Aug. 31st, 2009 11:35 pm
talismancer: (Default)
Something I was doing earlier today required me to find a flash file I could upload. As someone who has not coded in Flash for a while, the only thing I could find was this:

There, having subjected myself to that, I'll subject everyone else too.

(Oh, and I realise that link isn't to the actual flash file, there's a reason for this)
talismancer: (Default)
This post is spawned from an extremely long email I sent to the SWARM mailing list today.

I'm a gamer, I play games. I actually will play most types of games, if presented right. So, here I present a list of the sorts of games I've played since joining university:

Gaming me )

So, I think that classes me as a gamer? Yes? (Anyone who still disagrees should read a certain older entry of mine)
talismancer: (Default)
This is a simple game.

What you have to do, it take an existing Radio 4 show, remove one letter from the title, get something with some degree of meaning, and explain what the new show is about. Here follows my own list of suggestions (Word in brackets is the original):

Afternoon Lay (Play) - Where everyone turns the radio off and finds something else to do (Not mine, Clive Anderson read this one out on air, and started me off on this idea)

File o Four (on) - Clip show

Lick on (Click) - Sex show

Font Row (Front) (Row here as in an argument, the original as as in a column) - Arguments over what to call the baby

Material Word (World) - Studying the origins of words

In Our Tim (Time) - Another sex show

Money Ox (Box) - Farming show

Other ideas welcome
talismancer: (Default)
This was originally a reply to [ profile] boggyb, but makes a fairly good post on it's own.

Telephone Preference Service. Use as a weapon:

This consists of first asking where they got your number. Then asking what country they're based in. Then asking if they're aware that there's a legal requirement for them to check any number they wish to dial against the TPS list before dialling it. Then pointing out that you're on this list, and that they're phoning you illegally. Finally, request that you're taken off whatever system they used to call you, and point out that if you receive unsolicited telemarketing from them again, you will be writing to whichever governing body covers telephone sales (I forget, I think it's Ofcom).

This can be spiced up at the start by asking for their full business name, address and postcode after asking what country they're in. Also optionally asking them to repeat their name (Never ask for full name, they'll never give it. Most will start with a name, or give a first name if asked). This is done before mentioning the TPS to ensure maximum embarrassment when they suddenly realise that you're on the TPS, aware that they're doing something illegal, and they gave you their business address!

Oh, and the phrase "You're not legally allowed" (to phone me) seems to carry a lot more weight than "it's illegal", mainly because it contains more words for the meaning to really sink in from. Also, telling them that you "wish to ask them a few questions so you're sure you're talking to a proper company, working legally, and not someone who might scam them out of a lot of money" is a good way of making them think that you might be passingly interesting in whatever junk they're selling. The phrase "legally" in the middle is the catch, as you know that you can use that to hang them later in the conversation.

This particular series of questions, carefully asked in a somewhat interested tone of voice, I've picked up from my father, who once (apparently) made the poor girl on the other end of the phone gently sob after carefully trapping her with a series of questions, making her think he was writing down the answers and would be writing to both the company and Ofcom to complain about their lack of following of the TPS. He Never wrote anything. Successfully scared the girl.
talismancer: (Default)
Oh dear, I'm really getting quite bad at updating my journal aren't I? This cannot be a good thing. I mean, look at April. One pass-it-on message, a general notice (and the only real content for april), boggyb's birthday, two maelstrom updates, and two updates which were avoiding updating.

However, despite loading this page up with good intentions, I don't really know what I want to blog about, I just feel I should be blogging. Which leaves me back in the situation of updating more because I feel I should than because I have anything to say or share.

I need to get my blog muse back.

I need to get some sleep.

This evening's entertainment has been playing the new version of Pirates!. Where "new" is defined as 2003, after discovering that my install of the original (1984) crashes dosbox. I was not impressed. Mind you, I suppose that's what I get for trying to run a 25 year old bit of software on my current machine.

For those who've only played one or other, the 2003 version is just a graphical upgrade from the original, the game play is rather similar (what I've seen thus far anyway). This is nice for me who was after a bit of nostalgia. That and it only cost me £3.
talismancer: (Default)
Working for Curry's, as I do, I get to see the prices and changes in technology, and occasionally get to see some very silly discounts. I picked up a matching SLI graphics card for £5 a little while ago, I picked up some £25 headphones for 97p a few years back, and there have been other things. BTW, these are all discounts that Currys have done to us, mainly to clear stock.

Today's discovery was mobile phone vouchers. We have a small collection of the old style scratchable mobile phone vouchers. Now days we print the vouchers off automatically from the till. So the old vouchers have been discounted to clear. Yes, today I was offered £20 T-mobile top up voucher for... £4.97. I took 5. I've spent £25 to get £100 top up on my phone.

Let it never be said there aren't bargains to be found even today.
talismancer: (Default)
I was going to write "for the Brighton reisdents" at the top, but anyone can attempt this little quiz about Brighton and Hove.

Very simple, 10 multiple choice questions getting progressively harder. Answers are not screened, so feel free to contribute however you like.

1)The Brighton Buccaneeers play what game?
A - Baseball
B - Basketball
C - Football
D - Cricket

2) In what year did the West Pier burn to it's current state?
A - 2001
B - 2002
C - 2003
D - 2004

3) On which ground did Brighton and Hove Albion play until it's closure in 1997?
A - West Street Stadium
B - Withdean Stadium
C - Goldstone Grounds
D - Corals Grey Hound

4) What was the occupation of Thomas Read Kemp who initiated the building of Kemptown?
A - Doctor
B - MP
C - Banker
D - Entrepreneur

5) What was the original purpose of the Chain Pier, the first of it's kind in Britain?
A - Passenger Facility
B - Pleasure Attraction
C - Freight Terminal
D - Commercial Fishing

6) What is the traditional name of the sets of steps which link many Brighton streets?
A - catnips
B - catnaps
C - cat's creeps
D - cat's crawls

7) What might you have found in the grounds of Withdean Grange up until the 1950's?
A - A maze
B - A roller skating rink
C - A zoo
D - A pet cemetary

8) When did the theatre first open on the Palace Pier? (Now the Brighton Pier)
A - 1871
B - 1901
C - 1911
D - 1899

9) Volk's railway was built in which year?
A - 1883
B - 1893
C - 1903
D - 1913

10) The Theatre Royal opened to what Shakespearian drama in 1806?
A - Macbeth
B - Henry V
C - Hamlet
D - Othello

Answers will follow in a few days.
talismancer: (Default)
As [ profile] ghostpaw told me I should be looking this up:

Sussex Rapier School:

However after a good read of their website, I think I'll be giving this a miss because of cost and space. While borrowing to start is a good plan, I don't have the money to buy or space to store more clothing or armour. I'd love another hobby, but they're queuing up for both space and funding ATM.

So why'd I post? Because others may be interested.
talismancer: (Default)
1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

2. Go to wardrobe and collect bag in which present is contained, and close door.

3. Open door and remove cat from wardrobe.

4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.

5. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.

6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors labels etc.

7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.

8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.

9. Reopen drawer and re-remove cat.

10. Remove present from bag.

11. Remove cat from bag.

12. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.

13. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size,

14. Try and smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.

15. Cut the paper to size, trying to keep the cutting line straight.

16. Throw away first sheet as cat tried to chase the scissors, and tore paper.

17. Cut second sheet of paper to size. By putting cat in the bag the present came out of.

18. Place present on cut to size paper

19. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present, wonder why edges now don't reach, and realize cat is between present and paper. Remove cat and retry.

20. Place object on paper, to hold in place, while cutting transparent sticky tape.

21. Spend next 20 minuets carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.

22. Seal paper down, with transparent sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.

23. Look for roll of ribbon, chase cat down hall, in order to retrieve ribbon.

24. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two directional turn.

25. Re-roll up ribbon and remove paper that is now torn, due to cat's enthusiasm to chase ribbon end.

26. Repeat steps 13-20 until down to last sheet of paper.

27. Decide to skip steps 13-17, in order to save time and reduce risk of loosing last sheet of paper. By retrieving old cardboard box, that you know is right size for sheet of paper.

28. Put present in box, and tie down with string.

29. Remove string, open box and remove cat.

30. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for lock able room.

31. Once inside room, lock door and start to re-lay out packing materials.

32. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close door and re-lock.

33. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary. Until you can hear the cries from the cat outside the door.

34. Lay out last sheet of paper. (I know this is difficult in the small area of the toilet. But try your best)

35. Realize cat has already got to the paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last years paper, until you remember that you haven't got any left, due to cats help with wrapping last year.

36. Retire back to room lock door, and sit on toilet whilst trying to work out how to make torn sheet of paper look halfway presentable.

37. Seal box, wrap with paper and start repairs by very carefully seal down tears with transparent sticky tape. Now tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst effected areas.

38. Label, then sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulating yourself on making good of a bad job.

39. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.

40. Spend next 15 minuets looking for cat, before coming to obvious conclusion.

41. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.

42. Retrieve all thrown away sheets of wrapping paper, feed cat and retire back to room for last attempt, making certain you are alone and the door is locked.

43. Find least torn and wrinkled sheets of paper, along with the ones that the pattern matches closet.

44. Vainly try and wrap present in patchwork of paper. Tie with the now tattered ribbon and decorate with the now limp bows. Label and put present in bag, for fear of anyone seeing this disaster.

45. At time of handing over present, smile sweetly at receivers face, as they try and hide their contempt at being handed such a badly wrapped present.

46. Swear to yourself that next year, you will get the store to wrap the darn thing for you.
talismancer: (Default)
Because I suspect some of you are more likely to go than I

EDIT - Brainfail, lets try a different link:
talismancer: (Default)
EDIT - I started this as a fun post written just off my own back. I deliberately didn't do any research to make the post more naturally me, and less a wikipedia repost. What I didn't realise at the time is that the existence of inductive logic is controversial and argued, so that makes the entire argument rather invalid. I'm not editing the main content, but adding this as a warning.

Lets start with a simple problem. A friend tosses a coin, it lands on the table out of sight, you can hear it roll, and then stops. The friend places a hand over the coin so you have no chance of seeing it, then asks you "Which side up did it land?"

This is a problem for which deductive logic applies. For a given set of assumptions*, a single question will deduce the answer for you "Did it land tails up?".

Regardless of whether the answer is yes or no, this is deductive logic. Probably clearer if the answer was "no", because at this point you have eliminated all the options bar one. This one must therefore be the answer.

But does it. Lets come back to those set of assumptions from further up. There are facts that you are assuming. You're assuming the coin has just two sides, and that they are different. You're assuming that there was no possibility for the coin to land on an edge still, or for something else to happen. I did rather imply these at the start, but they are still assumptions, as you don't have enough information.

What are not assumptions though is the set of conclusions beyond the answer. Going back to the original problem, what if the question is wrong. Rather than asking "Which side up did it land?", what if the question were "Which side up is it now?". These may seem trivially the same in isolation, but I hope you can see the significant difference. Valid questions may also include "Where is the coin?", and "Which way up is the coin under my hand?".

For these other questions, you have to consider a somewhat wider set of variables. If the coin were a British 2p coin which you had provided, several options can be eliminated. The question of the fairness of the original coin can be eliminated, you provided it, and you probably know that it has one head and one tail. Assuming it's a 2p, it's probably reasonable to be able to conclude whether it's likely on it's edge from the shape of the hand. If it's near flat on the table, (and assuming the coin is still there), then it must be flat.

That last one brings up the next point, which is whether the coin is still there. Most games of chance require some degree of reveal, so for those you can probably assume the coin is there, although it may have been tampered with. I'm not going to go into the variables required to answer the question "Where is the coin now?", as I hope you can see they get very, very large.

Luckily, the original problem is pure deductive logic. You heard the coin land, and you heard it roll to a stop. Therefore, there are but 3 possibilities, each side (lets use heads and tails, I realise this may not be fair), or the edge. The edge has been eliminated by the question. The questioner asked for "which side", so it wasn't the edge. A single question can then solve the problem.

The means of solving deductive logic was well phrased by Sherlock Holmes, in The Blanched Soldier, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes stated "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.", and whilst very true for deductive logic, isn't so good for inductive logic.

The game of Mastermind (the one with the pegs and the holes, not anything else, and certainly nothing to do with a black chair) is a game of deductive logic. You have a limited set of parameters to work with, and there's no game options for working outside those parameters. The parameters may not be understood by all, but they are there none the less. It is possible to calculate the maximum number of moves required to solve a game of mastermind for a given set of rules. If you're playing say with 2 holes, which must be filled, and but one peg colour, there is only 1 solution. For two peg colours, there are 4 solutions (00, 01, 10, 11), and if the rules are just "correct" or "incorrect" marking, it will take no more than 3 guesses. As this expands both in number of holes, colours and complexity of the marking scheme, I hope you can see how an optimal solution can be found.

Yet as much as Sherlock Holmes might have wanted it to be true, a lot of life's problems are not deductive. Interpreting a simple sentence "Fruit flies like a banana" (Thank you [ profile] luckykaa) is inductive. It could mean that when throwing fruit it all travels rather like a banana does, it could be refering to the dietary preferences of the fruit fly, or one of a number of different things. When written as C code, it could be remapped into a program to calculate pi probably (I'll admit to not being able to program in C, but having seen poems compile, I'll believe anything). It could mean multiple options. There are not a limited number of options, and as a result, it's never possible to be entirely sure what was meant.

So while both Doyle and Holmes were brilliant men, Holmes wasn't entirely right, and the world is more complex for it.

Snow day

Feb. 2nd, 2009 08:22 pm
talismancer: (Storm)
So, along with everyone else in the UK, it snowed here, and I awoke to a vista of white.

Unlike a fair proportion of my f-list, I got a phone call from work about the point I was going to leave anyway to ask me to come in as quick as I could, as they needed more staff. (Although, fair cop to my boss, he clarified this as please get in as quick by being slow and careful and just not delaying for other reasons). Work well knows I live within easy walking distance.

So I've spent an extra 15 minutes on the start of the day and another half hour on the end at work, because retail of batteries and cameras goes up on days like this. We've done a good day's trading, and will likely do so again tomorrow.

Personally, I only moderately like the snow. It's pretty (apparently Hove beach was covered in people this morning), but it's cold, slippery and dangerous.
talismancer: (Storm)
I know, I virtually never use anything besides those eyes. This is because I generally forget when posting that I have options for userpics. I forget music and location often enough too, and I only remember to tag things because it's a much bigger box.

Anyway, this pic was the result of my playing about with some 3d rendering software. It was actually a pic for a friend, but I've decided to use it too. 32000 polygons it has*... seems like a bit excessive for only 10,000 pixels doesn't it?

*Well, it had at the original 1024x768 res anyway.


Jan. 8th, 2009 08:23 pm
talismancer: (Storm)
This is an update to say I feel I should update but have no idea what to say.

This is partly because I'm not very well ATM.
talismancer: (Default)
A repost from [ profile] newvani:

We were having some fun with these Gaia avatars on 'Froth yesterday.
Go on. Make a sickeningly cute... little... guy... who looks nothing like your Maelstrom character. Baww.
Make here. Post them here!

Yeah, non-human bits are problematic. So is the lack of a brown cat mask. Besides that, it's only half bad.
talismancer: (Default)
OK, plans are getting finalised.

Sunday 4th: On Sunday 4th, Everyone is invited to a pub* for a late lunch and/or booze. Everyone picks up their own bill. General socialising. 1-2pm start, for a few hours until people have stopped frothing.

*exact Pub yet to be determined, I'll let you all know. Also, suggestions are welcome, somewhere fairly central in the city would be good, especially as I will be drinking and not driving, so need to get home myself.

Tuesday 6th: Tuesday night party. This is a normal Tuesday night gaming session, except may involve many more sweets. Normal Tuesday night invites only (Side note, as the Uni hasn't started term at this point, this was already an off week. Date for the next WFRP week is still to be determined, and I still need to read the campaign book).

Wednesday 7th: Assuming enough people are around, I want to play Wacky Magic* at SWARM. Anyone who wishes to come is invited (Non-SWARMites should contact me first please). There will be more sweets again.

*Current plans for Wacky Magic:
Sliver Wars. Please make it known if you wish to partake. There may be more than one game. I'm playing (and will start on the Sliver side), Paul is playing anti-slivers. We will be playing by the Tribal wars banned list, the legacy banned list, and with no cards pre-Invasion and sixth. (Basically Extended before it's last rotation)

Emperor Constructed: I give fair warning that I'm half heartedly deck building for this one already. Unified deck construction applies.

Confused SWARMites (See the comments to Wacky Magic if you missed that one): I have those 15 cards in a pocket waiting to cause mass chaos.

Wednesday 14th: I want to try organising a large Settlers game at the start of term, or failing that play 6 player random Seafarers as we used to. That is now the extent of my board gaming party stuff. Repeat comment about lots of sweets (and knowing the Board gamers, they'll be Opal Fruits/Starburst). Open invite, although let me know in advance if you can/want to play. I want to start this one early so it finished by 4pm to invite the various RPers, so start time of 12 may be in order.

General information:
I will not be trying to feed anyone anything substantial at any point throughout my birthday, partly because I have a large invite list that could bankrupt me to feed (SWARM could do that on it's own). This equally means there will not be any sort of dedicated birthday cake, as it'll need to be variable sized for unknown numbers of people, as well as have to be transported. This doesn't bother me in the slightest, so I'm hoping no-one else worries. I will try and bring copious quantities of sweets to all parties though. Starburst, Jelly Beans, Jelly Babies, Toffees, Mint Imperials... that sort of thing.

I am *awful* at remembering everyone else's birthdays, and even worse at remembering and finding suitable presents. Therefore no-one is to feel obliged to provide presents. Much the same goes for cards, except I have a universal policy of not giving or expecting to receive either Christmas/Solstice or Birthday cards.

LARP plans have been dropped as too impractical.

Suggestions always welcome.
talismancer: (Default)
One possible schedule:

Sunday 4th: Invite anyone and everyone down to a pub for lunch and drinks. Suggestions welcome.

Tuesday 6th: Celebrate with the normal Tuesday group. Do normal Tuesday stuff but with CAKE!

Wednesday 7th: Depending on who is at SWARM over the hols, organise either silly board games or silly Magic.

Wednesday 14th or Friday 16th: Organise other SWARM based bit.

Sunday 18th Some later date (Deliberately picked after Term has restarted): Organise some sort of LARP.

EDIT - No, the weekend surrdounding the 17th is not a good plan, as I need to be available a few days either side for family business.

[ profile] flannelcat makes a good point that Maelstrom isn't designed for linears and might be better suited to other stuff. I really have no idea, having never had to organise a LARP before. I might therefore just ask Dom really nicely if he can organise something "interesting" and see what he comes up with, with that as his only condition.

In other news, Brighton Warlords are organising a sanctioned Conflux pre-release on Sunday 1st Feb and I'm head judging it again. Good experience. Also, the MTG UK GP is in Brighton this year, so I may see if I can get level 1 judge certification there. Need more details first though. It's August so non-urgent (let me get the Pre-release and at least one wedding out the way first)
talismancer: (Default)
I know, I know, I've been trying long and hard to keep MTG off my journal. For the most part I've succeeded (clocking up 4 updates since I changed journal names, one more contained no content), but I'm afraid I'm going to subject you to another around about now. This is a brain dump, for potential formats for games for SWARM for the new year:
To give the chance to skip for those who don't play Magic )

(This post is unfiltered so I can link non-LJers to it, sorry to everyone else who is normally filtered off my MTG updates)


talismancer: (Default)

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