Monday, November 29, 2010

Random Book Reviews

So I work in a library.
So sometimes I pick up books.

Here are two of those. On the same topic, i.e. the propensity of people to believe in fake stuff.

Here they are:

Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction : Where Real Science Ends...and Pseudoscience Begins

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology
Both books pretty much cover the same ground, including a brief look at what science is as well as some examples of very nonscientific stuff (i.e. aliens) as well as instances when science worked really well at decipher the truth (the Cardiff giant) as well as when it took a bit longer for scientists to catch on (the Piltdown man) -- although catch on they did -- eventually.

It seems that the major difference between science and pseudosciences is where you begin. If you begin with an hypothesis and then explain away evidence that shows your hypothesis to be full of hocus-pocus, it's not science. If other people can't duplicate your results, it's not science. If your hypothesis can't be falsified, it's not science.

I recommend these books for anyone wanting to indulge in a bit of light reading on the subject of The Silly Stuff People Believe and Why They Believe it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Want One of These

I just watched "How to Train Your Dragon."

Now I want one.

Anyone? Christmas present?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Limerick

A ditty I wrote for my Geography class:

I'm a mud volcano from Indonesia,
I bubble toxic sludge, if that please ya;
     An oil rig drilled,
     So out came the swill,
'Cause East Javan village--who needs ya?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just want to wish a Happy Turkey Day to all my readers! May your Thanksgiving be full of stuff to be thankful for, and may you all go comatose from eating too much turkey and ham and stuffing and other stuff!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clumsiness, Or, How the World Keeps Getting in My Way

I've been told I'm clumsy. I've thought I was clumsy. I would even go so far as to call myself positionally and spatially challenged.

But after over twenty six years in the same body, I've come to the conclusion that it's not my fault. It's the environment. Really.

I live in a world full of malicious, anthropomorphic inanimate objects who plot and scheme and move when I'm not looking so they can put their marks on me--lovely bruises of various sizes and shapes. I find myself with bruises I have no memories of getting, which leaves me to conclude my bed is involved somehow.  It really is impossible for so many things to move into my way when I'm not paying attention unless they're deliberately setting out to do so.

I've tripped on a wire that was attached from an outlet to a camera that cost about twelve of my cars (haha now you don't know the cost of this camera or my car) that caused this camera to crash onto a linoleum floor. I've managed to trip on perfectly flat surfaces and walk into chairs that I just set down.

But you know who's behind this all? The doors are. Yes, the doors. You know, those things that guard the portals in and out of buildings. And cars. And microwaves.

It always comes down to the bloody doors.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dungeoneering. Crafting. Milestones

Well, I've been a bit busy this weekend, but on Friday, on both sides of a six-hour sleep period, my RS chars got some milestones in.

First, Rebel Dragon and 85 crafting:

Then Elf Sphinx got Total level 200 and Dungeoneering level 20, respectively.

Okay, so actually level 21.

I feel that medium dungeons take too long and are not much fun to do if you're skilling on the available resources. Plus, they take well over an hour and a half sometimes while a small dungeon can be thoroughly mined, logged, and fished out in 20 minutes.

Just the way of things, I guess.

Rebel Dragon finally did a skeletal wyvern task. The only reason I'm doing them is I want to make those Super Prayer restores at lvl 94 herblore someday if I ever get there.

Incidently, here is Elf Sphinx battling a mighty planar-freeze thingy. Or, as I think of it, the tentacly thing in the ice room.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's More than a Coffee Maker...

[insert angelic 'AAAAHHH" here]

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present:

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Super Brewer of the Gods, sent down from a consortium of pantheons to enrich the lives of ordinary mortals. With the mere push of a button, your cup will be running over full in less than a minute of lovely, sweet, awesome coffee. You can use the handy little cups in assorted flavors in the spinny thing carousal to the left, or you can use your ordinary dime-store coffee if that's all you can afford after acquiring this thing. It's sleek, it's shiny, and made out of pure Awesonium.

I don't even feel bad for all the pennies that died to buy this thing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Runescape Meme

I found this cool questionaire on Kieyanar the Mighty Crafter 's blog. It's quite fun, really. Some of the questions are hard for me, though.

Skilling Idol: Nesgamepro
Person you look up to most: Flaiva
Favourite famous player: Season, i.e. used to be #1 in Farming, she commented on a forum post I had a looong time ago.
Person you like going on random excursions with: Almonzor
Person you like chatting with most: ...hard one...right now it's Ram136.
Your favourite persons on Runescape: My demon butler

Your clan's name: Cairdeas
What kind of clan it is: Friendly
Favourite memory from clan: Sitting around yammering
Favourite quote from the clan chat: none yet

Your favourite item: Quest cape
Your weapon of choice: zammy spear
Your favourite costume: don't have any really
Your skillcapes: construction, woodcutting, fletching, magic, range, acquired in that order
What skillcape(s) you're working on: slayer, defense, hitpoints, fishing, and cooking. Think that's all
Your total level: 2182

Your favourite skill: Slayer
Your favourite activity within that skill: Treasure trails
Your favourite minigame/distraction: trouble brewing, but as a rule I don't do minigames
Your favourite random event: Giles. It's quick.
Your favourite quest: You want me to pick?
Your quest points: 309

And now you know more about me as a Runescape player than you ever cared to know.

Monday, November 8, 2010


What is it with bloggers not blogging and web comics not updating?

I mean, I already did a fair pile of Earth Structure homework. Now I've just got to do the lab that's due tomorrow and I should be completely caught up.

But it's been over 16 hours since any of the blogs I follow have updated. I feel like a kid waiting for the grandparents to show up, running to the window every five minutes to see if they're here yet. I'm fishing on Runescape, but all my friends are off for the night and I may have to throw in a movie to stave off impending boredom of not doing thirty things at once.


I need help procrastinating. Are there good blogs that I'm missing? Any websites I should be frequenting? A magic wand to make my lab do itself?

I'd like the last one the most, but I'll settle for any one of the three.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dungeoneering Pure Update 1

If you recall a previous post of mine, I started Elf Sphinx on Runescape to be a dungeoneering pure. She hit a few milestones today -- total level 100 and Dungeoneering 10:

On a slightly different note, for Rebel Dragon, she got this today:

That's an H2 helm and platebody in one clue. Pretty cool, I thought.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On the Morality of Doors

Doors are not good.

Possibly even evil.

Let me explain:

While there is no denying the usefulness of doors for keeping the outdoors out of the indoors, and have the advantage of being able to put a lock on to double ensure the outdoors do not get in, if it wasn't for this usefulness we wouldn't have doors at all.

Because doors do not like us.

Ever have a door slam on you while you are trying to go through it with arms full of groceries/kittens/dark ritual implements? You may have thought it was due to the wind, but the truth is that the door only used the wind as a cover. Did you know 300,000 "accidents" a year are caused by doors? This is not a trivial amount. This many accidents are evidence of the malevolence of the door kind and of their undying hatred for humanity. That's just too many "accidents" to be accidental. By my highly secretive and complicated calculations, if these "accidents" were truly accidental, there should only be 12,342 a year.

You read that right. 12,342. That is a far cry from 300,000. And those are only the ones that have been reported. Who knows how many attacks by doorkind have been launched against humans that no one knows about? How many of them were successful? How many of the people on the Missing Persons list have fallen to the doors?

I have written to the governments and the bureaucrats and the President. Do they reply? NO! They are in cahoots with this force of evil, the League of Doors. We should stand and fight! Take your doors and burn them! Do not permit them to bruise you, slam in your face, or lock you out of your abode any longer! Do not let your loved ones and friends be imperiled by these another day!

I hereby announce today as Door-Burning Day! Take back your eyes and your toes! Let the Revolution begin!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fable 3: Review

Warning: Possible Spoilers.

So LOML picked up the Collector's Edition of Fable 3 on October 26th and brought it home. It was the hardest thing in the world to stumble home after a day of school and work and to only rip off the packaging and not shove the disc into the Xbox and spend the next eight hours playing it. Instead, I only ripped off the packaging and studied for a test I was having the following afternoon. And messed around with the Villager Maker, but apparently due to never getting the code from GameStop I wasn't able to put it into my game.

It wasn't for several days until I was able to start Fable 3 in earnest. First was the sultry voice of Theresa, asking me what I would be. The options were either a Prince or Princess. I chose Princess ('X' button). I then watched the opening story involving a chicken on a quest for freedom, only for the chicken to be shot and hauled into the castle kitchen while the camera pans up to the window of the Princess, where she is getting prodded out of bed by Jasper, the faithful and helpful butler every secretly aspiring Hero wishes they had.

I shan't reiterate the entire story, but I would like to say I found Fable 3 pleasantly different from Fable 2. There was less control over the emotes, but at least it was more intuitive to use them ('A' for good, "X' for evil, 'Y' for silly), and there is no more holding down the left trigger to collect little glowy balls of experience, which I always found annoying, as they like evaporating before I killed everything.

Due to my allergy to grinding, I was unable to do any of the jobs (blacksmithing, piemaking, barding) for any length of time (Yes, I play Runescape. Shut up). I slowly made money via renting out houses and owning shops but as it turned out I didn't accumulate enough money before embarking on the year of reign and then the year of reigning advanced rather faster than I expected, making me lose 2/3rds of the population of Albion. But at least they still liked me afterward.

I set up two families and adopted about eight runts from the orphanage before calling it a weekend on Sunday night. I started another character (a prince) with the intent of making him evil but sometimes even the greatest obsessions necessitate a break from them.

Fable 3: Two thumbs up!

Dungeoneering Pure

Apparently I don't have enough to do. I know this to be incorrect, but considering what I'll randomly do...

This is Elf Sphinx, my new Runescape character. No, I'm not going to stop playing Rebel Dragon.

Elf Sphinx exists because I want to see what a Dungeoneering pure would look like...a character who spends the entire time of its Runescape existence inside the dungeons of Daemonheim. So far, the bosses have been Astea Frostweb (level 3) with the exception of this thing:

At my pitiful combat level of 3, there didn't seem to be enough heim crabs in the world for me to kill this thing, although it came close.

At the end of the night, I had reached complexity 3, doing three complete dungeons while skipping out on the behemoth, with the following stats:

All in all, not bad for a first night.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Daddy's Shirt

Daddy’s Shirt

Little girl wrapped up in Daddy’s shirt,
Waiting for Daddy to come home.

Today is your birthday, Dad, and I really wish you were here;
You broke my heart when you left, dear Dad; I haven’t got any more tears.
I lie, I lie, but they’re all inside, all stoppered up in a fractured bottle;
I have some words, but they are scarred, all shattered and twisted and mottled.

Little girl wrapped up in Daddy’s shirt,
Wondering when Daddy’s coming home.

The world died the day you did, the rocks shattered under my silent screams;
I think of you under bright-sun days, I meet with you in my dreams,
Always happy, so happy, and you can’t understand why I’m sad;
With you gone, the world is worse, and some days, it’s just plain bad.

Little girl wrapped up in Daddy’s shirt,
Wondering if Daddy’s coming home.

I’m going forward ‘cause I can’t go back; I go, for I cannot stay;
But on days like today, when you should be here, is when the saltwaters come out to play.
I gotta believe that you’re alive somewhere, and that you’re still here with me;
It hurts too much, for you to be gone, my heart stranded on the saltwater sea.

Little girl in Daddy’s shirt,
Crying for Daddy.

4:16pm 11-3-07 © Jamie S.

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I nearly forgot your birthday.

I might have forgotten it if Sister hadn't texted me asking what day it was--today or tomorrow? It's November 3rd, I told her.

You would be 52 years old today...exactly twice my age. I would be calling you to wish you Happy Birthday, and tease you about how ancient you were getting. Which would remind me how old I am getting. Time has a way of shuffling on, doesn't it? I'm thoroughly engaged in a life of perpetual studenthood and you...what would you being doing? Would the fertilizer business have taken off? Would the vending machine business have expanded to the point where you didn't have to do yard service and hauling (I know those were getting harder for you as you got older)?

It's hard to know.

How different would life be if you were still here? Would Mom be retaining some semblance of sanity? Would you still live in that place we built, that place we built as a family, with our hands? Would you even still be with Mom? All I can say is that you were a stronger person than I would have been, staying with someone who wouldn't let you make her happy for years and years. Would Grandpa and Grandma seem as old as they do now? What would you think of your first grandchild, Brother's son? What would you think of LOML? Would you two get along as fantastically as I think you would?

If there was anything I could have done to make you stay, I would have. I'm sure if your own pain wasn't so great you might have stayed longer, given tomorrow another go.

The nightmares seared on the underside of my eyelids don't return as much as they used to, and I don't see you in my dreams so much anymore, with you not understanding why I'm so sad when I see you, or trying to convince me that the whole thing isn't real and you're just a phone call away.

You want to know the ironic thing? For years I struggled with depression. I'm sure you didn't know. I took pains to not let anyone else know.  It was five years. Five years of feeling the world collapse in on me and pushing the walls back. Finding a reason for tomorrow.

Then those feelings started fading. It felt as though I was coming out of a cave. Tomorrow was worth living for, but today is also.

Three months later, you succumbed to the depression and to the physical sickness the doctors couldn't name, and you shuffled off this mortal coil.

I don't blame you for what happened. I don't blame God for what you did. I might blame Mom a little, frankly. I'm sure it wasn't easy for you, either. Maybe there's no one to blame, and what happened, happened, and that's the way of things.

Just want you to know I love and miss you and I plan to see you again someday.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Runescape Behind the Scenes November

Well, this appears to be a promising month for Runescape, on several levels.

The Warped Dungeoneering floors are being released. I won't be able to use this update when they come out due to them starting at 95 Dungeoneering, but it's nice to see a skill being finished. There are eight new challenge rooms being released that will be available on all floors, and I'm more excited about those. The rest of the tier-11 equipment is also being released, and some of the new rewards (scroll of cleansing, anyone?) look like they could be useful.

The Herblore Habitat I'm not so sure about. Is it a minigame, or Distraction and Diversion? I like the promise of a new Construction area, but as a rule I don't do minigames unless I need something out of them. I hope it proves worthwhile, and isn't just another place in RS  that is forgotten after the first month.

Another master quest! I hope any combat isn't mind-numbingly difficult, like Nomad, because Nomad took me forever (like 6 months) to finally beat. I like a good epic boss fight but I prefer to not fail twenty times before beating it. It will be interesting to see how they tie the desert quests to Ape Atoll. I hope it doesn't come off as a cop-out just to finish up the Monkey Madness series because that storyline has the potential to be truly epic. IMHO.

Bank Op and Equip Screen Update (BOAESU) looks like it will be a possibly gameplay-changing update--being able to equip weapons or fill pouches while having your bank tab open will make certain things, such as Runecrafting, faster because there will be less clicks. Also, eating food and drinking potions while having your bank tab open? Someone's going to complain about eating a pumpkin or half wine, guaranteed, but it also seems like a promising aspect.

Looks to be an exciting month!