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Everything posted by toms

  1. no snow this winter in tokyo for the first time since records began. I wanted to go snowboarding this week, but most of the resorts have almost no snow, and some are even closing early. (japan ski season usually goes until the end of april). Oh, konnichiwa btw!!
  2. Its very hard to debate whether GOD is evil, as there is no evidence whatsoever of his existance. He is like a giant conspiracy theory. If we assume that a god does exist then his very nature makes him impossible for us to comprehend. The god that appears in the christian bible however appears as a petulant human, with the same emotions, feelings and inferiority complexes that humans have always experienced. There is no real sign of an incomprehensible, all knowing deity in those texts. This means: (a) The bible is correct in it's portrayal of god. In which case he has been uncharacterisically disinterested in the affairs of man for a long time now. He was never exactly subtle. (b) There is a god, but the bible "doesn't get him". © There isn't a god. Non of whihc has much bearing on religion, as god appears to be mostly an inconsequential inconveinience to most religions.
  3. Most of the world thought Clinton was a good president. Though of course that doesn't make it so. And i've never got the reagan love.. he was almost identical to bush (stupid, arrogant, caused the deaths of thousands) so maybe he's the best example of what people might think of bush in a few years. I think it will depend on two things. (a) The outcome of Iraq (and to some extent afganistan and the war on terror, but mostly iraq). (b) His successor. People tend to compare leaders to those that surround them.. so if a weak leader follows him it will make him look good in comparison.. or visa versa.
  4. To be fair, peacekeeping operations are insanely difficult. And of the 100 or so the UN has run a large number have been successful. But of course some aren't going to work out well.. and those tend to be the ones we hear about. The problem with a lot of them is that the international support isn't there in terms of resources. (and contrary to what people in the US seem to think, the US is often way below it's share of troop contributions to UN peacekeeping. ) Most of the UN believe that having a standing Rapid Reaction Force would be the way to stop a lot of these problems before they start. Doesn't the US keep blocking that? - The problem with sanctions of course is that the last person they hurt is KJI. He'll be eating steak while all his people starve. Still, i guess he won't care much as he seems to have achieved his main aim of facing down the US.
  5. N64 level console graphics = fine. Trying to match current gen hardware = big mess. (lego star wars, king kong, etc..) (From what i can tell.) Still, i might actually have considered lego sw ds yesterday if i hadn't read txa's excelent review/letter - so that is cool. PS/ What DS game would you recommend instead? I'm probably gonna buy a DS lte tomorrow and the deal includes New Super Mario Bros plus one of the following (i think): Trauma Center, Animal Crossing: Wild World, mario kart, ds lite browser, project rub, mario & luigi partners in time, cars, open season, monster house, nintendogs, princess peach. (i'd be tempted by mariokart, but i'm currently playing it on my gba. princess peach sounds a bit similar. I'm tempted by trauma centre as it would use the stylus fully. I'd almost be tempted by nintendogs, but i'm thinking animal crossing sounds like a more interesting version. m&l partners i know nothign about, except it got good reviews.)
  6. Why don't u watch the bond movies in order? If you watch them backwards then you aren't going to enjoy the older ones as much, because they'll look too dated in comparison. The dalton movies are better than anyone gives them credit for.. though i wish he'd got a decent haircut! [/mum]. I'd suggest: (connery) Dr no, Goldfinger, You only live twice. (lazenby) On her majesty's secret service. (lazenby sucks.. but the film is important. They really should remake it). (moore) Live and let die. Spy who loved me. 1 random other one (dalton) Either/both Snakes on a plane was dull. The one thing i didn't expect it to be.
  7. Well the UN has voted for sanctions.. and as china voted for them too then they should actually have an effect. We'll see exactly what that is though, and how long it takes. Nuclear weapons are a weapon of last resort. NK havng nuclear weapons in no way represents a threat to the USA. UNLESS the USA decides to invade NK in some crazy attempt to prove something. And deciding to go up against an army twice your size, with nukes, is pretty crazy imho. KJI wants nukes so that the US can't ever preeptively assault him like they did saddam. (NB: "that fool Saddam didn't update his military" because he wass busy complying with UN resolutions and destroying all his missiles.). He also feels they will boost his standing and negotiating power within the asian region (mostly with south korea and japan). Since the only chance of him using them (baring an acciednt that wipes out half of one of their cities) is attacking him.. it seems strange that your ideal response to him having them should be "attack!".
  8. Did that work? I thought the sneak attack only worked for the first attack out of "stealth mode" and as "stealth mode" only worked in "solo mode" it became pretty useless. I tried it a few times, and my character often killed the guys in one hit.. but then got surrounded and killed while the other characters tried to catch up. Thats one reason i thought it would be nice to have more intelligent characters that you can order around.. so that you could order mission to try and snealk around the back in a melee and take out their leader. (assuming they had the AI to protect their leader, and taking out their leader had any beneficial effects).
  9. Please help me!! That game was so disappointing after hearing everyone go on about how cool it was. The cutscenes were great, but the game was dull as dishwater. The trailer for the OT looked like it had a lot of funny cutscenes too, but have they added a good game this time? Yours hopefully, confused of nebraska. PS/ I think my wife is sleeping with my brother and my cat has run away with a drug dealer. PPS/ I like your DS review though. I dunno why companies insist on trying to recreate console graphics on the DS. It never works.
  10. Tomorrow never dies was the only really sucky bond. Mostly because of terry hatcher, and poor bad guys. And the fact bond never did any cool spying.. just permanently got chased around. The best thing about it by far was Michelle Yeoh. Goldfinger is the best connery. Spy who loved me is the best moore. There used to be a theory that every actor's third film was their best.. but that got kinda disproved recently. I don't remember for your eyes only being especially good (didn't it have a really wooden leading lady but a good ski chase?) PS/ My girlfriend works at the place that Bond plays golf with Goldfinger. WHere od-job chops the head off the statue. Its also in layer cake (starring who else but Daniel Craig.)
  11. Destruction looked cool in the cutscenes.. but a bit disappointing in game when you finally got the power. the graphics weren't really up to showing it back then. The only problem with too many force powers tends to be that they are very hard to balance in multiplayer. Mots and JK had more force powers that JO and JA, but they cut a few of them to try and balance it a bit better. (i think). My fave was always the original JK force throw.
  12. I see that the lancet is now estimating that about 650,000 extra deaths may have taken place since the war in iraq began. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6040054.stm This is a controversial figure, as its much higer than previous esitmates, but it uses a statistical approach that has been used in many other countries, so in theory it should be reasonably accurate. The margin of error is pretty large: 390,000 to 900,000. But even the lower figure is pretty huge. Infact, even the lower figure is more than saddam is thought to have killed in his 24 years in power. (unless you include the 500,000 killed in the war with iran.. but we supported that didn't we?) Apparently we are likely to need current troop levels in iraq until 2010.
  13. Well, that IS the whole reason that the US was created. But even in WW2 people tried diplomatic solutions. Almost all the european nations tried treaties and appeasment with the nazis.. and the US sat around not getting involved for 3 or 4 years... so i don't think things have changed as much as you think. N.Korea and Iran have been collaborating on nuclear weapons research, so if NK truely does have them then Iran will do shortly. Personally i'm undecided on whether they really have them, or they are trying a Saddam style bluff to try and stop the US moving against them. - I think your wrong on sanctions though.. NK is in a terrible economic state, its basically supported entirely by china. That means china has immense leverage over NK. If china cut off all aid then i'd imagine the country would collapse pretty sharpish. Now that we are all friendly with china, THIS is their chance to improve their image with the world. Thoguh since the UK and US have been selling nuclear tech to all these countries I'm a bit confused about why we are now upset that they are using it. - I also think a war with north korea would be a lot different to a war with iraq. Iraq had an army of about 400,000. NK has one of over 1million. (plus enough reservists that their army is actually theoretically about double the size of the US) Iraq didn't have any WMDs because we made them destroy them. NK definately has WMDs. We knew a lot about the iraqi situation due to lots of cia involvement, no fly zones, weapons inspectors (and their cia spies), etc... We know very little about NK due to it being such a closed country. The iraqi population had a lot more access to external media, and saddam was already in a weak position of power and likely to fall. This made it easy for the cia to convince a lot of his troops not to fight. The north korean population is poor and hungry, but they have no access to external media and won't be easy for the cia to influence. there is no evidence that KJI is about to fall. They will probably actually fight. Iraq was an easy war, followed by a long insurgency. Korea on the other hand i'd imagine being a very hard, costly war - but probably with less long term problems IF we won. The only real way to try and beat NK without HUGE casualties on our side would be to use long range weapons to try and take out all their military... and that is gonna cause huge civilian casualties, and pretty swiftly get the population behind KJI.
  14. toms

    Next JK game...

    I'd like a new plot. Maybe even (heresy!) a plot that DOESN'T involve evil jedi. Its just getting ridiculous how every darn jedi becomes a sith.. they must have about a 20% success rate. By Kotor2 they even have to ackowledge this fact.. and how the jedi order itself must have some deep rooted flaw, for so many to keep falling. Of course the difficulty is to find a suitable enemy that ISN'T a dark jedi.. which i guess is why they are forced to come up with star trek nonsense like the Vong. The only three viable time periods are: Ancient (kotor style), Pre episode 1 or Intra-trilogy. Of the three I'd probably go for Intra-trilogy as having the most potential. (thought taking part in the mandalorian wars mentioned in kotor would be fun - assaults with bassilisk war droids = cool!) I'd also prefer to play as a bad guy for once. The dark path was very popular in Kotor and JK, and everyone liked being bad in Tie Fighter. It also helps with the problem of suitable opponents, as we'd be able to fight jedi. (non fallen ones! shock!) I think a mechwarrior mercenaries style approach has some promise. (or maybe more like theif). Where you can gain credits by completing missions and objectives, and use them to buy weapons, upgrades, items, maps, intel, etc.. for your next mission. An Aurra Sing type character would work well for this. A bounty hunter, but with some force and lightsaber abilities. Initially you could take missions from everyone.. but later a bigger story would emerge and you'd have to pick a side. You might meet peeps such as Jerec (and other inquisitors) who might try to get you to join the inquisitors, darth vader in his hunt for jedi, Rahn and Kyle's dad in early valley of the jedi incidents, etc.. Plus you'd get to hunt jedi to make a cool lightsaber collection The advantage of this sort of approach is it might add some value to the guns, if you buy them and upgrade them yourself and choose the right ones based on intel, rather than them being an afterthought like in recent games. Heck, for assasination and kidnap missions sniper rifles and tranq guns might be much more appropriate than a lightsaber.
  15. I thought saw was ok, but the actng was pretty bad in places. I liked it, but not enough that I checked out the sequels. (which look just nasty, as I doubt they have much in the way of twists).
  16. Well, youtube's only business strategy was "hope yahoo or google buys us before we lose SO MUCH money that the venture capitalists pull out".. so i guess it works for them. Google must really think that video is gonna dominate the web though, cos even any profits they make from advertising on youtube are gonna be dwarfed by the cost for years to come.
  17. 1. Chrono Trigger. (Marle, etc..) 2. Chromo trigger (the race bit) 3. Er... *thinks hard* 4. Chrono trigger had cool music.. 5. Chrono trigger pro skater 2 6. " " 7. Chrono Trigger rules. Though, in a more serious frame of mind, even though chronotrigger had more simple, more turn based combat then KoToR it DID feel like your choices were more tactical. You couldn't move your characters in battle (but then positioning doesn't really matter in kotor anyway) and they all took turns... but you could combine attacks in special ways.. differnt attacks opened up weaknesses in different enemies, certain combos worked well against certain enemies, etc.. If they insist on limiting kotor3 to 3 characters again then a combined queue might work better, with alternating actions for each character. At the moment you can't combine attacks in any meaningful way.. and trying any sort of coordination at all takes too much character switching.
  18. I might watch an inconvienient truth tomorrow.. its only on in one cinema in town, and only a couple of showings a day.. or i might have watched it yesterday. I also watched A Scanner Darkly recently and thought it was excellent. Maybe a little too much humour, but unique and interesting and also fun. I'm looking forward to Marie Antoinette, purely because Lost in Translation is one of my fave movies ever.
  19. but $1.6 billion? for a site that is losing millions every day and has never made any profit? They could have bought flickr, skype, del.icio.us and probably digg for that ammount of money.. and then made their version of google video into something closer to toutube/flickr. They really need something like digg to combine with their news system and improve it a bit. I still think its an odd move... its more than and entire year's net income for google. Still, they must have some idea what they are gonna do with it.
  20. toms

    Next JK game...

    I don't want my good guys and bad guys wandering around in girly cloaks. Sheesh, jedi were much cooler when they didn't all have to dress like a crazy old hermit who lived in the desert... When did "crazy hermit wear" become the official jedi uniform? How come obi-wan's cunning attempts at hiding involved: Not changing his clothes (phew!), going to hang out with the step brother of the guy hunting all the jedi, changing his first name but not his last?? [/rant over] I thought that luke and kyle had much cooler gear, personally.
  21. sorry about the man's perspective thing.. it happens occasionally. Dunno why. However I don't really see WHY it should have a different emotional impact for girls than for guys. Other than the old genetic programming differences. I wonder how much of it is to do with society conditioning girls to think that its something deeply important and emotional? I remember once (long long ago) reading an article about the south pacific islands. Apparently on those islands sex was thought of as a perfectly normal recreational activity. There were no taboos around it at all. If two young people were walking along and happened to meet each other then one could proposition the other, and if they both felt like it then they could get right down to it there and then. And if anyone else was walking pst they wouldn't pay it a second thought.. as it was considered totally natural. Supposedly they had almost no trouble with rape or any of the other sex related problems we have here in the west. Of course then the misionaries turned up, made them put on more clothes, told them everythign they were doing was wrong and linked up sex and marriage and love in their heads. So i guess now they are like us. (messed up, repressed, confused, worried, etc..). I'm really not at all convinced they weren't much better off before.
  22. I just wish there were actually some strategies to plan in KoToR.. hopefully they'll fix that in the next version. Best turn based game ever: Chrono Trigger. (but then again, that is often my answer to any best *** game ever question )
  23. I just wanna throw shuriken with the wiimote (with wrist strap safely attached to protect the tv).
  24. I put my comments on The Departed in Chase's thread on that film. Suffice to say I thought it was pretty good.. but not even close to the original. Over the hedge surprised me too.. i thought it would be pants (as all non-pixar CGI films have been) but it actually felt a lot like a pixar film. Fearless only just came out over there? (the US?) I watched that months ago. It was ok.. though with it supposedly being jet li's last martial arts epic I kinda had higher hopes. It was a bit too generic.. though the fights were pretty cool. Its nice to have a film come out over here first for once. Watched World Trade Centre yesterday afternoon. (locked myself out of the house and had to wait hours for my housemate to get back, so went to cinema and it was the only slightly interesting looking thing on). It was ok. Started off quite strong... then got a bit boring. Since its basically just two guys in the dark not moving its pretty limited in what they can do.. and you already know whats going to happen. Watched Crank a while back (that out in the US yet?). Its a pretty cool and original film.. but it will give you a headache. Maybe take lots of caffine before you go in. I'm mostly looking forward to the new bond film. mostly.
  25. So much for "5 years". Stupid analysts. I think Emperor Devon will be safe for a while yet, i doubt they have the missiles to get that far. Maybe japan, who they don't like at all. *thinks about where he is moving to in two weeks* I'm not doing the whole "blame bush for everything" thing, but I don't think the "axis of evil" comments and invasion or iraq helped. It basically said to n.korea and iran "you are on our list, we'll get you next. unless you have nukes.". I guess they'd have developed them anyway.. but they might not have been in such a rush.. which would have given china time to put the brakes in NK. Basically China is the only one with any influence, but they have quite a lot.. so they should be able to control them.
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