I have a class I teach that deals with time and the creation of “time” as we think of it, but this video is a pretty good primer for those that haven’t thought about it.

Time standardization wasn’t a thing until 1847, when the railways in England needed to simplify their scheduling. As the video points out, most towns set their clocks from the point the sun was the highest in the sky. But even in a small area like Britain, the difference between noon in Yarmouth and noon in, say, Penzance — a whole 120 or so miles from one side of the island to the other — is different. Train schedules necessitated time be “standardized” in Britain.

This is why the scheme was known as “railway time.” For those of you running games before 1847, there’s no time zones. There’s no fixed time save local; there were trains, however, and getting to a place when you thought you would was often problematic. You might wind up spending an evening on a railroad bench waiting for the next train because it left a few minutes before you arrived.

By 1855, all of Britain was on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), but Time Zones as we know it didn’t come into being until 1883 when the American rail companies adopted the “one hour” time zone similar to what we know today. Most of the world was on some form of standardized time zones by 1900, but there were loads of local variations. In the US, actual implementation of the StandardTime Act was in 1918, so even those with Victorian or Wild West period games can work this in — it might be noon on the town clock, but it’s 11:45 on the rail platform.


Here’s a stills gallery.

Wired has a nice article of the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) by Boeing being developed for the Army. The system will eventually run a 50-60kW energy weapon, rather than the 10kW here. And controlled with an XBox controller…soon your fat game kid might be able to join the military and shoot stuff from your basement.

Click for video.


All the corvids are far too smart — they use tools, they remember techniques and teach them to others, they seem to have an idea of consequence and expectation of reward, and they are cruel:

For more, go here.

It’s a space sorta day here at the Black Campbell. Here’s the link to Issaac Campbell’s original site for graphic, which deals with marketing aspect of the infographic:


Here’s Aaron Saenz at the Bay Area Art & Science Interdisciplinary Collaborative Sessions (BAASICS) on the possibility of the robotic apocalypse.

The X-47B drone just made its first carrier landing. How important is this? Well, the Navy is saying its on par with the first naval aircraft. The craft are remote-piloted, smaller than most naval aircraft (more to a carrier), and are much, much cheaper per unit than most of the hot-shit new fighter designs. Oh, and not having a pilot on board means it can out turn anything in the skies.


Here’s the first catapult launch of the craft:

And the first landing:

Can Cylon Raiders be far behind..?

Here’s the stats for the X-47B for the James Bond: 007 RPG:

PM: +2   RED: 2   CRUS: 500   MAX: 700   RNG: 2,100   FCE: 5   STR: 25   COST: n/a

GM Information: The X-47’s small profile gives opponents looking for it a -2EF to their Perception. The drone can carry 4500 lbs of missiles or other ordinance.

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