Friday, March 30, 2007

Internet Link Explosion 5000!

Since I'm not what you'd call a "partier," and being of the Irish/cold weather human subtype I generally dislike 100+ degree weather, I spent a lot of my time here indoors. That means a lot of internet time, and I can share my findings with all of you.

First, on google maps I was looking at distances and routes to drive around the country from our new home in Eugene, and then I decided to see what it would say if I wanted to go to Dublin, Ireland.

Did you see it? Take a closer look:

That's right, Step 33: Swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Interestingly, it tells you to swim to France and then take the Chunnel from France to the U.K. Obviously Google has been taken over by the U.N. and their weather control machine conspiracy syndicate to force you to pay Euro-tolls. Listen here, Illuminati leader Juaques Chirac! I'll swim straight across the Atlantic Ocean to Dublin from JFK airport, and to hell with your Chunnel, thank you very much!

Sheesh. Ridiculous.

In other news, I found a severely kick-ass cartoon on Youtube called Korgoth of Barbaria. Its by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and its basic premise is if you took Brock Sampson from Venture Brothers, put him in a loin cloth, and dropped him in the world of Thundarr the barbarian. It rules. Unfortunately embedding is disabled but here's the link to the first part of the pilot episode.

Extremely violent and ridiculously awesome. I hope they pick it up as a series.

Finally, for all of you who watched the incredibly confusing Russian horror movie Nightwatch, the preview for the sequel Daywatch is out, and looks just as confusing yet fascinating. As I try to recall the plotline to Nightwatch, I feel like I was drunk or on drugs while I watched it, but I know I wasn't. That's how strange it was.

Did he say the 'chalk of destiny?' I mean, what in the hell? I'll still see it though. I know Muncher's probably all about it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Illustrator NES Challenge

Okay all you hip cats and tricks out there. What is this game?


1) No matter what Travis tells you, this game sucked monkey nuts. He'll even promise it was great, and let you borrow it for a couple months to try to beat because its so "hard" ("hard" meaning "bad"), and your pride will require you to give it a go, but in the end the non-responsive controls and obscenely large but inaccurate bullets you shoot will make you quit video games altogether for a semester.

2) The game featured evil piranhas, and you could swim, albiet very stupidly.

3) This game did not live up to its previous incarnation on a separate console system.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Karate Chop Sunday Special Birthday Edition

So its my birthday! Kinda crummy to have your birthday on the opposite side of the planet as your friends and family, but at least I have the McLaughlin group to keep me occupied.

Even got some cards for my birthday over here! One from my wife and the other from Brando and Kimbo Slice.

Those are some adorable goddamn squirrels. Mary says I have more cards from folks waiting at home for me when I get back to the states'. Anyway, so how did I go about celebrating my birthday weekend, you ask? Well, I cleaned up my little apartment and actually did laundry, and then I went to the Night Bazaar and picked up my suit I got tailored for myself (Hong Kong Tailors). I figured I might as well cut out the middleman and save a couple hundred bucks while I'm here, right? I also grabbed copies of the movies Eragon and Pathfinder (more below).

Then I went to the mall and tried to spend money. Unfortunately I have some sort of defective shopping gene that just makes me annoyed whenever I go into malls, and the fact that I can't read much of anything just exacerbates my annoyance. It probably didn't help that I was listening to the Dead Rising soundtrack (get it while you can) the whole time and kept hoping zombies would bust into the mall. I did consider stopping into one particular store and loading up...

But then I figured I couldn't get anything past USA customs anyway. Its a shame, really, since in Oregon drugs that contain pseudoephedrine aren't even legal anymore (first ephedrine, then pseudoephedrine), so Oregon cold medicine is like 2 parts vitamin C and 1 part Echinachea (read: worthless). Here in Thailand lets just say the Thai-FDA is a friend of Rush Limbaugh. Though I think if you're actually charged with drug trafficing they lop off your hands. At any rate, I grabbed some Claratin for Mary and otherwise steered clear.

A lot of the shopping here is done outdoors at night because its cooler then, and they have little stages set up where they do fashion shows and occasionally wierd traditional dances (the fashion shows are actually wierder than the traditional dances). I took a picture of one just to prove that I'm still in Thailand.

I also took a couple pictures of Chaing Mai from the tuk tuks (3-wheeled motorcycle things) during my rides around the city.

Yeah, they have big pictures of the king all over the place.

For dinner I got some Som Tam (curry soup -- its good for real) from a street vendor and had some roti (fried bread with chocolate, bananas and coconut milk). Then I ate one of the bags of skittles my mom sent me while I sat down to watch some movies.


Holy pile of crap. Its like a 15 year-old director's son watched Attack of the Clones and Dungeons and Dragons (the movie) and said "Yes! I want to make a movie that is an exact combination of those two blockbusters!" and some coke-addled producer green-lighted the project during a speedball party. It was god-awful. I'm sorry I paid 50 Baht for the DVD ($1.50). And remember, I kinda liked 'D&D 2: Wrath of the Dragon God,' so I'm serious when I say Eragon is awful. Final Analysis: Attack of the Clones minus the lightsabers and clones.

Oh yeah, last weekend was Cullen's birthday! In honor of that, here's a little music video just for Cullen's birthday:

Go ahead and watch it again. I know you want to.

The second movie I got was Pathfinder.

You may not recognize the name because it won't be out in theaters until April 13th. Its kind of a 13th warrior meets Apocalypto. I've been wanting to see it since I saw the preview, but unfortunately the DVD quality was terrible and the sound was like listening to your next door neighbor's TV through the wall rather than watching a movie in front of you, so after watching the first 20 minutes with my face right up next to the screen and speakers, I decided I didn't want to spoil the rest of the movie and tossed the worthless DVD across the room. I figure that's the price I pay for trying to see into the future.

I still have another day of birthday time actually since I started my 'celebrations' on Saturday. I'll keep you informed if anything great happens. Tomorrow I am going to try to go see some elephants somehow, and if that falls through I'm reinstalling Baldur's Gate 2:Throne of Bhaal and playing through it as a lawful evil monk.

Signing off,

Cory "At least I'm not thirty" Scanlan

PS: They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Through Rain, Sleet, or Snow

So I guess the USPS must have pretty much all the difficulties with mail delivery and customer service solved. This is what they are working on now:

Kristy (Firefly's #1 Fan) and I took a walk on Friday to check out the new mail box.

Turns out it is the same blue box but with R2D2 decals on it. Kristy commented that George Lucas doesn't deserve any royalties from using R2's likeness because he ruined the trilogy. You can check out whatever they are planning at if you want. I would include the link, but it crashed my browser.

"The person who controls the mail, controls information!" --Newman

Monday, March 19, 2007

Are you a bad enough dude to save the president?

Well, its been a while, so I decided to bring back the Illustrator NES challenge!

What is this game?

If you still need help, here's some clues:

1) The title of this post has nothing to do with the game.

2) Did not have as much gameplay value as the highly strategic "fat-vs-thin" market competitor to this game.

3) Shown above is actually a mini-game within the game, but the only part worth playing. In fact, hours could be devoted to just attempting to activate this minigame.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Karate Chop Sunday

Hey everybody. No karate chop sunday last week because PBS was doing the pledge drive thing and there was no episode of McLaughlin group to screen cap. I guess I could've used an old screen capture but that would've been dishonest.

So sundays could also be called "American Food and Rant Sundays" because I like to go to the nearby farang-friendly cafe and order a burger and fries, and then complain about stuff on my blog.

I asked for "No mayonnaise" on it but it of course still had gobs of mayo on the thing ("farangs like mayo!"), but I just scraped it off and ate the burger. You can't get upset about things like that because if I really wanted to clearly ask for no mayonnaise on my burger maybe I should learn to speak Thai.

I was stopped by one of the military guys yesterday (they are everywhere around here, keepin' the peace I guess) walking back from 7-11 (also everywhere) and he started talking to me really fast in thai. I could tell he was an officer because he had yellow ropes and rank insignia I couldn't identify, and only a sidearm on him instead of the M-16 or AR-15 looking thing. I kind of shook my head and went "I don't speak Thai" and figured that, since I was only a half a block from a big international hotel he'd just let me pass (I thought it was wierd he was stopping me in the first place). But to my suprise, he switched to english and said "Where you going?!" very forcefully (and with mean-face). I said "To my room," and pointed the direction to my apartment, which also happened to be the same direction as the hotel. My paranoia(tm) had already kicked in and there was no way I was going to tell this guy where I was living for another month, but I didn't want to directly lie at the same time. He said "Where you from?" and I quickly said "America" without even thinking. The emails from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok I get every once and while, telling me the pollution levels are above emergency levels (no shit?) or that I should watch my wallet when in the inner city (O RLY?) also told me that I should refrain from telling locals my country of origin is the USA, due to anti-US sentiment in southern Thailand (I am in northern Thailand, however). Still, I didn't even consider saying I was from Canada or wherever, because goddamnit I'm not going to lie about Eagle Tribe USA! This turned out to be to my benefit though as he quickly smiled and said "USA!" and gave me a hearty thumbs-up. I heartily thumbs-upped him back and he moved out of my path and waved me by.

Someone important must've been coming to that area. Probably a royal family member. When I was in Bangkok the princess was coming to the royal palace and they kicked everyone out of the nearby Grand Temple early so they could cordon off like four square blocks. They take royal protection seriously around here, and its the only reason I can think of where they would stop a touristy-looking farang and question him. Also I'm really proud of the fact that the word "America" settles any fears he may have had about any malfeasance I may be involved in. Because we may be a lot of things in the US, but one thing we are not is terrorists.

Did I mention pollution yet this week? Well, it got WAY above emergency levels this last week. According to the Thai version of the EPA, 120 ug/m^3 is the standard maximum acceptable level of particulate matter. It got over 300 ug/m^3 this week, making every workout feel like I was breathing car exhaust when I was done. I even got an email from the US embassy telling me to buy one of those masks and try not to breathe or exercise too much. Of course, I got this email Thursday, two days AFTER it was above 300 ug/m^3 (i didn't get one after it got above the standard, or 2x above the standard, not until two days after it was 3x above the standard).

Thanks a load for the update, embassy, maybe tomorrow I'll get an email detailing how its a bad idea to leave your clothes on the bench when you take a shower after gym class in high school because Kyle Huston will steal them and hide them somewhere. And here I wondered why I was completely winded by the time I got to the gym, which is only 4 blocks away. Also all this particulate matter results in there always being a layer of crud particles over everything. I notice because my laser mouse goes nuts when I try to use it after leaving it sit for an hour because I'm rolling it over sand and the laser gets reflected everywhere.

That picture had nothing to do with anything in this post other than to say Contra rules.

One awesome thing yesterday is that I figured out how to use my GPS here. I gave up too easily when I first tried to use it because it wasn't seeing a single satellite, so I figured I didn't have the right 'codes' for Thai satellites. This was until Brando explained to me that the ONLY gps in the sky is the US Military gps (which they let civilians use all over the world), so theres no good explanation why I couldn't get any satellites. So I restarted my gps and once I figured out how to reset it it works great. Turns out when you turn off the gps on one side of the planet and turn it back on on the OTHER side of the planet, it gets confused. This is a good example of failing because of lack of trying. I already assumed I couldn't do it, so I didn't even try. Once Brando explained to me how the gps system was set up I knew it was a problem I could solve. It went from a "unknown known" to one of those "known unknowns," and therefore solvable. So now I have a goal for this week:

Geocache! Wahooo! The one up on the temple mount has gotten robbed again according to the geocache site, so this is my best bet. It requires me to get across the city somehow, but I'll do it this week. The next closest geocache is like 32 miles away in some tiny hilltribe town, so I may not be able to get to that one on foot.

Finally, here's an interview detailing what T-Money and Bruce Campbell have been up to since Xena went off the air:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Early Birthday Present!

Mary sent me my birthday present early to make sure it got here in time (my birthday=march 25th, Cullen's birthday = March 16th +/- 1 day, Eric's Birthday=March 5th +/- 3 days) , as well as some delicious vittles and necessary items for the remainder of my stay. Lets take a look:

- 10 more Promax powerbars, various flavors
- Salt and Pepper (impossible to find in the Orient)
- 1 box velveeta shells and cheese
- 2 large pounches Tuna to mix with shells and cheese
- 1 bag sour patch kids
- Collection of band aids and aspirin (hard to find here, been using super glue)
- 1 large container instant coffee (and I just ran out this morning!)
- boatloads of hot chocolate with mini marshmallow packets
- 1 Dragon magazine

- a stack of books she picked out for me to read, including:
1) Starman Jones, R.A.Heinlein
2) To Sail Beyond the Sunset, R.A. Heinlein
3) The Menace From Earth, R.A. Heinlein
4) Dreams of Terror and Death, H.P. Lovecraft

Side note: Here's a list of requirements for picking out good sci-fi:
- Ancient forgotten alien culture undertone
- Derelict Spacecraft
- Cities on moon/mars
- Plenty of libertarian morality hand-waving

Contrary to popular opinion, good sci-fi does not need to include large orgies of multiple marriage family units, but someone forgot to tell Robert.

Also included was a birthday present, including:
1) Man with the Screaming Brain ("Horror" - Bruce Campbell)
2) Martin (Horror - George Romero)
3) Firefly TV collection! (sci-fi - Joss Whedon)

as well as the Army of Darkness role playing game book!

Lets take a closer look at that:

Oh yeah. Now all I need to do is teach some Thai grad students how to play. I knew I should've brought more dice with me to Thailand!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

There's Something About Mary

Things I thought I didn't like but actually do like:
Cream cheese
Sour cream
Cottage cheese
Guinea pigs
Holding (other people's) babies

Things I thought I liked but actually don't like:
Swiss cheese
Brando's blog

Still not sure:
Potato salad

Things I've always known I didn't like:
Tenacious D
Cory being in Thailand
People who drive monster trucks
People who drive in my blind spot (commies)


Ah, the smells of summer.

Before I get started, I should point out that all restaurants in thailand are outside. Its not too hot usually, as they are shaded.

But guess what, its mosquito season! I was running back to my apartment to grab some lunch today when I saw these guys blowing white pesticide everywhere, especially down into the ditches around the roads (the roads have ditches on either side covered by slats of concrete).

It looks pretty cool, until your lungs start burning and you realize its pesticide. I saw this when I went out to go to my apartment for lunch today and saw these guys coming up the street...

Needless to say I didn't go home, and instead went back to lab and just ate a powerbar.

Dom told me that in some areas in Thailand they put pesticide in their whiskey to make it stronger and give a more severe buzz. I wish I would've known that before I engaged in a whiskey challenge with some of the professors a few weeks ago. Oh well.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Meet the Berglund Lab: Breakfast and Splicing

Today I discovered that Apple gave me a program called Comic Life with the MacBook (I accidentally opened on it when I was trying to open a different program). I made this panel with the program using a picture I took. On Wednesday, a bunch of us from the lab got together and discussed a paper over breakfast. It was interesting and it sure beat slamming down my blueberry oatmeal by myself. I guess you could made an entire comic book with this program, so it's kind of neat. Also, I made the panel in about 3 minutes, with a drag and drop interface, so it was pretty easy to use.
I'm told that "Breakfast and Splicing" is usually "Beer and Splicing", so hopefully next time we won't meet at 8 AM, and we can kick back a little.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

-6/-10 into -2/-4

So I had an interesting day two days ago, that will keep me busy until I leave mid-next month.

I came back from the university gym, where they charge me the farang price of 30 Baht to work out even though nobody else gets charged that. But I pay it. I'm starting to get used to the nonchalant attitude the Thai people have about racial double-standards here, and in any case, I need a place to lift weights, so there you go. Its not a complete gym, by any standards. Envision an old high school weight room, then break 1/2 of the machine(s) cables, and remove all of the dumbells above 30 lbs, and you have a good idea of the gym I work out in.

"Oh poor me" bitching aside, I came back from lifting and found my landlord (we'll call him Miyagi because I can't spell or pronounce his real name yet) weaving some bowstrings in the garden. My landlord is a retired geology professor from the university who is renting out a small section of his house to me (2 small rooms and bathroom), and speaks fairly good english. Anyway, he had carved three bows out of wood and was now making bowstrings to finish them so he could give them to his grandkids. As I spoke to him I noticed that he was using the same hand-woven grass rope-weaving technique that I had taught myself out of one of my many survival books in preparation for the Zombocalypse, so I asked if I could help and practice my skillz. He was really suprised I knew the "ancient way" to weave bowstrings. He was 100x faster than me at it, but it was fun.

So we got to talking, and seeing me in my workout gear he asked me if I had ever fenced. I told him I did for half a semester in college just in a shitty phys. ed. class, and he got really excited. He said he practices fencing every day and it would be great if I'd be willing to fence with him. So I said "Sure." I didn't realize he meant, RIGHT NOW!

So we walked up to the University's fencing club area where all the equipment was and just walked in. I didn't have to pay anything or anything, he showed me around and introduced me to a couple people there to get my face in with the crowd so if I came back I wouldn't be a stranger, and then he started showing me the real swords and armor (likely to get me interested -- you know how you show off the good stuff first). Thing is, he wasn't talking about FOIL fencing, he was talking about Thai fencing, otherwise known as Krom Darb-Song-Mu, or "Sword in each hand." Its is also known as Krabi-Krabong, but that involves the training of every traditional thai weapon, not just the sword.

Anyway the first thing he does is hands me a wicker shield (looks like a goddamn basket) from the Krabi-Krabong weapon display and says "Hold up!" So I put my arm through the straps and hold it up. He then proceeds to pick up a real metal sword and starts wailing on the shield not 1 second after I hold it up in front of my face. I mean this old guy is repeatedly bashing at the shield that looks like it should only hold fruit, but it held really well and transfered the blow suprisingly well. When he was done wailing on me (like 8 or 10 hits) he said "Very strong!" and put the shield back on display.

I'm still not really sure what that was all about, because then he handed me two wooden swords from this big rack of swords, and had me follow him out to where they had all these tires on metal poles stuck into the ground. Then he showed me three different ways to practice different two-handed weaving strikes over and over. I won't describe them all, but they looked really cool when he did it, and really stupid when I did it. In fact, there were students sitting around or practicing other fencing styles around and they unashamedly laughed at my piss-poor swinging. That's not really a suprise to me though, nor did it bother me, as Thai people will laugh at anything because its a way for them to save face or something. I really don't get it other than the fact that if someone does something stupid, or says something incorrectly, or if you're embarrassed yourself, you're supposed to laugh at them, that somehow saves their and your honor. It results in a lot of my conversations here being one-sided giggle factories.

We just stayed there and practiced our swings for about an hour and fifteen, until I was actually pretty tired. One major lesson I learned was that if my right arm were named Hoss "bash your face in" McPunchout, my left arm should be named Lefty "La French" McLimpwrist. Even though I can lift the same amount with both arms doesn't mean my left arm is worth a shit for anything but the most basic of tasks. So those exercises he taught me are to build your coordination in your nondominant arm, until it is as coordinated as your dominant arm. After about an hour of exercise he said "You want to fence now?" and I was like "Are you serious? (you'll kick my ass!)"

But fence we did. We put on face masks because getting hit in the face sucks. Unlike traditional foil fencing which takes place on a 6 foot wide strip (and is only back-and-forth), thai fencing takes place in a Muay Thai-type circle. So there's a lot of circling and very little forward lunging. Also any strike anywhere on your body counts as a point, and losing your sword counts as a 1/2 point. We didn't really keep score, because if we had it would've been Cory 9 : Miyagi 102.

He explained the thai style fighting to me in the coolest conversation I've had here yet (barring the LotR ancestry one):

"Thai small. Not big (points at me), so in fight must be quick! If strike big (makes big overreaching swing example) and miss, then (does a quick forward stab motion) you die. If strike small and quick (same stab motion) and miss, can strike again! If hit, they get slow, then hit again! Thai don't kill in one hit (big swing example again), we kill 6 hits."

It was a fricking blast. He was doing all these cool stances and weaving his swords around which I would try to emulate after every time he'd score. Its like playing Xbox Halo deathmatch only you get physically tired while doing it, like boxing. We fenced for about twenty-five minutes when his wife wandered in and I think told him he needed to go home (she knew where he'd be, beating up on the farang at the fencing club). But another student came in and he asked that guy to spar with me (I was tired but I was having a great time), and he agreed. This student (name pronounced like "Benz") was clearly a tournament fencer, and instead of being really active and swingy, he just held his swords up in front of him almost lazily. Then as soon as I'd go for one of the swings Miyagi taught me I'd get *bonk!* in the face. Unlike Miyagi who was really hitting hard like it was a real fight, this guy must play for real points and just went for touches. It almost seemed insulting that he didn't move much at all, but just dodged or parried my attacks and *bonk* in the face. He was really quick, and even though he didn't speak english he would stop the fight and show me how I should hold my swords to counter his and use my wrists more than arms.

We fenced for about a half hour and then I called the fight and went home because my hands were cramping up, bad, especially my left. I developed some serious blisters on my hands, and woke up the next morning totally sore all over but it was worth it.

I figure I only have about a month and a half to bone up on as much two-sword fighting as I can before I go back to the states and never do it again, so I might as well do it as much as possible while I'm here. Hopefully by the time I'm done my left arm will be able to compete with my right.

I'm also extremely glad I found a sport I can participate in here in Thailand that doesn't involve me getting kneed in the kidneys.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Conservation speeds Collapse? Part 1

Bet you didn't expect that headline from me, huh?

Well, I've been reading a lot of Asian-pacific news lately, and one thing I've noticed is a lot of emphasis (especially in China) on designing "greener" buildings and hybrid, high gas mileage vehicles. Cool science aside on these designs, I can't help but think of the nasty effect these seemingly environmentally conscious ideas have on the environment due to Jevon's paradox. Now, for those of you who haven't taken macro econ. 202, Jevon's paradox states the following:

"As technological improvements increase the efficiency with which a resource is used, total consumption of that resource may increase, rather than decrease."

I've been in Thailand for over a month now and I've occasionally mentioned how smoggy it is here. The question I initially ask is: "How can the entire country of Thailand be smoggier than ANY city in America (even Detroit), when America started the industrial revolution and has had so much more time to get smoggy?" Well, a partial answer is; fuel-efficient motorcycles. Motorcycles made personal transport much more available to the general public, and you motorcycle riders out there recognize the greatly increased gas mileage of motorcycles. That means, even though each individual motorcycle produces less emissions than an average sized car, the value of the motorcycle's efficiency makes it attractive to more people in the population, shifting the supply graph to the right, and increasing the total quantity of resource used.

So even though Thailand has only been automotivally developing since the mid-1970s, it has already made the air around the cities nearly incompatible with human life. I'm not saying that because I'm some sort of huge wuss, the smog is officially serious and globally life-threatening.

More in line with Jevon's paradox, when the motorcycle became available to the people of thailand, do you think total petroleum consumption went down, or up? If you guessed up, you're right! And what is the primary petroleum expenditure in Thailand?

Transportation! Now, with that micro example out of the way, let's look at the total growth in Thailand's economy over the last four years...7.5% growth.

Wow, like everyone is saying, Asia is growing like crazy right now. Okay, so what does 7.5% growth mean? Well, its an exponential function, and so I'm going to teach you a fun little equation you can use to track the total use of any resource, its called, doubling time!" Only I won't use that annoying wikipedia equation, we'll just delve into the simplified world of natural log (ln).

The time it takes for a sample to be doubled in size based on constant growth can be summed up in the following equation:

Doubling time (years) = (ln 2)/(yearly growth rate)

But ln2 = 0.693, so we can multiply everything by 100 and get this equation:

Doubling time = 70/x%

So if the growth of the entire Thailand economy as determined by petroleum usage grows by 7.5% yearly, then the time it takes for the total petroleum usage for Thailand to double is approximately 70/7.5 = 9.33 years.

That's right, the size of Thailand's economy (as determined by petroleum usage) doubles every 9.33 years. And it doesn't matter what your sample size is, doubling is doubling based only on percentage growth rate, so if we start at 5 "units", the first doubling time makes the total 10 units, the second doubling time makes the total 20 units, the third doubling time makes the total 40 units, etc. etc. etc. So if we assume Thailand's smog level is directly proportional to petroleum useage, you can see how in just under three decades smog levels have gotten so fricking thick. Every single doubling time uses as many resources as every doubling time before it combined (by definition)!

You can apply that function to anything that has a steady growth rate, like, population; (average growth rate since 1800 AD is ~2%)

Oil consumption; (average growth rate ~5% annually)

Deer population in Iowa; (1.7% annually)

Vampire populations;

You get the idea. Of course yearly growth rates fluctuate from year to year with anything, but you can use this formula to predict steadily rising sample sizes. So whenever a local paper brags that the cities growth is the highest ever, and the mayor expects equal growth the next year, you can get a rough estimate what kind of impact such growth will have and how long it will take.

To bring this all back to Jevon's paradox, as the technology that uses a resource becomes more efficient, those resources become available to more people, and more resources are used per capita, which increases growth rate (decreasing doubling time), and increases total resources used! But these designers are trying to reduce total resources used! Ack! Paradox!

So, what do we have in store for Conservation speeds Collapse Part 2? I haven't figured that out yet. Looks like we're doomed!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Karate Chop Sunday

Well folks, once again its Karate Chop Sunday!

Its also March 4th, and you know what that means...

GM appreciation day!

So go out to your FLGS (friendly local game store) and buy up some sweet rpgs at 30% off (or just buy pdfs online for cheaper).

In other news on Battlestar Galactica, they just destroyed the Cylon's Resurrection Ship, so that's good. But it means I'm running out of episodes, and that's bad.

Vampire: The Masquerade turned out to be too graphics intensive to play it at anything above "slideshow" framerate, so I switched over to Fallout:Tactics, which I never actually got around to beating back in the day.

I'm also playing in an online Ravenloft game tonight, and we're playing through "Expedition to Castle Ravenloft!" My bard is keeping it real. Right now we're in a town filled with zombies, so I'm in my favorite element.

Keep it realsies ya'll!