He’s kind of a big deal

I did start a post about Christmas/holidays and family… touchy feely stuff that got complicated and wordy so I decided to move on for now, I may go back to it after Christmas. This post I aim to talk about another subject that’s popped up just last week. It’s inspired me to create a wallpaper and listen to theme music repeatedly. None other than that egotistical fictional icon from my youth Duke Nukem. The guys at 3D Realms came out with a teaser last Wednesday breaking a hiatus of nothing for a officially substantial couple year period… nearly 10 year period for me. I gave up on a new game when their website switched to saying “When it’s Done.”

Blond military style crew-cut, tank top showing off a ripping bicep that slowly, easily, reps a massive dumb-bell in a dark room while wearing sunglasses, smoking a big stogy, and a ready beer beside him. He drops the weight, stands up and calmly blows smoke in your face. The cliche self-absorbed, larger-than-life, testosterone filled action hero personified in every extreme. If I didn’t know the guy I probably wouldn’t have even opened the teaser, like so many other games that have been released in the last 10 year… has it been 10 years already?

The beer on the ground with a label only viewable by pausing and zooming shows the only hint of the developers sense of detail and humor. “Scores: all the time.” This interactive creativity and wit is what made so many gamers love Duke Nukem. The replay-ability of single player because even after you beat the levels there are functional secrets and easter eggs that often also reward you with funny one liners from Duke. You find a hung Luke Skywalker “Now this is a force to be reckoned with.” The final level of one of the episodes you can blow up a Duff Beer blimp. In multi-player some of the best maps were actually single player levels, which says something about how non-linear the levels can be. Imagine that, explorable levels in a FPS…

I look forward to dukematch again. deathmatch= fun through competition, if you don’t practice you suck, dukematch from my memory=just have fun, if you suck… just give em hell as best you can. There are plenty of options for that.

Needless to say, when Duke Nukem Forever comes out I’ll be updating my system to play it.

Take it in pieces

NuVinci from DaVinci – The infamous inventor/painter/thinker of old still influences new innovations. Like this bike for example. They call it ‘The Ride’ and it has a ‘NuVinci’ transmission based on one of DaVinci’s ideas.
Dissapearing Car Door? – We all know that car doors swing out. There are suicide doors, gull wing doors, and the more recent sporty Scissor doors. A disappearing door that rolls down under the frame defies all logic! Check out the company that makes the nifty conversion. Just change your alternator religiously, don’t let your battery die, or leave your remote in your car.
Adults can’t use kids toys – What a shocker. I’ll talk about the XO and OLCP in a post some other time. Way way cool idea.
Library Chairs of the Future? – Kind of a cool concept. Jelte can Geest is the designer.
Coal vs nuclear power? – Scientific American reports findings that the ash from burning coal is more radioactive than nuclear waste. Huh? Burning coal is carbon combusting with oxygen to maintain a heat. In a power plant that heat boils water, producing steam, which does the work to spin a turbine with magnets that move near a wire thus coaxing electrons to move along at an alternating current. Where are the radioactive materials in this? The coal. Turns out that coal can contain trace elements of uranium and thorium which are small enough to escape into float off with the smoke. It’s not enough to kill you… in fact you’re already being bombarded by background radiation from the Earth, the sun, space in general, and some general human-made objects. So then what’s the point? The point is that the surrounding area of a nuclear plants have less radiation. There have been blunders with nuclear power, but the technology has advanced quite a bit. How many nuclear warheads do we have laying around in bunkers in the US. Not that they’re near most places… I only bring it up because we’ve gotten pretty damn good at working with this kind of stuff.
Silly apple adds – Funny PC guy only out for money… he’s not in the spirit of Christmas at all! How much does an Apple computer cost? I’m not against Apple at all… they are a viable option in the world of pre-built systems. They even have their advantages over the a PC in some respects. I’m just bothered as anyone who knows ‘their subject’ would be when misinformation is used as a basis of promotion.
The Spirit of X-mas – Representative Jim McDermott and 7 other democrats gave a ‘nay’ vote for celebrating Christmas. I’m not sure about the other 7, but Mr. McDermott cast his vote out of protest for President Bushes veto on a heath care bill. “I guess I’m the only guy left in Congress who still gets angry, but there are some tings that are just not right.” Not too sure what to make of this and I’m not interested enough to look into it. I just thought it was generally an odd way of protesting Bushy.
Torture – I believe in reason. Many ideals on many common issues are relative to a persons personal belief, personal circumstance, or just general point of view. There are very few issues that I will get me revved up enough to flat out say “YOU’RE WRONG” before a persons argument and “YOU’RE WRONG” after. Torture itself is a discussion. I’m avidly against it because not only is it inhumane and psychologically bad for the interrogator. It doesn’t work. Is water boarding torture? Yep, it is. I can’t comprehend the reasoning of the other side. If it’s conceivably helps our people stay safe from the boogie man we can smudge the definition of a word? What? What’s also fishy is that the side of our government who harp most about the necessity of religious values and morality is the side who thinks these circumstantial distortions are justified in the name of civil security.

What I think doesn’t mean anything… but it feels good to express my nothingness.

New news for fun views

The gift of fresh breath – For you or your loved one who hates flossing there’s a new shower attachment for your teeth! That’s right, for just $24.95 you clean your teeth just before washing your face without all the hassle of mirrors, strings, or loosing circulation in your finger tips. Oral irrigation is the way to go!

A poop on history – Some atheist somewhere felt compelled to respond to the Pope’s declaration that atheism has lead to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice. I haven’t found the Popes speech online yet; I’m wondering what historical events the Pope spoke of. He also fore-shamed Christians for focusing so much on individual salvation rather than following the teachings of Jesus who says that the key true Christian hope involves salvation for all (ABC News). Sounds like a Pope-talk: “They’re bad, they always have been. Keep your eye on the ball and you can do better.” It might help to see all of what he said…

While on that note…

Porn for girls by girls – What really turns a girl on! EXTREME CONSIDERATION! Rough Treatment of Belgium Chocolates! Finger massages?? Huh?

Trust me, its safe(and funny) for all ages and modesties.

Interesting News From Monday the 10th

Hmm, well looks like blogspot effectively blocks all my nifty interactive hypertext (fancy talk for HTML). I’ll keep looking for ways around it, in the mean time I’ll be having long messy update pages. I’ll try make my commentary as concise as possible.

Just Plain Interesting
Blindness a Disability? – Not to this mother. This is a video clip from CBS news about her son who lost his eyes at 2. He’s now 14y.o. and able to roller blade with friends in the street. Some kind of Geordi-like visor? Nope, from the beginning momma just told him that’s life. He’ll be fine because he has four other senses at his disposal. Don’t focus on the ailment, focus on the patient: like in Path Adams (my words, not hers). Now he hears like a bat, or a dolphin by their example. Constantly clicking and using the echo around him as his reference. He also throws a pillow with deadly accuracy. Watch him in action through the link above.

Jaw dropping building – This is a video clip form Discovery Channels “Really Big Things” show. The building is called Burj Dubai (Arabic for Dubai Tower, creative huh?) and currently resides in Dubai a city in a Middle Eastern federation territory called United Arab Emirates (First I’ve heard of it). This thing is, indeed, massive. Awe inspiring. Here is a pic that I found showing the structure along side other sky scrapers. Estimated to reach over 2600ft when done it could pass the half mile mark (1 mile=5280ft) and tower over other buildings by thousands of feet. After sputtering over the sheer size of the thing I couldn’t helf but use the phrase, “This thing is stupid big.” Which got me wondering if this compilation of resources would be more or less efficient regarding space efficiency, population maintenance, job creation etc etc than our typical setup and spread over the lands way of civilization. I see obvious benefits and possible drawbacks… I don’t have much of an answer to besides base assumptions derived by my limited experience and knowledge.

Two nozzle drinking fountains: Why? – Because where the arc comes together you get more water since it’s not thinning out as much. It also useful for natural pressure regulation. And it’s safer than your standard single nozzle… huh? No description the how even after looking a half dozen other articles on the inventor, Halsey Taylor. Taylors dad died in 1896 of typhoid fever… so the motivation was there. 10 years later Luther Haws, plumber and sanitation inspector, invented the first faucet for drinking in 1906 after seeing a class of kids drinking from a one tin cup. Taylor invented his nozzle in 1912 according to a drinking fountain company site with his name all over it. They also boast safety without describing the how. Marketing ploy? That’s how it sounds.

A step closer to true electric cars? – A German firm named Li-Tec in Saxony seems to have a breakthrough. Their technology aparently takes up 30% less volume than Toyota’s and can go three times further than France’s. I’m mainly curious how far the cars can go on a charge, how many times they can REcharge, and how much of the physical battery they can recycle when they do die.

A ban on the sale of incandescent bulbs? – It’ll happen in Ireland January, 2009. Harsh? Only if you think forcing people to save money is harsh.

Distant Thought – Back in 2004 NASA’s Voyager 1 crossed a boundry known as Termination shock where solar wind becomes subsonic (slower). NASA wasn’t paying attention, they were looking somewhere else, possibly Cassini. NASA was listening when Voyager 2 crossed in August 2007 and was 84 AU(~0.001 lightyears, ~7 trillion miles) from the Sun. At that time Voyager 1 was ~103.6 AU. Really really far out there. Pluto is around 32 AU. Our little probes haven’t even left the solar system yet. Feel Small?

A weekend gone

The weekend went by a quicker than I’d like. There was so much plan hopping that in-between lazy times were scarce and short. Friday night was the birthday of Caitlin’s bro, Evin. There were video games played, communing with friends, presents opened, and Golden Compass was watched. Then more video games and visitation until around 1 or 2am the next day. Highlights were interaction times with games, talking about games of old, minor speaking of politics, and more. Occasionally I’d drop by Caitlin for kisses while she chatted with Jenny or one of the others. Sometimes she’d come to me too. By the end of the night I merely listened as Kip and Meghan chat about family and property law while holding my limp little girl. I love holding Lorelai even when she’s an exhausted beyond hope of rousing. It was her first night being babysat, and she’s always tired after a busy event with lots of people. Good times were had all around.

Saturday all I remember is getting up earlier than I’d like letting Caitlin sleep for a spell longer since Lorelai decided to stay up a few hours longer than us. I got a bottle ready for Lorelai. Meghan stayed the night, so she was there and ready to feed Lorelai while watching Little House on the Prairie. Don’t think that was her first choice of shows. The baby would be traded off here and there as people changed their doings. Evin playing Mario Galaxy while I topped off my belly with cold pizza. Leza was around doing house things.

*The names of dogs below have been changed for their protection*

Began at the doggy daycare around 2:30. There were 3 dogs hyper-active dogs boarding. A German Short-haired Pointer (Holly), a Springer Spaniel (Thomas), and some kind of Terrier of medium size with a furry muzzle (Tramp). The Holly and Thomas recognised me from previous boardings. All kinds of jumping, whining, and happiness. Walking around the edge of the room is a good way of getting them active (and hopefully tired) since they inevitably interact while climbing over one another and proceed to chase each other around the room. Then they wrestle pull each others ears, etc etc. Very effective and entertaining. Pretty typical night once they were in the kennels. Holly bouncing on the chain-link walls whenever I walk by. Thomas sits there wagging his tail rappidly looking awkward. Tramp usually just wagged his tail expectantly.

Sunday I woke late. Went to Caitlin and Lorelai for 10 minutes before departing for The Hitman with Evin and his dad, Brent. Movie ends, book it to Caitlin and Lorelai again for 45 minutes before work.

Doggy Daycare: Four boarding. Holly and Thomas are still there. Then we also got a little chocolate colored Terrier (BamBam) with big pointy ears and a Black Lab (Pam). They were both pretty uneventful and often overshadowed by the hyper sporting dogs. Holly really shined when I brought out a ball. She’s a real leaper, easily able to snatch the ball with my hand at about head level. I’m 6’2″ and she comes up to my lower chest when on hind legs. She could probably jump out of her kennel if she tried. Poor Thomas rarely got the ball Holly was so fast. The lab and terrier had no clue what was going on so they would just come play with me or bark at the two sprinters excitedly. Scrub scrub, mop mop, go home to Caitlin and Lorelai for the night. Lorelai was awake and active, so I played with her until she became disinterested and wanting food.

For Now

Hitman (Movie)

The movie was entertaining, but not worth bringing home for over $5.00. It’s your typical shoot-em’-up action flick like The Transporter or xXx. The writers swap plot with a seemingly chaotic play by play progression of events that gives our bald nameless assassin plenty of opportunity to shoot, explode, and kung fu whoever he feels like. If you’re entertained by this kind of movie you wont regret seeing The Hitman. It dishes out plenty of extortion, out-smarting ‘bad guys’, and quirky lines. Then to complete genre there are British and Russian officials competing to find this man. The CIA is passively involved. The man himself, known only as 47, spares a Ukrainian slave girl who he was charged to kill. Then one morning she’s not afraid of him or his methodical ‘I kill people’ lifestyle. In fact she gets kind of bored. So doing what every slave girl does when bored, she takes off all her cloths and tries to seduce the leading man. He refuses politely. Repeatedly. It was kind of amusing the ways he swatted off her sporadic acts of naturalism. All in all they did a good job of making a typical action movie, I was never reminded that this character, and possibly plot, came from a video game.