Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frankenstorm Miscellany

How many random items make a post again?

  • Release the Kraken!  We're bracing for Hurricane Sandy here on the east coast of the US.  Cygnus Central is hundreds of miles away from the projected path, but we're expected to get lots of rain, 30-40 mph wind gusts, and possibly power outages.  In doing some searching for the above image, I also found an old-school RPG discussion of treating a Maelstrom as a "monster" rather than a mere environmental event.  It certainly feels like a determined foe right now!
  • I reviewed a book by John Calvin Batchelor a few months ago on the blog.  More random internet hopping tonight revealed that I could listen to him live, right now, on the radio if I wanted to.  (He's now a talk-show host.)  Politics aside, I'm not sure if I want to listen, just because that book means so much to me and I worry about ruining it...
  • I'm still pondering the Right Stuff RPG and slowly building lists and forked trees of missions and events.  Slow going because of teaching and other things.
I've also been saving up some of the oddest of the odd search terms that I've found in my Blogger traffic sources.  If anyone reading this got here by way of one of these terms, more power to ya!  (But I can't resist riffing on them...)
  • "Foundation trilogy cartoon:"  If only Max Fleischer had done that!
  • "Skeeball wizard:"  Kevin Smith is doing a remake of the Who's rock opera.
  • "I Ching sword:"  New magic item for Oriental Adventures!
  • "Bardic grade:"  I just see a medieval Simon Cowell making snarky remarks about minstrels in a tavern.
  • "Veve 3D:"  Heck, I'm scared of them in 2D!
  • "American gesture connected with nose:"  So, why do they call you Booger, anyway?  (Revenge of the Nerds reference)
  • "Avatar airbender p*rn:"  Why, Rule 34, why?
  • "Enochian miniatures:"  Pew pew!  A 28mm Edward Kelley just destroyed John Dee's obsidian mirror!
Be safe, fellow east coasters!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Timey Wimey Blendsday

We've been really enjoying the exploits of the 11th Doctor lately.

Artist: James Hance
I loved the classic exploits of the 4th Doctor back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and I caught one or two adventures of the 7th (Pex Lives!), but it wasn't until this year that my lovely wife got me back into the Whovian fandom with the 11th.  Now we're eagerly awaiting what will happen on the fields of Trenzelor -- and whether we'll see Oswin again at Christmas time!

There have been several Doctor Who board games and RPGs, and I'm currently having a look at an old one that is freely available for download.  The most modern one looks pretty interesting, too, but I don't know if I'll ever plunk down the cash for it.  I don't think I've ever actually played a "licensed-property RPG" -- other than Star Fleet Battles, which isn't an RPG -- but I have bought some supplements in the past, since they often contain so much extra world-immersing detail!  :-)

More picturey wicturey fun is below...

Artist: Bill Mudron
Artist: Misskari


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Am I a Pythagorean?

A few interesting threads have come together for me lately, and they all seem to have something to do with music.  I don't play an instrument, but I've made no secret of my love of the interesting aspects of musical harmonies (especially as related to the Glass Bead Game).  My long-time devotion to math-rock gods Rush is also on record.  :-)

I also have an on-again, off-again fascination with astrology and its metaphorical links both with psychology and with numbers and harmonies.

Then, just over the past few days, I've heard random songs on the radio that all seem to be telling me that music is Something Important...  There's been Frank Turner telling me that something as simple as rock and roll will save us all.  Then Triumph saying that music has the magic power to bring us closer to our dreams.  Then, my man, Stevie, cluing us in how music is a world within itself; a language we all understand.

Then!  Fellow blogger Suze chimes in, weaving a musical creation myth to explain the trichotomy of body, soul, and spirit.  (I couldn't resist commenting on the similarity to Tolkien's Music of the Ainur...)

There's definitely something in sound that strums us where we live.  Is it such a leap to connect it with spirituality?

Of course, music has always played a big part in communal worship.  True prog geeks (like ol' Johann Sebastian) have known how to make the most uplifting use of harmonies for a long time!  But for some reason I'm thinking further than just the "use" of music.  The actual worship OF music?  No, that's not quite it.  The deification of Harmony as an abstract concept?  Not really that, either.  I'm not actually sure where it's pointing me, but I will be reading more about the Pythagoreans, who seem to have trod this path before.

I thought for a while about whether or not to write this up on the blog.  I haven't made any concrete breakthroughs, nor had any truly NEW insights (yet?).  And, I worried, how relevant will it be to my true-blue D&D gamer readership out there?

Then I remembered that the Pythagoreans had quite the affinity for the Platonic solids...

These ARE the gods... of the player characters, anyway!
Relevant enough for me! 

And I still believe (I still believe) in the sound, 
That has the power to raise a temple and tear it down.
And I still believe (I still believe) in the need,
For guitars and drums and desperate poetry.
And I still believe (I still believe) that everyone,
Can find a song for every time they've lost and every time they've won.
So just remember folks we not just saving lives, we're saving souls,
And we're having fun.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


No real post today; just a neat picture I snapped the other day.  I got to visit a really cool place this week...

"I don't always give a talk underneath a 120-foot tall buckyball, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis..."