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|Thursday, March 6th, 2014|
|Things Carmen Sandiego has Stolen
It's quite a list!
And this is only the big stuff.
And somehow she seems able to steal fiction stuff...
And some of them are actually entire concepts....( List! Biggest/most conceptual/difficult in boldCollapse )
And that's, well, still not near a complete list, but certainly a great 'greatest hits' list, and better than any list I could find online.
Her favorites seem to be music (especially the Tango), the moon Titan, and oh yes, the Milky Way Galaxy!
|Wednesday, March 5th, 2014|
I had a dream based on the Grand Central Arena series I've been raving about- anyway, in the series there were several characters raised in virtual worlds, and in the dream I was trying to convince one of them to come out of hers. I tried to recognize what her world was based on, but couldn't identify it- there were a lot of machines in the landscape. Not sure if I succeeded or not, but I think I made some progress...
I've had a couple dreams recently that I remember enjoying, but not really having enough story or such to write about.
|Wednesday, February 26th, 2014|
|Daily Show savages Libertarian Confederacy Apologist
Daily show shreds arguments of libertarian Andrew Napolitano
when he criticizes Lincoln for fighting the civil war.
Noting not just the wrongness of allowing slavery at all, but also the bollocks of his economic arguments (one, Lincoln *did* try to solve the problem with money. Two, because buying the entire stock of something means it's gone forever, that's how markets work, right?).
The South fought for slavery (according to: The Confederacy's VP, multiple of their most central states), and the apologism for it is simply wrong.
|Sunday, February 23rd, 2014|
|Saturday, February 22nd, 2014|
|Wednesday, February 19th, 2014|
|More on Grand Central Arena
I found a nice online review/gushing
about it (and the sequel
), and, additionally, I present to you the Japanese cover(s)!
Plural because the first book got split into two there, and the Japanese artist actually did a pretty good job on the characters, bar some minor things (femalelead's hair is in fact blue! But should be darker-blue. Badass guy on the left should have a single point van dyke!). Like the author, I'm hoping the sequel gets picked up in Japan to see what they do for that one ^^
|Monday, February 17th, 2014|
|Saturday, February 15th, 2014|
|Grand Central Arena by Ryk E. Spoor
I just got finished reading Grand Central Arena by Ryk E. Spoor and it's sequel Spheres of Influence.
The story begins as the first crewed FTL expedition begins. Probes have been sent out, and gotten mixed results and no good data. So they launch their ship and, in a vein somewhat similar to stories like Ringworld and Rendezvous with Rama, they encounter something far larger than they bargained for...
The back of the book said it was inspired by E. E. Smith's books like Skylark and Lensmen, two of the classics of old-school space opera from the 30s, so I pictured something low on computers and other fancy tech, high on aliens, with a mix of good and evil to deal with, and with large scale action and larger-than-life heroes. Indeed, one of the major characters, DuQuesne (pronounced Du Kane), is based on one of the characters of the Skylark series! In more ways than one.( More review within!Collapse )
In effect, I expected old-school space opera. I got old school space opera, discovery of some place vast and big, and a cool transhumanist future at the same time!
While not perfect books (the writer's only written a few and is IMO still improving!), I'm currently so into them I find it hard to give them anything but an A ^^
|Thursday, February 6th, 2014|
|What She Said
Originally posted by marianlh
at What She Said
Ironically, this comes from a My Little Pony blog
. I discovered it yesterday afternoon, and was up until 3:30 am as a result.
I should get back to watching Sailor Moon
. Especially since my flirtation with Ranma 1/2
is tapering off.
This is pretty awesome :)
|Tuesday, February 4th, 2014|
|Ebay- no longer an auction site (Mostly)
Back at Magfest, I went to a panel on used video game collecting, and one of the big things I remember one of them mentioning is how thanks to the 'buy it now' at a set price option with no bids (and only occasionally even an option to make an offer!), ebay really isn't an auction site any more, or at least not primarily. Auctions are the best way to find something's true value, as he explained, but a lot of the time some item is listed (and when time falls off, re-listed for the same amount), it's acting just as a store and doesn't help find what people will pay. Some used video game dealers will even buy or bid-up cheaper copies of some games to ensure people buy at their prices. That was what they said, and I got to see it in action not on video games, but an RPG book.
Recently I got the first volumes of the Mouse Guard comics, and saw some *great* reviews of the RPG, so decided to look for it.
Hardcover version $82 (and another, weirdly, at 120), boxed edition at $100... not cheap! It is a nicely made color hardcover from a few years back, so I didn't expect it to be too cheap, but that seemed to be a bit high.
Fortunately, I saw someone post a listing for an actual auction. $35 base (roughly cover price). I posted, it got bid up, and final bid? $70 (+ no shipping costs).
Still pretty expensive, granted, but still, a good ten bucks better than the best buy-it-now price.... which remains floating around, and it looks like it was even re-listed at a high price of $100! Or possibly they did sell one copy and then immediately listed another for a higher price since they saw someone with it at 120, but I'm kinda doubtful of it being a different copy, condition description is the same. I can only assume it'll float around for months while non-stores put stuff up for auction and sell 'em for less.
Would mine have gotten even to $70 had the other ones not been higher priced and simply been available as other auctions? I don't know, possibly not. Or, conversely, if everyone auctioned theirs, would that artificial price ceiling of those 'buy-it-now' ones exist? As long as a buy-it at 80 existed, it wouldn't go higher than that, after all.
It seems evident the true value isn't what a lot of people are trying to get, whatever the case.
|Sunday, February 2nd, 2014|
|Who else is watching the Fish Bowl?
On Nat Geo Wild, they're showing the first annual Fish Bowl, their answer to the superbowl and puppy bowl.
I really liked the part where they put the disco ball next to the bowl full of fish, and I think there was even a shrimp in the bowl....
|Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014|
|Various stuff: Museums, weight, books, etc.
Two days ago I went to the Smithsonian museums and had a good time. Actually I was originally going to Union Station, but Smithsonian was closer on the metro so I changed my mind ^^ Original point of trip: To get meteorite necklaces from Smithsonian store at US. I plan to combine three into a single, fancier fallen-from-space necklace. And no, while the Air & Space had meteorites, none were suitable for the job.
There was some cool stuff there- a Spirit and Opportunity exhibit of their various photos sent back from Mars. Fun fact: Opportunity reaches the 10 year mark in *two days*.
At the Natural History, I was walking around the Ancient Mammals area when a woman with her friends commented how she found Megatherium cooler than the dinosaurs ("Just look at that hip bone!") and wondered about them being in the ice age. The ancient mammals exhibit is one of the old areas that mostly has labeled bones, y'see. So I was able to inform her some about their origins (South American, largely post-iceage, killed when life from North America migrated south), and also inform her that the giant armadillo she had been admiring next to the megatherium wasn't nearly as big as they got. It was fun and she appreciated the info! I do hope they update that area soon so maybe I can receive info from there instead of giving it ^^
I ate a piece of pizza there, which brings up something else. I've been paying more attention to my weight a bit more recently, so I weighed myself early before I went. Then after returning, I weighed myself again just out of curiosity of how much the meal added. Well, turns out, it was cancelled out *precisely* by the exercise, I achieved a zero-sum trip ^^
Also today I stopped by the library to donate some books, and found in the book sale section a nice copy of Falling Free, the only Vorkosigan universe book I don't have (if to the side of the main stuff). So I bought it! Gonna be awhile before I read it, probably, but now it's in my pile.
|Saturday, January 11th, 2014|
|Monday, January 6th, 2014|
|Magfest: Ninja Baseball Batman
Almost forgot, there was another game that I played through at the con, Ninja Baseball Batman!
It's an old Japanese side-scrolling beat-em-up (ala Final Fight, Streets of Rage, TMNT, etc.) wherein we played colorful baseball players fighting our way through several cities in the US via various baseball themed foes (living balls, some of who were also mobsters in the Chicago level, bats, gloves, umpires, airplanes, crocodiles... it was weird!) in order to retrieve several golden pieces of baseball memorabilia/gear (golden ball, glove, bat, etc.).
When we got to Texas, I expected something with big hats, but instead it turned out to be a baseball-themed haunted house. The boss was
a bunch of animated pieces of furniture with a long-horn as the head, at least.
Finally we got to the boss- it turned out the true villain was the baseball commissioner, who merged with a golden statue of Babe Ruth (the final item) to fight us! We finally defeated him, though, and once separated from the Ruth statue we hit him to the moon.
Also the other player and I had no idea most of the special movies, so we'd just *occasionally* do something incredibly awesome and have no idea how we did it.
(Another game I forgot to mention was Rock 'em Sock 'em robots, which I tried playing but unfortunately Blue's head was much stickier so always won, so it's not as good a story).
I went to Magest '14 this weekend, technically my first gaming convention, though considering they've run game rooms at other local conventions it still felt familiar ^^
One of the first things I'll mention- something like 90% of the people wore black. The rest were either in colored outfits (often shirts with video game stuff on them), or cosplayers (not a lot of those at the con, but a few). Higher proportion of color outfits among the female fans, though plenty of them wore black too (maybe 50/50?).
One of the other first things I want to mention is I got to meet a couple cool people. JewWario, and also the voice actress who did GLADoS and Gipsy Danger's AI! Didn't talk much with either, but still neat.( More stuff withinCollapse )
|Friday, January 3rd, 2014|
|Wednesday, January 1st, 2014|
|Tuesday, December 31st, 2013|
|Paul Krugman- Fiscal Fever Breaks
Paul Krugman- Fiscal Fever Breaks
"The intransigence of the right wasn’t the only disease troubling America’s body politic in 2012. We were also suffering from fiscal fever: the insistence by virtually the entire political and media establishment that budget deficits were our most important and urgent economic problem, even though the federal government could borrow at incredibly low interest rates. Instead of talking about mass unemployment and soaring inequality, Washington was almost exclusively focused on the alleged need to slash spending (which would worsen the jobs crisis) and hack away at the social safety net (which would worsen inequality).
So the good news is that this fever, unlike the fever of the Tea Party, has finally broken.
True, the fiscal scolds are still out there, and still getting worshipful treatment from some news organizations. As the Columbia Journalism Review recently noted, many reporters retain the habit of “treating deficit-cutting as a non-ideological objective while portraying other points of view as partisan or political.” But the scolds are no longer able to define the bounds of respectable opinion. "
For which he attributes four things-
One, the collapse of the idea that if you make a balanced deal, moderate Republicans would go for it (they won't, there are no moderate republicans in that sense, as many deal attempts have shown).
Two, the fall in spending combined with tax receipts going up with the recovery has caused federal borrowing to go down, thus hurting the economy.
Three, a memory of all the cries of wolf on all the horrible things that'd happen if we didn't cut the debt now, repeatedly saying doom would happen in a year or two... from three years ago, with no sign of the doom in sight.
And four, actual impact from the economics side and the collapse of the argument there due to finding of errors in the major paper that deficit hawks leaned on.
His closing comment:
"Still, does any of this matter? You could argue that it doesn’t — that fiscal scolds may have lost control of the conversation, but that we’re still doing terrible things like cutting off benefits to the long-term unemployed. But while policy remains terrible, we’re finally starting to talk about real issues like inequality, not a fake fiscal crisis. And that has to be a move in the right direction."