Main menu

"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Ken Newquist's blog

The Return of the RADIATIONS Newsletter?

by Ken Newquist / October 12, 2008

In case you missed it, I'm running a poll asking whether or not I should bring back the RADIATIONS email newsletter. RADIATIONS ran for a good number of years, but I gave it up when I moved to Drupal and had an easy way of producing an RSS feed for the site. I'm considering it bringing it back because personally, I find newsletters to be a handy way of remembering to visit the sites I enjoy. And if I like it, well, I figure others will as well.  

Tim O'Reilly on Science Fiction

by Ken Newquist / October 5, 2008

In this old article (as in 1998) Tim O'Reilly provides a rundown of his favorite science fiction novels, including Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land, Snowcrash, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Stars are Ours.

He prefaces this list by discussing the book The Meaning of Culture by John Cowper Powys and draws the conclusion "a truly cultured person appreciates what has really shaped his world view, and uses literature and the arts as a tool to get more out of life." He then provides the list as examples of science fiction literature that shaped his world view.

What's missing from this article is the critical other half that explains how these books informed his world view. It's all well and good to say that The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but how did a novel about libertarian lunar revolution inform his world view? Was it an appreciation for the merits of a free market economy? The insidious effectiveness of revolutionary cells working in isolation from one another? Group marriages? We don't know because he doesn't say.

NASA, U.S. Chess Federation Begin Earth vs. Space Match

by Ken Newquist / October 3, 2008

This is just so damn cool (and by cool, I mean insanely geeky). NASA and the U.S. Chess are sponsoring a match between, well, the world and the International Space Station. And the really cool part? The moves are being chosen in part by elementary school kids. Here's the deal. The chess team at Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. is facing off against the crew of the ISS.

Google Calendar integration with iCal, Outlook

by Ken Newquist / October 2, 2008

One of my goals this fall has been to get my calendars under control, and to do a better job of keeping track of what I'm doing (and where I'm supposed to be doing it). Somedays that works better than others (Monday, in which I forgot my wife had yoga, would be one of the bad days) but all in all I'm making progress. A big reason for this is that I'm syncing my home and work calenders in iCal via Google Calendar. My calendars "live" on Google, but I'm able to add and edit events via iCal thanks to Google CalDAV support. This article explains how to get it working:

Gamers Need More Game Reviews!

by Ken Newquist / September 1, 2008

The RPG Bloggers Network has been a tremendous success, sparking plenty of cross-blog traffic and comments. I’ve read lots of great articles and discovered a bunch of new sites, but I think there’s one area where the community can improve: game reviews.

Simply put, there aren’t enough of them. There’s plenty of speculation, analysis and debate but there aren’t nearly enough reviews (or, if they are there, they are quickly lost among the flurry of other posts). The RPG Bloggers guys are working on improvements to bring order to the chaos by adding new categories, but even then I think there will be a need for bloggers to knuckle down and review games.

I have as much work to do as anyone else. It shocked me earlier this week when I looked at my own RPG reviews category and discovered that five months had passed between my Battlestar Galactica RPG review and my new one for Star Wars: Threats of the Galaxy. Now granted, my sense of what I’ve written is distorted by all the writing I do for SCIFI, and I’ve certainly posted a bunch of quasi-reviews in the form of playtest reports, but still … there need to be more.

Considering a gaming club in the Lehigh Valley

by Ken Newquist / August 27, 2008

Shortly after graduating from college, I tried starting a gaming club in the Lehigh Valley, Pa. I was fresh off having helped create the Role-Playing Underground when I was a student at Lock Haven University, and I was desperate to get a new campaign up and running.

It failed. We had a few meetings, and I was able to find enough people to get my own campaign off the ground, but in the end I didn't understand the fundamental difference between a college game club, and a real-world one. In college, the club was about recruiting people for your game. In the real-world, it was about playing games

Quick note: for those who might have been drawn to this post by the casino going up Bethlehem, Pa., I'm talking about role-playing, card, board and war games, not gambling.

Ultimately, I was able to patch together enough players from the club and some local cons. Once I had a group of my own, the need for the club faded. So did the club.

OOF 8/25: 60 min elliptical/walking

by Ken Newquist / August 25, 2008

Despite today being the first day of the semester, I was able to get out of work about 15 minutes early, beat the student rush to the gym, and snag an elliptical machine for a solid 30 minute work out.

On my screen: Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. I felt compelled to watch it for some reason; it might have had something to do with Playing For Keeps' big day.

Pages