Archive for October, 2010

A Visit to Command-D

October 24, 2010

I wandered to the east of Spindrift, my Second Life region, one day last year.  It was before the gridmoths ate Earth Exploration sim this Spring, so I didn’t have to detour to the southeast around the new ocean square.  Landing in LUNAR06, one of USA/ULA’s northern row of regions, I walked over to the ridge with a comms antenna poking up over it.

USA 06 sim, Command Bunker

I walked over to the entrance.  Seeing that the interior was lit, I shouted, but heard nothing save echoes off the hard bare walls.  I entered, and spent time trying out the controls in the deserted bunker, but nothing responded.

USA06 Command Bunker Interior

A few months before in 2009, DC Comics had revived, among other characters, Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth in their wonderful Wednesday Comics.  His name derived from where he was raised, the Command-D bunker after the Great Disaster.  So after I left the rapid-prototyping project bunker which had reminded me of Kamandi, I used this excuse to try to learn something new about my PaintShop Pro graphics.  My first try is below.


A Bee in His Bonnet – Coach Clair Bee Ordered a Haircut

October 18, 2010

Former UCLA Basketball Hall of Fame coach John Wooden’s recent passing led to many columnists collecting memories of the famed basketball coach.  One of the most often told was about Bill Walton’s haircut – or insufficient one, in the coach’s eyes.  That reminded my father of another basketball coach’s haircut issue.

Clair Bee, also a Basketball Hall of Fame coach, brought his powerhouse Long Island University NIT-Champion basketball team across Brooklyn, NY, to Pratt Institute to scrimmage their far weaker team a few times during WWII, due to travel restrictions.

In 1941 or ’42, my father, an avid college sports fan and Pratt mechanical engineering student, was in the bleachers to watch.  At one point in the informal practice, a fourth-string LIU player went in for a layout, adjusted his hair – and missed the shot.

Coach Bee whistled the action to a halt, and called for a pair of scissors.  He had an assistant coach cut the offending locks on the court, then resumed the scrimmage without another word.

Ringworld’s 40th Anniversary celebrated at Tor Books

October 15, 2010

My coauthored blogpost on Larry Niven’s Ringworld just went online at Tor Books site! My second paid writing ever …

Linden Lab price increases

October 5, 2010

Linden Lab has just made another abrupt and large future price increase for regions.  The announcement and reactions to it are here:

I responded:

I applaud Gentle Heron’s summary of some of the consequences, intended and unintended, of this abrupt pricing decision.

(And to academics/educators and the NASA and NOAA staffers inworld working with annual budgets set in August or September, three months notice *is* abrupt, disruptive, and not helpful to their credibility with their home financial offices or departments.)

Disclaimer: I am speaking as Paradox Olber of Spindrift isle in the SciLands, and not as a representative of the SciLands, NASA, NOAA, the International Spaceflight Museum, SpinSpace Gallery, the International Association of Astronomical Artists, the University of Texas State System, the Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics, the MiLands, PookyMedia, or the Space For Music Museum.

Although I can confirm that, like almost all the commenters’ organizations, each of these organizations is planning to reduce Second Life footprint OR strongly discussing that option now.

– Paradox

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