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Wed, Jul. 30th, 2008, 05:45 pm
The Making of Ghost the movie



This is part 1 of 3 or 4. Helps to know some of the in jokes.

Sun, Jun. 15th, 2008, 03:58 pm
More books

Just finished the Axis of Time trilogy by John Birminghan. Weapons of Choice, Designated Targets and Final Impact. Quick and intersting reading.

Thu, Jun. 5th, 2008, 11:11 pm
books

Finished up "The Tale of Krisopos" by Harry Turtledove a few days ago. It's part of his Vidoss universe. It was originially three books, Krispos Rising, Krispos of Videoss and Krispos the Emperour. I had read the first one years ago in paperback, but couldn't find books 2 and 3 in the used book store or the library. this omnibus recently came out.

Just about finished with "Weapons of Choice" by Birmingham. Interesting alternative history where an early 21st century navy battle group gets dropped in WWII Pacific.

Tue, May. 27th, 2008, 05:15 pm
HS Hal Spacejock

http://www.spacejock.com.au/Hal1Download.html

Freemantle Press out of Austrailia is giving away a free e-book. It's book one in an existing series.

Sat, May. 10th, 2008, 04:52 pm
Super Hero concept (not mine)

Saw an ad for "Hancock" movie just now. Quick google search found this on youtube



Looks like a neat idea for a super hero character in the comedy style. A true hero who saves the day, but the side effects leave a lot to be desired.

Sun, Mar. 30th, 2008, 09:44 am
Disney City (Celebration, FL)

I ran across this article about how our suburbs are going to turn into slums.  
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/03/14/carollloyd.DTL 

That got back into reading some stuff about urban design & development.  I picked up "Celebration, USA: Living In Disney's Brave New World" by Frantz and Collins.  I'm about 3/4 of the way thru and doubt I'l finish.  It was written in 1999, a couple years after the town opened.  It's an easy read, but I found it relatively uninformative about how such a community works or doesn't work.  It's written by some people who claim to be reporters, but they make both mistakes and fill the book with stories.  Not much analyis of the town. 

Their book also pushed how Disney was try to sell small town America.  (for some values of small).  Projected population was 20,000.  As of 2007 population stands at 3,500 or so. 

Between that book and "How Cities Work" by Alex Marshall I don't see a future for Celebration or similar ideas aimed at redesigning our metro landscape. I have to agree with  Marshall that transporation is much more a key issue than the architure that Disney's developers seem to be pushing.  

They city has a small downtown within "walking distance" of the houses.  The stores seem to be limited to upscale establishments and boutiques.  If you want to actually shop it's standard suburbs solution of get in the car and get on the highway.  Most of the people use cars to cummute alone to work, with apparently few if any jobs actually in the brave new town. 

From a few websites, and the two books, Celebration seems to be a standard gated exurban community.  A look at Google Maps seems to show that it's isolated by high speed roads from the rest of the county.   Even at full build out, I somehow suspect that they'll never get the businesses inside the development.  The road network is poor to the point that the only people who could shop there would be the residents.  The density, even at full build out looks to be to low to support stores that have to compete with the big boxes and malls on the highway.  Add in that most people commute to work, they'll stop at places outside the development.

Sat, Mar. 15th, 2008, 01:52 pm
The Economist on Gygax

http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10838120 

Gygax got an article in the UK business magazine the Economist.  Also a very long mention in their weekly podcast.

 

Sat, Feb. 16th, 2008, 12:18 pm
mortgage meltdown is rational

http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2008/02/project_lifelin.html 

It's a commentary about the new Lifeline program for home owners and mortgagees.  Author believes that it won't really help, and the issue is the decline in house values, Not the change in income or rates. 

Sat, Feb. 16th, 2008, 09:11 am
character concept

We were having a discussion over at  Baen's web forum.  (Baen Bar) about beer and conventions.  topic drift came up with this.

A super hero who gains powers from drinking Bad beer.  Good beer does nothing. Other forms of alcohol do nothing. Nothing really new there, it's Popeye with a different activation agent.

Now, as the hero drinks more beer, the greater his powers.  Flip side is that the more he drinks, the more higher brain functions drift away on a cloud of beer.

Sat, Aug. 25th, 2007, 03:02 pm
4ed D&D

Finally getting back to reading LiveJournal. Found I could read at least my friends public posts via Google Reader.

Also hit the Wizards of the Coast discussion forums again, just in time for the 4th edition announcement.

Read over a lot of the pages, looks like it could be interesting. Not that I have to time to run a game, or even play regularly.

From the message boards descriptions ...

I hope they make characters simpler and faster to make. Fewer choices for individual classes, although likely a lot more classes. It took about 5 minutes to create any class in AD&D. Choose the class, and all the skills came with it. 3rd ed took over an hour with having to balance feats, skills, etc. If I'm going to have a cookie cutter character, let me make it quickly. In other words, I want to see 4td ed less like GURPS and more like AD&D.

They are ditching Greyhawk as a default setting. Now it's going to be more dark ages with no great empires and more isolated towns. That sounds interesting. Hopefully the rules will support that bent. Reduce the magic tech availiable that Should have created worlds that are more modern looking.

They are also supposedly trying to make race more important at higher levels. There will be more difference between a 15th level dwarf fighter and a 15th level elf fighter. Races will get advantages based upon level / class rather than having race really only be important at 1st level.

I doubt they'll do it, but I'd like to see better multiclass or just more classes. The 3.0 apprenctice rules I liked. Regular 3.x multiclass was weak, while AD&D was in some ways to powerful.

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