Thursday, July 18, 2002

Are You Crazy? Dilithium Crystals Don't Work That Way!

The Institute of Applied Treknology, for people who spend way too much time thinking about Star Trek:

The Journal of Applied Treknology, published by the Advanced Starship Design Bureau, is a Federation-wide forum for starship design and innovative technology. The Journal is aimed at engineers and interested laymen. Readers are invited to contribute their own ideas and share their views on existing concepts.


Ice Cream, Japanese Style

Those zany Japanese never cease to amaze me. Here's a nice overview of all the crazy styles of ice cream offered there. Octopus ice cream, anyone? Didn't think so...maybe fish is more your flavor.

Niftiest Keyboard Ever

This thing looks like a lot of fun. It's got a lot of features and even has a strap so you can sling it over your shoulder, plus it's a fully-functional keyboard.
Man Claims He's Christ, Faces Death Penalty

A Pakistani man, Anwar Keneth, is facing the death penalty. Mr. Keneth claimed to be Christ and referred to Islam as a "fake religion". Here, of course - or in any other halfway reasonable country - Mr. Keneth would probably be carted off to a mental hospital. He'd be given a few pills, sat down in front of a television with some jigsaw puzzles or ashtray-making materials and that would be that. In ultra-oppressive Pakistan, however, he's charged with blasphemy and may well pay the ultimate price.

Here's a fun fact about their Islamic brand of "justice": all it takes, in a country that's almost 97% Muslim, is the word of one Muslim accuser to prosecute someone on blasphemy charges. It's a less forgiving system than that of the witch trials of Salem and just as backwards.

Blasphemy Results in Death Sentence (

An American's Guide to Canada

A page about Canada, written by an American who's been living there a few years. I have a few friends up that way (shoutout to my Canuk peeps! - as the kids would say) and I'm gonna have to give this page the once over. I see no mention of igloos, though, oddly. Maybe I just haven't gotten to that section yet, eh?

Holy Campiness, Batman!

Batman (without the Batmobile): "I must get to the Batcave as fast as possible."
Gordon: "Let me send a police car for you."
Batman: "A needless waste of taxpayers' money, Commissioner. Gotham City's transit line is the world's most rapid."

Quotes from the sixties television show.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Let's Talk Games - Old School, Baby

Well, I finally got my game controller installed and it works okay, so I've been doing just a little gaming. First stop was for a game of Defender II (known in the arcades as Stargate Defender) , which I'd been dying to play lately. Usually when I do play games I fall back on the old 80's stuff. They're easy to learn, tough to master and there aren't a zillion different controls or ridiculously in-depth storylines. Basically you jump in, start blasting, chomping or running from stuff and if you get hit you die - three strikes and you're out, unless you get an extra man. Back then an extra man meant something, too - you had to earn that last chance for gaming glory. Also, most games you could take turns at and unless you were hanging out with some seriously talented arcade freak, you wouldn't have a chance to get bored before he crashed and burned and you got your turn.

I'm not saying I don't care for any new games. My friend Chris has the new Spiderman game on his PS2 and I thought it was awesome. However, with it's lack of a time limit and huge areas to cover, you could pretty well die of boredom waiting on your turn while your buddy flips Spidey around aimlessly on some rooftop trying out his funky spider powers. In the 80's, though, when games were games and men were men and brightly-colored pixelish aliens ruled the arcades, there was no such dilly-dallying. When Player 2's ship crashed, well, there were no two ways about it - it was time to grab for the controls and get your act together, fast - or you'd share the same fate in about a half a second. Sometimes, like in real-life, it wasn't even fair. When you hit that hyperspace button in Defender or Asteroids, you didn't know if you'd wind up somewhere safe or come out the other side amidst a swarm of alien attackers who were on top of you before the neural synapses in your brain could even fire off a "damn."

Anyway, after a few games of Defender, I got to wondering whether there was a Flash version of Galaga. Normally I'd just play Galaga on my MAME emulator. Defender is emulated too, but the gameplay is different on MAME's exacting recreation of the arcade version - lacking the up-down stick and thrust button of the actual game itself can be frustrating on a joystick, whereas Shockwave's version has been tweaked so that thrust is incorporated into the directional pad - move right, ship goes right, etc. Galaga is simpler to play on an emulator, since it only involves left and right movement and fire.

Still, I was curious if someone had attempted it and I did find a Flash version of Galaga. However it wasn't the straight-up Galaga I know and love and played obsessively as a kid. The sounds are different, there are no bonus rounds and you don't have to lose and recapture your ship to get dual fire, all you have to do is finish the wave. They also added a shield, which you get after you've won your extra firepower. Not exactly purist, but it was fun for a little while, I guess. No joystick support either, but if you've never played the original or just want to try a new twist it's worth a spin.

I miss this kind of thing...I'm such a fossil :)

Monday, July 15, 2002

Wacko Jacko's Not Crazy - The Proof

The Modern Humorist has uncovered shocking office memos that prove not only did bigoted record execs at Sony conspire to keep Michael Jackson down, but may have initiated the 9/11 attacks. Truly eye-opening, let's hope Johnny Cochran can do something with this.
Moron of the Week

A man drives a stolen car to a court hearing, where he was facing charges for a previous car theft. Way to go, McFly.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Fly the Friendly Skies

While I'm in a playful mood, here's a page that shows how to make, according to it's author, the "best paper airplane in the world" (shown above). There are step-by-step instructions, as well as printable pages with the folds designated for you.

Bubble Town

Learn how to make gigantic bubbles.
Warning: Knives are Sharp!

Funny caution labels from everyday products.