2002 Site Updates
November 29, 2002
Added pictures to the "Old Polls" page.
November 28, 2002
Sorry about the long break. What can I say ... I was busy :)
A Leah Brahms page has been added (it's probably not what you expect).
Star Wars vs Star Trek in Five Minutes! Click here to see it.
Some minor corrections and additions to the Planet-Killers page.
The beginning of a second fanfic! Be forewarned, this is not a sequel to "Conquest", nor does it take place in the timeline established in that story. This one is called "Reign of Terror", and you can see it on the Fanfic page.
A couple of Voyager episodes have been added to the Canon Database. I'll try to be more active on that front when I'm done my current fanfic (too many projects, too little spare time).
October 19, 2002
Darkstar's latest long-winded reply is up (naturally, he breaks 100 kB again, and he's late by a day again; long-winded bullshit apparently takes a lot of time and effort). If you feel up to yet more suffering, you can read it (believe it or not, he actually claims I was late because I started the 4-day clock upon receipt of the second half of his post, rather than the first half of his post). Or, you can simply skip to the post-mortem. Frankly, I didn't even bother reading his argument. A skim revealed that it was just his original argument rehashed yet again, and I wasn't interested in the details. If any of you intrepid souls want to break it down and let me know about any interesting parts, go ahead.
When I started that debate, I had no idea that it would be so torturous or incredibly long-winded. I knew Darkstar was a bullshitter, but this was frankly unprecedented. I should have known when he went on ASVS on the opening day and complained that I was late by posting the first round on a Friday evening (I had said it would be "Friday at midnight", and he interpreted that to mean 12:00am Friday morning, so he claimed I was late!!!) Anyway, I've heard your complaints, and I understand. I promise you that you will not be subjected to something like that again.
October 12, 2002
Round 5 of the seemingly interminable Darkstar debate is up. I've gotten numerous complaints that this is by far the most boring debate ever, and I agree; RSA is almost painfully tedious. I promise you that the next time I debate someone publicly, I will insist on strict word-count limits, to prevent this kind of shameless abuse in future.
October 9, 2002
Darkstar got his post in late (7½ hours late), but I'm putting it up anyway. I'm not sure what disturbs me more; his obvious belief that he's winning, or the fact that he would actually stay up all night for the sake of this debate, firing off his long-winded response (as usual, more than twice the length of my post) at 7:25am, after I got to work the next morning. This is a very disturbed young man, ladies and gentlemen. Anyway, I'm fed up formatting his long-winded posts, so I put this one up as-is again. I'll try to format it sometime. Meanwhile, notice how he outright refuses to debate point by point, insisting on stripping points into sentence fragments and attacking those fragments piecemeal even after having this cheesy tactic explicitly pointed out by the other party. Also notice how he doesn't make a single genuine new point, and how most of his "points" are still just statements of his arguments as fact. I can't help but wonder if he's for real; can anyone seriously be this bad? His incredibly transparent red-herring nitpicks almost beg the question, don't they?
October 3, 2002
Fourth-round post is up. I finally got fed up with Darkstar's enormous streams of bullshit and decided to force him to deal with the main points rather than letting him get away with his voluminous distractions (his latest post was an astounding 170 kB total, which is probably at least 20,000 words; obviously, I should have demanded a hard-limit on word count instead of letting him get away with vague promises of brevity which he obviously had no intention of keeping). Anyway, my short and sweet response is up.
October 1, 2002
Darkstar sent another gigantic "rebuttal", full of the same long-winded brick-wall denials and self-declarations of victory that we've all come to know and love. I'm getting fed up with these enormous posts of his; the debate has now ballooned to some eight times my original post length. I don't even have time to format it (it takes so long to format these huge posts that I literally won't have time to compose a rebuttal in my limited free time), so I just got fed up and gave up on the formatting. Sorry. Maybe I'll go back and clean up his goddamned verbal-diarrhea posts sometime down the road, when I have more time.
September 25, 2002
Round 3 of the Darkstar debate is up.
September 22, 2002
Darkstar put up his reply yesterday (as I expected, it drones on and on). I formatted it and put it up today, but I didn't have time to in-line all of the screenshots (I've been pretty busy dealing with an invasion of white-supremacists onto my BBS, trying to spread their race hatred philosophies; I'm not kidding). Anyway, as I expected, he evades every criticism by simply saying that it's incorrect and he evades every identification of a fallacy with a long-winded equivalent to "no, you are!" His defense of his various red-herrings is particularly funny; he claims that it's not a red herring to nitpick, or even to discuss subject B in a debate about subject A as long as he can show that subject B is related to subject A in some way (by that definition, nothing is a red herring unless it's not even remotely related to the subject under discussion). Also notice the way he almost never replies to a full paragraph but rather, to individual sentences and often pieces of sentences, not to mention the way he tries to focus attention on past statements I might have made, as if they are part of this debate.
September 18, 2002
My response to Darkstar has been posted.
September 14, 2002
Darkstar shot back in less than 20 hours; obviously, he realized that despite all of his "you have already conceded the debate" bullshit, he knew I was right; he couldn't walk away. The rapidity and size of his response (16 extra screenshots and three times the text size of my initial post) indicate that he must have leapt immediately to his computer to pound away on his keyboard for a considerable length of time. As I expected, he's going for the "smokescreen of superfluous detail" tactic, posting huge volumes of material which either fail to prove his point due to logical and/or scientific problems, prove a completely different point, or refute a point made by someone other than me and which has nothing to do with this debate (his attempt to provide graphical evidence of his alleged "bands" is particularly hilarious).
I have posted his reply here, with all screenshots (both his and mine) displayed in-line. It takes a couple of hours to format these posts, replace links with in-line images, and colour-code them nicely for easy viewing, but I think (hope) people appreciate the effort. Unfortunately, it also means that I can't even start composing a rebuttal on the first night, since a couple of hours a night is all I have. But despite his smarmy remarks about my "tardiness", I don't intend to let Darkstar pressure me into sacrificing my family activities so I can respond to him more quickly than the four-day schedule I proposed.
September 13, 2002
Round 1 is up. Of course, it's entirely possible that RSA won't respond, but he knows how it will look if he doesn't. Note that all screenshots are displayed in-line, so please be patient if you have a slow network connection. I know this aggravates some people, but there are times when it is helpful to see the screenshot while you're reading the text, rather than bouncing back and forth.
September 9, 2002
Another debate is about to start! After wrangling with a particularly evasive and devious little trickster all day (he claims he wants the debate, but only under a long-winded set of conditions), I've decided to simply start without his blessing. This time, it's a guy named Robert Scott Anderson who's been trash-talking for months.
August 31, 2002
OK, the forums have been split onto a different provider with faster MySQL database services (I'm not sure what they're doing differently, but a full dump and restore took 2 hours on the old provider's MySQL server, 1 hour on my own MySQL server running on my personal machine at home, and just 5 minutes on the new provider's server). The old URL www.stardestroyer.net/phpBB2 still works, but it's actually a redirect to the new and cleaner URL, which is bbs.stardestroyer.net.
My Star Wars and Star Trek Canon Database query engines have been much improved after some input from Aron Kerkhof (software developer and maintainer of the infamous Timothy Jones FAQ) and valuable direct coding assistance from Azeron (one of my forum members who is knowledgeable in this area, although he has some, shall we say ... "interesting" political views). I believe I can now start throwing in new entries as time permits.
August 27, 2002
I'm back! My computer is re-connected, and I am on-line once more! All of that shitty wood panelling and crappy carpet is gone, and I'm ready to rock! Time for site development to resume ... at its usual slow pace :)
In less than 2 months, my little BBS has already accumulated 40,000 posts. As a result, it's straining my account limits somewhat. I think I'll split the forums to a different provider than the main site (it's one of the odd vagaries of Internet webhosting that it's usually cheaper to get two accounts with X bandwidth apiece than a single account with 2X bandwidth) and put them on a webhost which has a little more specialization in MySQL/PHP hosting.
Just to keep everyone updated, I'm working on a query engine for my Canon Database, as opposed to the crappy static search results I was using before. I've hacked together home-made queries with PHP, but it isn't pretty; it uses nested IF statements for handling different query types (there must be something more elegant), and it has no facility for breaking long query results into multiple pages. So if there are any PHP wizards out there who can give me a little advice, I'd appreciate it (hint hint).
There are a ton of projects on the horizon, but just so everyone knows where my site development is currently focused, I want to get this query engine going, and then I'm going to start the SW canon database (I've already entered the ANH novelization), the DS9 canon database, the VOY canon database, and on my Creationism site, a Bible canon database. I might even contemplate a SW official database at some point, although we're talking about some pretty damned long timeframes here, so don't hold your breath :)
July 5, 2002
I'd just like to say thanks to all those who have contributed to make my little forums bigger than I expected them to be, with the exception of the guy who tried to start a ridiculously off-topic Macintosh-bashing computer OS thread. From now on, only registered users can post a new thread (since then, I have surrendered and made "Off-Topic" forums so that people can go wild at their hearts' content).
On a related note, thanks to those who have offered their services as moderators. I'll try to reply soon.
And finally, I have just disconnected my home network in preparation for tearing out the crappy carpet and walls, and replacing them with new flooring and drywall. Needless to say, I will be off-line for a while. I'll try to check in occasionally via other remote terminals, but it will be hard to accomplish much of anything site-related in the midst of the renovation.
July 3, 2002
OK people, it's official. StarDestroyer.Net now has discussion forums! I haven't made up a link button yet (I have to dig around to find the button template first), but you can go to www.stardestroyer.net/phpBB2. I'm going to assume people are innocent until proven guilty, so the board is wide open. I won't restrict posting to registered members, use E-mail callback account activation, or put out a call for moderators unless people give me a reason to (yeah, I know, I'm being foolishly optimistic).
In related news, the funny thing about computers is that if you can't afford to do something, just wait, and the situation will change. When I first investigated discussion forums a couple of years ago, it seemed completely out of the question. The software and hosting packages were both more than I wanted to spend on this hobby. But today, you can get a web hosting account with MySQL and PHP for less than thirty bucks a month, and you can get open-source BBS software that copies the look and feel of commercial packages without the price tag. After being pointed to one such package by a helpful reader, I discovered how ridiculously easy it was to set up. Less than half an hour, and it was up and running! It's easy to see why commercial software vendors hate the open-source movement :)
June 30, 2002
For the people who wrote asking if I'm trying out a feedback board to appease the kiddies on spacebattles.com who hate me: that's not the reason. I don't do things to appease people who hate me; I just thought it would be an interesting experiment. If it continues to work out, I may consider using a larger (but still freeware) system like RPGBoard on the general site.
PS. for those of you who ask why I don't argue with them to defend my reputation: if I let them waste my time arguing about my style or personality then they win, because their objective has always been to change the subject from technical and scientific issues to their smear campaign. To argue the smear is to capitulate. Better to simply point out the logical fallacy and move on. Those of you concerned about the fact that they might sway others against me should keep in mind that anyone who is swayed by such an obvious fallacy can't possibly be intelligent enough to make for interesting conversation anyway.
June 27, 2002
I finally finished that old half-finished "Brain Bugs" page.
New experiment! After adding the polls to my site, I discovered some Perl-based feedback forum scripts. So, I just added a feedback board to the AOTC pages. Keep in mind, however, this is not a big heavy-duty scalable BBS system (and it will never become one; there are some major system requirements for one of those, and I've just got a generic webhosting account with a third-party provider); it's just a script-based feedback forum. It's pretty bare-bones, but I'm curious to see how it's received.
June 15, 2002
Even more updates to the AOTC stuff:
Revelations #2: I revised the Count Dooku solar sailer section (new acceleration figures are between 5,000 and 20,000 G!). I also added a brief note to the Kaminoan cloning section about clone independence.
New poll (I won't announce new polls in future; it's pretty much impossible to view the site front-page without seeing the poll anyway).
June 9, 2002
Even more updates to the AOTC stuff:
Revelations #1: I expanded the discussion of the Force and I added another step in Palpatine's plan for galactic domination.
Revelations #2: I added some novel quotes and a note about missile placement to the gunship discussion, I added a note about Hailfire droid AA guns, I added a note about Anakin's tracking signal (in the Hyperwave Communications section), and I added a section about battle droid control ships at the end.
Added a reader-contributed article about AOTC's use of symbolism.
You've probably already noticed the poll I added yesterday. I discovered a polling script that was really easy to set up and use (perfect for lazy people like me), so I thought I'd have some fun with it. I've got lots of ideas for future polls. Some are serious but most are completely silly :)
June 6, 2002
Yet another update to the AOTC Tech Revelations, this time about Count Dooku's "solar sailer" and R2D2's rockets (scroll down to the end).
June 3, 2002
Minor update to the Campaign page (revised the Pegasus scaling figures from 15km down to a generous 10km in light of new screenshots).
Updated the Canon Database with new information on "The Masterpiece Society" and "Pegasus"..
Finally fixed the Database button, which wasn't turning red upon MouseOver. Thanks to the mysterious Sith acolyte named "Stim Neuro" for noticing and helping me to fix it. Once all opposition has been crushed beneath the jackboot of the Empire and the time comes to rule over the people with an iron fist, Stim's name shall be on the protected rolls :)
In off-topic political news, my Prime Minister has just informed the rest of the government that anyone attempting to challenge him in the upcoming leadership race will be punished, and he just made an example out of Paul Martin by dismissing him from his post. He has declared the leadership race over before it began, because he feels that he should be Prime Minister for life. Goddamned fascist dictatorial asshole ... to any fellow Canadians who happen to see this, please vote the bastard out before we become the next fucking Zimbabwe. That is all.
May 29, 2002
More updates to the AOTC stuff.
May 26, 2002
Small updates to the AOTC stuff.
(sigh) I would really prefer to talk about AOTC right now, but I keep getting E-mail about Chris O'Farrell hiding out on spacebattles.com and selling some new Trekkie super-giganto numbers in an effort to counter SW2ICS (I love the way the anti-SW crowd mysteriously came up with new giganto-numbers as soon as SW2ICS appeared, as if they wanted to make it obvious that they're just trying to keep up with the Joneses). The gist of the latest pseudoscience attack is that the E-D redirected some neutron star fragment by "1.2 degrees" in the old TNG episode #113 ("Masterpiece Society"), and he uses some questionable scaling in order to come up with numbers. I don't have the time or inclination to perform the full Imperial Smack-Down™ on this one right now, but I'll just offer up three quick points for those who are debating this trollish distraction instead of concentrating on AOTC:
Unless you know the distance from the camera to the fragment, you cannot use size ratios to determine its distance from the planet. Therefore, you cannot use the ETA to determine the fragment's velocity.
Unless you have a screenshot of the Enterprise between the camera and the neutron star, you cannot generate a lower limit on the fragment's size anyway, thus casting doubt on both distance and mass figures.
Unlike Episode #61 ("Deja Q", which is analyzed in my TNG Canon Database), there is no delta-v or gravitational potential energy requirement. Moreover, the onscreen characters conspicuously described its redirection as a change in angle, not a change in velocity. Without an established change in velocity magnitude, the change in kinetic energy is zero joules.
Theoretically, a localized space-time contraction (of the type that warp drives can supposedly create at low energy cost) would deflect the fragment without changing its kinetic energy. Alternatively, their vaunted "inertial mass reduction" technology could be used to temporarily reduce the mass of the moon so they can redirect it (with no net potential energy or kinetic energy change, the impermanence of the mass-reduction effect is not a problem, although the first theory has the advantage of not relying on meaningless technobabble). I'm sure defenders of the giganto-figures (who can't explain why the ship became trillions of times more powerful since "Deja Q" or prove that Geordi forgot the mass-reduction trick) will argue about the precise mechanism, but the point is that there is no net energy increase, therefore the lower limit is zero. The only way to generate a higher limit is to insist upon a particular mechanism (despite the fact that we don't even know how this stuff works), probably with some flimsy excuse like "they didn't explicitly mention <whatever> in dialogue" (funny how they don't care about that when invoking the "low yield" excuse to explain pitiful photorp performance, eh?). The point is that true lower limits are based on thermodynamic state changes, not assumptions about mechanism (a common pseudoscience trick). That's why "Deja Q" is a good candidate for analysis, but this case is not. Now please, stop bothering me with this nonsense, so I can continue focusing on AOTC.
May 19, 2002
May 18, 2002
May 16, 2002
Well, I just saw AOTC, and I thought it rocked! I don't want to go into spoiler details (I'll try to do that tomorrow in a separate page), but let's just say that Amidala's lines could have been improved (one friggin' line of dialogue and a couple of key facial expressions would have made a huge difference, which is one of those areas in which the smallest things can improve a movie), but overall, the film was still a blast. Jango rocks, Yoda kicks ass, and Hayden Christensen did a great job in my opinion (and I'm not just saying that because he's a fellow Canadian; critics panned his acting without just cause, and they poked fun at his cornball come-on lines because they missed a major point; more on that tomorrow).
Yes, I know what you're thinking: "but so many critics hated it!" Well, there are more good reviews than bad, and a lot of critics just hate George Lucas (here's an experiment: look at negative AOTC reviews and notice how much time they spend talking about George Lucas, then look at positive AOTC reviews and notice how they just talk about the film). In the notable case of Roger Ebert (who incomprehensibly gave TPM a far, far better review than AOTC), his agenda is different; he simply seems to have a bone to pick with digital filmmaking, and he uses his review to peddle his oft-stated belief that analog is better (are we really going to have a video repeat of that annoying CD vs LP digital vs analog debate from the audio world?). I can't figure out for the life of me why he was so impressed by the CGI in TPM three years ago but disgusted by the CGI in Spiderman and AOTC this year.
War Campaign page updated. I had received more than a few E-mails over the almost four years that have elapsed since first writing that page, and one of the most common comments was that I really didn't need to deploy so many ships. Reviewing the page, I decided that they were right, and I included so many ships simply as a way of bragging that the Empire had such vast resources that they could easily build that many, even if they didn't need them. The revised figures are bit more realistic, and I added some footnotes for more detail.
New shield technology page. This one discusses some issues that have been hot buttons lately, particularly with respect to some frighteningly ignorant complaints about SW2ICS (from people who claim to be scientifically knowledgeable, as usual) in which they insist that the kinetic energy of a physical impact must be an "upper limit" for pure energy weapons as well.
Added Damien Hailey to the Hate Mail page. While I poke fun at him for the usual logical errors, ignorance of science, lies about onscreen events, etc., I suppose I should note in his defense that he actually had the guts to confront me, unlike his more cowardly friends who quietly mutter that my site is full of "mistakes" but are deathly terrified to confront me in any venue one on one, where they can't gang up on me.
May 3, 2002
I've been told by numerous sources that a debate is "raging" at spacebattles.com about a supposed contradiction between the ICS and TESB. I was curious at first why no one had come to me with this criticism; usually, even if the main proponents of a major Trekkie idea don't have the guts to expose themselves to the possibility of an Imperial Smack-Down™, some of their friends will do it for them. But in this case, I have heard that the "ban the ICS" crowd is already taking heavy damage from local opposition forces, which would give us another reason for their reclusiveness. I wonder if they realize how pathetic they look ...
May 1, 2002
As some of you may know, the Episode 2 Cross-Sections book is creating quite a stir on the newsgroups, largely because the numbers confirm what I and others have been saying all along: look at the Death Star, and you'll see that my ISD firepower estimates are extremely conservative. In any case, the multiple 200 gigaton quad turbolaser turrets on the Acclamator heavy troop transport (not to mention its 6 megaton light guns, 7E22 watt shield limit, 2E23 watt reactor power output, 3500G acceleration, neutronium-impregnated hull cladding, and 250,000 light year operational range) all fit nicely with the conservative figures I've been using for years, and the 190 megaton missile launchers on Slave-1 are just icing on the cake. I've heard about the predictable whining (from the usual crowd at sb.com, of course) that it's "unfair" for Curtis to be writing an official book (as if Lucasfilm and Paramount actually make decisions based on fanboy "vs" debates), but they're missing the whole point, which is that by tapping him to write the book and then approving his text, Lucasfilm officially sanctioned his figures. The importance of SW2ICS is not so much that its numbers are consistent with Curtis' website and my own (that is a given, since he wrote it and we use similar methods) but that Lucasfilm has now made those numbers official. So, for the fanboy anti-SW people who whine about the book, please kiss my hairy ass.
I plan to eventually update my site to reflect these specifications (and also to address the inevitable mindlessly unscientific fanboy anti-SW criticisms of the book and ad hominem attacks on Curtis as they flow in), but in the meantime, I've discovered that at least one Trekkie has already developed a fool-proof way of dealing with the book. Click here to see a short video clip of his preferred solution (475kB, Divx5 codec required).
BTW, I just upgraded my desktop environment to KDE 3.0 on my PC (yes, you can upgrade the GUI, the desktop environment, and even the video drivers on Linux without rebooting), and it's awesome! It's slicker than Bill Clinton in a sorority house, and unlike typical Microsoft software upgrades, it's no slower than the old 2.2.2 version (it may even be a little faster). Strongly recommended. If you run Linux, go to ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/3.0 to download the relevant packages, and if you're using Mandrake, just type "urpmi *" to install them (one tip: also grab xanim from rpmfind.net because it seems to be a prerequisite in the Mandrake build, and don't get any packages with "devel" in the name unless you plan to develop your own software on KDE).
April 27, 2002
Added Brain Bugs to the Essays page. I normally try to avoid posting unfinished pages, but my schedule is really tightening up, and I didn't want to delay this update any more.
Added The Nanotech Myth to the Myths page.
Corrected an 8" radius to an 8" diameter in one of the SB Babies pages. Thanks to John Ertz for pointing out that error.
Well, the votes are in. Most people felt that it would be a waste of time to debate Chris O'Farrell now, after having crushed both of his little friends Gothmog and Edam, with many pointing out that they were getting a little tired of seeing me crush ignorant Trekkie sophistry, and they would prefer to see more interesting work. Some felt that it would be good to complete the Axis of Evil™ by making a set of three, but they were in the minority. However, it was pointed out that he might crow that I'm a "coward" (even though he secretly fears the Imperial Smack-Down™ and we all know it), so I considered confronting him anyway. But then he staggered onto ASVS in a state of shock after reading the SW2ICS and screamed an apparent surrender, saying "I GIVE UP! I THROW MYSELF ON THE MERCY OF THE GROUP AND ALMIGHTY WONG!!!!!" (at least he's handling it better than the crybabies who are trying to get SW2ICS disqualified as an official source even though it's sanctioned by Lucasfilm, citing a bunch of flimsy excuses that all add up to "it will only make it easier for you SW guys to kick our asses"). In light of this apparent declaration of defeat, I suppose the question of whether I should debate him becomes moot, so I will drop it and leave an open invitation for Chris to talk to me if he ever changes his mind.
On that subject, the SW2ICS is an awesome book, and I suggest that every one of you pick up a copy. No, pick up three copies: one to pore over until it's dog-eared, one to keep in pristine storage, and one to shove right up the ass of the nearest Trekkie :)
Chris may have surrendered, but Timothy Jones leapt into the void by sending me some E-mail, so I made him my latest victim. Since he is apparently ignoring E-mail from me, perhaps someone else can tell him about my latest rebuttal (not that he deserves it, since his "rebuttal" was quietly posted to an old newsgroup thread without my knowledge, and he didn't even have the courtesty to tell me). If you're sick of the recent Hate Mail frenzy, you might not want to bother with this one, because it's more of the same (actually, it's even worse, because he actually bases his argument on the old "TESB asteroids weren't vapourized" idea which was beaten to death years ago).
April 5, 2002
I added some interesting info about Gothmog's technical background (the one he tried to appeal to when I demonstrated that he obviously didn't know science from spit), based on input from people familiar with the program. See the Gothmog debate postmortem.
I also added a debate postmortem to the Edam debate.
OK people, I'm looking for some input here. How many of you think I should go through with my planned third debate against Chris O'Farrell, seeing as how he attached himself to Edam and Gothmog like an obsequious lapdog, and both of his idols were beaten so badly that they ended up contradicting themselves all over the place, and then making excuses to quit early? He was the loudmouth who incited me in the first place, but would it be a waste of time now? Should I devote my attention to other matters? Please let me know what you think.
March 30, 2002
After the terrorist attacks of September 11 last year, the satirical website "The Onion" ran the headline: "A Shattered America Longs to Care about Stupid Shit Again" (one of their few funny bits in the immediate aftermath of the attack). Judging by the way TV people have babbled nonstop about the Oscars all week (not to mention Tom Cruise's nauseatingly self-serving proclamation that Hollywood is more important than ever before), I'd say that wish has come true.
<RANT>In other off-topic ramblings, the Queen Mother died. Boo hoo. Don't get me wrong; any death is unfortunate, but she had a helluva good run (101 years), and I don't see why I have to watch people weeping on television over it. What about the fact that 100-200 infants die every week in the United States alone (which has a miniscule infant morality rate compared to, say, Palestine) from accidents, SIDS, and various diseases? Shouldn't we feel more grief for the babies of the world than for someone who was born with one of the world's biggest silver spoons in her mouth and had the good fortune to live for 101 years? I'm a little tired of the apparent belief that rich, famous peoples' deaths are somehow more tragic than the deaths of thousands of "unimportant" babies, so that people weep at one and shrug at the other.</RANT>
March 14, 2002
The third round of the Lord Edam debate is up. And no, in case you're wondering, he didn't miss the deadline; I just didn't have time to upload it until now, along with my rebuttal. This may be the last post in the debate, since he says he's dropping out.
March 10, 2002
I've posted my second rebuttal in the Lord Edam debate. Stay tuned!
March 8, 2002
Edam has made his second post in the Lord Edam debate.
Added an addendum to my Base Delta Zero page, providing more information on real-life nuclear attack, nuclear winter, and asteroid impact scenarios.
Added an addendum to the Alderaan page, discussing the differences between the original and SE versions of the explosion.
March 6, 2002
I have posted my first rebuttal in the Lord Edam debate.
Added a dedicated Base Delta Zero page. This one's been sitting in the hopper since late last year, but I thought now would be a good time to dust it off and put it online.
March 4, 2002
The Lord Edam debate has begun.
March 3, 2002
Added Science, the Grand Illusion, and Other Neat Stuff to the Essays page. This is the first essay that I've ever cross-posted to both this site and my creationism site.
Feb 27, 2002
Gold medal! Olympic gold medal in hockey! Holy shit!
Finally updated the Canon Database page! Almost as soon as I'd created it, I realized that I'd gone about the whole thing all wrong from the beginning. Those HTML tables were going to be a bitch to maintain manually, and I couldn't even sort them, search for individual records, etc. Updates were bound to be a pain in the ass, and I have little patience for menial work. So I finally sat down and wrote up a PERL script to extract the data out of the old HTML tables, and then I made a MySQL database out of it. Now I can add and edit records much more easily, I can re-sort the tables at will, and it's much easier to search for things. At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi ...
Added "Stolen Concept" to the Logical Fallacies page.
Jan 15, 2002
I retooled the Logical Fallacies example page.
I added some interesting info about knives and bulletproof vests to IXJac's page..
I added John Riehle to the Hate Mail page. I had intended to take some time off this website after all the recent activity, but this asshole kept goading and needling me, as if I had some obligation to debate him. It's the "gunslinger syndrome"; people get the idea that they can make some kind of reputation by debating me, and three times now (with the Spacebattles.com Babies, Daniel Rodgers and now this guy), people have goaded me into action by crowing that I'm afraid of them. I don't know what they hope to accomplish; so far each of them just ended up as another trophy. Anyway, now I intend to finally take some time off this site!
Finally saw LOTR. Very cool, although I thought it suffered from the same problem that TPM suffered from: flat characters. You can get away with that if there's enough in the rest of the film to hold your attention, but a film does not make the leap from "good" to "great" unless we can relate to the people who populate it. The incredible hype might have also had something to do with the let-down (again, another problem it shares with TPM). Don't get me wrong; I liked it, but I guess I was expecting more.
Jan 7, 2002
This is great! IXJac came back for more! I added his latest public humiliation as an addendum to the same page upon which I posted his last argument.
Jan 5, 2002
Well, the crank caller from Scottsdale, Arizona is escalating his harassment. Someone just registered the name "Mike Wong" at spacebattles.com (from a library kiosk in Scottsdale, Arizona; thanks to Steve Garrett for the tip), and said that I like "beating my wife and kids". I also received some threatening E-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org, in which he intones "Phear me" and demands that I publicly ask the little prick for mercy ... as if I would be afraid of some chickenshit that makes crank calls and leaves the electronic equivalent of slanderous graffiti on a bathroom stall. And an interesting coincidence has cropped up: somebody named Timothy Jones lives close to the Scottsdale library I mentioned before!
Just to annoy him, my formal response is to trap and skin another spacebattles.com baby. Surf to my Hate Mail page to see IXJac under the microscope. By the way, I would like to state, for the record, that while IXJac is clearly bluffing his way through talk of science and embarrassing himself in the process, I am not attempting to cast any aspersions on his character. I am told that he was the one who found and banned the idiot in Arizona who's trying to harass me, and I would like to thank him for that. But that doesn't mean he couldn't use a little more humility; for him to contradict a mechanical engineer on matters of fracture mechanics without bothering to do his homework first was a mistake of unusual arrogance, and it was one that he should try to learn from.
Hey Phalanx, I got your challenge. What the hell kind of subject is "the contents of your site"? Could you be any more vague, please? Name a goddamned subject! Why does it have to be like pulling teeth to get members of your little "we hate StarDestroyer.Net" clique to name a freakin' subject for a debate? And by the way, since I've already challenged your champion and squashed him, why should I waste my time debating some peon whose name I've never even heard of? The whole purpose of that debate was to find and then crush your champion. Get it? Do you know what the word "champion" means? I was planning to debate others in the rest of the world after Gothmog, but as far as I'm concerned, you people are yesterday's news. When David fought Goliath, was the winner expected to take on every other person in the loser's army until he got tired and went home?
Unlike some of you people, I do have a life. Since you guys were too weaselly to accept Gothmog's defeat (and he was too gutless to even finish), I have little interest in wasting more of my time with you, because I could crush another one of you and you would still run around pissing and playing your little spin-control games. I wanted to debate Chris O'Farrell and Lord Edam next, because they've been trashing me on ASVS. But you people? I've already gutted your champion, so I have no more interest in you. If you want to weasel away from Gothmog's failure and appoint another champion, then I want a formal statement that you do collectively choose this guy as your champion, and that you agree to collectively accept his fate.
Jan 4, 2002
Does anybody know someone who hates my website and lives in Arizona? Somebody just crank-called me from 480-529-9812. I know it had something to do with my website because they called the phone number I left as a contact with the domain registrar (not my home phone), and they asked for me by name (that phone number is not listed under my name). Given the "suspicious" timing (less than a week after embarrassing Gothmog in our debate), I suspect it's one of Gothmog's little playmates. It's pretty sad when someone takes something like this so seriously that he tries to harass a man when he's at home with his family. However, this would not be the first time that somebody from the spacebattles.com "vs" forum crossed the line, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Small wonder Steve Garrett referred to it as the "sewage pipe" of spacebattles.com ...