Archive for September, 2011

Fury of Dracula

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Halloween will be here before you know it, so let’s talk about one of best board games I have: Fury of Dracula

Fury of Dracula

The game takes a good 3 hours on average (plus time to explain rules), but if you have some players who have played before and only one or two newbies, you can learn on the fly.

The game is best with 5 players, but you can play with less. One player is Dracula, the other 4 are hunters trying to track Dracula down and kill him. This is why some players can learn on the fly. The rest of the hunter team can help him\her out. I’ve even swapped players out on the hunter team if someone has to go home, etc.

Fury of Dracula

Dracula moves secretly around the board leaving nasty stuff to slow down the hunters. Dracula gets points by trying to create vampires. He gets 1 point for each day he lives and 2 points for creating a vampire and having it survive 6 turns. He also gets 2 points if he can kill a hunter. Dracula wins when he gets to 6 points.

The hunters move around the board trying to find out where he has been so they can kill the vampires he has left behind and picking up weapons\items that will help them on the way. In the end however they need to kill Dracula. It’s not so easy as Dracula is more powerful than any one hunter at night game turns, so you want to find him during the day.

There are a number of rules that are a bit fiddly and are rarely used, but this is a really good game. One when you can talk about what happened during the game weeks later. The tension really mounts as the group gets closer to Dracula and he is getting weaker.

If you are looking for a game for Halloween, get this!


GOP Senator Blocks Safety Bill

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Article in Yahoo today…

So this is what gets me about the GOP…

The Gas and Oil industry come up safety regulations that even they can agree are needed for the industry. One Senator, Rand Paul, is blocking the regulation on the principle that regulation is bad.


Looks as someone who still thinks that Ronald Reagan was the best president in my lifetime (I was born during LBJ), I’m all for free markets and the principle of smaller government.

However, smaller government doesn’t mean no government.

Look businesses moves in the direction that makes them the most money. These market forces don’t care about what is ethical or what is good for the people or the country.

Take an extreme example like slavery. Slavery was very profitable for the South in the US before the Civil War. Was it ethical? Of course not. Was it good for the people? Well clearly not for everyone.

Much like Evolution, businesses will adapt to their business environment or die. However, it is the government that controls that environment.

So in this case, the industry wants these regulations so everyone is playing on the same playing field. This way, there are no market forces that make it profitable to cut corners in safety. Now one senator blocks the bill ‘on principle’.

Principles are nice, but no principle is absolute.

How did we get here? Why is there no give and take in politics? I blame the internet. Today it’s easy to for people to track and follow where politicians break principles even for the good of the people and the country and rally the extreme groups, in this case the tea party, to the cause of some principle. Before the internet, deals like this would never come to light in the media.

It’s time for Politicians to grow a pair and do what’s right, instead of what is expedient. Adjust to the new environment you live in.

Categories: Politics Tags: , ,

Salute to Creationist Women Part 4

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Well the joint video is up and I have some thoughts:

I’m not going to get into all the hate that was tossed onto Amenakin for her religion. That behavior is clearly wrong and if you don’t understand that then me telling you isn’t going to change your mind. In this part only I support Amenakin.

However, I believe the claims on that Amenakin’s channel is blocking more than just that and I think that is wrong. Mainly because you can’t find one comment on there about these videos.

What I believe is one of the main pushes here is: A small business protecting it’s self interest. Amenakin has a small business and she made a video which makes it look bad, so she wants it to go away. She pulled her video and wants to see the same happen to potholer54’s videos as well. Clearly these videos come under ‘fair use’ and any lawyer could tell her that, but she’s going to fight on and lose. Hopefully potholer54 makes her pay for any legal fees he might have to pay.

Next, she says that she has a ‘teaching qualification’. That I can believe. I’ve seen a lot of teachers not understand what they are teaching and her knowledge of the subject is very superficial. If she would have stopped there on her background, I would say she shouldn’t get a Golden Crocoduck and leave it at that.

However she calls herself a scientist and claims a ‘Human Biology’ degree. Here I have a problem.

Having a science degree does not make you a scientist. I have two science degrees and I’m not a scientist. You need to be actively working in a science field to make that claim. I have no proof, but I highly doubt she is working as a scientist today just based off of her lack of knowledge of science in her video.

The same holds true for her ‘Human Biology’ degree. Her knowledge of Biology and Science is so thin here that I doubt she is telling the truth. I think she is lying about her degree.

If you believe she does have a ‘Human Biology’ degree then I think she should get a Golden Crocoduck, because I can’t believe anyone can forget that much of her degree and therefore she is lying about science.

So take your pick: Lying about her background to make a point or lying to push the creationist cause?

The GOD Delusion

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

So one book I picked up lately was ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins.

The God Delusion

I’m not going to do a blow by blow account, but give a 20,000 foot overview.

The first few chapters were on the money:

  • A Deeply Religious Non-Believer
  • The God Hypothesis
  • Arguments for God’s Existence
  • Why There Almost Certainly is No God

I thought the chapters were well written and Dawkins made his case well.

The next few chapters I had some issues:

  • The Roots of Religion
  • The Roots of Morality: Why Are We Good?

The chapters were fine, but a heavier read.  The part about Cargo Cults made me laugh out loud since I never heard of it before. It just stuck me that someone who was reading this as a believer might just read over these chapters because they were too deep.

  • The ‘Good’ Book and the Changing Moral Zeitgeist
  • What’s Wrong with Relgion? Why be so Hositle?

These chapters get the book back on track at a level that can hit at the believer in a language that all can understand.

  • Childhood, Abuse and the Escape From Religion
  • A Much Needed Gap?

I thought the chapters looking at religion as child abuse did not make it’s case well. Some families who are deep down the rabbit hole, I can see it going in that direction, but most people reading this books are not there. I think this chapter needed a lighter (but still hard hitting) touch.

Overall, it was a good read. I’m considering picking up The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution at some point, but not right away.

Categories: Atheism Tags: ,

Faster than Light Travel

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Well there is a buzz going about CERN clocking some neutrinos at faster than the speed of light. If true, this would turn a lot of physics on it’s head.

Still Phil Plait makes some excellent points regarding Supernova 1987A. If neutrinos can travel faster than light, we should have detected that supernova 4 years before we saw it.

Not sure what is going on yet, could be a new understanding of the universe or a mistake. Either way it will be fun. 🙂

Christian Right Fighting Theocracy?

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

So while I happened to be on the Washington Post, I found another article to comment on: Christian Right Fighting Theocracy By Jordan Sekulow

So the article is arguing about a how Christians would never want to setup a Theocracy in the USA. The first point:

Evangelical Christians are leading an international campaign against theocracy, the very system of government we are accused of trying to implement right here in America.

um, you DO know that those aren’t Christian theocracies that we are fighting right? Isn’t this comparing Apples to Oranges? Are you telling me that if say England became a Christian Theocracy tomorrow that there wouldn’t be people saying ‘Let’s do the same in the US’?

Sorry I don’t believe it for a minute.

Christians who seek to participate in the political process do so not as an attempt to install some type of theocratic rule, but to ensure that the government fulfils its God-ordained role in society to promote justice, provide security, and protect the God-given freedoms of its people.

Wow, well there are a lot of directions I could go with this.

The problem with this is the Bible is a mixed bag. You look around and there is a lot of things you can find the Bible supporting that I wouldn’t want and who gets to choose how to interpret these ‘God-ordained roles’?

Justice? Let’s kill our kids if they curse at us or are disobedient. Exodus 21:17.

Provide Security? We already have plenty of guns, missiles, etc. Not sure what God-ordained Security is. I thought God was more about helping your neighbor. Well the GOP is not good at that part.

Sorry easy shot.

Protect the God-given Freedoms? And what are they? Women are nothing more than property in the bible. Slavery? The Bible was good with that as well. Last I checked the only freedoms we have were drawn up by men in Philadelphia years ago.

The problem is the Bible doesn’t spell these things out clearly. How could it? A lot of the ideas we have today on what is fair didn’t exist in the Bronze Age when the Bible was written.

And that’s the problem with people trying to figure out how to fit a very old book to modern times. It doesn’t fit and that’s why we get things like:

  • The Wedge Strategy which tries to take us back to a time when we knew less about the world.
  • School Boards trying to re-write American History
  • Build a park around Noah’s Ark and teach kids that this myth is true. And using tax incentives to pay for part of it by the way.

All this is why we have groups like National Center for Science Education because we need people to fight against the bat-shit crazy stuff that ‘men of God’ come up with.

It’s something we can’t let happen… because having America live in the 19th century while the rest of the world lives in the 21st does not make us a strong nation.

Ultimate Werewolf is Back

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

w00t! Ultimate Werewolf has been reprinted and there is an expansion as well:

Werewolf is a really good and simple game. I sometimes pull it out for the kids at birthday parties. However, you have to watch out for peeking if you are playing with younger kids.

You can follow the link above, but in short people sit in a circle and each person is given a card that IDs them as either a werewolf or a villager which is kept hidden until the player is killed. Each round is two turns. A day turn where the players question each other and vote to kill a player that they hope is a werewolf. Killed players are out of the game. Then there is a night turn where everyone closes their eyes, except the wolf(s), who quietly picks whom they want to kill that night. The game continues that cycle until either all the wolves are killed or the number of wolves is equal to the number of villagers. There are also some special villagers who have powers to help their team.

Another option I use, so I can play as well is the iPod Version of Werewolf. It’s a great help when you have young kids (can’t peek), but it could use some more villagers (or wolves) with special powers.

Categories: Board Games Tags: , ,