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31 October 2010

 
The release event was fun. I had the man call during my second fight then arrive to fix my water and then come in to talk to me twice, leaving muddy footprints on the carpet - however by the end of the event I had water! w00t! Somewhat unexpected as he thought the diver's pipe cutting had allowed something to go up and clog the pipe - speculation.
Mich won!

Bloodsong vs Magnek

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Water, Water, Everywhere

Water went out again last night. I emailed Mr Landlord (last time I inadvertantly rang him up in Hong Kong). These water troubles have been trying. We had a SCUBA diver here on Thursday and Saturday (he was VERY nice). He said things looked good down there and in response to my questioning said A) he had seen very big fishes and large crawfish on the dive to The End of Our Waterpipe, and B) the lake is very, very deep. He also sawed off a rusty pipe section and replaced it.

Mr. Landlord rang me this morning asking me about the circuit breakers (he thought the diver might've tripped them as he had received a shock when switching the pump on). I said we had water for hours after the diver left and that when I discovered the water was out I (as per long-standing instructions) turned off the two pump breakers so the water pump wouldn't burn up, but just to make him happy I'd turn them ON, check, and email the results (Results= no water).

The water always seems to go out on the weekend.

Update: MrLL has gone to bed and left me numbers to call to try to get a workman here to fix the problem.

I blame Candide as he was asking me about it yesterday (just joking!).

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Happy Hallowe'en

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30 October 2010

 


Aretha

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Jason Scott: The Atomic Level of Porn from ekai on Vimeo.



An Oldie But A Goodie

Candide threw me this link.

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About 8am

ZOMG stop it at 28 - a red-winged blackbird.

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29 October 2010

 
Nize Dai

Just got home.

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Out the window just now...
Ducks near the end, too.

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28 October 2010

 

My Rock

One of my oldest possessions is my rock - a roughly rectangular-shaped piece of quartz with a few pink granite chunks in it - which I picked up, on a family mushrooming jaunt, at what had once been a house but had become just an abandoned foundation, barely there at all. Old sites of houses are interesting as the foundations and plantings remain long after the house is gone. Anyway, I was about five, and I well remember finding my rock and what I thought ("It looks like a brick."). It's not a tiny thing so I must've had a degree of determination to walk all the way back with it, and then keep it close to me forever afterwards. It used to sit next to my easel and has a splash of sky paint on it. Sometimes I lie with it on my chest. It was on the half-moon table in the hall until six months or so ago, when it was moved to my bedside table.

I used to feel slightly guilty for moving it from its home until one day I realised its Ontario home is paved and built over now. I, like everyone else, used to collect rocks, however my rock was never mixed up with those. I used to like knapping flints and picked up some suitable pieces whilst driving across country, and I may even still have a few - but those never were meaningful in the way my rock is meaningful. I've had my rock next to me for 52 years. That's... probably some indication of how odd I am.

However, in all those millions of times I sat with my rock, thought about it, even kissed it, I never noticed until just now that it perfectly (but roughly) fits my left hand, with even a place for my thumb. Held that way the bottom is flat, which makes me wonder if it was a hastily contrived tool for - I don't know, creasing mats or pulverising seeds or something. It makes me feel now like it was a rock version of a domesticated dog that wagged its tail and followed me home because it was people-oriented and wasn't happy abandoned.

A couple of decades ago I wanted to do a book wherein people showed off the possession they'd had the longest. I used to ask people about it all the time, but there was no good way to do it then. But now - it could be a blog if anyone else is interested in telling their tales. And not to be rigid- often the most meaningful thing isn't the longest held, so there's leeway and only each person knows the special object that should be included.

So - what would you write about?



27 October 2010

 
Oh, I almost forgot I made this the other day. I thoroughly suck at the game (although I was coming to it with zero foreknowledge so it would be hard not to suck). Besides, all I wanted to do was float around and film. It's that icky size because that's the window size.

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A dour yet feckless and selfish young man reluctantly goes to help run the family business following his father's heart attack. An enjoyable small film with interesting characters, The Grocer's Son is worth watching even though it is a bit hokey.

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The official Combat Cards release event is HERE.

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26 October 2010

 
Dakota Tebaldi over on SCmkII made this observation:

"I'm not against cremation itself, of course...it's a very simple and effective and respectful way of dealing with death. I want my final arrangements to be very simple, so I'll certainly be cremated.

That is, everything except for my skull. Which will serve as an urn for my ashes and, bronzed, be placed in the outstretched hand of an Italian marble statue of myself in my prime, holding a striking, determined pose. This statue will be mounted on a short circular pedestal of Corinthian style, not more than 2 meters tall and 2 in circumference, which will itself surmount a hexagonal polished granite base of 2.5 meters in height and of sufficient area to hold the pedestal above. On each side of the base, vital statistics about myself are to be carved in one of six languages (English, German, Mandarin Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, and Latin) in a monumental Romanesque font, no more than a half-an-inch deep, and inlaid with gold filigree. The whole shall occupy the center of a massive marbled rotunda, paved with slate tiles painted in a subdued smoke-and-charcoal checkerboard fashion throughout, save for the periphery where the floor meets the wall, where a round slate border shall feature quotes from notable persons, most prominently me. The quotes shall be of a tasteful contrasting color so as to be as visibly striking as possible. Leading off from the central rotunda toward the east will be a short corridor that opens into a small gallery that features art, literature, and other works of cultural significance produced during my maturity, housed in climate-controlled glass cases, properly captioned and lit. The overall decor of the room shall of course be dark and sparse, so as to draw as much attention as possible to my achievements, which are the focus of this chamber. Leading north from this room, a corridor will arc around the outside of the main rotunda, leading to another chamber due north of but unconnected with the rotunda itself. This room is to be dedicated to my childhood; featuring a tasteful statue of myself at approximately ten years of age flanked by artifacts of my youth, including early school report cards and A+ assignments, crayon artworks, love notes to and from various girls in my classes, a screenshot of the time my initials were ranked first on the Gauntlet II arcade game at the MWR center, and other such arcana. In addition, articles and artifacts emphasizing the integral military aspect of that period of my life will line the walls. This room is to be decorated in light earth tones and cool colors, and unlike the previous chamber there will be large windows permitting sunlight to pour into this room. To the west, another corridor will curve south around the rotunda to a fourth and final room; this chamber, a relatively simple affair, will feature merely a detailed biography, inscribed on the walls in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic (ancient and modern), Russian, Turkish, Greek, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Burmese, Sanskrit, Afrikaans, Swahili, Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Cuneiform. A short rough stone monument in the center of the chamber will carry my epitaph, which will read "The World Was Not Ready" in English, in a simple serif font. A short corridor to the east will connect this room with the central rotunda. Entrance and egress to and from the shrine will be made by means of a portal to the south.

The shrine is to be placed in a circular clearing of some 500 feet in radius, itself at the center of a tract of virgin forest no smaller than 100 acres square, supplied with a self-sufficient power source and connected by a meticulously-kept gravel road to the outside world. A trust, established in my name, will be tasked with the sole responsibility of maintaining the mausoleum and grounds, providing physical security, and operating the gift shop at which devoted visitors may purchase Cody memorabilia at reasonable prices."

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A Refresher

Study up, you lot. Here'as some of my Combat Cards machinima.





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25 October 2010

 
Once, many years ago (2005? 2006?) on the old, proper forum, I told some would-be SL population studier that "we are not your antfarm" I always wondered if that's where the surname Antfarm came from. Anyway, how times change! In those days LL was very strict with those types, and asked them to register and so forth. Now, it seems we are indeed an antfarm, but in a slightly different way.

"Our system enables you to reach this sought-after audience in a simple and easy way. Target your campaigns to reach relevant customer groups according to your preferences boosting both awareness and sales of your products and services." -- Second Life Advertising

Well, it isn't like it hasn't been talked about for years - we knew it was likely to come and now it's here. Will it be annoying? Or OK? Jury's out as yet.



 
Doc Comes Clean

Doc has revealed himself on his blog as the former Babbage Linden (yes, I knew, actually a long time before he says in that post). Right now we are screamingly busy trying to get things set for Sunday's Robot Series release - we are getting close! Join us for the event at 2pm - beware the Clocks as they change in some parts of the world that day.

As well as 18 beta robot cards (come and build a free deck) Doc has made three diabolical Linden zombie cards that are oh, so risky but pay off in lots of regeneration if things go your way (actually come to think of it since they only kick in when you have fewer than 10 health points they aren't so risky - but giving up a card space in your deck is, a bit).

Hamlet's article is HERE.

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Visiting Lummerland

What's that?
Looks familiar...DUCK!!!
(Luceh told me Barney had broken free of the LL grid so I went 'sploring.)

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Qarl is amazing.

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24 October 2010

 

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23 October 2010

 
Robot Series Release!
Join us at 2pm on the 31 October as Doc and I host a Robot release event. There are 18 free beta cards - enough choices to build a killer deck from.
Wear your best futuristic attire; tournament details later (when we know 'em ourselves). Wall-to-wall fighting will be the order of the day!

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22 October 2010

 
The Crisis Caravan: What's Wrong With Humanitarian Aid?
Linda Polman

This is sickening. The book lays out how exploited is humanitaian aid that it in some cases creates the very misery it is intended to alleviate. I read a review in the New Yorker, but P C Hall in the Huffington Post writes: "The coup de grace comes when Polman interviews rebel leader Mike Lamin, who explains that the world's acceptance of a state of permanent civil war had inspired the amputations. "Without the amputee factor you wouldn't have come," he says, bitter that his side's surgical innovation hasn't brought its fair share of donor money and food."



20 October 2010

 
Uh... just when you think things can't get stranger...

Vatican Declares Simpsons Are Catholic

Also, an American man is facing a decade in the joint for possessing Simpson's pr0n, and in older weirdness Australia in 2008 declared that Simpsons pr0n counts as child pornography. I don't even know what to think about any of this. I didn't even know there *was* Simpsons pr0n.

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Hmmm.

(Responding in anger and frustration one would guess, to a jira comment) Brodesky Linden: Why don't you stop wasting time and put in comments in the correct tickets. We filter your emails to trash. Gmails makes that very easy to do.

"We filter your emails to trash." is the new SL meme.

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19 October 2010

 
Finally have water.


 


New Jersey Politics

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I've always thought one big reason LL has focused on bringing in new customers is that they understand the semi-secret that for most people SL has a user arc stretching from unfamiliar to obsessed to jaded to gone which generally takes place over a few years. They know it because they have experienced it themselves. It isn't the same for everyone because rl options aren't the same for everyone, and some are driven more by money than others, but it's true for about 95% of customers, I think.

People who arrived at X time think other X arrivals are awesome because they are obsessed at the same time. Customers who arrived earlier might well be in the jaded phase by that time.

It isn't a surprise that the CEO reins seem to have been given to BK as that was bruited about from the very moment M disappeared. Too, the Philip 2.0 contest having been dragged out made me feel like *maybe* he was shifting towards the door. It does surprise me, though, that when he returned V2.0 was reportedly a surprise to him.

Most people think M was the corporate scapegoat for the Linden Apocalypse, which has always seemed plausible as that's how things are done in order to keep clean hands, and although that was shocking and horrible I suppose if it was that or go under I'd rather the former than the latter. Of course, from the very M-beginning old Oracle employees were saying, "Say goodbye to all the overseas offices as that's the way M works," which came to pass. I dunno.

*stands in the temple and watches the flight of birds*

There's just no predicting. I think I'll go and examine the entrails of a goat now.


 
A nice blogpost distilling all the OH mesh information is HERE.

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Atomic Raygun is 8



18 October 2010

 

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Gah - plumber caused water to come on, then left, water went off again. This is tiresome and J and C are ready to declare war. The water went out Saturday evening.

Update: actually he just filled the holding tank then left with the broken pump - at least he is working on it and not thinking it's been mended.

Further update: fixed at about 4:30 or so.


 
Playing in the beta strategy game Picaroon, which is a lot like some parts of Spore.

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17 October 2010

 
Tired of water problems :(

Poor Jess just came back from camping dreaming of a hot shower.


 

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I Love Christmas Carols




French Canadian O Come All Ye Faithful
Pronunciation's titter-worthy but Rbt Goulet had nice modulation.

I vividly remember singing gaily away along with my sister in the evening as we were in our little beds going to sleep and my brother shouting, "Shut UP" since he didn't want to hear xmas carols in June.



 


Unpleasant never-been musician drunkard Robert agrees to go to Belgrade on an errand for cash. A good film.

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...and now Officer Bubbles is suing YouTube because of the parody videos.

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Just experimented a bit last night with gaps in the pi, really because Candide asked me about gaps. I'm a bit mentally scattered to learn things properly, unfortunately, but I'll just soldier on in my everlasting dunce state.

I think if I find a program that resonates with me and is a good all-rounder I'd be better off sticking with it as whipping back and forth madly from program to program isn't very productive. It was like that for sculpties, as I'd use all kinds of programs, sometimes just to translate from .obj to sculptmap. Meshes are capable of being far more direct as they aren't clever tricks or weirdness known only to SL; .dae is not quite as ubiquitous as .obj but not far off.


 
I've never heard anyone refer to an egg cream as a "chocolate egg cream."
(Laughing Squid is doing that for some reason.)

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Gah - no water. This is the third time in a few weeks. As you may recall the first time was *five* days. That prompted revolting tenant solidarity of a sort - J wrote something and sent it to the unknown person downstairs♠ and me asking me to rewrite it, which I did. The second time Mr Landlord hired a nearby competent person and it was fixed quickly. Ironically he emailed just now telling us what the fixer recommended if it ever went off again - hah.

♠ - who does laundry every day sometimes at 12:30 am, leaves all his lights on all the time even when he's away, and with whom I share utilities =====:O and the washer/dryer (not that I ever get to use it now).Is he running a commercial laundry cum grow operation down there?



16 October 2010

 

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Philip 2.0
LL has a winner - it's quite nice :-D



15 October 2010

 
Save your fork.


 
Some free 3d programs are SketchUp, MeshLab, Wings3D, Blender, and Sculptris. Blender is notoriously brain-exploding. I've used Wings3D a ton for making sculpties, and it's good - if I used it more often I'd be further along. SketchUp is pretty awesome, and very intuitive.

Sculptris is more than fab but I haven't been able to upload anything from it so far (yes, I'm changing the file type to collada). Since Pixologic recently hired its creator and folded it into its product I suspect that bodes ill for Sculptris. But it's still available.

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The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.



Candide sent me this link :-D Fantastic!

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A brutal murder haunts the main character of this Argentine thriller of impeccable acting, complex characters, and well-written script.

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Very inept, but I had just a few minutes to try out SketchUp and I have a ton to learn about 3D modeling. Five tons. Salazar, I made this in response to your picture. I believe the imaginary tool you describe is possible as PrimOven does more or less that but for sculpties.



14 October 2010

 

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w00t! Enj has found silent footage from the Great War!

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YouTube Messageland
Posies Fan:

Hello Friend,

Please, tell me that you have this Posies complete show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W-EFYmSZjo&NR=1

Thank you very much, any Posies live video is very welcome!!!

Hug


Me:
Hi - I have a lot more video of that show - I just had to cut it down for youtube. The quality is not great since it's a few years back, but it you are interested I can get all the video off the tape and stick it somewhere for download. You must be a big fan!

Posies Fan:
oohh my friend, you do not know how I'm happy with the possibility. I really like this band and I can not find a lot of them. If you can rip the VHS and available for download (maybe on Soulseek) I would be very very very happy and thankful ... Thank you for your attention!

** If you are interested, I have a DVD where they play them in celebration of 15 years of the album "Frosting on the Beater." It's a PRO-SHOT show recorded in Spain in 2008, they play the whole album and some more music. ;-)

Posies Fan:
gosh, I do not even know how to thank you so kindly! thank you so much! How do you plan on making it available for download? i can't wait!!!

forgive my English, i'm Brazilian and I do not speak English very well.
;-)



So now I'm babysitting my old camcorder while it regurgitates however much video Mr Monster and I filmed that night (I used to go see bands at LEAST once a week, often with the Monsters, and Mr M would sometimes take over filming duties if I'd brought my camera).

Update:
Posies Fan:
friend, I have no words to describe how gentle you were with me. I am eternally grateful! I know this is a relatively simple thing, but I'm a big fan of the band and it's so hard to find anything in video. If I can do something to give back, please let me know. Big hug and once again, super thanks! Whatever you get from the Posies, if possible, let me know. ;-)

aww - very sweet message :-D

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13 October 2010

 
Making a Mesh
Brady Bunch: I C U, Salazar!

I couldn't upload what I made specially for mesh, so had to be content with my old bacon I modeled then turned into a sculpty.
First it was A MILE LONG ===:O I need to get considerable wiser in this meshing around!




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The madding crowd: open mesh beta begins.
There are all kinds of things people have put on display.
I couldn't enter.
Airship, Salazar!
Snake women!
Duck!
A car by Falcon.
There was a little raptor that seemed to only rez at a low LOD, and this skeleton in another sim.



12 October 2010

 
The BBC has wonderful video of the miners being rescued.
Live.


 


More, and faster.

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Candide pointed this out :-D

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This morning

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11 October 2010

 
Seasons

In the natural world things ebb and flow. There might be the grip of ice preceding the warming of the earth, childhood turning to adulthood, a period of growth that ends in ripening and harvest. In modern life humans try to make everything as much the same as possible; the widget factory opens at 7 am and lets its workforce out at 4 pm every day. We have lights so we can stay up even if it is dark early or stays dark late, and our food includes things that ripened elsewhere. We ignore the need for the rise and fall of cycles, and it doesn't do us any good. We make things boring because we make them accessible at all times. Sometimes a fallow period is needed; to rest is wise.

It might be a freshener for online programs to have a season. What if a virtual world tapered up in September, reached a peak of 24/7 openness, then tapered down in May, being unavailable from June through August? Would we not eagerly anticipate logging in on the opening day in September? Would we not be happy to rest our desire for that virtual world for three months, secure that it would return in its time?

Why does everything have to be a forced-march 24/7 from birth to the grave?

It hurts that we humans make things 24/7 and expect them not to be boring after a while. An unrelieved diet of ANYTHING is boring. We need to reintroduce the idea of seasons. It hurts that things that are good and useful and unique are abandoned because they can't sustain 24/7 nonseasonal use. We say, "Things have a lifespan" but that's only true because we push them to work unrelievedly. Rather we should say,"This has a season."


 
This morning

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Pointed out by Morgaine on SCmkII.

Last Kind Words - Geeshie Wiley



10 October 2010

 
Today
On my way to steal Spaceman's cat.
Acting in Enjah's film Hunneh Bunneh.


 


Banksy Simpsons Opening Sequence

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I forgot to pay attention this morning at 10:10 on 10.10.10.

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Every once in a while I like to revisit Peter Watkin's films. It occurs to me that some people might never've seen any of them as they are old now, so here's the trailer and a snippet from the *great* Punishment Park from 1971.




"The War Game" is another great one. And Culloden. And everything else he made.

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Trapped Chilean Miners: Nearly There

"I would like to illustrate what they are going through today with a conversation we had yesterday," Health Minister Jaime Manalich told a press conference near the San Jose mine.

"I questioned them and mentioned we were working on an order in which they would be brought out. I said the order would be determined by technical factors.

"And what was their reaction? 'Mr. Minister, that's fine but I want to go last please.' And then another guy said, 'No, my friend, I said that I was going to be the last one up.' 'No, no, really -- I want to go last, please,' another guy started saying."

By being able to put aside their needs and wanting their colleagues to have a chance at freedom and fresh air first, "they have had a really commendable spirit, of solidarity and commitment to their friends," Manalich stressed.



 
Trying the timer in the new cam.

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09 October 2010

 
"In many ways I feel like I have reached the outer limits of what is possible, you could say I have reached the speed of light or found the end of Moore's law. At this point development will only yield diminishing returns. This doesn't bode well for the future of games, if interaction really is holy grail. The only solution, is a paradigm shift that can reduce complexity. The question is what that paradigm is."

This post of Eskil's says a lot, and relates even a bit to Second Life, I think. Particularly (although the interdependency isn't the same sort as it isn't a game): "The final problem is that the systems handling all this become so big, so complicated and so interdependent, that they become incredibly fragile. This means that I spend almost all my time looking for bugs, and for every change I make it feels like ten other things break."

I haven't played LOVE for a long time mostly because I have one hand and at one point Eskil upped the AI ferocity and I was killed as soon as I logged in, over and over. Not long after that he lowered it again, but I was tired of not being able to function and wandered away, although I followed LOVE news in various places. It's a great game. It felt like it was becoming too complex, to me, but I recognised that the complexity would be eaten up by a lot of gamers. I'm not at all typical and would never think or insist things should be my way (not that that would get me far - someone on a forum said a non-aggressive mode where users could build and explore would be great, and Eskil bluntly quashed the idea). Rather than saying "too complex" I should say "complex enough." I wonder if consequences/relationships are mapped out precisely, as in real life there's slop in the quotient, a randomness that makes things unpredictable.

As far as there being diversity in the game-creators intentions, so that some studios such as Tale of Tales build artworks in the game format, I think that's right and proper. Not every game needs to be, as Eskil says, "a story that unfolds in response to actions" with a viewpoint from the user side and a high degree of interactivity. Some pieces are more like a visit into the game creator's mind, like a short holiday :-D However, it's clear from what he says why there isn't greater interactivity, and why players have been trained to expect less and even want less: greater interactivity means complexity greater than the current state of game development or perhaps just the state of human communication and organisation can cope with. If it's juggling, we can juggle six balls comfortably, but a truly interactive game is 26 balls and 4 chainsaws. Not only is that work to create but it's work to negotiate as a player.*

* However in my mind I can hear Eskil say something like The greater the true interdependency and the more fluidly the game works it should make the player operate more naturally, not require manipulation and memorised artificial gameploys.

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Imagine Peace



The event was at 3pm, so this was considerably later; many people were on the island both newly arrived like me and those busy dancing or thinking quietly.


 
Today

We had a storm that knocked out the electricity last night, however it came back on at about 11:30, and I went immediately to Europa and started getting things prepared for my CC event at 3. That *seems* like a lot of time but I had to put things together and do some elementary testing. It's really hard to keep hold of a bazillion items all named the same with the same perms that are all different :O
Enj turned up and we had a first go-round ending in spazzed-out decks. She left, I worked more, then got offline to have a break. Later Enj, Sid, and Cal helped me test, then we had a few normal fights on the treestump arena.

Now I'm making soup again.


 


At some point all these people who died before their time would be old, and die of old age if nothing else. Lennon would still've been good at seventy.

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08 October 2010

 
A couple of weeks ago...
Me: I have to go grocery shopping, don't make me feel terrible.
Frank: mmmm OK I'll try.
later
Me: I feel awful.
Frank: I'm going to bring you food so I can work on you.
I went home and just barely made it inside, falling, literally, backwards onto my bed, and falling asleep. Next days feel more energetic.

Last week
Frank: (holding a bag) Shall I put these in your car?
Me: OK, thank you. (eeeeeeeek!)
Stagger home, next days feel more energetic.

Today
Frank: (holding a bag) Front seat?
Me: Does this mean I'll be incapacitated?
Frank: Yes.
Me: o.O
Stagger home, barely able to drag myself in, but feel compelled to make lentil soup, which I throw together from anything near to hand. It was good. Then I fall into bed and sleep.

I realise later it's Friend Soup. It's made of lentils and onions from SJ, turnips, bulb fennel, carrots, and greens from Frank, and wild rice from Enjah, with organic broth from the grocery store. I'm lucky to be nourished physically and mentally by these generous friends.


 
The Big Picture has photos from the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Ca.



07 October 2010

 
Flu Shots

I don't usually get flu shots. Lucia lured me into going to a health fair at St Martin's once - maybe 17 years ago (I haven't thought about it in years, but I remember talking to a foot doctor who was surprised I knew what a tailor's bunion was, and I suddenly remembered the shoes I was wearing, for some reason), or so - and we got flu shots, which I felt had a negative rather than positive effect and so didn't bother after that.

Last year the doctor's office rang me to exhort me to get a swine flu shot as it was meant to be a bad winter and they said I was in that mega-elite category of sick/elderly/frail/etc. people who might croak (which wasn't the way that particular flu operated, as above a certain age one had been exposed to it in the last go-round and had antibodies, they say). There weren't any flu shots available, anyway, which was superfine to me, but just to be a good sport I dutifully read all the information sent to me and looked at the associated Web links. What the two places (I could go to if they ever got vaccine which they didn't) said was that if you didn't want mercury you could request non-mercury vaccine of which there was a limited amount (the mercury is used as a preservative).

This year the doctor's office rounded me up, and I can't even say *why* I said I would do it - I really can't. I did wind up, a couple of years ago, with a fever and on the floor for a couple of days, which I do wish to avoid, but that didn't motivate me last year. I just don't know. Anyway, I decided that I would ask for non-mercury vaccine but that if they didn't have any I would just go with what they had. This morning I didn't even sit down - they swept me into the back immediately. Dr H came through and said hello.

Me (to the innoculationist): Do you have the non-mercury kind of vaccine?
Inn.: Has mercury done a number on you?
Me: Mercury does a number on everyone.
Dr H (leaping into action although I'm sure he was really wanted elsewhere): Let's see! (unwraps a new bottle, unrolls the nine-mile long documentation with a flourish and finds the mercury section) It has X micrograms. That's (blah blah) tiny amount.
Me: I know the usual kind has mercury - my question is really only relevent if you also have the non-mercury kind. I'd decided before I came that if you didn't I'd just go with what you have. (I must not ask things right; I felt like a trouble-maker.)
Dr H: Oh. I never heard of that - we'll look into it next year. (wanders off)
Inn: So you want the shot or not?
Me: Yes.

I was just asking. I really don't want mercury if it can be easily avoided, but I knew it might not be possible. As Enj says, it accumulates in the body, so even small amounts add up.

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This seems like a good review of a film I haven't yet seen, from the comments at NWN (the general truth of paragraph four fits my experiences):

"Well, I went to see the Facebook movie, “The Social Network,” over the weekend. The folks who created this should look forward to aisle seats at the Academy Awards show. While it is expertly directed and beautifully acted, the high point is the script by Aaron Sorkin. He has taken a complex series of events and placed them in an order that is understandable. He has taken a complex set of characters and made them, if not sympathetic, at least approachable. In many ways, Sorkin has defined the internet era, its creators and its inhabitants as no one else has. In no other world but a Sorkin world could the line “Drop the ‘the’” be so pungent and true. And funny.

At the heart of this movie is an odd celebration of the new arrogance of geekdom. The satisfaction of being the smartest guy in the room is no longer enough for the Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who is brilliantly portrayed here by Jesse Eisenberg. In addition, the script by Sorkin and the performance of Eisenberg make it clear that Zuckerberg also wants to be the coolest guy in the room. Since that is never going to happen, we get to witness that his greatest achievements are accrued through outright intellectual property theft and cruel accounting and legal tricks. In many ways he is almost a cartoon villain seeking revenge for the callous ways he has been treated, but you can also tell he not only has no remorse, he has no idea of the pain he continually inflicts on others. He is an utter sociopath.

A lot of this seems to be from the emerging dominance of what I would call a gamer’s personality. He is utterly devastated when dumped by a girlfriend, but you would be hard pressed to figure out a kind word to say about him in the context of that relationship. After a few moments of his non-stop rambling toward his girlfriend in a Harvard bar, my bet is the audience would have cheered his defenestration. He has absolutely no self awareness of his insensitivity. In fact, he has absolutely no understanding that his actions and words might have consequences. If absolutely pushed, he might be able to insincerely mumble, “I’m sorry.” But he would never, ever, take any responsibility for his actions. He seems to think he can constantly return to the same level for a “do-over.” Utter gamer.

I am reminded of a time at a DragonCon when I attended a panel on employment in the field of gaming. The panelists, professionals in the field, could not understand that they had systematically alienated every single member of their audience through their ill disguised misogyny and racism and disdain for everyone who was not one of them. At the end, as we all exited quickly from the room, the panelists left their microphones on and wondered why no one was coming up for job applications or at least to ask to buy them a drink. I looked at the woman next to me who had been identified as one of the panelist’s wives. She shook her head sadly as I remarked, “They haven’t a clue, do they?”

I can not recommend this movie enough. However, please let it be known that it is not a heart warming drama. It is not a pleasant morality tale. When it is all said and done, Zuckerberg still ends up with the most toys. But in a movie about an internet application about friendship, it is telling that the co-founder of Facebook deservedly has none." --joetonight



06 October 2010

 
Names

My mother always received heat for giving me a male version of my name, which she did knowing full-well what it was but liking the way the "a" looked as she like round, squatty designs ((I like angular ones, myself). I'd get things addressed to "female version" from family, which I don't remember caring about one way or another. I just mention this because otherwise someone will say, "But your name..." and I want to cut them off at the pass :-D

I was just thinking, "Why are there certain names for males and certain for females?" I mean, why does that concept exist at all? Some (nick)names are sexless, like Chris, Pat, Alex - others sound the same, such as Joe/Jo or Billy/Billie, so it isn't necessarily so. It perhaps came about because of the attributes the parents wanted the babe to develop - mighty warrior versus fragrant blossom, I suppose. So names are like time machines that go back to society's first attempts to form us into something they want but that we have no clue about, and point to a general belief in magic.

We weren't allowed to have nicknames as my mother deemed it undignified. She hated her name, Joan ("Bah - just the female version of John."*) and Mummy Barbara hated her name - I didn't like mine but became used to it.

* John's my fave name, actually; I have a brother of that name but we've never met (I'm sure he doesn't even know/care that I exist).

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Someone at SLU posted this - and although I've never listened to this particular radio nutcase I feel like I don't need to in order to appreciate the video.

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05 October 2010

 
Graphic footage of the disaster

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Well, it's ok if you don't have anything better to do. There's a lot they *could've* done with this idea, but somehow the way they formed the plot wasn't compelling; a shame, as so many of the pieces are in place.

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When did this happen?

I just noticed YT vids can be up to 15 min - w00t!

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Spoon.net's SL-in-the-cloud works great.

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04 October 2010

 




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video
I just noticed that Picasa now makes "face movies" from whatever stills you toss it.


 
Sunset just now.
I got a new, cheap little camera as I have a hard time using the Sony's controls with my left hand :/ (I usually have to turn it upside down.) This is a Sanyo VPC-PD2 I bought off W00t! the other day. I bought it as A) it has a ton of features and B) I reasoned it was discounted because it's ugly, not because it doesn't function. It's a full HD camcorder + 10mp still cam - I'm still poking around but it seems ok.

The Sony was great for its time; I bought it just-out and full price, and I've liked it a LOT, and will continue to use it for certain things, I think.

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100 Robots @ ResLive
I filmed just because I don't like doing nothing, then afterwards saw I hadn't captured audio - so I have lots of wonderful silent video :-D



03 October 2010

 

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02 October 2010

 

Postcard from Second Life.
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion

There are people living in the rez area!


 

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