Strange Mating Rituals

September 3rd, 2008

I hadn’t appreciated the sheer scale of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre ’til I saw these pictures of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, here being prepared for the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. That is not a small craft by any means.

That’s one sexy galaxy

September 3rd, 2008

New pictures from the European Southern Observatory of Messier 83, the “Southern Pinwheel”, a smaller galaxy than our own Milky Way, but with a similar structure.

Press Release

The Thousand Ruby Galaxy, M83

Other resolutions

WoW again, and some maths.

July 11th, 2007

I’m almost half way through Honoured with the Sha’tari Skyguard, which means I have 6000 reputation to go ’til Revered. After that I’ll have to accumulate 21000 reputation to crack Exalted and access to a Flying Nether Ray mount. At approximately 1500 reputation per day from the “daily quests” I figure that’ll take me 12 days.

On the other hand, Artisan Riding costs 5000 gold, and as of last night I have 2875, leaving 2125 to go, plus 200 gold for the mount itself, total 2325. On a profitable day like yesterday I make about 125 gold. 2325 at 125 gold per day comes to 18.6 days.

So with luck and a following wind I’m looking at about three weeks ’til I get my vroom on. Sheesh…

Gief Epixx

July 10th, 2007

Pondering whether I’ll have the money or the reputation first, for a [itemico]Purple Riding Nether Ray[/itemico][item]Purple Riding Nether Ray[/item]. Will it match my hair? Oh noes …

What? Oh pay no attention to that, I’m trying to configure an addon … ;-)

Lewis Shiner Offers His Short Fiction for Free

July 6th, 2007

Via SFScope I learn that Lewis Shiner is launching the “Fiction Liberation Front“, and plans to offer all his short fiction and other selected works for free, via his website.

This is an author who featured in the original Cyberpunk anthology, “Mirrorshades” edited by Bruce Sterling. Googling Mr.Sterling I see he’s also involved in something called “The Viridian Design Movement“, which is coincidentally cool as that’s the name of (one of) my character(s) in World of Warcraft.

WoW - Teldrassil to Ironforge, the roundabout route

February 22nd, 2005

Leave Darnassus using the Portal in the western quarter, behind the bank in the lake. This takes you to the village of Rut’Theran. First turn left and get this end of the Hippogryph flightpath. Then go to the end of the dock and wait for a ship. Ships are free, and quite regular, but you may have to wait a minute or two.

This first leg gets you to Auberdine on the Western Coast of Kalimdor. Nip down the pier and turn right onto a raised deck area to get this Hippogryph flightpath. Then, back out onto the pier and along the left/southern arm of the cross where you find a guy who purports to be a boat owner. Speak to him and he “transports” you to Menethil Harbour off the west coast of the Wetlands.

At this point you need to be a) level 20 at the very least I reckon, b) have a lot of friends with you, or c) be prepared to swim down the coast, making sure you don’t stray into deep water and drop dead when your “fatigue” bar hits zero. I took the latter route, so my knowledge of the land route is sketchy. Straight east halfway across the continent then straight south to Dun Algaz, and thence to Dun Morogh and Ironforge so far as I can tell. Plenty of discouragement to attempt this until you’re high level anyway.

In any case, go up into Menethil town and get the Gryphon flightpath just to the right. From here in theory you can get to Ironforge, Thelsamar in Loch Modan, or Southshore village.

Swimming it, there is no shortcut onto land, despite the temptingly scalable appearance of some of those slopes, so don’t bother trying. Also, a little way down the coast of Dun Morogh, due to a peculiarity of the game’s internal mechanics, suddenly you enter the Westfall zone. Don’t get your hopes up, long way to go.

Eventually you get to the base of the sheer cliff on which sits Stormwind City. No way onto land still, until you reach Longshore and the Murloc camp in north Westfall.

Tip, when swimming, on the mini map you’ll see pale water near the coast, turning to dark blue further out. Keep your cursor in the pale area and you should avoid fatigue. If the Fatigue indicator does appear, swim toward the land and it should disappear again. You don’t want to die. Getting back to your corpse could make this seem like the height of excitement.

From Longshore, head south to Sentinel Hill and pick up the flightpath. Then back north and east over the bridge into Elwynn Forest. There, north into Stormwind.

In Stormwind, stop off in the trade district and get the Gryphon, before hitting the dwarf district. North east side of here houses the entrance to the Deeprun Tram. This is also free, and arrives every couple of minutes, taking you all the way to Ironforge. When in Ironforge, why not pop into the Great Forge and take in a Gryphon flightpath, thereby ensuring you don’t have to go through this nonsense, at least with this character, ever again. =8)

If you want an easy 1000+ xp toward the end of this, and another Gryphon, the blacksmith in Goldshire can give you a quest to go to a shop in Stormwind. There, you’re asked to make a delivery to a guard in Loch Modan. To find him, leave Ironforge via the main (okay, only) gates and turn east. Trudge along the road, not much in the way of mobile hassle, until you get to a fork near the east side of the zone. Turn right, heading for South Gate Pass. You may be able to take the other route, but this way you get to see the Valley of the Kings. Check out those guys. Peter Jackson, call your lawyers. You walk up between them anyway, the route’s pretty straightforward, and you emerge in Loch Modan. Walk north up the road ’til you find Thelsamar, and a gryphon master. Pay him a visit, then continue north up the road to Algaz Station. I suspect this is where you end up if you come by land from Menethil. The guard your quest is for is on the top floor of the round tower, entrance at the back.

Now at least you can take a gryphon back to civilisation.

Phew.

Endless Hours of Entertainment

October 4th, 2004

Depending, I s’pose, on your point of view. =;)

Melvyn Bragg’s Radio 4 series, In Our Time.

I’ve found, incidentally, that by using the FlashGet Download Manager, you can download the RealAudio streams to your hard disk for listening to at your leisure. Hitchhiker’s fans take note…

Vote Democrat, or Die!

October 3rd, 2004

“Portland Klingon speakers are increasingly influential. Last year, Multnomah County’s mental-health services opened a search for a Klingon interpreter to work with speakers of the language.”

Oh … my … god.

Well done Need to Know for bringing this to my attention. Wow …

A “Boys” Own Tale

September 10th, 2004

The Pet Shop Boys aren’t necessarily my cup of musical Earl Grey, but if I lived in London I know where I’d be heading this Sunday evening. Trafalgar Square, for an open air screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s classic, Battleship Potemkin, with a new score composed and performed by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, with the Dresdner Sinfoniker orchestra.

What an amazingly cool idea. =8)

One Spring to Rule them All

August 18th, 2004

Further to Rog’s news of the Magic Roundabout film, more cast details are emerging. Continuing his foray into the worlds of fantasy, including roles as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, and Magneto in the X Men, Sir Ian McKellen has been confirmed as the voice of Zebedee.