Wasteland 2 (previously), brought to life by the love of gamers everywhere, officially released today. A direct sequel to Wasteland from 1988 and a spiritual sibling to Fallout 1, 2, 3, and Vegas, it was developed through a Kickstarter project started by Brian Fargo. With an initial Kickstarter goal of $900,000, it quickly raised $2.9 million instead. Reviews have been pretty good.
" When I look at Las Vegas, I see a concrete and flashing neon message to the universe that humanity won't settle for caves and foraging. Both the churches and casinos are decadent monuments in the desert saying we are so highly evolved that we can afford to devote large amounts of time to indulging ourselves or morally policing those who do. Our beliefs and the specifics of our rituals may differ, but at the end of the day, the instincts that drive us are very much alike." Stoya (NSFW), the 'Pop Star of Porn', talks about Las Vegas in Vice Magazine.
With a new baby and wife to support, out-of-work filmmaker Matt Gallagher tries his hand - and some would say “luck” - at playing poker for a living. Grinders is the director’s inside journey into the unconventional, often bizarre, underground world of illegal poker clubs.
Chris Worth did a tour of the real-life locations that that appeared in Fallout: New Vegas and compared them with their videogame counterparts. He explains more about the project in a newspaper interview.
a towering, glittering icon from an era now past mumbles a barely heard farewell as he slips out the back door...
Perhaps it's best my grandmother didn't live to see this day: the Liberace Museum, located in the besequined showman's old stomping grounds of Las Vegas, is closing, and that would have saddened her. Maybe it's time for all of us to brush up on our early Liberace history. And let's hear the sparkling man, resplendent in gold, take Mack the Knife through some changes. Farewell, Liberace.
Ugly Vegas Carpets Want You to Keep Playing. "Mathematician-philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said, “It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.” This certainly rings true with Chris Maluszynski’s Las Vegas Carpets series, whose name explains it all. The photos draw out the psychology of Las Vegas through the simple observation of carpet."
Antoine Walker starred on arguably the greatest college basketball team of all time- the 1996 National Champion Kentucky Wildcats and went on to earn over $110 million dollars as a 3-time NBA All-Star with the Boston Celtics. In 2010, Walker is broke and eyeing an NBA comeback to pay off his creditors, including 2 Vegas casinos owed more than $900,000. [more inside]
Confessions of a Call Bear - "At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, he's a pretty big guy, though he "carries it well." His red hair is cut in a flattop, and he has a closely cropped beard, but he doesn't look particularly imposing." Rusty McMann is a 40something male escort.
Two Christian ministries, Hookers for Jesus and JC's Girls aim to "save" Las Vegas sex workers from their professions by introducing them to Christianity. [more inside]
21, a highly fictionalized movie based on Ben Mezrich's somewhat fictionalized book Bringing Down the House based on the real-life story of the MIT Blackjack Team, released over the weekend. What's fact and what's fiction? The real-life "Mickey Rosa" (played by Kevin Spacey in the film) starts a blog. And Jane Willis, who claims to be the inspiration behind Kate Bosworth's character, steps briefly into the limelight. Also: Behind the scenes at casino security.
Beneath the Neon is a book-length account of author Matt O'Brien's exploration of most of the 400+ miles of flood-control tunnels underneath the glitzy lights of Las Vegas. This excerpt contains an interview with one of the hundreds of people who manage to live in these tunnels, despite the lethal floodwaters that sometimes wash through. Here's another excerpt, and there's also a Flickr gallery of images from the book's photographer, including graffiti galleries, enterprising inhabitants, and rarely seen perspectives of the Strip.
Michael Jackson is in discussions about creating a 50-foot robotic replica of himself to roam the Las Vegas desert [firing laser beams!], according to reports.
2 July, 1958 - 13 March 2007. The Stardust Hotel/Casino was reduced to dust (youtube) at 2:30 am this morning. Initially opened in 1958 as the first low-budget property on the strip (rooms cost $6 a night), it (and the Westward Ho nearby) has been demolished to make room for a 5,300 room $4B ultra-luxury resort named Echelon, currently the second most expensive property development in Nevada (behind Project City Center down the road). One of the few remaining remnants of old Vegas, it was mob-owned/operated until at least 1984 (when the gaming commission levied a $3M fine for skimming), and is probably best known as the setting for the mostly nonfiction book/movie Casino. Over the years, it could lay claim to having the largest casino, the longest pool, the most rooms (twice), the largest neon sign, the only drive-in theater, the largest fine ever levied by the gaming commission, and the most consecutive live performances by Wayne Newton. It was also one of the last properties on the strip to use the more expensive metal-centered gaming chips. Arrivederci.
The Man Who Shook Up Vegas is a fascinating and relatively brief Wall St Journal article about Bob Stoll, a college dropout whose statistical wizardry seems to be forcing the $96 Billion U.S. sports wagering industry to jump through hoops. Even if you don't follow sports gambling at all, the article is a very compelling read. note: since the wsj.com is subscriber only, link goes to a reprint of the article.
The new war on hunger. No strangers to controversy, the Food Not Bombs Network generated further discord while distributing meals to others. In the course of its work, FNB's food lines often neglect the issue(s) of sanitation disposal. In response, Legislation has been swiftly drafted to correct problem; feeding the destitute in public gathering areas has since become a criminal offense in a number of cities.
Cheapovegas! Including tips and reports: Vegas on 19$ a Day, Porn Convention, Free Crap, Best Swimming (or how to sneak into it), and the new Hooter's Casino, to name just a few. Let Casino Boy show you the way to medium-risk, non-family fun!
The view (with humour) from two people who serve you drinks. One a cocktail waitress in Vegas, the other a bartender in Cincinnati.
The Day Las Vegas Shook What were you doing at 11:45am on May 4, 1988? If you were a resident of southern Nevada, you'd remember. That was the day rocket fuel factory PEPCON was wiped off the map in a series of 7 explosions, two of which measured 3.0 and 3.5 on the Richter scale. The explosions sent shockwaves across the valley, taking with it marshmellow cream from the marshmellow factory next door, denting garage doors miles away, and shattering damn near every window in Henderson. As the valley's 500,000 residents stood outside wondering what caused the explosion and the massive plume of smoke, many speculated the Russians had inexplicably attacked Henderson. Miraculously, only two people died. PEPCON never operated another day in Nevada and moved to Utah.
Prophet Yahweh summons UFOs. (video) Prophet Yahweh has the uncanny ability to summon UFOs (unidentified flying objects, not space aliens) by praying. Press release. More news about this important news from important news sources.
Rants. (Quicktime movies.) Meet Bob. He's pissed. I'm partial to his takes on the Cookie Monster, Vegas ads, the filthy media, Paris Hilton and lo carb OJ.
"Although the Holtans had never visited Italy, they wanted a house that looked authentically Tuscan." Lake Las Vegas, NV may be even tackier, and more aesthetically insidious, than its famous namesake 17 miles to the west -- it's a planned village of million-dollar fake villas, indoor waterfalls, and elevator buttons for dogs. (NYT/RR)
"Hi Jerks! Bender here. I just got back from the drinkin'est town in the known Universe: Las Vegas, Nevada- Earth. Check out these photos and you will see what I mean!" from Bender's Las Vegas Scrapbook. (Tons of pictures, big download alert) [via waxpancake]
How to win at slots: Cheat "Carmichael is no two-bit slot cheat. Authorities have anointed him one of the best, a master inventor who conspired with an elite group of thieves to steal millions from casinos. "
Bowling to Vegas! Four drunk bowling fanatics from Chicago are bowling their way across country....apparently for lack of anything better to do(looks like a couple of them are unemployed). Also, they're trying to restore dignity to the good old-fashioned Road Trip(and, of course, bowling). Why bowl to Vegas instead of fly? As Mike says: "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Nobody has respect for the road trip anymore. Haven't you people seen Fandango?" Follow their progress across country, and buy 'em a round.
Where will you be living in the future? Las Vegas' metro area is the fastest growing community in the nation, but we still build houses the old fashion way. MIT looks at what the homes of the future will provide and also gives an interesting review of what the homes of the future were like in the past, including my favorite future house of the past. What do you want in your next home?
Religious ferver? Or just fascism in new clothes. Why do we continue call these people religious fundamentalists? Osama is closer to Stalin.
Don't make phone calls in Vegas. The Mob is listening. Whores! Wiretapping! Kevin Mitnick! Men nicknamed 'Aspirins' with electric drills! And more, courtesy of The Register. How widespread is this kind of telco infiltration? Should we trust any phone calls, anywhere?
Only in Las Vegas... If you're considering an elopement to Las Vegas, but don't want the friends and family to miss out, the Little White Chapel on the Strip now offers live streaming and on-demand replays of those touching moments when the Elvis impersonator goes into "Falling In Love With You". This is what the net was meant for.