Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83

   
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
Leonard Nimoy, famous for his role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, died Friday in Los Angeles from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife told the New York Times. He was 83. Born in Boston, Nimoy had been acting for his entire life, moving to Los Angeles when he was 18. He landed his first (tiny) film roles in 1951, and worked relatively steadily in film and television throughout the 1950s and ’60s — save for an 18-month stint serving in the Army in Georgia.
And then he was cast as Spock in Gene Roddenberry’s initial pilot for Star Trek. Titled “The Cage,” the NBC network brass felt the show was far too cerebral, and Roddenberry was forced to revamp the show and shoot another, more action-oriented pilot. Only Spock remained from the original cast, and although the original Star Trek TV series lasted only three seasons, Nimoy’s life was never the same.
Arguably more than any other actor involved with Star Trek, even his co-star William Shatner, Nimoy became the most deeply identified with the steadfast sci-fi franchise, thanks to both his indelible performance as the logic-driven, half-Vulcan, half-human science officer, and the many iconic tropes of the character, including his pointed ears, slanted eyebrows, and unique Vulcan salute.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What D&D Character are You?

Took another "What character are you?" test. Amusing results.

I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Sorcerer (7th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-18
Dexterity-16
Constitution-16
Intelligence-16
Wisdom-14
Charisma-13

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)




I took this test a while ago and these were my results last time. Although I remember the quiz being slightly different from the one I took today. It did match up with my alignment quiz however.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Battle for the Net


Big tech companies plan “Internet Slowdown” to fight for net neutrality

Mozilla, reddit, others to display the "spinning wheel of death" next week.


Next week, some of the biggest tech companies will lead a symbolic “Internet Slowdown” to protest the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality proposal.

“Several top websites—including Etsy, Kickstarter, Foursquare, WordPress, Vimeo, reddit, Mozilla, Imgur, Meetup, Cheezburger, Namecheap, Bittorrent, Gandi.net, StartPage, BoingBoing, and Dwolla—announced that they will be joining more than 35 advocacy organizations and hundreds of thousands of activists in a day of action that will give a glimpse into what the Internet might look like if the FCC’s proposed rules go into effect,” a blog post today from the advocacy group “Fight for the Future” said.


The FCC’s proposal would require Internet service providers to provide a vaguely defined minimum level of service to all legal applications and websites, but it would not prevent ISPs from charging companies for faster access to Internet users. Net neutrality advocates argue that so-called “fast lanes” will divide the Internet into different tiers, with deep-pocketed companies having unfair advantages over smaller ones. But the FCC isn’t allowed to issue stronger restrictions on fast lanes unless it takes the controversial step of reclassifying broadband as a utility or "common carrier" service.

The FCC received more than 1 million comments from the public, with “around two-thirds of commenters object[ing] to the idea of paid priority for Internet traffic, or division of Internet traffic into separate speed tiers,” according to the Sunlight Foundation. Reply comments are being accepted by the FCC until September 15.

The Internet Slowdown protest will happen on September 10. It won’t be a real slowdown; instead, sites will install widgets “display[ing] prominent messages that include an infinitely-spinning ‘site loading’ icon—or the so-called ‘spinning wheel of death’—to symbolize what surfing the web could be like without net neutrality,” Fight for the Future said. “These alerts will direct the sites’ users to call and/or e-mail policymakers in support of net neutrality.”

Ways to join the protest include downloading the website widget, sending push notifications to mobile app users, changing social media profile pictures to the spinning wheel of death, or sharing photos such as this one:

Originally posted by - Sep 4, 2014 8:35 pm UTC

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Issue #10 of & Magazine

For those who don't have this in their feed.

The Latest Issue: #10 – Shape Changers

cover issue 10

The & Publishing Group announces their tenth issue, an issue focused on shape changers! This issue's features include articles about the shape changer's point of view, a question on where your pants go when you change, a new take on druids vs. lycanthropes, and a question about what lycanthropy is.

Bonus articles include more about the Fae Otherworld, an expansion of the rules on missile fire, and thoughts on text based gaming in the OSR. Our regular columns? We will not disappoint with four new shape changing monsters, a couple of unique NPCs, new spells, new food (real gamers need to eat!), new hex crawls and a mini-adventure, and – of course – new magic items!
Download Issue 10 today and feast your eyes on 92 pages of new material for your OSR game! Available now at http://www.and-mag.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

40th Anniversary Special

For those folks who don't have this in their feed, though I'd share the love.
Felicia Day narrated a short story in this 40th anniversary special!

Published on Aug 12, 2014
A look inside the Audible Studios recording of The Legend of Drizzt, a Dungeons & Dragons anthology - performed by an all-star cast! Free audiobook download starting 8/12/14, for a limited time.

Narrators include Sean Astin, Michael Chiklis, Felicia Day, David Duchovny, Tom Felton, Greg Grunberg, Dan Harmon, Ice-T, Danny Pudi, Melissa Rauch, Wil Wheaton and Al Yankovic,and a bunch of other cool people, each do a short story from D&D. Download them for free at audible.com/d&d

The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories showcases just why the titular hero Drizzt Do'Urden has become a beloved character in the D&D world – and with a dungeon master’s dream line-up of narrators, listeners can travel to the Forgotten Realms for FREE – but only for a limited time!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Without any preconceived notions I went ahead and watched "Edge of Tomorrow." I must say I was pleasantly surprised. If I had to describe it I would have to say it was a mash-up of "Groundhog Day" and "Starship Troopers" with a definite video game feel to it. Fight..die..reset, going back to the beginning and use what you've learned to get further than you did last time.

Now I have to preface this by saying that I'm not really a big fan of Cruise, but the main character Cage (played by Cruise) is what won me over to this movie. Cage starts out as pretty much of a complete a**hole. This might not be what you think turns you on to a movie, but take away all the aliens and CGI and this turns out to be a pretty straightforward redemption story. It's a solid story, told well, and the thing about it is, Cage has to really work for his redemption.  I mean really work for it, so by the end of the movie it’s very clear he’s grown and learned and come out of this a completely, believably changed person.

I loved this because it isn't often Hollywood give us such flawed heroes. I’m not talking about the “bad boy with a heart of gold” kind of character that usually gets passed off as a flawed hero, I’m talking the “jerk who gets his head bit off first in a Jurassic Park movie” kind of character. With such a difficult road to redemption, and whatever else happens throughout the film, whatever other flaws I could point to, that, for me, made it worthwhile.

Let's not forget about Emily Blunt either, the kick-ass heroine  who happens to be the poster girl for the war against the aliens.  She's not just there as a prize for the hero.  Or if she is, it’s really ambiguous. She stands up on her own merits, which is a nice change of pace for a summer film, or any film for that matter.

I've also got to say that I thought Bill Paxton was absolutely hilarious as Master Sgt. Farrel. He's certainly come a long way from Pvt. Hudson, but is no less amusing.

So overall a recommendation to see this summer.

Friday, July 4, 2014

5e Free PDF is Out

In Case You Missed It - 5e Basic PDF has been release.
5e Basic Credits
5e Basic is here. No, really go take a look. It weighs in at a very light 2.7 Mb and just 110 pages, so it should be quick.

I really didn't take the time to read all of it, just skimmed through parts.

I'm still mulling it over. If pressed, I'd say I'm underwhelmed, but then my bias for 1ed should not be news to anyone here. I don't think it's a bad game -- the presentation alone makes it seem both simpler and quicker to dive into than anything D&D has been in too long a time. But it didn't spark a feeling of "I have to play this, and soon." This one doesn't appear, to me at least, to have much of a personality. It's very smooth, very straightforward, a homogenized mash up of 4ed & 1ed, but leaning towards very high survivability, very high attributes, and very high power level compared to 1ed. The one thing that stood out for me was that you can mostly set up and level a character without ever having to roll a single die.

As I said my overall impressions is, meh.