Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Not much to say other than that. Interesting stuff to come later!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dragon Eggs!

xaviousWolffe's Dragons

Okay so on I saw a post about this. Please click the eggs so that my dragons don't die!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Mayan Longcount Calender

*Posted from another forum*

Just a preface, the Mayan Long Count Calender is a date system used by Meso-American cultures. This calender used a five digit numbering system in the form of and operated in base 20. The calender was not wholly in base 20, when the second digit would reach 18, it rolled back over to zero and the next digit would go up one. For example:

One day in this system would be represented as
20 days would be represented as
360 days (1 year) would be
7,200 days (19.7 years) would be
144,000 (394 years) would be

Note that on the last one, 144,000 days = 1 Baktun Cycle. In Mayan culture, both the numbers 13 and 20 were special numbers. And thus is where things get interesting. For unknown reasons the starting point is not within the time of the Mayan civilization, and quite likely not during any Meso-American civilization. The starting date for this calender is August 11, 3114 BC (and therefore the beginning of the 1st Baktun Cycle). December 21st, 2012, will mark the beginning of the 13th Baktun Cycle.

Its at this point many people state some Earth shattering event will cause the end of all life. However, the purpose of this thread is not about the supposed 'end of the world prophecies' or such. Doomsayers need not apply here. Rather, this thread is just to point out a strange correlation of events occurring around the beginning of a new Baktun Cycle. The following twelve dates will list the date of an event around the time of the cycle.

August 11, 3114 BC: Beginning of 0 Baktun Cycle.

3150 BC — According to the legend, Narmer (First Dynasty) started to rule in Ancient Egypt.
Varna Necropolis: what have been claimed to be the earliest-known worked gold artifacts are manufactured.
Malta: Construction of the Ħaġar Qim megalithic temples, featuring both solar and lunar alignments. "Tarxien period" of megalithic temple construction reaches its apex.
Ancient Egypt: Earliest known Egyptian hieroglyphs, beginning of the Early Dynastic Period.
Crete: Rise of Minoan civilization.
New Stone Age people in Ireland build the 250,000 ton (226,796.2 tonne) Newgrange solar oriented passage tomb.
c. 3100 BC the earliest phase of Stonehenge construction begins.

November 13, 2720 BC: Beginning of 1st Baktun Cycle.

c. 2715 BC — Old Kingdom starts in Ancient Egypt
2750 BC — End of the Early Dynastic I Period, and the beginning of the Early Dynastic II Period in Mesopotamia.
c. 2750 BC — Silbury Hill begun

February 16, 2325 BC: Beginning of 2nd Baktun Cycle.

2345 BC — Sixth dynasty of Egypt starts
c. 2332 BC — Sargon of Akkad starts to rule
The first official mentioning of beekeeping in Egypt
2333 BC- The state of Gojoseon (Modern-day Korea) founded by Dangun Wanggeom.

May 21, 1931 BC: Beginning of 3rd Baktun Cycle.

2000 BC — Arrival of the ancestors of the Latins in Italy.
2000 BC — Stonehenge is believed to have been completed.
1953 BC February 27 - A very close alignment of the naked-eye planets takes place in which these planets are together in a span of 4.3 degrees.
c. 2000 BC — First of the Minoan palaces on Crete.

August 23, 1537 BC: Beginning of 4th Baktun Cycle

1530 BC — End of the First Dynasty of Babylon and the start of the Kassite Dynasty
1534 BC — The oldest dated star chart was made in Ancient Egypt
1539 BC — Approximate first use of the Valley of the Kings.
1539 BC — End of Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt, start of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

November 26, 1143 BC: Beginning of 5th Baktun Cycle

1146 BC — Nebuchadnezzar I becomes king of Babylon.
1149 BC - The First Trojan War

February 28, 748 BC: Beginning of 6th Baktun Cycle

Romulus and Remus recently founded the city Rome and Romulus is the current King.

June 3, 354 BC: Beginning of 7th Baktun Cycle

July 21, 356 BC — Alexander the Great is born

September 5, 41 AD: Beginning of 8th Baktun Cycle

Caligula (37-41) followed by Claudius (41-54) is the Emperor of Rome.
Paul the Apostle is spreading Christianity during this time.

December 9, 435 AD: Beginning of 9th Baktun Cycle

The Visuddhimagga is written.
438 — The Codex Theodosianus, a collection of edicts of Roman law, is published.
439 — Carthage falls to the Vandals.

March 13, 830 AD: Beginning of 10th Baktun Cycle

The Viking raids in Western Europe get more severe. They plunder Dorestad and establish themselves in Ireland.
Louis the Pious and his sons fight about the division of the empire.
Second Iconoclastic period in the Byzantine Empire.

June 15, 1224 AD: Beginning of 11th Baktun Cycle

1224 — Wars between France and England.

That's the most significant thing that happened close to this cycle period at least. Although significant people of that century include:

Roger Bacon (Scientist)
Genghis Khan (Founder of Mongol Empire)
Batu Khan (Founder of the Golden Horde)
Thomas Aquinas (Theologian)
Kublai Khan (Founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China)

September 18, 1618 AD: Beginning of 12th Baktun Cycle

Beginning of Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
Beginning of Dutch colonization of North America

For the most part, many significant events occur near the beginning of a Baktun cycle. Assuming that there is a trend, and that the trend will continue, 2012 will indeed be a significant year. Yes, I do realize this is far fetched, but at the same I can't shake the feeling of something big happening. Be it of astronomical nature (given that the sun will reach a Solar Maximum resulting in a high-point of Solar Flares and will also begin passing through the Upper Galactic Plane to the Lower Galactic Plane), perhaps some sort of technological leap (supposed Technological Singularity maybe?), or as the 'trend' goes perhaps a powerful political figure will rise (2012 is after all an election year for many countries including U.S.A., Ireland, Finland, France, Mexico, etc.) But, meh, I don't know anything for certain and its just as likely that nothing out of the ordinary will happen.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Okay, so I've had Mercenaries 2 for several days now and I must say that this game rocks. The graphics are sweet, the new features are awesome, and more gratuitous violence than the first.

The same cast of characters from the first are now in the second, plus a few more NPC's that help you. A great improvement over the first is that now foliage is destructible as well and can be set on fire. Plus, buildings collapse in a more realistic way. Suppose you damage a crane it doesn't collapse straight down, it will fall forwards, backwards, or any which direction and it will collapse segmentally, more like real buildings. The physics are so much better because of this and makes blowing buildings up so much more fun.

Also, you don't drown if you fall in the water any more. In fact, you can even hi-jack boats. Another new feature I love is that you can add items to your stockpile from stuff you find in the field. Based on what I've gone through so far, these fall into four categories: fuel, ammunition, cash, and car parts. Fuel is needed for whenever something is delivered to you, ammunition is used for air strikes, artillery fire, etc, cash is giant crates of money you can find in the field, and car parts can be used by the mechanic to create custom vehicles.

If anything, I think the main issue with this game is its storyline and method of its delivery. In the previous game, you recieved missions from four different factions, and you were briefed prior to each mission. This missions ranged from sniping enemy units to destroying enemy buildings. While its essentially the same thing this go around, it would have been better if it was delivered the same way as in the previous game with an NPC verbally explaining the mission. In my opinion it gives much more character to the game.

In short, this game I feel lives up to its predecessor despite its issue with the storyline and I give it 4/5 stars.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Free Mind Exercise #2

**Free mind exercises are periods in which I take a break and allow my brain some time to rest. During this I go into an 'autonomous' mode and let my mind speak freely without suppressing it, similar to meditation. I find them a great stress relief. These are edited only by correcting grammar and spelling issues.**

Why is it that some words hurt more than others? How is it that when training yourself to be devoid of emotion, to protect yourself from all the hurtful feelings, you only end up more vulnerable? If only I knew then what I know now. If I only knew to embrace the storm instead of hide. If only I knew there would be much less pain to be caught in the torrents than standing upon the bank. How is it that a person who can stand with stolid resolve to the horrors and injustices of this world break down at the sight of one word. Just one word.

I've learned that some things can't be avoided no matter how hard you try. I've learned that life takes many surprising twists; for better or worse. I see now I've had my chance, but I was cautious. I was always taught to be that way. Some say that tenacious and crazed, but I was bred to be timid. Early on I saw pain from some of my more violent tendencies and I saw what it does. Perhaps I was born with an analytical mind. I loved and hated it, I am a pacifist because of it and I'm sadomasochistic because of it. But in the end, I'm a cautious person, never moving fast in construction, never doing large scale experiments without smaller ones, never assemble my research projects without testing of individual components, never to take risks unknowing where the winds of time would travel.

I had a chance. I had my chances to act. I could have jumped not knowing where I would have landed. But I stayed on the ledge too long. When I jumped I saw that it was a short drop with a soft landing, I was filled with joy knowing that I took the chance, but it was too late nonetheless. Regret? Sometimes. Resigned my fate? Yes. Hopeful for the future? Definitely. Tis human to err, tis wise to learn.

There's one last thing I've learned. Its the two things I see as the meaning of life. The true perpetuation of life and the human strive for greatness. Irony and paradox.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Officially Unnofficial Comic of AlchemyX #'s 1-5

I once did a comic for this great website called AlchemyX. These comics were low quality and humorous in nature. I haven't done a comic in quite a while but I'm contemplating starting them up again. Until then, I'm going to post the comics here, five at a time. There weren't many comics so this only make about three posts :p






Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sacred 2 and NeverWinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir

Alright, I missed some games in my list of games earlier.

Sacred 2
is one I just recently found out about and I'm nothing short of stoked about it. The graphics in the videos I've seen so far show a tremendous improvement over the previous. The original Sacred featured you questing through this truly massive world on a series of quests. I'd venture to say that it could rival The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in size (which is, by the way, one of my favorite RPG's). Sacred 2 appears to be even better than the first. All new classes (except the Seraphim who makes a return) . Also featured is the option to follow a light or dark path. The only exception to this is that the Seraphim can only follow the light path and the Inquisitor can only follow the dark path. An example of how this works is that if you follow the light path you'd be defending a village under attack, if you follow the dark path you'd be the one attacking the village. Oh yeah, Blind Guardian is making an appearance in game. Will it rock? I do believe so.

Storm of Zehir is the second expansion pack to Neverwinter Nights 2. Originally NWN2 had a level cap of 20 which sucked. That means if you want to make it to epic level (level 20) you have to be one class and one class only. The first expansion pack raised the level cap to 30, which was somewhat better because I could now be epic in one class and still have ten levels to mess around with. I really hope the level cap is raised to 40 with this newest expansion pack. One of the cool things about this game is that you have the option to either create a trade empire from the ruined economy of the Sword Coast region, or attack caravans and sell goods on the blackmarket. I'm not sure how much I'll like this game, but if it at least raises the level cap, I'm buying it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tutorial: CPU's

I've done a lot with my computer over the years. Some of it good, some of it bad and because not many people in my area are capable of working on computer hardware, I've mostly had to figure stuff out on my own. By the time I got the internet things were really looking up with finding technical help. Still though, with a 54kb Modem and a spotty connection I couldn't effectively find everything I needed to find. That's why I'm posting this blog. I'm going to document here how to do stuff and how not to do stuff when working on a computer.

The first Tutorial I'm going to post deals with CPU's. Before upgrading or replacing a CPU there are some things you need to know about.
  1. Always have thermal gel. Thermal gel is applied between the CPU and the heatsink. The gel creates a solid layer allowing heat to transfer quicker to the heatsink than if there was an air pocket. Not using thermal gel is an easy way to kill a CPU. I personally prefer to use
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
  2. Make sure you know what your Motherboard can support. There are many different Socket types and many different models of CPUs. This can be checked through the Motherboard user manual. If for any reason you don't have the user manual, you can likely search the motherboard manufacturers website and enter the model of your Motherboard and find an online manual.
Once you have made sure you have the appropriate materials, remove the old CPU. You'll first have to remove the heatsink and/or fan. Most often if you have a heatsink/fan combination, the fan and heatsink are one piece and you should only remove the heatsink from the CPU. Once the heatsink is removed there may be a special mechanism holding the CPU in place such as a latch. NEVER force anything and always make sure you are following the user manual for removing and installing the CPU.

After the old CPU has been removed, take the new one and add a later of thermal gel to it. Take note however that some CPU's may come with thermal gel already applied and all you have to do is remove a covering. If not, then take the gel, and squeeze a tiny amount onto the side that the CPU will meet the heat sink. Using a toothpick or similar item spread the gel as thinly and evenly as possible. Place the CPU onto the motherboard and secure it.

To reinstall the heatsink, first clean away the old thermal gel. There are special solvents you can buy that can make it much easier. Once the gel is removed and the heatsink face is dry, apply a new layer of thermal gel the same way you applied it to the CPU. Again, it is imperative that you make sure the gel is thin and even as possible but still covering it.

Once the gel is applied reinstall the heatsink/fan unit. And there you go! The CPU should be working fine.

A few notes though:
Often if you upgrade a CPU, it will produce more heat than the previous fan. SpeedFan is a good program to monitor CPU temperatures. Upgrading the CPU fan, (or adding one if you don't have one) can greatly help. Always remember though that what counts is the CFM rating instead of the RPM of the fan.

Good stuff coming

Okay, so I'm a gamer. I'm not a hardcore gamer, I can't uber-pwn people in every game I play, some games I suck at on multiplayer. But I do know that the gaming industry is releasing some interesting games this fall/winter. Here's just a bit about each game.

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames- August 31st Release Date
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction was a beautiful game. It was an open-ended, sandbox styled, FPS with a destructible environment. Now that the sequel is soon to be released, this little pyro is excited. Featuring enhanced graphics, a new story location, and an even more destructible environment, it sounds like they improved all the good stuff. Oh yeah, there will be explosions, big ones. Its gonna rock.

Spore- September 7th Release Date
A lot of people are excited over this game. You start out with a single microscopic organism trying to survive in a dangerous primordial world where its eat or be eaten. As you eat other organisms, your organism grows and evolves. Eventually, your microbe grows out of the 'cell' phase and it becomes a full sized creature. And as you meet more requirements your creature 'advances' so to speak and it reaches the tribal phase, the civilization phase, and eventually the space phase. Its such a massive game, especially considering at the Space phase you have an entire galaxy to explore allowing you to start new life on other planets, destroy planets, engage in interstellar war, etc. Its such a massive game considering that developers have stated that there is no way you can visit every planet in your lifetime.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning- September 16 Release Date
I remember first hearing the rumors of this game a long, long time ago. Now that a release date is announced, I've already begun trying to figure out which class I wanted to take on. Warhammer Online takes place in the Warhammer Fantasy Universe with six (technically seven) races. The Empire, Chaos, Dwarves, Greenskins (composed of Orcs and Goblins), High Elves and Dark Elves. This MMORPG uses new RealmVsRealm combat. Empire vs Chaos, Dwarves vs Greenskins, and High Elves vs Dark Elves. What interests me about this game is how there is a constantly going war between the Empire and Chaos and every action a character partakes in affects the outcome of the War. Each race has unique classes (although each with a general purpose that relates to the others. For example, the Dwarven support class is known as the Runepriest, while the Greenskins support character is the Shaman. Me personally? I'm thinking Chaos Marauder.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed- September 16 Release Date
May the Force be with you... At first I was thinking, "Oh no, not another Star Wars game..." because lets face it, there have been a lot of Star Wars games and not all of them were that great. After watching tech demos though, I feel much better about this game and I eagerly await its arrival. Playing as Darth Vaders secret apprentice, you are a Dark Side user of the Force with missions across the galaxy. I can't wait to Force Crush people.

Fallout 3- October Release Date
Okay, so I've never played the first two Fallout games. But after watching the E3 08 demo, this game has a high level of carnage. Plus, ingenuity after hearing that certain weapons you can construct. Such as a 'rocket launcher' that launches stuff like teddy bears at high velocity.

Fable 2- October 21st Release Date
This is one game I've been waiting for. I've played Fable: The Lost Chapters and thought it was an awesome game, although a bit lacking and only a moderate replay value. The E3 08 demo I saw showed an improvement in graphics, and the moves a player can use are pretty darn cool.

And thats all I have to say about them so far, expect further reviews when the games are released. That is if I can pry myself away from the games long enough :p

Things to come

So, I thought I should make a post about why this blog exists in the first place. So here's a list of things you should expect to see in the future.

  • From time to time I get strange and random ideas that I like to share or I hear strange and random ideas that I want to share.
  • I'm somewhat of a scientist and I carry out experiments occasionally. Expect to see some rather strange, not to mention dangerous, things.
  • I play games, and sometimes I come across games I like, and games I don't like. I'll be posting reviews of games.
  • I play D&D and I'll be posting custom content, stories, etc.
  • I have a few Warhammer 40k models and I'll be posting stuff about my Space Marine Chapter.
  • I'll post stories, art, or music occasionally.
  • And lastly there will be much random miscellany such as this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh the madness begins...

So, I decided to create a blog. I suppose the best way to start a blog is to describe myself a bit.

I prefer to go by my pseudonym Xavious Aleckzander Wolffe.

I am a multifaceted artist (albeit sporadic in new creations) who can write, draw, and occasionally even make music.

I take great interest in the Sciences, particularly chemistry and physics. Some of my greatest joys in this bleak world is to mess around with electric circuits, ponder upon chemical formulas, and occasionally mess with something I call 'classical physics'... one of these days I'm going to make that catapult.

I hope to develop some culinary skills to make my post 'living with parents' life easier.

I am soon to begin college working towards an Associate in Science degree.

I have an Xbox 360. My gamertag is XaviousWolffe although I don't currently have net access for it. Yes I have Halo 3. No I can not uberpwn people, although I like to think I'm a good sniper. My profile on Bungie.

One of the forums I visis most is Its a lovely little site for people to get together and discuss stuff ranging from current world news to latest games.

I am of the Christian faith. Note here that I say I belong to the Christian faith. I believe that religion is the downfall of faith. Faith is the pure words of God. Religion is His words twisted by man. The Christian faith would teach others tolerance, love, and peace. Religion has taught others corruption (Spanish Inquisition), intolerance (Crusades of the Middle Ages and many other events I could name), and hypocrisy (I'm not even starting on this one). More I could say, but a still mind is better than cruel words.

I am a member of the furry fandom. My fursona is a black and white wolf. I have a wikifur page here.

I have aspirations to someday release a game and/or novel based upon my D&D world of Kharam.

I do play D&D. I have been both a DM and a PC in numerous games. I have many custom creatures (my Kharam Bestiarum thread on Alchemy X) and working on custom races as well. I love LAWFUL Evil ones who are smart mouthed and often say stuff that gets them in a heap of trouble resulting in him to fight his way out of a situation. Admittedly that one time I tried to intimidate a Red Dragon wasn't my best idea... 3.5 Edition for the win!

Theres likely even more stuff about me I'm forgeting (hey, I'm a complex guy) but thats all I can remember for now. Expect more in the future!

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