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"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

Phantom of the Attic Moves to Downtown Easton

by Ken Newquist / November 21, 2007

Phantom of the Attic, my friendly neighborhood gaming/comic book store moved to downtown Easton, Pa. this week. The store's located at 125-129 Third Street, one block east from the Route 22 4th Street exit. The new location is great -- it's got beautiful hard wood floors, expansive amounts of space, and the Silver Surfer flying in one of the two display windows.

Geeks Can Run for Office ... and Win!

by Ken Newquist / November 18, 2007

Atlas Games President John Nephew's been elected to city council in Maplewood, Minnesota. According to Gaming Report, his opposition tried to play the "games are evil" card, but clearly it didn't work. I'm not saying I want to run for city council in Easton, I'm just saying I find it interesting that a gamer was able to do it ... and win.

Nephew talks about his win and the mainstreaming of games at ICv2.

Radio Active 59: Novel Update, Seeds of Destruction, NanoMonkeys, Invincible Super Blog

by Ken Newquist / November 13, 2007
Book Cover: Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction

On this edition of Nuketown Radio Active, I update folks on my quest to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, check out a new LEGO Chess set, debate what to call a hybrid unicorn/pegasus.

In Netheads I talk about Chris's Invincible Super Blog, a blog featuring capsule reviews of current and classic comic books and the NanoMonkeys Podcast, which returns for its second year of offering advice and encouragement to those participating in National Novel Writing Month. Rounding out the podcast is a review the Hellboy graphic novel Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola.

Snoopy's RSS Hell

by Ken Newquist / November 1, 2007

I've been fighting the good fight against RSS bugs in Moodle 1.8.2. The problem isn't actually with Moodle, but with Snoopy, the PHP class that emulates as a web browser and which Magpie RSS library uses to fetch the feeds.

It seems that the current version of Snoopy has some issues with redirected URLs. It has trouble following 302 Page Moved messages and has an annoying habit of putting the port number into redirected URLs. While it's not technically wrong to do this, not every web server thinks that the urls and are the same (strange but true).

Case in point: The Wall Street Journal. The following feeds involve redirects (apparently served through FeedBurner, so I'm betting any feed using FeedBurner would have the same issue):

Radio Active #58: Chess for Kids, Geek Dads, D&D 4E

by Ken Newquist / October 31, 2007

On this episode of Radio Active, I discuss my daughter Jordan's sudden desire to learn chess and my approach to teaching her, contemplate the impending arrival of National Novel Writing Month, check out the Geek Dad Podcast and Simian Farmer blog and offer some thoughts on the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

Spreadsheets with Open Office

by Ken Newquist / October 28, 2007

After a few days of working with Open Office's word processor, it was time to turn to the spreadsheet. I don't work with spreadsheets much at home, but I do have a few specialized uses for them. One of those is a campaign manager for my Mutants & Masterminds campaign – I use it to track past, current and future events in the campaign. Each entry has a column for event name, date, weather, type of event (e.g. blog post, crime, super activity) and a brief description.

The Great iMovie '08 Crash Fiasco

by Ken Newquist / October 27, 2007

One of the reasons I bought my MacBook Pro was to get back to digitizing some home video and experimenting with video podcasts for Nuketown. Unfortunately, Apple's iMovie '08 video editing app isn't cooperating.

Every time I hook up my Canon ZR70 up to the MacBook Pro and try to import audio via iMovie '08 (version 7.01, build 506), it crashes after importing one or two minutes of digital video.

This was disappointing to say the least, and I immediately started searching for an answer. I found a bunch of people having the same problem:

Game Day: Mighty Mutations, Hero Blogging, Agents of Freedom

by Ken Newquist / October 26, 2007
Book Cover: Freedom City Variant Cover

It's been a while since my last Game Day column, partly because of a crazy amount of work at home and job, but also because I haven't been gaming as much as I'd like – I've missed two sessions in the last month, and will miss another next month.

Haphazard schedule aside, my Mutants & Masterminds campaign is proceeding nicely. We're up to Issue #3 of Infinity Storm and the heroes are starting to settle into their roles. They've saved the city from a mastermind's weather machine, helped put down a prison riot, and – as of tonight – have earned themselves some much needed downtime.