Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Please Do Your Research, Movie Peoples

The other day I was watching the movie 'Mission to Mars'. Most people hate the movie for its cheezy plot, over-the-top acting, and just in general a terrible trainwreck. However, what offends me the most is the flat out idiocy presented as 'science' in this movie.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

National Pastime

The traditional National Pastime of the United States is baseball. I don't understand the allure of smacking a ball with a stick of wood and then running around in circles while making sure to step on white bags placed evenly around said circle. And then there are things about designated hitters and fly outs, and when you get a home run you instantly score, except if it happens to fly past some giant yellow posts and then it doesn't count. You can't swing at everything that the 'pitcher' throws at you, either, because sometimes he will try to trick you by trying to make you swing at throws that are far past where you can hit them, and then you are charged a strike, and if you get a few of those (three or four) then you get out. If you get three outs, you lose.

You only get nine turns, and your opponent gets nine turns, so there's really no rush. Baseball is pretty laid back. According to the statistics, the hitters do not even hit most of the time. A good 'average' is hitting 30% of the time. At your best, you're going to miss 70% of the time. If hitting balls counted as exams, baseball players would all get F's.

And somehow, America loves it. Philadelphia loves it too. We love it so much we had a riot over it when we won the World Series (which is the grand high game which determines the champion of the world, obviously). Of course, we riot over a lot of things, so that really tells you nothing. We love to riot. Rioting and causing trouble and being mean are like Philadelphia's national pastime.

Guess what Second Life's National Pastime is?

C'mon, take a guess.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blue Mars II

I have played Blue Mars.

This is going to be my last post on Blue Mars. You will find out why.

Anecdotes are not Evidence

Anecdotes make for entertaining or frightening stories. They add spice to life and help give others a sense of what you, personally, have gone through. I'm all for anecdotes. The world would be sorrier for lack of them.

Where we run into trouble is when an anecdote is held help as evidence to support a hypothesis.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blaming Culture

What happens when you blame culture for problems in society today? You get labeled as a moron, as missing the big picture. You've obviously missed the actual reason, haven't you? Blaming culture is just too broad a brush! Blame the individual! Are you trying to shirk responsibility and pass it off on society at large? Ridiculous! Go back down your hole and don't come out until us adults solve the problem.

I take offense to this, because sometimes culture really is the problem.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three Rejections

All three of the jobs (university prefers to call it 'careers' but let's not kid ourselves) I applied to rejected me. It was through the university's career-matching service, where an employer posts a particular position they want, and you send them your resume, and then they decide whether or not they want to interview you (which will be done on campus conveniently).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Three Years

As a general rule, I avoid anniversaries. It focuses far too much attention on mindless accounting of the years as if the only thing relevant were the seconds of something's existence. That really reduces it all down, doesn't it? Devoting an entire day celebrating the random statistic of how often the planet has revolved around the Sun since you were born, met, engaged, married, died, fought in 'Nam, graduated high school, etc.

For me, more importance should be placed on the quality of the experience during the time which you are blessed (or cursed, damn high school) with the privilege of living it.

Which do you think you would enjoy more, a heavenly marriage which you've forgotten how it all began, or a strained one under the Sword of Damocles' Divorce but which you know the exact amount of time you've been bound to each other?

Does it really matter the precision with which I can recall long ago it was, if I remember how good that time was? Or if I work instead towards bettering it? Refining it? Finding new and exciting ways to peel an onion?

Which is why I don't particularly care for 'rezzdays'. Or real life birthdays, for that matter (which I actually find it rather morbid in that it counts the miracle of each year you manage to simply survive, how fun). It should not matter how long you've graced the grid. The real question is, have you enjoyed yourself? Did you have fun? Have your friends had fun? Have you made a positive impact in the Second Life world around you? Have you lived? To me, these are more important.

My rezzday is coming up in November, little more than three weeks away. I will have been in Second Life for three years. I think the math is that one RL year is 6 SL years, so I will turn 18 in SL time. And yet, it hasn't felt like it has been that long. I, for honesty's sake, did not even realize I was about to turn three until I read Peter's post on his own rezzday.

I look over my screenshot folder (which is massive) and I can't believe the things I managed to limp out of and witness and enjoy and people I've encountered. Even looking over this blog, I cannot help but laugh at my petty worries all that time ago and all the silly things I loved to write. All the numerous times I enjoyed poking Torley with a stick (I was tempted to put a counter up on the sidebar ticking off the number of times I bashed him, his actions, or his philosophy) and Jurin who prodded me like an editor-in-chief to write write write. And certainly, there are no better co-writers than Winter and Torvald.

To me, all of that is far far more important than spending an entire day in revelry to a simple countdown (countup?).

The same goes for my real life birthday (which, if you're curious, is about a month after my rezzday). I am doing what I want to, doing what I love. I have good friends and good family (even if they're a bit odd). I've done many fun things, half of which are illegal and likely to get one killed/maimed (I kid! Kidding!). I count myself extremely fortunate that in this increasingly dreary and impoverished world that I have never known lack of money or love.

Not that everything is peaches and cream with cherry soda. Friends and family have died. I've made some rather poor decisions and suffer from some rather debilitating flaws, or so I'm told. I have the growing feeling I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I have my health problems (although even in that I count myself lucky).

Does it really matter at all that this has spanned 22 years? Why is there a need for numbers?

I count every day as cause for celebration.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


"You're basic brain-dead game of instant gratification."
"Your probably wondering why I am telling you this."

Ok people. This is the 190th time I have seen this screw-up. It is not acceptable. At all.


Your = possessive (as in, 'your ball', 'your dog', 'your computer')
Example: "You have my bat in your hair"

You're = contraction of 'You Are'
Example: "You're not so good at grammar yourself."

It is not that hard, guys. Please. You look ridiculous when you type "Your an idiot" because I do not own an idiot. Similarly, "You're cat" is silly because it really says "You are cat" and I am clearly not a Neko.

Here, I'll give you a simple rule of thumb.

Step 1. Read your sentence carefully.

Step 2. In the spot where you use 'your/you're', ask:

"Am I referring to some material object my conversational partner owns or possesses?"

Step 3. If the answer is 'yes', then use 'YOUR'.
If the answer is 'no', then use 'YOU'RE'.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blue Mars I

Anna sent me into Blue Mars. I do not know why.

I downloaded the client. Logged in.

Lag. Lots of lag. I tried to make an avatar but I gave up quickly because it lagged choosing an avatar.

Then when I went into the world it didn't load. My vision filled with some kind of neon black and purple landscape with ghosted outlines of avatars.

Then my computer crashed.

I think I need a better computer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Find It Funny

This morning, I woke up screaming.

What did I see in my dreams? I have no idea. I don't have the time anymore. I wake up and run off to work and class. I don't eat breakfast. My lunch is what I can grab from the lunchtrucks (the always ubiquitous cheesesteak) and dinner is the dining hall glued to the computer.

Sometimes I stare off. I try to think about things, but then I always tangent into something else. Thoughts about fluidic hepatocyte microchambers drift into job interviews drift into 5 page papers about something or other. Strangely, this has helped because sometimes I have no idea what I'm doing. I snapped out of it a few hours ago and realized I was in chem lab. What? Then I'm walking home. Or I think I am. Then I'm in class. Then work. Then home.

And just what is with our country anymore these days?

My friends seem off to me lately. Ever get the feeling that everyone is just a tad too nice? Did I walk through some stargate? Did everyone get lobotomies? I did as little work as possible in my team's last project and yet no one has said anything. Last week I made a grave error in stoichometry and only the T.A. lorded it over me. I expected a little more, I dunno, laughter or mocking at my incredibly stupid mistake.

I can't say I've even been a good friend. I walked by a guy I knew and completely ignored him. Well, it's just that I didn't see him. I guess I was spaced out again. I do it alot. Thinking. But they are polite about it. And I have no idea why. I would personally be upset. But I guesss I'm different. I guess I'm petty like that. I don't think so.

I spend more and more time walking up and down the River Park. When I get the chance and that is increasingly rare. I find it relaxing despite the fact that it is wedged around freight train tracks (carrying all the lovely products from the oil refinery and other assorted industry across the Northeast). And the river never looks too good. But it's better than nothing. And Fairmount Park isn't too safe these days.

But I can just sit there and watch the sun set. Even though I'm not supposed to. Or really even be out much during the day.

So I work.

I forget things. I forgot this blog. Well, to be fair, I just haven't had the time. I log into Second Life and forget that I'm supposed to be logged in. I drift thinking about other things. Just how do cows with names produce more milk than nameless cows? Usually hardly anyone is online anymore. Maybe I am logging in at the wrong times. Or maybe I'm spacing out again and not noticing the friends' box.

Just what am I doing anymore?

Some say that after you wear a mask, for a long long long time, it leaks into you, it becomes you. You forget who you were before you put it on and when you chose it and why. Who am I anymore? Even though I haven't logged in regularly for about three months, I think of her. And see through her eyes. I don't even know who she is. But she is me, for better or for worse.

Who am I anymore?

My dreams are nightmares, my life are dreams. I don't think I can even tell reality anymore. If there ever was such a thing.

And yet, through it all, I laugh. I have a sense of humor, you see. Hahahah. I laugh at the refinery lit like a Christmas tree. I laugh at the bus, which lowers itself down to make it easier for you to board. I laugh at the professor who says, "I want to show you this..." after each individual slide on her powerpoint. I laugh at the morning glories as they curl at night, and at the few stragglers who don't. I laugh at the medicine and I laugh at the chair. I laugh at the incredibly humorous 'Do Not Wakl' sign the construction workers put up. I laugh at the ROTC guys giving the local Communist party looks, and the snickering the Communists give to the Socialists, and the tsk tsk of the Socialists at the Libertarians, and the cabbie who almost just ran me over. It's just all so wonderful.