Disney movies? Grocery shopping for men? Video game photography? All that and more in this week’s What I’ve Been Reading.

  • Call me a heartless bastard, but I was never a fan of most Disney fare. It’s hokey, it’s cloying, and it promotes some downright fucked-up ideas about gender. Apparently, Cracked agrees with me.
  • Rus McLaughlin of The Escapist plays bad video games on purpose to understand what makes good video games good. (He heavily criticizes Hydrophobia in the piece, a game that I very much enjoyed. But that may be because I played the heavily patched and updated version that was released on Steam, Hydrophobia: Prophecy.)
  • Westside Market, a chain of grocery stores in Manhattan, has created a “man aisle” – it’s really more of a shelf – collecting all stereotypical male needs in one convenient place. Clearly, the distance between the ramen and the deodorant in a regular grocery store is too large. Good grief.
  • NBC’s upcoming fall drama Revolution has piqued my interest, if only because of its sheer trainwreck potential. Needless to say, others are also skeptical, especially considering the track record of serialized sci-fi epics on network television. (Anyone remember The Event?) Well, you can shove your skepticism aside, because the science in the programme has been approved by a physicist! It doesn’t matter if the acting, writing, or directing are terrible, because the science will be right, which is what we all hope for when we’re watching science-fiction, right?
  • Google has unveiled plans for a lightning-fast fiber-optic Internet pilot project in Kansas City, Missouri, promising speeds of up to 100 times faster than current broadband technology. This is the only time in my life that I’ve ever wished to live in Missouri.
  • Looks like your parents were right: today’s music is too loud and all sounds the same, according to researchers from Spain. Over the past 50 years, transitions in note patterns have become less diverse, the timbre palette has narrowed, and the recorded volume of songs has increased. Oh well, at least this album managed to get released before pop music’s fifty-year decline.
  • Rainer Sigl of Video Game Tourism writes about using in-game screenshots as art, highlighting the work of websites such as Dead End Thrills and Virtual Geographic. Though there’s no comparison to actually walking through a video game world, screenshots are the only way to capture a feeling or moment in time. With a little photo-editing magic, gorgeous shots of computer-generated vistas or buildings can be produced. Virtual Geographic’s Mirror’s Edge screenshots are particularly breathtaking, perfectly encapsulating the game’s stark visual style.
  • It’s Nerd King Wil Wheaton’s birthday today, so he’s declaring it Don’t Be A Dick Day. I can get behind that.

As always, feel free to leave comments below. But don’t be a dick!

And before I forget, THIS IS THE BLOG’S 500TH POST! WOOT WOOT!