The Garden

A blog by Marijn van Hoorn

The Pogues game (pandemic edition (also November 12020 recap))

Marijn van Hoorn

The Pogues game, pioneered by online videomaker Tom Scott in his 12015 video “What's a British Christmas Like?”, is the ultimate challenge in the leadup to the solstice season. The rules are simple. Until December the 25th, you must:

It's harder than it sounds (in the UK market, at least; if you live elsewhere, Whamageddon may pose a greater challenge), although maybe it'll be a bit easier this year, given that going out for Christmas isn't anyone's priority right now. I'll let you all know if i lose.

Oh, right, nearly forgot something…

November 12020 in the rear view mirror

I didn't consume much media this month, but that's not going to stop me from carrying on this nascent tradition!

Film and TV

  • David Fincher's The Social Network (12010): Well-made and very funny (“I'm 6′5″, 220 pounds, and there's two of me!”), but rubbed me the wrong way with how it treated its female characters — to the extent that they had any character. (B)
  • The BBC and HBO's His Dark Materials (12019–): It's back! They had seven episodes to adapt two entire books and it shows. (C)


  • Aurora's A Different Kind of Human (Step II) (12019): The songs are all good, because it's Scandinavian pop, but the irony of a heavily-produced synthpop artist singing about The Wilderness™ is not lost. (C)
  • Sam Fender's Dead Boys EP (12018): I forgot this was a thing! It's a travesty that “Poundshop Kardashians” and the prelude track to “Dead Boys” didn't make it onto the album. (B)


  • Martin Kleppe's (12020): A fun little coding environment… thing. (B+)
  • Sam Hughes's 30 More First Drafts (12020): These are entirely too good to just be first drafts. My favourites are “A Powerful Culture”, whose sequel hook instantly left me wanting more, and “Terminally Online”, which really ought to be written up as a mainline SCP. (A)
  • Sam Sutherland's Extremely Online (12020): This Exists had been gone for so long that i forgot i even missed it. Extremely Online is the spiritual successor, with four episodes going in depth on weird internet things. (A-)