Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Athenian Democracy, two Cows . . .

In an Athenian Democracy, you have two cows. You want bigger pasture, so you and your friends go to the assembly to vote on whether to allow you to expand your pasture for your cows.

In an Athenian Democracy gone bad, you have two cows. Your friends are jealous that you have the cows so they vote to take your cows away. They also make up a charge that your herding methods are corrupting the Athenian Youth, so they vote to make you drink Hemlock.

Under Libertarian thought, you have two cows. Your libertarian friends will fight for your rights to keep your cows.

Under the extreme radical feminism: you have two cows. The feminazis come along and convince your cows that they are bulls.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Come to Atlantis

Atlantis Returns . . . Come to Atlantis, the Lost Continent. . . .

I am working with Storn Cook to illustrate my vision of Atlantis. A place of fantastic imagination and energy in motion. Storn is a fantasy artist. Here's an example:

The picture is that of the Magian, a character in the Birthright Campaign Setting. The Magian is an awnshegh lich, meaning he's an undead character with the blood of a god pumping through his veins. As you can tell, Storn Cook is a good artist. With a few good things

And now, a final review of Atlantis campaign and Roleplaying Game options:


Note: This is not a playtest review.

Atlantis the Second Age is a beautiful book on the Second Age of Atlantis, the lost civilization described by Plato. It also happens to be a Roleplaying Game and it uses the Omni System.

Written by Scott Agnew, Atlantis the Second Age is a roleplaying game based off of the Bard Games' original -- Atlantis the Second Age. I never played the original game, so I can't say how faithful it actually is to the original version.

the cover itself is a gorgeous cover. Queen Isis in the foreground, with part of the Atlantean city behind her. The book details many civilizations from those in North America to those in ancient China and Khemit (Egypt).

The omni system is easy enough to play, with a few additions from the d20 System (3.5 of course). It's also faster than the d20 system, by all appearances. You still use the d20 die, making it a d20 system before the d20 system was devised by WotC.

The magic system is more inventive, you can produce magic effects based on how you want them to manifest. If you want a spell that makes flames of fire lift objects without burning them, by all means you can do so. There is no hard and fast rules to the magic system in Atlantis: the 2nd Age.

After this, a beastiary is included. The bestiary includes everything from Animal men (andamen) to the makera or tritons. So, in short the book has everything you need to play in Atlantis, the Second Age.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley Died

President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through twelve years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.

President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church and had served as its president since 12 March 1995.

The Church president died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night from causes incident to age. Members of his family were at his bedside. A successor is not expected to be formally chosen by the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until after President Hinckley’s funeral within the next few days.

Brother Gordon Bitner Hinckley was a great man. He was definitely a prophet, as mighty as Moses, Elisha, and Simon Peter. He enjoyed service to the Church for most of his life: having given many of the Proclamations to the World from the Messiah. As the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Messiah's own church, he presented the Church to the world. From the time he was President, many temples had been built -- exploding from very few to 132 Temples across the world (one in Ghana, one in South Africa, one in Boston, one in Hong Kong, one in New York City, etc.). Even though he didn't live to see the Jerusalem LDS Temple built (which is forthcoming and to be built by Latter-day Saints) his actions will lead for that to be built.

He presided over an Era of Temple Building, and the explosion of the Internet, and an era of increased faith and spiritual awakening all over the world. He was one of the greatest men today, as Theologian in Chief (not Commander in Chief). So, who will be the new President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? President Thomas Monson.

Body Acceptance

A new week, a new Adventure!

From what I learned this past week, produces a lot of questions and some needed answers. Anyway, I'll talk about that as I learn some more information. On to a better topic -- Body Acceptance!

Did you know that Jennifer Love Hewitt has been called "FAT?" She is a size 2, and no way can Jennifer Love Hewett be fat. She decided to fight back, and tell everyone that she's a healthy size 2.

There has been some good news on the Body Acceptance front, and not just my fellow naturists have been trumpeting the news. There is one thing about having a beautiful woman who is healthy: 150 pounds/68 kilograms is generally an acceptable weight. Tyra Banks, the famous Supermodel, is part of a movement to get women curvier again. She wants to make curvy women feel better about themselves.

So, is pencil thin something to be attracted to? I don't think so. Queen Latifah looks great because she also accepts her figure as normal. As for me, I prefer a woman with a healthy body wieght: 150 lbs/68 kg is good enough. Or at least somewhere in that range. And yes, a size 2, 3, or 4 -- or even 7, isn't fat.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Prepaid Legal

Hello everyone!

I recently reacquired a membership with Prepaid Legal to help me weather the storms of Real Life (Legal-wise). Prepaid Legal is Legal Insurance -- according to the idea, you'll get the assurance of having legal counsel everyday and any day. And a legal shield against any legal infractions made against you. I think this is awesome. Especially now, since minor infractions of justice can or will crop up against me. I recommend to you all to find your local Prepaid Legal agent and sign up immediately.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Galaxies and Dates

Galaxies and Dates. This is a beautiful represenation of M51, which is sometimes called the prototypical Pinwheel galaxy. As you can probably tell, I photoshopped it.

Oh, I actually went out on a date. 1st date in a long, long time. Her name was Whitney, and she has a wild side. A young LDS maiden, she thought that skinnydipping is wild and edgy. So she thought I was cool when I tried skinnydipping.

Unfortunately, she's going to Brazil for 18 months. Yeah, it's unfair. But she's was a nice conversationalist, and even though the date took place in the classroom, it was fun and she was IMPRESSED!

I felt really cool! This is the first time I went out on a date for a long time and it was fun. I'm stoked, I'm ready to date again!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Using Photoshop

I am a God. Oh, I surely must be. What began as a journey with Corel Photopaint 7 to make web graphics has gone full circle with Photoshop CS3 Extended. I can make anything with Photoshop working with the images that I have acquired and or scanned.

I have barely scratched the surface, and already I'm amazed at what I can do. Photoshop is used by Industry professionals to digitally edit images and make them better. You can also make web graphics and paint with Photoshop.

Photoshop is a tool with a seemingly infinite range of capabilities. Notice I said tool. Photoshop is neither evil nor good, because both producers of Playboy and producers of Ensign both use Photoshop to manage their graphics for their respective magazines. And those two magazines are as different as night and day. I use photoshop purely for educational and artistic purposes these days.

But as I said, I have barely scratched the surface.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Physics and Sir Issac Newton

Interesting that I have been taking a beginning physics course. Again, I apply an image of Sir Issac Newton produced in Photoshop using a couple of filters applied to Text.

Sir Issac Newton has been credited with the invention of Physics -- which is the science of how things work in our world. Although this is not quite true. Aristotle and other Natural Philosophers before him actually applied science to the physical world before Sir Issac Newton did so. However, the good Knight had worked hard in discovering a certain amount of things.

And in no particular order, the first was Calculus. That body of mathematics that calculated how nature worked. Newton discovered integral Calculus, the same Calculus that Archimedes used to calculate the volume of a sphere by slicing it into an infinite amount of slices.

Second was his work on optics. Third, and perhaps his most famous works, was his work on motion which is found in most every beginning Physics text.

The laws are stated as thus:

First Law
If no net force acts on a particle, then it is possible to select a set of reference frames, called inertial reference frames, observed from which the particle moves without any change in velocity. This law is often simplified into the sentence "An object will stay at rest or continue at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force".
Second Law
Observed from an inertial reference frame, the net force on a particle is proportional to the time rate of change of its linear momentum: F = d[mv] / dt. Momentum is the product of mass and velocity. This law is often stated as F = ma (the net force on an object is equal to the mass of the object multiplied by its acceleration).

Third Law
Whenever a particle A exerts a force on another particle B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction. The strong form of the law further postulates that these two forces act along the same line. This law is often simplified into the sentence "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction".
From the investigations of these forces, it is clear that Newton had studied the "Masters" the scientists that came before him. Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Pythagoras, and Aristotle are among those that he read. It was from their notes handed down to us by Hypatia of Alexandria that formed the seeds for the Theory of Gravitation and the Laws of Motion that Sir Issac Newton put forward.

As for my beginning physics course, Newton is lauded and praised in the History of Science. But my course material stinks. The textbook puts me to sleep, and it looks like it has been written to impress Plato and other academics of that school. Sadly, it puts them to sleep.

Nevertheless, Newton had made great strides in making the world of Physics a better place to learn and study so that we will know how our world works.

Going Back to School

What is wonderful about going to school is the cool things you can learn while going there. Take a class on Multimedia Essentials, and you are reintroduced to Photoshop. But not just Photoshop 3, 4, or 7 -- but Photoshop CS 3 extended.

IN just seven years, I saw Photoshop updated in what -- six or seven different versions. Photoshop CS Extended is light years ahead of Photoshop 4, which I used when I took a beginning Photoshop class at the same college. However, because of this new Photoshop version I had purchased last summer, I finally realized how Godlike I can be within the program.

Here is a great example of the new skills I've been learning. This is a beautiful, wonderful swimsuit model with a background applied to her. Yes, this is one hot swimsuit model in a glamour shot (which is designed to accentuate everything desireable).

I learned this skill through a video tutorial available here on Photoshop Planet. The tutorial is about using Photoshop's Pattern Maker to create a wonderful background for your photos.
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