Wednesday, October 31, 2007

omnis consecrare prima luce

From Wikipedia:

Halloween did not become a holiday in the United States until the 19th century, where lingering Puritan tradition restricted the observance of many holidays. American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries do not include Halloween in their lists of holidays.[17] The transatlantic migration of nearly two million Irish following the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849) finally brought the holiday to the United States. Scottish emigration from the British Isles, primarily to Canada before 1870 and to the United States thereafter, brought the Scottish version of the holiday to each country.
Scottish-American and Irish-American societies held dinners and balls that celebrated their heritages, with perhaps a recitation of Robert Burns' poem "Halloween" or a telling of Irish legends, much as Columbus Day celebrations were more about Italian-American heritage than Columbus per se. Home parties would center around children's activities, such as bobbing for apples, and various divination games often concerning future romance. Not surprisingly, pranks and mischief were common as well.
Don't forget to check out the one and only Halloween webcam where the entertainment of trick or treaters is at your leisure:

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Is it superficial?

White PawnShaman2

Back IlyaP8

1.e4 e5

2.d4 exd4

3.c3 dxc3

4.Bf1c4 cxb2

5.Bc1xb2 d5

6.Bc4xd5 c6

7.Bd5xf7+ 1-0

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This article cracked me up. This guy writes a blog about cars and using logic and a slippery slope argument he concludes that thier may be "a national crisis in which flaming squirrels are plummeting from our skies."

Taking a break momentarily from my own Car Lusting, I wanted to give a brief nod to the New Jersey-area squirrel that destroyed a 2006 Toyota Camry.According to the news story, a squirrel had been chewing on a power line suspended above the Camry; when the squirrel chewed through the line, the power of the current lit it on fire, and the flaming rodent "slid into the engine compartment and blew up the car." The car was a total loss, but the family honored the squirrel flambe with a plastic tombstone--happily, just in time for Halloween.

This leaves some important questions unanswered. For example:

1. Is there some significance that the squirrel chose a 2006 Toyota Camry to immolate? Was the squirrel imbued with especially strong buy-American leanings? If so, the squirrel should issue a strong apology to the good people in Georgetown, Ky., who make the Camry.

2. How exactly did the flaming squirrel slide into the engine compartment? Was the hood open? Otherwise, I don't want to think about how a half-immolated squirrel might get into the engine compartment.

3. If one squirrel chews on power lines, I'm guessing more do. And if millions of squirrels nationwide are chewing on power lines, I'm guessing this isn't the only one to chew through and light itself on fire.

Is there a national crisis in which flaming squirrels are plummeting from our skies? If so, it's being dramatically underreported by the media. I, for one, am worried.

--Chris H.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Strip Chess

A friend of mine relayed a story to me recently. He played strip chess with a girl and then they did it. I don't know the intimate details because I wasn't their, thankfully. But if I knew them I would share them with you. The epitome of nerdiness and grand symbol of status were combined and that deserves its own post. You know who you are.... Ahole.

This post has been receiving an enormous amount of traffic lately, so Ive taken the initiative and updated it for those more interested in the aforementioned topic. Pervs...

Wikipedia on Strip Chess:

Strip chess is a variant of chess in which an article of clothing is removed for each piece taken by the opponent, often excluding pawns.

Strip chess introduces a secondary goal which can diverge from the game's normal goal and substantially alter the way the game is pursued. While in some games (such as poker), the pursuit of the normal win condition also furthers the disrobing of one's opponent, in strip chess this is not always the case. In chess, the normal win condition is to checkmate the opponent, not to capture pieces. Capturing pieces is often useful, but if at a given time, a player is to choose between checkmating his opponent and capturing a piece, he would traditionally be expected to checkmate. However, in strip chess, the player may prefer to capture a piece to force their opponent to remove additional garments.

In chess, there is no actual relation between strategic success and the number of individual garments lost, because in chess, there is no numeric way to measure which person has the upper hand (unless you are counting the value of each piece); the number garments lost, and therefore the number of pieces captured, is only an approximate measure of success (as opposed to strip poker, where an inverse relationship exists between success in the game and the number of garments lost).

Classic Rules of Strip Chess:

If you want to keep things simple, then stick with the classic rules of strip chess. Both players wear no more than 10 articles of clothing (2 socks, 2 shoes, underwear, pants, undershirt or bra, belt, and 2 accessories are common). Each time a Knight, Bishop, or Rook is captured, then whoever’s piece was taken removes one article of clothing. However, if one of those above pieces is captured by a pawn, then two pieces of clothing come off. If the queen is captured, two pieces comes off. A player can get one article of clothing back if his or her King or Queen takes a piece. Checkmate means the loser must take off three pieces of clothing.

For a longer version of the game, where the loser isn’t determined by checkmate, is when a player is simply checked, that player removes one piece of clothing. The loser is the one who gets completely nude.

P.S. If you like this page or this site, make a donation of $1. These are tough times, every little bit helps.

Monday, October 22, 2007


This morning I was playing a disastrous game as white on line. We had started vying for control of the center from the gates. Soon I was losing material and my position was cascading into a nightmare. Stubbornly determined to fight to the bitter end, my pieces were repositioning into a small defensive force part way up the right side of the board. Then the site crashed and the game disappeared into eternity.

Fast forward to this evening. Reading the news I followed a link to and read the Presidents speech where he presents the Medal of Honor to a fallen Navy SEAL. People like this actually exist and are fighting bravely probably even as I type this. Its amazing when brave souls have the courage to battle the enemy in the worst of terrains, outnumbered and in a lost position. This morning I pretended in a mock battle. This afternoon someone who gave their life with the spirit of a true soldier is honored.

Two excerps from the speech:

Today, we add Lieutenant Michael Murphy's name to the list of recipients who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Deep in the mountains of Afghanistan, this brave officer gave his life in defense of his fellow Navy SEALs. Two years later, the story of his sacrifice humbles and inspires all who hear it. And by presenting Michael Murphy's family with the Medal of Honor that he earned, a grateful nation remembers the courage of this proud Navy SEAL.

On June 28th, 2005, Michael would give his life for these ideals. While conducting surveillance on a mountain ridge in Afghanistan, he and three fellow SEALs were surrounded by a much larger enemy force. Their only escape was down the side of a mountain -- and the SEALs launched a valiant counterattack while cascading from cliff to cliff. But as the enemy closed in, Michael recognized that the survival of his men depended on calling back to the base for reinforcements. With complete disregard for his own life, he moved into a clearing where his phone would get reception. He made the call, and Michael then fell under heavy fire. Yet his grace and upbringing never deserted him. Though severely wounded, he said "thank you" before hanging up, and returned to the fight -- before losing his life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And so it goes....

Ive decided to mix things up a little bit on this blog. Chess has definitely taken a back seat to other things like school, work (quit one of my jobs by the way, but were still on good terms)and a renewed social life. I'm still playing but quickly loosing the sharp, crisp view of the board that takes so long to acquire. With that in mind Ill be posting things that I find interesting or funny from time to time. Chess will still be the number one feature but as life changes so does blog.

Ondine's Curse is a disorder where the automatic respiratory functions are disabled. Every breath has to be voluntarily taken otherwise the person will die. Normally the autonomic nervous system will take over and "breath for you." We have that great option of choosing to breath voluntarily or not depending on our mood. So Ondine's Curse must be diagnosed quickly otherwise when the person falls asleep they will quickly die. Luckily for us it comes with a nice mythological story line which I snagged from Wikipedia.

Ondine was a water nymph in German mythology. She was very beautiful and (like all nymphs) immortal. One of the "only threats" to a nymph's eternal happiness is if she falls in love with a mortal and bears his child - she will lose her "gift" of everlasting life.

Ondine fell in love with a dashing knight - Sir Lawrence - and they were married. When they exchanged vows, Lawrence said, "My every waking breath shall be my pledge of love and faithfulness to you." A year after their marriage Ondine gave birth to Lawrence’s son. From that moment on she began to age. As Ondine’s physical attractiveness diminished, Lawrence lost interest in his wife.

One afternoon Ondine was walking near the stables when she heard the familiar snoring of her husband. When she entered the stable, however, she saw Lawrence lying in the arms of another woman. Ondine pointed her finger at him - Lawrence felt it as if he was being kicked, and woke up with a start. Ondine uttered her curse: "You swore faithfulness to me with every waking breath, and I accepted your oath. So be it. As long as you are awake, you shall have your breath, but should you ever fall asleep, then that breath will be taken from you and you will die!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Warning Signs

Dont let this happen to you. This guy wants to kill one person for every square of the chessboard. He almost succeeded. If you have any of these symptoms while playing chess stop what your doing and do not murder:

Desire to Kill
Love of Cats
Kasparov was trying to run for office in Russia. It didnt work out so well. Atleast hes not dead and someone in that country still believes in basic democratic freedoms. The video in the upper right of the screen is quite good. But I dont know how long it will last.,4670,RussiaOpposition,00.html