Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tecmo Super Bowl

While we're on the subject of pigskins, I just thought I'd direct your attention to what is, in my opinion, the greatest football game of all time: Tecmo Super Bowl for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It's been close to 15 years since it originally came out, and it's still a blast to play. (After a trip back home, though, it's clear my dad and brother still need some practice.) :-p Below are links to pages with emulators and the game file so you too can share in the awesomeness of this 8-bit wonder.

Download Tecmo Super Bowl (211 kb)

Download FCE Ultra (Win95/98, 152 kb)

"Tecmo Super Bowl. There is perhaps no other sports game which was played and loved by so many in its heyday. It struck the perfect balance between realistic football simulation and high-tempo, engaging gameplay. Tecmo pushed the boundaries of sports video games by allowing for the first time full-season play with complete stat-tracking, changing player conditions, and even injuries. The result was a game that would define the shape of sports games to come, and that would engender a passionate following that continues to this day, nearly a decade and a half later." - Sports Planet

Final Standings - Fantasy Football

On the heels of my thrilling domination of March's NCAA bracket challenge, another fantasy sports league championship trophy is mine. Victories over Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets in the playoffs sealed the deal.

FINAL STANDINGS - NFL FANTASY LEAGUE 0628

1st
K.C. Fanfare (1198 pts; 10-6) <-- ME

2nd
Yellow Jackets (898 pts; 10-6)

3rd
Bulldogs (1036 pts; 14-2)

4th
Default (979 pts; 8-7-1)

5th
Slayers (921 pts; 7-9)

6th
Rawhide (999 pts; 7-9)

7th
Minnesota Wave (1032 pts; 6-8-2)

8th
Double Yoi! (799 pts; 7-9)

9th
Team (768 pts; 4-10)

10th
Tennessee Pounders (666 pts; 3-10-1)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Word of the Day

Caganer

Christmas at Amos House

[From an article that appeared a few years ago]

RICHARD WALTON, PROVIDENCE JOURNAL - I have been volunteering overnight at the Amos House men's shelter once a week since it opened in March of 1987. Earlier in the day I had dropped into the soup kitchen bustling with volunteers preparing for a big Christmas dinner. The big dining hall was festive with red and white checked tablecloths and there I encountered the true spirit of Christmas, for there in an hour or so, hundreds of people would be served a wonderful Christmas dinner. And that evening, when I arrived at the men's shelter, I found another cheerful place. Remember, these are men without a home, with little in the way of Christmas expectations. But they were warm and safe and treated with dignity and respect, as should be all humans. Even more important, they were demonstrating human resilience. Even homeless on Christmas Eve they could find something to celebrate. I wonder if that were so in every Rhode Island home, homes often bursting with Christmas "stuff."

When I arrived with my simple, inexpensive gifts [apples and tangerines and home-baked cookies and Oreos and ice-cold milk {it is, as we all know, a Newtonian law that Oreos must be consumed with ice-cold milk}], the guys were delighted. As was I. It was a quiet night. Nothing demonstrably Christmasy but a nice evening. Some of the guys watched TV, some went to bed early [common because there's not a lot to do evenings] and some dropped into my office/bedroom to chat for a while before turning in. Although the guys were permitted to sleep in Christmas morning, a number of them were already up by 6 when I started to get ready for breakfast. And the smell of bacon summoned others. About 7, the bacon in the oven to keep warm, I started taking orders, eggs easy over, sunny side up [only one call] or scrambled. Some of the guys seemed astonished that their breakfast was being cooked for them [well, they did their own toast] and offered to do their own but I wouldn't let them spoil my fun.

It took a couple of hours for everyone who chose to eat to drift downstairs and have breakfast. Then it was time, silly Santa hat on my long, white-haired, bearded head, to distribute the gifts Amos House had purchased. Some of the guys were astonished by this too. Here they were homeless and receiving gifts but Amos House has never wanted its guests to feel forgotten on Christmas Day. The guys liked the gifts, just right for men who had so little: flannel shirts [the right sizes] and warm gloves and thermal underwear and warm ski caps; I probably forgot something. So it was a cheerful kitchen this Christmas morning, smelling of bacon and filled with men cheerful despite being homeless, for they had not been forgotten. And soon a couple of them would start roasting a turkey for those who had no place to go that afternoon. . .

When I left about 10 o'clock, I left behind a house whose Christmas spirit was the equal of any in the state and, I expect, better than some. Oh, people often say to me how nice it is that I spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at the men's shelter. I never quite know how to respond to that. Maybe it is nice but, as I appreciated again this time, there's no one anywhere who had a better Christmas than I. I can't imagine being anyplace else. Once again, Amos House had saved Christmas for a bunch of homeless men . . . and for me too.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Jesusmas, folks!

Home for the holiday! =D

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Testing Drugs on India's Poor

SCOTT CARNEY, WIRED - India has been the focus of medical research since the time when sunburned men with pith helmets and degrees from prestigious European medical schools came to catalog tropical illnesses. The days of the Raj are long gone, but multinational corporations are riding high on the trend toward globalization by taking advantage of India's educated work force and deep poverty to turn South Asia into the world's largest clinical-testing petri dish. The sudden influx of drug companies to India resembles the gold rush frontier, according to Sean Philpott, managing editor of The American Journal of Bioethics.

"Not only are research costs low, but there is a skilled work force to conduct the trials," he said. In the rush to reap profits, Philpott cautions that drug companies may not be sensitive to how poverty can undermine the spirit of informed consent. "Individuals who participate in Indian clinical trials usually won't be educated. Offering $100 may be undue enticement; they may not even realize that they are being coerced," he said...

Also, critics say study volunteers may be taking risks without the potential for reward. Since many pharmaceutical companies are developing the drugs for markets in industrialized nations, it is unlikely that India's poor will have access to most of the new medicine.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My Kind of Game - Eskiv

How well can you do?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

She Wants Revenge - Tear You Apart

What do you suppose it says about me that I absolutely love this song? (via julseas)

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Third Wave

Mr. Gunter? Mr. Brown?

RON JONES, 1972 - For years I kept a strange secret. I shared this silence with two hundred students. Yesterday I ran into one of those students. For a brief moment it all rushed back.

Steve Conigio had been a sophomore student in my World History class. We ran into each other quite by accident. It's one of those occasions experienced by teachers when they least expect. You're walking down the street, eating at a secluded restaurant, or buying some underwear when all of a sudden an ex-student pops up to say hello. In this case it was Steve running down the street shouting "Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones." In an embarrassed hug we greet. I had to stop for a minute to remember. Who is this young man hugging me? He calls me Mr. Jones. Must be a former student. What's his name? In the split second of my race back in time Steve sensed my questioning and backed up. Then smiled, and slowly raised a hand in a cupped position. My God, he's a member of the Third Wave. It's Steve, Steve Conigio. He sat in the second row. He was a sensitive and bright student. Played guitar and enjoyed drama.

We just stood there exchanging smiles when without a conscious command I raised my hand in curved position. The salute was given. Two comrades had met long after the war. The Third Wave was still alive. "Mr. Jones, do you remember the Third Wave?" I sure do, it was one of the most frightening events I ever experienced in the classroom. It was also the genesis of a secret that I and two hundred students would sadly share for the rest of our lives. (continued...)

ascii movie

Cool.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bush Keeping Names of Govt. Employees Secret for First Time Since 1816

MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN, ASSOCIATED PRESS - Breaking a tradition of openness that began in 1816, the Bush administration has without explanation withheld the names and work locations of about 900,000 of its civilian workers, according to a lawsuit filed last week. "Citizens have a right to know who is working for the government," said Adina Rosenbaum, attorney for the co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group at Syracuse University, which sued under the Freedom of Information Act to get the data.

President James Madison heads the first list of federal employees, published in 1816. The Bush administration is seeking to scale back such disclosures, a research group says in a lawsuit. Since 1989, TRAC has posted a database on the Internet with the name, work location, salary and job category of all 2.7 million federal civilian workers except those in some law enforcement agencies. The data are often used by reporters and government watchdog groups to monitor policies and detect waste or abuse.

Hillary Clinton Wants to Punish Flag-Burning with Year in Jail

ST. PETERSBURG TIMES EDITORIAL - Sen. Hillary Clinton's decision to co-sponsor a bill to make it a crime to burn the American flag amounts to political pandering of the worst kind. She was against outlawing flag-burning before she was for it.

The New York Democrat says she opposes a constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning but has signed on to a bill that would ostensibly accomplish the same thing by federal statute. Her position is unprincipled. Clinton may think this is a middle-ground position with broad political appeal, but most people will see it for what it is...

The measure she has co-sponsored along with Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, is the Flag Protection Act of 2005. One provision would make it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine, to burn an American flag of "any size" if a person knows that it is "likely to produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace."

The crime is not the act of burning the flag (since old and tattered flags are burned regularly by veteran groups) but to burn a flag in criticism of the American government when someone is nearby who cannot control his impulses. This gives remarkable power to those in our society who resort to violence in response to disturbing speech and messages.

The Democratic Party doesn't need another candidate who lacks the backbone to take a clear, principled stand, and it certainly doesn't need a candidate who doesn't believe in the First Amendment.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Word Association

String one word to another...

My chain (125 words): profits, capitalism, communism, lenin, trotsky, stalin, russia, moscow, soviet, sputnik, space, time, now, later, then, there, goes, went, out, in, play, work, load, toad, hall, hill, climber, mountaineer, awarded, medal, honour, integrity, sound, wave, surfing, board, rubber, glue, tacky, tie, laces, shoe, heel, sole, soul, spirit, body, mind, games, reindeer, red, green, grocer, lettuce, leaf, stem, branch, root, canal, panama, water, glass, shard, hard, difficult, tough, chewy, han, movie, film, score, ballgame, baseball, first, foremost, last, best, worst, evil, gray, sky, cloud, float, trip, holiday, happy, sad, angry, pissed, upset, depressed, me, funny, you, self, introspection, katie, stupid, thick, thin, tall, short, stubby, rotund, fat, skinny, slim, fast, car, auto, truck, buck, tooth, fairy, wand, magic, black, white, supremacy, pizza, round, square, pegs, oink, pink

Word Association

Monday, December 12, 2005

Samorost!!!!

Samorost 2 has finally come out! Huzzah!

Samorost

Samorost 2

Nifty little games.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Pooh being 're-branded'

BBC - After 80 years in Hundred Acre Wood Winnie the Pooh is to get a female friend, replacing Christopher Robin, according to reports. The Walt Disney Company has decided to pair Pooh up with a red-haired six-year-old tomboy for its 2007 series, newspaper USA Today reported. Disney said My Friends Tigger and Pooh will keep the "trust, friendship and happiness" of AA Milne's stories. Pooh is being re-branded as part of its 80th anniversary celebrations.

Music Publishers Declare War on Musicians

IAN YOUNGS, BBC NEWS - The music industry is to extend its copyright war by taking legal action against websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics. The Music Publishers' Association which represents US sheet music companies, will launch its first campaign against such sites in 2006. MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed. Guitar licks and song scores are widely available on the internet but are "completely illegal", he told the BBC. Mr Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can "throw in some jail time I think we'll be a little more effective".

Sunday, December 04, 2005

8-bit D&D

Friday, December 02, 2005

Will Ferrell: Bush on Global Warming