A pleasant Monday to all. Rain is predicted tonight. That’s when the skies open and liquid falls, in case you’ve forgotten. Don’t be alarmed. It’s normal. Or at least it used to be. 

NERD I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if an entire city of gamers had suddenly been exposed to sunlight. This will strike some as the equivalent of a colony of ants dying off for no reason, but it’s a fascinating tale. This stuff matters to a lot of people.

Entire cities in the World of Warcraft have been reportedly destroyed with no one spared, not even the NPCs.

 About 13:00 GMT, forums on WOW started getting the first comments from users regarding player and NPCs dying on the Ragnaros-EU realm in Orgrimmar. Users of the online game started reporting that Draenor had a similar sight to offer. Some of the other realms where this was reported include Tarren Mill, Twisting Nether and others.

There are rumors that folks over at Blizzard were already aware of a hack and were working on to resolve the issue but, before they fixed the issue they actually blocked the hackers who were behind the exploit. This got the hackers angry and they went on to kill everyone in the cities.

It takes a low, lousy person to do something like this. Doesn’t matter that it’s virtual; this is a pastime enjoyed by millions, and to have your work ruined by some pimply sociopath who ruins other people’s accomplishment for lulz - well, let’s he the miscreants are located. If they’re domestic, put them in jail for a few months. About the third day standing on the roadside in prison orange, picking up trash, a light might go off: Maybe there’s an actual connection between the typing I do at home and things that happen elsewhere to other people. Wow. Let me take this thought a little further - the world of the internet is not confined solely to my screen. It is being experienced by other sentient beings with . . . hold on, it’ll come to me, the word’s on the tip of my tongue . . . with emotions! That’s it. Hey, I’m really growing as a person here!

Worth a try.


TIMEWASTER Click on a square; wait. Click on another. Build a nice chiming loop. Figure out chords and timing. It’s as easy as possible, and quite satisfying, unless you’re easily bored and still in a state of raw fury because Ragnaros-EU was hit by a neutron bomb.


HISTORY I swear this surfaces every year. I’d think they were new except for the second picture, the Emir of Bukhara. But everything is always new to someone, so: here’s Czarist Russia - in living color!



Curious about the Emir, I googled around, and here’s another page that shows the same setting - with different colors. Huh. Perhaps they’ve futzed with the original. You can achieve the same effect by changing the hue in Photoshop, but that makes the doors red. Anyway, who was this guy, really?

Emir Said Mir Mohammed Alim Khan(January 3, 1880–April 28, 1944) was the last emir of the Manghit dynasty, the last ruling dynasty of the Emirate of Bukhara in Central Asia. Although Bukhara was a protectorate of the Russian Empire from 1873, the Emir presided over the internal affairs of his emirate as absolute monarch and reigned from January 3, 1911 to August 30, 1920.

At the age of thirteen, Alim Khan was sent by his father Emir Abdulahad Khan to Saint Petersburg for three years to study government and modern military techniques. In 1896, having received formal confirmation as Crown Prince of Bukhara by the Russian government, he returned home.

Did he manage to accomplish anything? Wikipedia says “Alim Khan’s rule began with promise.” Don’t they all? I’ve yet to read a bio of a leader that says “Expectations, already low, were converted to bitter disappointment the very second the King settled his capacious rump onto the throne.” Everyone always hopes the new guy will be better than the last.

Initially, he declared that he would no longer expect or accept any gifts, and prohibited his officials from demanding bribes from the public, or imposing taxes on their own authority. However, as time went by the Emir's attitude towards bribes, taxes, and state salaries changed.

Funny how power does that.

It is thought that Alim Khan, who initially favored modernization and the reformists, realised that their eventual goals included no place for either him or his descendants as rulers.

Well, there weren’t any descendants to rule. The Bolshies came in and raised the Red flag, and that was it for local government.


Bonus fun fact: see that big guy up there? His daughter fled Afghanistan when the Soviets invaded, moved to the US, and was a broadcaster for the Voice of America for many years.

Or, if you prefer to ignore THE LIES OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, this:

The Emirate has been independent since the Bukharan Civil War of October and early November, 2010, in which the royalist faction, led by Shukria Raad Alimi, defeated the Muslim Liberation Army and expulsed them from Bukharan territory. Before the Civil War, the Emirate of Bukhara was a puppet of the MLA, which used it as a fighting front against Socialist Siberia and it's puppets.

Have you heard of the civil war and Socialist Sibera? That’s in the Alternative history of the world.


GAMES On the off chance that you don’t go to Buzzfeed sixteen times a day to see if there’s new cat pictures or video of Lady Gaga barfing on stage, you may have missed this:




Nerdy Easter Eggs in movies. That’s David Warner in the original “Tron” looking at Pac-Man. Just because.

Speaking of which: Tycho over at Penny Arcade has a piece on the latest attempt to revive Pac-Man, and the perils of nostalgia. (Warning: language.) (Not that it has some, but it has cuss words. If you care.) He links to four new character design.



Awful.  I say let Lauren Faust redo them, and then they'll be cool again.