Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Monday 29 September 2008

LittleBigPlanet Beta - Impressions

Yeah, I'm in the beta!! And let me sum it up with: "It ROCKS"!!!

Let me start from the beginning: there I was, happily browsing the Gametrailers forums when I discover a post revealing that were giving out free no-strings-attached beta codes for LittleBigPlanet. I was one of the lucky few who managed to nab a code before the servers crashed and were offline for some time. Nevertheless the second I got that code I switched on the PS3 and started the 900MB download.

This is an online beta, and as such is really there to test the online functionality of the game, not necessarily to exercise the game tools (which I must say are quite extensive for something which is practically a demo). I'll be doing a proper preview of LittleBigPlanet as the release date approaches but to put it in a nutshell - the only limits of this game are those of your imagination!

The beta lets you play through a few story mode levels which upon completion unlock different tools and stickers for use in the create mode. I can tell you here and now this is the single most addictive game I have ever played! Stephen Fry's narration also gives the game a very unique atmosphere, something that I haven't experienced before.

It's quite difficult for me to discuss the beta when I haven't done a proper preview of what to expect so, being the lazy person I am, I've whipped Gametrailers gameplay videos from the beta.







Scary Castle:

I've already made one whole level (which half filled the thermometer) and is currently available online. Actually making your own level provides you with far more experience than the tutorials ever could. The possibilities are quite literally - and quite cliche-dly - limitless!!!

~The Damo

Monday 22 September 2008

UCD Gateway

A long time back I wrote a detailed blog about the UCD Gateway Project, which is redesigning a HUGE part of the campus. Well, finally the offical website is up and is available here:

I could totally waste this space copying word for word what's written there so I'm leaving it at that if your interested in looking.

Yeah I know it's a short blog, but the computer I'm on here on campus won't let me save the draft or add pics >:(

~The Damo

AVGN Double: Battletoads and Dick Tracy

In Battletoads the Nerd and Kyle clash, in more ways than one. Though a great game, Battletoads suffers from one fatal flaw....


The only time kids were allowed say the word "dick" so much....


~The Damo

Monday 15 September 2008

Death Magnetic Review

Some time back I wrote a piece about the Heavy Metal Renaissance and how the early indications of Metallica's forthcoming album were good due largely to the demo track "The New Song". I can now say "Yes", they have succeeded...


  1. That Was Just Your Life

  2. The End of the Line

  3. Broken, Beat and Scarred

  4. The Day That Never Comes

  5. All Nightmare Long

  6. Cyanide

  7. The Unforgiven III

  8. The Judas Kiss

  9. Suicide and Redemption

  10. My Apocalypse

Let's face it, St. Anger blew a lot out of know. And Load and Reload weren't all that great either. Finally, after so many years, I think they've got it right again. Death Magnetic is the first Metallica album I've listened to since the Black Album where I liked every single song upon its first listen. I couldn't do that with the other 3 mentioned above. I guess in part the anticipation leading up to Death Magnetic influenced how I would judge the album and God forbid I am no expert when it comes to music in any regard, but I know what I like - and I like Death Magnetic.

Rather than discuss each individual track (okay, I can't because I really know nothing about the technicalities of music) I'll instead just mention my experience of it. Metallica fans are familiar with the concept that Metallica can potentially sound very different from album to album. Part of what makes the first 5 albums so good and so successful is that...broadly speaking...they all had a similar sound/tone/whatever that people LIKED. All their work after that till now has had varying sounds, with a more mellow Load and a highly aggressive yet ultimately bland St. Anger. The first thing I thought after listening to Death Magnetic (in actual fact it's the second thing after saying to myself "That was freakin' savage" was that it was a return to form for the lads. Death Magnetic - to me - sounds like it could have slotted anywhere in the Metallica timeline between Ride the Lightning and the Black Album. In fact, The Judas Kiss feels to me like the closest thing Metallica have written to the song ...And Justice for All.

One flaw with the songs off St. Anger was that they never felt nor sounded like they would be suitable for a live performance. Metallica's first 5 albums all feel natural for a live performance, and Death Magnetic certainly feels like the whole album could be played live aswell. The line "Show you scars!!" in Broken, Beat and Scarred is just screaming to be played in front of an audience to let everyone sing, much like the low-key chants of "Luck....runs...out...." in All Nightmare Long. The chorus for Cyanide and The Judas Kiss feel like they could be sung much in the same way as the chorus for Master of Puppets and Creeping Death. That interaction between the live performance and the crowd is what helps the success of Metallica songs in the fan's eyes, yet another element to why St. Anger failed.

You will also notice that Metallica have reintroduced complex riffs and variations in sound throughout the songs, much like they did in their early work, again annexing themselves from the overly simplistic and repetitive nature of St. Anger. There is a sense of continutity between this album and the better previous ones with The Unforgiven III - a song I highly anticipated prior to the release - the only song on the album which could possibly be called a ballad. It doesn't necessarily sound like The Unforgiven and The Unforgiven II but it feels like them. My suggestion is that you listen to all 3 (probably on Youtube) to see what I mean. Suicide and Redemption is also the first instrumental Metallica have written since To Live is to Die from ...And Justice for All. It is as though the band listened to the cries of the fans for a return to glory and I personally feel they have answered those cries exceptionally.

I could continue to waffle on for longer but I personally recommend listening to the album at the link above. If I was to grade Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All and the Black Album with 5 out of 5 stars, St. Anger with one, and Load and Reload with 3 stars, then Death Magnetic would certainly garner 4 (if not 5) stars from me. Hopefully this is a harbinger for future albums to come from the boyz...and not have to wait 5 years for the next one!

~The Damo

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Back in Action!

Long time no proper blog. Here I am once again, using up my free time in college to type up blogs... Day 3 of a long semester and my judgement is: good. My timetable is pretty damn good this year, with 3 o'clock finishes every Monday, and 1 o'clock finishes every Thursday and Friday!!! Wednesdays - today - are a little strange since I don't have to be in here till 2 for a tutorial (which right now I'm not even sure if it's even going to be on) and then I have a lecture in one module, an hour break, and then another lecture in the same module in a different freakin' place?!?! Like, what's that all about??? Tuesdays are easily the worst, 9-6 every Tuesday... :(

Anyway so the modules this year...

Theory & Design of Structures III - with only a 3 hour lecture Monday mornings I've enjoyed the past two modules in this and when I found out it is an open book exam AND that we will get about 60% in the final exam without even using a calculator you know you're on a winner!

Design of Structures - strangely this module is feeling like Theory & Design II and after looking at the book of notes I can see the exact same examples used last year!! Easy module perhaps....

Maths for Engineers VI - more bleedin' calculus, all about solving ODE's (Ordinary Differential Equations) and Partial Differential Calculus....*snore*

Professional Engineering Finance - speaks for itself really, basically business studies from an Engineering perspective.

Continuum Mechanics (Elective) - fluids, soils, solids and how they react to forces, shears and god knows what else. I smell the brother of the dreaded Mechanics of Solids I...

Design and Project - this one goes on for the full year and it probably the one I'm anticipating most. We will have companies working on projects coming into us asking us to come up with a solution to their task, then our solutions will be compared to theirs. This will also include site visits, YAY! The other half involves project work - in pairs - under the guidance of a senior student/member of staff. I'm also assuming that we'll have to write some sort of formal report like we did in Design and Communications...

History and Theory of Architecture IV - no, just no, I'm not going to ramble on about how f'n much I hate this subject. Last semester was so great with no History of Architecture and now...guess what...this module goes right back to the START!!!!!

That's all for now, stay tuned!

~The Damo

Wednesday 3 September 2008


Three more music pieces, the first here is the VIDEO for The Day That Never Comes which I posted a while back...looking good!!

Next is studio quality My Apocalypse. It's a more thrash metal sound and could argue that it is a return to form for the lads.

Lastly is studio quality Cyanide


~The Damo

THeY're c0ming, wE toLd yOu aLL alONG.....