Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Space Marines

For the last while, I've been painting my latest Warhammer 40k army, the Space Marines. They are the first human army I've painted for WH40k, although I haven't had the need to paint actual human features yet due to all of their power armour. I decided to collect an Ultramarines First Company army - this means that all of the space marine infantry wear Terminator armour, the super heavy powered armour used in the game Space Hulk. The only other units are vehicles. I made this decision because it keeps the number of models I need low, and reduces cost and painting time. :) Some of the miniatures I bought were already painted, others I stripped and repainted. The badly painted ones are mine. :) In keeping with the style of the game, I've named the squads and main characters in the army.

Librarian Docente (with power axe) and his command squad. I bought these all painted this way. The black ones are only undercoated and still need to be finished.

Chaplain Elysius. I stripped the original paint scheme and repainted him.

Two space marines with assault cannons that I stripped and repainted.

Squad Honorius with two Cyclone missile launchers. They all came painted.
Squad Valius with two assault cannons. I painted the assault cannon space marines (not the same ones as the picture earlier) but the others came painted.
Brother Irenaeus, a venerable dreadnought. His paint scheme is awesome, so definitely not painted by me. :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Hmm... Here's an actual good review of Apocalypto, Mel Gibson's new, ludicrously bloody film about Mayans. Maybe it could be worth a look.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

World Map

This is a great game for you. Basically you have to click on the right country on the map when the country's name is given to you, and you have to do it before time runs out. Lets see how many you can get.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cheshire Crossing

This is a great, if strangely drawn, web comic. It's about Alice Liddell, Wendy Darling, and Dorothy Gale getting sent to the same asylum for disassociative psychosis. (i.e. that they live in imaginary worlds in their own heads) Or is it a real asylum?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More on free will

The Maverick Philosopher, who I read occasionally, has some interesting posts on free will:

A whole chain of entries

Chess allegories

I'll have to read more of these arguments. As usual, I might have to change some of my views...

Free Will?

If you follow the Dilbert Blog at all, you'll know that Scott Adams has consistently denied the concept of free will. Here's the latest blog entry where he claims it's a superstition. See, this is where Carl Sagan's famous, and *very* subjective, statement "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" really shows its problems. To me, the claim that there is no free will is the extraordinary claim. (I will explain this later) However, to Scott Adams, obviously the claim that there is free will is the extraordinary claim.

Now see, I don't follow the strong form of free will as believed by, say libertarians, where an agent can always make a rational choice, any time, any where. (which would be an extraordinary claim indeed!) While I am a realist and believe that the number of choices can be constrained by prior conditions, I still do believe that there are choices to be made. To show me that free will doesn't exist will involve showing proof that no choices can be made, anywhere, any time, over the entire course of the universe. I believe that is the extraordinary claim. :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Good(?) science, bad journalism

People reading Slashdot regularly would've no doubt seen this article, linked from this Slashdot entry, where Nature magazine talks about German scientists analyzing Wootz steel and finding carbon nanotubes. Now I'm not informed enough to talk about the idea of nanotubes in antique weapons - there are people who dispute that this finding is new. However, history-wise I found fishy stuff from the Nature article itself. For example:

The Crusaders felt the might of the tube when they fought against the Muslims and their distinctive, patterned Damascus blades.

Sabres from Damascus, now in Syria, date back as far as 900 AD. Strong and sharp, they are made from a type of steel called wootz.

Now I was surprised, since as far as I knew, the oldest known curved sword in the Islamic world is the sword of the (in)famous King Baybars, which dates from the 13th Century. So idea of "sabres" from 900 AD seems wrong. I found the original paper here, and finally figured out the truth:

The specimen used in the present investigation is a part of the genuine Damascus sabre produced by the famous blacksmith Assad Ullah in the 17th century.

Ah ha, so the Nature article was a bit muddled with their facts. Oh well at least it wasn't as bad as in this Royal Society of Chemistry article on the same paper:

To Europeans, Damascus steel blades seemed magical. Not only could they cut a piece of silk in half as it fell to the floor, they could cleave rocks and their own swords without losing sharpness.

Now seriously, I wonder about supposed scientific minds at the Royal Society who actually believe that swords can cut rock. (hint: which material is harder?) And of course, this article is titled "Carbon nanotubes: Saladin’s secret weapon." Saladin lived in the 12th Century!

What's the point of all this? Well, with journalism, even in fairly "respectable" papers, you have to take a "caveat emptor" attitude with the facts they present, and you should really dig a bit to get to the original sources.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Renaissance Myth

An interesting (but old) article about how the idea that the Renaissance was a "great intellectual leap" is bunk. It's from an old (1980s) literary journal article so there are numerous transcribing errors. (many of them look like OCR problems.) It's a very interesting read.

New Blogger

Well, I've switched over from the old blogspot account to the new google account based one. The address and everything are still the same though. I'll see what new features this has.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Logic Museum

I put in a new link to the right for the Logic Museum. This is an interesting website that has the online versions of a number of philosophical works that concern logic from ancient times to the time of Russell. It's currently fairly small, but is constantly growing.

Greatest Philosopher?

Holy crap! In a BBC poll on "the greatest philospher," Karl Marx actually got first place. Aristotle and Socrates each only got less than 5% of the votes. This is rather... disturbing.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fun Math

Awesome solutions to math problems. I really like the first one. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chad Vader

More adventures of Chad Vader. (Episode 4)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thanksgiving Day

Wow... The official Thanksgiving Day in Canada has had a short but varied history.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Nietzsche Family Circus

This is a bizarre site that randomly combines a Family Circus cartoon with a Friedrich Nietzsche quote. Sometimes the combination seems to make a lot of sense...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

3D Space Hulk

Remember the guy who cast his own 3D resin board for Space Hulk? He's finished painting enough for the first mission. Pretty impressive:





Compare to my much more pathetic card board ones :)

Full Map

Marines Entering the Hulk

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wow... This is interesting...

In yesterday's Scott Adams blog, in the "A philosophical question" post, he seems to be saying something under that silly allegory of his: Basically, "Muslims are irrational and violent." Hmm... interesting.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Churches in the West Bank

Well, in today's blog from Scott Adams, he asks the question "what the hell are churches doing in the West Bank?" Since I don't believe he's *that* ignorant, it must be another of his "yank people's chains" thing.

And of course, he accuses the Pope of calling Islam "evil and inhuman" indirectly through the East Roman Emperor's comments, even though the Pope was referring specifically to the practice of spreading religion by violence. Sometimes I think Scott Adams is just intentionally doing this stuff to see what kind of comments he gets.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Geoffrey Chaucer

The Geoffrey Chaucer blog is really good. I especially like the recent post "Serpentes on a shippe!" :)

The T-shirt section has some good stuff too.

Friday, September 01, 2006

New Star Wars Ending

I think someone might have posted this before, but this is an animated short of the way Star Wars (episode IV) should have ended. It makes much more sense than the original. :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

In defense of Wal-mart?

Wow... Open mouth, insert foot...
I bet Wal-mart didn't see this coming when they hired Andrew Young.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

3D Space Hulk

Here is a guy who casts 3D Space Hulk corridors by himself with resin, using LEGO in the production too. :) That's pretty cool. Looks like you can get quite a bit of detail just from resin. Interesting...

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Glass Bead Game

The book "the Glass Bead Game" sounds really interesting to me now, after I read this review. I've always found Hesse to be unnecessarily mystical, but from this review, I could be wrong. Definitely a good addition to my "to read" list.

Friday, August 11, 2006

ATI's trade up program

Wow, I just recently found out that ATI has a pretty good deal going on. You can trade in your old video card, no matter what kind it is, for $80 Cdn in credit towards buying a small selection of newer ATI cards from their website. The link is here. There are only three cards to choose from, but the most interesting one is the All-In-Wonder X800XT. This card has all the capabilities of a regular X800XT, which is old but still quite good, plus all the All-In-Wonder TV functions. After the $80 credit it's only $120! That's pretty awesome considering I've seen plain X800XTs in Edmonton stores recently for around $300. This is probably a really good deal for people like me who still have an AGP motherboard but want a faster card without upgrading everything.

Monday, August 07, 2006

LCD Monitor

Okay, I finally broke down and bought a ViewSonic VX2025wm LCD monitor. This is a 20" monitor with 1680X1050 resolution that goes fo $370 at Best Buy, and it's supposed to be one of the better cheap 20" monitors. I've only had it for one day, but I'm liking it so far. There appears to be no dead pixels, and at 1680X1050 resolution with a DVI connection, the image is very sharp. I do have to turn on large types though - this monitor is farther away from my eyes than my old one, and I have trouble seeing small type. (this maybe a case of my needing new glasses) I also test-watched Lord of the Rings on the monitor and there seems to be little or no ghosting. The games that I currently play also seem to do okay, although they tend to be slower now because of my old graphics card. (Radeon 9600) "Dawn of War," one of the games that I play most often, doesn't support widescreen play, but it does give you black bars on the sides of the monitor so things don't look stretched. All in all, it's good so far, and I'm glad I don't have to deal with my old heavy CRT monitor anymore...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Advice on LCD Monitors

Okay I need some advice here. I've been thinking of replacing my old CRT monitor with a new LCD one, but I'm kind of torn on what type of monitor to get. Should I just get a regular 19" LCD monitor, (some of these, especially the Acer, BenQ, or LG ones, are very cheap) or should I get one of the cheaper widescreen 20" ones? (again LG and BenQ ones are quite cheap at around $350) I'm not a super connoisseur or anything, so I don't really mind the cheaper models with somewhat worse display quality. In any case, any of the new LCDs will be better quality than my current monitor. What do you (the few people who read this blog) think is a better deal?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Valley of the Wolves

A while ago Majik Sznak posted about the Turkish movie "Valley of the Wolves" on his blog. It looks like someone has reviewed it here. And - I'm pretty sure this is naughty - there are clips from the movie on the website. From the looks of them, it seems the review's quite right: it's really badly acted, especially from Gary Busey and Billy Zane. Busey gives some really badly delivered lines, and Billy Zane, well, you can never tell if he's trying or not.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Warhammer 40k Cityscapes

Wow, I found this German site where someone has gone through a lot of effort to build ruined cityscapes for Warhammer 40k. The game boards are very nice looking, like this one, or this one.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Forgeworld is an UK company that produces Warhammer 40k "spinoff" miniatures that Games Workshop doesn't make itself. Their miniatures are ludicrously detailed and gorgeous to look at, but are also ludicrously expensive. Check out some of these:

A Tau Orca Dropship: Notice all the troops and battlesuits sitting in the back.

A Tyranid Malanthrope

A Tyranid Trygon

A Tyranid Heirophant

A human super-heavy tank

A human inquisitor and his toilet paper dispenser :)

Friday, July 14, 2006

My WH40k Page

If you look to the right, I've put up a link to my Warhammer 40k website. It's still under construction, but it already has some interesting material on the miniatures I have.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wizkids' Pirates

Well, this looks like an interesting card/board game. You play it using cardboard pirate ships that can loose masts after they are hit. They even have a "how to play" section in flash animation that's bound to please pirate fans. :)

Looks like it could be an interesting game to play, but too bad I'm spending all my gaming money on WH40k now... :(

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Solo: The Movie

This is great. It's a trailer for Star Wars set in modern times.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mismatched TV Crossovers

On a forum I visit regularly, I saw this interesting fun exercise being done by people. Basically, they come up with a scenario where two totally different TV shows (different in everything - genre, atmosphere, outlook on life, etc.) have a crossover.

One of the examples is the following:

Four Vietnam veterans, framed for a bank robbery and hunted by the military and law enforcement, try to help innocents as a group of good vigilantes-for-hire. Through an old Vietnam buddy of theirs, they hear of a small town where a sheriff keeps a sort of strange, tyrannical control over the citizens. And bad (not to mention strange) things happen to those who get in his way. Our do-gooders decide to go to the town and rid the good people of that sheriff. So "Hannibal" Smith, B.A. Barrachus, Templeton Peck, and "Howling Mad" Murdock pack into their van and drive to Trinity, South Carolina...

(in case you didn't know, this is a crossover between the A-Team and American Gothic.)

So, if anyone still reads this blog, what idea can you come up with? :)

Monday, May 22, 2006

The real Da Vinci Code

Here is a documentary on the current theories about the holy grail hosted by Tony Robinson. (yes Baldrick) It's interesting, although I think it went too deep into the whole "Church suppressing proto-feminist gnostic teachings" bit.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Gathering

This is a great commercial, (apparently Chilean) with a lot of movie villains doing, uh, holiday things.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Free Novel

Speaking of John Derbyshire, one of his novels is now published on his website for free. I've read through the first dozen chapters, and it looks pretty good. A boy's life growing up in 1960's China, the Red Guard, father becoming a poster, coups, anal rape, decapitation, and that's all just in the first dozen chapters!

Film with Bruce Lee

This is an interesting article by John Derbyshire where he tells the story of how he got an uncredited part in a Bruce Lee movie. With very interesting descriptions of Hong Kong in the early 70's.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

History Spork

This is awesome. It's basically a MST3000 type take on historical inaccuracies in movies.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

John Kenneth Galbraith

This is a good obituary of John Kenneth Galbraith, with a summary of his life's works. Needless to say, I disagree somewhat with the author's anti-statist economics leanings, but the last line of the obit about Galbraith versus the modern American Left is very well worth pondering.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Forest in Winter

Wow.... wow.... this is great. :) Just click on "Forest In Winter." It's.... well you just have to see for yourself.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Lovecraft for President

This is an interesting article about conditions that could have lead up to H.P. Lovecraft becoming American president. Personally, I think the author is a little too harsh on old Howard Phillips. (He after all just followed many ideas that were "scientific" and "trendy" in his time. He was also strange but not particularly psychotic.) But it's an interesting read nonetheless, and with a funny bit at the very end. :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lego Constructions

Wow, here's a gallery full of very impressive vehicles built from LEGO. What amazes me is that there's so much accurate detail on the models that are built. You can easily distinguish what type of tank, aircraft, etc. that they are.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Geek Toy

This could be an amazing present for any geek. In fact, I wonder why I haven't seen anything like this before. Too expensive though.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Winston Churchill

For those of you who know me, you may know that one of my favourite statesmen ever is Winston Churchill. Here's a story that's interesting and reminded me of a quote about him:

"Churchill is the very type of a corrupt journalist. There is not a worse prostitute in politics. He himself has written that it's unimaginable what can be done in war with the help of lies. He's an utterly amoral repulsive creature. I'm convinced that he has his place of refuge ready beyond the Atlantic. He obviously won't seek sanctuary in Canada. In Canada he'd be beaten up. He'll go to his friends the Yankees. As soon as this damnable winter is over, we'll remedy all that."

- Adolf Hitler

Thursday, March 02, 2006


This is an interesting analysis of the current low birthrates around the world and their possible future political consequences. Really interesting if you look at which countries have high birthrates, and which ones don't.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Game List

Here's a large list of flash games. The cow game from a couple of days ago came from this list. The games are a mixed bunch, from brilliant, like the cow game, to boring, like the "Archoon" game.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Gnostic

This is an interesting short film I ran into. Very high-seeming production values and interesting story, but suffers from common problems that very low budget indie features have, lack of actor choice, etc.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cow Game

I found this great German cow game where you solve interesting puzzles. I managed to get to level 32 before realizing I spent too much time on it. :) Lets see how well you can do.

Winnie the Pooh

A good analysis of religious allegory in Winnie the Pooh from a Muslim perspective. :)

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Hmmm... I have the strong urge* to go kill some Danish cartoonists. :)

* for the humour-impaired, my urge is a joke. :)

Stupid "Cyberpunk"

When I saw this, I got reminded of the link to a recent anti-DMCA "cyberpunk" story on Majik Sznak's website. This particular one features the right's favourite boogey boogaboo man, the UN, as opposed to the perennial left favourite, evil big corporations. I have something to say to both sets of morons who write stuff like this: when the eeevvviiilll eeeevvviiilll nightmarish oppressive corporation/government takes over, the silly computer crap won't be so easy, because all the stupid "underground" geek culture you are familiar with, it's a product of the current free western society. In a truly repressive regime, the crap you do with computers won't be possible! On top of all that, you need a middle class to economically sustain the computer culture.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pet Pro

There are some good comics out there. Here's another one. This is about a pet hitman. :)

Here are some examples of good ones:

A short film.

Cameo of a famous character.

Another cameo.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Space Hulk Miniatures

Well, I haven't been totally doing nothing with Space Hulk. I'm actually getting some miniatures painted.

Here are some partially painted Genestealers.

A regular heavy power armour trooper walking.

A heavy power armour trooper with a machine gun, I suppose standing in for the assault cannon in Space Hulk.

A sergeant.

The space marine miniatures are not from Games Workshop, but are from a different manufacturer. I already had them, and like them rather better than the over-the-top GW miniatures.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cute Bunnies

Now, this is a good cartoon. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Brokeback To The Future

Here's another one of those fake movie trailers. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Things that you should never put into the microwave. :)

Making fun of gamers

This is good. :)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Uncleftish Beholding

Have you ever wondered what English would look like with all the non-Germanic words removed? Yeah, never. But here's an essay written by the late science fiction writer Poul Anderson called "Uncleftish Beholding" that sort of demonstrates the idea.

Monday, January 23, 2006

CBC Shakespeare Goof

In one of CBC Online's articles about expressing the election in Shakespearian terms, they have the paragraph:

NDP Leader Jack Layton as Brutus in Julius Caesar, asking his modern-day friends, Romans and countrymen: "Lend me your votes. I come to bury Martin, not to praise him."

Ugh, it was Mark Anthony who said "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears," in his famous speech to rouse the people of Rome against Caesar's killers.

Friday, January 20, 2006

WoW Musical

This is a funny musical made using World of Warcraft.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

School Assignment

Darn... I wish I could've gone to that school. :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

More Nostalgia

There's a Sourceforge version of the game classic "StarControl 2." Apparently they took the old 3DO code for the game and modernized it, so it works on Windows with DirectX. They also have remixes for all the old music in the game.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Blood Rayne

I don't know much about this movie, but I read this funny bit from a reviewer who probably didn't like it :)

"I'm serious. If I find out that you went and saw this film after I told you not to, I'll phone your friends up and tell them to go to your house and pour ants in your bed. And when you wake up screaming, covered in ants, you'll think 'at least I'm not still watching Blood Rayne.'"

Monday, January 02, 2006

Religion vs. Cult

Here's an interesting quote I read from a discussion on a mailing list:

"Cults are leader-centric. Religions are institutional- and doctrine-
centric, with leadership being essentially disposable."

It makes a lot of sense, actually.