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The Job of Vecna

August 1st, 2008 (07:09 am)
amused
Tags: , ,

current location: Lowell train
current mood: amused

One morning this week I saw an job ad on the T for a company called Vecna. This caught my attention, because, in D&D, Vecna is the name of a powerful lich, now defeated, but encoded into the game in the form of a pair of artifacts, the Hand of Vecna and the Eye of Vecna. Cut off your hand, or pluck out your eye, and replace it with the artifact, and you get magic powers. (This also led to one group of players being tricked into going after the Head of Vecna.) Oh, and I think you eventually get possessed.

So I took a look. It's a company selling IT products for the health care industry. I think this is hilarious. Granted the number of people who'll recognize the name Vecna is limited, but still. How does someone name a health-related company X without Googling for X and noticing that the top hit for it is distinctly unhealthy?

(Oh, and they had a bit of text exhorting T riders to take the stairs because escalators waste energy. Hello? That escalator is going to keep burning electrons whether I ride it or not.)

Comments

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)

Maybe they use more electricity under load than if they are empty?

Interesting about the Job of Vecna. I also wonder about the Naughty Bits of Vecna.

Posted by: Corwyn ap Gruffith Cynnil (corwyn_ap)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
avatar

They had better.

But the question really is, are you more efficient climbing the stairs on your fossil fuel based energy system than the escalator is on its. I suspect not (for the average American diet).

However, there are huge benefits to both energy efficiencies, and health to getting more exercise which override both factors. So, use the stairs. :-)

I hinted to my players once about the naughty bits of Vecna. They passed.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC)

They had better.

Well, yeah. Unless they're peculiarly designed, I suppose.

But the question really is, are you more efficient climbing the stairs on your fossil fuel based energy system than the escalator is on its.

I suppose it depends on how well-maintained the two systems are.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
Mad Science

Yeah -- if the escalator was run by electricity bought from a windfarm, vs. human legs powered by beef, using the escalator might well be the more sound choice.

Likelihood the T buys windfarm electricity: 0%.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
Oooh..disturbing

I also wonder about the Naughty Bits of Vecna.

Ooh. Undead naughty bits. That's kind of disturbing. Do they make you stagger around with your ahem sticking out, moaning "Euphemisms...Euphemisms..."?

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing
Wedding

Some of us have naughty bits that don't stick out. But possibly under use they would enslave the other participant(s). Who would then obey our every whim -- but not in the usual way, in an eeevil way.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Some of us have naughty bits that don't stick out.

Yeah, but Vecna was male. Besides, sticking out is part of the joke; zombies wouldn't be so funny if they didn't roam around with their arms sticking out.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Without his/her naughty bits, how do you know he was male?

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

It probably says so somewhere in the various books. Since writing this post, I've skimmed the Wikipedia bits about Vecna, and (a) they refer to Vecna as "he" and (b) Vecna has appeared in a lot more detail than he did in the original AD&D books, including at least two full adventures built around him.

Mind you, I think I've always believed he was male; I'd have to dig up my old DMG to find out whether that was canonical or just my assumption.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing
wellesley lamp

Keep in mind this is a, er, succubus' argument. But "he" could have just seemed very masculine....

Posted by: Siderea (siderea)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Hey! If the nice undead lich-king prefers to present as male it's only polite to accept his chosen gender identity as such.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Right. So what if what the adventurers actually found was the Strap-On of Vecna?

Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

If you don't have to amputate to do the replacement, none of the jokes work.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Hmm. A male would have to amputate to apply the Strap-On of Vecna. (He might try wearing it anyway, but the magic wouldn't work.) We may postulate that most male players would hesitate to have their characters castrated—even the ones that fought for the chance to be beheaded. Any female players on hand would find lots of room for jokes there.

Meanwhile, a female character could just wear it, but might find the side effects surprising, depending on Vecna's preferences. ("Xena-Sue, how did you get a Rod of Lordly Might there?")

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Since concealment is about looking, I think that female naughty bits are concealed if you can't see them. Unless you're counting the labia majora, but I don't think most people do.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

If they are missing, something has gone wrong.

I'm envisioning a government agency called the Bureau of Missing Labia Majora.

Posted by: Hey You (martianfencer)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Some of us have naughty bits that don't stick out.

Mister Rogers pointed that out too. "Some folks are fancy on the inside, some folks are fancy on the outside..."

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

And some fancy-inside folks fancy fancy-outside folks, while others fancy fancy-inside folks.

Posted by: Hey You (martianfencer)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
Re: Oooh..disturbing

Fancy that!

Posted by: Alexx Kay (alexx_kay)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)

Also, their mean time between failures probably goes up with load. The more able-bodied people use the escalator, the more likely that it will be broken when a less-abled person needs to use it.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)

True. So now we've got the Social Conscience of Vecna.

Posted by: B.K. DeLong (bkdelong)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
vir b5

I've been seeing that for several months now and I still think it's a hilarious name for a company. I half expect it to be a front for some evil demi god or his followers.

Posted by: David Salley (dagonell)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)

I got a less obscure one for you. There's a local insurance company who have adopted red golf shirts as their company uniform. Every day, I drive home past a billboard that says "You Deserve the Red Shirt Treatment!". Apparently, they never watched Star Trek...
-- Dagonell

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)

...and, once again, they could have caught it with a quick Google: the top hit for "red shirt" is a Wikipedia article about the Star Trek meaning.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Siderea (siderea)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)

I've been happily giggling to myself about this for months. It's good to be geek.

Posted by: robertdfeinman (robertdfeinman)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
power savings

Some NYC subway escalators are demand driven. Step towards them and they activate.

It is estimated that the average home could cut their electricity consumption by about 5% if they just unplugged all the electronic devices that are "off".

That's a pretty high premium to avoid having to walk over a push a physical on/off switch rather than use a remote.

New gadgets like DVR's and home networks use a fair amount of power when they aren't being used and there is, as yet, no way to make them activate when needed.

Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: August 1st, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: power savings

If you're running a MythTV with suitable hardware, you can have it turn itself off when it isn't doing anything and turn itself back on again a few minutes before the next scheduled recording. It's not the default configuration, however.

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