Sometimes the cards tell a story
Bar Harbor
So I was just playing a game of the new electronic version of Sentinels of the Multiverse. Fanatic, Bunker, and Absolute Zero, versus Advanced Omnitron in Insula Primalis. This was *not* a fortuitous group of heroes in the circumstances, but the game had an amusing aspect.

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Covert in the news
Bar Harbor
Our first outside bit of PR just hit. We're still a long way from being able to make a big PR push, but I'm happy that we're already of some interest :-)

Signal boost: Fund Siderea posts
Bar Harbor
siderea is perhaps the most thought-provoking writer I know. Sadly, her writing output has decreased in recent years. But now, there's a way to help increase it. Give her money.

If you haven't encountered her writing before, I cannot recommend it highly enough. The link above has links to sample writings, which I encourage you to follow.

Specialist sought
Bar Harbor
Anyone out there have an orthopedist to recommend who meets the following criteria?

* Specializes in muscular problems related to heavy keyboard / mouse use
* Is MBTA-accessible (bus acceptable)
* Takes Mass Health

My current ortho specializes in Sports medicine, and he's just striking out time and again, after literally years of trying things. I'm hoping that someone who specializes more in people like me might be able to identify some more obscure -- but actually useful -- approach to my problems.

The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont with Pauline McLynn / Shakespeare's Globe
Bar Harbor
OH man, I wish I had the budget to go to this...

The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont with Pauline McLynn / Shakespeare's Globe

Blast from the past - System Shock live
Bar Harbor
Quoted from an old colleague:
So this month marks the 20th anniversary of System Shock's release! Holy Crap!

To celebrate, I am going to be live streaming the game this Sunday (9/21), starting at 1pm pacific on

If this is something that amuses you, please spread the word about it. I'd like to be streaming to someone other than crickets. I'm in the process of getting the word out on social media and the various LG fan forums.

Salt the Fries!


Goth-y word of the day
Bar Harbor
Still reading (intermittently) the 15th century translation of The Four Sons of Aymon. Came across a great word which, though I had never encountered it before, was entirely clear. When our hero returns from a pilgrimage abroad, he is told that hiw wife has died. He then asks where she is "begraven".

Early Modern English question: "Damp"?
Bar Harbor
So, I'm reading The Four Sons of Aymon. This is an exquisite exercise in anachronism as I am using my 21st century iPad to read, in pdf form (20th century), a 19th century reprint of a 15th century English translation of a 13th century version of a 12th century French romance.

The language is mostly fairly easy to puzzle out, though noticeably pre-Shakespearean. Every once in a while, I find a truly unfamiliar word, and try to use google to decipher a meaning, with mixed results. Sometimes, I get the happy result of realizing that is an ancestor of a word I do know, but in an odd, early form. Other times, I am sad because I can't seem to get any answer at all, there being few or no other usages that I can find in google. Given the number of possible stages at which typographic error can have come in, I tend to suspect that some of these aren't "real" words at all.

But there's one word that shows up often enough, consistently enough, that it clearly is "correct", and I really want to know more about it, so I'm asking the internet. The word is "Damp", and it clearly isn't meaning anything to do with moisture in any simple sense. It's always used as an honorable form of address when speaking to someone, as in "Damp Rowlande," or even "Damp emperoure". In fact, it's very similar to the current formal usage of "Dame", but seems to only be addressed to *men*.

One other detail of interest is orthographic in nature: the "p" has a *macron* over it! I have frequently seen this symbol used to indicate the presence of an elided "m" or "n" in the following character, but I have *never* seen it above a "p" (only vowels, or the rare "m" or "n" that should be doubled).

Anyone out there know any more about this curious word?

"Charlie at the N.S.F."
Bar Harbor
Also in dad's papers was a yearbook from a sort of summer school he went to in between HS and college. The 1960 National Science Foundation Institute for Secondary School Summer Science Training at Cornell University. There isn't really anything in there specific to dad, but I did find one thing that I think will be of interest to my Boston friends -- a student filk of "Charlie on the M.T.A."

Lyrics by "The N.S.F." To the tune of
Craig Smith and Howie Ellis the "M.T.A."

People of America - Students of Cornell!
Throughout the course of this nation's history, we have been known to have the finest educational standards in the world.
In these trying times, these same superior standards are being questioned.
The National Science Foundation, better known as the N.S.F., is trying to remedy this situation by giving the young adults of America the chance to pursue their studies at an institute of higher learning. This is the story of such a boy., hear me out. This could happen to you---

1. Let me tell you the story of a boy named Charlie
Who liked his Math and Chemistry
He thought that he would spend his whole dam summer up at
Cornell University.
Oh, the poor boy learned, oh, the poor boy learned,
He learned the hard way, too,
He learned that college ain't all peaches and cream,
1st ending: It’s physics, math, and zo -- no!
2nd ending: It’s physics, math, and zoo. (As in animals)

2. College life seemed swell those first few hours
Charlie thought he'd have lots of fun
But the damn professor gave him so much homework
He was up till half past one.
verse with first ending

3. This is only the beginning of a very sad story
Charlie still thought he would have some fun
He dreamed of capturing some pretty little girl
But there were three boys to every one.
verse with 3rd ending: There ain't enough girls for you

4. Every morning he would rise up at half past seven
And crawl up the hill to Straight
Then he'd down a breakfast of donuts and coffee
The coffee to keep him awake,
verse with first ending

5. In his morning class he would struggle sleepily
And soon be left behind
If he went to sleep, little visions of ions
Would run around through his mind,
verse with 4th ending: It's electron orbits, too

6. At noon he would rush to Sage for dinner,
But his hunger would soon abate
With tuna fish hot dogs and ginger ale jello
He would soon be off to Straight.
0h, the poor boy learned, oh, the poor boy learned,
That the food up here is hell
After two or three meals at the Sage Hall diner
He didn't feel so well,

7. If he met up with a girl and was extremely lucky
And her boyfriend didn't mind,
He would get some culture at the local movie
Of a new and different kind,
verse with 3rd ending

8. Now we bring to a close this very sad story,
And we hope you'll heedd us too,
Just remember this isn’t 'bout a boy named Charlie,
It’s about every one of you.
verse, with first ending plus:
(slowly) and math with Professor Agnew,
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Russ at the end of high school
Bar Harbor
In dad's papers was a high school literary magazine from his senior year, containing a poem by him. I presume it was written in reaction to Orwell's _1984_.

Russell Kay

Retreating man, slovenly, overtossed,
go back, fall back
run back, crawl back,
face facts, poor boy--you’re beaten, you've lost.

You’re joined by your friends, slovenly, beat.
where are you going?
your group now is growing
bigger and bigger, yet run from the heat

Your group now the state, slovenly, simpering;
your cause: light.
your course: fright.
don't try to fight it, you’re dead now and whimpering.

You're running, humanity, fly for your life.
you’re braggards
yet laggards;
I fousht you, I beat you, you’ve lost in the strife.

So thus be it always, the victor shall vanquish;
but ever
a sign from on high:
the winner lives on, the loser shall die
when I step on a bug it goes squish.
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