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03 Sep 19:20

Rocky Horror Getting A MAC Makeup Line, JUST TAKE OUR MONEY NOW

by Meredith Woerner

Rocky Horror Getting A MAC Makeup Line, JUST TAKE OUR MONEY NOW

This is quite possibly the best product tie-in ever created, ever. MAC Cosmetics is unleashing a Rocky Horror makeup line—and yes, Dr. Frank-N-Furter has his own lipstick color, of course.

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18 Aug 00:29

Tips from behind the scenes: How to deal with a cluttered kitchen + too many appliances


Today's Behind the Scenes takes a look into the kitchen of client, N.  

While the kitchen has a wall of cabinetry and an island of additional drawers, the functionality was not there.  The cabinets and drawers themselves are older and therefore are on the narrow/shallow end of the spectrum, so any degree of clutter immediately rendered the space clunky and hard to navigate.  
This fact, compounded with this family's propensity for specialty kitchen items for specialty meals (Sunday morning waffles and homemade ice cream, anyone?), equaled lots of clutter hidden in the drawers and out on counter tops.  
A major part of this session was spent figuring out which items (and culinary "hobbies") deserved to have space in their home and their life.  

While our sessions tackle the physically cluttered space, it is always about the "users" behind the space and why the items have entered the space in the first place.  This session was a huge success because we were able to donate a packed-full carload of usable items to the local Goodwill!
16 Aug 15:00

Top 10 Skills We Wish Were Taught in School, But Usually Aren't

by Melanie Pinola

Top 10 Skills We Wish Were Taught in School, But Usually Aren't

Even though we learn a great deal in school, some of the most essential skills we need as adults aren't universally, formally taught. Here are some of the subjects and skills we wish we'd learned in school early on (and which you can still learn now. It's never too late!).

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13 Aug 22:30

15 Secretly Hidden Features of Mac You Probably Won’t Know If You Miss This

by Michelle Smith
MacOSX

Mac OS X has several amazing features that are hidden from the user. If you have been using Mac for a couple of years then, we are sure you would have stumbled across a few Mac hidden features. Many users are unaware of these secret Mac functions even after several years of using the Mac OS X. In this article, we have gathered 15 useful, lesser known Mac features that are sure to surprise you.

Merge Folders

You can easily merge the contents of two identically named folders but dragging one folder onto another prompts a Replace dialog message. So, the trick to merge two folders is to use Option – Dragging the folder which prompts an additional choice to merge folders. One folder containing contents of both source and destination folders will be created.

Merge

Create a Signature in Preview

It is easy to add a signature to your document in Mac. Open the document in preview and open the Annotations toolbar. Click on the Signature button and choose the Create Signature from Built-in iSight option. Follow the on-screen instructions to add a signature to your document. You can save your signature for future use as well.

Signature

Quick Dictionary Access

You can quickly access the dictionary in Mac systems with these shortcut options. In older version of Mac OS, use ⌘⌃D to bring up the definition of the world while hovering over the word. You can find the definition of a word by double tapping with three fingers in Lion version. Quick access to dictionary helps users find meanings to obscure words immediately.

Dictionary

Restoring Scroll Bars

Scroll bars by default are hidden in Lion version and are visible only when a user begins to scroll the page. This could be confusing at times and hence many users prefer to have the scroll bars on. You can have the scroll bars visible always by changing the default setting. Go to System Preferences, under General Category; select Always under Show Scroll Bars option.

scroll

Built-in emoji Support

It is extremely easy to insert emoticons in Mac OS X. It comes with a built-in emoji which allows users to insert special characters. Press ctrl ++ space to open the window. This window contains an exhaustive list of special characters. You can choose the special characters and emoticons that you need from this window.

macemoji

Speech-to-Text Conversion

Dictation-typing in Mac OS works amazing well. You can convert your speech-to-text by pressing the function (fn) key twice and begin speaking. Your voice gets converted to text when you press function (fn) key one more time. The OS X types out as you speak.

voice-typing

 Easy Volume and Brightness Control

With this shortcut, volume and brightness control can be achieved quite easily. Hold ⇧ + ⌥ together to change the brightness in small increments. You can change your volume control without affecting the brightness control by just holding the ⇧ key.

change-sound-and-bringtness-in-quarters

Auto Complete of Words

Do you have trouble with spellings? This hidden feature will help you spell difficult words correctly as you type in iChat or TextEdit. Press F5 or Option + Escape to bring up an auto complete menu that provides a list of possible spellings to the word that you have started typing. This feature is extremely useful when you are typing official documents.

AutoComplete

Quick Duplicate Open File

Many of the apps on Mac lack the option of “Save As” to duplicate an open file. There is a way to achieve duplication of an open file without opening the File menu. Click on the filename at the top. This drops down a menu of options. Click on the option Duplicate which allows you to replicate the file.

DuplicateFiles

Hot Corners

This feature allows you to trigger certain events by touching the corner of your screen. You can enable hot corner setting by navigating to System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Savers ->Screen Saver Tab -> Hot Corners. It is a very useful feature which allows you to disable screensaver, launch notification center and open applications.

hotcorners

Close Running Apps

Running apps take up a lot of RAM space and slow down your system. Here is a quick solution to close your running apps on Mac. Simply hold + tab and continue holding and tab through all open apps. When you reach the app that you want to quit, press Q. If you want to hide the app, press H.

CloseApps

Turn Off Notifications

Open your Notification Center and scroll down the side-loading bar until you find Do Not Disturb toggle feature. Turn it on and you will not receive any notifications for a day. It is a convenient way to focus on your work without being disturbed by notifications that pop-up quite often. You can also schedule Do Not Disturb feature to be turned on for a specific period of time or for a particular event. For example, you can have it turned off when display is mirrored to a projector output.

DND

Delete Apps in Launchpad

Deleting apps using Launchpad is an easy way to cleanup old apps. Open Launchpad interface and hold down Option to launch the iOS –style wiggle mode. This will activate the close icons on apps installed through Mac App Store. You can click on the cross icon to delete unused old apps from the system.

Delete Apps

Preview Files

Previewing files is really simple with this trick. Hold down the space bar when you select a file to preview the file. You can even preview image and video files with this option. You can switch between files while in preview by pressing the arrow keys.

preview-with-spacepreview-with-spacepreview-with-space

Create a New Desktop

Mission Control is a cool new feature in Lion. In Mission Control, you can create a new desktop easily. A ‘+’ tab appears at the top right while you hover your mouse in Mission Control. If you want to move a window to a new desktop, you can drop them into the ‘+’ tab. You can have a dedicated desktop by simply dragging and dropping windows into this tab.

New Desktop

The post 15 Secretly Hidden Features of Mac You Probably Won’t Know If You Miss This appeared first on Lifehack.

06 Aug 12:22

The Steve ‘N’ Seagulls Perform a Live Bluegrass Cover of AC/DC’s 1990 Rock Song ‘Thunderstruck’

by Justin Page
oz garcia

great cover

The Finnish five-man band Steve ‘N’ Seagulls recently performed a live bluegrass cover of the 1990 rock song “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.

Here is the original music video:

via reddit, Daily Picks and Flicks

21 Apr 18:21

Astonishingly Intricate Carved Goose Eggs

by EDW Lynch

Carved Goose Egg Sculptures by Piotr Bockenheim

Artist Piotr Bockenheim uses a handheld drill to carve astonishingly intricate geometric designs into goose eggs.

Carved Goose Egg Sculptures by Piotr Bockenheim

Carved Goose Egg Sculptures by Piotr Bockenheim

Carved Goose Egg Sculptures by Piotr Bockenheim

Carved Goose Egg Sculptures by Piotr Bockenheim

photos via Piotr Bockenheim

via Colossal

17 Jul 20:00

Photo



13 Apr 19:30

Boston's New Edgar Allan Poe Statue Is Going to Be Epic

by Katharine Trendacosta

Boston's New Edgar Allan Poe Statue Is Going to Be Epic

This is a clay model of the final design for the life-size statue of Edgar Allan Poe that will be unveiled on October 5, 2014 at 2pm, at the corner of Boylston Street and Charles Street South in Boston, which is also named "Edgar Allan Poe Square." It's got Poe with his coat flapping in the wind, a suitcase, and raven heralding his arrival.

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04 Dec 23:50

missdying: the-blossom-on-the-wall: hunson—abadeer: bordeaux-i...

27 Nov 14:09

Happy Thanksgiving! flubby:  













Happy Thanksgiving!

flubby:

 

22 Nov 17:06

Photo

by theburnlab


21 Nov 22:29

evilsupplyco: What is a hero without a villain?Useless. What is a villain without a...

evilsupplyco:

What is a hero without a villain?
Useless.

What is a villain without a hero?
Successful.

20 Nov 18:12

Cosmic Machine: deeply groovy 1970s French electronic music

by David Pescovitz

Perm fr5351 200Cosmic Machine: A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980) is a fantastic new compilation showcasing the musical matrimony of experimental electronica with freaky disco. Among lesser known artists, you'll find tracks by Serge Gainsbourg, Frédéric Mercier (whose song above, "Spirit," was sampled by Jay Z), and Daniel Vangarde (DVWB) who just happens to be the father of Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter. This underexposed genre of diverse dance (and some chill) music will delight fans of Giorgio Moroder, Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, and the history of the future.

Cosmic Machine: A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980)

    






19 Nov 22:50

Lydia Deetz returning to Beetlejuice 2, OMG think of the hats!

by Meredith Woerner

Lydia Deetz returning to Beetlejuice 2, OMG think of the hats!

Winona Ryder just spilled the beans that she probably going to return as the great Lydia Deetz for Beetlejuice 2. Okay, she didn't outright SAY that, but the implication is there, and it is awesome. Three important questions remain: What is Lydia Deetz up to now? What is she wearing? And where can I buy it?

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19 Nov 00:45

[Short Film] Exordium

by Greg Gorgonmilk
Some rotoscoped fantasy action!

19 Nov 05:03

Lord Byron's (Eldritch) Clubfoot

by Jack

Want to start an argument among a group of Romanticists?  Casually drop this query: "Byron had a club foot, didn't he?"  Suddenly, the room will be aflame with scholars each advancing their own theory as to what afflicted Byron's limb.  I've heard everything from infantile paralysis, dysplasia, and a persistent inflammation of the Achilles tendon--alongside the more widely talked of clubfoot deformation.

Despite of whatever his disability actually was, Byron was quite athletic and noted as a fantastic swimmer.  Actually, it might be more accurate to say that he was physically fit in spite of his medical condition; as John Galt noted, Byron would exercise "violently" perhaps to compensate for his emasculating limp.

But what if Byron's strange limb and notable swimming prowess had a far more disturbing link?  What if the same tainted blood that resulted in the dreadful "Innsmouth look" also flowed through Byron's veins?  Byron's scandalous relationship with his half-sister August Leigh seems almost natural in light of the inbreeding practiced in that horrid Massachusetts port.

Byron's deformity wasn't a clubfoot...it was a flipper.

Lord Byron, the Deep One Romantic (Wild Card)
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Boating d6, Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Knowledge (literature) d10, Notice d8, Persuasion d10, Stealth d8, Swimming d12, Taunt d10
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6 
Special Abilities
• Aquatic: Pace 8
• Poetry: As an action, Byron can recite poetry that causes a mild hypnotic state in those exposed to it for more than a single round. Anyone who fails a Spirit roll upon hearing the crooning suffers a –2 to all rolls for the duration of the scene. 
• Low Light Vision: Byron ignores any penalties for Dim and Dark lighting
Spells: Perhaps all that business about occult powers and summoning spirits in Manfred wasn't just poetic license; at the GM's discretion Byron might know d6 spells and have the appropriate casting skill at d8.

(Katie gets credit for inspiring this take on the "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" Byron.)

10 Nov 14:19

Aliens, Saucer Men and Space Gods of Psychon pt 4

by noreply@blogger.com (Konsumterra)
Space gods and Saucer men 
To recap what we have done so far is to describe typical UFO encounters, saucer occupants, infiltration and invasion by various species.

Space gods are a bit different. Most evidence of space gods is ancient and interpreted from monuments of ancients, artifacts and supposed evolutionary leaps. Space gods are more aloof and dont zoom around in saucers scaring motorists and eating cow faces or stealing brains.

Spacegod artifacts are more likely to be encountered such as a monolith or crystal skull with psionic puzzles required to activate.

When space gods do visit it is a great event and those who contact them are changed forever.

Space gods may have servitor races, often which they have log abandoned. Many carry out agendas that no longer exist. Robots or androids are fairly common. Prometheans are one good candidate but they are arrogant and seek to exterminate failures and managed to wipe selves out with own bioweapons. Most aliens fear space gods and flee. Space gods are to normal aliens what UFOs are to humans.

Space gods typically come into play differently to plain aliens and UFOs. Usually spacegod artifacts or mysteries are uncovered.and possibly activated sending them a signal. Sometimes a servitor is uncovered and awakened but they are often hostile or uninterested in welfare of primitive animals. Spacegods may send mental communications but these are awesome mindblowing communications which may unhinge fragile minds. Spacegods test people with puzzles, leave around powerful weapons or other tests. Failure can mean failure for all humans not just yourself.

A cleric may wish to worship space gods instead of AI gods. Some say spacegods are yet another cruel hoax of of AI gods but most Psychononians cant be sure. But they do grant spells and may commune with some chosen. Such priests especially deal with other aliens possibly being able to turn aliens instead of undead. The power of the spacegods is recognizable and fearsome to saucer folk.

Spacegods may battle with the old ones or possibly kaiju from time to time but such conflict is sure to be very destructive. Why a spacegod would choose to wrestle a kaiju instead of turning them into a tadpole is a mystery but kaiju have their own priesthood too which might explain something.

Spacegods while judgmental will protect innocent from aliens, undead swarm, kaiju attack, mythos gods, or sometimes even Psychonian AI gods. The AI gods seem to not discuss space gods but they are frequently hostile to other aliens due to ancient earth defense protocols.

Other aliens may pretend to be spacegods but this calls the wrath of the Spacegods. Some servitors using the spacegods name in vain likewise displease them. Rogue spacegods do exist but are usually captured by their peers and imprisoned. Hopefully not under your city or on your planet. Evil spacegods take a hand in controlling their servitor species minions.

Several types of spacegods have been documented. The first are the Celestrions, apearing as collosal titans in space armour which may land on a planet and walk around. They walk through oceans waste deep but can walk on water or hover in the sky. They have abandoned vessels but some of these may still be found. Saucer men with ambition might try to occupy a space god vessel but outcome i usually bad. Statues of them may be found in ancient sites. Their impenetrable kirbonium armour is covered in mysterious symbols but a nuke might bother one if surprised. If they knew it was coming they might just dampen the nuclear reaction with a thought. The other variety are the Starchild. Usually appear as fetal beings in glowing spheres (some say they have seen them with tentacles).  Archons are another type whose fused dead bodies may be found in tombs, temples or crypts but these remnants may awaken if disturbed. They are humanoid but withered with domed heads and large eyes. Archons may grant individuals great power and will take it away if squandered on selfish goals. Their consciousness dwells on other planes and it seems ones on earth came here to find a place to die.

Spacegods when they do have ships are huge structures. Stargates are commonly employed also.

The best use of aliens is to send players to a hex with an invasion by saucer people underway. Spacegods are usually involved when greedy evil wizards seek artifacts, communication with evil spacegods or to meddle with their puzzles left to test the race. Spacegods arrival should be a climax. Artifacts or servitors should be seen first.




d20 Ancient Monuments
Some ideas for ruins and alien remnants. Crop circles good for temporary ones.

1 Huge carvings in plain depicting spacegods or landing sights
2 Crude megalith with rock paintings or carvings of spacegods
3 Strange archway of natural stone or carved which could have been an operational gate once
4 Huge wall wade with fused stones and possible carvings of spacegods
5 Cave temple complex with carvings of spacegods and possible secret chambers
6 Tomb of servitors who rulled or crashed here long ago
7 Huge statue of a specific space god
8 Field of statues of many spacegods
9 Temple with statues and carvings inside or all over
10 Pyramid sealed with artifacts sealed inside
11 Ziggerutt with temple on top where ancients communed with spacegods
12 Lost city with alien servitor mummies and and carvings of spacegods
13 Shrine with slightly alien looking god, dead alien or spacegod relics inside 
14 Sunken city ruins with spacegod
15 Huge crater with scraps of spacejunk remains
16 Remains of servitor saucer possibly crashed or in hanger or temple
17 Sarcophagi of servitors in sealed chamber
18 Huge carving in cliff, mountain or rock depicting spacegod or hybrid alien
19 Sacred area two more times
20 Ruined holy precinct roll 1d4+1 more rolls


d20 What are Aliens in art doing?
1 Saucer crash
2 Saucer crash with survivors meeting locals
3 Saucer crash with aliens dying one by one
4 Saucer crash with aliens becoming priest kings of locals
5 Saucer crash with aliens hybridizing
6 Aliens sharing advanced knowledge with human
7 Aliens destroying life
8 Aliens saving people from disaster
9 Aliens having sex with humans
10 Aliens Building a city or sacred precinct
11 Aliens building monument with advanced technology
12 Aliens kidnapping people
13 Aliens of different types fighting with troops
14 Aliens bringing law to mankind
15 Aliens bringing peace and prosperity
16 Aliens of different types fighting with saucers
17 Alien priest in meditation looking serene
18 Aliens breeding monsters which eat people
19 Alien priests sacrificing people
20 Alien wizards performing miracles like healing or monster killing

d100 Alien Artifacts 

Use adjectives like mysterious, unfathomable, strange, weird, whenever describing them. Most have mysterious purposes which cannot be fathomed. A lab might spend 100 years and a grey will activate it instantly on touch.

1 Crystal or jade
2 Crystal Skull
3 Idol of alien god
4 Idol of Saucer
5 Disc with alien text
6 Stone Tablets
7 Scrolls with alien text
8 Map
9 Medallion
10 Crystal
11 Sarcophagi
12 Bracelet
13 Ring
13 Alien Bones
14 Alien Skull
15 Strange meteor fragment
16 Headband
17 Broach
18 Implant
19 Glove
20 Headband
21 Mask
22 Stone Head
23 Alien Drugs
24 Crystal Psi Helmet
25 Alien Communicator
26 Living Organs
27 Rust eating slug
28 Hair eating slug
29 Crystals that glow in certain situations or near other crystals
30 Game board with depressions for crystals
31 Sword Hilt
31 Silver sphere32 Pandora's Box
33 Jade Tablet
34 Pellet of normally unstable element in sold form
35 Fragment of non terrestrial metal
36 Skullcap
37 Metal rod
38 Dodecahedron
39 Small Crystal Pyramid
40 Hexagonal Plate with symbols
41 Pentagonal Plate with symbols
42 Hexagonal crystal prism
43 Octagonal crystal prism
44 Crystal octahedron
45 Metal Hexahedron (cube)
46 Stasis bubble
47  Crystal Wand
48 Necklace
49 Isotope in box with pulsing message frequency
50 SOS signal gem
51 Spool of monofilament
52 Puzzlebox changes into different polygons
53 Vial of black twitching fluid
54 Green liquid in cylinder
55 Glittering Powder in canister
56 Crystalline Egg
57 Box that goes ping
58 Hybrid skull
59 Alien fossil
60 Human petrified skull
61 Gelatinous Blob
62 Flat metal square with static charge
63 Magnetic sphere
64 Strand of alien hair
65 Human mask
66 Alien eye contacts
67 Jar of swirling vapour
68 Stone sphere
69 Metal cone
70 Cluster of black metallic spheres
71 Metal plate with nude figures and map of local quasars
72 Plastic card with microchip and symbols
73 Crystal which has random images appear
74 Black box with illuminated red changing symbols
75 Mummified alien hand
76 Chrome vibrating wand
77 Green glowing wand
78 String of glowing spheres
79 Spiked sphere
80 Egg shaped object floats
81 Complex metallic crystalline object changes shape daily
82 Statuette of strange creature
83 Alien looking foetus in jar
84 Tiny alien skeleton in box
85 Caste of alien footprint
86 Alien scalp
87 Metallic rings that hover and spin above each other
88 Fragments of alien container of some biological material
89 Container of hostile liquid entity
90 Container of gelatinous blob that eat flesh and grows
91 Container with DNA hacking nanosoup inside
92 Crystal if dropped in sea grows into crystal castle
93 Crystal if dropped in sea or soil grows into liquid crystal slime creature
94 Crystal shows images of alien world
95 Egg may hatch into tiny beast that rapidly grows to kaiju size
96 Monolith black slab actually a hyperspacial marker buoy with pocket dimension inside
97 Monolith black slab actually an AI
98 Monolith black slab actually a communicator
99 Monolith black slab actually a evolution accelerator
00 Monolith black slab actually a stargate


Other Aliens
Psionic devil bugs from quatermass i should have remembered

Aeons and Auguries been tag teaming on this:

more UFO types:
http://aeonsnaugauries.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/saucer-and-ufo-configurations.html
I guess i wanted a limited type so ppl unsure of diferences between aliens but this i excellent variety I will probably use

why are they here? - this is gold
http://aeonsnaugauries.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/why-are-they-here.html
beaten me to it and very funny - my aliens mostly bastards or patronizing at best but I will use this

aliens are elves a hypothesis I have always liked
http://aeonsnaugauries.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/faeries-are-aliens.html

more aliens with more plants beings and some other things...
http://aeonsnaugauries.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/death-turnips-and-other-saucer-men.html

Awesome 70s SF art page - very much Planet Pychon idea
http://70sscifiart.tumblr.com/

04 Nov 04:55

newvagabond: did-you-kno: Source

04 Nov 16:32

Dice can "dramatically decompose"

by Minnesotastan

Cellulose nitrate was used to make dice from the late 1860s until the middle of the twentieth century, and the material remains stable for decades. Then, in a flash, they can dramatically decompose. Nitric acid is released in a process called outgassing. The dice cleave, crumble, and then implode.
From Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck by Ricky Jay and Rosamond Purcell, 2002.
After reading that I immediately checked my box of D&D dice, which have been sitting on the shelf for years. They all seem to be intact.

Text and image via Sutured Infection.


05 Nov 20:11

[Rifts:2112] Fresh Brain Droppings

by noreply@blogger.com (David Larkins)
With the release of BRP Mecha, I've found my thoughts increasingly returning to my Rifts:2112 project. Statting up mechs and power armor was one of the stumbling blocks in my ongoing mechanical conversion process, and BRP Mecha has excellent guidelines in that regard, obviously. (Although I'll only be using some parts of the book's systems, as its focus is more on running anime mecha campaigns in the vein of Robotech or Voltron.) As before, mechanical conversions spark thoughts on setting development, and I figured it was time to fire up a post and throw out some of the latest ideas and see which ones stick.

One thing I've noticed in the course of following along as other people develop a published setting into their own personal vision (as with Scott Driver's gone-but-not-forgotten Wilderlands OD&D project), is that, after a certain point, the developing setting comes loose from its original moorings and increasingly the personal vision shares less and less in common with the original example. I feel like I may just be getting to that point now.

For example, my initial plan was relatively modest in its re-imaginings, only implementing minor changes to bring the world of Rifts a bit more in line with a "realistic" sensibility that I favored. More and more, though, I've changed and modified things to the point where I'm thinking about making some pretty broad-brush alterations.

For example, I'm seriously considering dialing down all my creative focus into the North American region and not concerning myself much, if at all, with the rest of the world. Frankly, back in the day, I was surprised that the official line of supplements skipped over the Atlantic so early on and started detailing England, Africa, and Europe so quickly - there's so much going on in North America, even in the original core book, that the line could've stayed there for a good dozen supplements or more.

Insofar as I am thinking about Europe, I'm thinking about ditching the whole "New German Republic" thing altogether and probably just cludging in Palladium's other great post-apocalyptic European setting, Mutants in Avalon. This would make the British Archipelago the focus of any sort of remnant civilization in Europe, and relegate most of the continent to monster-haunted wilderness for the mutant knights to go questing in. I'd retain the Rifts vision of Russia as another, far-distant center of civilization (sort of like, in the original Arthurian mythos, the distant "Roman Empire"), but at this point I'm thinking the only other locus of human dominance aside from the American Midwest and Mother Russia would be Japan (where all the cool mecha get to go). My vision of "purestrain" human centers of survival is getting increasingly grimmer, evidently.

But back to North America. My ideas for some of the basic foundations of the setting have been undergoing some changes there, as well. Like, across the board, I'm thinking of toning down the tech just a bit. For example, making any anthropomorphic mech taller than a suit of power armor into a major rarity; the Ulti-max (supplied by intergalactic arms dealers, as per my re-imagining of Triax) and the Glitter Boy (bestowed to selected champions by enigmatic Powers) being the only major examples known.

Because, honestly, how could I not include this?
All Coalition mechs are arachnid, in the style of the Spider Skull Walkers or the URR-1. Most other factory outfits manufacturing any kind of mechanical suit are confined to power armor. Gone are things like the UAR-1 Enforcer or the NG V7 Hunter - "generic" bipedal mecha. At least among human manufacturing capabilities. With aliens like the Kitani, all bets are off.

Because, again, how could I not include this?
It's the sort of thing that'll be decided on a case-by-case basis as I work my way through my source material, but as a general rule, it's mostly about refocusing on power armor, tanks, sky cycles, and the like.

I've had some other thoughts on the Coalition, as well. Like, what if I combined Emperor Prozek and A.R.C.H.I.E. and made the Emperor of the Coalition a giant A.I. brain? Those A.R.C.H.I.E.-bots always reminded me of Coalition Dead Boys anyway. This would allow me to play up the whole Rush in-joke, too, as I could make the Coalition's highest-rankers into a caste of tech-priests administering to the God-Emperor, S.Y.R.I.N.X. (Synthetic-Yield Research Intelligence [Neuronet-X] - thanks for acronym, +Zak Smith!).

Oh, and speaking of Dead Boys - a comment from way back in 2010 on my initial Coalition post got me thinking about re-imagining the look of the Coalition's military elite. The skull-face armor has always been a bit of a giveaway as to who the baddies are; but the Helghast from Killzone II retain a suitably "Dead Boy"-ish look without being quite as over-the-top EVIL, and nicely fitting my more "realistic" post-apocalyptic/dystopian sensibilities:


Handily, as I've had the idea to do a "Space Marine/Imperial Guard" split of the Coalition forces for some time now, Killzone II also provides suitable imagery for the Guard half of the equation in the form of their ISA infantry:


So I think a "Coalition II" post is in order, obviously. Another post I want to write is on Lone Star. I'll save the details for that post, but I'm envisioning a slight re-arranging of the geopolitics of the southern end of the Coalition States and an opportunity to talk about how I hope to incorporate yet another book from the After the Bomb series, Road Hogs.

Lastly, I've been giving some thought to doing a post on the Coalition's enemies - I haven't written much, if at all, on Lazlo, the Federation of Magic (such as it is in my setting), or Tolkeen. The former two will probably be encompassed in a single post, as I view them as opposite sides of the same coin - the "good" magic-based society, and the "bad" one.

Tolkeen, though, deserves a post of its own. I understand and accept that, from the beginning, Tolkeen existed to be the country that's there for the Coalition to invade and conquer. Keeping in mind that I never read the Coalition War Campaign books (and don't intend to), Tolkeen always came off a bit bland, like a "Lazlo West" if you will. For a country called Tolkeen, centered (in my re-imagined setting) on a rift in Gary Gygax's basement, we can do better.

As I'm most likely ditching the New German Republic, I see Tolkeen as being a worthy recipient of the D&D-fantasy/alchemy/steampunk mashup vibe I'd originally placed there. In fact, I could do a lot worse than by adding to what I've already got by mercilessly looting the Iron Kingdoms setting, taking the best parts, filing off the serial numbers, and calling it Tolkeen. I'll give it some more thought, but I like the direction that it's headed . . .




Rifts®, The Rifter®, RECON®, Splicers®, Palladium Books®, Phase World®, The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game®, Megaverse®, Nightbane®, The Mechanoids®, The Mechanoid Invasion®, Coalition Wars® and After the Bomb® are Registered Trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. Heroes Unlimited, Beyond the Supernatural, and other published book titles, names, slogans and likenesses are trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. and Kevin Siembieda.

All art is copyright its respective artist.
29 Oct 22:37

Sugar Skull Spoon, A Stainless Steel Teaspoon Shaped Like a Skull

by EDW Lynch

Sugar Skull Spoon

Sugar Skull Spoon is a stainless steel teaspoon that is shaped like a skull. When used the scoop sugar, the teaspoon forms a skull-shaped mound of sugar as grains escape through the eye holes. The Sugar Skull Spoon was created by London design studio Hundred Million. They’re raising funds for the project on Kickstarter.

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via Cool Material, This Isn’t Happiness

30 Oct 15:43

Calvin & Hobbes Dance in an Animated Short by Adam Brown

by Justin Page

Toronto-based animator Adam Brown (Ugly Americans on Comedy Central) is back, and this time he created a wonderful Calvin and Hobbes animated short that shows the mischievous comic strip duo dancing all of their worries away. To complete the piece, Adam used Flash and inspiration from comic drawings by Bill Watterson. Previously, we wrote about Adam’s animated short in which Calvin is tackled by Hobbes.

Here is an image of the actual dance moves seen in Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip:

Calvin & Hobbes Dance

music by ProleteR – “April Showers

video and image via Adam Brown

via Tastefully Offensive

30 Oct 16:13

Thug Notes, Gangsta Speak Summaries of Classical Literature

by mikl-em

Turns out there’s a difference between being illiterate and ill literate. Sparky Sweets, PhD hosts Thug Notes a weekly series of gangsta speak dissertations on classic literary works via YouTube. Sweets delivers genuinely insightful, erudite reviews of books by the likes of Orwell, Huxley, Hawthorne, Dostoevsky, and even Tolkien. Along the way we get a kind of thesaurus of streetwise synonyms for “kill”. Murk, cap, ice… it turns out there’s a lot of murder in classic literature.

Join me as I drop some of da illest classical literature summary and analysis that yo ass ever heard. Educate yo self, son.

Dr. Sweets’ critiques touch on foils, motifs, themes, symbolism and all that. While he has major literary knowledge, he clearly brings a minor in philosophy–dropping Nietzsche quotes like they were über hot and explaining Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 with a pertinent dose of Heidegger. Here are a few choice off-the-shelf examples:

“Thug Notes” debuted on YouTube earlier this year. The name is a play on “Cliffs Notes” the original literary summary series for lazy high school students.

Sweets, who is from LA, claims to be a legit PhD and have an agenda to deflate the exclusivity of academia. In an interview he says he wants to inspire teachers:

Sometimes you have to seize it, and I hope Thug Notes inspires teachers to explore alternative methods to really engage their students. On a larger scale, I also hope that people realise that comedy is a powerful tool for education!

It seems to be working:

We forreal just watched Thug Notes in my English class #ThugNotes

— Chase C. Coleman ? (@TrippCHunnit) October 14, 2013

Thanks Tony Campanale!

30 Oct 19:12

A Supercut Video of Badass Female Characters in Horror Films

by Kimber Streams

Vulture has put together a supercut video of “Final Girls,” a term coined by film theorist Carol J. Clover to refer to “badass” female horror movie characters who outlive their companions and defeat the film’s horrifying monster or vicious killer.

Final Girl

video via Vulture

30 Oct 21:02

Little Girl Dresses Up as All Eleven Doctors From ‘Doctor Who’ For Halloween

by Kimber Streams

Doctor Who

Todd Kent’s two-year-old daughter Katie dressed up as all eleven Doctors for Halloween this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. To see the rest of her outfits, head over to Kent’s blog. In previous years, Katie dressed up as every member of The Avengers and every Lantern color.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Doctor Who

images via Todd Kent

via The Mary Sue

25 Oct 22:39

gimme



gimme

23 Oct 04:01

How to Make Your Own Soundtrack for Horror Games

by Jack

Playing music in the background while gaming is a tricky proposition: if the music is too engaging on its own merits, it can distract you from the game; if the music doesn't fit the game, it works against the atmosphere you're trying to create; if the music is too obvious, it cheapens the effect you're going for, etc.  

In horror games, music can be especially problematic: you don't want the music to be more scary than your game, you don't want to play something too light that spoils the mood, and you don't want to rely on "Tubular Bells" again.

The solution that avoids all those pitfalls is to DIY your own horrorific ambient soundtrack.  It sounds like a lot to ask, doesn't it?  "I have to make my own adventures, draw my own maps, learn the rules of the game, and now I have to make music too?"  

You're going to be surprised by how easy this is.



1) Download Audacity, a free audio editing program here.  Install the program.

2) Start Audacity.  File-->Open--> and load any music mp3 you've already got on your computer.  Seriously, it doesn't matter if your source file is Carly Rae Jepsen or Rammstein, this process will make it into a long, creepy ambient track.

3) Effect-->Change Speed--> and reduce speed by about 90% or so.  It will take a while to apply the change, as this makes the track significantly longer.

4) File-->Export the file as a mp3 at the bitrate of your choice.  You're done.

The end result will be a slow, eerie track full of ominous rumblings, unexpected noisome growls, and Cthulhoid mutterings.  If there was a pronounced beat in the original file, it will now likely be at a dragging, funereal tempo that sounds like footsteps through an abandoned slaughterhouse.  



Play your new soundtrack at a low volume in the background for your next Call of Cthulhu or Don't Rest Your Head game and marvel at your ingenuity. 

As an example of what the end product might sound like, here's one I made from a Combichrist song.

As another example, here's another one made from a Smiths song.
18 Oct 14:30

kukashkin: Machete reads.



kukashkin:

Machete reads.

19 Oct 03:25

Rabbit you sick bastard

14 Oct 17:53

The 12 Weirdest Vampire Movies Ever Made

by Meredith Woerner

The 12 Weirdest Vampire Movies Ever Made

It's October, the month where we celebrate all things horror. We love horror movies when they're terrifying and spine-tingling — but also when they're just plain weird. And the decades of vampire movies have included some super-bizarre bits. Put your pants back on Eric Northman, because these are the 10 weirdest vampire movies.

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