Hi! If you've come here, you're here for one of two reasons. Magic: the Gathering or Factorio. So let's get right to it.
By far my favorite deck to play is Lantern Control.
For a while it was toast after the Opal ban. But then, along comes Urza's Saga to restore Lantern to its previous glory. This card is amazing. Prints 2 giant blockers and tutors whichever lock piece you are currently missing.
Since late June 2021 people are jamming multiple Blood Moons, Shattering Sprees, etc into their sideboards to combat the artifact decks. It's still viable. BG seems like it might be the tightest play, although some people have been having success with UB or Esper. Recently I've tried a UB list with modern staple Ashiok, Nightmare Muse as the catchall for Stony, Leyline, etc. Note that it is unnecessary to list KGC in the things that need answers, since Urza's Saga just punches KGC in his smug face. Assuming, of course, you aren't packing your own KGC - personally I think it works very well, especially as a hard answer to opposing artifact decks, but opinions are clearly varied.
Unfortunately, it's gotta a LOT worse in the last few weeks. At GP Toronto and GP Tampa it was a great choice. Just a couple weeks later at Calgary it was already significantly weaker.
The main issue is that Izzet Phoenix evolved. They used to be: play creatures, hope those creatures won. Bridge laughed at that strategy, so the match was almost a bye. Unfotunately, they now maindeck Surgical, so Thought Scour, Surgical Bridge is not an unusual thing to happen. They also sideboard several incredibly powerful answers such as Shatterstorm. Obviously this is what Thoughtseize and the Lantern lock is for, but the number of cantrips they have, especially when combined with Pyromancer's Ascension, makes it very difficult for the Lantern lock to work.
The other problem with the meta is that the decks Lantern preys on the most are all gone from the meta. Who wants to play Bogles when a flipped Thing is unstoppable, and who wants to play Ad Naus when a single Thoughtseize or Spell Pierce stops you for long enough that you die.
Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon! Specifically,
the Great Colorless Hope the Great Creator. -2 to
get whatever sideboard piece stops your opponent's strategy (options
include Torpor Orb, Witchbane Orb, Damping Sphere... lots of big round
things) or -2 to get Lattice and just end the game. I don't know if
this will work as I hope, but I haven't been this excited for any card
other than Assassin's Trophy.
Okay, everything sucks.
Stony Karn is pretty good on our side of the field. I haven't found the exact configuration: find room for Baubles, 3 or 4 Bridges main, 0 or 1 Blast Zone, etc.
However, that just pales in comparison to how bad Karn is on the other side of the field. Tron went from even after the addition of Trophy (49-47 online or in GPs during GRN and RNA) to completely unwinnable once they added Karn and Blast Zone. UW got worse as lots of them have added Blast Zone as well. Humans is awful and Pyro Prison is unwinnable with the addition of Karn.
About the only hope is wait a little longer for the new changes to completely squelch the artifact decks. Whir Prison is dying out as well. Maybe once people stop bringing Shatterstorm to go with all the other ridiculous levels of hate there will be some room in the meta for an artifact prison deck to steal a few rounds.
Maybe Modern Horizons completely changes everything, anyway.
Wow, so much has happened since MH1 dropped. Obviously the Gaak showed up and dominated until Wizards finally admitted they had ruined everything and banned him.
Being a stubborn jerk, I took Mox Opal decks to 2 GPs anyway. I tried Hogaak and hated playing the deck. Instead, I found a build of Lantern which used the other combo card from Modern Horizons, Urza, to shore up some of its weaker matches. For example, nice KGC... shame if a giant Urza token punched it to death. So I took this to MN. Unfortunately, I played like total poop. As a general example, my final play of the day was to scoop when my opponent played Lattice with KGC on the field, since I didn't have the right lands to cast Trophy. Completely forgetting that there's no such thing as "the right lands" once the Lattice resolves. Well, at least my daughter enjoyed miniHAHA playground.
I then took Cheerios to Las Vegas, and it mostly lost to itself when it lost. Typical of the deck, really. Fun when it goes off, though. I had one opponent try to stop my with one mountain in play and no other lands in hand with Lava Dart. A bolt move (should be bold, but I'm leaving it), but unfortunately for them I had a second bear. When it fizzled, though, it fizzled hard.
Speaking with some friends, we decided that Eladamri's Call might be worth testing in place of the spicy tech I had brought, Unearth.
Anyway, I still think there might be something there with Lantern. Blood Moon decks are less common now, which makes Whir more tempting, and Urza slots in nicely in a blue build of Lantern. Sometimes it's not about milling 60 cards, but rather just stalling until you put together thopter/sword and go off. Whir also allows for some sick bluffs. Whir for 3 before combat so your opponent thinks you're getting a Bridge, for example, and instead slam a Needle and name their entire fetchland manabase. (Then pray to Elsik that you draw a Bridge soon, of course.)
RIP my favorite deck ever
Mox Tantalite is garbage. If it were suspend 2, it would come down on t3 and let you play Bridge. As it is, it is useless. The worst is if you Ancient Stirrings and see one.
Pentad Prism isn't quite good enough either, although it's not awful.
Perhaps a BG version with enough basics and Collective Brutality can play a Bridge early enough and get down to hand size without being plowed over? Will have to experiment.
My favorite video game ever. Possibly rivals MtG in terms of how much I play it. Have built a couple small factories with friends and one megabase which has evolved quite a bit over the time I've played it.
I'm working on a script which convert images into blueprints of lamps. Many many thousands of lamps. Here is a prototype.
Possibly more useful is the update I made to Biters Begone!, a mod which does exactly what it says on the label. Originally written by Dustine, who said she is no longer able to maintain it due to time constraints.
Recently Stanford's HAI group replaced all the clip art of people smiling while "doing AI" with actual descriptions of the people working there. To be entirely honest, the other guy with my job title has a pretty intimidating resume. I need to step up my game. Update: he left to be a VP at Samsung. Oh well.
So far I have worked on a project to detect snail habitat in Senegal, reimplemented CNNs for sentence classification in a general way for Stanford NLP, and did a bunch of random tasks for the next release of CoreNLP. I also added some new features and worked on some debugging in relation to a virus information extraction project using CoreNLP + Stanza.
While working specifically for the NLP group through HAI, we published a paper on NER in non-American English (link coming) and won the 2022 VLSP Vietnamese Constituency Parsing bakeoff (also link coming). So, I haven't been a completely useless dick during my time at HAI.
I like running, but I also like eating ice cream, so I'm not super fast or anything. I just like going for long distances.
My left hip was operated on by Dr. Emblom at Andrews Sports Medicine in 2016. Torn labrum and FAI repair. Turns out that research which came out around the same time as my surgery showed that Naproxen is safe while recovering from this surgery and helps reduce the odds of getting HO, but since that research wasn't available at the time, I was not told to take Naproxen. Followup HO removal done at Stanford by Dr. Bellino. Feels great four years later.
My right hip is not great. A large bone spur on my right hip was removed as part of the 2016 surgery. It has since fully regrown. Can't bend more than 90 degrees, randomly occasionally hurts for a few hours or a few days. Weirdly it's not strongly correlated with running, although climbing up ladders definitely triggers it. Biking may be a trigger.
I knew I was first in trouble when I got the surgical reports from Alabama. Left side can be summarized as "We fixed his labrum and didn't leave any tools inside him". Right side was four pages detailing every second of the operation. Don't worry... I'm not the type to file frivolous malpractice claims. I really knew I was in trouble when a set of x-rays at Stanford when I was 39 came back with the annotation: "Patient is an 89 year old male". Welp.
The February images from 2021 show that the right side is more and more "ouchie", as per my 4 year old daughter. (At least my hips worked well enough to have a 4 year old daughter and a 3 year old son.)
In November 2021, my regular ortho Dr. Bellino told me he is moving to Hawai'i. Best of luck, will definitely miss his advice. Although he personally does not like hip resurfacing, he did recommend a former colleague in Ottawa who does resurfacing. He also referred me to a colleague at Stanford for possibly removing the bone spurs on the front of my hip, but she was fairly certain it would not be beneficial long term.