Monday, June 28, 2010

Life lesson #1

I tried waxing today. Bad.
I don't know why, but the wax just sticked to my skin like glue and I had to scrape it off. Now I have this gross wound on my arm. The hair isn't even gone.
I even warmed up the wax with a hairdrier to make sure that it would be warm enough... Maybe it's because I didn't wash my skin before waxing. Whatever. I'm not trying this again without supervision.

((update: It's starting to scar. Oh great. Guess that this is my punishment for even thinking about waxing.))

Don't ever wax. God doesn't want you to.

Monday, June 14, 2010

poppies & wheat

So, I went looking for poppies today, and found some in a wheatfield. Such beautiful flowers, fragile and strong at the same time. If only I was more capable of capturing their beauty...

I tried to take pictures of the different stages in a poppy's life cycle:

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Another indie game, Osmos. This is a puzzle game where you play as a 'mote', a kind of orb floating in space. The goal of the game is to absorb motes smaller than you, until you are the biggest mote of them all. If you collide with a bigger mote, you will be absorbed yourself. Motes that are smaller than you will be blue and bigger ones will be red, so it's pretty easy to know which ones to avoid.

Most of the other motes are inactive and just slowly float around, but they will also gradually grow in size when they randomly collide with each other. To move your mote, you follow Newton's third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, to accelerate your mote, you will need to sacrifice some of its mass. The bigger your mote get, the more you will have to sacrifice to get it to move. This adds some depth to the game: by moving your mote towards a smaller one to absorb it, you will shrink. Sometimes you will shrink so much that when you get to the smaller mote, you will actually be the smaller one and be absorbed.

A nice thing about the game is that it is possible to speed up the time. This can be very helpful when you're very big and move slowly.
Though the vast majority of the other motes are normal and don't do much, there are some special ones. Attractors will, obviously, attract other motes with its gravity. When it's big enough, other motes can float around it in orbit. Nemocytes will actively try to avoid motes bigger than themselves, so you'll have to chase them down once you're big enough to absorb them. When you collide with antimatter motes, both your sizes will shrink. And there are some other ones like that. These special kinds of motes make the game much more interesting and fun to play.
The early levels are fairly easy, but it does get a lot harder further in the game. It will take many attempts to complete the later levels, which can be quite frustrating. But it makes finally completing them all the more rewarding.

The game is called Osmos, which seems to be a combination of Osmosis and Cosmos. Actually I don't think that the game has anything to do with osmosis, which is the movement of water molecules across a semi-permeable membrane from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration until equilibrium is reached. The fact that the fluid will go from the smaller droplet into the bigger one is because of LaPlace's pressure law. But ah well. The motes do look a bit like stars in the cosmos.

Website with free demo

Saturday, June 12, 2010


This is just a beautiful game. The visuals are very minimalistic, but oh I love them. Just look at it...the art in this game looks like those soft drawings that you find in a fairytale book.

Eufloria is an indie real-time strategy game based on these little things, called seedlings. They grow on trees that grow on asteroids, with their roots deep into the asteroid core. While still on the tree, they look like flowers. After a short time, they fall off to become seedlings, which stay in orbit around the asteroid. You can move your seedlings to a new asteroid and colonize it by planting a tree. This is what it looks like when you colonise an asteroid:

To plant a new tree, you need 10 seedlings in orbit around an asteroid. There is a max amount of trees that you can plant on an asteroid, and each asteroid gives different attributes (strength, speed and energy) to the seedlings that are born on it. Fast seedlings are helpful to quickly explore new asteroids. Seedlings with high strength are good fighters. Yeah, they have fights. Very weird seedling fights. You have to fight the enemy seedlings and destroy their trees. Once one of their trees is down, seedlings will go down the roots of the dead tree to the core of the asteroid, and take it over by reducing the core energy to 0. Once this is done, the asteroid colony is yours.

This game really excels in simplicity, so you can't really compare it to other space exploration games with all their complex development and planet management involved. Eufloria is a game that anyone can play, without having to put too much thought to strategy. This lack of depth does get annoying fast, as the key to winning usually lies in just waiting to let your seedlings grow in number, and then attack. The AI doesn't seem capable of building trees, and thus usually doesn't use the asteroids to their full capacity. A player that does fully put their asteroids to use, will obviously win by sheer numbers in the long run. The waiting itself is very boring, as there's nothing else to do but plant trees as much trees that your asteroid allows, and then wait for the seedlings to grow. I often just let the game run while I went to eat lunch or take a nice long shower.

All in all, this is a beautiful little game, very easy and relaxing to play, though the lack of depth puts me off.

A free demo can be found here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mirror to a different world

Now that you've come here, you wonder
Are you really willing to give up on
Everything t
hat you've ever seen
Everyone that you've ever met

And all that you have yet to explore?

They will be gone forever
You will never lay eyes on this world again.

But seeing that you are willing,
To leave this rotten world behind,
You start to wonder if you are brave
No, desperate enough,
To touch this mirror that will change it all.

Are you really foolish enough
To believe that you're ready as a person

To face what's on the o
ther side?
Stupid little girl.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Lately, I've been playing a new game: Torchlight. It is an action rpg, set in a fantasy environment. Some of the people that designed Diablo 2 helped develop it, so it's not surprising that many aspects of Torchlight are similar to Diablo. It's been ages since I played Diablo II and I have a horrible memory, so sadly I can't really compare the two, although I'd want to.

The game starts in a town, which has stores where you can sell and buy armour, weapons etc. There is a stash in which you can keep your items safe. Sadly, you can't store any money in it. There's also a shared stash, so you can transfer items between your different characters. In town, people will give you quests. Most of the quests require you to explore the nearby ember mine. The mine is very deep and should take you a while to explore, I'm currently on floor 18. For some quests, there will be a portal opened that leads to a secret dungeon. If you like exploring dungeons, there are dungeon scrolls to be bought in the store for a small price, you will sometimes get one as a quest reward and I've also had a random dungeon portal appear on the map. I died almost instantly in that dungeon though, so be careful.

In the beginning of the game, you can chose a class for your character: destroyer (a melee warrior), alchemist (a mage) or the female vanquisher (ranged weapons and traps). I myself am a vanquisher, though I've mainly specialized my character in ranged weapons and haven't tried out any of her traps yet. You will also have a pet, either a cat or a dog, that will stay by your side permanently. Obviously, I have a cat, cause dogs just suck. This is my character:

There are 5 difficulties to play the game on: easy, normal, hard, very hard and insane. Though if you have any experience with rpg's, don't play easy or normal, they are really super easy.

Let's look at the gameplay, and more specifically at the screenshot below:
I really love the gfx, everything looks so pretty and vivid. The floor that I'm on now has different isles connected by suspension bridges, you can see a different isle on the bottom left. The landscape is so beautiful, it's really fun to just walk around and enjoy it. I mean just look at it. :) Wow. I know that there are way better gfx nowadays, but even my crappy laptop can run this game, so I'm very happy with this.

Unlike most other rpg's that I've played, your own health and mana bar are at the bottom of the screen, while the ones on the top left are for your pet. This almost caused me to die on the first floor, because I looked at the pet health bar and thought that I was fine. There also are slots at the bottom to assign hot keys for potions and spells. You click with the left mouse button to move or attack, and you can assign two spells to the right mouse button (you can switch between the two spells by pressing tab).

Something that I really like is the pet inventory. Your pet can carry as much items as your character can, and you can even send it to town to sell all the items in its inventory for you, so you don't have to waste your own time and town portal scrolls to do that. Another nice thing about your pet is that it can't die; instead of dying, it will just flee when it's low health and not help you anymore until it has healed a bit. Your pet will also level up when your character does.

Your character can level up in two ways. You can, obviously, gain experience by killing creeps and level up that way. Additionally, you can gain fame by killing strong bosses and completing quests, until you have enough fame to deserve a level up.

Like Diablo, you have identify scrolls, town portal scrolls, socketable items and waypoints to activate. To fill the sockets, there are embers to be attained from creeps in the caves. Lesser embers can be combined to form an ember of better quality (there is a transmuter who does this in the town). To separate ember and item again, there are two NPC's in town: one destroys the items but recovers the ember, the other destroys the ember so you have a free socket in the item again.

Here are some more screenshots:

If you find the game interesting, you can download a free demo at the official website.

lipgloss Essence

Make-up, it still confuses me. I am 20 years old, and still trying to uncover the basic mysteries of it. What to do with your lips, for example. Lipstick looks so old, the colours seem so sharp, it also looks very chalky and makes your lips seem dry. Lip gloss is nice and smooth, but oh so glossy and it's really obvious when you're wearing it because of that shine.

So what I do is, I apply lip gloss, but then I blot it with my finger or a tissue, so it's not as shiny. Then you might wonder, why apply lip gloss at all if you're going to remove its main feature: making the lips glossy. Well I don't know, I like a natural look. I just want to apply make-up once in a while to feel feminine, but without looking like the type of person that uses too much make-up.

I just want to be pretty ;_; dammit.

I use these cute little lip glosses from Essence, a budget brand. Ok they're called glossy lipbalm, not lip gloss, but that's basically the same, right. Anyway they really are super cheap, they only cost €1. The different colours have fruit names, and the lip gloss itself smells and tastes fruity. Which is awesome, since I love fruit.

From left to right: sweet strawberry, berry sorbet and sparkling cherry.

Made some swatches: As you can see, the sweet strawberry has a very light colour that won't be very visible on your lips. The berry sorbet and sparkling cherry have stronger colours. They all have little glitters, but that didn't bother me. (I generally don't like glitters in make-up, sparkly things are so visible and unnatural)

Look how small and cute the tubes are ^^

flowers near Hasselt

When I cycled to Hasselt city on a sunny afternoon, I took some pictures of these flowers by the side of the road. Rosa micrantha?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Humour in Boron&Boulpaep

So I was reading Boron&Boulpaep (Medical Physiology) about the ventilation and pefusion of the lungs, when I stumbled upon what appears to be a joke.
Now, what would happen if the excitement of reading about respiratory physiology caused your alveolar ventilation to double, to 8400 ml/min?

Haha. Nice one, B.

Ok maybe it's not funny, but it made me laugh. ._.

The Battle for Wesnoth

I love this game. A lot.
My first impression of it wasn't too great, to be honest. I was mostly put off by its bad graphics, and the fact that it's a turn based game. I had never played something turn based before, but it sounded kinda boring to not have any time pressure.
Typical Wesnoth graphics:

As you can see, it looks very simple and pixel-y. Nowadays, we've gotten so used to having very nice looking games. I'd say that for many people, gfx are more important than the actual game. I am guilty of this as well.

Wesnoth is a free turn-based strategy game, with a multiplayer and campaign. You can play with 6 different factions: the loyalists (humans), rebels (elves), northerners (orcs), undead, knalgan alliance (dwarfs) and drakes. The loyalists and knalgan alliance are lawful, which means that they get +25% damage when they attack during the day, and -25% when they attack at night. The undead and rebels are chaotic, which gives them +25% attack damage at night and -25% during the day. The rebels are neutral, so their attack damage doesn't vary with the day/night cycle. The drakes have two type of units: actual 'drakes', which are lawful, and saurians (small lizards), which are chaotic. The different factions all have unique units with different kinds of attacks.

The terrain also has an effect on the units. For example, there are mermaids, they have a big advantage in water, but are very weak on the land. The dwarfs generally do better on the mountains. So it's important to chose a good position for your unit, because the terrain affects your chance of landing a hit. Mermaids only have 30% chance that their attack does damage on the land, but that increases to 60% in the water.

Some units have draining abilities, they heal themselves for half the amount of damage that they inflict on an enemy unit. As far as I know, only the undead bats and wraiths have this ability. It can be very hard to kill them if you can't do any big damage. Other units can poison their opponents. Once it is poisoned, the enemy unit loses 8 hp every turn, until they are cured. However, poison can't kill an enemy unit, it will stop once working once the unit only has 1 hp left. Only the undead ghouls and orc assasins have this ability. There also are units that heal themselves, like the orc trolls and elvish wose trees, and units that heal and cure friendly units around them, like the elvish druid, the human mage, the saurian augur and the mermaid priestress.

There are villages all over the map. If you capture them with a unit, they will give you 1 gold income every turn. Naturally, you also have to pay upkeep for all your units. If a unit is standing on a village, they will heal 8 hp every turn. Villages are very important strategically, some players chose to capture as many villages as possible early in the game, so they can recruit extra units with the increased income. Units that move fast are very useful for this. Examples of fast units are the undead bats and ghosts, the dwarf gryphon riders (dwarves are very slow in general), the elvish scouts, the drake gliders etc.

Units can level up, they gain 1 exp for every attack, and get a lot of exp for dealing the finishing blow to an enemy unit. When it levels up, the unit is fully healed and will be stronger. Usually, you can chose a specialization for your unit upon levelling up.

There is many more that I could write about this game, but most importantly, it's very fun to play and although it looks simple, there is a lot of strategy involved. Also since it's turn based, you can play it while you're doing other things, there's no time pressure at all. :) So it's perfect for slow people that like to think things through.

If you are interested in the game, read more about it on the official website.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Lately, I've had this problem with utorrent. I always got the error "disc overloaded 100%", while I still had about 80 gb of free space. My hdd seemed to be working just fine otherwise, so I figured that the problem would be with utorrent itself. After searching the internet for a solution, I found the right disc cache settings to solve the problem. But when utorrent released a new version, the settings went back to default and I couldn't find back the settings that had worked before.
So after a while of trying things out myself, I think that I found the right disc cache settings back. So I'm putting them here, in case that I lose them again some day or maybe I can help someone else with the same problem. :)

Oh, I also defragmented my hdd right after I applied the new settings. And restarted my laptop. So that might also have something to do with it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

chocolate fudge

I made chocolate fudge this weekend. It's really really heavy and fat, I can feel myself getting fatter while I'm eating it. Really, I feel fat now after eating about 1/3 of it. Evil fudge.

Anyway, if you want to get fat, here's the recipe. It's really easy.


350g dark chocolate (>70% cacao)
1 can condensed milk (397g) -- why is there 397g in a can? so odd
a bit of salt
150g mixed nuts -- you should smash them in smaller pieces


1. Prepare a dish by putting a silver foil on the bottom and brush it with butter
2. Put the dark chocolate, condensed milk, butter and salt in a bowl
3. Let the ingredients melt on a low fire, don't forget to stir or it will burn to the bottom--very annoying to clean
4. Remove the bowl from the fire and add the mixed nuts
5. Pour the mixture in the dish that you prepared earlier and let it harden in the fridge

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

:D watermelon

So I realized that I posted an awful lot of strawberries, while I don't even like them. Thus, an ode to my favourite fruit in the whole wide world: the watermelon.

chewing gum

Look, they have little faces =) hehehe