Tag Archives: humor

Kvick Tänkare

Stoic Studio just recently released a viking themed game called The Banner Saga.  I’m not sure if this is a new trend or I’m just getting more selective in my gaming choices but Banner Saga places a high emphasis on story and mood, interspersed with more traditional game play. I really enjoyed how they captured the feel of the fatalism of Norse mythology.  Games like this give hints for where they can (and probably will) go in the future.  I suspect that story driven games may even become the cultural touchstones for the next generation.  Whereas, TV played that role when I was growing up (with half a dozen channels to watch, odds were good you and your friends and neighbors were watching the same thing), radio before that all the way back to the traveling storytellers.

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Back when I was stationed in (West!) Germany in the late 1980s there was a reoccurring call for coins from the banks on post.  The problem was soldiers and their families did what everyone did…put their pocket change in a piggy bank of some sort until there was enough to make it worthwhile to cash in.  That meant coins were being taken out of circulation faster than they were being reintroduced into the system.  That, in turn, meant that the government had to ship coins from the U.S. to Europe to keep the military banks, PXs, etc. running.  A bag of pennies ($50) weighs around 30 pounds.  You don’t need to be a shipping genius to know that it’s not cost efficient to do that in bulk over and over again.

By the time I got to Afghanistan the U.S. government was not going to devote scarce cargo space to ship pennies in bulk, let alone other cash:

Shortly before the Iraq War, the military found that for every $1 million to currency sent to pay soldiers overseas, it as costing them $60,000 in security, logistics, and support fees.

So, the military handed out small cardboard tokens (known as POGS by children of the ’90s) and ‘$100 in quarters (5 pounds, 1 ounce), was reduced to 14 ounces in equivalent pog currency.

All of that was introduction to this piece about the history of military currency and, more specifically, pogs.

First Corinthians in a terrible PowerPoint presentation…I feel like I’ve sat through this many times and in many places.

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Who Are the ‘Satanists’ Designing an Idol for the Oklahoma Capitol?

An awesome article about the ‘backpack nuke’ and some of the soldiers that were tasked with using it to stop a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.

Kvick Tänkare

From Defence and Freedom, I found this little bit of trivia.  The Esbit stove was invented in 1936 and used by the Bundeswehr.  I love these for camping (which I haven’t done enough of) or your ‘go-bag’.

An interesting story from WWII about outnumbered American and German troops banding together to fight elements of an SS Division.  The author raises a good point.  What hasn’t this been made into a movie?

Courtesy of Julia Angwin, a couple of recommended privacy tools for your computer.  Two of which I include here because they’re so simple to install…

• I installed “HTTPS Everywhere,” created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project. This tool forces your Web browser to use encrypted Internet connections to any website that will allow it. This prevents hackers – and the National Security Agency – from eavesdropping on your Internet connections.

• I also installed Disconnect, a program created by former Google engineer Brian Kennish, which blocks advertisers and social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, from tracking which websites you visit.

Kind of feel out of the loop with all these classified revelations from WikiLeaks, Manning and Snowden?  Well, no worries!  Use the NSA Product generator to develop your own completely nonsensical yet authentic sounding intel products!  I suspect these also say something about how impenetrable and embedded Bureuacratese that these sound plausible.  We really need to bring back the English language.

The British National Archives are putting millions of pages of military diaries from World War One on line for the public to use.   They are also asking for help form the public in tagging and classifying the documents.  You can do your part (after a 10 minute tutorial) here.

How nations address their problems….


A study which looked at the language used in Kickstarter campaigns reveals some interesting predictors of success and failure.


I can’t help myself

Ok, this isn’t entirely fair picking on the Tea Party people because cognitively they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed but I saw this on the Book of Faces yesterday and I can’t resist posting what I assume someone actually thinks is a coherent thought…

Occult religions are roll-your-own religions and typically they combine a lot of different aspects of other religions. People should not spend too much time and effort trying to label Obama one thing, because he is a combination of a lot of different things, Muslim, Black Nazi, pseudo-Christian, Marxist/Communist . Ultimately, it is about self-worship. He believes he is a higher being with a divine mission to transform the world in his own image.


Ohh…I also bet he’s also vegetarian and puts empty milk containers back into the fridge!

And speaking of fridges…How about this link to a Daily Mail story.  Did you know Michelle Obama was on a secret mission to starve our children to death?

We’re hungry! Students revolt over Michelle Obama’s 850-calorie school meals with online video as First Lady faces growing anger

That’s right…Michelle Obama only wants to give growing children 850 calories…for lunch.  I suppose most families, living in free market utopias, refuse to feed their children breakfast or dinner as they are afraid it’ll make kids dependent on handouts.

This is a great story that really could only run in places outside the U.S. or in places where people have never actually seen American kids.  Apparently our biggest problem is a glut of  student athletes who “can burn through as many as 5,000 calories a day – but they are still entitled to no more than 850 calories for their lunch.”

Been to Wal-Mart lately?  Oh, yeah.  We’re awash in school age kids with Adonis like physiques.

And of course, this misses the bigger (excuse that) point.  These are people who hate government intervention complaining about…interference in their government run school lunch program.

Indeed…Get the gubmint out of my government run school lunch program!

Yes, and social security and Medicare are paragons of free market capitalism.

Shouldn’t the argument be…’Stop all subsidized lunches!’  Leave it up to parents to decide how much (or if) their kids should eat lunch 1.  That’s at least a position consistent with the modern conservative movement.

If it hasn’t already, the Right is in danger of becoming a parody of itself.  Oh, who are we kidding…it became that a long time ago.


  1. Of course, parents can still provide or supplement their kids’ lunches if they want so this whole thing is a bullshit issue…in other words, just what you’ve come to expect from these types of arguments.

Kvick Tänkare

I can’t remember the movie(s) but I do remember hearing anecdotes about weird experiments with victims of the guillotine.  Specifically, trying to see how long one could keep a head alive once it was separated from the body.  Well The Chirurgeons Apprentice tracks the rumor down and finds the truth behind it.  It’s kind of creepy.

A long time ago, I lived in an apartment and I just wasn’t able to own a dog.  I did, however, really want some sort of animal in my household and so I took in a ferret.  Eventually I had a small group of three of them and they really are great pets.  More social than cats and almost as trainable as dogs, I would continue to be a ferret owner if their life spans were not so short (about 6-8 years).

English: This is Vinnie the Ferret in the midd...

English: This is Vinnie the Ferret in the middle of a war dance jump. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In any case, recent research has indicated that ferrets are just about equal to dogs in terms of picking up social cues from humans.  It is assumed that this is the result of selective breeding, probably for other, specific traits, with the resulting side effect of greater social-cognitive skills.


Speaking of dogs, some Samurai dude in the 19th century decided to outfit his dog with a special set of armor.

And talking about warfare…Swords are pretty badass weapons as demonstrated by their use for thousands of years.  What would make them even more imposing?  Adding shark teeth, of course…

Finally, what would happen in a war broke out between the old school video games and the fancy-schmancy new ones?  Well, somebody thought of that…

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It’s back!

So, you’re probably sick of the election season already but there is one bright side to all of this…

Get Your War on is back.  How can you not love this stuff?


Kvick Tänkare

A little while ago I wrote about the power of fonts and that Baskerville was the most trustworthy font.  Well, Errol Morris has an excellent follow up to that piece about the originator of the guy who made the font.  My favorite quote:

Voltaire, when asked on his deathbed by a priest to renounce Satan, famously replied, “Now is not the time to be making new enemies.” And when a friend tried to convince Baskerville that the plague of flies inflicted on Egypt was proof of the existence of God, Baskerville argued that all that it proved was a shortage of spiders.

Anyone who thinks socialism failed in America has never spent time on a military base.  Rosa Brooks is off to a good start in her new FP blog.

Lunghu provides some indicators to let you know if you’re working in a dysfunction organization:

  • Management places special emphasis on their purported role as “leaders.”
  • The enterprise “strategic plan” merely describes what the organization is already doing, not how it intends to respond to unexpected challenges.
  • Every level of the organization uses the complexity of the operating environment as an excuse to avoid planning for likely contingencies.
  • Hackneyed business cliches are used as a replacement for substantive communication.

I tempted to give up the internet forever after reading this headline.  After all, I think it’s pretty clear we now have, literally, seen everything.

Gordon Ramsay’s dwarf porn double Percy Foster dies in badger den

Sounds to me like these should be the default cars in congested urban areas.

Sadly, these vehicles do not function by farting out a loud stream of gas that propels them forth.

The author makes it sound like this is a bad thing but I suspect the manufacturers realized that their target demographic shouldn’t be 12 year old boys.

Swedish Story of the Day

I think any additional comment would diminish the excellence of this story.

A 35-year-old rubbish enthusiast is wanted by police in Motala, in southern Sweden, after hiding on the town’s garbage trucks and secretly filming the bin men at work.



H/T Geeks are Sexy

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You can tell it’s fake 1  because Congress isn’t tripping over itself to throw money at the project.


  1. Well, the Kickstarter part, anyway.  For more on TrapWire you can check here.

My acting debut

My reenacting group got (what seemed to me 1) an unusual request.  An aspiring film student is hoping to make a fan film surrounding the upcoming Assassin’s Creed video game.  The game centers on revolutionary America and he needed some grenadiers.  Here’s the official game trailer so you’ll see why he needs some redcoats.

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This sounded totally cool to me so I quickly threw my hat into the ring.  Somehow 2 I was selected to play a rebel who gets killed 3.  So, here I am in my uniform…hopefully the Crown will forgive me for dressing as a traitor.

I’d like to draw your attention to the canteen on my left hip.  That’ll be important later on.

So…the scene I had to do was run with the redcoats behind me. Once given the signal I was supposed to collapse to my knees (spoiler alert:  I die) and then, allowing the Brits to shoot me again I fall on my face.

Now, I’ve never acted before but I decided to throw myself into my role full force.  So, with some helpful tips on how to collapse to your knees from a fast jog 4 and then fall on my face, we were off to the races.

I believe it was on the fourth take (yes, each time crashing to my knees and then my face) that it happened.  Remember that blue canteen?  Here’s what it looks like, before being blue.  Well, everything was going fine.  I was running down the trail…got the signal and dropped…waited a second and got the second signal indicated that I should fall.  It was sometime around there that the canteen shifted from my hip to right in front of my sternum.  I then fell down with my full body-weight.  Right. On. That. Fucking. Canteen.

It was very painful.  But, never let it be said that I’m not willing to suffer for my art.  I did another take or two and then a few more hours of other scenes.  The pain grew most exquisite and I was convinced that I had cracked a rib.  Fortunately, after a trip to the ER I was diagnosed with just a really bad bruise or hairline fracture.  Still, it hurt like hell.

Once the trailer is completed (looks like we’ve got at least one more day of shooting that needs to be done) I’ll put it up here.  But, here’s a still from my death scene:

Feel free to compare/contrast with the death scene from Platoon and tell me I don’t deserve an Academy Award. 5

Or maybe I need to do a film about the Holocaust?

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  1. but what do I know, I’m new to this stuff
  2. the details are a bit fuzzy
  3. in addition to a redcoat…there weren’t many of us so some of us got drafted for double duty
  4. Hint: If there’s nothing to cushion your fall it really doesn’t matter what you do, it’s gonna hurt
  5. Or at least a Golden Globe

We are all Singaporeans!

We cancel our regularly scheduled blogpost for this work (courtesy of both i09 and Foreign Policy).

Singapore has one of the world’s lowest birthrates.  The city-state is trying to get its citizens to get busy and the people behind Mentos are helping out.  Since August 9th (today) is Singapore’s ‘National Day‘ Mentos is trying to encourage Singaporeans to make their own fireworks after the official celebration is over.  It’s being described as ‘awkward’ but I’m not so sure.  It seems to me like they just decided to own it and put a little fun into the whole thing.

Usually we only declare our solidarity with others when some tragedy strikes.  ‘We’re all Americans‘, ‘We’re all Georgians‘, ‘We’re all Sikhs now‘.   Well, ladies and gentlemen, today I call upon all of us to declare proudly to that special someone (or, that girl at the coffee shop or the guy in the…where ever guys hang out) ‘We’re all Singaporeans now!’.

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Feel free to get your freak on all and move about the cabin.