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30 November 2008


The Black Hole

Edward Manray versus Deram Bintfunker, jr.

29 November 2008

I was traipsing around from sandbox to sandbox yesterday building the airship theatre. This was Plum. I settled in Sandbox Island Extension for a while, which was not bad. Goguen was full of junk; Wanderton was ok until I needed scripts. All in all not a terrible experience, but I didn't see one thing that I'd characterise as an interesting build-in-progress.

28 November 2008

Mi'kmaw petroglyph exhibiting what may well be the earliest depiction of fingerprints in Canada.

I found it a bit hard to believe that anyone's index and ring fingers are the same length, so I was googling hand images and found this:

This person has had two RFID tags implanted into his hands.

"Amal has two RFID implants, one in each hand. His left hand contains a 3mm by 13mm EM4102 glass RFID tag that was implanted by a cosmetic surgeon using a scalpel to make a very small cut, into which the implant was placed. His right hand contains a 2mm by 12mm Philips HITAG 2048 S implant with crypto-security features and 255 bytes of read/write memory storage space. It was implanted by a family doctor using an Avid injector kit like the ones used on pets. He can access his front door, car door, and log into his computer using his implants, and has written a book called RFID Toys, which details how to build these and other RFID enabled projects."

Maybe that's a good idea.

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27 November 2008




26 November 2008

A friend of mine who shall remain nameless, but who is employed by a museum (doesn't narrow it down as much as you think as I have more than one friend who works for a museum) informed me I am on her shit list. "And you're not getting off." "What happened?" I asked. "It was like this," I was told...

"Last time I saw you, you were eating raw cranberries.* OK?"

"Yes, OK."

"Let me say that my husband likes paintings by X - and there was an opening at another museum of a show of paintings by X. As a professional courtesy the museum invited people from my museum to attend the opening - so my husband and I went. It was a chinzy affair - no bar, no food, just little elaborate little pastries and bottled water.** I didn't want to eat the pastries because - eh, I would rather eat something better for me. I saw a tray of beautiful cranberries laid out - gorgeous color - and I thought, 'Well, Vivian eats them - maybe I'll try one.'"

/me starts to fidget. "Do you know all the people at that museum? Are they ok?"

"No, they all have sticks up their butts."

"Yeah, as I'd expect from there."

"Anyway - so I ate one. Immediately one of their people said 'Oh my god did you just eat that? That's how we present the pastries - it's not supposed to be eaten. I'm going to tell Y and Z.' TOTAL PUBLIC HUMILIATION."

"You should've said, "Don't you get tired of being conventional?"

"I should've said, 'In [another country] cranberries are used as a palate cleanser."

"You should've picked a flower out of a bouquet and eaten it, too. Was it good, at least?"

"NO! And it had some kind of funky coarse salt stuck to it."

/me rubs it in the wound, "Probably driveway salt."


--Silence while I imagine what I'd've done--***

"Now you need to eat raw cranberries at every opening until you get famous as the cranberry woman."

"Fuck that."

"Just be advised - never exhibit at an ordinary social function any behavior you have learned from me." <---words to live by

* I like bitter/sour/weird tastes.
** That is a horrifyingly bad opening ===:O
*** Probably laughed.


Not News, But New to Me

"The next time you enter into a fistfight with someone, you might want to check out the length of their index finger and ring finger ahead of time.
According to research conducted by psychology professor Peter Hurd and graduate student Allie Bailey of the University of Alberta, people who have a shorter index finger than ring finger are considered to have a more “masculine” finger ratio and are more prone to be physically aggressive.
However, this indication of physical aggression is only applicable to men and not women, as these two fingers are usually of equal length in women.
According to Hurd, who specializes in sexual and aggressive natures, the correlation between digit ratio and aggression is not as outrageous as one might think.
“The association between aggression and (finger) ratio is thought to reflect the amount of testosterone an individual was exposed to in the womb. Many other animal studies have shown that there’s an association between testosterone exposure early on during development and aggressiveness in adults,” said Hurd.
This discovery is also supported by data from previous research done by John Manning of the University of Central Lancashire in England. Manning was the first to provide compelling evidence linking early testosterone exposure and finger-length ratio."
------The Brunswickan (from 2005)

/me examines her fingers.

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24 November 2008

Linden Lab had this to say today:

"We have just completed a project that recovered a large set of missing inventory items.

Do you think you may have missing inventory?

You can check your Inventory “Lost & Found” folder for possible returned items.

The best way to see whether any of your things have been recovered is to clear your Second Life Viewer cache, restart your Second Life Viewer, log back inworld and then check your Inventory. Any recovered items will be located in their owner’s “Lost & Found” folder.

These particular recovered items were not showing up in Residents’ inventories because they did not have a parent folder. Please note that items lost for other reasons would not be affected by this project.

We are still working on a patch that will put any items that become lost in future because of a missing parent folder problem into the “Lost & Found” folder automatically upon relogging."


In case you aren't paying attention Dooce is pregnant again.

[11:07] D Wirefly: may i have permission to build a house on your property
/me: No, sorry.
[11:10] D Wirefly: thank you for your time

I don't quite understand, since there's nowhere to build a house and I have about 3 free prims anyway even if I wanted a stranger to move in, which I don't. New people frequently don't understand how things are.


22 November 2008


Zip and Gfresh


My friend Marilee came down from Skokomish and brought enough homemade native foods to completely fill my freezer. It's good stuff: elk, venison, smoked salmon, chicken soup with nettles, oyster stew, geoduck chowder. I hadn't seen her for a long time, so it was great to spend a little time together. A very little time - half an hour or so, I suppose.

SJ is coming down from Seattle on Tuesday to be my slave (as she calls it). The museum has a new person in charge who is much better than the last one, which makes her happier in her job.

Tiff was to've come down yesterday but got mired in work, however she's coming on Wednesday. Her next trip is to... hmmm... Dominican Republic I think.

Oly Friends of Herons Update
Loosh says we (I'm included out of coutesy as all I did was throw blog bits together) might've managed to do something good with the Oly Friends of Herons blog that was begun in response to the proposed development of property containing Great Blue Heron nesting trees. She says a lawyer who is building a "green" house and cares about environmental issues "put an option to buy on the property that the driveway to the development would need to run through, which is where the herons live. So the web site did something, maybe momentous. Thus late in life, we've actually saved a heronry. Hoorah for us." <-- somewhat glum-sounding hoorah.

Her new book comes out in March. The cover picture was painted by an elephant. /me runs around and finds poems made by elephants. Typical of our my email conversations, I sent her a link to an obituary for a woman who had lived in an iron lung as once, ten years ago perhaps, we had had a conversation about iron lungs. Actually it was a conversation sparked by that documentary (Breathing Lessons) about the poet who lived in an iron lung, I believe. She said, "Were we speaking of iron lungs?," which we had been, but not recently; I don't know why things like that stick in my head. Forever.

20 November 2008


Lossy Upload

No one likes to think of losing things from their inventory. It's bad - and expensive - to lose, say, a Huddles full of anims. If that happens the creator will usually understand and replace things you have a record of - and what a relief it is when something you'd thought was gone forever comes back! I've had problems that were fixed by clear-cache-and-search, a Tiny appendage replaced by Wynx, and maybe a few things I haven't noticed have wandered off over the years. Nothing big. Nothing I built and am the sole owner of has, as yet, ever poofed.

I don't buy a lot, but I've built bazillions of things. My inventory has all my builds, my snapshots and textures, animations I've made and bought, gifts, oddball things that have sentimental value more than anything else - and my avatar. Me. I did copy down the slider numbers once, but I'm sure I've changed since then. I haven't done any backup, and although Second Inventory might be useful it's a relatively new development. I'd be upset if my inventory vanished. I'd be more than upset if my account was wiped.

Postmark Jensen has lost everything. In his words:
I have been unemployed for a year, so I couldn't afford to keep my premium account. I sold my $L to paypal. Then I changed my account to not-renew as premium. There was an issue with the website where my change to a basic account didn't go through. Also, there was an issue with paypal, and they didn't process my USD$37. So, Linden Labs kept me at a premium account and took the $37, then shut down all access to my account until I paid up.

Unable to pay up, I asked many times in e-mails with the new LL support group to just keep the $37 and give me access to my avatars. They refused. I tried again. They refused. I finally got fed up and gave up.

He has returned and his account is an empty husk.

To me the issue goes beyond the personal to something more general which is a bit wounding: premium accounts, because they are connected to a fee, are wiped after a certain amount of time has gone by. Premium accounts don't count for much anymore, but a few years ago people who went premium did so because they wanted to support the company. It would be kinder if an old premium (any premium, in fact), having gone into arrears, was downgraded to a free account, and left intact barring landholdings. I think inactive free accounts are wiped after a time, too, but if an email were automatically generated (like I receive from MindArk periodically) saying, "Hey, log in to the website at least or your ass is grass," it would be a kindness.

There can't be many old accounts gone into arrears, you'd think. Of those, a certain number will be people who have died, some will be people who have wandered off after spending a significant amount of time in SL, others probably had no inventory to speak of anyway. A few will have had game-changing events in real life that took precedence, and, possibly, made a year go by very, very quickly.

This is why I think I must not be communicating well:

Original post:
I dont know if this is were I can turn for help. I hope so. I used to be able to type something like /me smiles. and it would show up as -avatar name- smiles. But recently when I try to type it, it shows up in my chat line as /Me and if I continue it and hit enter, it shows in local chat as /Me smiles. Can someone please help me. I want to emote again.

Post 1 - (me) -
Only thing I can think of is to check you haven't got a gesture active that someone made that has "/Me" in the text box.

Just checked and /me works as always.

Post 2
Post 3
Post 4
Post 5
Post 6
Post 7
Post 8
Post 9
Post 10
Post 11 - (another person) -
Click on the gestures menu button at the lower right of the screen and see what comes up. You may have an active gesture that you didn't notice if it was in a folder of clothing or an avatar you wore.
Post 12 - Original Poster quotes post 11 -
Thank you

And this:

Original Post -
I've been having this problem for awhile. Certain clothign parts have somehow been....connectign with each other. For example, I bought an outfit, and the gloves and shirt are the same thing, meaning I cannot wear the m seperately. If I wear the gloves, the shirt textre is there as well, even though I do not have the shirt on. Can anyone help me?

Post 1 - (me) -
Could be a driver issue.

What is your card and which driver are you using?

If it's the driver issue you can tell by unticking 'use palletised textures' in the debug menu and rebaking. That setting isn't sticky in the official viewers so then your choice is either to get (usually older) drivers that work, or use the Nicholaz viewer, which has made that setting sticky.

The reason it can be a local machine's driver issue is that the texture is baked on your machine then uploaded to SL.

Post 3 - (another person) -
try this one
Advanced->Rendering->Features->Palettized Text
you take the check mark OFF of Palettized Tex

Its a Nvidia prob

Maybe I just need to stay off the forum.

P.S. It isn't an Nvidia problem.


Lifted shamelessly from the SL forums,
a thread posted by Ernie McElroy:

I want to make some components, which can be used within Second Life consisting of domotic elements lighting, and motion detection.
The components are basically objects with specific properties, which consist of: lights, sockets and detectors, linked to similar devices in Real Life, through an appropriate interface, so that when a light turns on (home automation) of RL, it would displaye the same in SL and vice versa. The presence of people could be seen in SL as n avatar robot, and the presence of fire as a signal on a monitor in SL or an adequate simulation.
To make these components is necessary to establish a way of sending a frame with code between the components and the viewer of SL and/or external to it, and the opposite.
The frame should carry three facts essential to the environment domotic: 1) the function to perform, 2) the address of the recipient device and 3) the address of the device's data.
As with all devices domotic, the reasonable limit for addresses is 1 byte, and one byte for instruction. This frame would contain only 3 bytes, not taking into consideration the bytes encapsulated in the protocol.
Regarding the object-installed SL, could be such a "light switch", which operate script or activate single-shot routine, informing the recipient device to function in SL and in turn to the customer within or outside the SL viewer.
On the other hand, an object "Light", set in properties with a certain direction, the script would be detected and emulate lighting accordingly.
The devices consist of RL domotic of a PC interface of any of the networks domotic standard X-10, AX-10, Domolon, and so on. or developed for that purpose, which in my case I use a Rabbit RCM3000 module with a C program and connected by ethernet with domotic control program on a PC, where SL also runs Viewer, but this configuration can be adapted according to the needs of the project.
If there is any similar development and functioning, I apologize, otherwise I would welcome the opportunity to contribute and receive any and all information regarding an opportunity to contribute in the development and or enhancment of such project


19 November 2008

Another cockamamie Osprey idea: a top limit to Traffic - say, 10,000 (arbitrary number), to mitigate the influence of bots on the grid while preserving Traffic.

18 November 2008

Top Ten List of Irritating Things Robots Do

1. When I am in an argument with one it goes into play-back mode and displays a hologram of me saying exactly what I denied saying.
2. They can Google faster than I can because their internet/conection is internal.
3. They can open jam jars more easily, but the really irritating thing is the socket built into every lid that enables them to use their made-to-match wrench system anatomy. I consider that cheating :(
4. I hate it when I call someone and they've got their robot set to answer and mimic their voice.
5. When a robot gets to a certain age it automatically builds its replacement (and that takes at most two days) by fabricating parts in its internal repair fabricator. It never seems to mind, because the last thing it does is connect a lead and send its memory over to the new model, so it is really just preparing its new self. I can't do that :/
6. The actual space needed for the works is so incredibly small that any robot can take any form by inserting itself into a different chassis. When told to by the owner, of course. Can't do that, either :/
7. My bot can hold his hand to the window and tiny window-cleaning bots stream out and onto the glass. Well, that doesn't really annoy me; the thing that annoys me is that it makes a mockery of human work.
8. If I repeat myself he says, "You've told me that 34 times," then goes on to list, "Sunday, 13 April, 2008 at 1:12 PM; Wednesday, 2 July, 2008 at 3:45 PM" etc., etc... /me pukes And I think it's a simple setting to stop that but damned if I can find it.
9. Because of the buckyball paint ( or whatever) he is tied in to everything that happens in the house whether he's in it or not; even if I turn him off he'd just catch up when he came back online. The only way I can be alone is to go out into the middle of the Gobi Desert, or something. /me goes to the Gobi Desert then turns around and recoils, startled. Robot: I thought you'd like a little light refreshment so I took the liberty of preparing this salad made of organic baby greens. Me: Uh... thank you. How did you know I was here? Robot:
10. Because they can send their memory through any internet connection (and everything is connected all the time) they can teleport by having a carapace (of any size) waiting at the other end (and companies do a brisk business in rental carapaces). I have to traverse meatspace with nary a digital enhancement. :( Sux big time.

Top Ten List of Things I Do To Irritate My Robot, None of Which Actually Do

1. I change his name all the time depending upon my mood. Me: Snaskers, I've decided to call you Fifi Squanzelbeck now. Robot: OK. ...later... Me: Uh, I can't remember what that humiliating name I gave you was. Robot: Fifi Squanzelbeck. Me: OK, well now I want to call you R2Detour. Robot: OK.
2. Sometimes I tape a sign on his back that says something funny like "$5.99 marked down from $10.00." Me: Ha ha! Robot: I'm glad this kind of juvenile prank is fun for you. Me: Well, it's the only way I can feel better about the differences between us. Anyway, how come you can read it when you aren't even looking at it? Robot: Buckyball/nanotube marker.
3. I airily say, "Oh, you wouldn't understand the concept," whenever things like empathy crop up in conversation, but secretly I thrill that this time I've come out ahead. Me: (airily) Oh, you wouldn't understand the importance of emotion in that particular movie scene as the concept is beyond you. Robot: Yeah, but it's included in the next update, I hear. Me: (gnashes teeth) Great!
4. When something is particularly delicious I say, "Mmmmm," and savour it in front of him.
5. Sometimes I say, "That coffee smells wonderful" just to be mean.
6. Sometimes I tease him by saying, "Wait - are you embarrassed by that remark?" just to make him admit that he can't feel that. Me: "Wait - are you embarrassed by that remark?" Robot: No - you know I don't feel things like embarrassment. Me: Oh, yeah. Robot: I'm sure there must be some great plus to getting embarrassed - silly me that I don't see it. (rolls eyes) Me: It's part of a whole emotion system - you can't just look at one part, dopey. Robot: Yeah, yeah - so you say. Me: I've decided to call you Hroswitha of Gandersheim now. Robot: OK.
7. I refuse his offers of help when he has annoyed me. Robot: I can easily get that off the top of the cupboard - shall I do that for you? Me: No, I'd rather do it myself. Robot: I'll just stand next to you, then if you fall I can catch you. Me: Go AWAY - I don't need your help. Robot: OK. (waits just outside the doorway. Me: jF piss off will you? Robot: I'll leave, but if you need me I'll be back immediately. ... Me: Good riddance. Robot: (glides into the room immediately) Do you need me? Me: NO! Robot: :(
8. He isn't always perfect, but he thinks he is, so I have to take him down a peg or two at times. Me: The car looks nice, but WTF you washed the TAILPIPE? Robot: You said wash the car; the tailpipe is part of the car. Me: I expect you to use a bit of comon sense, you know - you ruined my sponges. Robot: I thought I was doing the right thing. Me: Wait... how far did you go with this? Robot: (knits his brow and looks worried) Me: So... you know the engine has oil inside it for a reason, right? Robot: Yes, of course, I'm not stupid. Me: Did you wash the inside of the tailpipe? Robot: Yes. Me: How far up?
9. Sometimes I make him go into mimic-mode and pretend to be me on the phone, especially when talking to someone else's robot pretending to be them. Me: Ha ha - that was so lame! You think I say things like that? Robot: Ha ha! I bet I sounded totally ridiculous! Me: Cut that out right now :(
10. Once I lay on the floor and pretended I'd had a heart attack, but he just said, "Oh, by the way, I keep track of all your stats and I can see you are fine." Me: That's totally inadequate. Are you so one-sided that you can address physical needs and have absolutely no clue about emotional needs? Robot: Well, I'm doing the best I can. You aren't always easy to be around. Me: Oh REALLY?? Robot: jF

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Luisa Tetrazzini - Caro Nome 1911

The ability to record music and reproduce images is a bit of a double-edged sword - well, one side is a sharp blade, the other is more of a letter opener, actually. There's nothing better than live music, live theatre, real paintings, but the masterful works of the past and present would not be available to the masses without reproduction. But then, they are diminished to a degree (paintings are diminished a LOT but people don't seem to figure that in).

It means we hang onto things* instead of letting go and moving along with the flow of new artwork. It means young artists have to compete with long-dead artists. It means local artists and musicians compete with everyone, anywhere, from any time since technology enabled reasonalbe fidelity. It means you have already listened to the greatest tenor's greatest recorded achievement before you go to your local operahouse, and it colors your experience; that tenor probably had a wide range in his performance quality over the length of his career, but you have the recording of his best effort. The tenor you hear live will probably not meet that standard.

But live - live is everything. Once an artist has died should all his work go on a bonfire? It would be awful, and I'd never want that, yet go back just a short time and some (not all) artistic disciplines were in the moment, ephemeral, like singing, and others required the viewer to make the journey to be in front of its product (painting). Is hoarding these golden moments good for the human race? Is taking a golden rare moment and reproducing it ad infinitum good for the human race or is stagnation the result?

What's the point, anyway? Is there a greater reason for people to listen to music or look at paintings than just being made joyous? Some of the artwork I see come out of SL looks suspiciously like what someone might find in the frame aisle at a 5&10. Does that matter? Has all the endless reproduction enlightened people to a great degree as they can encounter the best of the best, or has it reduced their joy in what is actually in front of them as they can't help but compare it to the work of some long-dead artist of the past? Things now are recorded for posterity; singers in the past sang knowing their voice faded when they closed their mouths. What is the real difference** for the human race?

* Is there going to be a bitter rivalry forever now between Callas fans and fans?
**I suppose it has something to do with our longing for immortality, and our willingness to freeze time to attain it. For immortality, there needs to be no time.

Bella figlia dell'amore from Verdi's Rigoletto. Recorded 1912.

Gilda: Luisa Tetrazzini
Maddalena: Josephine Jacoby
Duke: Enrico Caruso
Rigoletto: Pasquale Amato

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Another singer from the past, Sylvia Sass, in my favorite opera, I Lombardi.

And a current one: Dimitra Theodossiou in I Lombardi

I liked that pretty well but there's a video of her singing an aria from La Traviata that's ========:O


I know I've posted it here before, but it's just... so good...

Monserrat Caballe - Casta Diva from Norma - 1974

I love Callas even with all the odd bits, but there aren't very many current singers that can pull off a good performance. Eeeep :(

World's Worst Video of a Singer (at least I hope there are none worse) is HERE but take dramamine before you click.


Hack your Proprioception

Clive Thompson, writing for, says, "What makes Mirror's Edge so different? Sure, the action is swoopy and vertiginous, just as it is in many other games. But I've played plenty of first-person shooters that required me to navigate ridiculous, zero-G boss lairs that were suspended over improbable heights, and none of those ever made me feel nauseated.

Why does this game get its hooks into my brain so effectively? Why does it feel so much more visceral?

I think it's because Mirror's Edge is the first game to hack your proprioception."


Altered slightly to update it to match the Resources system we now use (in place of groups), the Combat Cards trainig video now includes private detective Ed Manray in a minor yet pivotal role.

17 November 2008


The comments on youtube crack me up - people get into arguments and sometimes it becomes clear that the only reason they have crossed paths at all is because they are on the internet, the great Mixmaster. Often the opera comments escalate into the pounding-on-the-keyboard version of a heated exchange devolving into insults and metaphorical groin-kicks.

On the straight classical side there's a relatively tame argument about tempo on a Beethoven piece, and a callow youth (or whatever) exclaiming how happy he is to've found the music from some game or other; a music lover sourly points out that the music isn't "from" the game, it's "from" Beethoven. Someone thought Karajan had an easy job, just waving his hands about, and much eye-rolling followed from music lovers. For passion, though, it's best to slope over to the opera side for funny comments and the occasional bout of hair-pulling because for every singer's breathless fan there is another commenter who loathes the singer with every fibre of his being.
why does Villazon have to oversing everything? always screaming, no class. Fleming should stick to Strauss and Mozart, she's no Violetta.

Geez, what's your problem?

Omg yes. I completely agree! Tenors have this whining quality so I prefer baritones in general.
who's the guy with the beard? lol

you're real father, at last you know him.
Awesome. It sounds so effortless.

No... she's obviously struggling. The laboured breathing and the sloppiness. One can't help but feel happy for the poor wench when it's over.
This staging is so bomb.
The way the director makes the same text mean two different things... gosh... (maybe it's in the score and I'm revealing my ignorance) I'm sure all the haters out there will respond to this, but I dig it.
I'm sorry, but is this aria " Giorno d'Orrore " ?

Haha, that might be the single funniest comment on youtube.
if you unlike netrebko's performance dont see and fuck you
Are you trying to be a living proof of Darwin you little fiddlestick. If you respect opera so much, you should be at dismay after watching this Euro-trash rendition of La Traviata which is marketed to the Opera-Lite Meets MTV crowd! Get a clue you dimwit!

Go fuck your mother. You don´t belong here with nice respectful opera fans!
Villazon is a great tenor.I love his throatty Kemit the frog-like voice .His glissandi re great. I love his fraseggio, he always sounds exciting fierce ,his singing style is really great . His stage presence is very amusing, His timbre and style doesn't resemble to a tenor whose last name starts with D at all. He isn't being promoted by anyone.He's a great tenor his talent is obvious. He isn't overrated at all.

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I'd like one of THESE, please.

In fact, a lot of these things at look good to me.

Not UI things, but about your points:
It used to be, before all the key combos were changed a couple of years ago, that looking at the current speaker was one key - now it's two - control-\ - as I recall without being in SL to try it. I use that a fair bit.

I like my own browser, too - particularly for youtube vids as SL sends me to Youtube Brazil every time.

I never set Away, and have it disabled. I'm never Busy, either, as people are always sending me things (not as much now as in the past, though*) and I like being present and cheerful especially for upset customers (I don't do a lot of business anymore because I just abruptly stopped one day, but I do still get sweet lost customers occasionally**).

"Show last IM Conversation" or whatever it's called, is great, and logging chat and IM is useful to me when something is being discussed that I have to do. I used to, for, say, a custom suit of clothing, copy/paste the customer's desires into a .txt doc and save it, so I could refer to it whilst drawing, but now even if I crash or forget the chat/IM is still logged.

I've seen the bandwidth setting recommended to be 500 (specifically at Midian City), but never as low as 300. Kitty had success by making sure her texture memory slider didn't excede her card memory, which of course makes sense. I don't monkey with my cache much - only if something is corrupted (i.e. once or twice a year I might clear cache), and it's set in the middle somewhere, don't know. Going back and forth to many different accounts/worlds/viewer versions seems to make little glitches appear.

I've always thought I wanted a separate side screen for things like inventory, but I probably don't, really. It's supremely easy for me to block out portions of rl, so sl is even easier.

* Once during a snail race I was loping along when 4 or 5 big textures filled up my entire screen, sent for whatever the photo contest was then, I think. I lost the race, but I always had a tough time once the race moved up into the sky amyway, so it wasn't a huge loss.
**It's amazing how upset and sad people can be over something like an accidentally deleted virtual tent, but I always assure them right off the bat that whatever is wrong will be set right, and that they don't need to worry that I won't believe them. People worry too much.

16 November 2008

There's always bizarre possibilities lurking in the far corners of medical statistics, and every time I run across one it makes me blink. Like monkeypox virus, they often have names that are old-fashioned blunt descriptions rather than either colloquialisms or medicalese.

I had an item in my feed from Mind Hacks, about "An unusual and poignant brain injury." I read it and clicked on the link and ran across a sentence, "There was no tendency, as a matter of fact, for the formation of a brain fungus at either wound." A brain fungus?

I got a vision of the black fungus I'd cooked in wild rice yesterday, only it would be jiggling off the side of some unlucky person's head-wound - in the case of the poignantly injured woman in the .PDF it would've been jiggling off both sides like soft shell antlers had she been unluckier.*

There seems to be no end to the number of unbelievably awful things that can happen, which, I reckon, must indicate that there's no end to the number of unbelievably wonderful things that can happen, as well. All on the far edges, it seems, although some seem not far away enough whilst others we think we'd like closer.

* I'm not sure how luck could even be determined here; if someone is so interested in termination that a bullet is sent from one temple to the other, is it lucky or unlucky that she survived? Once having survived it was lucky that she wasn't (according to what was written) too terribly damaged, and lucky she wasn't a brain fungus type, of course. I wondered what happened after.
I knew a woman whose sister was ironing in her kitchen in the 1950s when a rock, blown into the air by someone illegally dynamiting stumps two miles away, came straight down through the roof of the house and through, too, the roof of her head. Her husband happened to've been walking through the door minutes after into the scene of blood and wailing babes. She survived but had seizures ever after, I was told. Another terrible ironing accident. Let THAT be a lesson, all ye apologists for that type of occupation.

Enj: did I ever tell you about my daughter's eeg patient?
me: no
Enj: the weirdest one?
me: /me backs away
Enj: well this man came in complaining of headache
me: wud hoppen?
Enj: they could not find anything
me: eep
Enj: took eeg and found ....
dun da dun dun
me: /me faints.
Enj: /me vomits
me: /me tries to get up but fails.
Enj: farts too
me: I'm blogging tbis.
Enj: it was a tapeworm that went into the bloodstream, I think
Enj: and lodgitated in the brain

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A nice non-taxing and jolly Philip article about the future is HERE.

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What Does Your SL Look Like?

I am frequently startled when I see SL screenshots people have taken with the UI intact as there can be a lot of variation. Mine is usually like this:

I always run in a window.

1. My name isn't shown.
2. No title is above me.
3. No chat bubbles.
4. I keep the mini map on the lefthand side, but I don't always have it up.
5. I never use the camera or movement widgets ever.
6. I don't really like HUDs unless they are for a specific and short-term thing, as I forget they are there and film sometimes, so my screen is bare. I don't see the need for most scripted HUDs, but I used to wear radar alone - don't anymore, though.
7. I change the text colors a lot of the time.
8. My selection beam was black for years, but I'm not sure what it is atm as it's off (for me). Prolly white.
9. I have "Show hovertips on everything" unless I'm filming with the UI up. I truly feel blind without it.
10. I like the old school interface as I just don't see it. Anything else gets in the way.

Thought of one more:
I keep the bandwidth/packetloss indicators up (instead of Search). I have SL Search as my Firefox search engine, though, so I haven't dumped it - I just put it where I use it.

I've done goofy things in the past like when resizing the UI came in I made it wee and tiny, then immediately lost about five Combats Cards fights in a row as I couldn't read the text - heh.

I have the UI suppressed so often that once in a while I don't notice and either have it on when I need it off, or off when I need it on.

I've seen screenshots where I hardly recognised the program. The UI is there for us to personalise. What does your SL look like?

Some Second Life bloggers have exchanged soapboxes and are writing on picked-from-a-hat topics. Young Geoffrion has posted her contribution to this cogitation shuffling here:
Second Life as an Exploration of Culture and Diversity.

Vint Falken has a list of all the posts on her blog.


15 November 2008

Young brought up the Beagle Board over on HBA's blog. It would fun to play with one :-D

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Last Night at About 1am

A nightmare on the road.

Watching Stalker, a Tarkovsky film recommended by Candide. Well, he's recommended Tarkovsky's oeuvre but I said I was upset by the animals, so he said Stalker has no animals in it. I was flummoxed when I saw that the DVD has "Disk 1" printed on it, but actually it's both parts, not just half.


I wonder if someone else would understudy for Cait - a man. That would be interesting.


TSMGO - 15th Nov 08
Originally uploaded by HeadBurro Antfarm

HBA took some lovely pictures of the show today, including this one of the Synchronised Knitters Precision Unicycle Drill Team.

TSMGO - 15th Nov 08
Originally uploaded by HeadBurro Antfarm

Corporal Kitty

TSMGO - 15th Nov 08
Originally uploaded by HeadBurro Antfarm


TSMGO - 15th Nov 08
Originally uploaded by HeadBurro Antfarm

...and the Cellophane Dancers.

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'Nother really fun show. We need to swap out some acts (Adfarm was timely before but is getting dated a bit now), but Kitty debuted her new act, which was great. One of our audiencemembers picketed Mme Creme Caramel for her mistreatment of the trained humans. Zip was the Adfarm volunteer.

I missed Cait, especially as I have to fill in for her, and get all balled up with the curtain, music, and act* but at least this time HBA was doing the set. Cait has her plate full in RL atm, so it's understandable, but still tough.

* It's too much for one person, as the viewpoint has to change and I'm constantly trying to swing my cam around to the place where I can operate the scripted things, and thwarted when part of my view is covered by invisible prims.

It Came From the Forum

I think this is true:
"...the damage Linden Lab has done to its reputation and to the trust of its customers can only be undone with a *serious* evaluation of their business practices..."
(I don't agree with everything she says, but this part, yes.)

Although I think people are too quick to ascribe things to devious plots, even if the reality is different (i.e. a mistake was made) the outcome is more or less the same. That outcome is that people feel they can't trust LL to stick to rules of their own devising, leaving their customers unable to plan inworld businesses, and unable to plan monthly outlays whether for business or not.*

Since this is uncharted territory it's hard impossible to both move ahead and also remain in the Safe Zone. I think people (customers and LL) need to recognise that and use common sense.**

*Those two things are not quite the same; if you commit to a business model and honor agreements with your own customers you can wind up in a deeper hole than if your sim is for your own pleasure.
** I don't know why it's called common sense anymore since it's not common.


News From the 'Burbs

Molly is recommending mini-laptops, including the MSI Wind which costs under $400 it seems:

Yesterday morning, to my chagrin, I received this message from Enj:
Stillhave lectric but no puter :(
Sent from my iPhone

I was talking to Lucy at the time and said;
Do you know anything about Enj being without internet?
Lucy said:

I emailed Enj:
She emailed back:
heh I sent that during the hurricane aftermath!
Not to worry. All is well. Just waiting for a plumber at the moment.
I emailed (after realising the hurricane was not another, but same one)
It took A MONTH to get to me? God thing you weren't lying under a tree wanting help.

Which is wrong - it was TWO months.

14 November 2008

Drunk again: Enj, Yo, HBA, and Os on HBA IslandYo preparing sashimi in the cave while Os watches Tiddles snack on HBA.
Stones glow in a sinister fashion at the professor's camp.

13 November 2008

New server 1.25.0

Fixes a big one: "Camera zooms rapidly in and out (yo-yo, pogo) with objects behind you."
And lots of others:
"Inventory Loss after rezzing a coalesced object containing Linden plants and non-copy items in a place where not allowed to build trees."
'"Unable to load gesture." or "Gesture is missing from database." on login.'
"Shift-drag to copy objects does not copy all settings."

Update: The pilot deploy was rolled back due to a problem, which is the way these things go. It will be nice when the fixed version is out, though. /me dusts off the unicycle.

International Comments

...on an antique SL Games blogpost I made with the TSMGO! machinima part one.

I'm glad Kaij agrees, however I think if Zayn thinks we aren't being silly then we need to try harder.

Joke of the Day
"Palin urges GOP governors to keep Democrats honest"

12 November 2008

News From Brisbane

My niece Anj's daughter (9),
"did very well in the national testing. She achieved well above average on Spelling, grammar and math, and average for writing. A great effort considering she is the youngest in her year. She recently received an A for her report on John Mc Douall Stewart. He was the first person to cross Australia - South to North.

Her son (5), "had his first session of have a go cricket. It is on every Saturday until march next year. He’s really very good for his age. He can bowl with a straight arm and get the ball to go in a fairly accurate direction. And his batting is good too although he seems to only have one shot at this stage, he likes to hit any ball to the leg side."


As seen on Sciatica:

/me follows Alan around. Hey, Karan - jump in next to me :-D It's an Alanboree!


What's Wrong With This Picture

"Democrat Mark Begich took a 3-vote lead Wednesday in his effort to topple 40-year Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, a titan of Alaska politics who was convicted of felony charges in a federal trial last month."


What I posted about HERE seems to have continued.

Apparent 6th severed foot found in British Columbia

I wonder what ever happened to the man who was trying to raise money on the internet and have his feet chopped off? He felt he could ambulate better with prostheses as he had very bad foot-drop but his insurance company, maybe it was, refused to pay, or maybe his doctor refused to chop them off. He was going to do something like guillotine them off on the 'net because he needed money for the post chopping part of the deal, I think.

ZOMG I remembered the url and googled it as it was no longer up. .../me backs away from the puter... o.o

That reminds me, too, of that (excellent) memoir written by one of Darwin's nieces. As a girl she wondered, "Nanny, why do we have FEET?" "Humpf," Nanny replied (I'm writing this from memory), "You wouldn't want your leg to end in a nasty sharp bone, would you?" But she wondered why a nasty sharp bone would be a bad idea; that still haunts me a bit as I, seriously dood, don't want my leg to end in a nasty sharp bone - the very idea appalls me.

HBA posts on "Box" computers HERE,
responding to Prokofy's post HERE.

My two braincells' worth:

Although it would be good if SL could work on “box” computers, I have to say I’ve never, ever bought a box computer. I call up my computer men and say, “I want to do XYZ,*” then they build me something that does XYZ. They put the money into things that are meaningful.
We always go back and forth, with me saying, "I want ╚," and them saying, "No, that would cost 4 times more with .1 increase in capability and here's why...," and me making them explain why most of my ideas aren't good until I go back to their original suggestion. Then they build it and test it, and tell me how exciting it is. It's brought here and set up, and we goof around for an hour. The Derek leaves and I dip my bread in it for a few hours.

Although that may not be possible for lots of people, it seems like it's a better way to go. Computers are like cars; box computers are like a convertible-HUMVEE-camper van-sportscar-pickup truck-three cylinder-funny car-electric powered-dump truck-luxury sedan that attempts to be all things to all people. Whenever I look at the websites the computers seem very expensive and not very useful.

That said, yes, it should be easier and it has had a negative impact that it is a rather occult process. I always thought someone/thing reliable should've set up a business selling SL guaranteed computers inworld, and I think someone sort of did something like that, but although I poked around I never quite managed to see anything at the time. What Prokofy says about puters-in-the-mail is true, in some respects, as a damaged-or-otherwise-borked machine might be delivered, but a lot of puters go through ok.

Ages ago I made a suggestion about having various official viewers, and I don't see why there can't be a choice when one signs up, from Family Computer - very low graphics to Gamer Rig - ZOMG teh bellz n whistles.

If you can't run WindLight or have low fps look into these viewers:
Nicholaz Viewers

There are other viewers (use at your own discretion) including Kirstenlee Cinquetti's ShadowDraft and others for SL and OpenLife, the Cool Viewer, OnRez Viewer (I think it still works), and others.

There are choices due to the great work of generous people, and it's much appreciated. If you are having troubles experiment a bit.

* Say, video editing, or SL, or whatever I am involved in at the moment.

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George Bush in tears as he makes promise to Barack Obama

/me is in tears as she wants to see that evil crew of #@&#%$&s dragged out in chains.

The voting process needs to be fixed in a hurry. Millions of (Democratic) votes were thrown out because the Republicans have corrupted the system so thoroughly. It shouldn't be necessary for an incredible effort to be made just to overtake those evil efforts. As someone pointed out, it isn't even possible to get an international watch on the voting as the Americans chose not to use a popular vote system.

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11 November 2008

Remembrance Day

10 November 2008


Questions is, will this increase or decrease their popularity with furries?

Permissions Stalker in an Internet World

Sparked by Bett's blogpost, I spent the day contacting people and asking for permission to use their build for Combat Card images. I'd forgotten that I had asked a number of people way back when, and wound up getting a few written permissions on top of old verbal permissions, which was fine, especially as it meant I'm not as lax as I had thought.

I still have some notecards unreturned as yet, and I sent out a few that surely don't matter anymore as the build is long gone, yet still it's nice to touch base if possible. I enjoyed speaking with people - Juro, and Aliasi, and Sabine as well as others - it's a great excuse to make contact every once in a while, even when it really is just an excuse. I've been asking Kris Ritter for permission to use Hell for far longer than Hell even existed inworld. I think that's hilarious, in a way. At least this time I'm trying to get the permission in writing not just verbally, so I can keep track.

Because I have pictures from long ago that I still might whip out and use next week if the setting is needed, I suppose I should ask as I go along.

On another note, Spin sent a notecard saying Saijo City is closing at the end of the year so I IMed him:
Osprey Therian: Spin, if I take some good pictures would it be ok to use them for Combat Card images?
Spin: totally
Osprey Therian: I should probably have opened by saying Hello, I'm sorry to hear it's closing, but I cut right to the chase.
Spin: ha that's ok, it's an internet world


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Second Life History
(a little slice, anyway)
A thousand years ago... well, in 2004/5, I started a project with Enjah that was... guess! Trading cards! They were really just a funny reaction to the Linden cards, which were supremely uninspiring (being just profiles), and we had kiosks set up giving random cards (for free, one per customer). Cheekily, I set one up at Luna, and there it remained unmolested for absolutely ages.After I took down the kiosks we made the cards into two books: UN-Linden Big Book of Swap Cards Books 1 and 2.
To give an idea of the long past time this happened in, I IMed Jeffrey Gomez* and asked him to write me a kiosk script, which he did right then and there. A bit later Grim Hathor wrote another one for me just because he thought it should function slightly differently. I was poking around in my blog from that time, and stumbled across a post saying I went to Goguen and "28 people were in it - an unheard of number."
My cards had things like notable builds, gone-but-not-forgotten, and Archetypes of Second Life. Enj's were characters like Groucho and Harpo, and many, many more.
Although there weren't all that many (this is about half of mine) cards they were good, and I still like looking at them (about once every two years hah).

*I met Jeff in mid 2004 when he was a dragon and had a project involving 16m2 parcels for teleporting purposes. One was in Bodega Bay, and it had a crummy plywood cube on it that made me gnash my teeth. I IMed him and asked him if he could beautify his parcel :D which he did.



For Ida.

09 November 2008

Eat your heart out, Ed
(Well, maybe not).

[13:29] Osprey Therian: hello gum
[13:29] gum Xue: hello
[13:29] gum Xue: hello
[13:29] Osprey Therian: Are you a private investigator?
[13:29] gum Xue: no
[13:29] gum Xue: im new

08 November 2008


Machinima by Chaffro Schoonmaker, who says:

"In Second Life, the Friends of Raglan Shire gathered together under the guidance of Peaches Latrell on October 25 2008 to take part in the worldwide Thrill The World project.

Over 60 tinies took part on the night!

Peaches Latrell and Apollo Kronos were responsible for creating the awesome dance moves - thank you to both of them! "

I should say I'm not wandering around for any other reason than that it's something I do when I can't concentrate for long enough to do anything useful. I feel like Enj thinks I've just gone off (like an old quart of milk mebbe) to frolic in distant meadows, but no, I'm just logging in to experience various distractions, spending 2.567786 minutes, then logging out and writing a blogpost (or not). In Entropia I set off running and hardly got past the laser turrets when I was attacked by a group of lowly snablesnots then killed by several exarosaurs (mobs seemed thicker on the ground than before so it was not possible to dodge them).

I should go poke at Multiverse and Croquet to see if they are still in the land of the living. /me has fallen on hard times when she speaks in predigested phrases.

07 November 2008


Vegetal Planet by vroum Short
Music: Aminos
Machinima: Osprey Therian



army man
Originally uploaded by mrhomer12

Best Hallowe'en costume this year.

As seen on Laughing Squid.

06 November 2008

From a friend who is a grandmother:

For the last 3 days, he (21 month old grandson) keeps telling us his name is "Bird". When we call him anything else--He repeats "My name is bird because I want to learn to fly". When I asked him if he wanted to learn to swim, he said "Well-a duck can swim". He calls his arms wings now so we have to say, "Put your wings in your jacket sleeves.

Sounds normal to me.
Love, Osprey

Maybe he needs an alto sax.

I found it interesting to read that the inclusion of Buddy Rich in sessions, when Parker was overridden in his choice of drummer, was considered detrimental to the music as Rich's sensibilities were from an earlier time and he didn't produce what was needed.

Grignano books may yet acquire new bodice-rippers, as can be read (unillustrated version) in this post on Backpacking Burro.


/me wonders what would happen if she terraformed under the enbiggerated creatures' feet.

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Young says "If you give me not every week" is pure poetry so I am adding it to the poem made from rearranged snippets made by the Poetry Generator on Clematis Isle.

Here's to Oblivion from Alabama

If you give me not every week
The lush texture of my relentless desire
To melt into untouchable,
I am a rock
standing... dissolving... isolated.
Utterly wrong.
With a blunt object
take over tomorrow.
Could you please melt into concrete?


I missed this LL blogpost, for some reason (it's from 28 October), but it's great news:

"I’m happy to report that we have an approved plan to move away from VPN reliance. We’ve finalized a design and chosen facility and equipment partners to build and deploy a private fiber optic ring to interconnect our datacenters. “LLnet” will be the designation of our private network and we have established an aggressive timeframe to activate it. I’m pushing hard to bring LLnet online by the end of this year (’08), and begin a phased migration off of the VPN’s immediately after. Given the amount of traffic to move, I would estimate completion of this project by February or March of ‘09 at the latest. So we have a light at the end of the tunnel on one of our biggest stability issues."


Last time my sister and brother-in-law were here (exactly a year ago) I played Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men on yootoob: yes, although the stretch of time has been great we are fond of them still, and in fact say, "weeeeeeeed," at the drop of a hat. My brother-in-law said, "ZOMG you must've been STARVED for entertainment," which earned him a stinky look from my sister, who promptly grilled him on HIS childhood memories and pulled up a hoary clip in illustration.

I made her watch the Little Big Planet trailer, as, to me, it seems like it's in a straight line from Bill and Ben (a very long line, true). I don't have a console, but nevertheless have poked LBP every so often to see what was going on. It seems to be out, just, which is nice.

Today, however, I've been pondering* World of Goo, which reminds me of the faulty workings of my brain these days, which organ I try to beat into submission by sheer force of will. Everything is always interesting, even borkified things (sometimes they are even more interesting when broken as the cracks give glimpses of otherwise hidden cogs and gears). It's like each unit of thought is a goo ball, and there are not many goo balls available, and goo balls must stay connected to be of any use. If I run out of goo balls I just have to reset.

*I'm such an observer that it amuses me to watch, and it isn't like it goes on without me being aware of it. I'd by far rather have my capabilities back, but this is an adventure just as much as climbing Mount Everest or exploring Antarctica without modcons (where someone might observe the effect of thin air or suffer snowblindness). That makes me think of "The Worst Journey in the World," especially the part, for some reason, where Cherry-Garrard relates in passing that the cold killed the nerves in his teeth. I don't know why that particular part sticks out to me; it is an internal effect, though, I suppose, so would interest me. Another piece of a different book (and I can't remember which book), which was, I think, a writer's time spent in the country, is an observation of a very still frog. That is, what was once a frog - the reptile having been killed by a water bug which attached itself to the frog then injected poisons into it which liquified the insides, enabling digestion. As the author watched, the skin collapsed like a deflated balloon. That reminded me of my childhood, when my cousin Christopher and I, being science mad, spent all our time together (not much) poking around in the world, and accidentally caught something we had no understanding of. It was like a glue ball - a formless but self-motivated and muscular... thing... which we found in Pickering Creek, and which must've been the very same "water bug" creature as was observed consuming the frog. I've avoided learning more about it as it horrifies me (as do the wasps which paralyse caterpillars and lay eggs in them). Is that, though, more the usual way things function than otherwise? For instance toy manufacturers lay eggs in children by creating seductive advertisements. Yes, the entire organism isn't killed, however SOMETHING is killed.

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[0:19] SalieriSoldier1 Rajal: Hi my Name is Consigliere Salieri the Consigliere from the Salieri Mafia Family.I have an offer where you cannot refuse.If you give me not every week at Sunday 25 Linden Dollar protection money my Soldiers will harass you in youre Land!
[0:20] SalieriSoldier1 Rajal: at youre photo studio in grignano

Oh, ok. ........SALAZAR!!!!!!!!!!!

/me turns on damage and locks and loads.
/me sits on a prim.

I wonder if I could get them to enter the photo contest.

Heh - Enjah was just talking about the Olden Days, when we had a wee mafiette lair above us, and a visitor or family member used to set off bombs in the house. I told him to stop as flames were engulfing the gallery, then we had one of those, "I would've stopped if you had asked me nicely, but since you were a bitch I shall now make your life a leeeeving hellllllllllllllllllllllll" exchanges.

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05 November 2008


World of Goo

I spent a little time yesterday learning to make raw files - which has always seemed like it would be fun and was. I used L3DT from, mostly, with a bit of Photoshop thrown in as lowering contrast helped me to not make enormous high mountains by accident.

I was just uploading over and over to a standalone. I've had one on and off for absolutely ages, but I don't do much there as all I ever wanted to do was make raw files and play with land textures, and when I first set one up that was either not available (as I recall it didn't save land changes then) or was just not something I had time for. Like just about everything else except for Second Life I just set it up and poked it with a stick once or twice then let it waste away. I like traveling the 'verse, which that sort of is in a way.

Today I spend all day (as in more than twelve hours) redoing all the card files for the POD cards, and I think they'll be better. I want to check them over tomorrow in the daylight then make another order.

It made today feel like it didn't really happen.


04 November 2008

Thank G'al.

03 November 2008

I went to check out Legend City, discovered it is the former Central Grid purchased in September by people I know (acquaintances). They are trying to do it with heart, which is excellent. I made Osprey Covington (neko above), but when I found out it was formerly Central Grid I zipped 'round and went in as Osprey Therian (which account I made when Central Grid was new last year or whenever it was).

Although it's in its early days they have a currency system and so are attracting a lot of people. I'm sorry they decided to be something beginning with Ell, though. Money is Legend dollars, and company people are surnamed Legend. I knew most of the people there at least vaguely, and the one woman I didn't know turned out to live next door to Combat Cards in Europa.


Yesterday I was taking pictures for new Horror series Combat cards and just when I was finished and longing to go offline a French person came by and wanted to learn to play. He didn't speak any English, so Hank Ramos's Translator was very useful. I could explain what to do and he'd understand, and he did very well indeed. The funny thing was he was typing in French texting speak, so the translator wasn't much use for him -->me (he was easy to understand anyway so it didn't matter). Once I got past "koi" (haha!) it was simple.



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I want to ask for thoughts about improving the world -- what do people need? How can things be organised?