I dream that I alone will be saved.

The seven seals will break, seven trumpets will sound, and seven angels will pour seven bowls of wrath over the Earth. Humanity is being judged on some small, trifling virtue that I alone possess. The only people who go to heaven will be those who avoid walking on the cracks between tiles. Or only those who drink from mugs while gripping the mug itself, not the handle. Or the intersection set of the above groups. Whatever it takes. The point is, I want to be alone on the lifeboat when the ship sinks.

I built a PC in a Lian Li O11D Mini Case. For a girl. Let’s look at some pics. Of the PC. Not the girl.

The name is a little misleading. It’s called “mini” because it’s a smaller edition of Lian Li’s flagship O11 Dynamic, which launched in late 2020.

The O11D-m is still just about the biggest thing ever called “mini”, measuring 420mm long, 380mm high, and 269.5mm wide, and with an internal capacity of 38 litres. The most striking thing when building in the O11D Mini is that it’s deep. Often I found myself reaching around the far side to feed a cable through…and suddenly I’ve run out of arm. In the words of famed historical orator “your mom”, this thing has too much girth.

It’s not a small form factor case. It can fit an E-ATX motherboard, arrays of fans on four sides, a 360mm radiator block, and can accommodate a 310mm+ graphics card such as the GeForce RTX 3090 OC, unlike my wallet, which can’t.

My parts for this build:

  • Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic Mini Tempered Glass Case Snow
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC 4G
  • Kingston NV1 M.2 NVMe SSD 1TB
  • Gigabyte B550 Vision D-P Motherboard
  • Corsair Commander PRO Link System
  • Corsair LL120 RGB White Triple Fan Kit with Lighting Node PRO
  • Corsair LL120 RGB 120mm Independent RGB PWM Fan White
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 with Wraith Stealth
  • G.Skill Trident Z Neo 16GB (2x8GB) 3200MHz CL16 DDR4
  • Corsair QL120 ARGB 120mm 3 Pack with Lighting Node Core White
  • Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix 240mm ARGB AIO Cooler White

My requirements were for a modular, low-end PC that looks attractive and can be used to play games such as The Sims and won’t need to be touched again for about ten years. The O11D has large tempered glass panels and offers high levels of visibility, but unlike most cases that contain a lot of glass or acrylic it’s not a thermal disaster. Low temperatures will help me extend the life of the parts. Heavy mesh on the top and bottom will cut down on dust.

It weighs a ton and feels solidly constructed. It also has an interesting design philosophy: the PSU isn’t installed above or below the motherboard, but behind it. The positives to this are legion: vertical real estate is freed up, and there’s no ugly PSU shroud. However, there are two tradeoffs: the case is very wide, and you need a SFX PSU.

The O11D Mini is also fully modular, arrays of fans can be mounted on up to four sides, there’s room for a GPU in both standard and vertical configuration, and everything on the back can generally be piecemeal’d together in a various arrangements (PSU, IO shield, PCIe cutouts).

There’s no air intake on the front panel – just tempered glass. I went with a “chimney” style airflow design, pulling cool air up through the base, over my hot components, and expelling it through the top (with a secondary outlet on the back.) I have far more “out” fans than “in”, meaning I’m creating a negative-pressure air environment inside the case. This will probably be OK, although it will make the dust problem worse.

I went with all-NVME because I didn’t like the HD cage (I unscrewed it and threw it away), and also because it made my cabling situation easier.

All my fans and RGB are from Corsair. I recommend buying all these parts from one supplier, because you avoid the issue of incompatible cables and separate “ecosystems” within the computer that won’t talk to each other. All of the computer’s lighting can be controlled with one piece of software: Corsair’s i-Cue.

Even though I made things as simple as possible, I still had nine separate fans, each of which had two separate cables (a four pin PWN cable and a 3-pin ARGB cable), equalling molto cable spaghetti. I routed this through to the back part of the chassis.

Where was I going to plug these cables? My motherboard has six fan headers and two RGB headers.

I used three separate controllers to link all of my fans: a Corsair RGB Hub, a Lighting Node Pro, and a Corsair Commander Pro. The first two connected to the Commander Pro, and the last one plugged into my motherboard USB. Some care had to be given here because Corsair wants you to plug your lights in series – they need to follow a particular order.

Another complication – where was I going to put the three controllers?

I wanted to use double-sided tape to stick them to the back panel – but there was no flat surface remaining inside the case. All the cutouts for the cables have inconvenient raised edges (meaning there’s no surface for the tape to grip), and the white rail in the earlier photo is too close to the back panel. Mounting a controller there would have meant I couldn’t close the case.

I found a pretty clever solution.

I should have taken better photos, but those two raised projections are not part of the original design. They’re from the hard drive cage I threw away. I was able to screw them on, giving me two flat surfaces to attach devices onto with double-sided tape. The RGB hub was comparatively small, and I stowed it on the plate the radiator attached to.

Here’s how it looked after an hour of zip-tying cables.

With the cable shield back on, it looked fairly tidy.

For the front, there was nothing too weird. I just stuck everything in, making sure to avoid weird runs of cables. The O11D-mini is great fun to build in. No matter what you want to do, the designers are two steps ahead of you and have allowed you some way to do it.

I powered on the PC, and it worked.

My only planned upgrade path is for RGB cables.

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In this upsetting and unfair Xi Jinping biopic a cartoon bear wanders around the woods making bad decisions and singing songs. It’s one of the few classic Disney films I hadn’t seen. I thought that watching it would restore my sense of childhood wonder, then I remembered I never had a sense of childhood wonder.

If you’re wondering what constitutes “many”, it’s three. The film contains the featurettes “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree” (1966), “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day” (1968), and “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” (1974), which hail from the Wolfgang Reitherman era of the company and serve as reasonably accurate adaptations of select AA Milne stories.

The animation has that rough 60s Disney quality, where you can almost see flickers of pencil schmutz. Vocal talent includes Sterling Holloway as Pooh, John Fiegler as Piglet, and Stan Freberg as a “laughing honey pot” (he was not credited for this monumental role, in an injustice Tinseltown has yet to reckon with). The total running time is just 74 minutes. This didn’t seem particularly short in 1977 (Dumbo is exactly an hour and four minutes long), although it does now that multiplex theater timeslots are forged in titanium.

“Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree”: Winnie the Pooh is a revolting fatbody who eats everyone’s honey while remarking that he’s “grumbly in his tumbly (sic)”. He becomes so fat that he gets stuck in Rabbit’s tunnel, and the entire gang (including a gopher who isn’t in the original book) combine their talents to free him. Pooh looks disgusting in his red shirt – buttocks protruding. Very very disrespectful.

I wonder why certain creative decisions were made. Why does Pooh keep his HUNNY on the highest shelf (which he can only reach while standing on a chair?) Is he stupid? Or does it hint at hidden character depth – Pooh subconsciously trying to break his HUNNY addiction, the way a compulsive smoker might “hide” their cigarettes?

The most probable explanation is to fit the music to the action cues. The shot begins with sixteen bars of music remaining (“with a hefty, happy appetite, I’m a hefty, happy Pooh!” x2), and Pooh must waste a few seconds doing something (like fetching a chair) for the song to end at the triumphant moment he grabs the HUNNY.

Also, Pooh can rotate his head 360 degrees. This might have gotten laughs in 1977; now it looks like The Exorcist.

“Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day” sees Hundred Acre Wood being flooded by a fierce storm, with all the animals being washed away atop various bits of detritus while regretting their decision to vote for Bush. It contains an eerie dream sequence where Pooh floats out of his body and has a nightmare about heffalumps. Doug Walker used to call these “Big-Lipped Alligator Moments” – animated sequences that are completely pointless, nightmarishly over-the-top, and never referenced again. It’s also notable as the introduction of Tigger, whose name I don’t enjoy typing. My left index finger is millimeters away from an incident.  A wiser man would play things safe and call him Tigga, but I persist.

As with Mickey Mouse and the Beanstalk, the film frequently breaks the fourth wall, or rather the fourth page. The narrator will hold conversations with characters in the book, and so forth. This gets tiresome, although it allows for some fun animation.

“Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” is about a bouncing Tigger who bounces too much and gets stuck up a tree at the top of the page. He learns that he’s scared of heights. His friends tell him to stop being a pussy and come down, but he simply can’t, and eventually the narrator intervenes, rescuing poor Tigger by folding the page. There’s another Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. There’s a poignant animated scene that was possibly created for the film’s release (I’m not sure), detailing Christopher Robin’s plans to go to school and perhaps get on lithium to stop his hallucinations of talking animals.

Winnie the Pooh belongs to Disney and will continue to do so until at least 2026, when the character enters the public domain. Pooh’s ownership history is complicated – in 1930 AA Milne sold the character to someone called Stephen Slesinger, who died in 1953, at which point his widow licensed the rights to Disney in exchange for regular royalties. Lawsuits from Slesinger’s estate ensued, alleging that Disney was welshing on said royalties. This resulted in a decades-long legal slapfight that descended into low comedy – apparently Slesinger’s estate literally hired goons to rake through Disney’s trash for shredded documents. Pooh is big business, bringing in billions of dollars a year. It’s entirely likely that Disney would have been bankrupted in the 1980s without the Pooh MUNNY jar.

What led Walt to acquire the rights to AA Milne’s Pooh stories, and thus (probably) save his own company? Apparently, his daughter liked them. That was all it took.

If Diane Disney had possessed different reading tastes, the Disney canon might look totally different. Lady Chatterley and the Tramp, or The Rescuers Down and Out in Paris and London, or Make Mein Kampf, or The Dalmatian With A Hundred and One Young. HP Lovecraft owned a cat. It wasn’t called Tigger.

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“Swifties” (or “Tom Swifties”) are one-line jokes where a quotative adverb relates in an amusingly literal way to the quotation before it. For example:

“‘We must hurry,’ Tom said swiftly.”

They are known for being fun to create and painful to read. Here are some of my own. Be warned that unlicensed manufacture and consumption of Swifties is an indictable offense in 32 countries.

* * *

“We’re just getting more and more lost!” Tom said antipathically.

“I’ve been cast in a Gene Wilder biopic,” Tom said bewilderedly.

“My Hitler mustache is going gray,” Tom said old-fashionedly.

“They should teach flag-recognition at school,” Tom said vexedly.

“I’m feeding my son William weight-gainer shakes so he can play pro football,” Tom said, bulk-billing the NFL.

“I’m in the hull of a Nicaraguan guerilla boat,” Tom said in contrapunt.

“Japanese broth tastes better with alcohol,” Tom said misogynistically.

“People in Minoa are easily scammed,” Θωμάς said concretely.

“My pants have disappeared,” Tom said with embarrassment.

“Just because I’m the original man doesn’t mean I don’t have manners,” Adam said urgently.

“I would prostitute myself for AMD’s new 5650X processor,” Tom said horizontally.

“Swiss particle physicists often have criminal convictions,” Tom said with concern.

“Stay back, or I’ll use my teeth!” Tom said ambitiously.

“I watch The Nanny for the actress’s facial gestures,” Tom said frantically.

“When I wore this skunk costume, I became strangely attracted to women,” Ms Blanchett bifurcated.

“I roll a d20 and stab the orc with a syringe! It does maximum damage!” Tom said hypocritically.

“Your nativity set is missing the three wise men,” Tom said imaginatively.

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