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Be all that you can be

Some days you're untouchable. If the enemy is careless enough to run near your crosshairs, you arrange their personal face time with God. Other days, you spend more time in the great beyond than on the battlefield. Regardless of how well you do, a losing streak melts away the moment you make that impossible shot or pull off an unbelievable maneuver in a vehicle. For those moments when the teamwork just 'clicks' or you're the one that captures the flag when all others fail, Battlefield 2 truly makes you feel like the hero of the hour—even if your score is the lowest on the server. It is a remarkable mix of weapon and vehicle balance that allows players to play on their own terms and have fun with wildly different play styles. I like to fly choppers (the AH-64 specifically) and am happiest swooping down on enemy tanks, hovering over flag capture points or simply providing a steady platform for my gunner to mow infantry down. When I'm not flying, I'm sniping—you can call me a coward from your grave ;-)

New additions to Battlefield are the Commander mode which allows you to issue orders and call artillery strikes from a top-down RTS-like map interface. Also new are the editions of squads and in-game voice chat. Another nifty hook to the new Battlefield is a persistent ranking system—earn enough experience in the field and you'll start to unlock better weapons. All of these extras add to the game without adding to its complexity. And, of course, the visuals are jaw-dropping—shadows fall realistically, soldiers look real and vehicles look like they weigh a ton all against some of the most panoramic vistas this side of full motion video.

While the game claims to be playable on lower-end machines, it definitely is a resource hog. A high-end graphics card and lots of RAM will make for a much smoother gaming experience. Also, if you don't have broadband, don't bother—not only will you have lag and stutter, you will also degrade the experience for everyone else unfortunate enough to share the server with you.

Matchmaking in this game has taken a step backward as you can not keep track of favorite servers, sync up with friends easily or accurately find a server with available slots to join. All of these issues are supposedly addressed in a large, upcoming patch (ver 1.3) to hit the 'net some time in the next few months. EA is also planning to release a Special Forces expansion to the series which will feature more black ops action (night infiltrations, stealth missions, sabotage operations and the like).

If you haven't played Battlefield 2, it's high time you got involved in the war. If you like to drive, fly, snipe, heal, lay anti-personel or anti-vehicle mines or just run around like Rambo with guns ablaze, the battlefield awaits. Come add to the mayhem and if you see me...

...pray I'm on your team.

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A Little About A Lot

A Little About A Lot by Nabih Saliba
To know a lot about a little Or a little about a lot Is a thing we should consider But in practice often not
Know a lot about a little And it’s one thing that you’ve got But your view might be quite narrow Like a cage for every thought
Fill your head with many subjects Then an expert you are not As your knowledge can be shallow When a little about a lot
Should you aim to be an expert? Try to master just one thing? Then you’d have yourself a focused Special kind of offering.
Do you wish to only sample? Try to gather wide but thin? Then when details are required You’ll just offer up a grin.
Maybe what one should consider Isn’t what they know or not But what they know together With the friends that they have got
For together we are smarter Sharing fact and view and thought On a lot about a little Or a little about a lot

For that special someone...project...you.

The holidays are upon us and shopping deadlines and specials have come and gone. Interestingly enough, there's always some amazing finds just before the end of the year for all the late shoppers, deal hunters and anyone simply looking to get themselves those special treats just 'cause.

What follows are some links to items worth looking into. To make things easier, we've just posted pictures of each item to both intrigue and invite you. Just click on the image of the thing that interests you and you'll be on your way to material gratification in no time at all!


Flying and other important skills

The thing you need to know about flying is that it takes less effort than you might think. Just like swimming, most of the work is done by the stuff all around you. In a pool, that stuff is the water that holds you up if you want it to. When you're flying, the stuff you float in is air. Danny had just discovered this secret to flying not more than five minutes ago. At first, he tried to fly by flapping his arms as fast as he could. If you think the sight of a seven year old boy flapping his arms up and down is funny, you're not alone. All of the people who noticed Danny would stop and watch for a moment, giggle and then walk off to wherever they needed to be. It wasn't going very well. Tired and feeling very silly, Danny was about to give up when he heard a quiet voice say, "Don't fight the air. Maybe you should make friends with it instead?"

Danny spun around to find the owner of the voice but there was no one standing there. "Make friends with the air?…