Archive for January, 2010

I started this jokey series a ways back, and I don’t think it actually ever made anyone but me laugh, but really, that’s all I need.


The Tomb of the Ancient Emperor!

It is 1901, and a new century brings with it many marvels of technology and wonder! Throughout the Earth, certain individuals are making vast steps both forwards and backwards in time, both unlocking the secrets of the past and slowly unraveling even the most mysterious mysteries of the future! First among these is one PROFESSOR INTELLIGENT, who with his assistant TIMMY, is currently researching the secrets of ancient Egypt, finding items one would never expect among long-buried treasures and tombs of yore!

But we’ll return to the current adventures of our dangerous duo in just one moment. First, we set our scene in darkness. But only relative darkness, as, slowly, a torch of yellow light emerges in the background. We are in a cavernous hallway, one surrounded by what is clearly manmade stone, yet covered in dust and dirt that only years of inactivity can place. Two men appear in the darkness, one holding a torch — they appear to be Turkish in origin, and they speak a strange language, one of many from around the ancient Mediterranean rim.

Still, their gestures and intonations reveal their intentions: they are planning an ambush! One signals behind a statue on one side of the chamber, and the other signals farther back down the hallway. As the two strange men from the Near East move to their appointed hiding places, a worry may cross your mind. Who are these two Turks planning to ambush? Could it be our own Professor Impossible and his trusty entourage? And if so, what could our intrepid hero do?

But worry not, young reader — our man has many talents, and among them is certainly the ability to see trouble coming! Worry not one bit, for we shall see what lies ahead for the good Professor.

And on that note, look! Near the far end of the ceiling of the hallway, there is suddenly a movement, a shuffling of rock and stone! Suddenly, light from above pushes through, and then, a shape falls to the ground below.

“Auggh,” says PROFESSOR INTELLIGENT as he falls into a heap on the floor, and then stops moving.

Another person jumps down from above, and lands deftly, and then another person arrives in the now torchlit chamber. It is, of course TIMMY! And our friend INSPECTOR MILLIBANK from Scotland Yard in London!

“I’m sure glad you decided to come along with us from London, Inspector!” says Timmy. “You never know when or where we might find ne’er-do-wells, even in an ancient tomb of an old pharaoh!”

“Think not of it,” answers the Inspector. “The professor has answered my call many a time, it was only prudent that I answer his! Speaking of, is he alright? He hasn’t moved since he got down here.”

“Oh, I’m sure he’s just examining something closely on the floor.” Timmy says, kneeling down to pat the face-down Professor on his back. “What is it, Professor? What did you find?”

“Euggh,” says the Professor, who rolls over on his side. “What the gell just happened?”

“I’m sorry,” says the Inspector, “did he just say gell?”

“Oh no,” Timmy exclaims, “it must be a curse! A curse from the ancient tomb!”

“No, you idio-uggggh,” answers the Professor. “My head is killing me, I can’t see straight. I think I’ve got a conduss — a concussion. I landed on my head after falling through the floor up there.”

“Fight it, professor!” Timmy exclaims. “We’ve got to keep moving ahead! We’re almost to the tomb!”

“Afraid not, gents,” says one of the Turkish men in a rough accent, stepping out from behind the shadows. “This is the end of your line.”

“We’ve got orders,” says the other, appearing at the end of the corridor from his own hiding place brandishing a pistol in his hand. “Hands in the air!”

Inspector Millibank appears to survey the situation, looking for an advantage to fight from, and then resigns and raises his hands in the air. Timmy does the same, but the professor remains on the floor, rubbing his head and looking a little woozy.

“Did you hear what we said?” says one of the Turks. “Get up! Hands in the air!” To prove his mettle, he fires the pistol at the ground near our professor, and the gunshot echoes throughout the underground cavern. The Inspector and Timmy cover their ears in pain momentarily and then put their hands back up in the air as quickly as possible.

“Jesus!” says the professor. “We didn’t even know you guys were down here. I’ve got to go to hospital, anyway, I think.” he says, stumbling a little as he tries to stand. He touches his head and then checks his hand. “Is that blood? Damnit!”

“No one going anywhere,” says one of the Turks as he checks Millibank for weapons and pulls a second pistol from within Millibank’s coat. “Not until boss arrives.”

“Boss?” says Timmy. “But you don’t mean that it’s… ” Timmy trails off in fear.

“He surely does, Timmy,” says the Inspector with a growl. “Only one villian is dastardly enough to solve the riddle and arrive in the tomb before the great Professor Intelligent. Their boss must be…” he says, with a final pause before dramatic effect.

“Look, I think I’m really bleeding here,” says Professor Intelligent. “It’s starting to get on my coat. Oh god, and who knows what kind of fungus is growing down here? This can’t be safe.”

“Dr. Vile!” say both Timmy and the Inspector in a fright.

“The one and only,” says the evil Dr. Vile, emerging from the end of the chamber with a twirl of his mustache and a grin to match his name.

“All right,” says the Professor. “That’s it, then. Look, I don’t know what’s going on — last I remember, I was drinking in some bar, and the next thing I know the kid and the cop are dragging me around some dark temple place. I just want to go and get some medical care and hopefully some painkillers. I know you always have some plan going on, and really, that’s fine by me, let’s just –”

“ENOUGH!” shouts the terrible Dr. Vile, and motions to his two minions to grab some nearby rope and tie up our three adventurers. “You’ve tangled with me for the last time, Professor Intelligent! I knew that if you were in Cairo, you wouldn’t be able to avoid the mystery of the Tomb of Imhotep!”

“You mean you solved the Riddle of the Sphinx too?” exclaims Timmy, now tied up with the Professor and Inspector Millibank. “You found the golden feline and replaced it in the Emperor’s harem before dawn on the day of reckoning!”

“Look,” says the professor, “I don’t know where he gets this stuff, seriously. I think he just makes it up. We can go, it’s fine.”

“I did!” shouts Dr. Vile, twirling his mustache even more menacingly. “I made plans to arrive here even before you did, and ambush you myself! And now you’ll be able to see my final triumph!”

“No!” shouts Timmy. “Professor, he’s found the Ancient Chalice of Imhotep!”

“Seriously?” asks the professor with exasperation. “Is that a real thing? Where are you getting this stuff? Millibank, do you have any idea what’s going on here?”

“No, sir,” says Inspector Millibank faithfully, “but then again you’re usually the one who solves all of the mysteries.”

“See, Vile?” sighs the professor. “This is what I’m dealing with. I don’t care what you do or what you have wired to explode or whatever. Just let us go.”

“Silence!” retorts Vile. “I… actually do have this whole place wired to explode. I’m surprised you saw through that part of my plan!” The two Turks exchange looks of slight alarm.

“Are you kidding?” asks the professor. “You always have something you want to blow up or — look, seriously, I don’t care. I’m bleeding here. Just let us go.”

“Never! Now that my plan is almost complete, I can tell you: I’m going to drink from the chalice! And then I’m going to blow this whole tomb sky high!”

“But, you’ll kill us all!” cries Millibank.

“All of us, Inspector,” says Timmy. “But not him — he’s got the chalice!”

“Exactly right, Timmy,” replies the evil doctor, and pulls a golden chalice from beneath his scientist’s coat. “I will drink from the chalice, and earn eternal life! You’ll all be blown to bits, but I will survive!”

“No!” cries Timmy. “Professor! We’ve got to stop him.”

“Ah, you stop him, you little snot. I think — I think I’m losing consciousness,” the professor replies, his eyes slowly closing into what must surely be deep thought about their current predicament.

“Now,” Dr. Vile speaks, “I will drink, and live forever! Turks, light the explosives!”

The Turks look at each other, and then at Dr. Vile. One of them speaks: “We do not think so, effendi.”

Dr. Vile is incredulous. “What!? Do as I say! Obey your master.”

“We will help you find your treasure,” says one of the Turks. “But drinking from the chalice must not be done.” They advance on the doctor.

“Professor, wake up!” whispers Timmy. “I think something is happening!”

The Doctor makes a desperate move to sip from the chalice, but one of the Turks is on him like a flash, knocking the cup from his hand and spilling its liquid on the tomb’s floor. The other moves quicker than lightning across the desert sky, and soon the Doctor is vanquished, unconscious on the rough stone.

“Professor, you did it!” says Timmy, and Millibank seems to move to protest but then shrugs. The professor says nothing, lost in thought, a little drool falling from his mouth and blood from his head wound slowly coloring his coat-collar.

“The doctor reached too far,” says one of the Turks to Timmy. “We will let you go, if only we get your word that you will stay away from the Ancient Chalice.”

“Of course!” says Timmy. “The professor seeks only knowledge, not eternal life! We’ll leave you and your tomb alone!”

“Then we will let you go,” says one of the Turks. “And we will return you safely to Cairo. But first, we best seek medical attention for your friend.”

“Uggghhhh,” says the professor as he is untied. And the great genius does not speak again until back in the haze of morphine in a Cairo hospital.

So once again the great professor has defeated the villian and saved the day! But what will become of the evil Dr. Vile? And who are the two helpful Near Easterners who assisted our hero?

Stay tuned for more of Professor Intelligent’s Thrilling Tales of Thrills!

Michelle Madison of Warcraft Outsiders put this together, and I thought it was pretty cute. Which is why it’s posted at the top of Warcraft Wednesday, a weekly feature about what I’ve found interesting in WoW this past week. See how that works?

  • I actually, finally, after about two years of fishing those stupid pools on and off, got Mr. Pinchy this week. I’m surprised at myself — I didn’t accidentally click away from the loot (I did that once on the old fishing tournament), I got it within a few casts on the day I tried, and on the very first wish, I got what I wanted: the noncombat pet. Pretty amazing. That was my last big goal in WoW, so now I’m not sure what I want to do. I guess my Pally (which I haven’t been playing lately) could stand to get his epic copter and his motorcycle, so that’ll probably be what I go after next.
  • Speaking of things I posted about on Twitter, it is coming. Stay tuned.
  • This was an interesting question bouncing around the blogosphere: do addons make the game too easy? And if so, is that ok? When I posted that Mr. Pinchy screenshot, someone on Twitter replied back to me to point out that I’m not using any bag addons, and when I wondered why, I figured it was because I liked organizing my stuff the way the developers wanted me to, rather than having some addon do it for me. Sure, it’s a little harder, and sometimes things get lost in my bags, but in that case, I’d rather use the game’s UI. That doesn’t mean I don’t use Pally Power and Recount — in those instances, I’d rather that the game be “easier,” or at least not use up my mental awareness on the little things. But yes — those complaining that the game is too easy could probably stand to look in their addons folder and see just which parts of the game they’re bypassing with automation.
  • Here’s an awesome Felhunter plush as well. I’ve been looking for some more lamps/lights for my apartment, and I’d love to find something Warcraft-related, but I haven’t see anything yet. If you do, let me know.
  • I’m bummed that Ghostcrawler doesn’t seem keen on letting us use different types of ammo in different situations. I agree that if you do it the traditional way, it can make for some full bags and a lot of micromanaging. But shamans have their own UI — maybe hunters should get another set of spells or a dropdown menu somewhere to choose which “ammo” they’re using. If ammo really is going away, why not just put it in the UI? He says that there aren’t many situations where you’d need to use different ammo and that it’s too much for hunters to worry about, but I have faith that a) developers will come up with ammo different enough that there’s reason to make a choice and b) surely a dropdown menu where the ammo slot is right now wouldn’t be too much to worry about. If you’re losing ammo anyway, make it that easy, and turn up the costs for repairs on the weapons.
  • There’s obviously nothing to this, but I thought it was cool that she responded.
  • Finally, convention season is starting up again, and I found out this week that I’m going to get to go to GDC 2010 in March. It’ll be my first GDC, and I’m really looking forward to it. Though I’m not covering Blizzard specifically (unless they want to announce any upcoming apps for the newly-announced iPad, ahem), I’ll definitely stop by the booth and say hi, and if they happen to be showing off Cataclysm, I’ll let you know how it looks. Should be fun!

Thanks for reading, ya’ll! Hope all is well with you in the World of Warcraft. As always, if you see something cool you think I might like, feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to check it out.

Mass Effect 2 came out today, and I’m looking forward to it, but I’m still playing Dragon Age. And I think I’ve figured out why.

Jonash: Hello! Welcome to the thriving city of Denerim! What can I do for you?

  • What’s here in Denerim?
  • Who are you?
  • Where can I find Brother Genetivi?
  • Do you have anything for sale?

Chumley: What’s here in Denerim?

Jonash: Oh, lots of things! The shops are mostly in the main square, but you can find different places to go all over the city. Just be sure to stay out of the Elven Alienage — that place is a mess. Anything else I can help you with?

  • What’s here in Denerim?
  • Who are you?
  • Where can I find Brother Genetivi?
  • Do you have anything for sale?

Chumley: Who are you exactly?

Jonash: Oh my name is Jonash, I’m the blacksmith here in this part of town. My son used to help me, but, well, it’s just me lately…

  • Oh no! What happened?
  • Where’s your son? Can I help in some way?
  • Haven’t you hired another assistant?
  • I hope that doesn’t mean I have to wait.

Chumley: Oh no! What happened to your son?

Jonash: Oh, he’s been rebelling against me for a while — he left about a week ago and hasn’t been back since. I would be more worried, but he’s been gone before, and at least it’s one less mouth to food. I would like to have him back, but only for the work. I don’t have enough money to hire anyone else.

  • Can I help in some way?
  • Haven’t you hired another assistant?
  • I hope that doesn’t mean I have to wait.

Chumley: Can I help in some way?

Jonash: No, not really. Unless you find him somewhere around the city. I don’t know if he’d want to come back at all, but if you do find him, I guess you could tell him that the irons need heating again.

  • Haven’t you hired another assistant?
  • I hope that doesn’t mean I have to wait.

Chumley: Haven’t you hired another assistant?

Jonash: Wait, didn’t you hear me? I already said I didn’t have enough money to hire anyone else. Are you even listening to these answers?

  • Tell me again about Denerim.
  • Where can I find Brother Genetivi?
  • Do you have anything for sale?

Chumley: What’s here in Denerim?

Jonash: Seriously? Didn’t you already ask that question? Are you just clicking all of the choices so you can make sure to hear everything? I told you — Denerim is the market and a lot of other places. It’s all on your map, just go look.

  • Tell me again about Denerim.
  • Where can I find Brother Genetivi?
  • Do you have anything for sale?

Chumley: Where can I find Brother Genetivi?

Jonash: Brother Genetivi? Never heard of him. But I believe he usually hangs out near the Chantry — which you probably would have known if you’d actually paid attention to your quest log instead of stopping by every single NPC to ask them every single question you could because video games have conditioned you to talk to everyone. No wonder this game is taking you so long. Can I help you with anything else?

  • What’s here in Denerim?
  • Who are you?
  • Tell me again about Brother Genetivi.
  • Do you have anything for sale?

Chumley: Tell me again about Brother Genetivi.

Jonash: Sigh. I already told you everything I know, and you didn’t even have to ask me about that. Seriously, I don’t know why Bioware even bothered to record all of this dialogue — it’s completely meaningless to both of us.

  • What’s here in Denerim?
  • Who are you?
  • Tell me again about Brother Genetivi.
  • Do you have anything for sale?

Chumley: Do you have anything for sale?

Jonash: Sure, here you go. Feel free to spend five minutes sorting through all of the junk you picked up in the last dungeon, because you’re playing this game like Diablo and think that you need to save everything for vendor trash. I’m sure you’ll do the same thing at the next vendor, even though we pretty much have all the same stuff anyway. Man, you’re bad at playing this game.

Lack 01.26

I’m here. My internet is occasionally dropping out, but that’s not why I didn’t post a video this weekend. Frankly, I don’t just feel that motivated to post much at all. Sometimes, your life feels like it has meaning — a few projects you’re working on are taking off, the weather is particularly nice lately, and everything seems to be humming along, driven by some ethereal engine that you don’t particularly control, but that seems to be pushing you and your life forward.

And sometimes that engine stalls, and your life feels pretty aimless, and nothing much changes or seems like it’ll change in the future. This second feeling is the one I’m having lately. It’s unfortunate, but in my experience these things pass, and the first feeling, the one with an engine behind it, will eventually return. I usually just have to wait it out.

Please don’t worry or anything — this past Friday night I was feeling a little bummed, and I tweeted exactly that, and I saw a friend on Saturday who expressed concern about it. But I told him not to worry, and I made a mental note to try and keep that stuff off the Internet. On the Internet, no one knows what you really mean, and people may worry that you’re in real trouble when you casually mention that a night didn’t really go your way. But in reality, it’s just life. Everyone deals with it.

I’m breaking that rule already by saying that I don’t really feel inclined to post lately, but don’t worry about it. Because every time things go down, there is a resulting up that comes along eventually. I’ll just sit here, and quietly wait for exactly that to happen.

It’s been raining here in LA, and my internet seems to be suffering. It’s a really disappointing thing, especially for someone like me who spends so much time online, to be working on the internet and then just have it die in the middle of something important. It’s like getting into a really interesting blog post, and then s

Another week, another roundup of things I’ve found interesting in the World of Warcraft! Including this awesome remix of WoW’s best music.

  • Blizzard did another developer chat, and it seemed to me to be much better than the first for one reason: Ghostcrawler. That guy is not only smart (I know, he and I have chatted about Warcraft over beers), but he’s really excellent at being insightful about the game without dropping megatons about the developers’ plans. He knows the game inside and out, and when players come up to him with an issue (in the dev chat or at BlizzCon), he knows how to break it down in a way that’s meaningful to them and talk about the mechanics behind it without making Blizzard look bad. If there’s a problem with Ghostcrawler, I’d say that he’s too interested in an ongoing balance — he’s not interested in finding a good place where everyone’s even, he’s more interested in keeping things up in the air and interesting. But that’s better for the game, anyway.
  • There were also a bunch of resilience changes, but honestly, I don’t care. PvPers will probably cheer, and then they’ll cry again when the damage done by players gets buffed back in line, and so on. This is what I was saying about Ghostcrawler: it’s a constant juggling act, rather than trying to actually reach an equilibrium. But the juggling act is what keeps subscriptions happening and what keeps players interested, so he’ll keep at it as long as he can.
  • This is a great question: will we have another Olympic event? I expect so. Looking forward to that.
  • On February 5th, there’ll be a pet show over on the Horde side of Wyrmrest Accord. Some ingame events are boring, but I imagine this one will be pretty fascinating — hopefully there’ll be some pretty rare pets in attendance.
  • My good friend Brigwyn did a great interview with Arxkanite, who wrote the much-maligned but widely used Gearscore addon. Definitely give it a listen.
  • Blessing of Kings has one of the first really good arguments I’ve seen against crowd control. Basically, he says that if you really want cc that’s worth something, you’ll have to created a limited number of dependencies between mobs per pull. Which means that we’d just go back to a bunch of cookie-cutter pulls. I still disagree with him — I love crowd control, and how it brings another level of strategy into a 5-man group, and I think the devs could come up with a solid and interesting set of dependencies like BoK talks about — but it’s an interesting point.
  • Matticus, who wrote for WoW: The Magazine, so check that out, wants to know why people cared about the drama in Guildwatch. I can think of a few reasons: despite what most people suspected, the whole point of the drama section in GW was actually to act as a warning sign. As in, “here goes your guild but for the grace of Ghostcrawler.” Here’s how bad things get, so you can know not to go here with your guild. Second, it’s just funny — it’s predictable, and it’s amusing to see that no matter what someone is pissed about, the core issue is usually that they think they’re better or deserve more than someone else. Plus, it’s fun to make fun of people who mess up (and the correct response to something like Guildwatch drama is to laugh at yourself — some people did that, most didn’t). Matt says he might start a drama blog, but trust me, I’m way ahead of him. I didn’t think Guildwatch was coming back at all (and I think “The Classifieds” is an interesting idea — Lisa always does a great job), but yes, I am planning on starting up some type of blog that examines MMO drama. If someone else out there wants to try it, feel free, but I’ll tell you two other things: 1) Matt’s right, it’s a lot of work, and 2) this may sound egotistical, but I think another thing that people liked about GW was my voice behind it. Maybe I’ll prove myself wrong.
  • Finally, Blizzard added both a model viewer and character RSS feeds to the Armory last week. Re: the model viewer, I tweeted that I didn’t really get it — we can already see our characters by logging into the game, and while the “pose” thing is cute, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose that I can see. The RSS feeds are more interesting — Larisa was one of a few bloggers that wondered about the privacy of the whole thing. Does it matter if someone knows what you did in World of Warcraft last night? Your boss could follow your feed and see when you’re dinging while you should be working, or an ex under restraining order might be able to tell when you’re home. I don’t know how Blizzard could make it optional or not (seems to me that if you could see the information behind one feed, you could eventually figure out how to reach them all), but making it optional certainly seems like the best way to do it. I haven’t seen a lot about this, but it’s a pretty big issue. I doubt this is the last we’ll hear about it.

That’s it! Pretty full column this week, I’ll have to see if there’s a better way to format it all next time. Enjoy!

Limericks 01.20

I couldn’t think of what to write this evening, despite some excellent suggestions from folks on Twitter. Then I realized I hadn’t tried writing any limericks (or poetry at all, hmmm) in a while, so here’s a few of those.

Timely Limericks!

These rainstorms today here in LA
Have caused chaos and lots of disarray
But that’s not quite the worst:
Though the levees may burst,
I just had my car washed yesterday.

Jack Bauer’s back on the airwaves
And I’m thrilled yet again by his close shaves
And here’s this season’s twist
Jack’s not the most pissed
It’s Renee who decorum and law waives!

Folks were bummed that the Navi are not real
And in China they watch with too much zeal
But the craziest thing
About Cameron’s fling
Is an age 60 Ripley! That’s unreal!

NBC is adjusting their clocks
And Jay Leno is taking his knocks
The most probable ending
Of the Tonight Show’s “lending”?
It’s that Conan is headed to Fox.

A new episode! And so soon!

Thanks for listening! Enjoy the show!

icon for podpress  The Modern World, episode 15: Play Now | Play in Popup

NASA recently found cocaine in one of their hangars. What other embarrassments might be in store for the space program?

Possible future NASA embarrassments

Glowsticks found the morning after in Mission Control

Interns subjected to ten-shot “countdown” at yearly office party

Strange smell from math department turns out to be originating from hookah sitting in front of whiteboard full of groundbreaking trajectory calculations

New orbital navigation system designated MJ-420

Engineering has been designing microvacuum pump that turns out to be really great at doing whippets

New budget includes $100 million for astronauts’ “special K” supply aboard ISS

‘Shrooms have been grown on the moon since Apollo 12

Space shuttle launch pad turns out to be huge bong

David Bowman didn’t trip through time at the end of 2001 — he was just on LSD in zero gravity

Time again for Warcraft Wednesday, a roundup of things I’ve found interesting about the World of Warcraft this past week! One of those things, as you can see above, is SNAXXRAMAS!

  • It’s still all Dungeon Finder for me lately — my guild doesn’t seem to have enough people to go raiding, so I just log in, get in a random group (finally running Heroics with my pally), and run a few instances. Lately, I’ve been thinking of going back to the hunter. I originally switched to my Pally so that I could do some tanking and/or healing, but I tried to do both of those in random groups and to be honest, I didn’t find them that fun as a hybrid. I think I’m going to stick with straight DPS, though maybe I’ll go back and level a priest for Cataclysm.
  • Can you believe that this woman plays World of Warcraft? Or used to, anyway. Man she is pretty, and pretty nerdy!
  • The WoW TCG is completely revamping the way they’re doing business in 2010. Not necessarily surprising, given that there are more sets out now than anyone can count, and they’ve needed a refresh to try and pull in new players. I don’t think they’re due for a demise — I think they’re so far into the community at this point that Blizzard won’t bother with starting up any other licensing deals. But I do think things will change over there pretty drastically, which is probably usually what happens when TCG games get that old.
  • I have to agree with Boubouille here — the Cataclysm alpha may be starting up soon, but it really doesn’t mean much to us at all. Friends and family alpha means it’s not open to the public (as Mania says, that means you and me), and I think given their experience with Wrath, Blizzard is going to be really careful about releasing information early. Eventually, there will be a PTR and/or an open beta, and we’ll have lots of time to pick all of the many many changes over then. Until then, I would say let them do their thing and wait for the sure-to-be-exciting pre-release world event. Remember, my thinking is that we’ll have basically a content patch worth of quests and reputation and items to look over for the world event.
  • Bornakk says no changes to the Battered Hilt drop rate… which means we’ll probably see a change soon. Ha! I kid. I still haven’t seen mine yet. Or my Mr. Pinchy. Or my Perky Pug (though I’m closer than ever).
  • I do this all… the… time. Malygos: “Pledge fealty to me, and perhaps I won’t slaughter you for your insolence!” Me: “Ok, ok! We pledge! Guys, let’s go, he seems pretty angry.”
  • Finally, here are some fun games to play while running Heroics with the dungeon finder. I’m probably too chicken to play them on my still undergeared paladin, though I may try some of the DPS ideas on my hunter this week.

That’s it for this week! Oh, one more thing: have you seen this site yet? It’s probably NSFW and you probably won’t like it, but I thought it was funny.

I was trying to think of something to write tonight, and I thought, “With everybody talking about the Jay Leno/NBC/Conan thing, is there really anything else interesting or original that I can say about it?” Probably incorrectly, I decided yes.

Attack of the Network Television Executives!

Our hero, Conan O’Brien, storms into the NBC executive offices, demanding to speak with the network execs. He manages to fight his way into the executive boardroom, only to find a panel of three network heads, two men and one woman, calmly sitting at a table facing the door he enters from.

Conan: All right, you idiots! I’ve had enough of this rumormongering and back and forth about you and me and Jay Leno and what’s happening with these late night shows. I’m here to finish this! I’m here for the truth!

Executive #1: Conan, what’s wrong?

Executive #2: Yes, what in Gliese 581 are you talking about?

Conan: Wow, that’s a weird expression for you to use. I wonder if that will come back up later. Never mind for now, though — You know what I’m talking about! The news is saying you want to put Jay Leno back in the Tonight Show’s timeslot, and move me and the Tonight Show back to 12:05am! That’s sacrilege! That would mean that the Tonight Show would actually be on TV tomorrow!

Executive #3: Yes, yes Conan, that’s all true. But what’s your problem? Why are you barging in here?

Conan: Barging in here? How dare you murder tradition and take my hard-earned dream from me just because Jay Leno’s show failed!? Why are you asking me to pay for your failures?!

Executive #1: Failures? What does he mean?

Executive #2: I think I see the problem here. Conan thinks the Jay Leno Show was a failure.

Conan: Thinks? Of course it was a failure! His ratings were terrible, and his “comedy” is even worse! Just look at the fervor on the Internet. The show, and your whole experiment to replace prime time drama with a variety hour, was a gigantic failure!

Executive #2: Oh no, Conan. You’re looking at things the wrong way. The Jay Leno Show was making us plenty of money from advertisers. In fact, even though it’s losing in ratings to all the other networks, we’re making way more money than we ever would buying sets and scripts and actors and assistant directors for all those prime time dramas. Advertisers love his family-friendly, bland content, and his show costs us relatively nothing to produce at all.

Conan: Wait, so you don’t care about the ratings at all?

Executive #3: Why would you think we do, Conan? We’ve never said otherwise. Our chairman said earlier this year that the show was not just great, it was “exceeding our expectations and those of our advertisers”! Think about it — DVR is a huge issue with us. Heroes gets time-shifted, and our advertisers complain. The Office gets time-shifted, and our advertisers complain — plus, some of their material is considered “controversial,” though we’re working hard to convince them it’s “water cooler friendly.” But the Jay Leno Show is perfect for us — the format lets us do product mentions whenever we want, the timeliness makes it DVR-proof, and the advertisers love Jay. I just had a Coke guy bring his daughter in to see the show, they got a real kick out of the headlines!

Executive #1: Ha! I love those!

Conan: Wait, you’re saying you like the Jay Leno Show better than The Office?

Executive #1: Of course Conan — the Jay Leno Show makes us more money. Why wouldn’t we like it? We like what our advertisers like, and even if we have to charge less because ratings are low, we were still making way more money than we ever spent on ER. That show was a real anchor on the network, let me tell you!

Executive #2: Just the catering on ER was more than we pay the crappy writers on Leno! Thank goodness that thing ended.

Conan: But if you don’t care about the comedy or ratings, then — wait, so you really thought the Jay Leno Show was a success? What about the affiliates? What about the reaction on the Internet?

Executive #2: Well of course it was a success, did you see all that money we made? I’ve got a huge pile of it right here! (Pulls pile of money from under the desk)

Executive #3: The affiliates thing was a problem for a little while, yes, Conan, but they got over it. They affiliates use our content to make their money, and while they might whine about our lead-ins, in the end, they’ll always come crawling back home.

Executive #2: And the Internet — Conan, my daughter is on the Internet all the time, and her favorite show is Jersey Shore. Do you think the Internet has any taste in television?

Executive #1: (looks at pile of money and starts drooling a little bit)

Conan: Did you just start drooling over that money? Again, that seems strange. But wait, ok, I get why you didn’t care what people thought about the Jay Leno Show — it was making you money because of low costs and high advertiser interest, and I get why you don’t care about the Internet. So why are you deciding to change things back now?

Executive #2: Unfortunately, the tide turned — public opinion had it that the show was a failure, and advertisers didn’t want to be associated with a failure. We would have let Jay go for years, even if his ratings had never improved. But once the advertisers started reading in those lame newspapers — we’ll shut them down yet — that Jay Leno was a mistake, then they started believing it. That’s ok, though — we’ll still have him at 11:30, just like the advertisers want it. What they say goes. It’s not like viewers are paying us any money.

Conan: But didn’t you read my statement today? What about the history of the Tonight Show? That’s an NBC classic! NBC has a long tradition of quality programming — doesn’t that mean anything to you? Why would you break up tradition and your own brand just to make more money?

Executive #3: Sigh. Earth traditions.

Conan: Wait, did you just say “Earth traditions”?

(The three executives look at each other.)

Executive #1: Ok, Conan. I think it’s time we told you anyway. The truth is, we’re actually aliens from a faraway planet.

(They all pull off their human masks to reveal insectoid heads.)

Conan: No! The seemingly innocuous mention of a distant planet earlier in the script has suddenly turned out to be a hint at a larger truth!

Executive #2: Yes, Conan, it’s hamfisted melodrama. And as it turns out, we care nothing about your Earth traditions like the storied “Tonight Show,” your human dreams, or even the strange conceit you earthlings call “comedy.” Truthfully, we just don’t get it.

Executive #3: Coincidentally, none of our main demographics understand “irony” or “wit,” either, but as far as we can tell, they’re all still human. Just really, really dumb.

Executive #2: Indeed. But the point is, Conan, we don’t really care about ratings or art or respect or integrity at all. We only care about one thing. And that’s our main food source, Moylent Green.

Executive #1: (reaches to grab part of the pile of money, eying it hungrily)

Conan: Moylent Green? But I don’t understand. What’s Moylent Green?

Executive #2: In a strange twist of fate, Conan, it turns out that the one thing we love to eat is actually little green pieces of paper with currency values printed on them. And your planet happens to be full of it.

Conan: No! You don’t mean…

Executive #1: Yes, Conan. (Gobbles down the pile of money in a ravenous gulp)

Conan: Soy — I mean Moylent Green is money!

Executive #2: Yes, Conan. And that’s why we don’t care about anything you have to say — all we care about is making money, and then eating it to support our disgusting and lecherous insectoid lifestyle. And there’s nothing you can do about it, Conan! You’ll take the 12:05 slot and like it!

Conan: No! You monsters! Nooo!! I’ll tell everyone! I’ll tell the world!

Executive #3: You’ll tell who, Conan? Matt Lauer? Katie Couric? Brian Williams?

Executive #1: Why do you think we pay them so much? Couric can eat a bankroll like you wouldn’t believe! Hahahaha!

(All the executives laugh with their alien laughter. Conan runs out the door and down the hall screaming.)

Executive #3: Hahaha! Oh, that was fun. Which reminds me — we’ve got to call the ABC hive and have them cancel Modern Family. It’s far too good to make the kind of green we’ll need for this year’s hibernation sweeps. Let’s have them put something a little more advertiser friendly in there — maybe another Dancing with the Stars.

Executive #1: Dancing II: Electric Boogaloo! Perfect! And since we’ve just had a meeting and we’ve got a plate of money here, let’s make it lunch and eat!

(They smile and laugh as only insects can, and gobble up the pile of advertiser money on the table.)

Q&A time 01.12

I figured that it had been a while since I last did an open Q&A, so I announced on Twitter today that I would answer some questions, and here you go. Not that you guys necessarily care what I have to say, but a) you’re coming to a site named after me, so I figure you must care at least a little bit, and b) I like taking random prompts wherever I want to go with them, so I’m doing it! Begin the gauntlet!

@carlosfrevert asks: Are you going to play Star Trek Online?

Probably not. I used to play EVE Online and World of Warcraft (and D&D Online, and a couple of other MMOs) back when I worked on, but I found out pretty quickly that I never ended up playing either one enough to justify two subscriptions. And I’m not really that much of a Star Trek fan — I am much more of a Star Wars guy. I like the rough and tumble better than the diplomatic teleporting. If STO gets amazing reviews, I may do a free trial, but no, I don’t have any plans to pick up another MMO very soon.

I am planning on playing The Old Republic for a while, only because I suspect it’ll be very different from your usual MMO (and I’m a big Bioware fan). But even then, it’ll be a tough sell to get me away from WoW, and I don’t plan to hold more than one major subscription for any length of time.

What will pull me away from WoW? I’ve heard rumors poking around the Internet lately that have mirrored what I’ve heard offline and off the record for a few months now in whispered conversations with friends of friends of Blizzard employees. Blizzard is a titan of the MMO scene, and whatever they’re planning next will undoubtedly be rad.

@deepholes wants to know: “Mike, should I go to law school?”

If you want to be a lawyer, then I would say yes, you should go to law school, as I believe that’s pretty much the only way it’s done. That’s what I saw when I googled this question, and I agree: law school is tough and expensive and probably not very much fun. The only reason you’d want to go through it is if you really do want to be a lawyer. So the question should probably be not if you should go to law school, but why.

If you should go because your Dad wants you to, or because it’s what you always expected to do, or because you just want to make a lot of money, then no, you probably shouldn’t go (trust me, there are much easier ways to make lots of money). But if you want to be a lawyer, look forward to reading over complicated legal texts, and enjoy dealing with tough issues, probably without any clear answers, then please do go.

My brother went to law school and he’s now an environmental lawyer. Unfortunately, I’m writing this too late to actually call him for his advice (he’s in DC on the East Coast, and I’m in LA), but if I know him well, and I do, he’d probably agree with me: if you’re going to invest that much time and frustration and money in something like that, you better want it. Good luck!

@Lorangriel and @Septictank27: “Why did you quit”

That’s not quite a fair question. I wouldn’t say that I “quit”

@spocket1 replies: “Why did you leave WoW Insider?”

Unfortunately, I’ve said all I can say publicly about my leaving the site. If I could tell you more, I would, and I do plan to be at BlizzCon this year, so if you want to know the whole story, come up and ask and I’ll tell you. I’ll just say that there were differences, and I’ll have to leave it at that. There’s no crazy story or anything, but needless to say, as you may already know, I’m still working for the parent company. So you can do the math and probably see why that’s all I got for you. Sorry. The fact of the matter is that, even though of course I miss the community, I’ve moved on and so have they. So that’s that.

Fortunately, I’m still playing WoW, and I’m writing about it every Wednesday here at in what I call Warcraft Wednesday. So everybody wins!

And I am talking with Turpster about another podcast. It won’t be another WoW Insider Show, but if we can set up a worthwhile plan and get it moving, I will promise that it will be fun and that you will enjoy it.

@fredgallup asks: “How do you REALLY feel about TotalBiscuit?”


@AngerFork wonders: “If you could be sent any distance into the future without worry of losing your life, how far would you go? What would you see?”

I thought for a while about this one since it was asked this afternoon. I thought about going to the end of my life just to see what happens, but then I figured that wouldn’t be any good. What if it turns out that I died peacefully and that I was just old and lying in bed when I appeared? When I came back, I’d have to wonder if I did anything different with that knowledge, and if I did whether I’d get hit by a bus or not, and I’d just spend my time looking for that bedroom and wondering when my younger self would show up or if I would have made my future different at all. So no, I don’t think I’d want to come back within my lifetime to meet myself.

I thought about coming back, say, a few hundred years into the future to see what things were like from a technological standpoint, but my guess is that I’d be disappointed — either we’d have blown ourselves up by then, a new Ice Age would have wiped most of us out, or we’d all have been turned into morons like in Idiocracy. And honestly, future technology doesn’t interest me too much — either I’ll be disappointed that we haven’t gone farther than I thought, or I’ll be so bummed that we can’t use their flying cars and cool gadgets in the current era.

So I basically decided I’d like to go to the end. Of everything. The entire universe. That seems most enlightening — I’m guessing by then there wouldn’t be any traces of humanity left to bum me out, and I’d get to see what this actually all is, if it all just ends or if it repeats or if there is some outer being or if we’re just someone else’s whimsical imagination. I wouldn’t really be able to do anything when I came back, but I’m guessing just knowing for sure what this all is would probably make my life better.

So that’s when I would go without worry of losing my life — the absolute end of the universe, to see just what happens when the existence of everything we know comes to a close. Plus, I hear the steaks are excellent and the show is good there.

Finally, @TJMadd asks: “What made you move away from Chicago to the West Coast?”

Opportunity, mostly. There’s more chances out here for me to write about video games, movies, music and television, which is what I want to do. There’s more companies looking for community managers, which is something I can do well. There’s more events to cover and more opportunities for interviews and in-person meetings. And there’s more wackiness out here and more strange stories to hear and experience and write down later on. I’ve been wanting to move out to LA for a while, so it’s kind of the culmination of a dream for me.

Plus, the weather is great and the women are beautiful. It’s not all a dream — the traffic is terrible, I still haven’t found a worthwhile pizza place (the food in general here is much less impressive than in Chicago), everything here is pricey and spread out all over the place, and moving to a city where I didn’t really know anyone well was much tougher than I imagined it would be.

But of course it wasn’t anything I couldn’t survive. In general, I’m happy I made the move. It’s been a heck of an experience, it’s paid off quite a bit already, and I really feel like I’m putting together a pretty solid life for myself out here. Can’t really ask for more than that.

Thanks for all your questions, everybody!

I think this worked. AudioBoo was trouble for me tonight. Had to record it twice, and I think it crashed on upload. Hopefully you can hear it — I’m not doing it again!


Oh, it’s been far too long since we’ve seen this wonderful feature. Previously on a Real Life Scientist: Questions about Christmas, Questions about Space.

Hey Kids! A Real Life Scientist Answers Your Questions About the End of the World!

Q: Dear Real Life Scientist, a little while ago, my family and I went and saw the movie 2012. In the movie, they say that the world will end in 2012 because of an old calendar, and lots of bad things happen. In school, I learned that 2012 is only two years away — will what happen in that movie ever happen in the real world?
-Jonathan R., Sandusky, OH

Dr. Richard R. Williams III, Ph.D., Astronomy and History at Stanford University: Hey Jonathan, thanks for writing in. Yes, the movie 2012 has caused kids just like you to ask all sorts of questions about the Mayan calendar and what might happen when it ends in two years. But I can tell you that the producers of that movie have tricked you with a little movie magic: while there is a calendar used by the ancient Mayan people that does in fact end in 2012, all indications are that it’s only a coincidence. Humanity has used all sorts of calendars throughout history, based on everything from the movements of the stars to the changing of the seasons, and the truth is that they start and end all the time without any major changes to the world at all. No, it’s much more likely that the Mayans just didn’t understand or feel the need to mark a date as far in the future as 2012, and that’s why their calendar ended then.

The real end of the world won’t be marked on anyone’s calendar — it’s much more likely that the cataclysmic destruction of the earth will come without any warning at all. If history is any indication, 2012 is just a movie; when the real end of the world comes, you and your family will never see it coming.

Q: Dear Real Life Scientist, in school we learned about meteors, which are big flaming rocks that fly through space. Our teacher even said that some of them had hit Earth, and one maybe even killed all the dinosaurs! I asked what would happen if one ever hit us, and my teacher told us that we have telescopes and we can use math to know where they’ll hit long before they do. Is this true?
-Sally C., Portland, OR

Dr. Williams III: Hello Sally. It’s true, there are all kinds of formations and collections of minerals and materials flying through the sky (though more of them are frozen rather than flaming, at least until they hit Earth’s atmosphere). And yes, some of them have hit Earth before. In fact, lots of tiny meteors and meteorites hit our planet every day, usually burning up in the atmosphere above you. Only very rarely does a large piece of rock break through, but it has happened — there are very large craters in the western United States that many scientists believe were created by meteors. We don’t really know what would happen if a very large meteor hit Earth today, but depending on where it landed, it would possibly be extremely destructive.

We do have lots and lots of telescopes and radar dishes watching the sky, and I’d like to tell you, Sally, that we’ll definitely see a potential impact a long time in advance. But I can’t. Just over 10 years ago, a meteor 500 meters across — a major impact if it had hit us — was detected close to the Earth only a few days previous. In March 2004, a much smaller asteroid that passed extremely close to our planet was only detected a few days before impact. And in October of 2008, an asteroid that did eventually land in Sudan was detected only 20 hours before it reached Earth. We’ve been extremely lucky that we haven’t been hit so far, and the fact, Sally, is that if we are on a crash course with a major impact, we won’t know about it until it’s far too late.

Q: Dear Real Life Scientist: My mom says that we don’t need to worry about the end of the world because God loves us and when the end comes, he’ll appear to take us up to Heaven. That sounds good, but I’m not sure. What do you think?
-Jeffrey H., Gary, IN

Dr. Williams III: Jeffrey, I can tell you with conviction that there is no scientific evidence at all, ever collected, that tells us that hypothesis or anything remotely like it is even slightly true. Everything we’ve ever seen says that when you die, your consciousness ceases to exist and what’s left of your body breaks down and rots away. There is no scientific evidence to suggest otherwise.

And let me tell you, some of the faith-based evidence is pretty circumstantial as well.

Baby Onyxia

It’s Wednesday, which mean it’s time for some Warcraft! This knitted baby Onyxia is awesome, and available over on Etsy. Also check out the Voidwalker and omgz the “Gruuloc” Gladiator.

  • I haven’t been playing much lately — I got a PS3 last week and most of my gaming time has gone to that. But I have been running the occasional instance on my pally, and my guild is apparently moving through Ulduar quickly. I didn’t get to raid with them on New Year’s Day, but hopefully I’ll get in with them this week.
  • Hide and Seek in Stormwind has been done before, but never quite like this: someone dressed up in full Stormwind guard gear and hid in plain sight. I love that lowbies actually ran up and tried to click on him.
  • Oculus, as you’ve heard, has new rewards in it. I think it’s great — I’ve never liked the instance, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those drakes. But I do think it’s an interesting precedent for Blizzard to set: if people don’t like your content, just make it more rewarding. That can be a tough line to walk. If Arena is less popular, should they beef up the rewards you get from it? Obviously Oculus is an outlier — we’re at the end of an expansion, epics are already being given away like candy, and this is an instance that has fundamental issues; they can’t simply fix it without completely redoing it. In essence, Blizzard is saying, “we surrender, have some more stuff.” When Cataclysm comes around, I don’t expect to see them solving things in the same way. Then again, Exanna says it’s still not enough.
  • I’m not saying this guy made the wrong choice, but if the Orc was an actual replica of the statue outside the Blizzard offices, I might have given it a lot of thought. I guess if it’s the girl or the Orc, you go with the girl, but look at it! That thing is awesome! Can’t we keep it in a closet or something, baby?
  • Note that players can now send whispers to other players on different realms while in the same party. Big change, small notice about it.
  • Did you know that Furbolgs are actually based on the Irish legend of Fir Bolgs? You did? Well I had no idea. Obviously Blizzard constantly borrows from mythology (Loken = Loki, Thorim = Thor, and so on), but it’s surprising that even some of the things you think are original about Azeroth turn out to not be so original after all.
  • Finally, this is old, but I just heard about it this week. Bummed that your gearscore addon isn’t finding you quality people to partner with ingame? Try the new standard, Namescore, which is an addon that uses what I can only imagine is a high-quality algorithm to determine what the person you’re looking at is like in terms of playstyle, talent, and attitude, and then give you a number to rate them with. I don’t know about you all, but I’m not grouping with anyone below a namescore of 100 ever again! Sorry, Ðæthkíllá, no group for you!

Have a tip for Warcraft Wednesday? Email it along, I’d love to check it out.

I’m currently looking for a place to write about film. If you know of a site that could use someone like me in LA to go see movies and write reviews just like this one or whatever about them, please email and let me know!

I’m as big a fan of Sherlock Holmes as they come — when I was a kid, it was Encyclopedia Brown, the Hardy Boys, and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for me. I read everything I could get my hands on, and more often than not, that happened to be detective stories. I loved the Victorian tales of the man who lived at 221B Baker Street — the prim and proper era contrasted with the dark alleys and shifty behavior of would-be do-badders who themselves ended up caught in the eccentric master of deduction’s traps.

And so when I heard that Guy Ritchie was making a Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, I was interested in seeing it. Sherlock Holmes, for all of its fame, is a very British, specifically London, bit of mythology, and Guy Ritchie, in his own way, is a very British, specifically London, director, so I figured it could work. Downey, Jr. has been getting ever more brilliant lately, in between Iron Man and his both hilarious and genius turn in Tropic Thunder, and while Jude Law doesn’t exactly have the portly frame that you’d usually associate with Watson, I figured he’s a good enough actor to pull it off. Turns out I was right on all of those counts — while the Sherlock Holmes movie doesn’t exactly capture what I love best about the series by Arthur Conan Doyle, those three filmmakers play their parts well, and it’s a respectable action flick.

Note I said action, not detective. While this Sherlock Holmes is called a master detective and does indeed have the powers of observation and deduction the character is known for, he’s not so much a crime solver as an dysfunctional action star. There are some excellent scenes and setpieces in the movie (from a drydock complete with ship being constructed to the framework of the London Bridge), and the whole thing looks terrific — a dirty, mysterious Victorian London. The writing keeps things moving along well, and lets these actors put their new shines on these classic characters. But in the end, this is an action movie, so much so that it even sets up the predictable franchise sequel by the end.

Which is kind of a shame. The movie does play around with the tradition — most visions of Holmes have him as more of an arrogant professor type, always correcting Watson and two steps ahead of the game (which is, of course, afoot). But Downey’s (and Ritchie’s, I presume) Holmes is more a victim of his powers of observation and deduction rather than in control of them. They’re put to some new uses (it turns out Holmes is an excellent fighter, because he is extremely good at deducing what will happen when he breaks his opponent’s leg — that was mentioned in the stories but never explained or portrayed in the way the movie does it), but more than anything, Holmes seems befuddled by all the things he’s seeing around him. His powers are an obsession themselves, and have wrecked his life, his relationships, and made him grossly dependent on Watson, rather than the way the books have portrayed it, as often the other way around. Despite the new take on the old character, Downey is entertaining as always, and despite putting on a British accent, can deliver a line (like the trailer’s “Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release”) with just the right amount of flair.

Rachel McAdams is also in the film as Irene Adler, someone whom Holmes always describes in the books as “the woman,” the only female to ever beat him at his own game. In the books they were never lovers (Holmes wouldn’t have time for such “inscrutable” games), but in the movie, it’s heavily implied that this is so, and having her around gives another fun angle to Holmes’ and Watson’s dependent bromance, and even pushes the plot along a few times.

But for all of the interesting twists on the mythology, the movie itself fails at the detective side of things — the mystery surrounds a cultish, possibly magical threat, and when the solution finally does come, we’re not even given a chance to guess at it ourselves. The pleasure of a detective story is being given the clues all along (mixed in, of course, with a nice bunch of red herrings and the occasional twist), and trying to figure it out yourself. In the movie, we’re never given half of the information Holmes is, and when he finally does figure it out, it all falls into a good vs. bad action movie plot, with everyone racing to save and/or destroy the day, depending on which side they’re on.

That’s the real problem with making a Sherlock Holmes movie: the reason the books were such a blast to read is because Holmes was always reaching conclusions long before anyone else did. Those powers of deduction had him beating everyone to the punch (including the reader), and the last few pages were Holmes simply explaining what we’d missed all along. I’d even go back into the stories, only to find, sure enough, that the answer had been right there on the page. We saw one thing, he saw another completely, and he’s the genius who figures it all out, every time. There’s none of that here. Holmes drifts off into a blur of a montage, and emerges from the other end with an answer that doesn’t make much sense and requires another stunt scene.

Not to say that it’s a bad flick. It’s fun, well-acted, a little long in the middle, but speeds to a relatively satisfactory conclusion. But the things I loved about Holmes in the old stories aren’t here. There are new qualities in their place, and they’re very clever, but when I want a good detective yarn, I’ve got to go back to The Speckled Band, the Red-Headed League, and all of the other classic tales.

Holy cow, the podcast about this weird modern world that we live in is back! And you thought it wouldn’t ever appear again. On the show today:

Thanks for listening. If you are still listening, please do send in some feedback and let me know what you like and don’t about the show. Thanks!

icon for podpress  The Modern World, episode 14: Play Now | Play in Popup

My parents and I went to the Rose Parade yesterday, and I made this video. Most complicated video I’ve tried so far. Not sure how well it works, but baby steps. is cc 2004-2006 Mike Schramm.
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