November 13 – Warp Pipe

Game Genie

Today we continue our look into the Sip Advisor’s favourite vidya games. This isn’t an article about the greatest games of all-time, just my top picks from childhood to adulthood, where that inner-child just never really went away. I’m not a massive video game guy, but I’ve always played this or that along the way!

Super Mario Bros.

This is one of the games that really boosted the video game industry and made Nintendo a household name. I’d say my favourite Mario game was Super Mario World (SNES), but I have also enjoyed all the original NES titles, as well as releases for Gameboy, N64, and Wii. The Wii version was great because you could play along with your friends all at the same time, although it usually ended up with us “accidentally” killing each other. One thing is certain: the games were far superior to the ill-advised movie!

money-power-woman

Wrestling Games

As I’ve admitted before, I was a huge wrestling fan in my pre-teen and teenage years. Some of the best wrestling classics came out during this period, especially the games made by THQ in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. The company had the WCW license first and then switched over to WWE, putting out one amazing offering after another. My friends and I spent countless hours fighting our issues out in battle royals. The best part was, if you were eliminated, you had another chance with the next entering character.

GoldenEye 007

Similar to the wrestling games, thousands of hours were wasted maiming each other in this N64 classic. Even those who weren’t gamers in the slightest knew about GoldenEye and had probably played at some point. While the single player missions were spectacular, the multiplayer killfests were even better. Our group would play where any damage killed you and would alternate between remote mines and rocket launchers being the feature weapon.

Plants vs. Zombies

While I’m not the biggest fan of tower defense games, this entry, which has you defending your home against an invading horde of zombies, using plants with their own special powers is a total delight. A sequel has been released, but as of yet, it’s only available to losers with iPhones (sorry, I’m a little bitter it’s not available on computers like the original or even for Android users… that misses a lot of the market). I’m sure it will eventually be in my possession, but the waiting is the hardest part (thanks, Tom Petty!).

plants-vs-zombies

Donkey Kong Country

Oh man, I love these games so much, particularly the Super Nintendo trilogy. The re-launch of the series on the Wii was also a spectacular offering for the eyes and the ears (the fingers not so much, as they had to do all the work!). The thing that’s so amazing about these games is that they’re so visually beautiful with rich colours and the music is fantastic. Combine that with smooth gameplay and wonderful level layouts and this is one of the best 2-D side-scrollers to ever exist.

Rollercoaster Tycoon

I love amusement parks and all the rides they contain. Therefore, when these games were released, I was an early adopter. It was so much fun to build your own parks and achieve whatever tasks were outlined. I didn’t play around too much with rollercoaster design except to launch unsuspecting riders off of a dangerously built ride and send them flying through the air to a fiery death!

Tetris

There’s just something about Tetris that is so addicting. I especially enjoyed the N64 edition (The New Tetris), which Broski Sip, Cousin Sip, and I used to play a lot, challenging each other to see who could last the longest without dying. The more lines you made, the faster you were able to build the world’s greatest landmarks. Much like Donkey Kong Country, the music in this franchise has always been top notch and keeps you wanting to play the game.

Drink #317: Warp Pipe

Warp Pipe Drink Recipe

That wraps up our look at my favourite video games of all-time. What are some of your favourite electronic pastimes? Perhaps you’ll steer me towards a new addiction, you pusher!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Once again, we go to The Drunken Moogle for this recipe, as they seem to have the market cornered on awesome video game-themed drinks. I used the split-sized glasses to help accentuate that image of the pipes in Super Mario Bros. This backfired on me a little when I went to split them up for Mrs. Sip and myself and she decided to nap instead, leaving me with two cocktails to down. Luckily, they were pretty light and tasty and I enjoyed the double treat!

July 14 – Guillotine

Devices of Death

Implements of execution and their history are cruel but fascinating from many perspectives. Whether you look at the technology that has gone into the design or the history behind it, there is much to learn. Here are some of the contraptions that caught my attention after making today’s drink:

Guillotine

People are always looking to make things more efficient and the French nailed it when they took the age old act of beheading someone and mechanized it. Out were the days of needing multiple hacks of an often worn blade to sever a victim’s head, and in were the new days of “humanitarian” beheading. The guillotine became a popular image of the French Revolution, particularly the “Reign of Terror” period, which caused much upheaval in the country and saw the executions of King Louie XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, among others. The best nickname for the Guillotine had to be ‘The National Razor’. The Sanson family of France was a six-generation dynasty (is that the right word for this!?) of executioners and Charles-Henri Sanson was largely responsible for making the guillotine the country’s next great killing machine.

guillotine

Electric Chair

With the modernization of many death machines, designers were bound to harness the power of electricity for executions. As Thomas Edison worked to launch his direct current (DC) electricity, he publicly electrocuted an elephant and other animals using George Westinghouse’s competing alternating current (AC). The campaign to discourage the use of AC worked in at least one way: it was used for electric chairs beginning in 1890. The chair lost favour with many quickly (including Westinghouse) due to its high degree of cruelty and its failure to execute a criminal quickly. A photo of Ruth Snyder’s execution in 1928 was snapped by photojournalist Tom Howard, who was wearing a camera strapped to his ankle. It has become one of the most famous newspaper photos of all-time. While ‘the chair’ is rarely used today, it is still an option for many death row inmates, depending on the state they are incarcerated in.

Hangman’s Noose

The legendary device depicted in so many western movies and used around the world to end the lives of the guilty and sometimes innocent. Victims were more likely to have their necks snapped, rather than asphyxiation through being strangled by the rope. After a series of failed hangings (one dude survived three separate trips to the gallows, earning the nickname ‘The Man They Couldn’t Hang’) in the late 1800’s, a committee was formed to solve the issue and developed the ‘Official Table of Drops’ which examined just how much rope was needed, depending on weight, to terminate a criminal by breaking their neck in the process. Ah, science at its best. If the hangman’s noose had never been invented, we may never have discovered auto-erotic asphyxiation, so I guess you have to thank the device for that!

gallows

Euthanasia Coaster

When I used to play Rollercoaster Tycoon, sometimes for fun you’d build a ride that would launch passengers flying through the air and into a deadly crash landing. While, that’s not exactly what would happen with the Euthanasia Coaster (still a hypothetical invention), the ride has been designed to kill people who wish to end their lives. Using G-force to cause an insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain, most people would be brain dead after two of the seven vertical loops. Most interesting about the ride’s design is that they’ll have a body unloading zone… how many people do they expect to go through this? Although, admittedly, it would be my preferred way to go.

Drink #195: Guillotine

Guillotine Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 oz Irish Crème
  • 1 oz Fireball Whiskey
  • Garnish with Strawberry (preferably headless)
  • Add some Strawberry Syrup for blood effect!

I picked this drink partly because it fits with celebrating Bastille Day (France’s National Holiday), but also because I find these execution devices to be quite intriguing… providing I never end up in or on one.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Poor little Strawberry all decapitated and all… this was a Sip Advisor art project, and I think it went reasonably well. I wish I had put half the effort I did into this posed photo into my schooling days… maybe I`d be more than a blog jockey then. The drink itself was quite enjoyable with notes of Cinnamon and an underlying Butterscotch flavour.