Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feral cities - The New Strategic Environment

Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles. Once a vital component in a national economy, this sprawling urban environment is now a vast collection of blighted buildings, an immense petri dish of both ancient and new diseases, a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power. Such cities have been routinely imagined in apocalyptic movies and in certain science-fiction genres, where they are often portrayed as gigantic versions of T. S. Eliot's Rat's Alley. Yet this city would still be globally connected. It would possess at least a modicum of commercial linkages, and some of its inhabitants would have access to the world's most modern communication and computing technologies. It would, in effect, be a feral city.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Geoffrey McKinney's CARCOSA

This is an original "old school" supplement that is being independently produced and published. I'm supposed to be receiving a PDF of the supplement so that I can review it. I'm really looking forward to it.
Supplement V: CARCOSA contains little that you haven't seen elsewhere. Cthulhu Mythos, Space Aliens, Lake Monsters, sorcery, ray guns, human sacrifice, etc. None of this is unique to Carcosa. I do trust, however, that the particular mixture thereof is unique and intriguing.

Phil RetroSpector - Back To Virginity


Phil RetroSpector - Back to Virginity from Phil RetroSpector on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Swords and Wizardry

So, the other day I found a "new to me" retro clone of OD&D called Swords and Wizardry. This game is brought to us by one of the people responsible for OSRIC, another retro clone built under the OGL that emulates the AD&D experience instead.

Not a big game by any stretch of the imagination, which is a plus to me, Swords and Wizardry does a good job of emulating that old school fun that was OD&D. I miss my little booklets, stolen by some visitor to my apartment god only knows when. But I got hours and hours of enjoyment out of that game, which lead into almost 30 years of gaming now.

Frankly, I haven't had the chance to read the rules that thoroughly yet. But, what I have seen I do like. I am probably going to get around to ordering an actual print copy so I can really give the game a reading. What I have seen so far makes me want to read more and (more importantly as a litmus test for an RPG) it makes me want to game. So, for now I wanted to share the existence of this with everybody and I will post more when I have a chance to digest the game more thoroughly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interview with Jason Fried of 37signals


It's A Remote World We Live In

I want to talk about interconnectivity and the internet, and for a change I want this to be an interactive topic. Talk to me here, through Twitter or through Facebook...but talk.

Here's the question: With the level of interconnectivity available there days: internet, cell (and smart) phones, and all of the other little things.... Is face to face still the best method for collaboration?

I do expect some skewing of results since the people who will bother to respond are going to be online people but I would still like to hear what you have to say.

If you see this post as it cascades through my various online faces, I would like to hear from you. I want to know your thoughts. I know that this is unusual for this blog, as I don't usually look for interactivity though this place. Most of these things are "fire and forget" types of posts that I think someone might be interested in as I meander through the internet and the world.

Right now, though, I'm looking for discourse. I'd like to hear what you have to say, even if you don't know me or we've never spoken before.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Buzz Rickson's Black N-1 Deck Jacket

Early in 2003, best-selling novelist William Gibson released a groundbreaking new book, PATTERN RECOGNITION. This absorbing and masterfully crafted novel is set in the period immediately following “9-11”, featuring a high-tech., super-hip, cyber-chic, anti-fashion sophisticate, Cayce Pollard, as the heroine. Brilliantly woven within the many pages of cutting-edge prose Mr. Gibson has crafted is the one object more valued by Cayce Pollard than any other she owns – the Black Buzz Rickson’s MA-1 Flying Jacket.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Judge sentences rap music fan to Bach, Beethoven

A defendant had a hard time facing the music. Andrew Vactor was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo in July. But a judge offered to reduce that to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Vactor, 24, lasted only about 15 minutes, a probation officer said.

It wasn't the music, Vactor said, he just needed to be at practice with the rest of the Urbana University basketball team.

'I didn't have the time to deal with that,' he said. 'I just decided to pay the fine.'

[via Audio Porn Central]

Thursday, October 09, 2008

On Parched Farms, Using Intuition to Find Water

Phil Stine is not crazy, or possessed, or even that special, he says. He has no idea how he does what he does. From most accounts, he does it very well.
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'Phil finds the water,' said Frank Assali, an almond farmer and convert. 'No doubt about it.'

Mr. Stine, you see, is a 'water witch,' one of a small band of believers for whom the ancient art of dowsing is alive and well.