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December 3, 2020

How an elephant gets food sometimes

December 3, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

New video game lets you do nothing in particular in a Russian tower block


From the Calvert Journal:

As the gameplay and graphics of big-name games grow ever more dazzling, this low-key Russian offering grounds the player in a world of mundane detail where there is "no room for adventure."

Is this the future of gaming?

It's nighttime and you find yourself in a small, dark flat in a nondescript suburb in Russia.

You look out of the window and see the courtyard covered in snow, illuminated by street lamps and the cold neon glare of store fronts.


You turn on the light switch and look around your apartment.

This is the melancholy start of a new immersive game made by developer Alexander Ignatov and poet Ilia Mazo. 

It's Winter has garnered complimentary reviews from players and journalists alike, despite the game having no clear plot or mission.

You can make eggs on toast, turn on the radio, take a bath, and take out the trash.

You leave the flat and go for a walk around the deserted courtyard.


The corner shop and beauty salon are both close and the playground is eerily empty.

In fact, there are no people to be seen wherever you go.

The game is what is called a "sandbox": where the gamer is free to roam and alter a virtual world.

The developer describes it as "post-Soviet and sad 3D" where "nothing awaits you: there is no chance to get out, no room for adventures, nor a breathtaking plot."


All you have to do is experience the precisely detailed, pixelated mundanity of the world around you.

The game has been released as a part of a larger project by poet Ilia Mazo, which also includes a book, a play, a short film, and a musical album (turn on the radio in the game to listen to the music).

The game's developer announced on Twitter that a summer version of the game is in the works.

The game is available for download on Steam here.

Still not sure?


the trailer.

Wait a sec — what's that music I'm hearing?

December 3, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'The Undoing'

So. Good.

A six-episode series set in Manhattan starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, both at the top of their games.

This is riveting stuff.

After Episode 1, I thought to myself, how can this continue being this great for five more?

Writer David Kelley made sure of that.

Kidman is scintillatingly good in this absorbing story with unexpected twists and turns in every episode.

And her clothes! 

Taste + money look awfully good.

Hugh Grant is excellent as well; the thing is, his character is so unsympathetic that it's easy to pass over his portrayal.

Donald Sutherland dominates the screen as Kidman's father, protective and vengeful.

Lagniappe: for the first time ever, I got to see rather than read about what's it's like to be limitlessly, unspeakably rich in New York City.

A charity auction to raise money for Kidman's boy's private school — where tuition is $50,000/year — takes place in one of those relatively new buildings with full-floor ultra-luxe high-rise apartments with breathtaking 360° views whose owners are typically billionaires who spend the majority of their time in their other homes.

Regardless of your stance on such wealth and those who've acquired it, it's mesmerizing looking out those windows.

FunFact: Kidman sings the opening theme, quite beautifully.

You could look it up.

I didn't happen on this fact until I'd watched four of the six episodes.

December 3, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

'Ad astra' — For China, this week the moon, up next: Mars

China's long march into space continues, with the latest milestone being Tuesday's Chang'e-5 landing on the moon, intended to return about four pounds of lunar rock and soil to Earth in mid-December.

Meanwhile, Chang'e-4, the only craft ever to make a controlled landing on the moon's far side, is still gathering data nearly two years after touchdown on January 3, 2019.

Originally planned to function for three months, the rover is still working after 699 days.

The excellent series 'Away' on Netflix featured the first human landing on Mars, with a Chinese woman set to become the first person to step onto the Red Planet's surface.

Life imitates art in this case: I look for the real-life version of this event to take place around 2035.

December 3, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

studio.oooms — 'We make knives'


Check out their wares on Instagram.

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Exemplars appear

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above and below.

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Made in the Netherlands.

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Apply within.

December 3, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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