Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Drafting the Forever War

It's time. After extensive time with both the Xbox 360 and the ps3, I will finally end the argument. System supremacy will be declared. There will be no further discussion of this topic.

Graphics, loading times, joystick sensitivity, high def specs... no. Done to death. It got us nowhere.

Thunderdome Living [[melee and lethality]] - Sony's ps3 is heavier, and has sharper edges. The black shell, though unfortunately glossed, is better for stalking prey than basic 360 white. Neither system has stock wired joysticks, so you can forget the morning star modes of fighting afforded by previous console generations. As ranged weapons, the 360 controllers hit a little harder. Advantage - ps3.

The Kessel Run [[smuggling your weed]] - With removable faceplates and optional casings, the 360 wins this category faster than you can say "twelve parsecs". Additionally, the 360 can be purchased in stoner friendly Halo green. Advantage - 360

Remember the Alamo [[coonskin cap replacement]] - Because of technology's exponential curve, each successive generation of consoles have made better hats than their predecessors. The ps3 and 360 are perhaps the finest example of this dynamic yet. Hollowed out and strapped as head wear, both systems provide a wide ceremonial outline and plenty of enigmatic lightwork. However, while the potentially dual colour rings of the 360 are swanky, the ps3's sleek imperial linework and formidible leading edge make it the beangear of choice for a hopeless last stand against Santa Anna and a horde of excited Mexicans. Advantage - ps3

Sexual Chocolate [[rocking the porn bot]] - While neither system has a hole big enough fit your junk in, the smooth rounded edges of the 360 make it the obvious choice for anything past second base. It also comes in a variety of sexy colours, and again, optional faceplates spell win in the secret language of Sorayama. Advantage - 360

It's a tie! We knew that. The correct answer is always "D) Stack both systems on top of your Coleco Adam and play all three."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Being There

Darwin Day. I like it. A science holiday! Even though no one stays home and there are no presents. It's ok, we'll work on that. It will evolve.

The only part that bugs me is the "Darwin". Evolution has two dads.

History and convenience have naturally selected Charles Darwin as the spokesmodel for natural selection. Which is fine. Darwin did a lot of good work and he did, technically, make the discovery. But then he sat around with it. One of the most important ideas in modern history languished in a notebook while Darwin refined data and fussed over numbers.

Meanwhile, Alfred Wallace wandered around the jungle taking notes. The guy was a dauntless adventurer and explorer. Extremely clever. David Quammen wrote a wonderful book called Song of the Dodo that tells the story better than I ever could, so I will simply point you in that direction for further edification, rather than trying to recount it all here. But Alfred Wallace figured out evolution too. Just by wandering around with it. Wallace decided to actually share the information with the world, and started writing up papers.

A mutual friend of Darwin and Wallace alerted Darwin that he was about to lose his precedence. At which point Darwin finally discovered natural selection for the rest of us. Bio-nerd facepalm. To be fair, he shared credit with Wallace. They had an amicable relationship and Wallace himself was a staunch defender of Darwin's work. I do not mean to imply that there was bad blood between them, or that you should dislike Charles Darwin.

But it's Darwin Day. If we're going to have a science holiday, it shouldn't be tainted with stolen credit. Science has enough of that already.

Charles Darwin may be evolution's dad, but Alfred Wallace was evolution's cool dad. We should be thanking both of them.