Wednesday, May 27, 2009
"No, not that Raiden. , the top down scrolling shmup released in Japan for the last year year is headed to North America, courtesy of publisher .
The publisher has confirmed to 1UP (and does a new ESRB rating) that the most recent entry in the long-running Raiden shooter series will grace these shores in August. With Raiden Fighters Aces just recently released by publisher Valcon for the Xbox 360, this will be a very Raiden year.
If you're new to the Raiden series, make sure to pick up the budget priced compilation prior to's domestic release, so you can be up to speed on the series deep story, which tells the tale of thousands of things being shot by jets and explosions happening."
-Michael McWhertor of Kotaku.com
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Happy is right. After hitting a game trying, bottom of the ninth 2 run homerun in prelude to yet another Yankees comeback win about 40 minutes ago, Arod's season statistics are frightening: 10 hits. 7 home runs. A clean .400 on base percentage. And people just dont want to pitch to him. Brad Lidge, who is by all accounts one of the best closers in the game, started Arod out with 5 hard sliders, all diving down in the zone. On the 6th pitch, a 3-2 count, he threw a high outside fastball, the thinking being whatever you do dont come inside to this guy.
But Arod just doesnt care. Hes not like other power hitters. His power is vast, nearly omnipotent, and multidirectional. He waited on the high outside fastball and went with it, sending a screaming line drive the opposite way into the right field seats. Tie ball game. Stadium explodes. Lidge deflates. Cano gets a hit. Steals second. Melky doubles. Game over. Yankees Win! (John Sterling voice): Thaaaaaaaaaa Yankees win - in highly dramatic fashion, yet again.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
OK, so I really wanted to post something really effing cool from youtube, but its not posting no matter how many times I try. This happened to me once before with Blogger and Youtube, and eventually all the videos showed up at once. So, when the blog looks totally broken, you know it will be working normally again shortly. Obviously.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
By Gretchen Peters, author of Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and Al Qaeda
LINK - From The New York Times
So far, Western-led efforts to fight the opium trade in Afghanistan have focused mainly on eradicating poppy crops, a policy that has done little to hamper the drug lords and simply victimized poppy farmers and poor sharecroppers who work the land. As the Obama administration overhauls strategy in Afghanistan, installing Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top commander, the focus of antidrug efforts should be on the smugglers and drug processors.
First, there must be stepped-up efforts to take down powerful traffickers like Mr. Khan and to cut off the Taliban’s opium profits, which the United Nations calculates to be worth $400 million a year. Their greatest earnings don’t come at the farming level, but from protecting shipments leaving farm areas and taxing drug refineries.
A good start would be using air attacks to destroy drug convoys carrying opium on smuggling trails toward the Pakistani border, using the same infrared technology employed along the Mexican border to avoid hitting civilian vehicles. Working with local law enforcement, NATO forces must also establish checkpoints along major arteries and border crossings and search all vehicles for drugs — even those belonging to senior Afghan government officials and their relatives. Taliban warriors may be able to slip over the mountainous borders in secret, but large drug shipments often go by road.
In October, NATO gave its commanders a mandate to destroy drug refineries, but many have been reluctant to do so. Not only should they take the offensive, but they should put an emphasis on arresting the chemists and other specialists operating the labs, who are difficult to replace. Some NATO nations in the Afghan coalition have placed restrictions on their troops that prevent them from participating in American-led counternarcotics operations. That’s short-sighted, given that Afghan heroin tends to end up on European streets. Until such restrictions are dropped, troops from those nations should be deployed to provide security, freeing up American and Afghan soldiers for combat linked to the opium trade.
In addition, until Afghanistan’s notoriously weak judiciary and police can be reformed, we should bring any major smugglers to the United States for trial, as was done with Mr. Khan.
Stopping the drug flow is only half the battle: the money flows along separate routes from the opium, and disrupting financial flows may be tougher. To that end, Washington should subsidize efforts to regulate both Afghanistan’s bank transfers and the informal hawala network, the subcontinent’s unregulated version of the Western Union. Most hawala transfers are legitimate — Western aid groups in Afghanistan, for example, use it to send funds to rural field offices. But the system also moves drug money. The Treasury Department has put together a sound proposal that would not add costs for those using the hawala system but would allow the authorities to track who sent how much money, and to whom.
My Letter To The Editor:
I am extremely disappointed The New York Times decided to publish the opinion of Gretchen Peters regarding The War on Drugs in Afganistan. Despite travelling to the country in question and attempting an interview, she fails to provide any insight or new information about the subject. What she does provide, however, is a disturbing rehash of the failed policies we have employed in the War on Drugs in this country. That somehow, by using gang war tactics ("A good start would be using air attacks to destroy drug convoys") we can bully the growers and sellers and distributers of narcotics into ceasing their operations and going and getting a job at Walmart instead.
But Afganistan doesnt have a Walmart. It doesnt have almost any of the hallmarks of a 21st Century, 1st world society - including a solid educational system or a strong job market. The idea that somehow we can bully these people into giving up the one trade that pays for everything - and has for hundreds of years - is preposterous. We cant win The War on Drugs in our own country - a 21st century society with all the trimmings - so what, besides hubris, makes Gretchen Peters think we can win it in Afganistan, where its becoming increasingly obvious that we cant control anything?
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Microsoft and Epic Games have announced a massive upcoming add-on for Gears of War 2 that will contain new multiplayer maps as well as a brand new campaign mission. All of the content will be made available both at retail as a code for a download and through Xbox Live separately.
The new campaign level is a deleted chapter titled Road to Ruin. In it, Marcus and Dom will return to Locust Hollow for a mission that can be played in the traditional, action-packed way or in what is described as an "all-new stealth mode."
The add-on will include seven new multiplayer maps. Here are their official descriptions, as provided by Microsoft:
Allfathers Garden: Honor the sacred grounds of the Coalition founders in this explosive map, where powerful weapons catalyze fast and furious action at this COG landmark.
Memorial: Set near the Eternal Flame, which pays tribute to the fallen soldiers on the battlefield, a hard-fought battle ensues at the Tomb of Unknowns. Putting their flank formation and evasive skills to the test, players will fight to control the Boomshot.
Sanctuary: Once a peaceful ground for reflection and remembrance, all that remains of the Sanctuary is the chill of death. Feast your eyes on the arsenal of weapons available as you make your way through the tight paths and blind corners of the Locust-damaged temple corridors.
War Machine: In the abandoned train station that once served as a hub for travel, players will need to master the Longshot, Mulcher and Boomshot weapons to advance the fight while evading fire from the platforms above.
Highway: Take the fight deep into the Locust Hollow in the complex passages of this underground highway system brimming with enemy vermin. Stick together, separate the enemy and have an exit strategy ready or it'll be a one-way trip.
Way Station: Sitting in limbo between death and "processing" are Locust way stations filled with fallen COG soldiers. Tread lightly and practice patience as it's better to sacrifice firepower for stealth while navigating this minefield of hidden grenades.
Nowhere: Set in the middle of what was once a destination for weary desert travellers, the land is now barren and devoid of life. Pick off your enemies with the Longshot sniper rifle and make your way to the stairwell with a well-fortified team during this intense firefight.
The retail release is titled Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection and will contain all previously released Gears of War 2 add-ons as well as the seven new maps and campaign chapter. It will have a price of $19.99 in the US (or ?14.99/€19.99 in Europe) and will be released July 28.
If you already have purchased and downloaded the previous map packs and don't want to double up, the new content will be available separately as its own download. It will carry the title Gears of War 2: Dark Corners and have a price of 1600 Microsoft points (US $19.99).