The Tension Pt.4 [Short Story]

The tension was disturbing. Initially Joseph had thought he might be having a heart attack or maybe he was getting winded so quickly because of the joint he had tried last weekend with his girlfriend but when it didn’t get worse and he didn’t, as he feared, collapse and fall off his bike, he kept pedaling along the street. Weaving in and out of the stationary traffic, his headphones blaring some Bon Jovi-esque rock ballad from the 90s, it wasn’t until he passed through the second set of traffic lights that he realised the traffic was at a stand-still in all directions and most pedestrians were standing around on the sidewalk simply staring around in bewilderment. He slowed to a stop and dismounted his bike beside a father and son who were holding hands and staring into space. The bike toppled over as he removed his headphones to try to talk to them.

Prudence watched the bike clatter to the ground beside the bike messenger from the lone window in her corner of the office. She had gotten up to head to the bathroom but the vacant stares and the lack of response from the other office staff had disturbed her enough that she banished herself back to her cubicle. She was awkward enough in normal social situations but when people around her started acting strangely she simply bolted. Her curiosity had been piqued though and after a minute or two of hiding she slowly made her way to the window to look upon the world at large. Her social anxiety and awkwardness meant she viewed the world as a hotspot of lunacy anyway but what she saw outside made her far more anxious and scared than she had ever known.


The Tension Pt.3 [Short Story]

Marcus shivered and rolled his shoulders as he felt the tension in the air crawling along his spine. He had just walked out of the bathroom, the noise of the plumbing and the flushing water mingling with the chatter and background noise in the basement his gang called their home and all of a sudden he had felt anxiety rise inside his chest and the shivers and tingles started crawling up his back.

Joey and Lupe, the bathroom resting in their line of sight, glanced up as Marcus entered the room again and they shivered and shifted in their chairs as they watched Marcus’ reaction. Joey bolted out of his chair, the chair clattering to the ground behind him, attracting the attention of everyone else in the basement space, and, his hand jumping reflexively to his sidearm in its holster, he turned slowly to inspect the basement to find the source of the deep anxiety he felt washing over him.

Perspiration beaded Winston’s face as he moved up the stairs at Marcus’ direction. He fidgeted nervously with bulge of his handgun beneath the leather of his jacket. He wanted to rip it out of its holster and feel the reassuring weight of it in his hand, but the door led out onto the street and he couldn’t simply run outside waving a gun. He undid the different locks and latches on the door and wiped away some of the sweat on his forehead with the cuff of his jacket before pulling the door open slowly and peeking outside.

The Tension Pt.2 [Short Story]

The tension was palpable at street level. Luis stood behind the counter of his mid-town delicatessen half listening to the customer whose latte he was preparing and half staring out the large plate glass window of his store front. He kept looking for something, anything that might explain the anxious feeling that had the hairs on the back of his neck bristling with anticipation.

Noelle and her daughter Lucy sat across the street under a parasol that shaded them from the bright midday sun. A pleasant heat permeated the air but it was the tension that stalled their conversation and had them fidgeting idly with their cutlery and the straws in their lunchtime cocktails. The planned conversation, one that had been brewing between them for many days in the wake of other events in their personal lives, was abandoned as their combined anxiety weighed heavily upon them.

John stood at the crosswalk and stared somewhat open-mouthed and dumbfounded as he watched the traffic lights follow their normal pattern of green to amber to red and back to green while the assembled driver on both junctions merely sat idling in their vehicles. He spotted movement on the other side of the street and his gaze followed the movement as it resolved into a shaggy looking mutt who calmly trotted along the street, weaving through the few people who were likewise staring about in confusion. The dog continued up to the corner and promptly disappeared from John’s view as he continued on his way.

The End of Desktop Computing…?

This article from Gizmodo (yes you may be noticing my trend of liking gawker sites) discusses the rise of Touch Computing, in the dominant form of the iPad, and it’s effects upon the heretofore dominance of Desktop Computing from the point of view of heavy content creation.

Lots of lucky people around the world understand the joy and the freedom afforded by tablets like the iPad when surfing the web, watching movies and flicking through photo albums but, equally, a large number of people are bridging the gap between Content Creation on a Desktop to doing the same on a touch-screen tablet. So, is the iPad the beginning of the end of Desktop Computing?

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Video Games, Books and Art

Having recently read many articles on the web, particularly on Kotaku, around the ideas of video games as art and how long single player first-person shooters should be I feel compelled to weigh in, in my own space as opposed to waging comment wars with other people on various different sites and forums.

This article speaks about the thorny issue of the length of single-player first person shooters, and the comments highlight some of the diverse opinions on the matter. While I know that, like many of these art-based discussions, ultimately most of this stuff boils down to subjective preference, I think it’s important to look at these topics, insofar as is possible, from objective standpoints.

Before we move ahead, I highly recommend you also check out this article tackling the “video games as art” discussion which touches on a lot of topics I’ll be bringing in also.
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F**k your Honda Civic, There’s a Point Being Made

The Rubberbandits are a comedy hip-hop group based in Limerick. The duo have been around for the past few years and started their artistic career primarily with prank phone calls they recorded and released on homemade CDs. They garnered quite a sizeable underground following, primarily among teenagers and when they started doing live shows with their own songs those same underground fans turned more mainstream until the ‘Bandits found themselves playing Electric Picnic, a large, annual Irish music festival. Not only that, they have also landed themselves a regular appearance on Republic of Telly, a comedy popular media show, somewhat in the vein on The Daily Show, which focuses on humourous clips from both Irish and International television media.

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eyePod – not so catchy

Well, unless it was a relevantly shaped camera, there’s something uniquely interesting, innovative, intelligent, but inevitably inane about using the lower ‘i’ as a prefix tacked on to a product name.

This article by BBC News discusses the phenomenon of the iPod, the iMac or anything that has an ‘i’ in front of it which somehow makes it hip and relevant.

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