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Showing posts from January, 2016

Game: The Witness

Braid, which came out years ago was a quite brilliant platformer and the designer Jonathon Blow has used the money from that to spend the last half decade to work on this project: The Witness. It's a first person puzzle game which has you taking on a number of logic and environmental puzzles in a small island map, with some sort of sinister back story.
The graphics are beautiful and the puzzles are clever and tough. I've not played a game in ages where I've needed a notebook to scribble on as I worked on the puzzle solutions (it's a nice way to kill the commute).
I'd completed it in 2 weeks but that's not a reflection of how short it is, more how much I was playing it. I did have some marathon weekend sessions on it, it was that addictive. Reading forums there are rumours and conspiracy theories that there is a lot more that has been missed, such is the interest in the world that Jonathon has created.
Highly recommended. 

Film: Dangerous Men

A film that took 20+ years to make, features some of the most terrible acting ever committed to celluloid, a story line that makes no sense, a credit roll that features the same person doing most of the roles and an ending that comes from nowhere as if the money just ran out. What's not to like?
If you like bad cinema then this is a must-see. Thanks as ever to the amazing PCC for showing it.

Show: Cirque du Soleil - Amaluna

Amaluna is a show I first saw a few years ago in Seattle but with it coming to the UK for the first time I had to see it again. When initially released it made a big deal of it being mostly made by and starring women, this claim seems to have been downplayed now as there are a number of male acts featured.
It was also good to revisit anyway as the show has evolved and a number of acts are new, replacing others that have now gone. I'm pleased to say the Balance Goddess routine which totally blew me away the first time I saw it, is still included in the show and based on tweets that I get daily it looks to be the stand out performance of the show.
The show runs until March before heading back to the continent for a run of shows there.

Graffiti: Phlegm @ Herne Hill

As part of an MC Escher exhibition, Phlegm has done a piece, inspired by his work, on the side of a building near Herne Hill station. I pass this every day on my commute and it's nice to see.

Sightseeing: Madrid

My last day and with blisters on my blisters I decided to spend the morning on the tourist bus, doing the lazy way to see the city.
and being on the open-top bus just happened to be on the coldest day of the year, which only the severely stupid bothered riding on the top deck.
A cool statue on the top of the Metropolis building. 
The Basilica
The bear and tree again, this time in the Playa del Sol.
Playa del Sol is another big square in the city. Unlike Plaza Mayor this one is much more open and a more popular gathering place.

Atocha station again. It looks like everything, whether it be bus, metro or train, comes here.
A giant frog for no reason.
Why did someone stick their keys here?

The Palacio del Comunicaciones is a large administrative building

The Alacala Gate photos better from the bus than on the street. It was quickly becoming apparent that the tour bus was visiting all the same sights I'd hit on foot the day before.

In the Plaza del Colon is a nice statue of Christobel…

Park: Parque de Atracciones de Madrid

Whilst in walking mode I decided to walk to the main theme park in the City. It's located in the west of the city, a lengthy walk out of the old town. I know this because I did it.
As I got close I was able to walk around Tornado but there were no signs of it operating, confirmed at the ticket office on the sign that said it was down today along with a bunch of other rides, fortunately none of the other coasters. I was lucky that the one that wasn't running was the one I had done on a previous visit.
I came here as part of a Spanish tour with the ECC in 2003 but the park had undergone quite a lot of change since then, offering me 5 new coasters. The biggest park is Parque Warner, a train ride south but I wasn't interested in going there with just one new coaster for me to ride. I didn't want to do too much coaster activity on this trip but I had always planned on doing this one.
It was fair to say the park was very very quiet.
The biggest coaster is Abismo, a modified…