brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

24May/060

Be a hoopy frood! Celebrate Towel Day!

Carry a towel tomorrow.

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24May/061

Liam’s Pictures from Old Books

Wow! An incredible website of pictures scanned from old books, nearly all of which are in the public domain. There are nice pictures of ruined castles, architecture, all sorts of cool stuff, available in multiple resolutions. Very, very cool.

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24May/060

Baseball Trivia: Baseball Leap Year Babies!

Don't ask how this subject came up, it won't make any sense, but somebody asked me how many major leaguers were born on Feb 29, the extra day added in leap years. I had a database of such things loaded, so here they are:

Dickey Pearce 1836
Ed Appleton 1892
Roy Parker 1896
Ralph Miller 1896
Pepper Martin 1904
Al Rosen 1924
Paul Giel 1932
Steve Mingori 1944
Al Autry 1952
Jerry Fry 1956
Bill Long 1960
Terrence Long 1976

The most popular birthday in the database? November 18th, held by 67 big leaguers. The least? Why, February 29th, of course, held by the 12 above. The next least popular? November 14th, held by only 23 big leaguers.

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24May/063

Finished Me and My Katamari!

I really enjoyed the Katamari Damacy game for the PS2, so when I heard that there was a Katamari game for the PSP, I knew that I had to have it. I've been playing Me and My Katamari for a couple of weeks, and just yesterday managed to complete the King of the Cosmos level which marked the end of the game (although there is some replay value in trying to advance my scores on previously completed levels) and I haven't actually done any online multiplayer gaming.

The PrinceFirst, the bad. I can only play this game in short 20 minute bursts. My left hand completely cramps up, and my right isn't all that great either. I've experienced mild discomfort after prolonged sessions on the PSP before, but this game is definitely worse than most. So take frequent breaks.

Now, the good: it's a fun game, with lots of cute, imaginative graphics, plenty of action, plenty of things to explore, and a great sound track. For those of you who haven't seen Katamari games, you play the Prince (or one of his cousins), a diminutive little costumed guy, who is the son of the King of the Cosmos. You push a small ball around (the Katamari) and it's sticky: if an object is small enough, it will stick to the ball. If the object is too big, you'll bonk against it, and maybe it will knock objects off. As the ball gets bigger, bigger and bigger objects will stick to it. You begin by picking up little tacks, dice, and matches. You end up (at the very end) picking up supertankers, mountains, and the Eiffel Tower. It's amazingly addicting for such a simple game, which really is due to its imaginativity and unique character.

Oh, one interesting bonus: when you complete all the levels, it enables an "8-bit" version of the game, with 2D side scrolling graphics, that is just hilarious.

I enjoyed it a lot. It's the first game that I actually wholeheartedly recommend for the PSP. 9/10!

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