Thursday, August 05, 2010

Actual Quote From Radio

This is an actual quote* from a news teaser on the radio, heard on Tuesday:
Was the operator impaired on a thrill ride where an accident happened this week? We won't know until the police report comes out on Friday.

Well, by all means, let's speculate wildly until then. You could replace the word "impaired" in that report with anything: Was the operator asleep? Was the operator insane? Was the operator a kangaroo? We just don't know!

The other, more subtle, thing that struck me about this announcement was the helplessness of it: "We won’t know until the police report comes out." Because, apparently, they can't do any of their own investigative work, like, say, interviewing people who were there. But once the police report comes out, then we'll know, because police reports are issued by the Pope, and are the infallible Word of God.

*More or less - I'm quoting from memory, and it was a couple of hours before I took any notes.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Interesting Game

I recently finished playing a PC game, The Whispered World. It's definitely a throwback, and I mean that as a compliment, being an old-school point-and-click adventure game, done all in hand-drawn cel animation. It's more LucasArts than Sierra - none of the Sierra-style punishing death scenes. The art style reminded me a bit of Discworld II, though the overall feel is closer to a fairy-tale storybook, rather than the humor of those two Rincewind games. Certainly worth playing, if you like those sort of games.

Personally, since adventure games have been one of my favorite genres since Zork, I consider it important to buy any (reasonably well-made) games that come along, in hopes of supporting their development and avoiding another long drought of decent adventure games, like the one that happened after Grim Fandango sales tanked (despite being the closest thing to Literature the medium has ever produced), until finally The Longest Journey came out after a couple of years.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Customer Service Above & Beyond

Because I feel like this sort of thing ought to be noticed & celebrated, here (in probably descending order of interest to anyone other than me) are some companies who have recently gone above and beyond my expectations for customer service:

Over the weekend, Gamers Gate had a game expansion at 50% off, and I submitted a question to make sure it was compatible with the physical-disk version of the full game (the same product at Steam, for example, only works with Steam's download edition). By the time they answered, the sale had ended, but they let me buy it at the sale price anyway, despite the fact that it was arguably my own fault for not submitting the question until Saturday.

A while back I tried to subscribe to Better Software Magazine, but apparently the online order never went through. It took several attempts to contact the subscription department to check on it (I think the subscription coordinator may have been on vacation at one point), and by way of apology, they gave me a free 2-year subscription.

And PhilC kindly emailed me an updated data file pack for his Poser clothing converter, which I had purchased through an old online store that has since switched to a different system, because of which I don't think I had any way to actually prove to him that I had actually purchased the pack (unless he keeps his own records). I was actually prepared to re-purchase direct from him, and had just asked if the updates were significant enough to justify that.

So bravo, guys. For showing an interest in actually making your customers happy, this one thought he owed it to you to highlight that fact publicly.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Was the 'Lost' Island Hit By a Comet?

I'm not quite stoned enough to understand it completely, but I feel certain that the secret behind Lost was originally revealed by the Firesign Theatre in 1974. Hey, wait a minute: The release date of that album is the same year Sawyer and the others joined the Dharma Initiative. Coincidence? I think not!

Sending from his own mind to yours, here is Nino Savate with 'A Psychic Minute.'

Can I say, hello? This is Nino the mind-boggler with Occult In Your Head. Today, let's get into holes: The most mysterious, importantest and vaguest subject of them all.

The whole Earth might be called a hole, if you're on the inside, looking out. And whole golden cities might be hid at the bottom of a bottomless pit. Even wholesome humans have holes, though we're hardly whole at all. In fact, we're wholly hole-y. As the Holy Book says in the Book of Holes, Chapter 1: 'And they knew not their holes from an ass on the ground.'

Holes are positively attractive. Let's go inside one and see... This is a typical hole. Not a hole in the wall, but a hole like a well. Well, well, what the Hell? That's the sun at the center of the Earth, and that's where this hole leads to. Heh-heh! What a nice, warm fire.

Next time, I'll think to you about gravity, and its opposite, comedy. Until then, this is Nino saying, can I say, goodbye?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Thought for the Day

It seems to me that, to be consistent, anyone who is a socialist ought also to be a creationist, and anyone who is a creationist ought also to be a socialist. Because deep down, both socialism and creationism (or "intelligent design", at least) are based on the same rejection of the concept of emergent phenomena, the same refusal to accept the idea that order can arise spontaneously from the interactions in unplanned complex systems. And yet, I generally get the impression that in the Venn diagram of socialism and creationism, the overlap is quite small.