Currently Consuming: Hustle Cat

Small Currentrly consuminghustle cat

A sweet, kick-started, gender fluid, cat themed, dating sim that will melt your heart.

About: Hustle Cat is a dating sim created by the team at Date Nighto. Originally on Kickstarter, the game is one that pushes past gender binaries and provides male, female, and trans pronouns for the main character. In addition to this there are two custom characters that you can select from which, once again, allow you to select from neutral representations and racial characteristics.

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Small Snippet of August

Small Snippet Aug

It has been a whole year since my very first Small Snippet post! A whole year! Looking back on that post, I still enjoy Paloma Faith, still use and love the Glasshouse candles, and … need to watch the third season of Veep. In fact I would say I am in need of a complete re-watch. I honestly cannot believe it has been a year since I started this reoccurring post, it has made things so much easier and (I think) it is an interesting and quick read.


 

Additionally it has been six months since my last Small Snippet post.

Six. Months.

Honestly that blows my mind, this year has flown by so fast! I feel like I should do a post to make up for all that time, but I will instead try and do an overview at the end of the year.


 

Looking back at my last Small Snippet, I was posting pictures of my Lego creator pack. I don’t have the time to take a picture of the last version of that set (which still has pride of place on my book case) but I will try and get a picture up next time.

logo (1)Bring Your Own Book Card Game

BYOB is little gem that has just recently had a successful Kickstarter campaign, but you can also pick it up for free and print it out yourself. The concept of the game is that everyone brings their own book (ala the title) and with gameplay similar to Cards Against Humanity, everyone gets to pick phases and excerpts from their text that match card prompts.

I have played this game about five times and each has been so very different. It really comes down to the books that you play with, so unlike CAH which has the potential to get stale, Bring Your Own Book is one that places a lot more choice with the players. I would highly recommended this game for any fan of reading, card games, and anyone who just likes taking things out of context.

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Robin Skouteris

robin-skouterisRobin Skouteris is a music & video producer, DJ and mash-up artist who creates music by ‘mashing’ up a number of songs. Skouteris whose work is featured on his YouTube channel as well as his own website creates songs by joining pre-existing music together to create a new and different song. A number of Skouteris’ music has been compiled into seven albums, with his eighth being promised soon.

A range of music has been released by Skouteris from classical remixes (Moonlight Hotel (which mixes Beethoven, The Eagles, and Maria Callas together)) to simple two song mashups (King Of ArtPop album which features songs by Michael Jackson Vs Lady Gaga) to complex multi-song and concept songs (his annual Pop Love songs). I am not the hugest fan of techno/dance songs however I find that I am always in the mood for Skouteris’ complex and always melodious music.

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Small Snippet of February

Small Snippet feb

To be honest, February has flown by for me. While certainly the days may have dragged in places, every time I look at the calendar I am surprised to see how far along in the month we are. So without further adieu, I present yo you a Small Snippet of February.

LEGO Creator, Treehouse

Despite posting one picture and a description in the Small Snippet of January, it has taken me a month to dismantle my first Lego creation. The second of the three in one Treehouse Creator box is a small Beach hut? The house was very fun to build and looks so pretty!

I think I may make this a reoccurring snippet. Leave the pretty Lego structure on display for a month and then start the next one. So look forward to next months Lego creation which is the most advanced of the three, a tree house.

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Open2Study: Financial Literacy

o2s-logo-facebookFinancial Literacy is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that is run by Open2Study and contributed by Macquarie University. The free to take class is one that explores what it means to be financially literate. The course starts on the 9th of February (2015)* and explores a number of topics that include, saving money, debt, and investments.

The course is broken up into four weeks with each week containing twelve of activities. The way in which the class is conducted is via short video lectures that are released in a tiered fashion. The course is structured with roughly ten video lectures each week, followed by a one question quiz. At the end of the lectures is a small five question assessment.

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Bee and PuppyCat

Hans_Tseng_logoThe original creation of Natasha Allegri, Bee and PuppyCat is a short animated cartoon. The show follows the adventures of twenty-something Bee, and the mysterious PuppyCat (Is he a puppy? A cat? Or both?) as they traverse both the reality of Bee and her lack of work, and that of PuppyCat and the fantastical realm where the pair pick up temp work.

Released by Cartoon Hangover, a branch of Channel Frederator, the show got its start through a Kickstarter campaign. Indeed the crowd funded campaign is the most successful animated Kickstarter, which I am proud to say I was a contributing member.

The show, which went into production shortly after the successful Kickstarter, is realised by Cartoon Hangover on its YouTube channel. Similar to the other Cartoon Hangover show, Bravest Warrior, the episodes lengths run at around six minutes. Due to the stretch goals reached by Kickstarter backers, the show is set to have has nine episodes in the season.

The art style of Bee and PuppyCat is similar to that of Allegri’s previous work, with the show having a very cutesy, curvy and charming aesthetic. The writing as well, is indicative of Allegri’s style with it being equal parts funny, awkward, and endearing. The show is a perfect blend of cutesy humour, engaging mystery and peculiar world creation that will make waiting for each new episode a breeze.

With episodes just starting to be released, Bee and PuppyCat is a show which will have you eagerly anticipating each new episode. If you have a spare ten minutes, why not head over to Cartoon Hangover’s Youtube channel and check out the two part pilot of Bee and PuppyCat – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Scribd

sxribdScribd is an ebook reading service that allows you to choose from over half a million ebooks and 30,000 audio books. For the monthly price of $8.99 (around $10 AUS) you are able to read an unlimited amount of books and audio books, or as the Scribd website describes it, ‘read as if you own every book in the world.’

Scribd allows you to add items to your library and either read them online or store to your device which allows you to read said title whilst off-line. There are many other features of the service that range from personalised book recommendations, book collection creation, documents uploads and even apple/android/kindle connectivity. The best part however is that when a user reads an ebook, Scribd pays the author or publisher the same amount as if said user had purchased the ebook in a retail store.

An additional feature of the app is its browsing function. You can browse the titles available through either genre or through a search tool. The browse function allows you to select from a large range of genres which once selected allow you to search even further within said genre. Take Fiction & Literature for instance, you can select an overview or you are given the choice of searching deeper within Contemporary, Genre, Historical and more. Each choice from then on takes you to even more choices such as Contemporary opening up into Short Stories, Coming of Age and Family Sagas. The sheer number of choices available to search are staggering, with genre selections that are diverse and specific.

The ebooks that are available are ones that are supplied by publishers or by users. There are a number of large and well known publishers on Scribd such as Harper Collins, Harlequin, Simon and Schuster, and independent Smashwords. There are also a number of smaller more specific publishers on the service as well that really diversify the service.

This diversity amongst the publishers available on the service is the draw card for me. Where, as a librarian, I know that a number if not most of the more popular titles are available easily from local, state and national library online services, it is the small publishers that overcome my protests. Understanding how online materials are negotiated by libraries, I know that there is no way my library service would have some of the more niched titles.

It is the sheer range of titles available on Scribd that makes the service a worthwhile investment for me. As much as it pains my inner librarian, after my initial free one month trial I have been an avid subscriber to Scibd. I would recommend trying the service, however I would say to opt out of the monthly renewal straight away, and then let yourself explore and see whether or not the app is for you.

scribd

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online

PokemonTCG_Online_Logo-600x383Despite having numerous Pokemon cards as a young child, I was one of the people who collected the cards only to find my favourite Pokemon. The fact that some of the cards were very pretty and colourful may have also had something to do with my collecting them. So it is as an adult that I have come to actually play the Pokemon Trading Card Game (or Pokemon TCG).

The free-to-play game is one that follows the rules of normal pokemon card battles. I won’t go into detail here, mainly because there are so many but I will say that the website has a very detailed tutorial section for all the novices such as myself. Like most free to play games there are aspects were you can pay, however these come in the form of purchasing actual Pokemon cards. If you wish to get a better deck than the one received when you first start to play the game, then you simply have to purchase special card packs were you can scan or type in a code and receive the same cards online.

I will be the first to admit that I am not the best at the game but after winning a few games and creating my own deck, I have been swayed. The Pokemon TCG has my attention.

There are numerous ways in which you can play the Pokemon TCG. You can play against computerised trainers, have battles with other players in either ranked or practice matches, or battle your friends. In addition to this there are daily tournaments (although I have yet to see an active one), card trading services, and a story mode of sorts where you can battle pre-existing trainers. In addition to this you receive perks for each day you sign on, with perks ranging from card booster packs, money to be spent in the shop and tournament points.

If you have always wanted to play a game online but are afraid that your computer would not be able to handle it, or if you are simply not that skilled at playing combat games, then Pokemon TCG offers you the chance to slowly learn the game and choose the level at which to play yourself. If you do decide to give it a go, send a friend request to allvce, who knows we could play a game together. I promise to go easy, if you do too.

Shots of Awe

Shots of AweShots of Awe, a YouTube channel, is dedicated to the philosophical musings of Jason Silva. Each of the videos featured on the channel are no longer than four minutes, however each clip is one that seeks to inspire its audiences.

Every episode is focused on one philosophical idea that features video of Jason discussing the notion, inter-cut with a mash of amazing footage taken from a wide range of sources. The real draw of the videos however are the sheer passion and enthusiasm with which Jason discusses these ideas. It is hard to watch a clip and not feel inspired, awed or moved by what he is saying.

Topics of the videos range from robotics, the universe, love, technology, sex, science and the very nature of being human. Each clip sees Jason quote from a plethora of sources, with each reference fitting in so well amongst his discussion that you can’t help but want to follow up on the source. I myself have ended up reading a number of the books and articles that Jason references. The passion for knowledge is at the centre of Jason’s videos as he brings new light to the world around us.

What makes these videos so great is Jason himself. The almost poetic way in which he expresses the philosophical ideas is done in a manner that can stimulate even the most jaded person. The universe, society and the individual are all explored extensively within the series, with Jason rhapsodising in a passionate yet accessible manner.

Shots of Awe is not only educational, it is downright inspiring. If you haven’t watched any, do yourself a favour and check them out. You won’t regret that you did.

Favourite videos of mine: ‘We are already cyborgs,’ ‘Existential Bummer,’ and ‘To be human is to be transhuman.’