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Release Date: September 29, 2009
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Discover New Music

  • Mystics Anonymous

    • 8 out of 10
    • Mystics Anonymous
    • Mystics Anonymous is the brainchild project of Jeff Steblea, a fantastic songwriter and good friend of mine, as well. In fact, I even played the drums on all but one of the tracks on this album. Jef
  • Bowie at Beeb: Best of BBC Radio 68-72

    • 10 out of 10
    • David Bowie
    • The companion CD to a BBC television concert, BBC Radio Theatre has some of the best renditions of many of Bowie's best songs throughout his career. "I'm Afraid of Americans" is substantial

  • Live at the Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI

    • 6 out of 10
    • Supersuckers
    • Man, there's nothing like good, old fashioned, rock and roll... add a bit of industry resentment to that with a double-shot of cynicism, and you get one of the best "new" rock bands going. This album
  • The Dresden Dolls

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Dresden Dolls
    • The energetic duet of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione that make up the Dresden Dolls have created a wonderfully haunting sound in their self-titled album. They have been able to construct an imme

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    • 8 out of 10
    • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    • When I first got hooked to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the only place I could get their debut album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, was through the band's Web site. I listened to the two tracks a

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Wild West Pinball, Terra, The Minimalist and More

There was a time when the only games you found in arcades were those with shiny metal balls in them. No, I'm not talking about pachinko, though those games did find their way into many American arcades. I'm referring to that time tested perennial favorite of small time criminals, super cool dude, and nostalgia nerds everywhere, the pinball machine.

I must have put the kid of the owner the arcade on Baltimore St. through college with all the money I spent playing pinball. I don't know what attracted me to those machines; maybe it was the lights. maybe it was that ball zipping all over the place. Whatever it was , it had me hooked.

One of the things I hated, however, was those cheap little toy pinball machines that stores use to sell around Christmas time. If ever there was an object begging to be broken within hours of being unwrapped, that was it. Junk! All of them!

Virtual pinball machines I've become a huge fan of, however. Anything that can approximate the look and feel of real pinball minus the endless stream of quarters needed to play is a big attraction to me. If the game is can you lose. Right?

Take Wild West Pinball, a free game available at the iTunes Store, for instance, you "pull" the shooter to launch the ball and watch it careen around he table, bounce off bumpers and zip off the flippers. There are no visible flipper buttons to detract from the beautifully rendered old west table design, you press your thumbs on the area of the flippers to activate them.

What makes games like this more fun is if the virtual ball is as close as possible to that of the real thing, and the ball in Wild West Pinball is pretty convincing.

I'll admit that it's not the most exciting pinball game I've ever played, it doesn't support multiple players and scoring is tough, but it's addicting, nicely executed, and it's FREE!

Now, on to a different tack.

If you are a fan of The Discovery Channel and nature shows then you are going to love this next item: Terra.

Terra is a little different than your typical podcast. It's a collect of short movies by independent film makers who focus on nature subjects. These are all beautifully shot documentaries. The subjects are as diverse as gold mining is Virginia City to seals on a children's beach in La Jolla, CA.

There's at least 100 episode of Terra available in the iTunes Store, so there's a lot to keep you occupied for a while.

Check out Terra. You'll be glad you did.

OK, switching gears once again.

I like to cook.

Maybe it's because I get to play with really sharp knives and I cut things up. Maybe it's the combining of seasonings to create unique, but mouth watering smells. Maybe it's the tasting after an especially tough dish is done and finding that I'm not too far off the mark. (I think it's because I get to drink a lot of wine while preparing the food.)

Whatever it is, when I'm in the kitchen, I'm in heaven.

I am, by no means, a great cook, but I can follow a recipe with the best of them and add a little some-some to make it my own.

If you enjoy whipping up a mess of something just because you can then you'll like The Minimalist, a podcast hosted by Mark Bittman, author of "How to Cook Anything."

You gotta figure, if the guy wrote a book about cooking then he's got to know a little bit of something about it, right?

He does, and what I like about this podcast is that Mr. Bittman takes the time to show you what you need and the little trick in preparing the dishes.

30 episodes, each featuring a different dish, should be enough to whet your appetite.

These are cool little shows so grab a bunch and a bottle of wine and head for the kitchen.

The Minimalist, odd name for a cooking show, but hey, whatever works.

That a wrap for this week.

Please check out more free stuff below. See you here next week.

One last thing: This week has been an especially sad week because of the loss of two entertainment industry icons. I'm referring to Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.

I grew up with these people on my TV and radio. Michaal's death has affected me more because I so enjoyed his music. Regardless of his eccentricities, the man was a phenomenal performer.

Ms. Fawcett was less known to me, I never watched Charlie's Angels on TV, and I tend not to follow Hollywood gossip, so I was not familiar with her personal life. I knew she had been battling cancer for some time and that she was putting up a brave fight. I also know that she was a familiar face to those of my generation.

Both of these people will be missed and my heart felt condolences go out to the families of friends of both Michael and Farrah.

More free stuff below with direct links:

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

1 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

Mr. Reeee said:

The links to Terra are broken!


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