Earth Hour

Friday, January 29, 2016

This 8" Sketracha Dunny will definitely spice up my collection
Here's something I want to include in my Dunny Collection. It's an 8" Sketracha Dunny from LA artist SKET ONE.

SKET ONE has been doing Dunny impressions of different condiments from Heinz like its ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard.  So it isn't surprising that he will do what is fast becoming a very popular spicy condiment, the Sriracha.

 The Sketracha Dunny comes with two chopsticks but take note that it does not contain any edible Sriracha.  

This Dunny actually puts two favorite things in one package: the sriracha sauce which I put on a lot of food and of course Dunnys which I collect.  I hope it becomes available here soon as it is a welcome hot member of my growing collection.

There is also a clear "half-full" version in 8-inches.  Both variants are also available as a 3-inch Dunny.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Funko turns Pac-Man & Company into Pops!

Funko must have heard me.  Just look at their recently announced Pops!

Classic video game character Pac-Man is coming soon in Pops! The yellow dots gobbling blob will be joined by Ms. Pac-Man in this adorable form.

Of course the series will not be complete without the four ghosts - Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde - who'd probably chase Pac-Man around until they turn into a Blue Gost.

I'm sure I am not the only one feeling nostalgic about this.  The series will come out in March this year.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Panasonic Unveils new Technics SL-1200G, will reportedly sell at $4,000

Panasonic recently unveiled the new direct-drive Grand Classic SL-1200G at CES and sent every music aficionado in a frenzy. Why, even my friends got excited upon seeing the photos and specs. The question on everybody's lips was of course, ‘How much?’

We all knew that it won't be cheap but we almost fell off our seats when we found out that the new model will reportedly cost $4000.  That's according to this article from What Hi-Fi.   

That basically takes the new SL-1200 out of reach for many of us.  At an exchange rate of 47 pesos to a dollar, the new machine will set us back by almost 200 thousand pesos!  That doesn't even include the taxes and other costs levied upon imported goods.  So it is not really an overstatement that the initial excitement turned to outrage,

There's no official word yet from Panasonic but there's buzz in the Internet that the huge price increase was due to the complete redesign of the deck to improve its performance.  It will also have a set of unique features that will control vibrations in the motor.

The new SL-1200G (I suspect it's for Grand Classic) will come our in Summer this year.  There will also be a 50th Anniversary edition which could even be pricier than this one.

And here are the specs straight out of the Technics website:

All New Design for Redefining the Direct Drive Turntable
Twin-Rotor Surface-Facing Direct Drive Motor
Direct Drive Motor ControllerHigh Sensitive Tonearm
Brass-Top Turntable Platter

Technics Definitive Design
Inherited SL-1200 Series
Heavy Aluminium Top Plate

Turntable Speeds33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, 78 rpm

Variable Range Pitch
±8%, ±16%

Dimensions & Weight
W: 453 mm (17-27/32 inch) H: 170 mm (6-11/16 inch) D: 372 mm (14-21/32 inch)
Approx. 18 kg (39.7 lbs ) *Tentative *Height including dust cover

Phono Output x 1 / SIGNAL GND x 1

Images are not mine and came from various sources in the Internet

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie, 69

The biggest news this week was the passing of a true music icon, David Bowie. Bowie was part of the soundtrack of my college life,  with "Let's Dance," "Modern Love," and "China Girl."  But even before this, I already knew that he took on several personas. The one that I distinctly remember was the Thin White Duke.

Later in college, when I did some broadcasting work, I was introduced to his expansive work. Life on Mars, Starman, and Space Oddity became instant favorites.  Around this time, he starred in a fantasy film called Labyrinth, where he played the magical goblin king.  

I also remember one Christmas time, I saw footage of him singing The Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby.  However, there was an interesting back story to the duet. Bowie did not like to sing the song, so he did a beautiful counterpoint called  Peace on Earth.  The result was a classic,

The day before his death was announced, I listened to his latest release,  Black Star, on Spotify.  I already ordered it on vinyl without any idea that he was already dying of cancer when he completed this album.  

In fact, he even released a music video a few days before his death. The video Lazarus from the Black Star features Bowie in bed with his eyes covered. 

Thank you for the music, David Jones, Star Man, Ziggy Stardust.  You will never be gone as your music will remain with us.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Some Notes on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

After a full year of waiting. Episode VII of the Star Wars saga finally landed in theaters last month. What's the best way to prepare for its coming but to watch all the six previous episodes.  It was a good idea since it helped me appreciate this new installment.  It also helped me string the events in the latest story with the past stories and become a little, uhm, critical.

Let me start by saying that I am happy with Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  I was excited to see the familiar, if not iconic objects from the past episodes (like the Millennium Falcon, lightsabers) and characters.  It was also fun to see the new stuff and I admit it was love at first sight for me with BB-8.

The Force Awakens is visually stunning, especially when you watch it on IMAX in 3D.  Kudoa ro JJ Abrams for keeping the visuals clean.  It was a relief to see his images which were not as cluttered as Episodes I to III.

That being said I will now go to my impression of the meat of the movie, it's story.  If you haven't seen it, please be warned that the next paragraphs contain major spoilers.

After the initial excitement over the film, I went to think about its story.  I realized that Abrams employed his usual formula: putting together bits and pieces of previous versions of the films and stringing them into one story.  He did this with Star Trek and he did it again here.

He basically followed the patterns of Episode IV.  From the rebel alliances being pursued by the force for some secret transmission, a droid being given a special mission to bring a code or something to an important figure in the alliance.Note that like R2-D2 before it, BB-8 and was only saved by Rey from a trader.

There is also the obvious effort to make Rey's background similar to both Anakin and Luke Skywalker.  From being able to support one's self at an early age, to not knowing who her parents were.  One question to be asked of course is if she could remember that she was abandoned by her parents, perhaps she has some memory of how they look like?  Which is also my issue with Finn who cannot remember his name but knew that he was taken against his will when he was still a kid to become a stormtrooper.

But what stood out for me was that Han Solo and Chewbacca never really got out of their old life as smugglers.  All along I thought that after Episode VI they were considered as heroes in that galaxy far away, but there they were in Episode VII still being pursued by bounty hunters.

Anyway, these did not get in the way of enjoying the movie.  I am still looking forward to Episode VIII.  I heard that it will be out by 2017 but in between Disney will release something like Episode 3.5 which will explain how the rebellion got the diagrams sought by Darth Vader in Episode IV.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2016!

I must admit that I have been preoccupied by so many things in 2015 that I didn't do much blogging. I resolve to be more active in 2016.  There's so many things to talk about.  Will begin posting soon.  In the meantime, let's all relish the first day of the new year.

Here's wishing everyone the best in 2016.