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Topics - Mongrel

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Media / !$@* the Comics Code
« on: January 04, 2014, 04:59:24 PM »
I keep running into people who think the Comics Code was a good thing, because it gave us modern Marvel & DC.


Media / Coming soon (the music edition)
« on: December 10, 2013, 06:01:06 AM »
So apparently there's an unreleased early-80's Johnny Cash album coming out:

Could be good, could just be a terrible money grab, but I am still excited!

Gaming Discussion / NEED DICE
« on: December 05, 2013, 06:29:55 AM »
So, I'm looking for some new dice to have proper dice on hand for Pulp Alley. Ideally, I'd like to pick up five each of D6s, D8s, D10's, and D12's, in two colours, for a total of 40 dice (all numbered, not dotted).

Went on down to the local gaming store, where they had some sets of 1 D4, D6, D8, D10, D12 and D20, for $6 each for a crappy ugly set or $10 each for a nicer set. Buying an ugly set to get me the dice I need would cost me $60 and nice set would be an absurd $100!!! They also had some ugly bargain bin loose dice for 75 cents each, but those are all mismatched so never mind getting two sets of five in the types I needed.

God damn, shit be expensive, yo.

Anyone suggest any alternate ideas for me to get what I need? Hell, if you're one of those dice-whores and you have extra dice that meet what I need, I might even make an offer or trade MTG cards or something.

Gaming Discussion / Analog games - news & whatever
« on: November 18, 2013, 07:46:06 AM »
Games Workshop, Privateer Press, homebrew, board games. Whatever doesn't fit elsewhere, just dump it here if you don't think it deserves it's own thread:

In GW news, Finecast is dead.

Gaming Discussion / GTA?
« on: October 09, 2013, 02:44:39 AM »
Haven't played since 1 & 2 because I was never a big fan of the control style and the new SRS BIZNESS attitude after they went to 3. I always thought it was funny, because you'd think I'd have loved 3D GTA, being a big fan of the D versions and also a big fan of Midtown Madness, so, combo, right? But it's not just the controls, it's also the cartoony style. I miss Expeditious Executions on waves of Elvis impersonators and ice cream vans. I miss that goofy-ass anouncer - he was half of what made GTA so good.

Anyway, the trailers for V actually looked really interesting. But since GTA V isn't out for PC and probably wouldn't be on sale for anything cheap for another eleventy-billion years afterwards, I decided to just watch a Let's Play of it during the slow times at work. I'm up to [spoiler]just after the underwater test site heist with Trevor.[/spoiler]

Man, this game is actually kinda fucking disturbing. And I don't usually worry about that stuff.

I think it's the uncanny valley factor, and I don't mean the graphics. The tension between trying to be "realistic" and trying to be Saint's Row cartoony is not working for me at all. Trevor pretty much embodies this problem.

Also pissed that my favourite storyline by far - Franklin's - gets the least screen time. But maybe that's just a function of the mission choices/story progression so far.

It's a beautiful, gorgeous game though.

Thaddeus Boyd's Panel of Death / Literally bullshit
« on: September 26, 2013, 11:20:44 AM »
Quote from: greeperpeeper
Quote from: Earan
This change to the English language is literally the worst.
welp, time to go kill myself

Mother Jones piece on how the pharmaceutical lobby is helping keep meth labs open for business

I'd have liked to find a bit of a counterpoint or corroboration from a more centrist source, but MotherJones isn't HuffPo at least.

Gaming Discussion / Absolutely shameless game plug.
« on: August 09, 2013, 02:03:19 PM »
Okay, so the fellow who made this small Android game, Jacob's Ladder is actually a friend of mine whom Starr and I hang out with whenever we're in Seattle. He's a good guy and the game is legitimately well-liked by most of the people I know who've tried it.

What's neat is he recently got his first fan email ever. And wow, what an email:

Good day Mr. Himel,

I have no questions about your game Sir. I just want to say I have not played a game like this before. Your creation touched and somehow inspired and encouraged me to try to go and explore the outside world even though it's scary at times. I have come to realize that life is beautiful after all. I almost got teary-eyed. I can't believe there's a game like this. A unique and delightful experience. Everytime I see the game in my phone, I can't help it but smile. All is perfect to me. You are a genius Mr. Himel!

Thank you for sharing a true hidden gem in the app store.


Anyway, while I don't have an Android phone (though supposedly I can run them on my phone with some doohickery), I can shamelessly plug for him.

Figured we could have a collective thread for all the NRA/Gun stuff (unless we have one and I missed it?)

Anyway, this is hell of a thing (and also sure to be ignored by most): Six month investigation by Fortune shows that the Fast and Furious scandal is not only trumped up bullshit, but that weak gun laws and intransigent Arizonans are what are actually responsible for the deaths.

EDIT: when I say ignored, I mean by the general public, not you guys.

Naw, not really, but I saw this overly-opinionated exchange and was wondering what people here thought.

*previous, unrelated argument with redneck troll, not involved in the exchange below*
Lawyer: Do you seriously believe that you, personally, should understand every law that passes or otherwise that law is a bad idea?
IT guy: YES! Absolutely!
IT guy: If I am responsible for knowing the law, then they are responsible for making the law knowable. The impossibly complex myriad of laws is a big part of the reason why this country is fucked up.
Beltway dude: It's really simple to imagine a country with incredibly simplified laws that is also terrible.
Peanut gallery: Could you provide an example?
Lawyer: [@ IT guy] You want to be responsible for knowing the entirety of the law?
Peanut gallery: We're already responsible for knowing a bunch of the law, including the laws of every foreign country and state that I purchase stuff from.
IT guy: We are held responsible, and no one, not even an expert that spends their lives studying the law can know all of the laws that apply to them.
IT guy: This has created a society where we pretty much do what we think is right, and we hope not to break the law. This empowers through selective enforcement (itself not a bad thing), certain people to use the law to harass just about anyone they want, because everyone is constantly breaking laws they are unaware of. This also breeds a disrespect of the law, and law enforcement. All of this is bad for society.

The lawyer in that is a friend of mine, a very reasonable and intelligent guy. The Beltway guy is sort of an acquaintance and is an interesting guy, but is also a bit of a dick (one day he sort of decided he makes too much money to actually hang out with any of us IRL). The others are just Internet People whom I don't really know well.

So is this the next stage in the evolution of the whole right-wing/libertarian subversion/dismissal of government as a useful institution? I mean, if so, it's well done. That's a much more attractive way to frame things, not to mention it's also subtler.

On the other hand, I can at least see the attractiveness of it. I mean, a penchant for long-winded posts aside, I actually appreciate clarity, brevity, and simplicity a lot.

But again, I also think there's a bit of bullshit to the "nobody really knows the law" and "everybody just does what they think is right" claims. I think people know the substance of the law in most of the ways they touch on them in daily life. Take driving for example: When people speed or run red lights, or whatever, they're pretty cognizant of the basic law and it's penalties. Maybe they don't have the exact legislation memorized, but is that actually analogous to not knowing the law?

Gaming Discussion / Steam Greenlight
« on: July 03, 2013, 10:32:02 AM »
Seen today in the Steam "Greenlight" section: A game about buying, selling, trading, and above all owning slaves. Yes, southern-style black chattel slavery, with a plantation scene and all.

Gaming Discussion / "Pulp" video games?
« on: July 03, 2013, 08:13:56 AM »
Anybody know any good vidja games, feature all the fun aspects of pulp stories? Trawlers, hidden temples, jungles, nazis, smugglers, russian countesses, secret societies, ford trimotors, lost valleys, desert towns, "archaeology", otherworldly monsters, world travel before it was easy, dapper asians, obscure local tribes, and the like?

I think many years back there were some licensed Indiana Jones games, but anything recent or good?

Gaming Discussion / MMO question
« on: March 27, 2013, 07:28:05 PM »
Starr's been playing some MMOs lately, and most of them look, well, pretty lame.

Just wondering what suggestions there are for good MMOs that a) are free to play, b) kind to free-to-play players by not offering many or any restrictions (she's currently playing one which is area-restricted, but FTP players can still unlock pay areas by grinding certain bosses), and c) has a combat system that's not really dependant on reflexes (she's currently playing one with a card-based system, which appeals to her because MTG).

Thaddeus Boyd's Panel of Death / Involuntary Birth Control
« on: January 28, 2013, 07:20:45 PM »
Holeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Shit:

Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.

The government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general has now ordered gynaecologists to stop administering the drugs. According a report in Haaretz, suspicions were first raised by an investigative journalist, Gal Gabbay, who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically.

We were thinking of playing some good old fashioned Star Control 1. I really don't think enough nice things can be said about that game. SC2 is one of the all-time greats, but it overshadows the original so much that poor old SC1 barely gets a mention. I think it's every bit as good, though I usually think of it a completely different game type.

I know the original SC1 is available as a bundle on GOG with Star Control 2, but is there anyone doing for SC1 what the Ur-Quan Masters is doing for SC2?

Gaming Discussion / Stupid throwaway games
« on: September 16, 2012, 10:38:15 PM »
Does anybody have any good suggestions for good little throwaway games that can be played in 3-15 minutes? I'm talking about stuff like Tetris or Angry Birds (dexterity component not mandatory) that you play a round or two of to waste time for a few minutes while you're waiting for something to finish, something you don't need or want to get very deep into.

High-Context Discourse / Ken M and the Horsey Surprise
« on: August 24, 2012, 09:15:59 AM »
I don't know who Ken M is, but the dude's a champ.

EDIT: Link to the source. Thanks, Smiler.

Thaddeus Boyd's Panel of Death / 3D Printing
« on: July 27, 2012, 06:20:48 AM »
Man makes working pistol and assault rifle using 3d printer

Might as well not even bother having a gun control debate now!

In all seriousness, I think 3D printing is going to turn a hell of a lot of things on it's ear. I don't know that everyone will have "a factory in their own home", but certainly you're going to see it in many homes. If nothing else, we're in for an IP brawl that'll make the RIAA/MPAA scuffle look like a slapfight between toddlers.

Thaddeus Boyd's Panel of Death / Robber Barons
« on: May 26, 2012, 01:29:01 PM »
So, I don't know, maybe you could put this in the economy thread or oil up or something, but we really don't have a thread dedicated specifically to hyper-rich assholes and their various nefarious activities.

Anyway, this article was put up today on the Globe, detailing the Koch brothers' activities in the Alberta oil patch (and Canada in general).

Now, what's really worth noting about the article is the aggregate collection of source material in it. "The Koch Brothers" is a name most of us are familiar with at this point, but more in the form of a shadowy pair of pulp villains who pull string behind the scenes, rather than the Snidely Whiplash or the classic gilded age robber barons they more closely resemble.

For those of you not wanting to wade through the Canadian content, the following material is linked, all of which is well-researched, well-written, and damning as hell. It may be coming in such odd places as Bloomberg financial news, but investigative reporting ain't dead yet:

Bloomberg's recent comprehensive report
Their original profiling in the New Yorker
Thoroughly documented report on the Koch brothers's hand in Canadian heavy oil
Vancouver report on Koch political funding of right-wing groups in Canada

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