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Never Say Disc: Black Sabbath (1970)

One rainy Sunday a few weeks ago, I was stuck in traffic and listening to one of my all-time favorite records: Black Sabbath’s self-titled 1970 debut. Briefly, I lamented that I hadn’t gone into music criticism, despite my love of good music writing and Scrooge McDuck quantity of amassed unsolicited opinions records. If only I had a some kind of venue to try my hand at it...  and then I remembered that I did! Before I made it past the stoplight (it was that kind of rainy Sunday traffic) I had come up with the idea of a media review section for this blog, the name “Never Say Disc,” and our subject of its first post. Given our shared love of Black Sabbath and the fact that Halloween would fall on a Saturday this year, it was obvious that we'd need to inaugurate our new media section by talking about Black Sabbaths’s Black Sabbath . - B  Side B In my personal history of rock music, there is a specific point at which All Things Were Set in Motion, a temporal locus, if you will. An all

MDRF - In Closing

You can refer to it as the Pandemic Season, the Lost Season, or the Grass-Growing Season, but whatever you call it, we can all agree that the Maryland Renaissance Festival's absence is felt deeply. This would have been the closing weekend for this year's Festival and, while even a typical closing weekend would be bittersweet, with last goodbyes for the year shared in a mix of Halloween and Renaissance garb, it's bittersweet in a different way this year. Robbed of a real Festival, we’ve made do with digital ones and other related projects, and while these projects may continue (and so may the pandemic) only time will tell the full tale. Since we wanted to do something for the community and bring a bit of the living story to our readers, Never Say Dice reached out to a variety of workers, performers and vendors. We hope that you’ve enjoyed our previous interviews Missing MDRF (with Kim Alexander - Author at Page After Page, and Louie of The London Broil Juggling Show) and M

World Math(s) Day

October 15th was World Math(s) Day. No, not the math day back in March, you’ll have to read our very first blog post to see our appreciation for that holiday. Even if the world can’t agree on calling it Math, Maths, or any other variation, I think most of us can agree that math is extremely important. While it's sometimes called the "universal language," math doesn't have a single agreed-upon definition. Part of this is likely due to how much the term incorporates: space, structure, quantity, change, even time. Humans tend to be obsessed with math, using it to explain their world and bring order to a chaotic universe... even attempting to mathematically define chaos itself. For many tabletop gamers, math takes on the physical form of dice, and while RPGs are relatively new to human history, dice are not. The traditional cubic D6 goes back thousands of years, with examples of stone and bone dice appearing in many cultures. Even the now-famous D20 goes back all the way

Nitpick Say Dice

  Recently, collective ranting amongst the NSD team about a listicle purporting to share "ten things that don't make sense" in the first Back to the Future film grew into a larger discussion about the nature of "Nitpick Culture" - (mostly) online media "criticism" centered on throwing out as many "mistakes" or "plot holes" in a work as possible, whether there's an actual problem or not, and often contradicting itself in the process. Youtubers Shaun and Jack Saint have done some excellent video essays on the subject, but we wanted to have our own conversation, both as fans and as creators.   Bugsy : Let's talk about the specific post that set this all in motion, since it's not only about a topic we each know very well, but also embodies quite a few aspects of "Nitpick Culture" in general. Andy, how would you respond to the author of "Back To The Future: 10 Things That Make No Sense About The Original Mo

Enter the Risus Gauntlet

If you don’t already know about Risus , you can find out a ton about it in various places, including my own Introduction to Risus post on this very blog. To put it simply, Risus is a rules-light,versatile, and downright fun “anything” TTRPG. If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know I’ve been building a setting for this particular system: Risus Arcade, a world in the style of series like ReBoot and Wreck-It-Ralph . This week, I’ll be detailing my builds for the four characters from the arcade classic Gauntlet ! The original Gauntlet is a third-person, top-down, beat-em-up (so many hyphens) game you could play with three other friends at your local arcade. While I visited the arcade plenty of times growing up, I mostly remember playing it on home consoles. It was ported to a number of different systems, so there's a good chance your own experience was similar. The series has evolved and changed over the years, with the latest edition, also entitled simply Gauntlet , appearing o

The Lion, The Witch, and the Adaptation - Part 2 (Animated + BBC)

If you've been following along, you'll know I've been reading The Chronicles of Narnia books with my son and watching all of the adaptations of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe . This week we’ll be reviewing both the animated and BBC adaptations. One reason I think this series of books has stuck with me is that they were some of the first things I read when making the switch between picture books and chapter books. You can find my review of the Disney film, as well as an introduction to this whole project, in a previous post . In my next Narnia post, we’ll go over what I’ve learned about the ITV version and wrap up the adventure in watching these adaptations with my family. Where will your fav orite adaptation land in my rankings? Let's first discuss the animated and BBC versions. Animated version As I mentioned in my first post, I was a bit stunned to find out that there was an animated version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe made in 1979. I’m sure it was

Missing MD Arrrrrr F: Talking Like a Pirate with the Pyrates Royale and Goodly Woods

Just about a month ago, the Maryland Renaissance Festival would have opened for yet another season. You may have caught my previous post Missing MDRF where I talked to Kim Alexander (Author at Page after Page) and Louie of The London Broil Juggling Show. In Maryland, we’re slowly creeping towards fall, and it just doesn’t seem the same without the Renaissance Festival. With the pandemic still a pervasive problem, the magical living story of Revel Grove will have to wait for another year. Most of my time in recent years has been spent watching my own wee bairns down at the pirate play-yard deep into the forest, but I would love to be there nonetheless. If you are missing it as much as I am, you might still have a small taste of it. For what is known to many as Talk Like a Pirate Day!, I’ve interviewed a few more folks you might want to hear from. So, grab yourself a good drink (possibly in a wooden drinking vessel) and read through these interviews with: Joe of Goodly Woods and the (fa