A few of the reasons Ireland is superior to France

  • Being a drinker makes you sociable and comfortable around the world. Being a wine drinker makes you a snob, automatically judge based on brand, location and age.
  • Ireland is famous for Guinness. France for Champagne. Think about how many people drink each, and why.
  • Thermonuclear fucking devices detonated by Ireland: 0
  • And when we do fuck something up we do it to ourselves, not on the opposite side of the planet in someone else's backyard.
  • Ireland may have been invaded to pieces (literally), but it never happened immediately after declaring our defenses utterly impregnable.
  • If Ireland had spawned an overseas city dedicated to outdoing its parent nation in every stereotype possible, it would be a beloved drinking destination, not a Canadian city of hyper-isolationist arrogantologists whose primary export is "ludicrous demands".
  • The Irish language is mercifully dead, and may be studied in peace by all who choose to. French still handicaps hundreds of millions worldwide, preventing them from easily communicating with over a billion English speakers. Even should they learn English, they are permanently disabled by a false notion of superiority.
  • The Irish have no word for "├ęcoeurant", because we don't complain that much.

5 Things You Didn't Know Your DS Could Do

You may love your dual-screened device, but did you know it can run a lot more than Phantom Hourglass? Here are five funky things your pocket pal was capable of:

1. Control a robot

In a move straight out of a saturday morning cartoon show, kids can now use their video game toys to control robots! Not giant robots (or at least, not yet, but we're sure Japan is working on it) but cute little mobile robotics platforms like the Pekee. If you want to get a glimpse of the future, replace "robotics" with "weapons", and "games" with "future death sports" where your high score is measured in collateral damage (and you only get one life).

2. Run quake

Nintendo takes a lot of stick over recycling old titles for easy money. This compressed Quake doesn't fall foul of that crime because
a) It's been developed utterly free of charge by fans
b) It's Quake!
Quake is a key part of first-person-shooter history, and the fact we can shrink what used to take a desktop PC into a handheld console is a testament to how awesome this future we're living in is. The only problem with this port is that network play isn't yet working, and that was kinda-sorta the whole point with Quake, but it's in the works so get ready to unleash Quad Damage wifi destruction.

3. VOIP phone

It's got a mic, speakers and a wireless connection - the only reason your DS isn't already the coolest phone in the world is Nintendo are too slow at development (nothing has been heard of the official "DSpeak" application since 2005). Luckily, many have taken the code into their own hands, writing their own >voice-over-IP software for the handheld for no other reason than it'll be awesome. Let's face it: a phone that can also play DS games would make Star Trek communicators look shoddy.

4. Barcode scanner

Games are a great way to live out your dreams of being a secret agent, a racer, or even God. I wasn't aware anyone fantasised about being a supermarket checkout monkey, but apparently Capcom think they do. They've built a barcode reader - a bulky add on that lets your diminutive dual-screen double in size and scan codes. Of course it's all part of a cunning plan to empty your wallet - the idea being that you buy cards with powerups that can be read into the machine to help in certain games. Note that this translates as "paying for something that will let you pay to play games that you have, in fact, already paid for." If this doesn't trigger mass riots on launch we can only conclude that capitalism works a bit too well.

5. DS Linux browser

Linux on a DS. This shouldn't really surprise you - there's a small but fearsomely dedicated squad of nerds committed to getting Linux running on every electronic system on Earth. And by committed, I mean they make Captain America look like an unemployed hippy. Show a team of linux developers a toaster with three lines of code, and they'll work night and day to prove that two lines of linux works just as well and far more efficiently. Sure, you might have to wait a year or two for someone to write "bread-warming" drivers to get your actual breakfast, but by god they've shown Redmond they don't have the monopoly on breakfast-heating technology.

Escape from Lard Mountain

Gentlemen, I've reassembled our little team for an urgent mission. Brace yourselves, and you might notice that your midriff feels different as you do so - because the six pack has been stolen.

We believe the theft occurred while we were on our little overseas adventure, liberating Chinese food from the Communists. That was vital work but while we were distracted the forces of lard-assery moved in, encircled the middle of our position and made off with the abdominal definitions. I don't think I have to tell you what this could mean for our organisation. Let alone our "special relationship" with our ally, Girlfriendvania. It is imperative we recover the six pack before the situation deteriorates any further.

Luckily we still have time to strike. Visual reconnaissance indicates the six pack is being held at this location - as you can see from the map, they've started constructing fat-bunkers around it here, here and here, but they haven't managed to obscure it from vision just yet. We must strike now. Any later and those lipid bunkers will be impenetrable. If we don't flatten them fast we might never see our beloved six pack again.

I'm not going to lie to you. This is going to be tough - there will be sweat, there will be tears, there will be getting up in the fucking morning. Not all of you are going to make it through; I'm looking at your, the Hoursofgaming triplets. There might only be one of you by the time this is over. If any. And we have to go into this battle without some of our most beloved allies. I should give you all the bad news at once: Sergeant Bacon was a double-agent.

Yes, I know. I know.

Sit down, damn you! Are we a crack team of anthropomorphised concepts, or a preschool for particularly effeminate ballerina offspring? I don't care how many mornings after his crispy, flavourful ways got us through, that pig-based bastard was working for the forces of fat all along - and we have the bathroom scales to prove it. Chocolate too, and even Private Fries. You won't be seeing them again for a long time - and when you do spit, in their fatty eyes and tell Satan to move you to another level of hell.

Right, gear up for immediate dispatch. Your gym memberships have been renewed and vegetable rations have been issued. We'll be moving in with a heavy assault of moderate eating, swimming and daily exercise. Should you be caught with a fat ass, D.I.G.N.I.T.Y will disavow all knowledge of you, the fat, and most of the last year that allowed any of this to happen. But make no mistake - if we fail, they're just as dead as you.

Move out. And keep moving for at least thirty minutes to elevate your heart rates.

St Patrick's day safety tips

Fheile Padhaig! Slainte Roimbhe! Now read the following tips:


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Unlikely Attacker

I'm no stranger to internet attacks. As a gaming writer I'm constantly inundated with sony death threats and microsoft misspelling attacks. As a comedy writer it's almost my job to offend people, though I don't get bonuses for every "stfu faggit" comment.

I can honestly say I never expected to get insulted by a Canadian classical-folk-punk accordionist. But I have. His comments were considerably more verbose and better spelled than the average too, which was nice.

Introducing InventorSpot

I've got another writing gig, with the fine folks over at InventorSpot. They look at all kinds of useful things for inventors and invention-fans alike - realising that that leaves a huge hole in their coverage, they've hired me to look at the pointless garbage. Go check out my column, "Need This?".