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Showing posts from June, 2017

Wolfenstein: The New Order, three years later: a sleeper classic

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Bethesda recently announced that they'll be releasing a sequel to their acclaimed reboot of the Wolfenstein franchise, The New Order (and its expansion, The Old Blood). Entitled The New Colossus, the sequel will pick up several years after the events of the first game and looks to have all the elements that made the reboot such a success:



With the sequel on the way, it seemed like a good time for me to revisit the first game, which had been a favorite of mine when I played it back in 2015.

The New Order fully embraces the absurdity of the franchise, which kicked off way back in 1992 with Castle Wolfenstein 3D and featured a cybernetic Hitler as the final boss. There are giant Nazi mechs, giant Nazi robot dogs, and of course a robust supply of foot soldiers waiting to be blown to bits by a fantastical arsenal full of hyper-powered shotguns and laser beams. Is there a Nazi moon base? Fuck yes there's a Nazi moon base.

Developer Machine Games could have stopped at Nazi moon bases …

My dogs can be trained to think. Why can't police officers?

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Recently, my wife and I decided that some training would be a wise investment for our dogs, Zelda and Yoda. They're both very sweet and generally well-behaved dogs, but they had some areas where they needed work and we were becoming frustrated at our lack of progress. Zelda, our 3-year-old female, is calm but can be strong-willed and stubborn. Yoda, our 2½-year-old male, is incredibly sweet, but gets anxious around other dogs or when there's a lot of commotion. We knew that of the two, he'd require more work.

Right away, our trainer started showing strategies we could employ to calm Yoda down when he's near other dogs. She introduced a well-trained dog to the room, and Yoda was predictably anxious. She did some drills with him, and after about five minutes he'd calmed down significantly and was able to meet the other dog. She noted Yoda's calm state of mind, saying,

"See, this is good. He's thinking. When he's nervous, he's reacting, and that&#…

On Philando Castile

The verdict in the Philando Castile shooting has weighed heavy on me the last few days. Like many people (including Trevor Noah), I sit there asking, How? How can anyone watch the video evidence and conclude that the officer was reasonably acting in self-defense? That it was perfectly rational for the officer to discharge his firearm into car—with an innocent woman and a child in the car as well—seven times?

The officer panicked. Most remarkably, as Trevor Noah points out, the woman still has the presence of mind—after seeing her boyfriend pumped full of bullets without provocation—to defer to the officer's authority. She remains calm. She calls him "sir". The four-year-old child is escorted from the scene after pleading with her mother, "Don't get shooted."

Time and again we hear that police officers need broad leeway to act quickly in the face of a deadly threat, for the protection of their lives and others'. But what are the checks and balances? In w…