Glest 2.0-rc1 released

At last, Glest 2.0-rc1 has been released. The version is not the complete 2.0 though, some icons are missing and some animations will be improved; However it includes most of the features that will be present in the final version.

– New Magic units:

– Tower of Souls: Air defense building, attacks air only
– Golem: Defensive unit, needs EP to walk, can’t attack air
– Daemon giant: Heavy melee unit
– Drake rider: Light ranged unit

– New Tech units:

– Aerodrome: Building for producing air units
– Air ballista: Air defense building, attacks air only
– Horseman: Fast medium unit
– Ornithopter: Light air unit
– Airship: Heavy air unit, can’t attack air

– New Magic upgrades
– New Tech upgrades
– New animations for existing units
– Loads of balance changes

New units really change the way factions are played. The Magic faction now has a new defensive unit, the Golem, that makes them stronger at the early stages of the game. The Tech faction now has air units, but should be less powerful because both factions have new anti air defenses too, which make towns very difficult to attack with air units only.

To play this version, download the data and win32 binary packages from sourceforge. Linux users can still use 1.2.1 source code with 2.0-rc1 data.

Origami Wreaths and Rings

a book by David Petty

In these pages you will find over 100 inventive variations around a circular theme using modular origami

If I were to describe this book in as few words as possible, I would choose these: easy, modular, organic origami. Easy, because the folding instructions are very clear and each of the pieces can be made in a few minutes by people with none to very little knowledge in origami; modular, because you create the models by assembling several small identical units together; and organic, because the result is a whole which looks much more complex than the sum of its parts: actually, many of the spiky stars and rings remind me of living sea stars and urchins. I came to this book after having seen several models a friend of mine had done, and I recommend it to anyone interested in any of the key themes mentioned above, as it will be a pleasing and rewarding discovery.

Update: I just found out that the author has made available several models with instructions here.

The postman keeps on ringing

The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost. The main line is: if you send a postcard, you’ll receive at least one back, from a random postcrosser somewhere in the world.

Postcrossing comes not long after after the well known bookcrossing, which I would define as an organized trend where people decide to free books they have read, leaving them out in the wilderness, tagged with a tracking number so that their path (with the subsequent readers´ help) can be followed. In this case, the subjects of free trade are postcards that you can start either sending and receiving as soon as you request an address from the aforementioned site. The process is easy, well described, and the site feels both professional and amusing. It particularly worths to say that this is a one person work, that of the portuguese Paulo Magalhães, who confesses to have been surpassed in his expectations by the rapid development of the initiative.
Since a postcard is something you write on your own, sending them to unkowns is a beautiful metaphor of giving oneself to another. My hopes are that Postcrossing keeps on growing, as representative of this spirit and as a kind of poetical justice towards the infamous chain letters. In times of email floods, give yourself a reality bite! 🙂