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Blending cooking technologies

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It will come as no surprise to folks that I tend to acquire a variety of cooking devices - some of them traditional, some of them on the bleeding edge of technology.

What I do avoid are devices with one purpose - unless they happen to do it extraordinarily well, and take minimal space. My pear corer, for example, or the peach pitter. Everything else serves multiple uses. A rice cooker, for example will also cook many other rice-based dishes, and will serve as a steamer as well.

Today four of these devices met in in the creation of a simple dish, but made so much simpler and tastier as a result.

The first two tools were actually used nearly four months ago. Our Fowlers Vacola preserving system, and our tomato mill. These were used together to produce two of today's ingredients - a bottle of preserved tomatoes, and a bottle of passata.
The Fowlers Vacola domestic kit.
The Fowlers preserving system has been around since the 1880's, and the Australian company since the 1900's. …

SFF Music Video of the Week #34

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The force of musical chaos that is Ex Hex has created a couple of genre-based clips. This is from their first album, and is simple chaos-spreading fun with a solid rock theme. Nothing more to say here, except for "Stand up and rock out" to "Waterfall" from the album Rips by Ex Hex.






SFF Music Video of the Week #33

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So we've had a couple of rather sombre weeks, let's pick up the pace with a track that we first encountered via the game Just Dance. This one had quite an energetic set of moves, making it great for an aerobic workout, the visuals were (ahem) cool.


In fact, before we go on, here they are:



The song itself is rather good, too. Intriguing lyrics, Sia's amazing voice, and a compelling dance beat. So we went looking for the original video, and what a treat it is.

Let's open with some Bronze-age hunters, proto-Vikings perhaps, chasing a wolf across the ice. A great visual statement, hints of the wolf having already been wounded, and a full-team dog sled in full flight to round out the imagery.

So, very cool, but not especially SFFish.

Right up until the chase hits the rocks, and the hunters think they've got the wolf cornered. Because then something weird happens. With with music beat becoming visualised in the rocks and ice, you'd think that it was just a cool vis…

SFF Music Video of the Week - Rejected Part 1

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In amongst all the SFF music videos out there, there's always a group of videos that are not going to make the cut. They might have a genre sensibility, but are not actually genre themselves.

Quite a few of these are thoroughly excellent videos in themselves, and so I'm going to share a few of them tonight.

First up is Marian Call's "Good Morning Moon". I had to think long and hard about this one, but ultimately it is all about something real, not fiction. So here is her ode to the ISS.



Next up we have one of Lindsay Stirling's many collaborations, this one with The Piano Guys. An homage to, and cover of Mission Impossible, it still does not quite transition across into SFF. But it is amazing to watch, and the music is wonderful!




Moving on we get La Roux, and "In for the Kill", which despite a deep Bladerunner aesthetic never quite tips over the edge.




Next is another one I had to think very hard about which side of the fence it was on. The Postal Se…

Simon Pegg with An Important Message

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SFF Music Video of the Week #32

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Billie Eilish is a remarkable person. Musically gifted in ways that alter the musical landscape, and having a fierce independence that defies the music industry norms, she hit the music scene like a bomb.

This track from 2019 is a fantastic reflection of that - confronting climate change head-on, and pulling no punches in any way, she also manages to create a superbly Dantesque visual story in just under four minutes.

So, with no further ado, here is Billie Eilish and "all the good girls go to hell".




The 19, Wikipedia, and politics collide

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It could be argued that the least popular minister in Australia is our Minister for Home Affairs, the Honourable Peter Dutton. So when the word broke yesterday that he had tested positive for NCovid-19, it was inevitable that there would be some sort of fallout.

Sure enough, minutes later, a co-worker of mine (a recent immigrant) visited Wikipedia to read up on him, and encountered the following. Now it was reverted within 2-3 minutes, but he managed to grab a screenshot at my request.



SFF Music Video of the Week - #31

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One of the modern musical greats this time around - and from a work released just two days before his death. I am, of course talking about David Robert Jones. Better known to  the world as David Bowie.

This is the title track from his last album, Blackstar. And what a ride it is.

Surreal in ways that cannot be adequately put into words, the video features a cat-tailed woman, living scarecrows, religious ecstasies, a dead astronaut, and a button-eyed Bowie. The music meanwhile most strongly fits experimental jazz in style, and the lyrics are similarly surreal.

 Debate about various elements of this video abound - mostly around the identity of the astronaut (Major Tom?), but also about various other things. For example, what is with the lovecraftian creature at the end?

So have a look at Blackstar, and tell me what you think it all means! I'll cheerfully admit I'm way out of my depth.



SFF Music Video of the Week - #30

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Advances in CGI in the 90s led to a spate of CGI-based SFF-inspired videos. Combine this with boy bands and house music and you get things like this offering of Eiffel 65.

Musically it is ... well let's be honest and say that it is not exactly Mike Oldfield, and the lyrics are not Bob Dylan. It is, however annoyingly catching, and extremely danceable. The video, meantime, is odd, to say the least. One part alien kidnapping, one part arcade fighting game, and one part concert video, it really is something of a creation of its time.



SFF Music Video of the Week #29

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I've got an amazingly odd one this week.

The story centres around a couple. They are not well suited to each other, but have fallen into a too-hard-to-change sort of trap.

How is it SpecFic? Well, for that you will have to watch the video. Pay careful attention to the details. But, must importantly, enjoy Hot Chip's "Hungry Child" from 2019.




Give'r Winter Competition

Usual rules, enter using this link, and I get a handful of extra entries.

All sorts of neat stuff, including goodies from BioLite and Peak Design.

Giverway Winter 2020 ... 20 Winners! 20 Brands! AND ... $12K+ in gear up for grabs, including SKIS, a KAYAK & MORE! http://prmo.me/73PR8i

SFF Music Video of the Week #28

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Let us turn to the more mainstream world of pop, and a bit of comedy.

Dark Horse, by Katy Perry (modulo various claims by christian rap/hiphop artists) is not what I would call musically exciting. It is, however, extremely saleable, helped in no small part by this wonderfully comedic/horror video.

Let's face it - if you took what our sorcerer queen does at face value it would be dark, dark horror. Imagine it re-worked by Hammer Films, for example. But the bright lights, the goofy outcomes, and the over-the-top sets and costumes manage to overcome the core of horror, and create something that is undeniably hilarious.

So, without any further discussion, here's the video.


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SFF Music Video of the Week #27

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It is Valentine's Day, so I'm going for a little romance, and what could be better than a pastiche of Le Voyage dans la Lune? A romance of science and the heart, we follow the charming couple who are our protagonists through their magical journey to the moon and back.

Smashing Pumpkins did not originally intend this to be the style of video for this song, and had tremendous problems with costuming, as Titanic was being filmed at the same time. Despite this, they were able to shoot a Georges Méliès themed video, with back-drops and puppet work, in just three days.

So darken the room, cuddle up, and enjoy "Tonight, Tonight" by Smashing Pumpkins.

Hecate - Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company - Review

TL;DNR: An astounding production that should not be missed.

Macbeth is arguably Shakespeare's most recognisable play. A story of betrayal, murder, and revenge, it is a powerful icon of English culture.

But is that the only way of seeing it?

Eight years ago, director Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn] and Kyle J Morrison had the idea of performing Macbeth in Noongar. Along the way they discovered parts of the play that resonated in unexpected ways, and resonance grew into the play that we saw last night.

Drawing on Noongar traditions as well as translating the play the director has transformed it from a tale of destruction to one of renewal. Of course, to renew, there has to be destruction, but that is no longer the point of the story. Macbeth becomes not a villain (although he is still villainous), but a tool. Just as the Noongar people use fire to renew the land, Macbeth becomes that fire, and is consumed by it. But the destruction of Macbeth is not the end of the story - there …