Daily Illuminator Archive for December 2003

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December 1, 2003:
We experimented for a while with putting our company mailing lists on Yahoo! We have now finished migrating them back to a mailman server on our own network, largely due to complaints about the spam Yahoo! added to messages . . . read article

December 2, 2003:
If you ever suspected that Gollum, aka Smeagol, had more talents than he was letting on . . . check this out for all the wicked confirmation you need . . . read article

December 3, 2003:
Researchers are trying to teach Segway people movers to move and think for themselves, with a special emphasis on military applications . . . read article

December 4, 2003:
In our glee at the release of Ninja Burger - which is doing very well, thanks for asking! - we are pleased to pass along the following from Ninja Headquarters at www.ninjaburger.com: I'm going to try and coordinate the efforts of the thousands of Ninja Burger fans, my friends, and maybe some of my enemies, to make Friday, December 5th the Day of the Ninja. Why that Friday? . . . read article

December 5, 2003:
If you missed time traveler John Titor's visit, you can catch up with most of his posts, photos, and scientific observations in digest form at The Time Travel Tale of John Titor . . . read article

December 6, 2003:
The Day of the Ninja went perfectly here at Steve Jackson Games. All of the hordes of ninja that descended upon the building to participate in the celebration were appropriately ninja-like and stealthy, resulting in a total of zero ninja sightings througout the day . . . read article

December 7, 2003:
The fine folks at OgreCave have renewed their Christmas tradition of suggesting a dozen great gamer gift ideas in a variety of price ranges. In their list of Stocking Stuffers -- 12 games for $20 or less -- they give some love to Cheapass Games' Ogre Diceland, as well as 11 other great games . . . read article

December 8, 2003:
An interesting rant by Michael Crichton on the subject of environmental politics . . . read article

December 9, 2003:
These products will be racing Santa's sleigh to hit your local game store shelves in time for Christmas . . . look for them in the next week or so. Dork Tower Now you can play John Kovalic's Dork Tower characters . . . as they play their characters . . . in a magical quest for glory. Adventure through the land of Aurora, smiting monsters and growing in power, until you are strong enough to challenge the evil wizard in his tower . . . read article

December 10, 2003:
Thank you, everyone who has written to send us this URL. All six thousand four hundred and twelve . . . fourteen . . . twenty-one . . . and counting . . . of you . . . read article

December 11, 2003:
Jupiter, that is. JIMO is the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, the largest craft ever sent to the outer planets . . . read article

December 12, 2003:
Have you accepted Cthulhu as your personal lord and savior? He doesn't care . . . read article

December 13, 2003:
It was just a few months ago that astronomers were all excited about getting a closer look at Mars, which came closer to Earth than it had been in tens of thousands of years. Another chance comes up at the end of the month when Saturn comes as close to Earth as it ever gets, a once-every-29-years opportunity . . . read article

December 14, 2003:
Remember that Roman 20-sided die? It was auctioned on Dec. 11, and according to the Christie's website, it went for $17,925 . . . read article

December 15, 2003:
Here are the Steve Jackson Games March 2004 releases: Knightmare Chess (Reprint) Chess will never be the same! Knightmare Chess is chess played with cards - and what cards! Each card breaks the rules in a wild and unpredictable way, giving the game more twists and turns than a roller coaster . . . read article

December 16, 2003:
I'm a child of the digital age with a taste and talent for orchestral music, so I take a great deal of enjoyment in the rare areas in which they overlap. I recently came across Yamaha's Silent Strings collection (yes, that's the Japan site; the U.S. one is annoying) . . . read article

December 17, 2003:
Astronomers have determined that our galaxy, the Milky Way, has one more spiral arm than was previously thought. CNN has a report . . . read article

December 18, 2003:
Shane Messer thought that the search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was something like a game. So he created a game that anyone can play . . . well, anyone with $39.99 . . . read article

December 19, 2003:
For a little yuletide taste of that feeling of power, go to the Holiday Snowglobe and stir things up for the neighbors. -- Suggested by Erik Wilson . . . read article

December 20, 2003:
The European Space Agency's Beagle 2 will land on Mars on Christmas Day. Named after the ship Charles Darwin took on his expedition to the Galapagos, the ESA probe's mission is to look for signs on life past or present on and beneath the surface of the Red Planet . . . read article

December 21, 2003:
Kovalic to the rescue! Check out the holiday card on the Dork Tower site! . . . read article

December 22, 2003:
Those sneaky forces over at The Network have a new scheme to entice home computer users to unwittingly join the conspiracy. The ChessBrain Network uses the combined computing power of hundreds of platforms across the world, linked by the internet, to power a "virtual chess supercomputer." At the 6th Annual NordU Usenet 2004 conference next month in Denmark, they'll make an official stab at a Guinness World's Record for most linked computers playing a game against a human grandmaster . . . read article

December 23, 2003:
As we approach the Season of Not Working Quite So Much, we'd like to remind you of our holiday schedule: December 24: We're open for business, but Warehouse 23 is not shipping (because neither is UPS), and many staff members will be gone part or all of the day. December 25: Christmas. Don't even think about trying to reach us. December 26-December 31: The office is officially closed, although some staff members may be in at various times for various reasons . . . read article

December 24, 2003:
Monday night we had the pleasure of hosting Randy Milholland of Something Positive. He and I and the Warehouse 23 staff all went out and ate good Mexican, and then came back and tried a couple of games of Star Munchkin 2 - The Clown Wars . . . read article

December 25, 2003:
Engineers have developed a harness for a handgun that allows you to fire around a corner without exposing yourself to return fire. NewScientist.com has the story . . . read article

December 26, 2003:
A question that has plagued civilized man (for 28 years or 1,216, depending on your point of view) has been answered at last: Estimating the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow. -- Suggested by Jeff Brawley . . . read article

December 27, 2003:
With the SJ Games office closed and most folks on holiday vacation, a few of us I.T. drones will be taking advantage of the slow weekend by getting some much-needed work done without disturbing anyone in the office, or vice-versa. In particular, we will be making some upgrades to the SJ Games web server this weekend . . . read article

December 28, 2003:
I got home Saturday evening and downloaded 580 e-mail messages that had built up since Wednesday. Of these, 50 were not spam . . . read article

December 29, 2003:
I've been looking forward to this long holiday for months . . . not because I have any plans to travel, but because sometimes "I get to stay home and work!" can be said with no sarcasm at all. There are a number of projects that really need the kind of attention you can't give them when you also have to keep up with office responsibilities . . . read article

December 30, 2003:
What? Landed? . . . read article

December 31, 2003:
Dropload is a place for you to drop off files for someone else to pick up later. The recipients you specify are e-mailed instructions on downloading the files . . . read article

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