Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Happy Halloween peeps

Made by the lovely Princess Mellus Crafts
Happy Hallows eve folks!

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays of the years, where you leave yourself behind and take up a new identity for the day/night and go on the hunt for treats XD

It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

Halloween Superstitions

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

  • We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. 
  • We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. 
  • And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors
  • stepping on cracks in the road 
  • spilling salt.

The Legend of "Stingy Jack"

People have been making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him.

True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul.

The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o'-lanterns.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Nendoroid Petite : LINKIN PARK Anime Figure Collection

This is another Western collaboration into the vast Japanese toy archive, with the world-famous rock band Linkin Park joining the Nendoroid world. Linkin Park, has sold over 50 million albums and boasts popularity worldwide. They have featured Japanese Gundams in their music videos showing there lover for Japanese culture and earned their song 'The Catalyst' a place in the musical score of Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. arcade game.

Each of the band members are teamed with their instrument of choice and typical outfit, hair style and posed as if in live performance. Each have been carefully detailed to look like the real person but in chibi form. They come equipped with the standard Nendoroid Petite stand as well as a special stage pedestal that lets you display the entire band together.

In the past Linkin Park have been featured as an exclusive Be@rbrick figure design sold at charity Tokyo art show on September 9th 2011. This was to support the victims of the March 11th Great Eastern Japan Earthquake.

Good Smile Company hosted 'A Thousand Horizons' event (named after the band's 2010 album A Thousand Suns) as part of its 10th anniversary celebration. The company specially designed deformed Nendoroid Petit figures of the band's six members — Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell, Rob Bourdon, and Joe Hahn — to sell at the event. In addition to the Nendoroid figures, a special Linkin Park Be@rbrick figure, iPhone 4 case, 'threeA' toys, and T-shirts will be sold at the show. The event's official website is currently streaming a promotional video.

Whatever next Linkin Park? Perhaps a cameo in My little pony? We think the Bronies would love that.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Bring on the Gaming: Eurogamer 2012 - Thursday

 The opening day of Eurogamer arrived and upon entering the press queue I saw a sic Mario entourage in front of me. Maria, Wario, Luigi and Yoshi but Bowser was nowhere to be seen or perhaps he was already inside, waiting to pounce?

Straight away I was drawn to good old Sega’s booth and took the chance to play their new game ‘Hell Yeah’. The Sega rep described it as the ‘Bunny version of Sonic’ which had me sold, with the beautiful anime graphics and story resembling Koei’s Disgaea. Expect this game to be reviewed on Anime Picks soon! You’re a demon bunny papp’ed in an er...compromising position with a rubber ducky and demons don’t take humiliation very well so he goes to destroy everyone who had seen the photo.

To the right of Sega was Formula 1, which had a great set up with arcade style gaming chairs. I’m not brilliant at car games, but I wouldn't mind losing to strangers in style and those chairs really added to the game experience.

DOA 5 probably had the most game consoles, which was a good call as there were so many guys lining up to play with the ladies, in combat of course. It was very refreshing to see some female gamers showing guys they could play just as well too.

The developers of the Merlin game - literally based on the series - decided instead of taking the real gritty looking CGI approach they’d make it more anime’esque to make it more appealing to all the fans. See the interview with one of the developers here:

Eurogamer had all sorts of hidden gems for us to find, in the form of the Virgin booth, where you sit on couches to try out some hand held consoles. I started playing the game Super-Fluid. This game actually won the ‘Virgin Media 100 Day Game Project’. Super-Fluid has been developed to work across Android and Apple devices and will launch in October 2012. The puzzle-based platform game uses tilt-based controls for navigation through the levels as the character changes into three different states - solid, liquid and gas. Very cute and clever basically it’s kawaii science! Find out more information here: http://www.virgin.com/media-and-mobile/news/100-day-game-project-heads-to-eurogamer

If your waning from walking around the vast space in Olympia, it’s time to take a break at the Mountain Dew pit stop – refuel and carry on! If you were attentive enough, when wondering around in the over 18’s area you could watch professional makeup artists kitting out the ‘Resident Evil’ Zombie team! It was amazing seeing their faces being put together and if you were lucky enough you’d spot the ones giving out goodies, including branded t shirts and a super cool Resi wristband watch.

Other cool promotional gimmicks were from the ‘Hitman Asolution’ stall, luring figurine fans into their area, play the game and get a free hit man figure and these were super cute and hey, if you wondered around outside the over 18’s area you could have a free Hitman photo souvenir complete with red tie and rubber duck via photo booth boutique. They also uploaded the images to the website gallery: photoboothboutique.co.uk (select the appropriate date).

This is just a day one of our Eurogamer adventure, more to come in Friday’s diary update.