Saturday, March 31, 2007

Geek post

I found this, which has a picture showing all of the known bodies in our solar system with a diameter of 200 miles or more.

You may be surprised to know that there are 88 of them.

The same site also has this, a listing of 30 megafauna.

What can I say? As I kid I love astronomy and prehistoric animals. There's a smildon skull replica on my mantle.


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7000 hits and a fat cat

I thought I'd post something besides the usual "Yay I got another thousand hits".

That video is just wrong.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Golden Compass preview

Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy makes Harry Potter look like "Dick & Jane". It looks like they are going to do a good job with the movie (then again previews almost always look good).


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Sunday, March 25, 2007

One of *those* weekends

I knew Friday that this was going to be one of those weekends. One where I'd be hurrying around and feeling like I wasn't getting much done. I had work, a gaming convention, a ritual, a gaming org meeting, a work meeting and an out-of-town inventory scheduled across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So I knew things would be hectic.

I got to work Friday morning and it was raining. In my warehouse. Again.

Then I found out that the meeting that was supposed to mark the end of my day at work would be an hour later, estimated to end at 5pm. MavenCon was scheduled to start at 6pm and the game I was playing in at 7pm. This of course meant that my meeting would run long. And it did.

So I scarfed down some food, hurried to MC, and found that the GM for my event was running late. He might not be there until 10pm. I hung out a bit, talked to a couple of guys that grew up in the same general area (greater Chicagoland) as me, got into a game of Munchkin. Then the GM arrived.

One thing that a lot of people like about the Mavens is that they are a very family-friendly group. That doesn't mean 10 year-olds should be playing in an event with adults. It gets even worse when some of the adults are as bad as the kid. I left at midnight, unsatisfied, because in addition to enduring the kid's constant antics, I knew the scenario would get nowhere close to finished as the players were killing each other off faster than the monsters.

The next mornig I woke up early to finalize liturgy. I had been agonizing over how I wanted to rewrite a portion of our liturgical framework. I had lots of vague notions and research didn't really bring anything to the surface. Finally, I accepted that what I was going to use was going to have to come from my own mind and worked out things to my satisfaction. Now all I had to do was eat lunch, go grocery shopping, and get some materials for ritual in time to be at the Maven meeting at 1pm.

Why is it that things are in abundance until I look for them?

I get to the meeting, still needing the materials for ritual. I mentally map out my route home to avail me the best chance of finding what I need, get me home in time to pack things up, have dinner and get to ritual. When the meeting adjourned, I decided not to stick around MavenCon, giving myself as much time as possible. I actually get almost an hour extra to chill out, which I end up spending organizing thoughts regarding my work meeting Sunday am. I down my dinner and head to ritual.

As we wait for everyone to gather, I go through the liturgy changes in my head, wondering if I should use a script. When I go scriptless, I usually don't flub my lines, and even if I do I can improvise around it. But I think the hecticness of the weekend was weighing on me. I don't mess up the new lines, I mess up the ones I didn't change and my brain locks up. I have to restart, and it happens again. My brain locks. I realize I haven't even changed into my ritual garb.

Even during the part of the ritual where I do use the script, I get Ozlexic and mangle a couple of lines. Not screeching to a stop mangle, but bad enough that I notice and probably throw other people off. After short post-ritual socializing I go home, probably the earliest I've been home from ritual. Exhausted, I go to bed, knowing I have to be up at 6am this morning to go to a work meeting.

Now the meeting is over, and in a couple of hours I go to Ft. Wayne (about 2 hour drive) for an inventory that could go late into the night. Then I get to drive home.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pirates III trailer

Get your linkage here. Yes, we were all disappointed in PotC II, but most of us are going to see the final installment because we want it to rock.


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Hilary = 1984 video

So everyone is denying knowing anything about this ad. That's the beauty of the Internet Age... plausible deniability. Of course the candidates aren't going to know about stuff like this, it lets them keep their hands clean while "independent" mudslingers do the dirty work.

You know, maybe I'm Machiavellian, but I wouldn't be surprised if this originated from Clinton's "camp" just to make Obama look bad. Think about it... who does this ad make look worst? Sure, it's a jab at Hillary, but it's just imagery with no substance. It's like taking a punch just so that you can charge the other guy with assault.

Maybe it's good that I'm not in politics.


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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lord of the Libertarians

I found this via Captain Corruption's blog. It's an essay comparing Tolkien's trilogy to libertarian ideals. Here's a quote:

What’s that? Not merely to reassign government power to its rightful heirs, but to reduce and limit it for all time? To declare that the solution is not merely to make sure "the right party" manipulates the existing levers of power, but rather that such unrestricted power is to be banished from the globe for good, setting men free to seek their own mortal (albeit often misguided) destinies?

Link to the original after the jump.

The original essay is on a libertarian called Lew Rockwell. I can't vouch for the rest of the site, I just found this interesting.


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Smarter than the average bear

It seems like the bears all have their own signature tricks and some even wait turns (like praying bear).


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Friday, March 16, 2007

World War Hulk preview

Check this out.

I sooo want to see Hulk get a hold of Stark.


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213? Haven't we been here before? Yes. Then between vacation, my birthday, winter storms and illness, I bounced back to the 214 - 215 range and had been stuck. This morning I was back at 213 for the first time in a while.

Hopefully this means I'm cracking this plateau. I'd like to get down to 200 by GenCon.


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Best Buy's time clock experiment

First read this article. Then see how long it takes you to stop laughing. Great idea, but highly unfeasable in a retail or service setting.

There is a huge difference between an office setting (where I think this is actually a good idea) and a place where you need employees to be in position for customers.


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Look who wants in...

Can you imagine looking at your door and seeing *that*? I've seen a cougar up close before... while they aren't huge, they are large predators, large enough for me to prefer a solid barrier between us.

Okay, you want to hear the cougar story. Back in the 80's, when I was delivering pizzas while in college, I had a run to a local hotel. There was a moving truck a couple of spots down from the room I was delivering to, and I noticed a line went around the back of the truck and it was moving. I was expecting a dog to come around the the truck, but it was a mountain lion. It made that wierd squeaking cry they make while I muttered "good kitty kitty" and backed up until I was sure I was out of reach (fortunately I could reach the delivery destination).

A few runs later, I had another delivery to the same hotel to a room on the same side. This time I was ready, but the cougar was gone. A little disappointed, I went to the door. The customer opened the door and the cougar was on the bed in the hotel room!

At least I got a good tip.


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Thursday, March 15, 2007


This post actually has two links about superpowers.

The first is the Top 10 Most Practical Superpowers, with a rather critical look at how those powers would apply in the real world.

The second is Ten of the Lamest Superpowers Ever, which is really more about the characters than the powers.


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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Best case siege

click the pic for the full comic.

Vikings... beer... siegecraft. Had to post it.


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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Movie review: 300

"This is Sparta!" This is also a work of art, not a history lesson. Don't get me wrong, I thought 300 was a really good movie, but it makes Braveheart look like a documentary.

Maybe I'm too much of a geek, or maybe not enough. But when King Leonidas marches off with his 300 Spartan warrior "bodyguards" to face the hordes of the Persian Empire, the first thing I thought was "where are their supplies?" But this is a movie based on a comic book, and comic book artists aren't going to bother drawing supplies to support a troop of 300 men on the march, so it isn't in the movie.

Also, people going on about how this movie is a poke at/in support of the war in Iraq need to realize not everything is about Bush and Iraq. Movie. Comic book. Do the math. GW is neither Leonidas nor Xerxes.

Not everyone will like 300. It is a very stylized movie, as much about the imagery as the story. While the cinematography and art direction are great, I did find the graininess of the image on the screen distracting occasionally. Maybe I should have waited for the showing with the digital projector? The "look" of the movie appealed to me greatly, between the quasi-historical designs (I'm a sucker for that stuff) and the use of color.

The cast is very strong. In a movie like this, it would have been easy for the characters to have been reduced to caricatures, but they are given presence and emotion, something hard to do given the 2-dimensional source material.

I will definately be picking this up when it comes out on DVD (and if it plays in the IMAX I am going).

My rating: 4.5 of 5 leather-wearing spear-wielding flying monkeys.


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Campaign video sleight-of-hand

In this day and age, people should know better. If you try any shenanigans with media, someone is going to figure it out and expose it, like what happened to John Edwards here.

While the creative editting wasn't too horrible, it shows that he has folks on his staff that are willing to play fast and loose with the truth. Probably Edwards didn't know about the switcheroo, but that still makes anything else coming out of his campaign as "fact" currently rather suspect in my eyes.

Best thing he could do: figure out who was responsible and conduct a very public firing.

edit: and I shouldn't post first thing in the morning... typo-rama. Ozlexia at its finest (hopefully fixed).


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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Life Expectancy Quiz

According to this quiz, I should live to be 82. I'll admit, I was kind of surprised.

Of course, they make suggestions like reducing alcohol and red meat intake, as well as having "someone" in your life. Well, none of those are likely to happen, and 82 seems like old enough.

But get back to me in 40 years and ask me again. :)


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Saturday, March 03, 2007

End of the World - Groundhog Day style

This is a fairly long (almost an hour video) by the BBC.

What's funny is that in games we've been suggesting the particle accelerator experiment means of "ending the world" for over a decade (maybe Marik remembers when as it was employed in his game). Of course, for a game scenario you can't suck the world into a black hole as that makes for a short game.


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