“R” is for Ratings

I just heard via GameArena that Michael Atkinson is resigning as SA Attorney-General. This is potentially huge news for Australia. Why?

Michael Atkinson has been opposing a new R18+ rating for Australia for years, and the way the Australian system is designed all states must agree to a change. Thus we’ve had the unfair situation of one man holding the balence of power on this one issue. For this reason games that can’t be giving a MA15+ rating are banned in Australia. He’s been opposed to a R rating as he feels that since games are interactive they need to be held to a different standard to other media, such as movies.

I should note that this isn’t as bad as it seems; Australia tends to rate as M games that other countries rate as R (or equivalent). But several games in the past have been banned or edited over this, and we now have a new chance of change.

I think the gamers of Australia will be be waiting with bated breath as to who replaces him…

The time of truth

Falcon 9

SpaceX has a Falcon 9 on Cape Canaveral pad 40, the launch vehicle that could end up as the future of US space travel for the next 5+ years. I personally don’t hold out much hope for its long term success… but I hope I’m wrong. SpaceX has received the most funds so far from NASA in relation to the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, which in short is a program to deliver cargo to the ISS.

The launch is scheduled for sometime in April, possibly the 12th. Supposedly it’s all re-usable, but I’m not clear on how. (Parachutes seem likely.) It’s going to be launching a test version of the Dragon, which is their multipurpose launch capsule. (According to SpaceX that still needs around 3 years to be man-rated.)

So why am I so negative? I’m just not convinced that it’s time for the commercialisation of space. There’s a lot that can (and has; a test a few weeks back was aborted) gone wrong here, and the fact that the usual suspects aren’t part of this is very telling to me.

But NASA have that covered anyway; Orbital Sciences Corporation is due to launch the Taurus II in mid 2011… (The third company, Rocketplane Kistler, is out of the race and probably bankrupt.)

Full disclosure: I’m a Space Shuttle fanboy!

When one Bulldozer loves another Bulldozer very much

Bulldozer Family Front
I was out today and I found a family of wild Bulldozers in their natural element… and look; they have a little one!

Bulldozer Family Side
Normally they are quite shy of humans so I took the chance to get some photos. Pulitzer prize for me?

Bulldozer Family Sidte Closer
Male Bulldozers are quite large. Note the ripper at the back; only mature males have these.

Bulldozers Playing
Here you can see them playing together. What a wonderful family!

City Dozer 7685
But it isn’t all play being a Bulldozer; there’s always work to do! Here’s the female working hard…

Technic Bulldozer 8275
…and here’s the male. It looks to me he’s not pulling his weight!

Technic Mini Bulldozer 8259
Look; the baby is working hard too! Now where have the parents gone?

No comment
Oh! This could be a good time to leave them alone!

Note: I built 8259 Mini Bulldozer from spare parts so a few parts and colours are not the same as the actual set. The bigger Bulldozer is a stock 8275, and the medium one is the town set 7685.

Arealight Twi’lek Quasi Review

I recently bought some Arealight Twi’leks and I thought I’d share some quick photos of them!

My girls
They are very well moulded, have great colour matching, and the printing is excellent. The waisted torso is an especially cool concept that I wish TLG would do; if you’re going to print breasts and hips you might as well use a different piece! You can find more photos of these lovely ladies on the Arealight Flickr page.

Twi'lek torso bottom
Here you can see inside the torso. It’s much the same as the TLG parts, but with a hip. I’ve given it a few test squeezes and it seems strong.

Twi'lek torso back
What appears to be a moulding mark is visible at certain angles. It isn’t overly noticeable normally.

“Two against one? No fair!”

As a bit of trivia, all of the Twi’leks are based off “real” characters.

White: Lyn Me, Max Rebo Band dancer in Return of the Jedi Special Edition.
Blue: Aayla Secura, Jedi Master.
Red: Darth Talon, Sith Apprentice in Star Wars: Legacy comics. (Never read so I don’t know any more.)
Orange: Ayy Vida, General background nobody in Attack of the Clones that someone seems to like a lot. (She’s supposed to be yellow and red.)
Green: Oola, The rancors lunch.

Also I bought some hair and a blank torso .

Hair inside
Looks very standard on the inside. It’s hard to see but there seems to be a “makers mark” on the inside of the inverted stud. A stylised “A” and “L”?

Tight fitting clothes!
Some of the hair pieces have a relatively obvious mould mark on the top. (You can see it in this photo.) It isn’t a major concern though, and I suspect it’ll improve with handling/fondling.

Even so, I highly recommend Arealight’s work.

CONTEST: Whack-a-Fig II – Revenge Of The Whacker

In the time before time there was the Whack-A-Fig contest… and here is the long promised sequel! For years Hinckley has been traumatised by memories of this walrus wedgie wiener whack incident…

walrus wedgie wiener whack
…and today his revenge will be complete.

Whack-a-Fig II
Hinckley steals the Blue Bucket and tells Sinner / Siegfried / That Walrus where it is. It’s such an obvious trap, but the buckets lure is irresistible, and he doesn’t know that attached to it is a fridge full of Ice Cube Trays….

Now it’s your turn for revenge; go here for more details!