Daily Archives: November 25, 2007

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Skwisgaar!

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Categories: metal culture, Tags: ,

This video made me unbelievably happy. Metalocalypse is probably the only thing broadcast on television that I give a damn about, so if you don’t know it, grab a torrent fast. I haven’t seen anything from the second season, but I hear it sucks. I must find out. And Skwisgaar is freaking adorable.

Also, I must acquire a guitar so that I might shred this.
Dethklok
\m/

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I really should be gaming more

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Categories: musings, Tags: ,

Been a long time since I invested some series time in gaming. It was excellent on Friday to LAN with the guys here, but as expected, they sucked. And as has always been the problem for me, they lacked the fortitude to have an evening full of gaming. After I pwned n00bz for about an hour, they were fading.

I wish I could like just not own so hard, and let the n00bz beat me, but the Viking code is that “I CANNOT LET UP.” For proof, there’s an Amon Amarth song about it:

From Across The Rainbow Bridge:

Why cannot death just set me free!

Countless armies have I attacked
Not once have I backed down
And though I’ve spilled a lot of blood
I never once received a mortal wound

I’ve raided shores in many lands
I cannot count the men I’ve killed
So many friends died with sword in hand
But the warrior’s death was never granted me

I dress myself in battle clothes
Alone I make the final ride
My sight is blurred, by whipping snow
I seek to end my life

I want to walk across the Rainbow Bridge
And see my fathers in the golden hall
They beckon me to join their feast
In my dreams I hear their call

That’s like exactly how I feel about everything I’ve ever done. Anyway.

About a month ago I picked up C&C3, but that was really just to help my German. I haven’t played it too extensively, but honestly the profuse dialog and radio chatter in the game has definitely helped my language ability. Although I admit that hearing “Einheit verloren” still doesn’t cut me as deeply as “unit lost.”

Given my sociological bent, I really should be scooping up an MMO, especially one that isn’t Second Life, as that seems to be the only thing academics are willing to write about. I recently read link-heavy coverage of new MMO Tabula Rasa on an anthropology-and-gaming blog I read, Terra Nova, but it doesn’t seem like it’s for me. In fact, it’s actually geared for n00bz, and my trusted review site gave it a lukewarm 7.5.

Terra Nova has also been posting a ton about Eve-Online, a game which has always appealed to me, but which I never did pick up. At this point I’d feel too much like a tool hopping into Eve, as the game feels to me very dated. I’ve already felt a little dirty for playing BF2 for so long, and never even getting BF2142. Where the hell have I been?

Speaking of BF2, I just noticed there’s a new version of Project Reality out, which adds some cool stuff like an Apache. And version 0.7 is shaping up really nicely, I read.

Last, for a bit of nostalgia, I’ll slap in a video review of UT2K7, which there’s no reason for me to pick up, either, because I would just drive everyone around in my gigantic schoolbus.

Miss you, J.

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The Finnish birthday

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Categories: friends, Tags: , ,

Joonas’s birthday last night was a success. Before heading over, we picked up a bottle of Finlandia as a gesture, and Alex was kind enough to donate his unopened bottle of whiskey to the cause, to lend concordance to the already rather international air of the evening.

The best part about the whole damn night? Since it was a Finnish party, the Finns picked the music.

Not only that, but the Finns also like to get wasted and air guitar themselves into oblivion.

Finns rock

I think that pic was from when we were playing Behind Space. Yes, that’s right. We listened to tons of In Flames, all night long. They even asked me to go get my MP3 player, so we could hook it up to the sound system there, as Joonas’s aging laptop kept crapping out on us. It’s sure never happened to me that at a party I had people asking me to put my music on. “Turn that the fuck off,” yes, I’ve heard that, but this was different somehow.

Then we duct taped Joonas into a shopping cart.

Joonas in the shopping cart

This next picture I can’t figure out for the life of me, so I’m going to assume they were doing the wall of death while we were listening to Lamb of God.

Wall of Death

Not too many other anecdotes to relate. I mean, the evening wasn’t exactly complicated. Jukka cheers’d Jesse so hard he shattered Jesse’s bottle and cut his own hand, which I thought was pretty badass.

Jukka's cut finger

\m/

All pics here.

 

 

 

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Sunday morning social science

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Categories: musings, Tags: ,

A relaxing Sunday morning of feed-reading has yielded some nice treats.

Check out this story about babies exhibiting social intelligence.

The babies were sat on their parents’ laps and shown a display representing a character trying to climb a hill.

The climbing character, which had eyes to make it human-like, was either knocked down the hill by an unhelpful character (a toy of a different shape and colour) or pushed up the hill by a helper cartoon figure (another shape and colour).

After watching the “puppet show” several times, each baby was presented with the helper and hinderer toys and asked to pick one.

All of the 12 six-month-old babies tested and 14 of the 16 10-month-olds reached out to touch the helper character rather than the anti-social one.

Researchers controlled for various aspects of appearance in order to be certain the babies were really making their choice based on who helped. This actually doesn’t come as a very big surprise to me, but it’s definitely nice to have some evidence that points to such reasoning being present in infants less than a year old.

Next up is a poorly conceived study that claims men are motivated by superior wages. First off, duh. Second, there’s no control group! The entire sample is composed of men, 38 of them, and yet the researchers claim their results applied to men rather than to humans in general. Now, this could just be shoddy reporting, but why would the researchers only select male participants?

In the study, 38 pairs of male volunteers were asked to perform the same simple task simultaneously, and promised payment for success.

Both “players” were asked to estimate the number of dots appearing on a screen. Providing the right answer earned a real financial reward between 30 (£22) and 120 (£86) euros. Each of the participants was told how their partners had performed and how much they were paid.

[...]

A wrong answer, and no payment, resulted in a reduction in blood flow to the “reward region”. But the area “lit up” when volunteers earned money, and interestingly showed far more activity if a player received more than his partner.

This indicated that stimulation of the reward centre was not merely linked to individual success, but to the success of others.

Finally, I found a nice 10-page write-up on the pronunciation of “Thanksgiving.” Apparently the word has pretty much always been accented on the second syllable, and it’s somewhat of a linguistic oddity because of that. Who knew? I think my favorite part of the article was these archaic spelling examples:

1539 BIBLE (Great) 1 Tim. iv. 4 For all the creatures of God are good, and nothing to be refused, yf it be receaued with thankesgeuynge.
1535 COVERDALE Ps. xxxix. [xl.] 3 He hath put a new songe in my mouth, euen a thankesgeuynge vnto oure God.
1641 Nicholas Papers (Camden) 10 It was resolved that there shalbe on ye 7th of September next a publique thanksgiving for this good accord betweene ye 2 nacions.

What a silly language English is.

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Bavarian breakfast

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Categories: life things, Tags:

I was up pretty early this morning. Usually I sleep like a stone through all sensory input, but this morning I somehow noticed the dawn, and it turned on my brain, and I wasn’t able to fall back asleep.

I got up and read for a bit, browsed my feeds, made myself an edible omelette, lacking cheese and pepper, as I’m out of both of those. Around 11am or so, one of the Germans from upstairs knocks on my door, invites me upstairs for breakfast.

“Oh, thanks, I’ve actually already eaten.”
“But you should eat with us.”
“Um, yeah. Well, what are you guys having?”
“Weißwurst.”
“I’m there.”

So I hustle upstairs and indeed there’s a full Bavarian breakfast laid out, a pot of weißwurst on the table, two still floating in the cloudy water with my name on them. Everybody had a glass of wheat beer, and there was a tray of hot pretzels fresh out of the oven. Man, what a thing to wake up to.

I’d just started transferring my pictures from last night when Benny knocked on my door, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to photograph the spread. But it was nice.

After eating, there was a lot of mumbling and staring at the walls, everybody dealing with his own various aches and pains from an all-too-long Saturday night. Eventually someone proposed we just go back to bed for two or three hours and see each other later on, perhaps at 6pm for bowling.

Bowling in Germany? I told them I’d sleep on it.