Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lord of the Rings Online is now free to play

Meet Mneme of Rohan:

Have you ever wanted the chance to explore Middle Earth and mingle with hobbits, elves and dwarves? The Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG has recently implemented a free to play option - you don't need to buy the game or pay a monthly fee to enjoy this online game. All you need to do to get started is download the game and sign up for a free account.

The free option is great and I've really had fun playing it so far. You can make two characters per server and I have Mneme, my Human Lorekeeper and Aureanna, my Elven Hunter. The gameplay is very natural and easy to pick up.

Something that is always pretty important to me in games like this is the crafting system. LOTRO has done a great job - each character can have three Professions, all of which rely at least somewhat on the items other professions make. Rather than choosing which three individual professions you want, you choose a Vocation that comes with a standard set. Mneme, for example, is an Historian - she has the Farmer, Scholar and Weaponsmith professions. In fact, as I'm typing this she is busily processing crops grown earlier this morning on another computer.

So if it's free, how does the company make enough money to keep things running? There are paid options that open up different aspects of the game or give boosts. These can either be purchased by subscription OR by paying only for the aspects you want. One of the great features is that you can earn credit to buy these extras just by playing, so if you really want something but can't afford to spend real money you can eventually earn it by completing in-game objectives. I haven't spent any money yet and I've really been enjoying myself.

Winners x 2

Good morning everyone! After an unexpectedly hectic weekend I'm back and ready to get prizes on their way to the winners of our first two giveaways: the 10 post "Somethings" giveaway and my TGIF giveaway.

Thank you to everyone who participated! I'm planning more for the future (including something that will start later today) so stay tuned.

Both winners were chosen randomly from all eligble entries.

The winner of the "Somethings" giveaway is . . . Breanne!

The winner of the "TGIF" giveaway is . . . Chisum's Crew!

 E-mails have been sent out to both winners. Please respond within 72 hours to claim your prizes!

Friday, September 10, 2010

TGIF Mini Givaway Thing - $10 Amazon eGift Card

“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.”

~ Sergei Rachmaninoff

I'm having a really good Friday - great voice lesson, three items from various things came in the mail (including something completely unexpected!) and a whole weekend in front of me.

To spread the cheer I'm doing a mini giveaway for a $10 Amazon eGift Card.

All you have to do is comment on any non-giveaway post to be entered. If you don't have your email in your profile, please post it here after you've posted somewhere else. You should feel free to comment on more than one post; however, you will still only get one entry per person.

This giveaway will end at 11:59 p.m. CDT on Saturday, 9/11/10. A winner will be randomly chosen from a list of all entrants and contacted via email.

While you're at it, you might want to check out my other giveaway that ends on Sunday for a $10 Wal-Mart gift card, Godiva Hot Cocoa and more!

MMORPG.com is Giving Away 10 copies of Star Trek Online!

"A dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars"

~ James T. Kirk

I accidentally bumped into this giveaway and thought it was too good to keep to myself! MMORPG.com is giving away 10 free copies of Star Trek Online.

In Star Trek Online you are part of an ever-expanding universe where you are an officer with command of your own ship. There are both space missions and missions that take place on planet surfaces. There is an in-game trading system and economy; you can even raise and breed tribbles!

I downloaded the free demo about a month ago and tried it out. The gameplay is a bit different from some other MMORPGs I've tried; it would probably take me a while to get 100% comfortable with the controls when I'm fighting on the ground as my Trill captain Mnemosyne. That being said, I was able to complete all the demo missions without much difficulty.

The biggest draw for me was the time I spent flying my ship (The Operetta). This was much easier to control than my personal character and the freedom of motion in all three dimensions was wonderful. It's also gorgeous - I kept finding myself commenting out loud how pretty everything was! I could honestly enjoy just flying around enjoying the in-game view (and did for a while). I'm keeping my fingers crossed to win the full version!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Scientists have invented an actual Tractor Beam Thing

"We're caught in a tractor beam!"

~ Han Solo, Star Wars

Scientists have developed a "tractor beam" that uses lasers to heat up the air around an object. This temperature difference is the key to directing the object's movement. Since it needs air to work it won't be viable in space, but they're already coming up with ideas for using the technology. Check out in this article for more info.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Twitterdämerung - A Twitter Opera Thing

"Wagner's music is better than it sounds"

~ Mark Twain

I remember reading about Twitterdämerung (a play on Götterdämmerung, the last installment of Wagner's Ring Cycle) about a year ago when it was first released. The Royal Opera House asked people to tweet lines for a new opera and forged the music out of the 140-characters-or-less ideas of 900 people. Apparently, the opera oddity wasn't all that bad. I'd be interested in seeing a video of the whole thing, but alas, all ROH has uploaded is this short clip.

Nerd Art Thing

These fun images are by Lee Bretschneider of AdventuringCompany.com. You can get prints of these and more at his online store.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Buy Four Items and One is Free - Amazon.com Thing

"All generalizations are false, including this one."

~ Mark Twain

Amazon.com has a feature where certain items qualify for a "Buy Four and only pay for Three" promotion. Basically, if you buy four items that qualify Amazon will give you the lowest-priced for free!

This means that, say, if I get these bake racks for $9.99:

Wilton 2105-459 Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack

and this cute panda bento box for $15.99:

Kotobuki 280-129 2-Tiered Bento Box, Panda Face

this photo album for $15.58:

Pioneer Travel Postbound Album with Photo Window 12-Inch by 12-Inch, World Map

and this neat pewter bubble wand to save for someone's Christmas gift for $14.60:

Clay Company Pewter Bubble Wand, Peace & Love Design

My order review looks like this (using Super Saver shipping option):

Items: $56.16
Shipping & Handling: $9.71
4-for-3 Promotion: -$9.99
Super Saver Discount: -$9.71

Total Before Tax: $46.17
Estimated Tax: $0.00

Order Total: $46.17

You got free shipping!

Pretty neat, huh? If you play your cards right and try to get items that all cost the same, that's an automatic 25% off. You can find out more about this here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Willy Wonka Operetta Thing - Aria from Flotow's Marta

"Martha! Martha! Du entschwandest, Und mein Glück nahmst du mit dir; Gib mir wieder, was du fandest, Oder teile es mit mir."

~ Lyonel, Martha

Translation: "Martha! Martha! You have vanished, and you take my joy with you; Show me what you have found, or split it with me."

Another Willy Wonka music post! This time I noticed him singing part of a famous aria while getting blasted with foam on the Wonkamobile. The song is "Ach! so fromm, ach! so traut" (which some would know better as the Italian "M’apparì tutt’amor") from Friedrich von Flotow's operetta Marta. Above I've posted a link to a recording of the piece in German; if you like it, you might also want to check out someone singing the Italian version. I personally like Jussi Björling:

Gorgeous Song Thing - John Ireland's "Sea Fever"

"And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by . . ."

~ John Masefield

I'm watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory tonight (the original one with Gene Wilder) and just saw something that made me rush to YouTube during a commercial and listen to this song.

When the boat arrives to take the visitors deeper into the factory, Mr. Wonka says, "and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to sail her by." It's a (slightly incorrect) quote of John Masefield's poem "Sea Fever", the poem composer John Ireland used for his song of the same name. I love Ireland's interpretation of the poetry, and goodness do I love a good baritone singing it! The video I've posted is a great rendition by Sir Thomas Allen.

Weekend Webcomic Thing - Count Your Sheep

"Now go to bed!"

~ Adis!

I've decided to post a webcomic I enjoy each weekend to help spread the word on some of my favorites. I hope you find one you like!

Count Your Sheep is a wonderful webcomic by Adrian Ramos about a single mom (Laurie), her daughter (Katie) and the imaginary friend they both share, Ship the sheep. It's adorable, heartwarming, cute, clever and funny without being violent or crude. The art is clean and all done in shades of blue. There are LOTS of archived strips to go through, so pace yourself! :)

Vader Facebook Thing

Friday, September 3, 2010

Star Trek Thing

"Let me be direct: its a Trek, not a war.
Gonna boldly go where no one's gone before!"

~ Twinprov

This is a Star Trek rap done by a local comedic duo known as Twinprov.  I actually found this online well before I realized they were from Oklahoma.  Buck and Clint Vrazel are twins with a flair for performing and nerdy goodness. Check out their other videos on YouTube for geek humor on topics like Twilight, Harry Potter and Transformers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Opinion Thing

"Money, money, money..."


I officially LOVE this site! I've tried survey sites before, but none of them has paid as consistently for me as Opinion Outpost. I  was just awarded another $2 for a survey about shopping that only took me 10 minutes to complete and felt the need to spread the news.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Metropolitan Opera Thing

"When in doubt, sing loud”"

~ Robert Merrill

If you've never been to an HD broadcast from the Met, you are missing out! Although nothing can compete with seeing live opera in a hall, most of us are too poor and too far away from a major house to indulge often, if at all.  Fortunately for the last few years the Metropolitan Opera has been showing operas, often live, in movie theaters across the country and around the world.

If you've never had the chance to see an opera, this is a great way to do so on a budget. Subtitles are used if the music is in a foreign language so there's no need to brush up on your German or Italian. Out of the 2010-2011 season, I would probably recommend Donizetti's Don Pasquale as the best option for first-timers.

Once the season kicks off, you'll be able to find theaters showing the broadcasts on the Met's HD site at http://www.metopera.org/Hdlive . You can also look up your local theaters to see if they are showing any or all of the series.

If I get enough interest, I may try and run a tickets giveaway....anyone?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DIY Gift Thing

“There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone, or forbid your kids to do it.”

~ Monta Crane

Keilen Bread Warmer and Basket

Keilen Bread Warmer and Basket

While filling out my wedding registry a few months ago I came across this little beauty. You put the terra cotta stone in the oven, heat it and then slip it into its pouch in the cloth liner. You put the liner in the basket, fill it with rolls or bread, cover up with the rest of the cloth and voila! This way your bread stays warm and looks quite fancy on the table!

This product gets great reviews and makes a wonderful gift, but I can't help but think that some craft-oriented people out there might be able to make one for much less than the $17.99 Amazon charges. It's essentially made of a basket, a cloth with a pocket, and an oven-safe stone/ceramic piece. Wouldn't this be a charming idea for Christmas?

10 Posts Giveaway Thing!

"The very first step towards success in any occupation is to become interested in it."

~ William Osler

Woo, ten posts! To celebrate, I'm going to give out a small prize pack. Here's how it will work:

You know that old wedding addage, "Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?" Well, this is a blog of things. Muse things.

This will be the first offical Somethings Giveaway. Because this is the first one, it's going to be a bit different; you get to choose the first three categories of Somethings to go in the box!

Part one is now over! Thanks to everyone who voted. Remember, you can still enter part two for another chance to win!

The winning categories are purple, sweet, and nerdy. Add in the mystery category (to make it rhyme!) and we have:

"Something purple, something sweet, something nerdy and something neat!"

Something Purple - Cube Stamp & Purple Ink + bonus random purple item

Something Sweet - Godiva Hot Cocoa

Something Nerdy - Darth Vader pencil tin with Nerds Candy inside

Something Neat - $10 Wal-Mart gift card

To enter part two, follow me on Google Friend Connect (on the sidebar) or Twitter (@MnemosynesCall) and post below letting me know which method you chose.

You might also check out some of my other posts - it won't help you win, but since this is a sort of "blog-warming" giveaway you can see what sort of things I'll be posting! Any comments or suggestions would be very welcome.

* This will be a two-part giveaway. You can enter either or both parts to have a chance to win - entering both will give you a better shot! There is a maximum of two entries per person for the entire giveaway.

* One (1) winner will receive a pack of four (4) items. Prizes will be determined on September 5th after first period is over. Prizes will fit the top three categories chosen by entrants during the first period and one additional category chosen by me and will have a combined value of at least $25.

* Part One will last until noon (central time) on September 5th, 2010, at which time Part Two will be announced and entries for part one will be closed. Entries for Part Two will be closed at noon (central time) on September 12th, and a winner announced soon after.

* U.S. residents only, please; unfortunately shipping internationally can get expensive!

Somethings categories:

Something nerdy
Something music
Something purple
Something cute
Something glowy
Something sweet
Something tricky
Something soft
Something hard
Something crafty

Free Cookies! Thing

"C is for cookie; that's good enough for me!"

~ Cookie Monster (and MaHo)

This video always makes me smile! The lady is Marilyn Horne, one of the greatest living legends of opera. I've been lucky enough to take lessons from her (as well as attend dozens of master classes) and she has an incredibly sharp sense of humor. I love her headdress in this!

In cookie news, Mrs. Fields is now running a promotion where you can earn $20 of free cookies just for getting three people to sign up for their email newsletter! Nobody has to buy anything, not even you. Pretty sweet, huh? If you get even more people to sign up, you get even more cookies. Click below to go to the site.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nerdcore Halo Thing

"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."

~ Fry, Futurama

This story is simultaneously groan-worthy and strangely heartwarming.

Apparently, Xbox LIVE has discontinued support for Halo 2 on April 15th. Players weren't automatically disconnected, however, and several have been hanging on to the last vestiges of their online world by keeping their systems up and running and logged in as long as possible.

Ah, the resiliency of the nerd spirit . . .

Carnal Thing

"All jocks think about is sports. All we [nerds] ever think about is sex"

~ Lewis,
Revenge of the Nerds

Date: Saturday, May 8th
Time: 7 or 8 pm to 1 am - the posters and facebook event say 8, but their actual website, ticket-ordering page and several other places say 7
Cost: $15 in advance/$20 at the door, or $50 for VIP access

This is a fairly young annual event in Oklahoma City celebrating the sensual side of life and art. Local artists, performance groups and other talent will ply their trades and hopefully make for an interesting evening.

The theme this year is Pandora's Box; the idea is Greek Deities, Sexy Underworld and Mythological Stuff. Costumes are encouraged.

I've never been to one of these before; I'm hoping it will be fun. I've got a pair of 8-inch heels and a costume idea that says it should be!

White Wolf (Role-Playing)Thing

"Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck."

~ Joss Whedon


White Wolf (the company behind the World of Darkness games, including Vampire: the Masquerade) has announced a rather vague get-together in New Orleans this September. It'd be nice if they'd actually tell people what they're going to get for their money.

On a similar note, one of my current creative quests is finding a decent 1920's-style male outfit for my character in an upcoming game. A big enough fedora will be a tricky find . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Haiku Thing

"Aesthectics are irrelevant."

- Seven of Nine,


Here's a haiku generator for you. Refresh the page for more results.

Some examples:

Box wine bandit.
Tokyo kid sings the blues.

Disgruntled snowman.
Oh, how ruthlessly absurd.
Conjunction junction.

Can you handle this?
Privacy is not a right.
Could be your giblets.

Clicky Things

"On screen!" - Star Trek

Things for you to click!



watching grass grow

Google things

"Lisa, vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos."

- Homer Simpson, The Simpsons


This is a screenshot I took today. Apparently, we are a culture of supernatural delusions, runny noses and a wariness of bananas. On the bright side, Google's logo for Earth Day is quite pretty.

Things about which you should already know.

"The hunt begins, Number One." Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

When thinking about what to post on here, I find there are a lot of awesome things on the 'nets and just in general that I feel people should know about but which would be old news to many savvy readers. Think of this as a "catch you up" post for anyone unfamiliar with the links to follow.


This free, browser-based game has rapidly gained a huge following for its wit, easy to pick up gameplay and ever-expanding world. With classes like Seal Clubbers (who hail from the Frigid Northlands, because you always need a class that hails from the Frigid Northlands) and Pastamancers (I cast Spaghetti Spear at the darkness!) and pop-culture references to everything from the Final Fantasy games to classic literature, it makes reading item descriptions and battle messages as entertaining as beating down the various denizens on your way to free King Ralph. The game doesn't end there, oh no....it features a "reincarnation" ability that allows you to play through again and again, and enough versatility and new stuff that it doesn't get boring to do so. I've been playing for years and still haven't gone through all the content yet....

One deal. One day. One website that makes rotating orange lights sexy.

Each day woot.com features one item, usually nerd-oriented, at a cheap price. The item is only on sale until midnight central time (when something new is posted) or the product sells out. Their product descriptions are laboriously crafted to provide accurate descriptions and humor, and the website encourages community reviews and conversation about the items it sells.

Shipping is always $5 for the entire order, and you can usually buy anywhere from one to three of the item listed.

Tuesdays have a two-for-one theme, where the offer includes two of whatever it is they're selling (for those of you who like doing the math, that means if you buy your maximum 3 you'd get 6 items).

There are now several different woot sites, including shirt.woot.com (which offers one t-shirt a day for $10 with free shipping), kids.woot.com, wine.woot.com, and sellout.woot.com.

The best part of woot.com, though, is the ever-so-addictive "Woot-Offs", which I'm sure cause huge productivity slowdowns in the world of cubicle-dwellers. These events feature extra stock at even more heavily reduced prices. One item at a time goes up, complete with a status bar to show how many are left, and as soon as it sells out they throw another up. You can tell a Woot-Off is in progress by the spinning lights graphics on the page and the aforementioned progress bar.

Not only can you get great deals on Woot-Off days, you might also be one of the lucky few to land a Random Crap item (otherwise known as a Bag O' Crap). These sell out within seconds. They cost $1 with $5 for shipping and you'll get at least 3 items of some sort. This could be anything from the super-cheap to the super-expensive; the mystery's half the fun!

One of the most quotable sitcoms in years, especially so if you consider yourself at all nerdy. The plot centers around three physicists, an engineer, and a waitress who works at the Cheescake Factory along with a veritable rainbow of colorful supporting characters that includes Will Wheaton. If you haven't yet, go watch it. Now.

Things about which I'm currently giddy.

"Hola, nerdmigos!" - Howard,
The Big Bang Theory

I figured a post about what I'm currently geeking out about would be a good way to get into this blogging thing. You get to see a little bit of who I am and I don't have to bore/intrigue you with some of the shadier, more personal details of my life.

In the last month:

Oh lordy, Photoshop CS5. If you haven't yet, watch this promotional video. It starts out a little slow, but it's about the sexiest thing I've seen a computer program do since that purple ape that tried to read my screen out loud back in the 90's.

In the last year:


Craig Ferguson has done something to me. Maybe it's the puppets, maybe it's the show's bad running jokes, maybe it's his fascination with robot skeletons....

Anyways, if you haven't seen the Scottish Conan Guy on his Late Late Show, it's worth a late night, a DVR, or going to the show's website to watch clips or full episodes. His guests are great, the interviews are quite . . . different . . . and his monologues and skits are usually hilarious. If nothing else, his soothing Scottish accent and goofy grin are quite charming in that dorky sort of way, and the plethora of running jokes and the constant evolution of the show will draw you in and make you feel like part of the cult.

For the OKC locals:

Club Albee doesn't exactly have the hippest name and isn't exactly the most happening club in town, but if you're looking for a place to dance in Bricktown with decent drink prices you could do a lot worse. The reason I'm currently excited about this place? A friend had a birthday celebration here that included free cover for well over 20 people, a hookah rental, champagne and a very nice VIP seating area for $125 on Saturday night. $3 well drinks didn't hurt either, though the bar was understaffed for such a busy time and waiting got annoying. DJ Saad was energetic and decent, though he's one of those types that doesn't seem to like letting a song play longer than 20 or 30 seconds. Overall, it was a very good time.