Into the Mother Lands interview: Twitch invests in an RPG show led by people of color

Critical Role has played an important roll in the rise of actual play RPG livestreams and podcasts, turning these from a niche to a major player in the streaming ecosystem. According to measurement firm StreamElements, viewers watched an aggregated 19.5 million hours of such shows on Twitch an YouTube, a 1,142% increase over 2018. 2020’s numbers are likely higher.

And one of the best of these actual play shows is Rivals of Waterdeep, a Wizards of the Coast-backed project. It started in 2018 in conjunction with Dungeons & DragonsWaterdeep: Dragon Heist storyline. It’s now in its 8th season, and the project features some of what I consider the deepest role-playing you can find in any D&D show.

Tanya DePass is one of the Rivals‘ players. And she’s teaming up with B. Dave Walters, whose credits include the transmedia Electropunk project, A Darkened Wish (an actual play

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The Mother of Pulsars: Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the squiggle that changed science

Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 1968.


Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

In 1967, when she was just 24 years old, Jocelyn Bell Burnell saw a quarter-inch-long “squiggle” on a piece of paper that would change her life and reshape the course of astrophysics. 

Bell Burnell was working on her Ph.D. at Cambridge at the time, reading signals from a radio telescope in the hope of finding quasars — supermassive black holes, millions of times the size of our sun, that spew out huge amounts of energy from billions of light-years away. 

As part of her Ph.D. research, Bell Burnell had helped build a telescope to receive these signals from across the universe. It was known as the Interplanetary Scintillation Array — a radio telescope made up of 2,000 metal antennas and 120 miles of cable and wires, all strung up on more than 1,000 wooden posts. The entire thing covered an area

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