Youtube Video: I Smoke Armour

Metatron is not my favourite YouTuber, for some reason he rubs me the wrong way and on occasion he made me cringe when he opened his mouth about feminism (but to be clear, there was no obvious malice there, just cluelessness). But some of his videos are relatively good and I consider this to be one of them. Partly because my sister in law and her family are all heavy smokers who nevertheless looked at me in the past with derision for “wasting” money on books and time on bonsai trees.

Barcelona

Hello everybody and welcome to my first post here on Affinity.

In case I need an introduction, I’m Giliell, I’m German, a teacher, mum, crafter, and hunter-gatherer with a camera.

As I was uploading a metric ton of pictures from my recent holiday I offered Caine to run them as a series with explanations about the sites and sights and she kindly accepted.

Disclaimer: This is a tourist’s perspective on the city and its surroundings, and while I speak Spanish and kinda understand Catalan, I cannot claim deeper insights.

Having said that, let’s start this journey like I start every trip to Barcelona:

Dividing The UK Twelve Ways & The Most Popular Sauce.

Maps crated by reddit user generalscruff.

Maps crated by reddit user generalscruff.

Click for giant size!

The 12 maps above are a tongue-in-cheek look at the various ways the UK is divided besides Brexit or how to pronounce scone.

And before anyone complains, they are meant to be humorous and should not be taken too seriously.

You can see each map in more detail below: click over for this!

Map created by reddit user generalscruff.

Map created by reddit user generalscruff.

Click for giant size. You can see more of this here.

Goodies!

From Voyager & Jack, so very sweet of you! I was momentarily afraid Rick was going to just drink the maple syrup, then I tasted it…ohhhh. I’m gonna be wanting pancakes. And I just ran out of Burt’s Bees! I could never go wrong with Wonder Woman at my side, and my thanks for the tea! And all the rest – Rick gave me the raspberry & orange chocolates, and oh, I don’t even have words for how utterly om nom nom it is. Thank you so very much.

New Game: Foundation.

Foundation is a grid-less, sprawling medieval city building simulation with a heavy focus on organic development, monument construction and resource management.

The game features in-depth resource management akin to the Anno (Dawn of Discovery) series, expertly mixed with city building elements from SettlersSimCity, and Pharaoh all topped with narrative encounters inspired by Crusader Kings II to create the ultimate medieval ant-farm simulation!

In this strategy city-builder economy simulation game, players must create a prosperous settlement as the newly appointed lord of a region untouched by man.

Setting to redefine the city-builder genre, Foundation puts the emphasis on the organic aspects of urbanism in the cities of old, powered by Polymorph Games’ in-house game engine, Hurricane, which allows for full mod support and is optimized for the thousands of moving parts that come with building humongous cities.

Among other things, the engine provides the player with robust building tools to create countless unique monuments that can then integrated into your settlement.

With medieval architecture and urbanism at the forefront of its design, Foundation’s vision is to allow players to recreate cities of that period as they envision them or even as they really were.

You can read and see more about Foundation at Medievalists, or just head straight to the Kickstarter, which has garnered much more than the initial ask.

David Lynch Teaches Typing.

A lesson from David Lynch Teaches Typing (image via rhinostew.itch.io, used with permission).

A lesson from David Lynch Teaches Typing (image via rhinostew.itch.io, used with permission).

Have trouble typing? Perhaps this surreal typing game with David Lynch will help. Or perhaps not.

Super Mario tried to teach me how to type correctly when I was a kid, as did a required semester of typing at my high school, yet I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I continue to always look at the keyboard and only use about half my fingers (unevenly favoring my right hand). So when I found out there’s a new typing game taught by a pixelated version of filmmaker David Lynch, I thought this might finally be my chance to learn.

Available as a free download for both Mac OS and Windows, David Lynch Teaches Typing is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based filmmaker Luke Palmer — “no relation to Laura,” he clarified in a phone interview, ensuring me that Palmer is, in fact, his real last name. Palmer and his collaborator, developer Hyacinth Nil, used to work at an after-school program together, where they came across a ridiculous game called Cooldog Teaches Typing. Later, when Palmer spotted a video game where one of the levels took place inside the Red Room from Twin Peaks, he had an “aha” moment. Palmer and Nil worked on the game for about five months before releasing it earlier this month.

You can read and see more at Hyperallergic.

Who Doesn’t Love Balloons?

You’ll love these, amazing animals and plants, from Masayoshi Matsumoto!

Head on over to Isopresso_Balloon to see much, much more!

19th Century Board Games.

“Game of The Star-Spangled Banner, or Emigrants to the United States” (1830), published by Edward Wallis.

“Game of The Star-Spangled Banner, or Emigrants to the United States” (1830), published by Edward Wallis.

Look how nice Turtle Island was before all the invaders showed up.

“Science in Sport or the Pleasures of Astronomy, A New Instructive Pastime” (1804), published by Edward Wallis.

“Science in Sport or the Pleasures of Astronomy, A New Instructive Pastime” (1804), published by Edward Wallis.

“The Royal Pastime of Cupid, or Entertaining Game of the Snake” (1794), published by Robert Laurie and James Whittle (all photos by Antoine Bootz/©Pointed Leaf Press).

“The Royal Pastime of Cupid, or Entertaining Game of the Snake” (1794), published by Robert Laurie and James Whittle (all photos by Antoine Bootz/©Pointed Leaf Press).

Fascinating board games here, and you can see so many more, and read about them at Hyperallergic. I love the Elephant, but I have a thing about them.

Oh gods, I Got Rats!

Image: res.cloudinary.com

I love taking the silly quizzes at Medievalists, and I’ve missed a bunch. Naturally, I went for What Medieval Torture Method Would You Use on Your Enemies? first. I truly am evil, I got rats:

Rats

You are a creative thinker, and your enemies would be wise not to underestimate your imagination. Your preferred torture method is to restrain your victim on a flat, horizontal surface, then use inventive ways to trap rats so that their only means of escape is through the victim’s body. Not a pretty picture.

Well, I am certainly well armed with rats. :D I wouldn’t be able to torture them though.

Gay Bob: I Think It’s Time For A Comeback.

The Gay Bob doll in all his glory. Harvey Rosenberg/Gizmo/Museum of the City of New York/93.83.A-J

The Gay Bob doll in all his glory. Harvey Rosenberg/Gizmo/Museum of the City of New York/93.83.A-J

I can’t be the only one who remembers Gay Bob. If you don’t remember Gay Bob, perhaps you remember the lunatic reaction, starting in 1978, which Anita Bryant climbed on top of, screaming her hatred of all things queer to the skies.

A 1978 magazine advertisement for the Gay Bob doll. <a href="https://flic.kr/p/8Z6npF">Joe Wolf/CC BY-ND 2.0</a>

A 1978 magazine advertisement for the Gay Bob doll. Joe Wolf/CC BY-ND 2.0

I think it’s time for Gay Bob to come out of the closet again, along with his family, and some new additions, as well.

Gay Bob, who was meant to resemble a cross between Robert Redford and Paul Newman, was blond, with a flannel shirt, tight jeans, and one pierced ear. The doll gave anti-gay organizations plenty to fear; intrinsic within it was a celebration of gay identity, evidenced by Gay Bob’s programmed speech. “Gay people,” Bob said, “are no different than straight people… if everyone came ‘out of their closets’ there wouldn’t be so many angry, frustrated, frightened people.”

In a cheeky move, the box in which Gay Bob was packaged came in the outline of a closet, so that when he left his box, he was literally coming out of the closet. Gay Bob explained: “It’s not easy to be honest about what you are — in fact it takes a great deal of courage… But remember if Gay Bob has the courage to come out his closet, so can you.”

The affirming message was no accident. The doll’s creator, Harvey Rosenberg, a former advertising executive who developed marketing campaigns for various corporations, wanted Gay Bob to “liberate” men from “traditional sexual roles.” He created the doll soon after a series of shocks rocked his life: in quick succession, his marriage fell apart and his mother became seriously ill. He decided that his next projects would need to be of great personal significance.

[…]

Initially sold through mail-order ads in gay-themed magazines, Gay Bob soon expanded into boutique stores in New York and San Francisco. Rosenberg even pitched it to major department store chains, one of which liked the idea (but ultimately did not purchase it). And, it turns out, those consumers who feared the introduction of more “disgusting” dolls were partially correct—Rosenberg soon gave Gay Bob a family of his own, with brothers Marty Macho, Executive Eddie, Anxious Al, and Straight Steve (who lived in the suburbs and wore blue suits), and sisters Fashionable Fran, Liberated Libby, and Nervous Nelly.

If this is all new to you, you can read all about Gay Bob at Atlas Obscura.

Toy Trends.

AFP/File / Christof Stache.

The Nuremberg Toy Fair opened yesterday, and all the hot new toy trends are making happy waves.

The Nuremberg toy fair, the world’s largest, opened its doors this week to an industry in the throes of reinvention as toymakers vie for the attention of children increasingly glued to smartphones and tablets.

With traditional toy companies torn between joining kids in the digital world or coaxing them away from their screens, here’s a look at some of the most eye-catching trends from the fair’s 69th edition.

[…]

Parents whose pleas to “play outside” routinely go unheeded may be happy to hear that nature is, apparently, in.

Be it the humble spade, magnifying glasses or DIY gardening kits, there’s no shortage of tools to get kids interested in the outdoors. One firm is even offering the chance to raise your own butterflies.

For those who’d rather not get their hands dirty, there’s Beekeeper Barbie — comes with a hive, bottles of honey and tiny bees.

[…]

The boom in board games is showing no sign of slowing as families try to turn off their screens and spend time together, said Heinrich Huentelmann, a spokesman for German giant Ravensburger.

Old classics like Monopoly and Cluedo are perennial favourites, but there’s also been a surge in games that have no winners, such as the smash hit Gravitrax where the goal is to build increasingly complex tracks for marble-type balls.

“We can’t manufacture that one fast enough,” said Huentelmann.

Also in the spotlight are “cooperation games” where the only way to win is for all players to work together to chase a mechanical cockroach from a castle for example.

[…]

Toymakers are taking the “blind bag” craze to the next level this year, betting that children will not just want to collect the ever-more elaborate mini-toys found in surprise packs, but also the matching accessories and play-sets.

Known as “collectibles”, the cheap dolls or fantasy creatures sold inside opaque packaging are essentially the industry’s answer to the “unboxing” trend that caught toymakers off guard a few years ago, when YouTube videos of toys being unwrapped mesmerised kids everywhere.

In 2017, collectibles accounted for eight percent of the global toy market, according to the NPD research firm, making the tiny toys a multi-billion-euro business.

“Kids love the surprise element and being able to trade and swap. Key for parents is the low price,” said Gary Coppen of the Headstart toy company, which is bringing out baby and pet collectibles whose gender is only revealed in water.

And, it’s predicted that Mermaids are going to be the next huge thing, edging out Unicorns. You can read all about it here.