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  1. Stalker is a soviet film *very loosely* based on the Strugatsky brother's novel "Roadside picnic." Almost in name only. They didn't keep the name, only the very basic concept.
    I recommend hunting that book down, it's good.
    The film...
    After about 12 minutes of the main character waking up and going through his morning routine (not exaggerating that in any way) we are treated to some of the most glorious lines in film history:
    "My dear, our world is hopelessly boring. Therefore, there can be no telepathy, no apparitions or flying saucers."
    Yup. That's where that comes from.
    The most interesting guy in the movie than chats on for a while, until they go and enter the "Zone," which is a far more exciting scene than was anticipating.
    Then colour happens.
    This is the part where one would have liked this flick to have some budget or technology. But never mind, the scenery is of a very high-grade relax-o-vision. Even though that one house in kinda creepy...
    The movie doesn't try too hard to make sense. Instead it gets very deliberately surreal, throwing in nonsense in the form of all that stuff sunk in toxic waste and the architecture of that building the main objective is in, and ... well... the main objective itself.
    A room that can magically grant wishes. Not the ones you go in and make, but the one's you really have.
    This concept scares our characters, and they return, not having made any.
    I see no reason why this could not have been 40 minutes long. They could have skipped the bit where they wade through toxic waste, and trimmed the long-winded philosophical musings. But most time could be trimmed off by cutting the long scenery takes. The opening morning routine alone is more than 8 minutes of filler.
    This flick would have been OK in a cinema, after (or even with) some vodka. Just go in and relax and don't think too hard. If you liked 2001: a space Oddissey, I really don't see why you'd not like this, for basically the same reason.
    Just don't watch it while 14, you'll be hopelessly bored.
    It is available on youtube, through Mosfilm, who have a channel. So... check it out there.
  2. There's flowers in the toilet and on the TVs, and there's ninjas and a Were-Elvis.
    In fact, this has to be the only story about a Were-Elvis I've ever read.
    To be found here:
    http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue717/blurb.html
  3. It is a bit jokey... but then again, it always is.
    Look out for the art section, and check the challanges. For, you know.... challenges.
    For those of us who like to think: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue716/blurb.html
  4. In this issue there are bugs. Zombie bugs.
    And bees.
    Bees, my god.
    To be found here: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue715/blurb.html All par for the course.
  5. Another car that is very much affordable in the USA.
    This one has some visibility out the front windscreen - as opposed to the Honda before, which had it limited.
    It is a very comfortable car to sit in, and the whole surroundings look nice. There's an air of quality to it.
    The vehicle is propelled by a 2 liter petrol engine, which moves the almost 1800 kilogram landbarge at an acceptable speed.
    The car doesn't really handle at all that well, so having more power might not be desireable.
    It's good enough.
    It is possible to fiddle around with the engines in a few ways, one option is to turn off the petrol engine, if one wants to creep around on the electric only. Works like silent running on an old diesel sub, this. The electric motor isn't powerful at all, so you can't really thunder about on the electric, as you could in a Nissan Leaf. Nor can one really thunder around on the petrol. I guess the car's just too heavy.
    But it is comfortable, and the electric only option works really great for people who have short ways to co on errands and such, with the option of going very far on the petrol engine.
    A great cruiser, can be very economical if properly applied, and feels good to drive. Roughly on par with that Lexus LS 250, only much cheaper.
  6. They stopped selling the Accord a few years ago. Made the Civic slightly larger instead. And better. Not to say it is very large, but marginally larger then the Civic is still that. Looks better too. It is long and low and pointy.
    This thing isn't really at all that powerful, but it handles great, and rides wonderful. Very smooth engine, if tiny, and one feels like one is going very fast even though going slow, which makes for safe driving.
    There's a turbo, but I never had that kick in, even though i did drive the thing as I normally drive everything.
    Must require a heavier foot, I suppose.
    Nice car.
    One thing did bother me, and that is how the rear view mirror is bloody huge and situated exactly in the dead center of the windscreen, so I continually needed to crane my head to look under it.
    Annoying.
    In USA this car is cheap as can be. Here: expensive.
  7. In this one we get a version of the grey-goo apocalypse scenario, as well as a cartoonish art thing... I guess you can print it out and frame it. It works in a pop art sort of way.
    To be found via this link:
    http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue714/blurb.html
  8. The Nissan Navarra is a pickup truck that is exactly the same size and shape as the Hilux. One was half a cm wider, forgot which one, but who gives a rat's ass about 0.5 cm?
    It is lighter, by a noticeable amount, and even though the engine is 100 cc smaller, it is more powerful. It tells.
    The suspension is also soft and wobbly, which makes for a comfier ride and somewhat more entertaining driving experience.
    Pulls more, carries more. Costs the same.
    Other than that, it's the same thing.
    Slightly better, but the same thing.
    If I had to choose, I'd say the Nissan. But... why do these things don't come petrol?
  9. In this issue, at least one serial killer. And at least one serial.
    See, it all dovetails right together!
    To be found here: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue713/blurb.html
  10. Ssang Yong is a Korean automobile manufacturer, known for cheap vehicles with crappy electrical systems.
    Their line of larger SUVs has Mercedes Benz designed engines and drivetrain, with the Rexton actually being branded as a Mercedes in China. Why not, the chassis and all the spinning rotating bits are Benz designed?
    But we're here to discuss Ssang Yong's smaller, more economical SUV's.

    The Tivoli is a respectably sized car with all wheel drive. It has a tiny little 1.6 liter diesel, which advances it from one place to another, in a totally unspectacular manner.
    It handles like on rails thanks to AWD, but then, it has no awesome hooning powers. None.
    Pros: Looks good, great visibility, safe to drive, seems solid enough - if cheap, and very roomy, lockable differential.
    Cons: Slow and boring, the engine is noisy and the seat isn't fully adjustable.
    Verdict: not my dream car by any stretch, but can't hate it. Everything else might not be better, but almost everything is more fun.

    The Korando is a small SUV also featuring AWD. It has a respectable 2.2 diesel, which advances the car in a more unstoppable manner, if equally slow as the Tivoli.
    It handles like a tank, feels like a tank, makes me want to run over all the terrain and then some.
    Pros: Roomy enough for 4, great visibility, rock-solid feel, reasonably priced, lockable diff, the makings of off road capabilities.
    Cons: ugly, diesel, feels more like a proper off roader than it is, glacial acceleration.
    Verdict: Usable and comfortable, but slow. Not the best, but not depressing either.

    Better alternatives: The Dacia Duster beats both for price, the Suzuki Jimny beats both for having a proper, non-irritating engine a standard. The not that more expensive Rexton beats both for being simply better in almost every way - the engine and drivetrain in the Korando winning on design.

    Most others are more expensive. Partly because they are technically better.
  11. It continues with some serials and novellas.
    The art this time is not as abstract as usual, but has a clear, definite topic - if unclear meaning.
    ... Because this is BwS.
    To be found here: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue712/blurb.html
  12. In the spirit of Astounding Stories, this:
    http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue711/blurb.html
    As always, a something to behold.
  13. Much improved, or should I say changed, from the preceeding model?
    It surely is different in every way. Except the general size and shape.
    It handles slightly better, has a different engine and drivetrain, so it moves about differently.
    I wish I could have mucked about with it more, because this is a fun car to drive but also to properly get to know what it can and can't do.
    The last of this kind I tested was a 2012 Hilux, and that was by far the most fun Toyota I've ever driven. They both were automatic - but the '12 had a 3 liter diesel, while the new one has a 2.4 liter diesel. Both were 4 door versions. New one was fully loaded, old one was bare bones.
    Not exactly my choice of engine, actually. I like me some 4.6 V8. But not available in this.
    Anyway: car lumbers along in a truck-like manner, one can feel the additional 150-200 kilograms that are in it somewhere just by the way it moves along. Acceleration doesn't suffer, because technology.
    Engines always get better.
    I'd have loved if the car was *lighter.* I really do not need those extra 150 kilograms.
    Suspension is also geared toward *truck* very much. Handles nice though. But then, eccentric me likes bizarre handling vehicles. (I drive a Town Car... it floats.)
    I really can't say I dislike the new car, even though the older version was more fun. This pulls more, hauls more, drinks less, has more stuff in it, costs about the same. Can run it over land and field and streams and probably dozens of helpless bystanders, should you be so inclined.
    It's a nice truck, you know...
  14. The art dept. has a graffiti monster, there's a short story about a world in miniature, and more:
    To be found via this link:
    http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue710
    It's 30ies sci fi.
  15. In this issue, army looks for some guy, and another wants a custom built puppy.
    Weirdness all around, as usual.
    http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue709/blurb.html