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Allen Varney
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Lives in Ithaca, New York
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Allen Varney

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Uzbeki serving bowl carved from a single piece of wood. Click through for the .GIF animation.

http://i.imgur.com/GvFa5LO.gifv
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An anthropologist surveys the low-status Glam SAHM tribe of New York City's Upper East Side. ("Glamorous stay-at-home moms.") "It was a shock to discover that the most elite stratum of all is a glittering, moneyed backwater." These kept women are segregated from the males; they receive annual "wife bonuses" based on "performance." "It made sense only in the context of the rigidly gendered social lives of the women I studied. The worldwide ethnographic data is clear: The more stratified and hierarchical the society, and the more sex-segregated, the lower the status of women. [...] The wives of the masters of the universe, I learned, are a lot like mistresses — dependent and comparatively disempowered." (New York Times):

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/poor-little-rich-women.html
I studied the women of the Upper East Side as if they were a tribe in a faraway land.
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Chilling.
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Sometimes a hint is wasted on the listener.
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"There is a popular notion at large, part of a sort of phantom “bi-partisan” centrist conviction, that the degradation of American infrastructure, exemplified by the backwardness of our trains and airports, too, is a failure of the American political system. We all should know that it is bad to have our trains crowded and wildly inefficient—as Michael Tomasky points out, fifty years ago, the train from New York to Washington was much faster than it is now—but we lack the political means or will to cure the problem. In fact, this is a triumph of our political system, for what is politics but a way of enforcing ideological values over merely rational ones? [...]

"What we have, uniquely in America, is a political class, and an entire political party, devoted to the idea that any money spent on public goods is money misplaced, not because the state goods might not be good, but because they would distract us from the larger principle that no ultimate good can be found in the state. Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow." (Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker):

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-plot-against-trains
Credit PHOTOGRAPH BY ELLIOTT ERWITT/MAGNUM
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...And this is the exact mentality addressed in the article.

Allen Varney

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Atomic Robo, the smart and funny comic series about Nikola Tesla's superscience robot, will make you forget Buckaroo Banzai ever existed. The Robocreators are Kickstarting an ambitious project to reprint all nine volumes in hardcover.

http://kck.st/1L3V2so
Tesladyne LLC is raising funds for Atomic Robo Reprint Regalia! on Kickstarter! Atomic Robo is out of print and the sadness is REAL. So we're reprinting the whole series in hardcover and need your help!
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Annals of Corruption: "There is no presumption of innocence under civil asset forfeiture laws. Rather, law enforcement officers only need to have a suspicion -- in practice, often a vague one -- that a person is involved with illegal activity in order to seize their property. [...] Once property has been seized, the burden of proof falls on the defendant to get it back -- even if the cops ultimately never charge them with a crime. 'We don’t have to prove that the person is guilty,' an Albuquerque DEA agent told the [Albuquerque] Journal. 'It’s that the money is presumed to be guilty.' [...]

"The practice has proven to be controversial. Earlier this year, then-US Attorney General Eric Holder announced measures restricting the use of some types of civil asset forfeiture. But as the Institute for Justice noted in a February report, these changes only affect a small percentage of forfeitures initiated by local law enforcement agencies, not federal ones like the DEA. About 90 percent of Justice Department seizures won't be affected at all.

"Asset forfeiture is lucrative for the DEA. According to their latest notification of seized goods, updated Monday, agents have seized well over $38 million dollars' worth of cash and goods from people in the first few months of this year. Some of the goods may be directly related to ongoing criminal investigations, but most of them are not.

"For instance, in fiscal year 2014 Justice Department agencies made a total of $3.9 billion in civil asset seizures, versus only $679 million in criminal asset seizures. In most years since 2008, civil asset forfeitures have accounted for the lion's share of total seizures." (Washington Post):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/11/how-the-dea-took-a-young-mans-life-savings-without-ever-charging-him-of-a-crime/?postshare=1001431457519691
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When the State robs the poor, it's called Law Enforcement, when the poor fight back, it''s called REVOLUTION.
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Have him in circles
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Allen Varney

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Of this Reddit compilation of 90 must-see Korean films, I have seen -- let's see -- two.

http://i.imgur.com/HlJFrow.jpg
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18 or so.  That I remember.
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A few of the songs from a hundred years ago still sound fresh today -- "You Made Me Love You," "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" -- and then, on the other hand, there's this shaggy-dog story from 1915. "On the 5:15" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_5:15 ) is sung here by America's first recording superstar, "the Denver Nightingale," Billy Murray ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Murray_%28singer%29 ), along with an unnamed baritone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOct2-1vIcA
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Pete Townsend wrote "5.15," from The Who's Quadrophenia, because the story required the main character to take a long train trip: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.15

This 1915 song also didn't inspire the Finnish band The Five Fifteen, nor the 1920 Elzie Segar comic strip The Five Fifteen ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._C._Segar#The_Five-Fifteen_and_Sappo ).
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"As much as the mainstream Democratic Party whines about Fox and its cohorts, they constantly use all the negative energy of the conservative media as free marketing. Instead of standing in true partnership with unions and working people and employing a strategy of forcing the rest of the world to democratize and grant workers real rights in exchange for access to American consumers, they've done the opposite -- beating up on the captured labor demographic as a way to reassure big business.

"Again, this goes back to Clinton, Al From, Dick Morris, the DLC days. Third Way Dems first dared American workers to try to get a better deal with Republicans. Then, once they established that they could safely take minorities and labor for granted, they used right-wing caricatures of welfare moms or rappers to score points with the political middle.

"It's clever, and it sure as hell works as a way to win elections. It just seems like doing the right thing and standing up for actual people would work just as well." (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone):

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-democratic-party-would-triangulate-its-own-mother-20150514
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There have been some new left (not New Left) parties springing up in Europe but at least the ones I'm familiar with are wallowing in nostalgia and regressive old timey socialist politics, surfing on the first wave of enthusiasm, completely incapable of dealing with contemporary issues.

Sorry, gotta let it out sometimes. I pine for the day when I can confidently vote for a party again.
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New edition of the seminal Champions superhero RPG campaign book, Strike Force by the late Aaron Allston ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Allston ), to be Kickstarted later this year. (Jason Walters, Hero Games):

http://www.herogames.com/index.html/_/store-items/gone-to-texas-r63

"Before his untimely passing, Aaron and I had been talking about producing a new Strike Force book for Hero Games. But we were both involved with other projects, had a lot to do, and it didn't seem like there was any particular hurry to get the project done. However, now that he's gone, his family and I believe it's important that his part of his legacy be preserved by issuing a new and expanded version of this seminal work of RPG game design. I hope you all will agree and support this project when it goes live on Kickstarter sometime later this year.

"The new version of Strike Force won't formally be a Hero Games product. Rather, it's going to be a joint project between Blackywrm Games and Evil Beagle Games, with designer Ross Watson spearheading the editing and design of the book, and myself overseeing the development and production. (Or so Ross and I hope, as neither of us knows what I'll find down in the Lone Star State.) Using Blackwyrm's Larger Than Life: Tall Tale Adventures Kickstarter project as a model, we plan on producing versions for the Hero System, Savage Worlds, and Mutants & Masterminds."
This Friday Im going to catch a plane from Reno to Ft. Worth, rent a car, and drive to the small city of Denton. Why do you ask? Because thats where the archives of Aaron Allstons work are stored. With the help of his mother Rose, Im going...
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Yeah, Aaron was a master at juggling player interests and hooks.   I remember going to him at the end of one campaign season and expressing some concerns my character had about the direction of some upcoming events. 

Next campaign season, BOOM, that was the seed for the entire campaign year,  pulling in an ad hoc group of heroes  (including some old vets) into a mission to save millions.  

And he'd developed a number of elements of the game world that allowed him to flexibly handle situations.  He could move from small seemingly insignificant events to major, calamitous clashes of tremendous import, at the drop of a hat.

It was Super!
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Allen Varney

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51. a Wi-Fi network
50. a star
49. an online publication
48. your son
47. your daughter
46. your company
   [...]
27. a sports move
26. a generic item of clothing
25. fauna
24. flora
23. a comet
  [...]
12. a public holiday
11. an adage
10. a theorem
9. a law of physics
8. a unit of measurement
7. a chess opening
6. a slang word for money
5. a disreputable profession
4. a dynasty
3. a religious sect
2. a city
1. a month

http://www.theawl.com/2015/05/things-to-have-named-after-you-in-order-of-difficulty
51. a Wi-Fi network 50. a star 49. an online publication 48. your son 47. your daughter 46. your company 45. your band 44. an autobiography 43. a public square in Los Angeles 42. a burger, drink, salad or sandwich ...
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I think having a star named after you in a manner such that astronomers will actually use the name is much harder than suggested. :) 
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Writer and game designer based for many years in Austin, Texas; currently in Ithaca, New York.
Introduction
I've designed three published board games, the PARANOIA roleplaying game (2004 edition), and two dozen tabletop RPG supplements, and have written eight books. I co-wrote (with Warren Spector and Alex Duran) the original 300-page design document for the Nintendo Wii videogame Epic Mickey. Many major companies have commissioned Enspire Learning to run my business leadership simulation Executive Challenge. I wrote and packaged official PARANOIA novels under my own imprint, Ultraviolet Books. Currently I run a small bundle site, the Bundle of Holding.
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Survived as a freelance writer for over 20 years, a nontrivial challenge.
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Currently
Ithaca, New York
Previously
Austin, Texas - Topeka, Kansas - Cupertino, California - Reno, Nevada - Renton, Washington - Stone Town, Zanzibar - Cape Town, South Africa - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
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