Moving From One Thing to Another

No Warframe again this week. To be honest, I’m not predicting any in the foreseeable future. I’ve been spending my time in other places, like the main story of Destiny 2: Forsaken. I liked it, it was good, I’ll miss Cayde though.

It’s all part of the normal cycle though. Anyone checking my blog consistently is probably already aware of the fact that I tend to move from one thing to the next fairly frequently. Typical cycle is around two weeks, but it varies. Particularly around large updates it can run a little longer.

I used to dislike it. I viewed it as a sort of personal flaw. “Why can’t I just pick one thing and master it like that person over there.” As I’ve gotten older I eventually accepted it as one of the things that makes me, well, me. I do attempt to at least reign it in at times.

There are also some things it doesn’t impact quite as much. Examples that show there’s some confirmation bias in there too, remembering all the things I quit, got bored with, or walked away from, while conveniently handwaving the more persistent ones away.

I think blogging is a good example. I’ve been writing roughly 500 words a day, every day, since the end of July. It’s not always good, interesting, or on time, but so far I’ve managed to make it happen. Even if it’s just one or two paragraphs at 11:55 PM.

I even made a reference to the overall trend the other day in a comment from my oldest. He told me he wouldn’t be able to play the Minecraft mod pack with me because we would only play it for a couple weeks and his computer wouldn’t be ready by then. We actually had to stop because my own PC couldn’t handle the client-side load of the modpack, but he’s not far off the mark yeah?

In a way, my Something New bit I do on Sundays is actually turning it to my advantage. Life, lemons, lemonade and all that.

It’s funny, when I’m writing these I always come up with other things I could write about, but that’s probably not what I’ll be thinking about tomorrow. There’s the real rule too, I tend to write about whatever is on my mind, minus religion and most politics. I’m willing to touch politics a little, but every attempt to write about religion has been scrapped without being published.

I’ve noticed this odd trend away from games lately too. Mostly because I haven’t been getting much variety and I try not to beat the same drum for long. Ironically, in my attempt to be less repetitive, I feel like I’ve become repetitively not about games, thereby defeating the original purpose.

I actually been poking around with Inkscape, vector graphics software, a little on the side. I was watching the Legal Eagle YouTube channel episode about this Paul Manafort business and they had a thing for two “free” months of SkillShare and figured, y’know, why not. What’s the worst that can happen, I learn something?

I made the mistake of watching Aaron Draplin’s logo design stuff and thought I’d poke it with a stick. It’s been fun, even if it doesn’t yield anything interesting.

There-in lies the root of all of it. I really enjoy the process of learning new things. Learning new games, learning new content, new software, new skills, etc. Nothing deep, just a brief skimming off the top before I move on to learning something else. Much like the Demon Cat from Adventure Time, “I have approximate knowledge of many things.” Just enough to satisfy my own curiosity.

Right, uh, I got interrupted and have no idea where I was going, so I’ll wrap it up and ship it as is. Y’all take care.

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Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb

So, I guess after about the second bomb threat at work within about a month, this is a thing now?

I don’t really get it myself, though I understand the frustration and anger behind it. The building is fairly well monitored, so I don’t really know what they expected. In fact, most of the details aren’t available, so I don’t know if “they” have been apprehended or not. I would assume they’ve at least been identified at this point though.

The idea that makes the most sense is an attempt to drive change through fear. Terrorism, basically. Could be some manner of internal policy change or someone who wants to try and take down “the man” while minimizing innocent deaths? I mean, that’s the point of a threat right? To accomplish some task by saying you’ll do something the other party won’t like, in the hopes that they buy it, so that you won’t actually have do do the something.

If there was actual intent to conduct some manner of bombing or attack, you’d think telling everyone about it beforehand would be, well, counterproductive. That said, we’re not exactly talking about the most well adjusted members of society either. It’s likely they discussed it with co-conspirators or something and that’s what made it sound like a good idea to begin with.

It reminds me of a story from May about a teen from Texas who was arrested for planning an attack on a nearby mall. Undercover agents had talked to him off and on for quite some time and he had discussed and even planned it assuming the agents would also be present with him. I can find the news story itself, but not the full text I read at the time with all the little details. It was a fascinating read.

All in all, I don’t think any explosive put together by your average citizen with readily available materials would be a huge threat unless you were in it’s general vicinity. I’m not exactly worried about the roof falling on my head. Neither is the business it seems. We have only learned about these things via word of mouth and news reports. They did evacuate the building this time, though, which was nice of them.

We have, of course, been given the all clear and told no explosives were found, according to the news reports anyway.

On the upside, I’m more likely to slip on the ice-covered parking lot and get a concussion than I am to get blown up, I think. That or ran over by a car that can’t stop. The ice threat is high enough to close schools but business marches on. Sadly the only ice I’ve actually seen today was in the parking lot.

Okay, well, I’ll go be disgruntled somewhere else. Y’all have a good day. Take off every Zig, for great justice! I’ve been on the internet to long. That was totally a thing, like, 20 years ago.

“Science” in the News

Screen Time Changes Structure of Kids’ Brains, ‘60 Minutes’ Says

This kind of stuff gets me agitated so quickly these days. Good on Bloomberg for at least attempting to present enough information to follow up on and see what’s actually going on. So many times I see this kind of story and there’s no author name, no study title, and/or no link.

In summary, that headline is based on preliminary data from the beginning of a study, not all the data from the end of it. In fact, I came into this ready to take a swing at 60 Minutes. That is, until I read the actual 60 Minutes piece for myself. I should have known better.

First of all, near as I can tell, 60 Minutes did not actually say anything to that effect. The article contains an interview with Dr. Gaya Dowling from the National Institute of Health, the organization doing the actual study. She’s the one who allegedly said it.

Dr. Gaya Dowling: It’s very fascinating.

The colors show differences in the nine and ten-year-olds’ brains. The red color represents premature thinning of the cortex. That’s the wrinkly outermost layer of the brain that processes information from the five senses.

Anderson Cooper: What is a thinning of the cortex mean?

Dr. Gaya Dowling: That’s typically thought to be a maturational process. So what we would expect to see later is happening a little bit earlier.

Anderson Cooper: Should parents be concerned by that?

Dr. Gaya Dowling: We don’t know if it’s being caused by the screen time. We don’t know yet if it’s a bad thing. It won’t be until we follow them over time that we will see if there are outcomes that are associated with the differences that we’re seeing in this single snapshot.

Now that, that is science. The willingness to admit that we don’t know yet. The title of the 60 Minutes story doesn’t suggest a specific outcome, and the body doesn’t either, though I’m sure someone motivated to find one could do so. It does seem to want to point it in a slightly negative light, but that doesn’t have to be the takeaway.

So even reporting about science reporting is questionable. I didn’t expect to find such a moderate piece. So many times they take one or two lines from a study, not from the results, but from speculation about future use. Then they report it as “Scientists say Eggs Could Cure Cancer.”

It’ll be from some study that found a protein in a robin egg that resembles something that could theoretically work and skip over the intervening years of drug development and safety/effectiveness testing. They’ll point out it worked in this study of 20 mice so it’ll be ready in maybe 5-10 years.

If only things were that easy. I think we’ve been 5-10 years away from Fusion energy for longer than I’ve been alive.

Okay, I’ll set the pitchfork down now.

—–E

Y’all take care now, and remember, the internet said to put your phone down before it rots your brain. Just like the TV.

Something New – Treasure Adventure World

Okay, this is a pretty cute little game. It’s a platformer/metroidvania sort of game. It’s mostly platforming with some light combat and puzzle solving. It features quite a lot of text only dialogue too.

peeps

It focuses on a sort of genderless child who’s lost their memory and has an extraordinarily useful prosthetic hook hand. Some of the NPC seemed a little uncomfortable talking about it. It’s really handy for supporting your entire body weight from these loops.

grandpa.png

The first bit is pretty much forcing you to get acquainted with the controls and playing with things like levers. The purpose is to climb to the top of a hill and find grandpa because it’s your “special day,” the anniversary of the day they found you.

wayleh

After that a bird showed up and started telling me what to do. It also solved my case of silent protagonist by talking for me occasionally.

paper hat

I also went and killed some more bugs so I could get a paper hat.

You know, in my personal opinion, that bird is a bit on the lawless side. It wanted me acquire a boat so we could go collect 12 treasures to get a wish. They work like Dragon Balls I guess?

glooskap

After some light breaking and entering I managed to borrow a boat, with permission, and start wandering around. One side of the island was inaccessible because of the sail on the ship so I went the other way and ended up on an island of talking animals. They were a bit down with the sickness but I couldn’t figure out how to get to the location I needed in order to help them. I’m assuming I need some manner of item or power up that I don’t have yet.

sail

So I bought a sail from a spider pawn broker and went back to where I couldn’t go before. Y’know, typical metroidvania stuff. Go here to get the thing that lets you go there to get some other thing, etc.

sewer monster.png

Along the way I ended up fighting this giant slime monster guy in some sewers. I got a new bit of health for it.

outhouse

I, uh, left through the toilet. I stopped shortly after that so I could actually write this post.

Overall I like it. The art style, while somewhat simple, looks good and cohesive. The soundtrack is great. I particularly enjoyed the track during the opening cutscene and how it reflected the nature of what was going on in the cutscene.

I didn’t particularly like the controls. They were somewhat strange and I had several times that I struggled with hitting the thing I meant to. It also has that “you selected the wrong dialogue option so now you have to listen to the whole thing and repeat is the default selection dialogue box after it.” I may or may not have repeated the same conversation three or four times at one point.

It also had some stability issues at first and absolutely hates losing focus. I crashed it a couple of times trying to do something in my browser while I was playing. Seemed pretty stable as long as you didn’t try to multitask though.

Reckon that about covers it. I’ll catch y’all on the flipside.

Blue Saturday

Blue with shades of grey? It’s a reference to the Tom Petty song Blue Sunday. It’s been cold, drizzly and grey all day which is what made me think of the song. (link for the curious) It’s a rather somber sort of song, but it suits the weather. I believe it plans to stay this way for several days.

It’s funny, while I grew up listening to a lot of “classic rock” which now includes the stuff that was contemporary back then. Blue Sunday was from The Last DJ, which my parents, the reason I was even listening to classic rock, dismissed as overly cynical. Maybe it seemed that way then, but I’ve always liked it. It almost seems more relevant now in some ways.

As we celebrate mediocrity; all the boys upstairs wanna see; how much you’ll pay for whatcha used to get for free.

I’d say he was rather fed up with the corporate nature of large music studios when he wrote it. There are several songs aside from the title track about it. Money Becomes King, and Joe come to mind. It’s certainly not a positive or upbeat collection of music.

The whole CD was released in 2002, so it’s been a minute.

googly wither

Have a googly-eyed wither to counteract the grey mood. Y’all take care.

On The Other Hand

Doing this late at night does actually afford me some measure of uninterrupted peace. It’s nice to be able to sit down and work on it with fewer disturbances.

I’ve been thinking about this whole Pewdiepie vs. T Series thing that’s been going on on YouTube for quite some time. I’ve noticed another wave of mentions for it lately.

The whole premise of the thing is that everyone should subscribe to Pewdiepie in order to keep an “independent creator” the number one channel instead of the “corporate” channel T Series.

It’s funny, in a way, because the whole ordeal is of great benefit to YouTube. It’s pushing subs and views so they only stand to profit from the whole thing.

I’m also amused that suddenly everyone likes Pewdiepie again. It’s been such an odd on again, off again relationship that other creators have with him.

I dunno, I’ve just spent quite a bit of time thinking about it, but don’t have the time to write it all down. At the end of the day, what would happen? If we woke up tomorrow and T Series had more subs than Pewdiepie, well, things will just continue as they always have. I realize it’s a very symbolic thing to a lot of creators, but it won’t stop them from doing what they do any more than the day before.

I’m also having fun watching ERB’s meteoric comeback. I’m glad to see it’s back, but I’m especially glad to see it climbing the trending list. I missed it, personally.

It’s nearly midnight though, so I’ll stop rambling and head to bed. Y’all take care.

I really dislike these late night posts.

It’s always fun when life doesn’t exactly cooperate. I’ve been busy enough dealing with work related things at work that I haven’t really had time to write much. Doing work at work, imagine that. It’s not a complaint really, it’s the price I pay for the quiet times when nothing is going on.

I also came home and fell asleep immediately after dinner. Probably a good thing, I know I needed some extra sleep. So here I am writing close to midnight again.

I will likewise be busy tomorrow. We have a birthday party to through and the kids are naturally excited. I mean, what child doesn’t like cake, ice cream, and presents?

In fact, I’ve been hearing about it every day this week.

I need to sit down and make a to-do list. My ongoing chaotic schedule is something I don’t really handle well. A little bit of chaos is good, but I’m a routine oriented person with very little routine left. My post times are a good example, they’re all over the place. It’s still getting done though.

In fact, I noticed in a well liked email I sent at work, that doing this every day has impacted the way I write other things. That email was written much the same way I write a blog post. I think even the tone was similar, though that was purposeful. I was extremely… agitated… at the time, so I deliberately wrote, re-wrote, and edited to try and maintain a fairly moderate tone. One that communicated my perspective and how strongly I felt about it but remained respectful and neutral.

It’s an interesting change, to me. I’ve constructed similar messages on the topic before, but they typically stayed unsent drafts because I never felt like I got the tone right.

I’m rapidly running out of time though, and I need to get back to sleep. Y’all take care.