May 2006

Mowbrays Slap




Mowbrays Slap

Originally uploaded by iay.

Poor old Mowbray, whoever he was. This street sign is in West Linton, Scotland. I don't know the story behind it, but perhaps "Slap" is another local name for "small street". Or not.

Zombie Air Guitar

I'm trying hard not to blog every little thing that Jonathan Coulton does. He's making it difficult, though, as for the last month or so he seems to have been on something of a roll. Plus, because his Thing a Week songs are Creative Commons licensed, other talented people are able to get into the act too.

A couple of cases in point are Re: Your Brains and Code Monkey. These are well executed, catchy, desperately funny songs (and in the case of Code Monkey, a little sad too) and both of them now have music videos courtesy of some of the many talented people who are not Jonathan Coulton. In both cases, these movies are machinima, a genre I've been interested in since seeing Anachronox: The Movie.

The video for Re: Your Brains is pretty much a straight rendering of the song, with some people cowering indoors while a chorus of zombies mills around outside, expressing their anthropophagic desires. My favourite parts are the zombie air guitar solo and the random rats scurrying around over the set. I assume the latter are just endemic in World of Warcraft, where the video was made.

The Ill Clan's video for Code Monkey seems to have been made in The Movies. Judging from the web site, that's a kind of Sim Movie Tycoon kind of game with a machinima engine buried inside. It's not surprising, then, that this allows much better animation and camera control. The story line is more adventurous, too, but I won't spoil that for you. I will say: watch out for the bunny rabbit with the sub-machine gun that goes past in the background of one of the shots.

Warning: under no circumstances should the weak-minded view these videos; you'll be stuck singing "all we want to do is… eat your brains" or "Code Monkey like Fritos" to yourself for the rest of the week, at least. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate

Number one in a series of probably at least two "Great Street Signs of the World".

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is the name of a very small street in the city of York, England. In York, "Gate" means "Street", but "Bar" means "Gate" (as in "city gate"). It is probably something to do with those Vikings.