Trump vs Clinton: Round Two.

On Sunday evening it was time to sit down and brace for the second round of the presidential title match of Trump vs Clinton. In the right corner; a rambling, sexist businessman. In the left corner; a former Secretary of State who nobody trusts.

The town hall format of Sunday’s debate is a bit different than the one used in the previous debate. Instead of a moderator asking questions, the questions are asked by selected members of the audience. The poor, poor audience. Most likely people kidnapped on the street, and given the choice of a slow, agonizing death, or asking a question. It’s a format that should suit Clinton better than Trump. She’s got experience with this kind of debate, while he favors big crowds, monologue, and occasional yelling.

None of the candidates did any attempt to shake the others hand as they entered the stage, and everything went down hill from there. After the first question was asked by an audience member, it took a good 20 minutes before the moderators managed to squeeze in the second question. Both Clinton and Trump approached the questions they were asked as proper politicians. They talked a lot, but rarely spent much time actually answering. Instead, they used most of their allotted 2 minutes to talk about something completely out of context. Or attack each others campaigns, personalities, and immediate family.

Just as classy as we’ve come to expect from the American presidential candidates.

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Make America Grope Again.

Donald Trump has insulted a lot of people since he announced that he was running for president last year. So many, in fact, that the NYT maintains a list of people, places and things Donald Trump has insulted. So far, they’ve identified 273, and that’s only limited to his Twitter antics1.

Mexicans, journalists, politicians, and even entire nations are just a few things you’ll find on Trump’s ever growing shit list. He also repeatedly talks about women in less than favorable ways, and Megyn Kelly in particular, has found herself on the receiving end of the GOP’s presidential nominee’s disrespect.

But Trump’s non-stop insults haven’t hurt his campaign. Oddly enough, the opposite is the case. I’m not a political analyst, but my best guess is that he gains votes from people who like that he doesn’t behave like your run-of-the-mill politician. In fact, he’s even stated that he is not a politician. And the people who vote for Trump absolutely love this because they are tired of ordinary politicians. He also gives the impression that he doesn’t care what people think of him, and that’s another thing that give the guy votes from the same crowd.

It seems like no matter what Trump says or does, his followers continue to applaud him. At least that was the case up until yesterday, when The Washington Post released a video where Donald says some rather unfortunate things about women.

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Trump vs Clinton: Round One.

On Monday night this week, 84 million Americans sat down in front of their television sets to watch Trump vs Clinton. The first of three presidential debates was the most popular to date, beating the Jimmy Carter vs Ronald Reagan debate back in 1980 by almost 4 million viewers.

Among the many viewers was your truly. I live in Europe, which meant I had to get up at three in the night. I also didn’t want to wake up my wife1, so I spent the night sleeping on the couch downstairs. But why do I bother to get up in the middle of the night to watch a political debate on the other side of the world? I don’t even follow domestic politics closely. The main reason was that I was hoping for a mental breakdown by Donald Trump on live TV, so I could tell my grandchildren that, yes, grandpa personally witnessed the Great Trump Meltdown of 2016.

While that never happened, at least we got to see Donald Trump being his rambling self. He occasionally managed to express himself using coherent sentences, but he spent most of his time pointing his index finger in the air, blaming Clinton for ISIS, getting visibly angry, and talking about Sean Hannity.

Clinton, on the other hand, managed to stay calmer, more focused, and even managed to give reasonably constructive answers to moderator Lester Holt’s questions. Holt, by the way, didn’t do an amazing job keeping the two candidates in check. Trump was allowed to interrupt Clinton 51 times without Holt lifting a finger.

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Fire Starter.

Let’s talk about smoke detectors, people.

You know those annoying things that start to make semi-regular, high-pitch beeps when you need to replace their batteries. But smoke detectors aren’t invented just to tick us off. They are there for a very good reason. As the name implies, they excel at detecting smoke, and most of us have at least one installed at home. Too much smoke inside your house is usually a very bad thing. You see, you’re absolutely terrible at breathing in thick, black smoke. No matter how many cigarettes you manage to puff through in a day, your lungs won’t magically start to accept smoke as the new O2.

Too much smoke and you’ll die. And dying is not good for you.

When I was a kid, me and my family woke up one night from the sound of a howling smoke detector. The freezer in our basement had caught fire, and the smoke from the fire was filling our townhouse apartment. But thanks to the wonders of the smoke detector, we got out safely, and the fire department saved the day. But who knows what might have happened if my parent’s hadn’t been safety conscious and installed the Magic Round Box? I might have been dead, Anniken would have been married to an alcoholic wife-beater, Vilde would never have been born, and this site would have been run by some other guy who would have posted his incoherent ramblings on an irregular basis.

So this episode with the fire, and the smoke, and the loud, loud beeping, and the fire department and me carrying the nasty smell of an electric fire with me for a month, has kind of stuck with me since. It’s the reason why we have smoke detectors installed on every floor1 of our house. If one of them detects that something is amiss, they all go off, and the fire department is notified immediately. It’s also the reason why when I’m outside and hear a smoke detector crying its loud wails, I try to find out why.

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The Tale of a Doomed Colony.

It’s not over until everybody’s dead.

As part of my twenty four hour gaming binge, I spent a little time with RimWorld. RimWorld is an indie space colony management game developed by the Montreal-based developer Ludeon Studios. The game let’s you play as three survivors from a space craft that has crashed on an unknown planet, and your main goal is to make sure they survive and prosper. RimWorld is very much inspired by Dwarf Fortress, and freedom and deep simulation are key elements.

I’ve tried to come to terms with Dwarf Fortress several times, but the ASCII user interface has broken me every time. When you learn it properly it’s like looking straight into the matrix, but the learning curve is pretty much just a massive brick wall you run into. RimWorld, on the other hand, gives you much of the same experience as Dwarf Fortress, but with a graphical user interface us mere mortals can learn to use without our brains exploding in the process.

One of the most interesting side-effects of deep simulation games like Dwarf Fortress and RimWorld is the stories they create. The fable of Boatmurdered, an epic tale of incorporating hordes of belligerent dwarf-eating elephants, floods of biblical proportions, and flaming puppies, is among the better known that Dwarf Fortress has spawned. Inspired by the story of Boatmurdered, I decided to scrawl down a few notes as I played to see if my first experience with RimWorld could result in something that would be worth reading.

(Fredrik, you can safely stop reading now.)

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