Tag Archives: videos

Silly Songs

A long time ago, because I was working with children in my church, my grandfather gave me a VeggieTales video (Rack, Shack, and Benny).

VeggieTales seems to have its popularity rooted in its early days (probably about to the Jonah movie). We, even having kids, haven’t steadfastly kept up with all the new releases (one, at least, according to reviews, achieving a dubiously low quality – but we haven’t got that one).

Today I’m just going to share with you two silly songs, which are as deserving of popularity as the more famous Hairbrush Song, His Cheeseburger, and so on. There are more that are worth mentioning, but I wanted to limit myself today.

As a parent, that second one rings really true…


Harp Twins

I started writing a post on a different subject, and research started taking a while, and it just got to a point where I decided I needed to go to bed soon, so I decided to save that post for another day, and give you something less complicated.

So, following on from yesterday’s post about stuff I found on YouTube, I thought I’d highlight a couple of YouTube stars who have been rather prolific in their output.

I found the Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly, from their Star Trek themes cover. They take tunes they line, TV themes, movie tunes, video game music, rock, and heavy metal, and create arrangements of the tunes, for two harps to play. then they record them, video them, and put them up on YouTube for your enjoyment.

(of course, if I’m going to embed one, it’ll be Final Fantasy tunes)

Their Lord Of The Rings covers are a favourite, Oldest loved their Star Wars medley.

There’s all sorts of stuff to enjoy there, and I hope you do enjoy it. nice relaxing playlist to have on in the background of your day.

How The Discovery Of St Juvenaly Changed History

I have a certain fondness for history, and particularly enjoy the occasions where historical evidence disrupts conventional wisdom. I’ve done a post on the book The Ra Expeditions, which has quite a few examples: the assumption that cultures that used reed boats did so because reeds were abundant in those places (untrue in several of those places), modern shipbuilders having opinions on how the boat should go together proving inadequate compared to the archaeological designs, and so on.

If you enjoy that sort of disruption, or just love a good story, you’ll probably enjoy the following video on those merits.

Back when Alaska was owned by Russia, a fur-trading company brought some Russian monks over, as part of a strategy to try and get a monopoly in the fur-trading business. One of those monks, Juvenaly, went travelling, and never came back.

Some years later, the company wrote a report on their activities, which reflected badly on the monks, and contained a story about what happened to Juvenaly. Some years after that, someone wrote a history of Alaska, which relied heavily on the help of a disgruntled Russian translator, who translated Juvenaly’s diary. The History of Alaska, in particular, became accepted history.

But some things about the conventionally-accepted history didn’t add up, and then some oral tradition surfaced which had the potential to shake things up a bit…

I found the video at the OCA site. They embedded it from Vimeo, but the video’s settings are preventing me from embedding it here. Still, I found it a very entertaining 40 minutes.


Goodbye, Thrift Store

Found out this week that one of the thrift stores in town is closing. Bit of a surprise, as they were hiring new staff just a month or two ago. Seems they’re owned by a larger branch in another town, who didn’t renew the lease on the place, and they don’t seem to be looking for new premises in town. So it seems we’ll go back to the status quo of 4 thrift stores in the town proper, and one on the road out (that we don’t go to often, because it’s a bit too far to walk, really, especially with kids).

When they opened, they had a sealed pack of the initial set of a Star Trek card game I’ve been collecting since 1994 (twas a 1995 starter deck), and actually got a rare I needed (Worf). Since then, I’ve got countless books (some for me, some for kids), some Lego and Duplo and other kids toys, and, of course, the monster TV I picked up last week.

Everything was 50% off when we went in earlier in the week (which was when we found out they were closing), so I spent less than $1.40 on 5 books (the Chronicles of Narnia, less Dawn Treader and Prince Caspian) and 3 videotapes (The Land Before Time before there were gazillions of sequels, a Young Indiana Jones, and The Fox And The Hound, a Disney movie I had a book of part of when I was younger, but have never actually seen).

So, goodbye, Salvation Army thrift store. It was nice having you around. All the best to your soon-to-be-former staff.

Review: Pie In The Sky – Season 1

Pie In The Sky is an odd kind of cop show: Henry Crabbe is trying to retire, to fulfill a long-held dream of running a restaurant. The operation he was working on, goes a bit wrong, and the bad guy escapes.

Watching it now, I recognise that bad guy as Foyle from Foyle’s War

Crabbe’s boss, Fisher, lets Crabbe go and open his restaurant, but keeps his talons in, as now Crabbe is on call to help the police whenever Fisher so desires. Which happens to be nearly every episode, but that’s the format.

I know that I watched it first time round (1994-97, and probably with my parents), and I had fond enough memories of it to get the DVDs, but that was a while ago, and who knows if I’d still like it?

The show has a good setup. It seems to catch humanity well: the accountant wife who tries to keep Henry down to earth when it comes to his business, who is the complete opposite to Henry when it comes to caring about food, but the relationship is respected by the writers, and so are the characters individually: it would be easy to make Margaret some kind of punchline, but she holds her own as equal, though different, to her husband, throughout.

Fisher is probably out of his depth, though trying hard to not be, and if departmental politics is a spider web, half the time is the spider and the other half is the fly.

The staff at the restaurant, who are gathered over a couple of episodes, are varied. Different backgrounds, different styles, they don’t always get on, but you like them. Police aren’t always good, or always bad.

Cambridge, the constable who is assigned to work with Crabbe, is professional, and very competent at her job. Crabbe, with more experience, doesn’t always do what she says, she being a little more by-the-book, and Fisher doesn’t seem to appreciate how good she really is, is sometimes dismissive of her input.

The show is a bit slow to start, but likeable characters help you stick with it. The first season has 10 episodes: in episode 6 they introduce B-plots (more for the restaurant staff to do). And the show does keep picking up. When Season 2 kicks off, it seems much more coherent as an ensemble show.

But that’s getting ahead of myself.

Also, sometimes people pop up who you recognise. Andy Serkis and Pete Postlethwaite among them. And, of course, the main actor has been in a few things himself.

Season 1 is still an enjoyable show 21 years later. Season 2 (ok, we’ve only watched one episode) looks even more promising so far.

A New Portal Game

You wait ages for a new Portal game, and two come along at once.

It’s not that long ago that the trailers for Lego Dimensions surfaced, the game containing one Portal level, and another level available in an add-on pack.

Today, I found out about an upcoming Portal board game, which was shown off to people at GenCon.

Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game is a game for 2-4 players. There are 18 hex-ish tiles (hex, but join together like a jigsaw), which are initially arranged in a 6×3 pattern. Each player controls a team of Test Subjects, who are trying to acquire Cake. The test chambers on the Old edge are gradually recycled to the New edge, causing potential loss of Test Subjects and Cake. The idea is to end the game as the team with the most Cake on the board. The game ends either when one team loses all their Test Subjects, or all the pieces of one team’s cake goes in the incinerator.

Characters, and bits of Aperture equipment, can mess with the rules, or otherwise mess with things (Turrets will kill all Test Subjects in the same room, for example). I think the characters in particular could do most to enhance replay value.

Rules are available on the Cryptozoic site (click “Learn To Play”), and the BoardGameGeek site currently lists 5 videos about the game (the section just after Images is Videos).

Here’s one to get you started:

Sounds interesting enough that I’d like to give it a try. For Science.

Geoff Lawton

Anybody who’s interested in growing plants of any kind should be interested in Geoff Lawton.

Modern agriculture has a lot of problems: monocropping which attracts lots of pests, various sprays which kill the bacterial and fungal life in the soil, pollinating insects and so on.

Weeds are often pioneering species to help rehabilitate the soil, and so we try to kill those, too, leaving commercial products which aren’t as nutritious as they used to be, and dusty soil, which blows away with the wind, with ploughing, and washes away with rain.

I came across Geoff Lawton through The Survival Podcast, which I started listening to before its 50th episode (I don’t remember how I came across it, though). Jack, TSP’s host, came across Lawton’s Greening The Desert video on YouTube, and has since developed a friendship.

Geoff’s site now has a stack of videos, which teach how to create abundant food systems, in your back yard, or on any other property you happen to have access to.

He’ll show you how to put different kinds of plants together for their mutual benefit, techniques to build soil, to keep water on your land longer or to get it to where you want it, so many techniques and concepts that will scale to different sizes, he’ll show you many places where it’s all been put into practice.

You have to enter your email to get a password to access all the content, but he doesn’t spam you (he’ll let you know when a new video’s up). The content’s worth that extra step.

Some of the videos are kind of marketed towards those who are worried about “the coming collapse” – whether that be the unsustainable nature of modern agriculture revealing itself to be a Big Problem, the ongoing financial turmoils in the world manifesting as a sudden collapse, that sort of thing. If you’re not in that target demographic, don’t let that put you off, it’s just a bit of polish on top of information you’ll find much more valuable.

do your bit to enrich the world. The more we do, the less we’ll need to pillage it.