Dispatch 7: Spooktacular

As Halloween approaches, I am possessed with a desire to find some good seasonal content. And of course, Halloween is weird in its own right so there are lots of great things to share. So open up that pillow case and receive this bounty.

Up first is none other than Vincent Price.

Though, perhaps you haven't heard him quite like this.

"Wine is Elegance" was a spoken word LP released in 1977. In his time, Price was an ambassador of California wines and clearly had a passion for fine dining. Maybe not the most spooktacular aspect of his career, but it's entertaining to hear Price talk up the virtue of wine and good company.


We'll turn it up just another notch with another illustrious voice.

Paul Frees was a renowned "golden throat" who voiced many commercials and cartoons. He was also the original voice of the "Ghost host" of the haunted mansion. Here is a raw recording of his introduction with some witty, if problematic, banter in the studio.

You must remember this takes on classic horror monsters

Karina Longworth's podcast about Hollywood history is often essential listening for classic movie buffs. This latest season (or cycle) profiles the careers of two of Hollywood's classic monster actors: Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. The first episode appeared recently, so you aren't too behind if you start listening now. And once this season has concluded, go back and listen to the riveting, epic season about the Manson family.

A Youtube Playlist for you

I happen to love the "PG" side of Halloween. I think it's just a big nostalgia trip for me to remember watching 'spooky' stuff like Disney's Halloween Treat in late October. So in that spirit I've put together a YouTube playlist of "VHS classics" there are Halloween specials and commercials from the 1980s and early 1990s.

Remember when the McNuggets were a Halloween staple?

That'll do it for this Dispatch. A veritable pillow case of tasty treats, in my opinion. Remember to brush your teeth.

Dispatch 6: Leon's Island jams

Nanowripod's final chapter

For the past 4 years I produced (and originally hosted) a podcast about National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) called Nanowripod. By the number of listens, downloads, and comments, it is probably the most successful things I've worked on outside of my "civilian" career.

However, the core group (Jim, Ed, and I) have found our interests diverging and the workload of trying to do a Nanowripod season without our hearts really being in it didn't feel like something we should do. We also didn't want to just abandon the podcast, as happens to so many shows.

So we recorded our "Omega episode" a couple weeks ago. Please give it a listen and don't hesitate to go back to the whole show.

Leon's latest mix on Soundcloud is something else:

It turns out that the guy with the Yoshi's Island twitter avatar has a thing for sunshine-y bouncy dance music. Go figure.

While the days are getting shorter and colder, this is something to help keep a bit of summer going.

 

20 year old Doom videos look better than ones from 10 years ago

I'm still on my Doom kick from the past few weeks, so why not share this interesting nugget from decades ago.

I was a bit young, and my computer was a bit too isolated to participate in Doom deathmatches, but I remember that multiplayer was definitely a big selling point for Doom, and even moreso for Quake. Unlike with most games, if you wanted to record a video of you playing a game back in the 90s you either needed a very specialized piece of hardware that could capture the video output, or you would just point a camera at your monitor.

Doom, however, had a brilliant feature that let you record "demos" of yourself playing. The demo is the gameplay that occurs when the game first starts and you're still navigating the menu. By default there is some pretty rudimentary gameplay in the demo, but players can basically record anytime they're playing, including multiplayer matches. These demo files used the game engine for playback, so they didn't require a video encoding to be saved. Anyone with the game (millions of players) could load up a demo and watch it run.

What this meant was that players could record high quality, low filesize, 'videos' of their gameplay which could be shared easily even back in the old dial-up days. Because the game engine plays back the demo, a player using modern HD capture software can now make high quality videos for Youtube of classic Doom deathmatches and speedruns from decades ago.

Check this out:

And that'll do for this dispatch. It's a bit lighter than I would like, but I've been holding out on this one for a while and I want to put together a properly spooky dispatch for all you groovie ghoulies.