Category: Around the Interwebs


World of Warcraft - my elfI’ve gone and done it. I’ve been holding back for years, but I finally gave into the urge.

I signed up for World of Warcraft.

What was I thinking? Well, for one I haven’t gamed in years. I was a pretty active AD&D player back in university, I even played RIFTS and I have to admit I miss the cameradery of campaigning with a group of friends. Plus DH and I have been talking for a while about picking up a game and playing online together – we’ve been waiting for Diablo III to come out forever. At any rate, we decided on the weekend that we were sick of waiting and that we would take advantage of the free promotion that WoW is currently offering – play free for the first 20 levels.

So, not without trepidation, we both downloaded and installed the program on our respective computers and away we went.

And how did it go?

Firstly, it’s beautiful. The environment is immersive and beautifully rendered. A lot of time and energy went into designing a this world, which leads me to wish they spent a little less time on the trees and more time on the GUI (Graphic User Interface) and end user testing. The interface leaves a lot to be desired which leads to complaints about the instruction manual. They claim that usage is intuitive, but it took me about an hour to figure out how not to get killed and I still don’t know how to sell my extra swag. I couldn’t find any information on how to fight or cast spells inside the game. I had to log off and then go search for the information online. Admittedly if I had bought the beginners pack I would have had a hard copy, but I would imagine that most people would be downloading the game, so this type of oversight is really unacceptable.

As for gameplay itself, it’s alright – nothing to really write home about. There is some sort of conspiracy going on that involves my race and class, but there doesn’t seem to be an overarching story line right now. I think it’s developing slowly and while I like to know what I’m getting into thematically when I play a game, I’m willing to roll with things as they come along.

Felicia Day

It's all your fault, Felicia Day!

The thing that’s disappointing me right now is I expected more interaction between myself and other players. Maybe it’s because I’m playing the Role-Playing version (as opposed to Normal or Player v Player), but I thought I would be able to join up with other newbies and go on quests together as we figured out exactly how to play this. And because DH is a different race and character class than I am, we haven’t met up yet.

At least I hope that’s the reason…….. 😉

At any rate, I guess after seeing The Guild, I had a bit of a romanticized picture in my head about what playing an MMORPG would be like, and so far World of Warcraft hasn’t met that expectation yet but I’m willing to stick with it a little while longer. We’ll see if Blizzard get’s my hard earned coin after that I reach 20th level.

I’ll keep you up to date as to my adventures, and if you happen to be in WoW, and come across a night-elf druid named Zephyrex, make sure to say “Hi!”

I promise not to blast you.

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This should clear things up:

Via: Geeks are Sexy

Wil Wheaton riding a unicorn kitty, hunting Orc-John Scazi down with a vengeanceOkay, gang, stop scratching your head. You’re about to draw blood. All will be explained.

For those of you wondering, yes, that’s Wil Wheaton. And yes, he’s riding a wing-ed unicorn kitten whilst wearing his favorite sweater (which seems so much more bad-ass here).  And yes, for some reason he’s going medieval on poor John Scazi who seems to have suffered a tragic telepod accident involving himself and Shrek.

Why? Well that’s up to you. I’ll let John explain:

You write a 400 to 2,000 word fanfic about the picture above. Come at it from any angle you like to explain, illuminate or otherwise bring to life what’s going on in the picture above. Our only request is NO slash fanfic (please). But other than that, knock yourself out.

When you’re finished with the story, in addition to whatever else you do with it (hey, it’s your fanfic, we hold no claim to it), send a copy of the story to fanfic@scalzi.com by 11:59pm Eastern, June 30, 2010 (one entry per person), with the text of the story in the e-mail (no attachments, please). When you do, you’ll enter your fan fiction into a contest.

If your fanfic of the picture is chosen by our Jury of Awesomeness, your story will appear in a special electronic chapbook about the picture, with other stories written by me, by Wil, by Norton Award winner and Best Novel Hugo Award nominee Catherynne Valente and by Patrick Rothfuss, best selling author of The Name of the Wind. You will be paid for your story at the rate of ten cents a word (twice the SFWA minimum professional rate), and you’ll receive a special prize pack of books from Subterranean Press, which will publish the electronic chapbook later in the year.

We have plans for the chapbook: We’re going to sell it online, and the proceeds of the chapbook will go to benefit the Lupus Alliance of America, an organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus and providing support, services and hope to all people affected by lupus. As folks who know and love people affected by this disease, this a cause and foundation we believe in and want to help. The donation will go through the Alliance’s Michigan/Indiana affiliate.

Awesome.

Good luck! If you enter, be sure to send me a copy so I can publish it on the blog.

BTW, the painting was created by concept designer Jeff Zugale (V), who himself is also AWESOME!

Via: Wil Wheaton, John Scazi

It’s Just Some Random Guy posted his 100th VIDEO this week.

If you haven’t seen any of these before, the videos started as a spoof of the PC/Mac commercials using Marvel and DC characters. These shorts evolved into two serial movies, After Hours and Happy Hour. In the serials, the action centers around the adventures of all the major DC and Marvel heroes and villains as they kick back and relax at Stan’s Place, a super hero bar owned by Stan Lee. The characters also comment on the state of their movie franchises and parody other popular summer movie offerings.

What’s so surprising about these videos is the amount of emotional depth IJSRG is able to generate using nothing but action figures. I dare anyone to to watch Twas the Dark Night Before Christmas and not tear up just a little.

When not making parody videos, It’s Just Some Random Guy and Girl are creating promotional videos for various Comic Cons (and the Ontario PGA Golf Merchandising Show – HUH?).

If you are a comic fan, it’s worth the time to sit down and watch these videos. These are great stories filled with stellar character moments – my favorite being  Green Goblin busting out singing Summertime. Even if comics aren’t your thing, pop some popcorn and settle in for a great ride. I promise you will bust a gut laughing.

I hope the series goes on for a long time. Keep up the good work and again, congratulations!

The action continues with Zero Hour.

Talk about making one feel old! PacMan turns 3o today! I remember playing it when PacMan just came out! I remember it as being ‘revolutionary’! Heck the whole concept of Ms. PacMan was revolutionary at the time. A video game starring *gasp* a girl?!?

PacMan for Google


Happy 30th Birthday PacMan!At any rate, Google decided to mark the occasion with a doodle as they’ve been doing since 1998 to commemorate special occasions. But WHAT A DOODLE!

The PacMan Google Doodle (try saying that 3 times fast!) is actually interactive. Launched at 11:oo AM today,  Google has swapped out the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button with an ‘Insert Coin’ button which starts the game if you don’t want to wait for it to automatically start after 10 seconds. You then can use either the mouse or the arrow keys to navigate your way through 256 levels of PacMan. That’s right, they didn’t just do one screen, they did all 256 levels of the original game, including the garbled kill screen.

Designers built the doodle using a combination of Flash, HTML JavaScript and CSS.

There’s even an easter egg. Let me know if you find it.

The doodle is available for 48 hours only and can be played on your PC as well as the iPad (surprisingly given the current situation between Adobe and Apple) and some smart phones, including Apple’s iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre.

Have fun.

Facsimile of Nicholas Brendan's Very Bad KoalasImagine cute, fuzzy, little koala bears doing time behind bars and going on a road trip through Hell? Seem impossible?

Not anymore thanks to Nicholas Brendan (aka BtVS’ Xander Harris). Brendan, Steve Loter (The Ren And Stimpy Show, Kevin Smith’s Clerks The Animated Series, Kim Possible) and Rafael Santiago (Veronica Mars, Friggin Fabulous Radio) are launching Very Bad Koalas, a web comic about the trials and misadventures of two koalas, Avery and Irving who wind up in jail for a crime they didn’t commit:

The koalas, Avery and Irving, are as far from criminals as they could possibly be. Wrongly accused, they break out of prison together and form an unlikely co-dependent friendship. Their bizarre adventures will take them to exotic and scary places along the highway in the “out there.” Unintentionally misguided by a hipster shaman gorilla, our heroes will encounter Amazon women elephants, Fleshies (furry animals who wear human costumes), a religious cult of highway-flattened animals, vampire turtles and a large variety of bizarre characters, each more twisted than the last. They will evade detectives, bounty hunters and their newfound fame as criminal media celebrities. They will unknowingly buy the Devil’s used “GPS system,” which will take them to different layers of hell. They’ll unintentionally start a rampage of criminal copycats in the name of Avery and Irving. They will wonder if prison is better than what destiny has planned for them.

The concept is so ludicrous it has no choice but to be fun.

A preview of  Avery and Irving has been posted on Nick Brendan’s blog, but they’ve asked that the art work not be re-posted on any other sites, so I can’t show it to you. You’ll just have to visit. (Damn lawyers!)

Very Bad Koalas launches in September. I’m definitely going to have to add this to my daily webcomic roster.

…new Red and Jonny pictures!

Looks like Jonny's in love

Could this be love?

Red and friend

At least Red has found someone to take her mind off Jonny and his new "friend'.

These two are just the antidote for a grey Monday morning.

See the rest of their photos at Red and Jonny’s photostream.

…well, video actually, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Don’t tell me!  I’ll get it eventually.

Eggs by nocturnalmothThese guys certainly won’t.

By nocturnal_Moth at deviantArt

Via: Neatorama

*MMDs = Mammaries of Mass Destruction

MMDs - Mammaries of Mass DestructionWe women understand the power of the boobie.  They have the power to turn reasonably intelligent, eloquent men into gibbering idiots. I know this to be true, because just a simple flash of my luscious lady mounds can stop my DH in mid-sentence and cause him to completely lose his train of thought. His eyes go glassy and he gets this blank look on his face as though he’s just been confronted by a 3 line solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem (if you’re wondering, the actual solution is about 500 pages long).

But ladies, did you know that our sweater puppies can cause the earth to move?

No, not like that, I mean an actual earthquake? According to Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader, showing your cha-cha’s causes the ground to shake:

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,”

Iran lives in one of the most earthquake prone regions of the world. The 2003 quake in Bam, a city in southern Iran, killed over 30,000 people.

So, what should people do? Relocate to a safer part of the country? No, don’t be silly.  According to Sedighi:

“There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”

Yeah, that will stabilize the tectonic plates that are shifting under Tehran as we speak. Besides, isn’t Iran one of the most conservative Muslim nation on the planet? Aren’t women already forced to go about their daily business covered head to foot so as not to cause ‘temptation’? Given their moral superiority over the rest of the fabricly challenged world, shouldn’t they be free of earthquakes? If you follow this man’s logic, shouldn’t a place like Brazil, or the south of France, where lots of people are practically naked all the time, be a hotspot for geological activity, not someplace, like, I don’t know, Iceland?

Jen McCreight - Instigator of the BoobquakeAt any rate, this whole ‘blame the loose women for the ills of the world’ attitude did not sit well with fourth year Purdue student, Jen McCreight. She issued a challenge last Monday on her Blag Hag blog for women to set their marimbas free on Monday, April 26th to see what kind of  geological destruction they can unleash on the world – all in the name of science of course.

“Time for a Boobquake.

On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I’m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it’ll be one involving plate tectonics.

So, who’s with me? I may be a D cup, but that will probably only produce a slight tremor on its own. If you’ll be joining me on twitter, use the tag #boobquake!”

There are two pages set up for the event on Facebook that has already attracted over 33,000 women since Monday ( Boobquake page 1, Boobquake page 2).

The response has been overwhelming for McCreight:

“So what started as a joke and somewhat sarcastic reply to the ludicrous notion that women’s immodesty causes earthquakes has now exploded. Seriously, internet, you scare and amaze me sometimes.”

She has since had to refine her challenge somewhat:

I just want to apologize if this comes off as demeaning toward women. To be honest, it started as silly joke that I hurriedly fired off since I was about to miss the beginning of House. I never thought it would get the attention it did. If I would have known, I would have spent more time being careful about my wording.

That being said, I don’t think the event is completely contrary to feminist ideals. I’m asking women to wear their most “immodest” outfit that they already would wear, but to coordinate it all on the same day for the sake of the experiment. Heck, just showing an ankle would be considered immodest by some people. I don’t want to force people out of their comfort zones, because I believe women have the right to choose how they want to dress. Please don’t pressure women to participate if they don’t want to. If men ogle, that’s the fault of the men, not me for dressing how I like. If I want to a show a little cleavage or joke about my boobs, that’s my prerogative.

In order to keep the project scientifically relevant, she also plans on doing a statistical analysis on the effect of Monday’s Boobquake event:

And to the scientists who are concerned with my methods – don’t worry, I fully plan on doing some statistics after the event. I know many earthquakes happen on a daily basis, so we’re looking to see if Boobquake significantly increases the number or severity of earthquakes. Or if an earthquake strikes West Lafayette, IN and only kills me, that may be good evidence of God’s wrath as well (I’m not too concerned). And yes, I know I need a larger sample size to make this good science. Maybe I’ll include Mardi [G]ras in my calculations.

So, who’s with me? I’ll be taking part in the event wearing my favorite (and conversely my mother’s most hated) shirt, a purple tunic top with a scandalously deep square neckline on Monday to see what the effect is. If you participate, remember, you’ll be holding the fate of the world in your D-cups!

Alternately, my husband thinks a flash mob of immodestly dressed women should have a sit in at the Iranian Embassy. And yes, the pun was intentional.

ETA: Culture Shocks’ interview with Jen McCreight

Via: Blag Hag, The Toronto Star and The Associated Press