Tuesday, December 10, 2019

"Sydney Looks Apocalyptic as Toxic Wildfires Choke the City with Smoke"

"Runner who slapped reporter’s butt on live TV identified as youth minister"

"as well as a Boy Scout leader"


Artist looking for commissions

Spirited Away No-Face Munching Coin Bank available for preorder

Various new Studio Ghibli toys available for preorder.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Christmas in Pandora (art roundup)

*Buy Avatar Happy Meal toys at Amazon.

Monday, December 9, 2019

"He enjoys wearing the future, but fears full cosplay."

From a very long new profile of William Gibson in the New Yorker:

He spent time on eBay—the first Web site that felt to him like a real place, perhaps because it was full of other people and their junk. Through eBay, he discovered an online watch forum, and, through the forum, he developed some expertise in military watches. He learned of a warehouse in Egypt from which it was possible to procure extinct Omega components; he sourced, for the forum membership, a particular kind of watch strap, the G10, which had originally been manufactured in the nineteen-seventies and had since become obscure.
It's a reminder that Agency comes out next month. Count Zero is currently $1.99.

GQ's 15 Biggest Fits of 2019

GQ's 15 best outfits of the year includes David Letterman flyfishing.

University remains committed to football program that loses $5 million a year and has won three games over the last three years

El Paso Times:

The football program loses about $5 million a year according to financials obtained by the Texas Tribune, but that’s in line with the most relevant comparisons, North Texas and UTSA, actually in line with most mid-major programs.

Attendance is poor by UTEP standards — they announced 17,092 per game this year, including 34,646 for discounted tickets in the Houston Baptist opener — but that’s enough to sustain the program and it also buys them another year where they don’t have to meet the 15,000 attendance standard. They drew 14,155 in 2018 so the trend is decent enough.


The solution to all UTEP’s problems is recruiting better and Dimel indicated he will need four classes — the two already in the program, the one coming this signing season and one more in 2021 — to get the program turned around.
Since 1914, the team has participated in 14 bowl games and won two conference championships.

The Information on Magic Leap's struggles

The article is paywalled:

Magic Leap had high hopes for sales of its augmented reality headset. Instead, the richly valued startup has seen slow sales of the device, recent layoffs and executive turnover. In the coming years, competition in AR will likely intensify as bigger tech companies enter the market.
But the episode is free.

Marvel Legends Black Widow movie series available for preorder

The build-a-figure is Crimson Dynamo. Get a good look at movie Taskmaster and Florence Pugh's character.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Thulsa Doom figure available for preorder

Super 7's latest Ultimates figures are Thulsa Doom, his two goons, and the gladiator version of Conan. All with multiple heads (movie likenesses), weapons.

Andre the Giant Ultimates Figure available for preorder

By Super 7, multiple hands, clothing, three faces, and a can of beer.

Cherry blossoms in glass (art roundup)

*Buy the House of X hardcover at Amazon.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Ryan Reynolds has another viral video

Deadpool has a Peter tingle

Ride the lightning with the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer

Rise of the Resistance technical difficulties

The future of AI Dungeon

Latest update:

I'm working on an app version where the model is hosted on the cloud and players can play on any device in a smoother experience.

It'll most likely end up as an app with a paid subscription to cover the costs, (obviously patrons who meet that already will get access free) It should be ready to beta test within a few days and I'll open the beta to just patrons at first.


I'm hoping to make it work at $5 a month. It's not definite yet though.
Playing this game felt like the first couple of weeks of HQ Trivia.

Little Caesar and his big girlfriend

"How the McKinsey-fied Astros cheated their way to a championship—and became a parable of American success"

New Republic:

He was so devoted to efficiency that he engaged consultants from McKinsey to audit the organization (and, inevitably, to disrupt the org chart) every year.


It is not evidence of anything in particular, let alone anything sinister, that a World Series champion would hit better than a team that finished in third place. Players improve, and lineups change, and both of those things happened here. But it’s no more surprising to learn, given the dramatic shift in the numbers, that it later turned out that the Astros were cheating


[The General manager's] job in Houston becomes just another McKinsey engagement. It’s one more in a long global roster of company makeovers, with management bringing in the smartest and best-credentialed people available to find an organizational solution to a dynamic and difficult set of problems for a client. The other stuff, the culture and tradition or whatever, is other stuff, and so, by definition, well outside the scope of the engagement. McKinsey is a powerful and profitable global force, largely because the organization is very good at solving problems in a very particular way. Management consultants work for management, after all, and solve problems in ways that benefit the people paying them.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Wake Siren book cover

Available at Amazon.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

How to improve upcoming game "I Am Jesus Christ," which promises an open world and a realistic fight with Satan

From the Steam page:

"I am Jesus Christ" is a realistic simulator game inspired by stories from the New Testament of the Bible. Get into old times and follow the same path
of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Game is covering the period from Baptizing of Jesus Christ and to Resurrection. Have you ever wondered to be like Him - one of the most privileged and powerful people in the world?


Key features:
- Open World
- Special skills
- Realistic fight with Satan
- Over 30 miracles like healing people, walking on water, calming storm, feeding people
- Baptising and getting super power of Holy Spirit
- Praying and increasing of Holy Spirit
- Crucifixion and Resurection

First, some good questions:

Second, some suggestions:

Finally, a different game:

Peloton numbers

Funny post about the nemisis system in Warframe

Cass Marshall for Polygon:

Because I am in the state of having a nemesis yet not having triggered her higher aggression levels, the two of us are caught in a little bit of a cold war. Here’s how a day of playing Warframe goes now that Halidd Sorr is all up in my business:

I log in, and Halidd Sorr sends me a little bon mot, calling me her Adversary. It’s usually something about how she’s going to destroy me, and crush my weak, brittle tin skull. I go adventuring on some completely unrelated missions, chuckling to myself about her idle threats. Then, she steals a chunk of my quest rewards!

C’mon, what the hell? Am I not entitled to the sweat of my brow?

At this point, I’m not afraid of Halidd at all. I wish she would stop calling me at work so much, because that’s unprofessional, but she stays on her side of the system and I stay on mine. Everything’s fine, up until it changes.

Halidd Sorr shows up in one of my missions to beat my ass.

I’m not going to lie: It was a humiliating encounter. I’m on voice chat with my friends, and I’m in the middle of explaining the way a certain kind of upgrade works when I cut myself off with an “OH NO!” My Kuva Lich has arrived, and her health bar takes up a massive chunk of my screen. She’s screaming at me, I’m trying to get out of the elevator shaft I’m currently in so that I can start a fight, and my friends are reassuring me that everything will be alright.

We chip her down to about a third of her health, and then Halidd Sorr grabs me, breaking my spine over her knee ร  la Bane. After I revive myself I complete the mission, she steals even more of my loot! I haven’t experienced such a vicious act of bullying since high school.

I can’t stress enough how alarming this is. Warframe is a power fantasy where I can spin-jump 80 feet into the air, slide down a catwalk, and murder a dozen dudes without breaking a sweat. Now I know how those guys feel, because that’s how easily Halidd Sorr dispatches me.

Play AI Dungeon while you can in its current form

It's expensive to run:

If you haven't heard about it yet, I posted about my attempt to play as the Mandalorian at BoingBoing. People more creative than me are getting fun responses:

Nintendo 64 Mini concept (video game roundup)

*Buy the Playstation Classic at Amazon.

Wargaming miniatures roundup

*See more miniatures.