Friday, April 18, 2014

Word of the Day -- Oubliette

An oubliette is a dungeon with an opening only at the top.  I tried to find out a little bit more about the word as it is very interesting to me, but all I could really find is the etymology, which makes sense after reading it:

French, from Middle French, from oublier to forget, from Old French oblier, from Vulgar Latin *oblitare, frequentative of Latin oblivisci to forget

Red Riding Hood

Great Imagery in this shot . . .

Red Sonja News

Dynamite Entertianment is releasing a hardcover art book highlighting the really cool work of veteran artist Frank Thorne. Mr. Thorne is the one who decorated the early RS books in the 1970s. It was and remains some fantastic work.

It was certainly part of our early experiences in reading comics…conan, green lantern, red sonja and so forth…which all lay about with our AD&D books, war games and Marx toys (best toys the world has ever, or will ever see).

At any rate, the full color book weighs in at 120 pages, gloss for 150.

Pick or pre-order yours today!

Armor Up (Teutonic Grand Master)

Movie Trailer ~ Edge of Tomorrow

Inter-species Cross Over Hatching Theory

Researches have determined that early man and our cousins the Neanderthals did not overlap on the Iberian peninsula (Spain). We've gotten much better at carbon dating, interpreting the decay rates with more accuracy.

With that we've learned, from our samples that, the two species did not co-habitat in Spain. The title of this article is misleading…or I'm misreading…its not 1000 years, but some 11000 years, the difference between the two.


I've said this before, but to categorically state  what happened 45000 years ago after taking samples from a dozen bones is horribly horribly misleading. We have a plethora of evidence on Loch Ness and still can't say if there is a monster in that lagoon!

And another thing. We keep basing our information off of these bog men…people we find stuck in tar pits or frozen in the ice. These might have been the really dumb cave men.

"Joe! Its Tar! JOE! TAR! There goes joe."

Kepler 186F At Last!

Astronomers found a planet that sits in the happy happy fun time zone,  near enough to its star to be warm, but not too warm, yet not far enough to suffer the frigid colds of space. This zone is the zone where water can remain in its liquid state, allowing for earth-like life to grow, evolve, get a car, balance a check book and die.

It appears to be rocky and very habitable and is only 500 light years away. Not too shabby if we could fold space.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Steam Punk Pirate?)

Hundred Falls

The Naebar is named after a Dwarf King of the western realms. The legends speak of his crossing the Shadow Mountain at the head of a large party of his kin. He was old, fourth in his line, and beyond his years. Upon the eastern cliffs of the Shadow Mountains, he heard the tumbling noise of the many sparkling water falls that serve as the river's source. He saw then the Hundred Falls, where clear water fell many times, many hundreds of feet into frothing pools. Step by step these falls led the ice melt to the plains below. Naebar never left the land, climbing down the treacherous cliffs to the pools below. None of his guard could immediately follow him, so nimble were his steps. When at last they came to the pools, their King was gone, never seen on Aihrde again. They set a guard there, 100 of his kin who had volunteered, to watch for their King. There they stayed until they passed from the world and returned to stone (as the dwarves are want to say).

So they named the water the Hundred Falls and the river took the King's name. Its waters move swiftly and are clean and clear until they spill into the ruin that is Ington River.

~The Codex of Aihrde


Movie Trailer ~ Jupiter Ascending

Embryonic Transformers

This marks the age of the exoskeleton. In Austin this past month a Japanese company, Skeletonics, debuted a very cool exoskeleton.

As Jason Gilber reports,  "The wearer straps himself inside the suit and can then walk and jump around, controlling the arms and legs of the skeleton itself. The suit is made of simple aluminum, with several springs and mechanical joints that operate corresponding limbs on the skeleton. In what should be very exciting news for my fellow nerds, operating the suit looks like driving a Jaeger, like our heroes do in the movie Pacific Rim."

Presently this is for entertainment only with no on board computers or what have you, but what the future holds on Ripley knows . . .

Armor Up (Hieronimus the Cleric)

Word of the Day -- Tincture

In heraldry, tinctures are the colours used to emblazon a coat of arms. These can be divided into several categories including light tinctures called metals, dark tinctures called colours, nonstandard colours called stains, patterns called furs, and "proper". A charge tinctured proper (also sometimes termed "natural") is coloured as it would be found in nature.

One of the few fundamental rules of heraldry is that metals must not be placed upon other metals and colours must not be placed upon other colours, while furs and proper can sometimes be placed upon either or both. This is referred to as the rule of tincture.

Nonstandard colours called stains were introduced in the late Middle Ages, but have largely been shunned as contrary to the heraldic spirit of bold images and bright, contrasting colours. A peculiar fad of the Renaissance sought to couple each tincture with an associated planet, gemstone, flower, astrological sign, etc., but this practice was soon abandoned and is now regarded as wildly divergent from the science of heraldry. The 19th century saw the rise of "landscape heraldry" and extensive use of charges tinctured "proper", especially in augmentations (and more often in German heraldry than English), but this practice too has been deprecated as essentially unheraldic.

Upon Mighty Shoulders

Darpa & the Self Driving Car

Here's an interesting article on DARPA and the self driving car. I keep hearing rumors about this. Highways designed to drive your car for you, cars that take over when you get behind the wheel, cars that interact with other cars avoiding collisions and so forth. On the surface it sounds like a good idea, but seems to me has way to many problems with it.

1) Daily update of the java script will cause the car to shut down

2) Daily updated of the virus protection plan will cause the car to shut

3) Virus

4) It will need a redundant system to back up incase malfunction

5 It will need a redundant system to back up the updates

In short the minute by minute updating cars will have to do will pretty much keep us all moribund and at home.

Plus I would miss this . . . .

Boy Scouts and Zombies

I've grown to enjoy zombie movies, most are horrid of course, without any real fear factor, more gore. But some break the mold and really keep you on the edge of your seat (the walking dead of course), but others are just really movies to watch . . . Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland come to mind. Of course what makes these good films is the script and acting, but also key is the production value.

Now we have another potential good movie, Paramount has green lighted Scouts vs. Zombies and cast David Koechner in a lead role. Here's tipping one back for some hoped for zombie/comedy gold!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Claire Resident Evil)

Of the First Light

When the first lights of Mailahm fell upon the ground Moridus' purpose blossomed and strange plants and grasses grew, spreading across the land, drinking the silvery light of the moon. And these are accounted the first living things that came to the world apart from Erde, and they are called the Fael Mur, though they are not accounted of the order of the Val-Austlich. For an age the world blossomed in the light of Mailahm and she rode the heavens and the grasses caught the curtained light of her first form and ever after reflected that light.

But it was Mailuhm's power that caused the world to explode in life for her heat was so great and the warmth of her passage beyond all that any had expected. And her passage lifted the water on high so that the winds could carry it far and wide. The grass grew deep and green, in thick waves it spread over the world; and plants grew as well, springing from the soil to tangle in broad lands of bush. In sorrow Mordius saw the end of the Fael Mure for many of those plants could not withstand the heat of Mailuhm. Though some she stole away to hidden groves so that only Mailahm graced them with her touch and in this she saved the world in after ages, though she planned it not.

~The Codex of Aihrde


The Blood Moon

For those of us who missed it, like me….here's some video.

Castles & Crusades Kickstarter News

TLG is wrapping up Haunted Highlands and shipping begins this week, Codex Nordica is at the printers but the real news comes in with the Castles & Crusades Kickstarter.

We've sold out of the Players Handbook, Monsters & Treasure and the Castle Keepers Guide. Which means we have no game…and we have to have game.

We've been hammering away on the new printing (6) for some time now and plan to debut it at All Things Fun in West Berlin New Jersey on June 21.

But to fund that we are going Kickstarter. Next week, mid week probably, we'll launch our new Kickstarter. Be sure to check back often to get in on the early deals and all the other fun shenanigans.

Armor Up (Delaware Warrior)

Aside from the Egyptians there are no cooler looking warriors in the history of our species than these people.

Expendables 3 Group Shot

The Revenant

Nah, its not a monster from your table top . . . well it is actually . . . but a new movie that just signed Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role. Its a western, tracking the journey of a fur trader that gets mauled by a bear, betrayed and left for dead in the wilderness by his partners. Only he doesn't die. He recovers to spend the rest of the film hunting down his tormentors.

Note: I desperately tried to use the word "erstwhile" in that paragraph above, but utterly failed.

I love westerns, and DiCaprio did such a fantastic job in Blood Diamond that this should be a good flick no matter how it falls.

These guys just looked cool!

Movie Trailer ~ X-Men Days of Future Past

Word of the Day -- Pip

Pips are small but easily countable items. The term is used to describe the dots on dominoes, dice, denote suits, and is the name for the small seeds of some fruits. It could be used as a synonym for dot in most situations, for example morse code.

On dice, pips are small dots on each face of a common six-sided die. These pips are typically arranged in patterns denoting the numbers one through six. The sum of opposing faces traditionally adds up to seven. Pips are commonly colored black on white dice, and white on dice of other colors, although colored pips on white dice are not uncommon; Japanese dice often have an enlarged red single pip for the "one" face, while the dice for the game Kismet feature black pips for 1 and 6, red pips for 2 and 5, and green pips for 3 and 4.

In playing cards, pips are small symbols on the frontside of the cards that determine the suit of the card. A standard 52-card poker deck consists of four suits of thirteen cards each: spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds. Each suit contains three face cards – the jack, queen, and king. The remaining ten cards are called pip cards and are numbered from one to ten. (The first card is almost always changed from "one" to "ace" and often is the highest card in the game, followed by the face cards.) Each pip card consists of an encoding in the top left-hand corner (and, because the card is also inverted upon itself, the lower right-hand corner) which tells the card-holder the value of the card. The center of the card contains pips representing the suit. The number of pips corresponds with the number of the card, and the arrangement of the pips is generally the same from deck to deck.

We Need a Good Adaptation of Tarzan

Dungeon Coming Back

Wizards of the Coast has announced the re-release of their popular board game Dungeon. It weighs in at $19.99 and has all the components you need to play a game…over a 150 cards, 138 tokens, 8standees, dice, board, rules etc etc. It is designed to target younger gamers, drawing them into the table top hobby.

Not a bad score for the Wizard on the Coast.

The Religion

I read this morning where the Island Nation of Malta is offering extensive tax breaks for studios in hopes of attracting more film makers to the island. Its a small isle in the middle of the Mediterranean with Libya and Italy as neighbors. Its a beautiful isle with a rich history that wanders through World War 2 all the way back to the Wars of Religion and the Siege of Malta.

Which reminded me of this fantastic piece of historical fiction. The Religion by Tim Willocks. If you haven't read it, read it. It is truly a whopping tale of adventure, battle, and history. Willocks takes some liberty with the history of the siege, but not much, as much of what the main character goes through happened in those distant days.

Its a great read and graphic reminder of what men did in the days of yore.