video games

Why so many kids are confused about evolution

Well, this explains everything.…Speaking of which, WHO’S TOTALLY EXCITED FOR POKEMON BLACK AND WHITE?! I know I’m a consumer whore, but those games are like crack. Indeed, I do have the compulsion to catch them all. Let me cling onto one last childhood memory!

This is post 30 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Geeky quickfire!

Questions from formspring.me:

Which Ninja turtle do you prefer?

Donatello, of course! How could the scientist not be my favorite? I’d always choose him in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles video game for NES. I still remember how accomplished my friend and I felt if we made it to the skateboard level (we were in 1st grade, cut us some slack).

And just to prove my TMNT/art geekiness, I own this shirt:
So I hear we shall see Harry Potter nude in the next movie…could be wrong. The perv in me so wants to tho ;D

Hm, I’m torn. On one hand, I was never a fan of Harry in the books. He annoyed the living crap out of me. Pretty much all of his characteristics were the antithesis of traits I look for in a guy, so I never understood the Harry fangirling. On the other hand, I’m always for gratuitous male nudity, especially within my geeky fandoms. That and I like Daniel Radcliffe – he seems intelligent, witty, and humble. You know, traits that actually are attractive to me.

Now if someone invents a time machine and we get a Younger Alan Rickman nude scene, then I’ll join you in flailing.

WILL YOU SHOW ME YOUR POKEYMANZ!?

I’ll show you something even better:Ah, the bad decisions we made at age 17. As a funny side note, we had no idea who that person in the Pikachu suit was.

Female scientists: They're super effective!

Exciting breaking news, everybody! This is a monumental step for female scientists everywhere. I just found out that we have the first female professor in a scientific field long dominated by men. I’d like to introduce Professor Araragi…the new Pokemon Professor!

Yes, I’m excited for Pokemon Black & White to be released. Don’t judge me for hanging on to a piece of my childhood – the games are addictive and fun! I did geek out about the Professor being a woman, though. Hey, when popular culture starts recognizing that scientists can be female – especially an attractive female instead of a frumpy stereotype – that’s a step in the right direction.

Mario Marathon 3 is approaching!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAUxwQ0vNkk&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

From their website:

Mario Marathon is an annual fan run fundraiser for Child’s Play Charity. Child’s Play provides toys, games and books to patients of children’s hospitals worldwide.

The multi day internet event, broadcast live online, attracts an audience from around the world to watch as the team plays through twenty five years of Super Mario Brothers video games.

Now in its third year, the event has attracted over 300,000 viewers, and raised nearly $45,000 for Child’s Play.

This is a fantastic, fun way to raise money for charity. Plus, they’re based in Lafayette, IN! I actually met one of the players when they came out to our Boobquake rally to show their support. Check out their site to donate, and make sure to tune in on the 25th!

Goodbye internet, hello Final Fantasy XIII

Hey guys! I’m on spring break! While usually that would mean I have a lot of free time to blog, unfortunately I went out and bought Final Fantasy XIII. If you don’t understand what that means, you need to read this (multiple friends said they immediately thought of me):To illustrate how much of an FF addict I am, my first thought was “That’s so stupid of him! You rarely use phoenix down, especially if you’re a good player. He should have picked potions or something.”

…Yeah, I’m a FF geek.

Anyway, some preliminary thoughts about the game for those of you who got it or are thinking about getting it (don’t worry, I’m not far enough to really know spoilers yet):

1. The dialog is cheesy as hell. And I mean, cheesy compared to other FF games, even. It’s like watching Final Fantasy Days of Our Lives. I almost vomited during the lovey dovey fireworks scene.

2. Making up for that is the graphics. Oh my god. I’d all HD, and the gameplay looks just as high def as the cut scenes. I’m constantly having an eyegasm.

3. Speaking of cut scenes, wow. I know FF is notorious for them, but so far I feel like there’s a cut scene ever five seconds. Of course, it’s so pretty that I don’t really care.

4. I kind of like the new battle system. I was a little worried since I’m one of those n00bs who like turn based and active time scares me, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. It makes the battles feel a lot more real and important since you have to keep making quick decisions. The in-battle graphics are also great, it actually looks like a real fight instead of someone swinging a sword and a monster that’s a mile away going “ouch.”

5. The black guy is comic relief. Again. Oh, FF. Though his baby chocobo is kind of the cutest thing ever.

6. And finally, Vanille is the girliest girly girl ever. When she’s running she literally skips and prances with her arms up in the air. While in a scary dungeon. Wtf. I mockingly yelled “Yaaaay!” when she was running, and then a half second later she went “Yaaaay!” She’s predictably cute.

Other character: Where’s your mark?
Me: *girly voice* On my butt!
Her: Teehee, here! *lifts up skirt to show the mark on her butt*
Me: …Wow.

Alright, back to playing!

I literally screamed with nerdy glee

A SHIRT COMBINING DARWIN AND POKEMON?! HELLZ YES!

*ahem*

Seriously, this is freaking amazing. I just had biggest nerdgasm since I found out Dumbledore was gay or that Alan Rickman was doing the Voice for Marvin, the Paranoid Android. This is a thousand times better than my Darwin/Pokemon mash up. I’m just sad I didn’t think of it first.

There goes eighteen more dollars from my wallet.

Now I know why I liked Pokemon so much

Because it’s Satanic! Duh!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmNb3xJFzkc&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

I loved how when he starts talking about Satan they show a picture of Jigglypuff. Yes, the embodiment of pure evil.

I wonder what this preacher would think once he saw James’s frequent cross dressing…

My mind is blown

Last night we had a pizza party and game night for the Society of Non-Theists’ last meeting of the semester. I brought my Wii along, and being foolish, didn’t bring the sensor bar. My logic at the time was that all the games I brought didn’t require the sensor bar, so why waste time untangling it from the jungle of wires behind me TV? As I turned the Wii on in the classroom, I remembered that you need to use the sensor bar to click the button on the Wii menu that actually starts the game. You’re unable to do this any other way – d-pad, joystick, and other random button mashing didn’t work.

My first thought was “Well, fuck.” My second thought was, “Wow Nintendo, I hate you. Way to make completely user-unfriendly controls just so people require your sensor bar.” My third and most intelligent thought was, “The internet must have a solution.”

I skimmed through a couple of pages of Google before I found something. It seemed so simple that I didn’t believe it. I yelled over the din of pizza eating heathens, “Does anyone have a lighter?”

Oh my God. AMAZING.

The way a Wiimote works is by detecting infrared light. You can also produce infrared light with fire. Members and I looked on in awe as I controlled the Wiimote by pointing it at a flame. It seemed like freaking magic, but no – it was SCIENCE.

Science wins again, allowing a bunch of atheists to beat each other up in Brawl and die hilariously in Super Mario Brothers (cooperation is hard!).

Darwin finds the best evidence against his theory

Like always, click for larger.Disclaimer: This is not supposed to mean evolutionary biologists are hostile to any contrary evidence. It’s a joke. I hate to have to include this, but I know if I don’t this comic will get picked up by some creationist site as proof that we’re all dogmatic Darwinists. Actually, that’s probably going to happen anyway, so oh well.

Novel writing and dream crushing

I just received an update email from NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month.

Sigh.

You may have possibly noticed, or at least guessed, that I enjoy writing. I think you sort of have to enjoy writing to have a blog, unless it’s entirely made up of videos or photos of lolcats. I don’t claim that my blog posts are novel quality or anything – to be perfectly honest, I only give them a cursory proofreading before posting, which is why you see the occasional typo or nonsensical statement (heaven forbid). Here I write very stream of conscious-like, more like how I would talk to you then how I’d write formally.

I’ve always loved writing fiction stories. When I was in second grade I wrote a story about a kid who made a time machine out of a cardboard box and befriended a talking brontosaurus (based on a giant paper mache dinosaur we made…I should really find the picture of me standing with it!). In third grade I was writing my own variety of Goosebump books. In 5th and 6th, the story of me and my friends’ Pokemon journey (a fanfic writer at an early age, I guess). Then in 7th grade I concocted The Story.

Why does this particular story get the infamous title of The Story? Because it started a trend that still annoys me to this day – starting to write a great story and then never finishing it. These stories aren’t just a couple paragraphs scribbled on scrap paper as an idea – with my stories, I’ll get 10,000 words in and emotionally invested in my characters. And then I stop, with my chapters just sitting on my computer, waiting for me to add something to them. Occasionally I’ll feel a spark of creativity, or maybe just pity for neglecting my literary children, or maybe guilt for not being able to complete a project, and I’ll go work on them for a while. Even The Story, which started as stereotypical ideas from a 13 year old girl, is still around today (granted, with many many face lifts). Why have I created so many abandoned stories?

I blame NaNoWriMo.

Okay, blame isn’t entirely the best word. I know there are probably maybe reasons why I don’t finish them. I don’t have the time, I don’t think they’re good enough, I don’t think anyone would want to read them, etc etc. But NaNoWriMo definitely has encouraged part of it. NaNoWriMo is an event where you attempt to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. The catch is you have to start from scratch – no adding to preexisting work. If you thought I was insane for doing Blogathon, then you have to be absolutely out of your mind to do this. Which is why I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo five times.

The reason why I have so many stories is that I’ve failed five times.

I had my classic fantasy adventure (The Story)(2004), a second failed attempt at the same fantasy (2005), the dystopian future of cloning and organ harvesting (2006), the Greek Gods humorously causing havoc on a modern day pagan and atheist (my favorite story so far)(2007), the corrupt religious scientists infecting a population with the “God gene” (2008).* All of them patiently sit at 5,000 to 10,000 words, waiting to be finished.**

And even with all my failures, I know I’m probably going to do it again this year.

It’s absolutely insane for me to even consider attempting it. I’ll be a senior with hard classes, a class to teach, research to do, grad schools to apply to, a club to run, a blog to update (don’t worry, I won’t abandon you guys) – and I still want to write a novel? NaNoWriMo is like an abusive husband that I can’t will myself to leave. I don’t know why I keep going back and getting slapped around. Maybe it’s the hope that one year I’ll actually have the motivation to finish. One year I’ll plan ahead so when November rolls around, I’ll have a helpful outline and solidified ideas. But really I think it’s because I don’t know when I’ll ever have this sort of time again. College is hard, but the “real world” is harder. This is my chance to instill good novel writing habits, or I’ll never do it. It’s always been a dream to get a book published, but I kind of need to actually finish a book before I do that.

And now that I’ve typed all that, I’m really not sure why I did. Maybe for someone to tell me how crazy I am and dissuade me. Maybe for someone to wave the pom poms and tell me to do it. Or maybe I have a reader who has also been repeated raped by NaNoWriMo and can sympathize. All I know is if I do decide to do this crazy shit again, I need to start planning now, or I’m just going to be whining again come December.

*Dear lord these all sound horrendous typed out in uber-summarized form. I promise you they’re better than they look. Really.
**And it’s not that I’m unhappy with them – I like all of them, and I’m super proud of how the Greek God one started. I think I’m just too afraid to ruin it at this point.

Chop Suey for Charity

Not sure why none of you suggested this one, but I thought it was the most hilarious pick. Keep in mind I’m embarrassing myself for charity. Enjoy the silly singing and complimentary boob jigglage.

Thanks Mark for the backup vocals.

(Sorry it’s not the full song…camera battery died right when it cut off =( )

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OdsbV6xV3w&hl=en&fs=1&]

This is post 25 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Intermission: Karaoke!

Blogathon is going to have a new challenge: Videotape yourself singing karaoke. Because I’m on a caffeine high and have the sudden urge to embarrass myself, I’m going to let you guys suggest what I should sing.

Key word: suggest. If you all vote for some horrible song to annoy me, I have veto power =P

I have Rock Band 2 for Wii, which has a song list here. Here are additional songs I’ve downloaded:

All The Small Things – Blink 182
Buddy Holly – Weezer
Call Me When You’re Sober – Evanescence
Dirty Little Secret – All American Rejects
Don’t Speak – No Doubt
Hella Good – No Doubt
Hysteria – Muse
Just a Girl – No Doubt
More Than A Feeling – Boston
My Sharona – The Knack
Space Man – The Killers
Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
The Kill – 30 Seconds to Mars
This Ain’t a Scene It’s an Arms Race – Fall Out Boy

So, any requests?

*I should have made this more clear: Your only choices are the Rock Band songs. Sorry guys. I will turn off the game’s vocals, though.

This is post 21 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.