The 2017 MarbleLympics

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I stumbled on the qualification round for the 2017 MarbleLympics last night.  I proceeded to watch the first 4 events before I realized the time.  This morning I finished the entire games.  What a rush of excitement it was.  I won’t give many spoilers, except to say that there were plenty of upsets and new records set this year.

The production quality of this series is top notch, it looks professionally done.  The commentator – Greg Woods (F1FanWoodsie), does a superb job on the entire games, he has gotten very into each of the events and shows genuine enthusiasm for everything.  I like all of the little details added to the games – each marble has a name, each team has a history and the crowd is very into everything going on!

Replays, picture in picture, overviews of the standings.  Everything about this is amazing!  Each of the courses is very well thought out and unique.  Block pushing was fun, the sand race from the qualifier round was my favorite I think.  Fidget spinning was a long event, too long in my opinion, but still enjoyable to watch.  It’s almost more fun to watch then the real Olympics, and I love the Olympics!  I can’t wait to see what the 2018 games bring about.

Speeder Bikes

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What is it with the Star Wars posts lately?  Oh, that’s right Episode VIII is going to come out next month.  That’s right.  It better not suck though.  The trailer has me worried, it looks an awful lot like The Empire Strikes Back.  I mean, look at it – Walkers on a snow planet, Jedi training with an old lost Master, dark theme, lost souls.  It looks like eerily similar to ESB.  I hope it’s not.

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Trick Pool Shot

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Technically, this was Snooker, not that it really matters that much, this was an incredible shot.  I think I’m equally impressed with the amount of room that this pool hall has.  I lost count of the number of tables visible, but it seemed like quite a set up.  Another thing that always amazes me is the timing and initial setup that’s required.  I’m sure where ever this was needed to be closed down for multiple hours in order to set it up.  And if it didn’t all work out the first take, well then that’s more hours, more time, more patience.

It’s still pretty ace though.

Alternate History Thursday:- Falling Skies

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Please don’t watch that terrible TNT show.  Instead, read the rest of this story and be amazed at the actual history that you missed out by being born in this reality, and not the alternate one that I’m about to describe.

We still don’t know where the millions of people who inhabited NYC daily went.  I mean, the ones from Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx probably meshed into the rest of the country with little oversight or fuss.  Staten Island and Manhattan on the other hand, those people were locked out, but all of a sudden, there were a few thousand left.  Just how empty the islands were remained a mystery until October 13th, no it wasn’t a Friday.

A pair of USAF F-15E Strike Eagles were making their bi-daily pass over mid-down Manhattan when out of nowhere a SAM was coming at them.  This was odd because of 2 reasons.  Firstly, all previous attacks came from lower Manhattan, and Harlem – close to the borders of the Island.  And secondly, the last attack was over 6 weeks ago.  Conventional wisdom was that the RNYers were out of rockets, and with the entire island embargoed, they had no way to replenish themselves.

One pilot managed to avoid the missile, but the other was hit dead on.  He successfully ejected, but due to the low altitude passes they were doing above city, the plane and the other missile went directly into multiple buildings in midtown.  I know what you might be thinking, destruction on a 9/11 scale.  Well, you’re partially correct.  The buildings, nondescript office/residential towers were utterly destroyed.  The military, the media, and the world assumed that hundreds, perhaps thousands of people were dead or dying as the buildings burned and crumbled.  What’s more, days went by before the fires were fully put out.  From the outside, it seemed like no effort at all was made to save anybody.  Any planes that flew by low were shot at (no more were shot down), the only information came from high flying U-2s.  They showed damage, but also an empty city.

There was no evidence of people in the city at all.  The buildings showed little to no heat signatures, the streets were bare and unmoving, nothing was happening, and no one could figure out where everybody went.

The pervailing theory was the subway system.  People were holed out in the subways, and that old, forgotten tunnels were how the RNYers were getting their supplies.  There was no easy way to prove this.  The President ordered certain key buildings be destroyed, and elite teams of Navy SEALs were sent to infiltrate the subway system.  The buildings were all knocked out via Ship to Surface missiles launched from the harbor.  They stood no chance.  Their destruction was captured on video and broadcast around the world.  The United States was not to be messed with.

The SEALs entered the subways, and found them empty.  They couldn’t do a proper mapping of the thousands of miles of subway tunnels, but they could, to the best of their knowledge, say that the city was empty.  The President ordered the subways to be flooded.  It was a radical idea, and no one was quite sure what would happen, but it was a quiet way to show the RNYers that the game is over, they lost.

Well, it turns out that 100 years of digging and tunneling beneath a city does some damage to the bedrock.  The ground lost alot of weight, and instead of being spread out, it was distributed on points.  Once the water was there those points spread everything out.  Foundations cracked, and buildings lost their footings.

The Mighty Skyline was Falling.

As usual, jump the gun for the video and enjoy your downloaded memory:

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The Laser

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I’ve sunk more hours into playing Halo 3 than I have done a fair amount of other things.  Many a night was spent awake with my stable of friends on Social Big Team Battle.  Usually the 8 of 12-14 of us would get together, sometimes we’d break up into two groups of 6, or 7 this way we could constantly get matched together.  Granted, this was back when there were a few thousand people playing H3 daily, but we still never had much of a challenge getting matches.

Even with all the theater, and the tools at my disposal, I rarely went back to re-watch videos of my crazy amazing kills, and crazy amazing deaths.  I was having too much fun playing the games themselves and trying to make new crazy amazing experiences.

I’m not quite sure if any video game will ever be able to recreate that level of experience I had with Halo 3.  I wore out multiple Xbox 360 controllers playing that game.  I Red Ringed an Xbox 360, and I have more deaths than kills, but I had some great time, with some great guys back in the hay day of online gaming.

I still miss it, and I want to play.  I think I will dust if off this weekend.  I just hope that I can find a match.

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VR Mario Kart

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I gotta say, I never really was a fan of the Virtual Reality games and ideas.  But watching this side by side video of what the user sees, and how they have to interact with the game to play, I like it. A lot.  Is it practical for home use, not a chance.  Would I pay $5 for a $5 minute experience at a mall, or an amusement park or other event, heck yes.

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Rt. 1

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Route 1 LEGO

An intrepid designer built Route 1 from the original Pokemon games (possibly from Gold/Silver, not Red/Blue).  I like the various touches of trainers, and “wild” Pokemon that appear throughout the level.

Pokemon was something of a revolution back in the day.  I remember my first time I beat the Elite Four.  I was so nervous and worried that I would run out of potions, or revives, or something.  Even to this day, I get worried, even with my level 97 Dodrio, I still don’t think I’m worthy sometimes. Man, I should go play X again, it’s been awhile, I bet the guy I sent to the Global Trade Center finally got traded!

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