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Offline Strolen

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Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« on: December 25, 2005, 12:51:21 PM »
Tell me these sculptures are cool!

http://www.bathsheba.com/sculpt/minimetal.html

Gotta be some ideas floating from them.

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Offline Strolen

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Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2005, 02:06:52 PM »
You might need your own Catapult, trebuchet, or mangonel.

www.trebuchet.com
www.catapults.info
www.mangonel.com

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Offline Strolen

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Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2005, 03:28:01 PM »
http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/

The Rasterbator is a web service which creates huge, rasterized images from any picture. The rasterized images can be printed and assembled into extremely cool looking posters up to 20 meters in size.

I downloaded the program to make a 3x4 sheet picture of Escher's Ascending and Descending. The online version is good for rather large rasterized images.

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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2006, 07:21:07 AM »
The World Question Center 2006

http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_index.html

Warning: the page is mind-numbing.

Edge.org asked a lot of scientific types the question "What is your dangerous idea?", so what do they think (and fear) might be true, but isn't yet proven.

Many of the ideas turn quite uncomfortable, and would have a massive impact on our world. If you do not wish to torment your mind, there is a lot inspiration for science fiction.


Boy, what a set of ideas. I have seen quite a few of them already, but with all of them in one place, the effect is... *falls apart into many small Lego building blocks*
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 03:05:59 AM by manfred »
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 12:04:04 PM »
An interesting bit from the Discovery Channel.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20060206/clay_pla.html?source=rss

They say now it was clay that allowed the existence of large animals. Special clay minerals were created by microbes on the land, then washed into the sea, absorbed vast quantities of oxygen-consuming organic carbon compounds, and finally sank to the seafloor with their carbon loads and were buried.

The result was a 'tipping of scales' in favour of oxygen, which proliferated in the oceans, and later spilled into the sea. And the final effects... can be seen until today.
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2006, 06:39:19 AM »
Again from Discovery Channel, this time about... toads:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20060213/toad_ani.html

A breed of toads is slowly invading Australia (well, not invading, but just spreading out into a new area... but you get the idea). They breed quickly, can poison potential predators (They are named 'Toxic Cane Toads', guess why), and eat lots of insects.

The really interesting bit is, that the ones _at the front_ of the invasion line have longer legs then their already settled colleagues. Once settled in, the mutation dies out - it is useful to be first on the frontier, where no toad has jumped before.

The whole 'invasion' has begun only some seventy years ago. Around 1950, the speed of their spreading was some seven miles per year - today it is 30 miles per year.

---

This only says that, given the right conditions, some species may be able to evolve much faster than is usually thought possible.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 03:10:31 AM by manfred »
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2006, 08:56:22 AM »
Visit http://www.snapshirts.com/ to get a word cloud being made out of a source like... a webpage. They can print it on a T-shirt for you.

Example for Strolen's Citadel:
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2006, 01:07:41 PM »
http://www.vertical-visions.com/_temp/postagepaid/index2.html

Tired of receiving mounds of unsolicited letters and offers in the mail? Want to fight back? Want to get rid of that old tire in your garage that the garbage man won't take? Then read on......

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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2006, 07:29:10 AM »
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,405947,00.html

New Link  - http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/africa-s-new-ocean-a-continent-splits-apart-a-405947.html   - Valadaar

AFRICA'S NEW OCEAN - A Continent Splits Apart

That's right, a part of Africa is slowly breaking from its continent, and the ground is slumping

Quote
A group of geologists from Addis Ababa University were amazed -- and frightened. They had only just stepped out of their helicopter onto the desert plains of central Ethiopia when the ground began to shake under their feet. The pilot shouted for the scientists to get back to the helicopter. And then it happened: the Earth split open. Crevices began racing toward the researchers like a zipper opening up. After a few seconds, the ground stopped moving, and after they had recovered from their shock, Ayalew and his colleagues realized they had just witnessed history. For the first time ever, human beings were able to witness the first stages in the birth of an ocean.
...
The dramatic event that theywitnessed in the Afar Desert on Sept. 26, 2005 was the first visual proof of this process -- and it was followed by a week-long series of earthquakes. During the months that followed, hundreds of further crevices opened up in the ground, spreading across an area of 345 square miles. "The earth has not stopped moving since," geophysicist Tim Wright of the University of Oxford says. The ground is still splitting open and sinking, he says; small earthquakes are constantly shaking the region.


Large areas are already under the sea level. And in a nick of time (geologically speaking ;) ) will Africa loose its 'horn'


The point is, if there weren't mountains close to the sea, much of the area would be already below water. Can you say 'the campaign world underwent a massive change'? Read the article for more.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 12:50:52 PM by valadaar »
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2006, 02:59:02 PM »
that IS d**n interesting!
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2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2006, 11:48:32 PM »
And everybody thought Moon's home was going to be the first major earth splitting and ocean filling.

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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2006, 09:55:09 AM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4750557.stm

Hat tip to BBC News this time.

Plankton blooming was now linked to earthquakes - _before_ they happen, mind you. Shortly before it starts, a large amount of thermal energy is released. This logically makes the water warmer, and among other things makes more of the cold, nutrient-rich water be transported from the deep sea to the surface. Plankton blooms.

The final conclusion is, that by monitoring plancton blooming and water temperatures could help to reveal impeding earthquakes. And I find that interesting, too. (Adapt for roleplaying purposes.)
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2006, 08:57:32 AM »
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-2168328,00.html

A group of historians argue that Romans may not have been so great after all.

"The unique feature of Rome was not its arts or its science or its philosophical culture, not its attachment to law. The unique feature of Rome was that it had the world’s first professional army"

In a few examples they note that Romans were by far not the first or the best in several areas, and that little was not preserved of some cultures - or misunderstood. It is of course a question of indivdual decision on which culture, or nation if you will, should be considered 'worthy' or judged after whatever criteria. But it is interesting to see that our perceptions about a large part of our history might be completely wrong - influenced by chance as well as propaganda of one culture. Funny, isn't it?
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2006, 09:18:07 AM »
THe only problem I had with the article (and I did some research on this) is that corn wasnt present in Europe during the Roman era. It wasnt until the Renaissance that Corn was exported from the Americas (along with potatoes, and tomatoes) to Europe. I read that some grain fields are called cornfields, though corn itself is not listed as a cereal or a true grain, which are grown in said cornfields. Weird, huh?


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Offline Murometz

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« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 12:53:03 PM by valadaar »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Strolen

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2006, 10:34:58 AM »
Google's PigeonRank TM

http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html

Bet you didn't know how it worked.

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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2006, 03:50:17 AM »
http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/02.19/05-dog.html

(Have read the story in a magazine, above is a link to the Harvard Gazette.)

A researcher found, that dogs are much better at understanding human gestures (like glances or pointing) than our next relatives, chimpanzees, or their relatives, wolves. Because of the long contact between our species they have become better at 'reading' us.

'Domesticated dogs are strikingly similar to young children in their ability to perceive and interpret human gestures, and they show this propensity from a few weeks of age.'

Our furry friends may be closer to us then we thought. Now think of all the possibilities of co-evolution of various species for your game world...
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2006, 05:54:23 AM »
Dinosaurs were not _that_ cold-blooded.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5166518.stm


It was speculated for some time that dinosaurs could reagulate their body temperature. Whether it is true or not, bigger dinosaurs may have lost heat so slowly that they stayed warm anyway (see the study for more details on how they came to this hypothesis). The biggest of them had supposedly body temperature over 40 degrees Celsius; which gets to limits of what today's animals can handle (and presumably also dinosaurs). This, the authors say, could suggest that the maximum size a dinosaur could grow to was limited by body temperature.

After you read the article, think of all the gigantic monsters of fantasy worlds... an interesting way to consider them, isn't it?
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2006, 03:26:32 AM »
"There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml

Leaving aside the arguments against GW (and arguments for it which are likely to crop up immediately), it in itself poses an interesting topic to ponder on. We are a technically highly advanced civilisation with amazing potential already, but we are not the least immune to irrational beliefs and searching for any holy cause that looks true enough to bash other people's heads with, ignoring any evidence to the contrary. I wonder, what we will believe in when we finally get to the stars?
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2006, 07:02:50 AM »
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Study_says_people_don%27t_understand_the_emotional_tone_of_emails%2C_but_think_they_do

Not that new, but I have found it right now. Understanding ourselves on-line is not as easy as we think.

People only ascertain the intended tone on an e-mail message about 56% of the time. The research also found that people think they've correctly interpreted the tone 90% of the time.

Epley and Kruger discovered that not only were the receivers of the e-mails overconfident about their understanding of the message's tone, but the senders were as well: About 78% of the senders thought that the receiver would correctly interpret the tone of their e-mail message.

"People in our study were convinced they've accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance."

Epley stated that similar misunderstandings of emotional tone play a major role in starting online flame wars.
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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2006, 07:10:37 PM »
Geysers on Mars, and a smiley face too.  :)
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Offline manfred

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2006, 12:40:35 PM »
This just came in... get your news while it's hot!

Pluto ceased to be a planet
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5703014

After much discussion of the International Astronomical Union, the definition of what constitutes a planet has changed - and Pluto doesn't fit anymore (including several other relative large objects over there in the Kuiper belt - at least one seems to be larger than Pluto). So now we have officially eight planets. Pluto is a now a 'dwarf-planet'.


Deep thought on the side: no matter how exact a definition is made, nature is usually going to create some ambigous case just in case. ;)
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2006, 08:33:48 PM »
What I would like to know is how much money was spent to determine that an object 7,375,927,931 km away from earth is not :gasp: a planet...

tense moment of silence

pregnant pause of reality tv show

...but a DWARF PLANET!

The aliens are laughing at us now.


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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2006, 08:38:48 PM »
Actually, I think that's the best proof that we haven't been visited by aliens: we've never heard them laughing.
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Re: Interesting Non-Game Stuff
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2006, 10:44:59 PM »
You folks actually believe this propaganda?  Is the truth not clear to you?  This is but the culmination of years of conspiracy.

Astronomers started the cover-up in 1930, when they "discovered" the 9th planet and named it Pluto.  Of course the 9th planet is Yuggoth, a colony of the Mi-Go.  The scientists tried to downplay it as a tiny rock of ice, but everyone knows Yuggoth has a massive Mi-Go city and is rich in tok'l-metal, a rare and valuable substance found only here.

Why the conspiracy?  Because the truth would throw the world into panic.  Not only would the shocking fact of extraterrestrials in our solar system create riots and revolutions, but their existance also proves an ancient threat: Great Lord Cthulu!  The existance of Yuggoth and the Mi-Go indicate that Cthulu is not a mere myth, but the high priest of the Great Old Ones.  His glorious uprising is at hand!  Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!  Cthulhu fhtagn!

Cthulu for president! NO MORE YEARS!
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