Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

While I’m on a kick of doing nothing but linking elsewhere, might as well toss this one out: a next-gen gaming manifesto, the 20 things we should want from the next generation of consoles.  Here’s an example:

15. Stop the Short-Sighted Business Bullshit

Patents. Did you know there’s a patent held by some
microscopic software company on spherical camera controls in realtime
3D, and they’re starting to level lawsuits against EVERYONE? Did you
ever wonder what happened to force feedback, controllers that push your
hands around so you can feel the action in the game as well as see it
(we’re talking real force feedback, not controllers that vibrate like
pagers)? Somebody has a patent, that’s what. Did you know you can’t
have mini-games during a loading screen because of patent law?

Exclusive sports licenses. Say goodbye to NFL football
anywhere but with EA. That’s right, they signed a deal with the NFL
saying nobody could make games but them. So every other pro football
game, including Sega’s, will be back to using fictional teams so get
ready to play as the Dallas Zombies with all-star QB Cletus Fuckhat.

Cashing in on Crappy Genre Knockoffs. For every Grand Theft Auto, there is a Driv3r. For every Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic there is a Fight Club: Soup Befouler.
This is no joke. A movie goer will bitch about a movie he “wasted”
seven bucks on. But to leave $55 at the game store and find out you got
a knockoff turd in return? That’s some serious customer
dissatisfaction, my friends. And it will bite the industry in the ass
some day, unless somebody wakes up.

Chances of that happening…

Excellent.  I like to think that some day the businesses
of the world will wake up and realize they’re part of a greater whole,
that the energy devoted to cannabalistic infighting means ultimate doom
for all. The leaders of the great religions of the world will realize
that all of us, Muslim, Christian, Jew, all want the same for humanity.
Women will realize it’s the pale, studious type they want instead of
the quarterback of the football team, and everywhere we walk, bunnies
will dance a path for us. Dance, little guys! Dance!

There are some excellent points made here.  I, for one, am
appalled at the price points on the next generation of consoles. 
I don’t give one flying fuck if the PS3 has “TiVo-like” features.  I already have a TiVo, motherfuckers.  The people who are going to rush out and buy a PS3 are not exactly late-adopters.  They are not exactly new
to the world of home electronics.  What are the odds someone is
going to be standing in line down at GameStop with their PS3 in one
hand and the still-dripping skulls of the other people in the store who
wanted one and, as they read the side of the box, they will exclaim,
“DVD?  What’s a DeeVeeDEE?  Holy cow, I can hook this here up to mah TeeVee and it’ll do stuff?” (more…)

Scientific American has up a fantastic article debunking 15 common talking points of creation “science”.  It’s well worth reading for the science, but don’t miss the editorial commentary at the end:

“Creation science” is a contradiction in terms. A central tenet of
modern science is methodological naturalism–it seeks to explain the
universe purely in terms of observed or testable natural mechanisms.
Thus, physics describes the atomic nucleus with specific concepts
governing matter and energy, and it tests those descriptions
experimentally. Physicists introduce new particles, such as quarks, to
flesh out their theories only when data show that the previous
descriptions cannot adequately explain observed phenomena. The new
particles do not have arbitrary properties, moreover–their definitions
are tightly constrained, because the new particles must fit within the
existing framework of physics.

In contrast, intelligent-design theorists invoke shadowy entities
that conveniently have whatever unconstrained abilities are needed to
solve the mystery at hand. Rather than expanding scientific inquiry,
such answers shut it down.

It keeps going from there and, unsurprisingly, it’s a solid defense of
scientific processes and far more positive than it is negative. 
Unlike the Creationists, SciAm offers something hopeful rather than an
unending stream of criticism, a belief that science always has – and
always will – push ignorance further and further from daily life.

Just a quick update – buds forming on the tomato plants, cages placed
because two of the plants just could not hold themselves up
anymore.  The zucchini and squash vines are doing great, as are
the pumpkin and most blackberry vines, but man, the onions and okra are
an utter failure.  On the upside, I have plenty of time to reseed
and try again.

The flower garden needs to get torn up and replanted.

The hostas are going wild.  The hydrangea looks normal
again.  It’s strange seeing a red hydrangea, but it’s
awesome.  The asiatic lilies are just starting to bloom, and

Plants pics get taken tomorrow morning.  The weekend was too crazy.


DSL, you just keep living vicariously.  And no, Arthur Name,
whoever you are, I have no desire to live in a greek temple. 
Well, OK, maybe one with lots of toga-clad male attendants, but only
for the eye-candy factor.  Otherwise, shoot, not even I like sweeping that much, and I genuinely like to sweep.  Plus that marble would be bitchin’ cold first thing in the morning.

This weekend the gaming group gets together for Grillin’ &
Gamin’.  It’s a time-honored combo I’ve long, long enjoyed.  Yum. (more…)

There’s been a victory for separation of church & state in Georgia:

MARIETTA, Ga. – Workers in Cobb County have begun removing
controversial evolution disclaimer stickers from science textbooks to
comply with a judge’s order.

The evolution disclaimers read: “This textbook
contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact,
regarding the origin of living things. This material should be
approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically

Six parents sued to remove the
stickers saying the disclaimers violated the principle of the
separation of church and state. A federal judge in January agreed and
ordered the stickers removed.

Of course, local wingnuts are wringing their hands and wondering how oh
how will they teach their children the difference between heathen
evolution and Bible-based creationism^H^H^Hintelligent design.  Of course, the obvious answer – TEACH THEM IN FUCKING CHURCH YOU FUCKING MORONS – doesn’t seem to occur to them. (more…)