Music With Wings

Ever since I was a wee lad, soundtracks have held a special place in my heart. I love them so much that there are even some films that I know entirely by their scores. Videogame soundtracks are no exception, and there are a number of great composers that I admire (Sarah Schachner, Jesper Kid, and Jeremy Soule, to name a few).

Sometimes, these videogme soundtracks receive the royal treatment of being played live by an orchestra, which is a treat for fans. One of my favourite‎ pieces of music, namely the title track from The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, was performed on stage by the Swedish choir Orphei Drängar and Grammy winner Myrra Malmberg (performing Skyrim’s Dragonborn). This recent event was put on for the release of The Greatest Video Game Music: Choral Edition,”.

Click on the above link to check it out if you haven’t done so already. Click here for the iTunes link.

Got Me On My Knees

End of an Era

Earlier this evening we bid a tearful farewell to our remaining cat, Laila. My brain is in limbo at the moment, because it was not an easy decision (it never really is, though) – and there was greater emotional weight with the added presence of the rest of the family at the end of her time. If you’re looking for some history, I would recommend that you read about the origin of our felines here.

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Holiday Gift Idea – Super Mario Maker

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Infinite possibilities…

Toronto Thumbs has not been updated since the end of March, but people still have questions about gift ideas – especially around the holidays. For those of you who have a Wii U, it’s a safe bet to say that Super Mario Maker should be on your Christmas gift list (unless you already own it). The kiddo and I hadn’t played it until only recently, which is funny, considering she was on the Super Mario Maker float during the 2015 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto (and yes, I marched with the float while wearing a fish costume). However, Nintendo saw fit to send us a copy to play with, and I can say without hesitation that it is a great deal of fun for those who love video games – specifically Mario-based ones.
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Lest We Forget

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I’m normally something of a grump when I watch people on social media jump on the latest trendy bandwagons – because to me it feels like people just want to draw more attention to themselves than the cause they are supporting. However, in the case of remembering the fallen (and those who are still fighting), I don’t think that there can be a bandwagon big enough. Nothing reveals the depravity of the human soul like war – but on the flip side of the coin, nothing is better at demonstrating courage and cooperation. So take the time to remember them today. Be silent when required and place the living and the dead at the forefront of your mind.

But don’t just do it today – do it tomorrow, too. Take the time to really understand what went down years ago by talking to a vet, or read a book (Ted Barris has some fantastic published works). Be thankful every day that many fought for what we have, and still fight today – battles both on the field and in the mind.

Run Mo Run

Movember is On!

It is currently day 5 of Movember and the ‘stache is coming in nicely. What I really like about the initiative this year is that there are a lot of different ways to participate. There is the obvious one: grow a moustache, of course. However, if you are not into growing one (or you don’t have the ability to grow one), you can still participate by doing the MOve program, which has you doing some sort of physical activity (running, working out, etc.) once a day for the whole month.

I am crazy, so I am doing both of these things.

Game For Anything

Another way to participate (and a fun way to donate) is to try out the Movember Foundation’s new game: Run Mo Run, available for iOS and Android. Run Mo Run is a side-scrolling game that puts you in the shoes and moustache of a handsome gentleman, intent on clearing the stages across five worlds. Every tap helps you to change the face of men’s health. In addition, all proceeds from ads and in-app purchases go towards the Movember initiative.

The quality of the graphics and the sound is good, especially for a free game. So? What are you waiting for?

Mobile Game Review: Good Fences

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I enjoy puzzle games because of how they help me to exercise my mind – with different types of puzzles expanding the boundaries of my consciousness in different ways. Sometimes, the simplest ideas make for some of the most challenging puzzles, especially in today’s world of smartphones, where games can be played anytime and anywhere. Craig Kaplan, creator of the Rocket Cup, has come up with an easy-to-play game (iOS and Android) that is both addictive and challenging. The concept is basic, and to play through the game just to complete the main requirements takes a reasonable amount of time – but the difficulty of some of the extended objectives will keep you entertained and thinking.
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Book Review: The Realism Challenge

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Sketching has always been a hobby of mine. I find it relaxing and fun, since I don’t take it seriously. Of course, there have always been moments when I wished that I was better – and since I am not fantastic at it and have not had time to practice meaningfully, I let it fall by the wayside more often than I should. Were I to take a course, I would probably gain enough direction to feel motivated – however, again, time and money are always at a premium – and I don’t always have enough of either to spare for a commitment like a drawing class. Enter The Realism Challenge by Mark Crilley.
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