Block’hood.

What happens when a design studio decides they want to take a stab at making a computer game? You get Block’hood.

The Plethora Project (or perhaps it’s “Plethora-Project”, they can’t make up their mind, and that annoys me), is a “design studio with a mission to accelerate computational literacy in the frame of Architecture and Design.” In 2017, they released Block’hood, a city building simulator video game that focuses on ideas of ecology, interdependence and decay. From the screenshots, it might resemble a tower building game, but it’s not. In Block’hood, you don’t create towers, but entire create ecosystems, called hoods, with the goal of making them self-sufficient.

I really like the premise of the game. It reminds me a lot of The Settlers series, of which I played a few of the titles for hours on end. The ecosystems in The Settlers are pretty basic compared to those in Block’hood, though. In The Settlers, you would plant some wheat, harvest, make flour at the mill, then a baker would make bread from one part flour, and one part water. An equivalent ecosystem in Block’hood would be similar, but involve a lot more components, or “blocks” as they are called in the game, and be more complex. Blocks in a Block’hood ecosystem more often than need several inputs to function, and produce both products and bi-products.

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Red Bull Silver Edition Lime.

Red Bull Silver Edition Lime

When it comes to the question of whether or not I should reload my energy drink review series, I’m still very much on the fence. Recently, though, I came across a Red Bull Silver Edition Lime review draft I started in 2015, but never got around to finish. So regardless of the reload or not, it’s time to get this draft done and published. It’s based on the old, boring review format. I’ve decided to stick with it for this review, perhaps to prove a point, or perhaps because it’s the path of least resistance to get the review published.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

A variety of Red Bull flavors has appeared on the shelves lately1. Marketed as “Red Bull Editions“, they sure are a welcome addition to a somewhat stale energy drink market. Most manufacturers desperately try to copy the original Red Bull flavor, when they should rather use the opportunity to innovate. Instead, it’s Red Bull itself that comes up with something new and original flavors. Give them a rounds of applause!

The Red Bull Editions come with the same energy related benefits as a can of the original Red Bull, but in a range of other flavors. Currently, three are available: Cranberry (The Blue Edition), Cranberry (The Red Edition), and Lime (The Silver Edition). In this review, we’ll give the lime flavored Silver Edition a try.

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Sports Betting Terms Guide.

We’re edging closer to the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and with it my biannual betting bonanza. It’s a good time freshen up on the jargon with my sports betting terms guide.

As we’ve covered many times before, I’m not a betting man. It happens so rarely, in fact, that I forget what different kinds of bets and terms actually mean. As I’m preparing to get back on the wagon for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, I figured it was time to write this guide for myself. I’m writing it as I’m learning, so there might be errors! If you spot any, please let me know so I can correct them.

As with everything I write, please don’t trust it blindly. If you lose your house, wife, and kids to gambling, you’ve only got yourself to blame.

Odds

So, no, I don’t actually forget what odds are. I’m including it here because some of you might be totally new to gambling, and to explain different ways odds are presented. Odds are basically numbers telling how likely it is that an event occurs. The higher the odds, the less likely it is that a particular event occurs. But the less likely it is – the higher the odds are – the more money you’ll win. There are several ways to present odds, and how they are presented depends on which bookmaker you’re using to place your bets. We’ll cover the three most common ways here: Decimal odds are used in Australia, Canada, and in continental Europe. Fractional odds are used in the UK, while US bookmakers use their own weird format.

Here’s a table with examples (conveniently lifted from Wikipedia):

Decimal Fractional US Implied probability
1.50 1/2 -200 1 in 1.5 = 67%
2.00 Evs (1/1) +100 1 in 2 = 50%
2.50 6/4 +150 1 in 2.5 = 40%
3.00 2/1 +200 1 in 3 = 33%

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June One-liners.

A brand new month must be celebrated with some brand new one-liners. These newcomers to the one-liners collection are mostly lifted from random accounts on Twitter spotted via @FunnyOneLiners.

  • Let he without typos, cast the first store.
  • One person forgetting to take their medication can really liven up a mundane day at the office.
  • Good morning to everyone except people who call to make sure you got their email (like 30 seconds after you got it).
  • Friday the 13th is a holiday started by Big Hockey to sell more masks.
  • The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math.
  • “Always make new mistakes.” — Ester Dyson
  • “If a cop tells you to put your hands in the air, it’s always a bad idea to wave them around like you just don’t care.” — Nick Jack Pappas
  • My wife and I have a rule whoever is driving controls the radio, unless I’m driving and then she controls the radio.
  • Never invite an arsonist to a housewarming party.
  • “When in doubt tell the truth.” — Mark Twain
  • The possibilities are endless, but I just want the good ones.
  • If aliens ever decide to abduct me, I hope they do it on a Sunday night and not a Friday night, because I really don’t want to lose a weekend.
  • The Indian version of “How I Met Your Mother” would only last one episode, entitled “The Wedding”.
  • I don’t always whoop, but when I do, there it is.
  • “Cults make perfect sense. Do you know how hard it is to make friends as an adult?” — Sophia Benoit
  • “One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.” — Mark Twain

Your First Year, 2nd Edition.

An open letter to our second born.

Dear Hedda.

You’ve miraculously made it 12 months, and it’s time to write this letter to you. Your sister got the same service, and to avoid any outcries when you’re old enough to understand English, I’m writing this for you, too. Of course I am. Just like with your birth story, also known as The Story With Too Much Information. Note, however, that you’re getting your open letter weeks before your older sister got hers.

We named you Hedda after one of the characters in the story A Day With the Animal Mechanics. Your sister demanded to read it every night before bedtime for four weeks straight, and so the name stuck with us1. A more English-sounding name probably would have been better, but you’ll be all right. There have been several famous Heddas through time. Even an asteroid.

You’ll always be compared to your sister. That’s the life of a second born. So it’s interesting to see how very, very different you are, and reading through the letter I wrote to your sister show just how much. The future with both of you will be a hoot, to put it that way.

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