Its been a while since my last update and things have become a little anxious as my husband and I wait to hear back on some of his job applications. Regardless of which position that he ends up getting, we will have to move to a different area and likely more than a few hours away. What this means is improved working conditions for my best friend and the chance to improve his health. The health thing is a pretty big deal as the manner in which shifts are dealt with at the current station lead to an inability to fall into a good sleeping pattern. It also plays havoc with the ability to exercise. The new place will also have housing provided, with the more remote locations getting special incentives because of proximity to services and real supplies. The latter will likely be a non-issue given that we have the requirement of broadband and the more remote places usually lack that simple requirement. The whole thing is causing me lots of stress because I have grown strangely attached to where we live (mostly animals that live around here) and hate moving, yet know that it isn’t about me. Wherever we go, he will also consider my needs as well.
We have pretty simple requirements. Internet is obviously the big one. We both use it for watching videos and doing research. In my case, it has allowed me to make connections with some pretty awesome people and has opened up learning opportunities that I would otherwise not have. If we live out in the sticks, it will also give us a means to order things without long trips to another place for shopping. Furthermore, we do a lot of online gaming. This latter example also ties in to my need for socialization.
In a slightly unrelated note, a gorgeous black cat has been visiting of late. I had seen it wandering about the street before, but finally made contact after hearing it meowing in our shed. I had unknowingly locked it in the shed. I gave it some tuna and lots of cuddles before my cat allergy kicked in with red, weepy eyes and stuffy nose that lasted for at least eight hours. I love kitties, but this allergy makes having a feline buddy a real issue. Rabbits and Ferrets are illegal pets in my state, as are many other potential buddies. I am not a big fan of guinea pigs as my previous experiences have shown them to be quite skiddish and prone to great escapes as well as having the tendency to die from mild changes in temperature. I considered a chicken buddy, but hubby has a deep-seated hatred due to childhood egg-based trauma. (It is actually kind of funny, but I am banned from telling the story.)
I am back to playing Marvel Heroes, a game that I return to time after time. It has plenty to offer hardcore players of ARPGs whilst also giving plenty for casual players such as myself to do. TERA is sort of lingering as the go-to MMORPG, though I am inclining more to Marvel Heroes. The recent second anniversary for Marvel Heroes is also giving away a free potplant Groot companion that can be moved between character, which is adorable and avoids that messy issue of having to save up large amounts of credits to begin with. Best of all GROOT!
It turns out that Infinite Crisis was cancelled after only a few months after release. Something about the game closing down in August. In any case, I decided to uninstall the game as soon as I heard the news. It is sad, but I have other neat MOBA games to play, such as Supanova, DOTA2 and Heroes of the Storm.
What is Supanova? It is an sci-fi RTS/MOBA crossover. One of the first things that jumped out at me upon playing my first game was fond memories of playing Starcraft. The art style for Supanova does a great job of providing that classic RTS experience in the form of choosing which creeps are built, whilst at the same time allowing you control over a single champion. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen of the game so far and look forward to seeing how the game goes after it goes out of beta.
I’ve finished a couple of courses of late, but have had to drop a bunch of enrollments to make way for more writing time. Yes, it was already pretty low, but it needed to be lessened even further. There are still a bunch of self-paced courses on offer, which makes things a lot easier given my schedule. Here is the list of courses that I completed:
- Making Sense of Climate Denial by UQ at EdX (Psychology, Environment Science, Science) **** [It discussed the psychology underpinning climate change denial along with some info on what information that those people discussing climate change draw from when they call for action to address the problem]
- Think. Code. Create. by University of Adelaide at EdX (Computer Science, Programming, Processing Language) **** [This course was a whole lot of fun, with students creating some wonderful artworks using the programming language]
- The Rise of Superheroes and their Impact on Pop Culture by Smithsonian Institute at EdX (History, Pop Culture, Writing, Art) **** [This is a must for anyone interested with pop culture, history, the arts and supertights]
- Introduction to Steel by Tenaris University at EdX (Science, Metallurgy) *** [This was a great introduction to the subject of the steel industry but was a tad short for my liking]
- Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching by Lancaster University at FutureLearn (Linguistics, Neuroscience, Psychology, Teaching) **** [I found this course to especially relevant given that I know a few people that live with the learning challenge]
- Understanding Language by University of Southampton at FutureLearn (Linguistics, Teaching) ***** [Some wonderful insight into what techniques more readily facilitate the learning of a new language]
- Lips and Teeth by Yonsei University at FutureLearn [History, Asia, Korea, China] **** [This course is a wonderful addition to studies in Asian history, focusing on the historical relationship between China and Korea]
I am currently enrolled in the following intake-based courses, some of which I may end up dropping due to conflicts with writing time:
- Paradox and Infinity by MIT at EdX [Philosophy, Logic, Mathematics] (I am seriously digging this course so far]
- Psychological First Aid by John Hopkins University at Coursera [Psychology, Counselling] (It is the last week and I need to catch up in order to pass.)
- The Bilingual Brain by University of Houston at Coursera [Linguistics] (I am attempting this a second time around. I dropped it first time due to some personal stuff that got in the way of deadlines)
- The Genomics Era by Saint Georges, University of London at FutureLearn [Science, Genetics] (Quite interesting so far, but I need to memorize the various terms used in order to avoid misunderstandings.)
- Modern Korean History by Yonsei University at FutureLearn [History, Asia, Korea] (I haven’t started the first week yet, but I expect good things from the university given my enrollment in Lips and Teeth.)
I ended up dropping Magic in the Middle Ages because of some flawed premises. I felt dumber for the first few videos. The quality of the material (not video quality because that was actually quite reasonable) does not bode well for any future studies with the University of Barcelona, which is a pity given that it has a decent reputation.
I dropped Introduction to Human Evolution because of the workload, but intend to enroll in a future intake. The format was solid and the material varied enough to give students some good insight into the nature of evolution. Jerry Coyne would be quite happy. For those that don’t know, Jerry is the University of Chicago professor that wrote the book “Why Evolution is True”, an excellent book that does a great job of debunking evolution denial whilst staying respectful of theists. It is conversational rather than confrontational in tone.
I only managed to finish three books since my last update.
- A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury (sci-fi short story in text) ****
- All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein (sci-fi short story in text) ****
- Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra by Avery K. Tingle (fantasy novella in audio) *****
The first two were short stories used as examples for the Paradox and Infinity MOOC, bringing to light the thought experiment of paradoxes as they relate to time travel. The third was a present given around my birthday and it was a lovely addition to a setting that I am quite fond of. You can find my reviews for each via my Goodreads account.
Its been an odd six weeks.
First of all, a friend asked me to co-edit a steampunk blog, which is a totally foreign experience for someone used to working on my own. I’ve never been an editor or co-editor before, and the whole thing is a little intimidating because of that lack of experience. I suppose that I won’t get experience unless I actually do the work.
The second is doing a voice chat with a writer / musician / artist / comedian / podcaster / etcetera… friend regarding his new project. It was a really fun conversation in which I learned a bunch of stuff about him that I was completely unaware of. I finally sent off the first draft of the article for review this afternoon. Once the short article is finalized, I will need some bling for the post to give a more human feel.
The third is opening some old manuscripts on one of my HDDs to find a Steampunk-ish project, I found another story that I had completely forgotten about. Heaven is a fantasy set in the world of Telluria, where the church were abandoned by the Creator due to willful corruption. It focuses on a young woman named Hella who is what is referred to as a Binder, a person that can imprison an Angel or Demon in her mind. I have been hard at work these past three days doing some mild world-building such as detailing the nature of magic in the world and information on geography, all of which are based upon the four chapters that I had already written. Its been fun, though I seriously need to do some more plotting in order to avoid continuity and logic issues. I will keep you posted on the progress.
Also, I have decided to start a new series of posts where I pimp out a Patreon. The idea is to post a new article either weekly or fortnightly, with fortnightly being the most likely scenario for the next few months as my hubby and I figure out where we will be staying for at least the next three years. I have three that I have already decided on and need to follow up with the owners, but I welcome folks to submit their own Patreon projects for consideration via the contact page (sends the message to my email), Facebook messaging or my email.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Hubby and I still have a lingering cough from the flu that we contracted a couple months back. Neither of us have has symptoms of the flu for this long before, but I suspect that it doesn’t help that we are both overweight and unfit from lack of exercise. I had planned to use the time while I was sick for productive purposes, but that just didn’t work out.
I finished and loved both Daredevil and Sense8. iZombie is quite entertaining, though some people are hating on the show for apparent diversions from the core material of the graphic novel series.