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So I was going to say something about "State of Fear", the new book by
Michael Crichton, but then the tsunami hit and I thought I'd save it
for a while.

This book raises some interesting points that I never knew before. I
can understand why so many environmentalists are pissy about it, but
it's definitely interesting.

The basic premise of the book is that global warming may be
happening... Or, more importantly, it may not. There's simply not enough
information out there to demonstrate any sort of long-term trend, and what
little there is often tends to contradict the whole global warming thing.

Unfortunately for the environmentalists, Crichton has done his homework -
the bibliography contains hundreds of references, which back up him
up. He ends the book with an appendix showing his personal opinions
after doing all this research - and comes to a fascinating bunch of

This book is worth reading, if only to raise those points and read some
informed conclusions. It's a good story, too, as so much of his work is.

Secondly, there's an interesting comparison that I drew between this book,
and Farenheit 9/11. The whole name of the book, "State of Fear", is in
reference to a fictional paper written in the book that describes how,
by keeping people afraid, ruling powers can remain in power.

Remember how, in 9/11, the threat level keeps changing and we get
terrorist reports every other day? There's a common theme. Several
other parts of this book reminded me of Farenheit 9/11, but in a more
sideways fashion.

Finally, something of no genuine value, but an observation. One thing
that the bad guys in this book do as part of their larger plan is
deliberately create a tsunami, destined to strike California and cause
devastation. This book predates the tsunami around India by less than
three weeks.


Chunky reviews the games that you are, aren't, or should be playing

There may be a theme to this, it's up to you to see if you can work out
what it is.

Observe that games from category 1 are generally around 50 bucks when new,
and may require further subscription fees.

Observe also that all games in category 2 cost less than half of any in
category 1.

1) First the ones that you and everyone else, are or aren't playing.

Categories are:
  YAFPS - Yet Another First Person Shooter
  YA3PS - Yet Another Third Person Shooter
  YARTS - Yet Another Real Time Strategy
  YARPG - Yet Another Role Playing Game
  YASG - Yet Another Sports Game

  YAFPS - More of the same, with campier bad guys
LOTR: Battle For Middle Earth
  YARTS - More of the same, with expensive names you'll recognise
  YASG - More of the same, no redeeming qualities
Metroid Prime
  YAFPS - More of the same, with kinda interesting puzzles
LOTR: 3rd Age
  YARPG - More of the same, with expensive names you'll recognise
That Blizzard One
  YARPG - More of the same, but this time less crap
  YASG - More of the same, no redeeming qualities
Metal Gear Solid
  YA3PS - More of the same, with trees
  YAFPS - More of the same, but darker
  YASG - More of the same, no redeeming qualities
  YAFPS - More of the same, with a gravity gun
City of Heroes
  YARPG - More of the same, without the interesting side-bits
  YAFPS - More of the same, prettier graphics
  YA3PS - More of the same, with more ho-beating
Age of Whoevers
  YARTS - More of the same, without even changing the engine

There were a bunch more, but I took them out since you're probably all
starting to get the hint by now.

Of course, I'm not being entirely fair. At least one of the games there
isn't just a newly numbered version of an older game, or licensed from a
movie stolen from a book...

2) Secondly, I come to the games that you aren't but should be playing.

This also has something of a theme, not because I'm a whore, but because
I'm genuinely impressed.

  You're an amorphous blob of tar with really cool physics. Kind of
  a platformer-puzzler, but not really.

Orbz 2.
  You can point, and you can click. That's where the UI for this game
  begins, and ends. It's great fun to play online, though, and you
  can genuinely pick it up, play two games, and put it down.

  Honestly, this is appreciably a Torque Network Library demo, but that
  doesn't mean it's not cool fun. What I really like about it is the
  style of the game that's combined with the unexpected gametypes.

Marble Blast.
  I know, I know. It's a couple years old, now, but it's still great.

Finally, Jugglemaster.
  Because I think I'm funny.

When this .plan was written: 2005-01-12 22:28:37
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