Today's Mighty Oak


Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, for the love of all things, vote blue (up and down the ticket):

Skydivers put on an amazing show with some pyro effects!

A new coffin that helps to turn you into compost is becoming available! A cool addition for green burials!

The trailer for WandaVision looks amazing and I can’t wait! Anything with Katherine Hahn is going to be great:

Also in trailers, we’re getting close to the new season of The Mandalorian! This is the way.

Have you played the amazing web-based game, Blaseball? Check it out (And root for the Hellmouth Sunbeams, obviously).

Myst is being remastered from the ground up and released for both computers and VR setups, and it looks (and sounds) gorgeous:

I think that’s it for me today, but I’ll be back soon with more, have a great one!



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, the stories behind the names of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.

The stories within stories: the fictional books we wished were real.

The recurring jokes of Arrested Development.

New Looney Tunes are coming to HBO Max and this is making me want to subscribe:

The PG (granted, it’s become a right-wing rag on the editorial side) has a neat interactive site about the bridges of Pittsburgh. Note this may be behind a paywall, I think it was one of my three free articles when I read it.

Dolly Parton secretly executive produced Buffy! And we just now found this out!

A DM and a set designer created a DnD adventure in a dresser! Each drawer is new level of the dungeon!

We’ve all been doing a lot of virtual exploration of place, and the British Museum recently revamped their online collections.

Speaking of, need some peace in your life? Check out the livestream of the Northern Lights!

Because there is such a need for blood right now, the FDA has reluctantly allowed itself to accept blood from gay men, as long as we don’t have sex for three months. They still don’t want our blood, but they realize they need it.

The Atlantic has a great piece about pandemic fatigue, how we should approach it both in ourselves and others. The article also covers the similarities between COVID and the HIV pandemic: they’re very, very similar, just on a different time scale. Be kind to yourself and others, be as smart and safe as you can.

Also in Pandemic related content, CGP Grey’s new video about it. While I will disagree, I think that for many, just surviving is enough (instead of creation of coming out ‘better’ in some way), this video has great tips about how to survive our new reality:

Dumb Runner, The Onion of running, hits it on the head: Local runner cancels backyard marathon, refuses to offer refund.

New research shows that Antarctica used to be a rain forest. Global tectonics and climate history really are awesome!

The voice of Big Thunder Mountain looks exactly how you think he does. And that is comforting.

The trailer for the new Netflix show ‘Hollywood” looks really fun:

Myst is set to become a TV Series….for the third (?) time. I’m excited, but will believe it when I see it.

Slog has great coverage of the white privilege of protesting stay at home orders. Worth a read.

An artist created a chandelier that forms as it collects rain water, and it’s beautiful!

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back soon, have a great one!



As part of the 25th anniversary of Myst, Cyan launched a crowdfunding campaign that, among other things, included copies of all the games on Steam.  Being my favorite game, I jumped all over it, and last night finished up playing through Myst ME.  I figured I’d write about each game as I finish them up.

Myst, being my favorite game of all time, is one that I’ve played many times.  So I was able to go through faster than someone figuring out the puzzles for themselves for the first time (Revelation will be tough, I tried to put most of that game out of my head).  But I made sure to take the time to read all the journals and enjoy the ambiance.

It’s a bit dated of course, but for 25 years old, it still holds up, and it’s amazing the type of innovations they were able to figure out to make the game work and make it an immersive experience.

As always, I left the Selentic Age for last, but at least now, my ear seems to be much better trained than the last time I played through.

I think the Channelwood Age is my favorite, but just walking around the island of Myst itself is always such a pleasure.  The bundle includes RealMyst which I’ve never played, so I’m excited for that, and I’ll be doing that last, and at least just wandering around a bit instead of playing the whole game again.

I also, of course, love the look of Stoneship, and Mechanical was actually the first Age I remember getting to.  It also reminds me of Garrison from URU, so it’s neat to see that influence.

The ending is so well written, and such a wonderful way to conclude the game, leaving you with an emotional journey, as well as teasing Riven.  I’ll be starting Riven probably sometime next week, but that’s a much, much larger game, and I think has the hardest puzzles of the whole series, so it will be a while before I”m back writing this again.



In 1993, what would become the best-selling PC game of the 20th century 1, and for many, what ushered in the CD-ROM format, was released.  Myst was a phenomenon, spawned a series of five games, an ambitious (and still on-going) spin-off MMO, three novels, a comic book, many, many remakes and my love-affair with the power of online communities.

Now, Cyan, the company that created Myst, is back with a new venture: Obduction.  Twenty years after Myst, once more, Cyan is beckoning players to immerse themselves in a new world and discover what they can about this strange environment.

The game was funded through Kickstarter, and they reached their stretch goal to include Oculus Rift support, which I think is going to be an amazing addition.  Pre-orders are still being taken, so you have time to jump in if you’re interested, but even as excited as I am for the game, I think I’m just as excited for the community.Cyan, though best known for the Myst series, has created other games, although they were primarily set for a younger audience.  Obduction looks to be a more mature game, once again flinging the player to far-away worlds filled with mystery and possibly something sinister.

During the days of Myst releases and URU being played out online, the Myst Community grew and was a family to me.  I still keep in touch with many of my friends both from the game and our online discussions: discussions, which would go into the long hours of whatever time zone we were in.  Cyan games have a way of bringing people together.  Even while playing the solitary games such as Revelations or End of Ages, we would undoubtedly find ourselves discussing every aspect: puzzles, art design, music and characters, all unforgettable aspects of amazing games that awoke parts of our imaginations.

The relationships I forged are solid, and working with some of my closest friends on various projects only helped to create a literal world-wide network of people I can turn to.  I don’t know if that’s the kind of affect other games have; I would bet it isn’t.

And while I can’t guarantee that that will happen once more, if you know the right corners of the Internet to look in, you can see it’s starting already.  And that gives me hope.  I can’t wait to be Obducted.


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Notes:

  1. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/pf.asp?date=052201&id=s966647 


Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, Run For Your Lives is coming up.  I did it last year as a zombie and it’s a great time, if you want to join me as a zombie (or meet up afterwards at the party), let me know:

Jimmy Carter has a great essay about equality.

Robyn Miller talked about Myst at this year’s GDC.  A good friend was at the talk and sent me notes right after it ended and I am forever jealous.  Forever.

I saw this on Facebook, and giggled.  You know, since I’m five:

So far, I’ve been as impressed as I can be with the new Pope.  He’s even reached out specifically to the Church of England, and it rumored that he will be the honorary chair of the 2018 Lambeth Conference (although honestly, those are contentious enough as it is, it may cause a lot of added drama).  Guess we’ll have to see what the new Archbishop of Canturbery will do as well.

The man who is Virginia’s attorney general, and running for Governor, is arguing that sodomy should remain illegal in their state.  And just so you know, even though anti-sodomy laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court because they were only used to invade the privacy and prosecute the LGBT community, it technically is any non procreative sex.  Strangely, he won’t answer any questions about his own sex life when asked, you know, just to see if he’s complying with the laws he’s fighting to keep on the books.

And lastly, awesome video showcasing music from the Legend of Zelda:



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up:

It  may be almost 70 degrees (and I’m in shorts in January), this is awesome:

The White House has denied the request to construct a Death Star.  But go read the response, someone is a great writer, and a huge nerd, it’s awesome!

A magical 3-in-1 connector from CES, seems strange it took this long to come up with this, but it should make Apple users very happy.

The Dark Knight Trilogy, condensed to three minutes.  Spoilers, obviously:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-af-Pru2USc

Violence erupts over the AP/Chicago manual wars.  Via The Onion, of course.

For all the Myst geeks out there, this totally reminded me of the entrance to Channelwood:

The Good Men Project takes on bathroom graffiti.  The image is worth clicking through.

What is less popular than root canals, used car salesmen and even Nickleback?  Congress.

I’ve been listening to this almost non-stop, I think the beginning of it is kind of bland, but halfway though it picks up:

Saving sound in a bottle, pretty cool idea.

Also via The Onion, so true, or at least, close to the truth:

Monks will now accept prayer requests via text, pretty cool!

JoHo has a good post up about the suicide of Aaron Schwartz, one of the founders of Reddit, and one of the creators of RSS.

While there were of course a wide range of things that made me change jobs, this certainly was up there among the top of the list.

Music recreated from The Hobbit, Part 1:

That’s it for now, have a great one!



Quick update, first up, this is so awesome my face just about melted off and I want it and I’ll never ask for anything else ever again:

As many of you know, every November I write a novel as part of NaNoWriMo.  November is also Men’s Health Month, and I have a bunch of friends participating in Movember.  I applaud their efforts, not only because I can’t grow a mustache to save my life (sideburns are another story), but also because there are three freaking months of breast cancer awareness (February, May and October), so it’s nice to see that half the population gets one, little-known month.  But Tom’s made this awesome video to celebrate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TleMMZqF3cU

And lastly, happy Halloween from the fourth most haunted campus in the country:



Another fun update for everyone, hope you enjoy!

Amazing XKCD wedding cake:

XKCD web comic wedding cake 

And some other cook cakes from Nerdist.

I’m not sure if this is somehow connected to the book about the Subway system, but there is an indy documentary about the font “Helvetica.”  I need to find a way to see this!

Lifehacker has a good article about how to protect you stuff.  I especially like the idea of setting up a fake porn folder with your contact and reward information on a flash drive.  Genius!  And here is their article about free apps, check it out.

This is scary, there are squid that can jump out of the water.

Hardcore Gaming, which is a strangely very static, web 1.0 type of site, ran an article a while back about Myst.  Check it out if you’re interested, and haven’t heard enough about it from me before.

Here’s a cool video about what if Mozilla made a cell phone:

Need to mix up your board games?  This book will help.

Here’s the projected timeline of the death of newspapers around the world.  We’ll see how this plays out.

And finally, a week without Facebook?  MSNBC tries it out.



Quick update here, although I’m hoping to do some more updates that will show up later this week and next.

Lots of fun movies, lets start with this one, shared by my friend Kyle:

The Hobbit films finally have release dates and titles.  I think it’s weird they’re using “There and Back Again” even though the story of the Hobbit (plus a bunch of extra stuff) is going to take two movies.  But then again, I don’t really believe that these will stay as the release dates.

Here’s a fun movie to help you learn the 50 states:

This is all over the blogs this week, but prisoners overseas, instead of doing manual labor, are getting carpal tunnel farming gold which is then sold for real money.  Weird.

Rachel Maddow has a great list of parody movies about the Republican presidential field.

If you’re not, you should be very excited about the upcoming Harry Potter movie.  This will make the wait even longer:

And here is an amazing, amazing, cover, please listen:

And lastly, in really dorky news, here is the long-awaited update about the Myst movie, including what may be a new direction for the script.

That’s it, but there will be more soon!



Well, this is my second attempt at this post, everything crashed, and I know I lost two articles, but nothing that we can’t live without, so we’ll just muddle through.

First though, watch this trailer, which is to my favorite book in the series:

This made me very happy.  Mostly because I’m mean.  But happy.

Do you want a printer made of Legos and a marker:

Lost may be over, but ABC will sell you merchandise, including the best onsie in the history of the world:

You can also purchase some cool posters here.  I like the number 8 rabbit one.

I can get behind this immigration checkpoint:

Want to go into space?  How about just your picture, which comes complete with an official flight certificate.  Only two chances left!

And finally, I don’t really trust the guys from the Mysteria Film Group, mostly because they just kind of inserted themselves and made themselves official.  I’m sure there is all kind of stuff going on behind the scenes that I don’t understand, but I think it’s when they called the fans “they.”  Just rubbed me the wrong way.  I wish them the best, I want them to succeed, I’ll be the first in line here in Pittsburgh, but I still don’t have to trust them.  Anyway, it’s a great tour of Cyan Worlds’ studio and a fun time with Rand:

Cyan Visit from Delve Films on Vimeo.

 

Have a great one everybody!

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