The Atomic CD

The Atomic Cafe goes multimedia!

Jayne Loader's amazing documentary The Atomic Cafe painted an unforgettable portrait of the birth of the atomic age, combining old footage from civil defense archives, the Pentagon, and other sources, to illustrate the horror of nuclear war. Yet at the same time, the film managed to find comedy in the campy, naively optimistic government films; as long as you remembered to "duck and cover" when you saw the flash of a nuclear explosion, anyone could survive an atomic bomb blast.

One of our favorite clips from Public Shelter teaches kids to be ready to "Duck and Cover" at the first sign of a nuclear blast.

Now, Loader is revisiting the atomic age with a new CD-ROM called Jayne Loader's Public Shelter. The disc contains 40 minutes of video, 12 hours of audio, and 1400 text files on things atomic, all of it fully searchable. Public Shelter isn't merely a CD repackaging of The Atomic Cafe, though. Much of the footage included hasn't been seen since the ‘50s, and Public Shelter updates the topic to include Department of Energy secretary Hazel O'Leary's recent admission that the Department of Energy had conducted secret tests on the effects of radiation exposure, including tests on unknowing American citizens.

There are a number of browser pages in Public Shelter, which provide easy access to all the film, audio, photo, and text resources. The text files are fully searchable, too.

The disc organizes the material in a series of what Loader refers to as "World Wide Web pages - not the Web of today, but the Web of the future, when the sounds and images load and play instantly." There are pages devoted to the Pentagon's official line on nuclear war, the comments of every president since FDR, and so on. It's all very eye-opening, and still a lot of fun.

In the Pentagon "web page." you'll find all kinds of great resources - including this film warning of the inevitable damage those pesky Soviets will do when they come at us with The Bomb.

As of this writing, Public Shelter doesn't have a national publisher yet-which is hard to believe, considering the quality of this terrific title. You can purchase it through through Great Owl Books - (800) 299- 3181 - for $79.95.

A Typical Weekend

Whenever I visit my parent’s house on weekends, but not really every weekend, my kids would go right away at the park near the clubhouse. There was a time that we lived there the whole vacation time and it was just amazing spending every morning with my mom and dad together with my own family. We felt so at home since there are extra rooms at home that we actually set up for my family every time we stay there.

My husband brought his old TV there and started to assemble his CPU so that he doesn’t have to bring what he has from our own house. He usually plays online using a list of Minecraft servers and the kids just love to watch. The kids even have the game downloaded on their tablet although as much as I can, I try to limit their usage so that they could spend more time with mom and dad.

The clubhouse is so near the house that they could go swimming anytime they want too. Dad is a good swimmer and he actually taught my kids how to swim at the age of 5 or 6, just can’t remember what age exactly, I just know that they are around that age.

At night, before bedtime, we would watch movies all together although there are times where in its kind of hard to decide which movie to play that would be fun for all ages, but the grandparents are the ones who usually gives in to children’s movies.

Spending time with mom and dad are precious that I wanted to share it with my kids. I want them to show love and care to their grandparents that they may be able to pass this on as they become adults and start to have their own families as well.

Tiger Handeld Device

If you thought the portable video game market was going the way of the dodo, you’re mistaken: It’s taken a turn toward the Tiger. The company known for handheld LCD games and toys is taking its first stab at LCD cartridge-based gaming—Sega’s and Nintendo’s turf— with the

“This exciting new system offers more than Game Boy,” contends Sandy Schneider, vice president of Tiger Interactive.
Launching in June, the base system costs $69.99, which includes a Lights Out cart. Tiger’s top-selling puzzle game. The also functions as an electronic organizer, with an address/phone/e-mail directory, calculator, calendar and high scores list. Plus, has a solitaire game built in.

The game offers features never before seen in any portable video game system. First off, it has a touch screen with stylus; the penlike tool is used to input text or play certain games.

More intriguing is Tiger’s push to link to the Internet, via a special cartridge that hooks up to any PC modem. Tiger has teamed up with an online provider, Delphi, to give users cheap access to sending and receiving text-based e-mail. These messages can’t be saved on the, but Tiger is mulling a RAM cart for that purpose.

Because has two cart ports, Tiger is examining ways to add online elements to future cart titles, either with “secret levels or codes that can be downloaded from the Internet,” Schneider said.

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Phew; it’s finally done and over with! We’re all moved in and domains are transferred over – even upgraded to the latest version of WordPress!

There’s not a lot that’s new and exciting, sadly enough. The weather is extremely nice and business has slowed down – which of course leads to a lower concentration of idiots/jackasses/morons/retards/pains in the ass etc. My complaints are mostly directed at the company, which is getting more and more… dumb ideas.

The latest is keeping track of performance with a lovely chart that’s (supposed to be) updated on a daily basis. The chart is color coded and basically indicates if we suck (red) we’re okay (green) or really good (gold). Now, if they were actually trying to help us with this form of stat tracking, it wouldn’t be a problem. But the whole thing is basically based on whatever gets free money for the company. So the more people you sucker into buying warranties, charge refurb fees on trade ins and convince to pre-order the better.

I mean it when I say if I have to work retail, this is the best possible job for me to be in, but forcing useless stuff down peoples throats just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At least if I was a brainless cashier at Walmart I could just ring people through and send them on their merry way. Of course I wouldn’t want to work at Walmart, but it’s all about the bottom line. Of course in this case the bottom line is getting people to buy warranties they probably don’t need.

Of course the push for us to be getting these things makes us resent the customers who refuse. It’s not their fault and they probably know damn well it’s pretty much pointless and they’d do just as well dropping their money in the garbage outside. That doesn’t stop us from thinking dark thoughts when the warranty offer is refused. The sad thing is the people most likely to buy warranties are kids (without a parent in tow), nice elderly grandparents, soccer moms and people with a diminished mental capacity. It really makes me feel like I’m picking on people who don’t know any better when I sell them warranties – but if I don’t, then I won’t get the warranties and I’ll have people breathing down my neck about my numbers.

I guess I should just be thankful that it’s not as bad at my store as the horror stories I’ve heard from other stores/districts/areas. Sure I might get told that I need to up my numbers and I may get red stickers on a day or two – but at least I don’t have to worry about losing my job because I can’t shove enough warranties down the throats of the unwashed masses. There’s some districts where people have been fired for not selling enough used games or warranties or pre-orders. It’s insanity.

MechAssault 2

I’ll be honest. I played the hell out of MechAssault. I beat the single player in, let’s say about 3 and a half minutes, and then moved on to lay waste to hundreds of cocky bastards in their inferior mechs online. I played the hell out of it. Once I saw the first screenshots for MechAssault 2, I couldn’t help but try to imagine how vehicles and battle armor would change the tide of battle. I was caught completely unaware by just how different this game feels from the first, and I don’t know if I could be happier with the feel of the game at E3 this year.

The first thing I noticed (since I jumped into a game halfway through a multiplayer match) was that the mechs just ‘feel’ larger. They move slower and the surroundings just seem to emphasize how enormous the battlemechs really are. Of course, you aren’t trapped in a mech like you were in the last game. The idea is best told by Rick Ryan, the Microsoft-side Project Lead:

“If you played the original MechAssault®, I’m sure you remember the Mad Cat. Yes, the Mad Cat, lying helpless on a transport trailer, while you stomped in to liberate it from the Word of Blake. Support vehicles surrounded it like stinging gnats, and while your ride was more than capable of wreaking destruction all over your enemies’ lame little convoy, all you wanted was that heavy ‘mech. It was right there for the taking … but you couldn’t actually have it.

Even after the convoy’s guards were just smoking hulks, all you could do was look at that high-powered beauty and dream. Your ship’s engineer got his first spin behind the controls of a bipedal tank, while you covered his sorry butt all the way home. Cursing.

It’s hardware envy, plain and simple.

Fortunately, somebody at FASA obviously wanted that Mad Cat, too. In MechAssault® 2: The Lone Wolf™, vehicular greed is practically a survival skill. You’re no longer just the invisible pilot of a single ‘mech, you’re a power-suited ‘mech pirate who can “liberate” any two-legged or wheeled transport that isn’t bolted down. How sweet is that?”

The addition of non-mech weapon platforms changes the game in new and exciting ways. There are a lot of interviews and random sites with tons of info, so I’m going to focus more on the gameplay mechanics that I got to experience first hand. They have changed the mission briefings to incredibly detailed in-game cut scenes and you no longer get a chance to pick your mech for the mission (as of E3 time at least). The missions in single player will be much longer and feature much more team-based NPC interaction.

The mission that I got to see started with the player in the power armor, destroying all the vehicles and troops while jetting away from mechs. Then he found a huge tank and jumped out of his power armor and into the tank. The developers have been struggling to find a way to balance vehicles with tanks, and I think they’ve done a great job. The tank I got to use had duel gauss rifles (which are freaking awesome, more on those later) and could definitely lay the hurt down. Of course, once a mech got close the tank was dead. The tank’s main advantages were that it can cloak and that it is pretty fast and mobile. They will definitely have their place in both single and multiplayer.

The next vehicle I used was the VTOL (Vertical Take Off/Landing), a very interesting vehicle indeed. It can pick up power-ups and distribute those as the pilot sees fit, power-ups and bombs alike. It is a quick little bugger and it quote maneuverable due to the rotating engines on its wings. For weapons it has rockets, not missiles, but rockets. It fires either 6 or 8 of them (sorry, was too busy playing to count). They don’t do as much damage apiece as LRMs, but they fire from about the same range and they track which is nice when you can just pop above a building, fire a few salvos, then duck and run. The most useful aspect of the VTOL, however, is probably its ability to carry either a tank or two suits of battle armor. This means that you can jet reinforcements quickly into battle or around the battle to help relieve teammates.

The last ‘vehicle’ that I got a chance to use was the BattleArmor. I don’t know if any of you have every played BattleTech, the intellectual precursor to the MechWarrior and MechAssault series, but BattleArmor (or Elementals) were kind of useless. They had to attack in ‘points’ (5 suits) and the only thing they could do was swarm you and basically peel off your armor. Well, they’ve got a brand new trick in this game and it is such a huge factor that gameplay will never be the same again. If a suit of BattleArmor can jump behind a mech, they can latch onto it and cause the pilot to eject, leaving the mech open for them to jump out of their armor and into the pilot seat of a much larger weapon.

As BattleArmor, when you start the hijacking, a little mini-game starts, where you have to hit the buttons shown as quickly and accurately as possible. The pilot of the mech is given the same screen in an attempt to foil the hostile takeover. If the pilot wins, the BattleArmor gets ejected and lays stunned for several seconds, which is basically the end of that life. If the BattleArmor wins, the pilot gets ejected (and dies), the mech shuts down and the BattleArmor is free to jump out of his suit and climb the ladder to a bigger predator. The BattleArmor, while decently powerful against tanks, other BattleArmor, and normal people that don’t have the benefit of a ton of armor and weapons. Tanks can take out BattleArmor if they get a chance to actually shoot at them and mechs can decimate armor if they see them in time. While small, the threat they pose to mechs is still very, very great.

In one of the multiplayer games I played, I was running around in the VTOL, stealing powerups from the enemy and dropping them off for my teammates when one of the enemy Madcats finally got fed up and came after me. I was doing fine until he finally got me with a PPC shot and my mobility dropped. All of a sudden, two suits of BattleArmor from my team came jumping over the hill beside me and began attacking the Madcat. The only thing I could think of was the movie Dumbo when a mouse runs out into the circus and all of the elephants start freaking out. The Madcat immediately stopped shooting at me and turned to run away from my teammates. They caught him in short order and jacked his mech right out from underneath him. This scene repeated itself through all of the games (myself included once, although I shot the armor, didn’t run), mechs having to break off duels and just accept the shots from their enemies while they tried to deal with the little suit of BattleArmor.

The BattleArmor is balanced due to the fact that it is weak, but can take down a much larger enemy without ever firing a shot. It can also cling to surfaces using its claw, which allows it to climb huge buildings that it otherwise couldn’t reach via its jumpjets. Weapon-wise, it finds itself lacking compared to its big brothers, but it can still hurt things. It has an arm mounted laser (which can be upgraded), a machine gun, and a mortar. The mortar is the real weapon, as you can lob it quite far and it can actually hurt mechs.

New vehicles aside, the game features a few new … features. Buildings now fall in stages, much more than they did in the first game. The outer shell will fall away, leaving a bit of the skeleton of the building, which can be destroyed as well (of course). The graphics have gotten a nice upgrade, especially the weapon effects. The PPCs are now much more energetic looking and the gauss rifle leaves a beautiful ripple/distortion trail that makes me happy. In the first game, people learned very quickly that you don’t get close to a mech that is dying. In the second game, they have upgraded the mech explosion a bit and it is incredible. You can see a spherical ripple expand with the explosion, which will actually rock tanks and mechs and toss BattleArmor. All in all, I was very, very impressed with this game. The Day:1 guys really seem to have been inspired when they started creating the sequel and I don’t think that anyone who plays this game will be disappointed.

Heroes of Newerth

If you’re an old-school DotA player like me, you know that HoN is the most difficult and fast paced game to play of all the MOBAs today. I started playing DotA back in 2005 (wow, has it already been 10 years?) and I fell in love with the genre ever since. I used to play Warcraft 3 and The Frozen Throne ladder, but I wasn’t very good.

Anyway, HoN is free to play. The game itself is around 2 gigabytes, but it is a worthy download. The game doesn’t eat up your graphics either; it’s extremly light-weight and the guys at S2Games did a fine job optimizing the game. I tried Heroes of the Storm (beta) and suffered extreme graphics lag despite it being a less graphic intensive game than HoN.

The only thing that’s bad about HoN is the recent influx of Latin American players, also known as “brs”. I actually call anyone who is a foreign speaker a BR, because they are typically very bad at the game. I guess that’s why they are so good at fighting in MMA, eh? There is always at least one dude who feeds, one who afk farms and does nothing with his gold, and one who screams into the mic every minute. The one I hate the most is the idiot who goes mid with a non-mid hero and expects to win against a hero like Doctor Repulsor or Soul Stealer.

Since the game is so fast paced, there is virtually no delay between your character’s movement and a command. This makes juking so much better, and the game so much more fun that League of Noobs, where a 10 year old can close his eyes and roll his face onto the keyboard to win the game.


Minecraft is an open world game that enables players to build and create their own constructions made out of 3D textured cubes. It allows the players to explore, gather resources, create as well as fight with other online players. It has several existing gameplay modes such as survival mode, creative mode, hardcore mode as well as multiplayer mode.

Survival mode is where online players have to gather resources in their environment. They also have to fight against the monsters in order to level up and get special blocks and items. It also has a health bar that is affected by various factors such as monster attacks, starvation, suffocation and others. Creative mode is when players are allowed to create whatever they want without the need to fight others. This enables them to let their creativity flow without any hindrance. Hardcore mode is similar to survival mode but has some restrictions. You will die forever without a chance to respawn, and must delete your world. Lastly, the multiplayer mode allows all users to interact with each other and have a ton of fun on cool maps.

Why People Enjoy It

Online users enjoy playing Minecraft free because it allows them to play online with other players. The game is also user-friendly and easy to use, which is why more and more players are getting into it. It does not require you to be an expert in computers; therefore, you can play it even it you are a newbie. The game is suitable for all ages and skills, which is one of the reasons why this game was such a huge hit.

Another reason is it also allows the users to create their own world, which appeals to those who prefer to play on their own or to interact with others through a computer. It is also away to release stress because it is a fun game to play, as players can entertain themselves as well as let their creative side flow.