Rhett & Link: Facebook (old but good)

I’ve been looking through old posts on Geek-Speak lately, deleting ones that were very much of their time and no longer relevant, and rediscovering some stuff I’d forgotten about.

Here’s one from the depths of the archive – Rhett & Link’s Facebook song. It’s odd to see Facebook looking as it did all those years ago, but the song is still fantastic. Enjoy :)

Darth Vader on Harmonica (old but good!)

Yes, it’s been around for ages, but I still laugh when I watch this. Darth Vader on harmonica :)

Where do you fit in the universal scale?

Whether we consider something “big” or “small” often depends on the context we see it in. Place a Spitfire next to a Boeing 747 and the Spitfire seems small. Try to fit it into your living room, though, and it suddenly seems a lot bigger!

Scale of universeIf you want to get an idea of where we humans fit in the scale of the universe, there’s a great site to help you do just that. Handily, it’s called “The Scale of the Universe 2“.

As well as letting you move up and down the size scale (using the scrollbar), you can click on the various items you see to learn a little more about them. It’s a genuinely fascinating site and makes me appreciate just how much stuff is happening on too small a scale for me to see… and just how small humankind is in comparison to the rest of the universe.

One slight word of warning, you’ll need Adobe Flash so you may have difficulties if your browser has automatically disabled it. Assuming you’re good to go, though, head on over to The Scale of the Universe 2 and take a look.

Classical orchestra and chilli peppers? How do they keep going!?

What happens if you give the Danish National Chamber Orchestra super-hot chilli peppers? Well, I know I’ve munched on a few chillis that turned out to be too much for me so you might be thinking you know how this is going to go.

Watch the video below, though (from 2014) and I think you’ll be surprised as just how disciplined these folks are to keep going while obviously suffering!

Dunfermline Comic Con 2017

Last weekend (11th March) saw the second Dunfermline Comic Con take place in Pittencrief Park. As last year, it was organised by the awesome team at Little Shop of Heroes.

Luke's Landspeeder & DroidsAfter last year’s success, the Con was extended to include a marquee that effectively doubled the amount of space available. The marquee was packed with vendors, artists, and the opportunity to have your photo taken on a replica of Luke’s landspeeder from Star Wars: A New Hope.

If you take a look at the panorama below you might be tempted to think it was pretty quiet. Well, yes, it was when I took this (the doors had just opened) but, believe me, it got much, much busier!

Dunfermline Comic Con 2017 - marquee

The marquee – taken first thing before it got busy!

The nice thing, though, was that it didn’t feel as crowded as it did last year. Still busy, but I didn’t feel like there were any points where I couldn’t get to wherever I wanted to go.

So what was happening? Well, there were many artist tables and it was great to get a chance to chat with diverse artists like Neil Slorance (Dungeon Fun), Claire Roe (Batgirl Birds of Prey), Ian Kennedy (Dan Dare and Commando), John Allison (Bobbins), and lots more! One of the things I learned is that the artists are more than happy to chat about their work, their interested (Surprise! Most of the ones I spoke to are massive geeks!), and to let you watch them as they sketch at their tables. I was there with my daughter this time, and she was fascinated to see the artistic process taking place right before her eyes. A special shout out to my friend Adam for whom Dunfermline Comic Con was his first con as an artist/exhibitor!

ComiclocksThere were plenty of vendors too, selling wares ranging from handmade crafts to vintage toys. I saw a few toys I played with in my childhood years and, yes, it made me feel old! I spent a good long time talking to the guys at the

I spent a good long time talking to the guys at the Dunfermline Wargaming and Roleplaying Fellowship table and to sculptor David Chapman (who I also bought an MDF bat’leth from!). We had made a decision that we would look around everything before making any purchases, and it was nice to see the vendors understood (and even agreed). No hard sell, no pressure, everyone was relaxed and enjoying the day.

StormtroopersOf course, what is a convention without cosplay? There was an amazing array on display including some stunning Stormtrooper, Rebel Pilot, and Mandalorian outfits.

I was particularly taken with a chap dressed up as Sulu, from Star Trek, including gorgeous movie-era Starfleet uniform.

Between the two of us, my daughter and I also spotted Master Chief (Halo), several Ghostbusters, a dog dressed up as an AT-AT, and a group dressed up as characters from Peter Pan (my daughter loved this group because of the fantastic steampunk Tinkerbell costume!).

Derek the DalekMy highlight was seeing the Doctor Who lookalike and discovering Derek the Dalek can actually move! The Doctor took it for a couple of spins around the hall and it was great to watch people’s reactions. I had a quick chat with The Doctor afterwards, and it turns out he built Derek himself!

We didn’t manage to get to the panels but there were three throughout the day on “Comics/books – online to physical”, “Comics, video games and Animation + The British Superhero”, and “Dungeon Fun & Nimona”. Next year!

Just as last year, we had a fantastic day. It was a great opportunity to share in some geekiness with my daughter (my son was there too, incidentally, and also had a great time, but opted to go round with his mum instead) and we are already looking forward to next year. If you want to know when details of next year are out, keep an eye on the Little Shop of Heroes facebook page.

LEGO Timelapse – The Big Bang Theory (21302)

If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you might enjoy this.

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on Games With Gold [Xbox]

Quick post today (yes, I know I don’t post often enough) because I’d hate for you to miss this. One of my favourite games is out on Xbox Live’s “Games With Gold”. You can pick it up for free until the 15th of November. You get to keep it after that, but the chance to get it will be gone.

monkey-island-title

Oh yeah, what’s the game? The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition! It’s an Xbox 360 title, but backward compatible on the Xbox One as well.

You can see details, and details of what’s coming next on Games With Gold by clicking here, or check the Xbox store on your console.

Seriously, don’t miss this. I’m still convinced it’s one of the all-time greatest video games 26 years after its 1990 release!

Building a Terry Pratchett Custom Minifig

Terry Pratchett

© Rob Wilkins

You probably know I love LEGO (despite being in my 30s!). I’ve reviewed several kits and recorded time lapse videos of several builds. While the models are absolutely amazing, I’m sometimes more fascinated by the Minifigs than the rest of the kit. I spotted a post on a friend’s Facebook feed a while back about custom Minifigs and thought I’d have a shot at putting one together myself.

Now, one thing to highlight at the start here is that by “custom” I don’t mean designing the pieces from scratch. What I did for this was get the parts from multiple different Minifigs and combine them to make the one I wanted.

So what did I want? Well, I thought it would be cool to make a Terry Pratchett Minifig.

Minifig PartsThe first step was to decide what I wanted him to look like. I decided to go for a black leather jacket, black fedora, and a big bushy beard (as worn in Terry’s later years). Once that was decided on, it was a case of either looking through all the Minifigs I have sitting in the garage or buying the parts fresh. I really didn’t want to face combing through the ones in the garage, so I headed over to FireStar Toys where I was able to select the parts I wanted from their online catalogue.

For good measure (and, if I’m honest, because I’d seen my friend do this too), I decided to buy a protective case and a hanger that can turn the case and Minifig into a Christmas tree decoration.

Place the order, wait a few days, and a package arrived in the post with my Minifig parts in it.

There is, of course, nothing difficult about building a Minifig, so I won’t linger over that. But I did want to show you the result.

Terry Pratchett LEGO Minifigure

There we go! Just a quick and fun little project. What do you think?

Codemaster: Learning programming via board game

I think it’s important to teach children to program computers; as the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology the ability to make that technology do what you want is going to be a useful skill. There are so many ways to teach programming it’s unreal, and this one seems interesting: a board game designed to teach you to think like a programmer.

Codemaster Board Game The game consists of a series of puzzles where the aim is to move an avatar to a portal, picking crystals up along the way. The board itself is a matrix of coloured paths, and you complete the puzzle by selecting a sequence of coloured tokens matching the colours of the paths. If you get to the end of your sequence (or “program”) and you are either not at the portal or crystals still remain on the board, you need to rethink the program and start again.
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Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016

Well, I’m sorry this post is later than I’d hoped. My flight back up home from Star Wars Celebration Europe was cancelled and wiped out the brief window of time I’d hoped to use to write the day up before going on holiday. Still, here we go now.

The weekend of 15-17th July saw the return of Star Wars Celebration to Europe; London’s Excel Centre to be precise. I was there on Friday (the first day) and for my first ever Star Wars Celebration. It. Was. Amazing.

You're a wizard, harryAfter flying into London, I immediately met up with other people going to the Celebration walking from the airport to the conference centre, a German father and son. Quite apart from the fact that meant I was less likely to get lost, it was also just nice to start the day off chatting about where we were going and sharing a joint interest.

Once we got there, my sense of humour was immediately tickled by a chap in a Starfleet uniform and slightly muddled sign! Hey, who says you have to pick between Star Wars and Star Trek?
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