26 February 2011

I like to keep you on your toes...

So from Feist, here we go into Fantomenk:

The genre is chiptune, which basically makes use of a lot of the sounds that can be created on an old gaming console. If you can listen to this song only once at a time, you're stronger willed than I am. Same if you're able to restrain yourself from flailing around in your chair while listening to it, because I sure can't. :D

25 February 2011

Unlearn what you have learned about board games

So I've been wanting to do some posts on the sorts of board games I've been playing, but each time I've realized that such a post would require a significant amount of introduction to bring people up to speed on modern hobby board gaming. So I've put off the more specific board game posts for now so that I can post a primer for those of you who might not be aware of what sort of depth the board gaming hobby has these days.

First things first: purge Monopoly from your mind. It's probably the first thing you think of when you hear the words "board game," and that's a damn shame. There's a board, certainly, but I'm less convinced about the "game" part. Monopoly is characteristic of those old childhood board games in that where you go is based entirely on luck, eliminating most of the potential for strategy. Then it takes it further by lasting freaking forever and having gameplay that makes you hate everyone else playing.

If I told you this game was actually developed by family counselors to generate more business for their practices, I bet you'd give it a moment of legitimate consideration.

That's not what board gaming has to be about. While most people these days get their games in video form (of which I'm also a big fan), board gaming offers plenty of things that video gaming can't, principally among them the pleasant tangibility of the physical board and pieces, and the wonderful social aspect of having all the players around the table to share the experience. So if you're ready to leave behind all the bad memories left with you by games like Monopoly and find out how much fun board gaming can actually be, read on. :)

17 February 2011

The Minecraft Apocalypse

I love the mix of stupid cardboard costumes with some pretty sweet effects during the fight.

Just a quick piece of awesome

A volcanic eruption as seen from the International Space Station.


A unique method of mammalian communication

As you probably know, crickets rub together surface structures to generate sound and communicate with other members of their species. It's become something of a mundane piece of trivia at this point, but it's really pretty cool when you think about it. 

The oral communication we're more familiar with also involves rubbing pieces of integument against each other to make a noise; the two big differences are that our communication involves the forced passage of air from our pulmonary system over these noisy bits, and that all the structures involved are internalized. The fact that crickets have gone an entirely different route by instead recruiting locomotive structures and that it all occurs externally can strike you as pretty alien to our methods in the right frame of mind.

Though, in the end, that degree of difference isn't all that unexpected between ourselves and insects. But what if there was a cricket-like method of communication a little closer to home? Enter the striped tenrec of Madagascar:

16 February 2011

Great song, great video

Though I do cringe a little when she holds the sparkler that close to her face.

14 February 2011

Tell me all your thoughts on god...

You know we live in a pretty amazing age when I can make that request of hundreds of people from all around the world from my bedroom. And that's exactly what I did a couple of years ago, using the chat service Omegle.

The countries filled in with blue are those which people have alleged to be from while I've talked to them on Omegle.

10 February 2011

Genetic drifting

Okay, so neither genetic drift nor drifting are involved in this, but I couldn't resist the stupid joke, because it's about evolving cars:

Play it here!
It's called BoxCar2D and could be a fantastic tool for teaching a biology class about how natural selection works.

Phantogram - "Running from the Cops"

Check them out.

Hank the Beautiful (Etymology, Comedy, Sexism, Vikings, and Asterisks)

You may be aware that the term "America" likely comes from the name of cartographer Amerigo Vespucci, being the Latinized, feminine form of his first name (Amerigo -> Americus -> America, to match the feminine names of the Old World continents). Vespucci made journeys to the New World after Columbus and his name was on the maps he made, and another cartographer apparently saw fit to therefore name over a quarter of the world's land area after him (to his credit he of course didn't know it was that much).

The Adventures of Reginald McFisticuffs, Part 1

So this is the first Reginald "adventure." It's the odd-one-out in that it's very short; all the others are painfully long. But it did start the formula of mundane or depressing contemplations juxtaposed with surrealism.

Though he did his best to hide it, Professor Reginald C. McFisticuffs III could not help feeling that his contempt for the young up-and-comer might be somewhat apparent...

The news was not all bad, however, as shortly thereafter the foreman of the build crew came down to inform him that construction of the dapper new top hat out of McFisticuffs's own hair was nearly complete.

A light has gone out.

 (This was originally posted to Facebook in March of 2010 after a friend lost her life in an accident.)

Recent events have had me thinking on the notions of life, death, the afterlife, and how we all go on with our lives knowing that certain special people are gone.


So at this point in my Facebook blogging I included a terribly long summary of most of my views on religion. At some point in the future I may republish that (most likely in chunks), but for now I think I'm just going to go into my reasons for including one of the particular pictures that I did in that original post:


Reasons why I secretly want a zombie apocalypse

So I think as human beings we're generally supposed to find the concept of a life-obliterating global disaster a bit distasteful, but I must admit, there are times when I find myself secretly thinking of a zombie apocalypse in a positive light.
Like this, but a smidge less English.

Now hopefully that doesn't prompt you to think of me as some sort of monster. I'm also pretty sure I'm not entirely alone in this (the facebook group "The Hardest Part of a Zombie Apocalypse Will be Pretending I'm Not Excited" has over 60,000 members). I'm well aware it's probably not a good thing to want a zombie apocalypse. If it ever did happen, I think it's quite likely my enthusiasm would be markedly dimmed.

But I can't deny the way I feel now, and so I thought maybe I'd delve a bit into the psychology behind such a seemingly absurb concept by examining my own motivations. But worry not: I will do no actual research for this blag, and will simply ramble off gut feelings and pop-psychology buzz words. And hey, I'll also do my best to make it humorous.

Some music to appease you

Since I'm reposting a bunch of old content, I figured I'd include some quick new content in the form of a song that I enjoy. If you haven't listened to the Cold War Kids before, give them a shot. I think they've put out some excellent music.

09 February 2011

These people are clever. You should therefore assume that I am too.

This was originally posted a couple years ago. I went through and adjusted the links as needed. I'll do a follow up in the near future that includes some more sites that I've come across since this was posted.

So the first blag probably didn't keep your interest all that much, with all the "blahblahblah Star Wars blahblahblah anuses blahblahblah." So now it's time to hopefully pull some people in by demonstrating how awesome of a person I am by showing you a bunch of people much funnier and more interesting than me. Sounds like a plan! Here are some of my favorite places around the interwebs (minus the more mundane ones like the several videogaming websites I check regularly and such, and hopefully without the ones that are too old of news), starting with the webcomics that I follow:

I'm in a relationship with Star Wars and it's complicated.

This was also my first Note posted to Facebook in my proto-blogging phase. Why I thought it would be a good lead-in then, or why I'm continuing that assumption now, is really beyond even me. If there was any doubt in your mind about my being a giant dork, this should clear things up.

I unabashedly admit to being a huge Star Wars geek. As I type this I'm wearing a "Han Shot First" t-shirt (if you don't know what that means, don't worry, we'll get to that in a moment), if I said I'd never bought a Star Wars action figure while being legally able to drink I'd be lying, and I spent a couple very enjoyable years during high school roleplaying as a Stormtrooper in an online game. You might assume I'm on some sort of mission to never get laid again, but really it's just that I seem to have been born without some genes critical to the human body's production of shame.

I'm so far gone that the only thing keeping me from joining these dorks is money. Yep. Source

My relationship with Star Wars is not a straightforward one, however. And since you're a damned fool, you're going to click "Read more" and find out all about it. Go on, it's worth it! I added some funny pictures and all sorts of talk about ferrets and anuses and such.

Another drop in the ocean

So I finally decided I had enough thoughts bouncing through my skull that it might be healthier to shout them into the internet than to keep them bottled up. So I've taken the plunge and gotten me some "Web 2.0" or "blogosphere" and probably some "synergy" while we're prattling off asinine buzz-phrases. I started by writing some blog-ish Notes on Facebook, but I figured with the amount of rambling I'm capable of a proper blog would be a better option. The first few posts here will likely be reposts of those Facebook notes, which is of course ultra-annoying since I'm assuming the only people who'll be reading this thing are folks who are already friends with me on Facebook.

As for further content, I'm thinking it'll be whatever crap is on my mind at the time. So you can likely expect lots in the topics of science (particularly biology), religion & atheism, and board & video games. I'll also probably include some links to things like music that I think is worth listening to and random crap I find on the internet. From time to time I may include some of my drawings of questionable quality and questionable-er sanity. And then of course I'll be bringing Reginald along with me, in the form of the "episodes" I already posted to Facebook and some new ones I have planned.

That's it for now; I'm gonna see what I can do with the layout and then I'll start adding some actual content.