Here's a great short documentary about the power of role-playing games to heal people.
Another asteroid just missed us on July 25th it appears. This one was only 1/5th the distance to the moon away. One of these days we're going to have a serious one aimed straight at us. This is why real money needs to be dedicated to protecting the planet from these possible extinction level events. We have the technology to protect ourselves from the majority of asteroids, it's just a matter of building what needs to be built and funding its ongoing maintenance.
Link: Washington Post
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is running an initiative right now to increase the inclusion of underepresented groups within the professional science community. The organization is the United States's main organization supporting science. They publish the journal Science, which is one of the two most prestigious science journals in the world (Nature being the other).
They are running a deal on membership right now through July 31 which gives you a nice t-shirt along with your membership. You get a subscription to the journal for the year along with your membership.
Link: AAAS Membership
Here's an article about how children's time spent playing is shrinking. The information about lowering creativity scores since 1984 is interesting. There's a lot of arm chair philosophizing going on in the article, though. And the suggestion to just let children play all day with no structure and no curriculum seems unwarranted to me. But it's an interesting read nonetheless.
Link: The Play Deficit by Peter Gray
Lisa Stevens, the CEO of Paizo, put out a post on Facebook announcing the arrival of the Pathfinder 2.0 books to their warehouse. In true Paizo style she did it wielding a goblin "dogslicer" and singing a new goblin tune. Goblins are the comedic mascots of the Pathfinder game. They love to sing songs and cause all sorts of mischief. They call all small creatures "dogs" and all large creatures "horses". They are all about collecting junk and building things out of it (which are always a die roll away from falling to pieces in the middle of combat or, in Starfinder, exploding). With the release of Pathfinder 2.0 they have graduated to become a full-fledged playable core race for PC characters in the new core rulebook.
Paizo has been working for years on trying to make all people feel represented and included within their game products. Here's a nice post they just put up as Pride Month draws to a close.
We here at Paizo strongly feel that gaming is for everyone, and staff and contributors have always worked hard to include a diverse cast of characters in our works to represent the reality of the gaming community. For this blog, I asked our staff and contributors to share some of their experiences being nerdy and queer, and we’re happy to share these voices and points of view from some of our community in their own words. Read along and happy Pride Month to everyone!
Here's a great article about the problems inherent in the way modern software programming is done and the possible solutions to those problems. The issue is basically that the code is so complex and abstracted from the actual requirements of the system that the software is usually rife with bugs due to the coders not being able to see the forest for the trees. The call is for programming to become basically a WYSIWYG process like word processing has become.
Link: The Atlantic
Here's a fascinating science discovery about humanity's oldest companion. Dogs have been found to have two extra eye muscles that their ancestors, gray wolves, don't have. These eye muscles allow them to shape their eyes into the well-known sad puppy dog stare when desiring human attention. The muscles allow dogs to widen their eyes and raise their inner eyebrow area. These muscles appear to exist for the sole purpose of generating human connection. It makes them appear more like human babies in their facial appearance and people usually describe the look as meaning that the dog must be sad. The dogs use them when they desire human eye contact. Dogs will turn to humans and make eye contact when they are faced with a problem they can't solve. Wolves will not. Dogs closest to their wolf ancestors in form, like Siberian Huskies, only have one of the muscles developed. Wolves do have some sparse muscle fibers, that have not developed into full blown muscles, where dogs have these muscles. So wolves can not generate the full expression, even if they wanted to. Scientists believe these dog muscles evolved through selection pressures unwittingly exerted by humans. Dogs that could appear the most expressive facially were selected for preferential treatment by humans, which meant that overall these dogs were cared for better and thus had better chances at healthy offspring. There are only two other animal groups that have these muscles besides dogs and humans: apes and horses. In horses, however, the muscles do not achieve the same look that they do in the other three animal groups due to horse facial structure.
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