Friday, July 08, 2005

Winston Churchill Rocks!

Winston Churchill Rocks!

The folks over at Worthwhile came up with this list of kick-ass put-downs.

Winston Churchill, the master of the cutting bon mot, makes a number of appearances, including these gems:

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring afriend... if you have one." George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." Winston Churchill to George Bernard Shaw

"Interpreter! Interpreter! How do you say the opposite of Vive LaFrance?" Winston Churchill, on Charles de Gaulle

Of course, one of my personal favorites is a remark he made when he was First Sea Lord: "The naval tradition? Don't talk to me about the naval tradition! It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Virtual Faith

Virtual Faith

Religion is an incredibly power force in people's lives. It has changed many for the better, but has also led others to acts of incredible baseness and cruelty.

What would happen if you combined the power of faith with the remarkably addictive and protean characteristics of a massively multiplayer online game?

Chris Morris of CNN examines the role of religion in videogaming in his latest column. The short answer? Mainstream publishers are still avoiding religion like a third rail. You can't find religious games in stores.

That's precisely why this is a fantastic niche for online game developers. An enthusiastic and networked audience. A theme that taps into deep feelings. The ultimate stakes.

Perhaps in the future, rather than sending our children to Sunday school, we'll let them learn moral lessons in a virtual equivalent of ancient Israel.

The $500,000,000 Illusion

The $500,000,000 Illusion

Terra Nova clued me into this fascinating expose of the Asian sweatshops that underpin the market for virtual goods in massively multiplayer online games.

Virtual sweatshop owners pay people $150 per month to farm virtual gold and other treasures; then they turn around and sell those virtual goods for as much as $60,000 per month.

The estimated global market in virtual items? $500,000,000 per year.

Wow.

You Can Take It With You

You Can Take It With You

Why bother with a boring traditional funeral? Why not make it a celebration of the happiest moments of your life?

"Smith's body was on the recliner, his feet crossed and a remote in his hand. He wore black and gold silk pajamas, slippers and a robe. A pack of cigarettes and a beer were at his side, while a high-definition TV played a continuous loop of Steelers highlights.

"I couldn't stop crying after looking at the Steeler blanket in his lap," said his sister, MaryAnn Nails, 58. "He loved football and nobody did (anything) until the game went off. It was just like he was at home.""

How would you like to be remembered at your funeral?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Philosophomon--Gotta Debate 'Em All!

Philosophomon--Gotta Debate 'Em All!
Tired of your kids not grasping the concepts of Western philosophy? Can't tell their Socrates from their Isocrates? Still too young to learn the Monty Python's "Philosopher's Song?"

Fear not, now there are Philosophomon, the new Pokemon/Philosopher mashup, feature fun critters that teach basic philosophical concepts, like Thoreauizard, Nietzschesaur, and Descartle!

Thank you, BoingBoing.

Takeru Rides "Three Way" To Victory

Takeru Rides "Three Way" To Victory

International Federation Of Competitive Eaters champion Takeru Kobayashi steamrolled his way to an unprecendented 5th consecutive world hot-dog eating title.

I've been following Takeru's career since his first upset victory, and the 27-year-old has proven a champion for the ages, taking on all comers around the world.

Takeru has always been an innovator; his first title was sparked by his invention of the "Solomonic" technique of snapping hotdogs in half and eating them two at a time, easily beating the previous state-of-the-art, "Japaneseing," which consisted of eating hot dog and bun separately, which had, in turn, replaced the good old-fashioned American technique of simply being a fat bastard and eating as quickly as possible.

This year, Takeru took things to the next level with the "Three Way," stuffing three dogs into his mouth at once.

My favorite line of the article comes at the very end:

"For the record, 49 hot dogs contain 15,141 calories — a week's worth — and 33,517 milligrams of sodium, two weeks' allowance."