Dear Heineken Take Your Vile Drink Elsewhere…

March 15, 2013
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I don’t like Heineken, I think it’s a rubbish beer.

That in itself isn’t a problem, but I have to take a stand against this foul flavoured booze because their reach is becoming invasive.

The problem began for me in 2011 at the Rugby World Cup. Somehow Heineken managed to wed itself to the event, becoming the official beer of athletes. Having an official beer of a major sporting is even even worse than Coke’s connection with nearly everything else. Really Coke, you have what to do with Olympians exactly?

In Wellington we had a great harbourside place called the Fan Zone, which had a big screen showing world cup games and a bar serving booze. Outside we could sit, watching rugby and sipping ale. But, of course, there was only one ale, Heineken, because they’d wrapped it all up in their greenbacks. I chose not to drink, because what the hell is the point of putting on weight and working your liver for something that doesn’t taste good?

Then along comes 2012 and the first James Bond film in four years, Skyfall, a film I’d been waiting for for years. Amid such a joyous event there was a red starred fly in my amber ointment – a James Bond themed advert for Heineken. Really, James Bond would touch Heineken, would he? Which brand manager thought that? Obviously one who doesn’t give a damn about James Bond. A bottle of the beer even turned up in Daniel Craig’s hand in the movie, but only when he was moping and being decidedly sulky and un-heroic, so there was some justice.

So Heineken dogs me, helping to cast a shadow over things I like. And now, well tonight, I’m scrolling through Facebook and BAM! there’s a sponsored Heineken post! Aaarrgh! I would rather pay a subscription fee to Facebook than see this loathsome edifice of mass produced beer trash anywhere near anything me or my friends blab about.

And what next for Heineken? I dread to think, and I daren’t even joke, for fear they may discover what else I like and then ejaculate their bloody fizz shit all over it. 



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Print your kids picture… In 3D!

March 14, 2013
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Ever thought how great it would be to turn a kid’s picture into a 3D object? You have? Well you’re smarter than me, because it’s never occurred to me how utterly brilliant it would be to be able to do that.

Yet you’re one step behind  Bernat Cuni, and his company Crayon Creatures, which actually offers this service!

Crayon Creatures

I wonder what doodle I can transform into reality…

Yes, take one of your children’s pictures and instead of sticking it to the fridge (where did folk stick pictures before fridges were invented?) send it along to these guys. What you get back is a 3D printed “sandstone” ornament back.

They only started the company at the start of the year, so if you get one now you’ll be absolutely on the cutting edge of proud parentdom.


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RIP Patrick Moore

December 11, 2012
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For a long time in the UK Patrick Moore was the face of astronomy. His monthly show “The Sky At Night” was something I always promised myself I would watch, but often missed. He also hosted a special show leading up to the Giotto probe flying through the tail of Haley’s Comet, which I was allowed to stay up pretty late to watch.

However, one of the Rocks finds a silver lining to this loss of an astronomical titan…


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My Memoirs 1995 – 2000

September 16, 2012
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Before I became a game designer I was a game tester. Yes, I got to play games all day, for a living. From 1995 to 2000 I did this job and, really, whatever you think the job was like, it wasn’t.

To help fill this void of knowledge I’ve decided to write my memoirs of those days, which seems like a stupid term, but I can’t think of a better one.

Go to my new Pizza Whores blog to start reading the sordid details.


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August 30, 2012
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Some craft projects are both devastatingly simple and exquisitely effective, such as this, the Crayonosaurus!


Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts…


Find out more, like how to make it, at Craftster!


Of Space and Muppets

August 26, 2012

When I first stumbled across The Muppet Show the part I liked best, and missed most when it wasn’t featured in an episode, was Pigs In Space. I was born with the “I want to be an astronaut gene” and was happy to suck up anything space related, like a little black hole with a discriminating streak. And what could be better than the anarchic fun of the Muppets, plus space! Bliss.

Space plus Muppets = Perfection…

This week has also seen a fusion of the two subjects, but this time on a sad note.

Earlier in the week Jerry Nelson, who played Dr Julius Strangepork in Pigs In Space, passed away. Nelson performed a wide variety of other Muppets, but the one most will remember was Count Von Count. Through his work on Sesame Street he leaves behind a legacy of that most special of things, teaching that doesn’t feel like learning. There is no greater gift that a person can bestow upon society.

Now Neil Armstrong, a man almost too humble to take his place in history, has left us. He’ll obviously be remembered forever as the first man on the moon, but his legacy is not as some showman who chose to market himself on an accolade he knew took the support of thousands of others to achieve. His greatest gift was that he put the Eagle down safe and sound, and through his actions he inspired a vast army kids to take up science and engineering as careers.

Thank you gentlemen, you helped change everything.

5-ah ah ah-4-ah ah ah-3-ah ah ah-2-ah ah ah-1-ah ah ah-Bon Voyage.

We Are The Champions!

August 23, 2012
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The Olympics came, we saw, and it conquered!

Everyone thought the opening ceremony was excellent. The games themselves were superb in every respect. The closing ceremony was a little bit on the patchy side, and after the holographic Tupac at Coachella, the video screens with Freddie Mercury on weren’t what I hoped for (but then I did hope for a 90 foot animatronic Freddie holding Roger Taylor and Brian May in one hand during a performance of We Are The Champions and then eating them at the end of the set) but it went out with a bang, thanks to The Who, who were utterly perfect.

Given my love of the Olympics, it’s weird that I didn’t say anything about them here. However, I was pretty active on other blogs.

The Mars Rocks! are great fans of all big events, except for the ones they don’t like, and they enjoyed the Olympics to the exclusion of everything else, even invasion of their planet.

On a professional level, I was intrigued by the rules used to make fencing better in the face of humans that will do all they can to win, regardless of whether they make their sport look bad.

I also endeavoured to bring the Olympic spirit into the home, but in a less sweaty, space consuming way, with a series of Games Made Form Everyday Things.

I’m now counting the days to the Winter Olympics, which I love even more than the Summer Olympics.

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Curiosity Down!

August 7, 2012
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NASA has managed to land its latest (and greatest) rover on the red planet! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate how hard this kind of venture is – I believe Mars mission currently have a success rate of only 50%.

Of course, even successful missions pose a problem if you’re an actual Martian.

Mars Rocks! cartoon about the Curiosity rover

See more Mars Rocks! cartoons here…

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Genevieve Packer

August 3, 2012
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A couple of years ago I was in a gallery, The Dowse in fact, well, the shop, to be specific, looking at jewelry and books and whatnot. Amongst the generally good stuff a cushion with a cunning kiwi (I don’t mean this as literal as being pictures of kiwis) print stood out.

Genevieve Packer cushion

Then we noticed the label; this cushion turned out to be a handmade product by Genevieve Packer, a who we knew, and still know, just in case the past tense disturbs you. It’s always good to see things that friends have created, but it’s even better to see something and like it, and then realise that a friend’s made it – there’s no fear of bias in the judgement.

Since then we’ve seen Gen’s work in shops in Queenstown and the Koru lounge in Aukland airport. Right now she’s taking on the quite insane task of producing a pattern a dayand you can keep up with her. efforts here.


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Higgs Boson Probably Found

July 5, 2012
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It would appear that the Higgs boson exists!

This must be a mighty relief in the physics community, as they don’t have to re-write the Standard Model. Although that’s probably nothing compared to the relief of those at CERN itself and their extremely worthwhile, but undeniably very expensive experimental system.

Naturally, the Mars Rocks! had something to say on such an auspicious day…


The Mars Rocks! Always at the bleeding edge of science…

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