RogerBW's Blog

High Moon 30 November 2014

Some time in the future, two convicts working on the Moon discover something strange: a flower, blooming on the surface. Then things get weird.

In the Land of Invented Languages, Arika Okrent 29 November 2014 - 5 comments

2009: Okrent examines the history of invented languages, and in particular the rare instances that weren't immediately forgotten.

The perils of in-band signalling 28 November 2014

It's often tempting, but usually an error, to allow control signals to be sent by the same channel as the data. This is an example of why.

Free! Eternal Summer 27 November 2014

2014, 13 episodes: AniDB, sequel to Free! (2013).

High school sports club anime: the sport in this instance is swimming.

Reading Boardgames Social 25 November 2014 26 November 2014

We got up to five with another newcomer, and mostly played Avalon.

Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie 25 November 2014 - 2 comments

Sequel to Ancillary Justice. Breq, now a Fleet Captain, travels to a backwater world to help assure its survival in the civil war.

Boardgames in the Brewery 23 November 2014 24 November 2014

Daryl of the Reading Boardgames Social organised a day of boardgaming at the Siren Craft Brewery, on an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere south of Reading.

Bedlam, Christopher Brookmyre 23 November 2014 - 2 comments

Ross Baker is having a bad day. He'd just lain down for an experimental brain scan, and now he seems to be a cyborg soldier in an endless war. And it's going to get a lot stranger than that. If you plan to read this book, know that I thought it fairly good (I'd rate it with Pandæmonium as minor but worth reading, much better than When the Devil Drives) and stop reading now to avoid the spoilers.

How accounting rules distort real life 22 November 2014

Accounting rules have perverse effects on real life. Here's an example dear to my heart.

Third Harpoon PBEM AAR: The Russians Are Coming 21 November 2014 - 2 comments

This third game went a lot faster than the last, taking about twelve days of real time to run.

Meet the Tiger, Leslie Charteris 20 November 2014

In a small village by the Devon coast, a very strange fellow has moved into the old pill-box on the cliff. Excitement ensues.

Theory and History of Multirotor Aircraft 19 November 2014 - 2 comments

I'm trying to learn more about practical multirotor design with a view to designing and building my own. A multirotor flies essentially by replacing mechanical complexity with software complexity, which is lighter. Here's a bit more detail.

Bad Pharma, Ben Goldacre 18 November 2014

Ben Goldacre explains at length how pretty much everything about drug research and selection is rotten.

Aldnoah.Zero 17 November 2014

2014, 12 episodes: AniDB

Mecha series. The Martians are invading Earth, and their technology is overpowering. But some Earthlings are able to fight back.

USS Seawolf, Patrick Robinson 16 November 2014 - 2 comments

In an attempt to get details of the latest Chinese missile submarine, an American attack boat is sent in to shadow her. Spoilers.

Automata 15 November 2014

2014, dir. Gabe Ibañez, Antonio Banderas, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen: IMDb / allmovie

After the vast majority of humanity has been killed by solar storms, robots keep the remainder alive in a small numer of cities. But some robots seem to be breaking their rules.

Fixing the Possibility Chalice 14 November 2014 - 8 comments

The Torg adventure The Possibility Chalice was published in the far-off days of 1990, when information about mysterious lands across the ocean was hard to come by, especially in a small town in Pennsylvania.

Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 19 13 November 2014 - 6 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details)

The Doctor - Peter Davison
Adric - Matthew Waterhouse
Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
Tegan Jovanka - Janet Fielding

The Good Soldier Schweik, Jaroslav Hasek 12 November 2014

After the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian Empire goes to war. Josef Švejk, a dealer in stolen dogs, does his best to get by.

2014 US Television Season 11 November 2014 - 1 comment

The current American television season is in full swing, and while it's pretty lacklustre I've caught up with some new series that looked interesting.

Owls Well That Ends Well, Donna Andrews 10 November 2014

Sixth mystery starring Meg Lanslow, contemporary blacksmith. Meg and her boyfriend have bought a huge old house very cheaply, on condition that they clear out and sell the accumulated junk left by the previous owner. But during the sale, a dubious dealer in antiquities turns up dead…

Faking the Moon 09 November 2014 - 4 comments

I run a lot of role-playing games set in the real world. (As Ken Hite points out, the background material is much richer and has had more people working on it, even if it's sometimes less plausible.) One surprisingly easy technique to add consistency and a sense of realism is being able to say what the moon is doing.

Hunting Season, Nevada Barr 08 November 2014

Tenth in Barr's Anna Pigeon series, murder mysteries in US National Parks. Back on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, a body's been found in an old plantation house, left in a manner suggestive of sexual homicide.

Ao Haru Ride 07 November 2014

2014, 12 episodes: AniDB, also known as Blue Spring Ride.

Contemporary school story adapted from shōjo manga. Futaba reinvents herself as she enters high school, only to find that her middle-school crush Kou has also reinvented himself.

Comet in Moominland, Tove Jansson 06 November 2014 - 3 comments

Tove Jansson's second book about the Moomins. Original title Kometjakten.

Thirsty Meeples November 2014 05 November 2014 - 3 comments

Back to the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Revolution! Anarchy: first look 04 November 2014

Revolution! Anarchy is the new 5-6 player expansion to Revolution!.

What If?, Randall Munroe 03 November 2014

The author of the webcomic xkcd works out back-of-the-envelope answers to odd scientific questions.

Halloween 2014 Mansions of Madness 02 November 2014

For Halloween, or at least All Saints', a friend hosted a session of Mansions of Madness, a game I'd heard about but never played. All images are cc-by-sa.

The Live Tracker 01 November 2014 - 2 comments

When I'm driving, I may get caught in traffic or have to divert round roadworks. If that happens, I don't want to pull in to call whoever's at my destination; that'll just make me even later, and on the motorway there aren't many opportunities to stop. But the machinery that I'm already using to log my trips knows my position anyway…

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