Alex Chiu update

Several months ago, I had some requests to try to interview Alex Chiu, famous for being the creator of immortality rings. They let you live forever, or at least not age. I e-mailed him recently to see if he would deign to take his time for a small potato blog such as this one.

One thing I don’t want to do is ask a bunch of questions that could be answered by reading his website. There’s no point in that. While I have a couple questions in mind, it’s not enough for a decent interview.

What would you want to ask Alex Chiu?


UPDATE: He has agreed to an interview.

YES, YES, YES! My life is complete!

Tournament of Lepers, Week 8

Week 7 Results

White Black Result
l3rucewayne drunknknite ?
Wahrheit Rhuiden 1-0
LEP gorckat bye
Rocky Rook chessloser ?
Polly Tacticus ?

Week 8 Matchups

White Black
drunknknite Tacticus
chessloser Polly
gorckat Rocky Rook
Tom LEP
l3rucewayne Wahrheit

Standings

When the other results come in...

It’s the next to last week of the tournament, and the deciding match may just come down to the final week. You can’t ask for anything better than that.

The results from last week’s matches are coming in slower than Zimbabwe’s election results, so the standings table hasn’t been updated yet.

US to modernize Polish military

Cossacks
Some Polish military leaders will resist replacing cossacks with tanks

The new Polish government is less open to the United States’ suggestion of placing a missile shield on its soil. Polish Prime Minster Donald Tusk is asking for a reward, military modernization, in exchange for allowing the American defense system to be set up in Poland. While the US wasn’t expecting that sort of pushback, officials admitted it was pretty smart of those guys to try to grab what they can.

Poland hasn’t bothered to upgrade its army since the Crimean War, so they still pretty much use cossacks, mounted cavalry units. An anonymous Bush administration official remarked, “No offense to the Poles–I mean, they’re great people who make a great sausage–but no wonder the Germans beat them in, like, two days in World War II.” Mr. Tusk has done nothing but agree, summarized by the direct statement, “To put it bluntly, cossacks aren’t that effective against aircraft.”

His attitude towards national defense is a stark contrast to the former administration of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who believed that cossacks would be “good enough if our sovereignty is threatened, at least until the rest of NATO arrives. But the French don’t count.”

Vladimir Putin
Putin is disappointed all the army’s time spent learning how to defeat cavalry formations will go for naught

While Prime Minister Tusk can go ahead and say what he jolly well pleases, he risks the fury of the generals leftover from Mr. Kaczynski’s government. If the cossack units are eliminated, the army will have a significant problem with getting rid of the horses, causing no end of conflict with local chapters of PETA.

Russian president Vladimir Putin expressed dismay that the improved Polish armed forces will reduce the scope of his country’s “potential expansion”. He did concede, however, that such expansion wouldn’t be happening anyway until the Russian navy figured out how to stop sinking its own subs.

Source: US ‘to modernise Polish military’

Why eggs aren’t religious

I’m getting a little resentful that the about page still says I only do 2% of the work around here. It’s been days since Mr. Boss gave you a decent post. It’s almost like he was hoping some of you readers would wish him happy birthday, then just took off. Looks like it’s up to me to save the site…

So get this: I was eating lunch last Sunday, trying to decide on my college basketball bracket. I stared into my bowl of Chunky Soup, bending my massive intellect into the task at hand. All of a sudden, I received a flash of inspiration…the chunks of food formed an image of the Virgin Mary! (See picture, below.)

Image of the Virgin Mary in a bowl of Chunky Soup

It was obvious: Mount Saint Mary would upset North Carolina. All the other picks just kinda fell into place after that.

Mount Saint Mary ended up losing by 39.

I sold the bowl of soup on eBay for $17. Images of Mary in random objects sure don’t go for as much as they used to.

Tournament of Lepers, Week 7

Week 6 Results

White Black Result
Tacticus Rocky Rook 1-0
Tom l3rucewayne 1-0
drunknknite Polly 1-0
gorckat Wahrheit you know…
chessloser LEP 0-1

Week 7 Matchups

White Black
l3rucewayne drunknknite
Wahrheit Rhuiden
LEP gorckat
Rocky Rook chessloser
Polly Tacticus

Standings

		 dnk Pol Whr Tac LEP l3r Tom cl  RR  	
1  drunknknite   xxx 1.0 --- --- 1.0 --- 1.0 1.0 1.0  5.0
2  Polly         0.0 xxx 1.0 --- 1.0 0.0 1.0 --- 1.0  4.0
3  Wahrheit      --- 0.0 xxx 1.0 1.0 --- --- 1.0 1.0  4.0
4  Tacticus      --- --- 0.0 xxx 0.0 1.0 1.0 --- 1.0  3.0
5  Liquid Egg    0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 xxx --- --- 1.0 1.0  3.0
6  l3rucewayne   --- 1.0 --- 0.0 --- xxx 0.0 0.0 1.0  2.0
7  Tom           0.0 0.0 --- 0.0 --- 1.0 xxx 1.0 ---  2.0
8  chessloser    0.0 --- 0.0 --- 0.0 1.0 0.0 xxx ---  1.0
9  Rocky Rook    0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 --- --- xxx  0.0


(gorckat's been removed, unless evidence to the contrary indicates he will return)

chessloser and I had an unaesthetic slugfest, where the opening sucked. Then I won a Pawn, then an Exchange, then it was an avalanche after that.

Mr. loser also accused me of cheating, alleging the Mascot ran Fritz and fed the moves to me. This is a slap in the face; chessloser apparently thinks I’m too incompetent to cheat on my own.

I had the opportunity to watch Tom’s victory, which was quite compelling. He sacrificed an Exchange to complete powerful Queenside attack which netted him material. The material imbalance in the endgame was something like a Queen and Pawn versus Rook and Knight. l3ruce’s forces were mostly consolidated in the center and it took a while for Tom to break through. With their permission, I would like to post their game via Chess Publisher on this page.

drunknknite and l3rucewayne have a pre-arranged draw, so that should be exciting.

Romancing Jesus

Tom’s asking “Does Jesus want to be my friend forever?” finally prodded me to post this (it’s been sitting unfinished since November).

Shout to the Lord album cover

During my college days, I attended a church with a more “contemporary” style of worship. Despite attending for three years, I never found it easy to worship seriously there. At the time, I rarely talked about it, nor was able to put a finger on why that should be the case.

Eventually, I figured out one thing, made obvious when “Shout to the Lord” by Darlene Zschech was sung during the service. There was a particular point during the song when, without fail, a bunch of people would shoot up their hands and do the hand-waving thing. This was when there was a modulation (change of key) and the volume was kicked up a notch.

It was the music itself that was eliciting such a response from the congregation, not the song’s content. (Perhaps this is one of the reasons that music is frowned upon in Islam?)

While at my parents’ house some time back, a second point was revealed. One of the articles in the October 2007 issue of Tabletalk discussed contemporary worship. Here is what Gene Edward Veith had to say:

They are mostly in the form of secular love-songs to Jesus. They are often from the feminine point of view, singing “Jesus, I am so in love with you” in a way that makes men squirm. Sometimes, “Jesus” is never mentioned, with the song being addressed to a “you” who could just as easily be a human lover.

These “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” types of songs can be sacrilegious or profane.

Now I remember. That always felt weird to me, even as other students tried to convince me it was not.

Round 5 Review, Exchange Sac and Blunder

In the mid-game, there was an opportunity for me to sacrifice the Exchange to (try to) hold Black’s Queen in a little cell. I couldn’t calculate the lines all the way, but the idea was interesting, so of course I could not fail to attempt it.

Tacticus slithered out and was well on the way to consolidation, but blundered a Bishop. I’m a little surprised he resigned, because I was only up two Bishops for a Rook and at my skill level, that’s not a sure win.