sciolist: http://magggg.deviantart.com/gallery/24017469 (Drow4)
Yes, we finally rolled up to face the naughty draconic nemesis that was the cause of the Eberron campaign 2005-2011. We killed her, and her henchperson, with glorious tactics andhappening upon them separately. That's the correct way to fight 2 bad people, separately.

Then we had the appendices, and, as might be expected, elves and dwarves watch the humans die. Elves watch the dwarves die. Nations rise and fall, Wars begin and end. Eventually the elves die.

It was a wonderful game for the story and characterisation supplied by ankaret, the DM. It was wonderful for the tone and setting in Eberron with its hints of steampunky swashbuckly coolness. It was even better for the addition of backstory and racial politics to the recent war and current wars setting. It had some of the most excellent cosmology I've seen in ages. Best of all, for me was the meta-setting of the game with modern gamers being thrust into fantasyland setting as their characters.
More effusive rambling beneath )
An excellent game, with excellent friends - I shall miss it and treasure it.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
Apparently it's not just the feminist bloggers I read that get rape and murder-threatening hate mail, it's many other female writers, too.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/helen-lewis-hasteley/2011/11/comments-rape-abuse-women

Some people are apparently very very wrong in the head.

Daytime TV

Oct. 31st, 2011 03:35 pm
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
A nice (but somewhat blunt) atheist comedian lady says on BBC television that people who believe in stuff without evidence. Then again if the theist chap hadn't said that all aborted children go to heaven, she wouldn't have suggested that by that reasoning, abortion was the best thing for them.

http://cruellablog.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-atheist-btchslap-and-internet.html

Obviously, with wider internet publicity, this must be followed with rape-threats against her and other vileness from aggrieved people. I don't recall Jesus saying that uppity women should be threatened with rape, but I guess there's a number of ways to interpret any holy book.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
http://www.alternet.org/health/151514/why_our_monkey_brains_are_prone_to_procrastination_%28no%2C_it%27s_not_just_laziness_or_lack_of_willpower%29/?page=entire

An interesting article about the nature of procrastination and why me, L and several other folks I know would rather read 'just one more chapter' of the book before lights out despite it already being way past bedtime.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
http://www.thepaincomics.com/weekly110713.htm

Yeah. I watched the shuttle take off for the last time. I have a soft spot for space exploration because I think there's few things more important than getting off this rock before the Sun washes over us.

Oh yeah, global community and shared values as human beings - that'd be good first. I just don't think we should shelve space exploration until we get the social value stuff sorted.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
Just in case you think my mindless noodling and incoherent rage is solely deserved for mainstream religion here's this:

http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2011/07/02/icelandic-town-hopes-angry-elves-have-been-soothed-by-songs/

Yup, people attempting to placate the elves with traditional song, after highway development and tunneling may have Angered the Elves.

Cute cultural phenomenon? Certainly. Please don't try and legislate based on elf-appeasement though.

Hell, yes.

Jul. 4th, 2011 09:53 am
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
An excellent little poem from the excellently inky Cuttlefish:

http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2011/07/atheist-for-month.html


It’s good, sometimes, to see the world
Through someone else’s eyes;
To take another’s point of view
And try it on for size.

“Be Muslim for a month,” perhaps,
Be Sufi, or be Sikh;
Try walking in their footsteps—
You could start for just a week.

You could try to be a Muslim
Or a Christian, or a Jew
But I’d like to see more people
Trying atheism, too.

Just try it for a month, or two,
Or maybe for a year—
Pretend there’s no use praying
Cos there’s no one there to hear

Pretend there is no god above
To save us from ourselves
Pretend there are no holy books—
Just leave them on the shelves

Pretend there is no heaven
And pretend there is no Hell;
Pretend we only get one life,
And try to live it well

And maybe, if you try it out,
You’ll like the you you find
Not member of a single tribe
But all of humankind

And maybe if enough of us
Can wear each other’s skins
We’ll understand our differences...
And everybody wins.

Tau day!

Jun. 28th, 2011 01:05 pm
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
Apparently a small movement of mathematicians who think that the circle constant ought to be Tau where tau = 2*pi.

http://tauday.com/

It's not that daft an idea, except I know pi to 20d.p. and I don't want to learn another constant.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
Apparently, the cost of war (and specific wars) to the US
http://costofwar.com/en/

And, a page with cute graphics enabling you to understand just how big a billion, or a trillion dollars is. Just because they rhyme, they're not very similar.

http://www.labnol.org/internet/visualize-numbers-how-big-is-trillion-dollars/7814/
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
From the Digital Cuttlefish: http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2011/05/justice.html

“Justice” is a funny thing
Unless I am misled
It acts like restitution
But it can’t bring back the dead
When lives are lost, it’s horrible;
There is no greater price
But Justice cannot pay it back—
Instead, it’s losing twice.

I know I'm not alone in this, but I get the feeling I am in a small minority. I can't celebrate someone's death. I hope last night's news brings peace to those who have lost loved ones, and I hope (in vain, I suspect) that there will be a positive effect on peace, at least in the long term. But I can't celebrate this death any more than the thousands of others connected to it, before, during, and after 9/11.

If (and it is a legitimate "if", not a given) we hold Bin Laden responsible for the actions of our own troops and allies, by the logic that "he started it", then we must look at how and why he came to be in the position to "start". By the same "if", our own actions supporting "Afghanistan's Freedom Fighters" against the Soviets, and our actions in Afghanistan and elsewhere over the decades, are also causal strands in a grand web of interconnected influences.

Yes, he was very bad. Sadly, he's not alone in that.

"Justice has been served." What a strange phrase. I am far more concerned with preventing future loss, than in whatever justice means. Calling this justice allows us to paint ourselves as the good guys, and him as a bad guy. And yeah, I've been told that my view "lets him off the hook." Well, no. He's on the hook. His actions are not ignored. But if we want to prevent, rather than simply avenge, future actions, we must look at all involved. Including ourselves.

And self-examination is not something that leads to cheers, chants, and dancing in the streets. But it is something that might lead to peace.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
I heard Sam Harris talking on the radio this morning (apparently touting a book) about how we can derive morality from science. This being something I'm rather keen on, I was happy that he said something concise and clear before I regretfully had to leave the car (and radio) and go into work.

To paraphrase:
We can make decisions about good and evil based on the wellbeing of humans and animals. All that sort of stuff is tied into anthropology, sociology, economics etc which Science can certainly get a handle on. Is it 'right' to coerce women into wearing burqas, as they do in Afghanistan? Women get beaten or killed for not going about their lives in a cloth sack. Afghanistan has a 12% literacy rate for women and an average life expectancy of 44 years. It's an unfortunate place to be born if you're female.

So it might be fairly rational and sane to infer that wellbeing is not being increased by burqa-coercion. Harm doesn't seem to be limited by that practice. Hence it may be less good than other options.

Apologies if my above paraphrase gets muddy or confused, I'm not trying to claim direct cause in either direction between burqas and the literacy rate. But one could make observations, look at data, make hypotheses and generally strive to make the world a better place with less harm in it.

And secondly, a referral of more 'Scott Adams is a bit crap' vein via Pharyngula.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/why_sockpuppetry_is_stupid.php

"Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has been discovered to have tried to pad his reputation with a fake ID … he's used the pseudonym "PlannedChaos" to go around the web praising Scott Adams as a "certified genius".
You know, it's a good rule of thumb that if you have to announce that you're a genius, you aren't a genius.
I've been remarking on Adams' stupidity for years. He's a creationist apologist who doesn't understand science, and the kind of insipid apologist for religion who thinks Pascal's wager is a good argument. It's no surprise that he had to cobble up imaginary sycophants to make himself look good.
And then, of course, there's the classic, standard Adams riposte whenever he's exposed as a fool. Sure, he said something stupid, he'll say, but he did it because he's funny and you are even dumber for taking him seriously. It's no surprise that that is his response now.
I'm sorry I peed in your cesspool. For what it's worth, the smart people were on to me after the first post. That made it funnier.
That schtick wore out ages ago."
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
Pretty ladies with Steve Buscemi's eyes photoshopped in.

http://chickswithstevebuscemeyes.tumblr.com/

It's surprisingly creepy.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)



In other news: World still full of misguided nasty self-interested lackwits.

Hey ho.
sciolist: Skinnier than me. (Default)
http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/11/16/children-draw-h-p-lovecraft-cthulhu/

Yes, some 10-11 year olds draw characters from the Cthulhu Mythos. How cool is that to have stuck on your fridge by a young'un.
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