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Deus Ex overhaul mod GMDX launches final version

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If magic isn’t real, you explain why me chanting DEUS EX DEUS EX DEUS EX has just caused sent several dozen people to, without even realising, reinstall the vintage FPS-RPG. But hold up, bewitched nostalgics! After years of development, the overhaul mod Give Me Deus Ex [official site] has launched its final version. GMDX shakes things up with more-advanced AI for a tougher challenge, improved mantling for agile Dentons, expanded physics for fancier mayhem, and new textures and bits for people who say “Ew, is that a pixel?” If the magic words compel you to return to Deus Ex, you might fancy a few surprises. Observe, a trailer showcasing newnesss: … [visit site to read more]

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therealedwin
42 days ago
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Seattle, Washington
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Spanish Jamón’s Forgotten Cousin Is (Finally) Available Stateside

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Trade restrictions on Spanish beef have limited stateside access to cecina for nearly two decades.

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therealedwin
54 days ago
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The Rum Bucket List: 15 Rums You Have to Drink at Least Once

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Not all rums are created equal. Some rums are sweet and rich like your favorite bourbon, while others are harsh and seem like they would be better used as industrial cleaner. In fact, some cheap rums give that $8 bottle of vodka a run for its pitiful money. The key to avoiding drinking repurposed bleach […]
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therealedwin
108 days ago
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The Man in Seat 61

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Train travel is often the best way to get from A to B. It’s civilized, often as fast as flying or faster, and comfortable. But navigating the train schedules and idiosyncracies of train systems around the world is often beyond possible. The Man in Seat 61 is your answer to train travel. A energetic British train enthusiast, Mark Smith, has created a vast website which has become the clearinghouse for train travel world wide. I have used The Man in Seat 61 to figure out and book intercity trains in Vietnam, China, Japan, and Europe. Just about every schedule train in the world is recorded here. For many third world countries, like Burma or Sudan, his website is the *only* place these train fares and schedules exist. For all the countries of the world he does not just list timetables but provides extensive counsel on what each train is like, even recommendations of particular cars or seats to take. The amount of information and guidance is bottomless and priceless, yet the site is free. (You still book directly with the train companies,) If you are contemplating an epic train journey anywhere, or even a short train trip in a country new to you, The Man in Seat 61 will be your best friend.

-- KK

The Man in Seat 61

Sample Excerpts:

Excerpts:

What’s the journey like?

Buses may be faster, but the Slow Train From Thazi is a wonderful experience which should not be missed. Stock up on mineral water and beer, then recline in your Upper class armchair (you may have no choice – the recline mechanism may be broken), and gaze through wide open windows at the wonderful scenery passing by at just 15-20 mph.
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Europe to Australia without flying…

It’s a long way to Oz.  There are two options to get there from the UK without flying:

Option 1, Europe to Australia via the Trans-Siberian Railway.  You can travel by train from London to Moscow, then by Trans-Siberian Railway to China & the Far East, then catch a passenger-carrying freighter (if you can find one!) or cruise ship to Australia.  This is a real adventure, and a popular choice with lots to see on the way.

Time-wise, we’re talking 4-5 weeks one-way, minimum.  But it’s a journey of a lifetime…

Travel tickets alone costs only £750 or so from London as far as Singapore, but you must add food, hotels, and tours along the way.  The links below cover travel in either direction, from London to Australia or Australia to London, follow the links to see details of prices and timetables for each section.

 

train3

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therealedwin
115 days ago
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mburch42
142 days ago
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Can confirm, this site is great.

Microsoft Will Support Python In SQL Server 2017

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There was a surprise in the latest Community Technology Preview release of SQL Server 2017. An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: Python can now be used within SQL Server to perform analytics, run machine learning models, or handle most any kind of data-powered work. This integration isn't limited to enterprise editions of SQL Server 2017, either -- it'll also be available in the free-to-use Express edition... Microsoft has also made it possible to embed Python code directly in SQL Server databases by including the code as a T-SQL stored procedure. This allows Python code to be deployed in production along with the data it'll be processing. These behaviors, and the RevoScalePy package, are essentially Python versions of features Microsoft built for SQL Server back when it integrated the R language into the database... An existing Python installation isn't required. During the setup process, SQL Server 2017 can pull down and install its own edition of CPython 3.5, the stock Python interpreter available from the Python.org website. Users can install their own Python packages as well or use Cython to generate C code from Python modules for additional speed. Except it's not yet available for Linux users, according to the article. "Microsoft has previously announced SQL Server would be available for Linux, but right now, only the Windows version of SQL Server 2017 supports Python."

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therealedwin
120 days ago
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Watch a 5-Part Animated Primer on Afrofuturism, the Black Sci-Fi Phenomenon Inspired by Sun Ra

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We recognize its hallmarks in music especially. It is the province of Sun Ra, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Afrika Bambaataa, and, in recent years, Janelle Monae, Andre 3000, Beyoncé, and many other black artists who have updated for the 21st century the styles and sounds of Afrofuturism. Reaching back into an Afrocentric past—with heavy emphasis on Egyptology—and forward to an interstellar future, the genre of Afrofuturism reclaims the terrain of science fiction for people of African descent, serving as an “umbrella term,” as one contemporary Afrofuturist community puts it, “for the Black presence in sci-fi, technology, magic, and fantasy.”

One might be surprised to learn that the term itself did not originate with the visionary founder of its aesthetic. Sun Ra (formerly Herman Poole Blount)—bandleader of the Arkestra and space alien from Saturn—called his space-themed big band music “cosmic jazz” or, sometimes, “phre music—music of the sun.” Instead, “Afrofuturism” was coined by cultural critic Mark Dery in his seminal 1994 essay “Black to the Future,” which included interviews with sci-fi author Samuel R. Delany, critic and musician Greg Tate, and scholar Tricia Rose. Afrofuturism has taken on a variety of meanings, not only in music, but also in art, dance, film, and science fiction writing like that of Delany and Octavia Butler.





But as you’ll learn in the video above, the first in a 5-part animated series on the genre from Dust, “its roots go back to the late 1930s in Huntsville, Alabama,” the actual birthplace of Sun Ra, where he maintained he was abducted, taken to Saturn (not Jupiter, as the narrator mistakenly says), and told by aliens to “transport black people away from the violence and racism of planet Earth.” The series traces the growth of Sun Ra’s original mission through the cultural touchstones of Lieutenant Uhura, George Clinton, Jimi Hendrix, and Missy Elliott.

Sun Ra died in 1993, the year before Dery invented the name for his generous legacy. “What does it say,” the narrator asks, “about how far we have or have not come if this message still resonates with each new generation?” Dery recently took on the question in a 2016 essay, in which he quotes Tate—now at work on a book on Afrofuturism: “Having ceded the racial ground war to Enlightenment-era imperialism somewhere back in the 17th century, black futurism determined that the fiery realms of the symbolic and the mythic and the rhetorical and the spiritual and the wickedly stylish, sonic, and polyrhythmic would become our culture’s bailiwick, raison d’être, and cultural triumphalist battleground.”

Afrofuturism transforms trauma, the erasure of the black past, and bleak prospects for the future into powerful displays of creative agency. The struggle to claim that agency in the face of imperial violence and plunder continues, Dery argues, but now takes place in the midst of technological developments even a space alien like Sun Ra could not have foreseen. While many of the questions once asked about the humanity of enslaved people have shifted to debates over androids, cyborgs, and other posthuman creations, the conditions for many colonized and marginalized people all over the world have not considerably improved.

As “Afrofuturism is all too aware,” Dery writes, “objects can have inner lives…. Consequently, it is less concerned with knocking the human off its ontological perch than it is in forging alliances with Others of any species, human or posthuman.”

Afrofuturism speaks to our moment because it alone – not the ahistorical, apolitical corporate precogs at TED talks; not the fatuous Hollywood franchises that have nothing to say about our times – offers a mythology of the future present, an explanatory narrative that recovers the lost data of historical memory, confronts the dystopian reality of black life in America, demands a place for people of color among the monorails and the Hugh Ferris monoliths of our tomorrows, insists that our Visions of Things to Come live up to our pieties about racial equality and social justice. 

You can see three short episodes of Dust’s Afrofuturism series above, with parts four and five to come. (You will be able to find them all here.) Until then, watch the short Vox video explainer on Afrofuturism below.

via Electronic Beats

Related Content:

Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos”

Sun Ra Plays a Music Therapy Gig at a Mental Hospital; Inspires Patient to Talk for the First Time in Years

The History of Spiritual Jazz: Hear a Transcendent 12-Hour Mix Featuring John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock & More

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Watch a 5-Part Animated Primer on Afrofuturism, the Black Sci-Fi Phenomenon Inspired by Sun Ra is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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therealedwin
164 days ago
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