It’s time for one of “those” posts again!  Man, I think this is the most tabs I’ve had up in quite some time – maybe a few years T__T.  I think I literally have more than 20-25 up, but I’m going to try to get rid of at least half of them here haha -.-||

This is an interesting article on classcraft – basically a role-playing game that one can play in the classroom with kids.  They can choose an rpg character to play, each with certain special abilities (ie being able to leave the room for 2 minutes at any time) and they can build up their character by doing well in group work, participation, or other things.  Pretty neat concept actually, I think!  And they’re working to make it into an app in a freemium model for schools across the country.  Really curious how well it takes off (also dude, I would totally have loved to be in a class with something like that!)  Here’s also another (shorter) article on the topic, in case you didn’t want to read all of the details.

Speaking of games, here’s a very comprehensive talk about character designs in games (and how not to make them so obviously catered to one gender or another…)

I’ve never heard of this comic before, but apparently the “Anti-RPG comic Dark Dungeons” is being made into a movie.  The premise sounds pretty interesting though – basically what happens when you play things like Dungeons and Dragons or other real-time RPG games, and start being unable to separate out the game from reality.

One thing that affected me quite a lot for a week or two (relatively) recently was what happened with Elliot Rodger in SD, as well as all the lives that were suddenly snuffed out.  I actually read a good bit of his manifesto to see what it was that made him get to the point he did.  Reading it just made me pretty sad all around – for him, for the victims, for the families… it really made me realize what could happen if God isn’t the one to fill the lonely void within all of us.  I wish he had had a chance to know God’s love… I was also pretty sad about the victims – most of them came from areas near my own hometown, and they reminded me a lot of many of my friends from back home.  Some even went to high schools of friends I knew, and I know their parents were devastated, especially the one that was the only son (as I’m sure the other victim’s parents were as well).  😦  Another scary part in reading the Manifesto was perhaps the fact that I know someone who talks in a very similar mien… I’m just thankful that this friend of mine does know Christ and has a good, supportive church family so I think he’s in a much better place than Elliot was when he went on this rampage. I don’t usually say this but… God rest his soul.

As a follow-up, I thought this was a very poignant response piece on school (and other mass) shootings, and I agree.  Please, let us all just listen, and care about those around us a little bit more.  Don’t be that person who shuns the “weirdo” in the corner.  Deep down, everyone just wants to be heard and loved in some way.  Basically, read this short story that’s been floating around fb for a while now:

“Once a group of 500 people were attending a seminar. Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started giving each person a balloon. Each person was then asked to write their name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room. The people were then let into that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written on it within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos. At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon. Then, the speaker asked each person to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon. The speaker then began, ‘This is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is. Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness. And this is the purpose of human life…the pursuit of happiness.’ Thanks for the share – Tiffany Moore”

And now, back to more happier things – here’s how to draw Garfield! 😀  Jim Davis shows us how he draws Garfield, using his Cintiq and his new Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, and also gives us a little history on how he came up with the lovable cat.

Also in relation to comics, next up, we have an interview with the Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman, which goes a bit into how The Oatmeal got started, in case you were wondering.

Ever wanted to know what happened with Lance Armstrong after his apparent fall from grace?  Here’s an (extremely long) article detailing life afterwards.

Speaking of life afterwards, here is a collection of Holocaust photos that show a slightly different story than the downtrodden, gaunt and depressed faces.  Here, they celebrate the small victories, as well as the joy of liberation.

Ever wondered how people create languages for things like books and TV shows?  Well, here’s a short interview with David Peterson, the guy who created languages for the Game of Thrones and the show Defiance.  And for GoT fans, here’s a bit of Peter Dinklage‘s story (he plays Tyrion from GoT)

Ok, I think that’s all I’m up for for now.  The rest of the articles mainly deal with the same 3 categories (healthcare/medicine, programming, and music), so I’ll save those for the next post. Whew!