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Archive for the ‘Way Cool’ Category

Best left alone?

Best left alone?

I mean, it’s just asking for trouble:

And speaking of Pluto’s features, NASA scientists are now giving unofficial names to some of the things they’ve spotted — names they can submit to the International Astronomical Union for official approval. They’re sticking with the trend of underworld creatures and gods — Pluto, after all, was the Roman god of the underworld — and have tentatively named a previously observed dark, whale-shaped splotch (just to the left of the broken heart) after “Cthulhu,” the dark deity invented by author H.P. Lovecraft. Described as part man, part dragon, and part octopus, Cthulhu has gained something of a cult following in the Internet age.

Okay, so Cthulhu is supposed to be trapped under the Pacific, where he lies dreaming, but what if R’lyeh was really located on a dark plane on a dark planet at the far edge of the Solar System, and Lovecraft was trying to spare us the sanity-blasting truth? And what if this awakens him… er…. it?

Yeah. We’re doomed.

PS: Let us enjoy this moment while forgiving the article’s author his apparently weak knowledge of all things Cthulhuoid. First, he’s never been described as “part dragon,” though he does have wings as I recall, and an octopoidal head. But he is definitely not a god. Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, and Hastur are gods. The Big C is “merely” a Great Old One, himself a servant of the gods.

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bruce-lee-game-of-death-280x280

Just watch. This kid has *all* the moves:

I wouldn’t be surprised if some Hong Kong studio signed him to a long-term contract.

I know he could kick my butt.

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Of course, a Melnibonean dragon would be much tougher:

There have been innumerable science-fantasy books about crossovers between our world and a world where dragons and magic is real; one of my favorites is Brian Daley’s “The Doomfarers of Coramonde,” which is about a Vietnam-era US Army unit that winds up in another world… and fighting a dragon.

I’m surprised no one’s done a movie on this, yet, given the glorious special-effects possibilities.

h/t The Daily Beast

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Figures the cats are the Nazis.

Very creative. And never leave home without your hat. 🙂

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You’re sure to sleep well after looking at these:

"They're coming for you..."

“They’re coming for you…”

 

Here’s an excerpt from the Wired article:

It can be hard to take your eyes off a good GIF. Turns out, it can also be tough to take your eyes off a terrifying one.

In Oswra, a collection of GIFs by self-taught animator Hayden Zezula, we witness baby parts rearranged into all sorts of endlessly-looping abominations. A plaster-white baby head sits atop a churning cone of arms and hands. A dense cluster of legs marches nowhere at all, like a sea anemone with tiny feet instead of tentacles.

A couple of these convince me the artist is secretly a Yog-Sothoth cultist. And I bet the mutant babies work with the evil clowns.

Sweet dreams!

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A dragon made from car parts. Love it!

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His fate a reminder

His fate a reminder

There’s a wonderful article at the BBC about the traditions surrounding the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords, which opens Parliament. The whole article is worth a read, but this in particular delighted me:

And here is the really cheeky move: parliament forces Her Majesty to consider her own mortality as she gets dressed for the occasion. For in the Robing Room of the House of Lords, where the Queen puts on her robe and imperial state crown, the authorities have chosen to display a facsimile of the death warrant of her ancestor, Charles I.

If ever there were a symbol to express the end of the divine right of kings and the limits of a constitutional monarchy, that document is it.

Who says the British don’t have a puckish sense of humor? 😀

Of course, fair is fair. The Queen is allowed to keep a member of Parliament hostage during her speech, to guarantee her safety. This year’s designated fall guy will have to suffer by sitting in Buckingham Palace and drink tea, while watching the speech on TV.

Oh, cruel fate!

The author makes an excellent point at the end, though, about why the British maintain these seemingly silly rituals:

The point is this: as you watch the state opening of parliament, remember it is one of the strongest ceremonial demonstrations of our liberty that we have. Democracy is not just the freedom to vote out a government we dislike; it is also the freedom not to be ruled by an autocratic monarch chosen by God.

It is what our ancestors fought over in the civil war. And it is a right that we are reminded of every year.

I can appreciate that.

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This little girl in Kyrgyzstan absolutely has to grow up to be a great conductor — she has all the moves down. The setting was a Baptist church, perhaps during choir practice. Just watch:

From the article at Kloop, which I gather is a Kyrgyz site. Translation by Google:

The video sealed, like a little girl conducting the choir at a Baptist church in Bishkek. Child won the hearts of American viewers who were amazed by her improvisation.

Video for this moment gathered over half a million views on the popular video service YouTube, and its heroine – a little girl – hit the U.S. media.

About her story made ​​TV channel NBC (where the leading could not pronounce the name of the country) and wrote popular blogs in the world , “Huffington Post” and “Gouker”  (“Gawker”). 

“Despite her age, she conducts with passion and drama that you may have never seen,” – writes in his article “The Huffington Post”.

What a charmer. If she doesn’t go to musics school, it will be a crime.

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Gold-Coins

I think these people are right to protect their privacy; can you imagine all the relatives that would be crawling out of the woodwork looking for handouts?

A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree.

Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.

“I don’t like to say once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don’t get an opportunity to handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever,” said veteran numismatist Don Kagin, who is representing the finders. “It’s like they found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

Of course, I know they’re anxious to send me my cut.

I think Daffy said it best:

Yep.

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This is genius: a circles within circles interpretation on the “rotating dungeon,” and the rotating portions of the map can be moved by the GM. My compliments to the creators. Da Vinci would be proud.

Mind Weave Role-Playing Platform

Update: An improved PDF with new art is available for free at DriveThruRPG.

This is the proudest dungeon I’ve ever built, and now that I’ve run it for everyone I run games for lately, it’s finally safe to post.ChangeableMaze

She might not look like much, but that’s partly that its an old sheet of paper glued to old cardboard and partly that its too big to scan all at once and my photoshop isn’t the best. All the same, please consider what I’m presenting here. There are seven rotating circles in this maze, and they overlap.

WorstMazeCircleThe biggest circle is the one that gets the player’s attention, but doesn’t cause a whole lot of confusion. The confusion comes from the circles that can break apart and leave pieces of themselves scattered across the maze. There’s nothing quite so bothersome as finding something you’ve seen before completely surrounded by things…

View original post 571 more words

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This could induce it:

A French tourism company has suspended a glass cube with a see-through bottom from a peak in the Alps, offering a breathtaking view a kilometer down.

Billed as the tallest attraction in Europe, the structure was three years in the making. It includes five transparent sides made of three layers of tempered glass fixed with metal to a big support structure.

Here’s a shot of the view:

Glass observation booth

Yeah. Sure. I’m going out there. Not. The only question is whether agoraphobia or acrophobia would get you first.

And what do you want to bet they have a hidden camera to record visitors’ “amusing reactions?”

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Okay, this combines three of my strong interests in one: Lord of the Rings, fantasy roleplaying games, and miniatures. And it’s effin’ gorgeous. A LEGO model of the Elven enclave of Rivendell, built with 200,000 LEGO bricks. Here’s a photo of one portion:

LEGO Rivendell

You can read about it at the last link above and see the rest of the photos at Flickr. This is Geek Heaven, truly amazing work.

h/t my friend Richard Iorio II, who’s also a purveyor of fine games.

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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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satire sports football

It’s no secret that I despise the University of Spoiled Children, so you can imagine my glee when I read that head coach Lane Kiffen had been fired after another big loss, this time 62-41 at Arizona State. ($C alums are notoriously ruthless with the coaches.)

But, it’s the way they fired him that has me laughing out loud: outside the terminal at LAX, and then kicking him off the team bus, leaving him to find his own way home.

Well played, Pat Haden, well played. 😀

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And you have to suffer with me. Presenting “The Creepiest Collection Of Doll Photos Ever Assembled”

Here’s just one:

Creepy killer doll

Why, yes. I do have a mild phobia about dolls coming to life. Don’t you?

PS:  In case you still doubt dolls are evil.

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Can I have one? Pleeeeaaaase? I promise to use it only in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Or a day ending in “y.”

Let’s see, mount it on the back of a truck and….

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"Where'd those kids go??"

“Where’d those kids go??”

 

Two new species of microorganisms that bear an uncanny resemblance to The Big C:

UBC researchers have discovered two new symbionts living in the gut of termites, and taken the unusual step of naming them after fictional monsters created by American horror author HP Lovecraft.

The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood. The researchers decided to name them after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe.

“When we first saw them under the microscope they had this unique motion, it looked almost like an octopus swimming,” says UBC researcher Erick James, lead author of the paper describing the new protists, published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Sadly, the UBC researchers didn’t realize  these were “children” that went missing from a Deep One city far beneath the waves off the coast of British Columbia. Nor will anyone ever truly understand what happened that night when the UBC labs were destroyed and the samples went missing…

Definitely a Delta Green plot.

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Now, if only it could shoot electric bolts from its tip. Maybe in version 2.0…

Proof that anything you can imagine in D&D can be made reality?

Just don’t volunteer to be a test-dummy for it:

Ouch.

(But I still want one!)

via io9

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“Buzzsaw shark” was real:

buzzsaw-mouthed-shark

This is an artist’s recreation of Helicoprion, a 270-million year old shark that roamed the ocean preying on other marine life WITH ITS FULL 360-DEGREE SPIRAL BUZZSAW OF TEETH. Now? Now it’s extinct except for in our nightmares starting tonight.

I so want a secret base guarded by a swarm of these. Infiltrate that, Mr. Bond!

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Another great moment from the wonder that is Japanese TV:

The production meetings for this must’ve been so much fun. “Okay, our hero is fighting a Nazi alien in a Hitler mask… Oh! And he’s also a humanoid starfish!”  😀

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