Posts from December 2009

23
Dec 09

FT Advent Calendar Of Free Online Games: 23rd December

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A couple of days of Christmas to go so now to the massive games with hundreds of levels and never ending challenge. And maybe something Christmas related tomorrow! Today is less pretty, festive but is probably the action flash game I have played the most over the last ten years (admittedly as a download so it remembers my progress). Just like Cis’ favourite Mr Fancypants, its a stick figure leaping around with some sort of realistic physics going on. Realistic if you can accelerate massively and jump forever like this little fella:
n ninja

Stichelton (cheesey lover #60)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/Post a comment • 260 views

This raw-milk, blue cows cheese is made in Nottinghamshire. I bought some from Rennet and Press, and it’s also available from Neal’s Yard Dairy.

SticheltonStichelton’s a stilton-like cheese, but made with unpasturised milk. It’s a moist cheese, pale yellow, with a deep green-blue veining that’s denser towards the centre of the cheese.

It’s gloriously rich and buttery, smooth and soft, melting in my mouth. There’s a bright rich spicy, blue taste, and some underlying caramel sweetness, and a fruityness that’s not too dense and not too tart – pears and apples, I think. Lots of toasty, smooth hazelnut flavours, and a decent, but not overwhelming, amount of salt round it out. The rind’s delicious, too – the fruit and caramel notes come to the fore out at the edges where the veining’s less intense.

Corruptible Vegan is definitely corrupted by this cheese. She hacks lumps off and eats it straight from the knife.

Cheesy woofer: When Finn smells me taking this out of my bag he spontaneously sits down in anticipation, wagging his tail with hungry glee. How can I not let him sample it? He declares it delicious, and eats even the bluest bits from the centre.

Conclusion: Delicious, and proper Christmassy, this cheese. We have another wedge of this waiting for Christmas evening and a glass or two of port.

22
Dec 09

HAUNTOGRAPHY: The Treasure of Abbot Thomas

FT + The Brown Wedge////6 comments • 2,759 views

You probably want to read The Treasure of Abbot Thomas before you read this.

In M R James’s universe everyone who matters is fluent in Latin. It’s not so for the modern reader – or at least this modern reader – and there’s an interesting gap left between the Latin that he so liberally scatters throughout his stories, and the translations we read.

The Treasure of Abbot Thomas begins with some big chunks of Latin, which our antiquarian protagonist – Mr Somerton – gets straight down to translating. What he ends up with isn’t immediately clear to him, either, but he follows up the clues within and is lured into a hunt for buried treasure, departing to parts foreign, and for now out of our sight.

FT Advent Calendar Of Free Online Games: 22nd December

FT2 comments • 260 views

warbearsWhat a lovely day for an adventure with BEARS. WarBears that is. A lot of flash games are there for a 1 minute distracting thrill while a progress bar makes its slow way to the end. But If you fancy actively dodging more work, and why not, everyone else is on Facebook and eating Quality Street, here are some 20 minutes point-and-click adventures with a cute team of techno-ninja bears. Features thrills and excitement, but probably mostly frustration at the unpredicatable, but cute, consequences of your actions.

WarBear Missions Start with Mission 1, but it’s all good. Use the ‘quick start’ button to skip the intro.

Bleu de Termignon (cheesy lover #59)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/2 comments • 232 views

Blue raw cow’s milk cheese, made high up on a French alp, and bought from Mons.

Lunch is a thin wedge of this odd-looking cheese. The outer third the of the cheese is blue, and further towards the center it’s a soft pale crumbly primrose yellow. There’s not much veining in the blue, as such – it’s dense and widespread enough that the cheese itself appears to be a marbled, mottled blue colour.  This cheese isn’t pierced with a blue mould – instead the blue mould is left to work its way in naturally.

I start to eat this from the centre outwards. The cheese is soft and moist, with a crumbly, granular texture. It’s slightly tart and acidic,  and nutty and fudgey, especially towards the rind. It tastes of bubblegum and flowers, and also wonderfully buttery. As I nibble along my slice, from centre to edge, the cheese suddenly starts to taste blue. It’s very mellow. All the sweet, tart, floral flavours of the inside are still pinging about, but with an overlay of gently spicy blue. The rind, when I reach the outside, is crumby and sandy, and not all that interesting to eat. The rest of the cheese is, though! It’s subtle and delicious, and unusual – like no other blue cheese I’ve ever tried.

21
Dec 09

FT Advent Calendar Of Free Online Games: 21st December

FT1 comment • 711 views

A lively discussion was had last night amongst several FT regulars about why basketball and soccer don’t lend themselves to a Moneyball-style stats revolution where conventional wisdom about “character” and coming through “in the clutch” are deposed into the sweaty gym bag of history and replaced with a gleaming Excel hierarchy of excellence. Cause basketball and soccer don’t have very many individual, repeatable moments – they’re about how a team coheres and responds to an ever-morphing flow.

Well here’s an online basketball game to set that right. How many baskets can YOU make? (The physics in this are quite nice.)

bball

Popular Is On Christmas Holiday

FT + Popular20 comments • 1,013 views

I’m suffering from pop fatigue, readers, so Popular is off on its Christmas break, and will return after Xmas if I feel inspired, or in January otherwise. Sorry to not put 1986 to bed – it’s proved unexpectedly gruelling! You’ve been a lovely comments crew as ever and I hope you all have a terrific festive season.

(Posts on the rest of FT will keep on a-rollin’, of course.)

Rage vs X-Factor: Winners and Losers

FT//59 comments • 6,514 views

Well, that’s that: the machine has been given a good beating and we can look forward to “Bulls On Parade” on the festive Argos ad next year. I will admit I didn’t think the RATM crew could do it: I was wrong. But as the dust settles on this most fractious and increasingly entertaining Christmas No.1 race, who has actually benefited? Here’s my round-up of winners and losers.

Joe McElderry: He’ll be Number 1 next week most likely, but while the ‘battle’ was never about him this puts him firmly in the “Leon Jackson” box, not the “Will Young” one. On the other hand, the constant refrain from the judges during the series was that he had a musical theatre kind of a voice, and this might nudge him in that direction and away from the fickle world of pop. Before dabbing your eyes over Joe’s lost dreams, it’s worth noting that if he’d sold as many as Alexandra did with “Hallelujah” last year, he’d have been #1, Rage or no Rage.

Rage Against The Machine: It’s good profile-raising stuff for them and their other material will do well from it, though unless MP3s come with reading lists in their IP3 tags the ‘educational’ element of RATM may be a little missing. The downsizing of their song’s target from “institutional racism” to “Simon Cowell” is probably a fairer reflection of their listeners’ concerns anyway but it’s left them looking a little… cuddlier… than once they did (and their participation in a classic British radio brouhaha has only helped). They themselves have joined in with gusto, of course: “RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE THANKS ‘EVERY FAN AND FREEDOM FIGHTER’ FOR THE ‘ANARCHY CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF 2009′” blared their press release.

20
Dec 09

FT Advent Calendar Of Free Online Games: 20th December

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So today, as we are rolling towards the big day, the windows of our advent calendar should start showing the big guns. The Three Kings, the Little Drummer Boy, the Shitting Catalonian Boy. And certainly when it comes to online flash games this really is the Caganer. Another physics puzzle, well not just another, its THE physics puzzle to eat up your entire festive season. Can you get it from this?
contrap

19
Dec 09

FT Advent Calendar Of Free Online Games: 19th December

FT1 comment • 288 views

Its not all action action action around here you know. Some times we want contemplative, relaxing games set in some sort of primordial soup. Where biology rather than physics is the aim and, well, you can’t lose. Look at this creature after all, doesn’t look too dangerous does he?
creature