Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Vanity Fair headline:
Jennifer Lawrence Damaged Some Of Her American Hustle Costumes With Dorito Dust
1. "How Silicon Valley's most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers' wages"
2. The NY Times looks at the stunt players used for motion capture in Madden football:
2. The NY Times looks at the stunt players used for motion capture in Madden football:
Though the likenesses of quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning fill the video game, N.F.L. players do not portray themselves because of the risk of injury. The stunt players are journeymen like Mr. Nazel, who have collegiate and some professional experience, if not in the N.F.L. They are paid $1,000 a day and expenses for a one-week shoot; EA Sports organizes up to four shoots a year, so many stunt players act in movies and commercials to make ends meet. Some, though, hope their Madden NFL experience will catapult them into the N.F.L.
“Everywhere I go, they call me the Madden Man,” said Kenny Bell, 33, a wide receiver and kick returner for Hofstra University, who has been a stunt player since 2003. “Why not put me in? You know what that would do? It will make history.”3. "It takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single egg." And that's nothing compared to a bar of chocolate.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
Jurassic Park movie props up for auction right now (the items are near Los Angeles). Velociraptor Cage Crate with Velociraptor; Lost World Mobile Lab RV.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
"BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney visited a gay bar in Sochi the night before he interviewed the mayor."
Friday, January 24, 2014
I am from Texas. We were a unit stationed in North Carolina. We were so outmatched and out of our element, it only made them laugh harder.
I was the slow one in the group. My snowboots were too big but they were the smallest size they had at Issue goddammit!!
Thursday, January 23, 2014
They met hustling on YouTube when they were 13 and 15, respectively, and they've been doing social media things together (off and on) since. They've built YouTube accounts, making money off advertising. They created Facebook pages such as "Long romantic walks to the fridge," which garnered more than 10 million Likes, and sold them off. More recently, Di Petta's company, Swift Fox Labs, has hired a dozen employees, and can bring in, according to an Australian news story, 50,000 Australian dollars a month (or roughly 43,800 USD at current exchange rates).
"A ghost ship carrying nothing but disease-ridden rats could be about to make land on Britain’s shore, experts have warned"
Built in Yugoslavia in 1976, the unlucky vessel was abandoned in a Canadian harbour after its owners were embroiled in a debt scandal and failed to pay the crew.
The authorities in Newfoundland tried to sell the hull for scrap – valued at £600,000 – to the Dominican Republic, but cut their losses when it came loose in a storm on the way.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
"Ben-Hur -- Charlton Heston Didn't Know His Character Was Gay"
I decided those stats were so mediocre that I could not play a MAD (multi-ability-dependency) character like a bard. I needed something that could survive with a single 16. So I picked wizard, and specialized in conjuration, so I could be an Abrupt Jaunt wizard.
Abrupt Jaunt wizards are a special wizard type from Player's Handbook 2, in which they get mini-teleports (only 10') 4 or so times per day. The important part is that the teleport happens as an immediate action, which means you can do it even when it's not your turn, which means you can use it to zap yourself out of the range of an enemy's attacks mid-swing. Because I felt that my character would likely die with his blah stats, I felt I needed that stuff just to stay alive.
It evolved pretty quickly that my character wasn't exactly a coward, but was extremely self-aware and paranoid. He knew he sucked compared to his triple-18s buddy. He knew that his miserable armor class & hit points meant certain death if he dared to get anywhere near melee. Most combat encounters involved me getting off a spell or two until the bad guys closed in, and then my character spent the rest of combat running like a scared little kid, and teleporting all over the battlefield screaming, "Gaaah! They almost got me! I'm going to DIE if you guys don't HIT THEM!"
He took trapmaking skills and set tripwires every night. He had alarm spells, backup escape routes, anything I could dream up to allow him to survive in a game world that he should have never survived in. I hated him. I wanted my bard so much. I wanted to not have to play so defensively. I wanted to explore building a really good character. Instead, I had Gimpy, with his "they're going to kill me" paranoia (of course, reasonable paranoia, since it was true, and the paranoia was keeping him alive, but still it was paranoia).
It took a long time for me to realize that I loved him. I had built a really good character, just not the one I expected. And eventually, I got so good at making something out of nothing that he became pretty amazing.
One of my finds stunned the group and got them cheering one day. The "find" was a small D&D 3.5 rule I stumbled across that stated that "unconscious characters are automatically considered willing." Why is that important? Because it means that any spell which only affects the willing will automatically work on unconscious characters, friend or foe. Enter Benign Transposition. A particularly grim battle was going badly for us. Our rogue was at 1 HP, and our barbarian had just fallen unconscious, surrounded in every adjacent square. Our DM will in fact do coup de grâce on a fallen character instead of moving to fight whoever is still up, so the guy playing the barbarian was pretty bummed out. He was going to suffer 8 coup de grâce as soon as the monsters' turn came up.
And then there was my guy, standing at range, next to the party healer, who was frantically trying to figure out how to save the barbarian without wading into melee against 8 tough enemies. I told him, "Ready a cure spell, trigger on me bringing the barbarian to you." He was like, "WHAT?!?" but he did it. My turn came up, and I cast Benign Transposition. Poof, the barbarian was now lying on the ground next to the cleric (bing! healed!) and I was now standing, in no armor, at the center of a mob of enemies. Everyone was flipping out. "You saved the barbarian for like one round and now YOU will die! Not good!" But I used Abrupt Jaunt to pop out of the mob, and then used my remaining move action to run like hell. On the next turn as they re-surrounded me, I Abrupt Jaunted again and ran again. By then the barbarian was fully healed and came raging back into the fight, everyone cheering as he tore through the enemies. It was such a great moment.
I owe that to having to figure out how to play a "lame" character that I didn't want.
His character sheet eventually became the focus of a topic on En World, and some other DMs turned him into a super-villain in their campaigns.
Labels: dungeons and dragons
From the BBC's list of 10 myths about WW1:
10. Everyone hated it
For the British there was meat every day - a rare luxury back home - cigarettes, tea and rum, part of a daily diet of over 4,000 calories.
Absentee rates due to sickness, an important barometer of a unit's morale were, remarkably, hardly above peacetime rates. Many young men enjoyed the guaranteed pay, the intense comradeship, the responsibility and a much greater sexual freedom than in peacetime Britain.It wasn't the bloodiest war to date, either.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
often the default answer to this question is something like, "actually, the British accent changed, not the American"... Well, that's half true. The British accentS changed, especially during the Victorian Era, the second main split between the British and American dialects, as Victorian Britain turned again to France for some linguistic influence. America did no such thing, and had just released Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, which would solidify some of the differences between BE and AmE (the -ize, -ise suffixes, etc.)
The overlying answer to your question, though, is a bit of a cop-out; as in the rest of the world, accents divulge and develop over time when isolated from one another. The modern American accents seem to be closer to the colonial accent than the modern British accents do, which leads me to my final point, relating to how the regional American accents developed, as you asked: Why did the British accent change more than the American one?
Well the regional accents of America owe their distinction simply to the normal forces of isolation which shape accents all over the world, and the linguistic heritage which gave rise to them. So for example, Boston has an usual accent partly because it has been a distinct community from outsiders to at least a small degree, and partly because early Boston settlers comprised an usually high proportion of Irish.
Regarding why Britain's accent "changed" from the colonial era... Besides my point about Victorian influence, another contributing factor is that the early colonists "average accent", if there be such a thing, was a blend of southern-English dialects. These have changed from the colonial era mainly due to the encroachment of urban accents upon the original accents (think London, growing larger throughout the last few centuries, whereas New York City hasn't spread quite so much).
Friday, January 17, 2014
The start of Businessweek's article on J. Crew's recent success:
Dozens of shivering British fashion bloggers, TV personalities, and socialites snake down London’s Regent Street, waiting patiently to get into the Nov. 6 opening night party for the J.Crew flagship store. Inside, bearded men like James Middleton, brother of Kate and Pippa, browse skinny ties and shrunken blazers. Women in full skirts and crop tops paw through tables of pastel cashmere. Everyone’s hair is chicly disheveled, as are their teeth.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Screenshot of Broken Age, RETRO mode in action. pic.twitter.com/IG5sqGHQBP
— Lee Petty (@leepetty) January 16, 2014
Yes, you can unlock the 8 bit mode in the Broken Age beta that's out now. But I won't tell!
— Lee Petty (@leepetty) January 14, 2014
Not a joke:
You've gotta kick it down to the lowest resolution, then assign a key to the Shay/Vella icon in the button mapping menu. Hit that button and everything goes decidedly grainy.
Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) is $40 (50% off) at Amazon.
Chuck E. Cheese owner agrees to $950M buyout. "The chain has been struggling to lift sales, even after a makeover for its rodent mascot in 2012 that was intended to refresh its outdated image."
CNN: China's counterfeiters have no interest in producing smartwatches and eyeglass-mounted computers.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Janelle Monaé on Sesame Street.
Monday, January 13, 2014
I don't really know what a "variant cover" is. So, if you buy this book I'm not sure if you'll get the actual cover - or a variant one drawn by me.
Labels: comic book covers
Sunday, January 12, 2014
By Eva Almer and Christian Wolf. (You can buy the track at Amazon.)
From a long, great article on the overlap between Blade Runner and the Alien films:
When Ridley returned to the Alien-verse with Prometheus, he also considered featuring some allusions and outright references to Blade Runner. “There’s one idea that I’m very sad that we didn’t do,” explained Prometheus concept artist, Ben Proctor. “Ridley, one day, came in and said, ‘You know, I’m thinking what if it’s the Weyland-Tyrell Corporation? Is that cool?’ Maybe the bodyguards, you know, that come out with Weyland, maybe one of them says Batty on his uniform.Via.