Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Eh-hum # 222

And so I'm back from outer space...or from the friendly and virtual neighborhood of Four Corners.

Yes, yes. Until today (right this very moment, I mean), free time from work and school was wholly dedicated to playing the Sims Life Stories, a standalone PC version of the wildly popular simulation game the Sims/the Sims 2 published by Maxis and distributed by Electronic Arts. My first encounter of this kind of game was more than four years ago, when it was available for the PlayStation 2. The graphics were not as good back then and the gameplay got a little complicated (e.g. rewards and aspiration points).

I decided to buy this standalone version rather than the expandable the Sims 2 Deluxe because I can install and play the former on my laptop (and it is cheaper by a few hundreds pesos). I enjoy "playing God" by creating Sims (virtual characters) and running their lives (career, family, lovelife, etc). Its an amusing way to relieve stress, or to put one's pathological need to control other people's lives into good use. And I must say, the more I play it, the more I've become addicted to it...hehehe. Just kidding.

As much as I enjoy playing it, I don't consider myself a serious gamer. Moreover, my fondness for it has not taken over my daily responsibilities. I am not one to forget that I have a real life to live and enjoy.


Speaking of life, I was shocked to learn this morning that Hollywood actor and Australian Heath Ledger has passed away at the age of 28. I mean, the guy will be next seen in the movie Dark Knight as Batman's most formidable enemy (in my opinion, anyways), the Joker. When the movie premieres in July (?), we expect him to be gracing the red carpet with another actor that has the looks and the talent, Christian Bale. With a promising career, his family in Australia, his fans and most especially his daughter, I doubt it was a suicide. I hope its not, for his little girl's sake.

And just last week, we learned that the Client's Brad Renfro died. He was just 25. He may not be as popular as Ledger, but Renfro also has a makings of a serious actor, especially since he stayed away from teenybopper roles.

Haaay, buhay.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Eh-hum # 221

Talk about unusual names for places.

First read about this little village in Austria in another blog, and I had to check it further in the Internet. And then I got my answer in an article about (excuse me) Fucking, Austria in Wikipedia. And its 100+ residents are not happy with the recent happenings wherein English speaking tourists would steal the traffic sign by the entrance of the town. Here's an example:

What's the F---ing joke?
September 3, 2005

The 104 inhabitants of F---ing, Austria are tired of pesky tourists - and they're fighting back, writes Toby Harnden.

For those travelling to it across the border from Germany, it is a long way further on from Petting - where some people prefer to stop for a while rather than going all the way. It might appropriately be twinned with the Amish town of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Or perhaps with Condom, France. Or Climax, Colorado.

In the world of crosswords, cryptically the name of the village, which begins with F, has seven letters and is not for those under 16, could be: "Monarch follows soccer team, you hear."

A quick crossword clue might ask you, po-faced, for the gerund form of the English profanity that refers to the principal act leading to procreation.

An etymologist would know that its verb was derived from the Latin futuere and the Old German ficken, meaning "to strike or penetrate". The lexicographer can trace its first recorded use to John Florio's A World of Words, a 1598 dictionary.

D. H. Lawrence used it in Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1928, but it was 32 years before it could be published legally. The playwright Kenneth Tynan was the first one to utter it on television four decades ago.

But for the conservative inhabitants of a settlement called F---ing in rural Upper Austria near Salzburg that comprises just 32 houses (population: 104), the English meaning of their village's name is just one giant headache.

One night, tourists stole all four road signs on its approaches. Since records began, there has been no crime there - apart from the perennial theft of what officials call "street furniture".

Now the authorities are fighting back. The signs have been set in concrete bases and Kommandant Schmidtberger, the local police chief, hints at clandestine operations to combat what he calls "foreign criminals" disturbing the alpine order. (Read the rest of the article here

Ergo, it does not matter if the name rhymes with "looking". Hmmm, if these tourists know how to speak Filipino, then this town in Albay is in trouble. Hehehe.