Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The consequences of being a jerk

(Restart Story)

You leap up from your chair and jog towards the door exiting the classroom. You hear Colin behind you saying “yeah you better run” as you leave. Once outside, you see Mr. Anderson attempting to comfort Natalie, who is clearly a wreck. Anderson whips around as soon as he notices your presence.
“What did you do to her?!” He glares at you, his arms on your shoulders. He’s about six feet five inches tall, and so he looks rather imposing staring down at you.
You stammer. “I…I...don’t know. I was just trying to be tough. I was tired of people like Colin making fun of me…I just want to see if she’s ok”
He releases you from his grasp and places his hand on his forehead, clearly annoyed.
Natalie speaks up in the background, her speech interrupted every so often by tears.  
“Mr. Anderson...I…I need to go.” She starts walking away briskly in the direction of the school’s office, probably so that she can call her parents to take her home. You feel terrible, having caused all of this with your rudeness towards her friends. Colin and Rick may seem like jackasses, but perhaps you would have been better served seeing where a little bit of niceness got you. For the rest of the school year, Natalie and her friends ignore you, and you are constantly associated by the rest of the people in your grade as the guy who upset a girl so much that she had to be taken home. Better luck next time.

Jeremy from Big Brother

(Restart Story)

Being a huge fan of the television show big brother, you watched it all summer before classes started. You happened to take a particular liking to Jeremy, a cocky member of the show who often said he would “enter beast mode” upon starting a competition. Channeling your inner Jeremy, you shout “BEAST MODE ON!” and leap from out under your desk. The rest of the class looks at you with puzzled expressions on their faces, with quite a few snickering at your display. Fortunately for you, Rick and Colin were caught off guard by your antics, giving you an opening to attack. With one perfectly executed backwards sweeping roundhouse kick, you nail both of them in the face, knocking them to the ground dazed and confused. Being the larger of the two, you decide to subdue Rick first. Before he is even able to recover from your initial kick, you drive two forceful punches into his face, causing him to go unconscious. By now Colin has managed to stand up, and looks upon you with amazement and fear. He tries to punch you several times, but your training allows you to dodge and block his blows as proficiently as Neo at the end of the Matrix. Finally, you grab one of his arms as he extends it to attempt a punch, pull him in, and knee him in the chest. Then, using your other hand, you punch him several times in the face, finishing with an uppercut that causes him to fly back several feet and land on the top of another student’s desk. Your work done, you stand triumphantly over your defeated foes. As you stand there in a victory pose, Mr. Anderson comes back into the classroom in a rush, followed by several students who had left during your martial arts display to inform him of your assault. He takes you away to the Principal’s office immediately. Unfortunately for you, Rick and Colin’ parents all happen to be involved in the justice system in some fashion, and so you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and then some. By the time you are released from prison, you are nearing middle age and have no decent prospects in life. Try again?

The rewards of a false smile

(Restart Story)

You decide to be a nice person despite the obvious disapproval shown towards you by Rick and Colin. You extend your hand to the former, saying “how’s it going?” Turns out that once you’ve broken the ice with them they aren’t as bad as you thought. Indeed, by the time Mr. Anderson is about to start class, you, Rick, Colin, Natalie, and Jaime are all having a great conversation. Natalie is clearly relieved that you were able to hold your own in her social stratosphere, and you know this by how she continually glanced at you and smiled during the conversation you were having with her and her friends. Class goes smoothly, and the four of you exit together, stopping outside the door to talk. None of you have any other classes together, it turns out, and so Colin suggests that you all get together at his house after school to hang out.

Confronting your enemy

(Restart Story)

You decide that this school year, you aren’t going to take crap from anyone. You call Colin an asshole, and his face seems to glow red with rage.
“The hell do you think you are?”
Colin is clearly amazed at your brazen comment, but quickly recovers. Natalie is trying to calm him down, but it is evident from her facial expression that she’s also displeased at the way you handled the situation.
At this point Rick decides to chime in, stating in a gruff monotone that you are a moron and should go find somewhere else to sit.
Him and Colin fist bump, then glare at you simultaneously.
“Come on guys,” Jaime states, breaking the awkward silence. “Let’s give the new kid a chance; Natalie seems to like him after all.”
Colin lets out an exhale that sounds more like a combination of a cough and a laugh.
“Yeah, it’s just cause she has a thing for charity cases.” He turns his gaze from Jaime to you. “Hear that, hot stuff? Natalie doesn’t like you, she just feels bad for you. You’ll never be in her league.”
Natalie is obviously annoyed by Colin’s commentary. Rick and Colin continue jeering at you, while Jaime stays neutral; clearly, she has seen all of this before.
Finally, Natalie has enough and leaves the classroom in a tearful rage. Mr. Anderson, just about to start class and noticing her pained expression, follows her out to see what is wrong. Now it’s just you, Rick, Colin, and Jaime.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A series of unfortunate events

(Restart Story)

You decide that it isn’t worth it to fight the bus driver. After all, you know that what you’ve done is wrong, and escalating the situation will only make things worse. Soon, the police arrive and take you off the bus, where you are processed at the local station. Natalie’s testimony against you is damning, and you are permanently labeled a sexual offender. As a result, no college will accept you and the only jobs you can acquire pay the minimum wage or less. If only you had made the right decisions in life…

Assault on an officer

(Restart Story)

Feeling edgy huh?
This prick…he doesn’t know I’ve trained in martial arts for the past five years!
A smile slowly grows on your face, and your eyes darken with evil delight. You elbow the retired cop, now bus driver, right in his overstuffed stomach. He staggers back, his grip loosening. You take this opportunity to drive a powerful uppercut right into his lower jaw. He screams loudly, writhing in pain, the force of the blow knocking him to the floor.
This is my moment of triumph!
As you stand there basking in the glow of your victory, you hear an ear shattering noise ring out. Then another. You look down. Two crimson holes decorate your chest. Within seconds, blood begins bursting through your shirt. Your senses go numb as you collapse to the floor.
Feeling like he had no other option, the retired police officer had pulled his concealed pistol and fired two bullets at your chest, both of which lodged themselves right in your icy heart.

For you, the game ends here.

You're an ass

(Restart Story)

You look at Natalie, giving her a once over.
“Ya know what, you’re actually kind of annoying. See ya later sweet cheeks.” You give her a pat on the back and turn around to walk in the other direction. You keep walking until you are off campus and near a major intersection. Feeling overconfident, you calmly walk across the street. The last thing you hear is the shriek of a truck’s tires as its brakes fail, causing the 18 wheeler to barrel over you at fifty miles per hour. Emergency response crews can’t even ID your body thanks to the force of the impact, that is until Natalie confirms that she saw it happen from afar, across the street and behind the school gate. Not only have you traumatized the girl you liked, but, and I can't say I feel too badly for you, you’re dead!

The popular kids

(Restart Story)

You and Natalie walk into the classroom together. Mr. Anderson is the history teacher. He dresses more like a lawyer than a high school educator, with slicked back hair and a gold watch. He looks at you disapprovingly as you walk in. You are in a good mood however, so you excuse that particular transgression. Besides, you are in good company. As you are looking for two seats for you and Natalie, she notices some of her friends in the back corner of the room. They wave her down, telling her to sit by them. They fail to acknowledge you. Natalie looks at you briefly and says, “come on, I’ll introduce you!”
You generally hate meeting new people, especially ones that are a part of a higher social clique than you are, but you oblige so as to not ruin your relationship so early on. You sit down across from Natalie, her three friends positioned behind you. She introduces you to them. The first, directly behind you, is Jaime, a good looking girl with red hair and green eyes. She doesn’t seem to take any interest in you though. Next to her is Rick, a tall, jock type who probably spends more time in the gym in a week than you do in a year. Behind him is Colin, a preppy looking guy who looks you over with a haughty smirk. 

The hard ass

(Restart Story)

Once you get off the bus, you decide to ditch Larry and get to your first class. With no real motivation however, you manage to arrive to class several minutes late. You walk in quietly, trying not to get the teacher’s attention. Unfortunately, the teacher of your first class happens to be Mr. Anderson, a hard ass who likes to pretend he’s some hotshot lawyer or professor. He gazes at you, a devilish grin on his face. His artificially arched eyebrows seem to mock you.
“Late on your first day are we?” He shakes his head. “Looks like you’ll need to be taught a lesson in respect.” Everyone in the class is laughing at you under their breath, especially the group of popular kids sitting in the far corner of the room. 

(26) Apologize and take a seat next the girl you like, Natalie

Overrstepping boundaries

(Restart Story)

You gaze longingly into Natalie’s eyes. She seems a little put off by this, but you continue anyways. You break the awkward silence by moving in for a big, hearty kiss. Before your lips reach hers, you feel a slap across your face.
“What the hell?!?” Her exclamation acquires the attention of the rest of the bus.
“This freak is trying to sexually assault me!” Anger consumes Natalie's normally placid face. Part of the bus laughs at you while the rest scolds you, calling you a weirdo. Taking notice of this, the bus driver stops the bus, waddles to where you're sitting, and grabs your arm, removing you from your seat. He’s a grizzled old man with countless wrinkles lining his discolored, pock-marked, and unshaven face.
“We didn’t like pricks like you back when I was on the force,” he growls. He flashes a badge.
“I’ve been retired for a few years but I still got my connections. Just enough to put away a potential offender like you for years!”
He smirks at you, his grip tightening around your arm.

Making conversation with your crush

(Restart Story)

“So,” you say to Natalie, “how are you doing?”
She seems to be excited that you decided to start a conversation with her.
“I’m good,” she responds, “weren’t we in a few classes together last year?” Indeed you were, having spent all of Junior year in most of the same classes. It disheartens you that she didn’t notice the extent of your past “relationship”, but you are thrilled all the same that she at least knows who you are. You continue to have a decent conversation, getting to know each other, and eventually exchanging numbers. You aren’t too great at texting or keeping in touch with people, so you are hoping you have some classes together. Unfortunately, unlike last year, it turns out you only have one class at the same time: history. Luckily it’s the first class of the day, so you and Natalie exit the bus and walk together to the classroom, laughing at each other’s jokes and generally building the start to a decent relationship.

Never let them see you sweat

(Restart Story)

You stare at Natalie for a considerable amount of time without saying a word. Evidently, you are beginning to freak her out, as she turns away and moves her body as far away from you as she can. Sweat beads down your face, and begins seeping through your luckily dark shirt. Your nerves getting the better of you, you decide to cut your losses and return to your normal seat beside Larry. He looks at you, disappointed.
“That wasn’t cool dude! Bros before hoes, come on!”
You roll your eyes. Larry wasn’t too bright, and his use of phrases like “bros before hoes” was commonplace. You sigh heavily. Having passed on yet another opportunity to get to know a girl you liked, you sit quietly on the bus, only half listening to Larry’s inane rambling while you ponder the worthlessness of your existence. The bus nears campus. 


Being a man

(Restart Story)

You walk down the aisle of the bus slowly, but with purpose. Eyeing the seat next to Natalie, you walk right past Larry, not even acknowledging him. As you get close to her, she starts to notice your approach. As you sit down beside her, she begins to stare at you, a slight smile on her face. She looks at you, expectantly.

Missing an oppurtunity

(Restart Story)

You sigh heavily. Having passed on yet another opportunity to get to know a girl you liked, you go and sit next to Larry, only half listening to his inane rambling while you ponder the worthlessness of your existence. The bus nears campus.

Bicycles and tardiness

(Restart Story)

You walk into your garage and grab your bike, going out a side door into an alleyway that leads into the street. In about fifteen minutes of leisurely biking, you make it to your school. You quickly lock up your bike and run to your first class, where you are already several minutes late. You walk in quietly, trying not to get the teacher’s attention. Unfortunately, the teacher of your first class happens to be Mr. Anderson, a hard ass who likes to pretend he’s some hotshot lawyer or professor. He gazes at you, a devilish grin on his face. His artificially arched eyebrows seem to mock you.
“Late on your first day are we?” He shakes his head. “Looks like you’ll need to be taught a lesson in respect.” Everyone in the class laughs at you under their breath, especially the group of popular kids sitting in the far corner of the room. 

Skipping school. Or not.

(Restart Story)

You decide to skip school.
You think to yourself, What’s the point anyways?
You go back to your room, shut your blinds, hop on your bed, and fall back asleep. That doesn’t last too long however, because five minutes later your Mom barrels in, yelling at you.
“Damn it, you are going to get your ass out of bed this instant and go to class whether you like it or not!”
Not wanting to make your mother any angrier than she already is, you lazily comply and get off your bed, slowly walking past your still shrieking parent. Now that the bus is gone, you really only have one option.

A rushed morning

(Restart Story)

Being the patient person that you are, you decide to wait. Twenty minutes later, your sister saunters on out, sporting an elaborate hairstyle and intricately done mascara. You sigh, and rush through brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and performing other bathroom orientated tasks. It is only when you finish that you realize you’ve missed the bus. 


Skipping the morning routine

(Restart Story)

You decide to skip your morning routine so that you can catch the school bus. It pulls up in front of your house right on time, and you hop on board. You see your friend Larry sitting near the front, next to a window. The seat beside him is vacant. A few rows back sits a girl named Natalie, who you’ve had a crush on for years. Her hair is a reddish blonde, and her blue eyes make your legs go numb. You notice her glancing at you as you pay the bus driver your fare, and your heart skips a beat. 


A rejected apology

(Restart Story)

You give your sister a heartfelt apology, something along the lines of you not knowing your own strength and being so tired that you just assumed the bathroom would be vacant. She seems to accept it, though is still clearly annoyed with you. As if to prove the point, she shoves you out of the bathroom and slams the door in your face. You look down at your watch. Five minutes until the bus arrives…


A curious choice

(Restart Story)

You suddenly feel a rush of anger and resentment toward your sister.
Why does she always take so long to get ready in the morning?
The newfound hatred you feel towards her cannot be contained any longer. You raise your right fist and bury it in her face, breaking her nose. Hot sticky blood gushes everywhere.
“Oh my god,” she yells, staggering away from you. You rush her, throwing jabs at her rib cage and stomach, not letting up for a minute. She falls to the ground; you continue pummeling away. After getting in a few more punches, you feel your mom desperately trying to pull you back. You struggle, lashing out at her, but soon your dad runs in and viciously smacks you on the head with a baseball bat. When you wake up, you are in handcuffs, locked away in the cell of your local jail. As you turned 18 the day before, it’s very likely you’ll be charged as an adult, locked away for decades. What a first day of school that was!

Patience is not always a virtue

(Restart Story)

Being the patient person that you are, you decide to wait. Twenty minutes later, your sister saunters on out, sporting an elaborate hairstyle and intricately done mascara. You sigh, and rush through brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and performing other bathroom orientated tasks. It is only when you finish that you realize you’ve missed the bus. 


A polite choice

(Restart Story)

You knock politely. You hear a quick, terse response from your sister.
“Just gimme a minute! I’m almost done with my hair.”
You look at the watch strapped to your left wrist. Five minutes before the bus arrives to take you to school. What do you do?


Impatience personified

(Restart Story) 

You bash the door in, a rather brazen move I might say. Inside is your sister, in the midst of brushing her teeth. She shrieks at the top of her lungs and starts yelling at you, throwing a few expletives in as well. She’s in college and doesn’t go back to school for another month or so, but has to get up early for her shift as a barista at the local coffee house.
“What the hell are you thinking you little shit?!” She looks at you angrily, waiting for an answer. You hear your mother coming up the stairs, curious about all the commotion. I guess you aren’t too bright, because you stand there for a few seconds, dumbfounded. After a few more seconds of your sister burning a hole into your forehead with her eyes, you finally respond by:


The story begins

(Restart Story)

You get up and stagger over to the dresser. Looking at the small mirror placed on it, you examine yourself. You aren’t beautiful, but nobody will bully you for being ugly. At about five feet ten inches tall, you are completely average in almost every way. You get on your jeans and T-shirt and stumble sleepily towards your bathroom to brush your teeth and your hair. You walk up to the door, only to find it locked, with light seeping out from the bottom.

First day of school

Disclaimer: This story is a work in progress. As such, some choices are not yet functional. All characters and situations are fictional, and most choices are meant to be humorous or satirical in nature.

The blaring noise of your alarm clock cuts into the early morning silence of your medium sized bedroom. You lay sprawled in your bed, not wanting to get up. You hear your mom yell something to you. She’s already been awake for several minutes.
“Honey, I folded your clothes and placed them on your dresser!”
You look over at the clothes. Nice, clean, no wrinkles. Perfect for your first day.
What kind of clothes are they?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Is there a need for Xbox TV?

Xbox One is touted by Microsoft as being able to serve all of your entertainment needs. What is the point of an "Xbox TV" then?

According to writer Danny Sullivan of, there is. He believes that while the Xbox 360 is a capable streaming device, it is overlooked by consumers due to its premium cost in comparison to Roku and Apple TV.

Sullivan concludes by saying that Xbox should "[l]ose the gaming functionality [and] focus on the video (and perhaps music)," and that by doing so Microsoft will be able to gain a foothold into households seeking pure streaming devices. He basically wants Microsoft to create an Xbox version of Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast; in other words a small hockey puck sized device that generates little to no heat and is dedicated solely to streaming content.

The problem with this is that, in my mind, it severely diminishes the Xbox brand. As seen with the 360 and now the One, Microsoft wants Xbox to be a brand that encompasses every possible form of entertainment you might need in your living room. By creating a stripped down Xbox made only for streaming, you are throwing out everything that Microsoft wants their entertainment console to be: the end all be all option for every home's living room.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fat Head Review

I just watched the dietary documentary Fat Head yesterday and I have to say, it was pretty phenomenal.

Basically, it's sort of a direct response to Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me, and seeks to demonstrate to viewers that the crusade against eating meat and animal fats is entirely fallacious and in actuality is causing the obesity crisis in America.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is the new Nexus 7 worth it?

For owners of the 2012 Nexus 7, this thing will look mighty familiar to you.

Just under a year ago I bought my first tablet, the 16gb Nexus 7. Now, as has become the custom in the world of technology, Google has recently announced my relatively youthful tablet's successor in the Nexus 7-2 (note the space between the numbers, I know it's confusing but this is apparently what most writers have named it).

The question I will look at is this: is it worth it for current Nexus 7 owners to buy the Nexus 7-2?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's not a shooter, it's a camera!

Is that a camera or a shooter? Tech writers, listen up.

I go through a lot of tech news (often through apps like Appy Geek), and as such I read a lot of smartphone reviews. One thing that I have been seeing a lot lately is writers who feel the need to come up with random synonyms when describing a smartphone.

One of the worst examples of these I've seen lately is writers who use the word shooter instead of camera when referring to a smartphone's camera. For example, they'll say something like "the iPhone as an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a forward facing 1.3 megapixel shooter on the front."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Good luck with Dwight, Houston

The city of Houston is likely rejoicing at the fact that they've claimed the rights to Dwight Howard, the so-called best center in the NBA. Is there really anything for them to be excited about though? In my mind, not really.

Watching Dwight all of last year it was evident that he, at his best, is little more than an athletic defender who can finish at the rim with above average effectiveness.

His hands are rock hard, little more than oversized mitts. You could almost see the webs linking his rather useless elongated fingers. He fumbled away more passes from players like Steve freaking Nash and Kobe goddamn Bryant than I can count.

Not only that, but he refuses to play in any sort of offense that doesn't cater to his exact needs. In his arrogance, he spurned a great playmaker like Steve Nash, choosing instead to set weak screens and cry before and after games about not having isolation plays set up for him in the post.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Man of Steel failed

Last night I watched the movie Man of Steel for the first time. I'll start by saying that I really wanted to love this movie, I really did. It had talented people behind its creation (Zack Snyder - 300, Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight) and had a story based around Superman and alien invasions. What was there not to like?

Unfortunately, quite a bit. The main issue I had with the movie was the disconnect between the characters and their interactions not only with each other but with the story itself. I just didn't care about them at all, even Henry Cavill's superman, who despite looking the part never really had any dialogue of significance and seemed to be detatched and depressed for the majority of the film. 

I blame Christopher Nolan for that last bit. Dark, gritty, realistic, and brooding might work for Batman, but it sure as hell doesn't fit into a story about Superman. This is a guy who should basically be a god on earth, somebody who isn't directly affected by earthly problems but still cares due to his upbringing. The somber Cavill Superman never really seems "heroic," in fact I think what I'm getting at is that Nolan tried to make somebody who is inherently not human too human. As a result, the story suffered and became, at least to me, vapid and not engrossing at all. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Phablets will die off

A Galaxy Note II shown dwarfing what is considered to be a large smartphone, the Galaxy S3.

I can't tell you how many times I've read an article or forum post about smartphones that seems to laud the so-called "phablet." For those who do not know, a phablet is a device that attempts to merge the benefits of a smartphone and a tablet. They are usually somewhere between 5.3 and 6.5 inches, and aim to provide the user with the screen real estate to watch movies and do more productive tasks on their phone.

The downside? They are very large. This may not be a problem for the guy or girl who has cargo pants or a large purse, but for the majority of the jean/short wearing population of the world it's hard to fit a wallet and a phablet into a pair of normal pockets without feeling constricted.

Additionally, the reason most people love phablets is due to their aforementioned ability to meld a tablet and phone into one device. At the same time however, this is also why the phablet fails. Because it is an amalgamation of two different devices, the phablet has compromised its ability to be great at any one task.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Top 5 TV Show Intros

I watch a lot of TV. Probably too much, to be honest.

Here are my favorite show intros...

5. Community 

Link to intro:

I love this show. The humor is top notch and some of its storylines are surprisingly dark and complex despite the lighthearted manner in which the show presents itself. I think the intro captures all of that, especially through its more melancholy undertones (revealed when you listen to the lyrics.)

 4. Downton Abbey 

Link to intro:

This show is very peculiar in that it manages to be extremely entertaining despite being nearly entirely devoid of sex or violence. This is due to the fantastic characters and the stories that cause them to clash in a number of entertaining ways.

The intro itself serves as a time machine of sorts, taking you back to an age and a way of life that no longer exists in today's world. The music is slightly depressing and uplifting at the same time, which is proper considering the way the show tells its stories. All in all it's a great way to start off a good hour of television.

Dwight Howard's Departure

Less than a year after it began, the Dwight Howard era of the Los Angeles Lakers has come to a close.

Yesterday marked the end of an era for the Los Angeles Lakers. Less than a year after he was signed, Dwight Howard has decided to leave the Lakers for the Houston Rockets.

Most Lakers fans I know, including myself, really aren't too surprised. Indeed, as seen on the popular fan site, the majority of Lakers fans couldn't care less about Dwight leaving for the Rockets. What this reveals is the love-hate relationship we Lakers fans have had with this pseudo superman ever since he signed with us last August.

It is true that most Lakers fans hated the cocky, aloof Andrew Bynum and were pleased when Dwight waltzed in to take his place. But it was also clear that Dwight never had a great amount of chemistry with anybody on our team. Kobe had a much better relationship with Pau, and even Steve Nash, the former Suns MVP who was the Lakers' other big free agent signing last year, than he ever did with Dwight. And really, it's this disconnection between Dwight and the rest of the team that defined his time with us.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Runner

Ray Baker lived on the top floor of an immense structure, hundreds of stories high. Outwardly, the building had the appearance of a typical skyscraper, with the exception of the ring-like structure that crowned its rooftop. Baker lived in this halo like penthouse. He was not made of money, but through luck had won the lottery several years earlier. Though it was a large amount, Baker had squandered the majority of it through poor investments, frivolities, and the home in which he now lived.

The halo was equipped with a balcony that jutted out several meters, and had no obvious support besides being attached to the greater structure. Baker stood there now, pacing, holding a slim rectangular device to his ear. The balcony appeared to be open to the elements, but in reality there were invisible mechanisms shielding the space from the ruthless winds present at that height.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Space Exploration: Why don't our leaders care?

What interesting discoveries await us among the stars? We may never know...

As a fan of science fiction of all sorts, I can say that we currently live in an incredibly disappointing era in terms of space exploration. Obama keeps cutting funding for NASA, instead relegating its former resources to private corporations. That's great, and I am sure the private sector will do wonderful things in space, but let's be real. Huge initiatives like space exploration require something greater than a corporation or two to fuel its growth. It requires governments, and shared resources on a massive, global scale.

Case in point, the Apollo program that got America to the moon took up a huge percentage of our national budget. And that was just getting to the moon. Getting to Mars and beyond will require an even greater commitment. That can't occur if our forays into space are being led by corporate entrepreneurs who, no offense, lack the resources and vision to do something of this magnitude.

Monday, July 1, 2013

When is Star Wars the Old Republic at its best? When it tries to be KOTOR 3.

Anybody who has played an MMORPG before has probably heard of the game Star Wars: The Old Republic. It was released at the end of 2011 and was supposed to take the MMO gaming world over by storm. Unfortunately for Bioware and EA, it never came close to doing that and today is a free to play game that manages to maintain a few hundred thousand monthly subscribers. This is a far cry from what EA imagined when they pumped millions into its development.

But I am not here to criticize the failures of SWTOR. In fact, I actually have fun with the game, mainly due to its dialogue and choice system that isn't present in any other MMO that I have played. Indeed, I actually like the game itself more than WoW and Guild Wars 2.

Book Recommendation: Saga of Seven Suns by Kevin J. Anderson

The Saga of Seven Suns is a science fiction series written by Kevin J. Anderson. Essentially, it is an easy read about humanity's discovery of powerful alien forces throughout the universe that are far more dangerous, ancient and technologically capable than they are.

It is not the best series of books ever written, and often times Anderson takes far too long to explain simple plot points. Indeed, this series of seven books probably could have been chopped down to about three or four. In my mind that would have greatly improved the pacing of the story.

If all you want is an action filled story of alien invasion however, this is the series for you. I read all seven books and enjoyed them, despite the reservations I had about them stated above. In my opinion the first five books are the best, indeed, the conclusion of the fifth book could have probably been sufficient in ending the series. Books six and seven fall flat in providing a sufficiently gratifying ending to such a long series, though they were still entertaining to read.

Overall, if you want something to read over summer and you are into the science fiction or alien invasion genres, this is one series you should probably check out. It isn't the best written or most intelligent series of books ever created, but it should be sufficient in providing you with a decent amount of entertainment.

If I had to rate The Saga of Seven Suns as a whole, I'd probably give it 7/10.

Alan Wake First Impressions

I just recently fired up this game again. Finished episode one a few minutes ago. So far I really like it. As a fan of the show Supernatural, I think it captures that same sense of creepiness and foreboding mixed with healthy amounts of action and humor.

It isn't a horror game on the level of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but it will provide a few scares for the faint of heart. Overall I think of it more as a third person shooter with a dark/mysterious storyline than a game whose sole purpose is to try and freak out the player and keep them from sleeping at night.

I'll make a new post when I've gotten further into the game. Thus far however I'd say it was well worth the dirt cheap price I bought it for ($3).