It's official, Boeing's CST-100 and Space X's Dragon have been chosen to launch astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017, ending Russia's dominance as the sole provider of rides to the ISS, which they haven't been shy about using for leverage. Meanwhile, develop of the Space Launch System, designed for travel beyond low earth orbit, continues for its maiden launch in 2018. [more inside]
Just how big are the Game of Thrones dragons, anyway? [Contains minor book spoilers for the Unsullied]
Legendary old school tabletop RPG artist David Trampier (mentioned previously a few times on the blue) created some of the most striking iconic art which helped define the look of 1st edition Advanced D&D. He grew disillusioned with the business in the late eighties and cut off all contact with his former employers (ceasing cashing royalty checks), disappearing with such finality that Dragon Magazine assumed he was dead. By chance, some fifteen years later he appeared in a local news story in Carbondale, Illinois where he was working as a taxi driver. He politely but firmly rejected all invitations to step back into his previous career. This week he passed away at the age of 59. [more inside]
To define the world of The Hobbit is, of course, impossible, because it is new. - C.S. Lewis reviews The Hobbit. Why Smaug Sill Matters. Tolkien, Alignment, Non-Violence, and Why Hobbits are Required for Middle-earth to Survive. "‘Smaug’ is about almost absolutely nothing". Scientist maps climate of Lord of the Rings.
Ares was a science-fiction and fantasy-oriented game magazine that only lasted for 17 issues and two special editions in the early 1980s. Each issue included a short story, game reviews and designer's notes, plus a complete game. The magazine was first published by Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI), then TSR when they acquired SPI. TSR folded Ares into Dragon magazine, and finally killed off the line all-together. Recently, One Small Step Games has been talking about resurrecting Ares, but until then, Archive.org can take you back to the '80s, with scans of those issues to view and download. [more inside]
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
The full economic impact of Smaug can only be understood by recognizing that the dragon's arrival resulted in a severe monetary shock…
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday morning, after a slightly problematic launch on Sunday. Following on the successful test flight in May, this mission marks the first official supply run to the ISS by a private company. [more inside]
NASA's Image of the Day: Dragon on approach to the ISS (SIL) "This image of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft as it approached the space station was taken NASA astronaut Don Pettit. The SpaceX Falcon 9 and its Dragon spacecraft launched on Tuesday, May 22, at 3:44 a.m. EDT."
Caramel Dragon Lollipop: a street vendor shows off his incredible skill with a ladle by creating an edible work of art.
A much anticipated birth is expected by many Chinese families after the New Moon on Monday, 23rd January ushers in the auspicious Year of the Dragon. The only mythological beast in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon as a symbol in China dates back to 3000 BC and stands for happiness, immortality, procreation, fertility and activity. This year's babies will be Black Water Dragons, considered to be calmer, more flexible and even more charismatic than other elements. In previous dragon years, countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore have all experienced baby booms, and preparations are in place for this year's influx of baby dragons.
Dragon Hunters is a french made CGI animated movie that had a limited US release. Scott Mendelson says "It is a visually rich and emotionally satisfying adventure movie that deserves to get noticed."
In the spirit of the Monkey Island saga's point-and-click interface and quirky, anachronistic humor, comes the Flash-based tale of Nick Toldy and the Legend of Dragon Peninsula. Cry havoc and release the dogs of retro and homage!
Friday Flash Fun-frustration! In the form of "Checkpoint", a fast paced platform game similar to N, featuring wall-jumping, spikey things, and a narrator who doesn't appear to like you very much. [more inside]
Bioware has been well appreciated for their integration of LGB inclusive play options into Dragon Age, but recently, Dave Gaider has warmed hearts and hopes with his response to a player disgruntled by this. [more inside]
Yeah that's right. The Last Dragon is the Greatest of All-Time. Why? For me there are so many reasons.
The annual Orbit books survey of Fantasy cover art: Fantasy Art, The Changing Fashion of Urban Fantasy Heroines, Color trends in Dragons, Title Trends and Fonts.
Preemptive Friday Flash Fun: How to Raise a Dragon, a game by Gregory Weir, where you make decisions about a dragon's development. Nice pixel art style. [more inside]
From the Dungeon to the Dictionary. A brief discussion of the origins of that least popular form of government, the magocracy, the author analyzes the dweomer of the word itself, consulting many a hefty libram in the process.
Muppets' Exclusive La Choy Fire Breathing Dragon! While on the road to success, Jim Henson's creations were used in the advertising world. The La Choy pitch is a great insight into the workshop's early genius. [more inside]
SpaceX's fourth flight was successful. Scaled Composites' X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne made the first privately funded hop into space. SpaceX just took the next big step and inserted a dummy payload into orbit. Next, they will launch the much larger Falcon 9 and later test out the human-carrying Dragon. CEO Elon Musk also enjoys dabbling in banking and exotic electric cars.
It's hard to believe that, back before the Internet but after the first edition of Dungeons of Dragons, there was a time when we had no easy way to pool the world's knowledge of evolutionary biology, lizard genetics, Pern, and martians to answer that most pressing question: should male RPG fans draw female humanoids descended from dragons with ginormous racks, or without?
Fantasy Stock Market Limit Break Go! A literal interpretation of fantasy stock market trading in Dungeons and Day Traders reg. req. Start with the rules and get trading in a week long mishmash of pyrolisks and porkbellies, mushrooms and margins, dragons and drawdowns...
Nimian Hunter ~ Ride your horse, lasso the creatures, and feed your demon. (note: flash)
Carnegie Mellon researchers have created a program that can automatically generate a 3-D model from a single photograph, using machine learning. Take a look at this high-res comparison of original and generated images, also demonstration animations and downloadable videos (with executables). [via /. see also: a little on human 3d perception at everything2, groovy dragon illusion]
fable of the dragon-tyrant 'an actual fable with an actual moral.'
The Zoology Dragon. "Rather than, as has previously been thought, a slow process of evolution, we now know that all animals were created by the Zoology Dragon. Unfortunately, we also know that the current Zoology Dragon is a bit shit." [Flash.]