χρειάζεται να τρέχω μετά (των φρονίμων τα παιδιά..), οπότε αν βαριόμουνα να διαβάσω κάτι είχα αρκετό καιρό να βγάλω την ύλη.

Τώρα όμως είναι διαφορετικά, έχω διαβάσει αρκετά βιβλία φέτος, και βιβλία αρχειοθυκονομίας, και γλωσσολογίας, και διαπαιδαγώγησης, και μυθιστορήματα (πράγμα ολίγον περίεργο γιατί σε γενικές γραμμές δεν είμαι τύπος του μυθιστορήματος). Αναρωτιέμαι αν είναι θέμα ηλικίας (αυτή η παραπάνω ελξη στο βιβλίο), αν είναι θέμα βαρεμάρας με την τηλεόραση (έχω αρκετές σειρές να δω, αλλά δεν γουστάρω και τόσο να μετατρέπω avi σε iPhone video format) ή αν διαβάζω τώρα αρκετά επειδή ύλη να βγάλω, οπότε δεν βαριέμε διαβάζω (αντίστροφη ψυχολογία;)

Ποιος ξέρει; ίσως τον χειμώνα να μπει το μυαλό σε χειμερία νάρκη και να επιστρέψω σε βίντεο στο iPhone lol.
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Starship Troopers - the book

Starship TroopersOver the weekend I took the opportunity of having nice weather to sit out in the sun and finish off the remainder sixty or so pages in Starship Troopers that I had started reading a few weeks ago.  I had watched the movie adaptation when it came out quite some time ago (1998?) as well as the two sequels to the movie: Starship Troopers Hero of the Federation and Starship Troopers Marauder. The truth is that the movies go progressively campier, but hey, I liked the original so it was a good incentive to buy and view the other two.  I sort of feel the same way about Mission Impossible and Resident Evil.  I loved the first ones so I wanted to see subsequent ones, even though they may have sucked.

In any case, I have to say that as much as I loved the movie (the original Starship Troopers that is), the book was much better. Rico does come off as a more likable character in the book and Ibañez has a much minimized role (I gotta say, I really disliked Ibañez in the movie). A colleague of mine told me that the book ended in a way that didn't facilitate sequels, the way that the movie did, but I think that both the movie and the book ended in similar tones, and the book could have had a sequel. I'd actually be interested in reading more about the Federation and its inner workings, perhaps more from the Navy point of view as well. It's too bad that Heinlein is no longer with us in order to explain this universe he created.
Perhaps my next Heinlein book will be Have spacesuit, will travel. The interesting thing about this book is that most of it takes place off combat (it seemed like the movie was mostly combat and action), with only the last 60 or so pages of the book being combat driven. Most of the book deals with issues of citizenship, voting, military service and ethics (of all things). It's a quick read and it goes by pretty fast. Definitely one of the better books I read this year.
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Giving up on Atlas Shrugged

Atlas ShruggedHaving played a number of games that make reference to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, I decided that it would be a good idea to actually read the book that has served as some sort of inspiration for those games. This book is also seems to be a book that has won critical acclaim, so it seemed like a good idea to read it.  Thus I put this book on my Overdrive account (public library audiobooks) and waited for it to become available for download.

One day, I get an email notification that the audiobook is ready to download, so I fire-up my Overdrive app on my iPod touch and download the book...all 60+ hours of it!  This is by far the longest book I have ever attempted to listen to. Well, in the two week loan that I had the book for I only managed to listen to about 12 to 14 hours, or about 20% of the book.  I discovered that if you don't close your overdrive application, even though your book has expired, it won't register until you close it and open it up again. I used this trick to squeeze out a couple more hours of listening. I  initially re-requested the book, but I have decided to not finish it because the book is really non-readable.  It's supposed to be a masterpiece, but the writing is horrible. It's like a high school student wrote it! The basic story is intriguing, I will admit to that, but the execution is flawed beyond belief. In addition to the writing being a bit flat, as disappointing as flat soda, the characters also fail to impress, and are self-contradicting, to the point where one must do a double take.

For an example of this one doesn't have to look farther than the protagonist, Dagny. Dagny is portrayed as a strong woman, breaking the stereotypes and taking control of her father's rail road company even though there is a male heir. She is obviously portrayed as someone who has the balls and the business acumen to turn around an ailing business; but then she becomes a toy for Francisco D'Anconia and Hank Rearden, going from one man to another, essentially becoming their possession and "submitting to their will as women should" (this probably isn't verbatim but I am sure I heard it in the audiobook!).  What the hell happened to the strong and dynamic woman? According to wikipedia, Dagny also had a third lover, but I didn't get that far in the book.

In addition to non-sensical characters, bad writing, and a length that is not warranted, this book also suffers from going back and forth between a dystopian future genre of a novel (a genre which I like), and that of a Harlequin novel.  Perhaps Atlas in the picture above should have the head of Fabio...

I was considering reading the Fountainhead instead, perhaps Ayn Rand could be redeemed, but considering that Atlas Shrugged is considered her magnum opus, I don't know if it's worth wasting my time.  In the end, it seems like Atlas Shrugged is a complete #fail.

What do you think? Have you read it? When did you read it and what did you think?
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