Sunday, 11 July 2010

Paul the Psychic Octopus had it ...

Out of a total of 64 matches played Paul the Psychic Octopus has predicted 64 out of 64 (or 100 %) of the matches correctly. The parakeets was wrong.

In the semi-finals the German Octopus predicted Spain to beat Germany. And they did!

Proof on Youtube, start at 00.07 for Octopus sweeping in for the Victory!

For the final match Paul the Psychic Octopus predicted Spain to win. Is he the almighty match predicting Oracle of the Universe?

Sadly the final was won by Spain resulting from poor performance of the biased referee team led by the british Webb. Regardless, congrats to Spain.

My Extended 10/01/10 CUBE (October 1, 2010)

This project was born after accidently reading up on a local initiative this week when subscribing for my local M11 pre-release draft tournament. Apparently, The Cube is a draft format with the best cards around as 1 offs. As I am somewhat of a collector in nature and want to have at least 1 copy of each card in a set this is perfect for me (These are of course neatly stored in separate 3x3pocket card holders !). Besides that a CUBE is re-usable whenever you want, no need to buy boosters! A "boxed" off-the-shelf and ready-to-play game. And the best of it.. you can design it yourself!

So I started googling for further info to get the design rolling. Below are the first design choices for my CUBE.

Objective is to get an 8 player Cube going, which requires at minimum 360 cards. So initial objective is to get it to 400 cards – 50 each color, 50 artifacts, 50 multicolor, 50 lands (the 8 “colors”).

I chose to start with the Extended sets as of October 1, 2010 as I started playing Magic again when M10 came around. Besides that I own a (net decked) Jund and love all the Alara cycle Multicolor cards (both art and what they bring to the table). Then I also wanted some additional variety and thus expanded to the extended format. I am a long way there for each set starting at M10, with M10, ZEN, WWK and M11 mostly complete and only ROE lagging behind. Everything before will come out of need from the CUBE (if I don’t have them from my Esper Artifact and Jund deck). This should allow me to get most cards through trade and doesn’t include unattainable or expensive cards like the power 9. However, I won’t shun from creating proxies to get the CUBE ready for play testing.
Thus sets included are:

Sets will be added as and when they come out.

Basicly, the most powerful from each color, while supporting a variety of types and archtypes (e.g. UW(B) Control, R/B aggro, Jund, Rock, G/x Ramp etc.). The Cube should be a well functioning draft set. When building I’ll keep curve in mind. To help me I use various internet sources as the site of Tom Lapille ( Base distribution creatures vs spells will be 50/50 for the 5 base colors with exception of blue and green, which will be split approximately 40/60 and 60/40 respectively. Minor variations may occur in the design process.

Start building
I start with some known CUBE list on the net and identify the cards applicable to my set limitation. From there I sort them in colors, split by creatures and spells (exception is multicolor, which will be split by mana combinations). Reference is Tom’s Cube Design Handoff Document and the Ultimate Cube resource thread on MTG Salvation.
Cube lists to start with scrutinizing are:

Users and using the Extended (10.01.10) CUBE
It’s always good to know who the intended users will be, right?! To be fair with you this is mostly me. I don't have any close friends that play MTG. If I play it is either with my brother or at drafts (release or weeknights afairs)
At this point I have not been able to convince him to join this new project. Actually, he isn’t all that excited about playing it! So I have to build this the most appealing CUBE for him to so that at a minimum he will love playing it with me. Target is to get him to beg me to bring the CUBE along whenever I visit him.

Once I have something more to report on you can expect an update!

Monday, 5 July 2010 - BP Oil Spill

Couple of feeds from pbs on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Gets you thinking if you didn't get the wake up call before.

How much spill is OK?

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

BP Twitter feed..

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Update: Amsterdam garden

Almost a year ago I showed our venture of local grass cultivation in our backyard. Little over a year ago I was happy to share that the terrass was finished. Yesterday and today the weather accros Europe is faboulous so I took some snapshots. Presto an update.

A welcoming bench to relax behind the palm tree:

The terrasse to enjoy breakfast in the sun and find shade at noon:

To be honest I am not a big fan of BBQs, but I do love sharing a meal. My girlfriend likes both though. I guess with summer finally showing itself a compromise wil soon be reached.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Getting back in the sadle - Words of Wisdom

I started a path decided upon some time ago, but am faltering. I realise I am in need of strenght and wisdowm, some down to earth truths. I often start my own mental search with some of my favorite (active and non-active) blogs to inspire me and gets my thinking process going and "inner-self feelers" warmed up. In search of my source to get back in the saddle and on the road I tell myself that:

I will not wait for other peoples reminders to take make a step. The only perception that is truly important is the on I have of myself. I am decisive. I take initiative. I think and get my feelings right. I honestly ask myself difficult questions and answer them truthfully. Revealing my inner-self will ultimitaly result in a life better lived and enjoyed. Then when decided I do it and do it now.

Labor and hard work finishes the path taken.

This may remind you of the story about the tortoise and the rabbit. This story tell us that the tortoise won because he had a goal and stuck with it, he was steadfast and believed in himself. The rabbit, although fast, lost because he was unfocussed and was an arrogant prick at it. He was careless and underestimated his opponent based on prejudice and misconception.

Some good thoughts on the meaning of the story beside the obvious can be found here. Besides teamwork and the power of knowing ones own and other competencies I am reminded by it that when you fail you may learn. From learning you becomes richer and can refocus and take another step.

A note to the unknown readers of this obscure blog. The shared experience and knowledge of everyone around us can be very powerful. If you read this and feel you can contribute, then I ask you to take a step and share.

EVE Online - Planetary Production Chains

EVE Online will soon introduce Planetary Interaction (PI). PI is new game element that allows players to extract resources from planets (before players could "only" extract resources from Asteroid belts). From the planets resources you can manufacture processed materials. These processed materials can in turn be used to manufacture refined commodities. Next in line in the production chain are specialized and advanced commodities. Each additional manufacturing level or Tiers requires more harvested resources and commodities. Of course each tier also requires more and more time from the player. To be efficient and have the least waste a player needs to set-up a smart Production Chain on his/her planets. Various other choices have to be made to become a planet-bound captain of industry. Interested? Read more here.

I did so too and thereafter read more player produced materials and ultimately started experimenting with PIs options myself. One needs to be prepared before sailing out, right? So I wanted to try and set up a specicific production chain that would require several different planet types. Next to that requirement I wanted to have a go at a product that is likely required in more than one marketable commodity. My eye fel on Data Chips. Data Chips are used for the production of Broadcaset Nodes, which are required for Player Owned Stations (POS). POS are used by every selfrespecting corporation and alliance in this game. This is because a POS is an E-penis....and besides that a strategic "landmarks" in territorial warefare and a private floating labratory in space. A bit like the ISS.
Data Chips are also used for Nanite Repair Paste, which can be used to repair damaged equipment (modules) on the spaceships in this game. As people in this game like to shoot at things with their spaceships, preferably with as much damage as possible, they will overload their weapon modules. These will in turn need to be repaired with paste. They like shooting at POSs even more, which the owners will want to defend. More shooting and blowing up bits and bytes will ensue. Good for the manufacturing tycoons of the game don't you think so too!?

So after a couple of hours figuring out how PI will work (the rules of engagement) I wasted some more time messing around on the new powerpoint version I had not used before. This is the end result.

Final production stage on a Temperate planet. Here the other resources and commodities from the Ice and Lava planets are combined to produce the Tier 3 Data Chips:

Producing Tier 2 refined commodity on an Ice planet:

Obtaining required Tier 1 processed materials on a Lava planet:

POS Fuels are another commodity I expect will be in demand. The commodities that are used as POS fuel are:
  • T1 Oxygen (G/I/S)
  • T2 Coolent (O/T/G/B/I/S)
  • T2 Enriched Uranium (L/P/B/I)
  • T3 Robotics (L/G/P/B/I/S)

With just a Storm and Plasma planet anyone should be able to produce the fuel. If they can extract the required raw materials.

I present to you my POS Fuels Production Chain Schematics:

If you find them useful feel free to leave a passing comment or donate ISK to ingame character Malenfer.

Fly save!

Edit: minor update, the individual planets in the chain show Refined Commodities that can be produced and monatized without using Processed Materials required for the Data Chips production chain.
Edit2: I combined the two seperate posts on the topic into one.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Typing Speed Test

Update for a second attempt 2 days later.. were in the first attempt I had 3 mistakes. Couldn't let that go ofcourse.

"You reached 318 points, so you achieved position 8231 of 152919 on the ranking list"
You type 422 characters per minute
You have 79 correct words and
you have 0 wrong words

79 words

Typing Test

First attempt... "You reached 305 points, so you achieved position 1544 of 24753 on the ranking list".

75 words

Typing Test

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