My other sis Myra and bro-in-law Phil
Just finished reading Dan Simmons' The Terror, an historical fiction novel about the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition, in which the crew of nearly 130 men died after the ships, the Erebus and the Terror, found themselves stuck in Arctic pack ice and was forced to abandon both ships; lead by the more capable captain of the Terror Francis Crozier (the main protagonist), than the more decorated and unworthy Sir John Franklin. They left behind only few washed up pieces of wood, bone fragments, written notes and an oral account from the Inuit tribe in their wake. To this day, there are still archaeologists and history buffs trying to piece together the events.
This expedition is rife with mystery, and provided ample room for Simmons to plug in his own interpretation of what went wrong on the ice. Using Inuit folklore, a giant polar beast, and the pure human instinct to survive by whatever means necessary, he managed to keep me engaged throughout the whole 766 pages.
I think what I liked most of of all was his use of chapters and the passage of time. Each chapter is broken up into mini-episodes, featuring the various characters points of view, and jumping from the next day to even a month after the last chapter, leaving a space in time that we are not privy to until a character flashes back to a significant event. It immediately reminded me of a mini series on television, perhaps best suited for HBO.
The length of the book certainly can become a daunting affair though, as I can see how one can become a bit impatient. The level of detail is quite overwhelming, especially for someone like me who lacks any previous knowledge of anything nautical. But the characters are all interesting enough- from the timid Dr. Goodsir, the conniving Hickey, to the sad, washed-up drunkard Capt. Crozier. The pacing is done very well, and the turn the book takes in the last 200 pages or so caps off the conclusion rather satisfactorily.
It has even sparked in me enough interest to do further research on the Franklin Expedition and Inuit culture.
They sell for $349 at Amazon.
Oh, and to Kathleen Sanders and her dog Minnie, I will miss seeing you on the 1up Show. Good luck in your new job!
Edit: took out that annoying autoplay vid and subbed it for a youtube one instead.
It all started with a comic piece by the guys at Penny Arcade about a rumor that Jeff Gerstmann, editorial director of Gamespot and 10 year vet in the industry, was fired over his scathing review of Eidos' new release Kane & Lynch.
Within a few short hours, forums across the universe lit aflame, calling for the heads of Gamespot for firing Gerstmann, Cnet (the parent company of Gamespot) for giving into the pressure of game publisher Eidos and its deep pockets invested in the advertisements for said game. Eidos reportedly threatened to pull its adverts from the Gamespot site, which would cause Cnet to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, because they did not like the tone of Gerstmann's review of the game, especially his video review which was pretty damn harsh. Members of Gamespot's paid gold subscription service threatened or canceled their memberships in retaliation, and the Eidos forums erupted in hate-filled threads, vowing to never purchase or support any Eidos release from here on out, while posting atrocious pictures of scat-fetishes, dismembered corpses, and furry porn.
Certainly the fallout from all this ruckus would be the ethical dilemma that numerous other gaming journalist sites will suffer. The nagging question about the honesty and validity of game reviews would be at the back of everybody's mind who reads them. Who paid off whom this time? How much did reviewer X get for this glowing praise? This practice isn't certainly new by any means, but it has now just given a huge black eye to not only the companies involved in this case, but to the gaming industry itself. As young as it is, the gaming community has been forced to grow up very fast, still struggling with how to govern itself and the products that it creates, and now, how to balance its own creative integrity against the ever influential greenback.
If today, a game publisher can expect to receive a score of 8.5 or higher just by buying some real estate on a reviewer's website, how far will that publisher push to get that score? How much leverage do they really have to get that review rewritten to their liking, or in this case, an individual fired, simply because they did not agree to his/her opinion of that game?
Well, now we can ask Jeff.
And at the same time, if you don't want your game to get a bad review, how about making it a good game? Hmm, thought of that Eidos? I am only speculating, but I am pretty sure Eidos expected this game to be the forerunner of a much bigger franchise, with sequels, movie deals, and comic books all touting the incredible universe that Kan & Lynch has to offer. Considering the average of scores for this game tallied by Metacritic, that wasn't going to happen anyways.
As all three companies try to save face from this debacle, by either denying, retracting, or no commenting, time will only tell how far the arm of big companies can reach, and how far the consumers are willing to grab a fork and stab it.
Best of luck to Jeff Gerstmann, he's probably better off anyway.
News tonight: The La Jolla children's pool may be dredged up and "returned to the people."
I cannot describe how insane that line sounds, nor can I believe how absurdly selfish people can be.
OK, first off, to say that a small piece of La Jolla beach has for several years been a refuge for seals and their pups can now be destroyed and "returned to the people" is crazy. I put this phrase in quotes because I cannot seriously believe the lack of consideration for animals that have already been displaced from their natural habitat, who are forced to compete in an ever shrinking ecosystem, and have found a nice spot to raise their babies away from natural predators, all while bringing in tourists who just like to watch nature be, well, nature.
Here's a little history behind the pool itself. The pool was built from the donations from Ellen Browning Scripps sometime in the late 1800s or early 1900s. That same Ellen Browning Scripps also gave us, among other things, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the Zoological Garden and Research Laboratory in Balboa Park ( aka the freakin' ZOO!!!!).
"A state appellate court yesterday upheld a judge's 2005 order requiring the city to restore water quality to Children's Pool beach in La Jolla by dredging the bacteria-laden sand and shooing away a colony of harbor seals" (Terry Rodgers, Sept 8 2007).
I guess tonights news just sets this absurd plan closer to fruition.
Does no one take into consideration that 80% of San Diegans support seal protection at the pool, and has become quite the tourist destination for visitors, who in turn eat at the restaurants, buy at the souvenir shops, and eventually tell their friends to visit San Diego? I guess not, since upholding old crusty laws that do not change with the times or citizen opinion seems to me the only thing that works in the land of the free.
If Ms. Scripps was alive today, I would think she would chastise such abhorrent ignorance and allow the seals to stay, and direct the kids to the ten other beaches that dot the coastline of San Diego county.
Please visit these sites if you are NOT a selfish, miserable, narrow-minded ass, and help those who are realize that the world does not end when they click the OFF button on their TV remotes.
This morning I got a couple of more pics when I went back to the house to check up on it.
Luckily for us, the fire seemed to be burning itself off because of the dying winds, staying away from the new homes of the La Pointe neighborhood. Those houses were just built a couple of years ago, right on fire alley.
Much respects to the firefighters and police for keeping us safe.
San Diegans kick ass.
Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
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|You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)|
The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesnâ€™t matter, because no matter what you have your friends and you'll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.
Of course I don't believe video games are the cause of this new, extremely dangerous and idiotic act in street racing, and if someone wants to race, do it on a legally sanctioned race track, where your real skills are put to the test. Nor should I be surprised that Fox News, or any mass media circuit, would want to, again, accuse a new entertainment form of ruining American lives. It's just how quick they are to point fingers at the entertainment industry, than they are to dig deep at the real issue of kids given free reign to do whatever they want, without learning beforehand the risks they are taking within our public streets.
It was my first time watching a Paquiao fight live, so it was extra cool. The fight was pretty good, as Pacman showed little signs of fatigue in his rematch against Barrera. It was obvious Barrera's strategy of waiting out Pacman's super quick combos was not working, and by the time of the ninth or tenth round, his heavy handed right swings kept missing. Sure he had a few good lands, not counting that cheap swing he took at Pac with the ref trying to break them up, but he was losing his cool and didn't want to go out like a chump, or get knocked down again like he was in their first bout against each other. I hope to catch some more of his fights before his retirement.
About that counter down there, I'm still not sure why it's still going, or what timezone it's set at. Oh well, click on it and it will take you to Pac's cool Nike website. Does anybody know where I can get that cool Paquiao tee they have? I might have to bum them off my cousin's in PI. I want them now!
You scored as Existentialist, Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.
What is Your World View?
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oh btw, my other site is artkills. spaces.live.com