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Desert Island Discs

So, desert island discs, idea brought to you courtesy of almighty_weasel. Eight songs, one book (plus Shakespeare, plus religious text), one luxury. Thankfully, the luxury can be somewhat truth-stretching, as befits a format where one is marooned with a functioning gramophone, eight records, three books but no emergency come-rescue-me GPS device or record of the voyage for rescue. Where does the food come from, what of just leaping from a cliff?

So, setting that aside. This is not "What would you do on a desert island?"; this is "What things from these categories mean something to you, and why?". What are my choices? Time to examine music I want above other music, and what it means to me.

This rapidly became two thousand words and got very rambly. Blame Joanna Newsom.Collapse )

Religion, a ramble.

So. Family, Loyalty, Religion.

It'll be easiest to write on the last of those three. Probably hardest to write on Loyalty.

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Hurdy-gurdy fnord.

Hey look it's that thing people are doing.

"Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it."

I dare you, and then post the meme yourself. If you can't think of anything to ask me about, just post it on your own blog

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

So, almighty_weasel posted the outlines for this here behind zis link.

the main conceit for this League draft is that Something Bad is Happening. A lot of this takes place using things that draw on the Cthulhu Mythos, and the likely powerlessness of Man to entirely stop the coming Mythos Badness is central. The exact amount of The Mythos used is up in the air, but the atmosphere crafted by it is important.

The Laundry spin on the mythos is a big part of this, as is real-world stuff. A minor part goes to Unknown Armies. Precisely what the supernatural is capable of, why it is, where it derives from etc will not be absolutely clear - conflicting info will be given, to avoid Mythos Rot*.

Spoilers for the Laundry series (big spoilers), and lesser Spoilers for Unknown Armies, House of Leaves, The Invisibles and the Cthulhu Mythos.

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Mississippi Personhood Amendment

Why howdy! It's repost time! Read this, it's fairly bloody important, on the topic of stopping idiots doing something bloody wrong.

Originally posted by gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.

The "Troubled Teen" Industry

Some fairly fucking unpleasant stuff behind the cut. No images, but discussion of systematic physical and mental abuse. It's not one I've ever wheeled out before, but I dare say a Trigger Warning is appropriate here.

This isn't my normal brand of LJ post.Collapse )

Not quite a pitch yet

So, Magic: the Gathering as a potential tabletop non-card-roleplaying-game? I think I can make it work.

Elesh Norn

To those of you excited by such a prospect, details of how this will be done.

New Phyrexia is risen. The Grand Compleation is achieved. Karn serves us, mind and body.

It was not always this way. It will not always be this way. It will improve.

New Phyrexia is composed of five factions, each of which tried to steer the Compleation in its own direction, and each of which plots to undermine and eventually overthrow the others, to place its chosen worldview at the forefront of Perfection. Of course, New Phyrexia worked together - it is a well-oiled machine - but even as it drove forward, the wheels pointed in different directions.

Smallville is a wonderful, fun system for portraying groups of almost-allies who work at cross purposes even as they pursue supposedly identical goals.

I can see a group of players as the five praetors, or their more powerful underlings, or as groups of underlings from less than all five colours of mana.

This whole thing was born out of imagining the Praetors squabbling and gossiping, and realising they'd make an amusing player party to watch.

No venue, no time, no idea if it will happen, so this is just an interest-gathering.

If anyone plays Norn, they must be prepared to comment on the size of Sheoldred's multi-limbed butt.

Freaky dreams strike again

And tonight's were mostly on the theme of video gaming. I think I'd drawn from the armoured core series for a vague theme, as 'western' giant robots abounded.

Now, I'm writing about this because there was a rather nifty theme to all of these games - as far as I could tell, earth was using recently-discovered alien tech to make these giant robots work properly, and currently humanity was fighting itself, but the aliens who seeded this technology would soon start attacking as well, not to wipe out humanity, but to slowly force us to improve our technology. Why precisely this was being done I don't know - maybe to try to teach us a lesson or two, maybe so they could harvest our improvements to their tech. Either way, I believe I was going one part mass effect, one part revelation space, one part armoured core. I like this, and while I'd play the fuck out of a tabletop in this setting, I doubt I'd want to run it.

Below is just my thoughts on "zomg, giant robots, so cool.", you may cease reading if this isn't your thing.

What puzzles me is that I came up with several different modes of play or thereabouts, one of which included a single giant robot sneaking around a base trying to really subtly use its huge guns to destroy certain guarded targets, while all other players were humans trying to find and destroy it.

Giant robots, being sneaky. The size of there things did seem to change quite a bit. There were also various bits with these robots just fighting. Oh, and there was a game mechanic of "drinking" from pools of large, slightly glowy water. I think only mechs secretly piloted by aliens could do that. Every time it happened, my response for reasons I can't remember was "Oh shit, they're drinking, must GTFO now" followed by leaving while they were distracted.

There was also a three-player real-time strategy game which seemed to steal from starcraft quite a bit. In fact, a total newbie beat me through the use of finding the portal to my base by blind luck, then employing economic harassment until I was offered the option of surrendering - precisely how one win at SC if one isn't going for an all-in rush or a long plan.

Yet another odd dream.

Ben and I were in sainsburys buying things. I was a bit late getting to the checkout, so I had to wait while somebody bought a huge number apples, which they just put on the conveyor belt and about half filled it.

Then at the checkout every time I leaned on the place where you pack your bags it set off the alarm at the doors. The woman running the next checkout along noticed me leaning on it once I'd worked out what it was doing, just to be sure if it really was me, and yelled OI, NO REMOTES! SECURITY!, and then the guy at me and bens checkout agreed that security should be called "just in case that guy is up to something". Luckily despite being built like gorillas and all leery-evil looking, the security guards just leaned on the thing a few times themselves once I tried to explain what was going on, laughed and let us go.

On the way out Ben commented that he would have picked up cereal but the only milk they had left in stock was in "emergency stamina packs" which cost £50, so I steered us towards the staff exit through the stock area, grabbed two "stamina packs" which are two 4-pint bottles of milk (and I have no idea what else, if anything at all) in a green zip up bag and we walked straight out - Dream-me did not take kindly to an obvious attempt to rip off those in dire need of milk. Ben said "Goblin, that's crafty, but you know we don't have any cereal to use all that milk on".

(Calling me Goblin is nothing out of the ordinary for Ben. It is, in fact, standard.)

On Google

Some conspiracy theorist rambling, for all and any that it may amuse.

Google has:
  • 23 offices around the US/canada
  • 23 in the EU
  • 22 in the rest of the world, subdivided into
  • 14(1+4=5) in asia
  • 5 in the middle east
  • 3 in latin america

14+5+3=22, so where's that final base, to make up a third set of 23?
I believe we have evidence of google's secret moonbase.