Sometime between November 17th and November 20th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • Race in D&D: I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war….” I would argue with/ Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there – you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.
  • Stevens loses Alaska Senate race: Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid Tuesday, marking the downfall of a Washington political power and Alaska icon who couldn't survive a conviction on federal corruption charges. (Hooray! My old home state isn't completely wackadoodle after all! Mostly, sure…but not completely!)
  • Thieves Target Pay Parking Stations And Rip Off Thousands From City: "The City believes the criminals used something to cut the units from the bolts cemented in the ground, and then used a truck with a wench to hoist them out." Emphasis mine — apparently, the lead suspect in this crime is the Society for Creative Anachronism….
  • Fireweed 7 slashes price of movie tickets to $3: Wow. This is the theater I worked in, slinging popcorn, for about a year and a half when I was 18/19 years old. The Fireweed has quite a history of Anchorage movie-going, from being a drive-in (many years ago) to having one of the largest single auditoriums around. Dolby Digital was installed when I was working there, and at the time, Theater #1 was the largest DD and THX certified screen on the West Coast. I got to sit in on the demo reel that was screened for the press just after the installation which had short clips from a few movies, including the first Tim Burton Batman. The scene shown was whe the bats fly out of the cave and past the camera, and at the time, the difference in audio clarity between standard (optically read) Dolby Surround and the new, all-digital, multichannel Dolby Digital was mindblowing. In a way, it's sad to see such a storied theater turn into a second-run cheap-seat house…but at the same time, what a great second-run theater!
  • How to process photos really, really quickly: I take a lot of photos — I'm on pace to have taken more than 150,000 photos in 2008. Not bad, since I'm not a sports-shooter and very rarely mash down the shutter button for continuous shooting. The good news of the digital era is that I didn't have to spring for more than 4,000 rolls of film. The bad news is that I have to process each of these photos myself. As you might imagine, I've streamlined the process a bit.