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Let's Game!

Omar: I'll do what I can to help y'all. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple.

Dennis 'Cutty' Wise: The game done changed...
Slim Charles: Game's the same, just got more fierce.

The FOD Scheduler, Timezones, Live Status, Weekly OT

The Weekly OT #12

August 21, 2016

I was so impatient to see Heaven Is For Real that I bought the book. Then I didn’t need to see the movie. Same may happen with this one.

Cornie composed a new song, “Priceless“, in memory of biking out to see the fireworks two summers in a row with his brother, Tim.  The first year they forgot the chopsticks with which to eat their Cup Noodles.  They ate ’em anyway (don’t ask how).  The next year, they remembered the boiling water and the chopsticks.  This year, with no Tim around, he remembered everything and wrote the song.

And my favorite story of the week is the man laughed at for using Aqua Dam: his insight, his victory, and his testimony.  Love it!

On that thread, I came across The Prepper’s Blueprint (for survival) and the author’s website, which led me to the Dohm-DS, “the Official Sound Conditioner of the National Sleep Foundation”.  Apparently, they are safe to use.  And for those who use laptops or tablets before going to sleep, get rid of the harmful blue light with the free mini-app f.lux.  I am using it right now as I type this.  My screen is a bit yellow-orange, but if it means I will sleep better, hey!

Here is the story of the real Daredevil.  Seriously.  A blind dude using echolocation to “navigate” and see the world around him.  That trumps Professor X and The Wolverine combined!

For interesting and relevant podcasts, this week I enjoyed, among others, Longform’s interview of Seymour Hersh, author of The Killing of Osama Bin Laden, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, and a whole lot of articles for the New Yorker.

Finally, I want to share a personal story and from that perspective, discuss the Forward to an article published this week in the New York Times.  Many years back, a person who worked at the Law Society of Alberta which is in charge of the admission and discipline of all lawyers practicing in Alberta, discussed the pitfalls of working in that profession.  He told me to listen for the phrases lawyers use.  Specifically, lawyers who lie a lot often use the phrases like, “To be (completely) honest with you.”  Not only does common sense tell you to ask the question, “So, what, are you dishonest all the times you don’t qualify your speech like that?”, but the fact was, in his experience, the more a lawyer used that phrase, the more shady they found the lawyers to be, and ironically, in the specific instances of usage of that phrase, what followed directly after was usually bogus either through direct falsehood or lie of omission.  From an internal affairs perspective, it was a huge red flag.  I will never forget that conversation.

Read more…

The Weekly OT #11: Gamescom 2016 and PC Gaming

August 14, 2016

I’ve had some fun playing PvZ:GW2. There are problems. The music is really limp, almost depressing; I think they decided to Zombify that of the original, so it basically is without any of its trademark cheery spunk. Also, some of the high-skill level characters have been nerfed, so if you are Plants, go with the Corn Cob guy, if Zombies, the Scientist with the warp-shotgun combo.

And, I came across a couple of outstanding podcasts:

From The Nerdist: Vince Gilligan this was recorded prior to release of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad. It is a fantastic listen for fans of the show, or even those just interested in how entertaining TV is written.

From War College:
Annie Jacobsen, author of The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency (Amazon) is interviewed in DARPA brought us the internet – mind control could be next. And this interview with journalist Noga Tarnopolsky, almost as good, Surprising changes underway for Israel’s army, which provides fascinating insights into the culture and mindset of the Israelis.

Phelps’ achievements aside, THIS is my favorite news of the Olympics. And do you remember that Wide World of Sports intro back in the 70s? Someone wrote an entry in Wikipedia to tell us about Vinko Bogataj, the ski-jumper who was “the agony of defeat”. The age of information, is the thrill of victory.

There are some interesting movies in the pipes: Allied (Brad Pitt, Robert Zemeckis), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, XOXO, and Two Lovers and a Bear.

And of course, The Get Down. Has anyone binged it yet? So much great TV on my plate, I haven’t gotten to it yet. I just finished the sixth and final episode of the first season. It is simple, cliche, quite predictable, poorly edited, brash, sappy, sentimental, and I enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. The only time I really groaned, for real, was when three girls said “Oh, snap!”…in supposedly 1977. If I knew my music (and history) better, I might find a lot of other anachronisms, but ignorance is bliss. I can’t recommend it, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed almost everything about it, especially the music and the “creative process” involved in making it. I can also say this, try it. If you can enjoy the first episode, then you will enjoy the show. Indiewire has an interview and a review.

And if that isn’t enough for now, there is always Friday Links!

The Weekly OT #10

August 6, 2016

This is our 10th Weekly OT Anniversary! I am really starting to enjoy this new format. With the “Scheduling” feature in WordPress, I can actually start preparing the post in advance, collecting and compiling any interesting tidbits as they come into my hands or across my screen. This week I have a veritable grab bag of goodies to present on the “front page”, as it were. First of all, Dubious Quality’s Friday Links! There is always at least one interesting link in that dump, and almost always something for everyone. Next, as several of you live near/in Portland, or on the West Coast, there is this must-read, Pulitzer Prize winning New Yorker article, “The Really Big One“:

…Most people in the United States know just one fault line by name: the San Andreas, which runs nearly the length of California and is perpetually rumored to be on the verge of unleashing “the big one.” That rumor is misleading, no matter what the San Andreas ever does. Every fault line has an upper limit to its potency, determined by its length and width, and by how far it can slip. For the San Andreas, one of the most extensively studied and best understood fault lines in the world, that upper limit is roughly an 8.2—a powerful earthquake, but, because the Richter scale is logarithmic, only six per cent as strong as the 2011 event in Japan.

Just north of the San Andreas, however, lies another fault line. …

The author, Kathryn Schulz, has a follow up article on “How to Stay Safe When the Big One Comes“.

And BF1 will not look this good on our Ones, but it may look that good on Scorpio.

Also, while digging for good podcasts, I came across a short Bruce Lee Series focusing on his philosophy, presented by his daughter, Shannon Lee. The first “One Inch Punch” episode actually discusses how his daughter regained control and rights to use his name. (The fact that it was necessary, and that I had to write that sentence just now, enrages me.) Another must-listen is the David Simon interview by Mark Maron on WTF. Did any of you read Simon’s Twitter exchange with Snowden?

And finally, I end with this video, also from Friday Links!, and is like a British Comedy.

The Weekly OT #9

July 31, 2016

There is lots of gravy this week. Rare released their 2016 SDCC video and it is must-watch for anyone who is interested in concept art or art design. Below is a slide from their presentation illustrating their guiding principles when creating assets. From first look, I loved the style, but now I know why! So cool!
Sea Of Thieves Art Design Principles (SDCC 2016)

Also this week was a crap ton of Ark announcements including Fishing!

Coming in a couple of weeks is a massive update with a new mode called Primitive+. Further down the road, there is a total conversion, asymmetrical mod called Primal Survival:

Survivors will experience full survival mechanics and lifecycles, including mating, growing, recruiting more creatures to your ‘pack,’ even constructing primitive dens. Gamers will experience asymmetric gameplay against or with other specifics, including humans, as well as AI creatures. The new functionality associated with this Primal Survival mode will also enable mod creators to build much more intricate mods involving playing as these various creatures. (YouTube)

Most importantly, however, Survival of the Fittest has been confirmed (actually back in April) to be coming to Xbox as well as PS4. The recent semi-finals for the SoTF tournament can be watched here. The Finals were this weekend and can be watched here (when it becomes available).

And keeping with the OT theme, this Bourne Series Honest Trailer is funny. So sad the next installment isn’t as good as the previous movies.

The Weekly OT #8

July 24, 2016

Post Comic-con. TV and movies are the big thing this week. Apparently, Stranger Things is really entertaining in the ET/Goonies/Poltergeist kind of way. Netflix is also teasing Narcos Season 2, for which I might find myself rewatching season 1. And then there are no less than five? six? new seasons of Netflix/Marvel shows to watch: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, The Defenders, and the Punisher(?). There is also Wonder Woman, Kong: Skull Island, Fantastic Beasts, and King Arthur by Guy Richie, master of the quick edit (Snatch, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels).

And bonus article: Go DiCaprio!

The Weekly OT #7

July 18, 2016

It is mesmerizing. If I were a soccer fan, I would fall in love with this game, and then watching the pros play it, would never be able to go back to that sport again.

And after I watched the pros playing, I did a quick search and the first game I found I have pasted below. Suddenly ALL the cars are following the ball around like a flock of geese. I LOLed hard.

Pokemon Go – We Have To Have A Talk

July 16, 2016

For those of us who haven’t installed (yet), here is what all the hype is about.

In my last class before summer holidays, I gave my students a 10 minute primer on Pokemon Go. It hasn’t even been released here yet, but they needed to understand the technology and be aware of the potential pitfalls (no pun intended) of this kind of game. Like a kitchen knife, it doesn’t need to be dangerous but is proving that it can be. Come September, I don’t want any empty seats because I didn’t speak up. The bicycle/car/train/pedestrian/mobile device per meter ratio in Japan, even in the “country” as they call my area, is simply too high to expect non-injurious play.

Virtual Reality takes people away from each other. Augmented Reality brings them together, and takes them outside for a walk or a run or a mugging. Brilliant and elegant (and historical) game design.


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