Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Armstrong: Lie Forever

I wanted to put up an article about someone who mentioned taking off Livestrong bracelets because Lance Armstrong is taking a tumble for accusations (and loads of evidence) about his doping. I'm not posting that link because it was obviously linkbaiting, but there's something that I wanted to address with this Lance Armstrong thing.

I know I go on about it, but it's related to Newt Gingrich's moon base. Now, Gingrich is the kind of organism you accidentally track into your house, but the moon base idea was a good one. Not because going to the moon is so great, but because it's a big idea. It's something that we can believe in. If you can call folks who hate gays "homophobic," then you can call people who hate big, aspirational ideas, "megaliophobic."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blog in 1000 Words: My phone

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rewatching Star Trek: Disaster

Man, Disaster was one of TNG's best episodes. It made every character a fish out of water, played them against their weaknesses (except Ro and O'Brien, who got spar with each other excellently as the devil and angel over each of Troi's shoulders), and managed to have those characters resolve those conflicts through some combination of ingenuity, determination, and mutual trust. I could go on because I love this episode so much and I could gush about it, but it's Friday and I've got pictures to post to the internet:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There Will Be Brawl, Episode Four: Strange Bedfellows

There Will Be Brawl is a web series that creates--and then exposes--the seedy underbelly of well-known Nintendo characters with exceptional dedication and insane unpredictability. It's the entire internet in ten minutes. Minus the furries.

This series isn't supposed to be groundbreaking; it's supposed to wrap some established, childlike characters around the pillars of an established, adult genre. But here, it veers a bit into full-on parody. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Geeks and Sports

The craziness that is the conversation about the ability of athletes to speak their minds is still ongoing.

What's weird is that, after watching a few episodes of The I.T. Crowd, I realized what a fucked up status symbol it is for nerds not to like sports and sports fandom. T. Campbell was ahead of the crowd by about a decade when he termed what was then the narrow sub-culture of science fiction and fantasy "fandom." Now, we refer to "geek chic" when we talk about people who love everything from Cougar Town to Twilight, and man, neither of those two things are geek as I understand them. Hell, check out this Comic Critics from a few days ago. Same fucking thing, but from a different angle. Yes, I know that sports, as an interest, is more mainstream than comics or sci-fi and that there are a lot of loud, obnoxious idiots who like sports and can't wrap their heads around why anyone would not love it, but fuck, that sentence is also an exact description of people who like Star Wars so fucking much they reciprocate those feelings towards sports fans.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Morning's Dream

It begins simply, a company internal training video for security officers. There are two female security officers who've come across a car improbably parked in a warehouse/factory. There are giant, almost cartoonish, cables inside representing the archetypical abandoned car with suspicious wires on it. The younger guard is gawking in the window, conjecturing about how maybe they shouldn't worry about about it and there's a plausible explanation for a car whose seat have been replaced with improbably large power lines, but the older one springs into action; walking back towards the security post, dialing the police on her cell phone, and calling after the junior one to follow her.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Letters

So, come sunrise on November 7, everyone here in the United States is going to wake up in a virtually new world. No matter who wins, the election will be over and everyone's going to scramble to deal with the new order. In my experience, just less than half of the political masses of the country are going to dig in their heels with filibusters and cries of undemocratic behavior stemming from the other side having a majority. The other slightly-less-than-half will talk about their mandate, talk about their (sincere) interest in serving all Americans and whinge about compromise and bipartisanship.

Certainly, I'm as baffled as anyone else who wonders why--after a year of rancorous politicking and literally millions of dollars spent by our leaders slandering one another--we can't compromise.

It's not our politicians.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's the Magic: 10 Something Return to Izzetplane

Jesus fuck guys, I'm not sure I can do this. I don't have enough--fuck

As I was saying, I don't have enough money to buy Return to The Plane That Gave Us Izzet, which is for the best because the set spoiler isn't really exciting me. I don't have enough money to continue drinking Diet Coke either. I could continue with my Coke and coffee on hand, but I'd run out of supplies around mid-week and have a caffeine crash during work. Just to recap; this is my last "It's the Magic" for a while because I'm just not interested, it's last minute on Sunday, my brain is trying to explode, Blogger's doing that thing where it gives me the trollface and assures me the formatting is right for everything, I've had a massive glass of delightful buzz red, and I'm working with cards like this:


I guess...merfolk would ride this. Oh wait.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rewatching Star Trek: Aquiel

Geordi takes some sharp blows to the heart over the course of The Next Generation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Skiltao's Data, Part 2

I saw Skiltao talking about odds on his blog and asked myself why that would happen. It's been a while since I did much with Battletech and had to wrestle with numbers like this (because it's always Battletech). I'd suggest reading and understanding his original post before continuing because this thing runs long without me recapping anything. Besides, Skiltao's a pretty good guy and you should read his(?) blog

This is part two. Part one is here, but they're mostly unrelated. The second part of Skiltao's post was how the odds of 1D6 beating 2D6 were equal to the odds of rolling a 6 or less on 3D6. In order for that to happen, you've got to roll a three or greater on the 1D6 and anywhere from two to five on the 2D6. I'm expressing these probabilities as (3-6) and [2-5], respectively. 

Really though, you need pairs of these odds:
1D6  2D6  1D6  2D6  1D6  2D6  1D6  2D6
(3)  [2]  (4)  [2]  (5)  [2]  (6)  [2] 
          (4)  [3]  (5)  [3]  (6)  [3]
                    (5)  [4]  (6)  [4]
                              (6)  [5]

Monday, October 08, 2012

It's the Magic: Vanishing Act

Today's blog is on the other blog. I started looking at Return to Ravnica last night and...wow, I don't even know where to begin with it.

In a bad way.

It's not that it's bad, it's that I don't have any money to buy it and when I look at the list of cards online, the whole thing seems pretty schizophrenic with a few repetitive themes (Unleash, Detain, Overload, Populate, Scavenge). I'm not saying it is bad, I'm just saying that it's making a bad impression from up here in the nosebleeds.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Rewatching Star Trek: Geordi LaForge

As you know I've been rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation lately. Currently, I'm up to the seventh season opener, "Descent," so I've covered a lot of ground, both good and bad. One of the cool things about watching something you've seen one hundred times or so before is that you don't have to focus on the plot, the events, or the central action (unless it's really, really good). It lets your mind wander over the details of set quality, line delivery, and the thought processes which guide the creation of the core cast of characters. All of this wandering has lead me to the conclusion that Geordi LaForge is an underappreciated gem that invites a lot of conjecture about geek culture.

For those of you arriving twenty years or so late to the party, Geordi LaForge was the Chief Engineer for the Enterprise for four movies and six of the seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation (He was around for the first season, but he was something like Chief Officer in Charge of Miscellany or something.). Most of the previous Chief Engineers died during the first year, meaning that he either has no apprent fear of death or colludes with a lot of alien space mysteries for advancement. Over the course of the series, he gets promoted from a Lieutenant Junior Grade to a Lieutenant Commander (and he's even seen as a Captain later). He's a good engineer, but he's not a literal machine like Data* or a genius like Wesley (there are even a few times where he's like, "Transporters? You want O'Brien for that.").

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Skiltao's Data, Part 1

I saw Skiltao talking about odds on his blog and asked myself why that would happen. It's been a while since I did much with Battletech and had to wrestle with numbers like this (because it's always Battletech). I'd suggest reading and understanding his original post before continuing because this thing runs long without me recapping anything. Besides, Skiltao's a pretty good guy and you should read his(?) blog.

The first question is why the odds of rolling a tie on 1D6 versus 2D6 was equal to the odds of rolling a '7' on 3D6. Well, to make a tie, 1D6 has to equal 2D6. That means that odds are equal to the odds of rolling 2-6 on 1D6 and 2-6 on 2D6. Instead of actually dealing with the fractions, I'm going to express these sets of probabilities as (2-6) and [2-6] respectively. I'll do this for all of my sets of probabilities for the rest of this article, forgoing any subsequent use of parenthesis for the sake of clarity (mostly). I'm sure guys who've been through probabilities classes more recently than I have can express this more professionally and/or better than I am, but I'm what you've got.