I Read Stuff!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Line Has Been Drawn

Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace. - Oscar Wilde



In the spirit of Mr. Wilde, Amsterdam has drawn a line. They have declared that the current sale of 'undesirable goods and services' has gotten out of hand. The first step in enforcing the new moral line occurred yesterday when a non-profit group bought out one of the cities largest entrepreneurs.

They dropped $35 million on Prostitute Windows.

A Prostitute Window is exactly as it sounds, a window in which a prostitute is posing, and is what makes the Red Light district so famous. The purchased Windows represent a third of the red light district. That third will be converted into apartments and regular store fronts constituting an estimated $21 million loss in real estate value.

While the district and the related industry will still be legal, it will be experiencing some shrinkage.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The New Annoyance

Bad Engineers!!! Bad!! Go sit in time out.

Brought to you by the same idiots who invented the keychain laser pointer, I give you the cell phone projector!



Now, instead of little red dots on movie screens, we'll get prOn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Napster Strikes Back

Arrrrgggg, I've got this ridiculous song stuck in my head. My normal method of expunging songs is to repeatedly listen to them. Eventually, my head has had enough and gives up.

Anyway, I thought this would be a good excuse to point everyone to a particularly useful site. It's a wonderland of modern music where you can listen to any song in its entirety. You can listen as many times as you'd like, and it's free.

Now before you start preaching, it appears to be legal too. I'm not sure how, but Napster has risen from its ashes to present music as it should be. Take a gander, and hunt out some good music.

You deserve it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wheel of Time

One of this generations greatest fantasy authors died yesterday of amyloidosis. Robert Jordan was in the midst of writing the 12th and final book in the Wheel of Time series. He has passed his notes to his wife and publisher.

The series is an excellent read if you can make it though the 10,000 pages. Written around the classic fantasy cliché of farm boy rising to be king, Jordan manages to make the story fresh and engaging. Millions of readers, including myself, shall be anxiously awaiting the conclusion. Hopefully his wife and publisher can find someone to finish the tale.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Engineer

Man, The Orange Box is getting closer, and I'm getting all excitable. One of the 3 games packaged in this beauty is Team Fortress 2, a stylish team based FPS.

Valve has been releasing profiles of the various character classes, and they just released the Engineer.



The Soldier and the Heavy are also available.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MPAA

I recently watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated which is a documentary of how movies are rated by the MPAA. When I watch these flicks I expect to be outraged. I expect there to be dirty nasty secrets, but in whole I wasn't shocked. It really didn't convince me to stand up and shout about the horrors of the MPAA.

The main complaint of the film is how secret the organization keeps its inner workings. Film makers are not allowed to know the identities of the raters nor the appeals board. There also isn't any kind of written guidelines that determine what an 'R' contains versus what a 'PG-13' entails.

The secrecy, while ridiculous, doesn't bother me. It's a private organization with private rules. Who rates a film is mostly unimportant if the process is clear. However, the problem is that the rating is arbitrary. There are no guidelines for film makers to examine, and previously rated films cannot be used as a precedent. A director is swinging in the dark.

One of the many directors in the film places movies into three categories:
Films made for entertainment, porn, and art. The current system seems to work very well for differentiating entertainment and porn. The people who get stepped on are the artists.

While it's sad that artists get a raw deal, the truth of the matter is that people who want to watch those films seek them out. Art house theaters exist because of this demand, and remember that unrated DVDs sell better than rated DVDs.

Ultimately, while the system has its warts, I can't really condemn it. It's not 100% fair, but it's closer than I would have expected.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hunting

I'm back from my hunting trip, and fun was had by all. We bagged us some grouse and ate them on a rice pilaf. I've yet to accomplish the feat of actually killing a grouse, but I intend to try, try again. The reasoning for this desire is something I've been thinking about for a while now.

Before I had actually been hunting, I viewed it as a dated, evil pastime. Who in their right mind would want to kill Bambi? In this day and age, we don't need to hunt. It's just one more way to ravage nature.

I've asked myself over and over what I find truly wrong with hunting. The answer is that I didn't want to kill anything. I didn't want to wake up in the morning to the realization that I had ended the life of a beautiful animal.

There is a certain amount of innocents in that thinking that can be respected. However, it's also incredibly naive. I reap the benefits from the deaths of cows, chickens, pigs, and more recently elk on a daily basis. The difference is that I've never actually taken responsibility for their deaths. I've let someone else do the killing, and they can deal with whatever moral dilemmas arrive from such an act.

What I've decided is that in order for me to stand on solid moral ground as a meat eater, I'm going to have to take full responsibility for the purchasing of that meat. That means I have to kill something, eat it, and accept the act as "right". The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

Who wants to be a vegetarian?


Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?