Tier 1 Military Simulation – Operation PAYBACK – Download Now

Outside Context & Tier 1 Military Simulation 
presents

Operation Payback
a Basho film in partnership with Daniel Goodall.
 

Location: STANTA, Eastmere OBUA Training village, Thetford, Norfolk.
Date: 11 – 13 […]

Hamilton JazzMaster Maestro Auto Chrono Watch Review

Introduction
There are many reasons to wear a watch, I said to myself as I took my turn at the JFK airport security scanner.

“Take off […]

Pebble Smart Watch Review – More than just potential?

No recent product launch has grasped the Zeitgeist as much as the Pebble watch. It represents a perfect storm of elements coming together all […]

Watches, Homages and Branding

Please note, before I begin, that the following are all my own thoughts and words. So, by their very nature, they will be subjective […]

“Zombies, Run!” Review : a running game with bite!

Warning: This review contains very minor plot spoilers

I have come to love running.

I have discovered that lolloping along outside in the morning’s weak sunshine is a great way to relieve stress by the bucket load. The trees blow in the breeze and the paths bend and twist around the houses as the kilometres drop away. This early in the morning birds sing and the roads are silent. In my ears music is playing gently through my headphones. I often experience new sights and meet all sorts of early morning people and creatures not seen at later times. One morning I came across a giant bumblebee, clearly a queen, crawling on the path. Yes, an early morning run is a great way to experience the unusual…

A robotic voice cuts into the music, “Warning… Zombies Detected!”

and then

“Warning… Zombies 15 meters!”

“Shit!” time to sprint.

[…]

Christopher Ward C60 Trident “Bond” Review

All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.  Those who read the symbol do […]

Nike+ SportWatch GPS Review

“Way to get out there!” my watch gleefully announces. I watch its face, awaiting any further messages from its GPS ROM that has tracked my every move for months. In any other circumstances that might be a disturbing thought, but here the watch and its sister satellite high above my head record my movements like the Goddess Nike made flesh.

Nope, nothing else, not today.

I was hoping for a “crowd goes wild”, which means a personal best, or “great finish” which means that the last km was the fastest.

Oh well.

I stop looking at it and enter my house.

Running is a funny business. It is the most simple and easy of sports to take up; all you need is a pair of shoes (and these days there is a whole barefoot running clique who claim you don’t need even those) and yet, and yet, never in my life have I run more than 100 meters. Not that I was shy of sports; fencing, martial arts, marital arts – you name it. However, my first day’s attempt to run down to the gym was a disaster once those 100 had passed. My body simply stopped me flat and demanded to know what I thought I was doing, was I being chased by a hungry lion? Or avoiding an imminent meteor strike? No? Then why the hell are you doing this to us? It asked, gasping.

In the past such stern questioning, not to mention the following sensation of aching lungs, were enough to stop me. But, not today because I had caught a bug.

[…]

Tier 1 Military Simulation – Airsoft Training Day

It is often said that Airsoft is a game of extreme variety. At one end of the spectrum there are the speedball players who only play in small arenas. For they the game is about CQC accuracy, high rates of fire and aggression. Tactics tend to be personal and if they play as a team at all it is usually in very small groups. There is hardly what could be called commanders. This was the airsoft of Electrowerkz. Veterans of that site tend to be tough, able to run into massive volumes of fire without flinching and a little unhinged. All the way at the other end of the spectrum is the sort of military simulation that companies such as Stirling offer in the form of training missions, hiking into countryside for 2 days for a 10 minute fire fight and being tortured when captured. It is into this enormous dichotomy that Tier 1 Military Simulations has launched their services pitched at both parties.

[…]

Announcing: buddhabooks.co.uk is now open

Dear all,

Announcing the opening of a new Basho website!
www.buddhabooks.co.uk
I have been writing reviews of books on this site for something like 5 years, also […]

Stephen Hawking – “The Grand Design” book review by Basho

I’m an avid reader of New Scientist magazine. In fact I get it every week. The headline will usually be about something “quantum” or allude to some current or near “breakthrough”. Of course real breakthroughs are hardly on a weekly schedule. I know this, but still I buy into it. It is a classic marketing technique that tempts impulse buying. New Scientist covers about Quantum are the geek equivalent of putting Princes Diana or perhaps Jordan on the cover of a ladies magazine or putting Bruce Lee on the cover of a martial arts magazine. In each case the marketers know what make people pick up the edition, what buttons to push.

It is this technique that got me to buy this book.

A few weeks ago my wife started a Skype chat to me at work. Normally this signifies that I need to pick something up on the way home or that I forgot to turn the iron off, or similar. However, this time she was definitely excited about something,

[…]

A Sudden Dawn: Book Review

The story of a simple Buddhist priest travelling from India to China in the 5th Century doesn’t sound like something that would make for an interesting novel, but the after effects of this solitary man’s journey still reverberate today. In all parts of the far east, the name Bodhidharma is still very well known. In Japan, for example, little girls have Bodhidharma key-chains and all sorts of other cultural influences and footprints can be found. And not only in the geek fringes or the religious halls, no his is a visage often seen in paintings; most of the time shown as an old priest with a particularly fierce expression of concentration, and it is for this ability that he was most highly prized. Bodhidharma didn’t bring Buddhism to China or Japan, but he started a school of Buddhist thought that spoke to something deep inside the Eastern people that heard it. Spoke to their marrow with a simple and unselfish message of compassion, dedication and submission.

This effect changed them forever.

[…]

Sennybridge, a Basho film about “The Chernarus Conflict”

A  few weekends ago my airsoft brothers and I were players at the TA Event’s, “The Chernarus Conflict”. This was a 24 hour Milsim game using the, freshly revised, BattleSim rules developed by Iain of TA Events.

To those of you who play computer games, the country of Chernarus may ring a few bells. As anyone who loves the Arma series of games from Bohemia Interactive will tell you Chernarus, or Black Russia, is a fictional post-USSR country somewhere in the East that is used as the main game location. TA Events have licensed the entire storyline from Bohemia meaning that players at the event could sign up to the various factions found in the series. When someone says that you should get out from behind the keyboard and get some exercise, these events enable you to re live the brilliant, in-depth storyline for (almost) real. A detailed account of the factions and background to the event can be found here and it has a very professional depth to it not usually available to airsofters.

[…]

Kick Ass Movie Review : Basho has a problem with this one

Kick Ass is a film that draws a line in the dirt and invites you to place yourself on one side or another. Or, rather, it hands you the stick and asks you to draw your own line. The super hero action genre is ripe for satire as Superman, Spiderman and Batman are leftovers from the 50’s that have had to move from their post WWII, Reds under the Bed, pro America trope to trying to come to terms with modern times. Many movies have travelled this territory by satirising the ridiculous background stories, powers and cringeworthyness of modern super heroics such as the recent Watchmen. And perhaps unintentionally in the form of the Spiderman movies, which are so beyond pathetic that the only thing I can remember is a wet T-shirt.

In Kick Ass we have all the elements of a standard “super hero” journey. The voice over, the sad life in school, the lust after the school’s best looking chick, the bullies and the obsessive compulsive masturbation fantasies. Yep, all present. Geeks must truly have inherited the earth, and must be earning millions, for films to try so hard to show them in such a positive light. Then the first person dies and it is the only person in the film who doesn’t die violently. It is Kick Ass’s mother, who drops dead in the opening montage. Nothing is made of this and she sort of fades from view. Nothing changes for the “hero”.

My Spidey-sense started tingling at this point.

[…]

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ : Book Review

The first line of Philip Pullman’s novel reads:
This is the story of Jesus and his brother Christ, of how they were born, how they lived and how one of them died.
Despite the use of the definite ‘the’ in the first line of Philip Pullman’s new novel, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, it is not actually claiming to be the real back-story of the influential spiritual leader. Rather it is a telling of a myth; a fable. And in doing so makes us face what the story of Jesus really means. All stories of the Gods are the subject of myth and they all have within them the patterns that stretch directly into the mind and subconscious. As with other tales of half remembered, but not forgotten, ancient wisdom, the story of Jesus has meaning beyond the telling. His is the hero’s story told again and again through the ages, and its lessons are to be read and dwelt upon over many tellings. So, as he steps though the doors of his life – the foretold stages of his journey – we step with him and arrive on the other side together.

The layers of understanding, which come with changing from child to man, are ones I remember clearly. At 10 I was always told that Jesus was also a God. Or was the Christian God himself in a certain form. This lesson led to my childlike wondering of, given the immense creative powers ascribed to this God, how it was that Jesus allowed himself to be nailed up in the first place. Why did he not use his godly power to save himself? Such are the practical thoughts of the child.

To an adult, the answer to this question is Gnostic and illuminates the spiritual level, understanding and beliefs of the speaker. The story sold to me at my Sunday school was that Jesus let himself be executed because he wanted to save us. This was something my young mind could not understand and, I presumed at the time, I would have to ‘grow up’ to realise. In the same sense that one finds an answer to Santa Claus’s apparent ability to travel around the world in one night, I did. In the sense of coming to an understanding of the churches’ view of Jesus, I did not. Growing up involved coming to terms with the world, my limited place within it and to walking some of the steps of the spiritual journey within myself. Together with the practical teachings of my schooling, the categorisation of reality scientifically defined in certain ways, this meant that the Christian God did not fit into my life.

[…]

Dell Alienware M11x Review: Portable Gaming Heaven?

When I was considering taking a year off, I started looking around for a computer that I could take with me on my travels around the world; a laptop. I started with the tiny and cheap eeePC, the first of the netbooks, and I was happy with it. That is until I tried to run my camcorder software, which stubbornly refused to work with such a low end graphics card. So I turned to a Samsung Q45. The provided me with a machine that covered my travelling bases. However, since returning from Japan, I have been getting tired of it. I need a new machine. I need a (little) monster that can do everything.
Requirements.
So, I need a new laptop, one that covers all my specific bases. What those bases are has an influence on what I think of the machine in this review so I list them here.

1. It must be portable. This is the most important thing in a laptop. The machine must be light enough for me to be able to carry it to work every day. I have an 80 minute journey on the intercity train into London from Ipswich so a laptop cannot be too large in size or I will not be able to fit it in the small space afforded. Sometimes I see a person with a 17inch Macbook on the train. If someone sitting next to them wanted to use a laptop as well, they can forget it. Fur will fly before you manage to squeeze two machines into that space. Then, I have a 1.5 mile walk from Liverpool Street to London Bridge. So any machine of mine must be light enough to not hurt my shoulder after this distance. These are the portability tests I will be using. They are a little more “real world” than just weighing the machine, as would some other reviewers, but that it how we roll on the OC.

2. It must be powerful. My passion is being creative in my spare time. I write, I paint, I make films, etc. My current laptop runs Office just fine, but it struggles when rendering films in Sony Vegas. In fact I often have to leave it overnight to complete a high quality version of a film and it crashes with alarming regularity. So, my new purchase must be able to power through rendering in Vegas and in my new suite of Adobe Premiere. The other aspect to this is that I used to be a gamer, a big gamer. As raid master of the Hooded Nomads guild I ran a high end rig to support operations in Star Wars Galaxies, Crysis and Eve. I need those FPS! My current machine, as fine as the processor is, cannot even run Mount and Blade. I want something that will nail both requirements.

3. It must have a long lasting battery. My Samsung has a good battery, but nothing to write home about. I can squeeze out something like 3 hours in Windows 7 (which is excellent at battery management compared to Vista). However, Cesca –my wife- can make her Macbook Pro last all damn day. Any machine I buy will have to outperform the Samsung and give a £2000 Macbook a run for its money.  A tall order.

4. It must output to a TV. While small screen gaming is sweet on the go and on the lap, I want to be able to run this baby by a bigger screen for when at home. I have a LG 26 inch 1080p LCD TV, so we shall see what picture we can get up.

5. It must be good value for money. Cheap, like the budgie, is the motto. I don’t want to spend £2000 on a laptop, I don’t want to buy anything that expensive that could be dropped! The price/performance ratio is a vital metric.

So with those 5 requirements in mind, what to buy?

[…]

Christopher Ward Kingfisher Diver-Pro review

Introduction
A few years ago I wrote an article outlining why I picked the watch I wear.  You can find it here: Basho’s watch : the choice.  As many of you know I am now 6 months into travelling the world and one of the major decisions I had to make before I left is, “what watch to take with me?”  In this article I will outline my choice and how it has performed in the toughest conditions imaginable.

Firstly though, what makes a man’s watch?  It seems to me that the big names in male watches are struggling to sell their brands.  Unfortunately this has led to truly hideous watches that have all the hallmarks of a marketing department struggling with not only reality, but also a sense of the times.

The times are hard.

[…]

Maxpedition Rolly Polly Extreme Review

Maxpedition's latest is put through its paces

Four Shades Of Black

My review of a new classic

Basho Reviews : Eve-Online

In space no one can hear you Cha, Cha, Cha!

iPhone Review: the best office PDA ever

Many people have jumped both onto and off of the iPhone release wagon. First it was touted as the next big thing, a mind blowing, life changing and stylish entry into the phone market. Bringing with it some amazing connectivity apps and the Apple pledge “that if you used this phone then you were officially cool” Even the price wasn't putting too many people off.