Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Daily Cosplay

Iron Man 3, Pepper Potts

The Story of Trolls 6

Any question asked of any group of individuals yields not different answers to the same question but answers to the different question that each of them heard. Somewhere there is a universal truth but no one much cares about it.

This continues the Story of Trolls 5.

Mac settled into many late nights, sending email inquiries out to various distributors and retailers and various and sundries. Fishing with a wide net he hoped to catch something from somewhere. He threw himself into the lists on the various list serves . . . in those days there were no message boards, or face books, or twitters, instgrams and what nots. He joined a host of lists, at first lurking, but as time unfolded began to chime in on discussions. He participated in retailer lists, and hobby market lists and lists where Wizards of the Coast was discussing some kind of open license for their D&D game. It all came in a flurry and he began making copious notes and painstakingly cataloging his emails.

In the meanwhile Davis spent his week days in the sweating hear of Wyoming digging in the dirt in a variety of anthropologic digs. He spent his weekend days hunkered over a computer library answering emails or at the desk in his one-shot, run down dive of a hotel room, hand drawing the elements that once combined would become the World of Erde map. Evenings were spent in drunken stupors at whatever local brewhouse or road flat served up the cheapest beer. Emails from Davis became rare and those on sunday often disjointed as if written in some type of haze.

Steve, taking a light class load of historical forget me nots, brushed off his computer, largely unused in his office. It was his first, acquired post-Army in 1995 and it had only DOS components and AOL on it; the friend who bought it for him swore off windows saying it was 'computers for idiots'. It so happened that the same friend had bought all manner of software for it and it had some dinosaur of a program on their called pagemaker, a book layout program.  It was an ancient breed and proved as cumbersome as it was comforting. Steve set out to learn the program while writing Erde and cleaning up Mortality of Green.

Meanwhile the crew booked the booth at Gencon, found some Best-western downtown and reserved a room and began taking stock of what they would need for the trip. It included a truck, now affectionately called Old Blue, but in 2000, still in her hey day.

All the pieces were falling together, but they would fall together much faster than ever anticipated as suddenly the Trolls found themselves with a distributor and offers from a consolidator with a little hook into Amazon.

Pacific Rim

This is looking better and better; I don't care if the story is good or not, just so long as the action is non stop and as bad ass as it looks in this second trailer!

This Facebook's For You!

Budweiser has teamed up with facebook to make the buddy cup. The cup is designed to instantly friend someone with a similar cup when you clink the cups together, assuming both parties have facebook accounts.

Its surmised the clinking glass together derives from the act of toasting, which some argue began with a shared drinking vessel back in ancient Britain where a piece of toast was set in a brew, passed around for all to partake of and the toast itself eaten by the host. This was done to celebrate various and sundries or as an oath, or similar such and obvious reasons.

I'm not sure I buy that, probably has been going on for a long time. I'm pretty sure in the millions of years the cavemen were wandering about that at least two of the, after killing a giant bison and living to tell the tale high fived it with some bloody bison leg bones.

But now we have drunken buddy facebook cups, a far fry from Toby Keith's Red Cup and a far far cry from the original drinking man.

 Wait, that's a dog.

We went from this . . .

To this . . .

We've come a long way . . . to no where!

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

We are on Mars

I think that needs to be said at least once a day by everyone. We are on Mars. Of course we've been to Mars before but I think we've gotten to used to what is really a fantastic event. We are on another Planet. In 10000 short years, we've gone from climbing trees (a skill we still retain) to landing vehicles on other planets.

Its pretty cool by a long shot.

Armor Up

Elfquest Returns

Back in the hey days of no one's particular life there was a comic series, in magazine format, called Elfquest. It took as its premise, that elves were small, in the range of a dwarf's height, and filled with a primitive magic; they were warlike as well, though not in the high elves of Middle Earth form. More barbaric. It was good stuff and afforded some great reading.

Well its seems Darkhorse comics is picking up the license and releasing a new series of Elfquest comic books. The Pinis continue to write the books which is cool. The new series charts the return to the forest for our heroes. Titled the Final Quest, it doesn't bode well for a continuing series. But should be fun.

There was a film planned and it may still be in the works . . .

Family Tree

Of the Norse Gods

Word of the Day -- Garniture

Garniture: embellishment, trimming; or a set of decorative objects (as vases, urns, or clocks).

In Middle French, the language from which today's word was borrowed, "garniture" meant "equipment." "Garniture" is an alteration of the Old French noun "garnesture," which is derived from the verb "garnir," which meant "to warn, equip, or garnish." In fact, an Anglo-French stem of "garner," "garniss-," is the source of the English verb "garnish," which in its senses of "decorate" and "embellish" shares a similar relationship to "garniture" that the verb "furnish" shares with "furniture." "Furnish" comes from the Anglo-French "furniss-," a stem of the verb "furnir" or "fournir," which also gave rise to the Middle French "fourniture," the source of the English "furniture."


Some physicists are postulating in European Physics Journal D that the speed of light may not be constant. This would be pretty cool as it would goof with our definition of how large the universe is based on how fast it is flying apart . . . or so the theory surmises . . . though I don't actually think theories can surmise anything, unless they originate on twitter which seems to have a life of its own at times, if a life a bit useless.

But the two papers, published separately examine the relative speed of light at the quantum level, theorizing that photons transmit passing energy at different charges, depending on the photon itself and i assume the charge; these changes in energy output might mean light travels at different speeds. The second theory examines the nature of light in the vacuum and its interaction with the magnetic spheres it may encounter. This may affect the speed of light.

Not hat is a horrible regurgitation of a pretty fascinating article that you can read on Live Science here.

I have little doubt that our understanding of the physical universe is marginal; I do see the value in the mathematics of it, if the equations work at one level then the universality (awesome word that) of mathematics means they must work on all levels. But that said there is just too much we don't know and more that we theorize on.

Just ask the Spacing Guild

Monday, April 29, 2013

Daily Cosplay

Iron Man 3 is coming this weekend. So we'll celebrate with some Iron Man cosplay.

On a Monday . . .

Eve Online To the TV

It looks like the massive MMORPG EVE is hitting the small screen. Baltasar Kormakur is heading up the project. You'll see his work this summer in 2 Guns . . . which looks really good but will be kick ass once your realize that MUTHER F#(**!) Bill Paxton is in it!.

Of course that movie is far removed from the science fiction epic that is Eve and its universe. The show charts the war between rival societies trapped in a wormhole. All very cool stuff if you've seen it online.

More here.

The Iron Wars

Throughout the universe matter wars with matter for dominance. In places water consumes all, in others, gase; rumors abound of planets made of diamonds, but no matter the winner, the war continues for the universe is inherently a violent landscape where all things struggle with one the other. Some devour . . . some are consumed . . .

Here is it in small (despite my rambling pretext this is really cool)


Fast and Furuios 6

Hmm I've enjoyed the franchise so far. Might as well in for number six.

The Tank?

The Frozen Salt Flats

Unklar’s freezing grip and icy breath are still felt in this fell region. Once a great and open country where dark warm grasses mingled with thick black firs. Here Unklar the Horned God met in battle with the Unburdened One, the abyssal lord Naarheit. They wrestled upon the plain for many long years. Unklar brought the cold winds of the Winter to batter his foe, but Naarheit weathered them with ease, setting a pestilence upon the Horned One so that the land turned foul beneath his feet and he grew weary with disease. But he cast himself in the fire of ice and burned the flesh of Naarheit's poison. Naarheit lay himself into the earth and unmade it so that all about him was maddened chaos; he hoped to unmake the dark god but in this he failed and suffered damnation.

Though Unklar sought out his foe, he could not unearth him so he trumpeted his voice and brought down the heavens in an avalanche of snow and ice. And the land groaned, too late did Naarheit see that he madness was spread too thin and a glacier of Unklar making settled upon him and froze him and crushed him into the very earth he held.

The battle poisoned the land leaving it a horrible discolored  testament to the foul nature of the being consumed by the icy ground. Twisted and vile, pale colors of hate and rage linger in the ground. The lakes are filled with brine and sulphates; the water ways run foul with it; the land of jagged rocks, deep gulches, narrow cliffs are all twisted by the death throes of the gods.

This poisoned the land utterly and from that day to this it is a horrid place of stench and evil.

What little lives in this land is most terrifying, for only Unklar’s minions could survive in such an inhospitable place. But tales speak of massive white bears with long shaggy hair and teeth the size of small daggers, of slim six legged lizards with brilliant white scales that glimmer in the moonlight, and other fell beasts. Some brave souls do make their way to these lands, for into them fled the last remnants of Unklar’s people after he was cast down and they brought with them great wealth. Wealth that has long since disappeared into the caverns and palaces of ice beneath the frosty wasteland.

Armor Up

Marvel Heroic and Firefly

Margaret Weis Productions announced they are closing the doors on the Marvel Heroic RPG. After a strong launch last year "it didn't garner the level of sales necessary to to sustain the rest of the line." But never fear MWP is barreling out even more Firefly RPG goodness, bundled adventures, that will help bring everything in their line up to date.

Trollzah for MWP!

Saturn Takes It on the Chin

Astronomers have unraveled evidence of meteors striking the ice rings around Saturn. Some are very small, but others leave a debris trail for thousands of miles. The rings are highly impressionable, unlike the gas giant itself, allowing us to see all manner of happenstance around our big brother planet. All this taken from Cassinni.

It just so happens that last night Saturn came close to earth, the closest it will in this rotation, making him highly visible in the night sky.

Word of the Day -- Heliacal

Heliacal -- relating to or near the sun — used especially of the last setting of a star before and its first rising after invisibility due to conjunction with the sun's rising and setting.

The word "heliacal" rose in the mid-16th century. Its source is the Greek word "hēlios," meaning "sun." Helios is also the Sun god of ancient Greece. "Heliacal" often suggests a relationship between a star and the sun as they appear to the human eye in the sky, as in our example sentences. It's also used in reference to the ancient Egyptian year, which began on the date when Sirius (or the Dog Star) first appeared on the eastern horizon at sunrise. English speakers have referred to this year as the heliacal year or the Sothic year. ("Sothic" comes from "Sōthōs," the Greek word for Sirius.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Daily Cosplay

The Story of Trolls 5

Jumbled piles of stone reflect the collective memory; balance arrived at in a disorderly pile of half remembered stoney thoughts. Here they stand stacked one atop a pile of others that are thrown not so half carelessly so that their tumble is all there is. Somewhere there is a universal truth but no one much cares about it.

This continues the Story of the Trolls 4.

Four months stood like a chasm before the three would-be publishing assailants as Gen Con loomed on the not too-distant horizon. The crew needed four books and a map to make the convention one worth attending, to debut in style. With that the paraphernalia required to display at such a show was needed as well: banners, shirts, etc etc. To make it all happen the companies labor was divided up.

Mac had a handle on the legal side of things, being a lawyer by trade, and set about putting the business together. This meant filing the necessary paper work with the state, getting a tax ID number and the like. While that was hammered out, he took a short adventure, written by Steve for submission to Dungeon Magazine, and began expanding it into the Fantastic Adventure.

Davis returned to Wyoming, where he lived in a hotel, while working on an archeological dig. He took with him a rifle of papers and notes on his adventure Vakhund and the early concept maps of Aihrde. Davis, the three quickly learned (or rather Mac and Steve learned), was severely hampered by lack of regular internet access, most of his work, whether writing or email, was done at a small library computer. Contact was intermittent at best. It was amusingly noted that he had far more access to the sop rags at various out-in-the-woods bars (where he spent a great deal of time) than he did on the computer.

Steve had just finished his Master Thesis in history and had begun working on his PhD with the eventual plan of teaching, but this gave him time to set to compiling the Erde material and re-writing it to make it publishable; as well as working on The Mortality of Green, bringing it up to speed. He became Mac's back up if something needed filing as Steve was not working at the time. A shed in the back of his house was designated the packing point for the books when they arrived and it was designed thusly.

Despite the handicaps of time and distance the crew rapidly realized one of the key problems to over come was the art. The books needed covers and the guts needed maps and interior art. Mac began scouring the internet for artists. He had already a reserve in his contact list because of work on the early Seeker. From these he culled a few and hired them out for small pieces, but the real diamond in the rough was found online with Jason Walton of Myriad Studios. Jason lived in British Columbia and the whole crew immediately fell in love with the art. Jason did design art for logos and such and his own fantasy brand, and was more than happy to take up the task of covers and some gut pictures. Jason fit the crew's mold very well, being a cryptozoologist in the far north with long dreadlocks and a free wheeling lifestyle. And he loved beer. So a relationship was formed that has lasted until the present day.

The cover content required another round of beer besotted meetings, this time minus Davis, at Vinos. Outlines were given to Jason, in the briefest form and his artistic instincts allowed to fill in the rest.

Now work began apace and the crew, now four, were working long nights and late hours to bring the whole battle wagon to the show.

Beer of the Day -- Cisco Moor Porter

Alright, it's Friday, so instead of a Word of the Day, I decided it would be more appropriate to do a beer of the day. 

This beer, the Cisco Moor Porter, is one of my favorite winter beers that carries over well into the spring.  It's dark and sweet but not annoyingly so.  And that's about all the fancy talk I'm going to do. :-) I just like beer.  This one tastes damned good.  I like to try them all.  If you like stouts or darker beers, try the Cisco Moor Porter out.  Have a great Friday night!

Friday Sunsets

Evian Commerical

Okay, you've probably seen it by now, if not, its linked below, but this Evian commercial is pretty cool. Dancing babies back again and all that, but what's really cool is this guy . . .  the one on the right.  That dude's get up is awesome!

Armor Up

Did They Find the Rules?

Archeologists have discovered a virtual treasure trove of artifacts in a dig at Burrough Hill in the United Kingdom. This iron age hill fort has been the focus of several digs but recently they unearthed all manner of tools and items. These include hooks, knives, broaches, spears and more. These items seem to have been set in some type of storage pit and the pit filled in with refuse.

Also found was a bone dice, looks like a six sider, and some gaming pieces. These lay with a flute and some other personal items.

Now if they can only find the rules.

Science Daily.

Evil! You Lose Again.

At the CERN Collider they have discovered a particle that decays unevenly into matter and anti-matter. Now this discovery is important as scientists are attempting to discover why matter exists but anti-matter does not, when it is theorized that after the Big Bang equal amounts of the both were hanging about the Cosmos. What is difficult to explain is why the one is absent and the other not.

This isn't necessarily new, as it was discovered at Brookhaven back in the 60s that Kaon particles suffered asymmetry in decay rates between the positive and negative charged; then again in Japan around the turn of the century with mesons. The CERN Collider has discovered another particle that suffers this, B0 particles.

Read on.

"Third times the charm," as my mother likes to say.

Evil, you again lose!

Star Trek, Z, and More

Somehow I missed this preview. The first one made me raise my eyebrows, it didn't look like a movie unfolding in space . . . which is essentially why Star Trek is so bad ass, because its in space (well that and some cool characters and such) . . .  and the wreckage of the Enterprise forced my eyebrow to rise.

However, upon seeing this preview I'm a little more encouraged. It looks like we'll have at least one titanic struggle in space.

Second Trailer for World War Z. I'm really looking forward to this. Be a complete turn around from the Walking Dead (which I can't stop watching).

And here the next Riddick, the teaser trailer at any rate. I hope he goes back to what made Pitch Black a very good sic-fi film. Setting, mood, suspense, all set to an alien landscape from whose dark channels we don't know what's coming.

Hobby Market Uptick

We're watching with curiosity the Senate's wrestling with the online sales tax. States with overblown budgets had been struggling with this issue for awhile, but more importantly brick and mortar stores have found the lack of online tax one more thing to compete against. If it passes it will probably help stores at least a little.

This comes on top of the news that the Hobby industry has seen four years of growth, at least according to Internal Correspondence where board games follow card games in pushing the market up 5-20% per year since 2008. This joins anecdotal evidence from distributors and consolidators that TLG works with. Kickstarter has of course given publishers and manufacturers a boost in capital, allowing them to invest in larger lines which help all the way around. The Kickstarter model reduces the risk considerably for a publisher as an item's worth is determined long before 10s of thousands are pumped into it.

Hobby Sales Up.

So all good news for the industry!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Daily Cosplay

Quantum Physics

Quantum Physics, also known as quantum mechanics, is an abstract science that deals with the mechanical properties of the microscopic world. The wave-like behavior of energy and matter as it interacts is understood through a series of mathematical equations. These theoretical mathematical constructs originate in the works of mathematicians such as David Hilbert. The first application of quantum mechanics lies with Max Planck and Planck's Law

This law deals with the electromagnetic radiation emitted by any physical body (this is the energy emitted that causes an item to seem normal to use, or at extreme temperatures, to emit heat and appear yellow or in very hot to be invisible to the human eye such as ultraviolet radiation). Plank's law tackles the radiation emitted by a body with thermal equilibrium, such as a concave surface with black walls. Mathematics is used to determine the energy emitted by this theoretical construct.

The mathematics set the stage for a host of mathematical constructs that lead to the very diverse and wide open field of Quantum mechanics.

Armor Up

Weird Science

Literally. It would seem that Universal Pictures is set to remake a classic movie from the '80s, Weird Science. The original starred Anthony Michael Hall and Kelly LeBrock and was directed by John Hughes. This is going to be a hard turn to take as John Hughes was a master at the craft, creating such classics as Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club and Home Alone.

It also had Robert Downy Jr and Bill Paxton in it and Bill actually survived!

Songs from the Drowned Lands ~ Kernaghan

Recently I took a trip to New York (the city) and needed something to read that I could easily carry on the plane. I don't really buy pa...