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A&E

The Top 10 Pounds I Gained Over Christmas


Harrison Dahme, Howl Staff

As a research study for The Howl, I dedicated myself and trained all break to write this article. 10 pounds, two weeks. Could I do it? I’ll cut the story short. I did. In a big way. This is the lab diary of how it went down. See what I do for you Dan?

Pound 1 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows:

It all started when I went to go see the new Sherlock Holmes movie. For some reason the critics didn’t like it. But nuts to that, it’s directed by Guy Ritchie. The exact same one famous for his consistent British gangster films. With Game of Shadows, he’s kept his trademark style, but he applied it to 1890s Europe, and it works surprisingly well. That, and it’s got Robert Downey Jr, whose classic cutting wit helps to define the movie and ultimately makes it pretty enjoyable. So should you see it? Well, there are definitely worse movies that have come out, and there are definitely some better ones, but on the whole, it’s an amusing two hour romp.

Pounds 2-5 – Christmas Eve and Day dinners:

Guilt free. These three pounds were totally delicious and full of omnom’s, but have absolutely 0 A&E content. So I’ll go light on the story and let the gravy train roll to the next entry.

Pound 6 – Harry Potter marathon:

When was the last time you watched them. Seriously – in a row? Pound 6 consisted of watching Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Glint, and Emma Watson grow up on screen. Aside from being a spectacle to hear the voices drop and the chin hairs come in, it was interesting to see how the movies compare. I don’t know about you, but I remember them all being equally good. And now I can comfortably say that this is just not true. The first 3 and parts of the fourth were so bad they were almost painful to watch. Maybe it’s because I can’t stand wizard kids, who knows. Interestingly enough, though, as the series gets darker, it becomes more bearable, to the point where both parts of the seventh movie are actually pretty good. So I’m not saying you should do this, but if you want to revisit the series to watch a good movie, stick with the latter half of the series. Oh what the heck, put on the first one again, too. They grow up so fast =’(

Pound 7 – Steam Sale:

If you’re a PC gamer you must have heard about it. I spent a little time playing Space Pirates And Zombies. It’s an amusing top down space shooter with RPG elements and an excellent execution, if not a little repetitive game play. It’s one of the best indie games I’ve played in a while, and I’d highly recommend it if it goes on sale again. It’s got simple mechanics which are easy to learn, but you can choose to emphasize offence, defense, subsystems, etc techtrees, so that it feels like you have your own little fleet. Let’s be honest, the joy isn’t in the story – there is no story – the joy is in picking it up 10 minutes at a time and blowing some stuff up real good, getting cash and buying new toys. This pound was well worth it, and it was something I’ve been working on for a while. Steam also had just about everything else imaginable on sale too. Hot damn!

Pound 8 – Beer:

Again, light on the A&E content, but heavy on the alcohol. That’s the way we do it up in this newspaper.

Pound 9 – Excession by Iain M Banks:

I’ve been reading Iain M Banks for about 5 months now, ever since I finished Erikson’s Malazon Book of the Fallen – yes, all ten of them. If you’re a fan of sci fi, as I am, the Culture series is an absolute must. Through this series, Banks is able to create a galaxy full of fascination and history, and it really does feel like the galaxy is full. Essentially, each book is an independent story, but contributes to sketching out the atmosphere, and while they may seem boring at the outset, Banks is able to create enthralling narratives such that it’s hard to put down the book. My favourite to date is the one about one of the best game players in the galaxy who gets sent to a fringe system to be an emissary for The Culture. The Culture is the name given to an aggregation of a species of aliens who control most of the galaxy. Excession marks a turn in the series where the Culture may have to become unaltruistic for the first time in millennia, and forgo the business-as-usual model of limitless supply to deal with an Outside Context Problem. See, I’m a science guy, so I love books that can keep up with that. This series in particular is one of the few that can. I dare say it’s the equivalent of Dr Who in book form.

Pound 10 – Vodka and Champagne:

Heavier alcohol, less A&E.

Pound -1 – Swimming:

I went for a swim so I could fit one more pound in. That’s how dedicated I am to this article.

Pound 10 part deux – Dr Who:

This must be the best show ever. Matt Smith, you goddamn genius. Did anyone else see that Christmas special? Sheitttt. Anyway, if there’s one pound you can gain all break, then gain this one. Nuff said.

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