Thursday, June 30, 2005
Supermodel bounty hunter found dead
By Chris Ayres
30-06-2005 From: The Australian
Tragic ... lesbian bounty hunter Domino Harvey
She was the daughter of a famous actor, became a supermodel in New York and then a socialite in Beverly Hills. She even inspired a Hollywood movie. For British-born Domino Harvey, however, beauty, wealth and stardom went horribly wrong. When pulled out of a bath in West Hollywood on Monday night, presumed drowned, she was facing life in jail on charges of drug dealing, crossing state lines for unlawful activity and having property that was used in or obtained through criminal activity. The charges, filed in the city of Gulfport, Mississippi, were the result of a bizarre change in career for Harvey, who was 35 at the time of her death. The former catwalk star and daughter of Oscar-nominated Laurence Harvey had become a bounty hunter - a mercenary who hunted outlaws for the price on their heads. Lieutenant Don Mauldin, of West Hollywood Sheriff's station, said: "We got a call ... saying possibly a person had drowned in a bathtub. A friend or relative had called 911 from the house for paramedics. She was found in the bathtub." The Los Angeles coroner is expected to perform toxicology tests on the body to see if drugs were involved. "The hospital reported to us they suspected a drug overdose," a spokesman for the coroner said. Tony Scott, the action film director who decided to turn Harvey's career into a Hollywood blockbuster - starring Keira Knightley as Domino, with other parts taken by Christopher Walken, Mickey Rourke and Jacqueline Bisset - had already been forced to reshoot the ending to incorporate the charges against her. Now Scott may have to return to the editing room to include Harvey's tragic death. There will also be pressure to make the film truer to life and explain how she became a bounty hunter and accused drug dealer. In the film's trailer, which has already been released, Knightley fires a .50-calibre machinegun and says: "My name is Domino Harvey, I am ... a bounty hunter. What I say will determine whether or not I spend the rest of my life in prison." She recently said of the film: "I think the whole concept of the story, the whole idea of this girl who's from an extremely privileged background who completely turns her back on all of it and goes off on this wild path, is an extraordinary idea in itself." Harvey, a lesbian, had expressed disappointment she was portrayed as heterosexual in the film. Friends and family gathered in tears at her West Hollywood home yesterday. It is thought Harvey would have been forced to sell the property to pay the $US1million ($1.3million) bail in her drugs case. The Times
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
LONDON - Ray Holmes, a World War II fighter pilot who rammed a German plane to prevent a direct hit on Buckingham Palace, has died. He was 90. He died Monday at Hoylake Cottage Hospital in Wirral after a two-year battle with cancer, his wife, Anne, said Tuesday. Sgt. Holmes spotted a German Dornier bomber lining up to attack the palace on Sept. 15, 1940, and, finding he had run out of ammunition, the pilot from 504 Squadron slammed into the bomber, slicing off its tail. Holmes, from Wirral in northwest England, parachuted to safety, while his Hurricane plane crashed at 400 mph behind Victoria Station, well away from the palace. The German bomber plunged into the station's courtyard. The German pilot also survived the incident, which was captured on film. "There was no time to weigh up the situation," Holmes recalled afterward. "His airplane looked so flimsy, I didn't think of it as solid and substantial. I just went on and hit it for six. I thought my aircraft would cut right through it, not allowing for the fact that his plane was as strong as mine!" Last year, archaeologists unearthed parts of Holmes' fighter plane for a TV documentary. The plane's engine was later exhibited at the Imperial War Museum in London. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said Queen Elizabeth II was "very sad to hear of the death of Ray Holmes, given his role in the valiant defense of London during World War II." Holmes continued to fly throughout the war and taught Russian pilots to fly Hurricanes. He later moved into photo-reconnaissance, taking pictures from 30,000 feet of locations that included Berlin and Adolf Hitler's hideout at Berchtesgaden. When the war ended, he was a King's Messenger, delivering mail for Prime Minister Winston Churchill. After the war he returned to the Wirral, where he worked as a journalist. Funeral details were not available.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
From page three of a Washington Post article entitled "The Republicans' Rabbi-in-Arms". Stern's Jewish? I had no clue? Meet the Fockers is just as important a statement about Jewish/Christian relations as Gibson's Passion? I had no fucking idea that a shitty sequel to a shitty comedy was that damn important.
I think this blog's official position vis-a-vis Hitler and Nazis in general is pretty well established at this point. Just in case you are here for the first time, let me sum up: Hitler does not get credit for any good ideas. He lost that priviledge due to that whole Holocaust thing. The moment you say "But Hitler was on the money when he [fill in the blank]" then you have lost all credibility.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Thursday, June 23, 2005
|What military aircraft are you? |
You are an EA-6B. You are sinister, preferring not to get into confrontations, but extract revenge through mind games and technological interference. You also love to make noise and couldn't care less about pollution.
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The graphic's dead, but I gotta post the results of this next one anyway.
|Video GameHistory..test your knowledge|
All hail the Game God.....ooooooooo...can i touch you?
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|What random picture I found on the internet are you?|
Your some toilet paper
long and plain
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FYI: Blogger doesn't like the HTML spit out by YouThink.Com. You'll need to add an extra /font tag after the last /font tag.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
And I thought he was one of the good guys: Superman is a dick.
Sassy political gossip blog: Wonkette
Quick way to freak yourself out: 55 Optical Illusions
Quicker freak out, for entirely different reasons: Operation Clambake
An ass-kickin' American hero: Smedley Butler
--Dr. David Thorpe
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
This is Osprey as he appears in the Advanced Marvel game from TSR.
I allowed the color scheme to be partially dictated by the available parts. Boots and gloves are courtesy of Nomad, while Captain America provided the shorts. I chose red for the tights to get that old fashioned underwear look. The symbol on the chest was by far the hardest part. I omitted the little wings because I would have to make the yellow 'O' smaller if I wanted the wings to fit in between the suspenders.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to present Blue Streak, the disco-tastic roller-skating superhero and former member of the SHIELD Super Agents. This fellow is part of my Fantabulous Five project, so I have been searching all the internets trying to find a Micro-Hero for him. I finally gave up on finding him, since he's a very obscure character. So I made one myself. The Micro-Hero community has a wide variety of body, face, and hair templates available, making the task much easier. The tricky parts were adding the collar, the skates, and the difficult-to-see-from-this-angle blue lightning bolt effect down the sleeves and pants. You can check out the reference pictures I used here. Next task? Osprey, a character so obscure he appears in exactly one comic book: Fantastic Four #177. I haven't decided yet whether I'm gonna pony up the five bucks needed to buy a copy of FF #177, but the only reference shot I have for him at the moment is black and white. I have no idea what the proper color scheme for Osprey's costume might be. It might be fun to do my own color job and then buy the comic, just to see the difference between my vision and the original.
Also: I ordered the Wraeththu rpg from Amazon. Consider yourselvesd warned!
Stalin vs. Hitler, The Authorized Annotated Translation
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Friday, June 17, 2005
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Yesterday we got a shipment in from Amazon.com including a bunch of DVDs and the Nazi-hating Hoover vacuum. The DVDs were all cartoons: a trio of Peanuts holiday specials, some more Superfriends, another disc full of Teen Titans, and the Clone Wars. My daughter isn't too enthused about watching the Star Wars cartoons. At the toystore yesterday she even objected to getting a plushie R2-D2 or the Droids cartoon. Have I failed as a parent? She does like playing with my precious Darth Vader action figure, so I guess she isn't a lost cause quite yet. Either way it looks like I'm going to have to watch Clone Wars on my own time. The trouble with that scheme is that, thanks to indulgent parents, Elizabeth monopolizes the TV when she is awake. That's okay. She likes the Superfriends, Teen Titans, and SpongeBob just as much as she enjoys Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty or the Care Bears. But since Amy is no huge cartoon fan I let her choose the show after Elizabeth goes to bed. That leaves me with very little time to watch Clone Wars unless I make a special effort to get up in the morning before everyone else. And if I do that I need to watch some more Firefly episodes. I feel guilty over how long I've had that boxed set and I still haven't watched anything other than the pilot. I'm sure Kathleen and Josh didn't intend for me to hold onto their copy forever.
I'm still freaking out over the fact that Amazon has the Wraeththu rpg in stock. I certainly don't need to be spending money on a new rpg, especially one that has zero prospects among the local game scene. But dang it, I still want one.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Monday, June 13, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
The above warning is printed on the side of the bottle of Squirt soda pop I'm drinking as I type this. When did soda become so dangerous? Has anybody evey had a popcap zip out of their grasp the way champagne corks like to ricochet about the room? Is it okay if I point my deadly popbottle at small furry animals? After all, there's no explicit warning that the soda can injure bunnies or kittens. Maybe pets will be added to warning after some unfortunate poodle-related incident and the subsequent multizillion dollar litigation.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
My two roleplaying sessions were sorta a mixed bag this week. I thought session 2 of my new D&D campaign went pretty well. Everyone seemed to have a good time. We finished the final encounter with session one's master villain and played through a whole nother adventure. Stuart (RPGnetter szilard) joined us, bringing a nifty photosynthetic monk/druid to the table. Next time I think we'll tackle the search for the bigass dungeon.
Last night's Mutants & Masterminds game was sort of a mess. Work's been busy and I just didn't have the prep time I needed to get my act together. The result was a short run with very little action. We did managed to advance a couple of plot threads just a hair. And Radarman and Dingo doubleteamed Rhino and knocked his ass out. That was pretty cool I thought. It'll be six weeks before the next run, which gives me plenty of time to work on the next big action sequences. Next session should give the Home Team an opportunity to save New York City. Not just a few New Yorkers, but the whole damn town.
Friday, June 10, 2005
The exterior of this work is red dragonskin hidden underneath a thick layer of encrusted earth. The first fifteen pages of the book are wizard spells listed below. The dirt on these first fisteen pages adds one to the DC of any Spellcraft checks involving copying spells or using the Lesser Tome as a "borrowed spellbook". The next ten pages after the spells are blank. The remaining seventy five pages are partial notes penned by the wizard Farinus during his horrible experiments in the creation of bizarre new monsters. This book is called the Lesser Tome because Farinus undoubtedly had a more complete spellbook and perhaps better records for some of his vile experiments. Resale value: 750gp as a spellbook, perhaps this Tome would be worth more to someone interested in Farinus's efforts in monster creation.
touch of fatigue
protection from chaos
protection from evil
protection from good
protection from law
Thursday, June 09, 2005
As far as I can tell the item that I consider the one true Holy Grail of D&D collectors has never come up for sale. This would be a little manuscript called "Supplement to Chainmail" that was the original draft for Dungeons & Dragons. Something like 50 copies were distributed among the local gamers in Lake Geneva and possibly among Dave Arneson's group.
Although I get itchy for old stuff like this from time to time, I'm just as happy with decent retro efforts such as Gary Gygax's hopefully-forthcoming Castle Zagyg. But it's difficult to pull off a good retro product. There's always the issue of changing sensibilities among the gaming community. You couldn't just tart up an exact transcription of something like the Bottle City and expect people to be able to run it nowadays. But if you stray too far from the original you get uneven results like the various "Return to" modules.
You can confuse the blind nuclear chaos at the centre of the universe with your quick wits.
Prerequisites: Bluff 10 ranks, Improved Initiative
Benefit: You may, when confronted by a being of cosmological power and rage so vast it flows around the universe, attempt a DC 20 Bluff check to render the being effectively stunned for one round. Making this check is a full-round action.
Special: You may retry this check in each round that you are in the presence of such a being and are not consumed.
Inspired by a report of a Call of Cthulhu PC who managed to survive 10 minutes at the center of the cosmos by repeated Fast Talk rolls.
(Medium Half-(red) Dragon Monstrous Hunting Spider)
Hit Dice: 2d10+4 (15 hp)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), climb 30 ft.
Armor Class: 18 (+3 Dex, +5 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+1
Attack: Claw +8 melee (1d4+4)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +8 melee (1d4+4 each), Bite +3 melee (1d6+4 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison, web, breath weapon
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft., vermin traits, immune to sleep and paralysis, immune to fire
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +0
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 4
Skills: Climb +15, Hide +7, Jump +14, Spot +8
Feats: Weapon FinesseB
Environment: Temperate forests or warm mountains
Organization: Solitary or colony (2–5)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 3 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: —
Dragonspiders are the result of an insane attempt to crossbreed giant hunting spiders and red dragons.
Poison (Ex): A dragonspider has a poisonous bite. Fortitude DC 13 or take 1d4 Str damange both initial and secondary.
Web (Ex): Dragon spiders often wait in their webs or in trees, then lower themselves silently on silk strands and leap onto prey passing beneath. A single strand is strong enough to support the spider and one creature of the same size. The web is break DC 17 and has 6 hit points.
Breath Weapon (Ex): 30-foot cone of fire. 6d8 points of damage. Reflex save vs DC 13 for half. Useable once a day.
Tremorsense (Ex): A dragonspider can detect and pinpoint any creature or object within 60 feet in contact with the ground.
Skills: Dragonspiders have a +4 racial bonus on Hide, a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and Spot checks, and a +10 racial bonus on Jump checks. A dragonspider can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. Dragonspiders use either their Strength
or Dexterity modifier for Climb checks, whichever is higher.
I'd like to get True20 Adventure but I'm afraid it will just sit next to Castles & Crusades collecting dust.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I have some profoundly sad news to report. David C. Sutherland III passed away sometime Tuesday in his residence in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. While his health had been in sharp decline, he was fairly active in his last days and was taking good care of himself. Thus, his death comes as sudden and unexpected.
Dave is survived by his ex-wife and two daughters. His sister Trudy, brother Scott, and mother would like to pass along their warmest regards to all of those who participated in the Collector's Trove auctions of David's collection over the past year. The funds have been placed in an account to support David's estate and his surviving family members.
He will be interred with full military honors at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN.
David as you know was a longtime artist in the gaming world. Producing countless works at an incredible rate, he helped illustrate the games of our imagination for generations of players. Wargames, roleplaying games, strategy games, and board games. David had done it all with the care and intensity that only a true fan of the historical, sci-fi, fantasy game genre could uphold.
The seminal artist of the Dungeons and Dragons and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game and the fantasy world of M.A.R. Barker's Tékumel, David helped shape the very roots of the roleplaying games we all know and love. His work is the canvas of our youth and fond sentiments. Many of the top writers and artists involved with the roleplaying games industry owe their inspiration and calling to him.
David's involvement in the art of games goes back to 1974 and the breadth and depth of his work is a roadmap for the history of the industry.
Every game industry person that knew Dave respected him for his unswerving devotion to art and remembered him for his great heart. Dave was a truly honest, loyal, decent, kind hearted soul, that selflessly shared a particularly keen wisdom to all around him. Many of them owe their happiness in life and life's calling to David. He was truly a man for others.
Born in 1949, in Minneapolis, David grew up in the image of his artistic father, David C. Sutherland II. His father's work in the paper industry brought vast supplies of creative material to their home and fueled David's interest in artistic endeavors. So too, his father's love for drawing, woodworking, and painting fixed Dave's heart in the field of art.
Dave, like his father, served in the military. Dave saw active duty as a Military Policeman in the Vietnam War in 1969-70. Also, like his father, David avidly sketched and recorded his days during the war.
Dave loved to dance, was an avid reader of science-fiction and fantasy novels, and became involved with the Society of Creative Anachronisms in the early 70's. He spent his free time drawing sketches and cartoons regarding these pastimes.
Eventually, Mike Mornard, a friend of Dave, also involved in the Society of Creative Anachronisms, would introduce Dave to Professor M.A.R. Barker at the University of Minnesota in 1975. The latter was producing an imaginary world for use with the wildly popular Dungeons and Dragons game published by TSR Hobbies of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The happy meeting of the two sparked a creative relationship and Dave began illustrating Barker's world for all to see. Soon, David was working for TSR and continued to do so for nearly 25 years. Loyalty.
Alas, TSR Hobbies was purchased in 1999 by Wizards of the Coast. Despite his unparalleled loyalty to TSR Hobbies the new company did not rehire Dave. In a particularly shameful moment for the roleplaying games industry, the company did not even give Dave so much as a single phone call.
This was a particularly devastating, heartbreaking, blow to David, a person founded in loyalty. Those years were unkind to David and they took a terrible toll on him. Soon his health was in sharp decline. Doctors gave him a terminal prognosis.
Work was sporadic for David during this time and he felt abandoned by the gaming industry. He was unhappy and unwell. He had given up wanting to live.
In autumn 2004, however, a meeting between Paul Stormberg of the Collector's Trove and Dave's sister Trudy, revealed Dave's fantastic collection of artwork, miniature sculptures, games, and game memorabilia. According to Dave's wishes the collection was to be auctioned off on eBay by the Collector's Trove. It was Dave's hope to add the proceeds to his estate so that he could provide a financial trust for his daughters upon his passing.
The response to the auction was tremendous, a huge outpouring of support from Dave's fans swelled interest in the auctions. To date the auctions and sales of Dave's collection have garnered over $22,000. Letters, cards, and emails poured in for David, all wishing him well and hoping for better health for him. Most importantly, they shared how much David's artwork had meant to them over the years.
The auction and subsequent communications were a real affirmation for David. Outside of his family and close friends, he never realized just how much of a positive impact he had on so many people from so many different walks of life.
This outpouring of well wishes and sentiments of appreciation gave David a new will to live. Every day he tried to rejuvenate his spirit and fine motor skills. He even finished a piece of artwork that had lain unfinished for years.
It would be tragic for a great man to die not knowing he was a great man. Dave knew. Thanks to all of you.
Cards and sentiments can be sent to Trudy DeKeuster, 13911 Castelar Circle, Omaha, NE 68144. Email correspondence and requests for additional information may be sent to Paul Stormberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul J. Stormberg
Monday, June 06, 2005
(a.k.a. Half-(red) Dragon Unicorn)
Hit Dice: 4d12+24 (52 hp)
Speed: 60 ft. (12 squares), fly 120 ft. (24 squares), average maneuverability
Armor Class: 22 (–1 size, +3 Dex, +10 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+13
Attack: Claw +12 melee (1d6+9)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +12 melee (1d6+9 each) and 1 Bite +7 melee (1d8+9)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Breath Weapon
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., magic circle against evil, spell-like abilities, immunity to poison, charm, paralysis, sleep, and compulsion, low-light vision, scent, wild empathy, immunity to fire
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +6
Abilities: Str 28, Dex 17, Con 23, Int 12, Wis 21, Cha 26
Skills: Bluff +5, Jump +30, Listen +11, Move Silently +9, Spot +11, Survival +8*
Feats: Alertness, Skill Focus (Survival)
Environment: Temperate forests or warm mountains
Organization: Solitary, pair, or grace (3–6)
Challenge Rating: 5
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 5–8 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: +7 (cohort)
Aquamenti speak Draconic, Sylvan, and Common.
Magic Circle against Law (Su): This ability continuously duplicates the effect of the spell. An aquamentus cannot suppress this ability.
Spell-Like Abilities: Aquamenti can use detect law at will as a free action.
Once per day it can use greater teleport to move anywhere within its home. It cannot teleport beyond the boundaries of its native forest or mountain chain nor back from outside.
An aquamentus can use cure light wounds three times per day and cure moderate wounds once per day (caster level 5th) by touching a wounded creature with its horn. Once per day it can use neutralize poison (DC 22, caster level 8th) with a touch of its horn. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Wild Empathy (Ex): This power works like the druid’s wild empathy class feature, except that an aquamentus has a +6 racial bonus on the check.
Breath Weapon (Ex): 30-foot cone of fire. Reflex save vs. DC 15 for half. Useable once per day.
Skills: Aquamenti have a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. *Aquamenti have a +3 competence bonus on Survival checks within the boundaries of their forest.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
I was on Amazon.com checking out vacuum cleaners (ours just died) when I noticed a particular Hoover I was examining had two reviews: a "hey, it works!" five star seal of approval and a vicious one star panning. I usually take bad reviews much more seriously than ringing endorsements, so I decided to research this guy a little bit more via Amazon's handy "click here to see other reviews by this jimbo" link. First off, this guy had one bad hoover and decided to cut and paste his diatribe into the review section of every Hoover model sold by Amazon. His beef wasn't even with the vacuum I was looking to buy! Second, he gave Mein Kampf five goddamn stars. Jaysus. You can't give a book written by Adolf Fucking Hitler five stars and expect to be taken seriously. I don't care if it's the new goldleaf annotated complete Mein Kampf for the serious historical researcher. I don't care if this particular edition comes with a wish-granting genie inside. Hell, I may just start telling my friends to buy Hoover vacuum cleaners because Nazi sympathizers don't like 'em. That's a completely unfair assessment of this guy but you know what? I reserve the right to be completely unfair when motherfucking Nazis are involved.
Friday, June 03, 2005
A) People act in Aspect order.
B) People have a Miraculuos and a Mundane action.
C) When Miracles directly conflict, highest Miracle level wins (thus why you can artifically inflate a Miracle's level).
D) When Miracles indirectly conflict, both work to their fullest extent; in aspects where they partially conflict, the higher level miracle tends to win out (this is likely the most fiaty-element of conflict).
E) When a Miracle would directly harm a Noble, it must have Penetration equal to the Noble's Spirit to penetrate the Auto-thingy.
F) Miracles must be of at least Level X to deal a Deadly Wound; Y to deal a Significant Wound, and Z to deal a Surface Wound. Gifts like Durant increase those levels (and Immortal makes them basically irrelevant).
G) Mundane Actions have a 'miracle equivelent' level, based on what tools you might be using. (This is a bit fiaty, but examples of various levels of tools is provided). Any Miraculous Action trumps a Mundane Action.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Your Political Profile
Overall: 10% Conservative, 90% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal