Saturday, October 30, 2004

The RPG Player's Ultimate Dream

Imagine that you liked to play swords and sorcery role playing games when you were a kid and that for some reason you still enjoy them as an adult. What could be more fun than to finally make the big time by having your own TV show where other people watch you play a Dungeons and Dragons game along with video intercut of you dressed up in costume acting our your heroic battles!

Dungeon Majesty delivers exactly that thrill. It's a TV show based in Southern California that captures four young women, playing an elf, wizard, druid, and barbarian, caught weekly in mortal combat with the powers of darkness.

qv: www.dungeonmajesty.com

Friday, October 29, 2004

ABC News: Risk of Violent Death in Iraq 58 times higher than before the war

It looks like the run up to the election is going to be interesting. The administration has been saying that the people of Iraq are better off without Sadam. That position may get a bit hard to support.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in violence since the US-led invasion last year, according to public health experts who estimate there were 100,000 "excess deaths" in 18 months.

The US-based researchers found that the risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher than before the war.

qv: ABC News: Iraqi civilian deaths put at 100,000

100,000 Iraqi civilians dead, says study

About 100,000 Iraqi civilians - half of them women and children - have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces, according to the first reliable study of the death toll from Iraqi and US public health experts.
qv: The Guardian: 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead, says study

TV Crew May Have Videotaped Missing Explosives

It will be interesting to see how this story develops:
A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew in Iraq shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein was in the area where tons of explosives disappeared, and may have videotaped some of those weapons.

qv: EXCLUSIVE: 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS video may be linked to missing explosives in Iraq

Monday, October 25, 2004

Red Elvises Photos From the Handlebar

A fun crowd gathers around a favorite Red Elvis
As promised, we had an awesome time watching the Red Elvises on Friday night. They were howling! I have posted a few photos from last week's Red Elvises concert at PhilYanov.com.

qv: Red Elvises at the Handlebar

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Yule Be Sorry If You See Affleck's Christmas Movie...

I love this review from the NY Post:
If Hans Blix is still searching for bombs, he should check out "Surviving Christmas"

qv: NY Post: Surviving Christmas

Thursday, October 21, 2004

If you are not this person, please disregard this notice

According to the email I just received -- I am a winner!
REF NO. PBL/669021-OL
BATCH NUMBER: 211/45547/BTH
LOCATOR NUMBER: 7-14-33-36-41-62
SERIAL: 7/9122/63.

The Software AG Foundation is a charitable foundation headquartered in Frankfurt. It major aim is to promote music, theatre, art, literature, projects in the social and political arena with a focus on health, as well as science, research, and higher education. Most recently the foundation set up the NEW LOTTERY SCHEEM to give out prizes based on COMPUTER BALLOT SYSTEM. By doing this the foundation seek to encourage the use of Internet for academic and business pursuits. On August 15th 2004 the programme was conducted which your email address was attached to ticket number 3685953 lucky number 81529677 along with the batch number mentioned above, please If you are the person with this email address then you are entitled to these funds $500,000.00 USD (Five hundred thousand US Dollars), we are very pleased to have finally located you.

If you are not this person please disregard this notice.

What cracks me up is that someone thinks that I would believe that there is a company dedicated to giving money away to promote the Internet.

qv: Snopes.com: Foreign Lottery Scam

Monday, October 18, 2004

It's Good To Be In D.C. (JibJab is back!)

The much awaited sequel to "This Land" was released to the web last Thursday. The new film includes paper puppet cuts against George Bush, John Kerry, Al Gore, Dan Rather, John Ashcroft and many many more!

qv: http://www.jibjab.com/

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Best Quote of the Week - Burt Rutan

The Boeings and Lockheeds of the world probably thought we were a bunch of home builders. I think they're looking at each other right now and thinking, 'We're screwed!'

-Burt Rutan after the world's first privately funded spacecraft touched down

qv: Spaceship One / Tier One Project

7Up will be offering a free ticket to space!

According to Yahoo! Finance Weekend:
7-Up ... will be offering a free ticket to space, most likely through a find-the-winning-ticket-on-the-can promotion

qv: Up and Down With Spaceship One

Friday, October 15, 2004

Subversive cartoonery...

qv: Pirates And Emperors

I've been offered $24 Million and the Crown of Life!

I just received this unbelievable offer in my email!
Dear Mr. Phil,

I am Mrs.mary kwami, a widow to Late kwami, Edward. I am 59 years old, now suffering from long time cancer of the breast and partial stroke. From all indications, my condition is really deteriorating and is quite obvious that I may not live more than six months, because the cancer stage has gotten to a very severe stage.My late husband was killed during the Liberia war, and during the period of our marriage we had a son. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. My personal physician told me that I may not live for more than six months and I am so scared about this. So, I now decided to divide part of this wealth, by contributing to the development of evangelism in Africa, America, Europe and Asian Countries. And a part to my only surviving son who is aged 22yrs.This
mission, that will no doubt be tasking had made me to recently relocate to ACCRA GHANA, Africa where I live presently. I selected your church / organization/ your person for this purpose and prayed over it, I am willing to donate the sum of $12.000,000.00 Million US Dollars to you for the development of evangelism and also as aids for the less privileged around you. The remaining balance, which is $12.000,000.00, will be for my son and you as you are going to invest the money on his behalf. Total amount in the box deposited in a security company is worlth of USD$24M. Please note that, this fund is lying in a Security Company, therefore my Doctor with my only son will file an immediate application for the transfer of the money in your name.Please, do not reply me if you have the intention of using this fund for personal use only other than enhancement of evangelism or what I have stated. Lastly, I want you/your ministry to be praying for me as regards my entire life and my health because I have come to find out since my spiritual birth lately that wealth acquisition without God in one‘s life is vanity upon vanity. If you have to die says the Lord, keep fit and I will give you the crown of life.I await your urgent reply if you are capable of handle this project.

sincerely yours
Mrs. mary kwami

I wonder what I can sell the crown for?
qv: More Advance-Fee Frauds at Snopes.com

Team America: World Police - The Poster

Team America: World Police Movie Poster

Puppets On Politics

Without "South Park," I would scarcely know what to think about issues like stem cell research, "The Passion of the Christ" or the Pokémon craze.
-A. O. Scott, NY Times

qv: RottenTomatoes.com: Team America: World Police

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Nobody makes lemonade from lemons better than Martha

According to a CNN report, our beloved domestic diva Martha Stewart is shopping a book deal on her experience in federal prison.

qv: CNN: Martha plans prison book

Red Elvises on October 22!

Red Elvises as they appeared at the Handlebar in Greenville, SC in October 2003
The Red Elvises are coming back to the Handlebar on October 22.

qv: Red Elvises at the Handlebar

Who won the debate?

MSNBC (unscientific) poll shows Kerry wins 3rd debate.

I hit a few sites this morning -- all show Kerry winning the debate. It's hard to say that there is anything to learn from the internet polls. I'd like to see a real poll, the kind that is statistically valid to see what people are really thinking. (I think there is one scheduled for early November.)

After the first debate, one of the channels asked "undecided" voters what they thought. I liked that because they were candid and genuine. The group appeared to be considering only what they heard in the debate. Their responses were a lot more interesting than the spinmasters who were telling us what we should be thinking. I would guess that undecided voters are now hard to find. With the election only 20 days away, any undecided voters you find now are basically untrustworthy, world class procrastinators.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Cheney Vows To Attack U.S. If Kerry Elected

Nobody can write a headline like the guys at the Onion.
"Make no mistake: If Kerry becomes president, no one will be safe from me," Cheney told reporters. "Businesses, places of worship, schools, public parks: No place will offer you refuge. A vote for Kerry is a vote to die in your own bed at the hands of Dick Cheney."

qv: the Onion: Cheney Vows To Attack U.S. If Kerry Elected

Pirates Of The Spanish Main

Pirates of the Spanish Main, picture by Ken Randall

This is a great looking collectible miniatures game where you build ships that come on cards and then engage them in naval battles on your kitchen table.

qv: Board Game Geek: Pirates of the Spanish Main

Who Do You Love? (For President)

Take this one page quiz and you can see how all of the candidates compare to your positions on the issues of the day. Make your own Presidential Love Connection.

qv: selectsmart.com/president/

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Cool Site: BBC Does Vampires

As a kid I was fascinated by vampires. Probably overly so. I think at one time I even thought I might want to be a vampire when I grow up. Fortunately, I never actually grew up, so I have yet to make my final decision.

However, if I did want to find the career and training opportunities for vampires, I might have gone straight to Monster.com. If I had I would have missed this really cool website from the BBC that chronicles many weird and wonderful tales of these legendary bloodsuckers.

qv: BBC - Cult Vampire Magazine

Monday, October 04, 2004

Where I was when a trip to space became affordable...

My pal, Ken and I watched the final qualifying flight of Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne today. It made me jittery. As a kid we dreamed that one day we could live on the moon or travel to space. While we are still years away, we are one big step closer. The near edge of space is now within reach. For the price of a nice home you can fly into the darkness of space and return safely to the Earth.

There was a lot of new technology involved in today's event. That is, for Ken and I. We were both on VoIP phones. I have completely dumped the traditional phone company and he is supplementing his home service. We both used cable television and I managed to get a video webcast to monitor the event. We flipped between MSNBC and CNN as well as getting sporadic telemetry via the webcast. It was fun. It was historic. We did it together. 200 miles apart. Pretty cool, eh?

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Burt Rutan Scheduled to Clinch X-Prize on Monday

The X PRIZE has just received official notice from Burt Rutan that SpaceShipOne's second flight (X2) will take place Monday morning, October 4th.

Expected flight timeline:
* Takeoff at 7am PT
* Ignition at 8am PT
* Landing at 8:30am PT
* Press Conference to announce official Altitude at 10:30am PT

The entire flight and press conference can be viewed LIVE at www.xprize.org

Thus begins the era of manned space travel for anyone who can afford it.