TechCrunch vs. Scoble

Now I just read two completely contradictory articles – by prominent tech folks who know what they are talking about – on how to “manage your friends” on Twitter.

TechCrunch (Michael Arrington) states here that “there is an unwritten Golden Mean that shows ‘more people follow you, than you follow, therefore you are interesting and I should follow you’.” So if you auto-followback and follow people in the “vague hope they will follow you” you would not look like an interesting person and interesting people won’t care about you.

Robert Scoble (Scobleizer) states here that “you need to follow everyone, because you learn from the people you follow.”  So if you follow everyone all the time, you will enjoy having a huge user base of people to interact with.

(Paraphrases mine.)

I think I fall somewhere in between, when it comes to “Twitter philosophy”.

Do you have an opinion?

Uranium Failure

Saturday I went downtown to a local arts and crafts show, which was severely hampered by 40mph gusts of wind. I ended up buying a few little things: a uranium glass bottle, and two copper bowls.

Copper Bowls and a Bottle
Copper Bowls and a Bottle
Uranium glass (often called Vaseline glass) is fascinating stuff. Here is a link to the wiki article. One thing I like about it, apart from the nice radioactive shade of green, is that it fluoresces under blacklight. I did not happen to have a blacklight with me (a shame) but I decided to take it home and test it there.
Amusingly, the blacklight I found first is my prop Sonic Screwdriver.
On the left (as a test item) I put a marble that I know is made of uranium glass. On the right I put the new bottle.
The Test Subjects. Control on Left.
The Test Subjects. Control on Left.
So I aimed my little Sonic Screwdriver at them, to see if they fluoresced as they ought.
Making a Note Here: Huge Failure
Making a Note Here: Huge Failure

As you can see, the control marble that is authentic glows wildly under blacklight. And the new bottle… does nothing. EPIC FAIL.

So there you go. Even a fake Sonic Screwdriver can be a useful tool!

Yet a Few Games More

(The title was a riff on the delightful podcast of Paul Tevis, that you can find here.)

As mentioned in the last journal I bought a card game, called Rage. I also bought Farkle, and played Save Doctor Lucky. (Note: not Kill. You lose points if you accidentally say Kill.)

Now, Rage was very fun, even though I don’t like trick taking games. The fun part was the company I played with. Farkle was less fun, because I lost, and I’m not always a good sport – and it was so hard I had to make a house rule to add an extra die. We also tried it with two extra dice, but that made it too easy. Save Doctor Lucky worked surprisingly well, considering we only had 3 people. I used a chunk of glass that looked like an ice cube for Doctor Lucky’s meeple. I didn’t think about how ironic that was, on the Titanic.

I was playing with my family. And it turns out that shorter games work better with them. Much as I wouldn’t have minded buying a copy of Wealth of Nations or Pandemic, I can’t see many of my local friends playing it. (Not counting my game group – they are actually an hour away so I don’t consider them “that local”.)

Here are some more fairly-quick-to-play games on my radar screen. If you have any experience playing these I’d love to hear about it. (Also I shall be checking out BoardGameGeek.com)

Tuesday I began a game of Spirit of the Century, a storytelling game of pulp action heroes! Let me just say that any game that involves crazy scientists with explosives (note: they were not the enemy!), and fighting ninjas on a train in 192- is 100% supreme in my book. The game play may be podcast, and I apologize in advance for my own voice and annoying (to me) laughter. But I do not apologize for picking on Chance Random, the Improbable Man With The Strange Arm Of Living Wood That He Inexplicably Got From Mysterious Druids Under Cardiff* Being a woman of [mad botanical] science (in this game, especially), that bothers me to pieces. The next time we play won’t be until April, but I’ll be working on my maniacal laugh.

 *Perhaps that is not his official title.

Girls and Gaming

I went into the semi-local (I do have one store closer) game/comic store, in our mall. I was looking for a copy of the card game Rage, since I’d just played it and it was a fun (and quick) game for a group – especially a group that doesn’t have the patience for me to set up Seafarers of Catan.

When I went in I made a beeline to Rage, which happened to be right near the front of the store. That was entirely too boring, to find what I was after in the first ten seconds, so I did a thorough wandering of the store for probably a half hour. Sadly I didn’t find anything else to buy.

But at one point the proprietor said “Can I help you?” So I asked if he had any green-stuff, and he pointed it out. (I didn’t buy any, but once I use mine up now I will know where to get some!)

He asked me, “Please, tell me that is for you.”

I cleverly replied “What?”

He said, “Please, tell me you’re the sculptor. We need more gaming girls!”

I, fortunately, was the one that was going to be sculpting – but I find it funny that in a world where a woman ran for president of the United States it’s still shocking when one walks into a game store on purpose.

Steampunk Artisans, Inspirations, Resources [EDiT]

Oh! And just to plug the two other sites I know that use the Aspire WordPress template…
(And both are neat sites!)
http://steampunkspectacular.com and

http://steampunkwallpaper.com (great images! I’m using one right now!)
I’m not going to bother to explain what the Steampunk genre is all about this time.
Feel free to check out the Wikipedia entry. But what enthralls me about it, is the beautiful combination of craftsmanship, technology, history, magic, sci-fi… wow! No wonder it’s growing!
I want to do more in this style myself!

Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Steam-type Dragon by Rachel Ross
Now, to start linking to people.
Four folks on deviantART whose Steampunk stylings really inspire me:


Porkshanks also on Etsy.
Earthenwood Studio also http://www.earthenwoodstudio.com/
Her husband is a great fantasy artist, too.
And of course, some other resources for you – these already include just about everything:

http://crabfu.com/ (even includes drawing tips )

Brass Goggles

Datamancer

And don’t forget

Girl Genius comic! (I am so frustrated, I can’t find my copy of Volume 5)

Finally, PMOG is a free browser-based Steam-stylized game (only for Firefox)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Geeky Surprises

When last we left our hero (?) she was opening a box from ThinkGeek.

And she still is.

All of my awesome friends have figured out that I am, apparently, a big geek, and have sent me fun geek stuff this year! Wow, I am so humbled to have friends that know me well enough to know the stuff I like!

Tim (of here and here) sent me MIRACLE BERRY TABLETS! Have you ever heard of these things? These things are AWESOME. Or… actually I didn’t try them yet. But in my head they are just mind-blowingly cool. Go check out the wikipedia article here.  See, this berry contains a substance “miraculin” that makes your tongue quit detecting sour/acid for awhile, and that turns all sorts of sour foods into SWEET foods. It rewires your tongue and makes everything taste new. How fun! Can’t wait, can’t wait… I promise to blog about it, perhaps more than one place – I will keep you posted. I had this great idea to let my friends over at The Secret Lair try them too.

Rewire your taste buds - for SCIENCE!
Rewire your taste buds - for SCIENCE!

And JD of bystillwaters.etsy.com and here, (AND her husband John of here) sent me a glowing necklace that looks exactly like something I would wear (and am wearing right now, since instant I opened the box, and am going to wear to the office Christmas party tomorrow).

I’m not doing a good job taking photos of this thing, in low light, to catch the glow, but anyway – it shifts colors from red to green to blue.

Fuzzy photo, but shows the glow
Fuzzy photo, but shows the glow

 

AND, not knowing well enough to leave alone (JB said she refused to buy these for me) JD and John bought me… MANA POTIONS! Ok, actually they’re energy drinks, but HOW COOL IS THIS anyway?

Mana potions? For me? Muahahahahaaha...
Mana potions? For me? Muahahahahaaha...

If I still played WoW there would be a sheep joke here.

Anyway, again I thank God SO MUCH for each of you! I mean, it’s so amazing and wonderful to have Christian geek friends! And none of you ever has to send me anything for Christmas, and yet I’m so flattered and humbled that you did. Your friendship is the real treasure here.

And I should probably not have set a precedent for showing stuff people gave me on this blog, but it’s SUCH COOL STUFF. Whee. 🙂