NY Times review Pirates of the Burning Sea

Pirates of the Burning Sea In the Art’s Section of today’s (January 31, 2008 ) NY Times, Seth Schiesel reviews the new online game Pirates of the Burning Sea from Flying Lab Sofware. A Form of Internet Piracy That Involves Actual (Virtual) Pirates

That it is based in a semblance of reality is one of the most refreshing aspects of Pirates of the Burning Sea, the captivating new online game from Flying Lab Software that opened last week after six years in development. After all, there are dozens of games out there for aspiring sorcerers, dwarfs and elves. There are another handful for would-be space jockeys. But until now there have been almost no major online games set in an approximation of the real world.

Schiesel also writes:

It is not as polished a gem as World of Warcraft, but all of the major game systems seem to work well, and the star of the game, the finely tuned ship-to-ship combat, is downright addictive.

The sailing model is accurate enough to feel right without being realistically punishing. Mr. Williams said the game’s long development time reflected the team’s willingness to admit when features it had spent months working on simply were not feeling like fun, and then start over.

“We first built this very realistic sailing system where if you turned into the wind and didn’t take down your sails, you would slow down and stop and actually go backwards,” he said. “Real-life sailors thought it was pretty cool, but most people hated it.”

Damn, those real-life sailors! Always looking for the hard way to do things!

See you on the Burning Sea!

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Messing About In Ships podcast # 8


Here is episode #8 for your listening pleasure.

Listen here:

(39 minutes)

Download the MP3 file here

For show notes, file download and more, check out the Messing About In Ships blog.

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Happy 50th Birthday Lego Brick!

Today marks the 50th birthday of the classic LEGO brick. Over the past 50 years they have produced over 400,000,000,000 blocks that would stretch 611 million miles!

Lego timeline

Some exciting nautical moments in Lego history include the launch of their first Pirate Ship in 1989 and more recently the City Dock set which we got for my son Luke for Christmas. It’s the perfect toy for the boat and crane crazy 4 to 40 year old.

lego port city

Why am I writing about LEGO’s? I’ve been working on a fun series called LEGO Leaders: The Building Blocks of Leadership which will launch soon. Stay tuned.

Official Lego website

History of LEGO via Wikipedia

The Brother’s Brick LEGO blog (interesting site)

Flickr.com LEGO pool (1455 members)

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US Navy Sets the bar pretty high in the Messing About In Ships podcast poster contest!

The first entry to the Messing About In Ships Print and Post Sticker Contest was sent by CDR Michael Junge USN, Commanding Officer USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and well I think he set the bar pretty high. Are you up to the challenge?

On 11 January 2008, the US Navy reported that Whidbey Island had fired warning shots at a small Iranian boat in the Strait of Hormuz in December. The boat was reportedly approaching Whidbey Island rapidly but stopped after the warning shots were fired. (link to AP Story)

Make sure you check out their website.

Note to John: I think we need a bigger poster!

USS Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island 2
Whidbey Island 3

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Messing About In Ships podcast – Episode # 7

lou-vest-calendar-photo-jan-2008-heather-knutsen-header.jpg Here is episode #7 for your listening pleasure.

LIsten here:

(39 minutes)

Download download the MP3 file here

For show notes, file download and more, check out the Messing About In Ships blog.

So you’ve wondered what it would be like to drive one of those huge box-like car carriers

Here’s the perspective in pictures and words from our Flickr friend Lou Vest, Houston Ship Pilot.

“OK. Imagine you’re driving a big yellow school bus:
…except it’s jacked way up on tractor wheels,
…and it steers with the rear wheels instead of the front wheels,
…and you have to lay down on the hood so you can’t see the road except way ahead,
…and you can only tell where you’re going by lying exactly in the middle and lining up your eye with a pencil sticking up where the hood ornament would be,
…and you only have a 1 hp engine,
…and your brakes are caliper brakes from a bicycle,
…and you can’t steer when you’re trying to stop,
…and the body is tooth picks and aluminum foil so everything you touch tears it,
…and if you have an accident a bunch of people who don’t drive or even have a driver’s license will do the investigation,
…and you’re driving in some city in Europe where the roads were made for carriages.

On the positive side, you don’t have to go up any hills.”

Check out all of Lou’s amazing photography on Flickr.

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Promote your favorite maritime podcast and win valuable prizes!

Messing About In Ships - Maritime Podcast Poster Support your favorite podcast! Download, print and hang our poster.

All readers who take a digital photo of the poster hanging in a public space will receive free gCaptain stickers. gCaptain Stickers

Simply email the photo and your address to info @ gCaptain.com The person who hangs the poster in the most interesting place will also receive a FREE gCaptain t-shirt!

You may also receive free gCaptain stickers by sending a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to: gCaptain Stickers c/o Unofficial Networks 1079 Balboa Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442 USA

Haven’t listened to our podcast yet? Visit our podcast page or subscribe via iTunes.

Offer Good While Supplies Last.

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Sunday Sea-Fever Style: The Meat Ship

If the NY Times can have it’s Sunday Style Section, so can the Sea-Fever blog.

Need something special to serve next Sunday at your Super Bowl party, look no further. This week we bring you a culinary masterpiece: the Meat Ship.

Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out! These British lads have a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Recipe | Photo Gallery | Compliments to the Chef

Via Neatorama

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SEASPACE’s Marine scholarship

Financial Aid PC logo Christopher Penn’s popular Financial Aid Podcast has a wealth of information for students and parents about scholarships and financial aid. In Episode 719 which was originally posted on January 21, 2008, he brought our attention to a marine related scholarship program offered by SEASPACE. From the SEASPACE website:

Founded in 1969 by members of the Houston Underwater Club, SEASPACE has a long and storied history of service to the dive community. While other consumer dive shows operate as commercial endeavors, SEASPACE is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. In addition to staging an exciting, annual scuba diving exposition, SEASPACE‘s mission has been to focus on marine environmental education, with a concerted and ongoing outreach to youth.

As of 2007, SEASPACE‘s Scholarship and Grants program has funded more than $520,000 in scholarships to students of the marine sciences and monetary awards to organizations involved in marine preservation projects. A SEASPACE Permanent Education Fund has been established, so as to enable the continuation of these awards for years to come.

To get an idea of what types of applicants interest them, you can check out the past winners. The deadline for the next round of scholarships is February 1, 2008 so you better hurry.

Make sure you subscribe to the the Financial Aid Podcast and Blog to learn about more opportunities like this. (via iTunes)

EXTRA: In addition to the Financial Aid Podcast, Christopher Penn is also the co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee podcast with John Wall of The M Show. Both are must listen to marketing podcasts. Give them a try.

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Massachusetts Maritime Academy Cruise – Online Adventures in Training at Sea

MMA banner_canal2canal

The Cape Cod Times set up a fantastic section on their website that follows Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s 2008 Sea Term Cruise. Canal to Canal: Sail Cape Cod to Panama with MMA is a collection of news stories, slide shows, video tours of T.S. Enterprise, interactive graphics and much more.

The Cape Cod Times have sent reporter Hilary Russ and photographer Steve Heaslip whose great photo slideshows in themselves tell the story.

MMA Panama Canal

There are three blogs each offering a unique perspective on the experience. Captain Thomas L. “Tom” Bushy writes Sea Term 2008: Captains Blog which covers all of the things that you would expect a master of a training ship to be focused on. Cape Cod Times reporter Hilary Russ writes short posts in The Portal that present a outside the experience perspective of life at sea with cadets. Russ posts often get a decent volume of comments, many from parents of cadets thanking her for keeping them informed. Last but certainly not least, 4th class cadet Christiaan Conover writes MMA Sea Term 2008 blog from the perspective of a young person going to sea for the first time on a commercial ship. Christiaan also has a personal blog and is on Twitter and you can follow him here. These 3 primary bloggers are able to paint a pretty rich picture of life aboard the T.S. Enterprise.


The Cape Cod Times has also done a great job with several interactive graphics and by integrating video by using YouTube like this:

Maritime schools take note. The Cape Cod Times has created THE BEST recruiting brochure you could ever ask for. The combination of constantly updated pictures, video and written material will appeal to a wide range of audiences. They’ve done all of this with pretty simple and many free web 2.0 tools. Here content is clearly king. The only thing I wish they had included is an RSS feed for Canal to Canal: Sail Cape Cod to Panama with MMA which would make it easier to keep up with updates.

Finally, on a personal note a very good friend of mine, Mark Barry, has a son aboard the T.S. Enterprise and he recently left a comment after listening to Episode 6 of our podcast Messing About In Ships. I’m sure as a parent he appreciate what the Cape Cod Times has done with their ongoing coverage of Sea Term 2008. Engaging parents, prospective students and other interested parties is so important to schools like Mass Maritime.

I’ll be following the ship’s progress now that I discovered this great resource.

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