Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lost: Over Thinking

Spoilers abound. Uncle Bear looks at the map, and starts speculating. Its spawned a lengthy, thoughtful thread that includes posts from yours truly, so check it out.

Lost: Having a Blast

So if you haven't watched "Lockdown" yet, then you don't know about the map, which means you shouldn't view this overlay, which does some image manipulation and translating to try and figure out what the hell it all means.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On top of ol'Spaghetti...

The Flying Spaghetti Monster was spawned during the Evolutionary Wars last year (no, not those Evolutionary Wars) as a perfectly reasonable alternative to creationism/intelligent design. After all, if some ambigious, unnamed super-powerful entity could have created the universe, why couldn't the it have been the The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Now its Gospel is about to be revealed and in it true believers will discover:
  • A "Flying Spaghetti Monster" created the universe, Earth and its creatures, making a few mistakes on the way after drinking heavily from heaven's beer volcano.

  • The FSM hid dinosaur fossils underground to "dupe mankind" about Earth's true age and is the secret force behind gravity, pushing everything downward with its "noodly appendage."

  • The FSM wants everyone to talk and dress like pirates. Global warming is considered a punishment for the relative scarcity of pirates these days.

And as we all know, any theory that has pirates has to be right. I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere (well, maybe not there ... but definitely somewhere). Now if only they could work in some ninjas...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Shocking, I Know

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(85% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test


I discovered last week that the annoying itching sensation I have in my ears is Swimmer's Ear (yes, you can get it without actually swimming, which I haven't done since June). So now I get to stick medicated drops in my ears four times a day for a week, which means ... no iPod (since it's kind of hard to listen to the earbuds when you've got drops in your ears ... talk about a godawful mess).

So I'll be iPodless for at least a week as the medication does battle with the infection. Argh ... and I was just getting caught up on my podcasts...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Moons of Jove

Moons of Jove is the new experimental LiveJournal blog that my friend Nathan Lilly (of GreenTentacles fame) just launched. Stop by, post a comment, and make him feel at home in the blogosphere.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mets Geek

They're geeks. They like the Mets. Clearly these are my kind of people.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Atomic Upgrades

I made some minor repairs and upgrades to The Atomic Age last night -- I cleaned up the blog roll, killing out a few of the bad links, adding in some fresh ones, and I finally got my Technorati profile working on both this blog and Nuketown, which allowed me to add a link to my profile.

I also added a link to Blogshares, the blog information market that I play around with from time to time (I'd claimed Nuketown, but never got around to the Age. I've added a link roll for my account and a Flickr badge, so this little blog's about as Web 2.0 as you can get -- the only thing left is for me to post to it from Flock (well, and maybe add hooks into a MySpace account, but I just haven't gotten into MySpace).

So why all the work on this backwater blog? Well, for one thing I just wanted to improve my grasp of the various Web 2.0 technologies and see how easy it was to integrate it into Blogger -- people ask me about this stuff from time to time, and I like to give informed answers. The other part of it is that The Atomic Age, while still standing in Nuketown's radioactive shadow, is eeking out a small but growing amount of traffic. It's averaging about 30 visits a day, with occasional spikes to 100 or even 500 visits, and if people are going to be stopping by, I might as well hunt down the dust bunnies from time to time.

Adventure as a Mac Widget

A few months ago a friend and I were talking about the classic text adventures like Zork, Hitchiker's Guide to the Galxy and the original Colossal Cave (later known as Adventure).

There are a bunch of places on the Web were you can play these games, but now you can get lost in a maze of tiny, twisting passages (all alike) through Mac OS X's Dashboard via the Advent widget. This brings the game full circle for me, as I originally played it on my parents' Apple II+.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Nuketown Radio Active #27: The Flu, Battlestar Wiki, V for Vendetta

Radio Active goes temporarily political with a review of Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta graphic novel. But before I launch off on that tangent, I've got news about the flu that ravaged Nuketown, updates on some of my freelance projects, and a bunch of new sites of note, including the Battlestar Galatica wiki, the Liberty & Culture blog, an excellent conversation about "Common Sense" gaming via and a cool write-up on virtual desktops for GMs from Check out the podcast and read the show notes.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Microsoft Messenger for Mac Updated

Microsoft updated Messenger for Mac to version 5.1. According to Apple, the new version:
  • encrypts chat and file transfers
  • easier to save chats
  • many more enhancements
What the "many more enhancements" are, I have no idea, and Microsoft's download page ain't telling.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Quicksilver to the Rescue

I posted yesterday about how I've started using Quicksilver as an alternative to Mac OS X's built in Spotlight search. Spotlight is ok for simple document or media searches, but sometimes it doesn't dig as deeply or as thoroughly as I'd like.

At its most basic, Quicksilver is an application launcher for Mac OS X. You hit a hot key, type what you're looking for and it opens/executes it.

It can do a lot more than that though, including finding specific files and then allowing you to execute actions based on them. For example, I know that I have a file called "LDAP Notes" somewhere on my computer, so I fire up Quicksilver, do a search and it finds the Word doc with those notes. I can then immediately launch Word from that Window. You can also use it to say, launch a playlist -- I want to listen to The Cult, so I do a search on that, get the iTunes playlist list containing those songs and it launches. Through Quicksilver, or its various plugins, you can find a tremendous amount of information on your Mac, perhaps more than you might like. It can index keychains, command line history, recent items (from the Apple menu), bookmarks, your Safari history and much more, increasingly geeky stuff.

I should note, however, that Quicksilver is beta software. I haven't had any problems with it, but as with any beta software, you need to keep an eye on it. Fortunately, Quicksilver has a "stable mode" which allows you to turn off a lot of the bleeding edge stuff. The software isn't particularly well documented, and I found this tutorial useful for understanding exactly what Quicksilver is good for.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Failing to Spotlight History

I discovered today, much to my annoyance, that under OS 10.4.x, Spotlight won't search Safari's history, though it will search your bookmarks, and within Safari itself, you can search the history as if it were another set of bookmarks.

Fortunately, it turns out that Quicksilver -- which I'm finding more and more useful -- can search my Safari history and my bookmarks, which makes me a happy little geek. Just not happy with Spotlight.

The Horror at the Fountain

Our Dark City D&D campaign has started up again after a few months hiatus. The saga for the first of the new adventures, "The Horror at the Fountain" is online. In it, our heroes figure out exactly what caused a baby in the Mudsitters District to be born as a tentacled mutant ... but after learning that an aboleth or illithid might be behind the plot, they're less than thrilled about pursuing that particular line of investigation.

Beating up the Messengers Guild though, seems pretty attractive (then again, when last they checked, the guild didn't contain any tentacled monstrocities, so I suppose I understand their interest).

In other Dark City news, I created an index on the Griffin's Crier that lists all of the PCs in the campaign, which should be useful in keeping track of who's who. I plan on making another list of associated NPCs.

Scientific Widgets Roundup

The Scientific Widgets Roundup links to a bunch of useful Mac OS X Dashboard widgets for physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology and math. Unfortunately a few of the links are broken, but most are functional, including the Clear Sky Clock (or evaluating sky conditions), the Sunlit Moon (which reveals the true phase of the moon) and The Periodic Table (which gives you quick access to information about elements).

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mets Blog

Spring training is underway and the baseball season is almost upon us. And thanks to MetsBlog, I may even have half a clue what's going on this season.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Google: Mars

Google: Mars pulls together a wide array of Martian imaging and data to create an educational and fun look at the Red Planet. You can browse geological features such as mountains, canyons and craters, view the landing sites of various spacecraft, and view areas connected to news stories. I can't wait to see how cool this gets once it starts integrating the new hi-res imagery from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Easton Blogs

I came across two Easton-related blogs after reading the lastest issue of The Elucidator (a quarterly magazine published in Easton): Easton Undressed (which includes a podcast and audio recordings of council meetings) and, which bills itself as a 'concerned citizens forum'. I haven't had a chance to read either extensively, but its nice to know that there a few blogs showing up around the burg.