14 November 2011

Lovecraftian biology

A friend of mine mentioned that presenting science topics with Oatmeal-style goofy images might make them more entertaining. But instead I turned some science into a tale in the style of H.P. Lovecraft, because I'm not good with directions.

Our story takes place in a small, insular community nestled among the trees. It's a place often overlooked, but the residents are fine with that. They're content to go about their own business within the community, and don't much care for outsiders. They work with a singular devotion to maintain their homes, raise their children, and provide for their kin.

Little do they know, however, that lurking in unknown spaces—spaces beyond their comprehension—is a mindless horror that seeks to use their bodies and their minds for its own sinister purposes. Its terrible spores have drifted unseen, but soon they will find a suitable host and begin the community's monstrous transformation.

12 November 2011

This whole thing just makes me sick

I'm a cynic and even I was surprised by the disgusting displays of callousness and idiocy in the wake of the child rape scandal at Penn State. That people think someone's success in a pointless game should overshadow the fact that they knew children were being abused and allowed it to continue is abhorrent, unbelievable, and depressing. It's fucking football. It doesn't matter. And it matters even less when compared to the well-being of a child.

I'm just glad that someone in the mainstream media is acknowledging that the reactions to the story are nearly as reprehensible as the story itself:

And for the record, I think the comparison to the Catholic church is incredibly appropriate.

11 November 2011


Ya, ya, I get it, it's amazing and you're playing it and I'm not. Once I have the money (and of course, no longer the time) I'll be right there with you, and until then I'll do my best not to be bitter.

I've been pleasantly surprised to learn from reviews about a few features that I never saw mentioned in the lead-up to the game, such as hiring or befriending companions and having a dog. The fact that it's already pleasantly surprising me before I've even played it isn't going to make the wait any easier.

And speaking of surprising:

On the one hand, it's pretty dumb that you can put a bucket over someone's head without them reacting. On the other hand, it's nice to see that the NPCs' perception of the world seems to in fact be based significantly on their line-of-sight in the rendered world, instead of simply on dice rolls in the background.

But the best news I've heard so far about Skyrim is that dragons don't start appearing at random until a few missions into the main quest. In Oblivion I barely did the main quest at all, and instead created a bunch of side-characters to take on things like the Thieves or Mages Guild or just running around in the woods like an idiot. In that game the main quest was really easy to ignore; the only clue that you were supposed to be doing something else being the amulet in your inventory. I was worried that in Skyrim it would be impossible to ignore the whole "dragonborn" thing if dragons kept appearing where you character was, but thankfully you can opt out of that. Huzzah!

And now if you would kindly just shut up about the game until I get it, that'd be great.

01 November 2011

Laugh at these guys, then put their skin on your body

So I StumbledUpon a delightfully morbid Minecraft webcomic called Creeps. It's only just started, but I'm already a fan. Another fan made some skins of the characters, and I'm a jerk so I made some, too. I'm no skinologist but they're pretty okay maybe? (The large preview images were made using Miners Need Cool Shoes.)


Jensen's friend:

If you've never used a custom skin for Minecraft, here's what you do: Copy the smaller image and save it to your computer (as a .png would be good), then make sure you're logged in at minecraft.net, change it so it reads minecraft.net/profile at the top of the page, and upload the skin file. Woohoo! If it doesn't work right away try quitting and the restarting the game.

And check out Creeps, dummy.