April 25-29, 2011

What do Mike Vincent’s son and Duke Ellington have in common? To celebrate Jack Vincent’s birthday, read about how his father discovered Duke Ellington and how music can shape our memories in Jack and Duke.

It’s not easy to stumble across entertaining webcomics when you really need them in those dark, dull hours between 11 and 4 at night and 9 to 5 during the day, so Kate Sloan is going to help you out. Read “Webcomic roundup, part I”

LEGO Harry Potter joins the rotation this week for The Casual Gamer, but he has a thing or two to say about Uncharted and Kirby’s Epic Yarn, as well, especially in light of the rumors about Nintendo new console and it’s maybe-a-little-too-much controller. Read “Kirby and the failed motion control experiment”

Baseball season is just getting into swing, but already everyone is talking. Angela Vasquez-Giroux catches you up in “What you should be reading”

Jill Kolongowski hates vegetables, but she can’t figure out whether it’s more rude to ask people not to cook without certain vegetables (we’re looking at you, onions), or to leave them uneaten on the plate. So she’s starting “The Vegetable Challenge” where each week she’ll choose a new vegetable and try to make it palatable. Read “Challenge accepted: vegetables”

Jack and the Duke

I first started listening to Jazz in 1993. Feels like a lifetime ago. I remember what I started listening to and the artists I chose to begin with. I can tell you that one of the artists I listened to was NOT Duke Ellington. I can’t explain why I didn’t start with Duke. As I … Continue reading

Webcomic roundup, part I

It occurred to me that in these dark and difficult times we’re all looking for more ways to waste time on the internet. With the hours between 9 to 5 and 11 to 4am seemingly endless, it’s not always easy to stumble upon websites to fill your time. Amirite? Of course I am. After a … Continue reading

Kirby and the failed motion control experiment

A few quick notes: 1. After writing about Kirby’s Epic Yarn last week, it struck me that I had neglected to write about the single quality that struck me the most when I started to play the game: for a late-generation first-party game on the console that pioneered motion control, it’s incredible that Kirby’s Epic … Continue reading

What you should be reading

Or, more accurately, some things I’ve been reading. Did I miss something? Leave me a link in the comments. Five of the 13 most overrated players in baseball are Yankees/Red Sox. Try telling that to the gushers over at ESPN (i.e., every one there aside from this author). Is Cliff Lee back on Earth with … Continue reading

Challenge accepted: vegetables

It’s no surprise to any of you that I hate almost all vegetables. There are a select few that I actually enjoy (corn and potatoes), and others that I tolerate (broccoli, spinach, carrots, cucumber), but I hate all the rest. Even those that I tolerate are really just vehicles for ranch dressing or goat cheese … Continue reading

April 18-22, 2011

Kevin Mattison watches Australian films this week, and wonders why so many of them seem to need a character who is a tracker. Follow the trail in “My Aussie double-header (insert sex joke here)”

Music writer Mike Vincent rests his ears and exercises his thumbs this week with Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic and the Mass Effect video games, which are notable for developer BioWare’s signature branching storylines. Mike has lost hours playing through the various options, and he tells you what’s kept him coming back in “Mass Effect”

It was the death of the Man of Tomorrow, the greatest superhero of all time, but it was the birth of one boy’s lifelong love for a character and a medium. Read Andrew DuPont’s “The death of Superman”

Being an adult and missing home is unspeakably lame. But if you’re lucky, it can come with a unique cast of characters and a fabulous soundtrack. Even in a graphic novel. Kate Sloan reads Chynna Clugston and Ian Shaughnessy’s Strangetown in “The home of the strange”

The Casual Gamer returns! Gavin Craig is playing Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Uncharted: Drake’s Revenge, and while Uncharted is the better game in just about every way, he can’t say that he’s not enjoying Kirby a little bit more. Also Uncharted is racist. Just sayin’. Read “In color”

Ana Holguin loves her TV, and maybe, just maybe, as James Sawyer and Homer Simpson already know, TV loves her back, in its own way. Read “Love American style: a TV story”

As terrible a baseball broadcaster as Joe Buck is, exactly so wonderful is Fox Sports Detroit’s Rod Allen. It’s partly because of his unique turns of phrase, partly because of his great chemistry with Mario Impemba, but mostly that he’s an unabashed and vocal fan of the game. Read Angela Vasquez-Giroux’s “The perfect pleasure of Rod Allen”

Jill Kolongowski had a wonderful birthday, thank you very much for asking, and a terrible morning after. What happened to this upstanding young individual with a history of moderation? Find out in “Liquid indulgence: a personal history of drinking”

My Aussie double-header (insert sex joke here)*

Australia is not really known as a hub of great film, for the most part. There have been some great ones, though, like Rabbit Proof Fence (2002), in which three aboriginal sisters escape a school training them as domestic staff, intending to return to their mother. They are tracked by another aboriginal named Moodoo, played … Continue reading

Mass Effect

2002 was an annus horriblus for many different reasons; my brother and sister gave me an XBox for Christmas. I didn’t expect anything from them. If anything the fact my brother was still alive was all the gift I needed. But I accepted the XBox and gradually got a few games (mostly lousy ones) until … Continue reading

The death of Superman

I was 11 years old when Superman died. I remember being at a rollerskating rink when when my mother told me. She had been reading a magazine article on the topic, and upon hearing that my favorite hero had “died” the week prior, my heart sunk in my chest. To make it worse, he was … Continue reading