Archive for September, 2007

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Return to Britannia

September 29, 2007

Ultima Online Screenshot

I wrote a little while back that EA was releasing an update to UO called Kingdom Reborn, and I mused that I wished they’d offer a free trial return for former players. Well, now they have. Called Return to Britannia, you can.

Former players in good standing will be able to log in and play Ultima Online using their former account names and passwords. This “free period” will last from September 25, 2 a.m. PST to until October 9, 2 a.m. PST.

So Kar Ort Por yourself over to their site and download it today!

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Richard Garriott’s Ultimate Crib

September 28, 2007

Britannia Manor

MTV did a feature on Richard Garriott’s home in Austin, Britannia Manor. Check out the videos here.

I think if I die and get reincarnated, I’d want to come back as Richard Garriott. Not only did he make the greatest series of videogames ever (aka the Ultima series), he builds himself medieval houses with secret passages, dungeons and observatories in them, creates videogames, and owns companies that go down to the Titanic and up to the International Space Station, where he’s going in 2008.

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Does Excercise Really Make Us Thinner?

September 26, 2007

No, according to an article in New York magazine entitled “The Scientist and the Stairmaster.”

Just last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine published joint guidelines for physical activity and health. They suggested that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week is necessary to “promote and maintain health.” What they didn’t say, though, was that more physical activity will lead us to lose weight. Indeed, the best they could say about the relationship between fat and exercise was this: “It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling.” In other words, despite half a century of efforts to prove otherwise, scientists still can’t say that exercise will help keep off the pounds.

 Ah hah!  I knew it all along!  Of course, there is the whole thing about…

We may increase our overall fitness; we may live longer, perhaps by reducing our risk of heart disease or diabetes; we’ll probably feel better about ourselves. But there’s no reason to think that we will lose any significant amount of weight, and little reason to think we will prevent ourselves from gaining it.

Doh!  Live longer, reduce our risks… there’s always a catch, isn’t there.

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Master Chief Papercraft

September 25, 2007

Master Chief

In honor of National Halo Day, here’s a highly detailed Master Chief papercraft to make. You know, when you aren’t playing Halo 3.

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Believe

September 24, 2007

Halo 3 

Tomorrow’s the big day.  Halo 3 finally arrives.  Lots of big midnight openings tonight going on. Might go to the Best Buy one to check out the spectacle.

Take a look at the Halo 3 Legendary Edition swag that Ryan Block at Engadget was sent.  Special dog tags, bags and consoles(!) with his name on them.  Make sure to look through all the pictures.

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Star Wars Home Theater

September 21, 2007

Star Wars Home Theater

What true Star Wars fan wouldn’t want this setup?  Probably looks better in pictures than in real life.  Personally I’d have had the speaker systems built in as well.  That is, if I had money to burn like this.

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Weekly Rant #4: Whiny passengers convince Southwest Airlines to screw families with small children

September 20, 2007

According to Southwest Airlines new boarding rules:

Beginning October 2, 2007, an adult traveling with a child four years old or younger will board between the “A” and “B” boarding groups, unless you have an “A” boarding pass. Those Customers holding an “A” boarding pass should board with the “A” boarding group. With an all-jet fleet outfitted with comfortable, leather seats, our families traveling with small children are easily accommodated together.

Why are they doing this?  Will it make boarding faster?  No.  There’s no way that parents boarding with small kids in a plane already 1/3rd loaded is going to be faster than a plane that’s nearly empty.  So why do it?  Because the “A” boarding pass nazis whined that they spastically clicked reload on their browser 24 hours before their flight so they could get an “A” boarding pass, and then some family can just waltz by them with their “C” passes and board first, just because they happen to have small kids!?!  OMG the trauma!

From now on, we’re targetting you, “A” pass boarders.  When we board between “A” and “B”, we are sitting our asses down in the seats right next to you, so our kids can spill their juices on you and cry louder than your iPod’s maximum volume.  And you’ll just have to suffer.  Hey, there wasn’t any kids there when you boarded?  How were you to know?  If only they had boarded first, you could have selected seats far away from them, huh?

I think some people need to be given a couple of kids under 4 and given tickets on a flight, so they can see how fun that is for parents.  First throw all your luggage into your car.  Then load up the kids and drive to the airport parking lot.  Spend 15 minutes trying to get their car seats out of your car, so you can bring those on your trip so they can safely ride in cars at your destination.  Make your way into the airport by shuttle or however with all your luggage and car seats, and go check it all (because you have waaay too much to carry it on).  Go through airport security with what you have to carry on (maybe diapers, formula, cups, wipes, games or things to keep the kids occupied, etc), making sure you take the kids shoes off, lest they be hiding knives or toe clippers.  Get them redressed on the other side of security.  Go find a restroom because they probably have to go, and you hope in vain that it will mean fewer trips down the narrow plane aisle with them during flight.  Find your gate and get them settled, probably with something to drink or eat, or something to do or look at.  And now wait for the “A” passengers to board, because they went to ALL the trouble of clicking their mouse at their desk exactly 24 hours before, while you were at your kid’s soccer practice??

Smart move, Southwest.  You can see the rest of their new boarding procedure here.

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