Rice Husks and Video Games

I was dehusking some rice seeds today in order to sterilize them.
I was dehusking some rice seeds today in order to sterilize them.

Rice seeds grow with a husk around them. After the husk is removed they look like the rice you buy in a store.

Sometimes the seeds from a particular strain don’t grow right.

The lack of growth often happens because a fungus infected the seed from the start.

The fungus is removed by washing the seed.

The husk needs to be removed first to ensure the seed is fully cleaned, just like you have to take off all of your clothes to ensure your body is fully cleaned when you shower or bathe.

While I was washing the seeds in diluted bleach I talked with one of my friends in the lab about streaming Hearthstone.

The oldest member of the lab besides the professor (I sometimes call him the lab fossil) overheard us and was curious about what streaming was.

We described it to him and he was a little surprised that people would want to watch others play video games.

He’s seen his son play first person shooter (FPS) games and he dislikes them, but not for the usual reasons.

The lab fossil dislikes FPS games because they don’t match reality.

He feels they teach people that if you die/fail you can just get a do-over where you try again.

The real world and the real battlefield doesn’t work that way. If you die in real life, you’re dead.

You can’t respawn, you can’t start over from the beginning. It’s over.

He told us about when he was in the army for two years.

All the time they would do drills and the drills were about staying alive.

Not about shooting and killing others no matter the consequences to yourself like in FPS games.

One of the first things the lab fossil learned is that if you hear gunfire, you should immediately drop to the ground (something people in gang neighborhoods already know).

He told us that the way you survive a battle is by finding cover, not shooting your gun.

He said bullets are heavy, you don’t want to waste them, you might need them later to survive.

My past experience with army veterans is that they never want to talk about their experiences.

Out of respect, I’ve never asked them to recall memories that might be painful for them.

This was one of the first times I actually got to talk about war with a soldier, even if he’d never been actively deployed.

It was a good learning experience.

-Mister Ed

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An Overview of Gurutama Part 3

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Previous: An Overview of Gurutama Part 2

I promised to write more about the Merfolk of Gurutama and here it is!

The Dawn of Worlds game that created Gurutama was actually our third attempt.

I’d played once with one friend so another person besides me would know the rules.

We tried it with the whole group, but we were unsatisfied with the way the world went.

There were two many weird races (cloud people, shapeshifting lizard people, etc) and large portions of the world were uninhabited and undeveloped.

We revised the way we were using the rules slightly and tried again.

That third game produced Gurutama.

The second game featured a large conflict between robot people called Warforged and cow people called Minotaurs.

An additional participant in this conflict were the Sahuagin.

Sahuagin look like the image above. They are more full fish-human hybrid whereas the typical view of Merfolk is a literal half fish half human.

My friend who made Sahuagin in the first game carried over the underwater civilization to our second game and made the Merfolk.

Wanting the Merfolk to be even more involved in the world, he made them master traders of the world.

Like I said earlier, the Merfolk worship Drolfo, god of the sea.

Drolfo performed miracles for the Merfolk at the beginning of the world, so its likely that the Merfolk are ruled by a theocracy.

It’s just as likely that the Merfolk are ruled by the merchant class due to their trade focused culture.

I’d guess its an element of both, perhaps like India’s feud between the Brahmin and Kshatriya castes.

Brahmins rule through religious power and Kshatriyas through military power.

We never officially decided how that worked though.

I’d imagine the Merfolk are viewed by the rest of Gurutama the same way the rest of Earth views the USA.

The USA is a powerful capitalist nation just like the Merfolk.

The USA is cut off from most other countries by oceans just like the Merfolk.

The USA interferes with other nations to secure benefits for itself just like the Merfolk.

So, just like the USA but with more religion involved in government.

Next time I’ll talk about the humans of Gurutama!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 4