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Seiko’s “Art of Time”

Seiko has been manufacturing watches for over 90 years. This little video entitled Art of Time highlights the skilled craftsmanship and precision that goes into creating their time pieces.

It’s a Rube Golberg contraption reduced to a size that could fit on a work bench, a stark contrast to some machines that could fill a large studio. Seiko’s machine includes 1200 parts, with some as small as 0.7mm, and the setup reportedly has been a year in the making. Arguably the machine requires human intervention to get to its conclusion, but I suspect that’s a nod to the Grand Seiko watches and movements that are still built by hand. Check out Art of Time below.

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We Review: Pokkén Tournament

When I was a kid playing Pokémon, I’d imagine the battles quite vividly in my head. They actually looked closer to what I saw in the anime series than the mostly-static images on the Gameboy at the time. As I got older, I started wondering if the game was ever going to look like what an actual Pokémon battle would look like. Even though we had Pokémon Battle Arena and Pokémon Stadium/Colosseum, they were still turn-based affairs that mimicked the main series battles, impressive as they looked at the time. Introducing Pokkén Tournament, a game that combines the one-on-one battles of Tekken with the world of Pokémon. We’re not here to catch them all, but we are here to beat every other trainer’s Pokémon into submission. Go, Review! I choose you!

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Importing With Aramex Global Shopper

Aramex Global Shopper (henceforth referred to as AGS) is a shipping service that enables you to buy items from online websites that don’t (or won’t) ship to a specific country, South Africa, for example. By signing up to AGS, you have access to 14 physical forwarding locations spread between New York, USA and Shanghai, China. When you buy any item from an online retailer, you simply have the item sent to the nearest AGS location, and when the item reaches that location, it is forwarded to the AGS facility in your country (Johannesburg in our case), and then delivered straight to your door. Well that’s the theory. Conveniently, it’s how the service works in practice too.

In October of last year, mystery gift box service Loot Crate started shipping to South Africa , and we rejoiced. We have come to expect that packages from the USA usually take some weeks to get here using the normal shipping channels, but there’s always the dread that the parcel will get lost in transit, or worse: get stuck in the black hole that is South African customs. This is what happened to a local whose Loot Crate packages took so long to be delivered that he cancelled his subscription.

So that got me thinking: could AGS guarantee a safe, reliable, convenient way to get one’s Loot Crate to South Africa? I decided to test this by ordering February’s Loot Crate (the 1 month plan) and getting AGS to ship it to me. For science, I kept track of the shipment.

On February 22nd, Loot Crate shipped the parcel from Los Angeles and it arrived at my selected AGS forwarding location, New York, on February 27th. AGS promptly notified me of my parcel’s arrival. It was put on a scale and shipping charges to South Africa were calculated based on the parcel weight. These details were clearly visible on my AGS online profile. Oddly and out of place, at the bottom of the page, there was a link to a randomly-numbered JPG file. That, as it turns out, is actually the photo of my parcel as it was captured at the AGS operations facility.

Aramex Global Shopper profile

I had an option to pay for the shipping at the time, or wait until the parcel arrived at the AGS Joburg facility. I opted to wait. The parcel got shipped regardless. On March 2nd, I was contacted by AGS customer support asking for a commercial invoice to have my parcel cleared at customs. AGS does provide the option to upload an invoice, but I had forgotten to do so, my bad. I e-mailed the required documentation to AGS, and *SIX* days later on March 8th, customs released the parcel. On March 10th, I was contacted by AGS customer support requesting payment for the shipping charges and the customs duties. There were NO duties, what luck! Payment was made, and the parcel arrived at my door on the morning of March 11th.

Let’s talk about the costs. I paid R339.16 for Loot Crate (including shipping to New York) and R274.00 for AGS to ship and courier the 0.7 KG parcel to me in Cape Town. There were no customs duties to be paid, so the total was R613.16. Bear in mind that using AGS is obviously more expensive than just having Loot Crate ship the parcel to me, and in this case I paid approximately R150.50 extra to use AGS. Personally, that is a price that I would happily pay for peace of mind in knowing where my parcel is at any time, having the customs process sorted on my behalf, and having it personally couriered to my home.

Aramex Global Shopper

If you’re looking for a reliable shipping service that gives you 14 18 personalised shipping addresses across the world, I would recommend Aramex Global Shopper. You’ll need to register once for a lifetime membership, which costs USD 45.00 (about R690 at the current exchange rate; just be aware that this figure will obviously fluctuate). If you’re interested, here’s a code that will net you the lifetime membership for just USD 10.00 — AGS10OLP (it expires in June 2017).

For more info, check out www.aramexglobalshopper.com.

We Review: McDroid

What do you get when you cross a robot with a puppy, and then ask it to protect a sentient, jabbermouthed spaceship from incessant hordes of alien life? Turns out you get a game called McDroid. Join me as I try to fix my servos and grind my gears and engineer my engines as I review this game by indie studio, Elephantopia.

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Hell’s Club: Another Night

Hell’s Club: Another Night is a quite possibly the greatest movie mashup of all time. Editing whizz Antonio Maria Da Silva creates a fictional nightclub where characters from disparate movies meet and interact. Outside of time. Outside of all logic.

Blade is the bouncer at the entrance. Daft Punk, the resident DJs, are banging out the killer tunes. Multiple James Bonds are at the bar. RoboCop is enforcing the no smoking rules. John Travolta is feeling the Saturday night fever, and so is the terrible dancer Jean-Claude Van Damme. Naturally, cocktails are being served by Tom Cruise.

Everyone’s having a great time until a bunch of Xenomorphs crash the party (via the ventilation shafts, obvs). It’s…madness, glorious mashup madness.

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We Review: Street Fighter V

The Street Fighter series has been going for a long time, and is still hailed as one of the most important fighting game series out there. The original game appeared in video game arcades (remember those, dear reader?) many years ago, probably long before many of you were even born. I still have fond memories as a youngster of watching expert players pull off those moves with the finesse and grace of a ballet dancer, and then trying to emulate those moves myself. This, of course, came with a limited measure of success. It eventually also became a running gag that Capcom had no idea how to count to three, given that the highly-successful Street Fighter II was followed with Super Street Fighter II, Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition, Street Fighter II Alpha, and so on. Now, many years later, we’ve not only seen Street Fighter III, but also Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter IV, and now we have the chance to review the latest game in the series, Street Fighter V.

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Wintergartan’s Musical Marble Machine

Swedish musician Martin Molin built the Wintergartan Marble Machine, a wonderful Rube Goldberg contraption to play out a rather uplifting ditty. It’s an intricate music box made up of specially crafted pulleys, funnels, and tracks that guide some 2000 metal marbles through the machine to play the different musical instruments. Molin started building the machine in 2014.

[via @dev_za]

We Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

The Legend of Zelda is 30 years old this year, and to celebrate, Nintendo are re-releasing an HD remaster of the first Wii Legend of Zelda game, also incidentally the last Gamecube Legend of Zelda game: Twilight Princess. The original Twilight Princess was released in 2006, ten years ago, so a remaster is definitely due. The HD remaster has a bunch of new features, including stamps, extra dungeons, amiibo support, and fully high-def updated graphics. Join me on an updated adventure around Hyrule as we swing swords, fling arrows, and kill bokoblins.

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We Review: Beat Da Beat

Rhythm games and shmups! Who could want for a more unlikely mix of game genres? Well, Russian game developer Nekki has you covered in Beat da Beat, a retro-style game appearing on PC for the first time after seeing successful releases on iOS and Android. Since I never played it on smart device, this is my first experience with the game. Let’s see if I can be a slave to the rhythm.

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Paper Army vs Ginger Cat

The murderous Ginger Cat has struck again. The Paper Army cannot stand idly by as more of their people are (literally) torn to pieces. This time, it’s all out WAR.

[via @WhoopseyDaisy]