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Violent Acres is an absolutely horrible human being. Which is why I'm linking to her, so you can all see how evil she is. That will show her...
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Apparently, There's gonna be a Discworld movie out on DVD soon. Joy! Also on the Christmas front, learn The secret truth about Santa, get ready to vote for the Robot Overlords ("They'll know if you didn't"), learn that Candyland is racist, read Head Trip and watch The Midwest Teen Sex Show. It's edutaining!


Mar. 31st, 2007 12:50 am
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As I inch further and further into decrepitude and senility, I find myself seriously considering the virtues of sterilization. It seems increasingly unlikely that I'll ever actually get married, leaving the only possibility of reproduction being a drunken tryst, and that would just be plain irresponsible. I have enough relatives that most of my genes have already been passed on, and if I ever _do_ get hitched, there's always adoption.

Anyway, here's linky things: Marvel at The School Prayer Riots, thrill to Bootleg Jack Chick Theater, be amazed that Abstinance-only doesn't work, Be electrified at the Secret Wars Re-enactment Society, goggle your eyes at Transformers Cosplay, and faint with glee while watching Transformers Movie Trailers. Man, if this movie somehow _doesn't_ rule, there'll be hell to pay, by Primus!

Edit: More linky things, this time permanent ones. Read the blogs Pam's House Blend and Pandagon, then look at the pretty pictures in Candi and Home on the Strange.
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According to the U.S. Copyright Office, Palladium Books' legal position that "Posting conversion rules violates our intellectual property!" is wrong. To quote exactly, "Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in the development, merchandising, or playing of a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles." See that, Kevin? Rules systems are FAIR GAME. At some point in the future, when I actually have time to finish writing up a Rifts/D20 conversion, I will post it for the world to see! MWAHAHAHAAA!!!

The only question is, should I use regular D20, or d20 Modern? Modern lends itself to multi-classing easier, but really hoses any character type that relies on magic, psionics, or any other type of 'special effects'. Come to think of it, regular d20 screws over multiclassed spellcasters too. A Fighter10/Barbarian10 is every bit as effective a combatant as a 20th level single classed fighter or barbarian. A Thief10/Scout10 is just as stealthy and skilled as a 20th level thief or scout. But a Wizard10/Cleric10 is far weaker than its single classed counterparts. This injustice cannot be borne, but how to fix it? Hmmm...

Other linky things: Charles Stross explains what's wrong with the ebook market, L'il (Trans)Formers, Meth addict documents own demise, and Blogger gets death threats. That last one is just incomprehensible. It's a damned _techie_blog, how could anyone get worked up enough about a techie-blog to send death threats? Only a true madman would do so...
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I figure I'm about 3/4 of the way through with organizing my Legos. Soon as I'm done, I shall embark on a great-yet-relatively-modest project: a more or less minifig scale, transformable Logan from Robotech. For accuracy's sake, it should be tan, but some of the pieces I'll need for it don't come in that color. Or do they....?

In other geeky news, I'm enjoying the current series of "Transformers" comics more than I thought. They lack the campy fun of the originals, but they're actually intelligently written, and as realistic as a comic about giant transforming robots can be. For example, Megatron and Optimus Prime actually behave like _real_ leaders. Megs doesn't cackle or engage in mindless malice, and Prime understands the concepts of "acceptable losses" and "collateral damage". Simon Furman seems to have overcome his earlier limitations as a writer... Can I, then, do less?

Elsewhere, Bloggers vs brownshirts, God hates _a_ fag, How the Ex-gay movement really works, Crazy Harry plays with electricity, Some HONEST televangelists, Welcome to Law School, and finally, use condoms.
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Zack's wife* is a Decepticon sympathiser. When I gave him a foot high Autobot decal, she refused him permission to display it on the family van. What kind of man doesn't immediately seek divorce over such treasonous behaviour?!?! Truly, his perfidy knows no bounds.

*Note: Hi, Tara! You should be used to me bad-mouthing your husband by now. :-)
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No matter how I try to cultivate the taste for it, I just don't like hard liquor. Oh, if I'm already drunk, I can keep gulping 'em back, but I really prefer beer. Why is this bad? Because there's a distinct limit to how many beers you can sneak into a nightclub, and after they're gone, you have to pay the inflated bar prices. If I was a truly devoted alcoholic, a hip-flask or two could substitute, but alas, it just isn't to be. (/sob story)

Now, back to the subject of people who wish they were girls: my old army-buddy Zack is a twisted and craven soul. In addition to his past as a dock-side prostitute, and his insatiable lust for zoophilia, he is also foolish enough to think I would never make these accusations in public. "Transparent lies", he would say. But seriously, who ya gonna believe, a fine upstanding soul like me, or a chicken(BLEEP)er like him? His sins are many, and his virtues few. Still, there is some hope for him: He agreed to let me crash at his house when I go down to Daniel's wedding in December, so humanity can forgive him for some of his wretched deeds. _Some_ of them...

Update: The balance of Zacky-Wacky's soul has again tipped towards evil. In addition to having the incredibly poor taste of not liking some of the books I loaned him over in Iraq, and liking other books that I, with my superior spiritual awareness, knew to be crap, he has committed this unpardonable sin: He doesn't like Spaghetti-os!!!! If you see that vicious wretch, pimp-slap him on sight.
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Behold, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes. Would an Intelligent Designer really make such bone-headed designs? Maybe, if the Argument from Irreducible Grotesqueness is valid. Are you scared of Liquid Bombers? Kung Fu Monkey thinks you're a wuss. The Electron Pusher explains why we shouldn't worry about home made explosives being mixed in the airplane bathroom. Previous liquid explosive schemes have all involved ready-made liquid explosives being snuck aboard, and anyway, it would be so much easier to mix up Hydrogen Cyanide, provided you can get the precurser chemicals (which makes me wonder if that was the real threat, and all this talk of TATP is a red herring). And Daniel just says hi. Hi, Goetzie!

Note: The "creationism is for idjits" tag has been subsumed into "Science!" instead. I only make note of this so the comments will make more sense.
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Had to, so I could add a counter. Keep in mind, the counter is only a few days old, I'm really much more popular than it would seem to indicate!

Two bits of internet geekery for my hordes of fans to enjoy: a deleted Star Wars scene that Lucas, in his psychosis, decided _not_ to put in the special edition DVDs, and, courtesy of [ profile] divalea, Real Otaku Heroes for us to toast to.
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An Ignorant Hussy has linked me, so I return the favor.
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I added a link to Farah, a genuine Saudi semi-dissident. Enjoy.
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The Mike Crichton who writes this blog is indeed the guy who's been posting comments on your blog. He spent eight and a half years in the United States Army, as a Military Intelligence Soldier. Specifically, as an Arabic linguist. He was in Iraq for almost the whole of 2005, doggedly translating between the natives and his fellow grunts. While he has spent most of the past 5 months attempting to wash all memory of the Middle East out of his brain with alcohol, he still has enough command of the Arabic language to confidently call you a fake. He also occasionally refers to himself in the third person for dramatic effect.

For everyone else reading this, the "Religious Policeman" is a blogger who claims to be a Saudi Arab. You wanna see his blog, do a google search, 'cuz I don't wanna give him any traffic directly. I thought he was funny, and I planned to link him, but it soon became obvious to me that he was a fraud. Then I posted a comment on his blog telling him so. Now he's claiming that _I'm_ a fake, and really someone else who's already called him out, posting under a new false name. Which, I suppose, is _possible_; This post _could_ have been written by someone else, who cunningly imitated the writing style of this "Mike Crichton" person, after stealing his password. Or maybe "Mike Crichton" never existed, and this blog was a fake from the beginning, an elaborate ruse planned for years for the sole purpose of attempting to discredit a Heroic Arab Dissident. Who DOESN'T EVER POST ANYTHING IN ARABIC ON HIS BLOG, has made some truly egregious errors in the language, and insists on posting anonymously, 'for his own safety'. (That last one is actually plausible, but combined with the first two, well...)

Update, 10 minutes later: Upon rereading the thread, I noticed that he edited my comment in a misleading manner. When I wrote:
I ain't buyin' it. I think the reason you don't post anything in Arabic is because you can't, at least not at anything resembling a native level, and you don't want to risk getting caught out. Like, say, mistaking "Farah" for a man's name, or putting an "f" in the middle of "qahwa".

He changed it to:
I ain't buyin' it. I think the reason you don't post anything in Arabic is because you can't, at least not at anything resembling a native level, and you don't want to risk getting caught out. Like, say, mistaking "Farah" for a man's name (although of courseit was the name of that famous Somali terrorist in "Black Hawk Down" - great film), or putting an "h" in the middle of "qahwa".

Gee, putting words in a commenter's mouth, and changing the ones he did write... _that's_ a surefire way to convince people of your integrity. :-P

He followed that altered comment with this:
Hi Michael Crichton aka AbuSinan, how you doing? Long time, no hear! Have you got the "Marxism" reference yet?

Clever trick, linking to someone else's blog. But your spoof IP address gives you away. So not that clever, after all.

I had hoped that if you visited, you'd benefit us with a wide range of views and opinions. But given your obsession with Irish and Palestinian terrorists, and my identity, I'm afraid you're just a "One-trick Pony".

For the record, here's what I wrote in response. Let's see if he edits this comment too:
You know what happens when you "assume" things[linked to this page]. I figured out you were a fake before reading Abu Sinan's blog, BTW.

Cute the way you edited my comment with that Blackhawk Down reference. I'm perfectly aware of who Muhammad Farah Aidid was, and I'm also aware he was Somali, not Arab. I'm sure somewhere there's an American male named "Sue", but no english speaker would assume it was a male name unless they already knew the guy.

And incidentally, editing someone's comments without noting the edit (or as they say in the real world, "misquoting" and "lying"), is hardly going to convince anyone of your honesty. Neither will replacing the "f" with an "h" in the example I used.

I followed that with:
By the way, what "Spoof IP address" are you talking about? Was this an honest mistake on your part, or another little fib?

Further update, 2 hours later: Predictably, the twit deleted both those comments, presumably so he could get the last word. What little doubt I had about his lack of honesty are now resolved. I posted one last comment for him, but I think that about fills the blog-drama quota for today:

What, no response to my last two posts? All you could do was delete them to make it look like you had the last word? Can't you be man enough to admit to the world that you were wrong about your assumption as to _my_ identity? Tsk, tsk. I'm sure you'll delete this too, But I just wanted to let you know that I am now more sure than ever that you're a fake, and that eventually, the truth will out. Don't worry, you'll still be able to get a job commenting on Fox News...

Yet another update, next day: He deleted that one too. What a jerk! I had no choice but to comment again on another thread:
Why'd you delete my last three comments on this thread? Was it because I demonstrated that I wasn't "Abu Sinan", because I questioned your claim about a 'spoofed IP address', or because I called you out for deceptively editing my previous comment? Enquiring minds want to know!

Everyone needs a hobby, I guess...

Final update: Aww, he banned me. I'm crushed, I tell you, crushed.

Really Final update, this time I mean it: Here's some other people who think he's a fake. I don't necessarily agree with _all_ of their reasoning; there are plenty of people who learn English as adults yet attain 'native' fluency. Still, his apparent lack of proficiency in Arabic is pretty damning.


Apr. 10th, 2006 03:22 pm
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Ganked from [ profile] dark_christian: Bill Maher on "Persecuted Christians" and "Intelligent Design". Notice the quotes around each of those terms...

Anyway, I've changed my layout and added some links. Pharyngula is a Biologist, who doesn't suffer fools or ID-iots lightly. He's somewhat vicious at times, but since I dislike the targets of his ire anyway, this doesn't bother me. Skeptico is another science blog, though not so prolific. (Incidentally, bird lungs are way cool, when we have the technology, I want a pair)(Of lungs, you jerks!).

Left in the Heartland, Voxpopgirl, No Accuser, and the Deprogramming Starter Kit are all granola-munching lib'ruls who have linked me, so I return the favor. To think, I actually voted for Shrubya in 2000. Won't make _that_ mistake again. :-P

Operation Yellow Elephant is no longer nearly as amusing as it once was, but I still agree with the idea that the whiny b!#&h-boys (and girls) that lurk in Young Republican organizations throughout our fair lands should be encouraged to grow a collective spine and enlist. I look forward to taunting them with my dog-tags when I finally go back to school. Quite possible the only tags in the whole Army with "SubGenius" on the Religious Preference line. :-)

Iraq The Model is about as pro-American as an Iraqi blogger can get, Riverbend hates our guts and would like us all to leave immediately (Personally, I think her family were high-ranking Ba'athists, but that doesn't necessarily invalidate her observations), and the famous Salam Pax is somewhere in the middle.

I remember listening to the news back during the initial invasion, and Salam Pax was the subject of much speculation. Various right-wing twits claimed he couldn't possibly be a real Iraqi, as his English was too good. Boy, I bet they felt embarrassed when he appeared on TV a few months later (Oh, wait, that's assuming they can _be_ embarrassed by mere facts). Now the same twits are making the same accusations about Riverbend. This time they have slightly more justification, as she is extremely careful in guarding her real identity, and her english is almost perfect. Better than most of the whackjobs that post on Free Republic and Little Green Footballs, anyway. Personally, I believe her when she claims to be an Iraqi, and it's perfectly sensible for her to hide her identity, what with the allegations that the current Iraqi government is disappearing critics, to say nothing of all the other thugs running around. First off, her knowledge of Iraqi culture and current events jibes perfectly with both my training and personal experience. Second, on those occasions when she posts something in Arabic, it's also flawless; and finally, because all the OTHER Iraqi bloggers think she's legit, even the ones who disagree with her vehemently.

There's was another blog I really would have liked to link too, before I figured out he was a fraud. A guy who goes by the handle "The Religious Policeman" claims to be a Saudi Arab. His knowledge of Arabic culture and society in general seems pretty good, though I'm not completely familiar with Saudi specifically. His posts are pretty funny too. But on those few occasions when he's said something in Arabic, he's made egregious mistakes. Things like putting extra letters in words, or assuming the name 'Farah' belonged to a man. It soon became obvious that he doesn't speak Arabic, which means he's a damned liar. Of course, the same right-wing bloggers who insist Riverbend is a fake will vigorously defend _his_ claimed identity. To quote Kim Jong Il in Team America: "Why are preople so f*()ing stupid"? Sigh...

Finally, John Scalzi, Charles Stross, and Cory Doctorow are newish science fiction authors of a transhumanistic bent. Both Scalzi and Stross have free books online, and all of Doctorow's works are available under a Creative Commons license. Strangely, this doesn't seem to have hurt their sales any.
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On my links above, I just added the page for Juliana Wetmore, a girl with a genetic defect which resulted in her being born missing 80% of her facial bones. Read it, and put your own problems into perspective. Donate generously; her father's Navy medical care covers her surgeries, but they've still got plenty of other expenses.

As an aside, if it weren't for the social and technological advances made possible by the Enlightenment and the rise of secularist rationalism, she wouldn't have lived to draw her first breath. Theocracy = dead children.

New link

Oct. 15th, 2005 06:50 am
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I have added Kate's blog to the list at the top of the page. Not only is it well worth reading, but she also sent a box of books over here, which Daniel was kind enough to share.
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You may have heard about Juliana Wetmore, the two year old girl who was born missing most of the bones in her face. Now, her family has a blog. Go and read about their story, look at their pictures, and consider that we are living in an age of wonders. Only a few decades ago, she would have died at birth, possibly with some 'help' from a doctor. For the first time in history, a child like her has a chance to live, and by the time she's an adult, she'll have a chance for a normal life as well.
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I just found out that my old roommate Ben has a blog. His schtick is that he's in the Army, but doesn't want to be; alas, they keep rejecting his claim to Conscientious Objector status. He must be having even more fun down in Baghdad than we're having up here. He was the one who introduced me to Homestar Runner, and was thus responsible for much silly radio banter during OIF 1. Go forth, and read!


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