On January 5, 2020, the Earth will be the closest it will ever get to the Sun in the 21st century, at a nice and cozy distance of 91,398,199 miles. The pair will be about a million and a half miles nearer to each other than they are on average, which is over six times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Since it’s in vogue to call large full Moons “supermoons”, I would like to dub this event the “supersun”. Of course, there’s a lot to the hows and whys and what it means other than “it’s big and close”, so I wanted to spend some time talking about it.Continue reading The Supersun of 2020
Some months ago, I was at a party where one attendee lamented not living in Northern Virginia and having to drive back home all the way to Centreville. This led to an animated discussion about whether that town was part of NoVA and what constituted the region. I started to wonder if it’s possible to come up with a unified definition to end the arguments once and for all. Continue reading How Big is Northern Virginia?
Turns out it can be hard sometimes to find the time to get these written. Who knew constantly driving and exploring different places each day would be such hard work?
On Wednesday morning, I was a bit slow to wake up from having stayed up fairly late the night before. Before I started my journey for the day, I walked around downtown Montreal for a bit, deftly avoiding all the “sidewalk closed” signs. I’m sure it’s normally a much prettier city, but it’s hard to get a real gauge when I visit it in the middle of a facelift. I wasn’t able to stay long, though, since it was over 300 miles to Toronto, and this time I wanted to get there before sundown.
Okay, I’ll admit it. It got a bit cold last night. The low was in the upper 30s, but thankfully I brought my insulated sleeping bag which kept me from freezing. My dad and I packed up our gear, and around 8 in the morning we set out northward.
Our first stop was Bangor, about an hour north of Acadia. We had a big breakfast at a local diner, and since it was my 25th birthday, my dad bought me a slice of Apple pie and ice cream. Once we finished up, I dropped my dad off at the airport for his flight back home. Afterwards, I went to the Bangor public library to print out a few documents I might need for the border crossing. I gotta say, the library is a very useful public resource, even if you don’t use it to check out books. Eventually, I got my luggage sorted, my passport in my front seat, and I was ready to continue on.
It turns out that Acadia National Park isn’t known for its high-quality 4G networks, so while I wrote this on Monday, you’ll probably have to wait until I get to Bangor before this post is up.
After waking up bright and early at the Motel 6, my dad and I set out to compete the drive to Acadia. You’d think that Maine would be a small state, being in New England and all, but no, it’s a five-hour drive from Boston to Bar Harbor. It was at least a pretty drive, at least. We got to see the leaves change colors, the Atlantic Ocean, and the small towns that dot the coastline. Around lunchtime, we finally arrived at our destination. We set up the tent, unloaded our sleeping bags, and planned our hike for the day.
Today, I woke up and discovered that my laptop decided that it didn’t want to hold a charge. To be fair, I wasn’t planning on using it for much, bit it may make my posts a bit shorter as I now have to rely on a phone keyboard for everything.
Once I got everything in order, I headed out from my lodging in Wellesley and took the train into town. It was a couple miles’ walk to the station, but I didn’t mind. Temperatures in the mid-fifties and a light mist is the best walking conditions, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I woke up bright and early in my bed for the final time for a month. Today I would be leaving on a month-long trip of a lifetime, and the first step would be an eight-hour drive up to Boston. I wanted to get as far away from home as reasonably possible on my first day. It seemed a bit silly to spend an evening in nearby New York City when I could use that time to enjoy another day out west in a place I might never get to visit again. So, with my gear packed and my gas tank full, I headed off on my grand adventure.
About a year and a half ago, I was leaving Baltimore when I came across the exit for I-95. I ultimately took the exit to go south and back home, but at that moment I felt a nagging desire to turn north, leave my responsibilities behind for a while, and see what the open road had to offer. Tomorrow, after saving up several months’ worth of vacation time and gas money, I finally get to live that dream.
In most role-playing games, gold is the universal currency of choice. It provides some relatability with the fantasy world (gold is valuable!), and it’s an effective method for transporting wealth that is light enough to not encumber its owner. It’s ubiquitous to the point where it simply becomes just a number. But what exactly does the amount of gold you have mean in real-world terms?
Board games nowadays come in many levels of interactivity. Some can almost be considered multiplayer solitaire, where each player does their own thing with little or no regard to their opponents’ actions. On the other end, games can be entirely zero-sum, where any action anyone does comes at the expense of another player. Neither extreme can really be considered “better”, but people still do have their preferences. Germans, popularizers of the “victory point” system, tend to prefer the former, while American-produced games seem to more often than not fall into the latter category.
In a desire to categorize these games, I have come up with a board game interactivity scale, ranging from 0 to 10. Continue reading The Board Game Interactivity Scale