Fire alarm enters tenth hour without relent

Public housing officials in Pittsburgh are hunting for whoever has the key to turn off a fire alarm triggered yesterday evening. As of 8 a.m. Monday, it's been blaring for 10 hours straight; if you have the key, please get in touch with the Allegheny County Housing Authority. [WPXI Pittsburgh]

Five reasons to play D&D


I thought Grimm Wisdom's "5 reasons to play D&D" was a great list -- and it made me want to get my 4-y-o out of bed and have a go at the stripped-down version we play with random toys, polyhedral dice, and miniatures. But I blogged it instead -- here's the first three, I'm gonna get the kid up:

1. Dungeons and Dragons is about imagination. It is sitting at a table, with some books, paper and pencil (or their electronic equivalent, PDFs and spreadsheets), and using the power of your mind to throw yourself into a fantasy world. Everything that your characters do is something you decided for them to do. This is no video game designer laying out choices for you. In my 20-plus years of gaming, our characters have started wars, ended wars, rescued people, killed monsters, started towns, started criminal organizations, thrown parades, stopped parades, bought bars, built temples, in addition to countless other things.

2. Dungeons and Dragons is structure. No creative endeavor, be it art, music, writing or performance, can exist without a framework of r

ules and boundaries. Our English language is built on 26 letters and our music 12 notes. It is the creative person’s mission to build something in the context of that structure that is worthwhile and maybe even entertaining.

3. Dungeons and Dragons is social. You can’t play this game alone. It requires at least two people, and typically four to eight. Interacting with other people, especially face-to-face, is important. It just is.

5 reasons to play D&D (via Wil Wheaton)

Man crushes 7 police cars with tractor

A man accused of using a tractor "like a monster truck" to crush seven police cars is out on bail. Roger Pion, 34, of Newport, Vermont, was reportedly angry at a recent arrest; he now faces up to 16 years in prison. Here's Laura Carpenter in the Newport Daily Express:

Fortunately, no one was in the vehicles and no firearms, located in the trunks, were discharged. The damage, estimated at between $250,000 and $300,000, included the vehicles, cages, firearms, radios and radar equipment. No one in the sheriff's department heard the ruckus outside; they were alerted after a witness called 9-1-1. That afternoon, two Newport City Police officers were in the area not far from where the red tractor was headed after the rampage. The officers followed the tractor in their cruiser, according to an affidavit by Detective Trooper Lyle Decker with the Vermont State Police. Pion allegedly looked back and saw the police cruiser behind him. He allegedly stopped the tractor and began to back up towards them. The cruiser then backed up, hitting a car behind it.

The evidence is clearly that America needs more weed, not less.

Hi-res image from new Mars rover

From NASA: "This is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT). It was taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on the left "eye" of a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance cameras on the left-rear side of the rover. The image is one-half of full resolution. The clear dust cover that protected the camera during landing has been sprung open. Part of the spring that released the dust cover can be seen at the bottom right, near the rover's wheel."

NASA's New Mars Rover Sends Higher-Resolution Image [Nasa JPL]

Meanwhile, in space...

Maaaaaars?

MARS!

Marsmarsmarsmarsmarsmarsmarsmars ...

Thanks, Kate Davis!