Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dragon Eggs!

xaviousWolffe's Dragons

Okay so on werewolf.com 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 0.0.0.0.0 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 0.0.0.0.1
20 days would be represented as 0.0.0.1.0
360 days (1 year) would be 0.0.1.0.0
7,200 days (19.7 years) would be 0.1.0.0.0
144,000 (394 years) would be 1.0.0.0.0

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.
 

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