Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween

Today it is halloween and as all halloween the astronomy group got togheter for it's costume lunch... and as always some people forgot to disguse themself. Of course not me I wore 3 disguise today... my scariest: me as a child psychologist, me as a witch and me as a fairie thing kinda... no pictures yet because well I didn't take picture of myself but I,ll probably post pictures of the other disguise tonight or tomorrow!

Have a nice halloween and remember juste because it's halloween doesn't mean the demon on the corner is some kid disguised.. particullary if it just ate a kid.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

WoW

Well like millions of people before me I joined World of Warcraft, the time spend their can explain in par why I haven't been posting here that often. There where also the fact that I am working hard to produce a good looking scientific image (as opposed to a good looking image or a scientific image both of wich are much easier to obtain) for a astronomy calender and thinking about how I would dresse up for halloween...

right now I have two possibility for that something like a witch (yep that includes a dress... hmm seems that if I would do that I'd be cross-dressing... could my manly pride take this... yeah why not ;-)) or a australian road sign saying: Kangoorou crossing.. easier on the manly pride but not really funny or halloweeny. Tomorrow maybe pictures!... which ever I choose!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thinking of little J

today is little J's operation. I think of him and of his parent, good luck and you have all my prayers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Homogenising population...

I've noticed something I find disturbing but that I can't really find bad.. well I'm not sure how I can find it as in a way i can see how it is good but I can also see how is bad. You see I've begun to wonder about the way we try to be fair to everyone. If we noticed we try to be fair to everyone by providing exactly the same thing to everyone. Being fair to everyone is an important thing for a society to be equitable and well fair but... I fear that this providing exactly the same thing to everyone undermine one basic thing about our society we are not exactly the same person so we do not need exactly the same services. Now it is fair but it is not what we need and it as a at least in my mind frightening corollary, it tries to force people to be exactly the same to homogenise population and how they thing to remove things that are different opinion that are different. By forcing everyone to conform to the same services we are in a way using the database to try and update reality.

Sure once again I complain without a solution and I'm very aware that until I (or someone smarter (or not) then I am) find a better solution it is better then unfair services to everyone. Still I belive that we need to strive for a greater personalisation of the world while retaining the idea that everyone is also responsable for their place in society. In a way a kind of symbose-like society, it provides the individual for services the individual needs and cannot provides for itself while the individual tries his best to be a part of the society and improve his lots and the lots of other and the society throught his action.

I have a very hard time putting this into words as I am not quite sure what I think would be best and how it can be explained. Or exemple of the problem... or even the source of this reasoning... it's annoying.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I need to get out and have some fun!

I'm getting depress right now, I know why. It's quite simple, I've not being out of my appartement (much less out on a date) in like forever.. well not forever just since I got my damn freaking sinus infection. Well it seems to be getting better so I'll get some out time get a beer with friends, flirt with pretty young woman (if I can find the courage to do that :-)) and generally enjoy myself out of my place... just to well you know put my mind into another track or somesuch.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Keyboard problems thank god!

My other computer (yeah you know I'm a bi computer kinda guy I have a MAC and a PC) caused me quite a scare... it wouldn't boot and showed sign of either a mainboard failure or a keyboard problem. So after a few check I couldn't find anything wrong with my keyboard. I started to be quite scared as I cannot affort a new motherboard (wich would implies a new CPU, new memory, new video card, new sound cart and probably new hard drive..., a few hundred dollards that I do not really have rightg now). So I tried a last desperate check of my keyboard I used my old computer (now my sister's computer) to try to boot with my keyboard... and it failled!!!! so that means my keyboard is posted! thank god (well my motherboard still my be busted by the chance of that are now much lower.) so tomorrow I'll go and get a new keyboard (as even if my motherboard is busted I still need one) and hope for the best I don't know what kind of keyboard I'll buy but I'm sure I'll find something.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

For a clear-eyed vision of Quebec

For those of you not living in Quebec, a few days ago a group of well known people in Quebec publied a manifesto. This manifesto's goal is to wake up people and sensibilise them to the futur problem Quebec will face and to propose solutions to those. I invide you to go and read it and make you're own opinion about it. I won't tell you what I think about it but if you read it you'll probably be able to figure it out.

Stupid age verification

You might have seen this over the internet since like forever there are stupid age verification procedure to register to the most banal things (like forum, newsletter and playing games). Those age verification all work relatively with the same principe: they ask you to provide your birth date so that they can verify that you are indeed above the age they require to give you their services. I don't know about you but I have known since I was like 6 how to perform the basic arithmetic needed to figure age x - minus current year = year I should put there to get access.

I bet that most children these can also do these math and that most people with basic reasoning skill can realise that so why oh why are we still using this pathetic age verification methode? It's not like it work. Well ok I can see that it would allow compagnie X to say if there is a breach of contract or something: well the person lied and as such we are not liable... but I find this a little stupid.

Oh well that just me you know.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Interesting things

Last night while reading a good book (well not really a good book more like a rule book for D&D but my geekiness is already high enough) I was watching a documentary on the raise of Fascism in britain between the two world war. Since I am not very informed on the history of europe in the last century I did not realise how big a movement fascism as been. Oh I knew that every where in the world people talked about it and even that some political parties existed but not the extend of which this mouvement went. The documentary also went over some of the factor that promoted the raise of fascism and some of the scariest thing is that many of those factors are begining to come back in our lives. All that would be needed for fascism rebirth (in my opinion) is the raise of a charismatic leader.

But then again most political mouvement needs a charismatic leader or figure head at the moment. Still I belive we should be worried that the factors are once again begining to arise that could lead to the raise of fascism or things of that nature.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A not so typical sunday

Well you must all be close to having hear enought about that damn flu that won't leave me, unfortunatly I'll tell you more about it cause today I had a long and enjoyable day thanks to it. Yeah a nice day sleeping in bed thanks to it... I'm getting really annoy with it so I'll make sure that I'll go see some doctor tuesday and get a doctor opinion on how to kill that annoying flu virus. but shh don't tell it it would try to find a way to survive and annoy me more by surviving. Oh well that the news for today, I hope you had more fun then me.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Retirement home

Well today I'm getting older again, 28 years old, almost time for my retirement party you know so I'm looking into retirement home. I want something with sexy young nurse, every commodity a old man like me needs (internet, sport places, parachutism class, organised traval around the world, beer, wine and of course satellite TV). If you know any that isn't too expensive please tell me so that I can get into it. LOL well I'm talking it well as you can see.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Enough with the geek post! [well once more]

well as I told you tuesday I'm going to be DMing a D20 modern game about magic coming back to the world in a blast. Well what you do not know (well if you do know tell me how and we might be able to cash the 1M$ price for proof of psychic powers!) is that I do not know the system and how it works (see me post on the reality in RPG guy for why this is important). Now I just learned the system, well what can I say I read fast, and there is a part that I do not like the magic system. D20 modern use a simillar magic system then D&D which even if it's not a bad system it surely will not transmit de feel I want for my game (I want it to be high discovery, high magic, dynamic ever changing magic in short I want a Mage the Awakening like magic system).

So tonight I've decided that I would great a feat/skill based magic system for the D20 modern game I'll play. It will involve the spellcraft skill and you will combine different powers (like energy, influence, defense or stuff like that it is still kinda nebulous) to get a difficulty for your effect if you can manage a spellcraft roll againts that DC you cast the spell if not well it doesn't work. I'm thinking of putting an Hit point cost as a balancing factor or something of the kind. I hope my player will like it.

On a not related note congradulation Anyflower on your new appartement!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Knife of Dreams finished

I just finished knife of dream. Frankly I'm a little at lost on commenting about this book. It is a good book but something feel rushed. A lot of things happen in the book (things I will not talk about in case someone amongts you decide to read that serie). I still think that Robert Jordan cannot finish the serie in one more book (rumors say he doesn't want to finish at volume 13... superstition or another thing).

The end of the world is supposed to be coming and things are falling appart but not enought for me to belive that the end of the world is there. In fact quite the opposite things seem to be going the hero's way like never before well almost never before. Oh well I'll be waiting for the 12th one or for Feast of Crowd in the Song of Ice and Fire serie (another really great fantasy serie)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My next roleplay game!

Well I don't feel like working at the moment so to have a proscratinating excuse let me write about the game I will be DMing in a few weeks/months with my Quebec gaming group. To increase the amongt of time I am in the not working section of the univers first let me tell you of the games I will not be DMing by way of not having being choosen by the group. So here it goes I give you the top 4 games (the 1st one being of course the game my group chose)

4th, Star Wars: Dawn of the Republic

10 000 years before the battle of Yavin the republic was just being born, formed of a few tens of species and backed by the newly born jedi order it was to herald an eternity of peace and prosperity to the galaxy. As if the Force was behind the republic every day brought new species willing to join the galactic Senate and lend their spirit, strenght and diversity to the republic promoting harmony and peace all around the galaxy. The Jedi order, faithfull gardiant of peace and life traveled around those world already member of the republic protecting the innocent, righting wrongs and generally insuring that peace and justice prevailled everywhere. the Jedi order also traveled beyond the border of the republic encouraging by exemple people to join this one galaxy gouvernement, convincing them of the benifits of peace and the value of the jedi as neutral arbiter and defenser of life. It was to be the dawn of the greatest civilisation in the history of the galaxy, it was to be peace and justice for all, but no utopia is even acheived without pain or easilly. Dark cloud obscured the futur of the Republic into the force, the strongest of the jedi master felt a shadow approching a shadow the like of which the Jedi Order had never dreamed of.

3rd, Scarred Land: Darakeene

The Divine war has spared the militaristic land of Darakeene, no armies of titanspawn had burned it's town or poisonned it field. It as stood firmly behind the gods sending it's war college trained soldier into every battle, insuring victory when defeat should have been the outcome. Now, 150 years after the end of the Darakeene is a nation in turmoil. It's aging king has no heir, rebellion is brewing in most of it's province, a new god: That which Abide is gathering worshiper. Treats from beyond the border are raising, titanspawns long hidden in the inhospitable land beyond Darakeene's border are stiring and thristing for revange again the untainted land. It's one proud navy having deserted to built a new country Darakeene is on the verge of collaspe, on the verge of civil war on the verge of dying... Darakeene needs heros.

2nd, The Ironkingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy

Welcome to the mechanika revolution, when arcana and machina are combined to improve the life of all that live on the land. Steam and mecamagical power bring advanced in science and magic never thought possible by our ancestors. Railroads and steam mills provides communication and work for hundreds. But steam and mecamagical power also bring wars, titans of steel, magic and steam walk the battle field, the warjacks, new gods raise to herald the coming of new powers. Old god stirs not willing to simply lie down and die, the Iosian recluse and secretive seems to be preparing for wars. The necromantic construction of the dreaded dragon god raids with ever increasing number the coast of the Ironkingdoms. Truely we live in an interesting time.

1st, Reality Disfunction

2005 announced itself to be just another year. Science was progressing steadily, the internet was becoming ever more present in the life of humans, nothing that couldn't have been predicted by observation. Nothing until june 7th, every television screen, every radio, every computer broadcasted a single message: "People of Earth, for millemium the Illuminati as keept your birthright from you. In the old day, the stole Earth's magic, stole the power that should be yours and sealed it away in the jewels of Zarkenjisk. Today, friends and fellow human I give you back what his yours!" From the middle of the atlantic a energy waves burst and circled the earth changing everything. People found themself transforming, becoming elfs, dwarf, minotaures, orcs and other mythical creature, city suddently found their underground spreading, widening becoming ever more complex and plunging deeper into the Earth. Creature appeared, creature thought legendary or impossible, Manticores, unicorns, bassilisk, even Dragons burst forth into the land. Lastly even more catastrophic and life changing... magic returned to the world.

I must say I am very enthousiat about that last game I'm pretty sure I can make it a great game I just need to find a story to tell ;-)


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Knife of Dreams

Well my social life just left the building, I got the new Wheel of Time book by Robert Jordan Knife of dreams. If you do not know the serie it is very a currently 11 book long fantasy serie. It's a really great serie and as the advantage of being very catching you start reading one of those book you can't stop until the book is done and then you need the rest of the serie! kinda annoying but still fun I love book sof that kind gives me something to read and immerce myself in when I fell like escaping.

On another note I just spend the whole day with Hubert Reeve the astrophysicist. He was a Ulaval for two conferences today and as an astronomie student I was part of a diner with him after his first talk. Both where quite interesting and even if I see the man every year I am always impressed with his skill at communication and making science interesting and simple for everyone. His first talk was a general public talk, the room seats 400 and there was about 100 peoples standing, quite a feat and impressive for a physic talk.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Where is anyflower?

Hey anyone knows where anyflower is? cause I haven't seen her online in a while and I'm not yet at the worried level I'm still wondering what up on her side of the universe (what you did not know the universe is split egaly between me and anyflower? what weird alternate dimension are you from?). Well that my hmm what will I post to about today post it was a close call between this and speaking of the worse thing that can happen to a single person.. however this is much more interesting and as a lot less potentiel to get me in trouble or to get weird comment in my comment section. Oh and you can guess what the worse thing that can happen to a single person is.

Oh and one last thing as she wrote on her blog Yofed is BACK!!!!!!!! yeah you heard righ Yofed is back! I guess we can now call her the blogger formelly know as yofed known known as back ;-p

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Still got the damn cold (flu)

It's bein 3 weeks now and I am still coughting like crazy, this week for sure if it isn't gone (wednesday) I'm gonna see someone about that. Maybe I can ask my favorite nurse that hasn't been seen online this week end (I think she's been stolen by mutan alien from outspace) about advices. It's really annoying I can't really sleep because of the damn coughting in the night. Luckily there is a little grey and white thing that keeps me compagnie and makes sure I take care of myself. Thank you Loup.

Friday, October 07, 2005

No one online

I'm sad, and lonely all my online friends are offline and none of my offline friends are around so it's kinda boring and lonely right now. I wonder if I should write some story or does something else or whatever.. yeah that what I'll be doing a whatever ;-)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Final Fantasy: Advent Children

Well it seems it is a great week for me and movies. I have watched Final Fantasy: Advent children and it is a great really great movie. Well probably if you haven't played the game Final Fantasy VII you won't find it as interesting but since I really loved that game (one of my favorite Final Fantasy game... yeah there are enought of those game that you can really get a favorite!). they every characters (including Cath!!!) and the battle scene are Final Fantasy amazing (yeah, that between Star Wars Amazing and oh my god this is the end of the univers Amazing, the only thing above those thing is the Asaathi Speachless amazing which actually never occurred in then history of the universe.. well it happened once but just at the moment of the big bang so it was before the history of the universe)...

In short I loved the movie... and I am kinda jalous of anyflower, she apparently found a great guy just a few months after her divorse and I can't seem to meet anyone so here I'm jalous of her! ;-) Well no not really I'm very happy for her but I'd like to have the same chance.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Reality of the Rule [RPG geek alert!]

Now for a post that only about 1 reader I know about might find intersting. A post about something that I have been pondering for quite a while. How the rules in an RPG influence that game being played. I mean most people wouldn't use the White Wolf 10-sider system to potrait a realistic war simulation, nor would they use the ultra realisitic Rolemaster system for a cinematic Hong Kong Kung fu movie game. Those are extreme case but I have come to belive that the influence of the rules system on the game is much more profound.

Take for exemple D20 (the dungeon and Dragon system) and the Star Wars D20 system (both are basically the same system at one big execption how they handle character vitalllity i.e how hard they are to kill), In the usual D20 system it is very hard to kill an high level character, they almost always have 100 of hit points, saves that allows them to survive the average and not so average vilain killer attack and an armor class the rivalise armored battleship of modern time. On the other hand the Star Wars D20 system makes high level character very easy to kill, at most they can take one or two blaster hits and go down (a character can only survive damage up to his constitution) and while their save can allow them to dodge a nuclear explosion at close range the half damage rules means they still die.

What does that means when play times comes, well the action will be very different, in standard D20 you will see people basicly standing in front of each other and hiting each other with kitchen ustensil until one or the other run outs of hit points. While in the Star Wars game people (even jedi to a lesser extend) will dodge and run for cover trying for lucky shot, incredible movies like move and generally tries to be more negotiating.

I often hear DM that the system in which they play the game is not important and I always wondering how this can be true, so much rest on the system even if the DM is fudging for the players it remains that the system are like the laws of physics and they kinda define how your character will be influence and should react to event around him. The D20 hit points system for example makes it easy for people to fight long battle where a minutes advantages in one round will not matter much as it will have a very small impact on survivability. Other system like Alternity and White Wolf with characters that can take very few hits bring for short intense combat where a small temporary advantages can shift the course of the battle. That probably means in short that you should always consider the system your going to use with your game.

hmm internet trasmiting a virus?

Those of you also reading anyflower's blog have come across this post yesterday, this post which seem to implies that I somehow magically gave anyflower a cold from all the way across the internet throught sillicon chips and optical fiber. Not to mention all the other router old copper wire and security measure to stop such biologicial virus from passing. Of couse being intelligent logical being you do not belive for a second that this could be possible, you search for the truth which probably is that she spend a little too much time sailling and not sleeping and as such her immune system is weakened allowing any small virus hiding in her roommate aseptic appartement to latch on to her as a last refuge.


You of course would be wrong, my super cold virus that can be targeted and transmited throught the internet is now working soon I will dominate the world!!!!!!MWUAHAHAHAHA but don't worry I'm a kind dictator, I will only kill people on the first day of the month and I offer free health care to anyone that can survive a week in Quebec hospital without catching some weird jungle disease. And beside thanks to my blognotisation techniques you will all be under my powers... which reminds me: You are in my power you did not read me admiting that I transmited a super cold virus, it is just the local answer of anyflower under dirty appartement that caused her cold. you will not remember being blognotised.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Gas prices

Once again I witness the strange dance of gas prices here in Quebec city. Just before the week end gas prices climbed up by 15 cents and now that the week ends over the gas price fell down 5 cents for a net increase of 10 cents. Why did the gas increase in the first place? I like most people have no idea, however they cannot claim lowered supplies nothing happened in the worlds thursday to limit the amoungt of fuel we had availlable (what you say the huricains around the coast of the Mexican gulf? sorry but prices already increased to reflect the lowering of supplies caused by thoses huricain. A increase in prices that happened before we knew the full extant of the damage I might add). They cannot claim an increased demande in Quebec city, this was a perfectly normal week-end, no holyday, no start of school no nothing. If nothing changed, no reducing of supplies no increase of demande, no change in any factor that would logically increase the prices of something why does the prices continu to increase?

Well after looking at the Regie of Energy web site I found some answer... First here in quebec the price of gas is regulated by this organism that set up the minimum price a liter of gas can be sold (at the moment it is something around 55 cents before transport and taxes), then there is taxes of fuel, taxes that are weirdly distributed (according to the data I found, for quebec city there is 25 cents of taxes on every litter of gas... 25 cents that about 1/4 of the prices), then you have to transport the gas... through truck that need gas so every increase in gas price increase the amougt you pay for transport which increase gas price (vicious cycle ain't it?) and finally you get the sales taxes, because of course gas is taxed TWICE!, 7% for the federal gov and 7,5% for the provincial gov. Add to that the profits by the detaillant and you get gas price in the 1.19$ range for today.

Now I understand how the gas can cost that much, there are two factors I found annoying, the minimal price and the 25 cent fuel taxes. We have a sell taxe that applies on gas and the minimum price isn't really helping anyone since I see more and more gas station closing (the mimimum price was supposed to protect small vendor by preventing price wars). And the governement keep saying that the increase in gas price is costing him incredible amougts of money so obviously the 25 cents taxe isn't helping and the sales taxes are adding oil to the fire so to speak.

I belive it is time to cuts taxes on gas and to remove the minimum price artificial limit, the price of gas influence all aspect of our lifes directly or indirectly. When gas price increase we end up paying more for gas but also for food, bus fares, cd, and just about every other goods as our society is complety dependant on gas. We know that until an alternative is found gas consomption will remain about the same (a study in the US has found that people would not change their habits as long as gas price did not reach AND stay at 4$ a gallon), so I think it is time to cut the people some slack and encourage with all our resources new fuel sources research... Research that would include environmental impact before we set it loose this time, hopefully that would give us the chance to escape the green house disaster that are billions of cars.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Post #225

Well I did not know what to post about until I saw that this was to be my 225th post! wow what a great number. Well aside from this completly irrelevant fact here is what happening on my front. The cold seems to be in fact a clue, I suffered from fevers today but it seem to be getting better as the day move forward. Luckily. At least I don't cough every two seconds.. no now I have a runny nose that force my to blow my nose every five minutes (yes I know too much details for you but hey it's my blog I can write just about whatever I want). I also slept most of the day yesterday and today, really hmm boring days you can imagine but hey I hope I'll get better thanks to those sacrifices.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Serenity and the Notebook

Well here come two movies review. First one things: if you have not seen Serenity yet (it's been out for a big 24 hours what are you waiting for) stop reading right now yes right now and go see it. Yes it is that good, even better if you want my opinion. If you are still reading (which of course you are since you never listen to me) and do you want to see Serenity well you have been warned I could tell spoilers.

Serenity review:

It was a great movie, a really great movie, an Episode IV of Star Wars good movie. Like the firefly series on which the movie is based it is set in an other solar system where a recent war between the central industrialised planed and the outer frontiere like planet. We follow the adventure of the Serenity's crew a firefly class transport that are doing semi legitimate jobs like stealing from a train and simple delivery job. They recently toook on bord a doctor and his sister with a mysterious past. The special effect are great and the story even better, even if we find ourself in a strange futur with a Far West ambiance. Their is also lots of humors in the movie and a great vilain. In short out of 10 I would give it an 10.5.

The Notebook

This is a very romantic movie, kinda sad but excellent. It actually made me cry, the ending is so sweet and sad that I couldn't help it. The story is simple, a man is reading a journal to a woman that has alzeimer disease. The story he reads is very romantic, it is the story of the love between a rich girl and a poor guy. anyway since I don,t want to spoil to movie for anyone that might want to see it I won't tell anything more except that it is a really romantic movie, really sweet and an a great tale of love. I also give it a 10.5 out of 10.

on completly unrelated news: damn cold leave me alone!