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Warren Spector

System Shock is a 1994 first-person action role-playing video game developed by Looking Glass Technologies and published by Origin Systems. It was directed by Doug Church with Warren Spector (pictured) serving as producer. The game is set aboard a space station in a cyberpunk vision of the year 2072. Assuming the role of a nameless hacker, the player attempts to hinder the plans of a malevolent artificial intelligence called SHODAN. System Shock's 3D engine, physics simulation and complex gameplay have been cited as both innovative and influential. The developers sought to build on the emergent gameplay and immersive environments of their previous games, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds, by streamlining their mechanics into a more "integrated whole". Critics praised System Shock and hailed it as a major breakthrough in its genre. It was later placed on multiple hall of fame lists. The game was a moderate commercial success, with sales exceeding 170,000 copies; but Looking Glass ultimately lost money on the project. A sequel, System Shock 2, was released by Looking Glass Studios and off-shoot developer Irrational Games in 1999. (Full article...)

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A black-and-white photograph of a barefoot man with short hair looking slightly to the right of the viewer and resting his left hand on his hip

There were 146 medalists in the art competitions that were part of the Olympic Games from 1912 until 1948. These art competitions were grouped into various categories depending on the year. Since participants were allowed multiple submissions, it was possible for artists to win more than one award in a single event, as Alex Diggelmann of Switzerland did in the graphic arts category of the 1948 edition. Diggelmann is tied with Denmark's Josef Petersen, who won second prize three times in literature, for the amount of medals captured in the art competitions. Luxembourg's Jean Jacoby is the only individual to win two gold medals, doing so in painting in 1924 and 1928. Of the 146 medalists, 11 were women and only Finnish author Aale Tynni was awarded gold. Germany was the most successful nation, with eight gold, seven silver, and nine bronze medals. Two individuals, Walter W. Winans and Alfréd Hajós (pictured), won medals in both athletic and art competitions. (Full list...)

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Cymbiola nobilis

Cymbiola nobilis is a species of sea snail in the family Volutidae. Found in the Pacific Ocean, from Taiwan to Singapore, it averages 6 centimetres (2.4 in) in length; females are larger than males. Because the shell is commonly collected, there has been an overharvesting of the snail, and it is now considered vulnerable.

Photo: H. Zell

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