I finished Paper Mario 2 last night. It was an excellent game, and I'm kind of disappointed to be through with it. On the upside, this leaves me with one less distraction towards more creative habits. I put a few more hours into developing the Mustard world last night, much of it spending time learning to use layers with GIMP. Layers are actually very cool (but awkward) -- this is the first time I've made the effort to use them for things, and it's very liberating. I'm specifically working on a revised political map for the time period in which Mustard is set (2613 CE). I downloaded two plainish-looking maps from Wikipedia, one with country borders, one without, and loaded them in separate layers. I then made a third layer in which to draw new borders, and a fourth to add labels. I naturally am saving in .xcf format in order to keep all the layer information. Toggling off the current borders gives me a nice preview of the finished product. It's a lot of fun (although sometimes mapping the more detailed maps of Russia and other parts of the world onto the flat projection that I'm editing on is tricky). The presumption that global warming will flood some coasts is something that I haven't taken into consideration with the map thing, although I am presuming that some fairly desolate parts of Russia, like Kamchatka, will become more settled. I'm presently focusing on the areas that are today Russia, Europe, and China, because they're going to tie to some areas of interest when I start writing again.
Thinking about this makes me wonder if in reality, Russia will retain its hold on the east. I suppose that's really two questions -- does it make its people out here unhappy enough to rebel, and if so, could they either defeat Russian forces or make it not worth the bother of keeping them. Russia does have a large mass of empty land that would be perfect to settle or hide in...
Recent discovery: Google Notebook rocks my world.
Also, the longer I continue with my current job, the more prone I am to document everything I can relating to the science side. This is a good thing -- with experiments, one wants to keep as much information as one can about everything one (and one's subject) does. Initially I was kind of sloppy and disorganised, but when I was asked to make slight tweaks on existing analyses often enough, I realised that it's better to be very explicit in how I set things up so I don't need to work so hard to reconstruct my steps. I've modified the tools I use to log how they're invoked, and done other infrastructure improvements to make this easier, and this attitude has bled into other aspects of the science half.
I am still longing to live in Europe.... Unrelated, I should go dancing this coming weekend. I also should see if I can play my Accordion to Techno songs. Mmm.