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Von Neumann Wang

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-03-13 03:28:02

Von Newmann Wang

Well here's the obligatory Watchmen strip. I've beaten this joke to death, but this Squishy Comics pretty much begged for it. "A blue cock," indeed. The line should've been, "Why do I get the feeling Dee is going to make me draw an azure sea of radioactively self-replicating man-danglers sometime next week?"

There's way too much noise about the film; the maelstrom doesn't need my pontifications. I'm just glad it wasn't terrible, as it SO easily could have been. I'll refrain from actual film criticism; I only want to observe that the "If-Chuck-Norris-Was-A-Cyborg" cam should have been dialed down a couple of notches. They made Rorschach, Silk Spectre, and Nite Owl waaaay too bad ass. They were clearly superhuman.

It caused me not to buy into the Rorschach apprehension scene. No way "Super-Speed-Up-Then-Freeze-Annihilation-Fu" gets taken down by a bunch of beat cops. He's supposed to be a guy who moves smart and fights dirty, in a gritty down to earth sort of way. But the invincibility sapped the drama of the prison escape scene. Instead of, "Oh fuck, I can't believe he did that shit!" it turns into "What was that midget thinking?"

Or Nite Owl's ship, Archimedes. I always thought of it as a decked out dirigible, not a reverse-engineered Area 51 spacecraft. It was invincibly nimble in the film. And shiny. Everything was just too invincible and shiny. If they'd saved that combination exclusively for Dr. Manhattan, he really would have felt like a god.

Weirdly, for all the film's visual slickness, Nixon's makeup was atrocious. That's an odd misstep for a director who's so fastidious about visual fidelity.

Anyhow, the film was passable (Jackie Earle Haley stole the show), but ultimately dismissible. Seriously, read the book. It's superior by at least a couple scales of magnitude.

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Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-03-12 06:43:34

Diplomacy II - Fall 1903 (updated with builds)

The images below depict the latest states of the board. Larger versions are available for viewing by clicking on them. Note that there is a British fleet in the Barents Sea that is difficult to see.

Play the home version by following these forum threads!

England continued their aggression, wresting Kiel away from Germany. England is still in the best position of any player, but his unilateral imperialism is running the risk of uniting players against him. Russia and Germany teamed up to keep him out of Sweden for a turn. France should be eying that new British fleet in London with consternation. England is well on his way to becoming the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla. He just needs to be careful that he doesn't become the kind of gorilla that gets caged or put down.

France failed to push Italy out of Tunisia (more on this below). The next turn mathematically guarantees a French victory, but the gains are coming too slowly. France need to keep pace with England, and a new build would be nice if that British fleet is, in fact, headed for French concerns.

Italy threw down a clever tactical maneuver that held off France for yet one more turn. But she still needs help, or the three French fleets will methodically dismantle Italy.

Austria vacated Rumania and retook Bulgaria, thus resetting this section of the world to a state virtually identical to that of a year ago. The Balkans continue to be a fount of hilarity. All three eastern players are simply spinning their wheels. Austria even failed to encircle Warsaw, the fall of which could be the cornerstone of a successful campaign. I've given up on trying to analyze certain Austrian orders, as they simply make no sense to me.

Turkey didn't get his orders to me. He is clearly the most deserving recipient of the "Diplomacy II - Mostly Harmless Award".

Russia is much the same: frantically repelling Austrian incursions, and trying anything to keep England from eating his face. As I mentioned, the southeast corner of the board hasn't progressed, but England is (tick, tock) chewing vigorously, and unless current political alignments change, Russia is running out of time.

Germany is on the brink of elimination, down to two Supply Centers. He needs a political solution, as the military options are increasingly negligible.

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