Tag Archives: website

HBO Updated Its ‘Game Of Thrones’ Maps For Season 3

Aside from The Lands of Fire and Ice book, the HBO Viewer’s Guide has the best map of the world from Game of Thrones. It’s been on their website since the first season, but it was very meager then. During the second season, it got a big update with a lot more detail, and the most complete map of the eastern continent, Essos, anywhere. This year, the update’s not as big, but it does have more detail and more cities that didn’t appear in the season 2 version. Beyond that, the viewer’s guide also added an appendix that has more history and background info.

HBO Game of Thrones map for season 3

The only weird thing is that when you click on some cities, it pops up with a “People of this region” dialog box, except that what it really means is “People that having been in this region”. For example, in the screenshot above, Robb Stark is most certainly not of the Twins. He just passed through there a couple of times. Robb Stark is of Winterfell.

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Obama Will Explain Why We Can’t Have A Death Star

Hopefully he won’t point to the economy you all broke and say “this is why we can’t have nice things”. But back to the Death Star; as we’ve seen before, the White House has a petitioning system with one simple rule: if a petition garners 25,000 signatures within 30 days, the government has to explain why it’s still not going to do it — because that’s what it’s said to all of them so far. But probably the best petition ever has just joined the ranks of those that must be answered:

Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.

By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.

It gathered 26,650 signatures in 30 days. Go ‘merica!


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From The White House, via C-NET and Slashdot


The Budget Hotel With Prison-like Levels Of Comfort

The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam uses a method of advertising that can only be referred to as reverse-psychology. Among the highlights found on its website:

The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel has been proudly disappointing travellers for forty years. Boasting levels of comfort comparable to a minimum-security prison

… amenities include … An elevator that almost never breaks down between floors … Doors that lock.

The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel isn’t just a cheap youth hostel in Amsterdam. It’s a cheap, dirty, cold, poorly lit youth hostel in Amsterdam.

“What can I say? It was cheap. But not that cheap. I mean, a bus shelter offers the same facilities.” – Charlotte, Texas.

“What is that smell? I demand to know what that smell is.” – Lisa, Oklahoma.

Those wishing to stay at the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam, do so at their own risk and will not hold the hotel liable for food poisoning, mental breakdowns, terminal illness, lost limbs, radiation poisoning, certain diseases associated with the 18th century, plague, etcetera.

It’s got 3 circles from 231 reviews on Trip Advisor and is ranked #55 out of 126 “specialty lodging” places. The distribution of reviews is all over the board, but “average” and “very good” have the highest numbers, so it can’t be that bad.

Photos of Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam

This photo of Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor


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YouTube Related Music Turns YouTube Into Awesome Pandora

So you’re out with your friends on Taco Tuesday enjoying some cheap Mexican and margaritas, generally having a great time, when all of a sudden someone blurts out “let’s go to your place and play adult Pin The Tail On The Donkey!” (it involves alcohol). Filled to the brim with taco glee, everyone cheers and before you know it, you’ve got a house full of people sorely in need of some uppity background music.

You could hit play on your iPhone music, but let’s face it: the last time you actually bought a song, Gaddafi was still alive. You might turn to Pandora, but it has all kinds of annoying commercials now, on top of the even more annoying way it won’t let you skip too many songs. And you just know that friggin’ Amanda is gonna sing her ass off for the first half of every song, then get bored and hit Next. At this point, your normal options are Spotify, Slacker Radio, or Grooveshark or something, but they all have their drawbacks. No, what you need is the most poorly, yet descriptively-named website in the world: YouTube Related Music.


YouTube Related Music


Besides the fact that it plays videos — which already makes it way more entertaining than simply “listening” to music like they did in the 1930s (and don’t you even say your laptop isn’t hooked up to the TV via HDMI) — you can skip around as much as you want, there are no commercials, and unlike Pandora which tries to expand your mind by throwing in some Enya in the middle of your gangsta rap station, it only plays music related to the song you start with. But even if it screws up or Amanda does her thing, you never have to worry about using one of your precious six skips an hour. Also, it has a really simple, uncluttered interface: you can see the playlist on the right, see the song that’s coming up next, (get rid of it if it’s not your bag), or play it. And if you hate the whole playlist, nothing’s keeping you from generating a new one. In short, it’s pretty much the best radio station since NewsRadio. Now go try it.

From YouTube Related Music, via Lifehacker

My Friends Are Married

Hilarious new Tumblr from a 25-year old single woman, full of stuff like this:


When my friend asks me if I expect to meet my husband at a bar


When my friend says she can’t go see Magic Mike because her husband will get mad



When my friend tells me she’s concerned about my drinking



When my friend asks if we can go to a quieter bar


From My Friends Are Married

Quick Political Quiz Tells You Who To Vote For

The website is called I Side With, and the quiz has 23 questions — 34 if you opt to go deeper — with generally three questions in each of the following categories: social, environmental, economic, healthcare, domestic, foreign policy, immigration and science. Most questions have yes or no answers, but all give you the option to make a more nuanced choice. At the end, it tells you not only which of eight candidates you side with — it counts minor parties, too — but also a percentage of how much you agree with each candidate, with the voters in your state, with Americans nationally, and with the various parties. Finally, it also breaks down which candidates you agree with the most, for each category.

Candidates on iSideWith.com


And the ideological pool that it draws from is surprisingly big; besides Obama and Romney, it includes nominees of parties you’ve never heard of:

It also, surprisingly, includes Ron Paul even though he’s not a nominee for any party, presumably because he would win the Libertarian Party nomination if he would only seek it instead of pretending he’s a Republican. But the good thing about all of this is that it educates voters to the fact that they might agree with a third party more than they do with one of the major two — even if, as Ron Paul undoubtedly knows, they would never throw their vote away on a third-party candidate.


From I Side With, via NPR

Reindeer Cam

Two deer farmers in western Michigan decided to add a webcam and a couple of reindeer to their livestock and create a ruminant version of The Truman Show.

From Reindeer Cam and WOAW

CCTV Baby Toy by Banksy

Banksy apparently has a pretty funny website now (especially his FAQ page), and one of the things on it is a build-your-own Banksy product section. This month’s is a CCTV mobile — not a portable surveillance system, but the kind that’s pronounced moe-bee-uhl (like Mobile, Alabama), and means kinetic sculpture.

Build your own Banksy product, this month:

CCTV mobile. Not available in the shops. You will need; wood, string, plastic tube, nails, lead paint.

Total assembly required. Keep out of reach of children.

From Banksy, via Laughing Squid

Virtual Sistine Chapel

The Vatican has put up, on its website, a virtual version of the Sistine Chapel. From a vantage point in the middle of the chapel’s floor, you can pan and tilt to look at any part of the chapel, and zoom in to see close-ups of the venerated artwork.


The chapel is called “Sistine” because it was built by Pope Sixtus IV. The name Sixtus comes from the Greek “Xystus”, and means “polished”.

From The Vatican, via Neatorama

‘Game Of Thrones’ Viewer Guide

HBO has a viewer guide for their excellent and complex new series, Game Of Thrones. Watching the show can feel like drinking from a firehose due to the barrage of people and place names, and this guide helps via a handy map and a list of all the characters arranged by their various houses. So next Sunday you can impress all your nerdy friends be that annoying know-it-all by recalling exactly who Renly Baratheon is, as well as the whereabouts of Riverrun.


Update, 20 April 2012: HBO updated the viewer guide for season 2.


From HBO