Speaking of Shadowrun, I’m currently looking into getting into playing the old Pen-and-Paper style by Play To Post. I’ve found nothing that’s still in progress and catering to new players yet.
Little details28 of August, 2016
After a conversation with my friend, I am now playing Shadowrun: Dragonfall after nearly a year of owning it on Steam but never playing it. I bought the original Shadowrun Returns on Steam nearly three years ago now, and I loved the hell out of it. It was a cool blend of gritty futurism, sci-fi and fantasy that instantly drew me in, and I finished it quickly.
I’ve written before how I don’t really play games anymore, but Dragonfall has drawn me in for a couple of reasons. When I view any text, I have a descending order of the things that are important to me: Narrative ➡ Characters ➡ Action. Dragonfall excels at the first two more than the original did1, while still maintaining the tight, fun turn-based RPG combat system, but another thing it also does well is little details in the environment.
In the original Returns2 your in between missions haunt was a bar that doubled as a Shadowrunner base. It was fun and interesting, but at the end of the day, that’s all there was to it. There was no exploring or anything that made the world outside the bar, aside from the missions, seem real.
Meanwhile, in Dragonfall you can move around outside your main base, a renovated shop into a small part of Berlin, now known as the Flux State. And this is what I love mostly about Dragonfall as opposed to the original, this little corner of Berlin makes the game feel much more alive and real that Returns did. In between missions you can talk to the people in your team, and regular people on the street. Slowly you learn more about these people and their background, their desires and their goals.
Or, you can go to the coffee shop and order coffee.
It has no purpose. You lose 5 Nuyen (The currency) for buying some Soykaf, and then that’s it. There is no stat advantage on the next missions, you don’t get a caffeine hit or anything useful, you can just buy coffee.
On the bottom left corner of the map, you can tip a dancer who is always there. There is no reason to tip this dancer, but I do every damn time I’m in Berlin. Just because.
And you get a dog. Why do you get a dog? Because dog. If you talk to this dog it will follow it around. You never fight in Berlin, so this dog is just following you around.
Of course, useless additions? You could argue that. But also in maps, on missions there are useless little rooms, like this one:
This mission takes place in an orphanage, but of course being Shadowrun this is not a nice place, however soothing the music may be. There is a bathroom, and there is nothing in this bathroom, except it builds the world. The area is not to fight in. It is simply an area to add to the overall detail of the game.
And I love it for it.
Why do pull quotes exist on the web?27 of August, 2016 | ♠
To be honest, I find pull quotes pretty annoying in printed magazines too, but I can at least see the justification for them there: if you’re flipping through a magazine, they act as eye-catching inducements to stop and read (in much the same way that good photography does or illustration does). But once you’re actually reading an article, they’re incredibly frustrating.
Personally, I am about 90% sure the only reason pull quotes exist are for exactly the same reasons word processors are terrible: they are leftover fragments from an age when we used to do all our work in print. I mean, if it works for print then it should work for the screen, right?
No, there is rarely a good transition between the two, as how we view the text through the mediums are totally different. With a physical magazine they are made to draw your eye as you’re skimming through, but on screen where the only skimming you intend to do is to just see how long it is, they make no sense.
A close up time lapse video of ice creams melting27 of August, 2016 | ♠
Satisfying, and now I seriously want an ice cream.
UPDATE: The same guys did a time lapse video of pills dissolving in water, and its even cooler.
The previous generations RSS feeds27 of August, 2016 | ♠
Jeff Barr on Twitter:
These abandoned conveyor belts for newspapers are the previous generation’s RSS feeds!
My Dream27 of August, 2016 | ♠
My dream; Being able to write anywhere including the shower, via a magically appearing and floating laptop.
For the sake of getting over my terrible drawing skills, lets just pretend the laptop is an Alienware. Seriously, those things are clun-key.
(Also my pen was seriously running out of ink)
Written in my moleskin.
Why I prefer to text27 of August, 2016 | ♠
Kerin Hia, Mel Magazine:
In a recent study, Dr. Andrew Lepp and colleagues at Kent State University set out to investigate the impact of cellphone use on college students’ relationships with their parents and peers. On average, they found that (though it was not a significant difference) women sent and received more texts than men, and despite similar numbers of calls between men and women, women spent more total time on the phone. The same researchers have collected data for over 1,000 people in a variety of studies and in general this trend seems to hold. Similarly, in a cross-national study, Dr. Naomi Baron and student Elise Campbell of American University found that women from multiple countries had a higher volume of text messages and were more likely than men to use phones to facilitate social interaction.
I’m young a nerdy, and haven’t really done the romance thing much but when I have, I have more often then not texted and never really called the girl. My excuse could probably be because I never have data, but with Facebook Messenger that’s not really an excuse anymore.
No, it’s I suppose that because as they said, phone calls have a certain level of intimacy to them, a kind of here and now. Text messages are expendable in a way, you can respond to them whenever you want or need to.
It’s also safe. Unlike phone calls, where you need to think of an answer, and for me when I flirt it is often not on the go, instead a text allows me to craft my flirt, to think long and hard about the composition of it in such a way that the quickness of a phone call would not allow.
When I call anyone, even my sweet old English Granny, they tend to be awkward on my end, I simply listen and awkwardly go “Yeah…” when the person is finsihed. When it’s a more official call, like say ordering pizza it’s different, I know what I’m going to say, how I’m going to say it and my voice is clear.
With flirting I never know exactly what I’m going to say, and I don’t know how it will effect me. My voice could break, my friends could tease me, I might not look the girl in the eye or fumble my words. As a writer, texting is a more efficient medium for me to interact through, and I can do it in a way that suits me.
Vietnamese coffee27 of August, 2016
I originally wrote this in my journal on the 18th, but due to sickness I never got around to it. I figured I may as well transcribe it now.
As I write this, ordering some Vietnamese style coffee with my dinner. I will write how it goes. Not sure if it’s white/black or hot/cold.
Verdict: It was very bitter, but if more milk was added to it, the drink would no doubt be really nice to have on a hot summers day.
I could see myself ordering more of it if I asked to have it with more milk next time.
Insane person makes Gundam from Lego27 of August, 2016 | ♠
レゴで機動戦士ガンダムよりRX-78-2「ガンダム」を製作しました！— JAN (@Jan_utyo) August 18, 2016
This, my friends, is an accurate “LEGO made RX-78-2 Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam.” I hope to one day have this level of skill with Lego to make something like this.
How technology has changed the modern definition of death27 of August, 2016 | ♠
If you finish this video and want to go more into detail on the different kinds of death, when are you actually dead beyond all recovery and when are you just kinda dead, then I recommend reading this Wait But Why post on cyronics, which I am currently reading my way through1. I wish I had read more WBW stuff sooner. Tim is a great writer and a funny guy, as I probably should’ve learned when I watched his TED talk.
- I kind of came to an epiphany the other day that the way to read (for me anyway) Wait But Why articles is like a book, in multiple sittings than in just one, which I had tried in the past and failed at. ↩
A redesign of Pokémon Go27 of August, 2016 | ♠
I stopped playing Pokémon Go about a month ago not because I thought the game had stagnated, or due to server issues. I stopped playing because I ran out of data. I would still be playing it today if that was not an issue, but I admit the features presented in this clever redesign need to happen soon if Niantic/Nintendo intend to keep any kind of interest in the product.
26 of August, 2016
I’ve officially decided to start calling my microblog post’s ‘Notes’, after The Atlantics Notes (My favorite traditional publication) as they have the description of Notes on the website as:
First thoughts, running arguments, stories in progress
Which, especially the first point, is exactly what my microblog is.
26 of August, 2016
I’ve been using dehaze.co recently (read: 10 minutes ago) for a lot of [my Instagram photos, and while it gives my photos a disturbing amount of hashtags, it also gives me heaps of likes and follows. I recommend it.
Why mules and ligers are sterile25 of August, 2016 | ♠
I’ve always been more of a chemistry/physics nerd than I have a biology nerd, but at the very molecular level intricate stuff like what’s shown in this video peak my interest, especially as ligers bring back memories of watching Zoids on the weekened before my parents woke up.
Eulogy poem for Pokémon Go24 of August, 2016 | ♠
A brillaint poem by Alex Balk of the Awl for the now decling Pokémon Go:
I met a traveller with an Android phone,
Who said — “Five pages deep inside my Moto Z,
You’ll find my old apps… . Near them, on its own,
A shattered icon lies, a shame to see,
Away from other icons, it’s alone
It holds itself above its company
It sits there, thinking it will still be played
I’ve long forgotten all its stupid names;
And sometimes I can hear these words get said:
‘My name is Pokémon GO, the Game of Games;
Click on my ball, ye Mighty, and despair!’
No fingerprint upon its face holds fast
The old discarded apps, they molder there
Who thought this stupid trend would ever last?”
For the record, I uninstalled Pokémon Go about a month ago now.
Nostalgia for Brutalism24 of August, 2016 | ♠
A photo collection by Vice on the old style of Brutalism, one of my favorite styles of architecture. Just the old, concrete, hard form.
A modern 10 commandments delivered by a modern (read: Hipster) Moses24 of August, 2016 | ♠
I would also like to add
Thou shalt not code in php but as most of the people here seem to be hipsters:
Thou shalt not wear trendy clothes.
(via Laughing Squid)
Adam Savage's love letter to cosplay24 of August, 2016 | ♠
I love Mythbusters, but especially what Adam Savage has done since then.
Tumblr24 of August, 2016
I started a tumblr yesterday, totally on a whim as a way to archive and store everything I do online, which is a lot. I’m currently setting up a number of IFTTT recipies for everything to auto post there, and so far it’s working great. I want to make this my more professional stuff, while my more shitposting and silly stuff will go there.
And yes, I couldn’t resist the name.
Watching stuff in reverse is satisfying23 of August, 2016 | ♠
Perhaps the mandarin being put back together is perhaps one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever seen.
Ramen noodles are overtaking cigarettes as a currency in US prisons23 of August, 2016 | ♠
Mazin Sidahmed, The Guardian:
Ramen noodles are overtaking tobacco as the most popular currency in US prisons, according a new study released on Monday.
A new report by Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona’s school of sociology, found the decline in quality and quantity of food available in prisons due to cost-cutting has made ramen noodles a valuable commodity.
A hamster completing a level of Super Mario23 of August, 2016 | ♠
Is it Super Hamario? Oh cut me some slack I’m sick (And have been for the past few days, hence why there is very few new posts going up)
23 of August, 2016
I am setting myself a new rule to control my tab addiction: After each tab opening session either read everything or save it all into Instapaper. Just had to wrangle around 300 tabs to get my browser working, so I think this rule is needed.
Kanye West's McDonald's Poem23 of August, 2016 | ♠
Frank Ocean dropped his long-awaited album the other day and to go along with it, he gave away a magazine called Boys Don’t Cry for free at four pop-up locations in LA, NYC, Chicago, and London. Kanye West contributed to the album and magazine, penning a poem about McDonald’s for the latter. Here’s the poem:
McDonald’s man McDonald’s man The French fries had a plan The French fries had a plan The salad bar and the ketchup made a band Cus the French Fries had a plan The French fries had a plan McDonald’s man McDonald’s I know them French fries have a plan I know them French fries have a plan The cheeseburger and the shakes formed a band To overthrow the French fries plan I always knew them French fries was evil man Smelling all good and shit I don’t trust no food that smells that good man I don’t trust it I just can’t McDonald’s man McDonald’s man McDonald’s, man Them French fries look good tho I knew the Diet Coke was jealous of the fries I knew the McNuggets was jealous of the fries Even the McRib was jealous of the fries I could see it through his artificial meat eyes And he only be there some of the time Everybody was jealous of them French fries Except for that one special guy That smooth apple pie
I am so confused.
The Totally Useful Loot Generator22 of August, 2016 | ♠
The Totally Useful Loot Generator: Combining RPG loot descriptions with slight judgement.
The most terrifying bird in the world: The Shoebill21 of August, 2016 | ♠
Nicholas Lund, Audubon:
Of all the possible names, how on earth is it called the Shoebill? “Monsterface” would be better. Or “Death Pelican.” Or “Literally the Most Frightening Bird On Earth.”
Though I don’t think I’d go anywhere near one, humans don’t have to worry. Shoebills, which live in the swamps of eastern tropical Africa, are after smaller prey. But only slightly smaller. They eat big fish likelungfish, eels, and catfish, and also crazy stuff like Nile monitor lizards, snakes, and baby crocodiles. This bird eats crocodiles!
And they hunt like total bosses of the swamp. The Shoebill will stand there, motionless as a statue, and wait for some poor lungfish or baby crocodile to swim by. Then the bird will pounce forward, all five feet of it, with its massive bill wide open, engulfing its target along with water, mud, vegetation, and probably any other hapless fish minding their own business. Clamping down on its prey, the bird will start to swing its massive head back and forth, tipping out whatever stuff it doesn’t want to eat. When there’s nothing but lungfish or crocodile left, the Shoebill will give it a quick decapitation with the sharp edges of the bill (because of course it does) and swallow away.
For more badass wildlife, see the mantis shrimp.
What happens if you try to steal a Rolls Royce hood ornament?20 of August, 2016 | ♠
What happens if you try and steal a Rolls Royce hood ornament, known as “The Spirit of Ecstasy”? A very interesting - although I’m not sure effective mechanism - comes into play.
19 of August, 2016
Starbucks is exactly as I imagined it: a bunch of people on sitting alone on expensive laptops/macs, dressed like hipsters with their designer keychains, and the coffee is way too expensive. For the size of a medium mocha I could get a large Iced coffee at McDonald’s, which is what I ended up getting.
18 of August, 2016
Also Jared Leto’s Joker, he as pretty good. Some people were complaining about his while mafia boss schtick, but I think it worked quite well for a new form of Joker, and Leto acted it perfectly for all 7 minutes.
18 of August, 2016
Suicide Squad: It wasn’t the best, but it also isn’t the death of superhero movies some were claiming it to be. The story was terrible, but I feel like it was just an excuse for the action and characters (Most of whom had terrible back stories, thanks to the story thing.) It was good, although I’d recommend waiting for the Ultimate Edition, which I hear is going to be way better.