Life, Simulated

These are actual patch notes for the game Crusader Kings 2:

Celibate characters should no longer be worried about their conjugal lovelife.

Characters can now have up to five lovers at the same time.

Impregnation of lovers is now handled in the code.

No longer possible for AI to plot to assassinate self (unless they are a lunatic)

AI less willing to marry young male characters to older women.

Jewish priests are now allowed to marry

Homosexual characters can now have the “get married” ambition again.

Fixed a bug where characters sacrificed to Kali would mysteriously survive.

Fixed a bug where you couldn’t arrange marriages as a child.

Fixed a bug with lover event 64065

AI much less likely to plot against characters they have a high opinion of.

Spouse no longer likes you less if you have a different caste.

The decision to acknowledge bastards as your own now works again

Jews can now also hire the Abyssinian and Nubian mercs

Foreign rulers are now generally quite willing to take on wards as hostages

El Burrito de Muerte

Though New Yorkers love to rave about New York food, I personally find it somewhat lacking, especially when it comes to Mexican cuisine. Maybe I got spoiled in California, but I have not yet found a truly great, cheap, greasy, hole-in-the-wall burrito joint in Manhattan. I did, however, find the worst burrito ever.

I could try to recount the many ways in which the horrible burrito ruined forever any innocent childhood memories of Mexican food I may once have harbored, but I will say only this: guacamole is supposed to be green, not grayish-brown, parmesan cheese does not belong on a burrito, and Sriracha sauce is not a good substitute for salsa. Those examples should be enough to convince anyone that if Satan ever chose to come up from Hell into our world, and if the Dark Lord chose to take the form of a foil-wrapped, hand-held Latin food to do so, he would pick this specific burrito as his vessel for wreaking vengeance upon mankind.

What puzzles me is that the evil burrito was made by a Mexican dude. I would have thought that would ensure some minimal level of quality, but apparently this was a self-hating Mexican dude who absolutely despises his own culture, because that’s the only explanation I can offer for why he’d wish to rape his own heritage like that. I don’t understand why the guy who made it just hasn’t committed the Mexican version of seppuku already for disgracing his ancestors this way. I don’t know what a Mexican seppuku would look like, but I think one of those big sombreros and a pinata would figure prominently somehow.

I still ate the entire thing, of course.

Greatest Hits

I belong to an online dating site and I sometimes send out messages for my own amusement more than to score a date, such as the one here. The trend continues.

Example 1. Her profile section, under “likes”, contains “Accidental alliteration.” My message:


Also an accidental alliteration aficionado, adamant about associating amorously and acquiring affectionate accompaniment.

Awed? Amazed? Assuredly.


Example 2. Her profile section, in the “Message me if” section, contains: “if you have a razor-sharp wit… and if you’re so inclined.” My message:

My wit is so razor-sharp that they won’t even let me carry it on airplanes, and when it comes to messaging you, I’m more inclined than the leaning tower of Piza.

Example 3. Her profile mentioned that she was really good at reading maps. My message:

I was struck by your claim of special abilities when it comes to orienting yourself on a map. I’m doing some related research and was wondering if we could meet up for me to observe you using a map while I hold a large electromagnet near your head? Let me know if this sounds like a good idea. The magnet may or may not be turned on.

Organic Growth

My bank recently demanded that I fax them my signature, so I used one of those convenient services that can forward an emailed image to a fax. In other words:

I was using hardware manufactured in 2010 to transmit a document via an application launched in 2004 running on an system from the 1990s which uses a standard developed in the 1980s over a protocol from the 1970s in order to use technology created in the 1960s which utilizes a network started in the early 20th century which was constructed to utilize an invention of the late 19th century — all in order to comply with a practice that is thousands of years old.

The Shakespeare Test

A few years ago, I was playing around on a site that lets you create customized multiple-choice tests. I recently dug this up.

The Shakespeare Test

Which one of these is NOT a character from “Hamlet”?

  • Quatermain
  • Guildenstern
  • Fortinbras
  • Rozencrantz

In which of these couples do both parties survive to the end of a play?

  • Hamlet and Ophelia
  • Othello and Desdemona
  • Leontes and Hermione
  • Caesar and Portia

The best porn is literary porn, and the best of literary porn is Shakespeare porn. Which one of these is NOT a plausible name for a porno based on a Shakespeare play title?

  • “All’s Well That Hangs Well”
  • “The Merchant of Penis”
  • “Tight-ass Eroticus”
  • “King Her-Rod”

Same question again. Which one isn’t a good title for Shakespeare porn?

  • “As You Lick It”
  • “Seven Bitches of Athens”
  • “Love Slavers Lost”
  • “Coriol’s Anus”

The plot of “Hamlet” features a corruptible man who murders a king who trusted him, in order to secure the throne for himself, but is later killed in revenge. Which other Shakespeare play contains the same plot elements?

  • “Macbeth”
  • “Henry V”
  • “Richard III”
  • “Julius Caesar”

Which of these has served as a setting for a Shakespeare play?

  • Berkshire
  • Bohemia
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh

“Something is rotten in the state of ____”

  • man
  • affairs
  • Denmark
  • New Jersey

Which of these literary titles was based on a Shakespeare quote?

  • “I, Claudius”
  • “The Doors of Perception”
  • “The Winter of Our Discontent”
  • “Inherit the Wind”

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not within our stars but in ____”

  • our gods
  • our past
  • ourselves
  • my soup

Which classic science fiction movie was loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”?

  • “Forbidden Planet”
  • “Destination Moon”
  • “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
  • “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not____?”

  • revenge
  • appeal
  • cry
  • fight

Which one is a Shakespeare quote?

  • “She doth posess a twilight tinge of blue.”
  • “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
  • “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?”
  • “Frailty, thy name is woman!”

“Cry, ‘Havoc!’ and let slip ___”

  • the arms of might
  • the dogs of war
  • the witch’s teat
  • a mighty wind

Which actor has never played Hamlet in a film?

  • Ethan Hawke
  • Mel Gibson
  • Richard Burton
  • Jude Law

Shakespeare was from

  • London
  • Liverpool
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Manchester

Which Shakespeare play features faires?

  • “Much Ado About Nothing”
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
  • “Twelfth Night”
  • the whole damn lot of them

Which name does NOT appear in a title of a Shakespeare play?

  • Windsor
  • Patroclus
  • Troilus
  • Cymbeline

In “Richard III”, the main character is afflicted with

  • leprosy
  • blindness
  • a hump
  • a giant schlong

Shakespeare is famous for writing in the

  • trochaic monometer
  • iambic pentameter
  • dactylic hexameter
  • third trimester

King Lear had two selfish daughters. One of them had a name that sounded similar to a sexually-transmitted disease, while the other had a name that was similar to the name of a US President. What disease and what president?

  • Syphilis and Harding
  • Hepatitis and Hayes
  • Chlamydia and Clinton
  • Gonnorhea and Reagan