Friday, October 20, 2017

"The Runescape Players Who Farm Gold So They Don't Starve To Death"


If you even remember Runescape, a fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game published by Jagex, it’s likely as “that crummy-looking game you played for a few months 10 years ago.” But it runs just fine on hardware that hasn’t been called state-of-the-art in more than a decade, meaning that it’s accessible to many in Venezuela who are strapped for cash, and its gold still fetches a pretty real-world penny. Gold farming, generally speaking, is the practice of grinding in a game specifically for the purpose of generating in-game currency or other content to be exchanged for real-world money. While it’s prohibited by Runescape’s rules, it’s also a relatively safe and comfortable job in a place where one’s safety is by no means guaranteed.

“I gold farm mostly for the raw benefits of it,” a player who goes by the handle Fhynal told me via DMs. “I don’t have to go out. That may sound strange, but we live with a lot of crime. If you want to go out, you have to use a bus, [which increases your] propensity to be robbed.”

Fhynal said he earns around 200,000-250,000 Venezuelan Bolivares, or approximately $15-$20, per week. This adds up to “double, sometimes triple” the average monthly salary in Venezuela, he said, even factoring in the occasional week that he takes off to keep a “low profile” and avoid getting caught.

"Insiders in the business tell ESPN that at least 15,000 Dodgers season tickets are owned by ticket brokers, the most tickets in MLB owned by those who flip for business"


"Some will wonder why the Dodgers seemingly left so much money on the table, but that's not the whole picture," said one broker. "By selling to brokers, they made plenty of money off the regular season for the last five years, when many tickets were selling below face value and brokers were losing money on their investment."

The Dodgers declined a request for comment about their ticket distribution strategy and how many tickets are in the hands of brokers.

The Predator poster is by Borys Tarasenko

Here's his site.

Suicide Squad toy clearance sale

Including 37% off the Joker and Panda Two Pack SDCC 2016 Exclusive set.

Great Northern Hotel tee by Last Exit to Nowhere

The Emperor's Messenger Droid cosplay

A post shared by Norman Chan (@normchan) on

Poster for a screening of Predator

(Metro Cinema keeps retweeting reactions to the poster, but I don't believe has indicated who designed it.)

Evil Under the Sun poster by Johnny Dombrowski

On sale Tuesday.

Beluga whale learned to speak dolphin


In November 2013, a four-year-old captive beluga whale moved to a new home. She had been living in a facility with other belugas. But in her new pool, the Koktebel dolphinarium in Crimea, her only companions were dolphins. The whale adapted quickly: she started imitating the unique whistles of the dolphins, and stopped making a signature beluga call altogether.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Thousands displaced by Northern California's wildfires now face the region's housing shortage"


Even before the fire, 15,000 people were on wait lists for Burbank Housing homes.


A passenger rail service connecting cities in Marin and Sonoma counties that opened this summer has boosted hopes of traffic relief and more home building along the transit corridor. But the region has been having trouble attracting drivers to operate the trains because housing costs are too high