Today, in “Criminals who apparently do not watch Keanu Reeves movies” news: Actor Keanu Reeves’ home was recently broken into this week, and one of his guns stolen, presumably by thieves who do not watch Keanu Reeves movies.
This is per TMZ, which reports that the break-in happened on the evening of Wednesday, December 6, when police were called to Reeves’ Los Angeles residence twice—the second time, after multiple people in ski masks were seen smashing windows to enter the building, even though there is an entire franchise of films predicated on how you should not break into Keanu Reeves’ home and fuck with his stuff.
Media literacy in this country, we tell you what.
Anyway, the thieves didn’t make off with much, apparently—just one of Reeves’ firearms, according to statements from police. And while we know that we’re having some fun here conflating the actor Keanu Reeves with the systematic murder machines he plays in movies, that still feels like the kind of thing we, personally, would not want to have in our homes in the aftermath of said robbery, on the off chance that Reeves (famous for training extensively for his various action-heavy films) might ask for it back.
On a less absurd, and more sobering, note, it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t the first time that Reeves has had to deal with intruders in his home; in 2014, he faced multiple incidents of people breaking into his house, including at least once while he himself was there, and recently filed a restraining order against a man claiming to be his brother, and who has reportedly trespassed on the actor’s property multiple times over the last 12 months. Reeves was apparently not home when the robbery occurred on Wednesday night.
The first year in MLB baseball history for which there’s comprehensive salary data featured an average salary of $19,000. Converted to 2023 dollars, this $175,000. This means that a single year of Ohtani’s contract is worth approximately 70%, in real inflation-adjusted dollars, of the entire major league payroll in 1967.
1967 was also the first season in which major league players had a certified union.
A win for the humble internet detective tonight, as a 25-year-old musical TV mystery has now been solved—complete with a full release of the song in question. That’s “Staring At The Stars,” by Dan Marfisi and Glenn Jordan, a song previously available only to a very limited audience—i.e., people paying extra strong…
Back when WarCraft, StarCraft, and other real-time strategy games were all the rage, I could never actually play them against other people. Even playing against the computer, I might only eke out a victory through dumb luck or an opponent's huge mistake.
The problem was, I was never ready to attack until I had my base perfectly in order—until the workers carrying oil or crystals or whatnot had the most efficient route from the mine to the base or until my buildings were arranged for optimal use of the revealed land. I just needed one more little guy, one more tower. OK, maybe two. I'm a turtler's turtler.
1.0 release date trailer for Against the Storm.
Against the Storm, which releases from Early Access on Steam for Windows today, has been a deeply satisfying outlet for this pent-up need to build and prosper—in a delightfully WarCraft-ian manner—without the messy business of war. There is still adversity: an ever-advancing "Impatience" meter, hostile spirits you uncover in the woods, and the typical constraints of resources, supply chains, and worker morale. Plus the rainstorms in the title, which occur both in-level, slowing you down, and at a macro level, washing away your little towns to make you start again.
And yet Against the Storm feels engaging without the stress of a real-time strategy game nor the aloof drift of a full-fledged city builder. The game's individual parts feel familiar, whether from other video games or board games in the "worker placement" or "engine building" category. This combination feels new, though, and fun.
You play as a viceroy tasked by your queen with developing villages in a dark-ish fantasy realm overwhelmed by torrential storms. The woods are alive, too, and will push back against your efforts to develop them with indirect hostility or sometimes straight-up worker murder. You finish each village by delivering the things requested by the queen and generally improving your village's reputation at a faster rate than her impatience builds up. Village by village, you expand outward on a world hex map, until … I'm not quite certain because I haven't gotten that far on the big map yet. Each village takes a while, and the game's tutorial arc is long, as it should be.
A (rather well-organized) village in Against the Storm, with the Hearth at center, constantly burning the resources you acquire.
The rogue-ish random generation of Against the Storm happens at nearly every level: the buildings you're offered, the layout of grounds and trees, the workers that show up, the deliverables asked by your queen, and how various forces affect each village on the world map, to name a few. It makes the game replayable, and it also means no one defeat is the end of your campaign or even necessitates a reload.
A big part of the challenge and fun is being asked by the queen, or a newly discovered evil spirit, to deliver something that your village is entirely unprepared to offer, based on how you built it so far. You can try to get the needed goods from a trader, advance on other goals faster than that unfulfilled goal drags on you, or simply hope that the next reward or building you're offered can get it done.
Even when you're supposed to be challenged, you might find yourself blissfully relaxed. There's something about this game that puts me at ease, even though it's a huge pile of nested tasks. Maybe it's the "Vikings, but they're nice" visual style. Perhaps it's the ethereal but melodically inclined soundtrack, heavy on the single piano lines and forest-minded woodwinds. Probably, it's both of those, plus the way the game moves at a pace that gives you time to think. It offers a range of difficulties and random problems but is easy on the punishment if you can't make it work. It's more of a rogue-ultralite or a rogue-featherweight.
Against the Storm can be played on a Steam Deck, but it's a make-do scenario: you want as much screen space and a mouse for this game's multitude of buttons and tool tips. I'm in my ninth hour and still discovering little mechanics, especially around worker happiness, build priorities, and fruitful chains of workshops. It runs well on a Steam Deck, however, and you can get by with the trackpads, especially once you're comfortable with the controls.
"Cozy" doesn't quite describe Against the Storm, but there's a reason I'm thinking it. It's a real feat, honing a game to offer layers of depth, infinite strategic options, and replay value while not making it intimidatingly sharp. There's a good chance you'll find respite from the interlocking systems that run your life inside those of this complex, calming builder.
Kinda feel like all of the “wHy ISn’T BiDen DoInG AnYtHiNG!” very smart people need to be reminded of this kind of stuff before they shame themselves with another popularism piece. Trump tried to kill this!