From the makers of the worlds of Myst — Obduction on Kickstarter

Obduction by Cyan, Inc. — Kickstarter.

From The Free Dictionary:

Ob`duc´tion

“The act of drawing or laying over, as a covering.”

The good folks at the small, but pioneering company of Cyan have announced their desire to produce another work of wonder, a new game titled ‘Obduction’. This game would center on the player being abducted, and taken to another planet. One would then have to solve the mystery of why they were taken there. Oh yes, it is definitely borrowing from the Myst franchise in the exploration aspect, but it promises to be a different experience from Myst.

This venture is being funded by the pledgers/donors of Kickstarter, with a goal of $1.1 million. Currently, the pledged total is at just over $612,000 after the first 10 days of the campaign. There are 20 left, the funding period began October 17, and ends November 16. If funding succeeds, they plan to release the game mid to late 2015.

Let me be clear – – I am a Myst freak, and am most definitely putting this out there to attempt to garner further funding for this project. Cyan’s works have been groundbreaking, and I foresee nothing less than amazing with Obduction. If you’re a fan, or simply appreciate beautiful and immersive games, even just a dollar helps a great deal. There’s a wide range of pledge tiers to suit anyone’s financial constraints, with an equal variety of rewards.

Check out the Kickstarter page for more detailed information, and teaser images. Pledge a donation if you see fit, or not. Either way, thousands of us puzzle & exploration geeks are extremely eager to see this game come to fruition.

Good luck in your funding efforts, Cyan. I have a feeling you’re going to make this one happen.

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This Pulsing Earth – Radiolab

 

This Pulsing Earth – Radiolab.

 

I stumbled on this Radiolab article showing the Earth through it’s seasons, and haven’t been able to stop watching it loop. It’s like watching the planet breathe in and out. It’s hypnotic. The pulse of life, the breath of life, the rhythm of the planet.

Rock Formations of Zhangye Danxia – the Most Colourful Place on Earth | Cat in water

 

Rock Formations of Zhangye Danxia – the Most Colourful Place on Earth | Cat in water.

 

I stumbled on this little article about the rock formations of Zhangye Danxia in China’s northwestern Gansu Province. While I’m well aware that the area isn’t as eye-popping as photographers would have us believe, I still find the photography stunning & worthy of sharing.

Boston Marathon Bombing and Human Reactions

As the shock and emotions of yesterday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon begin to settle, I’m beginning to see the start of the demand of self-censoring, among my friends at least. Not demanding censoring of the graphic images of the aftermath, but of the thoughts and opinions of those who deign to speculate on such an awful act. A desire to restrict free speech to make one feel better, or prevent fear mongering is a little over the top, in my opinion. I can’t suggest a blanket approach to making one feel better, aside from avoiding the internet entirely, turning off all TVs and radios, and huddling in a dark corner while the event fades in to history. Others will wish to talk, humans have an insatiable need to talk things out. Fear mongering can be mitigated through verifiable facts, and refusal to allow such mongering to be taken seriously in the first place. We need not silence everyone. We merely need to talk responsibly, and remind other to do so.

As humans, we have several reactions to traumatic events. Emotional outbursts of anger, rage, sadness, fear. Many of us use one coping mechanism or another to help process such events. Some withdraw and privately contemplate, or avoid the subject and those discussing it. And some talk about it, to many different degrees. Communicating feelings, thoughts and theories after traumatic events, as far-removed as a person is from them, can help greatly in a person’s ability to process the event.

I am a poster on many kinds of forums, and time and again, I see the practical application of this ‘group therapy’, if you will, after traumatic events where a poster must talk about it to ‘get it out’. This kind of chatter between people isn’t unwise, it’s helpful. When many come together to discuss something such as the Boston bombing, we’re aiming to help each other find relevant factual information, and to keep the more emotionally devastated from completely flipping their shit. Invariably, there is always going to be one or some who take the conspiracy route to try to vindicate their own theories. In my experience, those prone to similar thoughts are bound to flock together. Stitching theories together and speculating on ulterior motives is yet another variant coping mechanism for people. It is not to say they’re bat shit crazy, but more reluctant to take the more ‘vanilla’ explanations at face value because surely there must be a deeper reason for such carnage against innocents. I don’t personally subscribe to the false flag theories abound right now, but it’s their theory and they are free to have it.

Unlike my friends, I will not tell others not to speculate. I am a logical person, and do expect logic from people joining my conversations. As such, I’ll listen to harebrained theories, but don’t give them much credit. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and in the end, it is the participant’s responsibility to figure out if the information and ideas are bunk and whether or not to believe them.

Requiring silence from others accomplishes nothing.

 

Astronomers conduct first remote reconnaissance of another solar system

Astronomers conduct first remote reconnaissance of another solar system.

This image of the HR 8799 planets was taken with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. The star is at the center of the blackened circle in the image. The four spots indicated with the letters b through e are the planets. This is a composite image using 30 wavelengths of light and was obtained over a period of 1.25 hours on June 14 and 15, 2012

 

 

I’d go so far as to liken the HR 8799 system to being the first long range sensor scan, albeit not as detailed as any given sci-fi would demand.

Somewhere, Gene Roddenberry is grinning ear to ear.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish?

Thousands of Dolphins Spotted Near San Diego | NBC Bay Area.

Well here’s a rarity – – 100,000 dolphins off the California coast. That’s not a typo. One. Hundred. THOUSAND dolphins. Wrap your head around that a minute, and consider that pods generally stick to about 200 or less dolphins at the largest.

A marine mammal expert cited in the article linked attributes the enormous gathering to an abundance in food sources that may have attracted them to the area. That seems plausible, but large numbers of sea life congregating prior to natural events such as earthquakes have been known to happen. One such example being a sharp increase in squid caught just prior to the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake. I’m certainly not saying this big party at sea is an indicator of impending events, but I am putting that out there as something to ponder.

Instead putting that theory on the front burner, let’s keep it on the back one and assume Flipper & his posse are simply having the mother of all block parties out there in a food-rich area.