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I’m a casual gamer, always have been. I don’t really get into creating characters. When I DO get a chance to play, I still love the old classics. That’s why I’m hooked on Asteroids for my Xbox 360. The best part is being able to hook the Xbox to my 42″ plasma screen tv, and have it in surround sound. It doesn’t get any better than that.

You can now buy and play the following old Atari games on your Xbox 360 and/or Xbox Live account:

  • Centipede/Millipede: defend your village against an onslaught of centipedes, spiders, army ants and more. In addition to the classic mode, the evolution mode offers high definition graphics and special effects like motion blur, trails and particle-based explosions to make the experience as enjoyable today as it was decades ago.
  • Battlezone: the original tank vs. tank action classic has received an Xbox Live overhaul, adding in exciting new multiplayer modes including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. This updated version is truly a must-have for any fan of the original, which is also included. Additionally, players can use the Xbox Live Vision camera to watch live video of their opponents. Combine these features with new special effects for weapon firing, impacts and explosions and you have one killer classic as you’ve never experienced it before.
  • Asteroids/Asteroids Deluxe: rotate, thrust, flip, fire and jump to hyperspace as you blast oncoming asteroids to smithereens just like in the 1979 original, but in updated, beautifully rendered, high definition graphics that complement the classic original.
  • Missile Command: protecting your city from alien missile attacks has never looked better now that this classic has been overhauled with updated graphics and 3D rendered vistas. Choose from the evolved mode or the timeless original gameplay.
  • Tempest: clear a web of enemies before time runs out and advance to the next stage, using an arsenal of weapons at your disposal. This evolved version features a graphics overhaul while maintaining the same addictive gameplay of the original.
  • Warlords: a multiplayer classic that resurrects the competitive spirit of arcade games from years gone by. Knock out the other kings in their castles while keeping yourself protected at the same time. Up to four players can join the action with the game taking control of any vacant castles allowing for a variety of single- or multiplayer experiences. Gamers can also import their own pictures to their castles for an extra personalization.

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My Meteorite Piece

Phil sent me a rock. No, seriously – a space rock! I published the first half of his accompanying letter in tonight’s report, My Mighty Meteorite. This is the second half of his letter to both Ponzi and myself:

My Meteorite What you have here is a piece of shrapnel from this meteorite. Its composition is about 91% iron, 7.1% nickel, 0.46% cobalt, 0.26% phosphorus, and about 1% sulfur. There are trace amounts of gallium, germanium, and iridium (that last was the key element that lead scientists to understand that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a similar but much larger blast).

Most meteorites are stone. They come from asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. When a large body forms in a solar system, all the stuff making it up is at first mixed, like batter. But when it gets big enough, the heavy stuff – the metal – sinks to the center. So you need a big asteroid for that to happen, bigger than the Moon, so that its gravity is strong enough to differentiate it. Then it has to suffer a mighty blow from another huge asteroid, disrupting it, blowing it into billions of pieces.

What you’re holding in your hand is a piece of metal that was once deep within the core of a planetary-sized body that was destroyed by the impact of another planet-sized body, 4 billion years ago. It orbited the Sun, relatively untouched all that time, until that fateful day 30 millennia ago. It’s a piece of outer space brought to Earth in a fiery, violent decent that ended in cataclysm.

And now it’s yours.

[The first half of Phil’s letter has been published elsewhere – and if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m very thankful for his gift. It’s kinda like space copralite?]