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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

My Favorite Game I Never Play

by Ken Newquist / March 12, 2007

 Pirates of the Frozen North

I love WizKids' Pirates of the Spanish Main and its various expansions, even though I never actually get to play the game. Hell, I think I've officially played it twice, but that hasn't stopped me from picking up booster packs for every other expansion.

The most recent of these is Pirates of the Frozen North , which introduces a new Viking faction and corresponding Viking longships. It also has icebergs that move about the board on their own, smashing any ships they come in contact with, and the icebreaking ships needed to destroy them. I picked up a pack to honor my Swedish ancestors, but I'm more interested in snagging the recent Pirates of the Mysterious Island, which has submarines, and the upcoming Pirates at the World's Edge which ups the game's weirdness quotient even further with giant crabs and prehistoric sharks.

Revolution SF: Geek Movies Not On DVD

by Ken Newquist / March 12, 2007

Revolution SF has apparently run out of things to watch, because they're crawling back through the annals of time looking for classic geek movies that should be -- but aren't -- available on DVD.

The series is divided into two parts, A through K and L through Z and features cinematic suggestions from a variety of staff members, writers, critics and other geeks who love movies.

Here you fill find The Blind Swordsman's Pilgrimage, The Wizard of Speed and Time, Twilight Zone: The Movie and, umm, The Star Wars Holiday Special. Hey, they didn't say it was a list of great movies, just ones that geeks will enjoy (or enjoy hating).

Quantum Muse: Jan/Feb 2007

by Ken Newquist / March 11, 2007

The Quantum Muse is a venerable speculative fiction webzine with almost as much history as Nuketown. It's had something of a bumpy ride the last few months as one of its founding editors left, and those who remained prepared to move to a new house and welcome a new baby and figure out a way to keep publishing the zine.

They've worked through all that now, and the good news is that you can expect to see the ol'Muse publishing throughout 2007, though at a more relaxed quarterly schedule instead of its traditional frantic monthly one (the "frantic monthly" description is mine; I remember how hard it was to publish monthly fiction back when Nuketown did that).

Reuters: Repair Robot Heads for Space

by Ken Newquist / March 11, 2007

You know we're living in the future when you see things like Orbital Express being launched. It's a pair of robots designed to find, dock with and repair satellites in orbit, replacing faulty parts, refueling spent containers, and generally helping the sky birds to stay flying for a few more years. It's funded by the U.S. military and NASA, and its initial goal is to help extend the lives of expensive spy satellites. If it works though, I wouldn't be surprised to see these things tackling commercial jobs as well.

Game Day: GenCon 2007

by Ken Newquist / March 9, 2007

 GenCon logoThere's no game day for me today, as I'd had alternative plans that fell through when I came down with Pink Eye. Which isn't to say there's not some great gaming news to talk about -- after much debate, scrambling and a little bit of arm twisting (or perhaps just enthusiastic encouragement -- I wasn't there for all of it) my gaming group is sending what may be its largest-ever contingent to GenCon Indy in 2007.

Red-Eyed, Hack-Lunged Geek Dad

by Ken Newquist / March 9, 2007

There's nothing quite like waking up in the morning with your eyes glued shut.

That's what happened to me this morning as I struggled awake on the sofa bed, annoyed at a certain yellow Labrador who was trying to push me off the mattress so she could have more room to spread out.

My eyes were crusted together, which is a lovely indicator of Pink Eye, or a Pink-Eye-like condition. And the said thing is ... that's an improvement. The last week has seen me sidelined by a particularly nasty cold that had me fighting my old nemesis Post-Nasal Drip for three days.

As per normal, I have the kids to thank for this. Both got sick last week, and took Sue down with them. I'd hoped to escape the Week of Hacking Mucus unscathed, but alas, they dragged me down on Monday.

The Magic Item Compendium and Theories of Arcane Distribution

by Ken Newquist / March 2, 2007

 Magic Compendium Wizards of the Coast is releasing a Magic Item Compendium reprinting 750 magic items from previous publications and Dragon Magazine articles, while adding in 500 new items.

In anticipation of its release later this month, they're running a series of articles by Andy Collins, one of the book's designers. In the first article he talks about how many players focus on a six specific classes of magic items and tend to ignore almost everything else. He's right -- when creating or buying their own magic items, players tend to focus on what gives them their biggest bang for their buck, so items like +1 long swords and gloves of dexterity +2 win out over rods of enemy detection or helms of underwater action.

Ken, Son of Thor, Thwarted by Samsung

by Ken Newquist / March 1, 2007

When last we saw our villain, he had just destroyed his Samsung integrated receiver/home theatre system with a touch as a spark of static electricity leapt from his finger to the power button of the system, destroying it in a flare of blue LED light.

Flash forward two weeks, and see our heroine Sue calling Samsung about the destruction of said system, which was sadly just out of warranty. Amazingly though, Samsung volunteered to fix the broken system because it was just out of warranty, thus saving our happy couple about $300 as they narrowly avoided having to buy a new stereo/dvd player. The fixed machine arrived back yesterday, and is now setup and working just fine.