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Star Trek Episode: Lonely Among Us

Image: Star Trek: The Next Generation. Copyright CBS Paramount Studios.

On this week’s particularly surreal episode of Star Trek, the Enterprise crew must contend with delegates from rival alien races, as well as a marauding energy force that’s taking over key members of the crew.

Plot: The episode begins with Picard, Riker, and Yar welcoming members of the reptilian Selay race to the Enterprise, but things are off to a rocky start when the Selay demand to be moved to quarters upwind from their furry rivals, the Anticans. Both races are seeking entrance to the Federation, and have agreed to try to overcome their differences by meeting on planet Parliament for some… parliament or something, which is where the Enterprise is supposed to be taking them.

Character Development: This episode begins what will become a key piece of Data’s character, his obsession with Sherlock Holmes. Picard suggests to Data that his investigation into what is causing problems on the Enterprise makes him a “private eye” like Holmes. Logically, the android begins smoking a pipe and throwing out well-worn Sherlock Holmes references wherever possible.

Forehead of the Week: This is a close call between the Selay and Anticans, but I have to give it to the Anticans, simply because the episode ends with Yar complaining that one of the Enterprise’s cooks has been asked to boil some rather Selay-looking reptile. The rivalry between the Selay and Anticans is treated with amusing disregard by the Enterprise crew, who typically consider the murder of delegates aboard their ship as something more serious than comic relief.

Memorable Quote: “It’s elementary, my dear Riker… sir.” – Data, mid-LARPing session.

Interneter(s): Cats, Fucking Cats

January 15, 2011 Interneter No Comments

Image: Adapted from G0321 by Piez under a CC-BY license.

After trawling Reddit for a few minutes looking for an Interneter to discuss today, I realized I was looking at pictures of cats, again. After 10 years on the internet I think the number of cat pictures I’ve seen is finally catching up to the number of booby pictures I’ve seen.

The incredible part of that statement? I don’t really like pets, and I really like breasts.

Reflecting on that 10 year period reminds me of something. Back in 2001, the internet didn’t seem too focused on cats, except where the word related to All Your Base. We had image macros back then, oh yes we did, but few contained cats. There was no such thing as Caturday, or lolcats, or icanhascheezburger. Those were simpler times.

I suppose the invasion was inevitable. Nerdlingers, basement dwellers, and neckbeards love their cats, and they don’t even mind looking at the cats of others. With self-produced cat photos, these people found an unlimited source of free internet love. They became their own funny picture resource after using up Tron guy and his ilk.

It could be worse, I suppose. We could be looking at pictures of dogs.


Question: What Was the Best Game You Played in 2010?

January 14, 2011 Question 1 Comment

Image: Nintendo.

I’m seeing all the game sites on the internet light up with polls and reviews and giant circle-jerks about how just how great some of 2010’s game releases were, how well they did in sales, reviews, etc. But I’m not overly interested in that, everyone else is covering that stuff. And most of it is making Newbs shake with rage.

What I am interested in is what games you actually played in 2010. I played a ton of games this year that weren’t released in 2010, and the experience was more than satisfactory. Whether you ran out and bought Halo: Reach, just plugged in Borderlands or Left for Dead for another playthrough, or dusted off the old NES for some vintage Zelda action, that’s what I want to hear about. The games that actually mattered enough for you to play. So, what was the best game you played in 2010?

(Potential) Shameful Human(s) of the Week: Nintendo

January 12, 2011 Shameful Human No Comments

Image: Adapted from Nintendo office by Moja under a CC-BY-SA license.

For real this time.

Will the 3DS have loads of bad-ass games that both play and look awesome? Hell yes it will. Will it include intelligent design decisions? Maybe.

Andriasang has a story up about the online play of Super Street Fighter IV for 3DS, and it includes some rather dubious language: “You add players to your friend list by exchanging friend codes.”

For the uninformed, the Wii and DS have both featured ugly and arcane online systems which require you to enter a 12 digit “friend code” if you want to interact with specific people online. You can still play strangers no problem. There are system codes, which some games use, while others use game specific codes. The few players that bother with this system are faced with utter tedium.

Now, Andriasang’s story is based on a translation from a Japanese magazine that doesn’t give any further details. We don’t know if this is an updated friend codes system, whether friend codes are per game or per system, or if friend codes are even tied to an entire player account, nevertheless, the language is foreboding indeed.

Rumours are now circulating that the system will also be hindered by “region locking.” This is the authoritarian restriction of preventing people from different territories from playing each other’s games. In other words, a North American 3DS won’t be able to play Japanese games, or vice versa. You’d need to import a Japanese 3DS to play games meant for that territory.

All of this comes in addition to a currently unknown but expected price of $250+ and shaky 3-5 hour battery life. The west is waiting for January 19th when much is supposed to be revealed, including (hopefully) specifics on these troubling issues. Whether Nintendo has realized that this event is occurring in 2011 remains to be seen.

Magic Card of the Week: Kitsune Blademaster

January 10, 2011 Magic No Comments

Image: Copyright Wizards of the Coast.

A worthy member of any white deck, the Kitsune Blademaster can be a powerful addition to your arsenal.

For just three mana, you find yourself with a 2/2 creature who possesses the First Strike ability, which by itself can be a game changer. But he also uses the Bushido ability to give himself a temporary buff when being blocked or blocking, often awarding him a powerful advantage in combat.

Combining First Strike and a natural combat boost can be deadly, but consider throwing the poor furry a bone and put him on the donor list for a couple of your own spells to increase his abilities.

Throw a few of these into your white support deck and watch them quickly turn the battle in your favor.


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