Thursday, 25 October 2012

Halloween High-Jinks!

Ah yes, the last week in October. It's a special time this because it has a day full of wearing dark clothes, turning vegetables into frightening faces, smearing your children with blood and then traipsing the streets in the cold begging for pound-shop sweets. That's right, it's The Novabug's birthday of course! I also think there is an old Pagan based festival called Halloween on the same day, it's something to do with a man wearing a William Shatner mask and watching teenagers having sex. At least, that's what I got from the films. Oh, and that Rob Zombie makes terrible reboots!

I jest of course, for thy, it is the season of the witch! All Hallow's Eve, the banishing of evil spirits into the depths of hell. (I poured the Absinthe down the sink...) It's a day that many people hate with an unbridled passion, or love as it's a perfect excuse to dress up like a loon, play silly games and eat sweets with the children. I hear McDonald's workers get to do this on a daily basis. 

If you are familiar (spot the pun?) with The Novabug, you will know I have a strong connection with Halloween. If you don't, prepare to be astounded! My birthday is the 31st of October, the same day of my father. It's also the same day of my first nephew, who was born to my sister who herself was born on 16th of the 6th, 1966! My better bug-half went into labour with my second little demon offspring on Halloween too... but was not born the same day. Because of these facts, I have grown up with a tradition to celebrate Halloween considerably. Also, it's a great desensitiser for my children, as artificial frights should not be feared. The real world is far far more scarier. Just to get you in the mood, below is one of my favourite little scary tales based off a real legend, it's the story of Hex, a brilliant creepy ride at Alton Towers.

So I will be celebrating my 35th year of existence with a Halloween bash with friends and family, but I also have a plentiful amount of Halloween related reading material for you to peruse. If you enjoy or dislike this part of the year, then I wish you a enjoyable time either way, albeit making yourself into a deformed zombie, or sitting in the dark watching TV hoping that the door doesn't knock to often. Happy Halloween

The Pixel Empire - Halloween Horror Special

Me and the guys at TPE choose to give you all a treat this Halloween, by sitting around a flickering campfire in a gloomy wood, telling tales about scary video games, regaling about the creatures and moments that they have brought us over the years. We all have different pasts with these types of games, but it's spooky how some of our opinions match. And that's not all. Coming up over the next few days we each have a review of a horror themed game that will have your hairs stand on end. I reminisce about the blood splattered shock of Splatterhouse, while the guys look at the legacy of Silent Hill and the space-age chills of Dead Space. Enjoy!

The annual Ketchup Wrestling contest got a little out of hand this year...

Don't forget to check out all my other Halloween related articles this week. Going Trick or Treating? Or wish to avoid such thing? Read my Hub about it for some advice and tips I'm sure you will find helpful. Also, if you are planning on carving a Jack-O-Lantern, here's a quick guide that hopefully you will find useful too. 

In the meantime, keep an eye on my Hubpages profile, I will be writing a short spooky story for you all, hopefully will be published on the day itself. Have a great and fun-filled Halloween. Stay safe peoples and don't get too ill munching all those sweets! 

Update: My short story- A Dark Walk is available to read for free on Hubpages. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

'Bug... Out!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Stupid People, More Stupid People and a Brilliant Horse

Something has bugged the Bug! It's not a laughing matter neither, its a matter of increasing worry to the safety of many small children. In my day job as a bus driver, I see some quite appalling driving on a daily basis, (Yes, some of that comes from other bus drivers too before you mutter that to yourself) I am convinced that 60% of the population of Britain simply should not be behind a wheel or handlebars. Motorists are constantly drilled about slowing down more, fair enough, I get that. But we hear very little about the actual responsibilities of driving itself, and a big part of this is the safe transport of children. This week, I have seen far too many examples of the totally insane and careless transit of small children, this came to a head recently with the story about the South African nursery school teacher ramming 19 kids into a titchy Renault Clio! This is an extreme instance I grant you, but day by day I see that kind of irresponsibility on the roads, and that's just in my local area. Vans laden with 3 or 4 kids perched on the front seat, none of which wearing seat belts of course, mothers puffing on cigarettes while simultaneously talking on a mobile, windows closed with a baby in the back. This gets worse when the protective surroundings of a modern vehicle is removed. Pushbikes with not only a toddler seat on the back, but also one of the handlebars! Some even have a trailer with fabric walls. The manufacturers of these implements say it's all perfectly safe, as would the subscribing assemblage, without considering possible and most likely mishaps. An exposed child being dragged behind you out of sight? Are you seriously telling me that is safe? Of course it isn't, even if the bike was rode by Bradley Wiggins. It was good to see that helmets were in use, for the rider, not the kids. I was disgusted. A complete disregard of basic safety. It doesn't need a car to cause utter carnage if an accident was to occur. It just takes one iPod trance induced pedestrian to walk across the bikes path or a miss-judgement of a street curb, and then calamity. These people have to realise that this is just nuts and jeopardises their own children's lives, despite their self assurance in their bike riding ability. Cars have the added protection of a metal body encapsulating people, with special child seats, belts and airbags, as so the risks are minimised as much as possible. This is not the case for bikes. Before you think I'm having a go at cyclists, don't get me wrong. Many proper cyclists are responsible and considerate too not only themselves but too other road users, and they take their personal safety as high priority, but placing children on a flimsy and unsteady bike is just waiting for disaster. If you have children, you should be grateful to have such an honour, and thus protect them with all your might, so get a bloody car or take public transport. If you do have a car, buckle your child in safely, securely and drive at all times remembering that you are transporting the most important part of your life around with you. Don't chat on your mobile, don't smoke, don't touch your make-up up. Accidents can happen at a split seconds notice, so just take the utmost care.
Are you seriously telling me THIS is safe? Insanity!

Sorry about that, just had to get it off my chest. Now, we all have read or saw the utterly deplorable behavior of the Serbian under 21 football team and their so-called fans, not to mention the deluded and inaccurate statement by the Serbian FA. Unfortunatly, it's no surprise to me really. Most of eastern Europe's football culture is still languishing in the 1940's, so instances like this, no matter how unpleasant were always going to happen at some point, and typically it happens to the England team. But this is a chance for the governing bodies of the game to finally make a point. Our own FA, which are pretty slow and inactive at the best of times actually responded quickly and strongly about this. But will UEFA or FIFA listen and respond appropriately this time? I'm saddened to think they won't, trying to appease both countries with menial punishments and weak statements. Any form of racism to any race is outmoded and simply ridiculous in this day and age, and so anybody who practices such prejudice should not only be immediately punished, but educated also. It's a sentence spoken a lot, but the majority of other sports don't suffer from this, but football with it's tribal and loyal roots seems to dwindle in the past in certain parts of the world. I'm sure things will progress for the better in time, but lately it seems to be taking far to long to do so.

No More Horsin' Around.

One magnificent horse!
On Saturday the 20th October at Royal Ascot, one of the greatest race horses to take to the flats will make his final appearance. Having never been beaten in 13 races, Frankel aims to make his 14th and final performance in the Qipco Champion Stakes. I'm not into horse racing as such, but this animal has caught my keen sports-fans eye for quite some time. Frankel will race only if the conditions are suitable, but either way we see the farewell of an utterly brilliant beast. He will retire to stud at a mere 4 years old, enjoying the pleasures of over 100 mares a year at around £100,000 per cover. (Horse Sex)  His owner, Prince Khalid Abdulla must be rubbing his hands at this prospect. Another thing that made me take notice of Frankel is the entire whirlwind story surrounding him like it's been written by some clever-clogs soap scriptwriter. Not only is the colts rise to dominance been dramatic and breathtaking, but also the turbulent and troubled life of his trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, plays a major role in the history of this horse. I'm not going to go into details, but the whole shebang just begs for a biopic to be made. The popularity of Frankel is unanimous among the racing select, and many others outside the sport, including my very own sister, have such an admiration and respect for this great animal. So while Frankel enjoys his success bed-hopping without a care, the movie machine will most likely start grinding out the drafts and castings too capitalise once again. Frankel - The Movie, most likely coming to cinemas in 2018 (ish).

The Pixel Empire

Gamers, have you paid a visit to one of the best video game sites on the 'net yet? No? Why not! Get your mouse hand over this link and go there immediately for some gaming goodness, brought to you buy the people that played these games extensively and then wrote about it your enjoyment. Latest reviews come in the from of my write up of GX4000 high point RoboCop 2, Tom picks the bones out of Dead to Rights 2 while elsewhere recalling the delights of Super Monaco GP, and Shane take a goosey at Forza Motorsport 3, a most revered racer indeed. We also have a bumper crop of horror titles coming up over the Halloween period too, so stay tuned. Remember, you can follow @pixelempire on Twitter or 'Like' the Facebook page.
All Eras, All Games, In Context.

Phew, well that's it for this week. My warmest regards and salutations to you for reading TheNovaBug-Blog. Have a good weekend and a prosperous few days onward. Until next time... 


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Bug is Back Bloggin'

Greetings fellow humanoids and maybe the odd intelligent rodent, Novabug has returned from his self-imposed blog obscurity to bring you many new delights. I have been plotting my first book again and trying to keep up with the review sites, but more importantly there is this...

I now write for an awesome new gaming website called The Pixel Empire. Founded by Mr Tom Clare, TPE aims to be the most comprehensive video game review archive on the net. We aim cover EVERY widely sold machine that there has ever been a game on. From XBOX360 and Playstation 3 to the classic Super Nintendo and the rare and forgotten Amstrad GX4000, we cater for all tastes, all genres and all ages. We are a retrospective review site primarily, we review games based off our extensive knowledge and experience. Of course, contemporary modern games get the attention too, and our regular headline features cover gaming throughout the decades make for a very unique and opinion based approach to gaming.

The Pixel Empire - Retrospective review site to stir memories and debate.

Our turbo-top team is comprised of our Editor and site manager Tom, myself, the excellent tea-drinking master gamer views of Alan, and the youthful eagerness of the talented Shane. The site is in it's infancy, but in time it will become a massive database of game reviews, gaming comment and genre features. If you are a gamer, or look back on those days when you were, this is the site for you. Follow us on Twitter @pixelempire or Like our Facebook page. To give you an example of what to expect, read some of our reviews below. 

Chris reviews Super Tennis, SNES

Alan reviews Speedball 2, Amiga

Shane reviews Scooby-Doo & The Cyber Chase, PS1

Tom reviews MotorStorm Apocalypse, PS3

Visit The Pixel Empire now and be a part of the Empire! Gaming comment at it's best. We welcome debate and comment on our reviews, and are more than happy to discuss with you about anything gaming on the social networking sites.