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August 04, 2008

The worst dungeon master ever

thingsihate.org - The Worst Dungeon Master Ever, Part One

So one sunny Sunday afternoon, we biked across town to one of the many crappy apartment houses gracing this college town. We started out a little late, but brought everything we thought we'd need. My big bike baskets were full of borrowed AD&D books, my dice collection, pencils, paper and a selection of delicious beverages.

We arrived a few minutes late and found Vincent already there, along with Michael, the DM he'd found. Vincent turned out to be a lanky and nondescript fellow in a gimmie cap. Michael was a big unwashed fat guy in shorts and a T-shirt.

. . .

Then he had us roll for breast and penis size. Not both, obviously. Vincent, first in line, looked as embarrassed as Spider and I felt, and tried to duck the issue. Michael ended up giving a long speech about how he only put this in character creation because players asked him to. It didn't seem to dawn on him that he should probably alter rules if players didn't want to determine their character's sex characteristics.

Vincent eventually rolled to shut him up, and Spider and I did as well. He got really apologetic about my character having a B cup, as she was also 6 feet tall. I pointed out that my character wouldn't want anything getting in the way of her warhammer anyway. He looked skeptical. . . .

There is much, much more at the link above.

(Note: Pic is some random guy, not the dude being discussed in the article)

Dog off the menu during the Olympics

Op-Ed Contributor - In Beijing, It’s Too Hot for Dog on the Menu - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

THOSE who hope to taste dog meat when they visit Beijing for this summer’s Olympics may be disappointed. The Beijing Catering Trade Association has ordered all 112 designated Olympic restaurants to take dog off the menu, and has strongly advised other establishments to stop serving it until September. Waiters have been urged to “patiently” suggest alternative dishes to customers who ask for dog. It’s all part of a wider campaign to avoid offending foreigners during the Games. (Beijingers have also been told to line up nicely, to stop spitting and even to avoid asking tourists questions about their ages, salaries and love lives.)

The order is not likely to bother many residents. Though dogs have been raised for food in China for thousands of years, you have to hunt around to find the meat on modern menus. Certain regions, like Hunan and Guizhou Provinces, are known for their canine predilections — but even in these places, dog is a relative rarity. And in Beijing itself, you hardly find it except in a few Korean and regional Chinese restaurants.

Dog eating, in any case, tends to be a seasonal pursuit. According to Chinese folk dietetics, which classify every food according to its heating and cooling properties, dog is one of the “hottest” meats around, best eaten in midwinter, when you need warmth and vital energy, not in sultry August.

Bush planning to redefine birth control as abortion

Denogean: Bush plan defines pill, IUD as abortion | Parting gift for religious right?

In its final months, the Bush administration is wrapping up a parting gift for the religious right: an official definition of abortion so sweeping it would include the use of birth control pills and other forms of hormonal contraceptives, as well as intrauterine devices.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services quietly drafted a rule that would put into federal code this radical definition of abortion.

"The basis is ideology," said Rachel Chanes, the Tucson-based vice president of community services for Planned Parenthood Arizona. "We think this is coming from the Bush-appointed ideologues that are in there who are not apologetic about (the department's) stance on being anti-woman, anti-birth control and anti-abortion."

August 02, 2008

Detroit Art: Shit is real in the city of the future

monkey.jpg Space Monkey, a featured graffito from Detroit's Dequindre Cut. via | Wired | Blogs | Beyond the Beyond | Bruce Sterling | Detroit, the American Torino
<<The Dequindre Cut is a one-mile remnant of a commuter rail line that ran from the suburbs into downtown until the early 1980s. With its network of concrete-anchored overpasses, the sunken, overgrown path became a mecca for graffiti artists and urban spelunkers. This August, the Cut will open to the public as an official link between the riverfront and the city’s beloved Eastern Market. ... The graffiti will remain.... Up the road is the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Located in an old automobile dealership, MOCAD sports a few requisite art gallery trappings—funky doors, sans serif signage, an organic cafe—but architect Andrew Zago eschewed any major renovations of the cavernous space.... ...what I love most about MOCAD is Zago’s unselfconscious approach. MOCAD feels like many other places I love in Detroit—buildings bought on the cheap by friends and converted into studios or galleries or performance spaces. Zago didn’t keep MOCAD’s space “raw” because that was the hip thing to do. He did it because it’s the Detroit thing to do. And that’s way cool....