For My Special Adventurer!

If you’ve found yourself reading this message, you have completed your Legendary Quest: Part 5! You carried your Quest Giver to victory on the battlefield!

One final challenge remains:

Legends tell of a forge capable of crafting armor of immense​ power. Two portals to this forge have recently been discovered! Travel to one of the portals, find the forge, and claim your treasure! The portals open soon. Your Quest Giver will take care of the details, all you need to do is help determine the date you will begin your journey!


I absolutely adore Factorio, an indie game about building factories. It might not look like much, but I’ve spent easily over 200 hours building machines that build machines. I just did an achievement run and posted the gallery to imgur. Check it out!

Factorio Spaghetti

SpaceX AMOS-6 Anomaly

SpaceX had a very sudden and upsetting anomaly just before the static test fire of their Falcon 9 rocket on September 1, 2016.

SpaceX AMOS-6 Anomaly

I’m a huge fan of SpaceX and their relentless innovation toward the final frontier. I wish them best of luck in their return to flight. For more information on what happened, check out this excellent FAQ written by the moderators of the subreddit r/spacex. Direct link to the full video above is here.

Blog Transition, Restoration, and Cleanup

As a result of my recent transition away from SquareSpace, most of the image links from the blog were broken or redirected to the SquareSpace image attachment server. I tried using a few WordPress plugins to grab the images and store them, but unfortunately I had to go through every post one-by-one in order to get everything properly hooked up.

For those of you running into similar issues, I recommend this WordPress forum thread. Moe Loubani, one of the posters, managed to modify the popular image export plugin for WordPress in order to work slightly better with SquareSpace hosted images.

One upside: I was able to update all the out-of-date Macromedia Flash-based YouTube embeds. I wasn’t able to find the original source videos for some of the content, but at least none of the posts are littered in dead images and links anymore!

dead link
Just say no to dead links.

Tesla Master Plan, Part Deux

I use this blog as a type of time capsule for history, as well as my interests over the years. I’ve become quite the Tesla fan as of late, and a recent post by the Chairman/CEO Elon Musk seems like a great opportunity to carve a notch in the ole Tree of StormEffect and make a post about it here.


I’ve excerpted his TL;DR below:

Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it

sa-power-will-provide-tesla-poweAmong these, the most interesting to me is actually the conventional and boring solar/battery integration. This is something that can be engineered with existing technology, but nobody has cracked the code and made it compelling. I’m really hoping Tesla can pull an iPhone on home electricity generation. The democratization of energy generation will have liberating knock-on effects globally, and it will likely dovetail with globalized internet access. Like the other points in Elon’s Master Plan, it has a profound chance to change the world for the better.

Tech Rewind

So many things have happened since I last posted. In the original science/tech spirit of this blog, here are just a few highlights to cover the last 3 years:

1. Tesla Motors, something I didn’t know much about back in 2013, released Model S, Model X, and began taking reservations for Model 3. These are fully electric cars infused with the beginnings of autonomous driving capability.

2. SpaceX started landing first stage rocket boosters, a major milestone in their reusable rocket technology. Eventually (2025) they plan to begin colonizing Mars. This puts them way ahead of NASA, who plans to send people there in the mid 2030s.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…

A video posted by SpaceX (@spacex) on

3. CRISPR is ‘invented’. Incredibly powerful and precise gene editing is now cheap and easy.

The Genesis Engine. Coolest name for a thing, ever. The Genesis Engine. Coolest name for a thing, ever.

4. Real VR exists now. HTC Vive versus the Oculus Rift (now owned by Facebook). I lean toward the Vive because of the Steam/Valve partnership alongside the full room VR experience.

5. I’m still crazy into Solar (Photovoltaic) tech. It’s gotten crazy cheap in the last few years, although I had to let go of my solar powered satellites dreams as an unexpected side effect. The new idea is battery storage to get us through the night. (Thanks Tesla)

Here’s hoping I don’t take 3 years to write the next post!

Planetside 2: Brainstorming: Sunderer Command Module

I’m still spending a bunch of time in Planetside 2, and I’ve recently started running some fairly organized squads and platoons around the Auraxian battlefield. At the same time, I also really enjoy teaching new players about the coordinated team-play possibilities in game, because when I first started playing, it was solo-zerg-boring-death-fest-2012. 

But there’s certainly a downside to commanding (up to) 48 players in a cohesive and effective manner. Most of the time, I’m sitting in my deployed Sunderer at a platoon waypoint, staring at the Map window and calling out objectives over voice chat. The few times I venture out of my vehicle are to scout the area or run down a Light Assault trying to blow the Sunderer. 

So I had an idea: What if the Sunderer had a “Command Module” that fit into the Utility slot? Obviously, you’d lose AMS capabilities, but consider the possibilities! Here are my basic thoughts on how it might work, feel free to add to the discussion!

If a squad or platoon leader was inside a Sunderer equipped with a Command Module, it would bestow additional capabilities on the commander. For instance, it might unlock an enhanced map view, with the ability to display terrain and units in higher fidelity than currently. If the owner deploys the Sunderer, it might unlock the (so far, unimplemented) orbital strike option, available for use in a defined radius around the Sunderer. I think adding too much more might make the module overpowered, but what do you guys think? 

Why not have one of these outfitted with a Command Module?
Why not have one of these outfitted with a Command Module?

Planetside 2

Hi Guys!

I’m really enjoying the sequel to one of my favorite games of all time, Planetside 2! I’ve already recorded a couple videos in FRAPS, as well as a long set of screenshots sitting on my Steam screenshots page. Feel free to take a look, the game is gorgeous.

Seriously. It's beautiful.
Seriously. It’s beautiful.

Flu Season 2013

About a year ago I posted information on the yearly Influenza outbreak. I thought I’d followup this year with a slightly more informative post. Boston declared a Public Health Emergency in early January of this year (2013) and it’s got the masses all riled up. First, regardless of what I show below, it is always a good idea to get a Flu vaccination if it is available in your area.

While this is definitely a serious Flu season, it’s useful to compare this year to previous ones. It seems to me that most media groups compare the current situation to the 2011-2012 outbreak, which was much later and much less extreme. If you take a look further back, especially back to the 2009-2010 season, you can see that we aren’t experiencing apocalyptic levels of outbreak. It’s important to note the effects on each age group, though, specifically how in 2009-2010 it was very young children getting hospitalized most often, whereas this year it is people 65 years or older. Also, given the incomplete data, if the current slope continues upward for older citizens, this may be a particularly bad season for them in particular. So far, it appears this season is progressing most similarly to the 2010-2011 season.

We’ll have to see how it turns out, but I plan on updating the graphic below over the next several weeks to keep everyone updated on Flu status this year, good or bad.

Data Updated: January 30, 2013

FluView+013013 Generated using the CDC FluView tool.