Game IRE #26: Gone Fishing

It’s been too long since I’ve had time to think of an IRE that isn’t depressingly tied to natural disasters, political disasters or other such unhappy topics. Fortunately, living in the Great White North has given me something to work with.
Last weekend in Minnesota was the Fishing season opener. It’s a very big deal in the state with over 10,000 lakes, a large economic boost to the lake dominated northland part of the state. Gas stations, among many other places, sell fishing licenses. The site of where the Governor of the state goes fishing on fishing opener weekend is news here, even in the urban Twin Cities. (And no Governor would dare not go fishing this first weekend). Going “up to the lake” is a tradition among Minnesotans during this first weekend of the fishing season, which runs until the winter.
So, let’s go fishing for this Game IRE

Continue reading Game IRE #26: Gone Fishing

Lost Star Wars Episode IV Footage

SF Signal: Lost Star Wars Footage
Via SF Signal,a deleted scene from Episode IV (aka the Original Star Wars). I haven’t seen this before, and I bet you haven’t either. It has Luke talking to Biggs, with the latter apparently visiting the planet just before the droids land on the planet. (I am sure that what Luke sees through the binoculars up in the sky is the Star Destroyer going after Leia’s ship).
Is it necessary to the story? No, but its cool to see nevertheless.

Read Book List 2006

So far, so good. Not on a pace to read 52 by the end of the year, but maybe my flight to TBR and the inevitable flight to visit my mother will help correct that:
20. The Hostage of Zir, L. Sprague De Camp
19. Lord of the Fire Lands, Dave Duncan
18. Zulu Heart, Steven Barnes
17. The Knight, Gene Wolfe
16. A Civil Campaign, Lois M Bujold
15. Lords and Ladies, Terry Pratchett
14. Spin, Robert Charles Wilson
13. DeadHouse Gates, Steven Erikson
12. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
11. Singularity Sky, Charles Stross
10. Atlas of the Medieval World, by Rosamond McKitterick
9. America Discovered, an Historical Atlas of North American Exploration, Derek Hayes
8. National Geographic’s Mapping the World, an Illustrated History of Cartography, Ralph E Ehrenberg
7. Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, Jess Nevins
6. Prague, The Crown of Bohemia 1347-1437, Barbara Drake Boehm and Jiri Fajt
5. The Paths of the Dead, Part I of III of The Viscount of Adrilankha, Steven Brust
4. Lost Burgundy, Mary Gentle
3. Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
2. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
1. A History of God, Karen Armstrong

IMC: Gming

See Page XX – an RPG column by Robin D Laws
Robin Laws, RPG author and theorist, has a new column on Pelgrane Press (authors of the Dying Earth RPG), this time on the perils of Gming.
The hobby needs a continual stream of folks willing to take on the time-consuming and sometimes thankless task of running games. The fear is always that an overly candid discussion of the various pitfalls of the RPG experience could send would-be GMs running to the comparative shelter of their Xboxes…

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Kevin Drum Agrees with Easterbrook…

The Washington Monthly
…about Football, that is. Kevin Drum agrees that football coaches don’t go for it on fourth down anywhere near the statistical odds suggest, as Gregg Easterbrook has been crowing for years.
They are both right of course, although the analysis Drum cites doesn’t take into account the time left in the game, or in the half. Even so, coaches in the NFL are often way too conservative in opponent’s territory, especially with the emphasis these days on offense over defense. Those fraidy cat punts which net 10 yards often have the yardage they gain erased in a couple of plays by the other team.
The forty yard line of the opposing team seems to be the sweet spot for going for it no matter what, unless its fourth and forever, unless you have a Morten-Andersen esque kicker who can kick 57 yard field goals consistently.


From the NY Daily News on the Moussaoui verdict:
Zacarias Moussaoui will live. This is not justice. This is an abomination. This is a reprieve from hell for a soul who deserves an eternity in flames no less intense than the infernos that brought down the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
That Moussaoui will suffer the tortures of damnation after a life in prison is of no comfort. No matter how entombed in concrete and steel he is, Moussaoui will breathe the air that Al Qaeda denied to almost 3,000 murder victims. Until, to his everlasting surprise, he is greeted not by willing virgins but by a vengeful maker.
It is deeply dispiriting that an American jury yesterday failed to impose the death penalty on a terrorist who came to the United States with plans to hijack a jetliner and fly it into the Capitol or the White House – and who knew that other conspirators were planning to hit the twin towers. Those facts alone justified capital punishment.

I think differently.

Continue reading Bloodlust

Rest in Peace, Lisa Barnett.

From Locus Online:
Fantasy writer Lisa A. Barnett, born 1958, died this morning at her home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from brain tumor. She and her partner Melissa Scott published three fantasy novels together, The Armor of Light (1988), Point of Hopes (1995), and Point of Dreams (2001), the last of which won a Lambda Literary Award in 2002.
I really liked Point of Hopes when I read it some years ago. Astrology and Magic in a Renaissance-Europe like setting! I had no idea when I read it that there was a prequel (Armor), the book stood very well on its own.