Archive for April, 2010

Following up on this post, news came today that Southland has been renewed for a third season.

Gee, maybe there’s hope for something besides reality series, after all. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Stephen Hawking is a certified genius and, when he says we shouldn’t want to talk to the space aliens, maybe we should listen:

One scene in his documentary for the Discovery Channel shows herds of two-legged herbivores browsing on an alien cliff-face where they are picked off by flying, yellow lizard-like predators. Another shows glowing fluorescent aquatic animals forming vast shoals in the oceans thought to underlie the thick ice coating Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter.

Such scenes are speculative, but Hawking uses them to lead on to a serious point: that a few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.

He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: โ€œWe only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldnโ€™t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.โ€

He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is โ€œa little too riskyโ€. He said: โ€œIf aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didnโ€™t turn out very well for the Native Americans.โ€

Stephen’s a bit older than I, so he was probably raised on movies such as The Thing From Another World and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, just as I was. Or maybe a viewing of To Serve Man was all it took. Regardless, I’m glad to see he’s absorbed the subtle lessons contained in these documentaries disguised as science fiction….

Keep watching the skies! (Just be quiet while you’re doing it….) ๐Ÿ˜‰

LINKS: Fausta is wary of aliens, too.

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The Wizard of Dogs

This is cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pointy, I am

I am an eight-sided die:

I am a d8

From the description:

You are a d8: You are the true adventurer! Dragons rescued, princesses slayed, and all that business while O Fortuna plays in the background. Your social calender is crammed with heroic deeds, and you’ve personally saved the world from ultimate destruction at least twice. You are reliable, perhaps a bit predictable, but overall a shining example of what happens when courage meets determination.

So true, so true. ๐Ÿ™‚

Take the quiz at dicepool.com

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I’m not a great fan of baseball, though I do like the Minor Leagues, but I have to admit that this is one of the most entertaining sports moments I’ve seen in a long time:

Sign that man up for the gymnastics team, too!

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If you’re into roleplaying games, that is. Following a review at James Maliszewski’s Grognardia blog, I took a chance on the latest issue of Knockspell, a print and PDF quarterly journal from Black Blade Publishing for the “old school revival” or “retro-Dungeons and Dragons” segment of the hobby. From what I gather, BBP specifically focuses on supporting clones of first edition AD&D and the original three booklet D&D, such as OSRIC and Swords and Wizardry, respectively.

Anyway, I’ve so far read only the adventures in the issue, but I’m very impressed. I was particularly taken with Jeffrey Talanian’s Rats in the Walls, an homage to one of my favorite H.P. Lovecraft stories. Dark fantasy at its best, it succeeded in capturing the feel of Lovecrafts’ Dreamlands or Clark Ashton Smith’s Zul-Bha-Sair, or the more modern works of Tanith Lee and Michael Moorcock. In fact, the setting screams out to be part of Moorcock’s Million Spheres setting. If I were to run this, I’d most likely use Stormbringer or WFRP 1E rules, rather than a D&D retro-clone. That’s not a knock on those systems, just a reflection of my own tastes.

Knockspell is available as a $5 PDF or a $10 perfect-bound magazine. If you’re into retro-D&D games or looking for ideas for almost any fantasy system, give it a try. I bet you’ll like it.

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Once again, something weird, yet wonderful from Japanese television: a cosplay rendition of “We are the world:”

Though that Michael Jackson impersonator is a bit scary…. which makes it a successful impersonation, I guess. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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