Callin’ it! An open thread for the Golden Horde.

Clearly, the Khan is on the steppes. Maybe playing buzkashi? I don’t know. Does The Atlantic’s own Ta-Nehisi Coates play buskashi? Inquiring minds want to know!

(That’s a goat carcass in the middle).

159 Comments

  1. baiskeli

     /  August 1, 2012

    Grumble grumble (First World Problems)

    I somehow managed to tear a calf muscle (at least that is what if feels like) during my race on Sunday (I got a severe calf cramp that apparently can cause calf strain). Then I made it worse by going to Yoga with my better half on monday (and going for a ride with some climbing on tuesday in order to test out the Cyclops Powercal HR based Power Meter)

    So I’m off the bike for a few days. When I’m off my bike for extended periods, I get grumpier than a constipated, sleep deprived cat. I’m staring outside at the sunshine and sorely missing the ride I didn’t do today morning. Not looking forward to a week off the bike. Irony since I rode 579 miles in August with 22,300 ft of climbing, my most for a month in a few years.

    Thanks for listening.

    On another note, kudos to the U.S Women Olymic Team. What a performance!

    Finally, I know some of you have seen this

    Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly at the top of the French Alps

    • Ouch! I’m so sorry…! (And I’m pretty sure that tearing a calf muscle counts as a problem no matter what World you live in. You go ahead and gather up all the sympathy you can).

    • Captain_Button

       /  August 1, 2012

      I was off my bike for 9 days last week, and I noticed my calves were aching a lot. not sure if that was because they mised the exercise.

    • Ow, You’re icing it, right?

    • koolaide

       /  August 1, 2012

      calf tear? ouch. quick healing but don’t push it too soon or you’ll be off your bike even longer.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  August 1, 2012

      Hopes and prayers for a speedy recovery. Thanks for the Giffords pic; lady is awesome.

    • Ian

       /  August 1, 2012

      Ouch. Take it easy when you get back on the bike, even if it feels good.

  2. “Buzkashi is often compared to polo. Both games are played between people on horseback, both involve propelling an object toward a goal, and both get fairly rough. However, polo is played with a ball, and buzkashi is played with a headless goat carcass.”

    – wikipedia

    • You can see why I might think that TNC would be involved.

      • I just love the matter of fact way that that little nugget is dropped in at the end of the paragraph. “Jeffrey Dahmer was an American man who lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His hobbies included reading, spending time with friends, and eating people.”

        • And now I can’t stop laughing. (Seriously. I keep looking at “and eating people” and giggling. Which I’m sure is REALLY WRONG).

    • efgoldman

       /  August 1, 2012

      You really are trying to entice Vanderhoff, aren’t you?

    • Captain_Button

       /  August 1, 2012

      P J O’Rourke said going to Buzkashi games in Afghanistan was called “going on metaphor alert” in the press corp there back when.

    • Captain_Button

       /  August 1, 2012

      Geek digression: In the fantasy RPG world of Glorantha trolls play “Troll Ball”, a vaguely soccer-like game where the ball is a trollkin (very runty troll).

      Armor and non-edged weapons are permitted, and the trollkin maybe carried, thrown, or used to parry with. A dead trollkin stops the game until a substitute is brought in. Deliberately maiming the trollkin is against the rules.

      The referees are giants who kick violaters off the field. Literally.

    • CitizenE

       /  August 1, 2012

      My big question, one that was never answered when I traveled there, does a miscue causing one team to lose the game lead the player who made the miscue to be called “the goat”?

    • corkingiron

       /  August 1, 2012

      Wasn’t it originally played with the head of an enemy?

  3. efgoldman

     /  August 1, 2012

    RIP, Gore Vidal
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/books/gore-vidal-elegant-writer-dies-at-86.html?hp

    And Kilgore links some of his debates with Buckly. He’s right, no TV network would alow this any more;
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_08/rip_gore_vidal038948.php

    • efgoldman

       /  August 1, 2012

      …and Brother Benen at Maddowblog provides some favorite Vidal quotattions:

      “Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.”

      “Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.”

      “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”

      “Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”

      “Now you have people in Washington who have no interest in the country at all. They’re interested in their companies, their corporations grabbing Caspian oil.”

      “The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.”

  4. Captain_Button

     /  August 1, 2012

    Oh, I’ve been through the desert in a Horde with no name…

  5. cofax

     /  August 1, 2012

    Check it out: a penguin power walk. Can’t you just hear the swelling music?

    In other news, I watched a Khazak woman win the 63kg weight-lifting gold medal last night. That was awesome. I love having a Tivo…

  6. Looks like some hot clean and jerk action is on the menu this afternoon. But first, a bit of snatch.

    • Oh shit, this South Korean dude just did something bad to his arm. They pulled out the “you may not watch this” mat. I wonder if that sort of thing happens a lot.

      • koolaide

         /  August 1, 2012

        I have a hard time watching the Olympic weight lifting b/c there does seem to be a high probability of lifters doing that kind of nasty ish to their shoulders. :: shudders violently ::

    • I’m really enjoying this Missy Franklin race from the standpoint of the Canadians. They give not one single fuck about her, and are completely focused on the Canadian (who lost).

    • The Israeli swimmer made it into the 200m back final, although he’ll get smoked.

    • koolaide

       /  August 1, 2012

      eff NBC. Their site is no longer lettign me log in. After I get through the ‘select tv provider’ pop up, I get the sign in pop up only there is no longer a place for me to sign in. it was working properly this morning. my boss is gone for the week and I’m temped to ‘work from home’ for the rest of the day.

      • koolaide

         /  August 1, 2012

        seriously. wtf, nbc. I can watch from this machine every other day this week and this morning but now you’re going all ‘we’re not gonna let you log in’ bullcrap?

        • koolaide

           /  August 1, 2012

          ok, a machine restart seemed to fix things.

    • You we’re entirely too pleased with yourself writing that comment.

  7. CitizenE

     /  August 1, 2012


    Homayoun Sakhi–master of the Afghani Rabab

  8. CitizenE

     /  August 1, 2012

    A comment on the Olympic spoilers; I am not finding that knowing the result ahead of time has really spoiled watching the events for me. That American young woman who crushed the vault, even the swimming races, I find myself holding my breath while watching the events for the first time, still.

    One other–the balance beam must be the most difficult performance sport ever. How those athletes do that stuff on that piece of equipment–I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone master it so much as make it through with a minimum of looking ungainly, and a misstep looks like it could easily wind up being a cracked open skull, let alone breaks and tears.

    • koolaide

       /  August 1, 2012

      I liked knowing the result for the gymnastics b/c I didn’t have to worry about big falls/injuries. Same for the guys. I kinda knew what was going to happen. But I’m weird in that I don’t mind watching other sports (except, oddly, swimming) knowing the result. And I’ve been known to watch a soccer or basketball game more than once.

  9. koolaide

     /  August 1, 2012

    I’m almost happy there was no TNC open thread and we get to hang out in the student lounge. Why? Because the Atlantic site has broken my browser (more than one browser) multiple times all week. bah.

    • JHarper2

       /  August 1, 2012

      Atlantic site is breaking my Firefox and my Chrome (back-up) browser. It freezes it up. Rebooting computer daily.
      Maybe the Khan is fighting with his own computer trying to get his deathless prose to post? Or perhaps he won’t post until he can monitor comments with the banhammer

      • Might not have to reboot. Go to task manager and close the browser. Should com back up OK. Or maybe not.

    • I think they are having serious issues since that’s been happening for peeps all week.

      • Its a bad script. The ad should run before the page populates, but the page comes up first, so when the ad runs its trying to execute two contradictory instructions.
        Error… error…error… :::BOOM:::
        (No, I’m not that smart. Task manager told me.)

        • wearyvoter

           /  August 1, 2012

          I’m relieved that I’m not the only one having that crashy boomy problem.

          • All the complicated code on a page like that, and they got a forty-year-old programming mistake wrong.

  10. watson42

     /  August 1, 2012

    One of the reasons I hate not being able to watch streaming of the Olympics (I don’t have a cable subscription) is that my dad is an Olympic gold medalist in one of the non-popular sports. I love to watch his sport when I can, but it’s only ever on tv during the Olympics. Curse you, NBC!!!

    PS I’m not sure this will work, posting it from work, but I thought I’d try.

    • There are ways around this problem, you know.

      • watson42

         /  August 1, 2012

        TELL ME!!!

        • So now I’m Mr. Pirated Feed, I guess.

          Put the words “watch sports online free” in Google. The second link is my current go-to, but the first link works too.

          • watson42

             /  August 1, 2012

            Thanks, I owe you one. One of the things that irritates me about NBC is that I would be happy to pay for online access for the duration of the Olympics, but there’s no way to do that. It’s goofy.

          • Captain_Button

             /  August 1, 2012

            Mr. Pirated Feed? Like Yellowbeard?

    • mightbelying

       /  August 1, 2012

      HOLD UP WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAD? You can’t just let that detail drop.

      • koolaide

         /  August 1, 2012

        this. (though I understand if watson42 feels like telling us about that would revel too much of their rl identity)

      • watson42

         /  August 1, 2012

        Well, I can’t say too much because if someone really cared, they could figure out who I am. The list of gold medal winners must be pretty small. I don’t want to out myself too easily while I’m still in an unstable employment situation.

        But I will tell a funny story re my dad and the Olympics.

        For years my siblings and I weren’t sure of our dad was telling us the whole truth about his Olympic win. We used to ask him to show us the medal, but he always said that back then only the team captain got an actual physical medal. We were skeptical. And pre-internet, it was pretty hard to find these sorts of things out. Even finding team rosters was difficult.

        Then eight? twelve? years ago my sister was doing research on the Summer Games for a unit she was teaching for her elementary school class. She came across a photo of the gold medal-winning team. And there’s my dad, looking very, very young, grinning, standing large as life on the end of the row.

        My sister forwarded the link to all of us. I called my dad to apologize for ever doubting his word. We should have known better. My dad has more integrity than anyone I have ever known.

        • watson42

           /  August 1, 2012

          I should add, in our defense, my dad has led a pretty colorful/unbelievable life. But he was always the disciplinarian (and quite old school and rigid) so to us his stories sometimes seemed fantastic. It was only after we grew up and his peers were willing to open up when talking to us that we got ouside confirmation of some of the more….interesting events in his life.

          • Quoth my then-eight-year-old: “Daddy, is this really important, or is it just another when-I-was-your-age story>”

        • Awesome.

  11. Blog flogging! Romney wrote an advice column for the daily fail, the’s a pastor who wants Chic fil a to serve Kermit and Miss Piggy to their customers, and Gore Vidal and Al Gore are not the same person.
    Anibundel.wordpress.com

    • I’ve been kind of amazed that the Muppets ever partnered with any fast-food chain. Don’t they remember when Kermit had to escape from the guy who wanted to open a frog-legs restaurant?

      • I mean, I’m sure that Camilla always disapproved of Chik-fil-a.

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  August 1, 2012

          I think she sang a song about it in the most recent Muppet movie.

      • I really wish I could’ve found a YouTube vid of Doc Hopper’s French Fried Frog Legs commercial for that post.

  12. scone

     /  August 1, 2012

    I haven’t been able to post over at TNC’s for about a month now (which hasn’t been the end of the world, since I’ve also been travelling a lot for work). I kept thinking that it would go away; that it was just Disqus problems. (Basically, my comment shows up when I post it, but as soon as I refresh, it disappears. I don’t get a “sent to moderation” message or anything.)

    But since it’s been going on for a month, it seems to be permanent. Any suggestions, or should I just start over with a new name?

    (Sidenote: after spending two weeks on the road and one crazy week leading up to that, it’s nice to be back! I’m on the couch at home with a nasty cough and I’ve got the Olympics on and the Horde up on the computer. Life is good.)

    • Do you see your comments in your dashboard?

      You could email the Disqus folks. I’ve found them to be fairly responsive.

    • You’ve been mistaken for spam. Email disqus. As mean as we are about them, their CS peeps are actually really nice and very helpful.

      • scone

         /  August 1, 2012

        Duh. Why didn’t I think of this?

        Thanks!

    • I had a similar problem. I deleted my account and opened a new one under a new name. After 24 hours, I was able to change the name on the new account to my old account name.

      Katrynza

    • Dex

       /  August 1, 2012

      If it’s Chrome you’re using, it could be a cookies issue. I had this problem for a few months and then found out I had to change my settings to allow 3rd party cookies in order for it to work. Disqus has worked fine ever since.

    • You should contact the Atlantic’s support staff. What you describe happened to me at The Wire. They responded to email after a week and three reminders. The explanation was that TA’s spam filter doesn’t like “&” symbols. the unstated implication was once you’ve been flagged, all messages fall into unmoderated moderation.

  13. Hey, I did a segment on the new-fangled HuffPost Live today!

    As soon as it’s up on their site, I’ll link.

  14. OMG people are irritating, did you know that? People who correct my Hebrew because I’m not mispronouncing something in the way that most American Jews mispronounce it, for instance. People who, it should be noted, should know better.

    Also other people.

    But not you people.

    You people are lovely.

    • I have never heard you mispronounce a word in Hebrew.

    • caoil

       /  August 1, 2012

      Let’s trade! I’ll mispronounce all of the Hebrew words (thereby making your irritating group realize how good they had it), and you can talk to these annoying people on the phone for me!

      • OH GOD NO.

        Sorry, no can do, baybee. One of the sources of irritation has been the constantly ringing phone. At one point, two phones were ringing, and my son, being of the “we must all be available at all times” generation went to answer phone #2 while he and I were on speaker phone with phone #1…!

        I’m sure that lopping off his hand was too strong a punishment, but really, what’s a mom to do?

        • caoil

           /  August 1, 2012

          Oh, I don’t mind if you just hang up on them, really. They’re going to need to learn to answer their own questions at some point! 😉

        • wearyvoter

           /  August 1, 2012

          Throw them off and learn Klingonese.

      • Bob Jones' Neighbor

         /  August 1, 2012

        Good idea. Can I be the gentile who mispronounces Yiddish words? Or at least uses the wrong ones (schlemiel, rather than schlemazl, for example.)

        • I’m sorry, Michelle Bachmann already applied and got that job.

          • dave in texas

             /  August 1, 2012

            I clicked really, really hard where the like button would be, if there were in fact such a thing.

    • mythopoeia

       /  August 1, 2012

      Ok, I’mma tell you a story that will make you smile a bit.

      I went to an Episcopal school from fourth grade through twelfth. Episcopal school is unlike, say, Catholic school in that you are not personally expected to be Episcopalian, religion class is “Bible stories/history of religion” and not “doctrine of the faith,” and the thrice-weekly chapel, while an Episcopal service, makes a point of having students and faculty of other faiths speak about their religions.

      This ecumenicism extended so far as, during chapel services recognizing Jewish holidays, to have us sing the one “Jewish” song in the 1982 hymnal, a round of “Shalom chaverim.”

      Except no one had taught most of the non-Jewish kids about how “ch” is pronounced in Hebrew. So a third or a half of the kids, who are Jewish or otherwise know, are singing the “ch” more or less like “h”…but the rest are singing it like the “ch” in “chat”! “Shalom, chaverim!” Made me laugh and roll my eyes every time.

    • CitizenE

       /  August 1, 2012

      From my Hebrew school days, the phrase that had us laughing was (phonetically spelled, don’t have the Hebrew alphabet handy) sheket kof! If that doesn’t work you could always go Vanderhof on them in Hebrew: I will punch you.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  August 1, 2012

      People are irritating, you say? Well, then. We need to take decisive action. I recommend a recall petition against People, and strident protest chanting.

      Down with People!
      People: You Suck!
      People Must Go!

      • JHarper2

         /  August 1, 2012

        Down with People, by an obvious process brings my mind to an awful evening I spent watching UP WITH PEOPLE.
        Please do not do that again.

        • But it must be said that UP WITH PEOPLE really rather proves Darth Thulhu’s point of “Down with People.”

          • Darth Thulhu

             /  August 1, 2012

            Down! Down!
            Down with People!

            There’ll be a lot fewer People to worry about!

            And no more People who care!

  15. Ian

     /  August 1, 2012

    For those of you following my work drama, I just learned that the big man is on administrative leave, indefinitely.

    • First:

      Then:

      • Ian

         /  August 1, 2012

        I can think of a bunch of different ways for this to come back and bite me. Still totally worth it.

    • How is the audit going?

      • Ian

         /  August 1, 2012

        Really good, strangely enough. The auditors are definitely focused on finding and fixing weaknesses in the system rather than being out to get us. Nice guys.

        • Ex-auditor here. That’s what they do, unless assigned to a fraud audit.

          • Ian

             /  August 1, 2012

            I feel like you would be a scary auditor.

            • caoil

               /  August 1, 2012

              Too many beady-eyed glares, and menacing caws?

            • Heh. I busted a management team long ago for cooking the books and also investigated a fraud (which someone else discovered). Can’t say I was very scary back then being not many years out of college.

    • watson42

       /  August 1, 2012

      What Emily said. Good job, sir. Beware Ian, wielder of the Memo of Death!

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  August 1, 2012

      Congratulations. From there to cashing out his vacation and then gone. Awesome news.

    • Hurrah! Time to celebrate!

    • koolaide

       /  August 1, 2012

      excellent work.

    • baiskeli

       /  August 1, 2012

      Outstanding!!

  16. I’m going to say this here because I think you won’t shun me:

    I haven’t watched even one, single solitary minute of Olympics coverage, other than the opening. Not even gymnastics.

    It’s not like this is What I Decided To Do, but clearly, I’m not particularly bothered.

    UPDATE: I have now watched one minute and 48 seconds’ worth of the Olympics because I watched McKayla Maroney’s vault. And I thought you should know.

    • Don’t feel bad. I haven’t watched any either.

    • mythopoeia

       /  August 1, 2012

      I haven’t watched a single, solitary minute either. Not even the opening ceremonies.

      I’m ok with that.

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  August 1, 2012

      It’s okay. Between me an the missus, we’ll watch your share. And the men’s skeet shooting yesterday was awesome!

    • I keep trying to watch, but there’s too much focus on those awful Creepy Fish People, and not enough focus on the Tiny Flexibe Women. I keep falling asleep.

      • Electronic_Neko

         /  August 1, 2012

        Same. Those underwater shots are just uncanny. I do enjoy watching the female swimmers’ hands when they finish, though, because most of them seem to have cool manicures.

      • koolaide

         /  August 1, 2012

        no residual GB pride left to cheer for the women’s soccer team (amazing victory over Brazil yesterday) or the GB men (Ryan Giggs is a fabulous player and very hot).

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  August 1, 2012

      It’s OK. Not a minute here, not even the opening (I found my twitter feed gave me all the #NBCShambles I could possibly need).

      Though I did appreciate Sullivan’s link to the Buzzfeed photo-analysis post about “Olympics, or Gay Porn?” … so, so true.

    • Captain_Button

       /  August 1, 2012

      I only watched some white water kayaking because that was what was on in the restuarant.

    • I didn’t even watch the opening.
      I can’t watch at work, and in the evening, the ratio of actual competition to mishegas is much too small; it has been getting worse since whenever it was that Roone Arledge invented “Up Close and Personal”.

      • koolaide

         /  August 1, 2012

        the primetime coverage is really bad and doesn’t show enough sport.

        • aaron singer

           /  August 1, 2012

          I’ve been greatly enjoying watching BBC instead of NBC whenever I can.

      • Wasn’t it Pierre Whatshisname that invented that?

        Who am I thinking of here. Unctuous guy in the 70s, when I was but wee.

        • Wasn’t it Pierre Whatshisname that invented that?
          You’re thinking of Peter Ueberroth(sp?), but no. Roone Arledge and Jim McKay started it on ABC sometime in the late 70s/early 80s.

    • scone

       /  August 1, 2012

      Well, if you had to watch only 48 seconds worth of Olympics, those were good ones to pick. (Says the girls who is going on her 10th straight hour of Olympics watching. Yay for sick days!)

  17. Nothing like this in the Olympics:

  18. koolaide

     /  August 1, 2012

    So, are people racist for wondering if Ye Shiwen’s performance might be aided by doping? There are some (like her father) that think so. But really, her last 50 in the 400IM was faster than Lochte’s.

    • Ian

       /  August 1, 2012

      I’m not really following the coverage. Do you think she’s being talked about differently than other athletes who might reasonably be suspected? For example, (my favorite cyclist) Vinokourov?

      • koolaide

         /  August 1, 2012

        I don’t know if she is or not. I’ve mostly read the Guardian coverage on the issue. The Chinese and Chinese press definitely say doping questions are either ‘western arrogance’ or racist (using different words)

        I don’t follow cycling that closely. Do other cyclists and/or coaches wonder aloud to press about specific cyclists (not named Lance) doping?

        • Dex

           /  August 1, 2012

          In cycling? Not really, because they’re all doping. And the people who broadcast the events work very hard to minimize or avoid mentioning doping in order to preserve ratings and sponsorships.

      • dmf

         /  August 1, 2012

        no, the suspicions (while not without the usual USA#1 assh*le nationalist overtones) are about the same old doping scandals, only in China do they report this as racism, ignoring the US’s willingness to embrace its own Asian athletes, the press there is pretty rabid in a faux news kind of way.

        • Yes, there’s a pretty distressing lack of self-awareness in the mainstream Chinese media. Also, any time a foreigner (non-Chinese) is involved in anything, a big segment of the population will always go to the “Is it becoz I is Asian?” line of reasoning. The reason for this is pretty simple: A long history of anti-imperialist grievance (some justifed, some not) pureed with some very nasty Putinesque nationalism.

          • dmf

             /  August 1, 2012

            it’s an interesting turn, I used to tutor visiting life-sciences scholars in ESL (late 80s-90s) and there was a kind of troubling (for me anyway) deep personal shame about the state of the State of China but somewhere in the 2000’s I began to experience many undergrads from the mainland are now as obnoxiously arrogant/defensive as any old tea-partier, not sure how much of this is the re-writing of (and or ignorance of) history and how much comes with the new prosperity, a mix of these and more I imagine, any insights/corrections along these lines?

    • JHarper2

       /  August 1, 2012

      The swimmer that is referenced most often in regard to Ye’s times and suspicions is Michelle Smith later Michelle deBruin of Ireland, who posted times that were said to be too good to be true, beat all the tests at the Games and was only later busted for Performance Enhancing Drugs. So unless you have people biased against both Chinese and Irish, I would think not (Although you could easily find such people in 1900).

      I think most of the suspicion comes from the out of nowhere, too good to be true dynamic.

  19. dmf

     /  August 1, 2012

    http://thestory.org/archive/The_Story_8112.mp3/view
    Guest host Sean Cole speaks with Derrick Durr about his job as a peace activist who keeps his ear to the ground, and if violence is percolating, he steps in to interrupt it. He says that growing up, he did not think that the level of violence in his Chicago neighborhood was unusual. As outsiders asked him about it, he began to question what drove people to kill each other over small things.

  20. dmf

     /  August 1, 2012

    • CitizenE

       /  August 1, 2012

      memory cross-wire, Mance Lipscomb sends me back to Berkeley days, friends with long hair and beards playing guitars in the back yard, we were only 20 or so, and this song by Jesse Fuller, makes me think of the ferry building down by the Embarcadero, how cool and clear on a summer day, maybe a black couple, laughing and joking down there, in the sixties, poor, but wearing old yet formal clothing–me thinking about a girl I was in love with: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGeJdxHdDlQ&feature=related

      • dmf

         /  August 1, 2012

        nice gotta love a blues tinged man with a twinkle in his eye

  21. koolaide

     /  August 1, 2012

    If you’re not checking out Samuel L. Jackson’s twitter micro-blogging the Olympics, you’re missing out on some funnies.

  22. koolaide

     /  August 1, 2012

    Nancy Hogshead-Makar’s piece on her career/how it ended at deadspin is fascinating. almost for what she leaves out and doesn’t say as for what she does say.

    http://deadspin.com/5930611/how-a-career-ends-nancy-hogshead+makar-olympic-swimming-gold-medalist

  23. Clearly, the Khan is on the steppe

    Steppe is a http://www.worldoftanks.com battle field.

    Just sayin’

    • Don’t the tanks ever have to go into the shop for virtual routine maintenance?

      • Tanks are magically repaired at the end of a battle. You pay for this, in credits, so repair cost becomes part of your in-game overhead. Players earn credits through performance, which is the product of damage inflicted, enemies destroyed and enemies spotted. Credits earned can be maximized by spreading damage to the largest possible number of enemies (easier said than done). Credits are consumed by replenishing ammo, replacing repair or first aid kits and repairing vehicles. All WoT vehicles virtually guarantee a net-credits profit per battle up through tier VI. Tier VII introduces players to credit losses, e.g., when your vehicle is destroyed before you’ve had a chance to inflict much damage. Tier VIII makes it clear that a premium account, which increases gross credits and experience points +50%, might be a good idea. Tier X vehicles can experience single-battle loss of credits even in a premium account. There are, however, clever player strategies to maximize in-game earnings while minimizing actual cash cost, such as devoting a large share of playing time to artillery (greater damage, plus a certain sense of omnipotence) and use of premium account status only when needed. WoT encourages the latter approach by selling premium access for periods of 3 days, one week, a month, six months or one year. A full year costs $99. There’s yet another option. Players can buy premium vehicles, which range from $8 to $50. Premium vehicles are one-time purchases that return +50% credits and experience points from every outing. A premium account isn’t needed to purchase premium vehicles, so a player could fund the use of high-cost tier XIII-X vehicles with a mix of tier V-VI and 1-3 premium vehicles. One of the genius aspects of WoT is it’s adaptive consumer economics.

        • I watched the Military channel over last weekend, for one of my favorite old guilty pleasure movies, Where Eagles Dare (Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood ride on top of Alpine cable cars, blow lots of things up, catch bad guys).
          Every break had a commercial for WOT. And there were lots of breaks.
          Looks as if it might be fun.

    • Dude, when you’re of the Mogol Horde, everything is a battlefield.

      • I should point out that, on planet WoT, Steppe is quite dull. All the other battlefields have interesting stuff, like water features, villages or cities. Some have more than one village. The other battlefields also have lots of destructible buildings. But Steppe? A lot of sand, grass and some hills. Not a building in sight. Not even an outhouse. It doesn’t even have that many trees.

  24. caoil

     /  August 1, 2012

    Emily – as I’m not able to tweet from my desk, I am passing this link to you here on the off chance you haven’t seen it (it’s from 2 years ago). It’s a great response to the “but-rape-jokes-are-funny!” business. Here.

    And for everyone else, a cheery picture of some baby bats wrapped in tiny blankets!

  25. stephen matlock

     /  August 1, 2012

    So–in a bit of shameless self-promotion: I’m giving away 10 copies of the printed book to interested parties in NA and EU. Details here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15764025-stars-in-the-texas-sky

    Note that these are the printed US English versions, and you don’t need to be a shopper on Amazon to win–they’ll be shipped from Amazon to your door. And as far as I can tell, it’s completely random who wins.

    Now if Emily doesn’t want me to shill for my book she can delete this & I’ll go lick my wounds…

  26. corkingiron

     /  August 1, 2012

    Jeebus! Emily! You has a troll! (John Rice) at the Black Violence thread. He objects to you using the term “lovely”.

    • Isn’t blogger greatness is measured in trolls? Emily needs more.

      • corkingiron

         /  August 1, 2012

        Your just hungry and annoyed cuz the vet put you on a troll diet.

    • I noticed that and… like, what? What, precisely, is one supposed to say to that?

      One ignored it and watched Star Trek with one’s family instead.

  27. wearyvoter

     /  August 1, 2012

    So, my offspring’s bun-in-the-oven project is progressing. We saw a photo of the 13-week sonogram. We’re still in the Schrodinger’s stage of knowing if it’s a boy or a girl. Thirteen weeks is too early to tell. Also, junior seemed to be mooning the camera, as it were. (Attitude-wise, this gives me a hint that peach-sized passenger takes after mommy. Just speculating.)