Thanks to COVID-19, many of us are trapped at home for the next month or 3, and are looking for a productive way to spend our time or keep the kids occupied. What better way than learning new skills in something you are really interested in doing while spending no money for the training? Pluralsite is one of several companies offering such training, in their case for any kind of computer skill set you can imagine. For some of us that means training in a wide range of IT jobs that you can do remotely, which could mean additional income during the current crises. Then there are things like video game creation, 3D modeling, and programming, all across a range of platforms, that can grab the imagination of anyone who wants to become truly creative. You don’t need to give them a credit card to sign up for the free courses, just an email address, but you only have until the end of April to take the classes; come May 1st it will go back to costing money to get access to them.

Thanks to the folks at Games from Scratch for the heads up on this opportunity. I am including their YouTube video on the Pluralsite offering, where they go into some detail about what you will actually have access to there. They also mention several of the other training opportunities, such as 3 months of free classes on every aspect of making games for the Unity Game Engine with free courses, projects and tutorials to get you creating with style.

On June 28th the World Science Festival posted the results of an exciting experiment in which the person working the joystick was nowhere near the game. His hands were being controlled by a person half way across town, sitting in front of the game with no game controller. Some of the potential applications of this technology are downright terrifying, others could be world changing. If you are interested in finding out a bit more about the experiments, check out the University of Washington page for details. One of the things that leaps out at you is the changes in the bulk and mass of the headsets between the 2013/2014 experiments and the current ones; the new stuff is getting downright portable.

A recipe has been posted for Liquid Carbonite on the Star Wars web site which reads just like a normal milk shake. But the picture has convinced me I need to add a Han Solo in Carbonite silicone mold to my kitchen collection, and I am certainly looking forward to the new film hitting the big screen next week. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the first one I have been excited about since the original trilogy, so much so that I think I am going to have to spring for the IMAX version.

This is about a terminally kawaii game called Mice and Mystics which Wil Wheaton brought in and showed on his program Tabletop!. Not being content to let it stop there, he also brought in some family members, specifically Anne Wheaton, Ryan Wheaton, and Nolan Kopp to demonstrate how the game should be played. Or maybe he was trying to show us how his family plays simple but interesting games together, which quite frankly reminded me about how my families gaming sessions go. This is the TableTop Season 3 finale, or at least the first part of it, and if you haven’t been following from the beginning this episode should make you realize why you want to go back and binge-watch the entire season. And then maybe the 2 before that. And if you have missed this, perhaps the channel the program is on might have snuck past you in the darkness; Geek And Sundry is a Felicia Day project that has gathered together some of my favorite people on the planet and given them a platform to prove to the rest of us why they are fun folks.

This isn’t a joke, and it is amazing. You really could win a walk-on role in Star Trek Beyond. Want in? Then go hit This Button and fill out some forms! If you are a Trekkie like me, you will hate yourself if you don’t even take a shot at it! Plus, even if you don’t win (and the majority of us won’t) you will have helped improved the lives of more people than you have ever shared a major sports stadium with. Assuming that, unlike me, you have actually been to a sports stadium.