Drox Operative

This one was a strong recommendation by a Broken Forum member who is absolutely insane about space-themed games. Its developer is the small and independent Soldak Entertainment. I’ve never played any of their games but they made a name for themselves a few years back with their action RPGs set on a procedurally generated maps. The really big deal however was that unlike traditional RPGs in which quest givers are content to wait around forever for the player to get around to doing them,  in these games the world moves on even while the player does something else and quests can become irrelevant. There may even be other agents moving about the game world doing the quests if the player doesn’t get around to them in a timely manner.

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Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Paul Newman is one of Hollywood’s legendary actors but I don’t believe I’ve ever watched any significant film that he has been in until now. Cool Hand Luke turned out to be an excellent choice and I liked it so much that I immediately went to check if director Stuart Rosenberg, who I have never heard of before this, was another underappreciated director with a rich filmography to mine. Unfortunately while his body of work is indeed respectable this seems to be his best film.

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Hibiscus Town (1986)

This is one of the oldest Chinese films I’ve watched yet and I think the earliest one I’ve seen about the Cultural Revolution. In fact this was made so early that I was taken aback by what I perceived to be a very vicious critique of Communism and wondered how this could possibly have been allowed. I believe I managed to work out the logic in it later in the film however.

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

One of the cool things about keeping myself up to date about the world of cinema is that we’ve actually watched the films that established the career of director Taika Waititi before he hit the big time with this latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having watched both What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, it was possible to recognize the director’s voice role in here but also cameos from his usual cast and numerous influences from his native New Zealand.

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Finance and Capital Markets

Another subject that Khan Academy has a lot of videos on is Finance and Capital Markets. None of this is particularly new to me but I thought I’d listen to them while mostly doing something else as a refresher. Looking over this list of topics, I was particularly intrigued in that he covers the more exotic parts of the financial work such as various types of derivatives and collateralized debt obligations which you don’t usually see in beginner level finance courses. There are also videos on more contemporary topics such as the housing crisis and the ongoing issue of Brexit.

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Man of Iron (1981)

So this is the third film we’ve watched by Polish director Andrzej Wajda and this one dates from 1981, before the fall of Communism in Poland. I was aware this is the second of a duology of two films but my wife and I have limited patience for films that require deep knowledge of a country’s history and Man of Iron is the more well known work of the two so I chose to watch only this one. This did lead to some confusion about who’s who but overall it didn’t work out too badly.

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My Life as a Zucchini (2016)

Last week The 18th European Union Film Festival took place in Malaysia though I guess mostly only expatriate and media types noticed. My wife and I heard about it on the radio and so I looked it up. Most of the films scheduled looked uninteresting to me as they are either too new or too obscure to have been reviewed much. We had already watched Fire at Sea. This is only thing that I found that has very high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes so I picked this to watch, if only as a show of support for such events.

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The unexamined life is a life not worth living