SpaceX Crew Dragon Docking Simulator

SpaceX have released a free Crew Dragon docking simulator which runs within your browser.  Simply click the link, read the instructions, and try your hand at it.  It’s also fun just to fly around the 3D model of the International Space Station.  The simulator is a clone of the user interface used in the actual spacecraft, and the physics of the thrusters and spacecraft are simulated.  If you’d like some tips to get started and an example of docking, here is a Scott Manley video showing how it’s done.

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A Virtual World of Possibilities

My husband and daughter have been playing the video game “Elder Scrolls” for a few years now (yes, they take breaks to eat, go to school, go to work, etc.) This virtual world is stunning in its detail and sprawl. When the weather is bleak outdoors, the digital forests with sun filtering through trees, birds singing, and wildflowers blooming give me a lift. Sometimes–although I would never publicize this on an online forum–when weather doesn’t permit walking, I jog in place in front of the screen, pretending to “run with” my daughter’s screen character. It is cheering, if there are no nightmarish beings attacking, to imagine I’m taking some air on cobbled paths winding through woods, or on a beach, or over a boardwalk. As my daughter works her way through the game, with its stiff storylines and stilted dialogue, we are building our own family lore around it, which to me is more amusing than what the Tolkien wannabe script writers offer. Here are some absurdities you can only get from the blending of real and programmed worlds:

Virtual Clutter: In Elder Scrolls, players constantly acquire objects and carry them around in their packs or whatever their digital conveyance is. If I understand it right, these items come in handy later, or give the player an edge in fighting, or extra food for recipes, or clothes. At times, it gets to be too much, so you can sell off items to people in the game, or you can dump them somewhere. Apparently, my husband has taken to dumping. My daughter discovered this after she spent some time buying herself a house and furnishing it how she liked. It was tidy and cozy, a calm retreat from battling mutants. One day, unsuspecting, she selected that area on the map to visit her home. My husband had been there before her. He had been busy cleaning out his gear, leaving items strewn around the medieval dwelling. And in the middle of the floor was a sacrificial heart.... [Read More]

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Ch ch ch ch annnges….

Group effort today- what changes will occur to our society by year one AV (After Virus)?

I will throw a few out to get it started….... [Read More]

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Pandemic the game

Pandemic is a board game. One of our sons gave this to his brother for Christmas in 2018. I have played this game about ten times since then. It was timely that older son came over and played it with Snooks and me this past weekend. This is the best new game we have learned in many years. With current events to chew on, the discussion over the game was particularly lively.

Continue reading “Pandemic the game”

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An obituary to share –Mario

NPR has a feature worth reading.   It is an obituary of a plumber.   He started his own company.   He worked hard and his business grew.   He ended up owning some property, which is how he became the landlord for the Nintendo office in Tukwila, Washington.

... [Read More]

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Game Review: Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite (game)

I’ve been writing about virtual reality, simulated worlds, and the new forms of entertainment and education they will engender for thirty years.  Other than Kerbal Space Program, which is more of a simulated world sandbox than a game (there is no specific goal and no conflict other than with the laws of nature), I have not played video games since the age of Pac-Man.  As we approach the threshold of the Roaring Twenties, I thought it would be a good idea to check in and see the current state of the art and whether it justified the things people were saying about contemporary games being a new art form and interactive medium of fiction.... [Read More]

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