Archive for March 2012

This time you will be tried by the media and convicted by the aristocrats: Zimmerman

March 29, 2012

There will be no due process. There will be no trial by jury.

If you wanted to fly in your car…

March 29, 2012

People are still working on them. Unless the government slaps them with death taxes and nationalizes their business, that is.

If you Ain’t Cheating you aren’t Trying

March 29, 2012

Because this is war in America, one way or another, whether you like it or not.

Sword users in the Modern Era

March 29, 2012

This is what some American males do in their free time.

 

For those interested in owning some home defense weapons that aren’t easily legislated or regulated out of existence like guns are in DC, LA, Chicago, New Orleans, and other Democrat fiefdoms, I can recommend a blade from any of these reputable manufacturers.

http://www.sword-manufacturers-guide.com/chris-zhou.html

For practice, I recommend the 50 dollar Musashi Iaito, with the blunt edge that won’t slice off your shin or ear if you really don’t skill or training with swords. While it has no edge, I’ve tested the point and it can indeed go straight through a person if you apply enough thrust in a stab. And a hit with the false edge or the back, is going to do a lot more damage than any baseball bat in existence, given the impactgeometry. If the police come looking for your guns, you can always say that it’s an art piece and just meant for decoration. Conveniently placed over your bed or other critical access points.

For true sword users, however, they will want something a little sharper and more functional. The cheness 9260 silicon spring steel or the Hanwei tactical wakizashi 5160 spring steel blade are some of the toughest swords modern metallurgy has ever given birth to. The chance of the blade being damaged, chipped, or broken from an improper cut through human flesh and bone will be minimum. Those with skill sufficient to cut a straight plane through the target will appreciate the fact that nothing the blade hits, metal pipe or rifle stock or steel barrel, will degrade the metal of the sword or cause a permanent bend.

Cheness also produces a tanto, dagger, that is pretty good for thrust attacks. Most homes will only have enough space to swing a wakizashi, a shortsword around, so make note of that when choosing between full length katanas (40 inches) and short sword wakizashis (30 inches).

And the list of manufacturers have all kinds of products for people who want something just a bit different from what I’ve described. From Western swords to Eastern, all is listed.

The advantage of steel blades is that they’re just like the metal in guns. You need to oil them and maintain them. That’s definitely an advantage if you already have gun cleaning skills and kits. And they are both lethal implements, tools. But unlike guns, there is little legislation controlling who can own them and where they must be “stored” in a home.

The disadvantage is that you must have some level of skill in the use of live steel or else take some quick lessons on using it as a stabbing device that lets you get more distance from a foe.

I’ve seen some of Obata Toshishiro’s Shinkendo. Practicing with a false blade iaito means that one must work their arms to exhaustion in saburi in order to test whether they will accidentally hit themselves with the false blade, which would have dramatic consequences if it was a shinken (live blade). It’s much like pointing a gun at your head when you’re looking through the barrel. You better make sure it is unloaded and the safety is on and the chamber itself is empty.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

I wonder if they had social media management tools like this during WACO

March 28, 2012

If, that would have looked like it does now with obamaCare being judged at the Supreme Court.

Healthcare at the Supreme Court

Grappling tips for Women

March 27, 2012

Came across these and thought some people might be interested.

How to bypass strength, somewhat, in BJJ

Basic guidelines and recommendations for beginner female grapplers.

Special Treat: Traitor Rail Shooting Fun

March 26, 2012

Doesn’t take long to play and is very simple to run. It’s mostly a different experience than you have had before with these web based games. This one is more of a short story with some rpg and shooting elements as part of the gameplay

This short game is more of a dark science fiction. By the same author. I found them very entertaining, especially since they are free…

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction: Obama supports abortion cell reuse in Pepsi

March 26, 2012

Yeah, that’s the HOpe and Change people voted for all right. How much money did Pepsi give to the Democrat campaign fund again?

Child’s Play Charity ended due to Penny Arcade’s Internal Politics

March 26, 2012

That’s basically how it happened.

The specifics have more to do with Tycho’s actual PR attack against the Retake ME3 movement. Cutting through the context and the incorrect wording, it’s quite obvious that for a number of reasons, such as Penny Arcade’s own personal ideological biases, they decided they didn’t want “their” charity to be associated with ME in this fashion. As if “their” charity was actually theirs. It can be used to promote “Penny Arcade”, but perhaps not issues they disagree with, such as changing ME3′s ending.

Just imagine if Valor IT told the Marines their donations weren’t accepted because if they want to donate to Valor IT, it has to be FOR Valor IT, not for Marine vs Navy or whatever other “stuff”.

As the main point of contact for Child’s Play, Jamie has been buried under mail about this situation. Apparently some of the people giving to the cause seemed to think that they were paying for a new ending to Mass Effect. She’s been asked what the goal is, and how much they need to raise in order to get the ending produced. We’ve also been contacted by PayPal due to a high number of people asking for their donations back. This is in addition to readers who simply couldn’t understand how this was connected to Child’s Play’s mission. We were dealing with a lot of very confused people, more every day, and that told us we had a problem.

Tycho’s “problem” is that he is either confused or digging that dagger in the back for good measure. PR gurus and propagandists know that people don’t mention things like this that can be easily used to attack an organization’s donations to charity, especially that they are demanding that their donations be “returned”, without a specific agenda and goal in mind. These issues are also, as Tycho mentioned, private correspondence designed to deal with issues that Tycho is bringing to a public light for… what purposes again? Where is the expression of gratitude for 80k US dollars raised in THIS economy to go to a charity drive, that Penny Arcade claims is owned by them? Is that charity drive owned by Penny Arcade because it is only allowed to promote Penny Arcade?

This is Gabe, the individual who was probably one of the most strident of Penny Arcade writers against the drive to change ME3′s ending.

Krahulik has been in press online, thanks to hostile phone calls from Jack Thompson regarding an email Krahulik had sent. The email was in response to an offer Thompson had made to video game creators about creating an ultra-violent game based on a man whose son was murdered by a supposedly video game-influenced teen. Thompson claimed he would donate $10,000 towards a charity of former Take-Two Interactive chairman Paul Eibeler’s choosing if the game was made (which it eventually was). Krahulik, in the email, said he and fellow gamers had raised about half a million dollars toward charity. According to Krahulik, “Jack actually just called and screamed at me for a couple minutes. He said if I email him again I will ‘regret it’. What a violent man.”[2]

Mike Krahulik, along with the rest of the Penny Arcade staff, later opted to “step in” for Jack Thompson. Thompson refused to donate $10,000 to charity because he considered the game put forth to meet his challenge subpar. He also claimed that his proposal was satirical and not a serious offer. Penny Arcade donated the money in his stead to the Electronic Software Association Foundation with the note, “For Jack Thompson, because Jack Thompson won’t”
-Gabe

That money raised to make Penny Arcade look good against some goon on the internet wouldn’t have turned out to be Child’s Play would it?

So now ME3 Retake movement and all of its derivatives, you’ve learned an important lesson. Don’t use other people’s charity funds, since those were designed expressly to promote their interests and PR campaign. Make one up yourself and organize it. That’s what these charities drives are in the end, suppliers of PR. Rich people get PR, and in return, poor people get the money for something. Most of the time, a mutually beneficial relationship. Until one rich group of gamers meets another rich group of gamers, and the latter group already has their charity drive and they don’t want their charity related to another gamer group’s charity.

My interpretation of how Mass Effect 3′s Ending Destroyed the Timeline of Itself

March 26, 2012

Nick Cramer has an interesting way of presenting things.

In addition to the false advertising which people have pointed out to you- there is also the issue that the story is broken on a fundamental level. It is inconsistent and illogical, and makes no sense in the context it was presented. To the point where people have to pretend “its a dream” or “Indoctrination” or something along those lines for it to even work.

A story is a logical progression of events. Cause and Effect on its most basic level. When the ending began, this all fell apart.

It contradicted itself, introduced no less than a dozen new plot wholes, raised a ton of questions, contradicted key events in mass effect 2, and nearly the entire plot and cause portion of mass effect 1, in addition to being presented in an entirely nonsensical way. If you want me to post spoilers explaining why, I can, but it requires context knowledge of what happened in Mass Effect 1.

This is NOT the equivalent of the Star Wars prequels not being what fans expected and then getting mad- this is as if the Star Wars prequels revealed that Darth Vader actually WASNT Lukes father, and that this new Darth Vader could and never would ever be able to use Force Choke- even though it is clearly shown that he can use it. And then for some reason when the Death Star blows up, it causes every planet in the galaxy to blow up, except for Han Solo, who only lives along with some of the main cast, who are magically alive again without explanation even if half of them died explosive and nasty deaths a few hours prior, because he somehow and for some reason decided to run away from a winning battle, and crash landed on a planet that somehow is not blown up, even though we are clearly shown and told every planet blew up, and then han solo walks out with leia for some half baked adam and eve allusion and then the credits roll.

After the credits you get a short epilogue hinting at more or that the ending is incomplete, and to buy DLC for rest of it or the ‘real’ ending.

Now when you and everyone else bitches about how much this sucks, the media, people in power, and crew of the film all tell you that you are just being entitled, and in no way deserve an ending that works. We aren’t even entitled to ANY ending they say! Be glad we even got one, they say!

Well, I say WRONG! You are selling a product, a piece of entertainment. This product is sold as a story. A story is a logical series of events with a beginning, middle, and end. Mass Effect 3 has one of two things- Either a broken ending (and when you buy a broken product, you are ENTITLED to a refund, or a replacement with a version of the product that works), and a story without an ending (an incomplete product- ENTITLED to a refund or replacement of the product with one that contains what it was sold as.)

Anything else is a disgrace to the consumer. We are paying money for something they said they would give us, only for them to give us something that is not what they said they would give us. They OWE US. We paid them in exchange for a certain service or product they said they would provide. Until they provide us with that service or product, they OWE us for it. We are ENTITLED to it. If they don’t like it, then they should refund us- this way they can no longer OWE us.

That is how business works. It is for this reason money was even fucking invented. It is why an economy even exists. What, does everyone think money is just some magic paper that makes people nice enough to give you something that they feel is worth it? WRONG. Take out a fucking dollar and read it. DO IT. “This note is legal tender for all debts”. In other words, in exchange for this note, the person OWES us whatever they promised in exchange for it. We are entitled to it. Legally. It is a legal bind as strong, if not stronger, than a contract. Either they give us what they said they would, they give us our money back and admit their fuck up, or we take them to court and demand one of the two. Or we could let them think they CONTROL US and that WE OWE THEM, instead of the other way around. That way they can get away with this without any problems.

If you are selling a story, it better be complete. It better not be broken. When it is broken to the point that it actually destroys the story to the previous 2 entries in the series- thus making them owe us a story that works for all 3 games, not just the last one- they better fix it or refund us.

That is all.

-NC

I have nothing to do with the ending beyond a) having argued successfully a long time ago that we needed a chance to say goodbye to our squad, b) having argued successfully that Cortez shouldn’t automatically die in that shuttle crash, and c) having written Tali’s goodbye bit, as well as a couple of the holo-goodbyes for people I wrote (Mordin, Kasumi, Jack, etc).

No other writer did, either, except for our lead. This was entirely the work of our lead and Casey himself, sitting in a room and going through draft after draft.

And honestly, it kind of shows.

Every other mission in the game had to be held up to the rest of the writing team, and the writing team then picked it apart and made suggestions and pointed out the parts that made no sense. This mission? Casey and our lead deciding that they didn’t need to be peer-reviewe.d

And again, it shows.

If you’d asked me the themes of Mass Effect 3, I’d break them down as:

Galactic Alliances

Friends

Organics versus Synthetics

In my personal opinion, the first two got a perfunctory nod. We did get a goodbye to our friends, but it was in a scene that was divorced from the gameplay — a deliberate “nothing happens here” area with one turret thrown in for no reason I really understand, except possibly to obfuscate the “nothing happens here”-ness. The best missions in our game are the ones in which the gameplay and the narrative reinforce each other. The end of the Genophage campaign exemplifies that for me — every line of dialog is showing you both sides of the krogan, be they horrible brutes or proud warriors; the art shows both their bombed-out wasteland and the beautiful world they once had and could have again; the combat shows the terror of the Reapers as well as a blatant reminder of the rachni, which threatened the galaxy and had to be stopped by the krogan last time. Every line of code in that mission is on target with the overall message.

The endgame doesn’t have that. I wanted to see banshees attacking you, and then have asari gunships zoom in and blow them away. I wanted to see a wave of rachni ravagers come around a corner only to be met by a wall of krogan roaring a battle cry. Here’s the horror the Reapers inflicted upon each race, and here’s the army that you, Commander Shepard, made out of every race in the galaxy to fight them.

I personally thought that the Illusive Man conversation was about twice as long as it needed to be — something that I’ve been told in my peer reviews of my missions and made edits on, but again, this is a conversation no writer but the lead ever saw until it was already recorded. I did love Anderson’s goodbye.

For me, Anderson’s goodbye is where it ended. The stuff with the Catalyst just… You have to understand. Casey is really smart and really analytical. And the problem is that when he’s not checked, he will assume that other people are like him, and will really appreciate an almost completely unemotional intellectual ending. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.

And then, just to be a dick… what was SUPPOSED to happen was that, say you picked “Destroy the Reapers”. When you did that, the system was SUPPOSED to look at your score, and then you’d show a cutscene of Earth that was either:

a) Very high score: Earth obviously damaged, but woo victory

b) Medium score: Earth takes a bunch of damage from the Crucible activation. Like dropping a bomb on an already war-ravaged city. Uh, well, maybe not LIKE that as much as, uh, THAT.

c) Low score: Earth is a cinderblock, all life on it completely wiped out

I have NO IDEA why these different cutscenes aren’t in there. As far as I know, they were never cut. Maybe they were cut for budget reasons at the last minute. I don’t know. But holy crap, yeah, I can see how incredibly disappointing it’d be to hear of all the different ending possibilities and have it break down to “which color is stuff glowing?” Or maybe they ARE in, but they’re too subtle to really see obvious differences, and again, that’s… yeah.

Okay, that’s a lot to have written for something that’s gonna go away in an hour.

I still teared up at the ending myself, but really, I was tearing up for the quick flashbacks to old friends and the death of Anderson. I wasn’t tearing up over making a choice that, as it turned out, didn’t have enough cutscene differentiation on it.

And to be clear, I don’t even really wish Shepard had gotten a ride-off-into-sunset ending. I was honestly okay with Shepard sacrificing himself. I just expected it to be for something with more obvious differentiation, and a stronger tie to the core themes — all three of them.

-Anonymous Source possibly Bioware writer

This story lines up with the Android app story.

That would make these two independent sources solid corroboration. While I personally want 3 independent sources verifying a single claim, this is getting dangerously close to solid. The reason why police ask the same questions in interrogations for 24 hours straight is because it’s amazingly hard for people to come up with stories that are consistent, if they are lying. The CIA and other intel branches couldn’t create fake information this consistently accurate.

Interesting Quotes: (Please note, some of these I’m transcribing from Video’s. I’m trying to be as accurate as possible. Will try rewatching the videos later and updating then.)
Mac Walters on the Star Child/Reapers
“Originally, with the catalyst, the star child at the end of the game, I had written that much more in the guise of a investigative style conversation, where there is something he tells you but then, you get to ask a bunch of questions and you get your questions answered. But then me and Casey talked and decided, lets keep the conversation “High level”. Give you the details that you need to know, but don’t get into the stuff that you don’t need to know. Like “How long have they been reaping?” You don’t need to know the answers to the mass effect universe. So we intentionally left those out”

Casey on after Mass Effect 3
“Whatever we do would likely happen before or during the events of Mass Effect 3, not after”

On delaying the game
In march 2011, he also faced a roomful of Mass Effect developers who expressed concern about hitting the promised holiday release date… New release date set for March 2012. After much deliberation, the CAT mission (or rather, the Prothean mission) had to be removed from the set of tasks. The missions would later be completed as post-release content”

Casey on the End Boss
‘We had the final fight with the Illusive man in the game, but it just felt very Video Gamey. It didnt fit in with the themes. And really, is there a point of the end boss if only for the sake of an end boss?’

The article also states ‘Although art was created for this sequence, it was ultimately dropped because it felt too predictable to end the series on a massive boss battle.’

On Tali’s Face
We eventually decided that she gives you a memento of her pictures, but the team was throwing around a lot of pictures and designs until we decided on something and said “Yup, that’s her”.

On Deciding the End of the Game
The illusive man boss fight had been scrapped… but there was still much debate. ‘One night walters scribbled down some thought on various ways the game could end with the line “Lots of speculation for Everyone!” at the bottom of the page.’

In truth the final bits of dialogue were debated right up until the end of 2011. Martin sheen’s voice-over session for the illusive man, originally scheduled for August, was delayed until mid-November so the writers would have more time to finesse the ending.

And even in November the gameplay team was still experimenting with an endgame sequence where players would suddenly lose control of Shepard’s movement and fall under full reaper control. (This sequence was dropped because the gaemplay mechanic proved too troublesome to implement alongside dialogue choices).

-Final Hour by insider on the dev process

So basically we have two corroborations that two individuals wrote the ending by themselves, bypassing the normal Bioware process and bypassing even the critique or feedback of the writing group itself. And that would account for the “quality drop” people noticed for ME3 that happened 5 minutes before the end.

A simple theory, using human incompetence and flaws, to explain verifiable and observable facts.


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