Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Halo god complex

The game that honed my Halo skills.
I noticed something strange as I was playing Halo 4 online today. I am really good at Halo! Like, too good. Like, killing guys with a sniper rifle without zooming in from across the map good.  Before I start to sound too conceited, let me take a step back and provide you with some context. 

Back in ye olden days, I used to play Halo 2, the first game in the series to provide an online multiplayer experience, religiously. I'm taking all day every day. I was never one of the best players in the world, but I was respectable. This pattern repeated itself, to a lesser degree, with Halo 3. Though I didn't play that game as much as 2, I was still pretty damn good.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Does the Xbox One Suck?

According to writer Sascha Segan, it does. In a brief and relatively whiny article, Segan argued that the Xbox One is terrible because it lacks plug-and-play capability, which, according to him, is what defines the console experience. 

That may be true, but his evidence was shoddy at best. Instead of doing some actual research (something like testing out how much time it took from start-up to actual gameplay for multiple Xbox titles), he provided readers with an anecdote about a game he wanted to play with his child. In his story, his kid was forced to play a game on a cell phone because the Xbox One title took too long to update itself. For this singular reason, Segan blasted Microsoft's console.

True Love?

(Restart Story)

You sit next to Natalie. She greets you with an exuberance that makes your heart skip a beat. It seems she's excited for your date later that day!

You think to yourself, Aw yeah! I'm such a badass!

You and Natalie have a decent conversation. Laughs abound. Even the reticent Jaime gets a few words in. By the end, you are feeling like you really made a connection. A few minutes before the lunch bell rings, Natalie gets up.

"I'm going get a head class is way on the other side of campus! I'll see you later!"

She flashes you a smile, and gives you a brief hug. Butterflies begin fluttering throughout your stomach. For a moment you drift away from reality, dreaming of a future with your crush.

Then, all of the sudden, Jaime appears before you.

"You know...I probably shouldn't say this," she mutters, "but Nat, she has lots of guy friends. If you know what I mean."

A puzzled look appears on your face.

"What I'm trying to say is...don't get your hopes us. You seem like a good guy and I don't want your dreams to be shattered or anything. She probably doesn't see that 'date' she planned with you as anything more than a friendly get-together. Well...I'll see you." Jaime walks away towards her next class.

She's terrible at goodbyes...

You stand there stunned for a bit, but quickly snap out of it.

She's right...I never really had a chance. A girl like her probably has fifty guys contacting her at any given time. I'll never break through that. All that time I just spent with her was probably meaningless...

Looks like you're in a bit of a malaise! What to do...what to do...

(A) Run after Jaime and knock her out. Violence solves everything!

(B) Accept what Jaime said and move on with your life.

(C) Confront Natalie with this information when you see here again.

The Player

(Restart Story)

Girls bore you. Case in point, after only a few hours of pursuing Natalie, you're already onto the next one: Jaime.

You sit next to to Jaime, to her left. Natalie is on her right. With a fluid motion, you place your arm around Jaime, and stare longingly into her iridescent green eyes.

"You know, Jaime," you begin, "I never noticed it are quite beautiful."

Jaime silently glances at Natale for support. The whites of her eyes are showing. She's quite uncomfortable, unsurprisingly.

Natalie, who, might I remind you was just asked out by you, is furious. Her face is reddening. Fists balling up.

As Jaime attempts to worm her way away from you, she notices Natalie's changing expression.

"Uh...Nat? You ok?!"

For the moment, Jaime has forgotten about your creepiness and has turned her attention to her friend. Your next choice could have a considerable impact...

(A) [Persuade] "Cheer up Nat! I got ya good didn't I? Haha."

(B) [Flirt] "You know...monogamous relationships are bout you two and I head back to my place? Right now."

(C) Tell Natalie to lighten up and accept your love for Jaime

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


(Restart Story)

Anderson charges at you, looking more like an enraged bull than a man. As per your planned ruse, you let down your guard at the last second.

Your defenses down, Anderson makes short work of you. You only feel the first blow to your face before you are knocked out.

Several moments later, you awake. Your jaw aches. You see a few of what you assume to be your teeth lying on the floor before you. Blood is everywhere, most of all on Mr. Anderson and his fists, who is standing a few feet in front of you, staring at you and the class with wide eyes.

"What...what have I done?!" He staggers backwards, nearly tripping on a stack of books. He catches himself, and leans against the whiteboard.

With all your might, you get on your legs. Though your mouth is on fire, you manage to say two words, words that will reverberate in the minds of your fellow classmates for years to come.

"You're done."

You smile, limp over to the class phone, and call the office. Within minutes, campus security has arrived. You tell them your manufactured story, about Anderson going off on you for no reason at all. The class sides with you, as Anderson was known to be a horrific teacher, regardless of his now well-documented violent tendencies.

Your victory, however, is short lived. Allowing Anderson to get such a clean shot at your skull caused a fracture, which led to internal bleeding in your brain. As a medical team called to the school examines you, the pressure in your head causes you to pass into a coma. You never wake up from your slumber.

On the bright side, your death got a terrible, abusive teacher sentenced to life in prison! For all intents and purposes, you become a martyr. Everyone in your graduating class remembers your name until the day they die.

The End (Restart Story)


(Restart Story)

Mr. Anderson's fists lunge towards your face. In what appears to be the blink of an eye, you grab his right wrist, then his left. Squeezing with all your might, you twist each as hard as you can.

There is an audible *SNAP* as you break his bones.


Anderson falls to the floor in a crumpled heap, whimpering like a newborn. Tears stream down his face. His now useless hands flap around aimlessly at his sides.

(A) Finish him off

(B) Address the class with a victory speech

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Top Seven Songs in Doctor Who

Murray Gold has released a number of wonderful tracks for Doctor Who. Some are sad, some are inspirational, and others are everything in between. Here's a list of my top seven!

If seven seems arbitrary, deal with it ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't expect faster computers any time soon

Intel's Core i7 processor. 99% of you reading this article won't need the kind of power provided by this baby.

I've written here previously about the diminishing returns of smartphones. To summarize what I said there briefly, the processors within smartphones are so good at what they do that each subsequent upgrade feels like less of an improvement over the previous model. Or, in other words, the iPhone 4S felt much faster than the 4, but the iPhone 5S felt minutely faster than the 5.

A similar trend is occurring in the world of personal computers. If you bought a PC or laptop during or after 2007, you probably still own it to this day. Or, if you don't, it wasn't because it became too slow to perform the tasks you needed it to, but because it broke down.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mark Levin botches introduction to book

Let me be clear: I have not finished reading Mark Levin's book, The Liberty Amendments. However, something caught my eye in the introduction that was so perplexing to me that I had to write about it.

As you may or may not know, Levin is an influential conservative pundit, talking head, and radio host. I bought his book mainly because, at the time, it was highly rated and I was sick of what was going on in DC, and thus wanted to see some of the solutions he proposed.

Unfortunately, however, after reading his thesis, I do not know if I will be able to make it through the entire book. Why? Essentially, his entire argument is based on one giant hypocrisy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Doctor Who: Vale Decem vs. Infinite Potential

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I absolutely love the show Doctor Who. One of my favorite aspects of it, besides all of the zany storylines and fantastic characters, is its music.

The composer for the modern series, Murray Gold, really knows how to ramp up the adrenaline and emotion of what is occurring on screen with his music. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the scores he created for the 10th and 11th Doctor's regenerations, dubbed "Value Decem" and "Infinite Potential," respectively.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

True Detective: starring Bryan Cranston and Jensen Ackles?

The first season of True Detective ended a few weeks ago. Because the series is an anthology, actors Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, pictured above, will not be reprising the roles of Marty and Rust. The show will instead be introducing two new detectives. That leaves us with the question: who should play them?

Not even taking into account what the showrunner is planning as far as the storyline and theme of season two, I think two great options would be Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame), and Jensen Ackles (one of the leads of the hit show Supernatural).