Whooping cough now an epidemic in California | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine. This… this just pisses me off. A completely preventable disease that we nearly had wiped out in the US, and now it’s making a resurgence because people aren’t getting vaccinated like they ought to. It’s stupid and senseless. Vaccinations are important, people! Make sure you — and your children — get vaccinated. It makes a difference!
I made the leap from Windows to Ubuntu this week. I ran a test install of the system using the Wubi Installer and decided I liked it enough to make the switch more permanent. Yesterday, I backed up all my files and overwrote my Windows setup with Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and spent a little while installing programs, updating software, and putting my Windows install into Virtualbox. Overall, I’m really happy with it. It’s faster and lighter than even Windows 7, and I feel like installing software is, for the most part, simpler than Windows. (There are exceptions, of course.)
One of the things that I like most, though, is that if something breaks in Ubuntu, it’s pretty easy to fix — if you know what to do, or how to find out what to do. For example, I woke up this morning to discover that Ubuntu wouldn’t boot; or, more specifically, it would get to the splash screen and hang there indefinitely. No amount of restarting would fix the problem, so I grabbed my iPhone and did a little Googling around until I found a solution. I’m a Linux newbie, so I had no idea that you can hold the Shift when Ubuntu is loading up to access the grub menu and choose different Linux kernels to load. Doing this let me go back to the 2.6.32-21 kernel, which works fine, and make repairs to my install from there. A little more hunting around revealed that the 2.6.32-22 kernel is problematic for some users, particularly with users who attempt to hibernate their laptops by closing the lid, which I had happened to do last night. (Oops. Won’t be doing that one again.)
Ultimately, what I ended up doing was going into the Synaptic Package Manager and just removing the 2.6.32-22 kernel completely. I’m hesitant to try upgrading it again because I don’t want to run the risk of recreating the problem, even if I do know how to fix it now.
I’d be curious to know if anyone else has run into problems with the 2.6.32-22 kernel and what, if anything, you did to fix the problem.
I love this little animation of Oxygen trying to make friends with other molecules. More please!
(Doff o’ the hat to Phil Plait.)
I’ve been a huge fan of Christina Hendricks ever since she appeared in Joss Whedon’s Firefly. I loved her character in the show, and had Firefly been allowed to continue past one season, it would have been interesting to see how Joss & Co. would have developed Saffron — because I’m certain that “Trash” would not have been the last time we would have seen her.
Now I’d never heard of Broken Bells before, but the story of how they joined forces with Hendricks for this video is pretty cool — and I have to admit that it’s nice to see Hendricks doing something sci-fi again. I’m fascinated with the story in this video, and I can’t help but wonder what drives this android to so resolutely pursue her objective. The story is dark and bleak and fascinating.
I played a little bit of Dragon Age: Origins tonight. I probably should have spent that time working on one of the two short stories I currently have in progress, or working on the next part of my Codrus’ Labyrinth campaign for my D&D group, or doing some cartooning for one of the webcomics I’m trying to get started. Instead, I chose to veg out for a few minutes and keep my laptop in the bag.
I started Dragon Age a while back and made a lot of progress at first — one might almost say too much progress. There were several side quests in the (long) introductory sequence that I failed to complete because I accidentally stepped into the main story plot a bit sooner than I expected. I doubt that I actually missed all that much in terms of leveling up, but I hate leaving potential story items untold.
Be that as it may, I found myself flung into the main arc of the story with several options available to me. The one I chose to start with was visiting the mages’ tower to recruit them to my cause of standing against the coming Blight. All went well for quite a while. Enemies fell before us, items were found and added to our inventory, and party members leveled up.
Then we met the sloth demon, and that’s where everything went off the rails. Callenon, the elvish fellow I’m playing, wakes up to find himself trapped in the Fade, this otherworldly place of dreams and nightmares, stripped of his friends and lost in a blurry realm of fire and violence. And even this part of the adventure went well at first.
The trouble is, the Fade is a very difficult place to traverse. There are these series of islands surrounding a central island, which is my ultimate goal. Problem is, the only way to get there is to solve the riddles and mysteries of the surrounding islands and unlock a door that only demons can see. Oh, yes — and the other three party members are trapped somewhere on the other islands.
Most of the monsters you meet in the Fade are pretty easy to take down. Quite a few can kill you almost before you can take three steps into the room. I keep dying and having to reload the previous save point, in order to try a different route that will hopefully be a little easier. My options are rapidly dwindling, though, as I clear areas and get no closer to unlocking the door or finding my lost companions.
I put it away after about an hour tonight. That’s about all I can take of the game right now. I’m enjoying things as I find creative ways to win through, but my progress is so gosh-darn slow. I’ve been more than a little tempted a couple of times to kick the difficulty level down a notch (to easy), just in order to get the story in higher gear, but my pride won’t let me. I’d rather fight and lose and be frustrated a while longer in order to have the satisfaction of achieving something difficult than to take the easy way out.
I’ll come back to it again sometime soon and do some more exploring and fighting and see where I end up. Right now, I just want to get out of the Fade — before the place kills me. Again.