Horse Bag

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About Horse Bag

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  1. UK Thumbs

    It's an odd feeling, waking up one day to feel like a stranger in your own country. Things would have been strange for a while if the UK had voted to remain, but I feel it would have settled down in time. The underlying tensions wouldn't have gone away, obviously, but those appear to have very little to do with EU membership; you certainly get the impression that most people asking to leave didn't actually know what they were asking for, equating leaving the EU to spurious notions of the vote actually being for tighter immigration control and more funding for the NHS. Misguided or not, more people voted to leave than to stay. Divorced from the greater context I consider this a mistake in itself — naturally the EU isn't faultless, but the UK has always seemed to get more out than it puts in — but the truly depressing part is how this isn't just a victory for those wishing to leave the EU but also, inextricably, a victory for xenophobia and bigotry. You don't have to look far today to see all the racist idiots emboldened by 'their' victory, harassing British citizens that have lived in, and contributed to, the UK for years. I feel like a stranger and I have it pretty good, all things considered: my city voted to remain, I'm white, my surname's boring and I have a nondescript accent. Imagine if one or more of those things weren't true: I wouldn't just feel like a stranger in my own country, I'd feel like the enemy; I wouldn't just feel empty, I would feel afraid.
  2. I would say the first few Chalice dungeons make them seem more homogeneous than they actually are. Not that there's a huge amount of visual variation, at least in my experience, but they quickly layer in more enemy types, environmental hazards and traps at a depth of 3+. Naturally they aren't as tight as the hand crafted areas, but I've already encountered my fair share of surprises, interesting combat puzzles and devious deaths. They're a nice end-game addition, a side dish to the meat of the game.
  3. It might outstay its welcome, but sometimes the loading screen makes for a pretty perfect title card: (minor spoiler for the FW area) If you're avoiding all media, here's the video in emoticon form, albeit lacking the gratuitous ShareFactory goofiness:
  4. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I'd like to introduce folks to one of my favourite bands, Psapp. Say hi, Psapp! As I'm not a fan of inscrutable sub-genre tags I'd describe them as found sound electronica with a strong lyrical aspect, incorporating a range of traditional instruments. They also have a thing for cats. This recommendation wasn't spurred by a new release, although they are still active as far as I know; I don't really follow any bands, just check in now and then for pleasant surprises. Hopefully Psapp is one for someone else.

    It isn't really an upgrade as it doesn't require the PS+ Edition, it's just the full game at a discounted price. That's why the regular listing isn't available to you as a Plus member, the Store's stopping you from accidentally paying full price.
  6. Movie/TV recommendations

    It sounds like Kansas arrived at our nightmare future early.
  7. Movie/TV recommendations

    Are you just referring to the first series? I feel like you wouldn't be so positive if you'd just watched the third. Speaking of crime drama, I have a lot of time for the French show Spiral, or Engrenages, which has just started again on BBC4. Wikipedia suggests that you can watch the first three series in the US via Hulu and it's definitely a show I'd recommend so long as you have a stomach for subtitles and horrendous criminal acts.
  8. Is Social Media Eroding Our Humanity?

    Whilst a somewhat ironic response, this prescient exchange in The Longest Journey is a pretty pithy visual representation of my feelings on Twitter: In theory I appreciate the service as a kind of interpersonal RSS feed, where people have direct access to individuals they might not otherwise, but in practise I simply find its penchant for teacup storms and context-stripping microscopy to be incredibly draining and often times depressing, Not because it represents an erosion of humanity, rather the nagging feeling that it's an accurate representation of it. I appreciate that this isn't a particularly constructive post, but perhaps it can serve as an example of how our increasingly 'social' existence can end up leaving some feeling evermore isolated.
  9. Movie/TV recommendations

    When it first aired I skipped Ripper Street, the name and adverts having suggested a high level of shlock. As such it made for a pleasant surprise when I gave it a watch earlier last year, and an opportune trial of Amazon Prime — which picked up the show in the BBC's absence —.has allowed me to devour the third series over the holidays. I don't know if the change of venue played any part, but I'd say this latest run is the best of the three. It has a more pronounced narrative through-line and a lot changes in the space of 8 episodes, making a nice change from the drip feed of character development you typically get with crime dramas. I want to say women are better represented, too, with a wider net cast and far more female roles outside that of victim. For those in the US, apparently the third series will be on BBC America in "early 2015".
  10. I Had a Random Thought (About Video Games)

    Was this in a single sitting? If not you might be able to pull down a cloud save, unless it's been overwritten: Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Save Data In Online Storage.
  11. Nobody expects the Dragon Age Inquisition

    It's bizarre that research items get lumped into Valuables rather than given their own category. It meant I never used the theoretically convenient Sell All function as I didn't want to blindly hand everything over; it doesn't help that the research table is comparatively out of the way. As to your question, I never came across anything other than the labelled researched items that were of use. I do know of one exception, though: the Sad Splinters you can loot from a Keep's broken door when you're storming it are needed to craft a novelty weapon. Oh, as SgtWhistlebotom points out you need certain Valuables to fulfil Requisitions. To be honest I don't think they're worth doing in the first place, though: doing proper, non-repeatable quests will see you flush with far more Power than you can possibly use anyway.
  12. Feminism

    As the fidelity and complexity of GTA's worlds have developed I find its tone only becomes more ill-fitting. Its on-the-nose approach to satire gelled with the ridiculous top-down incarnations and even the PS2-era representations were crude enough that there was an argument to be made for caricature, but with IV and V it feels increasingly mismatched; the game worlds are incredibly impressive in their realisation and reactivity, but the populace of those worlds inspire misanthropy rather than a wry smile. Further to that, the representations of stripping and prostitution feel even more incongruous as they're played fairly straight. By rights the games' pervasive lazy satire should stretch to your interactions with those NPCs, but to me their inclusion seems designed to titillate. And we aren't talking about GTAIII's inclusion of sex workers that might have been one programmer's 'Easter Egg' that happened to have an unfortunate systemic side effect, these are NPC interactions with voice acting and bespoke animations; time and money was spent on their inclusion. I don't really think there's any chance of GTA leaving its adolescence — or should that be adolescents? — behind, but at the very least they could give us a female protagonist and the opportunity to molest meticulously mo-capped male strippers. Not exactly an admirable goal, I grant you, but it would still be a step up. Which says it all, really.
  13. A Super Fun Quiz for everyone!

    Sorry, back in 2002 I only had ears for the Jet Set Radio Future soundtrack.
  14. A Super Fun Quiz for everyone!

    #4 had me stumped for a while, as I knew I'd heard it a lot but couldn't quite place it. Cue something of a eureka moment when I realised it's...