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PostPosted: March 5th, 2008, 6:44 am 
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Gary Gygax, co-creator of the phenomenon known as Dungeons & Dragons, has passed away, age 69.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/03/04/obit ... index.html

Goodbye Gary. Although we never met, I'll always be grateful to you for creating the first hobby of mine that actually made me go out and start socialising with people. You touched a lot of people's lives, and I hope you knew just how much of an impact you made on so many lives.

Rest in peace.

...

...

*looks around to make sure nobody's looking, then loots the body* :lol:

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PostPosted: March 5th, 2008, 7:14 pm 
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Zaxares wrote:
the first hobby of mine that actually made me go out and start socialising with people.

Thanks for bringing that up. Most people tend to think that roleplayers were socially inept people without friends who, for the sake of playing, disclose themselves from the real world.
Hasn't anyone realized that RPGs are being played with friends? That it enhances your ability to plan and organize, to view a situation from different angles (at least if you're a GM), and that it's based on communication which boosts your discourse skills?

There goes a founding father... requiesat in pace.

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PostPosted: March 6th, 2008, 7:12 am 
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Hey, I didn't know the US Army has had an own Iron Chef competition for so long! :lol:

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PostPosted: March 15th, 2008, 2:52 pm 
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Here's an article, again from the military.com EARLY BRIEF newsletter:


German Police kill US Soldier
Associated Press, March 14, 2008

BERLIN - A U.S. Soldier was fatally shot in a confrontation with German police after taking his ex-girlfriend hostage in the southern town of Koenigsberg, police said March 14.

The 30-year-old Soldier, stationed in Schweinfurt, whose name and unit information were not released, tied up his ex-girlfriend in her apartment and threatened her with violence, police spokesman Karl-Heinz Schmitt said. She managed to escape and alert police, who then started a hunt for the Soldier that included using a helicopter with a thermal camera.

At about 11 p.m. March 13, police commandos found and confronted the Soldier, who threatened them with an M-4 rifle, Schmitt said. Police fired, critically injuring the Soldier. He was taken to a Schweinfurt hospital where emergency surgery was performed, but he died about an hour later, Schmitt said.

It was not immediately clear whether the Soldier fired at police, Schmitt said. The incident, including how the Soldier managed to leave post with his the rifle, is under investigation. U.S. Army Europe spokesman Bruce Anderson said that military authorities were in touch with German officials about the incident and are investigating it, but that no further details were immediately available.

The U.S. military has been shuttering many facilities in Germany in recent years. However, there is still a large presence in Bavaria, and several units are based in Schweinfurt.


The cool thing about this EARLY BRIEF is that all the news are linked to the military.com forum where you can discuss the news reports. I'll give you the posts that I found remarkable:

wptworrier wrote:
One thing I've learned from dealing with the German police, if they ask you for something..give it to them, if you don't they'll take it.

SinePariDonster wrote:
Die Polizei are a serious, professional bunch who have zero tolerance for violent crime - if they tell you to come out with your hands up... best comply

9644985 wrote:
the M.P's would even help drunk G.I's on street corners to their kaserns (barracks) to keep the black jacket boys (German police) from getting them.

SinePariDonster wrote:
we'd go into Bad Tolz (we called it the Garden of Eden) for the best time... just don't piss off the local Polizei.

(At this point I asked whether there was a real difference between US and German police)

C130AE wrote:
I remember events like this especially the German police are more strict and do not hesitate to use deadly force like ours. From things like this Im surprised he didnt shot out like alot of Americans unfortunatley do "I'm an American you can't do that to me" (...) Actually quite embarrasing. (...)

(Actually, the "Shoot first, ask questions later" stereotype is something that Germans tend to see in US law enforcement.)

AngelFactor wrote:
When I saw the Polizei apprehend suspects, the tactics they used put the televised US SWAT teams to shame. (What are the US police doing shooting TV shows while they are on duty any way?)

4857257 wrote:
if you attack they shoot to kill

(Not true, by the way. Applicable only in critical hostage situations.)

forgodandcountrysbc wrote:
that this guy lived long enough to make it to a hospital after pointing a weapon at them surprises me very much. There was an incident in 79 near Ramstein AB and he was dead before he hit the ground

(On page 3 of the thread they go completely OT but you find samples of good and strange German there. I had a good time reading it.

Now for my question:
Does German police have a sort of international reputation that I am not aware of?
One of my friends is a police lieutenant and I got the impression that while the German police is doing their job to the fullest of their abilities it looks like a rather comfy profession. :?:

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PostPosted: March 15th, 2008, 8:18 pm 
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I haven't heard anything positive or negative about German police, no. I DO know for a fact that the majority of police in Malaysia and Indonesia (having been there myself) are disgustingly corrupt. :lol:

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PostPosted: March 15th, 2008, 8:59 pm 
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I remember there was a joke I heard once that went like this:
"What would European heaven be?"
If the police were British, The cooks were French, the Germans were the engineers, and the Italians were the lovers.

"What would European hell be?"
If the police were German, The cooks were British, the engineers were Italian, and the lovers were French.

So I guess there must be some sort of reputation for this joke to have been made :(
But I personally am not aware of any reputation.

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PostPosted: March 16th, 2008, 4:43 pm 
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Cab329 wrote:
European heaven vs. European hell

Hahahahaha, I like that. :lol:

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2008, 9:20 am 
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Looks like Arthur C. Clarke is dead.

Is Asimov still alive?

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2008, 11:11 pm 
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It seems that we're losing a lot of creative greats these days. :(

Rest in peace.

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2008, 3:25 am 
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Asimov died back in 1992

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2008, 10:21 am 
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Zaxares wrote:
It seems that we're losing a lot of creative greats these days.

I believe every generation does have two or three successors to the great names of yesteryear.
Usually they have to reach a certain age before being acknowledged.

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PostPosted: April 25th, 2008, 9:19 am 
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Somehow we missed something last year:

ZARD is dead!
It was a pure coincidence that my girlfriend stumbled over such a comment in her forum.

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PostPosted: April 27th, 2008, 5:10 pm 
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Mostly unnoticed, the German parliament has decided something very important: That the election of the Justices of our Supreme Court (the Bundesverfassungsgericht, which only decides on constitutional matters) will not be simplified.

Since the court was established in 1951 it was custom that the parliament (the upper and the lower house) would appoint judges by a two thirds' majority (the chief of state does not have any direct influence), whereas lately someone petitioned that it be reduced to simple majority, but it was turned down, luckily.
It is true that working out the necessary "big" majority is complicated, but on the other hand a simple majority would politicize and fracturize the judicial assembly, as the ruling party would just get their candidates in, candidates that would most likely rule in favor of their respective party. Not so good for democracy. The need for compromise among several parties has so far guaranteed that only highly skilled and impartial people have been nominated, and I feel pretty good about the existence of that institution and the way it is elected.

Some have also proposed that, in oder to make the election process more public, the candidates should engage in some sort of public hearing - for what? A judge does not have (should not have) a political agenda, and for the sake of impartiality s/he must keep her/his opinions - about e.g. bio-ethics - to himself/herself. And how would a common citizen be able to prefer one nominee over another? If you vote for a candidate for president or chancellor or whatever the agenda tells you what to expect, and due to such expectations you cast your vote. As I said a judge does not have an agenda, and I dare say you need a level of legal insight for such a decision that the common citizen lacks.

By the way, whereas the decision-making of the individual representatives is taking place unseen, the election is public, since everybody is allowed to spectate any parliament session.

I'm sorry, I don't have an article on that in English.
I have just today read this article in the (most likely best German newspaper) "ZEIT".

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PostPosted: May 7th, 2008, 5:14 pm 
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We were talking about US censorship of sexual contents lately.
Now see this:

Soldiers say Porn Ban may hurt Moral

So the ones asking for control of sexual contents are not the same people who fill the lower ranks in the military. But which group is closer to the general public? Does Joe Average indeed detest naked skin so much or is it just the ruling class, the religious and political socialite, imposing moral standards?

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PostPosted: May 7th, 2008, 5:50 pm 
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Location: Tokyo, you're due for another attack from Yours Truly!
^ I knew that already. A friend from work was sending a care package to my older brother when he was in Iraq as an Army M.P. He bought a Playboy magazine, but soon realizes that he was not allow to send these kinda of magazines and he said, "That's bullshit! Playboy is an American tradition here!" I felt the same way too. I don't think it would do any harm. I think would be a relief from all that fighting, killing, death, and destruction. Hell, why should worry about small stuff like that when there's a war going on.

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