Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday KGB

San Diego Rock station KGB 101, home of the infamous KGB chicken, celebrated its 80th birthday today.

Hillary in Bosnia

The true harrowing footage of Hillary's trip to Bosnia has been released.

Hilary's qualifications to be president

Hillary Clinton

Experience: Husband secretly let her run country from 1997-1999

Reason For Presidential Bid: Left some stuff at White House

Favorite Food: Wheat slurry injected directly into her stomach

Signature Issue: Becoming President of the United States

Murder Convictions: 3

Make-up Secrets: Classified

Reproductive Process: Squirts thousands of egg sacs into host intestine, then fertilizes them herself

For the rest see the latest Onion.

Thursday Funnies

Friday, March 21, 2008

Stand by your man

Got the flu this week, so I won't be doing much posting, nonetheless I wanted to say something about the Wright controversy.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Dr. Zaius, who in turn was tagged by Splotchy with his terrorist meme scheme. Should I not submit, innocent puppies, kittens, rainbows and moonbeams would be at risk. So in the words of Dr. Zaius, I am compelled to submit the following drivel against my will:

Meme Rules:

1. Tag one to many persons by doing the name game song on their Blogger name (their first name, if they have one).

2. Tell your tagged, name-gamed bloggers that they will have to continue the Name Game meme, or innocent puppies will be [make up something suitably awful].

I only really have one meme victim, so I tag the late Jacob, from the Scratching Post

Jacob, Jacob, snaked,
Banana-fana fo-racob

Pronounced Hay-soos

In honor of Easter I bring you Dilbert.

Happy Pi Day

3.14159265 = 3rd month (March) + 14 th day + 1:59 pm + 26.5 seconds

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wanted: People to sit on Benches in Shifts so Homeless People and Drunks Can't

California: The city of San Diego is seeking people willing to sit on park benches for three hour shifts in an effort to keep drunks and any of the city's 4,400 homeless people from occupying them.

Many of the benches are donated by merchants and they are reportedly unhappy that transients are using the public benches as places to sleep. Attempts to discourage the practice with metal dividers failed - the transients slept upright instead.

In an email sent to community activists asking them to take part it was emphasised that no toilet breaks were allowed. "After all, you MUST OCCUPY THAT BENCH continually for three hours to prevent that homeless person from sitting on that bench."


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Code Pink vs. USMC

Just got to love Berkeley. Curious that none of the protesters appeared to be college age.

The Great Security Challenge of the 21 Century: Zombies

I guess that Dick does sort of fit the bill.

A history of D&D

Wired has a nice article going over the history of Gary Gygax and D&D. It got a lot more back story than I've seen elsewhere.

This is what Gygax thinks his legacy should be. People playing games together in the flesh, with a real, live dungeon master guiding them. That's what he thinks is wrong with the new direction for Dungeons & Dragons with its new 4th Edition. "D&D is not an online game," he says. "There is no role-playing in an online game that can match what happens in person."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Is your State In a Recession?

Seems Colorado is doing pretty well. Even the local housing market is going up.

Go to USA Today for an interactive map showing information by region within a state.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Gary Gygax, Game Pioneer, Dies at 69

The New York Times has the nicest tribute to Gary Gygax. I love the final paragraph.

Gary Gygax, Game Pioneer, Dies at 69

Published: March 5, 2008

Gary Gygax, a pioneer of the imagination who transported a fantasy realm of wizards, goblins and elves onto millions of kitchen tables around the world through the game he helped create, Dungeons & Dragons, died Tuesday at his home in Lake Geneva, Wis. He was 69.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Gail Gygax, who said he had been ailing and had recently suffered an abdominal aneurysm, The Associated Press reported.
As co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, the seminal role-playing game introduced in 1974, Mr. Gygax wielded a cultural influence far broader than his relatively narrow fame among hard-core game enthusiasts.

Before Dungeons & Dragons, a fantasy world was something to be merely read about in the works of authors like J. R. R. Tolkien and Robert Howard. But with Dungeons & Dragons, Mr. Gygax and his collaborator, Dave Arneson, created the first fantasy universe that could actually be inhabited. In that sense, Dungeons & Dragons formed a bridge between the noninteractive world of books and films and the exploding interactive video game industry. It also became a commercial phenomenon, selling an estimated $1 billion in books and equipment. More than 20 million people are estimated to have played the game.

While Dungeons & Dragons became famous for its voluminous rules, Mr. Gygax was always adamant that the game’s most important rule was to have fun and to enjoy the social experience of creating collaborative entertainment. In Dungeons & Dragons, players create an alternate persona, like a dwarven thief or a noble paladin, and go off on imagined adventures under the adjudication of another player called the Dungeon Master.

“The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience,” Mr. Gygax said in a telephone interview in 2006. “There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in, whether it’s a fantasy game, the Wild West, secret agents or whatever else. You get to sort of vicariously experience those things.”

When Mr. Gygax (pronounced GUY-gax) first published Dungeons & Dragons under the banner of his company, Tactical Studies Rules, the game appealed mostly to college-age players. But many of those early adopters continued to play into middle age, even as the game also trickled down to a younger audience.

“It initially went to the college-age group, and then it worked its way backward into the high schools and junior high schools as the college-age siblings brought the game home and the younger ones picked it up,” Mr. Gygax said.

Mr. Gygax’s company, renamed TSR, was acquired in 1997 by Wizards of the Coast, which was later acquired by Hasbro, which now publishes the game.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Gygax is survived by six children: three sons, Ernest G. Jr., Lucion Paul and Alexander; and three daughters, Mary Elise, Heidi Jo and Cindy Lee.

These days, pen-and-paper role-playing games have largely been supplanted by online computer games. Dungeons & Dragons itself has been translated into electronic games, including Dungeons & Dragons Online. Mr. Gygax recognized the shift, but he never fully approved. To him, all of the graphics of a computer dulled what he considered one of the major human faculties: the imagination ’ ”

“There is no intimacy; it’s not live,” he said of online games. “It’s being translated through a computer, and your imagination is not there the same way it is when you’re actually together with a group of people. It reminds me of one time where I saw some children talking about whether they liked radio or television, and I asked one little boy why he preferred radio, and he said, ‘Because the pictures are so much better.’ ”

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gary Gygax fails Saving throw at 69

Short News has a post of Gary Gygax's early death.

Gary Gygax failed his last saving throw vs death. Gygax was 69. Co-Creater of Dungeons and Dragons, first published in 1974.

Credited as the first pen-and-paper RPG. It allowed for a "safe and intelligent way for geeky kids or hang-out" and have fun.

The game also spawned the much large universe of the video games and MMO's (Massive Multiplayer online games) that are seen today.

It is reported that Gary had been in poor health, suffering multiple strokes and a near-heart attack. He died the morning of March 4, 2008 at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.