Retired Addiction

Stephen Pinker’s How the Mind Works

It helps to have a passing familiarity with programming and self-organizing systems, but on the whole it’s an extremely fun and readable introduction to how cells can compute. Pinker demolishes a lot of philosophical fortresses built around the ever-sliding concept of “consciousness” without even really trying. Scientists are never so gleeful as in the rush to explain what exciting things they’ve learned, and despite the book’s length, that energy rarely flags. A highly recommended science read.

Retired Addiction

The Graveyard Book

It’s a supernatural retelling of The Jungle Book with an overarching mystery running through each story/chapter. Is the final reveal good enough to hang the book on? Is it ever, in stories that are all about the fun of getting there? No… except in the case of The Graveyard Book. The only thing wrong with this volume is that you know people who don’t own it yet.

Retired Addiction

The “Silent Hill: 0rigins” Soundtrack

No really, I’ve gone straight from being addicted to one Silent Hill soundtrack to another.

“0rigins” (with a little zed) was apparently a kind of a dashed off prequel for PSP, but the music is a full Akira Yamaoka score with vocals by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Melissa Williamson). As a handheld title by a different studio, the mix and arrangements are a bit smaller than 3 or 4, but it has some solid tracks. “O.R.T.” seems to be the fan favorite, but I prefer “Shot Down in Flames.”

My question is, how can a Japanese sound effects artist writing music for a horror videogame have a better sense of putting a rock song together than anyone on U.S. Top 40 radio?

Retired Addiction

Cotorich. I have no idea who she is or what she’s saying, but I can’t look away.

And just to round out our week of Japanese WTF…

I can find no artist or provenance for this image, but I find it brilliantly twisted:

And as a chaser, a pretty girl in a bikini, playing a violin. Quite well in fact: