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Characteristics of a
Dungeons & Dragons geek

YOU know those crazy kids with all them dice? And all them ornamental swords, and dressing up as knights and wizards and scantily clad women in distress? More often than not, they’re Dungeons and Dragons fans playing… well, Dungeons and Dragons. Playing a role-playing game, as the term goes. But, their quirks and idiosyncrasies aren't only limited to their games. Extrapolation into real life isn’t uncommon. Here are a few examples.

1) They will mostly always think in terms familiar to D&D. For example, when something monumental happens in their lives, commonly known as an 'experience', they'll think about whether they should multi-class and what feats they'll take on the next level. Sometimes, they'll pretend they're wizards and sorcerers, and decide on the right spells. They also make oblique and copious amounts of references to dice rolls.

2) In dire circumstances when things like time or speed is off the essence, they'll comment out loud to the world in particular, or to their immediate company that it would be great if he, or she, was a high enough level wizard/sorcerer to cast the Time Stop spell, or even a low level Haste spell (which increases your movement speed by 100%, and gives you an extra attack per round- awesome spell, affects the whole party). This is as opposed to Science-Fiction Geeks who'd prefer to use things like Time-Bubble machines or Speed-Suits. Same principle different eras.

3) They'll rant and rave about anything Dungeons & Dragons, and tell you what an awesome D&D novel he had just read a few days back, and that the latest strip of Order of the Stick was pure brilliance. Be wary about people wanting to tell you D&D stories- in order to understand the causes and effects, you'll mostly always need a basic idea of how D&D works, and the storyteller in question may not be a good storyteller and will insist that you listen to his retelling of the thousands and thousands of rules of the D&D game before he tells you a story. Only for you to forget about the rules that you just listened to for 15 minutes, and then not get the story whatsoever, which turned out to be just a few sentences long. It happens to other people.

4) Things that have a prevalent relation or agents reminding the person of a medieval world, full of magic and sorcery, kings and queens, jesters and assassins, mad wizards, mad warlords, evil dungeon lords, kidnapped damsel in distresses, magical creatures, etc.- those things will get their rocks off. For example, music. Blackmore's Night, a folk-rock band using medieval and fantasy elements in their song is a prime example. It definitely gets MY rocks off. Other things include may include movies, and games. Dragonheart the movie is a good example.

5) Any new D&D game coming out will make them squeal in utter glee. When the game finally releases, they'll go through the whole manual, letter by letter, familiarizing themselves to the environment even before playing the game. Then, they'll immerse themselves in the game world, and if you don't see the person for the next few days, don't worry about him, he's just starving himself trying to finish the game. They can be like that.

Disclaimer: One must note however that is not strictly how a DnD geek is. He is the same as you and a lot of other people. And only human. Not everyone follows these trends and even then, there has probably been an exaggeration or two, so don't go judging. We're cool people, once you get to know us. Very cool people. Sometimes, we put extra skill points in 'Projecting Coolness'.

By Emil

Unique Universe

Making Life Better
So the wheel was invented, and it made life a lot easier. After a series of inventions, we made things that looked like us, started making alternative life forms, and what not. This week, we'll see how much is left for us to invent and discover. Who knows, someday you'll find a way to make cute little bunnies from tree trunks or something, or musical food…

Poison breathers
Researchers are studying some common soil bacteria that “inhale” toxic metals and “exhale” them in a non-toxic form. The bacteria might one day be used to clean up toxic chemicals left over from nuclear weapons production decades ago. Using a unique combination of microscopes, researchers at Ohio State University glimpse how the Shewanella oneidensis [lets call it x] bacterium breaks down metal to chemically extract oxygen.

The study provides the first evidence that X maneuvers proteins within the bacterial cell into its outer membrane to contact metal directly. The proteins then bond with metal oxides, which the bacteria utilize the same way we do oxygen. The process is called respiration, and its how living organisms make energy, explained a researcher.

Flying Cars!
A project started four years ago by students in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which stated that cars could fly, and that project had significant success quite a few days ago. You can see the video on youtube with the link http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=Ohad9F2jaCI& feature=player_embedded

A street-legal Transition is powered on land and in the air by a recently developed 100 hp Rotax engine that gets 30 mpg on the highway using regular unleaded gasoline. As a plane, its 20-gallon tank gives it a 450-mile range with a 115 mph cruising speed. The pilot can switch from one mode to the other from the driver's seat, simultaneously folding up the wings and shifting the engine power from the rear-mounted propeller to the front wheels in about 30 seconds.

Turtles joining tissues
Using the natural glue that marine mussels use to stick to rocks, and a variation on the inkjet printer, a team of researchers led by North Carolina State University has devised a new way of making medical adhesives that could replace traditional sutures and result in less scarring, faster recovery times and increased precision for exacting operations such as eye surgery.

So the next time you think how taking over the world with the help of giant invisible ninja squirrels is not possible, think again. They might just hold the key towards ultimate power. But till then, try to make Earth a better place to live in!

Source: physorg.com, news.yahoo.com
By Raida Kifait Reza

Book Review

Royal Assassin

LAST week, we looked at Assassin's Quest, where we met Fitz, the illegitimate son of Prince Chivalry, heir to the Farseer throne. His arrival at the royal house of Buckkeep upsets the status quo there, forcing his father to abdicate Prince Verity. A misfit at court, he manages to catch the eye of King Shrewd, who has him secretly trained as an Assassin. Fitz shares his father's Farseeing abilities, referred to as the Skill, as well as the forbidden magic of Animal Mindspeech, known in this story as the Wit. Towards the end of the first book, he is sent along with the party to the mountains, ostensibly to bring back a princess bride for Prince Verity, but with additional instructions to kill off the mountain king's heir.

Royal Assassin opens with Fitz returning to Buckkeep after a lengthy convalescence in the mountains, into a world fraught with intrigue. The Red Ship Raiders, the dreaded bandits who capture people and zombify them are still plaguing the kingdom, and Prince Regal, Verity's younger half-brother, is still plotting against the crown. Grown to a young man, the spitting image of his father, Fitz is more of an outcast than ever. Adding to the secrets he is forced to keep from the world, are his relationship with his childhood friend Molly, as well as his soul-bond with a wolf Nighteyes. The story comes to a head when Verity ventures off to seek help from the Elderlings, some godlike creatures that are vaguely explained in the book. In his absence, Regal makes his final move to secure the crown. Will Fitz be able to stop him? You'll have to read the book to find out.

This series demonstrates what a truly gifted writer can do with the constraints and conventions of the fantasy genre. It puts a dark spin on all the required quests, and magic, so that you'll see the heroes attempt epic feats, fail, to be left prematurely aged, scarred, and bitter. Romances go unrequited; the characters are morally and sexually ambiguous; and all the adventures and magic are dirty, unglamorous, and hazardous to health.

Sabrina F Ahmad



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