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Archive for November, 2013

Dungeons Dragons Dark Creeper

Aside from being weird in itself, the idea of hiring assassins to kill someone’s online character is just full of wonderful possibilities for stories:

According to reports, a man in China became so exasperated by the amount of time that his unemployed son was spending playing World of Warcraft that he decided to do something about it. It seems that the lad had quit a software development job after just three months, and was doing nothing to find another one.

Showing, perhaps, a rather limited understanding of how these things work, Mr Feng hoped that killing the 23-year-old’s character off repeatedly would put him off playing altogether – and hired virtual assassins to do just that.

According to the Sanqing Daily, he managed to find killers who were at a much higher level than his son – despite all his hours of game play.

In fact, I’d swear there was a Japanese anime series on a similar idea.

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Especially of imaginary lands or what-if scenarios.

The Washington Post has a neat map of the United States, if the state boundaries were drawn so that each had equal population. Naturally, New York and Los Angeles wind up as their own states, but I somehow doubt the people of the “hinterlands” of each state would object.

Anyway, have a look:

electoral10-1100-1024x789

Strangely, it seems to be missing seven states.

You can read more about this map at WaPo.

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"Your sommelier"

“Your sommelier”

A neat archaeological find in Israel: a wine cellar from 1700 B.C. with enough remains to tell us something about ancient winemaking:

Talk about aged wine.

Archaeologists say they have discovered a 3,700-year-old wine cellar in Israel, a finding that offers insights into the early roots of winemaking.

The large wine cellar was unearthed in the ruined palace of a Canaanite city in northern Israel, called Tel Kabri, not far from the country’s modern wineries. The excavations revealed 40 one-meter-tall jars kept in what appeared to be a storage room.

No liquid contents could have survived the millennia. But an analysis of organic residue trapped in the pores of the jars suggested that they had contained wine made from grapes. The ancient tipple was likely sweet, strong and medicinal—certainly not your average Beaujolais.

If the researchers’ theories are correct, winemaking may have originated in Canaan and been exported to Egypt, where the oldest known wine cellar, dated to 3,000 B.C., during the Old Kingdom, was found. From the description the wines once housed in Tel Kabri sound like they tasted like an herbal liqueur. Bleh.

If they recreate the flavor, however, I expect Trader Joe’s will soon offer it as “Pharaoh Joe’s.”

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Makes me want to break out my old copy of Mosaic:

17 Ancient Abandoned Websites That Still Work

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Or did her editor just hate her?

I wonder what the word for “Turkey phobia” is?

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