Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nice big toys

I have recently been amazed with a British company that manufactures 1/6 scale models of military hardware for enthusiasts. The reason for this is that these are no ordinary Revell plastic kits, no Sire. What amazed me is that the guys at Armortek make fully functional metal scale models of WWII vehicles and artillery. Some of these toys weight 160 Kilograms, definitely not your ordinary toys. You can check the size comparison in the pictures of this post. Besides, the manufacturer even threw in a bunch of electric motors to make the whole thing move, traverse its turrets and even smoke, light and sound effects.

Of course, stuff this fancy is not cheap by any means, starting at around one thousand pounds for a bare tank (no fancy effects or anything), nobody is going to give this to their 5 year-old nephew. Rather, these are toys for young adults such as myself (as soon as I get paid well enough to afford these babies), which are probably the best target audience for fancy (and I mean really fancy) toys. I for one, am definitely queuing this one up for after my prospective sword collection.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tony da Gatorra in London


Last week I noticed very conspicuous posters in the London tube about a British / Brazilian cultural jam event, and to my amazement, a musician which I had heard as a sort of joke some time ago is coming to the UK to participate in such event. This guy's name is Tony da Gatorra. In a nutshell, this is an electronic repairman turned musician that created his own music instrument. This of course, is sort of an overstatement, since this instrument is merely a frankenstein made out of a synthesizer and an electronic drum in the shape of a guitar (of sorts). The interesting thing about this all is that this guy, up until a couple of years ago, was virtually unknown outside the city of Esteio (and not Estejo, as the site of this event says, what an amateurish editing...), and the guy is not very in touch with the outside world, since his blog is not even written by himself directly, but rather, through snail mail letters transcribed by a bunch of fans (which are probably the ones responsible for him to be sent to the UK) into the site. The posts in the blog are of an extremely low standard of portuguese, with mistakes that not even a school kid would make. Still, I am curious as to what may happen with this guy this side of the Atlantic.
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Monday, July 16, 2007

Cricket at the Oval

In another part of my exploration of the English culture, I decided to attend a Cricket match at The Oval, of course, I was not accompanied by any Englishman, but rather by a couple of Japanese friends of mine, Yo and Mokoto. According to them, they attend cricket because that is the closest they can get to Baseball in British soil. Anyway, regardless of what you may have heard about Cricket being a pacific game, at least in my first trip to one such match I have seen a lot of yobbish behavior, even at some point involving the police. Of course, everybody around me swore they were shocked by the behavior of some, perhaps I jinxed that game, since the home side of Surrey also lost the match.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Not this time Argies!

The Land of Silver, it seems, has to make do with silver. After being touted as the favorite to win Copa América, Argentina lost the final by a whooping 3 - 0 against Brazil. To be truly honest, I was expecting the Argentinians to win, since they wanted this title really bad, as they have not won anything for more than ten years. Even being guilty of underestimating my fellow Gaúcho coach Dunga the young and not incredibly famous players of this team, I am mighty proud of them. And it just proves the point that the Brazilian National Team is much better off without those money craving $tars. At least the Argentinians managed to be humble on defeat, since they are not used to being that way when they think they are going to win, as one can see by the headline in the Clarín. Hail the mighty Robinho!

And here for the highlights, it is in Turkish, but I quite like the way their goal celebrations sound:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Cautionary Tales of Swords

Despite my lack of originality in this post (since I got the link from FHM), I just could not help myself from posting this video here. For those who know it, the video resembles MTV's Hermes and Renato in everything but the usage of proper English, originators of the band Massacration, which essentially consists of a troupe of comedians wearing blatantly fake wigs and hamming fake situations. This particular video is some sort of PSA warning of the dangers of having swords at home. This video was shown originally at Channel 101, which is a monthly short film festival. Though features in this festival are very low budget, some famous people have been involved in producing some of the films featured there, such as Jack Black and Drew Carey.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Positive news for a change

It is good to read positive things from Brazil for a change, instead of reading about urban battles in Rio, or the populist promises of our pseudo-socialist president (bear in mind that I think this is a good thing), today I saw an article on the BBC telling how they are thinking of adopting a city management strategy developed in my home town of Porto Alegre.
One may call me somewhat nationalistic, or just easily excitable about my birthplace, and it is rather true. And I think that since it is not everyday that you can read about a more developed part of the country, I like to contrast it with the vision that Brazil is the place of constant partying, carnival and half-naked girls (though I wish that part was true). We have been accused of being overly overly protective about the country's reputation before, but hell, one can be accused of worse things.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Build your own arcade machine

Last week I got this link from a friend of mine with the simple message "My Consumer Dream", and to my surprise, it turned out to have become my consumer dream as well, even if I was never too keen of Arcade games in my youth. The reason, I was much more into the comfort of playing console games at home. The object of the dream, a custom-made arcade machine running a suite of emulation software, allowing it to play thousands of arcade and console titles. Of course, after I became adept at my bachelor lifestyle, it became clear to me that this sort of machine is not supposed to be played on your own, but rather, be the centerpiece of your social space at home, where you can invite other like-minded buddies to endless matches of Street Fighter II and Soul Edge. The price tag is by no means cheap, around $1500, and can certainly be diminished by locally sourcing the cabinet and other non-technological parts; and certainly beyond my current budget as a graduate student, so this baby will have to wait for me to get a tech job. Meanwhile, I will put some strain into the marriages of my recently espoused friends.