Wednesday, August 20 2014
Bullied by the 1%
From the basic rules in the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons:
You can play a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could be a reason for your character to leave that society and come to the surface.
You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon’s image. You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.
Therapeutic role-play rarely mixes well with gaming, and SJWs are no fun at (or in) a party.
Update: how would I write this, to get the point across without bullshit gender-studies jargon and really stupid examples? (note that I’ve added back the first and last sentences, above. I originally left the first one out because it was the only sensible part, but then I read multiple complaints that it was still too “binary”; I added the last sentence just for completeness)
There are no sex-based restrictions or penalties in D&D; you are free to create your characters as you imagine them, and role-play your choices.
Monday, August 18 2014
This is just… kinda sad. It’s one thing to cater to the wannabe-ninja crowd by selling outfits and weapons that are as historically-accurate as the katana from Highlander, but $140 for this is pure sucker-bait:
This hand forged Shuriken set is not only made according to Meifu Shinkage Ryu specs but also include a certificate of authenticity signed by Yasuyuki Otsuka himself, Soke of Meifu Shinkage Rryu.
We are also glad to present with this Shuriken Set our original and unique carry pouch. Made from durable canvas and double layered in the Shuriken tip area this pouch is perfect to carry the Shuriken to your Dojo.
At least if you buy these, you’ll be getting hand-made iron spikes that are good for something. And that won’t get you unpleasant attention from law-enforcement.
I understand the need to cater to the wannabe-* crowd. It’s hard to stay in business as a martial-arts supply store that only sells to serious students, and the high margins on goofy/cool-looking stuff pay the rent, much the way Gil Hibben’s multi-pronged fantasy knives used to.
(I should also note that I have nothing against the various “ninja” schools; apart from their historical claims and taste in weapons, they seem to be legitimate modern martial arts, and there’s nothing wrong with being modern. After all, while Judo was invented in 1884, it didn’t really spread until it was made part of the 20th-century middle-school phys-ed curriculum (along with a newly-standardized Kendo, and Naginata-do for girls), and Aikido and Karate came after WWI. In fact, the art that Aikido is based on, Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu, may have been invented about the same time as Judo, despite claims to a 900-year history)
I sort-of miss my Japanese spam
For a long time, I’ve been getting email spam in Japanese. I let it pile up in the spam folder and went through it occasionally for laughs, but I haven’t had any since the end of July. Even before that, it had been gradually tapering off, mostly coming from a single source that for some reason always included “LINE” somewhere in the subject.
I still get plenty of Chinese spam containing infected Excel spreadsheets (or, very rarely, infected Word documents), phony warnings from random banks and courts that contain infected zip files, whatever the latest domestic scam is (mostly weight-loss for the past few weeks), and the usual assortment of get-it-up or make-it-bigger medications, which mostly come from Russian domains.
But nothing in Japanese any more. My spam folder has 5-10 per day up to July 24th, and nothing after. The last amusing one was all the way back in December, when one of them dragged out the gyaku-enjo ad again.
The closest I’ve gotten to actual fun spam recently was the Spanish-language one offering a how-to class on making sushi, from a cooking school in Buenos Aires.
Friday, August 15 2014
Dog Days Double Prime
Coming in January:
Tuesday, August 12 2014
#23 in anime Blu-ray discs
Thursday, July 31 2014
Speaking of space piracy…
The official Blu-ray release date for the Bodacious Space Pirates movie is November 12th.
How did I miss this one?
(via a google image search for Schnitzer, but no complaints. No idea where it originally came from, or I’d give proper credit; the largest size I found was here, a 4chan image-archive site)
Nothing says “born in Ohio” like processed meats, purchased in the middle of the night at Walmart.
And, yes, it’s one of my guilty pleasures, and after 20 years of not finding it in California groceries, a little light bulb went on and I tried the local Walmart. They also reliably stock the jalapeno bologna, so I can pretend to a more sophisticated palate.
I passed on the giant bag of Honeycomb cereal snack food, though. That’s a guilty pleasure that would earn a scolding from my doctor.
Tuesday, July 29 2014
Man bites dog
In a shocking turn of events, a police officer who shot a family’s dog for no good reason actually got fired for it.
Thursday, July 24 2014
Inadvertent fortune cookie
I walked into someone’s cube to deliver a new document scanner (the excellent Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500), and found this little gem attached to her monitor cable:
Tuesday, July 22 2014
Reasons to respect Beretta USA…
- Ending the cycle of abuse.
- Moving to a city named Gallatin.
- Having General Manager Jeff Cooper deliver the announcement.
I’m guessing El Neil is doing a happy dance right about now.
Monday, July 21 2014
Friday, July 18 2014
Dear Sarah Hoyt,
Amazon has a peculiar idea of what your science fiction short stories are about.
Who knew you wrote chick-lit?
Tuesday, July 15 2014
Marvel’s latest gimmick
Yes, I know the marketing mouthpieces are insisting that replacing male Thor with a woman isn’t just a gimmick, but yeah, it’s just a gimmick. If it weren’t, they wouldn’t have spent so much PR money to build buzz on it.
So, since it’s a gimmick, and there’s plenty of evidence of what real-life women think a female Thor should look like, I think the most important question is: will she have a thing for Sif and/or Jane Foster?
Most interesting result in that image search: Pikachu Thor.
[Update: …and in another diversity-pandering press release, Captain America will be black. Next week, I’m guessing they’ll announce that the Iron Man armor will be passed to a Thai ladyboy.]
Dear Hello!Project Costume Designers,
Apparently you’ve been replaced.
Tuesday, July 8 2014
Cargo Cult Science revisited
Jason Mitchell, professor of Social Psychology at Harvard, vigorously demonstrates Richard Feynman’s point about pseudosciences that adopt the appearance of science without the substance. By aiming the gun at his own feet:
“Because experiments can be undermined by a vast number of practical mistakes, the likeliest explanation for any failed replication will always be that the replicator bungled something along the way. Unless direct replications are conducted by flawless experimenters, nothing interesting can be learned from them.”
Friday, July 4 2014
Natsuki Kojima, helping you celebrate Independence Day. The little speech bubble reads “smiles and swimsuits are free”, and she uses these freedoms well.
Friday, June 27 2014
Dear AKB48 Costume Designers,
Kinda tame, but I can see that you were raised in the same hell dimension as the Hello!Project designers. The Legos are a nice touch, though.
Tuesday, June 17 2014
Not that I need one, you understand…
…it was just one of those random moments of googling, and I was saddened to discover that while there are plenty of panther-claw t-shirts, there are no Panther Claw t-shirts.
Hmmm, what about a nice “Keep Calm and Honey Flash” poster?
Friday, June 13 2014
In your lengthy Creative Cloud survey (in which you mistakenly addressed me as a former customer), I was struck by what was missing in the list of possible answers to the question “how did you learn to use Adobe creative tools?”: books.
Apparently the kids you’ve got running the game now are so hooked on the web that they’ve forgotten that Adobe software used to ship with manuals, and that third parties used to write entire books on how to use the stuff. Or perhaps they’re too young to have ever known.
Also, I was amused when the surveydroids referred to the process of installing the CC tools as “onboarding”, and then immediately had to explain their jargon, but what the fuck does this statement mean, which I’m supposed to rank my agreement with: “I have been able to meet the objectives I set for using Adobe Creative Cloud”? The correct answer would be “you stopped selling products, so I had to start renting them, which I’m not a big fan of”.
And I love this question toward the end:
“What methods would have been helpful to you in getting started to use Adobe applications or use the applications more?”
- A call from customer support to provide more information
- More emails explaining the benefits of applications
- A learning game
- Live chat online to provide more information
- A five minute how-to video
- A prominent 800 number to call Adobe customer support
- Included access to a 3rd party training provider such as Lynda.com
- A social network connection e.g. via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.
- Step-by-step tutorials (just text and graphics, rather than “how to” videos)
- Online or in-product tutorials
- Access to an Adobe learning resource center
- Links to CC user forums
- A 30 minute webinar/online seminar
- Other (specify):
- None/no other resources needed/none would be helpful
Odd how none of these options are related to the quality of the documentation, which defaults to online help pages these days. In fact, you have to manually download the actual PDF reference manuals separately from the CC applications; it isn’t even a clickable link in the help options.