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This is, barely, not too late. I encourage you to join the upcoming Speak Out with your Geek Out, from the 12th to the 16th of September, let your geek flag fly and show people how much you love your hobbies and obsession. Hopefully we can turn this into a yearly celebration of geekiness in all things. Thanks to Monica Valentinelli for getting this rolling.

And my geekiness can mostly be found at the Sea of Stars RPG Design Journal these days.
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My occasional collection of interesting and inspiring articles from various places on the web. For this time we have a wide ranging mix of subjects:

For SF gamers, a beautiful display of our Solar system and nearby stars from Exosolar and a more humous look at our place in the galaxy.

Interesting things from our modern world: The Essentials of the World's New Tallest Building, Burj Dubai. What a place for a superbattle.

From the new to the old, Opacity, charting urban ruins, abandoned places can provide a fascinating backdrop for many urban adventures.

An interesting look at some of Israel's women soldiers.

Back in the 19th Century, some Europeans kept 'Human Zoos'. Another creepy piece from our past.

A good resource for Modern Shamanism, Wildspeak including an impressive list of totem animals and their symbolism.

Cross-posted from my gaming journal
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Short, non-spoiler version:

Go and watch it for the CGI world of Pandora and the Na’vi. An amazing realization of an alien environment, the best so far. Ignore as much as possible the ham-handed plot that lacks all subtly and shows that Cameron does not understand what science fiction is. My Grade: B- (and only because the CGI is so spectacular, apart from that it would drop a full letter)

For my spoiler-laded analysis of why it fails at being science fiction here.
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It has been pointed out to me that tonight is the 45th anniversary of the premier of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. series (on NBC). The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a spy series, an action series and a hope for a better world. A series known to me only through reruns and novels. But it was ground breaking in its time.

There is a lovely tribute to the show at St. Crispin Day Society's LJ page which is well worth reading.
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A summary of my adventures at GenCon can be found at Sea of Stars Design Journal.
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At long, bloody last. MTV's sketch comedy show The State: The Complete Series finally gets a DVD release, of all their material, after having been repeatedly jerk about by MTV and it parent company. Like all sketch comedy, the State is hit and miss, but the hits are really good and the misses are fairly few.
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But you can rejoin at GenCon . . . Wizards of the Coast is having an amazingly awesome contest, the Never Split the Party Contest in fact: Describe your gaming group that has since broken up and you could win a trip for all the group (up to six) to GenCon!


Jun. 12th, 2009 10:10 am
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Lots of bits of news today, I will try and get it all up in manageable pieces.

First off, I will be at GenCon Indy this year! Slaving away at the AEG booth as usual but my nights will be free. So, if you are going to be there let me know so that we can catch up!
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I have been running a monthly, in store, D&D 4e game using the Delve Night adventures provided by Wizards of the Coast. So, I have a little more play under my belt and I have been reading bits and pieces of the new 4e books.

Today, I was looking at the new Arcane Power book, which is new options for wizards and other, well, what used to be spellcasters. Various impressions:

-Art, the cover is terrible and much of the interior art is reused from various 3.x books (which just strikes me as cheap), not that it is bad art, but I have seen it before.
-New Powers, pages (and pages and pages, roughly 2/3rds of book) of new powers which just leave me cold. Which is odd, as I like to look through spell and magic item descriptions. But page after page of carefully blocked out, narrowly defined powers, I find very wearing.
-Vague Nods to Roleplaying, there is a little discussion of how somethings (like a Warlock's curse) might look to the characters but most it is just mechanics and more mechanics. My favorite example of this is there is a feat that can only be taken by dwarves with the beautifully evocative name of "Rune-Scribed Soul", know what it is? Neither do I, as it is only described in mechanical terms! Not a single word of descriptive text or how it might define a character outside of bonuses to dice. Such a waste.

In other words, it fully confirms my existing opinion of 4e.

Neat Word

Apr. 5th, 2009 12:19 pm
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Pellucid: 1. Admitting the maximum passage of light. 2. Clear; easy to understand.
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We are getting back to the AEON Mall setting in gaming, which is a very post-modern take on superheroes. The Ultimates by way of The Office and reality programming. Most of the characters are new, but one, mine, is returning.

Scenes from a Mall )
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From the University of Nottingham, The Periodic Table of Video. Click on an element and it takes you to a short video about that element. How cool is that?

American History in Video, a lot of it is pop history but still a useful resource.

And on to more history, Great Myths of the Depression. Interesting article, certainly has a certain resonance to the political situation today.
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Lost revision of Hamlet found!

There used to be a stringed instrument called the epigonion, modern researchers have digitally reconstructed it. You can listen to it here at the ASTRA project.

One dimension over, Gygax and Arneson decided to use the Greek myths as a based for their ground breaking fantasy gaming system Mazes and Minotaurs!

"Al Gore you've doomed us all."
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For those of you who do not know, Kotei are the regional tournaments for the Legends of the Five Rings (L5R) card game. Yesterday, I went to my first one in years and only my second one ever.

Rest behind the cut )
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From the BBC: James May, from Top Gear, and an Ekranoplan! The Caspian Sea Monster! And May gets to drive one. More information on ekranoplans.

A new way to view flickr images: Tag Galaxy. Go and give it a try, Dragoncon is a great search seed.

Ancient yeast reborn in modern beer, says it all really.
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Piracy is alive and well in the modern world. This is the African branch, the South China Sea is full of pirates as well. It is becoming quite a major problem.

Retro-Futurismus, a site dedicated to the futures of Europe's past. Only this page is in English but most of it is easy enough to follow as art is the primary medium. I found this site from this set of images commissioned for US Steel Internation back in the 1960 and made by Syd Mead, the conceptual artist who define the look of Blade Runner.

No Heroics

Sep. 17th, 2008 12:08 pm
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Is a new ITV sitcom about a group of superheroes, sad, unsuccessful superheroes who hang out at the local pub for supers "The Fortress" whose sign states: No Masks - No Powers - No Heroics

The No Heroics site, unfortunately you cannot watch the video unless you are in England but visit the Geek Detail section. But luckily you can find a preview on YouTube.
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Can I help but be amused by the debate over the politics of superheroes? Starting over here at Newsday with an article by Elliott Serrano and moving to the much more geekish (and interesting) article on the TOR website by Jim Henley (and pointed out to me on the Reason Hit&Run Blog).

Best line on Spiderman's politics: ". . .find Objectivism on your political map; now go to the opposite spot."

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