Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shruken Head

Some time back, David gave me this little plastic husband that grows and expands if you put it in water. A little while ago, I put it in some water to see what would actually happen. The cup of water I used, however, wasn't quite big enough and it wound up growing to the point where it pushed up out of the liquid, which meant those parts didn't get to soak up water and grow. This is the result.

So what I want to know is, is this a metaphor or an omen?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some weekend lightness ... ow!

Welcome our new bee overlords! A hive of bees shut down part of Union Square in New York:

Thousands of bees -- in a hive -- in a building between 4th Avenue and Irving Place -- and it was no joke to the employees here at GameStop. They were trapped inside their store. The sign in the window said, "temporarily closed, due to bee infestation."

"There's a hive...inside the walls...leading upward...they say somebody's on the way, but they're taking a long time to get here," bee watcher Herman Leath said.

In fact, it took two hours to get some help...and that was only after Eyewitness News called the police department...who said, call the fire department...who said, call 9-1-1...who said, call 3-1-1..who said, call the mayor's office.

And finally, at around 4 p.m. the NYPD's bee specialist arrived -- but removing the hive was no easy task...

"I'm probably gonna be relying on scent...the queen bee's could take a half hour&an hour...two hours...I don't know," NYPD bee expert Tony Planakis said.

And just in case you missed that, "...around 4 p.m. the NYPD's bee specialist arrived..." Who knew?

Hat-tip: The Consumerist, who suggests the bees may have been protesting for better game trade-in value.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another one bites the dust

IlliniPundit has again banned Regnad Kcin, née ewjohnson, from his site. I completely understand why he did it. Kcin was nothing if not offensive. (Not to mention a total kook: he's a Paultard and a 911 Troofer) But, frankly, he's not all that out of the Republican mainstream; just a bit more vocal about it. I realize that there are a few open minded Republicans out there, but purer-than-thou homophobia really is official Republican policy.

I posted this in response to Kcin's latest odious comment. I rather like it, if I do say so myself and have even gotten one complement on it, from a straight guy, no less. I figure next time there's an anti-gay yokel in the N-G, I'm gonna send something like it in as a Letter.

Since homosexual activity is a sexual hedonism demonstrably harmful to others and destructive to the framework of the society...

I would like to apologize on behalf of the smoking crater that used to be the LGBT community. If only we had known things like gay marriage and the lack government-regulated sexual activity would have led to turning this country into the post-apocalyptic hellhole it has become, we would not have been so strident in our demands. If only we had listened when we were told that Will & Grace was just the first step towards the food riots and race wars now sweeping this once great and entirely heterosexual nation. (Not to mention that everyone is now speaking French.) Obviously you were just begging gay men to marry your sisters and daughters and keep them in loveless, unfilling marriages for the greater good. Why, oh why, would we not listen?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

An online community is still a community

I've been meaning to put this up for a while now, but keep not getting around to it. I realize the topic of this post may initially look a bit dorky, just bear with me, it's really not. Yes it involves Warcraft (David, I can already hear your eyes glazing over), but just ignore the game jargon and it's a really great story.

This story was posted in the Warcraft Europe forums a while ago and it's about this guy that comes across a newbie asking for help:

So off i went, with a lvl 34 Human Warrior, and helped this fella out with a few of his red quests.. We chatted a little whilst we played, and it came to my attention that this wasn't a very old player, as he kept on having to go "becuase dad neds 2 chek the emall" he also clearly had no idea how to play, kept on pointing at random objects and saying "coooooooooool!!", and by the state of his outfit, it looked like he hit mach 2 and collided with a Dorthy Perkins store.

A few weeks pass, they stay in touch now and then, but then he sees the kid again, this time getting cyber-bullied in-game.

Anyway, a few hours later, i get a message from this kid "i got kicked from my guild :(" i tried to cheer him up, but it wasn't happening.. And to be honest i couldnt be arsed trying, and i was tired and logged off.

So yesterday ... i see this kid sitting next to the mailbox, no guild tag, people bouncing around him having fun.. And theres him, all alone, no-one paying attention to a "noob".. Now i know human race facial expressions never change, but as far as avatars go, this one looked really depressed.

So i message him asking if hes cool, and he tells me hes thinking about quitting, becuase he gets bullied alot at school, and his ex guild mates all said really horrible things to him, and that he knew some of the kids in reality, becuase they go to his school, and are beggining to bully him in school about how he plays WoW etc. We all remember how it was.. I remember i used to get bullied in school for not having any toys, or having an old version of a toy.. Imagine it now, you get bullied about it at home AND school too.

So he decides to do a really nice thing

So what did i do? I took the kid shopping is what i did... Bought him his epic (ground) mount, a load of nice armour off AH, which i made sure was well colour co-ordinated AND gave him very nice stats for his level. Bought him 2 very nice rare axes (fotgotten the name) and got a guild mate to put +15 agility on each one.

I also bought him a host of accessories, fun stuff, like a mana wyrm, somedeviate delights, an Orb of deception.. yunno.. all the "coooooool" stuff.

OK I realize that may have gotten a little thick for anyone that doesn't play the game. He later says that he spent about 1600 gold on this little shopping trip. Just to put that in perspective, if you added all the gold up on all my characters across all the servers I've played on, you'd have about that much. This was months of work that this guy spent on the kid.

Then (and this is my favorite part), he gets a thank you letter. Not from the kid, but from the kid's father:

I want to thank you for helping my son in this game, he's been so excited for days about the new things you bought him, hes also been having a tough time in school latley, and we agreed we would get him this game as an escape, although latley its turned into nothing more than another source of bullying and abuse.

Thanks to you the little chaps smiling again.

Once again, lots of thanks!"

So yeah, maybe people think playing the game is a bit dorky, but this is the sort of story that restores my faith in the humanity of dorks.

I just realized that it's a very fitting coincidence it's currently Children's Week, when players can take an (in-game) orphan around, show him different parts of the world, and buy him treats and candy.