The story of the time-displaced “Original X-Men” was has been one of my favourites in recent years – and now it’s coming to a close. I haven’t kept up with every twist and turn since it began, but I might have to pick up the new Extermination arc, just to see how it ends.

European museums may “loan” stolen artifacts back to African countries

In recent months, museums in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany have begun to address the fact that large portions of their collections are, well, not theirs — and were stolen from other countries during the colonial era.

But there’s no consensus on how to deal with the issue. And as the Washington Post reports, some museums are proposing “loaning” the artifacts back to their countries of origin for limited periods of time — rather than actually returning them.

The whole thing stinks in my view. These items should be returned to the countries they were taken from. Not “loaned” – returned.

via European museums may “loan” stolen artifacts back to African countries – Vox

I just added a new page collecting the links of connections I’d made on Twitter. Yup, it’s an old-school “Links Page.” It’s still a work in progress, having only the wargaming and miniature painting blogs listed for now. My intention is to eventually add links from other sources, like my feed subscriptions.

I played against my first Mecha’thun deck today (I had the Whizbang Quest Warrior deck). Spent the whole game wondering “what is this strange deck my opponent is playing, and how does it win?!?” Then I realised in the turn before I would have won the game what was coming. Not a deck I’d want to play, but I can see the appeal.

RSS Reader Recommendations

I’m one of those people who still cling to their RSS Reader as a way to aggregate and read interesting things and news. Even though half the feeds in my blog folder are dead, I keep them around in the hope they one day spring to life again as we all get tired of the social media walled gardens, and start publishing on our own sites again. I’m sure it’s part habit, part convenience, part nostalgia.

At the moment I’m using The Old Reader, and using Stylus to fix the horrible, horrible default reading experience. TOR has worked fine for me up to now, but I was already near the subscription limits of the free tier, and I have a whole lot of new feeds to import that would basically double the number of sites I follow.

I know I could just use Feedly, as the free tier supports unlimited sources. That’s my fallback, but I left Feedly for The Old Reader several months ago, as I was becoming increasingly annoyed by some of their attempts to push Feedly Pro and team-based features. I just want to read my news, not create collections or share with teams, or whatever else they’ve come up with since. My RSS reader is not a shared experience.

So I’m probably going to have to start paying for a web-based reader, I want to make sure I’m using the best one I can. TOR is ok, but paying for something I have to use an addon to “fix” seems a bit silly.

If you’re using a paid-tier reader, which one are you using? My basic list of requirements are:

  • 3rd Party Apps can use it as a synchronisation source, so I can read on my iPhone or iPad.
  • Support for 200+ feed sources
  • A nice reading experience in the web client

Let me know in the comments what your preferred reader is!

How God of War’s Opening Boss Battle was Designed

The Playstation EU blog has a pretty fasciniating look at how the first boss battle in God of War, against “The Stranger,” was designed.

The first boss battle in a game often sets the tone for the player going forward, and The Stranger fight is one of my favourites. Between the narrative setup squeezed into the fight (Who is he? Why is he attacking Kratos? What are the answers he’s been sent to get? How do we stop him?), the mechanics designed to teach the player important lessons about the gameplay, and the spectacle of the set pieces, the whole sequence is so well done.

Even if you haven’t played God of War yet, it’s worth reading the post and watching the accompanying videos to get a sense of what goes into creating these integral moments of a modern game.

Aberdeen AWPR Bypass to host “Worst Cycling Event Ever”

The new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road (AWPR) is to host a “Go North East Road Festival” before it is opened to traffic in September. The event will offer cyclists an opportunity to “wobble or weave” on the road to promote active travel. However, people will not be allowed to bring their own bikes “for everyone’s safety” and cyclists will be banned from the road forever once the event is over.

Who honestly thought this would be a good idea? To “promote cycling,” people will have to leave their own bikes at home and take a shuttle bus. When the AWPR opens in September, cyclists will be banned from it.

It’s really not a good look for the entire region…