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The Sunday Six for 25 May 2014

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Syrian refugees. The unique and awesome Neil Gaiman visited a refugee camp in Jordan. It’s important that people read this and understand how absolutely horrible are the lives of many people in this world. I’ve been to some very shitty places on this planet, and it has really helped me to avoid “keeping up with the Joneses.” (though let me say here that Lt(N) Patrick Jones is a totally awesome dude with whom I hope I do keep up!)

NightWatch. Not the movie, but a blog from a security company that tracks national security issues with a focus on Asia. This is kind of a weird one for this blog, but if you know me, you know I have an interest in national security matters and I have family in South Korea. I also have a line of modern military supplements called Spec Ops that intersect with this kind of blog.

White Noise by the Glorious Sons. This my jam this week. Kind of a counter-point to last week’s electronica, this is more of a straight-ahead rocker. It has been a brain-worm this week, popping into my head unbidden at work where I can’t listen to anything (due to firewall and ban on personal electronics).

In Our Time: the Sino-Japanese War. It’s no longer available to stream, but you can still download it from the link. In Our Time is my favourite history podcast – though it touches on many subjects other than history. The host, Melvyn Bragg, is a great host, pushing his guests to answer questions, explain disagreements, avoid digressions, and keep to the clock. He gets experts in the fields under discussion, and gets them to explain the topic du jour. The Second Sino-Japanese War is an extremely important part of the World War II period that is often forgotten or ignored, but is of exceptional importance in the present, having given rise both to the Communist Party of China and their hatred of Japan.

Trip Like I Do” by the Crystal Method. This isn’t a new jam, it’s nothing that I’ve just discovered, but it’s part of my playlist while working onStarship Commandos. I got hooked on Crystal Method after seeing the Replacement Killers while living in Korea. That movie featured “Keep Hope Alive“, which led me to the Vegas album. A lot of tracks off that are mainstays for my writing playlists, and it seems like “Trip Like I Do” has popped up a lot this week. Given the intro narration is from the Dark Crystal, it seems only fitting it is inspiring RPG writing.

From Dusk Till Dawn. I’ve only seen two episodes of the TV series, but I have to say that so far I am enjoying it. It has not strayed from the timeframe of the movie exactly, it’s just filling in a lot of stuff and giving Richie a reason for his psychosis. I’ll likely be watching more of this when I have a chance. The two leads do a fair job of taking over the roles of the Gecko Brothers without mimicking George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino. Robert Rodriguez is involved, so I imagine the quality will likely hold.